Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Radikal Interview #2: Charlie Grapski In the Hotseat, Part I.

Before we get to the first part of the interview I'd like to throw out a few one-liners for the Radikal audience.

1). From what I understand, UNITE Senate leader Gavin Baker contacted Vice President-elect Lydia Washington with some questions pertaining to cabinet re-structuring, I'd like to know if that contact was received. My email is: , I'd also like applaud Senate Leader Baker for working so diligently on bi-partisanship (so quickly in fact that he's taken the initiative to break the ice with the Madam Veep before she's even been inaugurated, kudos!).

2). Received a very thoughtful and warm-hearted email from Impact/Unite leader Amanda Kane.

3). Rumor has it that fmr. Progress Party presidential candidate Mackenzie Moritz has accepted membership in Florida Blue Key? But really, who cares? (lol) Onto Grapski!!!!


TheRadikal: For the record, please state your name, claim to fame, and your role in student leadership at UF (why you first got involved with SG, which party, some notable people you worked with, and some cool pieces of legislation or other things you got done while involved with the process).

Charlie Grapski:

1.a. Charles Grapski
1.b. I am not in the position to state a “claim to fame”.
1.c. My role in student leadership at UF is extensive. I was involved with groups such as EAG (Environmental Action Group), Graduate Student Council (in the founding process), CLASSC (I was the Microbiology Representative to the Council), and TRAC (Transfer Activities Council) before I was ever involved in Student Government. In 1989 I created an organization called Students For a Better World and we were involved in the Chinese Democracy Movement. It was after this that I first was able to get into SG. I tried the year before – to no avail – as I discovered the “closed” nature of the process. In 1989 I became a Senator. In the Fall of 1989 I ran for Senate in an off-campus seat (32607) and won. This was with an informal coalition of independents – which I later formed into the first Independent Coalition. I was the minority (independent) leader of the Senate that year, as well as a member of the Replacement and Agenda Committee, the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and a senate member on the Activity and Service Fee Advisory Committee (which then controlled the entire A&S fee budget – and was elected by the student body at-large – half of which were senators and half not). The Independent Coalition is not a party, per se, but its antithesis – a coalition – although it operated as if it were a party under SG laws (as was necessary to have any chance of success). We ran senate candidates every election – although at times, in Spring elections, we took on another identity as we formed coalitions with students seeking election to executive positions (thus in 1990, for example, there was the Voice Party). This continued through the early 1990s – during which time I was in Orlando. When I returned to UF in 1993 I re-established the Independent Coalition, and merged it with another group I had formed back in 1989, the Coalition of Concerned Students – which dealt with a number of issues outside of SG that SG should have been pursuing (i.e. the defense of the group Campus Organized Against Rape – which was eventually eliminated by UF due to its success). The merger produced an organization known as the Independent Student Coalition – which took on both roles of working inside SG and outside of it. Again we ran candidates in fall elections – and formed coalitions in the Spring (i.e. the 94 Party, Cash Back for Students, Students Party, Vision Party, etc.). In 1995, under the name of the Independent Majority, I ran for student body president. I also was a Senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1995. I was also the Ombudsman of the Students in 1993-94 under the administration of Chris Tompkins – and again was in this position in 1996. I served as the chairman of the President’s Blue Ribbon Committee on the Quality of Education and was the president of an organization called S.O.S. (Save Our Schools). I have been an active member of GAU and was one of the founders of the GSC. I formed the Student Advocacy Cabinet and served as an Assistant Director as well as an Assistant Director of the Environmental Affairs Cabinet (which I also formed).

Too many people to note that I worked with. Too much legislation – but including the establishment of the above cabinets, I was the author of numerous resolutions, a law on recycling policies, together with Chris Tompkins I rewrote the Senate rules and procedures, I was the person who established two-day elections in 1995, and a large number of other legislative actions.

You get the picture. There is too much to tell to give you all the details. One other interesting item: I re-founded and was President of the original founding chapter of Blue Key, the national leadership honorary, which was founded at UF in 1923 and from which what is now Florida Blue Key was kicked out for their political machinations.

TR: In 1995 you sued Florida Blue Key, a leadership honorary at UF and settled out of court. In your opinion, what role has FBK have while you’ve been on this campus? How did the organization or its members sabotage your bid for the presidency? Do you feel that actions taken against you are isolated issues or part of a larger, more intricate modus operandi of the organization as a whole?

CG: I did not settle anything out of court. In 1995 I sued Florida Blue Key for defamation of character and conspiracy – along with two of its members (Peter Vlcek and John McGovern). In 1998 we first went to trial. It was a two week trial – and I won. Prior to this victory by the jury we won an important ruling by the Court, known as a “Judicial Notice,” in which I proved to the court through my historical research that FBK operated historically and primarily as a political machine on campus controlling SG and Student Activities with the help of the University Administration, its role in Homecoming and Gator Growl, and its powerful network of alumni. I also proved how FBK’s political machine operated on the campus. The jury verdict came in against McGovern (who the week before the trial was made Student Body President by FBK’s political machine) and FBK. Vlcek was severed from the case in the midst of the trial – but was tried again individually in 1999. The jury in the first verdict awarded a judgment against the defendants for $250,000 - $100,000 more than we asked the jury to award. In the second trial – we again asked for that amount – and this time the jury award $6 million. There was no out of court settlement. There were two trials, two verdicts of guilty on all charges, and two judgments. What is often misconstrued as a “settlement” refers to the arrangements made with the several defendants as to who would be pursued for which parts of the judgment. FBK was and remains to have been found guilty of all the charges.

