January 31, 2007
[in reference to Barack Obama): "you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy... I mean, that’s a storybook, man."
What a fucking racist.
Edit: I want to be sure it doesn't seem like I'm just throwing out a charge of racism recklessly.
The key here is the word "mainstream." What Biden means by "mainstream" is "white enough for whites to feel represented by him." Biden would probably even himself admit that this is his basic meaning—he's making the case that Obama is the first black national figure who is "white" enough that whites look at him and see themselves represented to some extent.
The racism kicks in when you consider that Biden connects being articulate, bright, and clean to being mainstream; the all too overt implication is that being "more white" means being more articulate, bright, and clean. That is racism, plain and simple.
With all the talk these days about the uselessness of SA, I thought I’d try to throw a constructive proposal out there. Right now, SA is an essentially powerless body that, at its strongest, can urge changes with the (deserved or not) seal of student approval. I don’t expect the college to grant it more legitimate power, and I’m not sure what form that would take anyway (other than a student trustee position, but I wouldn’t want that to go through SA anyway…it would have to be me). However, by actually focusing on serious and important issues of college policy, by demanding specific and practical reforms, SA could at least set the precedent of being effective and seem worth taking seriously.
So, recognizing that SA is often an apolitical holding tank for mildly well-intentioned resume padders incapable of forming its own coherent agenda, why don’t we (the people…by which I mean myself) come up with the ideas?
Here are my top four proposals that should form the people’s platform. People could weigh in on them, add ideas, subtract ideas, student groups could submit there own, and then candidates would pick different combinations of them, and offer different methods of accomplishing this. Eh? Novel, no? (Okay, none of this is about a practical proposal. It’s just what I think is important, and I want to see how other people feel about these issues.)
- Sensible Alcohol Policy – Understanding that S&S is a buffer from H-Po still doesn’t justify the level of disciplinary sanctions that follow being picked up. For the non-Greek inclined, much of the frat scene’s strength derives from its monopoly on drunkening – similar spaces with similarly regulated but lax oversight could form party alternatives.
- Gender Neutral Housing – First off, we’re all grown ups, it would make things easier, and since all the newer/renovated housing is in the form of suites, it wouldn’t really offend Jesus that much. Second, a space for non-inebriated, relaxed interaction among the opposite sex might foster a little mutual understanding (or do away with the mutual obliviousness that currently exists), and even if it didn’t reign in the frat-party-compartmentalized horniness, it might at least help everyone be a little less awkward.
- 24 Hour Library Access – self-explanatory, not a lot to ask from your college.
- 24 Hour Food Access – also self-explanatory. Also, a little more freedom from DDS wouldn’t kill anyone.
Also, shameless self-promotion. Check out my review of Dinesh D'Souza's new book "The Enemy at Home," on Campus Progress.
Just as an example of the shoddy writing/reporting in this piece, check out this sentence: "The preposition that Dartmouth does have a speech code stems largely from the participation of College President James Wright and other members of the administration at the Solidarity against Hatred rally last November, Seal said." Preposition? I'm glad the dude didn't pretend that was a direct quote.
Not only that, but the other time I'm quoted, "Previous trustee candidates have run on similar platforms. They gain attention for these libertarian ideas." That's a brutal paraphrase. Now, I could see the reporter was simply typing things down, not recording anything, so I can understand if he missed an inconsequential word or two. But he simply condensed much of what I said into something that makes no sense. Look for a letter to the editor explaining my position.
January 30, 2007
January 25, 2007
As Pitchfork describes their recent album, Leather Wings, they seamlessly integrate samples, hip hop beats, and synthesizers with the fuzzed-out, high distortion, double-bass pedal / drum machine raw instrumental power of noise, punk, and metal. Carrying high momentum and pop-melodic structure through transitions from lighter moments to hardcore frenzies, the band promises to be intense.
Japanther, about five years old, has done rock operas, a joint event with synchronized swimmers titled "Dangerous When Wet," and manages to hold its own whether playing at environmental awareness festivals or under a highway overpass. To quote Pitchfork once again, "Leather Wings is the best (only?) noise-rock-new-wave-hardcore-hip-hop you're likely to hear this year."
Check out their song "Whales" here
Here's their take on You, at #16:
Charges: Your whole life has been a pitiful exercise in rote mimicry, a meek subjugation of individuality in exchange for herd approval. Your delusions of "common sense" wisdom stem from an unwillingness to seek information and an inability to critically analyze it. You never hesitate to offer strong opinions on subjects you don't know a damn thing about. You're willing to believe anything a guy in a suit says on TV, as long as it doesn't hint at your culpability in the negligent homicide of your country and planet or otherwise cloud your streak-free conscience. You're more worried about friction on the "Desperate Housewives" set than the lack of health coverage at your tedious, soul-destroying job. You have no idea what is going on in the world, and you're fine with that. You are why democracy doesn't work.
