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Archive for September, 2005

Oregon: We love Strippers

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

The Oregon Supreme Court has reaffirmed our status as one hell of an island of free speech amidst recent onslaughts:

State Supreme Court overturns two sex show laws

SALEM, Ore. (AP) The Oregon Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional Thursday a state law against conducting live sex shows and a local ordinance regulating conduct of nude dancers.

Both restrictions violate the Oregon Constitution’s guarantees of free speech and free expression, the court said in a pair of 5-1 decisions.

The free expression rulings continued the court’s modern pattern of broadly interpreting state constitutional rights as forbidding virtually all regulation of obscenity.

The state constitution, adopted in 1859 says, “No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write or print freely on any subject whatever.”

Justice Michael Gillette, who wrote the majority opinions in both cases, said it “appears to us to be beyond reasonable dispute that the protection extends to the kinds of expression that a majority of citizens in many communities would dislike and even to physical acts, such as nude dancing or other explicit sexual conduct that have an expressive component.”

Whole thing here.

Please celebrate at the harmless visual stimuli purveyor of your choice.

Interwebertainments

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Some friends of mine, well, they have problems. Mental problems. These random character and psychological flaws have caused them, for no discernable reason, to begin making videos that are ostensibly movie reviews. I think they may have fallen in with the wrong crowd, and might be on drugs. You can find their efforts here.

Suicide Girls: The Only Porn I Pay For

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

So the FBI, apparently with nothing better to do than look at dirty pictures on the internets, has decided to start cracking down on porn.

The article seems to think the only noteworthy aspect of this new Porn Squad is that FBI agents tell dumb jokes, but it does briefly mention to kind of porn that will be targeted: “bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior.”

While most probably won’t be upset about a crackdown on bestiality porn, it’s noteworthy that bestiality itself isn’t entirely illegal. Urination and defecation are also probably not the most clearly legal kinds of porn (under the obscenity test, at least — more on that later), but there’s no arguing their niche popularity (see: R. Kelly).

However, the thing that pisses me off is that last category, S&M “behavior.” Apparently, this includes Suicide Girls, who have been forced to take down several bondage photosets.

Suicide Girls, along with being a personal favorite, is probably the least offensive soft-core porn out there. Sure, their female-empowerment claims are a little dubious, but they’re a helluva lot less degrading to women and a lot more artistic than the rest of the crap (no pun intended) out there. SG features *real* girls, the kind who work at your local coffee shop or tattoo parlor, showing off their *real* bodies. Further, these pictures clearly have artistic merit, again disqualifying them from the legal definition of “obscene” (which I swear I’ll talk about later).

S&M is probably the most socially acceptable kink out there. Sure, it can take forms that are genuinely offensive and degrading (is that illegal? Later, I SWEAR). But Britney Spears has shown up to an award show in a dominatrix outfit, they joked about someone’s grandmother using handcuffs on Friends — honestly, is there a generally less-offensive kink than consensual light bondage? For the FBI to devote an actual task force to this is ludicrous.

And then about what is legally “obscene”…

Per Miller v. California:

If the average person applying contemporary community standards finds the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest AND the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way under contemporary community standards, sexual conduct specifically defined by state law AND the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, THEN the work could be considered obscene.

Note that the prurient interest doesn’t include a “normal, old-fashioned, healthy interest” in sex (per SCOTUS somewhere — I’ll look it up if you really want to know).

Of course, whether you think the Supreme Court should be deciding what is obscene and what isn’t, or whether you think the First Amendment should protect obscenity regardless, is an entirely different matter.

The OC Turned 22 Today…

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

After a full year of being legal, still we’re inclined to celebrate the only way we know how: shots at Rennie’s.

North Korea on hunger strike

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

North Korea Rejects food aid
The country that, by all reports, can barely feed itself is now denying access to the U.N. and all NGO’s that deliver food to nearly six million people. Pyongyang says North Korea has all the food it needs due to a bountiful harvest this year and has accused the U.S. of using aid as a political weapon. This move comes less than a week after North Korea refused to give up nuclear ambitions until it recieves a light water reactor.

Analysts say North Korean leaders may feel that accepting food-aid makes them appear weak, others think North Korean leaders may object to the immense amount of sampling aid agencies due to make sure their money is well spent. Personally, I think Kim Jong Il has been spending some time at day-care centers and decided that the best tactic to use against the western world is to stop eating until we feel sorry for them. Next week; North Korean negotiator promises to hold his breath until half a million tons of fuel oil are delivered.

Still Crazy After All These Years Hours

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Via Drudge: DPRK Fears US Nuclear Strike.

On Monday they promise to give up their nuke program, on Tuesday they demand a light water reactor, and today they threaten a “strong retaliatory blow” in the event of an American nuclear first-strike.

