Monday, December 24, 2007

David Reznik Speaks!


TheRadiKaL:Who are you, where are you from, and what areas of study did you pursue while at the University of Florida?

David Reznik: I am the older son of Russian Jewish immigrants. My parents became wealthy in the ‘90s with a high-technology company they founded; nowadays, having closed that company down, they live a semi-retired life in Aventura (north of Miami). Although we moved across different parts of the U.S. when I was very young, I essentially grew up in Newport Beach, CA, a place well documented on the MTV show "Laguna Beach": vapid, "pretty," and overwhelmingly old-money WASP (white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant). I hated it there, especially since I was physically picked-on a lot by bigger kids (I was at least a year younger than most kids since I skipped second grade) and despite my father’s singular concern with my academic “achievement,” I was desperate to fit-in with the “cool crowd.” My attempts at assimilation were never successful, however, since my parents were new money immigrants and I was nothing more than "Doogie Howser" and/or “Urkel” to most of the “popular” kids. So, when I graduated high school, I went to UCLA and swore I would never look back (a promise I have kept). Following my undergrad years, I lived all around the greater San Francisco Bay area, working first as a marketing professional and ultimately becoming a middle-school special education teacher after realizing that the for-profit world was so alienating that it was bringing me to the brink of suicide. During my time as a teacher, I became increasingly interested in political issues (local, national, and international) and decided to try my luck in grad school studying sociology. I completed the Master’s program at the University of Miami and at the behest of my advisor there, enrolled in the sociology PhD program here at UF. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that my academic experience at UF has been anything but fulfilling, although I have to admit that I have learned a lot of life lessons from being here. In fact, all the ugliness that I have seen over the past couple of years as a PhD student has taught me that academia is not the place for me. As of now, then, my plans are to find a job teaching social studies at a high school somewhere in Florida next fall…

TheRadiKaL: Please tell us about Nakba '48 & Students for Human Society. Could you kindly debunk some of the more common and with that, most baseless rumors you've heard about them?

David Reznik: I joined Nakba ’48 in the fall of 2005; it was a pre-existing student organization on campus. I was eager to do a lot with the group because a) my girlfriend at the time was Palestinian and so the issue hit very close to home for me, and b) the individuals in the organization seemed very active, committed, and organized. Indeed, that academic year we tabled multiple times a week and our on-campus presence was quite strong (prompting a lot of backlash from Hillel, which I will discuss more in my answer to the next question). We mass-published two issues of a free journal that I edited called “Human Liberation,” one of our members developed a wonderful website, and we put on several well-orchestrated events on-campus. Most importantly, however, we bonded as a group of people. However, when some of the members began to slowly distance themselves from the group for personal reasons (mostly due to academic priorities, general burnout, etc.) there was some tension that started to arise and a group of us formed a splinter organization called Students for a Human Society (SHS). SHS was really an attempt to branch out and be active about issues beyond (but not exclusive of) the Palestinian cause including anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-capitalist campaigns. We were also hoping to get as “local” as possible with our activism, often working with the CLAS Unite movement to take back UF from the authoritarian demagogues in the administration as well as engaging in community service with homeless persons in Gainesville. The best (but most difficult) parts about SHS were our weekly meetings in which we tried to get more personal with one another; unfortunately, I was often resistant to that because of the fear of vulnerability, etc. So, as members graduated and/or moved on to other pursuits in their lives, both groups have basically died out although I can say that the bonds and friendships remain.

As for the rumors about the groups, I think that the "About" pages on each group’s website (www.nakba48.org and www.studentsforahumansociety.org) are accurate, comprehensive, and unambiguous in articulating exactly what we’re all about. But for expediency’s sake, we are not terrorists or anti-Semites or Satan worshippers or anything else that people might say about us. We’re just trying to call attention to what we believe are important issues in the world today that are under-represented on-campus and in the mass media.


TheRadiKaL: In a Radikal comment you stated: "the very real threat of physical intimidation and other forms of harassment for those who oppose Hillel, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the other Zionist organizations on-campus will silence any possible dissent." Can you expound on that for us? You see, there are folks out there refuse to believe that Zionism even exists.