The role of FBK on campus has been primarily a negative one historically. It runs a political machine which has had monopolistic control of SG and thus student activities since the 1920s. Indeed I proved this in court. It furthermore has provided a training ground for corrupt and unethical politics and politicians – not only on campus – but in our state and national government. The organization is anything but a leadership honorary – it is a followership honorary and a political machine.

The details of FBK’s activities are too complex to lay out here. In a nutshell, however, the issue that went to court was their publishing of defamatory flyers falsely accusing me of being a convicted child molester – which were posted all around the campus the day before the election.

The actions taken against me are part of the normal modus operandi of FBK’s political machine. It has, throughout its 80 year history, used intimidation, threats, bribes, etc. to maintain its exclusive power.

TR: For the students out there unaware of the Secret Elite leadership conflicts of years past, could you please shed some pearls ! of wisdom on the feud between FBK & ODK? Also let us know when FBK first allowed women & African Americans and why? Lastly tell us about the differences between Blue Key and Florida Blue Key?

CG: Wow. That would take a few hours.

In 1923, with the help of certain administrators, a number of student leaders on campus were brought together to assist in putting on events for the largest Homecoming ever. That group was the formed into an organization known as Blue Key by the Dean of the General Extension Division, Major B. C. Riley. Within a few months this was a national organization. Unfortunately, however, the membership of that first group overlapped with a pre-existing political machine on campus that had control over the Student Government and indeed had only recently re-established that government under a new Constitution (the one we have now effectively). The overlap led, rather quickly, into the organization becoming a legitimate shell – with direct ties to the administration (and eventually a powerful alumni base) – within which the “secret” machine operated. At first it really was secret – only being exposed (as the Beefsteak Club).

There is an very interesting book one can find in UF’s archives by one of Blue Key’s founding members and the 1924 Alligator Editor (and later UF professor) Angus Laird. He was actually one of the first to expose the machine for what it was – and you will see some of his stories (i.e. kickbacks of money going to SG officials; physical threats to fraternity members if they did not support the party; the Greek bloc as a basis for support, the stealing of elections; etc). Its entitled something like “What I saw”.

In 1932 FBK was thrown out of the national organization it founded – when its members attempted to strong arm their way in a national convention and take over the national organization as a national good ole boy political machine. It later established itself as a Florida corporation – Florida Blue Key, Inc. In the 1930s there was nearly a war over Blue Key’s political machine. ODK was first established, I believe in 1929, as a challenging organization to Blue Key’s political machine. The two went head to head until the UF administration took the side of Blue Key, disestablished ODK, and provided that Blue Key alone would be allowed to operate on campus. Ironically, in the 1970s, this scenario rose again – as ODK was founded specifically to challenge FBK’s political machine, were at war, the UF administration stepped in, sided with FBK, and merged the two organizations and eliminated ODK on campus (it has since re-emerged). That was the same period – early 1970s – when UF’s refusal to admit women was nearly challenged in court. Facing the inevitability of sanctions – they reluctantly (and very slowly) began admitting women. A few years earlier they were forced, under protest, to admit African-Americans.

In 1995 I re-established that original founding chapter, started in 1923, here at UF. It is a national leadership honorary. Its point on campus was to develop into a true leadership honorary. The organization still exists but is currently inactive. I’d like to see some true leaders emerge to take charge of this organization once again.

TR: Why are you suing Bernie Machen?

CG: Because he broke the law. Because he claims he is above the law. And because he is not above the law. Machen has refused to recognize Florida’s public records law. He has refused to comply, outright, with that law when I filed requests for documents which it is the right of all citizens to access to ensure public oversight and accountability over public officials and agencies. So I took the matter to the courts.

The particular issue was over the allocation of nearly a half million dollars in public and A&S fees, through their control of SG, to FBK. These expenditures are inappropriate (given FBK’s role on campus and control of SG) and illegal (they are an exclusive and dues paying corporation – not free and open to all students). I asked Machen to take action to prevent this allocation of funds. In order to find out what the University did or did not do – I requested public records – and Machen outright denied that request thus refusing to follow the law.

I am thus in court – and will pursue this matter until it is finally resolved – and all UF entities and officials are in full compliance with this important law.

Indeed, this Friday at 10:30 in the Alachua County Courthouse, Judge Roundtree’s Courtroom, we will be in full trial. Bernie Machen and Patricia Telles-Irvin (Vice President of Student Affairs) will be on the stand to testify. Anyone can attend – and students who are concerned ought to be in attendance to show their support for the law.

TR: Did you knowingly mislead the courts as was implied? Were you or were you not given the information you requested? Please expound

CG: No. That was nonsense. This was a tactic used by John DeVault, Machen’s attorney, and falsely sworn by Machen to the court. DeVault, by the way, is a prominent FBK alumnus and a former president of the Florida Bar.

The claim was that I mislead the court because I did not tell them I received records from Dr. Telles-Irvin. They falsely told the court that Telles-Irvin gave me the documents I requested from Machen.

The truth is: 1) I have never received a single Machen document from any UF official; 2) Telles-Irvin never provided Machen documents; 3) Machen outright refused to follow the law and has to date provided no documents. Furthermore, I was preparing to bring a case against Telles-Irvin for her non-compliance with the law when they introduced this misleading defense. Telles-Irvin has never fully complied – although unlike Machen, she has provided SOME (but not all) documents.

It is unfortunate that there are lawyers and public officials who are willing to lie to courts – if they can get away with it. Machen and DeVault knowingly mislead the court in their original motion. And thus we are going to full trial this week. We don’t have a good judge – his bias is for those in positions of authority. But the law is on our side – and in the end we will prevail.

