Wednesday, January 31, 2007

2 Post Wednesday!

Back Home!
Well it's finally a done deal, my pc is back home! Well sorta, the hard-drive is back with all the info, though I got a new case, new motherboard, new processor, and new power supply. For over a month now I've had to go to public library and wait sometimes an hour for a pc, mainly to check my email and to update TR. This blog has really become very important to me and to many of its readers. So now that my pc is back home I will be easier to contact and such. The library is great and plan to continue going there, for those of you who/whom (lol) haven't gone over there, check it out, lots of good books, nice girls, and if you have any kind of muscles you can flex them and listen to people say he "that guy's huge" or "that [expletive] is on steroids" [which I'm not, but I digress].

In regards to PANTS I do want to thank Bruce for having called me (sorry I couldn't pick up, I was on another call). Although I haven't addressed the issue as of late, apparently another blogger confronted the PANTS leader of his dealings with Florida Blue Key. On the message, Bruce insists he'll give me the scoop.

Still, I would prefer Bruce to forget about such details of the past and focus on the Party. I personally don't like the name, but he believes in it and he's got the potential to actually get the ball rolling. If and let me stress if Bruce hopes to get some numbers he's going to need a Gavin Baker, a Ryan Nelson, a Justin Bell, or a Nikki Grant on that exec ticket with him. I don't necessarily think having Tommy Jardon will make or break his campaign, just like having Andre Samuels didn't mean much for Mike Belle in his run for the county commission in 2005.

A nice ticket for PANTS would be a Haupt/Bell/Nelson ticket or a Haupt/Baker/Grant type deal; another interesting ticket would be DeJong/Haupt/Bell -- 'letting the ladies wear the pants as well.' Really, just because Bruce founded the Party doesn't mean he necessarily must have the top spot, besides, how noble of a campaign would that be? DeJong/Haupt/Bell --- I'd think such a ticket would really throw a curve ball at the Swamp Party. Oh well, just thinkin. I guess a gigantic chunk of PANTS chances lie in who they decide to put on that Exec ticket. I would take a pass on getting caught up debating old news and start calling people and having power lunches. It's all about the big names, the exposure, and the radikal havin his computer back home baby!

Pants Party Returns

There seems to be a lot of activity over at Pants, Inc: an electronic press release on Sunday, a follow-up email on Tuesday, and a letter in the Alligator in today's paper. Like Keg, Pants main star seems to be its founder and somewhere along the humor-laden-road, the court jester got idealistic, started wanting the joke to be a serious bid for office. When I saw Bruce at a law fair last year, I knew he wanted more, trouble is can Pants deliver?

I don't think so. While I agree with Bruce that name recognition is helpful, that same name-recognition will hurt his party, because students will associate his group with theatrics and comedy, not serious politics. When The Keg Party took their campaign to the next level and straightened themselves out politically, even a few weeks into an election, it was already too late. PANTS spent an entire election being a joke, to come now in an election that quite frankly is much more important and expect that based off the laughs it received last year to somehow pose a threat, much less have a prayer of winning, is in my opinion: a gamble not worth taking.

However, all is not lost. Bruce could run and become a potentially interesting Indie candidate. If I were him I'd use the same GDI battle-cry used to bring down the Greeks/FBK rule and aim at the increasingly anti-SG Alligator. The Alligator endorsement is worth barely 250 votes and in all fairness this newspaper has been increasingly hostile to SG. Yesterday they blasted SG for being a bureaucratic problem, today they admit SG is hard at work with the City; AAREST acts, Alligator reacts; when was the last time an SG'er or candidate for office, rallied the students against the Alligator? If the Alligator hates your guts, many Greeks will give you a better ear (at my house and many my friends belonged to, the hatred for the Alligator was almost impossible to convey in words).

The Letter

The letter Bruce wrote to the Alligator is wimpy. The fact he may run or that his party may run and he's at least it's temporary spokesperson should have warranted a stronger letter. There should be no kiss & make-up since SG has done nothing to deserve the hostile articles published in this paper. I smirked when I read the one-liners on Bernie & the Board. I also gathered that Bruce was speaking to the general student body in his letter (not to the editor as the section suggests), however, when speaking of SG, Bruce perpetuated a running joke that the President is SG and vice versa, without mention of the Senate. Even in nat'l politics we are running into this very problem, where the concept of bi-cameral federal gov't is going out the window. The Student Body President is but one office of one of the three branches of government, other offices and branches Bruce left out of his letter.