David Reznik: I can’t chronicle everything, but here’s a few examples: when tabling for Nakba, our table has been spit at/on repeatedly and we are constantly being photographed by random guys; our protests (sometimes as small as two people) are always monitored by police who have been called by Hillel or its followers; I have personally had an interview I was doing with the local WCJB TV-20 News be shouted down, I have been followed, and I have had hateful comments made about me and my family by rabid Zionist students; and I witnessed a female colleague in Nakba being physically confronted by the head rabbi at Hillel and a gang of his understudies who began to thrust their flyers into her face. Oh yes, and of course, there was the lovely "Fuck Palestine, Love Osama" message chalked onto one of the tables in Turlington Plaza one of the days we were scheduled to table. And lest I forget, my profile on RateMyProfessors.com has featured students who have obviously never actually taken my class posting comments about how I am anti-Semitic and spend the semester indoctrinating them that "Israel is evil." So I would say this is a relatively well-organized and systematic campaign of harassment by the Zionist presence on-campus to intimidate those of us who are willing to actually stand up and denounce the state of Israel’s assault on the human rights of non-Jewish Palestinians.

By the way, the reason I target Hillel is that although they claim to be "the foundation for Jewish campus life," they are really "the foundation for Zionist Jewish campus life." A little research into their history and current campaigns reveals this quite clearly, as they pour inordinate money and resources into portraying anti-Zionist political campaigns as anti-Semitic, while the real anti-Semitism of college life (which includes the WASP Greek system and WASP standards of physical beauty) remain totally ignored. They also sponsor "birthright" trips to the state of Israel (supposedly as ways of “cultivating Jewish identity,”) which really amount to Zionism indoctrination summer camps. Any fundamental criticism of the state of Israel is not tolerated by the national organization, which has fired high-ranking administrative officials in the past for any such "treasonous" behavior.


TheRadiKaL: Can someone be Jewish, Muslim, or Christian and be anti-Zionist? Do you see any truth in that Zionism (like Pan Arabism or U.S. 'Patriotism') are in themsevles secular & political though non-religious?

David Reznik: I can only speak to Zionism and U.S. "patriotism" because I am Jewish and a U.S. citizen (and therefore implicated in both whether I like it or not). To me, both of these ideologies originate from, and ultimately serve the interests of, the leadership in each community who construct a false sense of social unity based on imaginary differences. When rich WASP men talk about "America," I always wonder what it would feel like to be an African-American or Native American since the "America" they invoke was constructed through the enslavement of Africans and the slaughter of the indigenous peoples. Recognizing this hypocrisy, those in power here like to delineate "American" identity by setting it apart from the non-American "Others": Communists, Muslims, undocumented persons from Latin America, etc. In this way, everyone who’s a U.S. citizen (including racial/ethnic minorities, women, etc.) begins to believe that they are somehow “American,” even if "apple pie" and “Chevy trucks” are just as foreign to them as to the supposed non-American "Others." My parents are a good example of this: people who sadly bought into an "American" identity only to find decades later that they have never, and will never, really feel like they are actually "Americans."

It’s the same with Zionism: the white European Jewish leadership has constructed an identity that misleads the global public into believing that non-Jewish Palestinians are the enemy of Jews and that the governments of the U.S./Western European nations (including Germany) are Jews’ best friends. Never mind that the latter have for centuries engaged in holocausts of varying magnitudes against Jews, while the former are actually ethnically Semitic. It’s very convenient for Christian and secular “Americans” to buy into Zionism too, since they believe that it is in the U.S.’s “strategic interest” to have a mercenary military base in the Middle East that keeps an eye on all that oil.

Zionism and U.S. patriotism are therefore nothing more than a sham marriage of convenience, really. “Americans” (who have a long history of anti-Semitism) can feel good about supposedly being Jews’ best friends by supporting the state of Israel, and Israelis can feel a false sense of security in siding with the big, bad international bully at the expense of their sisters and brothers (i.e. the non-Jewish Palestinians).


TheRadiKaL: Last March UF's Arab, Muslim, and progressive communities erupted in universal clamor against what many called an Islamophobist ad. To the best of your recollection, tell us about that ad-campaign, what implications it sent, and how SG and the UF administration handled it. Do you recall if Bill McCollum rushed to the aid of the Arab & Muslim communities like he recently did for the Zionists?

