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The author of this blog has moved his efforts over to a new group blog. Please visit The Arizona Growler.

O'Hara Factor
Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Moving forward

Amid all this categorizational stuff, I've decided to make a switch.

First off, I'm moving over to the blogging service Blogsome. It's based on WordPress, and it allows file uploads and template editing. That's really all I need in a blogging service.

Secondly, the blog will no longer be known as The O'Hara Factor. Amid feeling really awkward introducing myself as the author of "The O'Hara Factor", and with the will to start a group blog again, I'm resurrecting an old name I've never been able to beat: The Arizona Growler.

Don't expect any new posts here as I intend to populate The Arizona Growler with posts as fast as I have here. If you're interested in contributing, see the welcome page over there. Thanks for the fun. See you over at The Arizona Growler.

Medler charges dropped for now

The Wildcat reported some time ago that IFC president Robert Medler's charges of theft via official credit card have been dropped. I expect a civil settlement instead, as Medler does admit his guilt.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I'm trying to set up categories on here, so bear with me as I get these tags working. Looks like Technorati's not working fast enough to get the thingers working, so I'll have to take some embarassing semi-dead links for a little while.

File this in the opinions section

I'm guessing what was formerly known in the Arizona Daily Wildcat as "GoWild" is now known as "Heat Wave". Just what we need: another reference to the fact that weather in Tucson is hot. No crap.

And while I've never paid much attention to the section of either title, it's starting to look more like these things belong on the opinions page. Either that, or Heat Wave is some degenerated version of it (much like some of the mailbags).

Exhibit #1 is heaping praise upon the Dry River Collective and its moral and cultural degeneracy.

Tucson has earned its place on the map for having a socially conscious community and an accepting atmosphere. With alternative lifestyles like the gay and lesbian scene being openly embraced and the recent peaceful protests for humane immigration laws, the city has become a center of political freedom and a haven for knowledgeable citizens. One organization that promotes political awareness in downtown Tucson is the Dry River Collective, 740 N. Main St.

I'm only seeing this online, and I've previously noted significant differences between the print and online editions. At least online, this is not objective news. The Wildcat has every right to publish it, but please, please ensure it's labeled as COMMENTARY!

I suppose Exhibit #2 isn't disguised as objective news, but it too requires a commentary label. Perhaps the entire MSM should be concentrating on the recent attack in Seattle on a Jewish center by an obvious anti-Semitic radical Muslim rather than on a drunken Mel Gibson.

Friday, August 04, 2006

U.S. history versus the gened status quo

The Arizona Republic reported two days ago regarding the possibility of requiring U.S. history at Arizona public universities.

Let there be no doubt: students are vastly undereducated regarding the history of our country, and there are not enough history professors to handle such a burden at UA right now. While the article only addresses these two issues, the current status of general education and academic bias at the university also come into play.

Students currently consider general education simply to be a burden upon what they really want to study before graduation. I doubt U.S. history courses will change that, but if the university wants to make room for such a possibility, general education will have to produce well-roundedness rather than burden and money drain.

Combined with the already-established academic bias of UA professors, what use are students going to gain from such Tier I or II courses as...?

  • INDV 102: Black and White: The Causes and Consequences (...)
  • INDV 102: Lesbian and Gay Studies (or we could treat people as individuals, too!)
  • *INDV 103: What is Politics? (at least under David Gibbs, promoted moral equivalency between Soviet Russian propaganda and that of the Reagan administration)
  • *JPN 245: Popular Culture in Japan (A course focused almost solely upon reading outdated, boring scholarly essays about popular art, not culture. Despite having taken four semesters of Japanese language and having been to Japan four times, this course was of no help.)
  • TRAD 101: The Africana Experience (stupid white men!!)
  • TRAD 104: Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages (ooh, fun)

* Courses I've taken

Of course, there's good things about the general education courses as well. I give high marks to:

  • *INDV 101: Philosophical Perspectives on the Individual
  • *NATS 104: Nutrition, Food, and You
  • About to take TRAD 104: Justice and Virtue

The solution is simple. General education needs to be about things like classical philosphy and U.S. history, not sex and anime (but I repeat myself). After all, is there any use trying to find some way to blame it on the white man before actually studying history and philosophy?

New Afghani chief justice is UA-educated

The end of Sharia law in Afghanistan may come from a UA-educated "technocrat", this according to the Pakistan News Service. Very good news indeed. This ought to rattle the "all cultures are equal" crowd. Let's see if UA has the guts to brag about it. I'll give them some time before levying specific criticism.

But in the meantime, we also have a professor facing jail time in Turkey for "insulting Turkishness." Instead, UANews covers a law professor getting a one-year appointment to the Nigerian president's cabinet.

There's more important news out there to report. Both the Wildcat and UANews totally missed the Shafak story, but the latter manages to brag about a temporary Nigerian cabinet post. Sure, the Nigeria story is newsworthy, but can we perhaps request some prioritization?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hiatus day

There's lots to write about and no time whatsoever. Expect something tomorrow. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Update on Pac-10 cheerleading

Perhaps an actual cheerleader could clarify most of this terminology, but it looks like much of what cheerleaders do is now banned, this according to the Pac-10 itself.

