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Archive for April, 2006

ODE Reacts to Reaction Over Insurgent

Friday, April 28th, 2006

There are two pieces about the Insurgent’s cartoons in the Daily Emerald today. The first is the prerequisite reaction to reaction Editorial. To their credit, the ODE Gets It Right:

The ASUO and University should, under no circumstances, have the power to censor student publications. This was clearly established last year during the Oregon Commentator’s battle with the PFC when members of student government and the public tried to have the publication defunded for printing “hate speech.” The ridiculous irony is that members of The Insurgent staff spoke in favor of defunding the publication.

Pira Kelly, former Insurgent contributor, participated in a rally last year to encourage the administration to “take responsibility” for hate speech on campus after the PFC decided to fund the Commentator (“Students protest hate, discrimination” ODE, Feb. 18, 2005).

The point of the student incidental fee is that everyone may end up paying for something they do not support as long as it contributes to the cultural environment and marketplace of ideas at the University, a concept clearly established by the U.S. Supreme Court. Further, labeling any language “hate speech” is tricky business. The Insurgent’s sudden reversal in position from protester to protested demonstrates this perfectly.

Indeed. Of course, the gem of today’s paper is an excellent guest commentary by the Commentator’s own Tyler Graf:

Before spring break, our publication published an editorial lamenting the U.S. media’s inability to properly deal with the Mohammed cartoon controversy, which occurred several months after Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a number of political cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed. We did this to put the controversy into context and educate the public. In our editorial, we mention that President Bush squandered a “teachable moment.”

Perhaps, at the University, our own mini-brouhaha will engender a teachable moment — a moment of clear, undiluted resoluteness: Speak freely, but don’t be a jerk. Or perhaps this moment will make us all realize how devalued the word “discrimination” has become, as the Zachary Whites of the world continue to believe that crudely drawn pictures of Jesus sporting a giant pink erection — images viewed primarily by Oregon’s prison population — are discriminatory. Or perhaps it will teach some members of the University community that free speech is an idea worth fighting for, and that it is ultimately intended to protect that which offends or goads.

As Glenn Reynolds would say, read the whole thing. (Oh, and the ODE appears to have inserted a superfluous comma into the second sentence of the second paragraph. The draft Tyler showed me a few days ago was grammatically correct, so I don’t know why they changed it.)

Welcome Web Denizens!

Friday, April 28th, 2006

As Ian noted below, Total Choice has gotten us back up and running. He’s also provided a new link to the Insurgent .pdf. The file is unfortunately large (9 megs and change) and all the excess traffic sucked up all of our bandwidth in a matter of days. Our usage generally runs about 2-5 gigs a month, this episode spiked it to 10.63 as of this morning, with more on the way I’d guess. To keep us up and running, even with the no-charge doubling of our hosting for the rest of the month (Thanks Total Choice!), we needed to cut down the size of files going across the server.

To that end I’ve replaced the Insurgent .pdf that was hosted on the OC site with a .pdf that says “HOTLINKING IS THEFT. STOP STEALING.” After I get off of work today I’ll update it to include something a little more polite, and the new URL for the “controversial” issue of The Insurgent. Again, I apologize for the inconvienience, but the website needs to stay up and a 461k file is a lot safer for us than one that’s 9 megs.

That said, thanks to everyone who’s been linking to us. Ian did a great job putting together the Insurgent issue for the web, and we certainly appreciate the attention here at the OC Blog. If you’re new, take a stroll through the archive, read a back issue or two, have a drink, do some coke off of Stevie Nicks, kick your feet up, and relax. And, just FYI, we’re far more Reason than we are NRO.

UPDATE: Rude .pdf replaced with this one (and it’s only 23k!)

Bandwidth Issues

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

I apologize for our earlier downtime tonight. This morning we were using 44% of our 10gb monthly bandwidth allotment. By 9:30 PM, we were at 110% of our quota and our hosting provider promptly restricted access. We’re back up for the moment and the Insurgent .pdf is now being hosted at a different location.

Diversity Plan Open Session Tomorrow

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

There’s an open session to discuss the UO’s Five Year Diversity plan tomorrow from 2:00-4:00 pm at 112 Lillis. From what I understand there has been a minimal amount of student participation at previous open sessions, so you should go to the meeting if you’re of the mind that professor tenure and hiring should be based on teaching and research competence rather than, say, quotas based on skin color.

UPDATE: I should probably mention that the current revision of the plan can be found here. It is vastly different from the original plan, so give it a read.

OLCC Director Drives Drunk, Resigns

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

The director of one of the most despicable government programs in Oregon got caught red-eyed five days ago and has now resigned:

[Teresa L. Kaiser] was arrested Saturday night by Portland Police for driving under the influence near the Ross Island Bridge in Portland, said spokesman Detective Paul Dolbey.

