:: Running from the Thought Police ::

Reality-Based Thoughts, Ruminations, and Unsolicited Opinions of a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student alumnus and employee.
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:: Thursday, September 30, 2004 ::

Please Remember To Register

October 5th is the last day to register to vote in Illinois. Please do so beforehand so that you can get your purty new voter registration card and so that you can enfranchize yourself.

:: The Squire 11:55 PM :: email this post :: ::


Good Idea

I'm gonna have to get some nerf balls to throw at the TV for the next debate. We had a few at the college dems party and it was quite fun/theraputic.

:: The Squire 11:53 PM :: email this post :: ::


It Wasn't "Deer In The Headlights" But...

Dubya of the dyed hair still did pretty badly. My favorite bit was how Dubya'd make a big to-do about wanting an extension, and then would spend the first five seconds of that extension in utter silence. This, after he would get done with his points in the normal question response time and have a full minute of inane babble.

At the college dems debate-watching party we had two tallies going for Dubya: we counted up his lies and his gaffes. It soon became aparent, though, that we needed a third column for "What The Fuck?" It seemed like some of his responses went here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and we needed a column for Poland. One can't forget Poland!

The college dems watched the debate on C-SPAN which presented the debate in split-screen format - both candidates were on TV for the whole hour and a half, with no flunky tv producer deciding which shots of the non-responding candidate would be shown. I liked this format, but that's just me. Also, with the two side-by-side, it was easier to see that Kerry's the taller candidate, though there were a number of visual tricks that were used to make the two appear the same size. Bonus points if you can name all the ones I spotted. Extra points goes to anyone who spotted more than I did. The only reason I note this is 'cos I remember from taking America Since 1945 in high skool that since the age of the televized debate the taller candidate has won.

Flipping channels while watching the immediate post-debate coverage we came across some numbers which had over 50% of undecided voters viewing Kerry more favorably after the debate. If that holds, it may mean the difference in a bunch of swing states.

That's it for now. It'll be interesting to see how the spin plays out in the next few days, as well as how the resulting poll changes will impact the Electoral College map.

:: The Squire 11:08 PM :: email this post :: ::



I got a perfect score on my CLCV102 exam from a few weeks ago.

My GPA could really use 3hrs of a 4.0...

:: The Squire 1:22 AM :: email this post :: ::


Libertarians Rejoice!

Private Enterprise has taken it's first baby steps into space with the first flight of SpaceShipOne. All it has to do now is do it again in two weeks and they'll win the Ansari X-Prize.

:: The Squire 1:11 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Monday, September 27, 2004 ::
Idle Thought

Is Florida even still habitable after getting hit by four hurricanes in a season?

:: The Squire 4:47 PM :: email this post :: ::


Broad Appeal

Atrios saw and approved of our man Obama at a rally in PA for democratic senate candidate Joe Hoeffel.

:: The Squire 3:39 PM :: email this post :: ::


Bad News, Good News

Buckyballs are toxic, but they can be modified to make them safe.

:: The Squire 3:23 PM :: email this post :: ::


Naughty Naughty

You shouldn't go looking for lab reports on the web. That's academic dishonesty, you know. If it happens again, I'll report it to the MCB office and CITES and have them track you down. They'll do it, too, and all your hopes of doing research will be shot down the drain.

You have been warned.

:: The Squire 3:09 PM :: email this post :: ::


Playing With News Aggregators

Just 'cos my site traffic's dipped below it's abnormally high levels of the past week, I'm gonna mention Drupal again and see how many people start showing up. It's worked before...

If I do this enough, someone over there'll rewrite the aggregator code for the next version. Or they'll just get pissed off and send threatening but powerless emails. Either way, I'm forwarding programming progress.

:: The Squire 3:05 PM :: email this post :: ::


Cue The Bad Jock Music

Once again, it's presidential debate season! The first debate will be on Thursday at 8pm CDT, and should be on all major networks. Jim Lehrer (from PBS's News Hour) will moderate the non-debate debate.

UIUC College Dems will meet at 7pm in 160 English, and will head from there to an as-yet-determined location for the debate-watching party. There's also a group organizing a debate watching over in Animal Sciences, but since I'm not sure who's organizing it I won't endorse it as yet.

:: The Squire 2:56 PM :: email this post :: ::


'Let's Make A Deal' Gone Wrong

So I walk in the men's room looking to have a quick squat on a porcelain throne. Now, every corner restroom in the dorm has three stalls apiece for leaving number two (or hurling it back up before it gets that far). Being weird, I decide to go for Door Number Two.

Behind Door Number Two: an unflushed privy. Ewww.

I do believe I'll trade on this one, Monty. In fact, I'll go for Door Number One.

Behind Door Number One: a clean commode.

At first inspection, this bodes well, until I notice that there's no toilet paper in the stall. This is eerily similar to a sorority girl - attractive at first, but disappointing on the follow-through. Thanking God I'm not really on the game show, I take my third option (but not last - there's another three stalls in the men's room down the hall) and go for Door Number Three.

Behind Door Number Three: a clean throne, with a small but managable supply of 'the important papers.'

Having found a suitable stall, I proceeded to do my business and think up this horrid extended analogy.

:: The Squire 1:59 AM :: email this post :: ::


More Required Reading

Dave Neiwert, in the latest installment of his series "The Rise of Pseudo Fascism," defines fascism for us and links it to the modern Republican party.

:: The Squire 1:01 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Friday, September 24, 2004 ::
Polls Aren't Healthy For You

I'd be dead by now if I were stressing over polls - by pure poll data Dubya's leading in the electoral college, but since the MD and CO polls are outliers (as noted on electoral-vote.com) the race could very plausibly come down 269-269 if the rest of the map stays the same. With a month to go and a few October surprises yet to happen, it's still either man's game to win.

As always, tell all your friends, especially the younger ones, to vote Kerry in November. We need all the help we can get.

:: The Squire 5:07 AM :: email this post :: ::


Media Disinformation

The Nation reports on the attempts a local FOX affilate in Arizona has made to discourage students from voting at school.

:: The Squire 4:22 AM :: email this post :: ::


That's Just Mean

The Onion's take on the Bush family biography starts in fact and goes downhill from there - the second to last one is the worst in my opinion (not that it's not funny...).

...In fact, looking at the article on Matchbox 20's new album being bland, recycled pop crap, I'm willing to call this week's entire issue one of the meanest I've come across.

The release has been eagerly awaited by Matchbox Twenty's enormous fan base, composed of American record buyers who have a limited interest in music but enjoy the act of shopping. In order to satisfy the undemanding non-tastes of this lucrative market, Matchbox Twenty has made every effort to create what record-industry insiders say is the band's least distinctive album yet...

After the enormous commercial success of 1996's Yourself Or Someone Like You, demand for simplistic, cookie-cutter output from the band has been high. Yet, according to Grammy-winning lead vocalist Rob Thomas, the new record's release was delayed repeatedly because of Matchbox Twenty's perfectionism in the studio.

