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Archive for November, 2005

FCC Cleric Martin Declares Jihad on Cable and Satellite Content

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Click.

On The Modern Police State

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

While I’m at it, this editorial is hilarious:

Writing about alcohol-fueled endeavors on your blog or posting a photo of yourself peeing on public buildings on Facebook may seem like a private act…

Yes, it might, if you are very, very stupid.

Unfortunately, the question is not whether students deserve a right to privacy in their online communications…

Unfortunately? It’s a non-issue. You have a (limited) right to privacy in your online communications. You may, however, choose to waive this right by posting material in a public forum. I feel stupid even having to point this out, but your Facebook profile is not a private online communication. The lack of privacy is kind of the point. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be able to read it. And I’m not just using lots of italics to emphasize this fact, I am also pounding my fist on the table, although that might not be audible from this far away.

Coming soon from the ODE editorial board: fire is hot and will burn you if you stick your hand in it – unfortunately, the question is not whether students are flammable.

Documentary Fails To Achieve Purpose

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

I’m taking a less active role chez OC these days, but sometimes it’s just irresistible:

Thanksgiving weekend, Wal-Mart gleefully became one of the only big box retailers to surpass expected holiday sales.

Apparently, the recent documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price didnt achieve its intended outcome…

UPDATE:

And who picks up the tab on workers who, by general standards, should be insured by their employer? Local taxpayers who give money to support public health care programs, which then benefit the workers who should have been covered by their employer in the first place.

Wait. Hang on a second. Ailee Slater is arguing against public healthcare subsidies? Did I miss a meeting?

UPDATED UPDATE: At least Wisconsin is standing up to the pernicious scourge of Wal-Mart and making sure prices stay appropriately high. (Hat tip: H&R.)

AND FINALLY: By way of the last link, allow me to recommend this counterpoint to Slater’s piece.

OC Box Vandalized

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005
oc_box_1.jpg

Someone apparently smashed in our box across the street from the UO Bookstore yesterday. Now we won’t be able to distribute there until we make repairs or get new boxes in.

All you really need to know about the valuation of free speech on this campus is that our issues are routinely dumped and our distribution boxes oftentimes stolen or vandalized. Some people just don’t want other people to be able to read our publication, it’s as simple as that. Contrast this with our view of MIM Notes and The Insurgent. We disagree with nearly everything written in those papers, but we’re all for people reading them.

Open and free discourse is one of the most fundamental aspects of any decent society, and the manifestation of this discourse on campuses is a war of ideas, a pull and push over topics such as politics, society, and the human species in general. The fact that people on this campus have apparantly resorted to the sad gimmicks of theft and violence is proof that their speech can no longer stand on its own merits. When there’s a book burning afoot, it is those who are throwing ideas into the fire who are truly in danger of becoming obsolete.

It’s unfortunate for us… now we need to spend valuable time fixing this distribution point rather than working on an upcoming issue. Damn.

ODE Watch: A Fistfull of Stupid

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

The ODE commentary page is filled with some golden nuggets today (each quote from a different piece):

For someone who describes himself as a huge fan of the First Amendment, it seems strange that [Gabe Bradley] would bash those exercising that right, even if he doesnt agree with it.

I’m pretty sure trespassing isn’t covered by the first amendment, champ. Attention-whoring is though, so at least you’re fine on that count.

I dont particularly care for the movie Schindlers List.

This from Gabe Bradley, apparently hoping to replace angry anti-war writers with angry Jewish writers in the ODE’s letters section.

This international criticism is merited. The United States is resisting current and future Kyoto regulations. Chief environmental advisor to the president, James Connaughton has expressed his reluctance to agree to any sort of binding treaty, stating U.S. economic development as the main factor behind his reasoning. This line of reasoning is confusing and disheartening. We acknowledge the severe economic repercussions of reducing U.S. emissions, especially as our nation strives to compete with growing powers that lack tough environmental restrictions, such as China. But shouldnt the president receive environmental advice from someone concerned more about economic factors than global warming?

Uh… yes, he should be very concerned about economic factors. I’m not sure if that the Editorial board worded their piece as they had originally hoped to. Also, it’s incredible that the ODE board complains about the US not agreeing to Kyoto while making no mention of specific problems such as exemptions for India and China.

