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Nap Time!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2006
Now's your chance!

I've been kind of harsh on the Student Action folks, but I recognize that most of them probably had nothing to do with the idiocy of the folks on top, and think they made dicks of themselves in various ways, such as via their lawsuit. So, now that elections are over, now is your chance to raise criticism of your leadership, so that we don't lump you in with them in the future!

Heh. Right.

Update: I guess what I really want to see is someone from SA apologize or somehow disagree with Suken's lies to the Judicial Council. This shouldn't be as hairy as, say, disagreeing with the lawsuit or executive orders. Anyone want to take it up?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/31/2006 01:19:00 PM #
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Jason Chu, who couldn't be bothered to justify his existence during Judicial Council hearings, has things to say.
DC: What will be the most difficult thing to address this year?

JC: The biggest difficulty will be to make sure that the ASUC maintains its credibility-that we still have a high profile-because I think a lot of people during and after elections were confused and disheartened.
The ASUC had a high profile in the past? The results of things like the GA referendum suggest that ASUC's "high profile" doesn't seem to include things like awareness of the ASUC or how it works.
DC: What will the ASUC have to do to regain credibility after the controversies of the summer?

JC: The only way is to do our job and get things done. I think people realize that the ASUC will pull through for the students.
Or rather, that the ASUC will continue to fail to pull through at the same level as usual.
DC: How do you plan on inspiring politically apathetic students?

JC: Another thing I have been doing is a political speaker series forum that I've been working on with professor Alan Ross, who puts on the Political Science 179 class. A lot of political speakers come out and try to motivate students about the political process.
Well gee, that'll work. If there's one thing politically apathetic students do, it's go to political speaker series forums.
DC: Now that we're wrapping up, anything else you want to add?

JC: As the five executives we have developed a six- prong plan to address a broad range of goals within our own offices, specifically diversity, sustainability, development of Lower Sproul, safety, Cal traditions-developing a new Cal tradition each year-and technology. Regardless of political party, these issues are important to all students.
None of those things are important to me. Maybe safety, but I've never had a problem with it that needed the ASUC's assistance. Does anyone else out there not find all six of those issues important? Is Jason Chu playing the lying sack of shit in traditional Student Action form? Do we have to suffer through more of these folks claiming to speak for us?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/31/2006 01:12:00 PM #
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Well, just so you all know how pathetic Stanford is, they have a facebook group, "I Drank My Way Thru Alcohol EDU," which directs people to this Beetle Beat post for "answers for the test." Folks have been saying stuff in the comments to the post, which may very well include answers, though in the time it takes to parse the mess down there they probably could've figured it out on their own.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/30/2006 11:58:00 PM #
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Go Mexico!
The tribunal has until Sept. 6 to name the winner of the election. Political tension and uncertainty have gripped Mexico for weeks, with Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) threatening to make the country ungovernable if Calderon becomes president.

Lopez Obrador told supporters, "I was expecting" the ruling. He later added that he would never recognize a Calderon victory or his resulting government.
Use force to coerce your ideology into place? How democratic and undictatorial.
Analysts say Calderon made up ground on his rival with a sophisticated media campaign that portrayed the leftist as a dangerous radical who would bankrupt the country.
That seems to be the plan. Good call!

More from Matt Smith at the SF Weekly.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 06:08:00 PM #
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. . .

Check out this Democratic Party press release. Centralized Government Health Care! Yay! It's time to stop the mistake of letting people have choices!

But Phil Angelides knows better. God forbid every Californian be on the hook for coerced health care:
"He supports moving toward universal health care by first covering all children and then requiring businesses to cover their employees," said Angelides spokesman Nick Pappas.
The bill even deals with "preventative health care." Most preventative health care is done by being healthy. Since we've already seen the arguments used in smoking, I don't see much hope for us avoiding the slippery slope here. Once our health is the responsibility of the state, which freedoms will die first?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 05:57:00 PM #
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Um, no, that's not right

Becky O'Malley is now responding to letters on a letter-by-letter basis. I mentioned before her attempt to dismiss a dude's commentary as "Criticizing Israel = Anti-Semitism." She ran a letter by the dude explaining that the headline was wrong, but she made no acknowledgement of that, and we might have thought it was an issue of interpretation. Only now, weeks later, does she finally write:
The headline over Mr. Glickman's commentary was a mistake—it was intended for another letter which came in at the same time. We ran his letter pointing out the error.
But you didn't recognize that he was correct. You ran it as a letter, as if it was an alternative opinion, and it wasn't a clear-cut correction as a factual correction might be. The fact that it was a mistake was not explained. How pathetic.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 10:02:00 AM #
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. . .

The winner of the game is The Daily Cal itself.
Also, the caption for the article's photo switched the names of Jason Overman and City Councilmember Kriss Worthington.
And they made a similar mistake when reporting on the selection of the Overman. Good times.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 09:36:00 AM #
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Obligations? Pshh

Things are looking grim for Ehren Watada, military dude who won't go to Iraq. The City Council is backing him.
But Ehren Watada's lawyer, Eric Seitz, said his client had a duty to disobey orders because the conduct of the war in Iraq violates both the international Geneva Conventions and the U.S. War Powers Act.

