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A true anti-idiotarian, blogging about politics, Israel, neuroscience, and anything else that crosses my mind.


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Friday, October 31, 2003
 
Controversy on Campus--Part 16


For anyone whose interested, the Justice has posted all the letters written in response to Passner's October 21st column on its website.

The letters can be found here, and its a PDF (requires Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader) file of 3 pages worth of letters, which run the whole gamut of emotions, opinions and thoughts. (Passner is even criticized for poor analysis of the Cubs). And there were 23 letters (if anyone was guessing)...

I'll blog more tomorrow...

 
Controversy on Campus--Part 15


Note, I haven't seen a paper copy of the Justice today.

That aside, building on my last post on this topic, I've since read the BBSO statement in its entirety, and wow...I'm both shocked and appaled.

Here's what bothered me the most:

The Brandeis administrators finally woke up. They now understand that it is not students' responsibility, but rather the administrators' responsibility to protect the minority community. They also know that if they fail to protect us, we will turn this university upside down. The greater Brandeis community woke up.

Whether they agree or disagree with our cause, they cannot deny that we have a voice - a very powerful and undeniable voice. But most importantly, we woke up. We realized that it's not that actions speak louder than words, but actions are the only things that speak. We pushed ourselves to limits beyond what we ever thought possible and refused to stop until our demands were met. We are truly UNBREAKABLE.


Statements like this aren't going to help at all, it's only adding fuel to the fire. This is almost like the Ford Hall incident all over again.

Frankly, the administration does protect the (racial) minority community here on campus. I should know. There are special minority programs, events, oppertunities, email lists...they make an extra effort. Threatening the administration by saying that you'll "turn the university upside down" is absurd and inciteful.

Messages and attitudes like this will only continue to fan the flames of the fire which has erupted on campus. It's acts like this that polarize the campus and raise tentions--which benefit no one at all.

And you people should remember, you don't speak for all of us minorities on campus...

 
Are Jews Shifting towards the right


In this week's edition of the Cleveland Jewish News, I came across the following two stories.

GOP reaches out to Orthodox [Jews].

Not much of a suprise there, as the Orhodox have been closer to the GOP on social issues, and now with the increased support for Israel demonstrated by the GOP, they're getting more support.

and even more interesting:

Bush raising Jewish funds from both parties

This will be interesting to watch, to say the least





 
Controversy on Campus--Part 14


The long awaited issue of the Justice is now online. I have yet to see a hard copy of the paper, so I'm going to have to work with what I've seen so far.

Let's start at the top of things (note: all links don't require a "login" to the paper)

First, here's the Justice's coverage of the whole ordeal. It also exposes that Passner has a history of not-so good comments in his columns (which I admit, I rarely read). He gets taken to task by students and professors alike.

And the Justice story on the protest that erupted [first reported here!]

Second the Justice's official response: No room for bigotry in our newspaper

Third, here's the BBSO's letter/statement: BBSO submits 'Unbreakable'

Fourth, (now former) Editor in Chief Steven Heyman's resignation letter: 'I hope we all learned something'

Fifth, Yana Litovsky's, (now former features editor) letter of resignation (and it's a sharp one): Integrity of the Justice perverted [it's a must read!]

That's all that is featured in the online version...I'm curious to see what's in the dead tree (paper) version.

Just from skimming the pieces, and I emphasize skimming, Litovsky is right on the mark in her piece.
The Justice really got screwed over by the administration.

After reading the BBSO piece, I understand their anger and frustration. Passner's article (and prior articles) contained a lot of idiocy. But I don't like how the piece is written. It sounds like more of a revolutionary statement towards the end--which is what bothers me the most--it's radicalism.

These parts of the piece begin to evoke the memories of the Ford Hall Occupation, which is well known amongst Brandeis students.

Furthermore, I think the following demand is absurd:

We are requesting that a mandatory University requirement be implemented that will force every Brandeis student to take a class about race relations and cultural sensitivity


That's absurd! In our daily lives we learn and experience race relations and cultural sensitivity. We constantly have cultural events occuring on campus, and people are aware. A class like this would probably be some sort of Political corretness lecture--which is unecessary and uncalled for.

We are required as part of our University Requirement to take a course designated as "Non-western studies" which I personally think is a good idea, and provides insights into another culture.

More later as the story evolves...

Thursday, October 30, 2003
 
Other things going on in the US and elsewhere...


The US Economy Grows at Fastest Pace Since 1984! 7.2% in the 3rd Quarter!

Now lets see...who was in office in 1984...hmmm...could it be this man? Here's more on the economic growth.

Now I'm no economist, but when I told this to my friend who'se an economics major, his response was "holy shit...you're kidding me"...so I guess this is a very good thing. I wish there was either a publication or news show that would put these economic things into simple-person terminology (so people like me can fully appreciate 'em).

In other political news, the Globe decided to run a story on former Mass Gov and 1988 Dem Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, as he's apparently about to turn 70. I barely remember the man (I was in first grade when he lost to Bush Sr.--and I remember that we always laughed when we heard his name...because it was so hard to pronounce).

Staying within the Globe--there'a piece of news to me. I thought that the "neo-cons" only had a foreign policy agenda; but according to this letter, they have one on education too.

And in the NY Times, its a battle of the Pundits--as Maureen Down vs Thomas Friedman (Brandeis '75). VodkaPundit gives the match to Friedman in the 2nd round via KO.

The AngryClam is livid over Justice O'Connor's latest remarks.

Finally, Allah, of Allah's in the house has moved (must be part of the BlogSpot Jihad)

I think I'm gonna head out and grab a bite to eat now...

 
Controversy on Campus--Part 13


For anyone who is interested, Passner's article is again available on the Justice's website.
As the Justice notes:

The Justice Editorial Board is acutely aware of the bigoted and inflammatory nature of this sports column, which ran in our Oct. 21 issue. The column should never have been printed and there is no room for these reprehensible sentiments in our pages. But due to the substantial controversy that this issue has incited in our community, the Board feels it necessary to keep it available for inspection by members of the University community.


Here's the link to the article: Dusty Baker Exposed [login not required]

 
Controvery on Campus--Part 12


Well, the story continues to grow. The Boston Globe has picked it up, and made it into a full article. On page W1 (Globe West Section--Page 1), bottom left-hand corner: Brandeis newspaper delays publication

The Globe article actually brings into play Baker's controversial comments earlier in the season (which Passner never refered to); and it ran Passner's full quote.
Now this article gives even more information about the struggles the Justice faces: saying that the Senior Editor (the student who just finished his term as Editor in Chief a few weeks ago), the Features Editor and an Asssociate editor all resigned. The Globe article corroborates the reports of the Campus Press Notes, who has also reported on this story, and noted that two of the papers best layout people have since resigned (an aside, finding people who want to do layout is also difficult). [his info is from an unnamed Justice newsroom source].

Shifting back to the Globe article, the University spokesman, Dennis Nealon. is quoted as saying:

The staff at the Justice "decided to take their time and look at this, to give students enough time to have input, and not rush an issue out while things are evolving"


Now, from what I understand/saw happening, and based on what's being reported at Campus Press Notes--the Justice decided monday night to go forward with publication. The Justice did extend the letter deadline 48-hrs from until 5PM Friday to 5PM on Sunday. This sounds like a classic glossing over by the administration--as were Nealon's statement entirely true, I doubt there would've been the large protest Monday night/tuesday AM that occured outside of the Justice's office.

Second, Nealon is also reported to have said:


The Justice is an independent newspaper published weekly by the students at Brandeis, and is not under the authority of the school administration


Now, that is true (at least in theory). As I've previously mentioned, the Justice is automatically guarenteed a certain percentage of Student activity fees so that it can be published. That way, it need not go through the "Funding/Allocations" Board (I forget what it's being called now) in order to get money. That way, it's independent of both the Student Senate and the University Administration.

However, according to both Campus Press Notes and the Globe report, former Editor in Chief Steven Heyman said:

"The administration has made it clear they will not have me as editor-in-chief," Heyman said in a telephone interview Monday night. "I will be stepping down after this issue."


This is in addition to the comment by now former Sports Editor Rob Siegel who said:

said he decided to resign from the paper's editorial board after meeting with [University President] Reinharz on Friday.

[Note: Campus Press Notes also reports that Heyman was also called in for that same meeting and was urged to do the same].

Now, I thought that the Justice was independent of the administration? So why did the administration place so much pressure on these two editors to resign? I can understand going after the section edtior, cause it seems like he dropped the ball, but the editor-in-chief? I understand why the administrators decided to get involved (they went into CYA mode) but what about the paper's autonomy?
That's what bothers me the most I think.
[Note: I'm also in somewhat of a disgruntled mood with the higher-ups of the administration over an unrelated issue right now; so that may explain some of my anger]

Former Arts Section Editor, Steve Silver has some comments on this over at his blog.

