Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mayoral race speculation

This may be a bit incoherent, but it's late and I want to get this down.

First, there may be some shennanigans going on in the Champaign mayoral race. I forget who originally pointed this out, possibly on Twitter, but Smile Politely has an article up, "Local officials mum on alleged Schweighart campaign violation" about Schweighart campaign work possibly being done on City time and by City employees. Naughty.
I've never worked for the City, but at the later years when I was at the University, we had to go through rather silly, yet mandatory, annual ethics training that made it pretty darn clear that things like this were not appropriate. Is that true of state and city employees as well? Anyway you'd think anyone involved with a political office would be doubly sensitive to it. And then someone involved with a political office and a political campaign would be triply sensitive to it. But, then again, perhaps it's the abuse of the vast purchasing powers and powerful influence grad students and postdocs hold that is the real ethical threat.
Secondly, I've heard speculation that, if elected, Mayor Schweighart may not serve out his entire four-year term, but instead, retire and some other Republican would be appointed to finish his term. On one hand, I don't think it's fair to judge the mayor's suitability for election solely on his age. On the other hand, he is, shall we say, of a certain age and (I hear) has had some fairly serious health problems in the past. And any appointee going into an election as an incumbent would have a pretty significant advantage.
The mayoral debate is Wednesday. I mused about the idea of livetweeting the debate, then someone heard about that, and now I've learned that People Have Been Told I will be doing that, so now there's all this pressure. People, don't get your hopes up. Also, don't assume I have any idea what I'm doing.
Also, the first mayoral debate in how many decades is two days away, and still, no clue about the format, who's going to be asking questions, whether the questions will be coming from the audience, or what. But, hey, at least it's being put together by a legitimate organization, right?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Some time ago and I'm not sure how, I got put on an email list of local left-leaning bloggers and the like. It's low traffic. For example, there were a dozen messages or so about Rahm winning in Chicago, another few about anti-Wisconsin protests in Springfield the other week.

Then there's this one guy. He sends out about one email a week. It's not specific to this list, but includes around a hundred email addresses including those, He's got a real hardon for the Dallas County News, because about half of the addresses are people there.
And these emails ... they're just nuts. Not Sarah-Palin-nuts, but a-few-Crayons-short-of-a-full-box nuts. So, of course I find them fascinating. Not working in the medical field, I don't have a lot of contact with schizophrenics, so this is very novel to me.
Here's one from December, with the formatting replicated as accurately as I can:
Loving Alphas, heaven on earth - the perfection of capitalism [the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment and innovative acts of love demonstrated are the new currencies of LIFE ] 1. Transparency a. Test b. Part 1 (Budget, etc.) c. Part 2 (Social Security, etc.) 2. three million dollarnaires club 2020 OBJECTIVES 1. Oprah Winfrey - $1 trillion personal net worth 2. Mr. Rupert Murdoch - $1 trillion personal net worth 3. 333 million three million dollarnaires 3. Lawsuit resolution 1. United States government facilitates resolution of personal injury lawsuit - President has power to pardon (healing) 2. $30 million settlement 3. pursuit of heaven on earth 4. Project Alpha - ???? [How much more powerful... Even more threatening... Let MANKIND substantiate...] - Are you smart enough and strong enough to be an Intellectual Marine? - What are WE doing to PRAXIS heaven on earth? 5. Hillary Clinton/Susan Rice 2012 vs. Condaleeza Rice/Liz Cheney 2012 - 44 male Presidents of the United States of America - 0 female Presidents of the United States of America - 0 female Vice Presidents of the United States of America 6. 2020 EMPOWERMENT initiative - 40% of global business owners, politicians, CEOs, directors, and producers are female Sarah Palin Global SELF-ESTEEM champion Keli Goff Strategic link to Africa Megyn Kelly Strategic link to Europe Soledad O'Brien Strategic link to Latin America Michelle Malkin Strategic link to Asia Fran Townsend Synergy maximization Michelle Obama Synergy maximization 7. Bill Gates/Warren Buffett giving challenge - $100 billion immediate strategic development fund [suggestion] - Link to 2020 EMPOWERMENT initiative 8. United States economic development recommendation - global interconnected impact - suggestion of additional analysis and recommendation of euro-inspired financial model for developing countries in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia - Link to 2020 EMPOWERMENT initiative 9. Inheritance/healing initiative - Slavemaster offspring Family reunions - Link to 2020 EMPOWERMENT initiative 10. Cry - original collection of poetry - 2nd short story written by Tony Evans will be a ONE word eBook [ LOVE ] PhoenixRising - Global list of "slumlords" - Global list of [Intellectual contradictionS] - Link to 2020 EMPOWERMENT initiative Future LOVE "state" - merger of TV/Internet/TIVO/Visual Phone in ONE "application" Sincerely, [ name redacted, --Narc ] Ebony & Ivory PRAXIS - Up Where We Belong
The Internet: Enabling schizophrenics since giant lizard aliens gave it to us in 1996.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Some unofficial thoughts on Unofficial

I'm back. Blog apathy strikes again. I'm sorry, it's nothing personal.

Unofficial was this past Friday. I don't really have much to say about that subject. Most of my experience with Unofficial involved riding a bus home after work that smelled like stale beer.
Gerry Schweighart, the mayor of Champaign, and therefore the city government, appear to very much disapprove of Unofficial. They ramp up alcohol enforcement before and during the event. The News-Gazette's front article today calls the ticketed students "scofflaws", Unofficial a "bacchanal" that is "the most dreaded annual event on the UI campus."
This year, however, a 21-year-old UIUC student was struck by two cars while crossing the street Friday night and remains in critical condition. I don't know if this was Unofficial-related or not, but for the sake of pontificating, I will assume so.
This is the second significant injury that's happened during Unofficial in my time here. In 2006, a student was killed after falling off the back of a motorcycle.
I think it's time this stopped. I don't mean Unofficial; I'm not sure how you could stop that without giving the mayor dictatorial control over the city. I mean, I think it's time the city embraced Unofficial and made it safer. There are plenty of other communities that host crazy events; maybe we should look into how they do it. There's South Padre Island during Spring Break, for one. I assure you that Unofficial is the pale shadow of Mardi Gras's little brother's second banana.
For starters, I think that Campustown and possibly the roads around the main quad should be closed to street traffic.
It's important to remember that Unofficial isn't a creation of University students. It's a creation of a Campustown bar owner. It's the goal of Unofficial to get students into the bars to drink. That being said, allowing 18 to 20-year olds into bars on this weekend is just stupid. Of course they're there to drink.
I'm less concerned with creating a moral hazard involving alcohol and more interested in creating an environment where students can be their stupid selves and not be killed doing it.
UPDATE: Someone over at today's N-G article suggested making it a parents weekend. I think that's a great idea. I think the presence of a lot of students' parents would tone down the no-holds-barred partying. (Not to mention the possible expectation that they'd have to be awake before noon the next day.)