"The U.S. never received authorization from the United Nations to attack Iraq," Seitz said. "It is our contention that war crimes are being committed."

Seitz cited the holding of detainees without charges, deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and what he called the deliberate deception of the U.S. Congress as grounds for declaring the war illegal.
I'm not really familiar with the UCMJ, but wouldn't this make more sense as an objection if Watada was actually being ordered to murder civilians, detain people without charges, deceive Congress, etc., rather than simply being ordered to participate in the war?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 09:29:00 AM #
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I feel poor

Uh... is any of my money being used to determine the title of the music that "the typical freshman" listens to? I don't want to appear stingy or anything, but... uh...

Speaking of excellent use of my money, let's talk about the UCSA.
For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, every UC Berkeley student supports an association that works to keep each student an active player in California higher education.
I'd rather have the coffee, considering how successful the UCSA is. I would have phrased it as follows:
Every UC Berkeley student is coerced, using university enrollment as leverage, to provide money to a partisan political advocacy group that, in general, accomplishes nothing for students.
That's probably too much to hope for from the Daily Cal. When was the last time the Daily Cal was actually critical of the subject of one of its stories? No opponents of the UCSA are quoted. If the Daily Cal folks ever want to do real journalism, they can always ask me, I have stables of folks who don't take this fawning position on these groups that I can direct reporters to.
"We are trying to stake out ourselves as an apolitical force in the state," said UCSA Field Organizer and full-time staffer Amanda Martin.
"We are students! We are apolitical! Hear us 'meh'!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 09:11:00 AM #
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Let's see, in the headline:
First Student in Over Two Decades Runs for Berkeley City Council
In the article:
The last student to run for council was Andy Katz, now an alumnus, who lost a bid to Wozniak in 2002.

I imagine what the headliner was trying to say was that if Jason Overman won, he'd be the first student City Council dude in over two decades. But the Daily Cal simply missed. Oh, well. Wouldn't be the first time.

Or maybe Jason Overman is the first student in over two decades. The rest of us aren't really students, nor has anyone been one since 1984.

Unfortunately, the picture isn't online yet. We'll play a game to see who can point out what's wrong with it first. And I'll give you a hint: This isn't the first time this error has been made, and it's not even the first time the error was made in stories covering this particular topic.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/28/2006 01:11:00 PM #
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. . .
Nothing to see here

I remain convinced that The Daily Cal just doesn't want to cover the full extent of Student Action's abuses of power. Katlyn Carter has an article, and half of the Scott Lucas column talks about it. But there are so many things which are simply wrong.

Starting with the column:
First was the drama surrounding the ASUC executive elections. All four executive slots were won by Student Action party candidates. That is, until all four candidates were disqualified by the Judicial Council. A collection of independent and third-party candidates, all runners-up, were put into office.
Uh, no. Nobody was put into office. There was a whole series of legal challenges surrounding this, in fact. What Lucas just not paying attention?
The four Student Action executive candidates were charged with minor campaign violations. Then their party chair faced obstruction charges stemming from testimony at the judicial hearing. The Judicial Council ruling precipitated a constitutional crisis, as Student Action hotly contested the decision.
There isn't really a concept of "obstruction charges" in the Judicial Council's rulings. Suken Vakil, the party chair, was found in contempt for providing false or misleading testimony. No constitutional crisis ensued until Manny Buenrostro got out his Executive Order pen. Other than that, everything actually went in accordance with the Constitution.
Finally and anticlimactically, the Judicial Council voted to overturn its own ruling and reinstate the Student Action candidates.
The only part of the ruling that was overturned was the disqualification, and on a legal technicality. The remainder was upheld, including the finding that Vakil was in contempt for his behavior, and a finding that the Student Action folks falsified evidence was there, too. More info here.
Second is that CalSERVE, the usual opposition party, missed a chance at gaining the executive seats as they decided early on in the year not to run candidates for executive positions.
Uh, well, actually, unless CalSERVE had some mystical power to change the Judicial Council's rulings (which I doubt, since they probably argue on the same level as Student Action), they wouldn't have ended up in the executive seats any more than Squigor did.
Finally, expect more independent and smaller-party candidates in next spring's election. Enough folks were disaffected by Student Action's power play to form the nucleus of an opposition party.
We'll see. I say "not going to happen." No one will remember.

The news article (in the Fall Orienation section) is slightly better, though it seems to willfully avoid the major issues.
"It was literally a coup d'etat of the ASUC," said former Judicial Council chair Robert Gregg, referring to an executive order that installed the then-disqualified Student Action executives until fall. "It was single-handedly the most unconstitutional action I've ever seen in the ASUC."
I think Bobby's comment would make more sense if the full extent of the executive order he was referring to was known. I don't want to speak for him, but I expect that what he really found unconstitutional wasn't "installing candidates 'till fall" but rather "the President declaring his party the winner of the election" and "the President declaring that the Judicial Council couldn't meet to deal with this until it got permission from the Senate or President."
Incoming president Oren Gabriel agrees, but said he thinks the aim of clearing up the bylaws should be to maintain an effective balance between the branches of the government.