David Reznik: I think your readers are probably pretty well-versed in the political play-by-play of this fiasco due to your efforts. Therefore, I won’t get too much into detail about it; however, I will discuss a particularly sad issue related to the incident that probably not too many people know about. I was subpoenaed by the SG Rules and Ethics Committee to testify about whether or not the advertisement was discriminatory against Arab and/or Muslim students on-campus. The entire line of defense offered by the leaders of the Hillel network of groups who put together and paid for the advertisement was that there was no “intent” to discriminate. In other words, they were trying to convince the committee that this was an “equal opportunity” attack on “terrorists” of all races and ethnicities. During my turn testifying, I explained that such an attempt to make the ad seem innocuous would be equivalent to the makers of an ad against “illegal immigrants” claiming that they were not targeting persons from Latin America or the makers of an ad against “welfare queens” claiming that they were not targeting impovershed African-American women. I mean, come on, were the committee members really so naïve that they were going to buy that, in a hysterically Islamophobic post-9/11 America, the use of the word “terror” and “terrorist” in the ad was somehow not meant to target to Arabs and/or Muslims? Well, as the committee’s ruling that the ad was not discriminatory demonstrates, I guess they really were that naïve (or more probably, felt pressured to vote as though they were that naïve since more than half of them were signatories of the ad themselves).

TheRadiKaL: What did you make of UF Supreme Court Justice Matthew Klein's bigoted email and half-apology? I say 'half' since he never apologized to Nakba or ACA.

David Reznik: I was obviously appalled by the sheer hatred emanating from his email, but not surprised. My previous experiences dealing with Matthew indicated that he is a very angry person; I believe he thrives on being a lightning rod for negative attention because of various troubles he has experienced/is experiencing in his personal life. At several points in time, my partner Kristen and I (who comprise the official student executive board of Nakba at this point in time) considered filing "defamation of character" charges against him for the libelous insinuations in his email and the slanderous accusations in his interviews with the press that Nakba was behind the "terrorist" acts of ripping down his group’s posters. However, we have chosen not to because we reasoned that someone who is so obviously acting out deserves some compassion, forgiveness, and love in return, not the negative reinforcement and backlash he expects to receive (and has probably tried to thrive on to this point). Along those same lines, I also have chosen not to highlight his (and the rest of his hate-mongering coalition’s) bigotry by doing a mock advertisement campaign for an event I would call “Miserly Judaism Wants Your Money!” complete with an email blast about how this is an event that “the money-grubbing Jewish leadership on-campus doesn’t want you to see” and how “their leadership” has been tearing down the flyers in an effort to “get at your every last penny.” Of course, I could always defend the event and its promotion by arguing that any Jews who were offended by the campaign are obviously “money-grubbing, miserly Jews” themselves, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken offense to it, right? And I could always include a little “disclaimer” like Matthew and the other “Obsession” organizers that the campaign would not be targeting Judaism as a religion or as a people, but only the small group of “misers” who are using Judaism to justify their “attacks” on people’s “bank accounts.” Ultimately, however, I don’t think such a mock campaign would be effective, since I don’t believe in fighting hate with more hate, even if my hate is satirical…

TheRadiKaL: Please tell us what reactions you had to the screening of "Obsession..," the movie posters, and the general tone it set at the university?

David Reznik: I have a very similar feeling about all the groups that organized the film as I do of Matthew Klein. In other words, I feel that most of these men (and I stress men, because the leadership of all of these groups are almost exclusively angry, frustrated men) are actively seeking to bully minority groups they have the institutional power to pick-on. I know this because I used to be a staunch Republican and Zionist just like them, and I remember that my favorite thing to do was be as loud and hateful as possible so that everyone would look at ME! SEE ME, HEAR ME, LOOK AT ME! At the time, most of this desperation was tied to my hatred of my manipulative and over-controlling father who was attempting to mold me into someone I was not: a womanizing businessman who placed the value of money above all else. Regarding the leaders of the College Republicans, Jewish Law Students Association, etc. I’m not quite sure what is going on in each of their lives, but I would imagine it’s something similar at the core with the idiosyncratic particularities of their personal biographies making each slightly different. Unfortunately, however, their collective acting out is not a benign process, and UF’s campus has become frighteningly similar to the small Italian town in Roberto Benigni’s movie “Life Is Beautiful” where fascist anti-Semitism is etched in chalk on the walls, shop windows, and ultimately people’s minds. What I mean is that the flyers, film screenings, and overall bullying in the press and through the administration creates a climate for Arab and/or Muslim students that is beyond hostile and unwelcoming; I wouldn’t be able to describe it accurately because I’ve never experienced such an all-encompassing and pervasive atmosphere of hate.

