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.