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Archive for October, 2008

Quote of the Day

Friday, October 31st, 2008

“[…] Barack Obama isn’t only a presidential candidate — he’s a class marker, an item of conspicuous consumption.”

Kevin Williamson, National Review Online

Nowhere is this more true than in Eugene.

Attention Ghouls and Goblins

Friday, October 31st, 2008

It’s Halloween – the most riot-tastic time o’ the year in Eugene! Unfortunately, some people are trying to poop on everyone’s party:

Here at Oregon, numerous events are posted on Facebook and many more are flying under the radar. Drunken revelry is a definite for this Halloween weekend. In order to stay out of trouble, the ODE advises you to consider the choices you’re making this weekend.

We, too, advise you to consider the choices you’re making. Here’s a couple of tips to make sure you have a safe and happy holiday:

  • Remember, don’t pick up the tear gas canisters with your hands. They are hot. Instead, kick them back at the police officers.
  • Dumpsters, when lit on fire, are a great source of warmth and merriment for you and your friends.
  • Cops only have as much authority as you let them have. You gotta fight the power, man!
  • If a house party won’t let anymore people in, it just means they’re trying to hog all the young ladies and booze for themselves. Enter that party by any means necessary.
  • Ladies: thanks to the wonders of the free market, you now have a wide array of costumes to choose from, such as Slutty Nurse, Slutty Witch, Slutty Devil, Slutty French Maid, Slutty Angel, Slutty Pirate, Slutty Slut and Sarah Palin. Choose carefully; you wouldn’t want people to get the wrong impression.
  • Try and find large mobs of people to travel with. Safety in numbers!
  • That dude did just talk shit to you. I heard him, bro. You better shove a broken beer bottle in his throat.

The Oregon Commentator Approves This Development; Can’t Afford It

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Sam Adams has come out with a beer, “Utopia“, boasting 25% alcohol content by volume:

Marketed as an ideal after-dinner tipple, the strong, rich, dark drink is not carbonated and features four types of hops which give it an earthy, spicy, herbal taste… [S]moked malts add an amber color, and a variety of yeast were used during fermentation, including the same yeast used in champagne. As a result, the slightly fruity brew has a sweet, malty flavor that resembles the deep, rich grape taste of a vintage Port, fine Cognac, or old Sherry.

Alas, it’s $300 a bottle. Anyone want to buy 30 or so Sudsy shirts so the Commentator staff can pay for a bottle?

Senate Notes

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

CJ was unable to cover tonight’s senate meeting due to a previous engagement involving some Geology students, and an alcoholic beverage or two.

So, I tried for my first time, to act as a journalist. Instead of summarizing the meeting, I feel like it will be more interesting to post my notes, verbatim, so it’s like you too were at the meeting. I’ve also included a head shots of the senators, because I call them by first name, and don’t want to confuse anymore.

Enjoy!

P.S. Happy 21st Birthday Senator Jordan Schenck!

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Our Reputation Proceeds Us

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

From the inbox:

I am on a quest to find the fabled “beer docks.” I have heard about this legendary place to buy cheap expired alcohol from a number of people of the past two years, but nobody seems to actually know where it is.

I know the OC loves alcohol, and also a google search led me to a 2002 edition where the beer docks are mentioned. Could you direct a loyal reader to this beer paradise?

Scott

I don’t have a car, so the beer docks have eluded me as well. Can anyone else answer this young man’s question?

As Seen On TV!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Apparently, there was some sort of Ginsu Knife Obama infomercial on the teevee tonight that I missed because, frankly, life’s too short. Oh, and I was mildly afraid it would be akin to that famous scene from Alan J. Pakula’s Parallax View. Most important, basketball season has begun and I’m already cursing the sports-injury Gods .

Still, OC alum Mark Hemingway has a rundown of the stirring imagery, mellifluous speechifying and Vaseline-lensed cinematography for the National Review’s blog, The Corner.

As for the format of the special itself, aesthetically it was a bit nauseating with all the soft focus and generically uplifing music constantly swelling in and out. As for the content, I’m sorry it’s not that I don’t care about those experiencing hardship — quite the contrary — but the last thing that should be driving America’s voting habits is a half-hour of Manipulative Portraits of Downtrodden Victims of Shadowy Governmental Forces.

This is a nice point! Shadowy Forces as manipulative rhetorical device is bad! Portraits of Downtrodden Victims are trite!

Surely, the McCain/Palin campaign would never sink to such tactics.