Machen has openly stated to others his contempt for the public records law and his intent to not allow it to be used to obtain documents regarding his performance of his public duties. That is a fact. And that is a knowing and willing violation of the law. If the court system worked – he would be found guilty of a third degree felony for that offense.

TR: Is it true that after many semesters teaching courses at UF, that you suddenly found yourself out of work for Spring? Have you been blacklisted , in your opinion, for filing a suit against university officials (or did you simply choose to move on to greener pastures)?

CG: Well, there is some rumor that Machen or others on his behalf, have taken action to make it difficult for me to continue teaching at UF. I don’t know for a fact what has been done – although I do know that Machen’s office, and others, have made phone calls throughout the University inquiring into matters pertaining to my academic and teaching activities.

I don’t fixate on this. In the end, whenever officials take such actions, it can come back to haunt them. I am not intimidated when I know I am in the right – and I take the actions because they are right, irrespective of the personal costs or difficulties. In this case I know I am right and Machen is wrong – and thus I will pursue this action to the fullest of my ability.

TR: As an instructor and a graduate student at the university, what changes do you feel need to take place to make working and living conditions better for those outside the undergrad demographic. Do you feel that Graduate representation is adequate and/or taken seriously by the administration? From family/graduate housing, to representation in SG, to compensation through programs like People Soft what are some things that should be done to improve. SG is listening.

CG: Well – I could again go on for hours and pages on this. But let me just briefly touch upon it. We need a true commitment to education from the state government down to the UF administration. This is not a business – it is an educational institution – and undergraduate education should be treated with respect. It currently is not. People Soft is a scam. But then again – there are many money making scams taking place on UF’s campus – to drain money out of the pockets of the undergraduate students. That, in effect, is how the University administration (as opposed to faculty) view undergraduate students – not as students but as customers to exploit. Teachers need more respect and better pay. More teachers need to be hired. Fewer students need to be enrolled. And classes must be much smaller. Faculty should be hired – and rewarded – based on their teaching quality. They currently are not.

SG needs to be shut down and restarted on a democratic basis. No reform will ever fix this system – because it is under the absolute control of one small group. And the rules have been written by them for their continued control. Graduate students used to have no representation – I was the first to introduce the legislation for graduate representation – and after several years I was successful. However Graduate students are legally entitled to a greater percentage of the Senate than they are currently given. There should, actually, be a separate governing council for the graduate school. I have not always been of this opinion – but experience has shown me the necessity of this. The most important SG reform, however, is to change the electoral method. We have a mixed system of single member and multi-member winner-take-all elections. This ENSURES the monopolistic control of FBK. The only way to change that – is change that electoral method. I would adopt “choice voting” – and you would see an overnight massive improvement in SG due to the inclusion of far more voices and the viability of independents and other parties.

TR: Outside UF, you are also heavily involved in local and national politics. Speaking in regards to Gainesville and Alachua County what are your views on city & county commissions in their work to truly make living and working conditions better in our community? In layman’s terms….do these people actually care? How have candidates you’ve supported fared so far (I.e. Hanrahan, Donovan, others).

CG: There are two questions here: do they work and do they care. By and large, nearly all of the local elected officials “care.” But do they fulfill their duties and obligations? Not necessarily. I say this as a reflection of the whole – not pointing to any one in particular. There have been a few outstanding commissioners at city and county level – but by and large – the totality has been disappointing. As for representing students – these commissions are not representative of students at all. But this is in large part due to the apathy of the students. The voting power of students locally, if they used it, is immense. If students excert themselves seriously – they will be heard – and will have to be taken seriously. As long as students don’t register to vote locally – and don’t use their voice – they won’t be heard and thus won’t be represented.

I have been extensively involved in all levels of city and county government and know it well. I recently ended my service on the County’s Blue Ribbon Committee on County Finance and am currently on the Charter Review Committee, looking at the electoral process, for the City of Gainesville.

If I can stress anything about local government – it is get involved.

I have supported numerous local candidates – far too many to list in detail. Recently I have supported the campaigns of Jeanna de Mastrodicasa and Jack Donovan at the city level and Mike Byerley at the County level. Indeed Mike Byerley and Jack Donovan are excellent examples of the kind of representation we need in this community.

As you are also aware I have also taken actions against two sitting county commissioners. A few years ago I brought an Ethics charge against Cynthia Chestnut for her dealings with Clark Butler who is a close friend of hers and was seeking her assistance in getting the county to build him a road, at our expense, for his multi-million dollar profit efforts at Butler Plaza. I won that case. I also revealed the fact that Paula Delaney did not legally occupy her seat – as she did not actually live in her district.

As you may also now be aware – I am currently running for the State House of Representatives from this area.

TR: You’ve had some run ins with Tony Domenech as well, are his days as an electoral threat over? (Part II. of this question in the second installment).

CG: Yes. I once respected Tony and got along well with him. But I saw the true Tony Domenich when he ran for re-election last time. After talking with him at the Swamp (yes – the night of SG Spring elections he was there with the FBK machine – who were running his campaign) – I asked him a question he did not like. (It was did he really think it wise to have the FBK machine run his campaign (but then again – he joined a fraternity that year too!)) – and he literally turned on me. His face was red, his veins popping out of his neck, and he effectively challenged me to a fight in the Swamp. But then again – it is publicly known that he has similarly called commissioners out to the parking lot for fights – including then mayor Tom Bussing, mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, and Warren Nielson. So I found out that Tony has a very developed “win friends and influence people” persona – but that in the background, the true Tony is another creature altogether. I was very disappointed at that revelation.