Let me reiterate myself, yet again. What Passner wrote was unacceptable--and I'm not asking for african-americans not to be offended. Passner wrote a racist remark in a very public periodical and (I think) should've known better.

I'm a minority myself (I'm a hispanic) and I'm Jewish. I've experienced anti-semitism before--and I know how nasty these things are.

At the same time, I think that a lot of the Justice's staff (among others) is/are getting smeared incorrectly by the "racism brush" (as Steve termed it)--and that's not right either. Peoplle need to be careful with that.

And to elaborate on something Steve wrote:

What I do have a problem with is with the rise of a certain form of doctrinaire, political correctness-based identity politics (practically invented by Brandeis' own Herbert Marcuse, and today mostly advanced by white professors and some white students) that, coupled with ever-present '60s nostalgia, has galvanized the Brandeis left before, during, and since my time there. Indeed, if the student body has it hard-wired into their heads from the start that every institution under the sun is intrinsically racist, is it any wonder that the raving of a singular nut like Passner gets mistaken for a widespread racist conspiracy?


I very much agree with Steve's assertion here. I don't know anything about Marcuse, but that aside...The Brandeis left, who are very vocal and have significant faculty backing are as Steve describes them. I'm a republican (*gasp*) which makes me a target to both the students and faculty on the Left here. (I've discussed this previously in my blog--but don't need to revisit it now). If they also realized that I was also a hispanic, I'd be even more of a target! With their complaints that everything is racsit, that globalization is evil, claims of American imperialism, and the like, it isn't too suprising that they're now alleging that Passner's idiotic piece is part of a widespread conspiracy. I think that's the sick part of it--this is an isolated incident.

Update: A reader has also informed me that Channel 56 (WB) here in Boston ran a segment on its newscast Wed. night about this story. [I do not know if there is an online video clip]

 
Controversy on Campus--Part 11


No major "news" per say to report, but just some observations.

This issue has driven a big wedge into the student body. It has apparently cost people friendships--and its caused a lot of unecessary animocity.

The article itself [more specifically the quote] was inexcusible. There's no disagreement about that. The resignation of the author and the overseeing editor were also inline. However, everything that has happened since then has gone a biit overboard.

This whole issue has led to friendships being ruined, unnecessary tensions between people and groups (among other things). This post from another current Brandeis student expresses the feelings of many.

I personally don't know if the Editor in Chief should've been forced to step down. I don't know if its his job to read over all the articles, or if that responsibility of the copy editors and/or the section editors. If its the latter, he should've been able to retain his position. I don't think the administration should've intervened on the side of the protesters to force him to step down. That's a real shame. But that's just my opinion.

Even though we knock it a lot, the Justice is for better or worse a decent school paper. To their credit, we don't have very much news here to report on at Brandeis, but for the most part they do a good job. Last fall a student tried to launch a private "rival" paper, "The Indi", which for lack of a better adjective, was a joke. It (thankfully) folded after only a few issues.

It'll be interesting to see what Friday's issue [of the Justice] looks like. How many pages will this story take up? And how many letters will be sent in?

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
 
Controversy on Campus--Notes


I should start by welcoming all those people arriving here from Steve Silver's Blog and Campus Press Notes (among other locations).

For anyone whose curious, I am currently a senior at Brandeis. I'm a hispanic student, and I'm Jewish too. (if that matters to anyone--and yes, there are hispanic Jews).

If you'd like to see my, posts on the now infamous article and the subsequent events, please scroll down and start from "Controversy on Campus--Part I".

I've gotta go get some homework done now; I've gotta an outline due tomorrow for a 50-minute Hebrew lecture I'm giving on monday. Blogging will resume later

 
Politics are Crazy


Politics can be very strange and wacky:

A Democrat supporting President Bush for re-election

Sharpton Accuses Dean Of Having An Anti-Black Agenda...

Dean says he's a "metrosexual"... (can someone clue me in on what a Metrosexual is?). Then he said he was "a square".

This all leaves me very confused...

 
Controversy on Campus--Part 10(!)


Wow! This story keeps growing and growing. Aside from the debate taking place on one email list about how big of a problem racism is, blah, blah...nothing important.

So, apparently the BBSO is [finally] in the process of composing their response to the article.

However, there's even more news! From Steve Silver '00, it appears that Romenesko has picked up this story [I don't know much about Romenesko--my appologies].

The story continues, as according to a new article in the Waltham News Tribune, five editors and writers have resigned from the paper's staff (I assume this includes the author, the sports editor and the editor-in-chief). The article also provides new information [which hasn't yet been heard on campus] about how the quote made it in there:


[former] Editor-in-chief S.H. said the quote had been circled in red ink by a copy editor, but due to what S.H. surmised was "lack of experience," the editor did not bring it to anyone else's attention.

"The story was submitted late last Monday night," said Heyman. "Basically, the sports editor did not read his copy."


I don't know if this means that the article was submitted past-deadline?

And apparently University administrators have gotten involved in this issue too.

According to Campus Press Notes blog, (welcome to all visitors from there) a call to the Justice office yields a message that says "The administration won't let us print unless the editor-in-chief resigns."

I think Steve is right when he says: "Proving once again that some of the most gutless, spineless, morally bankrupt people in America are senior university administrators."

Speaking of administrators---would any of them care to explain why our tuition has continued to go up, despite the fact that they've drastically cut course offerings? Where's the money going??? [that's another issue though]

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
 
Controversy on Campus--Part IX


Okay, just got another email, which sounds like a "recap" of a lot of things--from the perspective of the "Intercultural Center" (ICC):
[names have been removed and irrelevant text has been removed]

Forgive me for this long email, but I wanted to make sure that everyone in the ICC community was informed of what has happened over the past couple of days. Since my email on Saturday, so much has occurred and I want to be sure that everyone knows the facts.

On Saturday, Black student leaders organized concerned students in the atrium of the Shapiro Campus Center and attended a Justice Alumni Event. There, the alumna present explained what it was like to work for a professional news agency. At the end of her presentation, she took questions and answers from the audience. Several people from within the ICC community expressed their distress over the Justice "incident," and asked the alumna for feedback on specific questions related to a couple of [the author's] offensive sports articles. From my understanding, answers she provided students with STRONGLY supported BBSO's demand for the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief of the Justice and for the Justice to take appropriate, responsible action.

On Sunday, Black student leaders kept in close contact with the Justice Editorial Board. On Sunday evening, the ICC Student Programming Board, Leaders, and allies met to share thoughts & concerns about the attempt to resolve this situation, and to begin developing a statement from the ICC community to senior level administrators.

During this meeting, after leaving to meet with Justice Staff, BBSO leaders returned and announced joyfully that an agreement had been met. That the Editor-in-Chief was going to resign, but still have the opportunity to work on the Justice under no specific title for one year (meaning that the individual would have the opportunity after this year to regain the position). In addition, BBSO leaders announced that the Justice would be printed for Friday (instead of Tuesday) allowing BBSO leaders to develop a statement to
be printed on the front page. No sooner than 15-20 minutes later, however, did BBSO leaders leave and return again with a very different announcement. This time it was that the Justice Editorial Board decided that they could not deliver what was agreed earlier (in this paragraph).

As you can imagine, emotions began running very high, and people certainly questioned how an agreement could have been made and then broken. Students left the meeting at the ICC to express their concerns at the Student Union Senate Meeting. From what I was told, a number of points of view were expressed regarding the Justice "incident," from a variety of people. Needless to say, this meeting lasted nearly the entire night. And in the end, resulted in the Senate passing a resolution condemning the racist remarks published in the Justice on October 21. Still, come Monday morning, TWO of the remaining demands of Black student leaders had not been met (1. The resignation of the Editor-in-Chief, 2. A Friday edition of the Justice to allow BBSO leaders time to prepare a front page statement to the community at large).

By late Monday afternoon, Black student leaders met with administrators, and were assured that their remaining demands would be met by later that evening. However, as the night continued, it became evident through conversations between Black student leaders and Justice staff that in fact only ONE of the two demands remaining would be honored. As is understandable, Black student leaders felt betrayed for a SECOND time, but now by more than simply their fellow students. The Justice staff decided that they would going ahead and print on Monday night.

What happened next is what few were aware of and unexpected to many. After midnight, Black students leaders and other concerned community members began a PEACEFUL protest outside of the Justice office. The purpose? These concerned students wanted to send a clear message to the school that they had reached their limit. They wanted the issue to be addressed in a way that was appropriate and respectful, to cease printing of the Justice that night, and for earlier assurances to be upheld.

