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Comments made by gerold

How Would Legalizing Pot Affect Calif. Budget, Communities?

I heard the show on my way to work this morning, and was amazed to hear Roger Morgan, the pro-prohibition guy, describe his solution for reefer madness. It was ridiculously absurd and idiotic, but no one called him on it: he actually proposed random drug tests for middle schoolers throughout California. Maybe he even threw in elementary students, I'm not sure about that, but in any case the police-state solutions these bunglers support are a perfect reminder of why we need to pass Prop. 19.

Stephen Gutwillig was pretty good, but Morgan was pathetic. It will be interesting to see if his scare tactics work on California voters.

July 29, 2010 at 1:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chelsea King's Case Raises Doubts About Megan's Law

Hi BeenthereB4 - I sympathize with your feelings, and I can assure you, just about everyone agrees that the world will be a better place when Gardner (assuming he really is the perpetrator of this terrible crime!) is gone. I would be willing to administer justice to him personally.

But Rudy101 has been trying to explain some very important points here, and people are so angry that they just don't want to listen. They are complaining that our justice system is too kind to criminals, and sometimes it is, but keep in mind that we don't know who the criminals are, exactly, until they commit their crimes and are apprehended. Even then, we often aren't sure. We still convict the wrong person sometimes.

You want to protect the innocent; Rudy101 also wants to protect the innocent. Sometimes, we have to let the guilty go free in order to protect the innocent; it seems paradoxical, but life is a paradox. Don't let your anger and hurt prevent you from seeing that.

One final note - and I even hesitate to say this, but think about it, because it's true - the pain that you feel about crimes that have been committed against you is not that different from the feelings of a person like this Gardner. The anger that you feel over wrongs that you have suffered; that anger is not that different from what Gardner feels, and probably both come from similar causes.

Do not be ashamed of the human race because of what this criminal psycho has done. Do not be ashamed of yourself, because of what was done to you. The cause of these crimes: not enough love. The result of these crimes: even more hate. The answer to these crimes: more love, more compassion, more understanding, and even a little forgiveness.

March 3, 2010 at 4:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

UCSD Student Suspended For Hanging Noose

Kind of sad to see all these old whiners posting here, complaining either about uppity young freethinkers ("oldybutgoody") or mean old oppressive white people ("expat").

It's too bad we don't hear anything much from the students themselves, but from my conversations with actual students, the grunting and sniveling from the people posting here is quite unrepresentative of what's happening among normal students.

My impression: the vast majority of students at UCSD reject racism completely, and are looking forward to a post-racial future, not at the injustices of the past. Most are too busy, and are working too hard, to take much interest in the antics of frat boys, the complaints of the hyper-sensitive, or the frantic CYA-scramble of the administration.

note to "oldybutgoody": my company hired a new grad from UCSD a couple years ago, an excellent mechanical engineer; very smart, and his education prepared him to be productive immediately. And while this is hardly relevant, he's also Hispanic. Based on what I've seen here, he's a much better American than the angry white men ranting and whinging on this board.

March 1, 2010 at 3:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

I think the German ban on Nazi symbols and ideology is a good example of why free speech works better than censorship.

I do not believe there is any chance that the German people would ever be fooled by racist/fascist demagoguery again, they have clearly learned from that mistake. That is why censoring Nazi-speech is so foolish. The more those ideas are discussed, the more obvious it becomes how wrong they are. People who want to censor it seem to fear that it will appeal to their fellow-citizens; that is a very pessimistic and, I believe, misgiuded attitude. Nazi ideas should be openly aired, and refuted with appeals to both logic and human decency.

Censorship gives these rotten ideologies an underground cachet they don't deserve. Better to let the sunshine in.

And we're not that far off topic; it was the censorship and attempted suppression of this Wrongthink that led to the Koala and noose reactions. Fools have a right to make fools of themselves. How else can they learn what is foolish? This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion.

March 1, 2010 at 2:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

LC has this right, and expat has it wrong.

"Grow a pair" (whether ovaries or testicles doesn't matter) doesn't mean "shut up". It means take a stand based upon principles of fairness and justice, and apply them equally to all. In this case, it means defending free speech, and responding to ignorance with knowledge. We need to address foolishness with wisdom. The UCSD administration is trying to clamp a lid on a simmering pot, and that is what led to the escalating series of responses, culminating in the noose incident.

The students who reacted with fears and rage to the Compton Cookout were responding in a childish way. Not too surprising, since many of them literally are children. Expat doesn't have that excuse.