"Our goal was to follow in the tradition of great multi-platinum artists like Elton John, Phil Collins, and the Dave Matthews Band—sales powerhouses who relied on the musical ignorance of their fans," Thomas told reporters following Monday's announcement. "We knew that if we wanted to match those historic giants for sheer lack of energy, we couldn't settle for anything less than total banality. And, though it took a lot of time and effort, I think we achieved that—an album that sets a new standard for trite crapola."

"It's really derivative and boring," he added.

Again, not that it's not funny...

:: The Squire 4:00 AM :: email this post :: ::


A Googlebomb Someone Should Do

Change Unelectable to Unelectable.

Since some of you might not know what a googlebomb is, mouse over the links - dear God! don't click them, you'll need to shower after - and see where each leads. Then do the Google search for 'Unelectable'.

Then again, it may just be better to come up with a new googlebomb for Dubya's campaign website.

:: The Squire 2:47 AM :: email this post :: ::


For Those Of You Still In Denial

Global warming is occuring and it is causing and will cause major climate shifts - the first apparently will be an increase in ocean levels due to glacial melt.

Large ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula disintegrated in 1995 and 2002 as a result of climate warming. But these floating ice shelves did not affect sea level as they melted.

Glaciers, however, are another story. They rest on land and when they slide off into the water they instantly affect sea level.

It was not clear how the loss of the Larsen B ice shelf would affect nearby glaciers.

But soon after its collapse, researchers saw nearby glaciers flowing up to eight times faster than before.

"If anyone was waiting to find out whether Antarctica would respond quickly to climate warming, I think the answer is yes," said Theodore Scambos, a University of Colorado glacier expert who worked on one study...

But not all the melting in the Antarctic can be seen as a "miniature experiment."

The Ross ice shelf, for example, is the main outlet for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, with several large glaciers that could, if they melted completely, raise sea levels by 16 feet (5 metres).

"While the consequences of this area are small compared to other parts of the Antarctic, it is a harbinger of what will happen when the large ice sheets begin to warm," Scambos said. "The much larger ice shelves in other parts of Antarctica could have much greater effects on the rate of sea level rise."

Don't buy land close to sea level.

:: The Squire 1:16 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Thursday, September 23, 2004 ::
Cows With Guns

In his apparent quest to keep me from doing my work, my dad sent me a link to an animation based off the well-known demented song, Cows With Guns.

:: The Squire 7:15 PM :: email this post :: ::


For Those Who Haven't Heard Me Yap Incessantly

...Adam Zmick spent his entire column today writing about the Democratic candidate for the House, Dr. David Gill. Adam also promises another column detailing the dirt on Gill's opponent, the incumbent Rep. Tim Johnson (R- 15).

:: The Squire 2:59 PM :: email this post :: ::


Still Going Strong

As long as Spirit and Opportunity keep working, NASA's gonna keep using them for research and exploration.

:: The Squire 2:54 PM :: email this post :: ::


Strange Mental Image

Sometimes journalists shouldn't try so hard:

The Illinois Commerce Commission unanimously approved St. Louis-based Ameren Corp.'s acquisition of Illinois Power on Wednesday, bringing the marriage of the two utilities closer to consummation. [Emphasis mine - Ed.]

:: The Squire 2:46 PM :: email this post :: ::


More Pop For Your Soda

Brad Delong and his readers found a pop machine price discrepancy on the UC Berkeley campus that has a little history, while Kerry stumbled across this fun map that has the words people use for carbonated beverages by county from popvssoda.com

:: The Squire 2:36 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 ::
Fun Image

For those who like imposing correllation where there likely is none, this picture (via Atrios) is quite fun.

Oh, and be sure to read the comments beneath it too.

:: The Squire 8:42 PM :: email this post :: ::


Genetic Information and Healthcare

CNN.com's got a article on how genetic information, while helpful, creates privacy headaches for doctors, especially when dealing with genetic disorders. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't: tell the relatives that they may have the disorder and violate HIPPA (and get sued, fined, and put in jail), or keep the patient's genetic information private and withhold that information, opening one's self to malpractice lawsuits.

Part of this whole privacy bit is the concern that insurance companies would use said info to discriminate against those with disorders, even those with only partial penetrance. Since insurance people can be a scientifically ignorant lot (who don't know when to shut up and listen to the doctors) I can understand the fear. However, if our country were to have a single-payer health care system - with that single-payer being the Federal government, such discrimination issues would be moot. If everyone gets the same healthcare, who cares what one's genetic information has on it. Remember, the US is the ONLY developed nation without single-payer health care - we're behind the curve on this one.

:: The Squire 7:40 PM :: email this post :: ::


More Electoral Stuff (Cos I Don't Have Much Else To Say Right Now)

NM and IA swung Bush, NJ returned to the fold and FL's leaning, giving Kerry a lead in the college - even though I don't trust the election apparatus of the State of Florida one bit. AR and MD are still neutral, while CO continues it's slide to blue.

:: The Squire 7:16 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 ::
Overheard On ESPN's "Dream Job"

"Just like Dick Cheney's arteries there's serious blockage going on here..."

:: The Squire 11:20 PM :: email this post :: ::


Big Mo, With A Grain Of Salt

Wandering over to Electoral-Vote.com, we see that the polls have Kerry gaining back ground. Right now it's Kerry 239, Bush 256, with AR, MD, and FL way too close to call. IA, WI, PA, and NH have returned to the Dem fold, albeit barely. AR was previously Bush territory, so the switch to neutral is definitely good. OH and CO continue to weaken in their support for Bush and may well switch. FL's been swinging back and forth and will likely take either some very decisive news to swing for certain to a candidate before election day. NJ swung GOP somehow, that may be a fluke. WV had appeared to be tending towards Kerry, but that poll appears to have been an outlier. SC bears watching, but the Dems can't count that one yet either. ME is slipping but the trend lines suggest the state will go Kerry

Things are looking better, for now. All that being said, in many places the day to day differences on the website may reflect more the organization that did the last poll as opposed to any real movement - the race is exceedingly close, and margins of error are definitely in play for the polls. Needless to say, we could use some more dark blue states on the map. Talk to your friends and tell them to vote Kerry.

:: The Squire 4:21 PM :: email this post :: ::


A Fun Concept

Via UggaBugga:

There are less than 3 months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States. The man elected will be the president of All Americans, not just Democrats or Republicans.

To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice. It's time we all came together, Democrats and Republicans alike.

If you support the policies and character of John Kerry, please drive with your headlights ON during the day.

If you support the policies and character of President George W. Bush, please drive with your headlights OFF at night.

Thank you

If only...

:: The Squire 4:19 PM :: email this post :: ::


Unclear On The Point

For my CLCV 102: Medical Terminology from Greek and Latin Roots class everyone in the class has to post a brief statement on their experiences/opinions/whatever with the Latin language. So far, I'm the only person in my group that shared any negative experiences. In fact, I'm the only one who hasn't gone the saccrine-sweet "Yay, Latin is Wonderful!" route with the assignment. I can only conclude that my class is full of overachieving kiss-asses who had to write way too many college application essays for their own good. Thank God I don't actually have to meet with these people.