The President is not the student's only voice. Perhaps at the Board he/she is, but the students have many elected and appointed officers working for them. While I know it wasn't Bruce's intention to leave out entire branches, he should realize that if in fact his aim was to speak to the masses via a letter to the editor, he should have made sure to cover all bases. Again, this letter seems to continue the Fall Pants' line, it's funny and if anything else, perhaps a little weak. Would Chris Chase, Nina, or Arturo have written a letter like this? Shape up Bruce, you can be a threat, but you gotta shape up. Vote on new poll (FAST!).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Who Is Anuradha Pandey?

Yes who is Anuradha Pandey and what the hell is she smoking? George Smathers was a bigot, a racist, and at least in my opinion, they did the right thing in not honoring his life. This 'reporter' seems fixated on George Smathers 'donor hat' but she fails to comment on a legacy that allowed for black children to be kept from white schools and for a legacy that allowed Blacks to be addressed as niggers, that allowed blacks to be spat on at white lunch counters, that allowed blacks to be arrested for where they rode on public buses, that forbade blacks drinking from white water fountains, that shorted blacks from their right to the polls, that divided this nation on the basis of skin color.

As this fucking idiot trashes senate for its record of silly bills, she then attacks senators of not passing bills that make it to the floor because then that would be "disrespectful," what a fuckin idiot! Then "Anuradha, The Village Idiot" tries to sound GDI by raising fears of the Greek Machine taking over SG; then she rallies for online voting which has been insisted by key Indies (myself added to those...) is not a sure-fire tool to increase votes (e.g. FSU); finally "Anuradha, The Village Idiot" lashes out with, " I don't advocate getting rid of SG entirely, but it really needs to be shaved down to be more efficient" -- which immediately made me wonder if this fictitious character has ever been to a Senate Budget Committee meeting, sat in on a budget, or witnessed the work of the Senate Allocations Commmittee. Her rhetoric drips of Turlington Plaza campaign day hype, she goes on to make mention of the A&S Fees and concludes her stab-at-how-SG-works with a charge that students don't care, students won't vote.

I can't wait to read the next story by "Anuradha, The Village Idiot."

Next Entry I will do my best to cover the return of the PANTS exciting.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Legal Or Not:

About a week ago a regular Radikal reader sent in an email he'd received from a third party which contained the following footer:

"Documents made or received by anyone acting for or on behalf of the UF = Foundation are confidential and exempt from F.S. 119.07(1) pursuant to = F.S. 1004.28(5) and in accordance with the UF Foundation policy on = confidentiality of Foundation documents."

The reader wanted to know if this footer (found on a University of Florida Alumni Association) email to its members did in fact merit material excluded from Florida's Public Records Laws (aka Sunshine Laws). Upon receiving this query I fired off an email to Chris Carmody, Nick Capezza, & Charlie Grapski to get as much info on the matter as possible. Charlie Grapski, well known for his activism and many attempts at getting UF to better-observe these laws, repliedpromptly.

Grapski replied as follows:

No, there is no such exemption from the Sunshine law - as much as the Foundation (and UF seeks to use the Foundation as a means to shelter itself from the Sunshine) wants to make it that way.

They have long exploited a specific exemption for donors - to mean that their entire operation is exempt.

This is a blatant - and conscious - violation of the law.

On Thursday (1/25/07) I emailed the Foundation contact on the email, attaching Grapski's reply, and inviting the officer to either personally reply on the blog or forward the email to an appropriate officer. The Radikal invites readers to submit questions and/or concerns of any nature and I'll do my best to get you the answers. As far as this case goes, I remain interested in hearing of a rebuttal to Charlie Grapski's opinion on the matter.

The Radikal will work hand-in-hand with Charlie's Open Records Project. Additionally, many SG leaders are also throwing this footer with their emails:

"The information transmitted (including attachments) is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, is intended only for the person(s) or entity/entities to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient(s) is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer."