TheRadiKaL: What did you think of the 'meeting' between Justice Klein, Patricia Telles-Irvin, and IOC? Did you find it troubling when state officials & the U.S. right wing successfully pressured the Machen administration to rescind the PTI Ruling?

David Reznik: Although I did not attend the meeting (and curiously neither Kristen nor I were ever invited despite being accused of “terrorism” and being the subjects apparently of a UPD investigation into our group’s supposed flyer defacement/robbery), I must say that I found Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin’s email to be relatively good coming from such an Islamophobic administration. I have actually written to President Machen and Co. before on issues relating to Islamophobia on-campus to no avail. However, it appeared to me that the leadership of IOC had succeeded in at least getting Dr. Telles-Irvin to “do the right thing.” Now the backlash that ensued was absolutely horrific. I’ve never seen such wanton racism as that which has taken place over the past few weeks: letters to the editor decrying “Islams” and “Islamics” (those are not even real words for crying out loud), people accusing those of us who were appalled by the flyers of being "radical terrorists" and/or their sympathizers, even the frickin’ State Attorney General’s office (who obviously have absolutely nothing better to do right now) getting involved. What a farcical, scary, and tragic display of ignorance and hate. If I was Arab and/or Muslim, I would be totally mortified by the sheer magnitude of institutionalized Islamophobia that has now been brought into plain view. But to me, the absolutely most despicable part was seeing President Machen quoted in the Gainesville Sun as saying that all was well with Attorney General McCollum despite the latter’s threats to actually sue the university for supposedly infringing on the free (hate) speech of the "Obsession" organizers:

"'It was fun," Machen said of his conversation with McCollum.'He's a Gator. He's coming to the Capital One Bowl, and we both care about free speech.'" (Gainesville Sun, December 14)

"He’s a Gator?" That’s supposed to comfort Arab and/or Muslim students? What about Dr. Telles-Irvin, whose judgment and morality have so obviously been belittled (I would imagine not for the first time) by arrogant male higher-ups who think they can “handle the situation better”? And finally, I wonder why Dr. Telles-Irvin’s free speech was not defended? According to the event organizers’ libertarian view of free speech, doesn’t she have the right to say whatever she wants, including ask for an apology from the "Obsession" organizers? It becomes painfully clear at this point what constitutes "freedom of speech" here at UF: the speech of white men is protected, while women and racial/ethnic minorities must hold their tongue…


TheRadiKaL: If you were to organize a real Arab-Israeli Peace negotiation, would you include Hamas? Should the State of Israel amend the Oslo Letters and recongize the will of the Palestinian electorate? Why or why not?

David Reznik: Being somewhat of a communist and anarchist (I think the two go together), the first thing I would do if I were organizing “peace” negotiations, would be to forget all the “leadership” and instead bring together the most downtrodden and forgotten persons from “both sides” (for example, trafficked sex slaves from Tel Aviv and the poorest widowed women from Gaza). I believe that people are beautiful and when they are not led astray by the power-plays of political parties and other such alienating institutional forces, they actualize peace through recognition of their common suffering. An example here is that there are non-Jewish Palestinian villagers who, on a daily basis, lead marches alongside Jewish Israeli anarchists against the continued construction of an apartheid wall in the West Bank, cutting fences down and breaking through other such vulgar inhumanities that the Israeli government attempts to impose in the name of Zionism. I find such actions to be the REAL "peace process," as opposed to all the high-falootin’ meetings and other b.s. we hear about through the mass media.

However, I have been called naïve for believing in such an “idealistic” pathway to “peace.” So, if you are asking me to shed my utopian visions (which would require me to be drugged and/or undergo memory erasure procedures), yes, I would include Hamas and all other elected Palestinian officials to any peace negotiations, because I try not to tell other people what they can or cannot do (including who they can/cannot elect as a representative government).


TheRadiKaL: What are your views on the State of Israel claiming Jerusalem as it's legal capital? Can there be peace without Holy City?