EXTENDED RANT: Part of the reason why I think this bothers me so much is because over 90% of the people in the class are pre-med. Doctor's aren't paid to tell people what they want to hear. Doctors are paid to tell people what's wrong and what needs to be done - and the less sugar coating the more likely it is that the patient will actually follow the prescription. We don't need "yes-people" as doctors.

:: The Squire 1:42 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Monday, September 20, 2004 ::

Now that I've sat my first exam of the semester, I have no impulse to do any more work today at all.

:: The Squire 7:17 PM :: email this post :: ::


Hello Y'all

It's only halfway through the day yet the site's seen over 63 visitors today. This appears to be due to my rant on stupid bloggers being linked to on the Drupal front page. I'm sorry for those who're looking for Drupal stuff - I don't have time to mess with a real blog back-end. If you are new, though, feel free to look around and give me some linking goodness.

:: The Squire 1:45 PM :: email this post :: ::


Plesant Surprise

At the top of this site one'll observe the blogger bar, upon which there is the "BlogThis!" link. After ignoring it for a month I finally clicked on it. To my rather plesant surprise, it brought up a java window that looks remarkably like the old blogger interface. Excuse me while I feel all warm and fuzzy...

:: The Squire 1:22 AM :: email this post :: ::


Blogging Style I Hate

today i was bored...hit the next blog button up top...saw some blogs...most were bad...pretty butterfly...ppl can't write worth shit...never use any punctuation except elipsis...never even heard of a hyperlink...seem to think not capitalizing makes them look smart...ee cummings you're not, moron!...AlT cApS aRe EvEn WoRsE...LaMeRs...never 4get 2 use txting abbr though...like they can't take the time 2 form a full sentence...let alone type out full words...random emoticon...>:-{...bouncy bouncy bouncy...and they just go on...and on...and on...talk about boring stuff...seem to think that i care about their day...nothing imporatant happens though...unimportant crap...creamy creamy cheesy cheesy...no profound thought...just stream of consciousness...cept stream of empty thoughts worse than no thought at all...not even funny...not remotely...ever...period at the end...like a single coherent thought has been completed...not!...hit publish.

Aren't you dumber for that? This is why I would like all profound people to use blogspot or get their own URLs and run Movable Type or Drupal, while all the online diarists can go to opendiary or livejournal or xanga or wherever the hell else they want, just so long as they don't pretend to be bloggers with things to say and link to.

ADDITIONAL RANT: By the way, I don't care what you're listening to. Either I've heard of it, in which case I don't care, or I haven't heard of it, in which case I don't care. And don't even think about putting said music on your site so that I have to listen to it every time it loads - I hated when people did that with MIDIs, I hate it now when they do it with MP3s. Just 'cos you can put music on your site doesn't mean you should force everyone else to listen to it who happens to read your pointless ramblings. If I want to listen to it, fine, I'll click the bloody link and hear it. If not, it's an invasion of my space to have your stupid site play music without warning or permission. The world wide web is a visual medium. Keep it that way.

Oh, unless you're going to give me a witty remark or a paragraph's explaination on how you're feeling, I don't need to know what mood you're in either. If you're that unskilled of a writer that you can't make your readers understand your emotions, you obviously have nothing to say that I or any intelligent individual would want to read.

:: The Squire 1:19 AM :: email this post :: ::


Best Ex-President Ever*

Brad Delong has a great Bill Clinton quote:

"On Homeland Security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The one billion dollar cost would have been paid for by reducing the tax cut of 200,000 millionaires by five thousand dollars each. Almost all 200,000 of us would have been glad to pay 5,000 dollars to make the nearly 300 million Americans safer—but the measure failed because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House decided my tax cut was more important- If you agree with that choice, re-elect them. If not, give John Kerry and John Edwards a chance."

- Bill Clinton, July 26, 2004

*This title is normally given to Jimmy Carter, 'cept the problem with Jimmy was that in order to be an ex-President, he had to be President in the first place. Clinton a)got re-elected and b)managed to get stuff done even in the face of a GOP congress that was intent on doing nothing out of sheer spite.

:: The Squire 12:56 AM :: email this post :: ::


My Favorite Topic

Jon Monteith's column in the DI today is about one of my favorite topics - stupid people.

:: The Squire 12:05 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Sunday, September 19, 2004 ::
More Required Reading

Dave Neiwert is starting a new series on American Pseudo-Fascism as expressed in the "Conservative Movement." As with his previous series, "Rush, Newspeak, and Fascism," it's guranteed to be a must-read for everyone of moderate or liberal standing. The first installment, "Part 1: The Morphing of the Conservative Movement," lives up to the promise, as it does the best job I've seen yet of characterising all that is wrong with Dubya's presidency and the extreme lengths the movement has undertaken to cover-up those deficiencies in the public discourse. To force y'all to read the whole thing, I'm just going to put the last graf here:

All of these appeals [made by the movement - ed.] have come wrapped in the twin themes that are central to the appeal of the conservative movement:

-- An insistence that the movement represents the only "real Americans."

-- Pervasive expressions of contempt for the weak.

These latter traits, in particular, expose the underpinnings of the "conservative movement" for their genuinely corrosive and divisive nature.

But does all this add up to fascism?

Not in its fullest sense. But it does replicate, in nearly every regard, the architecture of fascism in its second stage of growth -- the stage at which, in the past, it has obtained power.

All that is needed for a full manifestation of American fascism, at this point, is for a genuine crisis of democracy to erupt. And if that occurs, it is almost inevitable that the differences between fascism and pseudo-fascism will vanish.

One wonders what such a crisis will be, and one hopes it doesn't happen on November 2nd or 3rd.

:: The Squire 11:03 PM :: email this post :: ::


"Will All Please Stand And Assume A Reverent Position For Grace"

For the person who was looking for it, here's the Owasippe Grace:

For the food we have,
The friends we make,
For the knowledge we recieve,
And for ALL the good times,
We give to you, Lord, our warmest thanks.

:: The Squire 10:55 PM :: email this post :: ::


More Stuff You're Not Hearing About

From Krugman:

On Sunday, a celebrating crowd gathered around a burning U.S. armored vehicle. Then a helicopter opened fire; a child and a journalist for an Arabic TV news channel were among those killed. Later, the channel repeatedly showed the journalist doubling over and screaming, "I'm dying; I'm dying."

Such scenes, which enlarge the ranks of our enemies by making America look both weak and brutal, are inevitable in the guerrilla war President Bush got us into. Osama bin Laden must be smiling.

U.S. news organizations are under constant pressure to report good news from Iraq. In fact, as a Newsweek headline puts it, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition forces are intensifying and getting more effective; no-go zones, which the military prefers to call "insurgent enclaves," are spreading - even in Baghdad. We're losing ground.

