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Nap Time!!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Also in the idea box

Some changes to that retabulation bill. The timing has been changed to put the results after the deadline for filing campaign violations. This is clearly something the major parties like, but that's because it keeps them from being held accountable.

For those of you who don't know, the major parties agree every election not to file campaign charges against each other. So they go out and gather evidence of campaign violations, but only charge them against third parties and Igor Tregub. They keep from filing charges against each other using a MAD-type theory. If either filed charges, the other party would file back, and everyone who broke the rules would get disqualified. This is unacceptable to the major parties, who don't want to have to follow the rules that other parties might have to.

Thus, having election results released before the deadline for filing campaign violations would probably cause the losing party to file those campaign violations, now that they have nothing to lose. This would provoke retaliatory filings from the leading party. In the end, people would be punished for violating campaign rules, which is a horrible, horrible result, if you're a major party.

It looks like Ali Ansary picked up on it, though he was perhaps a bit more tactful than calling it what it is: a desperate bid to avoid being held accountable.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/31/2007 04:35:00 PM #
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. . .
Uh oh. Ideas

The ASUC wants to do something. This is bad news. Essentially, folks want to clarify the impeachment protocols. I actually agree that it's necessary, but sadly, the real goal here is probably gutting the balance of power.
If the committee is created, ASUC bylaws would require that the ad hoc committee be composed of at least three members of the ASUC.
Well, that's good to hear. You'd think it would be composed mostly of members of the ASUC, though. But that requires a belief in autonomy, and we've already heard how little Student Action cares for it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/31/2007 04:32:00 PM #
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007
It just keeps getting better

Another brand new feature of the "new blogger" which, supposedly, is an improvement, is that I no longer have an archive index page. I dunno if I want 50 archive links on my sidebar, but that seems to be the only option, unless someone knows better.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2007 09:42:00 PM #
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. . .
Nice beard

Who wants to go to San Francisco tomorrow and pretend to be homeless?
Wednesday, about 500 volunteers will divide up 150 sections of San Francisco to canvass and count anybody who appears to be homeless. They don't talk to the homeless people, but record on tally sheets their estimated age, race, gender and whether they appear to be part of a family or living on their own.
Hmm... sounds accurate.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2007 09:14:00 PM #
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. . .
Uh oh

It's a picture of a black man next to an article vaguely related to accusations of a crime. Let the rioting commence!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2007 08:26:00 AM #
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. . .
Barara Lee speaks for...

...well, somebody.
Young people went to the polls in record numbers in November and spoke very clearly that they were ready for a change. So, now that Democrats are in control of Congress, now that we have our first female Speaker of the House, now that the House has passed our ambitious 100 Hour Agenda, it is fair to ask, what does it mean to you?
I'm especially curious about that middle one. What does having our first female Speaker of the House mean to us? It doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere in the op-ed.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2007 12:00:00 AM #
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Monday, January 29, 2007
ASUC Stuff

Oh, I was planning to do a "preview" thingie. Well, a lot of these bills may have been amended or killed (Oh, sorry, "failed in committee") by now, but I'll just go through last Wednesday's bill packet. I'm going to skip the "recognize this group" or "give this group money" bills since those aren't fun to talk about.

A Resolution in Support of a Functioning ASUC: This is the Constitutional amendment I mentioned earlier based on the Daily Cal article. It seems like it would have to do a lot more, though, to live up to its name. The stuff I said before still applies. But here's an interesting addition:
When an executive officer position is vacant, the President shall perform the duties of that office that are urgent and necessary to the functioning of the ASUC until such time as a replacement is selected or elected.
Ouch. Leaving the president to determine what's urgent and necessary has its drawbacks, after all. Remember when the president thought it was urgent and necessary for his party to win the election, process-be-damned?

The line of succession part of the bill includes the committee chairs and vice-chairs. Do the senators hold these positions when the senate is not in session? I don't actually know, but it might be worth considering.

A Bill In Support Of ASUC Fiscal Autonomy: This is a $45,000 bill, using "commercial revenue and unspent allocated funds." $10k for Lower Sproul, $15k for the Cal Lodge, $5k for the ASUC website, and $15k for spring budgeting. The website really needs someone to update it in a timely manner more than it needs an overhaul, unless you think Nathan Royer is still the Attorney General.

