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Nap Time!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Well, defeat, actually. Berkeley High finally is adopting an opt-out policy for military recruiters.
IF YOU needed a sign as to just how desperate the military has become to find new recruits, look no further than its determination to sign up students from Berkeley High School.

It's hard to imagine a more inhospitable place for recruiters than Berkeley High, especially as increasing numbers of service men and women arrive home in body bags from Iraq. The school, with an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, must rank as one of the great centers of youth pacificism in the United States.

But give the military credit for trying. "We have to enforce what we are directed to carry out in regards to the law," a Pentagon spokesman explained to me last week. "Not to do so would be a failure on our part."
Hmm... desperation = treating all schools equally. I'd imagine if they up and left, they'd be criticized for racism or something, too.
But Berkeley held out. It even earned the distinction of being the last school in the United States to refuse to comply with the demand for student information.

It's not just against the military that Berkeley drew a line in the sand.
Wouldn't a "line in the sand" be one of those they didn't cross even when their funding was credibly threatened? If so, then this wasn't a line-in-the-sand moment, it was a "temper tantrum until there are consequences" moment.
A school official told me that one recruiter sent to Berkeley to pry loose information confessed that he was there because he had been ordered to do so, not because he believed he'd have any success at signing up students.
What a confession! "Military people do jobs because they have orders." Any other shocking, embarrassing facts Louis Freedberg wants to share about the military?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/30/2007 11:42:00 AM #
Comments (5)
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's Bill Shiebler! You know... Bill Shiebler? Surely you know who he is. The UCSA president! Your representative! Don't you feel so represented?

Anyway, he's complaining about high fees. High fees are very important and people should be greatly concerned about them. Well, people other than me (fee remission, bitch!).
Since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his budget proposal in January, students have made it loud and clear that California's families cannot take another fee increase and cuts to academic preparation programs.
Well, Arnie didn't change his tune, so I guess there won't be any students in the UC system at all next year, since families can't take those fee increases. I'll certainly enjoy it. Those pathetic freshmen are so annoying, after all.
UC students statewide have sent over 12,000 postcards to the legislature, lobbied in-district and at the capitol and testified at budget and education committee hearings. And just last week, students faxed over 3,000 letters and made nearly 400 calls to Sacramento.
Postcards! Lobbification! Testifimation! Faxacamatration! Calltrionication! How'd all that go?
However, Governor Schwarzenegger released his revisions to the 2007-08 California State Budget with much disappointment to California's hard working students and families. As in the January budget proposal, the governor has once again turned his back on higher education by maintaining a 7-10 percent increase in fees and zero funding for academic preparation programs.
Oh. I see. Maybe we've got a problem with our statewide student leadership. What do you say, president of the UCSA?
In addition, the governor also indicates that this pattern of back-door taxation...
Paying for services is back-door taxation?
...on students and families is likely to continue until 2011, bringing the total fee increases well over 100 percent from where they were just a few years ago. This is frustrating and it's outrageous.
Well, it's good to know there's someone in charge who's feeling frustrated and outraged. That's the kind of effective leadership we've come to expect from the UCSA.
The total cost of a UC education is already expensive and increasing fees another 7-10 percent is just unacceptable.
Unacceptable! Can't be accepted! Another reason why there won't be any students on campus next year.
The University of California Students Association does not accept the claims that there is no other option but to further increase the cost burden of a public higher education onto California's working families.
Good to know. Maybe it would be better if it was the folks in charge of the money rejecting those claims, though.
Thus, we are even more disappointed in the governor's decision to increase fees and zero fund academic preparation programs because he clearly had options.

Thousands of students, teachers and families have voiced the need to stop these increases all together through a fee buyout that many legislators support. But instead, the governor called for an increase, a tax on the middle and working class of California.
Hmm... legislators seem to be getting off pretty easy in this screed. Mostly Democrats, I think. But seriously, the UCSA isn't just a tool of the Democratic Party. Not the slightest bit.
As the California budget process nears an end, the University of California Students Association will continue to pressure legislative leaders to uphold their commitment to the future of California.
It's been going so great. I have faith in its abilities.
We know the speaker is a champion for those Californians who are constantly attacked by the governor and California's students and families need him to take action.
A champion! He hasn't been doing anything, but he's our champion! Go Democrats!!! Woooo! How did that voter registration drive go? Not well enough? No wonder we aren't getting results. The Party expects tribute!

Maybe the UCSA should utilize the great relations that it nurtures with the various campuses, like UC Berkeley, UCSF, and UC Davis... oh, wait...

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/29/2007 08:23:00 AM #
Comments (2)
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Blah blah money corruption stuff.

Don Perata is under investigation by the FBI for some stuff. He's also putting a referendum on the Iraq war on the California ballot. Er...