By 3:30 a.m., several administrators received word of the protest, and rushed to campus to help remedy the situation. [senior administrator] met with Justice Staff members to help facilitate a solution to this (at different times over the next two hours), while students protesting waited patiently for a response. By approximately 5:30 a.m., Justice staff members finally agreed to the remaining demands. Afterwards, [same senior administrator] addressed the concerned student protesters in the multi-purpose room, and restated her committment to diversity related issues. She also reminded us that there is a healing process that must begin soon.

With regard to this, we must keep in mind that there are many different opinions about all that has happened over the past week. While I understand there are different thoughts on how the issue could have been resolved, I hope we all remember that a racist remark was made in our school's newspaper, which needed to be addressed immediately. And that those who in some way allowed the racist remark to be printed needed to take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).

As I moved around campus today, I heard many different things about what transpired late last night/early this morning. Opinions range from what a wonderful job concerned students did within their rights, to people claiming that last night was a "witchhunt". Certainly, I realize that most on this campus are unaware of what specific things led up to last night's protest. I hope that people will reserve judgment until they know all of the facts.

As you all can begin to imagine, there are many things we must think about as a community while we move forward. Though many in the ICC should feel proud (and I AM PROUD) of the fact that members of our family UNITED to address a racist incident, we must keep in mind that there are larger issues that several of you have expressed concern about. We must also remember how important it is for us to build and further develop relationships with other groups on campus, including (at some point) the Justice. This may be uncomfortable at times, but I anticipate in the end will be worthwhile and beneficial.



Remember, this is from an ICC point of view--and I don't think people in the Justice feel the same way. One of the things I heard a lot today was "why the delay in the paper? Why couldn't they have come up with something by monday [since last tuesday?]"?

 
Controversy on Campus--Part IX


Okay, just got another email, which sounds like a "recap" of a lot of things--from the perspective of the "Intercultural Center" (ICC):
[names have been removed and irrelevant text has been removed]

Forgive me for this long email, but I wanted to make sure that everyone in the ICC community was informed of what has happened over the past couple of days. Since my email on Saturday, so much has occurred and I want to be sure that everyone knows the facts.

On Saturday, Black student leaders organized concerned students in the atrium of the Shapiro Campus Center and attended a Justice Alumni Event. There, the alumna present explained what it was like to work for a professional news agency. At the end of her presentation, she took questions and answers from
the audience. Several people from within the ICC community expressed their distress over the Justice "incident," and asked the alumna for feedback on specific questions related to a couple of [the author's] offensive sports articles. From my understanding, answers she provided students with STRONGLY supported BBSO's demand for the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief of the Justice and for the Justice to take appropriate, responsible action.

On Sunday, Black student leaders kept in close contact with the Justice Editorial Board. On Sunday evening, the ICC Student Programming Board, Leaders, and allies met to share thoughts & concerns about the attempt to resolve this situation, and to begin developing a statement from the ICC community to senior level administrators.

During this meeting, after leaving to meet with Justice Staff, BBSO leaders returned and announced joyfully that an agreement had been met. That the Editor-in-Chief was going to resign, but still have the opportunity to work on the Justice under no specific title for one year (meaning that the individual would have the opportunity after this year to regain the position). In addition, BBSO leaders announced that the Justice would be printed for Friday (instead of Tuesday) allowing BBSO leaders to develop a statement to
be printed on the front page. No sooner than 15-20 minutes later, however, did BBSO leaders leave and return again with a very different announcement. This time it was that the Justice Editorial Board decided that they could not deliver what was agreed earlier (in this paragraph).

As you can imagine, emotions began running very high, and people certainly questioned how an agreement could have been made and then broken. Students left the meeting at the ICC to express their concerns at the Student Union Senate Meeting. From what I was told, a number of points of view were expressed regarding the Justice "incident," from a variety of people. Needless to say, this meeting lasted nearly the entire night. And in the end, resulted in the Senate passing a resolution condemning the racist remarks published in the Justice on October 21. Still, come Monday morning, TWO of the remaining demands of Black student leaders had not been met (1. The resignation of the Editor-in-Chief, 2. A Friday edition of the Justice to allow BBSO leaders time to prepare a front page statement to the community at large).

By late Monday afternoon, Black student leaders met with administrators, and were assured that their remaining demands would be met by later that evening. However, as the night continued, it became evident through conversations between Black student leaders and Justice staff that in fact only ONE of the two demands remaining would be honored. As is understandable, Black student leaders felt betrayed for a SECOND time, but now by more than simply their fellow students. The Justice staff decided that they would going ahead and print on Monday night.

What happened next is what few were aware of and unexpected to many. After midnight, Black students leaders and other concerned community members began a PEACEFUL protest outside of the Justice office. The purpose? These concerned students wanted to send a clear message to the school that they had reached their limit. They wanted the issue to be addressed in a way that was appropriate and respectful, to cease printing of the Justice that night, and for earlier assurances to be upheld.

By 3:30 a.m., several administrators received word of the protest, and rushed to campus to help remedy the situation. [senior administrator] met with Justice Staff members to help facilitate a solution to this (at different times over the next two hours), while students protesting waited patiently for a response. By approximately 5:30 a.m., Justice staff members finally agreed to the remaining demands. Afterwards, [same senior administrator] addressed the concerned student protesters in the multi-purpose room, and restated her committment to diversity related issues. She also reminded us that there is a healing process that must begin soon.

With regard to this, we must keep in mind that there are many different opinions about all that has happened over the past week. While I understand there are different thoughts on how the issue could have been resolved, I hope we all remember that a racist remark was made in our school's newspaper, which needed to be addressed immediately. And that those who in some way allowed the racist remark to be printed needed to take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).

As I moved around campus today, I heard many different things about what transpired late last night/early this morning. Opinions range from what a wonderful job concerned students did within their rights, to people claiming that last night was a "witchhunt". Certainly, I realize that most on this campus are unaware of what specific things led up to last night's protest. I hope that people will reserve judgment until they know all of the facts.

As you all can begin to imagine, there are many things we must think about as a community while we move forward. Though many in the ICC should feel proud (and I AM PROUD) of the fact that members of our family UNITED to address a racist incident, we must keep in mind that there are larger issues that several of you have expressed concern about. We must also remember how important it is for us to build and further develop relationships with other groups on campus, including (at some point) the Justice. This may be uncomfortable at times, but I anticipate in the end will be worthwhile and beneficial.



Remember, this is from an ICC point of view--and I don't think people in the Justice feel the same way. One of the things I heard a lot today was "why the delay in the paper? Why couldn't they have come up with something by monday [since last tuesday?]"?

 
They said what?!?!


So I came across this article on Fox News' website:

Democrats Open Liberal Think Tank:
Portrayed as vaccine to so-called plague of conservatism in U.S.

Say what? I guess their hold on academia isn't working very well.

This article in the Autumn 2003 issue of City Journal says that We’re Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore


The Left’s near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information—which long allowed liberal opinion makers to sweep aside ideas and beliefs they disagreed with, as if they were beneath argument—is skidding to a startlingly swift halt. The transformation has gone far beyond the rise of conservative talk radio, that, ever since Rush Limbaugh’s debut 15 years ago, has chipped away at the power of the New York Times, the networks, and the rest of the elite media to set the terms of the nation’s political and cultural debate. Almost overnight, three huge changes in communications have injected conservative ideas right into the heart of that debate. Though commentators have noted each of these changes separately, they haven’t sufficiently grasped how, taken together, they add up to a revolution: no longer can the Left keep conservative views out of the mainstream or dismiss them with bromide instead of argument. Everything has changed.


I suggest reading the rest...

 
Back to Politics


Okay, back to more of the regular program around these parts (no, nothing else new with the Justice story yet).

Let's go back to the Democrat Nominee race...

Clark, who entered the race high in the polls has seen his numbers slip big time. It's probably because he flip flops like crazy--nor does he even know what party he belongs to on any given day. With that being said, it looks like he's going after the core voting block in the democrat primaries: the activists. Today's quote:
Democrat Clark blames President Bush for Sept. 11 intelligence failures

Looks like he's trying to appeal to the far-left activists with this quote. He's really struggling.
Even Instapundit has found that Clark has lurched towards the left

Dick Morris was on Hannity and Colmes last night, and he had some really, really interesting political analysis. I don't think a transcript has been posted online yet, but I'll see what I can find. It was very thought provoking.

I also caught part of the President's press conference this morning . I thought he did a rather good job handling things there. Anothe perk--Helen Thomas wasn't there. You can tell that the press isn't very fond of him, by some of the questions which they posed; but the President had very good coaching and shot those down.

The only thing I was disspointed about was his kid-glove response to the Fox News reporter's question about Terrorfat. Damn.

