Friday, November 18, 2005

Stanford pair defends satire in Cal Berkeley - Aimed video - From Today's Oakland Tribune

--Why is it always that someone uses racial stereotypes as the basis for stupid humor? I was told that the reason Dave Chappell stopped his program was white audiences didn't get that he was making a social comment about how African Americans are referred to in America. He believed some took his humor as a serious statement about how blacks are. Unfortunately, many people aren't detaiiled thinkers, and actually learn to be racist from race humor. Not good...Zennie

Perhaps it might have been best to leave the social commentary to Dave Chappelle.
Two Stanford University students who made a video that uses fraternity and racial

stereotypes to mock rival UC Berk-

eley students defended their work Thursday as a comical jab at stereotypes that intends to "bring some levity to a campus that tends to be stifled by contrived political correctness."

A Stanford University dean, on the other hand, called the video "sophomoric, of questionable taste, insensitive and not very funny."

Still, Dean of Student Affairs Greg Boardman said the students are entitled toexpress their opinions and will not get into any trouble.

"Our initial review suggests this video does not necessarily rise to the level of requiring university action," Boardman wrote in a brief statement released Thursday.

The video "does not accurately represent either Stanford or Cal students," the statement said. "That said, we recognize our students' freedom of speech rights, even when we disagree with the form that speech takes."

The video is on the Stanford server, where each student receives space for personal use, the statement said.

The 10-minute video, which hit the Internet circuit just days before Saturday's Big Game between bitter rivals Stanford and Cal, features footage of raucous Cal parties, a man-on-the-street interview of a girl saying "unicorn" when she meant to say "unicycle" and interviews with homeless people and a woman on a street corner waxing philosophical that Cal's "meditative" backbone gives the football team an edge over Stanford's.

But it also flashes a "Baja Fresh" Tex-Mex restaurant logo across the screen as a Latina girl dances and jokes that her hoop earrings were a gift from her 15th birthday, or quinceanera; implies that a student of Indian descent would be better served by a computer science major than an American Studies major; and rhetorically surmises that Stanford keeps losing to the Bears because Stanford's "black people (are) in the audience" rather than on the field.

Alex and Walter, the Stanford students who made the video and who declined to give their last names, said they were poking fun at both colleges' images. They took issue


with a column by Oakland Tribune columnist Candace Murphy that says the video crosses the line from rivalry into racism.
"One must recognize that the 'racist' jokes that you take issue with are an isolated component of our satiric ambit," Alex and Walter wrote in an e-mail. "We did not invent the stereotypes that we invoke and are just exposing them in the context of two very elite schools — an audience that is mature enough to adequately process such humor."

The students said they've received "positive and supportive" e-mails, many from UC Berkeley students. "Obviously, people recognize the universality of the humor and the undercurrent of social commentary that is completely unrelated to a rivalry which we don't particularly care about."

A handful of UC Berkeley students who had seen the video said they thought it was funny but could see how it might offend some people. They said the video uses old and widely viewed footage from a party a couple of years ago as well as some new footage.

"It started off by them saying, OK, we suck at football, but look at how stupid Cal is," said freshman Jaime Beacom, 19 — who was approached last week by two guys with a video camera who said they were making a video for a student-run television show.

Beacom ended up on the cutting-room floor.

"I said some bad things about Stanford, which wasn't what they wanted," Beacom said.

Still, parts of the video were racist, he said.

"It didn't bother me," he said, "but I could totally see how it would bother some people."

The rumor on Sproul Plaza, by the way, is that a group of Cal students are this instant making a rebuttal video.

Bush Restricted Intelligence Information to Congress in 2001 - Pass It On

October 5, 2001 Administration memo restricting Congressional access to classified information - a decree that briefings with sensitive information be limited to eight of the 535 members of Congress, a move that reinforced a trend toward secrecy that characterized Bush's government from the start.

See: Downing Street Memos

Fixing An Argument For The War In Iraq - From The Downing Street Memos (

This was lifted directly from their site. Please go to it for the actual documents:

The other Downing Street Documents and Memos
Located on The Memos page

Cabinet Office briefing paper: Conditions for military action
The Sunday Times, June 12, 2005

Plain text transcription
July 22, 2002 briefing paper, generated for participants for the secret meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, says that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice

The Sunday Times, June 19, 2005
Plain text transcription
This is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice appended as Annex A to the Cabinet Office briefing paper on Iraq of July 21, 2002. This advice was originally written in March 2002.

Goldsmith Legal Opinion
The Guardian, April 28, 2005
PDF scanned document
March 7, 2003 formerly confidential paper detailing British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith's advice on the legality of the Iraq war. The government had previously resisted all attempts to secure its release.
Wilmshurst resignation letter (uncensored version)

BBC, March 24, 2005
March 18, 2003 minute from Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Deputy Legal Adviser to the Foreign Office, to Michael Wood (The Legal Adviser), copied to the Private Secretary, the Private Secretary to the Permanent Under-Secretary, Alan Charlton (Director Personnel) and Andrew Patrick (Press Office). Wilmshurst resigned in March 2003 because she did not believe the war with Iraq was legal. Her letter was released by the Foreign Office to the BBC News website under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Press line" document regarding Wilmshurst resignation
Foreign and Commonwealth Office PDF link
March 18, 2003 press line document regarding Foreign Office deputy legal adviser, Elizabeth Wilmshurst's resignation after 20 years’ service on the point of whether military action in Iraq without proper UN security council authorisation was lawful under international law.