I wanted to draw attention to the last paragraph, because I love predictions:
It gets better. Not only will Perata have plenty of cash for his slush fund, but the antiwar referendum will make for perfect cover should Bush's Justice Department ever file corruption charges against him: He can claim political retribution.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/27/2007 07:34:00 AM #
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Berkeley's plan for the reduced-emissions future includes:
Landlords will be required to provide free bus passes to tenants.


Bus passes for apartment dwellers and eventually for everyone. Landlords would be allowed a small rent increase (equal to $7 per month in today's costs) to pay for tenants' passes; funding of passes for all residents has not been identified.
I'll avoid getting into a discussion of what the word "free" means. This comes from Tom Fletcher at Nuts and Boalts who points out the obvious (i.e. $7 doesn't buy a monthly bus pass). But don't worry. Students, who are new tenants, will just subsidize the long-term residents by paying higher rents.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/24/2007 10:23:00 PM #
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. . .
We've been found out!

Bad news for the World Zionist Conspiracy: Joanna Graham is on to us!
Not to put too fine a point upon it, on behalf of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East, [Jonathan Wornick and John Gertz] are at work to prevent us Berkeleyans from taking what steps we can to end the sacrifice of American lives.

But what's up with Gordon Wozniak, who presumably does not share Gertz/Wornick's fealty to a foreign master? Either he is marvelously naïve about Zionist politics, or some consideration—such as campaign contributions or the threat of withholding same—is outweighing the embarrassment of his appointee's severe case of political incorrectness.
Obviously, since the Jews control the money in the world, they have no problem buying folks. Heck, even I'm part of the World Zionist Conspiracy. If you were getting the checks I get, you would be, too!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/24/2007 10:17:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
How best to summarize health report:

With a triple negative, attributed to Linda Rudolph:
There is nothing we don't see in our health inequalities that doesn't mirror (trends in) Alameda County, California, or the United States.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/24/2007 01:26:00 AM #
Comments (2)
. . .

Finally! Illegal immigrants are safe, because the City of Berkeley has taken their side. (This should actually be cause for concern for them)
"I believe that all human beings deserve dignity," said Mario Zelaya, a Berkeley resident and a supporter of the group. "It's a crime to be treating any people like criminals. I'd like to see economic and social justice for the immigrants and all people."
I doubt illegal immigrants would appreciate that "economic justice" all that much, as they'd suddenly no longer be in demand.
During a press conference held by the ralliers, Margot Pepper, who is a teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School read a poem by Gerardo Espinoza, Pepper's former student who was deported to Mexico.

"He was headed for UC Berkeley. He was one of my top students," Pepper said after the conference. "It's a crime he was deported just because his skin was the wrong color."
Oh? Which skin color was that? Were there any people of that skin color at the rally? If so, how have they escaped this race-based deportation?

It's too bad the Daily Cal did an amazing fluff piece for this kid, though, because now we can see the error in the paper by reading the same paper: Espinoza's an American citizen, and couldn't be deported.
Pepper said she believed Berkeley should be a sanctuary city because of the work immigrants contribute to the community.

"(There's) not one of us who has not been fed by immigrants or cared for by immigrants. The least the city of Berkeley can do is give back a little of that care."
I think the way that exchange of care works is through a paycheck.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/24/2007 01:14:00 AM #
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Monday, May 21, 2007

Can a hunger strike be described as a "bold act of civil resistance"? Resistance, to me, would be something more along the lines of taking contrary action to something. For example, let's say someone ties to mug you:

Resistance: Punch mugger in face.

Not Resistance: Punch self in face.
If the regents fail to withdraw their weapons lab management, many of those participating (including the author) have pledged to sustain their hunger fasts indefinitely.
Sounds like fun.

By the way, for those of you on hunger strike, is it really appropriate to be drinking fluids and such for your health? I mean, if the point is that you're going to be suffering or some such, shouldn't you not be taking those anti-death measures?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/21/2007 08:14:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
Hey, I have a blog!

I forgot. Some stuff about editorials and such. The Daily Cal takes some bold stands today. ...
The regents have argued that because this is a personnel problem, they do not have to share the information with the public.
Are you sure that isn't "they are not allowed to share the information"? I wouldn't have thought that rules allowing confidentiality of personnel matters were there to protect employers rather than employees.
Opponents to the bill argue that the employees are not authorities on financial matters, and thus their input may be inaccurate and cause unnecessary interference. While the employees may not necessarily be financial wizards, it seems unlikely they will advocate any reckless moves that could jeopardize their own crucial pensions.
I think the argument is not that they'd deliberately do things which are bad, but that they won't know what is good or bad. In which case, it doesn't matter what kind of moves they want to advocate.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/21/2007 08:07:00 PM #
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Friday, May 18, 2007
And the conclusion

The conclusion to the "whoops, naked pictures of me on the internet" saga is that the Daily Clog removed the offending post without any notice that it ever existed. You know what I say about showing weakness...