David Reznik: I do not believe in the institutional legitimacy of the state of Israel, so whatever city it claims as its “legal capital” does not really concern me a great deal. However, if it were up to me, the entire world would have one global state called Humanity and if enough people (including Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.) wanted Jerusalem as its capital, then so be it…


TheRadiKaL: Word association time (5 words or less please):

Gators For Israel: Misguided and desperate for identity

Neturei Karta: Really nice people

Rob Heck: A truly wonderful friend

Islam On Campus: A great student organization

Matthew Klein: Needs more love

Bill McCollum: See Matthew Klein

Radical Islam: FOX News Islamophobia-speak

Zionism: We (Jews) have lost our way

Bush Administration: Cheating, lying bullies

Hamas' Electoral Victory: Elections mean nothing

Hamas/Fatah Clashes in Gaza: Really sad, but not unexpected

One State Solution: The only solution

Capitalism: Stop buying things for Christmas!

Multinationals:

Iran: Leave them alone

Syria: See Iran

Peace: Love is the answer


TheRadiKaL: Do you have a website or email where people can get in touch with you?

David Reznik: My website is www.clas.ufl.edu/users/dreznik and my email address is davidreznik@hotmail.com

Friday, December 21, 2007

Update #13


I'm hoping that all of you out there are getting ready for the David Reznik interview, namely Chip Morris and others that feel I'm too hard on Jewish folks, when in reality it's Zionism that I'm critical of. Though we didn't meet for the Q&A, I think that it will certainly be one of the very best, it's a really well-thought and profound piece to be sure!

Also, I'm on day #2 of contacts - how nice it is to see so well. Doing a million and one things this weekend, but will get that Q&A up real soon. Also, had some laughs as Rush Limbaugh has gone on the warpath again Huckabee, also got a major kick out of the ultra-Zionist Joe Lieberman endorsing John McCain -- some Democrat he turned out being, lol. Democrats, Republicans....it's all the same you know.

Q&A should be up by tomorrow night.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Update #12


New Q&A's!
David Reznik

Reznik, like Peter Gruskin before him, has undoubtedly left a major mark on the Arab & Muslim communities' struggle for inclusion at UF, proving that despite not being of Arab culture of Muslim faith, we must all fight for what's right! Reznik, like Gruskin, serve as bright examples that being Jewish does not limit one to being Zionist. They have proven that not only can they fight for what's just, but they are born leaders in their own right.

Bonnie Mott
I'm also very proud to announce that Bonnie Mott, candidate for the Gainesville City Commission, District 2 will be joining us for the Q&A following David Reznik. I'm sure this interview will provide a great deal of insight into this candidate's vision for our community.

Hawkins Q&A TBA

Robert Agrusa
Didn't even bother to reply -- bad move.



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Armando Grundy Speaks!


TheRadikal: Who is Armando Grundy? Where are you from, what schools have you attended, what do you do for a living, and how long have you lived in Gainesville?

Armando Grundy: I am from Jacksonville, Florida and I served in the United States Army for eight years. I work full time and I am from a very diverse background. I am finishing my education and was blessed with the opportunity to garner an education while serving my country. I have been politically active since the age of tweleve. I am extremely proud to be apart of the the Gainesville Community and the Gator Nation.

TheRadikal: Why are you running for the Gainesville City Commission & if you had to name three top issues you'd like work on once elected, what would these be?

Armando Grundy: I'm running because of growing disparities. There is a lack of leadership in Gainesville city government. My opponent has done nothing over the last three years. Jack has stated he has reduced traffic congestion on 34th and Archer Roads ( None of our constituents or myself have noticed that. I am running to to restore leadership in our District by Protecting Neighborhoods, Public Safety, Increasing our Police and Fire Presence in Gainesville, Reduce Taxes, and bring higher paying jobs to Gainesville by promoting a more business friendly environment.)

TheRadikal: If elected, would you give students opposed to the 2AM Rave Ordinance a fair hearing? Are students valuable only as voters or would you treat them as full-fledged constituents once elected?

Armando Grundy: I value human resource People are people. No one wants to be placed in a box. All people have the right to be heard. I believe in lessening constraints on business, meanwhile mainting public safety. My campaign is an inclusive one, my opponent's is the complete opposite.