Previous speculation stated that the conference would ban cheerleaders from stunts in which both feet leave the ground.

Pac-10 set to ban cheerleading stunts

Missing the point of blogging

Via their listserv, I've just discovered the Arizona College Republicans blog (for the entire state, not just UA). Much like its predecessor operated by former chairman Pete Seat (to which I'd give a link if it wasn't now a splog), it entirely misses the point of blogging.

Political blogging is about independence, not a political party's line of propaganda. To paraphrase something I remember being posted on Pete Seat's blog, "I am yet to see one original thought here."

Then again, political blogging isn't about reputational self-destruction, either. (See "Google Bombs" at the bottom of the left column if curious.)

Update: You know your conservative organization is in trouble when it has a minority outreach coordinator.

Update 2 (August 4th): This must be the first time a "conservative" outlet has censored me. My comments are not there. Perhaps that's an overstatement.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Shafak to stand trial Sept. 21 in Istanbul court

Elif Shafak
UA assistant professor Elif Shafak
from her website

UA assistant professor Elif Shafak's court date is September 21 in Istanbul according to a new report coming out of Turkey. According to the Guardian, nobody has been convicted under the law known as "Article 301", but the Arizona Republic notes that "Many authors, publishers and journalists have been charged under Article 301."

Looks like legal harassment rather than actual danger of jail. Nonetheless, it's completely unjust. Nothing heard from the university so far, even though it appears this has been going on for a while.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

UA professor may be jailed in Turkey for practicing freedom of speech

Elif Shafak
UA assistant professor Elif Shafak
from her website

The Arizona Republic reports today that Turkey may jail University of Arizona Near Eastern studies assistant professor Elif Shafak for up to three years for "insulting Turkishness" by criticizing Turkey's genocide of Armenians.

So far she's not jailed, but she has been interrogated by Turkish authorities and still could be jailed. Very distressing. Keep her in your prayers.

Update: Second link corrected.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

What the Frisch?

Looks like Deborah Frisch doesn't know when to shut the hell up. Not that we didn't know that already, but still.

Now she's threatening to sue Jeff Goldstein. This is putting Goldstein in a lot of unjustified trouble; I think he should countersue. Either way, he's putting together a paper trail of Frisch's coorespondence.

That's why I repeatedly try to write to you by email, not on a blog. It is frustrating that you reply to every message "This is the seventh time I have asked you not to email me. Stop now." when my intention is to de-escalate the situation and also maybe sue you.

Some lawyer is going to be stupid enough to take up this case. Okay, so there already is apparently. No link.

Update: See Patterico for full details. Frisch was at it again earlier making sexual comments on Goldstein's blog and Ace of Spades HQ. Goldstein will probably sue/countersue; that's very good news IMO, but none of us wanted it to get this far either way.

Friday, July 28, 2006

UA makes valuable contribution to national security

UA scientists are hopefully proving that terrorists hiding intelligence on the Internet is like a schoolchild hiding his bad report card under his dad's pillow. For all the arguments that UA 'scholars' make against national security, this is one contribution to it that I certainly welcome.

In contrast to the article's mention of white supremacists however, "Mike A." makes a good point to contrast "terrorism" from "hate" groups in the comments.

I think we need to make a differentiation between "terror" and "supremecy" or "hate" groups. The former uses violence and targets the innocent, the latter just hates people. As distasteful as that might be, terrorism is illegal, hating people is not.

The part I dislike about lumping these two things together, is that it is a subjective endeavor. It is probable that liberals would include Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh in the latter group as well as pro-life groups as well as conservative groups doing the same with groups on the left.

Without some standard to separate these things, we are on a slippery slope that could very well affect some of our freedoms.

He's right, but these groups also ought to have enough personal responsibility not to post anything on the Internet they want public. Can you say Facebook?

Polling places sway votes both ways

My polling place sticks water tanks in the desert for illegal aliens.
picture from Humane Borders website

According to a Daily Star article written by former Wildcat editor Daniel Scarpinato, the polling place in which people vote may sway votes one way or the other, that according to a Stanford University study.

Current reaction indicates that people think Scarpinato is part of some liberal conspiracy. From my recollection, Scarpinato's op-ed writings were very liberal indeed. That doesn't mean he can't be a fair journalist, though.

In fact, I've thought about this multiple times. For the time I've been registered in Pima County, my assigned polling place has always been First Christian Church, which regularly supports 'peace' marches and houses Humane Borders, an organization that sticks water tanks out in the middle of the desert for illegal immigrants.

So imagine walking into a polling place where there's a water tank for illegal immigrants outside. Bias, perhaps?

Students wait in line to vote inside ASUA's office spaces
Matt Robles / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The same principle ought to apply to ASUA as well. When ASUA put up its own early voting site, students voted just near an office responsible for lobbying the state legislature for increased education funding, feminist advocacy, and homosexual advocacy.

Does this condemn the elections process to become a home based process either via the Internet or mail? In a certain way I hope it does.

Clarification: First Christian Church is the polling place for all students living on the UA campus. While I spent my second and third years of school living off-campus, my polling place has remained the same.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thoughts on the Middle East

 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalm 91