A Resolution in Support of Senatorial Representation in the Fund for Culture Shows: I guess this bill replaces the Commissioner of Diversity Affairs with another Senator on the ASUC Committee for culture shows, bringing the total number of Senators to 3. Or something. I dun really know the details about this stuff, though. I remember there was some mess at the end of last semester about these appointments.

Resolution in Support of Cal Lobby Day: Give $1500 more dollars for Cal Lobby Day! Meh, whatever.

A Bill in Support of the Immediate Tabulation of Election Results: Another one I've mentioned, (Daily Cal) the stuff I already said still applies.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/29/2007 09:34:00 PM #
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. . .
Good call!

Hrrrrgh. Lower Sproul. Josh Daniels and Joyce Liou away!
"There will always be some responsibility on the students, so we have some control over the process," Daniels said. "If we contribute nothing, we cannot influence what (planners) do."
What a relief that would be!
"As I understand it, the current protest over Memorial Stadium is over the fact that there wasn't enough of a student voice in the process," Liou said. "We hope this outcome will be very different. If (the planning takes place) now, as opposed to later, the project ends up being something we want."
That's an interesting understanding. I thought it had more to do with tree-hugging.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/29/2007 08:56:00 AM #
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Saturday, January 27, 2007
Link of the day

Thanks to the Chronicle, I'm going to link you to the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association, "the voice of the Rechargeable Power Industry."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/27/2007 09:26:00 PM #
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. . .
Nice try

So, it looks like our ASUC "leadership" counted on getting a one-sided presentation of the Lower Sproul issue in this piece. And it looks like they'll get it, since the Daily Cal opinion folks say they probably won't even have room for a letter to rebut it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/27/2007 02:08:00 PM #
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Friday, January 26, 2007
Lucky them

Josh Daniels (GA President) and Joyce Liou (ASUC Academic Affairs Veep) have an op-ed today trying to sell us on "Lower Sproul Redevelopment." Lucky for them, it's not online, so pointing out the idiocy and deception become a bit tougher. Shall we go with the line-by-line?
For those of you who frequent the Lower Sproul Plaza on your way to class, to the RSF, to the Tang Center, or to any other destination, you already know that the space desperately needs to be redesigned to meet the current and future needs of student services, student activities, student government, and the businesses that serve students.
Really? Does everyone who strolls by say "Hey, this won't work for future student government"? No, of course not. Josh and Joyce are just lying.
Simply put, it is a dark, dreary, and unpopular place.
Are we talking about the same Lower Sproul? Dark?
If we do need a student referendum for the project to move forward, you can be sure that the financial impact of students would be minimized as much as possible.
More accurately, the apparent impact will be minimized. Josh has already told us that his plan is to propose the fee increase in phases to make the enormous fee increase seem more palatable.
Both the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly will make sure that for any money students do decide to contribute, it will be students deciding how the money is used.
No, it will be our student "leadership." One recent decision of that sort: Pay the personal legal bills of one Joyce Liou. And even if they weren't thieves, do we really trust them to be competent? Remember when the ASUC let folks literally walk away with boxes of student money?
Just as with last year's RSF referendum, students will help guide and oversee the planning of the project so that the results meet our needs and expectations.
That's an odd comparison. The RSF referendum was pushed by the university, and the senators agreed to be good little monkeys and do as they were told by putting it on the ballot. The campaign came from the university, not students. The university saw that it could not conduct a financially viable operation without subsidies from students, and then called on the ASUC to "jump." The ASUC asked "How high?"

