Reality is not Optional
Reality Is Not Optional
Take Back The Night (TBTN), an anti-rape anti-abuse organization, has planned a rally and march. Are rapists and abusers going to have a change of heart or mind when they see the TBTN women marching aimlessly throughout town?
Protest or Not, Taxes Still Get Paid
Beetle of Berkeley

There are dozens of reasons. In Berkeley, they send their taxes to a different fund to protest the use of their tax dollars in wars, and then demand more laws, more regulations, and more welfare. The libertarians claim that the government has no right to tax, and therefore they won't get a dime. Irresponsible people just forget to keep enough of their money to pay off Uncle Sam, and then cast about and claim one of the previous two excuses to pretend to be justified. But the unfortunate reality is twofold. The bill always gets paid, so 'valiant efforts to protest taxes' merely end up being a larger tax on everyone else, and the IRS usually has bigger guns. So instead of protesting everything with extremism, perhaps a more realistic approach is justified. Libertarians protest the voting system by not voting, and then complain when their major party choice doesn't get enough votes to win. Berkeley hippie America-haters throw their votes away on a guy with a creative party name like 'Green' or 'Socialist.' Not paying your taxes brings big guys in black suits with guns. Voting for your representatives who won't ask as much in taxes actually allows you to safely not pay taxes. In an age of melodramatic protesting and loud screaming, a little bit of reality goes a long way. Reality is not optional.
The Youth Spartacus Club is out in force planting fliers to protest the ROTC display that is planned for May Day. Rather than simply not go, not join the ROTC, or not support it, it is necessary to start a full-fledged protest, it seems. They demand an end to U.S. Imperialism, while simultaneously demanding more humanitarian aid to poor countries. Fliers encourage militant uprisings of the working class, but seem to forget to mention who is going to pay their wages. Does the encouragement of violence really promote peace?
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Racism Accused in Anti-Racism Initiative
Beetle of Berkeley

The Racial Privacy Initiative (RPI) is an initiative to get a constitutional ammendment on the ballot forcing the California State government to stop accepting and asking for race information for educational, employment, and contracting decisions. It is sponsored by the American Civil Rights Coalition (ACRC), chaired by Ward Connerly. The initiative is meant to promote a more color-blind state, a goal which is supposedly favored by civil rights groups. But the ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other such organizations have condemned the measure as being racist because it prevents affirmative action programs from functioning, and call the measure 'divisive.' While the opinion is respectable, one wonders what exactly affirmative action is. The offering of benefits to people depending on and for the reason of their race or ethnicity. What is racism? The offering of benefits to people depending on and for reason of their race or ethnicity. They do look somewhat similar. Divisiveness, they claim, is best reduced when specific organizations are formed in which only a specific ethnic group is served and told that other ethnic groups are discriminatory. This humble writer offers that such organizations and programs are the cause of most divisiveness, and that only color-blindness can really bring people from different races together, rather than dividing them into race-based groups. Reality is not optional.

For more information, visit the ACRC website at
Life as a Black Man, the Game
Beetle of Berkeley

It's all been done. Black robes. Days of silence. Blindfolds. Movement groups will do just about anything to symbolize their struggle. This symbolism is often all-too accurate, in that it portrays their struggle as self-imposed. Telling black students that they'll never ever succeed in life because of things completely out of their control is not exactly motivational speaking. Chuck Sawyer's 'Life as a Black Man' game is the next chapter. By symbolizing the disappointing results one gets when faced with life as a black man and the lack of choice, Sawyer plans to get the message across to more blacks to just throw in the towel and commit suicide, it seems. After all, choosing not to get women pregnant, for example, is hardly an option in black society. The penis just does its own thing, it seems. Sawyer says he wants everyone to know what it's like to live life as a minority. Perhaps its time to stop self-imposing limitations in life, and use some ambition and self-control. Time after time you see groups try to divide the population into White vs. Black and then complain about gaps in communication. Blacks need to stand up and toss off the chokehold of black demagogues (Cornell West, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson) on what the reality of the situation is, and live their own lives. Reality is not optional.

For more information, see
The Israeli Action Committee and Students for Justice in Palestine are going to Washington to make their voices heard. Government officials are sure to drop everything when they show up on their doorstep and agree fervently with them. Truly, the last time a march on Washington really shook things up was when the confederates did it at the start of the Civil War.
Feminist Pro-Lifers went out to fight the claim that feminists should be pro-choice. If someone could actually define what a feminist is, the rally actually may have been relevant.
"I've Been Working on the Oil Line"
Beetle of Berkeley