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/18/2007 05:24:00 PM #
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. . .
Don't forget to exaggerate a bit

What does it mean for some parts of a university to be vaguely involved in nuclear weapons research?
"I'm very embarrassed to be receiving a diploma from a university that says let there be light, but that light is the light of a nuclear holocaust," UC Berkeley senior Matthew Taylor told the regents.
Hmm... Well, no one's making you receive that diploma.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/18/2007 01:52:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .

Following up, we have a sort-of explanation. Apparently, the dudes in the pictures hadn't given permission. How they could tell in an anonymous thread is... well, whatever. Maybe they're just making that up because they had second thoughts. It's like claiming rape after... uh... okay, nevermind. This anonymous person may be more representative.
Livejournal can be used for lots of things. One good purpose is a call to action, a call for instance to flood the student managers, faculty sponsors, etc. with e-mail alerting them to a serious breach of professional ethics.
Faculty sponsors of the Daily Cal? Step 0: Find out who you're criticizing and who they answer to.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/18/2007 01:26:00 AM #
Comments (1)
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Or something. I haven't been reading the anoncon threads, so maybe this information is there, but...

The Daily Clog did a thingie about folks posting naked pictures in anoncon or something. The pictures that the Clog rehosted have since been removed, I guess. But note this comment:
Wow, this is really horrible. I can't believe you guys posted these and refuse to take them down, despite repeated e-mails. I will never read you guys again, and I will encourage other people not to.
Now I'm curious! Who wanted them taken down? And for what reason? And why were they actually taken down?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/17/2007 07:51:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .

Come on, reporters, ask interesting follow-ups:
Berkeley police Lt. Wesley Hester said police responded to the incident when cyclists surrounded the van, and began pounding on the vehicle, leaving the windshield cracked.

"Some of us saw no other option than to use force to stop him," said Wynd Mulysa, who was on the ride. "What he did was intentional assault. He could have killed people."
Tactics for stopping man in car intent on running people over:

1) Hit car with insufficient force to halt multi-ton vehicle.

2) Make driver feel threatened.

I dunno... something seems a bit off...

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/17/2007 01:22:00 AM #
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Why should you have freedom?

Zombies are attacking our universities! On that tobacco money stuff...
Clearly what academic freedom means to some people these days is the right of academics to sell their services to the highest bidder, regardless of where the money comes from.


Some people with good educations who should know better have always used their knowledge to research bad things, all the way back well beyond the legendary Dr. Faustus.


In the old days, academic freedom was not based on the golden rule (those who give the gold make the rules). Then it meant the freedom of academics to hold any ideas they pleased and to teach about them as they wished.
You can see the assertions:

1) Professors are zombies who are incapable of making decisions and will always do whatever the dude with the most money says. Therefore, we smart people have to step in and make sure to tell them where they can get money, so that their zombieness is targeted where we want. (How Becky O'Malley squares this with the professors coming out and complaining about this stuff is a mystery)

2) Academic freedom means freedom to research what they want, except when they research "bad things" as determined by Becky O'Malley. They are not allowed to research those things, but that is not a restriction on freedom at all.

Remember... for some people, "freedom" is just another word for "room for error."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/16/2007 02:22:00 PM #
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Oh, hey

I guess there was still a Judicial Council decision floating around about posting and public access and bulletin boards and such. It's written by three justices. Was three ever quorum? Who knows (or cares)?

Update: Whoa, my bad. There was a dissent. Read to the ends of documents, kids.

Actually, reading the two opinions makes me wonder if they were at the same hearing. The issue was fliering in the wrong place. From the majority (saying there wasn't enough evidence of a violation):
As evidence of these alleged violations, ECC Wren submits a photograph making clear that one campaign flier for each member of the accused was posted in a classroom. However, ECC Wren enters no further evidence demonstrating that the fliers were not posted on a "public access bulletin board," in violation of §12.6.5 of the ASUC By-Laws. Whether or not the surface upon which the fliers were posted fits the definition of a §12.6.5 "public access bulletin board" is not clear.

First, it is not clear if the surface was a "bulletin board." The surface appears to be a clothlike board, like those often used for such posting. The posting surface is distinct from the surrounding walls and is positioned right above a chalk board, suggesting its shared display purpose.