We'll be looking into the legalities of this footer as well. Till next time, stay Radikal!

Just released a PANTS Party press release... about four months ago I remember, oh nevermind, and so...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

George Smathers

The Votes Are In! (Sort Of)...

"Should the Senate have honored
Fmr. Sen. George Smathers with an official resolution?"

Charlie GrapskiNay
Brian AungstNon-Partisan*
Chris CarmodyReplied Privately
Sen. Jordan LohYay
Rosemarie CloustonNo Reply
J. Clayton BrettNo Reply
Sen. Gavin BakerNo Reply
Bruce HauptNo Reply
Thomas JardonNo Reply
Sen. Lindsey JohnsNo Reply
Amanda KaneNo Reply
Fmr. Sen. Pedro MoralesUnclear
Nick CapezzaNo Reply
Ryan NelsonNo Reply
Sam GreenNo Reply
E.J. WalickiNo Reply

Read The Full Opinions: Here

If this roll call vote is any indication of what senate must have been like, I can only say that it's bizarre how SG has been able to rule over the students with one all encompassing political party. I eagerly anticipated responses from regular contributors (Baker, Walicki, Nelson) receiving none, I understood Aungst's reasoning as his position is clearly non-partisan, I was grateful to hear Grapski's insights, surprised at Sam Green's silence proving once and for all that this man is no Jamal Sowell, not even close, a friend of the blog's when the blog looked out for him, but not heard from since then. Even Swamp's own version of John McCain didn't reply, old school Indie's either didn't reply or asked their answers not be published, meanwhile others replied in voluminous fashion and failing to boldly reply in agreement or disagreement.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Cat & Mouse Game

I'm starting to suspect that the lack of journalistic quality and the paper's long harshness to SG and Greek Life are somehow inter-related facts, hints to a developing syndrome of mediocre skills exacerbated by a lack of scape goats on which these poor, feeble-minded aspiring writers use to vent their very serious frustrations over.

Had the Senate honored Smathers, the Alligator would have gone the anti-FBK/elitist/anti-wealth/anti-legacy soapbox we know all to well they love to ride. But since the Senate did the politically-correct thing, since they took the African American community's feelings on the matter seriously, because they acted conscientiously now the Alligator attacks the body for what? For not honoring the passing of a man that literally bogged the civil rights movement down but whom happened to go here and left the schools a shitload of money? This coming from the young, idealistic, non-conformist, alternative-culture kids of the Independent student paper?

It's really pretty clear that no matter who's running SG or what the Greeks do, that the paper will always have sour apples. I mean giving Smathers a laurel is like nominating Jesse Helms or Strom Thurmond to the Nobel Peace Prize (and these men served in the Senate well into the 90's). Did you know Smathers oppposed Thurgood Marshal? I mean how in the hell can the Alligator honor this man? Money doesn't buy respect and alumnus status doesn't indebt SG to anyone, much less to pay official homage.

I just wonder if the Alligator will ever follow SG at some point and truly be of service to the Student Body. AAREST/SG raise awareness, the Alligator writes it's hype; the Senate shoots down an irresponsible bill, the Alligator fires of its version of one defying SG. With a paper that goes through an editor-per-year you have to wonder if Ms. Rifkin realizes that this paper has offended UF's largest and arguably strongest minority bloc before and that this laurel might further offend this community. I wonder if that level of concern even exists in that friggin building anyway.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Great Money, Bad Legacy

Fmr. U.S. Sen. George Smathers, like any man that reaches such a level of power, was without a doubt a very interesting person and in his later years, very generous to our university. He served in the U.S. Congress during a very difficult era in our nation's history, when segregation was the rule of the land and the policy by which the entire nation (not merely the South) was run. However, when the civil rights movement began to grow and gain momentum, several leaders as well as every day white and black citizens had a decision before them, 'were we truly living separate but equal' - and - 'was the state of segregation constitutional, was it moral?'

National leaders like Senators Smathers & Byrd along with state leaders such as Eugene "Bull" Connor and George Wallace, in addition to countless other Dixiecrats stood in the way of movement of King, Meredith, Parks, X. Later in their lives, many of them changed their ways but others remained bitter till the end. Arguments have been made that many segregationalists pushed this line to hold onto their jobs, but maintaining an immoral status quo remains immoral despite its popularity.