And the losses aren't only in Iraq. Al Qaeda has regrouped. The invasion of Iraq, intended to demonstrate American power, has done just the opposite: nasty regimes around the world feel empowered now that our forces are bogged down. When a Times reporter asked Mr. Bush about North Korea's ongoing nuclear program, "he opened his palms and shrugged."

Yet many voters still believe that Mr. Bush is doing a good job protecting America.

:: The Squire 4:13 PM :: email this post :: ::


Avast, Me Maties!

'Tis International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

:: The Squire 2:49 PM :: email this post :: ::


It's Sad

Way too many people don't know how to spell "champagne" and so screw up searches I do on the net.

:: The Squire 2:42 PM :: email this post :: ::


A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

And tbogg has tons of pictures comparing Dubya and Kerry.

:: The Squire 2:09 PM :: email this post :: ::


On The Subject Of Weird...

Weebl and Bob have a new cartoon mixing scat music and their favorite food, pie.

:: The Squire 1:57 PM :: email this post :: ::


Nerds of the World, Unite!

StrongSad and The Cheat directed the music video for They Might Be Giants' single "Experimental Film" from their new album, "The Spine."

:: The Squire 1:41 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Saturday, September 18, 2004 ::
Go Illini!

The Fighting Illini Football team won its first NCAA Division IA football game in two years against Wsetern Michigan, 30-27.

:: The Squire 5:28 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Friday, September 17, 2004 ::

Tonight is the first night of the first weekend after all the sororities admitted their new pledges. It seems that, tonight, all those new sorority pledges are going out to the frats (or to the bars with frat boys), as they are somehow obligated to do, and engaging in various forms of debauchery. Of those pledges that were still virgins on the beginning of Friday, I wonder how many of them will still be so on Saturday morning. I wonder how many will be so on Monday morning. Of those sorority pledges who haven't ever drank before tonight, I wonder how many will wake up in the morning in places they don't remember ever being at. I wonder how many will have a trip to the ER to have their stomachs pumped this weekend.

Why are such things seen as having fun?

:: The Squire 11:55 PM :: email this post :: ::


Not Good For Gallup's Reputation

Allegations of systemic bias in Gallup's polling methods are being flung over at Kos and a few other places associated with him.

:: The Squire 11:07 PM :: email this post :: ::


Damn Good Blogging

Matt has been philosophising on the apathy of the American voter and the downturn in public intellectuallism. Start here, and scroll up to the most current.

:: The Squire 11:03 PM :: email this post :: ::


I Didn't Order This!?!

Kaplan apparently has given me, without my knowledge, a complimentary year's subscription to the Wall Street Journal.

:: The Squire 3:54 PM :: email this post :: ::


Pertinant Question

Dave Neiwert wonders why national media doesn't pay attention to domestic terrorism.

:: The Squire 3:44 PM :: email this post :: ::


Reasons Not To Vote For Bush

Resurrecting the old Anybody But Bush meme from the primaries, many bloggers have been giving their reasons why they (and every other sane American) won't be voting for Dubya come November 2nd. My current favorite is Hesiod's.

Military strategy 101 says you plan for the worst and hope for the best. But that would have required Bush doing the following fundamental things:

*levelling with the American people about the substantial risks involved in post-Saddam Iraq.

* Realistically assessing the probability that a democracy might not flourish in Iraq.

* Probably raising taxes to pay for the occupation.

* Maybe instituting a draft, or drastically re-ording our world-wide armed forces deployment.

* Possibly losing the 2002 mid-term elections.

A REAL leader would have done all of those things if he felt the war was absolutely necessary, as Bush continuously (and dishonestly) claims.

He didn't. Which means he put politics ahead of sound military, diplomatic, and national security interests.

A man like that has no business being President.

:: The Squire 3:26 PM :: email this post :: ::


Be Afraid

...when your Prof. starts class with the phrase "Let's play a game."

:: The Squire 3:10 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Thursday, September 16, 2004 ::
I Bring Thee Good News

Via Hesiod, Bush is coming back to Earth/reality after his bounce, while Kerry is surging.

:: The Squire 11:03 PM :: email this post :: ::


Oooh, Suspense

Private Dick is off to investigate something interesting, though he's not terribly specific.

:: The Squire 10:58 PM :: email this post :: ::


Mystery Reader Number Five-Bazillion

Over the past few weeks I've been noticing some recurring hits from internet provider Flexabit. I'm familiar with them - the place the gf lived at last year used it for their internet. I'm inclined to think it's a local person, and like all local readers, I'd appreciate it if he/she/it dropped me a line.

:: The Squire 10:24 PM :: email this post :: ::


Something Else We All Knew Already

UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, declares the Iraq war Illegal.

The declaration of the United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, on the Iraq war was shocking in its simplicity. He described it for the first time as "illegal". No caveats. No equivocation. None of the ambiguity loved by diplomats, especially at UN headquarters. The shock is in part because Annan is an inherently cautious individual...

His verdict undercuts the argument pursued relentlessly by George Bush and Tony Blair that the war had UN approval. Blair cites as justification two security council resolutions from the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf war and the one agreed after much tortuous negotiation in 2002, even though it did not warn explicitly of war if Iraq failed to disarm, only of "serious consequences". Annan said on Wednesday this was not enough: a second resolution explicitly authorising war was needed.

Gee, who knows what the UN says better, those who want it to say what they want it to, or the guy in charge of making sure it runs? I'll go with the latter.

:: The Squire 10:19 PM :: email this post :: ::


Deja vu

According to the Nation, it's Vietnam all over again.

Several Sundays ago, an ominous article appeared in the opinion section of the New York Times: "One by One, Iraqi Cities Become No-Go Zones." Falluja, Samarra, Ramadi, Karbala, the Sadr City slums of Baghdad--these and other population centers are now controlled by various insurgencies and essentially ceded by US forces. This situation would make a joke of the national elections planned for January. Yet, if US troops try to recapture the lost cities, the bombing and urban fighting would produce massive killing and destruction, further poisoning politics for the US occupation and its puppet government in Saigon--sorry, Baghdad.

Three days later, the story hit page one when anonymous Pentagon officials confirmed the reality. Not to worry, they said: The United States is training and expanding the infant Iraqi army so it can do the fighting for us. That's the ticket--Vietnamization. I remember how well General Westmoreland articulated the strategy back in the 1960s, when war's progress was measured by official "body counts" and reports on "new" fighting forces on the way.