Further, it is not clear whether the surface was "public access." No clear indication that the posting surface was for public access posting was ascertainable in the photos. Nor do the by-laws specify whether such a "public access bulletin board" identifying label is required or should be expected.
From the dissent:
A picture of a classroom in Evans Hall was offered as evidence in this case. Within this evidence, it is apparent that the area on which the fliers were posted was not a board, but a wall. If it is a wall, then posting on it is a violation of Title IV, Article 12 Section 6.5 of the By-Laws. The minority feels that there is no reasonable way to believe that this wall, while it may "be conducive to posting" as the defense put it, is a public access bulletin board and not a wall within a classroom on which it is prohibited to post. Also in the evidence submitted is proof of a strip of cork above the chalkboard which indicates that there is a difference in where someone is allowed to post. There was an area which is obviously available for posting as it is a cork strip, yet the defendants and/or their agents chose to post on an area which could be objectionable. One of the defendants, Winnie Kuo, also stated that she knew that there was a cork strip above the chalkboard which would be an acceptable place for posting while the wall may not be. However, postings were still done in this area. This seems to provide yet another distinction between the wall and the cork strip, making postings on the wall illegal according to the By-Laws.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/15/2007 10:45:00 PM #
Comments (3)
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Monday, May 14, 2007
Cave, part II

The other aspect of the ASUC's DAAP Cave was an advisory opinion declaring that calling dorm phones to campaign would be a violation of Election By-Laws... if only they had known the date of that one call.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/14/2007 07:32:00 PM #
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. . .
Cheating is bad

Cheaters go to hell.
"I don't cheat, but I want everyone who does to get burned," said junior Ryan van der Harst. "(The students) are only cheating themselves—and getting good GPAs."
Wow. I want to cheat myself, too, then. Can I cheat myself and become rich?

I wonder where they get it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/14/2007 12:14:00 AM #
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. . .
Slow news halfweek


posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/14/2007 12:11:00 AM #
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. . .
Must be more stereotypical

As if you needed any more "Weapons BAAAAD" statements:
"(Education) is the most powerful, positive thing you can do as humans. (But) nuclear weapons are the most destructive, negative thing I can think of," said UC Berkeley junior Amanda Cocking, who is a conservation and resource studies major participating in the fast.
And don't forget...
Francisco Ramos Stierle, a graduate student in the astronomy department, said he feels "phenomenal" after fasting for four days.

"I convert the anxiety of eating into a spiritual energy," Ramos Stierle said. "That's an awesome feeling."
University spokedude Chris Harrington has some advice, though:
We urge them to eat.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/14/2007 12:04:00 AM #
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Once again, Critical Mass bicyclists (this time in Berkeley) engage in absolutely unacceptable behavior. There's a link to video. I'm willing to tolerate a lot, but there is simply no excuse for playing "Eye of the Tiger."

Update: Oh, Indymedia. It's never enough to report what happens, you need to make stuff up, too. Even Aussies are paying attention.
Two children who were traumatized cried
Well, yes, when you wave them around for cameras and bring them with you into a mob, that will happen.
Bicyclists managed to stop the attack when one was able to reach into the van's window and turn off the vehicle.
That's pretty clearly contradicted by the video, if you see when that window opens and compare to when the dude had stopped moving.
Two bicyclists report the motorist brandished a knife on them.
Hahaha! Right.

Despite my sympathy for the bicyclists, every time I read an Indymedia post I just feel like opposing whatever they're pushing, no matter what it is. I'm astounded that there are people who actually believe this stuff. Oh...
Get real, faux critics! It is well documented that many of the people posting all negativity like this are paid in the employ of corporations. In other words, suspect: car and petroleum companies are spending a small portion of their multibillion dollar advertising budget to undermine, sabotage and harass us.
... right. When it comes to advertising, oil companies know where the money belongs: In the hands of anonymous commenters at Indymedia.

Some of the other allegations might be true, but the bullshit they brought makes it impossible for me to take their word for it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/12/2007 04:45:00 PM #
Comments (7)
. . .
Noo! Responses!

If you recall, some folks were complaining about some shirts or something. Futura caved pretty fast, explaining that from now on, they'll only carry shirts approved by angry crowds. Whatever, it's a business, and it isn't being particularly hypocritical like some people.

At the protester Facebook group, though, I see something strange. I don't know the timing, but apparently, after starting an e-mail campaign against Deez Teez, the dudes who made those shirts, the company published their e-mail addresses on its website, telling folks to tell the protesters to stop.

I'm not impressed with their bitching. If you have a first amendment right to complain about some campaign, everyone else has a first amendment right to complain about your complaining. As long as the company didn't actually encourage threats, I don't see how they have anything to complain about here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/12/2007 11:26:00 AM #
Comments (8)
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Friday, May 11, 2007
Outrage of the day