TheRadikal: Your opponent, Jack Donovan, has earned a great deal of respect in the local community for his compassion in dealing with the homeless situation. How would you address the homeless problem in the city? Also, what are your views on pushing homeless away from downtown and into East Gainesville?

Armando Grundy: Jack {Donovan} does not represent East Gainesville and yet he speaks about care and compassion for the area and his actions on Hachett Creek and the $802,000 Corporate Welfare Giveaway to the Hampton Inn have shown otherwise. While Jack was giving away public tax money to a private entity that is money our city could use for helping address having more Police and Firefighters in our community. As for our communities dilemma with the issue of members of our community whom are homeless; this must be a community wide effort because are government has failed over the last three years to address this and our government will not be the problem solver. Government tends to be reactive and not proactive.

TheRadikal: What are your views on local tax-paid programs like Better Parks, Better Roads & CHOICES? Also, if elected, what type of voting record would you have on taxes & spending?

Armando Grundy: Government's role is to provide for necessity of the people. I would not support tax increases EVER! I will not vote for increasing our community's taxes when we have failed to properly budget and spend are monies responsibly. We must exercise better fiscal responsibility. Better Parks has been somewhat successful but I fail to see what "Better Roads" has accomplished in our community because are roads are not in the best of condition and that is because of Poor Planning and Leadership. Jack Donovan does not understand the concept of fiscal responsibility. So again I will Never, Ever Raise Taxes!

TheRadikal: You have mentioned high utility bills for Gainesville residents, but what measures would you take to reduce these costs and/or high-consumption from your post on the GCCommission?

Armando Grundy: The City of Gainesville had a study that showed we will be 20 Megawatts short by 2012. Jack's answer to this is raise electric rates to force conservation. He will not address the Energy Transfer issue. Donovan initiated a 7% increase on our community and that effect many hard working and those of us in the lower socio-economic bracket. Did you know that nearly 40% of Gainesville's budget comes from GRU, so it is logical sense why they are raising rates. This is the wrong direction to go and Jack was not compassionate or thoughtful when he led the charge to once again place more burden upon the hardworking men and women, who already work hard to make ends meet. I fall into this category! When elected I would fight to put every city building on a Green Plan within 12 months. We cannot ask our citizens to bear our burdens when our leader do not lead by example.

TheRadikal: I've read your vocal opposition to UWF's College Republicans' "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day" and appreciate the fact that when we as citizens witness wrongdoing, especially in our own organizations, that we should voice disapproval. How important do you consider 'racial harmony' and mutual respect in a city as diverse and prosperous as Gainesville? Do you feel that race-relations is a thing of the past?

Armando Grundy: There are many who would not agree with your assertion about my actions. I am Pro-Free Speech because I served my country honorably and fought for that right. We were not going to solve the issue of border security by playing children's games. I believed I needed to stand up because I believed it was the right thing to do and I recieved tremendous amounts of retribution from those within my party for it and still do; however there were numerous Rank and File Republicans and Conservatives who agreed with me. Senator Mel Martinez contacted the school and also expressed his dissatisfaction with the event, so a sitting United States Senator agreed with me and like him I feel the event was inappropriate. I will not apologize for standing up for principles. I will still fight for anyones right to have any event, even if I disagree with them. When our country learns the value of human resource we will be much better off. It's about what you can contribute to society. Our generation is beginning accomplish that very goal.

TheRadikal: Recently you visited with members of the UF Student Senate, a time-honored tradition of student-friendly candidates of years past. Why do you feel it's important to court the student vote?

Armando Grundy: As I stated before Christian I don't view people in boxes....I am an inclusive candidate and will speak to all people no matter who they are! I am going to reach out to everyone!

TheRadikal: From what I gather, you have stated that you were misquoted by the Independent Florida Alligator, could you expound?

Armando Grundy: Well first, what I actually said was on film because I recorded the event and they didn't finish my quote and did not quote me accurately for why I left the At-Large Race. My reason for getting out of the At-Large Seat was because Robert Agrusa announced he was running and when I spoke with him about his candidacy; it was a matter of principle. I would much rather work with someone whom I have allot in common with as far as independent ideas and who can think independently. And since I was already dissatisfied with Jack's lack of representation, I felt he should not be left to his own devices and not be allowed to run unopposed! So YES, as a veteran and voter I support and Endorse Robert Agrusa. Both he and I will be great leaders and we need fresh faces and ideas in Gainesville.