Josh Daniels, of course, was one of those supporters. He knows his way around a referendum, and successfully managed to achieve an astronomical 60% abstention rate on his beloved GA referendum by deliberately keeping the question vague enough that folks wouldn't know what they were voting on. (Hint: It was a handover of money and power to the GA for no reason) He then proceeded to absolutely fail to carry out the duties he demanded be given to him, leaving us with an Election Council Chair who was appointed eight weeks late. Why? Because he was too inattentive to realize what he was recruiting for, telling folks that he was recruiting for the Elections Council (requires work), rather than Elections Council Chair Selection Committee (rubber stamp). But a person who can demand power and then forget to carry out his responsibility is telling us to trust him to speak for us and take good care of our money. Great.
If nothing is done the Chancellor may soon decide - he is, after all, legally responsible for the safety of student students on the campus - to raise campus life safety fees unilaterally in order to alleviate the seismic concerns in some of the building in Lower Sproul. Not only will this increase our fee burden, we will have absolutely no say in how the complex is developed.
And here is this year's "Jump/How high?" moment. See, the reason the ASUC wants to increase fees is because the university told them to, using this as an excuse. The reason here is that raising fees is bad PR for the university. So they say "Hey, ASUC, raise the fees for us!" What does the ASUC say? "Sure!!!" Even if the university had to act unilaterally, it would still pretend to ask for student input, again because of PR reasons.

Tools are in good supply around the ASUC.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/26/2007 04:16:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .

So, as you may be able to tell, Beetle Beat was forced over to the "new" blogger. The obvious consequence is that we now have that ugly bar hanging around on the top of the blog. It also seems slower. I love upgrades. If any other problems come up, let me know.

Apparently, though, there's now a comment feed somewhere. I don't know where that somewhere is.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/26/2007 04:12:00 PM #
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. . .
You might get this

I guess we should've had a Mountain Lion Tasering Policy after all.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/26/2007 12:09:00 AM #
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Thursday, January 25, 2007
No mistake here

The Daily Cal no longer posts its corrections online and, as far as I can tell, does not go back and correct articles, so you have no way of knowing why I'm taking credit for these corrections.

Clarification: While I thought it was obvious that it was the Daily Cal reporter's and editor's fault, and not David Wasserman's, that may not have come across in my original correction concerning the drug thingie. David confirms that the reporter wrote down the wrong thing, and it was also listed in the corrections (not that you can see them).

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/25/2007 06:03:00 PM #
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. . .

And I didn't go because I thought it would be boring. Apparently, Jessica Wren's confirmation for Elections Council Chair turned whiny.
The senate's debate centered around a political cartoon posted on Facebook that pictured numerous stick figures urinating on a copy of the ASUC constitution. A comment from Wren stating "I love you" appeared underneath the posting.
I wonder if people know how Facebook works. You say crap like that about everything anyone you know does. And I know the Senate knows how Facebook works, because that's what they do during Senate meetings, instead of paying attention. The Facebook message in question is here. The exchange above the cartoon with Jeff Manassero is pretty enlightening. (I actually noted it way back)
Some senators said Wren's comment showed bias and suggested the senate find a new candidate for the position. Wren should only be considered, they argued, if another candidate could not be found within one week.

Wren, who was the only applicant for the position and served as the Elections Council chair last year, told the senate she would withdraw her application unless she was approved at the meeting.

"I am tired of my time being wasted," she told the senate.
Haha! The Senate got Cacholown3d! Jessica wrote me to correct that she'd withdraw the application only if they tabled, not if they either confirmed or rejected her.

One issue Jessica mentioned that wasn't in the Daily Cal was that apparently Ilana Nankin and Donald Rizzo had a problem with her being held in contempt over the summer in relation to Ben's case against the GA referendum. I would think being held in contempt by the Judicial Council would be a benefit with those two, though.

It looks like Anil Daryani again slapped some sense into his party, by noting that Jessica doesn't really have the power to screw with elections.

David Wasserman apparently asked Vivienne Nguyen something to the effect of: "Does this suggest that [Jessica] is biased against a certain political party or that she thinks they acted against the constitution?"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/25/2007 08:47:00 AM #
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
More teh reform

In order to avoid the dumbest arguments ever ("We can't be removed from office because our term has already started, despite the fact that we haven't actually won yet"), as well as the curious approach of extending one's presidency via executive order, Taylor Allbright is proposing a better definition of executive terms in the Constitution, as well as creating a line of succession. (i.e. no more "We have to take office" executive orders)
The constitutional amendment portion of the bill would define the executive term of office as beginning on the first day of regular summer session or when election results are certified by the Judicial Council, depending on which happens later.

"Their term of office shall end when their successor's term begins," the proposed amendment states.
Be careful, dudes. Keep in mind that it isn't necessarily true that an executive gets elected. (Explanation) Also, if the cases drag on, as they often do, it's possible that a president can serve two terms despite being elected only once.