But this time Washington decided the United States couldn't wait for "Iraqization," a strategy that might sound limp-wristed to American voters. The US bombing and assaults quickly resumed. The Bush White House is thus picking targets and second-guessing field commanders, just as Lyndon Johnson did forty years ago in Indochina. Bush is haunted by the mordant remark a US combat officer once made in Vietnam: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Meanwhile, Bush's war is destroying the US Army, just as LBJ's war did. After Vietnam, military leaders and Richard Nixon wisely abolished the draft and opted for an all-volunteer force. When this war ends, the volunteer army will be in ruins and a limited draft lottery may be required to fill out the ranks. After Iraq, men and women will get out of uniform in large numbers, especially as they grasp the futility of their sacrifices. Yet Bush's on-the-cheap warmaking against a weak opponent demonstrates that a larger force structure is needed to sustain his policy of pre-emptive war. Kerry says he wants 40,000 more troops, just in case. Old generals doubt Congress would pay for it, given the deficits.

:: The Squire 4:17 PM :: email this post :: ::


I Hate Tuition Increases

I'm taking three fewer hours than last semester, yet I'm still paying more.

:: The Squire 11:09 AM :: email this post :: ::


Even Though We Knew That Anyway...

Via a commenter on ArchPundit's site, The Holy See has stated that voting for a politician who happens to be pro-choice is not sinful if one is voting for said politician for his or her stance on other issues. I.e., as lone as one isn't a single-issue pro-choice voter, he or she is in the clear.

The long winded explaination:

Cardinal Ratzinger's note underlined the principles involved for the Catholic voter.

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia," Cardinal Ratzinger wrote.

"When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons," he said.

In other words, if a Catholic thinks a candidate's positions on other issues outweigh the difference on abortion, a vote for that candidate would not be considered sinful.

:: The Squire 1:18 AM :: email this post :: ::


Another Edition of "So That's What They're Building There"

The DI reports that a former parking lot, and current pit, will soon be the university's new Institute of Genomic Biology. To get a look at the archetectural model, clickie here.

Of course, the important graf deals with our very own Morrow Plots.

Quirk said the building's designers had to take special care to protect the Morrow Plots.

"A lot of effort was made so the Morrow Plots would not be shaded," Quirk said.

It looks like the Other Guys will have some new fodder for their trademark song.

:: The Squire 1:05 AM :: email this post :: ::


The Headline Says It All

They're Probably Pining for the Fjords

This is an ex-parrot!

:: The Squire 12:46 AM :: email this post :: ::


Owasippe In The News, Kinda

The Onion has a story featuring Camp Crystal Lake. For those who aren't in the know, camp legend states that Owasippe Scout Reservation was the site of the outdoor shots for the movie Friday the 13th. The camps at that time were all centered on Crystal Lake, currently known as Owasippe Lake, so the movie's creators named their fictional camp "Camp Crystal Lake."

:: The Squire 12:28 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 ::

Kos, a veteran of Desert Storm, gives his assessment of the situation in Iraq: FUBAR

:: The Squire 8:45 PM :: email this post :: ::


Fun Google Search

"Worst President Ever." It's not even Carter.

:: The Squire 8:31 PM :: email this post :: ::


Who Pissed Off Bushie?

Saudi Arabia's being reprimanded (finally) for its lack of religious freedom. Since the house of Saud has been in bed with the Bushies for decades, one wonders what they've done recently to attract such negative attention from the administration.

:: The Squire 8:27 PM :: email this post :: ::


New Twist

Apparently the memos about Bush were likely forged, but reflect true information.

The secretary for the squadron commander purported to be the author of now-disputed memos questioning President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard said Tuesday that she never typed the documents and believed they were fakes.

But she also said they accurately reflected the thoughts of the commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, and other memorandums she typed for him about Bush. "The information in them is correct," the woman, Marian Carr Knox, 86, said in an interview at her home in Texas.

After hearing about this himself, Hesiod asks the pertinent questions:

In essence, then, someone with access to Bush's TANG file copied the memos at some point, and used a modern word processor to put them into a more readable format.

The big question then is what happened to the originals? And why weren't they produced by the White House or the Bush campaign? And if they no longer exist, why not? Who got rid of them?

Of course, no one in the media proper will ask these questions, but they still stand.

:: The Squire 8:18 PM :: email this post :: ::



Lancet is really cool.

Oh, for those who care, the 2004-2005 Illinois Division schedule is up, though the Division's website doesn't link to it yet.

:: The Squire 7:43 PM :: email this post :: ::


New Version of Firefox Out

Head on over to the Mozilla website for the release of Firefox 1.0PR, the current release of Mozilla's new stand-alone browser.

:: The Squire 7:34 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 ::
For The Theology Junkies

Matt has some posts today about prayer and people's attributions of good things to God.

:: The Squire 11:48 PM :: email this post :: ::


That Makes Two

Kos reports that another staunchly anti-gay Republican member of the House of Representatives may, in fact, be gay himself. Not only are the blogs joining in on outing David Dreier (R CA-26), but apparently Larry Flint is involved has evidence on the guy.

Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against gays. However, I love seeing a hypocrite get his just desserts as much as the next guy, and Republican hypocrites even more so.

:: The Squire 11:15 PM :: email this post :: ::


I'd Be In Bed Alseep Right Now

...but when I got back to my room, my roommate and his gf were sitting on his bed with their backs to the wall. They were displaying closed body language and were remarkably silent. Feeling slightly uncomfortable in the room myself, I asked if they needed some time alone, the roommate said yes, so I wandered on down to the computer lab. I might check up on them in about fifteen minutes or so. My roommate, a frosh, came to the U of I already having his relationship with his current gf. Now that they're both in college, I'm not surprised that some sort of reassessment is taking place.

UPDATE: As roommate wasn't terribly depressed when I got back to the room, I'm assuming it was more a State of the Relationship type talk, so don't get your britches in a bind worrying for him.

:: The Squire 12:42 AM :: email this post :: ::


Go Boom?

The large island of Hawaii's other volcano, Mauna Loa, is showing signs that it is emerging from dormancy. I would suggest research into the early eighties real estate market over there if anyone is thinking about buying property on the island.

:: The Squire 12:27 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Monday, September 13, 2004 ::
Some of the Best Science Happens When Things Don't Go As Expected

Case in point: two Pioneer probes are not where they should be.

Astronomers tracking the paths of Pioneer 10 and 11 say that something seems to be slowing the progress of the two craft as they progress towards the outskirts of the solar system.

The Pioneer probes were launched 30 years ago to investigate Jupiter and Saturn, and are the oldest spacecraft launched by the US. Since their missions were completed, the two craft have been left to fly on, eventually to leave the solar system. But now, researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have reported that the probes are not on quite the path that they should be following.

John Anderson and Slava Turyshev of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and Michael Martin Neito of the Los Alamos National Laboratory were tracking the Pioneers using NASA's Deep Space Network when they noticed that they were not where they were expected to be.

The drift from the expected trajectory is only small, but, according to Anderson, Turyshev and Neito, it is significant.

This part of the discovery, published in Physics World, may be clear enough, but the reasons for the drift have split the scientific community. Some scientists speculate that dark matter is responsible for slowing the flight of the probes, or suggest that models of gravity are wrong. Others (clearly lacking a sense of drama) suggest that the slow down could be due to leaks in the crafts' gas tanks providing a deceleration.

