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Archive for July, 2008

Notes From the Ol’ Dirty

Thursday, July 31st, 2008
  • Sports Editor Andrew Grief has an interesting article about the rise in applications for concealed carry permits in the wake of budget cuts that have gutted the Lane County Sheriff’s Office:

Faced with longer response times and fewer deputies, many of the 93,500 Lane County residents who live outside city limits in the county believe having a concealed handgun is a necessary step. The Sheriff’s Office expects a record of more than 1,250 permits to be issued this year in the county, up from 680 in 2005, 811 in 2006 and 950 last year. 

Huh. It’s almost like people feel like their Second Amendment rights are valuable and necessary when the government cannot provide for their well-being.

  • The OC’s own Drew Cattermole and his upcoming radio spot, The Cattermole Minute were mentioned in a story about upcoming ASUO programs. The Commentator, however, is disapponted that Senior News Editor Robert D’Andrea (who got a special birthday shout-out at last week’s roller derby) mistook Drew’s ASUO president bid last year as “not-so-serious”. We can assure Mr. D’Andrea that Drew Cattermole was deadly serious. Deadly.
  • A whole page of re-printed Associated Press stories, with a couple more spread around the issue for good measure? Really? I mean, seriously… this shit shows up every day in Firefox’s built-in RSS news feed. It seems like that space could’ve been better used re-printing some of the more colorful posts left on the comments section of Jeffrey Dransfeldt’s infamous piece on wrestling. I mean, there’s 813 of them to choose from, and most of them are more fun to read than a recycled story about Ehud Olmert from a few days ago. Highlights include:
    • “Jeffery, maybe Mommy didn’t love you enough. I don’t know what your problem is, but the anger you carry from your early puberty is going to hamper you throughout life. Taking glee in the demise of people who have sacrificed more than you will ever know is just a sign of the sickness that dwells in your tortured little body and shadow of a soul. Your rantings sound like those of the VT shooter.”
    • “Your arrogance is disgusting.”
    • “With your neck as shown in the picture, you’re lucky you broke your arm.”

KULTUR KAMPF – McGriddle Edition

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

I was going to post this as a comment, but it’s pretty goddamn long.

In comments to this thread, commenter protagony writes:

and even taking insurance out of the picture, obesity effects other people besides the individual, for example that persons children, who will probably grow up to burden the system as well.

If you take the things government does to disburse this effect across many, many pocket books, you’ll notice that being a fat ass only kills you. I might also suggest that learning the difference between affect and effect will help you communicate your unfortunate ideas more clearly. I’m just looking out for you there, mate.

What you’re neglecting is that the same informational problems faced by the poor are faced, in aggregate, by the government. In fact, third-party decision makers have less information than first-party decision makers do so you’re looking at even more informational difficulty. This LA ban is especially ironilicious given that the said same politicians worked hard to keep out Wal-Mart and its large, cheap selection of produce. If South LA is anything like San Antonio, it wouldn’t surprise me if many times the produce quality is actually better at Wal-Mart than it is at the local grocery. About 60% of the time that’s true for me, and I live in a fairly affluent part of town.

(more…)

South LA to ban new fast food

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The neighborhood of South Los Angeles, in an effort to take a bite out of obesity, is considering a moratorium to ban new fast food restaurants from opening for one year.

While obesity is a problem in America, (hovering around 33% in adult men, according to CDC) stopping new fast food restaurants is hardly the solution. Here we have another case of government babying its citizens in an effort to make them be better people. Unfortunately, I think we’ve all experienced on a personal basis that it is literally impossible to make someone be a better person and lead a better lifestyle. They have to choose to it themselves.

Furthermore, this well-intended policy has huge potential for negative ramification. First, how are they going to make a definition of what ‘fast food’ is? The article linked does not specify what ‘fast food’ will be defined as, but no matter the criteria, there will be exceptions where new restaurant that is considered fast food could be perfectly healthy.

The article says that the moratorium is intended to give the city time to find and attract healthier food options to the area. What the council members are failing to look at are the economic reasons that healthier food options weren’t naturally flourishing in the city in the first place. Not to mention that this policy with its criteria of what fast food is and isn’t, will create more needless red tape for new businesses to start in the area, fast food or not.

UO Slips in Party Rankings, Despite OC’s Best Efforts

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The Princeton Review has just released it’s annual college rankings, and I have to say I am sorely disappointed. The UO didn’t even crack the top twenty party schools, and we only ranked 14 in the “reefer madness” category. Do you know which university was ranked #1 party school? Florida. That’s right, those asshats at Florida.

Ladies and gentlemen of the UO, our honor has been besmirched.  Seriously, this is the campus where they filmed Animal House. I call on all students to redouble their efforts in the coming year and restore our rightful place as one of the top party schools in the nation.