Exhibit A: You're Time magazine's person of the year. So was Hitler.
Sentence: More of the same.
In other news, today's D reports on a measure to legalize marijuana being introduced in the NH legislature. Introduced by who, you ask? None other than one Rep. Charles Weed. Word.
January 24, 2007
Rhetoric swirled before the meeting that Tim's opponents constituted a vast majority of Dartmouth students, but that claim now seems to have little basis. While I am not naive enough to think that every one of the ninety votes that went against the measure to censure Tim was a vote in complete support for him, I think it is now quite evident that a great number of students just want to see this all stop and go away—everyone go back to their corners and not box again.
No one but Adam's interest is served by prolonging an effort to remove or reprimand Tim. The Assembly gains nothing by continually having to fight over Adam's petty attempts to even the score with Tim, and the College gains nothing by tying up the Assembly with pointless legislation. Last night proved that Adam's efforts are still squarely focused on Tim, and not about SA's larger issues. Little will be accomplished while Adam carries on his vendetta and, while we may not be any the worse for it, we could be a great deal better without it.
"Let's not turn this into a charade," as Michael Herman said at the meeting.
January 22, 2007
However, the reason why I pointed out that Review members were involved in the first place was because I did believe that a "substantial" number of those who were attending an SA meeting for the first time this term were Reviewers. I only personally knew of four, however, so I only marked four. There are in actuality nine—nine out of a total of, according to the D's reportage, 75, and by my count, 80. Approximately one in eight is a substantial percentage of those in attendance for one single organization, and if you take the actual SA members away, it is more substantial still.
I know the senior leadership of The Review was not in attendance and I honestly do not believe that they are working with Adam, but I do want to defend my initial report that Reviewers are playing a significant part.
January 21, 2007
The New York Times features a review written by Alan Wolfe—a scholar with very legit credentials—which sums up D'Souza's argument thus:
We should stand with conservative Muslims in protest against the publication of the Danish cartoons that depicted the Prophet Muhammad rather than rallying to the liberal ideal of free speech. We should drop our alliance with decadent Europe and “should openly ally” with “governments that reflect Muslim interests, not ... Israeli interests.” And, most important of all, conservative religious believers in America should join forces with conservative religious believers in the Islamic world to combat their common enemy: the cultural left.Hold on there, I thought conservatives believed that it was the cultural left that was cozying up to radical Islam, with our arguments that imperialism doesn't make people happy and that wars of aggression tend to end badly. Now D'Souza wants to replace the left as the Islamists' patsies? This is all far too confusing.
This part of the review might clear it up, however:
Lest one think that D’Souza exaggerates the danger the cultural left presents to America, he has an ace in the hole to back him up: Osama bin Laden himself. Bin Laden, it seems, has taken pains to identify his natural allies within the United States and regularly engages in “signaling” them through videotapes in “an effort to establish a broader political alliance.” In particular, his fall 2004 tape, generally believed to have helped George W. Bush defeat John F. Kerry, contained a secret message to the cultural left that D’Souza, and D’Souza alone, has decoded. “Whichever state does not encroach upon our security thereby ensures its own,” bin Laden declared. Anyone who thinks bin Laden used the term “state” to mean “country” — common usage in Europe and the Middle East — is wrong. He was actually telling residents of New York and Massachusetts that if they voted for the Democrats, he would refrain from killing them...Not to push the point too far, I'll quote the ending of the review:
let this “decent” liberal make perfectly clear how thoroughly indecent Dinesh D’Souza is. Like his hero Joe McCarthy, he has no sense of shame. He is a childish thinker and writer tackling subjects about which he knows little to make arguments that reek of political extremism. His book is a national disgrace, a sorry example of a publishing culture more concerned with the sensational than the sensible. People on the left, especially those who have been subjects of D’Souza’s previous books, will shrug their shoulders at his latest screed. I look forward to the reaction from decent conservatives and Republicans who will, if they have any sense of honor, distance themselves, quickly and cleanly, from the Rishwain research scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.In my opinion, even indecent conservatives should distance themselves quickly from Dinesh: Jeffrey Hart, your thoughts? Laura Ingraham? Peter Robinson? Dartmouth Review?