 
Controversy On Campus--Part VIII


Wow, this story has gotten huge! It's in today's Boston Globe (!?!). Here's the blurb:


3 in Waltham quit college paper after racial remark

A racial remark published in Brandeis University's student newspaper has triggered the resignations of at least three student editors and writers. Today's issue of The Justice will be the last put out by its editor-in-chief, the third student to quit the paper following the publication of the Oct. 21 baseball column penned by sophomore sportswriter, who also has stepped down. His column quoted [should say misquoted out of context] a student who used offensive language in criticizing professional baseball's Dusty Baker, the black Chicago Cubs manager. The Justice's sports editor, also has resigned


And (as I blog) we just got the following Email from the University President, distributing the letter on behalf of the Justice Editorial Board:


In the sincerest hopes of reconciliation, the Justice has agreed to hold our paper until Friday, rather than printing today. After the hurtful words printed in last week's issue of the Justice, the Brandeis Black Student Organization (BBSO) requested that a response written by them be included in this week's issue. After careful consideration, the Editorial Board of the Justice believes that in the spirit of healing, it is best for all involved that this issue of the Justice be printed Oct. 31 in order for BBSO to have an adequate opportunity to express their thoughts in a letter to the community. The Justice apologizes for this delay and we urge you to read this upcoming issue.


 
Idiocy in the Globe


There was this misguided letter about the ME situation, with this great line:


Furthermore, Israelis as well as Palestinians have caused American deaths, such as when an Israeli driving a tank saw young American peace activist Rachel Corrie blocking his way and ran over her


Wrong. First off, it was a bulldozer, such as this one; not a tank. Second, Rachel Corrie was anything but a "peace activist" (as we all know)--she was from the ISM. Third, she was trying to prevent a house that had a weapons sumuggling tunnel from being destroyed. Fourth, the driver didn't see her either.

Now lets see, other sillyness in the Globe.

The Globe seems to also be lamenting this: Romney stand dims chances of license for undocumented

And as always, for more, see SillyGlobe

 
Controversy on Campus--Part VII--Commentary


The number one question I've got is what are the BBSO's demands, and what exactly were the Justice's plans/promises. The facts are really missing here--and there is a lot of confusion abound.

I don't think the Justice should be shut down. No, not at all. The way the Justice's funding is set up, even makes it independent of the Student Senate and the Administration (it's promised a percentage of student activites fees). Via this system, the Justice is able to say what it wants about the student senate and/or the administration--thus giving it a free voice (rather than it being another administration mouthpiece)--which is a very good thing. It is also the official campus paper, and it does have a role and purpose. Those people who want to shut it down should really take a minute and reflect on what they're trying to do here.

The Justice dropped the ball in its last issue--that's an undisputible point. But that writer has resgined as has the sports editor. Was the Editor-in-Chief involved in the proof-reading process--I dunno? I'm not familiar with the inner workings of the paper, so I don't know what to say. I have heard that since this new Editor in Chief started, things have been looking up (in a good way) for the paper, and that things are working more fluidly. I'm not sure how this will affect things.

I think that people are making way, way, way too big of a deal of this issue now--it's exploded. The initial outrage was understandable--but now it has gotten out of control.

As for the line: They want us to be great students, to fill their quotas, and to "diversify" and to "teach" others about our cultures. Welcome to the pitfalls of affirmative action. The "diversity" and "numbers" of minority students make the cmapus look better on paper, and can also earn it accolades (and perhaps outside funding?) And for the record, Brandeis did sign the amicus brief supporting Michigan in its case.

Oh, and these students should also take a moment to realize that they don't speak for all of us minorities as well.

I'll blog more as things occur...

 
Controversy on Campus--Part VII


[Note: very long post]

Well, there's a lot more to this story....I got some emails overnight (try around 2AM)...and things keep changing. And holy shit, this has exploded

First off, the Student Senate apparently passed the following resolution at its last meeting.

Second, I open my email this morning (about 8AM-ish); and I've gotten a letter sent at 2:10AM, which read:

Right now...i mean this second, there are students protesting the Justice's response BBSO's demands. they are ignoring us, they are going to print with their paper!
We need everyone to come out and show their support, voice their opinion, tell the Justice what they believe should be done. We are not invisible and they are acting as if we are not even there.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!!! BBSO [Brandeis Black Student Org] is not alone! Students of Color are not alone! Come now--yes it's 2:09am but we are here, protesting, chanting, singing, marching!!! Please come out of your beds, put down the books, and fight for real justice!


That was all the message said, and I (as well as others I assume) have no clue what's going on. For starters, it was 2AM; and I was just heading to bed before my 9AM course. I had no clue what this was all about. But this morning details started to trickle in.

There was this letter sent to one list (some minor editing has been done by me--the content is the same):

It is now 3:30 in the morning and many of us Brandeis studentss of color have not slept. After several meetings between the BBSO exec board and the Justice's editors, the Justice still does not want to meet all of our demand. First, they refused to print out an apology on the newspaper's front page. On sunday they finally agreed to print the apology on the front page. On monday afternoon the Justice told the administration the paper would be out on friday in order to give BBSO members the opportunity to write a statement to be print out in the justice. However, on MOnday at 12:00am, I received a phone call from my friend informing me that the Justice had secretly decided to print out the paper tonight and to have it out by Tuesday. Professor, THEY LIED TO US, they took advantage of our situation and LIED TO US. At around 12:30 a large group of Brandeis students, mostly minorities, started to protest in front of the Justice in order for our voices to be heard. We are still protesting, and they are not responding. At about 1:30am the Justice sent someone out to tell us that if we wanted a statement written on the front page, we had nine
hours to write one and submit it. We, of course, did not agree to this because they were they one who failed on us, not us on them. Soe of the Justice members say they feel threated by us standing outside the windon in protest, and this concerns me. I dont want out image to be damaged but at the same time I want our voices heard. [Administrator] has now told us that by the state [should be Commonwealth] of Massachussetts [laws(?)] some of us could get arrested. This worries and upsets me.
Many of us are losing hours of sleep, many of us have tests, papers, and reading to do, instead we are here protesting at this time in the morning. They have left us with very little choice. They want us to be great students, to fill their quotas, and to "diversify" and to "teach" others about our cultures. Honestly: WE ARE TIRED. I am writing this email to you because I know you are a true supporter of the minorities of Brandeis and I truly appreciate your concern in this matter. Hope this gives you an idea of what's going on.


I do not know how true the accusations within this letter are. I repeat, I'm honestly not sure, and I'm reserving judgement. On the Justice's side, they did extend the letter submission deadline until 5PM on Sunday (from the usual 5pm on Friday--so a statement could've been written in that time)--and I'm not sure if in this letter any facts were distorted due to strong emotions.

On a seperate list, after the first email on a different list, the following reply came through, apparently from a member of student gov't [letter has been edited to remove names and simplify content].

As all of you know, this past week has been a very trying week for the whole Brandeis community. Last night may have been a culmination of that frustration on my part, as, after an 11 hour senate meeting (from 7 PM until 6 AM), the Senate passed a resolution on this issue Part of this resolution indirectly calls for the resignation of the editor-in-chief.

Because of that part of the resolution, myself and couple of other senators could not sign this resolution even though we agreed with the rest of it.

And then I walked into The Justice office today. For those of you not really familiar with what's going on, The Justice is on the verge of disappearing from our campus. Many editors are very frustrated with what's going on and they felt like their last chance to help them out, the Student Senate, let them down. Now it feels to them that not only is administration against them (which they are), but also that the students don't support their newspaper anymore either. (I do not want anyone to be confused: I am totally for the
eradication of racism on this campus, but I do not feel like more bloodshed and the loss of our student newspaper is the way to go about it)

That's why I'm writing this e-mail. I'm not asking that you agree with what happened in The Justice. I, myself, was horrified to read what was written and was very pleased with the columnist, and did not
have much moral dilemma in my mind with the sports editor, resigning. But I'm sick and tired (as I know some of you are from speaking to you) of this witch-hunt and really want all this drama to end. And I'm
asking you to be the student voice that agrees with me on this issue.

R. W. [pseudonym] and myself started a trend that I would extend to you to continue. We have both expressed to The Justice that we appreciate all their hard work. That's all I'm asking of you guys; I'm not asking you to agree with what they did, I'm just asking that you are willing to e-mail me a letter that I
can bring to The Justice as moral support.

They look like an army troop that has lost most of its soldiers and its generals. There are many people on this list who are either writers now or have written at some point for The Justice, and if you haven't, you have read The Justice. And if you claim that you don't, I hope you appreciate the ordeal these people have been through (though I do not dismiss and cannot even begin to fathom the ordeal that BBSO has been through.)