Nothing important will be happening today, I assume, so I'll turn it over to Volokh. The summary is that some conservative magazine at Tufts ran some stuff that was offensive to people. Tufts disciplined them. Their statement is the most comical thing I've read in a long time, though.
[W]e find that the MSA proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that The Primary Source harassed Muslim students at Tufts, and created a hostile environment for them by publishing "Islam-Arabic Translation: Submission." The Committee found that the MSA established that the commentary at issue targeted members of the Tufts Muslim community for harassment and embarrassment, and that Muslim students felt psychologically intimidated by the piece....
So, at Tufts, your discourse is limited to what sufficiently powerful groups will allow. If they don't like it, they'll just say they were harassed and psychologically intimidated.
[A]lthough Tufts students should feel free to engage in speech that others might find offensive and even hurtful, Tufts University's non-discrimination policy embodies important community standards of behavior that Tufts, as a private institution, has an obligation to uphold. Our campus should be a place where students feel safe, respected, and valued. Freedom of speech should not be an unfettered license to violate the rights of other members of the community, without recourse.
They should feel free to engage in speech that others might find offensive and hurtful... but that feeling is going to be wrong. It takes some amazing balls to write that with a straight face. Which rights of other community members were violated?
We find that the above-mentioned carol and commentary, rather than promoting political or social discourse, as claimed by the members of The Primary Source, instead were designed to harass and intimidate members of the Tufts community because of their race (black) and religion (Islam)....
We shall determine what is and is not discourse. We are so blinded by our devotion to our special interest minorities that we can't even comprehend criticism of them as discourse. It must, instead, be harassment and intimidation.
[T]he Committee has attempted to strike a balance between protecting the rights of students to exist on campus without being subjected to unreasonable attacks based on their race or religion and protecting the rights of students to publish controversial writings....
We also get to determine what is and is not reasonable. There shall be no disagreement on this issue, because if you disagree, it will not be discourse, since disagreeing with us on what is reasonable is not reasonable.
The Committee believes that it is important for Tufts University to foster an intellectual climate in which students feel free to express their thoughts, however controversial. Nevertheless, based on the evidence and arguments presented at the hearing on April 30, 2007, the Committee on Student Life holds that The Primary Source violated Tufts University's non-discrimination policy in publishing the carol "O Come All Ye Black Folk" and the commentary "Islam-Arabic Translation: Submission."
It seems "however controversial" means "controversial only to a point." Another impressive show of balls in writing. I guess it's not technically a contradiction, since they say they should "feel free," rather than saying they should "be free."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/11/2007 01:20:00 PM #
Comments (6)
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Thursday, May 10, 2007
Here we go again

Other people don't exist:
"We shouldn't take research money from research crooks," said Chris Newfield, chair of the UC Planning and Budget Committee within the senate and a professor at UC Santa Barbara.
Once again, as with the fee increase folks before, we have a person making a value judgment for himself, and then not understanding why it shouldn't be applied to everyone else.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/10/2007 02:11:00 PM #
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. . .

Approval of the minutes sure is intense. While approving minutes, you can change referenda, confirm appointments, and who knows what else. Someone needs to start keeping minutes of the approval of the minutes.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/10/2007 02:09:00 PM #
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We're not engineers, we're priests

Yay! Trees and global warming.
However, it does not make sense to cut down the trees in these boreal areas to prevent global warming, [Govindasamy Bala] said.

The reason to prevent global warming is to save nature as it is, so taking measures to alter natural ecosystems is contradictory, Bala said.
As if you needed further proof of some folks' lack of vision. "We just want everything to be the same, we don't care about actually improving things."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/10/2007 02:01:00 PM #
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I hate freedom!

Yay! Only UCSF voted against academic freedom in terms of tobacco money.
Lawrence Pitts, a professor of neurological surgery and otolaryngology at UCSF, said he started out on the side of academic freedom in the debate but changed his mind.

"I believe the tobacco industry, maybe singularly, has been successful in suppressing academic freedom around their own research," Pitts said. "If they only choose to fund research that will support their contentions, they are not supporting a broad range of issues ... so without us being aware, our academic freedom is being suppressed by the methods that have been used by the tobacco industry."
How can an organization unitlaterally suppress academic freedom when other people are doing research? You don't "suppress academic freedom around your own research." That doesn't even make sense. The idea of academic freedom is that you can do the research you want to do, not that everyone is doing every single kind of research from every angle.
Regent John Moores, a key proponent of the ban, expressed disappointment in the faculty decision Wednesday.

"This issue remains a profound mystery to me," he said. "Perhaps one of the deep thinkers in the UC senate can explain to me why the university should help an industry that will be responsible for 1 billion deaths in this century."
I don't think you need a deep thinker for that one. I'll handle it: Academic freedom means that we don't think of "the university" as doing the research, we think of the faculty at the university doing research, and they can help whatever industry they want to help. The university does not tell the faculty what they can and cannot research, so it has no power to help or hurt an industry.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/10/2007 01:08:00 AM #
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. . .
I'm hungry