-------Part II. of the Charlie Grapksi Interview...Coming Soon

Friday, April 14, 2006

To Gareth

I remember talking to you on Turlington about how similar Progress was to Voice and I remember you being a very strong campaign-man at Engineering. Later we corresponded frequently discussing a myriad of issues pertaining to student government and its political parties. I also remember the phone calls, the ones where you asked me for advice, the later ones when we differed on stances, and the last ones where we fought one point against the other. Our relationship was strictly political and while evolved in many respects away from each other on certain issues, I always admired your passion and drive. You were one of the students that didn't get HIS glory day, that didn't get to ride the victory wave yet you fought hard and you were always aware of the moving and shakings as well as the movers and shakers within the Student Leadership community.

I will never forget you, Senator Gareth Kerr.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

As Radikal As I Wanna Be!

Delivery drivers 'easy target' for robbery

This article really upset me for a variety of reasons, but when not dealing with SG or college sports this is the kind of city coverage the Alligator should be known for! This article was excellently written and truly conveyed a strong message.

I've thought about ways to business owners could curb these kinds of attacks, ways the police could lower these crimes (i.e. by foot patrols like in major cities and/or opening Sub-Stations in rough neighborhoods as is done in Miami, Atlanta, NYC to name a few), but the police and the law may not be the best way to solve this problem. To be quite honest, if pizza delivery drivers are being beaten to within inches of their lives in some cases and in other cases being lured to ambush sites by crackheads then the problem has already degenerated to a point where the police and the standard means of the law can no longer be an effective solution. If the police and the Judicial system were effective journalists would not be writing about articles like this much less quoting police officers as saying people should not go entire sections of a city because they are unsafe, that in and of itself is a CONFESSION that the police have failed and coupled with that failure comes an inability to enforce the LAW and inability to protect the tax-paying public.

I'm a pragmatist on certain social issues such as violent crime and in such a situation sometimes only irregular powers that be can deal with the scum of the underworld. These irregular powers that be can be citizen-based in the form of what is loosely known as Vigilante Justice (no not Citizen Patrol, that's a joke anyhow) or through protection offered by organized crime entities such as the Mafia. I am sure the police know more or less who's behind every attack, every mugging, every robbery but lacking needed evidence and search warrants and having to deal with civll rights they are not able to move. A vigilante group or a Mafia family would take a violent crackhead, drag him to the middle of the street and shoot off both his kneecaps and leave him there screaming for all to hear....after that night no crackhead who dare rob another delivery guy and so on and so forth based on the severity of the offense.

I am not advocating either vigilante justice or organized crime, but what I am stating is the obvious. The police have failed and it's not because they're inept it's because the criminals have taken control of entire neighborhoods where the police cannot ensure even the most basic level of security, where they're quoted as saying so much in a newspaper! If business leaders in Gainesville, namely those exposed to robbery and criminal mischief against their employees want to stop being victims and fight back, they will have to do so in creative manners. Even cooperating is no longer enough, some of these criminals where hoods and even if they're victims cooperate fully and have no idea who they are, they'll execute them! It happens everyday, where's the JUSTICE for these people? WHERE?!

Illegal immigrants don't belong

I want to applaud Gary Strange for his magnificent and insightful letter to the Alligator today. Gary shows the Gator Nation that just because you have a small penis, a small square mustache under your nose, and closet sexual tendencies towards goats, sheep, and other farmland animals that you can still be a college student and get ahead in this life. Great letter Gary, you make sure and remebmer Christian Duque thinks the world of ya, hear?

I wonder if all those illegals from Europe in the 1800 & 1900's that helped build America working low-end jobs (like the Irish and Italians in NY through New England; the Portugese in NJ, the Greeks in FL, the Cubans & Haitians in Miami that took that swamp and made it one of the fastest growing cities in America are "criminals" as you seem to refer to what seems to be Mexican-Americans to be). Your fears of educational problems are also unwarranted....a seventh grader in Cuba probably has a better comprehension of math than you do, children coming from many Latin American countries boast of through-the-roof math scores and what can be said about Asian Americans and their commitment to education and hardwork, what can be said about all the Haitians I know in Miami that literally worked their fingers till they bled, that sacrificed living two, three familiies to a home working seven days a week and now having their own homes in Key Biscayne, contributing to society and making Miami better everyday!

This country was built by immigrants and you're way out of line to call these people criminals. Also...let me also include that that arguement about looking out for legal immigration is about as solid as the defense of racists that claim "I can't hate black folks cuz I have a black friend." Don't sit there and repeat the tired-old-anti-immigration rhetoric. It's my opinion that people like you have a lot more to say but your peanut sized testicles just don't produce enough manhood for you to speak out. But that's just my uneducated and presumptuous OPINION of course.

Israeli abuse subsidized by U.S.

Omar Abdelghany writes an interesting letter albeit chalked full of recyled-Pro-Palestinian-rhetoric. I like that he's trying to inform the greater public about the disproportionate U.S. funding between Israel & the PA, however, what would things be like if the U.S. didn't fund either side? What then? I honestly feel that the both the military and economic achievements of Israel are almost equal to those of post-war Japan or Germany...without heavy aid from the West, in this case solely the U.S., Israel wouldn't be much today.