My suggestion is to require that, when the Senate returns in the fall, if the new president has not been elected yet, they be required to appoint someone via the process used to fill vacancies, rather than just having the previous president continue serving.
Student Action Senator Jeff Manassero, one of the bill's co-sponsors, said that educating the student body on the need for an amendment would be the most difficult task facing the sponsors.

"It's a large undertaking because it has to go to the whole student body," Manassero said. "It will take publicity to get the voters educated."
Take a page from the GA's book. You don't have to educate voters. It's probably easier to pass if you don't.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/24/2007 09:38:00 AM #
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Teh Reform!

First up for elections changes: Van Nguyen of CalSERVE wants ballot tabulation to take place two days after the election, regardless of Judicial Council cases. The cases would still take place and affect the results, but the uncertified results will be released almost immediately. I don't have the text of the bill. I might ask Van for it if I feel like it.

Pro: The big issue is that after the elections momentum and everyone's vote, post-election cases can make tabulation drag on long into the future, and even into the summer. This means that for many students, they vote, and then hear nothing about results until they come back from summer break, where everyone's already in office. The point here would be that if results are released immediately, people will be more interested and maybe Student Action wouldn't think it could pull off executive orders declaring itself victor.

Con: There are two serious issues:

1) Once someone thinks they've won, they'll move into the office and start pretending to be winners, even though the results haven't been certified yet. It'll make it that much harder (from the current "impossible") to disqualify leading candidates. I think the bylaw change should make clear that there are no winners until certification, and that the leaders cannot exercise executive authority until then. Not that a rule would stop them, but...

2) If a disqualification occurs, a retabulation is needed. I believe the League of Women Voters has a problem with this. Thus, it would be advisable to have a provision that defines "counting," which the LoWV needs to oversee, merely as the process of seeing what the votes are, rather than the whole tabulation process.

I hope they take some action to handle this, but I'm sure they won't.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/24/2007 09:10:00 AM #
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Oh, right

I guess I should note that I didn't pick up on this from the text of the bill. The David Wasserman's RISE scholarship is for folks denied financial aid on account of drug use and such.
The 1965 Higher Education Act was passed to increase access to higher education through federal loans and grants, but the Aid Eliminaton Provision passed in 1998 denied applicants financial aid for one year if charged with drug possession and two years if charged with a drug sale, Wasserman said.
Charged, you say? No conviction necessary? That's tough. Real tough. Almost seems unconstitutional. Or, you know, maybe the reporter just fucked up on reporting, despite how obviously wrong that description is. Picking up on that requires critical thinking, which is really too much to ask from a reporter or editor.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/24/2007 09:06:00 AM #
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. . .

Some ASUC stuff today, including a couple of bills to change elections. I'll be working under the assumption that what the Daily Cal reports is accurate, which is a rather poor one in light of this, on an ASUC constitutional amendment:
Sixty percent of the student body must cast a vote for or against the amendment, with 50 percent of voters approving the referendum before it can take effect.
How I wish this was true, but unfortunately, the Daily Cal is pulling something from out of its ass. I should note that, apparently, Katlyn Carter is no longer covering the ASUC. Lucky her.

See, there are a couple reasons why this is a stupid error. The first is that one can read the Constitution, which makes this obviously wrong:
A favorable vote of sixty percent (60%) of the votes cast for and against the amendment shall be necessary for adoption of the amendment
The second is that the Daily Cal made an error on this exact topic in May.

And the third reason is that, in the last election, a constitutional amendment clearly passed without satisfying this rule. Only 40% of voters voted on it, making it come to about 13% of the student body.

Good job, Daily Cal.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/24/2007 08:58:00 AM #
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Oh, noes!

The Daily Cal is going to try to express an opinion about the ASUC. The first line online is missing, which is too bad, since it had the winning lottery numbers for next week. It's about the Election Council Chair thingie, where Jessica Wren will probably be confirmed tomorrow.
With so much controversy surrounding the election last April (and elections in most years in recent memory, for that matter), the chair nomination should have been a bigger priority on the ASUC agenda. The obstacles that held up the process were foreseeable.
Not only were they forseeable. The ASUC voted for those problems, but the Daily Cal did not oppose that, because they were too lazy to actually find out about it. (Hence the "no endorsement" for the GA referendum last year.)