"There are certainly things that are unclear and I think that should be checked so that the Judicial Council should have to follow the bylaws, the constitution, and their own rules of procedure," he said.
This from the president from the party that lied to the Judicial Council, falsified evidence, tried to intimidate the Judicial Council with lawsuits, manipulated the ASUC's legal counsel to try to convince the Judicial Council not to do its job, used its presidential powers to declare an election in its favor, and used its presidential powers to declare an entire branch of government null and void until further notice. It's the Judicial Council that needs to better follow the rules, not Student Action. Right.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/28/2006 12:52:00 PM #
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. . .
Hey, hey!

The Daily Cal is pretty big today. Unfortunately, I can't find the Fall orientation portion online yet, and they do have coverage of the ASUC stuff which needs serious criticism, but I'll get to that later.

First, we've got that Phil Angelides is a lying sack of shit, but we probably already knew that:
Many audience members gasped as Angelides said the entire state created only 900 jobs in July.

But in an interview Friday, Amar Mann, an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the variability of monthly figures is too high to denote a trend. He said Schwarzenegger has presided over moderate job growth, including the creation of 18,000 jobs in June and 74,000 last July.
I'll give the Daily Cal credit for going ahead and debunking the lies of the people it covers for once. (Yes, technically, it's not a lie, but it's morally on the same level)

The Patriot covers the diversity czar, so I don't have a whole lot to add. I will note that, considering the bitching about overpaid administrators, this should probably be picking up a whole lot more opposition, especially since there's no real evidence that this new "vice chancellor of equity and inclusion" will actually be doing anything.
At the same time, the number of underrepresented minority students in the incoming undergraduate freshman class has "crept up slowly but surely," increasing from 12 percent to 16 percent, he said.

"One of the things that I'd like to emphasize is that equity and inclusion are more than just numbers," Birgeneau said. "It's about the experience of people from diverse backgrounds here at Berkeley, whether they're students, staff or faculty."
Hmm... now that the numbers are turning around, numbers aren't all that important. Shocking.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/28/2006 12:40:00 PM #
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Proposition 85, "Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.", seems somehow familiar. I dunno why that is.

As I think I may have explained before in a previous election, I don't screw kids, and I don't have any, so it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me whether this passes or fails.

From the argument for:
PARENTS have invested more attention and love in raising their daughter, know her personal and medical history better, and care more about her future than STRANGERS employed by abortion clinics PROFITING from performing many abortions on minors.
This argument is written in part by doctors. Profiting from the misfortune of others is their purpose in America.

By the way, reading these arguments gives me a headache. I mean, gives me a HEADACHE. If you're interested in what I said last year, it's here.

Since the opponents seem to think that supporting this will cause dead teenage girls to pile up in back alleys from failed secret abortions, and because teenage girls are annoying, I guess I'll give a mild YES endorsement. Which is the opposite of last year, though I forget why.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/27/2006 10:08:00 AM #
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Saturday, August 26, 2006
Getting a head start

There's an election coming up! That means we get to legislate from the ballot, for no pay, mostly about things we know next to nothing about! Isn't the initiative process grand?

Anyway, I may as well get started complaining about them, because I'm kind of bored. I won't be reading the interesting analysis by folks who care about things, but instead, I'll read right from the Secretary of State's website. This is because I'm lazy. To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure all of these are going to show up on the ballot, but I'll pretend they will. Up first:

Proposition 83! "Sex Offenders. Sexually Violent Predators. Punishment, Residence Restrictions and Monitoring. Initiative Statute." Some important notes from the legislative analyst:
Sex offenses are crimes of a sexual nature.

The point of this bill seems to be to make sexual offenses more punishable, and sexual offenders more controllable. I expect it to pass handily, because the pro-sex crime lobby doesn't seem to have much clout around here. Maybe the "less prison spending, more education spending" folks might oppose this, since it would put more folks in jail, but those advocates are probably going to make a strategic concession here.

One of the provisions is to slap GPS tracking on every felony sex offender for the rest of their lives. That's an expensive provision. Theoretically, the offender would have to pay fees to cover these costs if she has the means, but sex offenders aren't exceptionally upper class, so this is going to be up in the hundreds of millions per year.

From the argument in favor:
A child is abused or neglected every 35 seconds.
First of all, that's an unlucky kid. Secondly, this is an interesting statistic, because you have to wonder how it's measured. While statistics about rapes and such can just be done with a count divided by time, abuse and (especially) neglect aren't events you can count to come up with such a number. If a kid is neglected for his whole life, does that count as one... uh... "neglection"? What about if a kid is neglected, and then cared for, and then neglected again? Does that count as two, even though the kid spent less time neglected?
Secrecy is the child molester's biggest tool.
Must... resist... obvious... joke...

The most effective argument against this bill probably won't be the fact that it wastes a whole lot of money and probably won't accomplish a whole lot. Instead, the main opposition will most likely come from the fact that Arnie supports it. And Arnie is a... REPUBLICAN!!! *gasp*

The opponents point to some similar law in Iowa that didn't work. Yeah, that'll convince Californians. By the way, the opponents are a group of defense lawyers, I think. No supporter of fiscal responsibility has the balls to step forward and take over. Oh, well, spending is fun.

