Archive for June, 2008
Sunday, June 29th, 2008
Do you remember that scene in Jesus Camp where the kids are offering a prayer to a cardboard stand-up of George Bush? (Youtube link here, if you haven’t seen it before.) Well, some Obama supporters have officially creeped me out just as much as that scene in Jesus Camp did by “informally” changing their middle names to “Hussein” to show solidarity with their chosen
Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on Facebook.com, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father.
“Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads.
With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name.
“I am sick of Republicans pronouncing Barack Obama’s name like it was some sort of cuss word,” [Jeff Strabone of Brooklyn] wrote in a manifesto titled “We Are All Hussein” that he posted on his own blog and on dailykos.com.
Mr. Strabone’s “manifesto” can be found here and contains such (creepy) pearls of wisdom as:
- “Like Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Republicans will learn that Obama is a bright, shining piece of rubber, and they are the glue.”
- “If we recall the famous ‘First they came’ speech of Martin Niemöller, we can say that many among us did speak up… What if they came for the Husseins, and everyone was named Hussein?”
- “If we adopted a more flexible approach to our names, we might be more awake to the possibilities of self-reinvention.”
- “The name Hussein comes from the Arabic noun husn, which… translates as ‘beauty, handsomeness, prettiness, loveliness; excellence, superiority, perfection’ and so on. Reader, do you feel beautiful? I surely do, and I invite you to feel the same way.“
Good lord, someone get these people off the streets.
Sunday, June 29th, 2008
Via the always entertaining Portland Indymedia comes news of a soon-t0-be pirate utopia raft community out by Ilwaco:
There, [a bunch of crazy-ass hippies] are laying the groundwork for a community on the water, centered around activism, anti capitalism, egalitarianism, hard work, and fun. Lots and lots of fun. As noted above, they are building a pirate raft (perhaps even a whole flotilla, depending on how many people answer their call), and both the raft and the village project will run on the power of kites, wind, sun, sweat, water, and imagination. Seriously, if you’ve been feeling called to a new life lately, maybe it’s the ocean wind that is calling you.
I’m pretty sure it’s another robo-caller, but that’s beside the point. Anyways, just to bring the point home: a bunch of hippies living on improvised rafts trying to float up and down the Columbia. I don’t see what could possibly go wrong in this situation! Even better, according to the article the whole project is being started by a fellow named Tiny Neutrino. Priceless.
These floating gypsies plan to create a whole community on the water. People who are homeless, or people who want a new life, are welcome to come out and help convert “anything that floats” into a home on the water. They will travel up and down the river, stopping to play music, perform, and talk to people about sea lions, LNGs, and the river ecology in little ports and towns along the way. They have plans to convert old, abandoned boats into a flotilla for those who want a place to live independently.
What, no monkey knife fights? Count me out.
Friday, June 27th, 2008
According to Ezra Levant, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has opted to drop its case against Mark Steyn and Maclean’s (which I previously wrote about here). The plaintiff’s reaction can be read here. Maclean’s, for its part, seems a bit unimpressed:
Though gratified by the decision, Maclean’s continues to assert that no human rights commission, whether at the federal or provincial level, has the mandate or the expertise to monitor, inquire into, or assess the editorial decisions of the nation’s media. And we continue to have grave concerns about a system of complaint and adjudication that allows a media outlet to be pursued in multiple jurisdictions on the same complaint, brought by the same complainants, subjecting it to costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the inconvenience.
The story isn’t over yet, however, as a separate decision in British Columbia is still pending.
The case has been dismissed by the courts in BC.
Friday, June 27th, 2008
The Dirty beat me to a write up of this story, mostly because I drank too much tequila (Tarantula, not Patron, unfortunately) last night, and didn’t check my inbox before bed. Anyway, as obligated by the ASUO Constitution 5.17;
“The President shall establish and publish his or her own criteria for fulfillment of duties within one month of taking office. The President shall also perform all duties as required by this Constitution. Articles of impeachment may be brought against the President by a 3/4 vote of the seated Student Senate. Upon such vote, the Constitution Court shall try the case and reach a decision by majority vote. Articles of impeachment brought before the Constitution Court shall clearly set forth the grounds for removal from office.”
Sam sent this to me (and “Frohnmeyer” apparently):
The following letter contains my goals for the year, beyond fulfilling my constitutionally mandated tasks such as timely appointments and fair and efficient operation of the ASUO.
Dear President Frohnmeyer,
I want to first thank you and Mr. Hubin for making time to meet with my chief of staff Athan, Vice-President Johnny, and myself. Our conversation was very helpful, and hopefully we can maintain a very positive and effective working relationship throughout the year. As I stated in our meeting, I believe that having a friendly line of communication between the ASUO executive and your office will enable my staff and I to work on concrete and feasible goals, while avoiding unnecessary public muckraking. Speaking freely, the “us vs. them” mentality that was presented to Johnny and I from prior executives seems to have been born out of convenient public posturing in which an easily blamable institution (central administration) was used to benefit the ASUO. Yet in reality this unhealthy relationship only served the personalities of a few student politicians in an attempt to play off paranoid fears of the student body, and push blame unto someone else. Since entering this world of student government, I have been dis-heartened by the overwhelming “political” nature of the position I now hold. I want to personally tell you that it is my wish to move as far away from this dis-honest past as possible. Both through my conduct and ASUO reforms, I hope transform the office of Student Body President. That being said, I would like to outline my goals for the year in a more concrete manner then was allowed by our introductory meeting.
Friday, June 27th, 2008
As you’ve probably read, the Supreme Court decision in DC v. Heller came down today. The response from the right is pretty much what you’d expect (“Yeehaw!” *fires gun into air*). However, Radley Balko said the decision, while a philosophic victory for the Second Amendment, was too weak in practice. From his article:
Scalia’s opinion does interpret the Second Amendment as an individual right, but only for self-protection, and only in the home. The concept of the Second Amendment as a bulwark against an overly oppressive government seems dead.
Despite being freedom-hating libruls, the response over at Blue Oregon was fairly muted and neutral, except for this exasperating paragraph:
It is the highest-profile case to be decided by the Roberts Court, and suggests that the Court will not blanch at the opportunity to decide in favor of conservative positions in politically-charged cases.
Sorry, but since when has the Constitution been a “conservative position?” For all the whining from the left about the evil, boogieman Roberts Court, most of its decisions have been surprisingly moderate and narrow. They even stuck it to the Bush administration on habeas corpus. Oh those radical right-wing judges and their respect for our founding documents!
P.S. Slightly off-topic, but this Onion video on the Supreme Court is totally wicked awesome.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
Via Scotusblog, the US Supreme Court has struck down the D.C. gun ban and also affirmed the right of individual citizens to arm themselves. The decision was 5-4, along exactly the lines you’d expect: Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito in majority.
So, congratulations residents of D.C., may I suggest a side-arm?
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Via Reason via Wonkette via the Courier-Journal:
Sonny Landham, who played Billy in Predator, is running for the Kentucky Senate as a Libertarian. In case you haven’t been keeping count, Landham would be the third actor from Predator to hold public office if elected (the first two being Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse “The Body” Ventura).
C’mon , Carl Weathers. You’ve joked about it before, but if Landham wins you’ve got no more excuses!
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
I was just glancing through this story about opposition to gasoline derived from oilsands, when I noticed that Eugene’s own Kitty Piercy is sponsoring a resolution to forbid municipalities from using oilsands-derived gasoline in city vehicles. Quoth Kitty:
We don’t want to spend taxpayer dollars on fuels that make global warming worse … . Our cities are asking for environmentally sustainable energy and not fuels from dirty sources such as tarsands.
Last I heard, people were asking for cheaper gas…
Anyways, is global warming the only thing we should be concerned about? Weaning America off of oil purchased from despotic regimes in Africa, South America, and the Middle East (and giving some of that money to our friends in Canada) seems like a pretty good short-term goal, especially since no one has really come up with a better solution (and no, plugging your car into the wall outlet that gets its power from a coal-burned power plant doesn’t count as a “better idea”).
One also wonders if Kitty Piercy is aware that the biofuels she so loves to talk about so much are evidently sending 30 million or so people into poverty and driving up the price of food.
Maybe Kitty could spend her time more wisely by trying to find a way to repair Eugene’s decaying roads instead of working on silly non-binding resolutions that amount to little more than political grandstanding.
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
The Emerald today is carrying a guest commentary by Dr. Jerry Rosiek, who expresses concern over the recent controversies over the University’s affirmative action and diveristy hiring programs. Far from being concerned about whether or not the accusations are true, Dr. Rosiek is instead worried that the lawsuit filed by Joseph Wade might “distract” people from more important things — namely heaping accolades upon the diversity program:
The danger is that the University’s new leaders will be distracted by things like Wade’s suit, and will not appreciate the important work that has recently been done by the OIED under Dr. Martinez’s leadership.
Never you mind the man behind the curtain!
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
George Carlin died.
A video of one of his best bits is below the fold.
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
The Olympic Trials are nearly upon Eugene. For many, this means flying in from other parts of the country and renting a hotel room or apartment for a few days and enjoying this spectacle of world-class athleticism.
Indeed, Eugene has gone to great lengths to make the city a fun and welcoming place for people to come and enjoy during the trials. Also practically upon us is the (in)famous Oregon Country Fair, which begins on July 11, a mere 5 days after the Olympic Trials wrap up.
The upshot of all of this is that Eugene’s already-sizeable transient population is set to increase dramatically for the next month or so. In the interest of helping sports-minded hobos find their way around the city during the Olympic Trials and hopefully minimizing the confusion and possible bumfights over stoops and alleyways that might occur when the homeless Country Fair crowd arrives, I thought it might be helpful to post a link to this guide to hobo signs.
Hobo signs can be useful for a transient new to the area who might be wondering where he can get “work for food,” where he can “fake illness” for a place to sleep, which houses are “easy marks” or where “anything goes.” They’re also helpful for warning the wary drifter away from houses where judges live, “men with guns”, or dangerous “brutal” men.
While I do realize the inherent irony in writing on a blog about hobo signs for transients, it is my sincere hope that at least one bum will stop abusing his body while looking at pornography at the Knight Library long enough to find this post. After all, if we can help just one tramp avoid a “bad tempered owner”, then we’ve made the world a better place.
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
So apparently there’s this, uh, Olympic Trials thing happening in Eugene soon. I guess it’s kind of a big deal or something. Anyways, while everyone else is creaming their collective pantaloons (including Eugene writer Kenny Moore), I thought I would list some of the athletes to watch for.
- Former Rennie’s Landing doorman Colin Veldman qualified for the hammerthrow. We’ll drink to that!
- UO running phenom Galen Rupp will be tearing up the men’s 10k. Rupp has 120 percent of the lung capacity of an average person.
Alicia Shay will be running the women’s 10k. Shay’s husband and fellow elite runner Ryan died of a sudden cardiac arrest during the 2007 US Olympic Marathon Trials. Runner’s World just ran a good story on her.
- UO whiz kid Andrew Wheating has qualified for the 800 and 1500. Wheating came out of nowhere this year and had an absolutely explosive season, including a sub-four mile and the third fastest 800 in school history.
- Other qualified Ducks in the Trials are Rachel Yurkovich in the javelin, Nicole Blood in the 1500 and 5k, A.J. Acosta in the 1500 and Ashton Eaton in the decathalon. Former Duck Tommy Skipper qualified for the polevault.
Monday, June 16th, 2008
Alternative title: Where’s Your God Now?
The AP reports that social conservatives and church groups have thrown in the towel in their attempt to get two initiatives on the 2008 ballot; the initiatives, if passed, would have repealed two gay rights statutes enacted by the Oregon Legislature in 2007. The first statute allowed for same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships, while the second barred discrimination in the workplace due to sexual orientation.
Of course, opponents of the two statutes now say they will work towards getting the repeal measures on the 2010 ballot. Good plan, guys! I mean, if you can’t muster enough outrage at the “homosexual agenda” now, it makes perfect sense to try again in two years when people care even less. On the other hand, I’m pleased to see social conservatives expending their time and money on fruitless endeavors.
Monday, June 16th, 2008
I was browsing the Eugene Weekly blog when I ran across a link to this lovely “open letter” to women supporters of Hillary Clinton that reads like it might’ve been penned by Nate Gulley:
Your whiteness is showing.
…[O]n the first part of the above equation–the part where you insist voting against Obama is about gender solidarity–you are, for lack of a better way to put it, completely full of crap. And what’s worse is that at some level I suspect you know it. Voting against Senator Obama is not about gender solidarity. It is an act of white racial bonding, and it is grotesque.
If it were gender solidarity you sought, you would by definition join with your black and brown sisters come November, and do what you know good and well they are going to do, in overwhelming numbers, which is vote for Barack Obama. But no. You are threatening to vote not like other women–you know, the ones who aren’t white like you and most of your friends–but rather, like white men!
And how are we to understand that refusal–this sudden line in the proverbial sand–other than as a racist slap at a black man? You will vote for white men year after year after year–and are threatening to vote for another one just to make a point–but can’t bring yourself to vote for a black man, whose political views come much closer to your own, in all likelihood, than do the views of any of the white men you’ve supported before. How, other than as an act of racism, or perhaps as evidence of political insanity, is one to interpret such a thing?
Have an angry day.