Hunger strike! Weapons BAD! That's why we shouldn't keep control of them, and instead hand them over to other private organizations that we don't trust. Or something. I don't really understand the "UC shouldn't be involved in nuclear weapons research logic."
"I don't think education and mass destruction should go hand in hand," said Amanda Cocking, a third-year student in conservation and resource studies at UC Berkeley.
Mass destruction should be handled by the uneducated, you see.
"At this point we're feeling like the current nuclear weapons situation, and the fact that the regents haven't listened to us, is calling us to take more dramatic action," said Chelsea Collogne, a 2006 UC Berkeley graduate who works for an anti-nuclear organization and is participating in the fast.
Don't get too dramatic. Recall that Collogne is the one who said:
I can't even imagine walking for an hour, much less five days.
Those one-hour walks are unimaginable. How dramatic does that make this?
Collogne said the protesters at UC Berkeley will ingest only water over the next eight days. She said they will break the fast next Thursday night or Friday morning after the regents meet at UCSF's Mission Bay campus for their regular monthly meeting.
As in... regardless of what the Regents do? Some hunger strike. "Until you give in to our demands, we will be hunger striking. Unless you don't. We'll stop either way."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/10/2007 01:00:00 AM #
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Stand by for lawsuits

The ASUC Attorney General has agreed to drop the charges against DAAP (settle for no censures) since there was insufficient evidence:
The charge sheet pursues three (3) censures against DAAP for a campaigning phone call and voice message that was received by a University of California, Berkeley residence hall dorm room phone at 6PM on Wednesday April 11, 2007. The charge rests upon the answering machine recording. The answering machine states the day and time of the message (Wednesday, 6PM) however, the answering machine does not provide proof of the exact date (April 11, 2007) of the message. Therefore the case must be dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Okay, so anyone can point out that it just doesn't matter which day the recording was on, unless Dimitri Garcia was calling folks to tell them to vote for him after the election.

This is a cave. And the worst part about the cave is that the ASUC may still be sued.

This is short-sighted, but obvious in an institution with so little memory. The ASUC shows weakness again and again, and folks constantly take advantage of it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/09/2007 06:41:00 PM #
Comments (9)
. . .
Pirates of the ASUC

If you like pirates, you'll love the AG v. DAAP Judicial Council hearing scheduled for tonight at 6pm in the Senate Lounge. Of course, if Attorney General Rosezetta Upshaw just doesn't show up, the case will be dismissed, and the ASUC may not have to pay off DAAP, since it's tough to claim credit for something like that. How lame is it that "not doing your job" is the most effective legal strategy? Mark Himelstein knows that. That's why his advice is almost invariably "Don't do you job, so my job will be easier."

For those of you who just won office... how about taking some steps to fire Himelstein's ass? Is the ASUC really best served by spending $40,000 a year on an attorney who runs away screaming to cower in his office at the slightest sign of conflict?

(I'm pretty sure there is 1 'm' in Himelstein. Check out this website)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/09/2007 12:13:00 PM #
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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jessica Wren has vanished or something, so all of her cases have been dropped. Unfortunately, this includes the one dealing with the MSEA's endorsement of Student Action, which would've been an interesting case.

This means that Curtis Lee will get the Academic Affairs Vice Presidency. This also means that a Senate recount is unlikely, which could've had serious implications.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/08/2007 09:16:00 PM #
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Monday, May 07, 2007
But we might catch teh ghey!

Marcus Leung has stuff to say about gay male blood donation.
I applaud Jeff Manassero's efforts to overturn the Food & Drug Administration's ban on gay men.
Whoa... I don't think I remember that ban.

Anyway, Leung argues that, instead of following the FDA's instructions while complaining, gay males need to not submit. Presumably, this means either lying and giving blood anyway, or going in to actively get rejected when answering the questions they start donations with.
Blood drives are the new lunch counters. By saying that I cannot, as a gay male, donate blood, the FDA says that I am not of equal quality as another human being.
Just think of all the things car insurance rates say under this standard.
We should not fool ourselves by supposing that the FDA cares about the shortage of blood that plagues American healthcare. I realize this is a bold statement and a harsh indictment of the FDA, but that is the truth. I say this because if the FDA did truly care about the shortage, the ban would have been repealed a long time ago. What the FDA does care about is upholding discrimination against gay man all across the country.
I think there's a middle ground here. I think it's possible the FDA weighed some concerns and determining that the ban is worth the danger of blood shortfall. The fact that they could get more blood by accepting gay men does not, by itself, prove that they don't care about blood shortages. I also find the idea that the FDA folks get together and, when making their decisions, actually make decisions for the purpose of discriminating against gay men to be somewhat unlikely. "Not caring about discrimination" is not the same as "trying to perpetuate discrimination."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/07/2007 04:23:00 PM #
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Oh, goodie

We get another year of Josh Daniels.
Daniels said the assembly's elections are currently an informal process.