The response to the opponent statement doesn't actually address the issues raised in it, and instead just repeats the "IT'LL MAKE THE WORLD SAFER!!!ONE!" crap without explaining how the opponents are wrong about how... well... that won't happen. I suggest you read the statements yourself and decide who is working off of factual reality, and who is working off of emotional highs.

My endorsement is a resounding NO, because it looks like the plan is to spend more money and accomplish nothing of value. While I know such measures are popular around here, I don't think I'll join the fun.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/26/2006 10:54:00 PM #
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Now that CBS is giving us the opportunity to finally determine which races are superior, we can all relax. Or something.
For the first portion of the 13th season of "Survivor," which premieres Sept. 14, the contestants competing for the $1 million prize while stranded on the Cook Islands in the South Pacific will be divided into four teams — blacks, Asians, Latinos and whites.

[New York City Councildude John Liu], who is Asian-American, said he was launching a campaign urging CBS to pull the show because it could encourage racial division and promote negative typecasts. He and a coalition of officials, including the council's black, Latino and Asian caucus, planned to rally at City Hall on Friday.
Are we already at the 13th season? And where's the white caucus on the issue?
The show's host, Jeff Probst, said the network was aware this season's race ploy might offend viewers.

"It's very risky because you're bringing up a topic that is a hot button," he told The Associated Press service for younger readers. "There's a history of segregation you can't ignore. It is part of our history.

"For that, it's much safer to say, 'No, let's just stick with things the way they are. Let's don't be the network to rock the boat. Let's not have "Survivor" try something new,"' he said. "But the biases from home can't affect you. This is an equal opportunity game."
Haha! They fucked up the nested quotes!

But seriously, while there is a history of segregation in this country, how does that somehow make doing it for some reality show "rocking the boat." Isn't that more like "treading the beaten path"? And, more importantly, the mere fact that such a history exists hardly makes doing this kind of show "awesome" or "challenging" or "illuminating" or whatever the hell they're selling it with.

"Los Angeles cops have a history of beating up black guys. Therefore, we'll have a show where a bunch of cops will beat up a bunch of black guys in Los Angeles. Sure, some people would object, but they're just angry that we're bringing up a real issue."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/26/2006 04:39:00 PM #
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Friday, August 25, 2006
Gold medal!

"Dr. Taigen Dan Leighton" writes in The Daily Planet:
Our Constitution and American way of life are under assault from an arrogant, authoritarian regime in Washington with no respect for the values of our founding fathers. Senate Bill 2453 would give them more room to violate the Constitutional checks and balances, and the rule of law.
The bill being referenced is one on spying or something, I guess to give Bush more leeway to do the stuff he's already been doing, but legally. I dunno, really, it doesn't matter for what I want to point out.

The good doctor is angry because the passage of a law to allow the feds to do something is, in effect, allowing the feds to violate "the rule of law." Good call.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/25/2006 06:01:00 PM #
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Thursday, August 24, 2006
Solution to the world

"Achievement in the world is abusive to getting along and enjoying life," [socialist idealist Norma Harrison] said. "The key to integrating people is to remove achievement."
And then, once all achievement is gone, we will all be happy. For the few seconds it takes for society to collapse, anyway.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/24/2006 10:34:00 PM #
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. . .


Money! For booze! Cue dumb frat quotes:
"The reason that we're here is to get a good education," sophomore Eric Ritter said. "The university should be more concerned with our education than combating an issue that's not even a problem."
Who wants to guess how Ritter voted on the Class Pass and RSF fee? You see, the student body has brought this upon itself. By passing these fees, and the health fee from a while back, we've defined "college" to be far broader than a place "to get a good education." Now it's a place to get a ride, and visit a doctor, and go exercise. And as students idiotically keep expanding and expanding what "college" is, it makes perfect sense that the university starts expanding as desired. Why not booze? Why shouldn't it be the university's concern? "It's none of the university business" didn't stop us from some $300 in fees per year for non-education crap.

Oh, I get it. See, while it was spending your parents' money for things which, to you, seemed "free," it was great and all. But now it's someone else's cause, and your freedom, so things are suddenly out of hand. You'll pardon me if I don't shed tears. When you grow the balls to really live apart from the university (or at least avoid shoving it into my life), then maybe I'll give a crap when the university interferes in your life.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/24/2006 07:37:00 PM #
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peace now! Peace now!

Three weeks later:

Predictably, trying the "Peace now!" approach isn't working. Who was the idiot who suggested it?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/22/2006 10:41:00 AM #
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Saturday, August 19, 2006
Left is right

In our continuing series on how folks whose very existence is defined by their ability to use words to describe things utterly fail at the use of words to describe things, we have this story, described on the Chron frontpage as "Public Land, Private Use."

The story is about some trail that a bunch of people use. Part of the trail goes through private property, and the owners are throwing a fit about the folks using their property for it. Meanwhile, the trailusers are throwing a fit about the dudes who own the property trying to control what it's used for. Read it yourself if you care about the details.

