Friday, March 31

The Winds of Change are Blowing

The huge mess, into which ASM's election has decended (see 2 posts down), seems to have been the last straw for students. Last night in Memorial Union, a group of students, from all over the spectrum, met to have a discussion out of which the new Student Government was formed.

Click for articles in the Daily Cardinal, Badger Herald, and opinion in Badger Herald by Steve Schwerbel, the de facto leader. In the Blogoshpere, The Madison Freedom Fighter and Brad V at Letters in Bottles sum it up pretty well.

I'm disappointed that I didn't find out until afterwards, but it sounds like it's sucessfully moving ahead.

ASM definitely has some 'issues'. You know things are pretty bad when, according to their press release, their computer voting system crashed after “an unprecedented 15% of the UW student body had already cast votes”. (That's only 6,100 people) The fact that they, although I know it was also DOIT's fault, couldn't handle or plan for more people shows just how irrelevant ASM has become to students who aren't looking for resume filler or easy credits or hand outs for their special interests. In addition, they didn't even plan 7 write in spots for 7 possible votes. I could go on, but the links explain it well.

I've gotten word that this morning, there was to be a meeting between a representative of the Chancellor and the Student Government.

In the near future, Student Government will have to frame a constitution. Probably next fall, to terminate ASM, according to its constitution, it will take a 2/3 affirmative vote by at least 10% of students in a referendum.

By the way, keep me posted and let me know when the next meeting is. If nothing else, doing this will at least force reform and changes to ASM and those terrible seg fees.

Wednesday, March 29

Shining the Light, now Twice as Bright

I was too busy to mention this yesterday, but I'm extremely proud to announce that the Mendota Beacon has gone weekly! We publish every Tuesday now. We've also revamped the font of our title. Be sure to check it out! By the way, I'm the new associate Op/Ed editor.

Campus Elections & Voting

From yesterday, Tuesday, to Thursday, this week, students across campus were supposed to be voting in the Associated Students of Madison elections, our 'student government' thing. Several seats are up for election in the student council and SSFC. The student council is the general council with 33 members. Each college gets a certain number of seats; Letters and Sciences has the most because they're half the college.

SSFC, the Student Services Finance Committee, doles out the approximately $27 million dollars from our segregated fees, which are about $666.16 per year for 41,000 students, and there's no opting out. The money gets delegated out to the student organizations and pays for everything from the student Unions to a sketchy organization known as "Sex out Loud".

As for the elections, I recommend the Robin Hood Slate. ASM has 'slates' instead of political parties and Robin Hood is the conservative group.

Now, for the fun stuff: the referendums.

The first is WUFIP, the Wisconsin Union Facilities Improvement Plan, which would increase the seg. fees by nearly $200 per year to remodel Memorial Union and knock down and rebuild a better Union South. Check out the article in the Mendota Beacon I wrote about it. And here, for another article.

The second referendum is one that won't die despite being ruled illegal last fall, the "Living Wage Referendum". It would require that seg fees can only go to organizations that pay more than $10.23 per hour.

I say vote NO on both of them. As I wrote in my article, the plan was thrown together and the costs aren't justified. Also, they made a wish list and are making us pay for it. Many people are against it: the dirty hippies and the conservatives.

The living wage referendum is also not worthy of being approved. Economics should determine what a job is worth. Most of the jobs in the unions are held by students who either sweep the floor or swipe cards. If this gets approved, the all the prices will go up, and seg fees will have to increase to cover organizations paying overly expensive salaries.

It came out this afternoon that the computer that keeps track of the online voting, crashed and all the votes were lost. Roughly 15% of students, about 6500 had voted already. If/when people can vote again, here's a link to cast a vote.

Tuesday, March 28


If you're a student at UW-Madison, don't forget to vote NO on the two referendums and save yourself $200 a year.

Sunday, March 26

Baby You're a Rich Man

There's an article out about Ingvar Kamprad, the man who gave the world IKEA.

GENEVA (Reuters) - IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, ranked 4th richest man in the world, drives a 15-year-old car and always flies economy class, in part to inspire his 90,000 employees worldwide to see the virtue of frugality.

The billionaire Swede, who turns 80 on March 30, explained his legendary habits during a rare television interview in Switzerland, his adoptive home for nearly 30 years.


"People say I am cheap and I don't mind if they do..."


Asked to confirm he drove an old Volvo, he said: "She is nearly new, just 15 years old, or something like that."


His home in the Swiss village of Epalinges near Lausanne above scenic Lake Geneva is mainly decorated with Ikea furniture, apart from a few family pieces.

You'd think with his $28 billion, he'd be able to get some nice furniture.

Tuesday, March 21

Show #1

It's finally here!

Topics on show #1:

1. Hello
2. About the show
3. About me
4. Madison, Wi
5. Future stuff
6. Academic Decathlon: Go Wilmot!
7. Bad Jokes
8. More future stuff


Length 7:12

>>Play the show<<

I'm working on it

Hi, I'm still here. I know I haven't posted in a couple of days.

I'm working on getting audio up, then I'll be audio bogging by posting my "radio" shows. Sorry for any disappointment.

Friday, March 17

Experimenting with a Picture

Indeed, I'm doing an experiment by posting a picture. I took this one during the Blizzard of '06. We're all lucky we managed to survive. In this view, taken from the pedestrian bridge linking the architectural masterpieces of Vilas and Humanities, University Ave. was a mess at the crack of dawn, 8:30 am.

A Blog is Born!

Here's the first post on my new blog. There's not much going on yet, but it should get pretty interesting soon.