Berkeley's Conservative Voice

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Who likes Chipotle?

Tomorrow is the opening of Chipotle on Telegraph. If the buzz from your friends who have eagerly awaited this day is not enough publicly for the store, the free food given out to students yesterday and today should draw some attention. If you act fast, they are giving away food today until 7PM with a Cal student ID.

Take for example this line of students at 3:30 today:

According to the new version of Calstuff, the line at 12:10 was around the block.

I am glad there is finally a store in that location. When I came to Berkeley two years ago there was a Greg’s Pizza place there, but it closed within a month. If you want to look at Telegraph revitalization, replacing closed businesses is a good first step, but two years is a long turn around time. I will be very happy when Walgreens moves in across the street. Rexall’s will have to offer competitive prices or go out of business.

Whether you like Chipotle or not, it has a following and will do well on Telegraph. If you want to avoid the lines, try Mario’s a few blocks down at Telegraph & Haste. I ate there last night and thoroughly enjoyed my super burrito.

If I would have been more observant yesterday I would have passed on the word about the free food giveaway earlier. However my skill is spilling salad and coffee on my pants not finding free food.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

This little Turkey went to Disneyland

Flying first class, being grand marshal in a parade, and living at Disneyland after being pardoned by the President is a great deal, especially if you are a Turkey. There is a great article that details all this for the pardoned Turkeys from the Orange County Register.

As a quick guide to names and places, this year's Turkey and backup were called Flyer and Fryer. Last year it was Marshmallow and Yam who got the royal treatment. Frying Pan Park, a working farm in Virgina, was the place pardoned Turkeys used to go and live until last year when they went to Disneyland.

PETA is the organization that was mad about Frying Pan Park, from last year's Orange County Register:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which in the past has been critical because presidential turkeys have been sent to a working farm, praised the decision to send them to Disneyland.

"I don't suppose we could have asked for better than Disneyland and Southern California," said Bruce Friedrich of PETA. "They'll have mental and physical stimulation as well as proper care and a nice climate."

Turkeys on a working farm? That is so much crueler then the fate of the millions of other birds that were killed for Thanksgiving.

I am reminded of the West Wing episode where two Turkeys who are sent to the White House and only one of them would be pardoned. The President points out he has no Constitutional power to pardon a Turkey, then drafts the Turkey into the Army.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tasering Article

Protesting the UCPD
And then some
By Andrew R. Quinio

Demonstrators gathered on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Monday to protest what they considered the “torture” of Mostafa Tabatabainejad at the hands of UCLA’s campus police.
Tabatabainejad’s tasering last Tuesday was caught on camera and posted on the popular video Web site Youtube. It has since gained national attention.

Second-year UC Berkeley student Yaman Salahi, one of the organizers of the protest, expressed outrage at the incident, which prompted him to plan the demonstration. “It really brings it home to you,” Salahi said, “and I was furious when I saw the video.”

The aim of the protest, Salahi mentioned, was to spur a meeting with UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, UC President Robert Dynes, and other elements of the UC system that had control over the UCPD. In bringing the incident to their attention, Salahi hoped that UC administrators would establish an independent commission that would review current UCPD policies.

While police brutality was the main focus, protesters also took shots at the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, and other issues, with one protester even waving a Mexican flag. One speaker linked the actions of the UCPD with the policies in the Middle East, claiming that increased belligerence toward Iran was partly responsible for police brutality. “The way that we’ve got to battle against police brutality and racism here in the United States and the racism and bombing in the Middle East to is to build an independent anti-war movement,” claimed the speaker, who distributed copies of the Socialist Worker after delivering his remarks.

Tabatabinejad is in fact heard in the video yelling, “Here’s your Patriot Act, here’s your ... abuse of power.”

First-year student Kifa Shah, who also participated in the protest, agreed that race played a role in the incident. “I think he was pinpointed. He was Iranian and nobody else’s ID was being checked. It was discrimination,” Shah added.

The UCPD initially asked Tabatabainejad to leave UCLA’s Powell Library computer lab after failing to show a student ID card. A taser was used against Tabatabainejad when he resisted officers and refused to leave. Nancy Greenstein, a UCLA Police Department spokeswoman, told the Associated Press last week that ID checks in the library after 11 p.m. were routine. At UC Berkeley, ID cards communicate a similar process. The reverse side of all UC Berkeley student ID cards read: “This card is nontransferable and must be shown to Campus representatives on demand.”

Dr. Hatem Bazian, a lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, used the incident to highlight the issue of equal access to public resources. In his remarks to the protesters, Bazian said, “We would love people to have access to the library, whether they are students or not.” Bazian then remarked on the harms of privatization, and its ability to withhold resources from others.