:: The Squire 3:47 PM :: email this post :: ::


I Wonder...

I know I'm being minorly insensitive when I propose this, but I wonder if the large amounts of disaster aid coming in to Florida from the federal government will make the moderate voters there realise that government isn't a bad thing and vote Kerry in November. Just a thought.

:: The Squire 3:39 PM :: email this post :: ::


Good News, Kinda

North Korea is claiming that the large mushroom cloud seen a few days back was the result of them blowing up a mountain as part of a hydroelectric project and not a nuke. What's scary is that it could very well have been a nuclear device.

:: The Squire 3:35 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Sunday, September 12, 2004 ::
Not Good

North Korea apparently now has the bomb. This, of course, all started when Dubya was single-mindedly focused on Iraq and didn't do squat when North Korea kicked out its own inspectors and disabled monitoring equipment on its nuclear supplies.

Oh, and those ballistic missiles mentioned in the story can definitely hit Japan and Alaska, and might be able to hit some, if not all, of the East Cost of the US.

This is not good.

:: The Squire 1:51 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Friday, September 10, 2004 ::
Tip 'O The Day

Don't pick at band-aid goop when you're not wearing glasses.

:: The Squire 11:16 PM :: email this post :: ::


Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) Is Gonna Be Pissed

He can no longer engage in one of his undoubtedly favorite hobbies in the state of California.

For those who didn't get that admittedly crude joke, I can explain it to you.

:: The Squire 11:09 PM :: email this post :: ::


ATTN: Dorm Residents

Vote for your favorite cereal or be ready to lose it for the year.

:: The Squire 4:33 PM :: email this post :: ::


For Those Of You Who Pay Attention To Such Things

There are some memos floating around (that the White House apparently withheld this past winter) that show evidence that Dubya disobeyed a direct order from his commanders while in the Texas Air National Guard and that certain people bent over backwards to keep him from reaping the consequences of his actions. The far right, of course, is screaming forgery, but after a day or so of research these claims have been firmly struck down. Now, hopefully, the media will catch on and start talking about the actual content of the memos and their implications on Dubya's military service.

Hmmm, who do I want as Commander-in-Chief, a dude who went into the Nat'l Guard to avoid the draft and then went AWOL, or a dude who went when he didn't have to and earned numerous citations? It's not a tough call. Oh, and this whole line of attack is relevant, seeing as all Dubya's running on is his "leadership." Leadership doesn't just appear when you're 50 - at that age it's something you've been doing (or not doing) for a long time.

:: The Squire 4:21 PM :: email this post :: ::


The Proles Get A Choice

Should I put this terror alert on the website, or is it just too garish?

:: The Squire 4:09 PM :: email this post :: ::


Jesus Is A Bleeding Heart Liberal

Flying about the blogosphere at the speed of light is this Mad Magazine parody (via atrios) of a Bush v. Jesus campaign advertisement.

This needs to be posted conspicously where religiously-minded people may see it.

:: The Squire 3:52 PM :: email this post :: ::


What The Hell Is That Supposed To Mean?

Quoth the DI, "The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution Thursday stating that any solution to the Chief Illiniwek controversy should preserve and celebrate American Indian and Illinois heritage." Now, does this mean they're gonna can the Chief? Are they gonna give him an anthropologically correct costume and cut out the facepaint and dancing? Are they gonna do jack shit and is this all just a means to keep the accrediting association happy? Who knows? I don't.

:: The Squire 12:30 AM :: email this post :: ::



This week's Neurotically Yours is alright, but the next episode is titled "Tech Support." This has promise.

:: The Squire 12:25 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Thursday, September 09, 2004 ::
Bush Refused A Direct Order

Story via Atrios. With the Swift Boat Liars getting so much press on baseless lies about Kerry's record in Vietnam, I should hope the media will give this story as much coverage. Will it? No, but they should.

:: The Squire 4:56 PM :: email this post :: ::



Today is new Foamy day, but the Ill Will Press website is down.

:: The Squire 3:57 PM :: email this post :: ::


Talk About Acting In Self Defence

Via Dave Barry comes a story about a pup who shot a guy who was trying to put said puppy down with a revolver.

:: The Squire 3:46 PM :: email this post :: ::


All Quiet On The Fundie Front

I haven't heard from LeonPeon since I moved into the dorm. Fundamentalist Christians aren't the type to give up so easily. I wonder what's been keeping her.

Clarification: Fundamentalists tend not to admit that they're wrong until every last tenuous arguement has been stripped of them. Until that point, they'll still throw bible verses at you.

:: The Squire 1:46 AM :: email this post :: ::


Public Service Announcement

I just recieved this off the UIUC College Democrats email list:

Tomorrow evening, September 9th, there will be a MoveOn.org sponsored candlelight vigil to honor the sacrifice made by the 1,000 brave American men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq. The solemn and dignified vigil will start at 8:00 PM in front of the Foellinger Auditorium and will least for around 45 minutes. Vigils like this will take place simultaneously all across the country. There is also a vigil at 7:00pm in front of the Union on the quad to honor the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Russia. Don't confuse the two, but feel free to attend both.

I, unfortunately, will be busy from 6pm until about 10pm, but I highly encourage anyone who can to go. Both vigils will likely be moving experiences.

:: The Squire 1:07 AM :: email this post :: ::


The Violence Starts

Hesiod links to a story about a Bush supporter getting violent in a Labor Day parade in Colorado.

:: The Squire 1:04 AM :: email this post :: ::


I Liked It When

...Blogger would give a heads-up on server maintainence and would apologize for server problems.

:: The Squire 12:34 AM :: email this post :: ::


So That's What The Construction Over There Is For

The university is building a new hall which will house a family studies research lab. Of course, this "family" lab will be right outside the visitor center, where all the pre-empty nesting parents will see it.

:: The Squire 12:29 AM :: email this post :: ::


ARG, Another Ignorant Person

Not only is he ignorant, he can't make a rebuttal to save his life.

:: The Squire 12:23 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 ::
Finally, It Works!!!

Starting at about 8pm last night I couldn't publish, so the posts kinda piled up. I was just now able to get the blog to publish.

:: The Squire 4:06 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 ::
I'm Glad He's Not My Elected Official

A county coroner in Indiana shoots himself while demonstrating gun safety.

:: The Squire 11:53 PM :: email this post :: ::


Don't Forget, Me Hearties!

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is September 19th, ya landlubbers.

:: The Squire 10:58 PM :: email this post :: ::


One Thousand

One thousand US servicemen and women have died in Iraq since the invasion over a year ago.

More than three-quarters of those killed, 756 of them, have died in combat, and 647 of those have been killed since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1, 2003.

According to a CNN tally, 1,129 coalition troops from 15 nations have died in Iraq.

How many more?

:: The Squire 10:47 PM :: email this post :: ::


Aren't You Impressed?

