Monthly Archives: January 2009

Baseball Karma

… what goes around, comes around.

Jeff Kent will be retiring from baseball tomorrow in LA. Kent, who has posted Hall of Fame stats as a 2nd basemen, was always a tough player, straight up, in your face. He was my favorite Giant, in an era of major league egos. Of course, the shallow and celebrity-loving San Francisco Giants management, let Kent go and kept their ‘roid-ridden cheater, Barry Bonds.

My idea of perfect karma: Jeff Kent goes into the Hall of Fame before Bonds (if Bonds ever gets there… ).

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Filed under Barry Bonds, Baseball, Jeff Kent

California Budget Farce: We Report, You Decide

ITEM #1

Calif. tax refunds to be delayed starting Feb. 1
refunds, student aid, social services and mental health programs. A severe drop in revenue has left the state’s main bank account depleted. The state had been relying on borrowing from special funds and Wall Street investors; those options are no longer available.l

ITEM #2

The University of California regents voted Wednesday to cut freshman enrollment by 6 percent, slashing 2,300 spots as the UC system grapples with expected cuts in state funding.

[snip}

Regents in favor said the cuts were necessary to maintain quality.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal calls for cutting $131 million from the UC system by June 2010 and eliminating a planned budget increase of $210 million for 2009-10

UCLA and UC Berkeley will not be affected by Wednesday’s decision and enrollment at UC Merced will continue to grow. Enrollment at the university system’s other six campuses will be reduced.

ITEM #3

Subject: January 20th Inauguration event
From: “Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor” <CALmessages@berkeley.edu>
Date: Mon, January 12, 2009 6:15 pm
To: “Academic Senate Faculty, Staff, All Academic Titles, Other Members of the Campus Community, Students,” <CALmessages@berkeley.edu>
Priority: Normal

TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE BERKELEY CAMPUS COMMUNITY:

I invite you to join UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff and members of our
local community at a public viewing of the inauguration of President Barack H. Obama
on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, in Sproul Plaza.  A large screen will be installed at
the main entrance to Sproul Hall, and proceedings from Washington, D.C. will be
broadcast beginning at 7:30 am.  The Presidential Oath of Office will be
administered by 9:00 am (noon EST), with the inaugural address following.  Note that
the proceedings are outdoors and will be held rain or shine.  The University's
formal program will begin at 8:15 a.m.

[snip]

Spring instruction begins on January 20th and we will not be cancelling morning
classes; however, some instructors, for academic reasons, may opt to bring their
class to this event. Campus supervisors have discretion to grant two hours of
administrative leave to staff to attend this event, as work demands permit.  Please
print out this message for those members of your staff who do not use computers.

I look forward to joining you all at this historic event.

Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau

The State of California is out of money. The State of California will be paying its bills with IOUs. The State of California will be reducing the University of California’s budget and cutting enrollment.

But, UC Berkeley will be paying its staff to sit on their arses for several non-productive hours to watch the inauguration of The One, The Messiah, Lord Barack Obama.

This is both an opportunity for our campus community to share in a momentous historic occasion for our country and a time to rededicate ourselves to public service – a primary mission of our university.

Now that’s real Public Service for you… a bloated bureaucracy wasting tax payer money on political pomp and circumstance.

EXTRA READING:
California goes bust: Tax refunds to be delayed, HotAir.com
California’s Budget Crisis Solved, RedCounty.com
What if California Could File Bankruptcy?, Fox & Hounds Daily.com

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Filed under Barack Obama, Bureaucracy, California, Government Waste, UC Berkeley

SJ City College’s Pushy Nurse Ratched

After an absence, I had to take time out to blog once again. The impetus? A local color story by San Jose Mercury News columnist Patty Fisher published on Friday, January 16, Fisher: Student cut through the smoke.

Students returning to San Jose City College for spring ´╗┐classes will notice a couple of changes: cleaner air and a bunch of new “No Smoking” signs.