January 19, 2007
Campus,I don't want to make a deal out of this. I just wanted to say, Robert Frost is not a good love poet. Future reference, Ned.
Look, I know there's some bad things being said about me right now. I now some guy named Tim is going around saying that I objectify women and that you shouldn't come around anymore. I know this looks bad, but baby I swear he's lying.
I'm not trying to get into your pants, I'm trying to get into an insightful conversation that stimulates the mind. I'm not checking out your butt, I'm humbly bowing my head in your presence. I'm not inviting you back to my room to make out, I'm trying to find someone who enjoys reading Robert Frost late night as much as I do.
I don't know who this Tim guy is, but he's the one you should watch out for. From what I hear, he's all about back-stabbing people, one of the things that he claims goes on between us. But that's besides the point. This isn't about Tim, it's about us.
Anyways, I'm having some people over tonight and I was hoping you'd stop by. I understand if you don't believe me, but I'll keep "Robert Frost's Greatest Hits" bookmarked just in case.
Also, and I mean, I really hate picking on people for shit on their facebook profile, but uh, dude, you're in a group called "Duke Defense Fud." WOW. It takes effort to find a facebook group that misspells a four letter word.
Following the reporting of the letter, the article turns to the resignation of David N*chman from the position of SA Secretary. Citing his disappointment with Tim for reporting Adam to UJAO, N*chman promises to lead the opposition against Tim, a job that I guess he'll have to share with Adam himself.
N*chman's letter, which he sent out to all of SA, describes an atmosphere of intense conflict between Adam and Tim on the Exec Board last term, but he lays all of the blame on Tim. I am not an SA Exec, but I have talked to individuals who are, as well as a number of members of the Palaeopitus Senior Society, which Tim and Adam both sit on, and they have described Adam as extraordinarily abrasive in debate, even yelling at people and shouting them down. This characterization has been consistent throughout each separate time I have talked with these individuals. However, if any readers have contradicting experiences coming from these fora (Exec Board or Palaeop), I would invite you to comment here. (Comment too if you'd like to confirm what I've heard.)
I further distrust N*chman's read of the situation because of the following paragraph from the resignation letter.
Tim’s confrontational approach towards dealing with our campus’ problems simply does not work. Since taking office last fall, tensions on campus have noticeably worsened. His view of the world reflects this, and he pits Greeks against non-Greeks, men against women, minorities against majorities, and liberals against conservatives. Most of Tim’s solutions seem to involve discussion sessions with Greek leaders and team captains, in order to try to convince them that their presumably conservative white Greek male views are wrong. Based on the events regarding the Native American community last fall, I believe that Dartmouth is on a dangerous course regarding campus unity and cooperation. Tim has done little to ease campus tensions, and his attitude may have exasperated problems.If Dartmouth is on a dangerous course regarding campus unity and cooperation, it is only because there has never been any course toward unity and cooperation as long as I've been here. The social dynamic has certainly shifted, but it's not because some long-standing unity has been breached or cooperation abandoned. Letting the frats unquestionably dominate the campus is neither unity nor cooperation.
If Greek presidents and team captains are pissed because they now may have to be leaders with some obligations to the broader campus and not just to their own bands of brothers, then I say tough shit.
If some white students—the "majorities" N*chman refers to—are angry because they now have to recognize that there are minorities on campus, then I say get over it.
If conservatives are enraged because liberals are starting to tell them where they can stick their Indian-Head t-shirts, then so be it.
If that is "increased tensions," then I say tensions have never been high enough. In his letter, N*chman says he stands behind many of Tim's ideas, but he shows absolutely no understanding of the meaning of anything that's happened last term.
Edit: David has since contacted me explicitly denying that he leaked the letter. I had previously suggested that the coincidence of his resignation and the link was strange, but I now withdraw any suggestion that he had a hand in it.
January 17, 2007
[F]or Seal to use my disciplinary record as a means of speculating on the rationale behind my actions is shortsighted and unfair. I joined the Assembly over three years ago and have served as an individual representative, an elected representative, a vice-chair and a vice president. Not once over the course of that time span have I devoted my time and energy toward promoting student interests out of personal spite or anger at an individual. To the contrary, my efforts are a reflection of the faith I have in the necessity of advocating on behalf of students to improve the quality of life for everyone here. For Seal to reduce my involvement as a result of a personal conflict I have with Andreadis only serves to make the Assembly look even more meaningless and petty than it actually is. I have worked too hard and long for Seal to make this judgment.Tell me this, Adam:
Does being so selfless also require that you plan out your grand vision for SA in secret? Does having so much faith in "the necessity of advocating on behalf of students to improve the quality of life for everyone here" also necessitate avoiding any public exposition of your hopes and dreams for SA before your hand was forced? Does it make exclusion of other campus leadership also necessary? Have you talked to deans? Faculty? Your peers on Palaeop? Student leaders who supported Tim in the election? Have you really tried to get an idea of how this campus feels about Tim and SA? Or are you just so selfless that you can just tell?