I am asking you that you send me a letter I can bring to The Justice editorial board that extends your support for them continuing as a newspaper either saying how much you enjoy reading the paper, or how much you appreciate the hard work they do, or that you really enjoy writing for them, or that you're behind them at this troubling time (if that is the case.)

I'll be in charge of compiling the list and presenting it to them (please get it into me ASAP...cause it would really help out.) And if we get enough responses, I want to bring it to the Senate also (so foward it to anyone who may be interested.)

I'm not asking you to support the incident that occurred, but I am pleading with you to support YOUR student newspaper, which may be going straight into the shitter if you don't.



I'll put my comments about this letter in the next post.

Then a few more letters came across, first replying to the above:

Thank for bringing up this point, since it is becoming aparent that there is no true search for justice with regard to the Justice article and that any prevalent feelings among members of the Brandeis community are not tilted towards the dampening of racist feelings on our campus, but rather towards a ruthless self-serving desire not to be left behind in the ongoing condemnation race.

While the comments in the article in question are clearly racist and not in compliance with Brandeis principles, this has gone on for longer than necessary and has attracted much more debate and controversy than the case renders. While I rarely read the Justice, I did take the time to review that
article and it is my professional opinion that a quote hardly calls for so much attention. Such a quote is unacceptable, true. It is outrageous, further. It is most definitely a mistake to have included this
particular paragraph in the publication, I agree. However, what is even more problematic and heart-wrenching that there has been so much ado made by people who did not even bother to read the article, but simply transferred ongoing national and state debates on racism to the Brandeis campus.

Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but as long as society goes on, you can expect a good measure of all vices not only to exist, but also to prosper. All major clubs initiated "debates" on this topic. Members of the Brandeis community received numerous emails, until the event was completely blown out of proportion.

Since I am receiving virtually all Brandeis club correspondence, I can assure you that the number of emails on the topic passed the 50 email mark by the end of Sunday. Everyone was making proclamations and looking for scapegoats. Yet, you cannot redress the broken balance through further tears in the Brandeis community. I am appalled at the prospect of a full featured wolf hunt here at Brandeis. Take heed lest we forget the principles that guide us.



I too am on only a few lists, but I've gotten a lot of letters as well. If not too many.

Then came this letter:

I fully support the Justice Editorial Board in this extremely difficult time. Starting with the forum Thursday night and continuing up to this very minute, they have shown the dedication to the community that led
them to accept nearly full time unpaid jobs in the first place. They have handled this terrible situation with grace and dignity, and deserve recognition for that.

Last night I observed the protest outside the Justice office. Students from many different groups on campus, but primarily BBSO and ICC groups, attended the protest, making a lot of noise and chanting "Down with the Justice," along with other slogans. I can only imagine the pressure--from students and administrators alike--that they have been under for a mistake that the responsible parties have already resigned over. The current Justice editorial board, including Editor-in-Chief, deserves our praise and thanks for all their hard work and dedication.

The Justice will grow from this experience; I am a firm believer that out of every bad comes some good. I put my faith in the Justice Editors to lead us and the Justice to easier and better times.



An aside, I believe that the Editor-in-chief is very, very, new, and has only been in his position for 2-3 weeks(?)

There was another letter along those lines:

The witch hunt has gone on long enough. The Justice has listened with patience to the campus' reaction to the horrifying comments made by [the author], and it's time to allow them to get to work. The Justice can only grow and improve in response to this. It's time for the Brandeis student body to say most firmly that we are indeed anti-racist, pro-diversity (which are of course, not synonyms), but we will not allow discontent to rage irrationally and bring down the Justice. With our support and action the Justice can indeed become tool for combatting racism and fostering diversity. But that can only happen if we put down our swords and pick up our brooms.


I don't know if any of the abover were from members of the Justice BTW.

Then of course, not everyone agreed:

We (2 people) are very disturbed to see some of the views expressed on this listserve because we feel that they have not been written with all the information of the events that have transpired. If you were aware of BBSO and the ICC attempts to work in conjunction with the Justice, you might feel differently about their stance. BBSO has made reasonable demands and certain members of the Justice have at times demonstrated unapologetic, belligerent, and disrespectful behavior. As a group of students who fight for justice we should be supporting those who have been treated unjustly, not those who were responsible for doing it.

We are dedicated to fighting all types of injustices on this campus, therefore it our duty to seek information out about the issue and to be informed members on this campus about this issue. We feel that the opinions of a lot of people on this listserve are not as well informed as they should be, which is unacceptable as one of the few true social justice organizations on this campus. We urge you to attend BBSO meetings, ICC meetings, public forums, and Senate Meetings and then make an educated and informed decision about the events which have unfolded over the last week and a half. Our aim is not necessarily for everyone to support the marginalized group, but even a cursory understanding of what has really been taking place instead of hearsay might change some of your opinions and actions...



And finally, here's probably the letter that echos the sentiments of many

What is going on, why would you protest the paper from printing? Its their job. There are dozens of writers who put their blood, sweat, and many tears into it every week. What should it shut down? What were BBSO's demands?


I've added commentary above




Monday, October 27, 2003
 
Fisking the Debate


This has to be one of the most priceless blog entries ever: Fisking the Democrat Debate

A sample:

*DING* Ok, who had 88 words in the “How long until Kerry reminds us he’s a vet” pool?

 
More "Protest" pictures and coverage


RightWingNews has some more pix from this past weekend

Glenn Reynolds also has a wrap-up and insights too

 
Stupid Brandeis email of the day


Some of the alums will love this one.


Members of the classes of 2004 and 2005:

Congratulations! You are among the very first Brandeis students to have the opportunity to participate in the Official Ring program of Brandeis University. The Official Ring of Brandeis is available exclusively to students who have achieved junior or senior year status and represents a lifelong link with fellow classmates and alumni. Join President R. in creating a tradition that will proudly reflect the Brandeis University traditions of critical thinking and social responsibility.

A brochure with information about the Official Ring of Brandeis University has been placed in your campus mailbox and the ring will be on display in the bookstore. Representatives from Balfour, the leading college ring designer in the country, will be at the bookstore to answer questions and take orders.

President R. will present seniors with their rings at an invitation-only reception he will host in late January. Juniors will receive their rings from President Reinharz in March at a private reception.

I encourage you to wear the ring as a symbol of your commitment to your alma mater.



Oh, and if anyone is wondering the rings cost in the ~$400 range. After all I've spent here on tuition, fees, books and all, I don't think I'm ready (or willing) to simply drop another ~$400 on a ring....

Let the jokes commense...

 
Controversy on Campus--Part VI


First off, let me just re-emphasize what I've said before about this story. The student who the quote was allgedly attributed to, was grossly misquoted. The quote was also apparently taken out of context. This person was also totally unaware that they were being "interviewed" and the author of the piece has indeed pointed that out. I thought that I'd previously removed this students name from any and all postings, but apparently I missed that in a prior post, and I've proceeded to fix that. My appologies for this oversight--and I feel really bad for the prediciment in which he likely found himself.

Now the story continues...

The article has apparently been yanked from the Justice Website. Makes sense to say the least.

[via Steve Silver], it turns out that one of the local papers has picked up the story. The Waltham Daily News Tribune has written an article on it.

According to the article, the line/quote in question was: "was highlighted in red by a copy editor in training but never fixed." Now, this adds more questions into the mix. Steve Silver, who is a former Justice Editor (he did the Arts section I think) has some commentary on this

Also, there are rumors, that the Justice, which normally comes out on Tuesdays, may come out later this week than usual. Why? The deadline for letter submissions was extended until yesterday (so then letters need proof-read, then fixed, then put into the paper--and having done page layout, I can attest to the fact that it can be a pain).

Steve's guessing the number of letters about the article will be around 25. Any other quesses?

And a final point: Please do not write letters to the "Brandeis Free Press" abou this issue. The Free Press is in no way/shape/form related to the Justice, nor do we cover campus events (we cover world and national news). [I only post this since we've previously been asked]

 
Where do I sign up?


On today's Opinion Journal, former Delaware Gov. Pete Du Pont, has a piece titled: Good Buy, Columbus?
Ohioans may revolt against higher taxes and spending.


It brings up current Sec. of State Kenneth Blackwell's (R) plan to repeal the recent one cent sales tax increase (from 6%-7%) enacted this past year by the state legislature. It's being done by a group calling itself "Citizens For Tax Repeal"

Last year, during the whole Ohio Budget discussion, there were things cut (to the lament of certain groups--like the arts), in light of the forcast defecit--and then on top of that, spending (w/ the tax increase) went up 11%!!! However, it turns out that in the end there was a $200 Million surplus!

Ohio's finances are a mess. The state's school funding plan has been ruled unconsitutional by the State Supreme court 5 times I think? (I didn't follow it that closely) That's the top of the iceberg.