My question is: How does that fit the description "Public Land, Private Use." Wouldn't "Private Land, Public Use" make a whole lot more sense? The phrase "public use" and variants of it appear numerous times in the story itself. I guess it doesn't make the property owners sound as selfish, but is that really the level at which wording decisions are made at the Chron? "Well, let's see, this would be inaccurate, so let's go with it!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/19/2006 11:51:00 PM #
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Friday, August 18, 2006
Just for fun

Let's do some comparison on "multiracial" categories. As I discovered, the new recommendations don't have a multiracial box like Ward Connerly's 2004 proposal did, but students who mark off more than one race will still be reported as a general "multiracial" category (as long as they're not Hispanic). By the way, currently, students who mark off more than one race are just called the least reported of the races they mark, so it's not like race is being accurately reported now. But Connerly's proposal was terrible, while the new one is awesome. Let's see if we can figure out why.

For added degree of difficulty, I'll use nothing but Daily Cal articles.

March 2004:
"Yet Connerly's history as a staunch affirmative action opponent may affect the way his proposal is received."
"I disagree with Connerly's proposed method of collecting racial data," said Student Regent Matt Murray, "The most appropriate way to address this issue is to let people check off all boxes that apply."
And, after students feel good about all those check marks, we'll turn around and just report one race.
"Having a multiracial box camouflages the issues that different cultural groups are facing," said Graduate Assembly President Jessica Quindel.
November 2004:
"(The proposal) denies students and the population at large the right to hold UC accountable to ensuring that we have an actual representative student body that reflects our state's population," said BAMN member and ASUC Senator Yvette Felarca. "To me it's sort of like a softer version of Prop. 54 because it's hiding information-it doesn't clarify anything."

The ASUC Senate passed a bill last week denouncing the multiracial box.
Note that arbitrarily assigning multiracial folks to one of their races isn't seen as "hiding information." Also note that Felarca's concern is so she has material for her whining.

The Daily Cal came up with its usual enlightened judgment: This is a bad idea. Instead, let's report every race! Then, with the power set of racial categories (which "will not be a massive overhaul for the U.S. Department of Education" by changing the 5 categories to 31) everyone will be happy! And by no means should we take a step towards that by letting Ward Connerly succeed at something.

It failed because "it left UC unaccountable for collecting data on racial minorities."

August 2006:
But Yvette Felarca, director of the local chapter of civil rights group By Any Means Necessary, said the new proposal sounded constructive.

"We support students being able to self-identify with their race as long as it's specific and it can make campuses accountable for the demographic makeup of their student body," Felarca said.
She still wants to make sure she has something to whine about, but the exact same proposal is now constructive, once Ward Connerly isn't behind it.

The new Daily Cal likes the idea.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/18/2006 05:12:00 PM #
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. . .

For those of you who haven't been following, redistricting reform died again. As you know, legislators are all in favor of removing their own power to choose their own districts. They just happen to be opposed to this particular plan. And that other one. And that other one. But trust them, they're supportive of the concept. Really.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/18/2006 02:38:00 PM #
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Thursday, August 17, 2006
Oh noes!

Tomorrow is our last day of freshman-free existence.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/17/2006 10:24:00 PM #
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. . .
What a bunch of racists

Check out this pack of racists. This is a racist idea. Absolutely. No question about it.

Or, at least, it was, when Ward Connerly was behind it. Apparently, things have changed.

I'm kind of interested in this idea of specifically asking people whether they're Latino/Hispanic, but not for any other race. I don't have the thingie in front of me, though, so I can't really figure out where this comes from.

Update: I think this is the thingie I was looking for. I don't generally read boring government documents in great detail when it's not part of my job, but the explanation seems to be:
Educational Institutions and Other Recipients Will be Required to Use a Two-Question Format When Collecting Data on Race and Ethnicity Whenever Feasible. Educational institutions and other recipients will be required to collect data on race and ethnicity using a two-question format, except as provided in the following paragraph. Using the two-question format, the first question asks whether or not the respondent is Hispanic/Latino. The second question allows individuals to select one or more races from the five racial groups listed in paragraph 1 of this part, and Hispanic/Latino is NOT included in the list of racial categories. A two-question format provides flexibility and ensures data quality. In particular, a two-question format typically results in more complete reporting of Hispanic ethnicity; however, the most frequent cases of an individual not reporting a race occur for individuals who identify themselves as Hispanic/Latino. Therefore, educational institutions and other recipients should include instructions that encourage students and staff to answer both questions.
After asking this question, the student is supposed to pick from a list of five races, I guess, but can list more than one:
(1) American Indian or Alaska Native;
(2) Asian;
(3) Black or African American;
(4) Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and
(5) White.
And what would be reported to the feds would be from these categories:
(1) Hispanics of any race; and, for Non-Hispanics only,
(2) American Indian or Alaska Native,
(3) Asian,
(4) Black or African American,
(5) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander,
(6) White, and
(7) Two or more races.
I think this is the one-drop rule for Hispanics, because it appears that they can never be included in the multiracial category.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/17/2006 12:12:00 PM #
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We're special

Why should reporters have to follow the law like mere commoners? So asks the Chron.
CONFRONTED WITH overwhelming evidence, baseball toughened its steroids-testing policy. It wouldn't have happened, it's safe to say, had the details and names gathered in a closed-door federal grand jury investigation not appeared in this newspaper.
Well, maybe, but how much better is the world for it? "Haha! Now baseball has a new PR effort to pretend to be clean, and the world is this much better for it." Right.
Two Chronicle reporters, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, have refused to reveal how they received the grand-jury information that helped elevate the steroids scandal into a matter of such public interest that it merited mention in President Bush's January 2004 State of the Union address.

