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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
Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Easter

If you see an insult against a certain fake Greek organization below the "O'Hara Factor" logo, you are the victim/recipient of The O'Hara Factor's first easter egg. Muahahahhahahha.

If you don't, continue as normal.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Friends of McCain has my picture

McCain and O'Hara - 0
McCain and O'Hara - 1

After seeing that one referrer to my blog happened to be from a Google Images search for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), I figured why not search and see where I am in the rankings.

Well, I didn't find my picture of McCain. I found me.

No, I don't like McCain.

Links:
Google results page
Friends of McCain photo gallery
Friends of McCain home
(added later) McCain-Starky After-action Report

Clarification (30 AUG): I'm not the one wearing a Navy sweatshirt, and I didn't get an autograph. I was trying to approach the senator for an interview and was only successful halfway to the parking garage when the crowd had died.

Monday, August 22, 2005

How to tell if your textbook is biased: #1

Found on page two of my history textbook:

For time periods more recent than 20,000 years ago, we usually adopt the notation "B.C.E." (Before the Common Era) and "C.E." (Common Era). These designations correspond exactly to the more familiar "B.C." (Before Christ) and "A.D." (Anno Domini, "in the year of our Lord"), but remove the specific reference to a single religion. For dates more than 20,000 years ago, "B.P." (Before the Present) is sometimes used.
Monday, August 15, 2005

CAP releases city election survey results

The Center for Arizona Policy has released its city election survey results. Ironically, only one Tucson candidate bothered to respond, a possible indicator of overall hostility.

Avondale l Phoenix l Prescott l Tucson l Yuma

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

My new toy

I'm typing this on my notebook, which is RDPing the desktop, which is connected via dialup. Sweet stuff, and the router only cost $30.

Now to get it working in Tucson...

Monday, August 08, 2005

AZ Student Unions: Okay fine. We'll force everyone to pay!

Amidst the stern refusal of ASUA and RHA to support a mandatory meal plan, now Arizona Student Unions has come up with a more attractive way of getting the money: a mandatory $20 fee for all students.

At UA, mandatory fees are a regular part of the beginning of the semester. Quoting from my own account summary, current mandatory fees include:

ASA (Arizona Students' Association) Fee
Pays for lobbying the Arizona Legislature and Board of Regents for "pro-student" causes such as lower tuition.
$ 2.00
Recreation Center Bond Retirement Fee
Separate from the "program" fee, this pays off the loan for the relatively-new recreation center
$25.00
Arizona Financial Aid Trust
Pays financial aid for other students
$21.50
KAMP Fee
Pays the student radio station, to which I have never listened except when they set up equipment on the mall
$ 1.00
Recreation Center Program Fee
Separate from the "bond retirement fee", this pays for the actual use of the rec center.
$ 3.23
TOTAL MANDATORY FEES$51.73

Granted, some of the fees are refundable (meaning they want your money first), but who knows how to get the refund, and who has the time during final exams?

Cash Patch Kids Award
Cash Patch Kids Award

According to the Wildcat, ASUA president Cade Bernsen is not sure about the fee, and has demanded that students get something better if the fee is implemented. Bernsen is also on record supporting the construction of a university child-care center, which warranted the Cash Patch Kids Award on ASUA Watch (now on hiatus).

Despite my policy differences with him, Cade Bernsen is a warrior. Expect Arizona Student Unions to make some serious promises before he lends his support.

Update: After some random Googling, I found that a similar proposal came out in 1997, before the current Student Union Memorial Center had been built. In a student referendum, 71.8 percent voted NO and 24.2 percent voted YES, with 4,413 students voting. However, this mandatory fee was to be $40, double the currently-proposed $20.

Related:
Mandatory Meal Plan Proposal Indicates Larger Problem
PDF: "The Mandatory Meal Plan; In Support of Equality"

Mailbag wrapup

In this week's Wildcat Mailbag, regular writer Patrick McNamara slams Dan Post's characterization of President Bush's vacations, a "University of Minnesota Alumna Population Connection Field Fellow" (huh?) sings Campus Health's praises for its promotion of "safe" extramarital promiscuity, and Dr. Jani Radebaugh explains exactly why I have never taken out an advertisement in the Wildcat.