It's worth noting, though, that this isn't all that different from what happened last year, when the ECC was appointed late, and the election was actually administered with minimal problems last year. The Election Council didn't have anything major to do with the events of the summer. This requires an understanding of detail, though, which is perhaps too much to expect from the Daily Cal.
The issue of graduate student involvement in the selection process, which is cited as the primary reason for the delay, could have been addressed in advance. Requirements passed last year mandating graduate students take part in the Elections Council formation were clearly well intentioned. But officials should have accounted for the rush of work that can overwhelm grad students. Allowing them to voluntarily abdicate their responsibility in cases of too much work would be an easy solution.
Hmm... let's rephrase that:
The issue of graduate student involvement in the selection process, which is cited as the primary reason for the delay, could have been addressed in advance but wasn't, since both parties and the entire GA supported it. Requirements passed last year mandating graduate students take part in the Elections Council formation were clearly well intentioned, but apparently those who pushed for it forgot that they'd actually have to execute on the responsibility they demanded. Allowing them to voluntarily abdicate their responsibility in cases of too much work would be an easy solution, as long as it was accompanied by a pay cut to the GA.
Moving on...
Now the ASUC is eight weeks behind in the elections process. The lost time could have been used to clarify and simplify rules about something like chalking that produced so much controversy last time around.
Well, no, you don't need an Elections Council Chair for that. That's something the Senate has to do itself by changing the bylaws. My understanding is that it's planned for February/March.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/23/2007 11:04:00 AM #
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Well, I stopped by the abortion protest. While there was apparently a small amount of mic-charging, there was no rioting, zero fatalities... what a lame protest.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/22/2007 04:43:00 PM #
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Sunday, January 21, 2007
Yay! Controversy!

Tomorrow there'll be a Noon Sproul Rally (NSR) on the fascinating topic of abortion. I think it's some anniversary of Roe v. Wade or something, so there'll be an anti-abortion rally. No word yet on whether we'll be seeing dead fetuses, though I don't think the organizers have that in mind. I'll probably show up to report, though I'm going to miss the start.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/21/2007 10:59:00 PM #
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ASUC preview

I'm going to try to do a weekly preview of ASUC bills coming before the Senate in future weeks. My information is sort of limited, since I'm not the kind of person who can justify spending hours at ASUC meetings for routine purposes, and the minutes take a long time to get posted, but usually the ASUC posts the bill packets shortly after the meeting they are proposed, which is a week before they can be voted on. If any senators want to help me out a bit by providing me info so I don't have to rely on the ASUC website (which is never timely), feel free to do so.

This week, we have:

A Bill In Support Of Removing Impediments to Students' Education: Sponsored and authored by Senator David Wasserman, this bill seeks to provide $500 to two students through the "ASUC Removing Impediments to Students' Education (RISE) Scholarship." I think it's for students who try and fail to get aid through the FAFSA, but are still sort of poor. Presumably, the program will seek to get more stable funding so that it can grow. Also, the bill has some stuff about writing letters to governing folks asking them to give more money to students. Meh. Giving students money is nice, I guess, though I'm obviously a bit concerned as to just how fair a selection committee of four senators and the AAVP can be, considering the patronage and cronyism that runs rampant in the ASUC.

A Bill in Support of the IEEE Lab: Dwight Asuncion and Vincent Law are sponsoring this bill to get funding from the ASUC to build an EECS lab that is student-run and more accessible than the classroom labs, so folks can play with electronics and stuff.

A Resolution Commemorating Dean A. Richard Newton: For those of you who don't check your e-mail too carefully, Engineering Dean Richard Newton died over winter break.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/21/2007 08:47:00 PM #
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Igor Tregub likes helping people. Despite this deep philosophical difference with me, however, I respect his tenacity and apparent honesty in pursuing his goals. This probably has more to do with my experience with the ASUC than anything else, but...

Anyway, Chris Page reported a few months back about ACCESS, which Igor has a serious hand in. Apparently, ACCESS is going to serve to lobby for student interests locally. I guess the kind of thing they do is the extension of hours thing, or safety, or whatnot. It's like an ASUC, but without the lies, compelled fees, and politcal whoredom.