Now, a federal judge has sided with prosecutors who want the two staff writers to cough up the identity of their source. It threatens to hinder newsgathering: Who, after this ruling, may ever trust a promise of confidentiality?
The Chron asks the right question, but in the wrong context. Who, after the way the press treats grand jury testimony, can trust that their testimony in front of the grand jury will remain confidential? But those are the commoners. The plebeians. The "less-than-press" folks. They don't matter.
Neither the White House nor Congress has shown any interest in protections that would bar such press-bashing.
Holding press folks to the same standards as normal people? That's press bashing!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/17/2006 08:11:00 AM #
Comments (11)
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006
What's the angle here?

Terrorists and illegal immigrants are apparently distinct concepts. Who knew?

Anyway, the ad has been yanked, I think. A legitimate newspaper would note that, and provide access to the original video somehow, but this is the Chron we're talking about.

I'm less concerned about the angry "speakers for an entire race" (because they aren't) and more about the content described:
The ad opens with the words "Security Under Bush and GOP?" It features scenes of a masked man with a bazooka, scenes from terrorist attacks and police inspecting a subway train. It also shows Osama bin Laden, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a docked ship as it claims "4 times as many terrorist attacks in 2005."
4 times as many as... some number a quarter the size?

Further, playing the "OMG look at all the illegal immigrants coming" card doesn't seem to make much sense in the context of the Democratic party's approach to the issue. "If you vote for us, this scene would still happen, but we just wouldn't have as much of a problem with it."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/16/2006 03:16:00 PM #
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Uh oh

It's time to ban text messages. Not to diminish murder and all, but what's the journalistic definition of a "full life"?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/16/2006 03:13:00 PM #
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
*sniffle* My first legal threat

Whee! Daniel Gohstand has given me my first legal threat over this piece. Apparently, he thinks it incites people to violence or hurts his efforts to stop it or something, I dunno. He gave me his address, as if I should go meet him, but I think I'll pass.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/15/2006 11:31:00 AM #
Comments (8)
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Monday, August 14, 2006

Okay, maybe you think it's artistic, or symbolic, or meaningful, but sorry, this is just stupid.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/14/2006 05:37:00 AM #
Comments (2)
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dumb protesters.

When adding swasticas to "fascism," not only do you replace the 's's with swasticas, but you change the 'c' to an 'h'.

Clearly, the higher you can climb to wave your flag, the more successful you are at stopping war. Well, stopping one side of the war, anyway.

Bush = Hitler, and I'm sure all of these people have been thrown in jail as a result.

Folks passing by, too, are involved: "Shoppers and tourists stopped what they were doing on Market Street to watch demonstrators." Well, except that guy on the left, who's watching shoppers and tourists.

Strangely, a lot of these photos didn't make the cut for the Chron, including the dude advocating the expulsion of the Israelis... from America.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/13/2006 04:04:00 AM #
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Saturday, August 12, 2006
A miracle!

The Chron tries to explain Arnie's repopularification in terms of the work of his aides. His Democratic aides, actually. Notably absent from the analysis is the complete failure of the Democrats to provide any kind of alternative.

Angelides dude Bob Mulholland has this to say about Democrats working with Arnie:
"I now have a better understanding of the Stockholm syndrome," Mulholland said in a reference to a condition in which kidnappers co-opt their victims. "How can people with strong Democratic values now be working for Bush's boy? There's something mentally unstable about it."
Disagree with me? You're crazy! Should Phil Angelides' dudes really be playing the 'crazy' card, anyway?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/12/2006 11:57:00 PM #
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More Wikifun

Latest: Someone deleted the idiotic "majority and supermajority votes" stuff, and noted that Vishal Gupta is the "Vice President of the Executive," which really only serves to reinforce how idiotic it sounds in that order. Also, it shold be "Vice President of the Executice," if the rest of the article is to be believed.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/12/2006 11:48:00 PM #
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STUDY!!!! Sugar makes people want to eat. Since everything has sugar now, a lot of people get fat. Therefore, stopping people from getting fat requires changing the environment, rather than the more traditional "eat less, move more" approach.

The presentation, of course, is the interesting part. To start the article, we have:
Feeling fat? It might not be your fault.
Well, no, it's still your fault. You're eating stuff. And then eating more. And more. That makes it your fault. The fact that the world influences you, and makes you want to eat more, doesn't really de-youify the eating to make it not your fault. It's as lame as saying that a crazy person isn't at fault for being crazy, because her body has fucked up chemical regulation, as if somehow a person is distinct and seperate from her body.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/12/2006 08:03:00 AM #
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Friday, August 11, 2006

In case you haven't been keeping up with the loonies chilling at the ASUC's Wikipedia page, after a few more attempts to delete the only blogs which cover it, the following gloating was recently added:
Student Action swept this year's executive elections, and based on majority and supermajority votes, Oren Gabriel will serve as President, Vishal Gupta as Vice President, Joyce Liou as Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Jason Chu as Vice President of External Affairs.
Of course, elections have no concept of a "supermajority," and one wonders what other kinds of votes (besides majority) folks win elections based on. At least in the ASUC, executives need a majority. Also note that, according to traditional Student Action tunnel vision, the Student Advocate executive office is mysteriously absent. This despite the fact that the previous sentence points it out. I guess it doesn't seem too cool when you don't quite sweep. Also, note the job titles: Vishal is "Vice President," (not "executive") and the others are "Vice President of..." rather than the more traditional "... Vice President."