In my Dreams: SUMC Agave room calls my radio show

Originally published on an older (now defunct) blog in April 2004 regarding a then-proposed "Student Activity Fee", I'm republishing this to set a precedent for a future post:


O'HARA: Good evening! SUMC Agave Room, you're on The O'Hara Factor.
AGAVE: Give me fifteen dollars!
O'HARA: What?
AGAVE: I said gimme some money!
O'HARA: Why?
AGAVE: Because I said so!
O'HARA: What are you going to do to me?
AGAVE: Not let you take classes.
O'HARA: Not let me take classes? And how are you going to do that?
AGAVE: You'll be dropped.
O'HARA: Dropped? You mean physically? Telepathically?
AGAVE: Administratively.
O'HARA: So if I don't pay you money now, you'll hack into the CCIT servers and delete my account.
AGAVE: No. I have connections to the Bursar's Office. How should you care anyway? You're on scholarship!
O'HARA: Yeah, from the federal government! So I'm still paying.
AGAVE: A smaller amount.
O'HARA: So it's okay just because in reality, you're mugging everybody else. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
AGAVE: No, it's not. You've interviewed a black Republican before.
O'HARA: What? Uh, I'll let that speak for itself. What's this money going for, anyway?
AGAVE: Speeches, concerts, and other really neat stuff.
O'HARA: Speeches by...
AGAVE: Michael Moore, Bill Clinton...
O'HARA: WHAT?
AGAVE: You have a problem?
O'HARA: Yes, I have a problem! Who's overseeing the bias of these choices?
AGAVE: The board.
O'HARA: The bored? You mean you guys don't have enough power already?
AGAVE: The speakers board.
O'HARA: And what's the bias standard for these speakers?
AGAVE: Well, because it's an election year, we want to invite people who will be sensitive to both sides.
O'HARA: So Michael Moore and Bill Clinton are sensitive to both sides?
AGAVE: Yes, and so is Janet Reno.
O'Hara: This is ridiculous! I'm not paying you!
AGAVE: Why not just pay now and apply for a refund?
O'HARA: A REFUND?!
AGAVE: Yeah, Social Security does it already. What's the big deal?
O'HARA: You're stealing my money! We're running out of time; you have the last word.
AGAVE: You insensitive clod! You don't give a [beep] about SOCIAL JUSTICE, do you? You'll have to answer to...
O'HARA: To?
AGAVE: The STUDENTS! About this. Whew, I almost violated the Establishment Clause.
O'HARA: Thanks for calling; we'll be right back.

Old, (brain)dead white (wo)men

I just caught the Tucson Raging Grannies (link withheld for a reason) on the Today show. I only caught the last two questions, a comment, and a programming note. All quotes are approximated by memory.

GUEST: (spread the word/happy stuff)
REPORTER: And they're definitely spreading the word. Next, we'll talk about a wife and her husband's ordeal with Islamic terrorists.

Oh, them. Yeah.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Suspected illegals break into Rep. Kolbe's home to make political statement

The Tucson Citizen reports that suspected illegal immigrants have broken into the home of Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) for a reason I suspect is purely political.

Quoting the report:

The culprits apparently showed little interest in items of value, however, and left untouched a computer, television, and rifle. Instead, they appeared to have showered, prepared a meal in the microwave, and helped themselves to a change of the congressman's clothes.

In other words, they are entitled to food, water, and clothing from the American taxpayers' wallets merely because they are here.

The report comes on the heels of The (Yuma) Sun's best editorial yet, acknowledging that illegal immigrants are responsible for their own fate. Quite a concept.

Hat tip: Just Deserts, arguing the opposing side.

