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British colloquialisms aside, (and yeah, we’re that pretentious) we Americans love our constitution, especially when it comes to the first amendment and our beloved free speech. Berkeley even named a whole darn cafe after it! So it only follows that this Tuesday Sept. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Free Speech Movement Cafe (where else?), emeritus history professor Leon Litwack will give a lecture on the Free Speech Movement and the Constitution.

Having a Free Speech Movement discussion at the FSM seems a little too adorable, but you have to admit, this is still a very relevant issue. After all, what about that guy who wanted to go around burning Qu’rans? That certainly keeps the free speech debate current.

It doesn’t hurt to brush up on your Berkeley history, either. The rest of the country just assumes we’re still hippies, so we might as well know a little something about it. That stereotype is kinda fun to perpetuate.

Image source: cameronparkins under Creative Commons
Lecture: The Free Speech Movement and the Constitution [UC Berkeley Events Calendar]


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We’re so tired of talking about the budget crisis that we won’t even bother to remind you about it. It sucks, California’s circling the drain, yada yada yada.

So what’s the solution? There’s no button to push every 108 minutes, that’s for sure. Some scholars are going for something a little bit simpler: rewriting the state constitution. This Tuesday, Nov. 17th, at Booth Auditorium in Boalt Hall, there will be read more »


So apparently we celebrate Constitution Day here at UC Berkeley. Perhaps you’re aware because Chancellor Birgeneau sent an e-mail about it. It began:

On September 17th, Cal will celebrate Constitution Day-the anniversary of the signing of our country’s founding document. Federal law requires all schools who receive federal funding to hold an educational program annually on this day.

We sort of wished the e-mail continued like this:

Well, it took a few wine coolers, but screw it. I suppose I’ll be candid with you guys. Hell, it doesn’t matter. You all instantly delete my e-mails anyway. What I meant to say in the first paragraph is that the government gave us cash, so we’re bound to feign Constitution love. Now, if you’re paying attention, which I know you aren’t (and by the way, aren’t marshmallows the softest thing a man can eat?), you might ask me a few questions about this.

You might say, “Hey, didn’t John ‘torture memo’ Yoo speak at our first C-Day celebration back in 2005? Isn’t that kind of weird since the 8th amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment? Also doesn’t that guy, who still works here by the way, also advocate a system where the checks and balances cease to matter in a time of war?”

Look, enough with your hypothetical questions. Which you, again, won’t ask since you aren’t reading this (and by the way, isn’t the Campanile just a tad phallic?). It is a bit weird that the guy still works here. After his friend (we would have asked Al Gonzales to speak at our 2007 C-day, but he’s tied up in some sort of legal trouble) got ousted from the government, we kind of expected the Yoo to hit the fan. He’s been “controversial” for quite some time. I mean, just look at this old interview exchange:

bq. Doug Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?

bq. John Yoo: No treaty.

bq. DC: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.

bq. JY: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

(Shaking my head in disbelief.)

One has to wonder if there is a tipping point with this fellow. The truth is this, kids: John Yoo is our canary in the mine. If you’re seriously clamoring for his ouster, we’ll know that you might start asking for textbooks that are actually affordable and exercise facilities that aren’t crazily overcrowded. Anyway, that’s when I decide to buy a house out in Napa and take an extended sabbatical.

Fortunately, your lack of entitlement and abundance of apathy has spared me such annoyances. I’ve even had time to get really, really good at Madden 2008 on Xbox 360. I can flip a Cheeto into my mouth while simultaneously throwing a screen pass. In short, I totally rule at life. But yeah, even though you obviously don’t care about your democracy, you’re welcome to enjoy our C-day events. In the meantime, feel free to wiki your favorite Boalt prof.

Love,

Rob

Image Source: Michael Smith, Daily Cal