If it were me, I'd probably change it to "Student Action swept this year's executive elections after narrowly avoiding disqualification on a technicality, despite being convicted of lying to the ASUC." But that just doesn't have the same ring to it for the SA bots. I don't feel like policing the internet, so I'll leave it to someone who actually cares about accuracy.

I'll ruin the fun and also note that the introduction has said "It is the most autonomous student government of any university in the United States and arguably the most self-aggrandizing" for some time now, and no one seems to feel that requires correction. I concur.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/11/2006 12:28:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .

I didn't think Becky O'Malley could shock me, but she did. On Tuesday, this op-ed defending Israel ran. It was titled "Criticizing Israel = Anti-Semitism" but didn't make that case at all. I assumed that the title was Howard Glickman's (the writer's), because I thought even O'Malley was above that kind of crap, so I didn't mention it at the time (though I was pretty surprised by it). But apparently, I was wrong, as he asserts that it wasn't his.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/11/2006 09:37:00 AM #
Comments (3)
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I'll be following this story mildly closely, because contests of "you're more racist" are always fun to watch.

The complaintiffs assert that none of the Asian officers were disciplined.
The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, seeks $20 million in damages for the 18 of the 24 officers saying that four officers were excluded from discipline because of their race.
That leaves two officers excluded but who weren't Asian. Details.

The city's defense so far is laughable. It's "we don't discriminate, but we won't address the particular case before us that seems to suggest discrimination," and "the officers weren't disciplined, they were reassigned to desk jobs."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/11/2006 08:21:00 AM #
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Thursday, August 10, 2006

It seems folks are interested in the details of this case. I haven't been able to find any briefs or case numbers or anything like that, but I'm looking up some of the old stories. I'm also interested in the case, because I think the religious schools actually have a semi-valid point, especially in light of comprehensive review. If students from crappy schools which don't teach worth beans can get admitted based on their work at those schools (and based on their probable ability to succeed in a university environment), why not those from schools which teach from a Christian perspective?

I'm not entirely clear, but I think the issue is that the schools proposed new courses and asked UC to recognize them for credit, but UC refused. I don't think students are being rejected for courses they thought were fine.

Here's a story from last December. Some things worth noting:

It's not just science courses being rejected. English, history, and social studies courses are, too. I would suggest you read this article, because some of the defenses seem a bit weak.

The books, apparently, try to teach through a Christian perspective, which is what UC is objecting to. I think the schools make a good point that "UC would not dare to claim there was no constitutional violation if it rejected courses because of their African American, or Latino heritage, or feminist or environmentalist perspective." The English course, especially, hardly seems appropriate to reject, since every English course I've ever taken has looked at literature through some kind of themed perspective. The spokesperson's comment that "Unfortunately, this course, while it has an interesting reading list, does not offer a nonbiased approach to the subject matter," also seems kind of odd, considering the way English is often taught.

Unfortunately, we're sadly lacking in actual detail, which has been ignored in order to properly frame this as "Christianity vs. government."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/10/2006 09:34:00 PM #
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That's racist!

Eighteen police officers who were suspended after making a video that parodied life on the force sued the city Thursday, claiming they were victims of racial bias because they were disciplined while four Asian-American officers were not.

The plaintiffs include male and female officers who are black, Hispanic and white, said their attorney, Waukeen McCoy. The four officers who took part in the video but were not suspended are of Chinese descent, as is Police Chief Heather Fong, who also was named as a defendant, according to McCoy.

"They weren't disciplined at all," McCoy said. "There were singled out and treated more favorably, and that is a violation of law."
For those who didn't follow this story originally, some officers in San Francisco made some kind of lame video based on stereotypes. They did it on city time, I think, which means they totally deserved discipline, but Mayor Gavin Newsom reinforced his policy of tossing their cops to the dogs whenever possible and made a big deal out of it, claiming it was racist and sexist and (word)ist. Police Chief Heather Fong hopped on, too.

Anyway, the details of this might be interesting. "You were racister!!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/10/2006 09:25:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

According to the chart at the bottom of this article, San Francisco has its own "impeach Bush and Cheney" proposition headed for the ballot.

The current form is here.
It is the Policy of the people of the City and County of San Francisco to call for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for violating the public trust and for knowingly harming the United States of America, the State of California, and the City and County of San Francisco.
We generally call on our elected federal and state representatives to immediately invoke every available legal mechanism to effect the impeachment and removal from office of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for High Crimes and Misdemeanors under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States of America.
I'm sure Chris Daly's mother would be proud.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/10/2006 09:19:00 PM #
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. . .
Nice letter

A tough typo:
Lieberman has suggested that a Lamont victory plays into the hands of Republicans, who want to marginalize the "cut and run" Democrats as untrustworthy on national security.