I don't need to remind myself of who I am racially or culturally, I am very principled. I love all kind of people and appreciate the Independent Florida Alligator for covering the story.


TheRadikal: Though your opponent is an ordained minister and a respectable citizen, how would you react should the campaign sour through mud-slinging? Usually elections run very smoothly until it becomes clear both candidates will go the twelve rounds.

Armando Grundy: I am not sure what the future hold; however, I will go all twelve rounds! This is not a boxing match its about whose ideas and determination can better our community. Reverend Donovan is a highly confused man and he is a miasma of issues.

The Radikal: Word Association Time...

Stafford Jones: Complex and unique individual. Loves people of all backgrounds.


Chuck Chestnut: nice guy, very personable.


Pegeen Hanrahan: complex individual, very difficult to ascertain.


Jack Donovan: Inept, poor leader. "Hit the road Jack..."


Charles Grapski: I don't know who that is.

SFCC Student Government: they were a very energetic bunch, I enjoyed them.


Ward Scott: I met him once and don't know him well enough to have an opinion.


Charlie Crist: he's very intellectual, respectable and awesome leader!


Clovis Watson: soft-spoken, very likeable guy


Ron Paul: Statesman, veteran. I truly admire him.


Cultural Diversity: I am diverse so therefore I can relate to this.


Gainesville Guardian: reminds me of local USA Today, awesome looking publication.


Police & Tasers: I'm torn on this one. So many complexities.


Senior Citizen & Fixed Incomes: Common sense. I'm a working person, I can relate.

Rick Bryant: Great humor, way to go after Jack Donovan.

Ed Jennings: I just like him!

Jeff McAdams: very good disposition, very personable

Paula DeLaney: I can't say enough about her.

Frank Bracco: I love his spirit and his drive to get people to vote. Great human being. Great American!

TheRadikal: Thanks for taking the time. Do you have a website and/or an email where folks may contact you?

Armando Grundy: My website is: Vote4Armando.com and my email address is: vote4armando@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Armando Grundy: Shakin Up Gainesville!


The District 3 candidate, Armando Grundy seems poised to promote public safety, tax relief, smaller government, & bringing back interest & leadership to local government. Despite having served several years in the U.S. military, his blue collar backbone, and his commitment to complete his college education, Grundy has come under substantial scrutiny from local Republican leaders, including an almost cold shoulder routine by Ben Grove and UF College Republicans. As of press time, we are awaiting comments from Alachua County REC Chairman Stafford Jones, pertaining to unconfirmed reports from an incident just today!

At least one key member of UF College Republicans, claims Grove and 'the executive board' may be punishing Grundy for his support of [10x re-elected] Republican incumbent U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, who's currently mounting an impressive grassroots bid for the U.S. Presidency.

It's not plainly known why Grundy has come under such scrutiny, but if the commotion surrounding his candidacy or his travels is any indication of what will happen if he's elected, then we can rest assured that Grundy will certainly shake things up! What that means exactly, only time will tell.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Michael "Sick Mike" Vick Gets 23 Months!



Confessed-illegal-dogfight-promoter & confessed-animal abuser, Michael Vick, was sentenced to 23 months in prison. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback worked in a plea deal because the one-time ghetto fabulous loser who promised to stand trial like a man and beat the State's case, is a sad little bitch that forced dogs to fight for their lives, shot countless of them, electrocuted others, slammed at least one to death, and hanged several others. Unlike other pro-athlete-ex-cons, I have a feeling that after losing Nike, Rawlings, Coca Cola, Air Tran, and getting all but sacked by the Falcons, that Michael Vick's career is completely and totally over - let's hope so.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Gainesville City Commission Race

It seems that the upcoming city elections will surely put some young faces on the Gainesville City Commission. Last Sunday I was able to meet with & interview District 3 candidate Armando Grundy. The interview should be posted sometime tomorrow evening. Though commission races are non-partisan, informed voters can usually delve through the rhetoric and pinpoint where to draw the ever-blurred partisan divide. But there is room for change. Progreessive Jack Donovan has failed to give proposals against the 2AM Rave Ordinance the fairness he promised student voters that helped him upset then-incumbent Tony Domenech - a win that literally came down to single-votes [very similar to Adler/Sancez by SG standards].