I am no longer an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (EME), I am now an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC). My actual function within the church has not changed, though.

:: The Squire 8:03 PM :: email this post :: ::


Michael Moore Has Big Plans

He's decided not to submit Farenheit 9/11 for Best Documentary at the Oscars - and having seen the film, I agree. However, he is putting it up for consideration for Best Picture. We'll see how that turns out.

Oh, he also says that getting Bush out of the White House would be better than an Oscar. Fancy that.

:: The Squire 6:19 PM :: email this post :: ::


Take Heart, Good Democrats

While Bush did get a bounce after the convention, it appears it was centered in the so-called "Red States" that Kerry's going to lose anyway - Zogby reports (though a long chain of links that includes Kos) that Kerry's winning the Electoral College, 307-231.

:: The Squire 5:48 PM :: email this post :: ::


Brad DeLong Has A Good Point

'And I am still amazed that none of these reporters has asked George W. Bush or his aides the following question: "What has gone wrong with the economy to leave us with an employment level 1.7 million below what you projected last February that it would be by now?" '

:: The Squire 1:23 AM :: email this post :: ::


Money Well Spent

Remember the Voyager probes we sent out during the seventies? Remember the Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun last fall? Via Uggabugga, we learn that the CME already hit Voyager 2 and scientists are awaiting its catching up with Voyager 1. Over thirty years after they were launched, those two little spacecraft are still providing valuable scientific data.

:: The Squire 1:05 AM :: email this post :: ::


Chalk Another Up

...to the list of terms conservatives use to mislabel the Left. Today's is "neo-McCarthyist." McCarthyism refers to the witch-hunter of the 1950s who accused loads of people of being Communist on flimsy grounds at best. Neo-McCarthyism usually refers to those on the right who go accusing liberals for "supporting the terrorists" just 'cos they oppose the lock-step conservative point of view. Today's use is a misnomer, but since I've recently been published, I'm not going to write a letter to the DI about it. Why don't you? All you need do is write a letter of no more than 300 words, send it to opinions@dailyillini.com, and include your name, campus address, and phone number. Take this dipshit to task for a)not explaining how many of those were round-ups of dubious legality under New York state law, involving illegal lengths of detention without being charged and b)throwing scary names around without understanding their meaning.

:: The Squire 12:37 AM :: email this post :: ::


He's Still With Us

Clinton's "recovering normally" from quadruple bypass surgery.

:: The Squire 12:30 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Monday, September 06, 2004 ::
Not Good

I didn't move, so my voter registration should, but the Champaign County Clerk's office's website isn't acknowledging it. I guess there's going to be an angry phone call in the morning...

:: The Squire 10:23 PM :: email this post :: ::


Champaign County Board Seat

One of the seats for County Board District 8 (which covers most, if not all, of the dorms), is up for election. The inbumbant, Jenny Putman, was elected in 2000 as part of a historic Democratic majority that, for once, listened to students. While the county board is admittedly boring, they do make appointments to tons of boards to make sure the water runs, the toilet flushes, and that your other utilities aren't ripping you off. She's up against a Republican and a Green. As much as I love the idea of multiple parties, in a race so important to student interests, I can only urge you NOT to vote Green in this race and to vote Democratic instead. All too often, a vote for a Green candidate is a vote for the Republicans, as the good people of Florida discovered in 2000. District 7, which comprises the far Western edge of campus and those parts off a few blocks past the tracks, has two Democratic incumbents up for re-election, with a similar situation. Keep the Dems in power in Champaign County - Vote Democratic.

:: The Squire 10:11 PM :: email this post :: ::


From The People Who Gave You The Weekend...

...Comes the Urbana Labor Day parade! I marched with Julia Reitz's contingent and got to hang out with some College Dems, which was cool. Julia's running for State's Attorney in the November 2nd election. For those who don't know, the State's Attorney's office is rather important - when you're a victim the State's Attorney can decide to press charges even if the victim doesn't want to, and if you're accused of a crime the State's Attorney also determines at what charges will be pressed against you. The incumbent, John Piland, has a history of overcharging (with felonies instead of misdemenors) minorities, young people (read students), and anyone else he thinks he can get away with. And, if you get charged with a felony, your future career is toast. I don't care if you're a Republican or Democrat (that's a lie, but bear with me), all you need do is think as a student and realize that your best interests are to vote Julia Reitz for State's Attorney in Champaign County.

Yeah, I realize I just endorsed a candidate. Buzz off.

NOTE: Yeah, I changed this post after it was published - the original version didn't make much sense at the beginning.

:: The Squire 9:50 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Sunday, September 05, 2004 ::
The Mysteries Of Life

El Reg delves into the pressing matter of bovine lesbianism, and gets a buttload of reader responses for it.

:: The Squire 7:53 PM :: email this post :: ::


Britian's Favorite TV Scientist Is...

No, not The Doctor (he came in third), but Bunsen and Beaker from the Muppets. Doesn't that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling on the inside?

:: The Squire 7:38 PM :: email this post :: ::


:: Friday, September 03, 2004 ::
Like A Bad B-Movie

Women, hide your husbands and sons, it's
Attack Of The Sorority Girls!

The gf has an extreme dislike of sorority girls, and since they're out in force recruiting this weekend she's being extra-vicious. I can only hope that she says such things around the impressionable young freshman girls which are their main prey this time of year.

She also wants to declare sorority recruiting season to be Open Season on sorority girls (with hunting licenses passed out by the DNR, of course). I'm still hard pressed to come up with a reason for why this would be a bad idea (tongue firmly in cheek, of course).

:: The Squire 10:14 PM :: email this post :: ::


Someone Remind Me To Get This CD While I'm In A Record Store

Future Soundtrack for America, organized by They Might Be Giants' own John Flansburgh, is a compilation CD featuring a ton of bands and sounds like it's really cool.

:: The Squire 4:50 PM :: email this post :: ::


If Too Many More People Join My Wavelength, We're Going To Make Our Own LASER

Sorry for the science joke. Anyhow, my response to the conservative hack was printed in today's DI with slight editing. Joining me were, among others, two further responses to Danielle Sharp's letter, "Proud to disagree" and "Blind support is wrong," the latter of which is short but good while the former puts my original response to shame. Then again, I only wrote a letter and "Proud" is a forum (and therefore longer) so it's all good.

:: The Squire 1:04 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Thursday, September 02, 2004 ::
Great Quote

"I'm sure Barack Obama will cause a bunch of democrats to vote this November."


"And I'm sure that George Bush will cause a bunch of democrats to come out and vote this November."

(laughter and louder applause)

-Mike Frerichs, Champaign County Auditor, UIUC College Dems meeting

Mike's up for re-electon, and even though he's an accountant, he seems like a cool guy. Remember, this November, to vote in EVERY election, even the county and city ones - they apply just as much as the national and state ones.

:: The Squire 10:28 PM :: email this post :: ::


Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Seti@Home did NOT recieve evidence of extraterrestrial life. Please resume your normal, boring lives.

