1. THE CURSE OF MATHURIAN PRAISE. In the latest Lariat (5/11/06), Chancellor Mathur writes to tell the Lariat staff that they're doing a heck of a job:
I wanted to take this opportunity to compliment you on the outstanding April 25, 2006 edition of the Lariat. To see on the front page headlines: Students to Grade Classes; Students Help Irvine Celebrate; New Student Leaders announced; Volunters Gather to Brighten Campus was phenomenal. You truly captured the essence of what a college newspaper is about...students.
The quality of all the articles was excellent, but in particular I wanted you to convey my congratulations to Leah Sims for the thought provoking article Driving Under the Influence.
Congratulations to everyone on the Larat staff for a job well done! [OK, I made up the salutation. But the rest of this is verbatim, I swear!]
When I mentioned Mathur's praise of Sims' "Driving Under the Influence" to Rebel Girl, the Reb dryly asserted:
"I bet she's against it."
But get this! In the very Lariat in which Mathur praises the paper's recent bout of gratuitous positivity, we find a distinctly negative investigative piece. It concerns alleged steroid use among student athletes at our own colleges!
In "Lucky Swing" by Ryan Kuhn and James Haynie IV, we read:
Some players say steroids have been around the OEC [the Orange Empire Conference], including both IVC and Saddleback, since at least 2002.OK, that's bad enough. But then we read:
Former Irvine Valley catcher Justin Meisner, who played for the Lasers from 2002 to 2004, witnessed the use of steroids during conference play.
"Some players from other schools would actually talk about using steroids," Meisner said. "Others you could see the affects first-hand."
Steroids have not only been a factor for the opposing team but also for the [IVC] Lasers. According to Meisner, there were four teammates who used anabolic steroids during his IVC playing career.
"The coach knew about it," Meisner said. "He didn't say anything as long as his players were producing."
Naturally, inquiring minds wanna know if Lariat reporters contacted the coach and asked for his side.
We're not told.
Evidently on the basis of Meisner's testimony, the Lariat concludes that anabolic steroids "have been a factor...also for the Lasers."
A similar approach is taken with regard to Saddleback:
...[S]teroids have reemerged, this time at Saddleback.
According to Saddleback sophormore outfielder Mike Elkerson, Winstrol [an anabolic steroid] has been used by a number of his teammates including one of the starting pitchers.
"I know a total of four guys on the team that have used or are using the steroid," Elkerson said. "There is one pitcher starting to use it again that has done it in the past."
Something tells me that the Lariat won't be getting more of those Warm and Fuzzies from the Chancellor for a while.
2. IT'S FINNISHed. In today's edition of What's New?, the always-reliable Bob Park reports on a flaw recently found in touch-screen voting machines:
The most severe security flaw ever found in a voting system has been discovered by a Finnish expert working for a non-profit group. A professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins told the NY Times that he, "almost had a heart attack," when he learned of the problem. This was not some innocent design error that wasn't caught. Diebold, the company that makes the machines, built in a secret "back door" to "update the software." It could be opened in minutes if someone knows the code. Don't worry, the code is a proprietary secret of Diebold. Of course, there was that 2003 fund-raising letter to Ohio Republicans from the Diebold CEO that said, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its votes to the President" (Park) .
At one of the events of the recent LA Times Festival of Books, Gore Vidal talked up a book on election fraud: What Went Wrong in Ohio: the Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election, edited by Anita Miller. Check it out!
3. WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' TREES. Not long ago, Dissent reported that several trees at IVC were marked with a lurid orange graffitum of death.
Well, Paul finally brought his bunion, and now the trees have joined the angels. I'm told that Glenn smiled with satisfaction as various extremities of our inanimate earthly brethren fell upon the concrete. "Crack!" "Crunch!"
Here are some pics, which document the arboreal atrocity. Picture 1: "before." Picture 2: "after." Picture 3: Stumpy.
They say that, if you count the rings, you get Glenn Roquemore's IQ.
One of the authors of the Lariat investigative piece on steroid use is one Ryan Kuhn. In the Lariat edition that Mathur singles out for praise (4/25/06), Mr. Kuhn participates in a "pro" and "con" article on "vegetarianism" ("Vegetarianism: love animals or eat them?").
Mr. Kuhn takes the "con" side (eat 'em). He writes:
There are some vegetarians that eat no meat whatsoever but instead eat foods that have lots of carbohydrates like bagels and pasta. Also cutting out met [sic] might shave off some pounds but they do eat cookies and candy, not balanced eating plans to say the least.
Morals and ethics have been a big controversy whether or not to eat meat. I do agree that some ways of killing animals are completely wrong but some hunting techniques have been around for so long they are viewed as OK. Fishing has become extremely popular....
No matter what reason a person has for not eating meat it is not mandatory for being healthy. Besides that the taste of a barbecue pork sandwich is so good, eating meat is just part of a balanced diet.
...Who wants to eat a veggie burger? Eat meat instead.