Normally, however, student candidates or candidates still-in-school (as the former has had damaging effects on certain candidacies) don't draw out much attention. Who can forget poor Mike Belle, whose first campaign for mayor ended with the Pegeen endorsement and a measely 100+ votes, followed up by Andre Samuels' managed-run which netted him only [literally] a couple dozen more votes in his City Commission race.

No...the young faces running for top spots in City government today, seem poised to win and the odds look quite favorable. Agrusa will probably take the win, though I am interested in speaking to his opponent. In District 3, I think Donovan will lead most of the election, as it's rumored he's already raised $12,000. However, I expect that if Stafford Jones actively engaged the Republican Party and with the proper networking & fundraising support of other notables like Jeff McAdams, Clovis Watson, & a little media attention say from the likes of Chip Morris' Drive Time Happy Hour (97.3 WSKY FM), that Grundy might shock Donovan at zero hour. We'll see. Interivew should be up tomorrow night.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Intellectual Intermission

We interrupt the intellectual battle going on at TheRadikal.com, to beam in some wonderful programming for your viewing pleasure. Please sit back and watch with an open mind. :)


Apartheid Paradigm
MANDELA a Terrorist?...

Riz Khan Interviews Howard Zinn On Al Jazeera

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Radikal Updates #10

The Coalition
Members of the independent community and the burgeoning Muslim & Arab communities should continue to explore the concept of an all-inclusive coalition for the Spring 2008. Groups like IOC,ACA, & Nakba, in addition to the core of the Progress Party, and potential allies ranging from Campus SDS to the Gator Homeless Coalition, could create a multi-faceted & diverse ideological alternative to the FBK-backed parties that have lost touch with reality and the common student.

While the FBK-backed parties like talking about inclusion, they have widely violated the rights of UF's Arab & Muslim population, a violation that has encompassed neglect and an utter lack of consideration (funding offensive speakers, ads, & allowing top SG brass to attend meetings such as AIPAC's nat'l conference).

There is also a general disregard for the electoral power of the Muslim & Arab communities. Long has the Jewish vote been courted and held in high regard and it is this 'vote' that allowed for so many injustices to go unchecked for so long. Once Muslims & Arabs VOTE, the abuses will wane. The proposed Coalition of Independents of 2008 would offer many denied sectors of the student body, a right to be heard!

But Independents need to start acting like Independents and offering something different. For instance, why do UF students shell over $120,000 a year to Florida Blue Key for a concert, when thousands of Asian American students WANT an institute? I have always believed that FBK, with it's flashy Who's Who... could easily raise the funds illegally stolen from UF students via the private sector. Imagine the equity achieved in ten years by slashing the Growl expenses from the budget and reallocating them to help pay for a Asian Student Institute.

Also... why do we need Accent? Cultural enrichment you say? Nonsense! There is a real need for SGP, however paying a man like Alberto Gonzalez $40k to answer pre-approved questions is absolute horse-shit. The money wasted on public speakers could be used more pragmatically across campus.


Armando Grundy: RaDiKaL Interview
On Sunday, December 2nd, I was fortunate enough to meet with & interview, Armando Grundy, candidate for the Gainesville City Commission, District 3. The interview covers many areas of Grundy's most interesting life, his views on opponent [incumbent] Jack Donovan, and his vision for city government, business, & community involvement. WEEKEND FEATURE


Venezuela: Divided Down The Middle
Despite colorful editorials of wishy-washy illusion & articles by writers hoping to embellish on the loss of the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez suffered his first electoral defeat since 1998. Unlike the colossal defeat that the [right-wing] world press is reporting, Chavez who was rallying Venezuela on a referendum that would allow him to run for a third consecutive term, the initiative failed 49/51%.

There is growing concern of the solidarity of progressive governments in Latin America. I've had the opportunity to do some research into Bolivia's Evo Morales and find that that country,like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Brazil, Chile, & Argentina, is moving on a steady road towards elements of democratic socialism.

Venezuela's peaceful road to socialism has experienced one very real hurdle and the fact that the Chavez government recognizes electoral defeat and works from that end, then those fewer & fewer that ignorantly dub Chavez a dictator, should re-examine the concepts of democracy & dictatorship perhaps a bit more closely.