Anyway, their first meeting is Monday, Jan. 22 at 9pm at Cafe Milano, according to a flyer I picked up, and you can probably find them tabling on Sproul, so check them out if that's your kind of thing.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/21/2007 01:41:00 PM #
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Saturday, January 20, 2007
Fuck you, obscenity!

Don Stevens has a fucking problem with goddamned obscenity and shit.
The Chronicle reported last Friday that Condoleezza Rice, speaking about the disintegration in Iraq, said, "We don't have time to sequence our help ..."

This is an obscenity of the language on two levels. "Sequence" is not a verb.
Uh... There seem to be some alternative opinions on the topic.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/20/2007 09:29:00 PM #
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Another reason to trust Republicans more

Back around election time, I tried to help explain why folks vote Republican. The summary is that they respond to getting caught doing stupid things like normal folks, rather than like crazed lunatics.

In a similar vein:
Pelosi indicated she thought Bush was rushing some of the extra troops to Iraq quickly to pre-empt possible congressional resolutions opposing such new deployments.

"The president knows that because the troops are in harm's way that we won't cut off the resources. That's why he's moving so quickly to put them in harm's way," Pelosi said.

Those comments set off Dana Perino, deputy White House press secretary. She called Pelosi's comments "poisonous," especially for implying that Bush was using troops for political purposes.

"Speaker Pelosi was arguing in essence that the president is putting young men and women in harm's way for tactical political reasons. And she's questioning his motivations rather than questioning his policies," Perino told reporters.
Regardless of the truth of the matter, at least the Bush administration is denying it like normal people. This comes in stark contrast to, say, Charles Rangel's proposal for reintroducing the draft:
Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.
Now, I guess he gets points for honesty. But the argument that people about our age should be forced to go and die until the political winds turn in his favor seems to be one that should be kept behind the scenes.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/20/2007 06:05:00 PM #
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Friday, January 19, 2007
Cough cough

We hate smoking. For those of you not up-to-date, some folks are whining about how tobacco companies sometimes hire university faculty to do studies, just like every other industry and interest group in the country. I hope those who were whining about Ignacio Chapela are going to come forward and defend academic freedom here, too.
UCSF tobacco industry researcher Stanton Glantz, who has long advocated for a ban, said after the meeting that he was disappointed.

"What you saw was everybody trying to avoid taking moral responsibility for a decision," he said.
Yes, the moral thing to do here is to ban the tobacco companies from having the same access as everyone else to a public university.

We've seen this before, though. We saw it when San Francisco banned JROTC from its schools on the complaints of those who weren't involved and weren't harmed by it, dismissing the uncontested claims of those who were involved and greatly benefited, on the grounds that war is icky. The reasoning goes like this:

"Gee, I don't think I'd be comfortable taking money from the tobacco industry, therefore ANY TIME ANYONE EVER TAKES MONEY FROM THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY IT'S A GRAVE INJUSTICE!!!!!!!!"

Good work, guys. Way to stand up for freedom.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/19/2007 05:52:00 PM #
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We're not laughing anymore

Remember when we were laughing at how Mo Kashmiri and company sued the university for increased fees, won a settlement, and was then charged higher fees to cover the cost? It's time to spread the pain:
An additional $60 surcharge is expected to be assessed on all UC students to recover losses from a previous lawsuit challenging professional school fee hikes, bringing the total hike to $495 for undergrads. Meanwhile, some UC professional school fees could rise by 10 percent.
Now that law students have finally succeeded at forcing the rest of the university to subsidize their education, let's just stop beating around the bush. It's time for us to start explicitly demanding fee increases on other student groups. Those law school students are too good at suing to nail, but how about the business school? Then the business folks can push for fee increase on law students, using their connections. It'll all work out fine, then.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/19/2007 02:22:00 PM #
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Thursday, January 18, 2007
Does the ASUC want money?

Update: Ms. Wren has clarifications/corrections to the Daily Cal article. Unsurprisingly, it looks like Josh Daniels didn't know what the hell he was talking about, as I speculated here. From Ms. Wren:
What did the graduate students think they would have to be doing in April, considering the *temporary* Elections Council Selection Committee is dissolved upon confirmation of an ECC?