Of course, I’m forgetting the Emerald‘s fulfillment of mouthpiece duties for Brian Bogart. But Olly’s better at quoting him that I am, anyways.

Steve Mariucci Fired

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Cya. Too bad this won’t fix the problem of Matt Millen being an idiot.

For The Sake Of Updating

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

You shouldn’t go kissing in Canada, you might die!

Pajamas Media Death Pool!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

I am administering a deathpool for Pajamas Media. You can find the detailed rules here. Upon entry please email pjmdeathpool@gmail.com after making your donation to enter your selected date. Alternately, post a comment at the post linked above. Please feel free to do both. And happy schadenfreude.

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Look Out– He’s Got a Lame-ometer

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Yesterday’s ODE commentary from Bradley, wherein he takes the ROTC protest to task, here.

Okay, but I think he may have missed some points.

1) It is abundantly apparent that the protestors wished to be arrested for the purpose of airing their views in a newspaper headline, which they accomplished at slight taxpayer expense but without inflicting violence on themselves or others.

2) Being university types, the protestors situated their event on campus grounds, quite possibly because a) this increases the likelihood that the Emerald will cover the story thoroughly, and/or b) it’s more of a central location to the parties concerned than the Federal Building downtown.

3) There aren’t that many places on campus where the presence of fifty people would be seen as anything out of the ordinary, let alone a matter of trespassing. Sure, they could have clogged up Johnson Hall– but, really, that’s been done.

4) By the logic of Bradley’s commentary, if the protest had been staged at Johnson Hall, it would be anti-administration; and if it had been staged at the Federal Building, it would have been anti-federalism. There isn’t any claim made in the article that the writer knows the disposition of the protestors– it’s entirely within reason, and statistically probable, that some of those in attendance have loved ones in the service. This opens up the question of what is meant by the term “anti-military”: does it refer to a hatred of those in uniform, to the opinion that there are some problems more amenably solved than through the imperilment of those same servicemembers, to some other notion within a wide range of possible perspectives, or to all of the above? We can safely assume that, whatever it means, no one who has loved ones in the military is opposed to the welfare of those loved ones or those loved ones’ comrades in arms.

5) It’s easy enough for some to recall the civil rights movement as a historical event fixed neatly within the same decade that gave us the walk on the moon, and to think of it as a decisive moment later universally understood as the triumph of absolute right over absolute wrong. A closer look informs us that a lot of people disagreed at the time– whether the movement should be happening at all, whether those behind it had laudible goals, whether those goals were acheivable, how exactly to pursue them– and there are still any number of people disagreeing over the peripherals of that debate. I’ve had occasion to speak with people– living, breathing Americans in the twenty-first century at points north and south in our far-flung Republic– who feel quite strongly that the position of absolute right did not win out. By that I mean that there are people who perceive the civil rights movement to have hardly begun to occur, as well as people who perceive that it has but who are not at all happy about it. Just a heads-up to anyone reading who thinks that all the matters of right and wrong have been ironed out for us by previous generations.

6) There are people who think that this war is a good one, and they make a number of arguments to support their position. Among them, some define the terms of the argument in terms of right and wrong– the victory of freedom over terror, etc. Then there are people who think this war is a bad one, and conversely they make a number of arguments too. Not surprisingly, many of these arguments are also grounded in absolute notions of right and wrong– the reprehesibility of government officials who make misleading claims that eventuate in the exacerbated misery of a nation on the other side of the world where we need to be making friends among potential enemies instead of the opposite, playing fast and loose with the integrity of our military and the lives of our soldiers and in the process rendering our nation ever more vulnerable to new threats. All these people are Americans. None of them are joking.

ODE Watch: Bush Invented Cronyism?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

From today’s ODE editorial:

Alito once wrote in a job application, I am and always have been a conservative. Judges are not supposed to have views that put them on either side of the party line. Judges are expected to fairly apply the constitution to real world situations, and political or religious viewpoints should never be a factor in judicial decision making.

I guess this means the ODE is in favor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg stepping down. The Emerald is clearly having difficulty here in differentiating between a political philosophy and a judicial philosophy. Following a conservative judicial philosphy will mean that the justice fairly and consistently interprets the law with only minimal interference from personal political and religious bias.

