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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
Saturday, April 29, 2006

ASA has money stolen, throws away still more

This man is in trouble.  And so is his organization, in my opinion.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat reported yesterday that former Arizona Students’ Association executive director Maceo Brown is being accused of stealing more than $200,000 over a period of four years.

ASA is the organization I posted about earlier that charges every university student one dollar every semester for its lobbying work.  In other words, the guy spent students’ money in order to eat at Olive Garden, etc.  Most students probably don’t know about that dollar-a-semester thing, either.

Meanwhile, I got my dollar back the other day via snail mail.  That’s right; your Arizona Students’ Association spent 39¢ in order to send a check for one dollar, not including the cost of labor, the envelope, and the accompanying letter.  And you thought the government was inefficient.

ASA check for one dollarASA letter
Saturday, April 22, 2006

Objurgate Opine with O'Hara

Now that I have a Skype account, I now have the ability to record audio interviews over the Internet. Thus, if you'd like to be interviewed for The Arizona Podcat, please shoot me an email and we'll schedule a time. Please note that because finals are coming up, my availability may be extremely limited. Moreover, all interviews would become my property and licensed under the same Creative Commons license as both the Factor and the Podcat.

Moreover, if you are a semi-outsider (or perhaps otherwise) and would like to help out with the interviewing, that works, too. The more people we have, the more interesting it becomes.

VCU student government faced similar problems to ASUA during elections

VCU SGA Watch looks to have covered the student government of Virginia Commonwealth University in much the same fashion as this blog. Its latest post brings up a multitude of issues, not the least of which is the First Amendment issue during campaigns. So long as an Elections Committee is having to approve all campaign materials, a potential First Amendment issue ought to take center-stage.

Here at Arizona, it didn't. The issue was whether people were following the code, how much it ought to be enforced, etc. Nobody brought up any issue over whether an Elections Commissioner should have to approve such materials in the first place. Moreover, because of confidentiality issues, the public had no way of knowing what materials, if any, might have been censored, and what exact violations actually took place other than what the candidates could claim.

Much of the VCU discussion is at their message board. And guess what? Yale had similar problems, and its story actually made it to the Associated Press and CNN's website.

ASUA should start fixing this starting with their first senate meeting next semester with First Amendment issues at the forefront.

Related posts:
SC reinstates Tubbs; Cook out
Personal findings from today's SC hearings
ASUA Supreme Court effectively closes Tubbs hearing to the public
AIM Profile downs Tubbs?
2006 ASUA Primary results in; Tubbs DQ'ed
Two candidates can't campaign; Bernsen releases statement
ASUA Senator touts campaign early?
ASUA releases Facebook regulations for election

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This is gratifying

I've been wondering for a while why I've been getting so many hits from, of all places, ITALY. Now I know.

One of the Italians debating is former UA doctoral student Giorgio Torrieri, whom I mentioned back in November of 2004. Torrieri appears here (post #30) in what appears to be a rant in much of the same fashion as an old letter to the Wildcat.

At least from manually transferring a bunch of stuff into Google Translator, most of the comments are positive. To think that old, archived work from The Arizona Growler made it this far is simply astounding.

Let this be a note to bloggers out there; it matters!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

O'Reilly Factor covers Tucson High School rift

Bill O'Reilly made mention of Tucson tonight concerning Tucson High School's inviting of a radical speaker without counterbalance. Unfortunately, this isn't surprising nor is it the only sign of bias in Tucson's schools. Not only did 520 teachers walk out on Monday, but...

David Bachman-Williams, a government and geometry teacher at Tucson High School, sat with a group of his students in the grass at Armory Park and talked about the day's events. He called the day an invaluable civics lesson.

"I'm teaching government better here than at Tucson High," Bachman-Williams said. "I'm connecting with students so much better here. When I go back tomorrow, they are going to listen more."


Mention of the city-wide student figure is at the Arizona Podcat.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Biblical justification for immigration enforcement

I posted the following earlier on a personal blog, so it doesn't have full citations or any sort of formality. Nonetheless, it's worth debating over.

1.  Humanitarian aid is sometimes a crime.  Aiding and abetting crime is not only illegal, it's unbiblical.  We know that from Romans 13.  Jesus commands us as Christians to help the less fortunate, and this is no exception.  The organization that best exemplifies this example is...The Minuteman Project!  They obey our laws, and they get the Border Patrol to people who need food and water.

2.  The purpose of government is not to do the 'Christian' thing when something like this comes up.  2 Corinthians 9:7 states "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."  Giving is not the responsibility of government; it is our responsibility.  Imagine what happens when we give the government the power to determine what is the 'Christian' thing to do.  That what we like to call theocracy, and we can't have anything near that.