Apparently not.

The ASUC finally got around to nominating Jessica Wren for Elections Council Chair. The competition was tough, but after careful examination of all 1 applicants, Wren was nominated.
According to ASUC bylaws, Elections Council chair nominees should be approved by the eighth week of the academic year, but this year's nominations were delayed when a graduate student was not nominated for a position on the Temporary Committee on the Selection of the Elections Council Chair until November.

"There were a lot of interested (graduate) students, but the concern about the amount of work in April turned them off," said Graduate Assembly President Josh Daniels.

In past years, graduate students have not been required to sit on the selections committee to appoint an Elections Council chair, Daniels said.

But according to a memorandum by the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly passed last year, two of the six seats in the selections committee are now reserved for graduate students, with at least one nomination for a graduate student needed to appoint an Elections Council chair.
As a sidenote, one of the people who pushed hard for this change was Josh Daniels. Good job, guys! Good job!

Now, here's where we ask if the ASUC Senate has any balls. The Senate may be able to claim that the Graduate Assembly violated the terms of the agreement. If so, the Senate may also be able to withold funds to the GA, up to 2/7 of the fees that graduate students pay. Doing so would not only be fair (since graduate students are represented by the Senate, after all), it would also send a message to the GA that they need to get their shit together before making new demands on the ASUC. Oh, and it would also give them more money, which they should consider before trying to push another fee increase on us.

Of course, the Senate isn't interested in sending that message. The "give away money power to the unelected GA for no reason whatsoever" referendum was put on the ballot with the support of practically everyone in the Senate, excepting the few intelligent people in the ASUC, as defined by former Attorney General Nathan Royer.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/18/2007 11:03:00 AM #
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Riding on down

It's good to have the Daily Cal back. Up next is an editorial arguing that fee increases are bad. Odd, coming from a newspaper which has argued in favor of fee increases to pay for health club memberships, but whatever.
The governor's budget, released last week, doesn't exhaustively answer that question, but his allotment for higher education makes it clear that California students are far from sacred.
Yeah, you'd probably pick up that detail with a stroll through frat row, too.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/16/2007 09:56:00 AM #
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An opinion by Doug Buckwald and... uh... Marge Simpson. (I'd guess it's Emma Fazio, from the end of the article)
If the UC Regents follow through with their plan to construct a gymnasium beside Memorial Stadium, they will destroy the last remaining Coast Live Oak woodland in the Berkeley lowlands.
That's terrible... I think.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/16/2007 09:52:00 AM #
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Fight unpopularity!

AT THE ANNUAL Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in San Francisco Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised King for taking courageous positions that challenged unpopular thinking and practices.
Even more courageous might have been challenging popular thinking and practices.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/16/2007 09:46:00 AM #
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A winner is them

Well, it looks like the anti-tree forces will win for sure, now: They have an online petition. And we all know how effective those are.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/16/2007 08:15:00 AM #
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Monday, January 15, 2007
Oh, and also

Our own Andrew Quinio, from the Patriot, has an op-ed in the Chron.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/15/2007 01:37:00 PM #
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Front Pagery

The San Francisco Chronicle often titles its stories on its front page a bit oddly. For example, this article about how DRMLKJ wasn't a literalist (I think) is titled:

King's True Identity
America's most celebrated social activist was a liberal Christian, says a Stanford professor.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/15/2007 01:33:00 PM #
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Monday, January 08, 2007
How NIMBY can you be?

While I don't necessarily approve of the tone of the reporting, here's a fun article explaining about insane people. Such as Robert Owlett:
Her neighbor just across the street, Robert Owlett, said he tries to be tolerant but the roof signs have got to go.

"She can paint what she wants on the garage, but I draw the line at the roof," he said. "It's an eyesore. It's an invasion of my privacy and it degrades the neighborhood. This may not be Hillsborough but it's all we've got."
That's right. Guy-Across-The-Street Robert Owlett has drawn a line, and all must respect it. A person is trying to live his private life, and people come barging in by painting stuff across the street. What is the world coming to?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/08/2007 08:36:00 PM #
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