I think Scott Ott put it best:”North Korea Vows To Give Up Nukes, Lying

Why South Park is Relevant

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

A Wichita dance-off between two dance troupes turned violent two days ago, according to an AP article via Wired News:

When the challengers appeared to be losing, a woman struck a 17-year-old Dynamic Steppers drummer in the face with a drumstick, Easter said.

The teen, who had left the White Tigers to join the Dynamic Steppers, punched the 28-year-old woman in the face. He then ran toward his Ford Explorer and tried to run over spectators, witnesses told police.

No word yet on if any flying tap shoes were involved. Also, “Dynamic Steppers and White Tigers” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Crips and Bloods” or “Jets and Sharks.”

Hat-tip goes to former OC Publisher Bret Jacobson.

Chang 2008: The Bandwagon Starts Here

Monday, September 19th, 2005

I spend all this time rummaging around for Spew quotes, and literally two hours after I mail ‘em in I check Hit & Run and see…

I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.

Brian Bogart? John Zerzan? Free? Here’s another snippet:

Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.

Clearly none of the above. That’s right, it’s Jeb Bush!

Read the whole thing. I don’t care if this is a spoof. Even if it is comprehensively debunked, I will choose, forever, to believe that this is true, because it makes me happy. The probable source of the term, revealed in the H&R comment thread, might even make the story funnier.

UPDATE: Here is what we presume to be the sword of Chang.

Back to the Booze is Late

Monday, September 19th, 2005

…by about an hour and a half. It’s in WOWP’s hands now. Hopefully they’ll have it back to us by Thursday morning. It’s a hell of a pdf (over 6mb with the [Smallest File Size] profile,) so make sure you either have a ton of RAM or have closed all superfluous open applications.

My sincere apologies for any glaring errors. I’ve been up for 28 hours and have a shortage of proof readers along with an important deadline. In this case, the deadline won.

Useless Pedantry Department Looks Forward To Another Busy Season

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Our omission of the “c” in John Hinckley’s name on a cover last year is going to haunt me to my grave. However, that only increases the schadenfreude I derive today from the ODE’s description of the Fresno State Bulldogs – in big letters, above the fold – as “perrenial underdogs”.

Rebecca Newell Nostalgia

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Have you seen the new Girls of the Pac 10 Playboy? Oregon State University Senior Sara Jean graces the cover wearing nothing but Beaver body paint. The UO? Our three representatives are crammed together in one picture… an unimpressive menagerie of T&A apparently talent scouted drinking early at Tsunami’s.

Bottom Line: When it came time to parade out some flesh for Playboy magazine, OSU was drunk, flirty and ready to cock grind the nearest photographer when “Just a Little Bit” came on at Platinum. UO, apparently, was still sleeping off the hash. Shame on Ducks Village, a pox on Taylor’s, a stern finger wagging at the Recruitment office. You really dropped the ball on this one. This is UO’s worst showing in a major periodical since that post-Michigan victory SI cover.

Tim Adds: Just so nobody forgets.

Delay and pork

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

Regarding Ian’s post below:

I’m sure that what Delay meant was that now, all the appropriations bills having been passed, there is no pork left to trim. Back in July, on the other hand, there was plenty. But that pork was slipped into the energy bill after it left conference committee, so it wasn’t trimmable anyway. Give the guy a break here! His hands were tied!

An “Ongoing Victory” in Federal Spending?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

From the Washington Times via Drudge:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an “ongoing victory,” and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

[...]

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, “Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we’ve pared it down pretty good.”

This is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in the past month, Katrina spin and counter-spin included. The federal government is running at peak efficiency? What bizarro universe is DeLay living in? From the same article:

“This is hardly a well-oiled machine,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican. “There’s a lot of fat to trim. … I wonder if we’ve been serving in the same Congress.”

American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene said federal spending already was “spiraling out of control” before Katrina, and conservatives are “increasingly losing faith in the president and the Republican leadership in Congress.”

“Excluding military and homeland security, American taxpayers have witnessed the largest spending increase under any preceding president and Congress since the Great Depression,” he said.

Mr. Keene said annual nonmilitary and non-homeland security spending increased $303 billion between fiscal year 2001 and 2005; the acknowledged federal debt increased more than $2 trillion since fiscal year 2000; and the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill is estimated to increase the government’s unfunded obligations by $16 trillion.

This sort of bullshitting from a public official only lends further creedence to a recent article by the Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson in which he castigated conservative bureaucrats who “came to Washington to do good and stayed to do well.”

Hearing Continues Without Rimshots

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

What with all the kerfuffle about John Roberts’ umpire analogy,

Ill remember that its my job to call balls and strikes, not to pitch or bat.

and so forth, I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen this question come up: The uterus is in the strike zone, right?

Update by Ian: Yes, but it’s generally marked as a HBP. That’s why Roberts isn’t leaning over the plate.

If only because there was nothing else to blog about

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

The print edition of the Tater Awards issue arrived at the office about two hours ago and we now have half the issues distributed across campus. Overall I think it looks good.

Also: this is my first post on the OC blog.