We have a terrorism crisis. We have an environmental crisis. We have an obesity crisis. We have an energy crisis. For the land of opportunity, and the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, we do seem to have more than our fair share of crises. Sometimes, solving one crisis escalates another. Sometimes, one causes the other. Take drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve. The ANWR has long been a sticking point in energy policy. What do we value? Energy or the habitat of the caribou? Well, despite all the great biodiversity the icy plains of Alaska bring us, and all the medicines we extract from the caribou (cariboun: Works like a placebo, without the sugar), maybe a crisis facing the rest of the world, i.e. the terrorist crisis, warrants a little more weight. After all, by being forced to buy our oil from the Middle East, we are more or less funding terrorism against us. And as much fun as boycotting the boycotter is, it really will take some independence to really stop funding terrorism. While Sen. John Kerry says "You can't drill your way out America's energy challenge. You have to invent your way out of this challenge," (apparently deciding to exclude himself from the 'you' of the Senate) he doesn't really say why not. It's like saying 'no' just because he can. Inventions take time. And energy, for that matter. Drilling for oil in some remote plains of Alaska seems to be a minor sacrifice. Besides, caribou like warm oil lines. Reality is not optional.
Asian protestors against Abercrombie & Fitch's somewhat racist line of shirts showed up late for a protest with two demands: Apologize and Stop Selling. They began their protest two days after A&F had already apologized and stopped selling.
Justice Now, But Not for That Guy!
Beetle of Berkeley

Down with the IMF! Down with rich people! Down with Israel! Rob the rich, destroy Israel! We support peace! In Washington and San Francisco this weekend, we got the unsurpassable joy of seeing protests for various causes arrayed against the American government. The two big ones are wealth and Palestine. Rich people are easy to target because everyone wants a piece of them. While Robin Hoodesque claims that taking from the rich and giving to the poor is justified, one has to wonder what happens after the rich are robbed to give to the poor so that the poor have an opportunity to succeed. When they succeed and become rich, do we call them evil and rob from them? But Palestine overshadowed wealth in San Francisco, and protestors had all the usual claims. One of the oddest was that Israel should respect the right of Palestine to exist, followed by a denial of support for the claim that Israel should not exist, punctuated with the burning of an Israeli flag. Flag burning has quite a history, but burning a flag is generally assumed to mean that one opposes the existence of that which the flag represents. Finally, one has to point out the detail that American borders are quite passable, especially on the way out, and that any immigrant or descendant of a foreign country who thinks that America has an oppresive regime is perfectly welcome to return to his or her own country, where the oppression is, supposedly much less. Yet for some odd reason, there is no massive outflux of immigrants and descendants. Just how serious are these folks? Reality Is Not Optional.
Studies Show that Studies are Full of Feces
Beetle of Berkeley

"A study has shown that anger leads to heart disease, that watching TV leads to violence, and that laying in bed shortens your life." Of course, those who read fine print will note that said studies actually say that angry people tend to have more heart disease, kids who watch more TV are more violent as adults, and that people who lay in bed a lot live shorter. Causality is then injected by elitist media groups who want everyone to be exactly like them. People with short fuses tend to have more stressful lives and stress can cause physicial problems, including heart disease. Kids who have a lot more time to sit about and watch TV are generally less involved with their parents and lack that connection which teaches them right from wrong. And depressed people tend to lay about in bed all day because of their depression, and this causes people's lives to be worse and therefore shorter. Using the causality logic of the media, we can say that since people who do drugs tend to have memory problems, memory problems lead to drug use. Go figure. Reality is not optional.
Vote NO! to Democracy
Beetle of Berkeley

The French are having quite a time with their elections this year. And the media are having quite a time with the French elections. French Right-Wing Nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen has won a stunning victory over Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin for the presidential race. Other parties are uniting to denounce Le Pen and throw their support behind President Jacques Chirac, and the media claim that this strange occurence has led to many protests around Europe against Le Pen, saying he is an anti-democracy politician and fights liberty. Don't worry that he was chosen in a
democratic election, and that he didn't just beat out Jospin by some fluke of nature, but rather real Frenchmen actually voted for him. What is his horrible platform which evokes such responses? French sovereignty. Yes, the 'S' word, where France doesn't become a faceless mass of people in a new European Superstate, but keeps control of itself. For years, European leaders have been robbing their people of their political rights by joining up in a giant European Union, and when a politician runs on a platform of national existence, he pulls a major upset. I wonder what that means. Reality is not optional.
Save Yourself From Cancer
Beetle of Berkeley

Sweedish researchers have discovered that bread is a nasty carcinogen. Yes, that horribly useless substance known as bread. Of course, anyone who has been paying attention to what is and is not a carcinogen might have noticed that the list of 'what is' consists primarily of all of reality, while 'what is not' remains a forlorn, desolate, empty list. Everything causes cancer, it seems. Once everything causes cancer, it comes to the point that it doesn't even matter, because everything you do puts you in mortal danger, and it's just a risk we end up accepting. So instead of finding things which have a one in six-hundred billion chance of causing cancer and calling them carcinogenic, maybe we should find things which actually have significant harm associated with them. Reality is not optional.
Beetle of Berkeley

After much deliberation, the University of California-Berkeley administration has decided to suspend a student organization, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for their takeover of a university hall which disrupted classes and a midterm exam. SJP representatives are already preparing protests, saying that their free speech rights are being trampled. I have some unforunate news for the SJP, however. Sealing off buildings and preventing instructors from doing their jobs is also a restriction of free speech. Breaking laws and calling it civil disobedience does not excuse one from consequences. Civilly disobedient groups in the past have never been free of consequences, and in fact, it was the presence of consequences which lended to the success of civil disobedience. It's time for the criminals to face the piper. Reality is not optional.