C|net: Gateway snags 5-year UA contract worth $45 mil

According to C|net editor-in-chief Michael Kanellos, Gateway has nailed a 5-year, $45 million deal with the University of Arizona to become the campus' leading technology provider. Kanellos makes it sound like something new, but I have reason to believe that it's a contract extension, as Gateway has been a major x86-architecture provider for labs and the exclusive x86 provider for the UA Bookstores "Computing and Technology Store" for at least the two years at least to my recollection.

I think Dell used to have a contract like that; a lot of the older units on campus are Dells. I'll need to visit campus again to rethink this.

Director of Vatican Observatory (linked to UA) attacks cardinal for rejecting "evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense"

The Tablet

Father George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory and UA astronomy professor, has rebuffed Cardinal Christoph Shonborn, archbishop of Vienna, for denying that evolution was compatible with the Christian faith in an article "Finding Design in Nature" published in the New York Times last month.

According to its website (hosted on a UA server oddly enough), "The Vatican Observatory Research Group operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeastern Arizona."

Cardinal Shonborn's credentials include longtime association with Pope Benedict XVI as well has having been the lead editor of the 1992 Cathechism of the Catholic Church.

This is one of those things MSM might pick up on, so you heard it here first.

Shonborn's article (July 7, 2005; Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 23) is available on Lexis-Nexis, including through the UA library link. Coyne's article is published in The Tablet, a Catholic weekly journal published in Britain.

Hat tip: New Zealand Herald

Update: The Catholic Monarchist says it won't change a thing and that Shonborn is right.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Technical changes

Those who were here before yesterday will notice that the layout here is completely new. Outlining the changes:

  • Layout, including blogroll stuff, background extension, and three columns.
  • No more Haloscan comments. They don't show any archives more than four months old, so most of the comments are completely gone, which stinks because I like(d) to look back on them. Blogger, however, has enabled users to type in a name and url instead of requiring a Blogger account or declaring anonymity. Kudos.
  • Graphics archive. Look for a graphically-based graphics archive soon.
  • Wildcat letters archive. Worth taking a look.
  • Updated Google bombs. The performance of some of them really impressed me. Now if I can just be the "miserable failure", I'll be on top of the blogosphere!! (no, not really)

In the meantime, my stats today are through the roof somehow. A bunch of blogspot users just ended up here, presumably through the "next blog" button at the top of most Blogger sites, except that I think that bar stinks, so I cleverly got rid of it with a little code.

Phew, time for bed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Likins Administration participates in Barton controversy

Having spent so much time in the Eastern Hemisphere during the month of July, I have largely been unaware of national news back home, so I'm completely new to the controversy surrounding Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).

Confirmed by multiple sources, Barton (who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce) along with Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) (who chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations), wrote memos dated June 23 to UA professor Malcolm Hughes and four of his collegues requesting data on a global warming study that apparently went all the way to the United Nations.

UA president Peter Likins has denounced Barton's actions with a memo of his own to deans, directors, and department heads.

Looks like petty bickering to me, though I still don't know much about this. I found it on Chris C Mooney, so check his blog for more details and links.

Monday, August 01, 2005

PDF: "The Mandatory Meal Plan: In Support of Equality"

It's been a while, I know. In fact, probably no one reads this anymore other than a select few. Either way, I have virtually no summer responsibilities remaining, so why not try my hand at another parody?

Moreover, I'm going to try to make at least one graphic a month. I figure that it's a good talent I don't use enough, so look for at least one more before the school year starts. The Wildcat is sure to come up with something worth mocking before then.

And as a note for the non-UA crowd, all of the edited logos are originated from actual university or corporate logos. Moreover, I actually made this in OpenOffice.org 1.1, and the color didn't come out quite right when I exported to PDF format. Either way, it's worth posting in a dorm room.

Special thanks to Chris Condon for the inspiration (Update: and LaShawn Barber for the encouragement.)

File: equality.pdf (238 KB, 1 page)

Related: Mandatory meal plan proposal indicates larger problem

Update III: The PDF is now featured on Right Wing Duck as part of the weekly Carnival of Comedy. Be sure to check out the rest