While I'm not sure what the failed senate resoution read like, I'm glad that the UF Senate voted it down. Aside from the $20 million that Mr. Smathers donated to UF, no one would be discussing a resolution for him in chambers. I am very uneasy with live donors having buildings named after themselves, because it sends the wrong message. Buildings should be named after great academic or community figures, you go to a building at a university and you read these names and your gut instinct is that these wonderfully built complexes were named after great war heroes or genius mathematicians or great philosophers but whoever they are, you normally mourn them because you think they've probably been dead for hundreds of years. But in many cases the namesake might be a person that held up progress, hampered the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who dropped a fat check over at Tigret Hall and is washing down a BLT with an ice cold Blue Moon over at Swamp with his feet rested on a'd never think that.

The Senate did its job. Certain pieces of legislation, such as resolutions honoring the deceased are often touching (but to seasoned members of the Branch, they are often considered a waste of the Student's resources unofficially, but part of the symbolic aspect of student governance). Still, even symbolic gestures have certain guidelines and I applaud the Senate for taking even its symbolic responsibilites seriously.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fmr. Editor's Sweet Facebook Message

From: Stephanie Garry
To: Christian Duque
Subject: no subject

Message: You know, Christian, you really back yourself into a corner when you overuse superlatives - worst Alligator writer ever, worst editor ever. I'm not sure how concerned you are with the longevity of your blog, but you might want to consider toning back the language a little if you don't want to come out looking like a fool.
Best, Stephanie

Coming off as a fool has never much concerned me. I didn't ask for the hits, they come here for a variety of reasons. I tend to have strong opinions and I tend to be very protective of SG, mainly because I believe SG performs a great deal of good by the side of the students. I have always looked with contempt towards anti-SG articles but usually hold my tongue. I contacted Drew Harwell whom replied with thanks and offered I write a letter to the editor -- but I know better. It's been lightyears since any Alligator editor (much less ole' Jim Osteen over at the GS) would print anything I ever wrote -- hence the blog title: THE RADIKAL.

Ms. Garry...when I brought you the Sam Green story you sat on your hands. Between you and Ms. Lewis not only did you sit on your hands, but you gave me the run around. Mike Gimignani also left much to be desired. I found the bold-faced line in your message to be somewhat threatening...but even if the blog goes down, I will still be TR, you can't kill ideas by simply taking down a website, doesn't work that way. I appreciate all emails and I'm glad you're reading along (as well you should) because you weren't a very good editor (imo) and the current editor over at the Alligator must not be playing with a full deck either, if she put an article that's the very antithesis of awareness on a front page Public Safety column.

The Radikal Speaks!

Rapes can be reduced if we are alert"
This is the kind of article that Mr. Harwell should have written. A well thought-out, sensitive, and factual article that continues to put emphasis on awareness but also cites previous year crime figures in a way to alleviate those on the verge of becoming franticly filled with fear. I guess one reason I was so outraged at Mr. Harwell's choice of words was the fact that the pea-brain editor over there ran the story in the front page and as if that were not enough, she added insult to injury by placing the article in the friggin' Public Safety column, I mean how stupid is that.

The Alligator is the student paper and should have some kind of social responsibility to the community. They are infamous for writing against the Greeks and have become notorious for raising skepticism in student leadership and at times fullblown distrust in the efficiency of Student Government. For the Alligator to run a socially-irresponsible article in the face of noble and successful operations by AAREST/SG made me literally furious. Good Work SG'ers! Great Job Patrick Barrett

Rapes not getting enough attention

Students are angry and are writing letters. While in SG we wrote and passed several bills involving int'l affairs (including but not limited to the War on Terror). How proper would it be for a senator to pen a resolution condemning the Alligator's direct contradiction of the work of AAREST/SG in trying to thwart the campaign at raising awareness across this campus against sexual-crimes. I applaud Jessica Bronson, a UF Graduate student no less, for taking the time to write to the Aligator and voicing her concerns regarding Mr. Harwell's bizarre article.

