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Archive for December, 2007

EW tackles homeless problem; epic fail

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

The Eugene Weekly’s cover story this week takes on the ever-present homeless problem with predictable Alan Pittman results. In other words, illogical and pudding-headed. To be fair, most of the article isn’t that bad; Pittman does a fair job of trying to cover Eugene’s typically FUBAR politics, but one paragraph in particular makes me die a little inside:

If Eugeneans are stuck with the bill [of homeless programs], a more palatable approach could be a graduated income tax based on the ability to pay. That could garner more money from the rich Ebenezers while protecting the poor from having to pay more taxes through high rents they already struggle to afford.

Oh sure, obviously. A graduated income tax makes perfect sense because there is a direct correlation between a rise in income level and personal responsibility for homelessness. Brilliant. Second of all, “rich Ebenezers”? Last time I checked, Eugene wasn’t exactly brimming with railroad tycoons, steel magnates and Dickensian plutocrats. Maybe Pittman is just bitter about the stagnating wages of alternative newspaper special investigators. Third, the phrase “graduated income tax based on the ability to pay” is completely redundant. Jesus Christ, I’m going to have an aneuryism.

Desperate for Wins, UCLA Hires Neuweasel

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

UCLA has decided to hire Rick Neuheisel to coach their football team:

Neuheisel, a quarterback who was the MVP in UCLA’s 1984 Rose Bowl victory and later served as a Bruins assistant under Terry Donahue, was hired Saturday as his alma mater’s 16th coach.

His five-year contract is for $1.25 million annually, plus incentives.

[…]

Colorado was placed on two years’ probation by the NCAA for infractions committed while he was the Buffaloes’ coach. All were deemed secondary violations and most involved improper contact with recruits.

The AP story glosses over Neuheisel’s infractions while at the (first) college football program he destroyed. Here’s what the Gazette of Colorado Springs had to say back in 2002:

The NCAA announced Tuesday it has reduced the number of Colorado football scholarships, restricted coaching visits and placed the school on two years probation after a three-year investigation found more than 50 violations.

[…]

Most of the violations involved improper contact with recruits from 1995 to 1998 under coach Rick Neuheisel, now at Washington.

“In many instances these violations would not be considered very serious, but in the recruiting process, any recruiting violation could impact the decision of a prospective student-athlete,” said Tom Yeager, commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Association and chairman of the Committee on Infractions. “What made this case ‘major’ were not only the calculated attempts to gain a recruiting advantage, but also the number and pattern of the violations.”

So he commits “more than 50 violations” at one school, places bets on college athletics at another school, and is gleefully welcomed (and given $1.25M+/year) by the Bruins.

To put this hire into perspective, Rick Neuheisel was replaced by Gary Barnett because of his ethical lapses. Yes, Gary Barnett.

Congrats, UCLA!

Former Pakistani prime minister assassinated

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Two shots fired, and then a bomb exploded at a rally held by former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto(more…)

Bellotti staying in the family

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Football Head Coach Mike Bellotti released a statement today saying he is “100 percent committed to the University of Oregon.” Bellotti allowed UCLA officials to meet with him in Eugene and discuss the Bruin’s vacant coaching position.

“I have a great job at the University of Oregon and believe we have built a special football program here…I never considered it an interview, merely an opportunity for them to provide me with some information and insights into their program.”

I can’t really see Bellotti going to another Pac 10 school any time soon, especially since the Ducks still seem to be in a building phase, with some top recruits signing and lending an ear to Belotti and University of Oregon.

Breaking news: Pacifica Forum still crazy

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

The latest Eugene Weekly has a news piece on the Pacifica Forum, and (surprise!) the forum is still bat-shit crazy. If you haven’t read my piece on the Pacifica Forum in the Holiday Issue, go check it out. Anyways, here’s a little treat from the EW article:

Later, after denying that he was a conspiracy theorist, Douglas described how the burning of the Branch Davidians’ compound in Waco, Texas, and the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building were perpetrated by the U.S. government, and he said that the U.S. government was capable of using cable TV boxes as receivers to eavesdrop on people in their homes.

For those not familiar with it, the Pacifica Forum spends most of its time talking about how the Jews run the world, didn’t really die in the Holocaust, eat babies, etc. They try and cover their douchebaggery by claiming they are merely criticizing Israel and its policies, which apparently is a rock-solid defense these days.

TIME names Putin Man of the Year; Putin furrows brow, purses lips

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

TIME Magazine is on a roll. After giving last year’s Man of the Year award to You, as in “all y’all,” it’s awarding Russian President Vladimir Putin this year’s title. Yep, Putin – the guy who’s been putting that old KGB charm back into Russian politics as of late. However, TIME doesn’t want you to think they’re into that sort of thing. (more…)

MADD Myths and the OLCC denies rule change

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

From the wondering people at Mother Against Drunk Driving, who have long stopped pretending it is not a prohibitionist organization, Why21.org dispels the Myths & Facts about the 21 Minimum Drinking Age Law. First of all, to understand who we’re dealing with here, look at the answer to the “European Myth:”

Perhaps the best example of fact versus myth when it comes to the “European Myth” is a look at what happened in New Zealand.