"When we get more contentious elections, we'll need a different procedure," he said. "But (for now,) it suffices."
Forget contentious elections. How about elections at all?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/07/2007 12:15:00 AM #
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Nothing's scarier than George Washington.
The attorney for DAAP, George B. Washington of Detroit law firm Scheff & Washington P.C., said he will file suit in court if the council rules in favor of Upshaw and may still consider filing a suit even if the charges are dropped or the council rules in favor of the party.
I hope everyone is paying attention, and hasn't forgotten what happened last time. Even if they win the case, DAAP will still try to score attorney fees for, apparently, the cost of hiring a lawyer to threaten the ASUC. It will actually probably put the ASUC in a better legal position to find DAAP guilty. Will Himelstein advise the Judicial Council to ignore their obligations and find them guilty this time?
ASUC Attorney Mark Himelstein said he did not have an opinion to offer because ASUC officials have not asked him to evaluate the letter or the issue.
Yeah, they should probably get on that. Not that they should expect much from Himelstein.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/07/2007 12:08:00 AM #
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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Apparently, that DAAP case they've summoned the lawyers for is going on right now. I'm not there, because I wasn't paying attention when/if it was announced, and anyway, listening to BAMN folks gives me a headache. All I know is that the Spanish Inquisition has been invoked.

Update: Dimitri Garcia: "We don't have any rights under the JRPs, do we? This J Council is like a PIRATE SHIP."

Update: Apparently, there's going to be a redo of some sort on Wednesday, since the right JRPs were replaced with the wrong ones on the website at some point.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/06/2007 08:06:00 PM #
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Saturday, May 05, 2007
Pointless comment

Things sure do get slow this time of year. Thanks to this, I have a random question:

What trademark claim can Google make to the term "google" as a verb? Do you or anyone you know use "google" as a generic verb for "look it up on the internet" rather than "look it up on the internet using Google"?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/05/2007 08:59:00 PM #
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It's time for another blogroll update. I just sort of guessed at who should be there. If anyone has any other ideas, let me know.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/05/2007 08:53:00 PM #
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Student Action won in "ECC v. Student Action Slate," the campaigning within 100 ft. charge, on the grounds that the evidence wasn't clear and convincing enough. This leaves 5 unresolved censures for Curtis Lee: Two for campaign literature, and three for that MSEA endorsement.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/05/2007 01:45:00 PM #
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Friday, May 04, 2007
Judicial Council appointments

Assuming they're approved, they're going to be Meron Wendwesen and Kristin Garcia. I don't know who they are.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/04/2007 05:22:00 PM #
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Dear Ms. Upshaw:

DAAP has contacted me regarding the charge that you have filed against DAAP for calling a student on her dorm phone.

As you may know, we had to sue the ASUC three years ago because of similarly frivolous charges. That resulted in an agreement to drop the charges and a payment of $15,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

As "part of the government of the University of California," the ASUC is subject to the requirements of the First Amendment. Among those requirements is that the ASUC an not prohibit persons from attempting to contact potential voters by telephone. In fact, it wouold be ridiculous if telemarketers and others could call students--but candidates for ASUC office or their supporters could not make such a call.

Similarly, the First Amendment prohibits attempts to limit the right of private organizations to share phone lists and phone numbers with whomever they want to share that information with. In particular, the First Amendment protects the right of student organizations to share publicly circulated petitions (including phone numbers) with whomever that group may wish to share those documents with.

After three years, it seems that the ASUC has still not adopted elementary democratic principles, including those guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.

We have contacted Attorney Mark Himmelstein and he advised us to contact you directly.

Both as a matter of democratic principle and as a matter of preserving the indepndence and the funds of the ASUC, we demand that you and the Judicial Council drop these charges against DAAP.

The election is over. The voters have spoken. We accept their judgment. We should all move on to serious business and stop these attempts at petty retribution against persons and parties for their exercise of basic democratic rights.

George B. Washington
I wish he had sent some actual precedents for his claims about what the First Amendment does. I'll leave the legal analysis to others.

This is what happens when you show weakness, by the way. The ASUC made a very short-sighted decision in settling last time, and basically invited this kind of thing for all eternity.

Also note that the ASUC's attorney told those folks threatening lawsuits to just contact his client directly. I don't know if he actually showed any inclination to try to defend the ASUC.

What did Dimitri Garcia do to change these evil rules that threaten the First Amendment during his time as senator?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/04/2007 05:08:00 PM #
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Budget story!
Six of the campus recruitment and retention centers took sizeable cuts in funding after they received a total of $4,652.25 less than last year, prompting outcry from leaders who said the centers could not function without a certain level of funding.

"By cutting (our funding), you limit our friends, family, sisters, brothers (and) children from coming here," said CalSERVE party signatory Ashley Thomas. "The implications go farther than three in the morning. Think broader. Think bigger. Think how it affects other people."
Seeing as how Student Action is in charge, that broader, bigger, other-people-affecting thought may have taken place.
CalSERVE Senator Van Nguyen, who was elected president for next year according to preliminary results, proposed cutting the president's budget to $10,500. The presidential budget was set at $11,619 at Monday's finance committee meeting.

"I am not going to allow (and) I don't think senators should allow for huge executive offices to continue because they're wasteful and don’t allow money for student groups," he told the senate.