No online voting for SG having had SOE Brian Aungst here last month, this is sort of old news. Still, as an Independent I'd like to address my reactions to this article. I'm hoping to hear from fellow indies Capezza, Argento, Carmody, et. al. The issue of online voting, meaning internet voting is muddled. Yes, I served on an executive commmittee exploring the option, yes I have always rallied for higher voter turnout, but if intranet voting is any preview of internet voting, it shouldn't happen.

The integrity of the ballot remains key. I used to dread hearing that phrase in chambers, I used to imagine driving needles through voodoo dolls hoping that the Innovate/Orange Ignite'ers that would utter it would somehow fall down the steps or something...ah...the memories. Still however, I secretly agreed with them. Many more Indies than might be suspected, oppose Internet voting. People that held high positions in Impact, Progress, Voice, and even the more recent Action Party had substantial reservations.

I have concerns with the court's ruling and I am not sure what means of recourse (e.g. an appeal) are open to students rejected by UF's highest court. Still, the decision is pretty clear and those opposed to it I'm sure are already working on ways to have it overturned.

I insist...the only way to beat the establishment is through a powerful ticket. How can Indies hope to defeat the big boys if they don't even secure their own bloc? Let's see who the GDI's pick for '07, then we can talk some more. As of the Sowell/Puckett/Ngin ticket, NOTHING has come close to that level of quality. Nothing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What A Game!

Short post. Heard most of the first quarter on the radio, watched the second quarter at Campus Club, then the second half at a great house party where the game was projected on an entire side of the house. Drank beer, haven't had beer in five months, great tasting and never again for another five. Girls at the party went streaking, still salivating...Massive kudos to our fighting gators, but especially big kudos to our kicker, 40+yd field goal that really got the morale goin. When Ohio scored the first td I was at the edge of my seat anxious to see our response, I got a little nervous at that flag with two seconds to half time, fearing an OS hail mary but didn't happen, thank _ O D!

Who was on Univ. Ave? With three minutes left in the game we all took to the streets, hundreds, thousands, it was unreal! While GPD shouldn't have pepper sprayed us for setting that buckeye on fire, it was awesome. The only thing more cool than that, would be a throng like that headed to the Reitz to grab SG bureaucrats and give 'em a dose of mob justice. LOL

Oh before I forget. Two nights ago I was doing bicep curls and heard the ad on Rock 104, that generic ad that goes, "make UF better, get invovled with SG, go to the Reitz get an application and we'll put you in the Accent"... what a crock, but nice to hear the hunger in the ad-actor's voice. Total rubbish, but very entertaining. LOL

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Indies In Dire Staights

Some possible names for Spring:
Will Atkins
Vanessa Goodwin
Jesse Wright
Jusin Bell

Saddenly I don't think we'll be seeing Ryan Nelson or Gavin Baker run, though I still believe these are the kinds of lead-candidates that would mobilize GDI's and in turn re-awaken the Indies (remember I view GDI's as distinct from mainstream Indies). Other sources continue to hold that Josh Weiss is the only hope for the Indies, only problem of couse is...he's not an Indie and with the Access flame long gone, most GDI's will not look the other way to another Hernandez or Siler, it's no longer understandable for Indie leaders to line their pockets with FBK rejects in the last-ditch-hopes and getting back in there and then changing things, that just won't cut it anymore and it's evident by Action's loss to Nina. (This is not to offend CC, but the Indie's need a real Indie tried and true and anything short thereof will be pd. for at the polls).

Gavin Baker is a true Indie; Tommy Jardon is a true Indie; Ryan Nelson (despite being Greek, which has nothing to do with being an Indie) is a true Indie; but sadly none of these big names will run, for whatever reason. Another great choice would be Nikki Grant, who knows if Nikki Grant couldn't be the African American Nikki Fried? Sadly, I don't think the Indie leaders have that kind of faith in her, I don't think they would even give it a second thought -- which is very sad because she could definitely score a huge hit and bring back some of those Progress kids that got lost along the way.