Why did you decide to secretively hand-pick your supporters in your long march to student freedom and not just send out an open call for support? If you truly feel you are representing students' interests, why do you have to select so carefully the students in your grand campaign to right all wrongs?
You've been working in SA for more than three years, by your own admission. Why is it just now that you've decided it's broken and needs abolished? Why did that decision not come before being disciplined? Why didn't you start out with that tactic this term, at least?
You say that my actions, by "reduc[ing your] involvement as a result of a personal conflict [you] have with Andreadis only serves to make the Assembly look even more meaningless and petty than it actually is." If you think it actually isn't as meaningless and petty as I've apparently now made it look, then why the hell are you trying to abolish it?
January 16, 2007
Anyway, I think its just freaking incredible how idiotic some of these comments are, and as a neutral observer (not being a member of the Seal-Andreadis left wing conspiracy), I'd like to review things as I see them. Aside from the maybe questionable decision to fully reveal the alleged disciplinary sanctions, Seal has qualified a lot of his claims. If you take the trouble to read all the comments, not much of this is objectionable.
There was pre-existing animosity between Shpeen and Tim, and Tim's decision to report Shpeen, though I don't know the full circumstances, seems pretty stupid. If Shpeen already wanted Tim out, its not hard to believe that this was the last straw. Now, why have people rallied against Tim? Some are friends of Shpeen, some already disliked Tim, some are ideologically opposed to Tim, and some are eager to feel significant and important. But, as far as I can tell, it was Shpeen that kicked off this whole party. Now, while there may be a wide range of reasons that people want to abolish SA or impeach Tim, this hardly seems to be a constructive impulse grounded in good will. I agree with Adam that SA could use some drastic reform, but this looks like poorly-timed gesture of ill-will that lacks any particular direction, and it could have profound consequences on SA (if not the campus...that depends on one's opinion of SA).
So, even if you agree that SA needs to be shaken up, there's good reason to wait until later, when the animosity has died down a bit, and a more carefully thought-out approach takes shape. Even if the motives are legit (which, honestly, I have trouble believing) the circumstances would delegitimize any reforms that grew out of this 'movement.'
Those of you that are ragging on Seal with personal attacks, I'm sure it feels great to get your best pong-game shit-talk witticisms out of the basement and aired out online. Congratulations, we all recognize what hilarious (and yet, still persuasive) people you are. The rest of you, I urge you to take a deep breath, chill out a bit, and approach this whole thing skeptically. This personal skirmish has already gotten blown horribly out of proportion, and to allow it to further escalate to the point where insults are traded and published on the internet (an offense to such an otherwise honorable venue) would be a mark of shame on all of us. Honestly, this is a steaming load of shit, and the only forum low enough to deserve this is the basement - Tim vs. Shpeen pong honor match, anyone?
I reiterate that my point is not to prevent anyone from trying to make changes in SA, but to ask that those attempts at change be made because of a genuine desire to help the school. I still feel that this is not Adam's motivation and it is not the motivation of many of the people behind him. I am not denying the existence of people who genuinely do want to help the school nor the possibility that some of these people may disagree with Tim. However, I would suggest that if those people are interested in doing something about improving SA or the school, they take their own leadership and do something about it separately from Adam and his efforts and do so not in little covert groups of personal enmity and discontent but in open groups that allow the idea that no one person—Tim, Adam, me, or anyone else—speaks for everyone.
Also, note that Adam won't commit to calling my post false in print, but will in a supposedly "private" blitz.
>Date: 15 Jan 2007 16:48:25 -0500
>From: Adam L. S*peen
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)
To everyone regarding Student Assembly:
First, our attendance last week was phenomenal - I commend everyone's dedication and passion for the cause. Last week Jacqueline Loeb announced that to gain voting rights you had to attend three consecutive SA meetings and attend an additional committee meeting...this is false. She will announce tomorrow night the new policy - attend three meetings then on the third meeting you're a voting member. Simple as that.
Second, tomorrow night's meeting is at 7 PM in Carson L01 - like last week, be there, sign in, and try to stick around as long as you can.