However, the cut was not passed by the senate, as many argued that the executive offices made good use of their funding.

"It's felt by many that the executive budget is not wasteful," said UNITE Greek Senator Donald Rizzo.
Not to nitpick, but if $11,619 is a "huge executive office," then I think $10,500 would be, too. I was hoping for one of those "take half my budget, please" lines.

Rizzo's argument is teh dumb, though. It's wasteful because that money could go to student groups to do things, not because the president's office does nothing. Also, remember what the president's office is actually supposed to do.

Van probably should've dug in, and insisted that, even if the cut isn't approved, he's not going to spend that money. That's especially true if the wording "I'm not going to allow" was correct. That way, there's no doubt that budgeting it to him is wasteful. And let's all remember this for next year: "Refusing to give money from an executive office to student groups at the executive's request: DONE!"

Is Student Action worried about making Van look good, or are they trying to keep power in the executives for when they come back to power next year? Speculate here!
Some senators also pointed to the annual ASUC Spring Formal dance as a potential place to cut funds and save money to give to other student groups.

SQUELCH! Senator David Wasserman proposed cutting the dance's entire budget, saying it was not the role of the ASUC to host the dance.

"I personally don't think the ASUC should be putting on Spring Formal and that we could better use that money," he told the senate.

Ultimately, only $15.40 was cut from the dance's preliminary allocation of $485, as some senators argued that the savings from cutting its entire budget would not be worth losing the dance.
Forehead slap! This isn't a question of whether the allocation is worth it, it's whether it's the role of the ASUC or student groups. If student groups wanted a Spring Formal, they could put it on themselves with that kind of money. That's what student groups are for.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/04/2007 10:01:00 AM #
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Comment minimized

I don't see a news story yet, but this may be awesome:
If there was a bright spot in Wednesday night's meeting, it was CalSERVE senator and future ASUC President Van Nguyen requesting less funds for the Office of the President. Though he made good on his campaign promise, the senate refused to indulge his request. For the future of the body, let's hope that isn't a trend.
I say "may" because I don't really know the context. If the minutes ever show up, I'll have more to say. Maybe.

Anyway, if true, that's great, but I'm too lazy to really bother to find that out, or to find out why the Senate wasn't willing to have more money to use.

(And, uh, no, I didn't attend the 10-hour meeting, because it was too short for a budget meeting. A real budget meeting would've ended only four hours ago.)

(Comment from "Rita" (Encarnacion?): "I will not forget what happened last night in those chambers..." Add your own context!)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/04/2007 12:01:00 AM #
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Does Nad Permaul comment on the Daily Clog?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/03/2007 10:40:00 PM #
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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
J, Immigrant

Hey, I like rights, too.
"I was about to go (to class), but I thought about my family today," said junior Erin Pangilinan, whose parents immigrated from the Philippines. "This issue is not just today or this year, it's every day. These are our families."
So, if Pangilinan thinks about the family every day, does that mean never going to class? Is that the way to take care of your family? Eschew education?
However, after marching to City Hall, some protesters did attempt to board BART to San Francisco without buying a ticket, which led to a confrontation with BART police.

"It was an organized attempt not to pay for fair," said BART Chief of Police Gary Gee, adding that he did not yet know if anyone was arrested or cited.
Huh... so, the boycott only extends to paying for stuff. When it comes to stealing, that's all good. Also, "pay for fair."
"I was illegal when I was a teenager. It was hard, it was hard to do everything. I grew up with a lot of fear," said Berkeley resident Jose Ibarre, who marched to Oakland yesterday. "Now that I'm a legal resident, and I have kids, I have to make sure that their futures will be better than mine."
I have to care for the future of my non-immigrant kids! That's why I'm marching for immigrant rights!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/02/2007 07:14:00 PM #
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Judicial Council stuff

The case called "ECC v. Student Action Executive Slate and Kwong" was dismissed (settled for 0 censures, technically) due to a lack of evidence. As far as I know, the other four cases involving Curtis Lee have not been resolved.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/01/2007 07:54:00 PM #
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Booze me!

Watch your shoulder.
One common criticism of shoulder tap operations is that they do not help solve the problem because they target individuals who may not regularly furnish alcohol to minors.
How common is that criticism? If it really is common, it's time to lose faith in humanity. How is that criticism? I'm genuinely curious.
A central tenet of the state grant program is to involve the media, who on Friday were invited to ride along with department investigators and police in an effort to widen the public's exposure to the operations.

Local TV cameras rolled and photos were snapped from behind tinted windows as adults accepted money from the minor outside Pic N Pac Liquor and exchanged the alcohol in a parking lot behind the store.
The media folk must be very proud of being used like that.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/01/2007 12:20:00 AM #
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You know, the organizers probably should have seen this coming. I can't say I'm surprised that they didn't, though.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/01/2007 12:17:00 AM #
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