3.  I read in a political science textbook the other day one commentator's opinion that "The relative difference between this and other waves of immigration is that these immigrants want to share in the distribution of the nation's material goods, but they are hardly interested at all in identifying with the political values of the same community."  People who desire to live in our country must identify with our political values.  That doesn't mean adopting the American 'apple-pie and baked potatoes' culture; it means respecting the rules of civil discourse and taking personal responsibility.  When illegal immigrants force hospitals (read: patients) to pay for their health care simply by virtue of having crossed the border, and when students of Mexican descent hang Mexican flags above upside-down American flags, I get a little worried that the population has not adopted our political values.  That in itself is a generalization, sure.  But above all, respecting our political values means not breaking the law, which by definition every illegal immigrant has done.

4.  We could argue the economics of the debate all day.  As I am not an economist, I don't want to go too far into that; this is the politics.  If Mexican workers are an economic necessity (and by no means am I saying they are), then let's make it easier for Mexicans to work in the United States, whether that be via guest worker programs, accelerated citizenship, etc.  Don't circumvent law in order to fit circumstance.

Public school busses take students to and from protest?

School bus at protest

Via Michelle Malkin, I've learned that Tucson school busses at minimum transported students from the pro-illegal immigration protest.

I recognize that Indymedia isn't exactly the most unbiased and reliable source, but a photographer does indicate that school busses took students to AND from the protest. From might be an issue of public safety. To is absolutely outrageous. Consider this a developing story.

The last time I attended an MLK march (shortly before the 2004 primaries), UA Cat Trans transported people from Reid Park back to campus. I hardly think this is equivalent to supporting Martin Luther King, despite the political overtones tainting that particular march.

More thoughts on protesters...

There's apparently two rallies converging into one later on today, and I'm not releasing details because I don't want them getting any attention to make them feel important. I wish I had time to counter-protest today, but Japanese 202 calls.

Meanwhile, the final forum on the Student Union fee takes place north of the SUMC at noon today. The Wildcat, in similar fashion to the proposed Student Activities Fee from two years ago, has disendorsed the Student Union fee.

I may observe campus political activities today, but I'm not leaving with protesters on their way to the rally.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Upcoming Union Fee vote incites debate

The prospect of charging UA students with yet another mandatory fee is inciting debate. ASUA University Relations Director Brad Burns, speaking as an individual, has emailed me his concerns. Meanwhile, Arizona Student Unions has posted a website section regarding the fee, and is advertising the site under the plea "Make your voice heard."

I suppose that's better than "Exercise your vote," a pun ASUA used to gather support for the Student Recreation Center Expansion Fee. Meanwhile at the Arizona Podcat, I've characterized Arizona Student Unions as "The Goodwill Mugger."

The Union website also contains a discussion board, where one transfer student notes having suffered through $200 in activities fees. Union director Dan Adams apparently posted as a guest rather than creating an account, thus opening himself up to being misquoted on his own website. Directly below Adams' comment are two pieces of automated forum spam.

The final student forum will reportedly take place at the stage north of the SUMC from noon to one in the afternoon this Monday, with the vote taking place Tuesday and Wednesday. More later.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Teach-In" bound to be loud protest

The following was sent out onto the "Lo Que Pasa Faculty & Staff News Listserv" today. Turns out there's a "teach-in" taking place at the Alumni Skate Park Plaza tomorrow at noon. Shout me a "Viva La Raza" if you think the debate's going to be civil.

Mexican American Studies students will hold a teach-in Thursday to explore immigration reform and immigration legislation now being considered by Congress.

"For the past several weeks, we have watched in disbelief as thousands of middle and high school students have walked out of their classrooms into the streets, to state and federal buildings to bring attention to immigration reform and proposed legislation known as the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005," Antonio Estrada, director of Mexican American Studies and Research Center wrote in a memo to the campus community.

"Their energy and bravado has made many stop and ask ourselves how well we understand this legislation and its implications."

To increase awareness about the issue, Mexican American Studies student will hold a teach-in at noon on Thursday, April 6, at the UA Alumni Plaza, in front of the Administration Building.

On hand to assist student leaders in the discussion will be activist and immigration expert Isabel Garcia and Mexican American Studies instructor Salomon Baldenegro.

Monday, April 03, 2006

And it's back...

According to an accuser, Cade Bernsen's troubles aren't over. After having sent others and me a letter proclaiming that the Dean of Students office had dropped his charges, it turns out those aren't the only ones as the Wildcat reports today.

Here's what I don't get: there's another accuser. Why are we only talking about one? Did the other one drop charges or something. Both the accuser(s) and Bernsen are leaving the public in a dark cloud of secrecy here, and frankly I'm not sure I'd do it any differently if I was the innocent one.

Update: What am I talking about? I wouldn't put something out like that until it was all done!