For those changes, they can thank fellow student Teresa Van Devere, an ex-smoker who got sick of breathing secondhand smoke and pushed the administration to ban all smoking on campus.

Fisher’s article exposes Van Devere’s motivation:

There’s no denying Van Devere is a pushy person.

“I’ve always been a fighter,” she said. “I’m very comfortable being disagreeable.”

Even if she hadn’t been born a fighter, her tough childhood would have strengthened her backbone. Homeless most of her life, in and out of foster care as a teenager, she learned that the only way to get what she needed was to demand it.

So, the premise is that just because a formerly homeless, foster-care raised woman decides she wants what she wants when she wants it, everyone else must comply? Mach snell!

Who is Teresa Van Devere to dictate to me or you how we live our lives?

When her daughter was 4 months old, Van Devere enrolled in a nursing program [emphasis mine] at San Jose City College. Unfortunately, she often found herself engulfed in clouds of smoke.

Even scarier is the idea of the future Ms. Van Devere as Nurse Ratched. San Jose City College is apparently in the business of producing pushy, autocratic nurses whose personal preferences dictate the behavior of their patients and the population in general.

So she sent letters and photos to college officials and, with encouragement from a couple of her professors, took her campaign for a smoke-free campus to the Academic Senate, the Associated Students and eventually to the district’s top brass. Finally the new policy, which goes into effect Jan. 31, was approved.

Students at San Jose City College, please remember to thank Nurse Ratched for the healthy lifestyle she has imposed upon you. Take your meds. Don’t ask questions. Don’t question your masters, the decision makers.

The campus smoking policy is not the only change Van Devere has engineered in the past three years. It all began when she got pregnant at 25. She was homeless, hadn’t finished high school and had a two-pack-a-day habit. She was determined to take charge of her life.

“First thing I did was quit smoking,” she said. “My thinking was that if I was going to keep my child, I had to live right by her and give up habits that were not beneficial to her.”

She moved into a shelter for pregnant women. Counselors there helped her complete her GED and get a driver’s license. When her daughter was 4 months old, Van Devere enrolled in a nursing program at San Jose City College. Unfortunately, she often found herself engulfed in clouds of smoke.

“Everyone would walk outside after class and light up,” she said. “I realized how much the secondhand smoke was affecting me.

What qualifies Van Devere to make your health decisions for you? According to Patty Fisher, Van Devere is qualified because she belongs to two pre-approved liberal victim groups: formerly homeless and single mother. She has lived on the street and in shelters. Therefore, she knows more about life than you, especially if you grew up in an intact home (be it apartment, house, or trailer), stayed in high school (even though you despised it), used birth control or kept your legs closed, graduated, got a job or went to college, and made a career and life for yourself. Now you, who strove to make reasonably intelligent and mature decisions about your life, are to be told how to behave by someone who herself made poor life decisions.

Professors David Yancey and Peter D’Eliscu encouraged her uphill effort to declare the entire campus smoke-free.

“She came into my political science class and was really excited about this,” Yancey told me. “I showed her the political pathway she needed to follow.”

While helping Van Devere work her way through the college bureaucracy, Yancey was impressed with the young woman’s determination and her obvious passion for advocacy.

“She’s a real fireball,” he said. “A lot of people have these ideas, but every now and then you get someone like Teresa who comes along and has the energy and the effort to pull it off.”

This is proof of how low Political Science education has sunk over the years. Political Science no longer seeks to educate students on the history and civics of the United States. Political Science no longer tries to instill in students the nation’s founders’ ideas of freedom and liberty, ideas that drove them to rebel and throw off the rule of the King’s taxes and regulations. Political Science is now focused on training liberal partisan activists, pre-programmed to attain power and force their policies on the rest of the population.

“Hi! I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

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Filed under Assault on Individual Freedom, Author: Patty Fisher, political science, San Jose City College, San Jose Mercury News