Can we get Alec Murphy in here to teach some geography? (more…)

What? Baseball players use steroids?

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Baseball released the Mitchell Report yesterday.  The investigation led by former U.S. senator George Mitchell linked 85 former and current players to steroid use in the last 10 years.  The list also included the names of 31 all-stars and seven MVPs. (more…)

Quack Town U.S.A.

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Oregon Track ClubThere’s nothing like a new logo to really jumpstart an organization. The Oregon Track Club revealed this snazzy new look, created by Nike designer and former UO pole vaulter Tinker Hatfield, at the beginning of the year. 

The prominence of the club, “along with its partners the University of Oregon, local and state government, corporate sponsors and the local community,” reached a high with today’s announcement that along with the 2008 Olympic Team Trials, the 2012 Olympic Trials, and the 2009 and 2011 U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be hosted in Eugene and at Hayward Field.  

“We like to think that Eugene is the spiritual home for track and field in the United States, and we wanted to make it the physical home, as well,” said Vin Lananna, associate athletic director at the University of Oregon.

The “associate” part probably wont be there for long. In case any student groups want to get a piece of the pie, OTC business memberships are $100. I’d love to see the Chess Club in the Prefontaine Classic Program.  

  

Ask a town full of outraged, progressive crybabies

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

After the Savage love fiasco earlier in the year, Eugene Weekly is in hot water again for one of its syndicated columns, this time “Ask a Mexican!”* by Gustavo Arellano. Community activists are calling for EW to stop running the column, and the paper’s letter section has been flooded with angry complaints for weeks now.

Last week, EW ran a cover story on Arellano and his column, giving the author a chance to defend himself. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:

The point [of my column] is to debunk the stereotypes that people do have about Mexicans, to aggressively go after racists, but at the same time, do it in a way that people will want to read it every week and get entertained — whether it’s Mexicans laughing at ourselves or people laughing at stupid racists or at stupid questions. 

Poor Arellano. He has no idea how people in Eugene think, does he? We’re not allowed to laugh at anything like that ever! Outrage predictably continued unabated. According to this week’s story in EW, members of the paper recently met with concerned community leaders, including local Latino activists, who demanded that EW pull the column and replace it with content from local Latino sources.

(more…)

Heisman finalists announced; no Dixon

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

The top four finalists for the Heisman were announced today, with Tebow, McFadden, Daniel and Brennan making the cut. Of course, you may have noticed the glaring absence of Dennis Dixon (Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year), to which I give a hearty BOO-URNS. It’s not exactly unexpected, since Dixon missed the last three games, but it would have been nice. Oregon fans, of course, think it’s a grave injustice, but Dixon’s also getting some love from unexpected supporters.

“Oh Glorious Pubes!”: The Bad Sex Writing Awards

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

“Was it especially hairy? Good Lord, yes it was.” -Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan

Called “Britain’s most dreaded literary prize,” the Literary Reviews annual “Bad Sex Award” has been handed out for the last 15 years with the aim “to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.” Winners receive a bottle of champagne and a semi-abstract statue representing sex in the 1950s if they show up to collect, which surprisingly most do.

This year’s award was won posthumously by the late Norman Mailer, for a breathtakingly revolting passage in which a characters sex organ is described as being “soft as a coil of excrement.” The entire selection of shortlisted passages is here, and a few of my personal faves can be found right here if you (more…)

El Paso it is

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

The Ducks will face the No. 21 South Florida Bulls in the Brut Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve.  The Bulls have wins over Auburn and West Virginia and were No. 2 in the nation mid-season before dropping three straight, just like the Ducks.

“We could not be more pleased for the opportunity to return to El Paso and welcome the chance to face an outstanding opponent in the University of South Florida,” Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti. “Those of us who have been fortunate enough to play in the Sun Bowl before recognize what a great job they do to make both teams feel welcome and I can attest to the fact that the city of El Paso hosts a great event. (more…)

Woke up this morning, Bob Knight’s got a gun

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Legendary basketball coach/maniac Bobby Knight has been caught on video being confronted after his shotgun pellets did or did not land in a neighbors swimming pool. That’s right, someone from Lubbock, Texas is either dumb or brave enough to tell Bob Knight to “move down” when Knight is holding a shotgun. This insane boldness was rewarded only by whining and petulance from Knight… a far cry from the days when he would have thrown a chair at the very least. At least it’s another good entry into the surreal footage file, and a vindication of Knights failure to compete in the recent brack