Hutton Report
PDF document
Hutton Inquiry website
January 28, 2004 final report of the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, the British intelligence officer whose public criticism of the Blair administration's manipulation of intelligence produced an uproar that ultimately resulted in Dr. Kelly taking his own life.

Butler Review
PDF document
July 14, 2004 final report of the Butler Inquiry, the UK government's investigation into prewar intelligence failures.
Administration Policy Memo restricting Congressional
access to classified information

PDF scanned document
Plain text transcription
October 5, 2001 Administration memo restricting Congressional access to classified information - a decree that briefings with sensitive information be limited to eight of the 535 members of Congress, a move that reinforced a trend toward secrecy that characterized Bush's government from the start.
National Intelligence Estimate:
Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction

Unclassified public version
PDF document
October, 2002 edited CIA intelligence estimate about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, unclassified and slickly packaged for public release
National Intelligence Estimate:
[redacted] Iraq's Continuing Programs for
Weapons of Mass Destruction

PDF scanned document
October, 2002 controversial CIA intelligence estimate about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction released in response to an FOIA request, severely redacted. This copy of the estimate, NIE 2002-16HC, October 2002, Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, consists almost entirely of whited-out pages.

Only 14 of the 93 pages provided actually contain text, and all of the text except for the two title pages and the two pages listing National Intelligence Council members had previously been released in July 2003 in a document titled Key Judgements (from October 2002 NIE).
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Report on U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments
PDF document

July 7, 2004 report on Phase I of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review of prewar intelligence on Iraq's WMD capabilities. Since Phase I was only concerned with the quality and analysis of the intelligence, this report does not address how that intelligence was used or whether the administration's public statements were an accurate reflection of it.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Report on U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments - Conclusions
PDF document

A list of conclusions drawn from the July 7, 2004 report on Phase I of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review of prewar intelligence on Iraq's WMD capabilities (above).
Iraq on the Record
PDF document

March 16, 2004 Congressional report compiled at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on the administration's misleading public statements about Iraq leading up to the war.
Administration Security Breaches
Involving Valerie Plame Wilson
PDF document

July 22, 2005 - On July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak revealed that the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a covert CIA agent. This disclosure of classified information has triggered a criminal investigation by a Special Counsel and led to calls for congressional investigations.

The Novak column, however, appears to be only one of multiple leaks of Ms. Wilson’s identity. As this fact sheet documents, there appear to be at least 11 separate instances in which Administration officials disclosed information about Ms. Wilson’s identity and association with the CIA.
Karl Rove’s Nondisclosure Agreement
PDF document
July 15, 2005 - Mr. Rove, through his attorney, has raised the implication that there is a distinction between releasing classified information to someone not authorized to receive it and confirming classified information from someone not authorized to have it. In fact, there is no such distinction under the nondisclosure agreement Mr. Rove signed.
Scans of the Forged Niger Documents
#1 - 124.1k JPEG image
#2 - 135k JPEG image
#3 - 151.3k JPEG image
#4 - 196.2k JPEG image
#5 - 160k JPEG image
Ecco il falso dossier sull'uranio di Saddam (article in Italian)
July 16, 2003 - These five images appeared in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on July 16, 2003.
Interview with Hussein Kamel
PDF document
August 22, 1995 - Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, in charge of Iraq's weapons programme, defected to Jordan on the night of 7 August 1995, together with his brother Col. Saddam Kamel. Hussein Kamel took crates of documents revealing past weapons programmes, and provided these to UNSCOM. Iraq responded by revealing a major store of documents that showed that Iraq had begun an unsuccessful crash programme to develop a nuclear bomb (on 20 August 1995). Hussein and Saddam Kamel agreed to return to Iraq, where they were assassinated (23 February 1996). The interview was conducted in Amman on 22 August 1995, 15 days after Kamel left Iraq.

"I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed" (p. 13).
Kamel specifically discussed the significance of anthrax, which he portrayed as the "main focus" of the biological programme (pp.7-8).
Smidovich asked Kamel: "were weapons and agents destroyed?" Kamel replied: "nothing remained."

Murtha called the war in Iraq "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One of the leading House Democrats on defense issues on Thursday called for a swift U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, drawing strong criticism from Republicans and escalating the debate over President Bush's war policies.

"U.S. and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq," said Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who has been in Congress for 31 years. "It's time for a change in direction."

Murtha warned that other global threats "cannot be ignored."

Murtha, a retired Marine colonel who earned a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam, said he believes all the forces could be redeployed over six months. (Watch Murtha's take on 'flawed policy wrapped in illusion' at

Understanding that Murtha is considered hawkish on defense issues and is influential with both parties, administration officials said they take solace that moderate Democrats have not raced to join Murtha's call.