Take the sham of the '67 war. The IDF are credited as military geniuses, the Israeli people are credited as fighting to the limits! Now I don't doubt the IDF and the Israeli people fought hard, but harder than the Soviet at Stalingrad...harder than the Hungarians in Budapest in '56? No...I personally don't think so. History makes it seem like the Arab nations, notably the nations under Nasser's UAR couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag and the Israeli's annhilated them based solely on their military prowess....please....that's bullshit. Israel is a dependent state that has never done anything for itself COMPLETELY on its own, even in '67 they counted with DIRERCT U.S., British, and French military, diplomatic, and economic support.

I am a proponent of Palestinian AND Israeli SELF-RELIANCE, both of these states need to get off the breast of the west and fend for themselves, it's only been fifty-eight years ya know...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

In The News w/ (You Guessed It..) Christian Duque!!!

CLO alumni raise $100K for repairs to the building

Just as time runs out, the residents and alums of CLO seem to find one last way to evade defeat, but UF is ever-resourceful in shutting them down. There will be no co-ops on this campus, with the closing of Buckman, CLO remains the last "problem" in what Bernie Machen and his faceless bureaucrats want to see for this campus. They succeeded in implementing Block Tuition (ensuring the vast majority students will be forced out by 124 credit hours), they have tightened admissions beyond the point of disbelief (scroll down), they are in cahoots with CITY leaders to infringe on student' pleas to extend the bar-closing-time by one hour, and they are currently further scrutinizing potential applicants beyond the GPA and SAT prerequisites..."admissions staff, UF faculty and high school guidance counselors from throughout the state - must consider whether each applicant would fulfill a need of the university," (but what "needs" does UF have, certainly rebel-rousers, dissenters, and political activists would not really merit the institution's "needs,"** because we already have plenty of big-titled cronies on Machen's payroll assuming the charge of "activism" on our campus.

No my beloved Gators (students, alums, and diehard supporters), Mr. Machen and his cronies don't want to negotiate, the writing is on the wall. The CLO alums are not asking for matching funds or are they asking for extended periods of time, they putting in their money and making repairs, they are bringing up the buildings to code, but UF's version of the code may be the University Corners' code not the city code. All that I say on this blog is opinion-based, my opinion, and in my opinion it's good that the CLO alums are helping, but the CLO students and independents from all over campus need to step it up a knotch. Start petition drives, make a website, organize a protest on BERNIE MACHEN'S LAWN, bring pots and pans and make sure that motherfucker from Utah knows that needy students have a right to a place to live just as much as the rich kids...oh yeah...make sure to get a "PER-MIT" for that protest. Whew!!...


Leaders want smaller SG

I'm glad to finally see some consistency out of the Office of the SG Vice President. I want to applaud VP Elect Washington for carrying on the torch of VP Medina in this most noble of ways. It's always been my belief that cabinet is an excessively large and almost impossible-to-manage SG entity. For years cabinet directors have been chosen based on failed senate runs and campaign-trail favors, their work has been little-to-none in many of the posts, and while it's believed the Vice President controls the team through his/her Cabinet Chairpersons, the bottom line is that Veep controls nothing, it's all an illusion, one GIANT sham...almost like a big fat joke sustained by sadistic senate leaders.

Reducing the size of cabinet will increase accountability, hands down. Reducing the size of cabinet will also increase the power of the remaining cabinet directors as to where these "folks" (I'm using a Bush'ism here to win over the Country Clubbers) might actually have the power to order more than a pizza for themselves. Reducing the size of cabinet will also increase the role of the Veep in SG's day-to-day affairs. Cutting bureaucracy is always a plus, but it's also a road seldom chosen by elected officials. Reducing the size of cabinet indirectly reduces the bargaining power of the president (bringing his/her's appointment powers from roughly 450+ to around 420 [no pun intended]). For those of you who are ready to say "No Christian, directorships aren't given out to just anyone, much less to folks that lose senate runs," I'd have to politely and immediately disagree and cite about half a dozen examples from our own Yellow & Blue Revolution.

A wise & dirty politico sees each cabinet as 1 (or 2 directorships), 1 designated A.D., 2-4 director-designated A.D.'s (this where cabinet and MLM business schemes coincide), and an unlimited number of "staff members" that the administration and/or director may select. Now...who in their right mind would want to be a STAFF MEMBER on the pretty much dormant Capital Improvements cabinet....not anyone that actually wants to make a difference, but to a straight-A student with ties to AKPsi and a Finance degree that got Party X 30 votes and campaigned on an average basis...this minor role might just the little edge he/she needs to win over a future employer or get him/her into grad school. Less directorships means less favors, BUT as far as STUDENT LEADERSHIP and commitment to SERVE, there can be no more noble a deed.

So.....I'm hoping that President-elect Boyles will support his VP and that his support will bring out the true/blue leaders in Gator/Swamp to support VP-Elect Washington. By the same token, I hope that Sen. Baker and the Impact/Unite senators will do their part in meeting Washington/Boyles in the middle and shaking on this groundbreaking piece of legislation.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Who's Running The Alligator These Days?

Below is a link to a letter you probably read in last Friday's Alligator by Murphree District, Student Senator Gabriel J.T. DuPree:

The letter you read was printed on several conditions and I believe it trumps a new era of Alligator reporting and activity on our campus. Free speech seems to have gone by the wayside! Below is an excerpt from a letter Sen. DuPree sent to TheRadikal:

"However, even after I told them directly not to change anyting without my permission, the Alligator staff removed one of their journalist's name that I mentioned in the opening paragraph. This was after I'd already been forced to remove almost an entire paragraph by the editors, before they would even print my letter."