Kaiser’s blood alcohol level was reportedly .16, twice the amount an adult driver is considered legally drunk in Oregon.

“Due to circumstances that I deeply regret, I am resigning as executive director of the commission,” Kaiser wrote in the e-mail.

Hat-tip: iStanton Weekly

UO Statement On Insurgent

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

The WorldNetDaily story Ian pointed to has been updated with a quote from an unnamed Frohn-spokesman:

I share your concern about the offensive nature of the content contained within the [Insurgent].

I understand why it may seem as if the University should have prevented publication or should take some action against those responsible for the publication. The Student Insurgent is not owned, controlled or published by the University of Oregon and is funded with student fees. Therefore, the University cannot exercise editorial control over its content.

The best response to offensive speech often is more speech. … I am strongly opposed to speech that makes individuals feel that they or their beliefs are unwelcome or belittled, and I can assure you I will use all permissible means to respond to publications such as the recent Insurgent.

Well, at least nobody had to issue thinly veiled threats of legal action to get a quote out of them this time. That’s progress, right?

UPDATE by Ian: The Register-Guard also has a story concerning the images in today’s paper.

Motion to Hear Iran Resolution Fails

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

A motion to send the Iran resolution to the rules committee for enumeration failed 5-7-2 after a lengthy debate. Such a resolution should not be heard again in the Senate this year.

There were some golden quotes in the meeting which I’ll (hopefully) have time to post tomorrow.

Yet Another Reason Why Auburn is Superior to Alabama

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Here‘s a copy of the Iran resolution that will be proposed at tonight’s Student Senate meeting. Attached to the resolution (but not included in our scan) are the names of 78 people who support the resolution. The addition of these signatures is apparantly an effort to show that the resolution enjoys broad support amongst the student base. A few notes:

  • Rather than directly addressing Pres. Ahmadinejad, the resolution “urges our Representatives in the United States Congress and our national leaders to support current and future initiatives to put further diplomatic pressure on Iran as well as any other state sponsor of terror to cease all support of international terror organizations and to cease the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” Here’s the question: what in the hell do they think the United States is already doing? Do Jared Axelrod and Sara Hamilton believe that the Bush administration is ignoring Iran’s nuclear ambitions and ties to terrorist organizations? Even if we pretend for a moment that this resolution will be influential if passed, it proposes nothing different from what is already being done.
  • The vast majority of those who signed on to the petition attached to the resolution belong to student groups. Indeed, only fourteen of those petitioned to support the resolution did not specify their student group (and a number of them I recognize from groups and one is Adam Petkun, who isn’t even a student anymore.) Of course, most students aren’t– those of you in student government will be shocked to hear this– members of organized ASUO student groups.
  • The first Whereas statement contains the line “we unequivocally support the right of all people in the world to have interests and ambitions which are independent and separate of their respective governments.” Oh, how generous of you. The only question is, why are you asking the Senate, a body which is supposed to represent all UO students, to express an opinion on international politics on behalf of the entire student body?

What was that quote about two enemies at war?

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

WorldNetDaily, America’s Most Trusted News Source, has an article about Catholic League President Bill Donohue’s efforts to complain to UO President “John Frohnmayer.” Donohue has apparantly learned of the Student Insurgent’s recent issue and, angry at a depiction of Jesus and a friend “sporting erections,” has now directed his ire towards our fair state. My popcorn is on hand.

Nobody Expects The Wilbur Inquisition

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

The ODE’s Nick Wilbur receives the highest honour a journalist can ask for, courtesy of Alex Deley. (About whom I know nothing, except that some lunatic in our comment section recently referred to him as a “doush”.)

Wilbur has demonstrated himself to be the worst kind of yellow journalist — willing to distort the truth to provide ammunition for his own personal vendettas and the news department of the Emerald has demonstrated gross incompetence in actually reporting the news. I call upon the Emerald to do the responsible thing and sack Wilbur.

Something tells me this probably isn’t going to happen.

Speaking of lunatics and comment sections, check this link again for a battle royale between

These are the people who offend me and require censorship, not some cartoonist.

and

To those responsible for the Insurgent, I demand an apology for your ridiculous and insulting behavior or I will do my best to seek a criminal trial against you.

Hm. Reading this, I’m beginning to worry that the ODE might be deliberately headhunting all the craziest comment-section denizens. Can we afford to allow a lunacy gap? Scott Austin, are you still – and I mean this in every possible sense – out there?

Senate to Debate Iran Resolution

Monday, April 24th, 2006

From the agenda for the April 26 Student Senate meeting:

VIII. New Business

b. Oregon Iran Nuclear Non-proliferation Resolution

You’re on notice, Mahmoud!