Expat, you don't like the "tone" of my response. That's fine, you have a right to your opinion, and I'm glad you're expressing it. But just because I point out the irrational petulance of your victimology doesn't imply I don't support full equality for women and minoroties. In fact, that's precisely why I support free speech for ignorant frat boys: free speech means free speech for all, and equal rights have to be applied equally.

One more thing: physics teaches us that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. Human behavior is different, however. There actions often produce opposite reactions of increasingly greater magnitude. When the administration tried to clamp down, the situation blew up. The noose was a response to administration attempts to stifle discussion, rather than promoting the free exchange of ideas.

February 28, 2010 at 11:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

Expat - you claim to want "thoughtful and complex" discussion of this topic - but that's not what I'm seeing from you. I'm seeing simplistic and unidimensional victimology.

Academic freedom is vital to the intellectual health of UCSD. These kids come to school to learn. Their education consists of more than academic lessons however, most of them are also learning how to be responsible adults. The originators of the Compton Cookout were a little boorish, but the students who reacted with tears and outrage were hyper-sensitive. Neither is good, but both behaviors should be expected from children.

"Grow a pair" is an entirely appropriate response, both to the students who had a meltdown and the "adults" who are acting as enablers. UCSD administration and the KPBS commentary afterward (just read the transcript above - craven pandering) are not teaching these young people the appropriate lessons.

To the callow Cookout crew: have some consideration for the feelings of others. Mockery is best directed at those in power, not the vulnerable.

To the "under-represented minority" students who felt "threatened and excluded" by the Compton Cookout: if you can't take a joke, stay out of the kitchen.

And to expat, who thinks I'm "blaming the victim": there is no victim. The Compton Cookout may have been tasteless, boorish, or rude, but there was no threat involved. Encouraging the victim mentality isn't helping anyone, unless it enables you to feel morally superior. Just keep in mind, you're buying that smug feeling at the cost of crippling the self-reliance of the poor "victims" you're creating.

February 27, 2010 at 12:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

We seem to be losing sight of something important in this discussion.

In a free society, people are free to speak their minds. If the society is large enough, there will always be somebody who is going to say something you don't like. The US has a population over 300 million, which is bif enough that there are thousands of people, many living near you right now, who will say things that you find unpleasant, distasteful, and even infuriating.

The only thing worse than living in a society where people are free to say unpleasant things, is living in one where they can't.

Freedom isn't free. One of the prices we pay is hearing some of our dumbass fellow citizens speaking their mind. Deal with it. Grow a pair. Have the guts to stand for your beliefs, and at the same time, recognize that different people will see things differently.

That is true for society, but even more true for the university community. This event should have been treated as a Teachable Moment, not a public relations damage-control exercise.

Not only did UCSD fail miserably, but so did KPBS. Maureen Cavanaugh and KPBS had a great opportunity to take advantage of this teachable moment, and instead they chickened-out. They played it safe with a complete CYA rearguard action instead. Sad.

February 26, 2010 at 8:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

I was listening to the broadcast on the way to work today, and was very disappointed in the quality of the discussion. Maureen and all of the guests treated the subject with such gingerly kid gloves and ultra-cautious consideration. Listening to them tiptoe around was offensive. I expect intellectual honesty from KPBS, even on controversial topics - especially on controversial topics!

The UC system is MERIT based. That is precisely why it has maintained such a level of excellence for all these years. How do you think it happened that UCSD is majority Asian?! I haven't seen the statistics lately, but when I walk around UCSD, I see more Asians than whites. Race is not the issue there, however. Merit is the issue. If we want UCSD to remain an excellent school, then merit will have to continue to be the issue.

I think most everyone agrees it would be great to have more "minority" students at UCSD. (Where "minority" means "minority minus Asian", of course). As soon as more qualified minority students apply, they will be admitted. But that issue will have to be solved outside of the UC system. The UC system has the task of providing an excellent university education, let's not dilute that mission (which is hard enough already).

There was a decent discussion of the conflict between free speech and equal protection. It's not a simple question. But at a university, the balance needs to rest on the side of free speech. If people misuse the right of free speech, the answer is right at hand: education. And, if people are overly offended by the exercise of free speech, the exact same remedy should be applied: education. Satire and parody must be given free rein to expose dishonesty and ignorance. People will be offended: Grow a Pair.

February 25, 2010 at 11:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )