The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator
 

Archive for April, 2008

Happy hour with Gene Healy

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Yesterday OC Ed-in-Chief Ossie and I drove up to Kell’s Irish Pub in Portland to hear Gene Healy of the Cato Institute talk about his new book, The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power. The good folks at the America’s Future Foundation hosted the event.

Healy is a smart, funny guy, and we enjoyed throwing back some Guinness with him. I haven’t read the book yet, but everything he said last night was spot-on. In short, voters and politicians on both sides of the aisle need to get rid of the idea that the President is the daddy or mommy who will fix all their problems. I did have to disagree with Healy when he started bagging on Teddy Roosevelt, though. Ugly views on manifest destiny aside, Roosevelt was pretty awesome; he gave a 90-minute speech after being shot in the chest. C’mon, Hillary Clinton isn’t even that hardcore in her fantasies.

Uniting Campus Puff by Puff

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

I was recently invited to the Free Speech Parade Facebook group, hosted by the one and only UO Survival Center. What struck me as interesting was the description of the group:

We support free expression, be that: verbally, musically, poetically, artistically, physically, nutritionally, literarily, meditatively, economically (barter) or otherwise.

A perfect example of this “free expression” they support is Cimmeron Gillespie’s (coincidentally the group’s founder) drumming/musical performances that, I’m sure, we’ve all had the pleasure of encountering.

Perhaps a further buried example would be a student’s right to smoke–the act of smoking as an expression. I am hesitant to jump on the freedom of expression bandwagon here, but perhaps we, as a campus, could broaden our freedom horizons a bit and accept smoking as a tool to unite students, similar to say, a FIG class, or Week of Welcome.

Even better, if we can get the environmental lovin’ kids to support smoking on campus. Can you imagine OSPIRG collecting signatures to save your right to smoke? Student dollars at work on campus? Dare to dream, people, dare to dream!

As for me, I’ll see you at the Smoke-in on Monday, May 12th, sporting a large cigar.

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Albert Hoffmann, the guy who invented LSD, is dead at 102.

McCain’s Health Care Plan

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

The Washington Post outlines some of the details of John McCain’s health plan. If I’m understanding it right, the key points are:

  1.  Unlike the Democratic plan, his plan is market-based
  2. It dissociates health insurance from the workplace, which McCain argues will force insurance companies to “no longer take your business for granted, offering narrow plans with escalating costs.”
  3. It provides tax credits to individuals, rather than employers, for health insurance.
  4. It will create a “GAP” (guaranteed access program) in the short-term to provide for “high-risk” patients until the “market matures”.
  5. Lowering costs through a variety of methods such as tort reform and encouraging the prescription of generic drugs.
  6. McCain also advocates the “health savings account” idea.
  7. Interestingly, he also says “[g]overnment should promote greater access through walk-in clinics in retail outlets” to facilitate easier access to basic, preventative care.

As the Post notes, a lot of the McCain plan echoes President Bush’s spectacularly failed attempt at health care reform. Indeed, McCain is probably going to have a relatively difficult time selling his health care plan, whatever its merits, since he’s going to have to compete against either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, both of which are promising “free” health care for the masses. For McCain to succeed on this issue against his opponent (especially if he runs against Barack Obama), he’s going to have to find a simple, sensible way to explain to people how setting them adrift and trusting market forces is going to result in better health care at a lower cost than anything a massive, tax-funded government bureaucracy  can hope to provide.

Unfortunately for McCain, explaining economics to people is a lot more difficult than saying “the government will take care of you”.

Commentary on “Positive Discrimination”

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

“Troy” on thedebateclub.org posted his opinion on what he deemed as “Positive Discrimination” which is , in his particular example, the practice of putting more “blacks and ethnic minorities into the corridors of power” in politics. Essentially, this is a strong form of Affirmative Action.

“Troy” denotes this as “racism masquerading as progress”…I think he has many insightful ideas. Being as such, he must be just some “token conservative Asian/White person”. But don’t take my word for it.


Chinese Learn Concept of Weekend

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

CNN isn’t my favorite news station (it’s about up there with FOX News) and hasn’t demonstrated the ability to be fair or skillful at reporting. Wolf Blitzer sucks.

Recently, CNN political pundit Jack Cafferty (The Cafferty File) made some careless comments regarding the Chinese government that are somewhat true but unnecessarily abrasive: (more…)

Do you need help with your hanging chad?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The statewide voting pamphlets have been mailed out recently. Inside, a letter from Secretary of State Bill Bradbury urges citizens to call a certain 800 number if they need voting assistance. However, rather than electoral information, callers are directed to a phone sex line. An automated voice promises callers “an exciting new way to go live one on one with hot . . . girls.” Bill Bradbury, you ‘ol polecat!

Hat tip to my mom for the story.

&%#$@*

Monday, April 28th, 2008

I would like to thank all the parties involved in the Laughing Planet / Holy Cow / EMU business for finalizing the issue the day before our Holy Cow Issue, in which nobody said anything.

 

This doesn’t change the fact that Holy Cow should serve meat.

Frohnmayer to retire?

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The Willamette Week and several local news sources are reporting that Dave Frohnmayer will announce his upcoming retirement tomorrow, to be effective in 14 months. He’s served for 14 years thus far as University President. Love him or hate him, that’s quite a run and just one more accomplishment for someone who has held some distinguished positions over his lifetime.

So, what’s next for the Frohn? Full, relaxed-living retirement, or perhaps something else?

Pacifica Forum responds to Frohnmayer

Monday, April 28th, 2008

On Friday, the Pacifica Forum met to discuss President Frohnmayer’s recent letter denouncing the forum and one of its more notable members, Valdas Anelauskas. PF founder Orval Etter drafted a letter to Frohnmayer, telling him to “get over it.” There was also talk of bringing “revisionist historian” Mark Weber back to campus on May 16. Finally, today’s ODE has a good write-up of the meeting. I’ll address all of this after the jump, in case you’re getting sick of reading about the Pacifica Forum. (more…)

Will YouTube Deny You Internet Porn in 2010?

Monday, April 28th, 2008

According to an article in Macworld, a newly released study conducted by Nemertes Research Group indicates that “a flood of new video and other Web content could overwhelm the Internet by 2010.”

This internet slow-down is something the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) has been predicting for several years. Bruce Mehlman, co-chairman of the IIA agrees, saying the study gives “good, hard, unique data” on the IIA concerns about network capacity. He went on to state, “Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data this year.”

What does this mean to you, loyal OC readers? Not only will it become painstakingly difficult to read the OC blog, but it’ll also seriously impede your ability to view porn online.

Are videos of Miley Cyrus in concert really worth their bandwidth if it means missing a busty blonde in action?

“Video has unleashed an explosion of Internet content,” Mehlman said.

I guess the question is, what type of “explosion” would you like to unleash in 2010?

Sexy time with the Duck’s offensive line

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

You know, if there’s one group in football that doesn’t get as much press as it deserves, it’s the offensive line. Well, the Duck’s offensive line is looking to put a little glamor back in the position. They just put out a calendar full of humorous, surreal beefcake shots of themselves. All the proceeds will go towards the National Childhood Obesity Foundation (natch). If you’re wondering how surreal, well …

I’d make a lot of snarky comments, but Everyday Should Be Saturday is already on top of things. Thanks to OC Alum Ian Spencer for bringing this to our attention.

Issue No. 10

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Read it here.

Subtle Lede of the Day

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

This is the lede of the ODE’s front-page story on Ben Linder, a university student who was killed by contras while working in Nicaragua (emphasis mine):

Inspired by the Sandinista National Liberation Front, a socialist political party that ruled Nicaragua in the 1980s and helped some of the nation’s poorest people, Ben Linder of Portland moved to Nicaragua after graduating from the University of Washington in 1983.

That’s odd, considering what the Library of Congress Country Study on Nicaragua has to say (once again, emphasis mine):

In its eleven years in power, the Sandinista government never overcame most of the economic inequalities that it inherited from the Somoza era. Years of war, policy missteps, natural disasters, and the effects of the United States trade embargo all hindered economic development. The early economic gains of the Sandinistas were wiped out by seven years of sometimes precipitous economic decline, and in 1990, by most standards, Nicaragua and most Nicaraguans were considerably poorer than they were in the 1970s.

Obvious Headline of the Day

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Homeless frequent West University area

The real prize in this ODE article, though, is a quote from a member of Eugene’s thin, blue line, Officer Jennifer Bills:

Bills said many homeless people also have co-occurring disorders: They may suffer from both a mental disorder and a dependency on alcohol or drugs.

“These people are not cool, not a novelty. They are mentally ill,” she said. “You don’t treat people with cancer like they’re a cool novelty.”

What?