Monday, November 17, 2008

If I Were a Fangirl, I'd Squee

The new Star Trek movie trailer is up here. (You'll want to click on Trailer 2.)

UPDATE: Here's an official-looking YouTube video of the trailer.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Edify Yourself

Devilstower at DailyKos has a long but informative post up about credit default swaps and how they made the financial markets explode, spawned by the current GOP spin trying to pin the crisis on anyone but themselves. Go read it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Read It and Weep

Chancellor Herman writes to the DI to say that, try as hard as they can, Students for Chief Illiniwek's antics won't bring back the Chief:

I want to clarify and add background to a recent announcement by the Registered Student Organization (RSO) "Students for Chief Illiniwek." The RSO plans to rent the Assembly Hall on November 15 to promote its cause at an event called, "Students for Chief Illiniwek Presents: The Next Dance."

The campus does not support and is not sponsoring this rally and, as long as the group does not exclude any fellow students from participating, the organization is free to express within the law the beliefs and perspectives of its members.

On February 21, 2007, the University at Urbana-Champaign retired the Chief Illiniwek tradition. The campus also ended the production of Chief merchandise, except through the Collegiate Licensing Company's "Vault" program, which is used for retired logos.

We will not reinstate the Chief Illiniwek tradition.

However, we will never prevent people from expressing themselves on our campus. The RSO system at the University allows groups of students to create organizations that represent many different viewpoints. While the University will not always condone those views, we will allow students to form a RSO, as long as they meet clear and existing guidelines. Those guidelines include adhering to all federal and state nondiscrimination and equal opportunity laws, orders, and regulations.

All RSOs have certain rights, including the right to reserve/rent certain campus spaces for their events. The Assembly Hall is one of the venues available for such events.

The University works very hard to create an inclusive campus community. Free speech and the ability to express ideas is a core value of this great institution. Without this freedom, students do not have exposure to ideas nor the ability to test the veracity of those ideas.

This is a tradition we will always honor.

Richard Herman,
As I've said many times before, retiring the Chief was an irreversible decision by the Board of Trustees. The nature of our former "symbol"/mascot is so toxic that, were the board to reinstate it, the university's reputation as an enlightened institution of higher learning would be shot. That's why it's best not to have these big displays, and best not to cling on to things like yelling "Chief" during the Three-in-One at Halftime (two-thirds of which I'd also like to go see the way of our well-maligned mascot). The more people keep deluding themselves that it will come back, the longer it will take for the community as a whole to move on.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Hate Pervasive Disney Advertising

I now understand why some people have fancy covers for their facial tissue boxes. In my case, at least, I would not have it to coordinate with my decoration scheme (which would require me to have one in the first place). Instead it would be to cover up the fact that it was not until I got home that I realized that, on the middle box of the three-pack of Kleenex I just bought, Hannah Montana's face was rictus-grinning back at me.

I'm not sure what to do with this box at the moment. Suggestions are appreciated.

Thank God

Gov. Blagojevich (D-Idiot) is "not interested" in appointing himself to Obama's soon-to-be-vacant senate seat:

What the governor says he's looking for: someone who shares many of the Democratic ideals he and Obama share, including health care expansion, creating jobs, cutting taxes for working class people.

The governor said he hopes to have a decision made by New Year's, but there is no timeline.

Names being bandied about Illinois political circles include Democratic Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr., Luis Gutierrez, Jan Schakowsky and Danny Davis, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes and Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who is close to Obama. Some are promoting themselves while others are mentioned due to the offices they hold and the political landscape in 2010, when Democrats must defend the seat.

Another name mentioned is real estate executive Valerie Jarrett, a close Obama friend and top adviser, who could help Blagojevich with blacks, women and the White House if he seeks re-election. Yet another: Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who narrowly lost a congressional bid and now serves as Blagojevich's Department of Veterans' Affairs director.
I've read elsewhere (don't remember where, though, else I'd link it) that Mayor Daley would like nothing more than to kick Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr. into the Senate, since Jackson's been making noises about being Mayor of Chicago himself - the hope being that he'd like his new job too much to come back to Chicago and challenge Daley. If that's true, then I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen. What Daley wants, Daley gets.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Late Election Roundup

Hi there, paltry readership.

I spent my afternoon and evening as a Poll Watcher at Cunningham 5 at PAR, and then watched the returns come in at Matt's place. And, though it's been said many times already - Yay Obama!

So far, it looks like the Constitutional Convention is losing, as is the School Sales Tax - both "yay"s for me. Sadly, the City of Champaign referendum to fund general assistance did not pass.

I'm gonna vegetate for a bit, then head to bed. I may have something more profound to say later. If not, Yay!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama Wins Dixville Notch, NH

15 votes to 6.

(No link, I watched it on the teevee.)

Election Day is Tomorrow!

In case any of my seven readers are first-time voters, you need to bring a government-issued ID (like your I-card) and a piece of mail, i.e. a bill, listing your current address. Even if you're not a first-time voter, having these along to smack down the Republican poll watcher with is never a bad idea.

Myself, I plan to vote early, and maybe end up as a poll watcher myself at some point tomorrow. We'll see how things go.

Also, if you live in Champaign County, go find and print out your specimen ballot before you go to the polls. If you fill that out ahead of time, all you need do once you hit the polling booth is copy your ovals to the official ballot. If lots of people do that, voting will go a lot smoother.