Unfortunately, the state GOP is against him (you idiots!) as the GOP controlls both chambers of the State Assembly and the Gov. is a Republican (more like a major RINO)--probably cause they think that this makes 'em look bad. And here's the real kicker--Blackwell is a conservative African American [think Thomas, Elder, Sowell, etc.]

Now at the same time, the left constantly moans about sales taxes, because they call 'em "poor peoples taxes" [because apparently only poor people buy things, and rich people don't--I don't ask]. So I'm wondering if they're supporting Sec of State Blackwell in his effor to repeal the tax.

Where do I sign up?

 
Monday Afternoon Thoughts and Observations


Again, I'm just gonna combine a few things into one post rather than a few seperate posts.

More news about the upcoming Reagan movie is out...and it looks like CBS and the advertisers may be in for a big storm

Sen John Corzine (D-NJ) is probably going to get whacked by the DNC for saying: "The tax cut has had some benefit in that, there's no question about that"

Cox and Forkum have produced yet another great cartoon

The Smarter Cop also has an iteresting post up

And out on the left coast--my prayers for those caught in the flames of the forest fires.

Also out on that coast the Angry Clam is giving an example of his version of "Social Justice"


 
The Democrat Debate


As I said before, I didn't watch the debate. Not only do I lack the attention span to watch such things, but I doubted anything important would take place.

Apparently I was right, and here's Jonah Goldberg's take on the event.

The other major issue the Dems are lacking on severly is that of Nat'l security. It appears that it's not of importance to them. As Tom of Hootinan reports: Democrats Don't Care About The War on Terror

This same sentiment is echoed by Andrew Sullivan in a few posts on his blog (excerpted by FP Magazine)

Sunday, October 26, 2003
 
Course Frustration


So we start pre-enrolling for next semester tomorrow. But now, many of us are looking at the course offerings for next term (see this page if you're curious). They've slashed at least 1/4th [if not more] of the courses than they usually offer.

When my friends and I were in our first year here, we were told, oh yeah, if you can't take a course early on, it'll always be offered later. That used to be true (see older offerings). But now, we've been screwed!!!

It sucks! All my suitemates are also complaining about the scant offerings (amongst the six of us there's: neuroscience (me), biology, economics, psychology, music, politics and English [the last two is a double major of someone].

What does the school have to say about it? "We lack funds....we had to cut courses to save money". And yet tuition keeps going up, and the school spends money on pointless things left and right. It's beyond absurd! I mean, I can tell you some of the waste the school can easily cut to save money (or put that money back into education--which I thought was the purpose of universities).

Okay, that's my rant, I've gotta write some emails now...sigh...

 
Protest Pictures


It's what we've all been waiting for! Pictures of the absurd ANSWER, anti-American, anti-Israel, protesters!

Right now, Anna of the Belligerent Bunny Blog has pictures up from yesterday in DC

And from the Left-Coast, Greg Yardley of CommieWatch has posted pictures which he took at the San Francisco rally

Hopefully more entertaining pictures will come out soon!

 
Controversy On Campus Part V


Julia , of contraindications and love songs brought something to my attention (and I thank her for that) which I should've previously clarified in this post.

First, I do think this Justice incident is significant--and of course needs adressed. It was from the volume and content of the emails I've been getting (from a few lists), there appear to be some on campus who are over-inflating this and it is from that which I got the "overly big deal" feeling. It is as if a group of people had an agenda and have been waiting for an incident to come up so that they could forward [their agenda]--and this incident served as the catalyst.

Second, my charactarization of the author were simply the impressions I'd had of him from meeting him once. Nothing more. I just threw it out as an observation--I meant nothing other than that.

Third, I think it was entirely appropriate for this individual to both resign from the Student Senate and the The Justice. No questions asked.

Fourth, an unrelated clarification, regarding this post. A friend informed me that the reasoning behind the walk-out was that the forum called for by the Justice thursday night, was apparently a time when the Justice was going into CYA mode. That's why the walkout was staged; as there was the feeling that the important issues wern't going to be addressed.

There'll definitely be more developments and I'll blog about them as they happen.

 
Random Thoughts and Things


Just a few different things I wanted to touch on, which didn't deserve posts of their own.

The Browns offense played horribly today against the Patriots. The Defense did quite well, but the Offense was non-existant! What's with that!?!?

I'm happy that the Yankees lost. I'm not a fan of the Marlins either, but I still like them over the Bronx Infidels. I grew up with a dislike for the Yankees--and I don't like 'em one bit.

Why has ESPN been showing so much Pool and Poker recently? Aren't there any other sports it could be broadcasting? Perhaps venture over to Europe, South America or even Australia?

A new club is going to the Student Union to be recognized--and this club is interesting. The club calls itself: The Inter-Greek Council (IGC) and states that its purpose is:

The Inter-Greek Council is committed to organizing Brandeis students in discussing, supporting, and educating the community of the diverse philanthropic, political, and social efforts of local and national Greek letter organizations. Additionally, the council is dedicated to serving as a liaison between Brandeis University and off-campus Greek letter organizations.


Unless you're a Brandeis student or alum, you're probably wondering what the big deal is. Brandeis specifically doesn't recognize fraternities or sororities, and hasn't since 1988 (as per a board of Trustees decision). To take an excerpt from "Rights and Responsibilites"

Therefore, social fraternities and sororities, in particular, are neither recognized nor permitted to hold activities on campus or use University facilities [Appendix B]


So it'll be interesting to see how the Senate deals with this hot-potato.

I'm still not liking the whole time change thing very much. It's starting to play games with my brain.

I'll post more later, I've got some work to do now

Saturday, October 25, 2003
 
Celebration


Well, since adding a counter to my Blog in May, I've finally reached the 5,000 hit mark! Hooray!

Oh, and the Yankees just lost to the Marlins in the World Series. Yankees Suck!

 
Controversy On Campus Part IV


First off, welcome to all of you who've come from Steve Silver's blog

I should note, that I'm receiving a lot of emails about this, as I'm a minority student (I'm a hispanic--and yes, I'm Jewish too)

Second, in reference to an "incident" in earlier posts about the hypnotist who offended some Asian students, here's what happened

Third, the Student Senate put out the following "announcement"

So time for some new developments in this ever evolving story. Here's some excerpts from an email from the director of the Intercultural Center (ICC) [I say exceprts, because there is some irrelevant stuff in the letter which I omit here for obvious reasons].


Since Tuesday, many things have happened. On Tuesday evening, the writer of the article that included the racist comment resigned from his Rosenthal [Quad] Senator post. By Wednesday evening, he also resigned from The Justice and will no longer contribute to any of their publications.

As many of you were present, on Wednesday evening, members of BBSO [Brandeis Black Student Org] and other concerned Brandeis students gathered in the BBSO office to discuss this incident further. At that time, it was revealed that the Justice was not taking the appropriate actions to resolve this matter.

Although they agreed to write an apology starting on the front page, it would not be on the front page in it's entirety (meaning it would continue elsewhere in the paper). In addition, the Justice had no intention of firing editors responsible for the publication of the article. This was a major disappointment for members of BBSO and many within the ICC community and beyond.
[JawsBlog: What's wrong with an apology starting on page 1 and continuing like just about every other article? What if the apology is too long to fit on the front page? I mean use common sense here!]

Several other "forums" have been held, including the most recent in the atrium of the Shapiro Campus Center on Thursday night, sponsored by the Justice. It was at this event that several members of BBSO and other concerned members of the community (some who are ICC members and other who may not be) staged a "walk out". I realize that many of you receiving this email may have been unaware that a walk out was planned prior to it happening, and are not clear about the purpose of the walk out. From this point, I will do my best to keep you informed about this sort of planned action
[JawsBlog: Why walk out on such a forum--the point of the forum was to try to tell the Justice how to learn from its error]

Last night I received word that the Justice sports editor has resigned. However, there is still work to be done. In my opinion this incident sheds light on larger issues that not only affect the ICC, and they must be addressed.

For now, there are things that you can do to support this cause:

Until further notice, I [ICC Director] will not provide the Justice w/any interview and ask that ICC leaders & members to consider doing the same (especially if asked to comment on behalf of the club you represent). My understanding is that Dean [of Student Life] Rick Sawyer is also planning to do the same. I know that Justice staff must be thinking about this a lot right now, and hope that this form of protest helps them to think harder.
[JawsBlog: I don't understand the point of this action? What if the Justice writer just wants to report your side of the story? I'm confused...]