I believe wholeheartedly that the Alligator is not only clamping on people's free speech, but is desperately attempting to control and/or heavily influence the outlook of everyday students, EVERYDAY! Let me cite two quick examples:

Group uses student funds to court extremism
# of Past Quotes Linking Speaker to Racism: 0
# of Quotes from speaker at UF event: 0
# of Dissenting Opinions, Objectivity: 0
Tone of the article: Extremely hostile.
The paper tells the student body the speaker is a racist, tells the student body that VISA did wrong, and indirectly tells the student body how to vote on a heavily biased poll (that even today they have still not recognized as being such).

UF hosts controversial Coulter
By BOBBY EAGLEAlligator Contributing Writer
# of Past Quotes Linking Speaker to Controversey: 0
# of Dissenting Opinions: 0
Tone of Article: Extremely vague. This article reads like a resume and a list of guest appearances, the title says one thing and the body of the article says NOTHING! Below is a quote of Ms. Coulter:

"Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the president."
-Ann Coulter, February 23, 2005

Helen Thomas, who was born in 1920 in Kentucky to parents who were immigrants from Lebanon, has been reporting on politics since 1943. Source:

"Americans don't want to make Islamic fanatics love us. We want to make them die. There's nothing like horrendous physical pain to quell angry fanatics. So sorry they're angry - wait until they see American anger. Japanese kamikaze pilots hated us once too. A couple of well-aimed nuclear weapons, and now they are gentle little lambs. That got their attention."


( - Conservative columnist Ann Coulter received a rock star welcome at the Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC) Friday, but when she used the term "ragheads" twice in a speech before a crowd of college students, bloggers accused her of "racism" and "hate speech."


I'm not sure if the folks at the Alligator know this...but [Israeli] Jews are not the only Semitic people, many [Arab] Muslims are as Ms. Coulter would fit the true Anti-Semitic role just as well if not entirely moreso than Mr. only question to the Alligator is....does racism against Arabs outrage you as much as racism against Jews -- something tells me the answer to my curiosity is synonomous with the writing on the wall.

In closing, let me share a message with you, a message the Alligator heavily "editted," from J.T. DuPree, this is HIS letter:

It's been deeply disheartening to witness the Alligator's recent hypocritical attempt to call someone a racist, given this newspaper's past that is filled with bigotry and intolerant cartoons against minorities. Perhaps even worse is the amateurish reporting that has been conducted recently by writers such as Jacqueline Davison and the Alligator editorial staff, filling articles with quotes taken out of context, and negligently falsifying information, (such as reporting 40 people showed up to an event, when it was much closer to 100).

What I find truly newsworthy is that Ann Coulter, a Zionist racist, is being brought by ACCENT to speak here next week and no headline stories are being written about that. Coulter has gone on-record referring to Blacks, Native Americans, & Palestinians as "savages", and even stated that all Arabs should be searched before boarding airplanes -- clearly blatant racism. An international student organization brought ONE speaker to this campus who openly spoke-out against the war crimes being committed by the Israeli government, and now all of a sudden there's an outcry that it was too "controversial".

I think we really need to take a look at what's taking place on this campus, because the unfortunate message being sent to the student body is that our Student Government and supposedly independent media outlets are choosing sides based-on ideology.

Gabriel J.T. DuPree

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

We R The #1! We R The Champions!!! Go Gators!!!!!

I got to watch the game at Andrew's with Dan & Vera...we had pizza and lots of good beer, it was better than the Final Four party I went (though I gotta say that one was pretty PHAT too). The game was amazing...our guys in orange and blue kicked so much ass that it looked like they were at a practice....the UCLA defense collapsed, their outside game --- shitty, their offensive rebounds -- saddening, their blocks --- non-existent, their efforts at cutting the baseline -- weak, their coaching -- deplorable, their ability to shoot bricks -- priceless :-)

Driving down from Lexington to my soon to be former house at the Student Ghetto was friggin exhilirating (is that spelled correctly? Damn the Man!). I have never seen so many friggin kids goin BUCK WILD, man....tonight will go down in my fondest memories mental scrapbook of UF :-)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO GATORS!!! WE ARE #1!!! I didn't need a basketball championship to know we were the fuckin best school in the land...but man does it feel good to add that onto our Orange & Blue excellence!!!

---------------------> I LOVE UF :-) <-------------------------------------

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Washington Encircled, Bush Resigns

I'm sure many of you have been following the chaotic chain of events of State Television (CNN). But if not, I will include a timeline:


05:20 AM: President Bush calls an emergency meeting at the Oval office. He tells yawning aides and elderly statesmen that he's decided to use his presidential powers to land forced in Iran and win the war in under 90 days. "Who needs Congress!," he blasts.
05:22 AM: CIA advisers and Karl Rove figure out a way to issue the deathblow to public opinion of Iran, stateside. They work on ways to coerce the 9-11 Commission and key leaders of the opposition, Hollywood, and even labor leaders to support the Bush administration's actions.
05:37 AM: There's a leak?!!! But how?!!! Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is on the phone, loud and rude, demanding to speak to the President, shouting "I know about Iran, I know..."
05:40 AM: CNN ceases normal schedule, a screen parted in two appears, one side with VP Cheney's image, the other with NY Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on the other, and a generic telephone image between them. That screen stays up while audio commences:

Dick Cheney: [takes call] This is the President of the Senate, Vice President of The United...
SHRClinton: Righto! What's this I hear about your boy wanting to deploy troops to Iran and totally bypass Congress?
Dick Cheney: Ugh?
SHRClinton: Look! I have Senators Biden, Obama, Kennedy (albeit drunk), and Nancy Pelosi and...
Dick Cheney: what? We've got the any event Sen. Clinton we're busy here, we don't have time to talk to you.
SHRClinton: Well...["lemme talk to that honkey!" Sen. Obama can be overheard yelling meanwhile a "settle down chief" can be heard from a man whom sounds very much like Bill Clinton"]
Dick Cheney: How''d you FOLKS get a meeting together that fast?!
SHRClinton: Well Obama stayed the night because we had a long meeting and since we only had a king we all slept together, but nothing sketch, Obama slept between me and Bill so it's all ok.
Dick Cheney: Ugh....Well we don't care what you have to say, you and the American people are about as bright as Gary Coleman post Diff'rent Strokes and we just received confirmation that six Tomahawk cruise missiles have been launched at Tehran from the USS New Jersey on the Persian Gulf! Additionally, our forces in Iraq have fired three recovered Scud B's (one at Haifa, one at Jaffa, and one at Tel-Aviv), we marked the Scuds with so many Iranian codes 'n crap thatt even a fuckin retard with dyslexia could figure out, hahahah). We've also ordered CIA operatives to contaminate the Baghdad water reserves and we've paid off key Shi'ite and Kurd leaders to place the blame on the Sunni's so you can forget about U.S. troop reductions when Iraq goes into a civil war so bloody it will make the one in Lebanon seem like a pillow fight. Lastly, Karl [Rove] is working on efforts to finger Obama as defacto leader of a Black Muslim terror ring and also finger Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other key African American dissenters as enemies of the U.S. government. We got the army, the air force, the navy, the vast majority of police stations, and the media in our hip pocket!
SHRClinton: Not so fast DICK! What you've also got is this..turn on CNN!
Dick Cheney: CNN is for communists, why would I turn that crap on?
SHRClinton: Cuz our phone call has been on air since we started talking?
Dick Cheney: Ugh...Ugh...HUH..HUH. [VP Cheney keals over and dies]

05:42 FOX News goes to the airwaves, trying to calm down the American public...the network plummets in ratings as it seems everyone is glued to CNN, meanwhile a few others tune into MSNBC (where Howard Stern speaks via phone about how terrible Bush is and how gigantic the boobs of his bedmate are).

05:50 A mutiny breaks out on the USS New Jersey! Democratic seamen arrest their largely Republican officer corps and 'house' them in the ship's mess hall. The USS New Jersey is officially under siege, with some officers locking themselves in special areas and trying to hold out. The mutiny is largely ignored by the media, as key Republican congressmen are woken up and begin condemning the president.