Just think about it.....Josh Weiss and Ryan Moseley...standing there trying to out-starch the other, locked in horns trying to be the most sheik, the most with it, the most regal. One word describes them and the election between them: boring. Now picture both of them (or one of them) standing next to Gavin Baker, Ryan Nelson, Tommy Jardon, or Nikki word chaotic.

You claim your for trimming the fat, I have this file here....
The students voice lies in this referendum, a referendum that's become our battle cry!..
I am not the candidate of the establishment, I am your candidate!

You're not going to hear either a Weiss or Moseley speak that way; it would be civil, it would be proper, if only there were cigars and brandy and you might as well give 'em barker loungers and let them take a nap through the elections results. Give the students a firebrand GDI and they will react, deal with the Greeks, deal with FBK, deal with Tap Dancing Club. Deal is not a bad word, get off your Billy Graham rockers and realize you are in politics and just because Dennis Ngin found Jesus in a glass of Ice Tea and decided deals were not the way politics were supposed to be done at UF doesn't mean you have to. Go to TEP and offer them Pro Tem, go to Sigma Kappa and offer them Accent, if the president of the Swedish Club and can get you Swedish support at UF in exchange for your backing him in the upcoming Nigerian Student Union presidential election, give it to him, you need to get some votes!

I sounds like a degenerate here and I'm kidding to a great extent, but Dennis' style is bullshit and I wouldn't say so unless it permeated the Indie movement. Indies are dirty too, we always have been, I was brought into Access on a deal, a deal I haggled over, a deal I negotiated, and my terms not been meant in any capacity I'd a been behind Scott. Public office is noble work, but politics is dirty and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you'll be able to get elected and started carrying out some of that very noble work you'd like to perform for the public.

I hope we'll see Gavin, Ryan, Tommy, or Nikki run. I would be happy to see the others consider it as well. I would be as upset if we lost the BCS tomorrow as if I saw Josh Weiss run on behalf of GDI's and Indies in yet one more bullshit attempt to recapture SG by totally selling out.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

UF Courts & Online Voting

I'm not really sure what to say on the matter, except of course that it's pretty much over for the proponents of online voting. Does UF have a court of appeals? If so, I've never heard of one. I've always had mixed beliefs on the idea of the use of internet voting and I feel the need to give my two cents on the matter.

Internet voting has been a pressing issue with Indies since at least my initial days with Access and to some extent during my year with Ignite. One part of me is greatful to have been part of the original Access meanwhile another part of me laments that we won that fateful Spring 2004 because it gave GDI's a taste of power and ever since we lost that power it's like the floodgates were smashed open, it's like Indie strategy rooms became the clearinghouses for all sorts of hokus-pokus ideas and gimicks. One gimick that's had a long time on the Indie marquee has been internet voting.

Truthfully, I was always very uneasy taking in the arguments from the mainstream/majority bloc regarding the 'integrity of the ballot.' I don't think anyone can deny them the fact internet voting would put much at risk. Now key members of the Indie minority made strong points, one I recall was "we should trust in the students' integrity" and "who are we to gauge who's trustwothy and who's not." Valid points, it's not SG's job to determine morals but it is the job of the Student Government to ensure the integrity of the ballot and to ensure that the democratic process is carried out fully.

I disagree with the majority-opinon that internet voting is "unsafe." It's very safe and the levels of encryption coupled with some interesting security measures that were offered (then) as amendments seemed to cover most if not all bases. I don't believe it would have been easy to tamper with the votes once cast, however, I do believe that with online voting there could be some intimidation, there could be social factors at play, and I don't believe that voters would have the privacy they have in the voting booths of today.

I remain hopeful of internet voting as an option one day though not today or tomorrow. I am still very iffy about the integrity of the ballot and the concept of voting from virtually anywhere (completely unsupervised by impartial election officials). As far as internet voting replacing paper ballots, I hope to never see this, I don't think it would be to the benefit of the voters or the process, but I do think that at some point it might become a very good option (to supplement traditional voting) if properly studied and offered up then.

But I must insist that internet voting will not bring about an Indie revolution, the GDI's will not take down the FBK/IFC/PC wall like the merry Germans of 1989. Internet voting is not the pie in the sky that GDI's have made it out to be, it won't allow you to re-live S2004. Sorry.

Thoughts? & Happy New Year!!!