P.S. Back in 2005, High Times ranked the UO as the number four school to get a “higher education.”

Found in Office

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
  • One Chemical Brothers CD, “Dig Your Own Hole”. Condition: Possibly playable.
  • Several more issues of “Out” magazine.

So… “lifestyle” magazines and techno music…

Sudsy’s Brother By Another Mother

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

In the event of Sudsy’s untimely demise, I propose the Malaysian pen-tailed tree shrew as the Commentator’s new mascot:

A tiny tree-shrew that lives on alcoholic nectar could – pound for pound – drink the average human under the table, scientists have discovered.

Frank Wiens, from the University of Bayreuth in Germany, and colleagues confirmed the animals’ high alcohol consumption by analysing their hair.

Chemicals in the hair samples showed that on any given night, a tree-shrew had a 36% chance of being drunk by human standards.

Historically speaking, the Commentator has not been a fan of shrews, most of them seeming a bit humorless and angry, but this one sounds like it’d fight right in up in room 319.

Insert “In Soviet Russia…” Joke Here

Monday, July 28th, 2008

The Russians want to ban “emo”. 

You know, I hear St. Petersburg is nice this time of year…

Former Duck Headed to Federal Prison for Software Piracy

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Jeremiah MondelloFormer U of O student (I’m not entirely clear if he is a graduate), Jeremiah Mondello, is going to prison for four years for selling counterfeit DVDs of software and hacking into bank accounts in order to disguise his financial transactions.  He apparently made $300,000 in three years, mostly by selling copies of Quicken software.  Considering how well his enterprise was going till he was caught, it’s too bad he didn’t apply his creative energies to more legal business ventures.

Blast From the Past

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Found in a March 1985 issue of Newsweek On Campus focusing on “the conservative student”:

Many of the newcomers do strive for a more temperate tone. The University of Oregon’s right-wing Commentator has won professional awards – and it has an avowed gay and liberal as a contributing editor. (The paper did once refer to campus feminists as “bitchy nuns,” but editors now say they regret it.)

Pablum We Can Believe In

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Jim Geraghty over at NRO has a challenge for you:

Pop quiz, hot shot. Pick out the “We Are The World” lyrics vs. Obama speech lines.

A: “We can’t go on pretending day by day that someone, somewhere will soon make a change.”

B: “This is the moment we must help answer the call.”

C: “But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall.”

D. “The world will watch and remember what we do.”

E. “Let us realize that a change can only come when we stand together as one.”

F. “We cannot afford to be divided.”

G. “These now are the walls we must tear down.”

H. “This is the moment when we must come together.”

I. “They’ll know that someone cares, and their lives will be stronger and free.”

Woke Up This Morning; OLCC Got Themselves a Blog

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Yes, the OLCC has a blog. I, for one, am excited to meet our longstanding antipode on the field of Internet battle (no, not Counterstrike, although we’d kick the OLCC’s ass in a clan match). In all seriousness, though, it’s refreshing to see a government agency start a blog. I hope they use it effectively to explain their often contentious decisions.

So far there are only two posts, but one is a response to a Blue Oregon post about self-serving wine machines that I also commented on.

Lesbians Lose Litigation, Lament

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Inhabitants of the island of Lesbos have failed in their campaign to ban the use of the word “lesbian” to refer to female homosexuals, calling the use of the word a “violation of their human rights.”

End of World Possibly Nigh

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Over at Reason, Ronald Bailey has an interesting report from the Global Catastrophic Risks conference describing the various ways humanity might off itself in the next century, including nuclear holocaust, super-AI and nanotechnology. He also wrote a few other posts from the conference about the risks of asteroid strikes and gamma-ray bursts. All in all, some nice, airy summer reading.

But did you know the world almost ended in 1983? Seriously, we might have all become nuclear briskets if it weren’t for this one Russian dude.

Tobacco Might Help Fight Cancer

Monday, July 21st, 2008

That’s right. According to some early studies, tobacco might help fight certain forms of lymphoma. Clearly, supporters of the smoking ban hate lymphoma patients.

Genocidaire Radovan Karadzic Arrested [updated]

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The BBC is reporting that Serbia has arrested the fugitive Radovan Karadzic, who has been on the run since 1996.

The next time someone complains that we haven’t caught Osama bin Laden yet, just remember that it took 12 years for anyone to catch up to Karadzic and that Ratko Mladic is still on the loose.

In any case, score one for the good guys.

[UPDATE, 07/22]

Okay, this story just got weird. Apparently, Karadzic was working as an “alternative medicine” quack under an assumed name. According to Harry’s Place, this is the company he was working for. As far as I can tell (I don’t know Serbian, but there are enough Russian and English cognates that I can piece a bit of it together), their products are all supposed to focus your bio-energy with vibrations to harmonize your energy and aura and things like that.