There is no question the Republicans will try. In fact, Sen. Mitch McConnell, D-Ky., wasted no time Wednesday...
Hmm... D-Ky. McConnell is a Republican, so it's not like the Chron totally missed the point, but that seems like such an odd typo to make and miss, considering the context.

Update: It's been corrected (without notification, though I don't think it would be needed for a case like this). I don't know if the print edition had the error or not.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/10/2006 05:50:00 AM #
Comments (4)
. . .
Bush wins election

"Christian Schools File Suit Against University" reads the headline. What it means, of course, is that Christian Schools filed suit against the university a year ago. The new development is that a judge has allowed it to go to trial.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/10/2006 01:24:00 AM #
Comments (6)
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Take that, class envy

So, when liberal folks consider Ned Lamont's status as a trust fund baby a good thing, what does that mean for all the wealth redistribution rhetoric? Should politics be reserved for such people, while the rest of us suffer from redistribution designed specifically for people like Lamont?

It seems that we are experiencing a partial shift. No longer is it "Hey, I'm a working stiff, just like you" that wins elections. Now, it's "Hey, I'm filthy rich, so I don't have to take campaign donations." Recall that during the recall/election, Arnold Schwarzenegger made a similar case, though it probably fit a lot better with his campaign, since Gray Davis had a serious image problem with taking money. Of course, Arnie had the benefit of (an appearance of) becoming filthy rich, so he was able to play both the "working stiff" and "filthy rich" cards.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/09/2006 07:47:00 PM #
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. . .

Story! Some freelance writer for Wired got canned for bullshitting. Meh, whatever. I'm more curious about why the Chron is running the story, but has not run one on, say, another freelancer who bullshitted in his pictures on a story that the Chron was actually covering.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/09/2006 06:29:00 PM #
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Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Success stories!

It's been a year since AlcoholEdu was required for incoming student folks. How has AlcoholEdu helped you? Now is the perfect opportunity to publicize the great successes of the AlcoholEdu program, which I'm sure will soon fill the comment thread to bursting, after which the administration can take a bow.

It's okay. You can be anonymous if you think it's not 'cool' to have led a safer, healthier life due to AlcoholEdu.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/08/2006 09:43:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Time for some Google abuse

Now that I'm suffering/gleefully enjoying another Googalanche (the last being the Georgy Russell campaign), the important question is this: How can I better abuse people who come hunting for AlcoholEdu answers? I'm currently chilling at the top of the Google search list for AlcoholEdu answers (and it doesn't help that part of the quote is "Click here for the answers to all the AlcoholEdu questions!") and in the top couple for a lot of searches for specific questions. Unfortunately, I feel like I should take this opportunity and do something far more abusive to these folks, yet I'm coming up blank. Any ideas?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/08/2006 06:59:00 PM #
Comments (1)
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Monday, August 07, 2006

What sense of entitlement allows you to get angry when there are obviously incorrect answers to questions you're supposed to answer on your own available on the internet?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/07/2006 05:30:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .

The Conclusion:
Dirty song lyrics can prompt early teen sex
Degrading messages influence sexual behavior, study finds
The actual conclusion:
Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.
Well, that certainly suggests the causality in the headline. It's unthinkable to consider that, say, folks who like sex therefore like songs about sex. Or that folks listen to music that comes from a similar cultural background. No, the only possible conclusion is that "dirty song lyrics can prompt early teen sex."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/07/2006 03:32:00 PM #
Comments (0)
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Thursday, August 03, 2006

I wonder if I should change the title of this blog to "Doesn't actually have AlcoholEdu answers, and besides, if you need answers to these obvious questions, I hope you get drunk and die in the most shameful manner possible."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/03/2006 07:25:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
I predict you wrong

We'll see:
"With so much heated controversy about this year's elections, I'm pretty confident that senators will work together so that such a crisis will never arise again," said incoming Student Action senator Curtis Lee.
I say not likely. After all, what can they do, besides eliminate all the campaign rules?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/03/2006 05:17:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Oh, hey

I didn't notice this before. Was it always there? It's an op-ed from Gordon Wozniak trying to excuse his idiocy. Basically, it says that since the City Council engages in meaningless posturing at taxpayer expense, there was no threat to the ASUC. Which, I guess, is correct.
Ultimately, it is because the individuals for whom the majority of the student body voted have been disqualified for an absurd reason — not knowing the exact location of the polling place boundaries, before they were even established.
Obviously, this has not happened, but the absurd reason quoted by Fozzy Wozzy seems to miss a spot. The lying. The evidence tampering. All that. If you want to talk about absurd reasons, you might glance at the technicalities which allowed such disgraceful dismissal of the ASUC's rules as "obstructions" to go unpunished.

The rest is more ear-plugging, la-la-laing nonsense, so I won't bother.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/03/2006 02:22:00 AM #
Comments (1)
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Wednesday, August 02, 2006
More Chronicle Genius

The weekly poll for the Chron, available on the opinion page, asks the question:

"Wages for college grads are declining: What should be done?"

The first answer is:

"Offer tuition tax credits so more seek higher degrees."

Wow. That's a great idea. Should we solve inflation by printing more money, too?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/02/2006 04:25:00 PM #
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