The goal of this meeting (of ICC reps and ICC leaders and those we have
identified and contacted as ally group leaders) will be to discuss our needs as a community, and to articulate how the University can better meet the needs of all groups represented. My desire is to develop a statement that expresses our ICC family and allies' position on the Justice incident, and in addition re-states our support of a particular group within our family (BBSO), since this matter affects them
so directly. This is a statement I would like to present to the entire student body, faculty, and staff.

During this difficult time, please remember how important you all are to resolving this matter. I know that many of you are feeling so many different emotions, and that sometimes there may be feelings of helplessness and confusion in terms of what role would be appropriate to play.

Your ICC Student Programming Board and leaders are working hard to stand up for what is right and necessary, and I have a great deal of faith in their ability to lead during this difficult time. I am working to support them (and you) as best I am able.


That's the latest news for now. Oh, and if you want to write the Justice, the deadline is 5PM on Sunday for letters; and apparently all letters will be published.

 
They realize it too!


NYT Headline: Some Democratic Hopefuls Question Value of Debates

Was their even a value to these circuses in the first place?

No, Debate Bingo doens't count as a purpose. (but it is now available en Español)

 
Saturday


For the first time in 2 or 3 weeks, I've got a free Saturday night (no holiday)! Wooohoo! Too bad its parents weekend, so all my friends are out with their 'rents, so I'm stuck alone. Hopefully I can find something fun to do.

So we're supposed to change our clocks tomorrow at 2AM. We "fall-back" an hour--which means we get an extra hour of sleep tonight. I like gaining sleep time. However, since I've already got a screwed up circadian rhythm, this time change screwes me up (even more) than usual--for a few days at least. At the same time, if you'll forgive my dorkiness for a moment or two, in my Neurogenetics course we've been studying circadian, clock and cryptocrome genes (in drosophila) so in a sense, I have a better understand of some of the underlying biology. Okay, that's been the moment of dorkiness.

Ohio State won today, 35-6; and it looks like the team's offense is (finally) starting to emerge. The Buckeyes are really missing Clarrett--and it shows. But perhaps Lydell Ross will step in to fill the void (or at least somewhat). I've got the Alabama-Tenn game on now...it's 40-40 after 3OTs...wow! Look like a good one.

So there was the ANSWER/UFPJ rally hatefest in DC today. Apparently C-Span aired it. Anyone waste their time watching it? I'm sure that there'll soon be reports in the blogsphere about it. I'd suggest checking out LGF, Hootinan and CommieWatch for news about it.

And there are new twists and turns in the Justice-racism story. I'll share these later.

I've got to go help a friend fix their computer now.....I'll blog more later.

Friday, October 24, 2003
 
Around the Beltway


Instead of a bunch of little posts about politics, I think I'll just wrap 'em all up into one post.

It looks like President Bush may finally use his power of veto (it's about time!) after the Senate joined the House in voting to ease travel restrictions to Cuba.

Kucinich is throwing a hissy-fit over some campaign ads that Nikita Dean is running in NH. Doesn't Kucinich realize he has a snowball's chance in hell of being elected?

The Senate is apparently releasing a report criticial of the Intellegence gathered by the CIA about Iraq. Naturally, the CIA is denying the accusations. If it was the CIAs intellegence which was flawed (as opposed to the NSA, DIA and the other alphabet-soup groups), I think this time Tennet deserves to get a pink slip. Tennet has been the DCI since the Clinton administration, and simply put, the CIA hasn't been doing too good of a job with intellegence, first terrorism in the 90s, then 9/11, and now this?

After reading Robert Baer's book "See No Evil" (it's a very good read too), I became somewhat skeptical about the CIA, especially the way that it has changed since the end of the Cold War. The Agency has taken a turn in the wrong direction, and needs to be put back on the right course. For another good read on this topic, there's also Mark Riebling's book "Wedge: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11--How the Secret War between the FBI and CIA Has Endangered National Security"

Finally, it looks like the Medicare bill is getting stalled in conference committee. This scenario looks like it could be a win-win for the President and the GOP. From what the news is reporting, either the Conservatives are going to get the bill they want (a win for them), and in the process, the President scores a win by nailing down Medicare as a campaign issue. On the flipside, if the Dem senators, led by Sen. "Swimmer" Kennedy (D-MA) try to filibuster and all, then their objections will be spun off as obstructing such a plan, and it'll hurt them too.

 
Israel Gets Permission to Defend Herself?


This story sounds promising if it fully checks out to be true: Bush Drops Opposition To Building Of Barrier

Good! Let Israel finally defend herself!

 
Things at school


So this weekend is family weekend, otherwise known as "Fall Fest". Parents will be visiting (my family isn't coming), which actually means things here at school will be better than usual. The food is usually an improvement over its regular status (to impress parents).

No, they didn't plant the flowers this time (for open houses they plant flowers for the weekend then remove them; and apparently reuse 'em).

I guess it is ironic that all the hoopla about the quote in the Justice is going on now...especially with so many visitors coming. But I don't think it tops the food poisioning incident that sickened 400+ last year (myself included) the week before parents came.

Not much else going on to talk about....it's just a cold day (again) here. Oh, it snowed yesterday too.

 
Jeers to CBS for Defaming Ronald Reagan!


I heard Drudge on Hannity and Colmes last night before I fell asleep, and he was mentioning about how he'd seen the CBS TV Movie on Ronaldus Magnimus.

Now he's reporting about how the movie defames one of the most popular Presidents in US History

CBS should re-think about airing this movie if it is indeed this bad. There will likely be a huge backlash against CBS and/or advertisers over this film....both from people on the right and left.

I guess it is sort of ironic, since Reagan did make enemies while he was in Hollywood; as he fought off communism.

 
Time to Fry the French?


Jonah Goldberg's latest column is French Fried: France turns into even bigger foe.

I think Jonah is right on target...damn those "Cheese eating surrender monkeys"...

Thursday, October 23, 2003
 
Who would've thought this?


I first saw this story in today's Globe: Poll finds GOP continuing its gains on college campuses


A new nationwide poll, released yesterday by Harvard University's Institute Of Politics, finds she is far from alone: Of the 1,200 student respondents, 31 percent identified themselves as Republicans, compared with 27 percent who said they are Democrats. The largest number, 38 percent, called themselves Independent, or unaffiliated.


Who would've ever thought something like this would occur?

(here's the list of other papers running this story)

 
Random Thought: A leak?


So there's a lot of news out about the leaked memo by Rummy

Now the last time that there was a leak, there was this whole big uproar...remember? So where's the calls for the special prosecutor on this one?

This has been a random thought....

 
On Iraq


Last night, noted Iraqi dissident and Professor Keinan Makiya (IMES) came back to campus from Iraq (where he has been working on composing an Iraqi constitution) to give a talk about the future of his old country.

While I really wanted to attend his talk, I unfortunately couldn't as I was swamped with work, (all the stuff I put off because of GRE studying) but there are two articles, one from the Boston Globe and one from the Waltham Daily News Tribune about his talk. Based on what he said, it doesn't look like there's very much of a "quagmire" over in Iraq--and that things are going well.

From the Waltham News Tribune:Rebuilding Iraq: Brandeis scholar offers insight into his native land

And from the Globe: Iraqi's optimism endures--Exiled leader urges crackdown on Ba'athists

Apparently a lot of the world likes genocidal Ba'athis dictator's in power: World spurns US appeal for $30bn to rebuild Iraq

But, the Iraqis won't forget who these weasels are: Iraqi official: Limited German, French help won't be forgotten...

[these last two stories from Drudge]

 
And I thought we had a budget problem


I thought we had a defecit. I thought that some of you said we couldn't pay $87 billion to support the troops and help rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

But it looks like the House and the Senate voted to give themselves, yet another pay raise

 
Controversy on Campus Part III


So the controversy continues. Tonight there's an open meeting with the editorial board of the Justice about the article.

After giving this issue much thought, here's what I'm coming to think.

The quote, which sparked the controversy, doesn't really seem to fit in the article at all. I'm very suprised that the editor(s) didn't send the article back to the writer for him to fix the quote (for its obtuseness).
I'm also very suprised that the editor(s) apparently overlooked the quote and let it run in the paper. That's what suprises me the most.

As I said before, I was once introduced to the author of the piece, and from the impression I got, he was a nice guy. He didn't seem to be a racist or biased against minorites. I also feel bad for the kid to whom the quote was attributed to, as he's been dragged into this as well.

Do I think there's a racism problem at Brandeis? No. Sure there may be a few bad apples in the crowd, but that's how things are everywhere--there's always a bad apple (or two) in the bunch. I do think that people are (as usual) getting overly-worked up about little things. That hasn't changed.

I do think that there is a lot of self-segregation by racial/ethinc/religious groups, which is self evident. But is that racism? Probably not--it's just people who've found friends who have things in common with them. And I don't think that's a phenomenon unique to Brandeis. But is there racial animocity? No, not really.