:: The Squire 4:13 PM :: email this post :: ::


Not Terribly Surprised

The university's new software package, UI Integrate, nearly broke.

:: The Squire 3:39 PM :: email this post :: ::


Because I Know You All Wanted It

I've completed my response. Hopefully they'll print this one. Anyhow, here it is kiddies:

I find it interesting, though not surprising, that in Thursday’s DI Matt Strom expressed doubt that his letter would be published. He obviously holds, in addition to his other conservative beliefs, the irrational idea that the media in this country, and our DI in particular, is liberal. After witnessing that same media, including the DI, stand idly by as our country invaded a sovereign nation without provocation it is difficult for me to come close to viewing the media as liberal. However, the DI does reflect the student body, and at an institution such as our great university students tend to be liberal. I personally think this is a byproduct of empiricism and the constant state of flux that all academia inhabits, but I am no where near being the philosopher I’d have to be to back up that claim. In any case, it appears that Matt is not terribly familiar with Occam’s Razor. If he was, the thought may have occurred to him that the DI opinions department was quite possibly inundated with letters from people astounded that someone as advanced in her schooling as Michelle is could be that ignorant of the concepts of freedom, patriotism, and reality. I can easily imagine the opinions staff picking a select few from the likely dozens of responses to her letter – I know, my own response to her wasn’t run in the paper.

Again, we have been shown someone who doesn’t understand the First Amendment. It protects from government intervention all forms of the expression of thought. With the local branch office of Fox News, the Orange and Blue Observer, as an example, a newspaper is not required by the First Amendment to be balanced: that is instead a matter of journalistic ethics. Claiming otherwise only exhibits one’s ignorance.

The Squire
Junior in LAS

UPDATE: The DI called - they're going to try to run it tomorrow.

:: The Squire 2:09 AM :: email this post :: ::


Another On My Wavelength

Today's letter, though, is mightily satirical, not that that's a bad thing, but I doubt those whom it was directed against are intelligent enough to be offended.

It does appear, though, that yesterday's overwhelming response has motivated the unthinking right on campus to call "bias."

This, too, merits a response, but I'm not sure if I can write it tonight; If I don't write it tonight, though, it probably won't be written in time to make it into Friday's DI.

:: The Squire 1:36 AM :: email this post :: ::


:: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 ::
I Really Hate It

...when I get booted off of AIM for no reason. The rest of my internet connection works, just not AIM.

:: The Squire 11:43 PM :: email this post :: ::


College Is Better Than High Skool, But the MCB People Still Suck

When I went to my MCB 405 class lecture today, the following was being written on the blackboard by our lone TA:

1. No Class, (Professor) is sick

2. Conflict Friday, no class

3. These are the first two classes (Professor) has cancelled in 11 years. Don't expect any more.

4. Discussion sections anticipated to begin Sept. 13

Regular readers may know that discussion sections for this week were already canceled due to an MCB TA shortage. Talking to our lone TA, we found out that the supposed cause for the shortage was due to the mass numbers taking MCB 251, the sophomore-level lab course. I'm not sure how this was allowed to be a problem, since a)it's a sophomore class, meaning that enrollment was nearly finalized last April; b)they therefore had a count on sections months in advance; c) IB 150 is organized so poorly that most bio students choose the MCB option, so high enrollment is to be expected, and d) all the other advanced courses were also determined back in spring, so they knew about everything back then. I realize that this is the first year that MCB is offering a full range of advanced courses (so that the seniors don't kill them) but not having TAs three weeks into a semester not only stifles the class but also helps to cause students to lose interest. I didn't think it possible, but my opinion of the School of MCB has hit a new low.

:: The Squire 10:52 PM :: email this post :: ::


Yet Another Installment of "They Still Expect This Wacko To Win?"

Archpundit's been following (and making fun of) the Keyes senate candidacy since it was announced. Go wander over there and be as amazed as I am that the Illinois GOP fielded Keyes to lose against Obama.

:: The Squire 10:43 PM :: email this post :: ::


Wow, Real Reporting

CBS News has a short blurb comparing Shrub's campaign promises in 2000 to his standing today. It's quite damning - go read it.

:: The Squire 6:39 PM :: email this post :: ::


Decently Cool

Running through the "Next Blog" links via the bar at the top of the blog, I ran across a blog run by "Private Dick" who's just completed running a mystery serial and will hopefully start another one. Since it's a pretty cool concept (and the writing's not half bad) I thought I'd share it.

:: The Squire 6:25 PM :: email this post :: ::


Don't Get Me Started About Ven-Tee....

Foamy takes on the evil that is Starschmucks coffeehouse.

"You and your company think your customers are so stupid that you have to give them a set of directions on how to order a cup of coffee?!?...

"Who the F--- are you to tell me how to order a cup of coffee? I'm the customer, you're the servant!"

:: The Squire 5:11 PM :: email this post :: ::


New Doohicky

Blogger's added an "Email This Post" button to the options on Blogger. I've decided to add it, which is why there's the unsightly little envelope with an arrow on it below all the posts now. I'm going to see if I can change it to text (to make it match the rest of the site) but that may take a while. Either way, if you really love any of my posts you can send that post to all your closest friends.

:: The Squire 4:44 PM :: email this post :: ::



Hesiod returns to the keyboard over at Counterspin Central after a long summer hiatus. Apparently he's made the questionable decision of actually watching the Republican National Convention and it's driving him up the wall. He says that his return is only temporary, but we'll see about that. His comeback post is a must read, and you should be checking his blog daily.

Hesiod's sure having fun with his return, though.

SING IT WITH ME NOW: "I am stuck on Band-aid, 'cause band-aid's stuck on GOP."

:: The Squire 3:51 PM :: email this post :: ::


More Nerdy Than I

Some nerds in Romania have founded a Jedi Training Academy. No Joke.

:: The Squire 12:34 AM :: email this post :: ::


Overheard On The Bus

"I don't drink TANG, I eat it... I used to open up those Kool-Aide pouches, add some sugar, mix it up, and eat it. It's kinda like TANG, except with TANG they mix it up for you."

:: The Squire 12:19 AM :: email this post :: ::


Glad To See More People Thinking On My Wavelength

I was out of the dorm room for the vast majority of the day today, but my roommate reports that no-one called the room while I was out, meaning that either he missed the DI calling about the letter to the editor or that they're just not going to run it. I have no problem with this, since the really ignorant letter to the editor from yesterday that I responded to manage to stir up quite a bit of people. All the following letters to the editor are worth reading.

Blind Nationalism is Wrong

Dissent Is Our Duty

Who Needs Enemies?
Editorial Comment: The flag is not intended to be used as a security blanket.

Stop the Mudslinging

I personally wonder if they're just going to sort through the responses to her letter for a couple days - it was an astoundingly ignorant letter, so I wouldn't be surprised if today's selection wasn't just scratching the surface.

:: The Squire 12:03 AM :: email this post :: ::


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