During the speakers’ remarks, audio from the incident was played on the loudspeakers. Protesters also engaged the accompanying crowd in organized chants. One participant yelled, “What does a police state look like?” to which participants responded, “This is what a police state looks like.” Only three uniformed officers could be seen on Sproul Plaza, observing the protest from a considerable distance. None of them had tasers.

The crowd of protesters then took the demonstration into the basement of Sproul Hall, the location of the UCPD headquarters. They delivered a letter to Victoria Harrison, chief of police at UC Berkeley, and then moved the protest to California Hall, where they delivered the same letter to the chancellor’s office. The letter lists several demands; among them is an “immediate moratorium on Taser guns.”

According to Assistant Chief of Police Mitch Celaya, officers of the UCPD at Berkeley do not carry tasers to begin with. “It’s just one piece of equipment that we haven’t invested in,” Celaya said.

Check out the Patriot’s original footage:
Protester links police brutality to foreign policy.
Protesters storm UCPD headquarters.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Video from tasering protest

If you missed the demonstration on campus yesterday about the tasering of the UCLA student, here are two brief clips from The Patriot.

Clip One
Clip Two

There is a complete article accompanying the video clips which I will post when I get it.

As if one day of protests was not enough, there was another thing on Sproul today. I only saw it for a moment, but there was an Iranian student group speaking on the Savio Steps about the incident.

My own feelings about this are twofold. First and most importantly, the student should have shown his ID or left the library if he did not want to produce it. Second, the police should have picked him up and carried him out of the library instead of tasering him repeatedly.

If people are going to check police brutality, I am going to ask they also crack down on the stupidity of students like the one at UCLA.

The Award goes to...

As promised more about the impeachment. The good thing about being lazy is Beetle will say all the important stuff.

So I will give out a few awards for the evening:

Best Case: Sonya Banerjee
She destroyed the case against her. Knowing the JRPs can be helpful.

Most Pointless: Ben Narodick
This is nothing against Ben, but his testimony was stricken from the record. I don’t remember why exactly, just that it had the effect of him never actually being there.

Most Predictable: Suken Vakil
He has been known to lie to the Judicial Council before. Now he used his chance to play fast and lose with the truth in front of the Senate.

Biggest Fool: Dimitri Garcia
He could not name any of the four senators who filed the charge sheet with him, did not know how long Banerjee had been a justice, nor when she became chair. Aside from at least vaguely knowing some of this from deciding to impeach Chair Banerjee, if Garcia paid attention to the trial he sat through as a juror he would have gotten the answer to all of these questions.

Not content to let this stand, Garcia then said Banerjee assassinated this character by questioning him like this. Trying to blame someone for exposing your ignorance is just plain stupid.

Most Courageous: Jeff Mannassero
He stood up to the Student Action backed impeachment voting.

Biggest Tool: Everyone who voted for impeachment
Sonya ripped apart the case against her. I don’t see the reasoning anyone could have for voting for impeachment other then political revenge. I have been following all the ASUC cases since the beginning and I was actually at a couple of the hearings, and I don’t remember seeing any of the senators at the J-council hearings.

Most removed from the Case: All the people from UC Davis
It was fun to see people who had no connection to the case watch the proceedings. One of their blogs with commentary is here. Even these outside observers could see the stupidity of the SA voting block.

If you have any awards of your own, give them out.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sonya is Saved!

At 5:48 AM the ASUC Senate voted to allow Judicial Council Chair Sonya Banerjee keep her position. In a 12-8 vote that followed party lines, Student Action was two votes away from getting their childish way.

I will have more to say later, but now I am going to sleep.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New home for now

Greetings all.

With the site down for the time being I will be posting stuff here. The last month or two have been dim in the Berkeley blogsphere. First Waste Today went the way of the dinosaurs. Which is sad, especially since John was funny. Then Calstuff died. While a resurrection is in the works, we will be without the colored commentary until that happens. It was a sad time. Then calpatriot went down.

One bright spot has emerged. The Daily Cal has its own blog, the clog. While it is still being put together, it has good potential.

I am looking forward to using this blog interface. I have thought about getting a blog of my own for a while, but I kept deciding it would be too much work to post there and on calpatriot. I would also want to talk about numerous personal and emotional issues I am dealing with. A lot of that stuff I don't want certain people to know about so for the time being I will keep it to myself.

Since he has mentioned me lately, links and props to Alex.

Ten bucks says Beetle will read this before anyone else.