06:06 Arizona Sen. John McCain calls for President Bush's resignation.
06: 07 Senate Democratic Leader: Sen. Harry Reid calls for Bush's resignation.
06:10 Secretary of State Condi Rice is arrested by the DCPD
06:15 Ft. Benning, GA.....The base officially lowers all American flags to half mast, other bases across the nation do the same, but the majority keep them up. It eventually becomes known that those bases w/ flags at half mast are not loyal to Bush or Bush's plans.
06:30 The first televised images of the USS New Jersey come via Real Player, nothing too out of the ordinary but the vessels flags are at half mast.
06:35 approx. 10,000 demonstrators gather around the White House.
06:40 The FCC 'suggests' news stations turn focus away from 'Washington.'
06:45 Fox, NBC, & ABC comply with FCC suggestion.
06:46 CSPAN goes off air.
06:47 CBS bows out, follows FCC line.
06:48 MSNBC runs Fahrenheit 911
06:50 CNN's signals are jammed, but remains on air with Nancy Pelosi speaking on any Bush administration predecessor to the presidency would solve nothing. She says a new election must be held in 90 days to save the nation. Pelosi is the first to imply that the government may fall.
06:51: The presidential helicopter lands on the rose garden, secret service agents rush out from the White House and seem to be clearing out the area for a quick exit. Sparks can be seen flickering on the chopper, it's later revealed that snipers from locations unknown have opened fire on the aircraft, the SS agents rush back to the White House, the chopper pulls out, the President is forced to stay put.
07:15 A video is released with DNC Chairman Howard Dean expressing the following, "Nice Try. The President shall remain in the capital, he shall not flee to Crawford."
07:20: The crowd outside the White House nears 25,000 by aereal count.
07:25: NBC bigwhigs finally push through. MSNBC stops F911 and begins an unheard of Martha Stewart Marathon.
07:35: CNN reports that the DNC is calling for every party members to prepare for hard times.
07:40: CNN reports that the crowd outside the White House has reached the 100,000 mark! Riots have broken out in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Buffalo, Dayton, Seattle, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Atlanta, Dallas, Hartford, Baltimore, Charleston, Jersey City, Rochester, and Chicago to date.
08:00 CNN reports that the military will not leave the bases, either those supporting the president or those neutral, the military will not suppress the people. This includes state's Army Reserve and National Guard units.
08:05 The Libertarian Party officially asks for the resignation of the President.
08:15 The Green Party follows, also asks for the resignation of the President.
08:20 The DCPD, amongst other agencies, receive an arrest warrant from key leaders to arrest the President on contempt of congress charges. The DCPD whom is in charge of crowd control outside the White House are ordered by their leaders to carry out the arrest order.
08:30 DCPD officers make contact with the Secret Service.
08:40 The call ends, DCPD spokeman tells CNN that the SS will not hand over the president and will open fire on trespassers, be it rioters or arresting officers alike.
08:45 Two unmarked Blackhawk helicopters straff DCPD headquarters with rockets. The building lay in flames and officers exchange small arms fire with the aircraft. This marks the first time Federal forces exchange fire with state/local agencies.
09:00 Senator Martinez (R, FL) asks for the resignation of the President.
09:05 The crowd outside the whitehouse nears the 100,000 mark. Democratic leaders continue to pour gasoline on rioting cities, "the president must resign!" they blast over local radio stations, jam-packed with callers on-top-of more callers waiting to get answers, rumor control hotlines are backed up some with 30 calls on hold with rooms holding one-to-two dozen operators!!!
09:15 The entire state of NY is put under emergency, WA, NJ, FL, TX, LA, NC, SD, CA, and CT immediately follow.
09:45 The crowd has well surpassed the 125,000 mark and outraged DCPD officers search through the debris looking for their wounded and dead. DCPD leaders threaten the Secret Service: "all police personnel will be removed from between the 100,000+ 'mob' and the White House unless United States Secret Service stand down, allow our men in blue entry, and permit us to put the President under arrest."
10:00 Air Force F-15 Eagles take to the skies, their presence over the White House is unknown.
10:10 The crowds now surpass the 150,000 mark according to CNN and the newly arrived BBC.
10:15 Reuters claim that the Air Force jets are rogues, sent by left-leaning AF generals to intimidate the president whom they believe would likely be in an atomic bunker below the presidential compound.
10:20 Fox News breaks the FCC line and shows scenes of rioting in TX and CA. They claim "the Democrats will destroy America!"
10:25 Democratic Party headquarters in St. Louis, MO receive heavy small arms fire from various points. Armed gunmen aboard rusty pick up trucks billowing black smoke from their tail pipes roll around the parking lot firing heavy machine guns.
10:30 A carbomb goes off in front of Democratic Party offices in Sacramento. The vehicle used was a 2002 Kia Rio coupe. The explosion destroyed a city block, shattered windows, left 30 injured, and killed five. The Republican National Preservation Front takes responsibility for the attack.
10:44 DNC Chairman Howard Dean pronunced himself President of a caretaker administration, he nominates Hillary Rodham Clinton his Vice President...she accepts, he also nominates John McCain his Secretary of State, he laughs on Fox News.
10:45 President Dean orders all American soldiers, seamen, and pilots to stand outside their respective bases, in full uniform, and stand in formation for 'morale' and review in front of the American peole.
10:50 President Dean's first executive order is ignored.
10:57 A carbomb rips through Democratic Party Offices in Baton Rouge, LA. The Republican National Preservation Front quickly takes responsibility.
11:00 The Republican National Preservation Front call for the President to dissolve Congress, expressing they are to blame (both sides of the aisle) for the upheavals of the day.
11:10 Secretary of State Condi Rice appears on Fox! She talks about the wonderful work that goes on in Iraq, sporadic gunfire can be heard in the background, at least one SS agent races behind her donning bullet belts over his shoulders, totting a .30 machine gun, and wearing a dusty soldier's helmet over his professional attire. Condi talks about how wonderful things are and about a childhood cartrip she once took with her parents. Finally Condi expresses concern over the final season of the Sopranos and mentions how much she loves Italian food.
11:11 Multiple carbombs rock Providence, RI Democratic Party offices. The Republican National Preservation Front claim responsibility.
11:13 President Dean calls gives his first State of the Union front of him he has a CNN mic, two local radio station mics, and a mic belonging to "Cindy's Lingerie Network." Dean expresses contempt for his rival president George W. Bush, he talks about how he will crush the 'rogue' president, he demands Fox go off air, and dissolves the Supreme Court.
11:15 Justices Thomas, Scalia resurface in the White House.
11:20 The crowd outside the White House has now easily surpassed the quarter-million mark.
11:22 DCPD officers give a noon deadline before they 'WALK.'
11:23 AF jets have been marked, two surface to air missiles come out from the White House lawn, "they just like...umm...came from mother nature bro," remarked one heavily stoned onlooker as White Hosue anti-air-defenses were activated. The jets were sent scrambling.
11:30 President Bush is rumored to be in poor spirits, having no pull with the military he once assumed was ultra-loyal to him, losing the majority of his support in Congress, and facing widespread popular anger, and being forced to stay put. If only he could escape to Crawford or anywhere in Texas, they could never get him, he could annihilate anyone and anything, but in Washington, in the thick of the blue coastline, he was fucked.
11:35 The NAACP officially asks for the president for his resignation.
11:37 The Republican National Committee asks that the President re-consider his actions.
11:40 The Repulibcan National Committee asks the president to consider resignation.
11:44 Senate Democratic Leader: Sen. Harry Reid asks the president to resign and allow for a caretaker government created between himself, McCain, and Condi Rice.
11:47 President Bush says he will hear out Sen. Reid.
11:55 President George H.W. Bush resigns. A caretaker government headed by Senators Reid (president), McCain (vice President), Rice (SOS), FSU law student James Argento (SODefense), and Gary Coleman (Chief of Staff) takes power.
12:00 The crowd reaching 350,000 is informed of the news.
12:04 As part of the deal, fmr. President Bush is granted immunity from all charges and takes political asylum in the United Kingdom. VP Cheney is buried at Big Bubba's Stiff's Seamentery and President Reid promises to send Israel another billion in aid for the scud attacks, promises to give Baghdad residents all the dasani they can drink till the water problem is fixed, tells Iran sorry for the tomahawks that should be arriving, well in a couple of hours. President Reid promises to lift sanctions on Iran and send James Argento over to ease relations.

Happy April Fool's Day. :-)