The team of guys I play lacrosse with are a cross section of just about everything. We have Jews and non-Jews; whites, blacks, hispanics; NYCers, east coasters, californians, midwesterners; we've got a variety of majors...and yet we all get along and have fun together. We don't really pay attention to race or other things like that, we just play lacrosse, simply because we love the game. We don't care about anything else--and we're non judgemental.

So I guess it's just safe to say I'm suprised that the line ran in the first place, and that I have a feeling an overly-big deal is going to be made over this.

 
The Future of Iraq


Last night, Brandeis Professor Keinan Makiya, a leading Iraqi dissident during Saddam's rule, spoke here at Brandeis about the current condition of his homeland and the prospects for its future.

While I was regretfully unable to attend his talk, here are two accounts of what he said, and it looks like things are actually going better than we hear over in Iraq!

Here's the Boston Globe's account and here's one from the Waltham News-Tribune

 
"Hour of Presence"


So tomorrow (or today), October 23rd, from is the "Hour Of Presence" from 3-4 PM.

What is the "Hour of Presence"? Good question...I don't quite know! Here's what the blurb says: "Take Back Your Time Day is a nationwide initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities, and our environment."

It is apparently affiliate with "Take Back your Time Day" which looks like it may be a socialist type of event.

Bruce Bartlett dissects this event in the following column of his

I think that during this "hour of presence" I'm gonna do evil VRWC things.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
 
Controversy on Camps--Part II


I'm suprised that the quote ran in the firstplace. It wasn't oh, tasteful or relevant to the article to say the least. Second, I didn't know that Baker actually had earned a Ph.D. anywhere let alone an ivy league school.

There was one line which sort of irked me, and it was: Due to the University’s special position as a private institution, racist remarks such as this can be censored

There's a fine line that should be upheld in what should and shouldn't be "censored" on campus. More often that not, at other schools, this type of rule is used to silence students who don't agree with the University's general politics. There are numerous examples of this out there--I needn't elaborate. Just look at the Afirmative Action bake sale flap.

I'd agreed with Litovsky about her piece two years ago, in that I thought a lot of pointless noise was being made. It's a combination of the the PC police + hyper sensitivity and LLL on campus. I'm sick of them as usual.

This seems like a people getting worked up over a small oversight...sigh...

 
Controversy on Campus--Part I


Who would've thought that a quote at the end of an article in the sports section of the Justice (of all places) would trigger a firestorm? Here's the article that started it, and here's the quote in question.


As I often like to do, I will end with a quote. This one comes from noted campus civil rights activist A.B. '06. I cannot endorse it, but I find it fitting. In response to the praise being heaped on the skills of Dusty Baker, "B" responded, "The only thing Baker has a PH.D. in is something that starts with an N and rhymes with Tigger, the cheerful scamp who stole all of our hearts in the Winnie the Pooh series.


Well, thinking back, Baker did make some (potentially racist) comments of his own earlier this season.

But that's not relevant here. So last night, I got an email from the Hispanic/Latino club email list, which read as follows [note: I've cut out some things that aren't relevant/important, and I've changed names]:

In this blatant reference to the racial epithet “nigger,” Passner and The Justice’s editorial board fail to see what this clearly means. Although Baker received a doctoral degree from an ivy league school, it means nothing because he is black. How absolutely insulting and degrading is this comment?

It hits on so many level of race, class, and privilege on this Brandeis campus. Why is it that at Brandeis, which touts the values of social justice, equal opportunity to access, and diversity, there are racist comments being written in the school newspaper? Due to the University’s special position as a private institution, racist remarks such as this can be censored as it is a violation of Rights and Responsibilites – the very rules and procedures that guide all members of the Brandeis community. FURTHERMORE, INCREASING DIVERSITY DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING AGAINST RACISM. [JawsBlog: As for this slogan, I'm saving it for another post] The two need to be distinguished

It was only two years ago that the dreaded WBRS incident happened. Four Brandeis students hosted a show called the “Men’s Room Show” [JawsBlog note: this had to do with some comments on a radio show. It's a long story, I'd suggest going through the Justice archives if you're interested]. Till this day the administration still does not fully address the issues brought up by the incident. Even with the recommendations enclosed in the “The Diversity Committee Report to the President” and the University Diversity Steering Committee headed by Senior Vice President Jean Eddy and former Provost Mel Bernstein, there has been little done on the side of administration.

Similarly, last year’s Justice article written by Yana Litovsky highlighting political correctness, showed how some on campus apathetically viewed issues such as hate incidents. Her articles said

Although last semester's episode with "The Men's Room" raised a ridiculous amount of hoopla for absolutely nothing, I wouldn't challenge the actions of the University, given that a private institution has a right to monitor both its image and content. Rather, what amuses (and saddens?) me is the outraged reaction of the students, revealing the rampant internalization of politically correct custom into the core of our personalities. (Litovsky, 4/2002)

And it is with this same attitude that some will once again view any attempts of any group to address the issues of anti-racism.

And just this past August, during one of the Orientation events, the hypnotist had asked a hypnotized student to speak Chinese. After the stereotypical and all too often response of “Ching chang chong” and few words in Japanese, the entire room erupted in laughter. The hypnotist did not even consider stopping even when there were cries of protest from the audience before the “joke”. In a response to this incident printed in the Justice, Katherine Kim and Reasey Ngoun said that “especially during the significant time of Orientation, where first-year students are in a new environment, absorbing new information, and are easily susceptible to their different surroundings,” this situation should have been taken seriously. Ultimately, he set an important precedent: THAT UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES CAN CONTINUE BEING TARGETED FOR DEGRADATION SIMPLY FOR THE FACT THAT THEY ARE UNDERREPRESENTED.

What brings greater importance to this issue is that Dan Passner is a Student Union Senator who represents the Rosenthal Residence Quad. A person elected to serve as a representative of student needs, he is not even privy to the fact that racism affects his entire constituency as well as the entire student body.

All too often, students are the mobilizers of discussion and education on these topics. In program after program, the hopes of educating the community about different backgrounds continue to thrive, but after incidents like this, all one can think of is how we failed. Students sacrifice so much time into putting on these programs, often at the costs of grades, thinking that their program will impact the student body and encourage people to think differently. Students tirelessly work to achieve these goals, but obviously fall short. We need the assistance of faculty and administration to help with this effort because they too have a responsibility to ensure a safe and open campus climate, as well as a responsibility to ensure these efforts have results.


This was followed by a letter of appology by the author, who has since resigned from the student Senate, in which he said:

that my intentions are meaningless at this point, I would like to make known these statements do not reflect who I am. I want everyone to know that my comments were not meant to incite anger or insult anyone. I stand before you tonight deeply apologetic and ashamed of my serious error in
judgment.


And from the student who the quote was attributed to:

I would like to apologize for the quote attributed to me in the Justice. I never intended to harm, offend, incite, or intimidate anyone, in any capacity, in the Brandeis Community.

While my comments were taken out of context, and were made in a private setting, I now know, that words can have a tremendous impact on those around us. Regardless of my intentions or purpose, there is simply no excuse for this hateful act. I am truly and deeply sorry that my comments caused grief to so many, and I hope that I can truly learn from this deplorable situation.


But it doesn't stop there! The University President sent out an email which said the following:

The Brandeis Administration and many members of the Brandeis student community have already expressed dismay and disappointment over the inclusion of what can only be interpreted as insensitive and racist remarks in the October 21 edition of our student newspaper, the Justice. I expect the highest level of student journalism and commentary from our paper, and knowing that at least three student editors found no concern with the offensive lines presented by the author stuns me.

I impaneled a special committee, The
Civility Group, chaired by Dean Nathaniel Mays, to study, report and take an active role in ensuring diversity and inclusion on our campus. This resulted in several significant improvements to the staffing, services and programs in our community, which in whole or part strive to support a community that recognizes and celebrates the importance of diversity on the campus of a major international research University.

Clearly, there is still work to be done.

The words written in the Justice were those of a student. Editors had the opportunity to strike the offensive sentences and did not. The Justice is a student funded and published journal and carries enormous responsibility in describing the life of our campus, and presenting the character and work of our students and faculty. It is moments like this that make clear the responsibility that attaches to an autonomous student organization culture.

I call upon those responsible for the publishing of the offensive article to take responsibility for their judgments or lack thereof. I ask that the Student Union Government and the Student Senate take a stand regarding the principles of inclusion expressed by all of our student organizations, whether they are publications on mandatory fee, or one of the myriad clubs and organizations that bring life and activity to our campus responsibly.

There will be further word on this situation after review by all appropriate student, faculty and staff leaders has been undertaken.


I've made comments in a post above [this is getting too long for a post]