Goward Rules Against Zach White

Monday, April 24th, 2006

As the ODW reported earlier today, ASUO Programs Administrator David Goward ruled in favor of the Student Insurgent after UO Student Zachary White filed a grievance alleging that “[t]he articles lacked any analytical or scholary (sic) value, rather [they] were derogatory and discriminatory in nature” and were “a clear case of discrimination being funded by the student incidental fee.” Seeing as how White failed to actually list any sort of violation of the Green Tape Notebook, Goward ruled that the Insurgent was not in violation of any of the rules.

PSU “MEdIA Day” Panel

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I will be one of four panelists at Portland State’s “MEdIA (Media Education In Action) day” which takes place at 1:00 Tuesday (tomorrow) in Room 236 of PSU’s Smith Center. According to organizers, I’ll be a part of a “panel discussion focusing on the portrayal of homosexuality within the media.” I’m not quite sure what exactly the discussion will encompass or why they invited someone from the Commentator, but I’ll be there. The other attendees are Marty Davis (Publisher of Just Out), Sue Burns (Manager of In Other Words Bookstore), and Wende Morgaine (PSU University Studies Instructor and Faculty Team Leader).

I do wonder if the organizers think the Commentator is some sort of hysterically anti-homosexual journal. Are they expecting me to show up with a “Straight Pride” t-shirt or do they actually know that I’m quite liberal on these sorts of issues? We’ll see.

Will The Insurgent Protest Itself?

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

While I’m here, why not take a relaxing stroll down memory lane: all the way back to 2005, when the issue of controversial speech on campus was also in the news. Back then, of course, the issue was whether the Commentator was allowed to mock a student senator who I can’t be bothered to name here for demanding that the ODE refer to him as “ze” instead of “he” in their stories. The Insurgent allied themselves firmly with a branch of student government that did its very best to have the Commentator shut down, and provided us with many instructive quotes along the way:

As a student who pays incidental fees, I refuse to allow my fees to promote hate…

That’s Insurgent fellow-traveller Stacy Bourke, expressing her views on the range of opinions the incidental fee should subsidize on campus.

I don’t think students should pay for hateful messages. That’s poor use of student money.

That’s disgraced fomer PFC member Mason Quiroz, in an article that points out that he “is not judging the [campus publication]’s content, but rather how that content might affect students.”

My favorite, though, is:

[Someone who might as well have been Zachary White] is by far not the only person who feels threatened by the [campus publication]’s material, just the first person with the skills and courage to start dealing with it. people have been complaining for years about the way the [campus publication] reinforces oppression, it’s just that there hasn’t been a coherent attempt to deal with it before now. honestly, i’m not sure why people are complaining that it’s happening now rather than asking why nothing was done before.

That little gem is the work of Insurgent collective member Pira “Anti-Capitalism? I Thought You Said Anti-Capitalization!” Kelly, who strove so valiantly last year to have the Commentator kicked off campus.

One wonders how the Insurgent collective – and especially Ms. Kelly – likes these particular apples.

Oh Don Goldman, Where Is Thy Sting?

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Hello, all. Couldn’t resist chiming in on this one. It’s almost too good.

First, while it would be deliciously ironic if the Insurgent could be shut down for this, they clearly have the right of the issue here. Alas, I doubt they have the brains to learn anything about the benefits of a free press from this eminently teachable moment.

Secondly, unless this is all a brilliant joke (which I also doubt; see link below) Zachary White really needs to grow a pair:

It struck me as I read it that it is now OK to discriminate against the beliefs of Christians in our campus community, which hypocritically prides itself as being tolerant…

What does it mean to “discriminate against the beliefs of Christians”? To not share those beliefs? To make fun of them? To argue against them? I’m sure the Insurgent’s anti-Christian tirade was as bad as the rest of the stuff they publish, so why not ignore it and go about your day, or mock them right back, or – if you feel you absolutely must – attempt to seriously rebut their points? What does it say about your faith that it needs protection from needling by this bunch of anarcho-halfwits?

Of course, this is only the first piece of the inevitable blowback from allowing religious groups to demand uncritical acceptance of their own various beliefs and practices from the slavering secular hordes. (Insert your own cartoon of the prophet Mohammed here.) White’s insistence that his delicate sensibilites should enjoy administrative protection from challenge or ridicule is childish and (dare I say) un-American, but isn’t this a tantalizing glimpse of the world that the Insurgent collective claims to want? A campus climate in which people can feel accepted, dammit!

I got a weird sense of deja vu after reading White’s op-ed the other day, and sure enough: a little Googling reveals that we have encountered this fellow before. Not much seems to have changed in the interim.

Anyway, it has been a while since we’ve had a round of Tim vs. Catholicism, hasn’t it? I’m going to take a shot every time he says “papist”, and I encourage you to join me.