Third, yesterday Andrew Seal wrote an inaccurate and personally insulting post on his webblog
This is unfortunate, but don't be deterred by Seal, Tim, or anyone else. We all know that the vast majority of students don't support Tim's leadership and don't think that Tim is acting properly in his role as SA President. Tim is worried, and he's resorting to personal attacks against me, my brothers in chi gam, and my friends in order to stigmatize what we're doing. Don't let him be successful.
On that note, I wanted to mention that a bunch of us have decided to change the overall plan of action. While we would all love to impeach Tim, I think that that action alone would not accomplish what it is we're trying to do more fundamentally. SA as an organization is flawed - it promotes the illusion of student empowerment while in reality it is toothless and weak. My experience on the COS Task Force (which despite passing overwhelmingly by SA, Tim worked behind the scenes to have it quashed) has taught me that there are limits to the reach that students can have in effecting real change, and that those limits are far too restrictive. Thus, instead of impeaching Tim, the plan now is to call a vote to dissolve the Student Assembly in general. Over the next week I along with several others will draft a resolution outline how we plan to do this and what body will take over in the aftermath. We're hopeful that a newer body, one that combines the functions of the UFC, COS, Programming Board, and COSO, will serve the interests of the school and the student body more so than simply getting rid of Tim.
Sorry for the long blitz - if you have any questions or concerns please let me know. Again, I am delighted that so many of you are interested in this very important mission. See you all tomorrow night at 7 PM.
I am quoted as saying that,
"I want to say that I do not want to hurt Adam in his future, in his career, anything. It's simply that the nature of this whole incident is such that I feel to inform people, to inform the Dartmouth community of what's going on necessitates that information being divulged," Seal said. "I would like to take it off, to take at least Adam's name out of it, because I know it can be Googled, and you don't want that kind of thing popping up right away, after this is all resolved."I want to make sure that everyone knows that I mean that I will be glad to take any and all names off however this is resolved—no matter the outcome. This isn't an attempt to get anyone to act in a certain way. I am not trying to coerce anyone involved in the impeachment effort to do any specific action. I don't like how this has turned out, and I hope we all can resolve this thing fairly, properly, and (ideally) amicably.
January 14, 2007
Why, you may ask? The answer is quite simple: SA bylaws require one to attend three meetings to become a voting member. Impeachment proceedings can be brought against a sitting president if two-thirds of the voting members present agree to consider it. After consideration during the meeting, three-fourths of the members present must assent to the motion for impeachment in order for it actually to be effected.
Alright, now a little True SA Backstory: last term, Adam S*peen, the former chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee, served alcohol to minors in the SA offices of Collis. Tim Andreadis in turn reported this to April Thompson, the director of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs. While I can't say I applaud Tim's action, the following response on Adam's is totally overblown and intensely personal—not legitimate in any sense.
Adam S*peen was placed on probation by the College. When S*peen caught wind of Tim's involvement in the matter, he punched a hole in one of the walls of the SA office. It has since been filled in, but I checked with a staffer at Collis, who confirmed that it happened, and you can still clearly see the spackling over the spot:
That picture is a close-up of this wall:
You can click on the pictures to get to larger images.
Okay, so now let's take a look at the attendance rolls for the Tuesday SA meeting. I've flagged names who just happen to be from Chi Gam or the Dartmouth Review or, in a very few cases, known cronies. If I missed anyone, please let me know.
[So these names don't turn up in a Google search and link to this entry, I've removed them--AS 2/22/2006]
Curiouser and curiouser. It looks to me like someone is trying to stuff the ballot-box. And I know that impeachment is Adam's goal because it has been independently confirmed to me by more than one source.
This attempted impeachment is just plain silly. Adam S*peen is enlisting the support of The Review, which has a known grudge but no substantive complaint against Tim, and members of his own frat, Chi Gam, who he can apparently order around, which is kind of stupid. All in all, pretty shitty.
Whether S*peen is just trying to harass Tim or actually thinks his scheme will work, I don't know. I do know that Adam's case does not have legitimate grounds for Tim to be removed from office.
Edit: It's rather pointless to adjust the list above now, but from information I've received, I removed the asterisk from one name. My apologies to Ruslan.
I have also received more accurate information about the Reviewers who were at the meeting—I'm not going to designate them in any way, but I know there are nine of them, so the commenter below who remarked about the low number is incorrect.
January 13, 2007
January 4, 2007
However, if anyone is interested in joining Little Green Blog and picking up the slack, I'd be more than happy to have company. If you think you might like to give blogging a shot, blitz me.