As I’ve stated before, there are things that must be asked of Alito in the confirmation hearings due to troubling statements he’s made in the past. But to judge him solely on his perceived view of Roe v. Wade and his purported political views is quite silly.

Of course, the sillyness doesn’t end there…

Alito is, like Miers, an old friend of President Bush. Alito might have more judicial experience than Miers, but hiring your friends to run the country is still not a good idea. The fact that words such as cronyism have entered our lexicon to describe Bushs recent appointments betrays the foolishness of this move.

Yes, because knowledge and use of the word “cronyism” was clearly rare before the Bush administration. Has anyone on the ODE Editorial board ever read about Tammany Hall, Ulysses S. Grant, or the Ohio Gang?

Wisconsin Now Apportioning Budgets Using Roulette Wheel

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Via Althouse, some hauntingly familiar echoes in Wisconsin. “Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow” just received under 1% of their requested budget.

Now, while I’d like to shout Southworth at the top of my lungs, there’s too little detail to go on at the moment, although there are some tantalizing hints: “the decorum in the room was appalling”, etc. Also, CFACT were requesting nearly four hundred thousand dollars – three times the budget of those scrounging pinkos at WISPIRG. This is a hell of a lot of money, and I have no clue what they could conceivably need it all for. (Yes, they have 50+ interns. So what? Suck it up, interns.) While the decision doesn’t appear to be predicated on any mealy-mouthed nonsense about “cultural well-being” of students, the “insufficient itemization” charge is one we’ve dealt with ourselves – last year, the final, pitiful attempt by Eden Cortez to dismiss our budget was on the grounds that we had a general “office supplies” line item instead of separate sections for pens, pencils, envelopes, etc. So, this might be one to keep an eye on.

I Sure Hope Mercury Doesn’t Intrude on Adam Walsh’s Star

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Because somehow I don’t think this excuse will mollify the campus media.

Ducks #7 in the BCS

Monday, November 21st, 2005

The Ducks football team has moved into seventh place in the BCS rankings, putting them in a prime position to receive an at-large big. At-large bids are given to the best two teams who, despite their quality, did not win their respective conferences.

Unfortunately for the Ducks, there is still one week of football left to be played for a number of teams in the rankings. #5 Virginia Tech has yet to play UNC, a .500 team that has little chance of beating the tough Hokies. Both LSU and Texas still have tough conference championships to play in, and although there’s a chance that an LSU loss (against either Arkansas or Georgia) could put them below the Ducks it’s highly unlikely that Texas would drop much considering their overall record.

Notre Dame, which is ranked eighth, will play Stanford. One would presume that an Irish win would not affect their ranking in relation to UO, as the Ducks have also defeated the Tree (or whatever Stanford calls itself) and both teams share a loss to USC. But if Notre Dame does indeed finish ahead of the Ducks, there is a real question in my mind (and in the ODE‘s Luke Andrews’ mind) that they belong there. They are a quality team, there’s no doubt about that. In a head-to-head matchup with Oregon, the Ducks would likely lose. But the BCS is about matching up the teams with the best seasons, not the teams with the best players and coaches. And in that respect, it would be unconscionable for a team with a loss to 5-6 Michigan State to be given the at-large bid.

Lastly, there’s the possibility of USC losing to UCLA. My reading of the mechanics of PAC-10 tie-breakers seems to indicate that a three-way tie atop the PAC-10 would lead to a Trojans championship. The Bruins would be eliminated from the trifecta because their one loss is to a team that the other two schools beat and the Ducks would subsequently be eliminated in a two-way tie with USC due to their loss in the head-to-head matchup. The question then becomes if the Bruins would move ahead of Oregon in the BCS, the answer to which appears to be “no.”

Kingsley and Boll: The Collaboration We’ve All Been Waiting For

Friday, November 18th, 2005

The trailer for Dr. Uwe Boll’s latest and greatest video game adaptation is now out. Bloodrayne (starring Ben Kingsley and Kristanna Loken) will be in theatres January 2006, so I guess this leaves the 2005 Best Picture Oscar race wide open.

Do we really need to be told this?

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

The ASUO has a brand-new newsletter available in Suite 4. As Nobody Ever Tells Me Anything is apparently not yet on the ASUO website, we at the Commentator have scanned it in and made it available online. Behold: Volume 1, Issue 1.