I-Fee Update

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Here’s the Ol’ Dirty’s story on the proposed cut to the I-Fee. Notable for this quote:

While Senate opinions of the changes have been either undecided or positive, ASUO Senator Kate Jones doesn’t approve of the timing. When Dotters-Katz announced the changes at last week’s ASUO Senate meeting, Jones stated, “I’d like to see (the over-realized changes) happen next year. We allocated a lot of money at the beginning of the year, and we did so under the impression that there would be a large sum of money in the over-realized fund at the end of the year.”

Ah, the ol’ bait and switch. I find the proposed changes doubly enjoyable because Sen. Jones and the rest of the spend-happy crew on the Senate are getting hosed.

I-Fee Could Be Significantly Lowered Spring Term

Monday, October 27th, 2008

UO students can look forward to a much lower Incidental Fee spring term, and every spring term to follow, if several proposed changes to the Clark Document are approved.

Thanks to a new modeling system, the University can now more accurately project spring term enrollment numbers. ASUO Executive Sam Dotters-Katz is proposing that, with the newly available information, the I-fee be lowered as much as possible every spring term to avoid excess money rolling into the over-realized fund. Current rough estimates place the adjusted spring term I-fee at $84.

The proposed changes will have to pass the desk of President Frohnmayer, who must authorize any change to the Clark Document.

“I’ve talked to President Frohnmayer and other administrators,” said Dotters-Katz, “and they are all very supportive of it.”

Furthermore, another change to the Clark Document is being pushed that will not allow over-realized monies to be spent during fall and winter term. This would, in essence, take a huge chunk out of the over-realized fund that accrues each year, as well as end the spending frenzy that accompanies it.

The ASUO Senate doled out $800,000 in over-realized funds at the end of last school year. There is $775,000 in this year’s O-R fund already. According to Dotters-Katz, future O-R funds would be as low as 25k-75k a year with the proposed changes.

It would also be the first time that the I-Fee has been significantly lowered, well, pretty much ever.

“I wrestled with what to do about this issue all summer,” said Dotters-Katz. “For me, the crux of the matter was to define the over-realized Fund for what it is: the unfair over-taxation of the student body.”

Couldn’t say it better myself. In terms of fiscal responsiblility, this would be a giant leap forward in the way the ASUO collects student money.

Why Vote For The Lesser Evil?

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I participated in “democracy” today by going down to the court house and writing in the greatest elder evil for president. I’m not sure taking a picture of my ballot was kosher, but I don’t particularly care. I also voted against extending mayoral term limits. And I voted in the Judicial races – for the LP candidates despite thinking the LP is a bunch of blue druid weirdos. At least they’re not Team Red and Team Blue, and more than one judicial race was Team Red vs LP. Truly, an electoral special Olympics.

cthulhu08.jpg

The Oregon Commentator Approves This Development

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Researchers at Rice University in Houston are working to develop a beer that has the same health benefits as wine:

Taylor Stevenson, a member of the six-student research team and a junior at Rice, said the team is using genetic engineering to create a beer that includes resveratrol, the disease-fighting chemical that’s been found in red wine.

Wisconsin researchers had noted that adding small doses of resveratrol to the diet of middle-aged mice significantly slows their aging and keeps their hearts healthy. And they added that giving high doses to invertebrates extends their life spans, and high doses also stave off premature death in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Stevenson said the modified yeast strain could one day be sold to breweries where beverage companies could make their own disease-fighting beer. He noted that the research and development phase of the effort could take five years.

Faster, please?

Mandatory Fees Lead to Potential Political Abuse? Gasp!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

This is a bit old but still pretty awesome. A professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison wrote an essay over at Minding the Campus about the nature of mandatory fees. He outlines some of the criticisms and problems with mandatory fees – violation of conscience, using the money for overt political action, potential for excess and corruption. He concludes:

As I stressed above, I know of no evidence that indicates such abuse of mandatory fees. Empirical inquiry is called for to ascertain what is actually going on in the trenches of student organization politics. And more formal supervision is needed to ensure that such abuse does not occur. Such supervision is needed because, as I remark above, political motivation is intense, and where large amounts of money exist to be spent, temptation is often just around the corner. Perhaps the best solution would be to to make fees supporting student expressive groups voluntary rather than mandatory. But few institutions have the gumption to consider this principled alternative that would remedy both the lingering compelled association problem and the problem of potential political abuse.

I have a post up at the CAMPUS Magazine Online blog about the essay. Read it.

Even the mormon press is endorsing Obama

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama for president has been big news, but isn’t that surprising. An endorsement of Obama from the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune, the paper’s first endorsement of a Democrat in its history (it had endorsed one independent, Horace Greeley, 1872, and a candidate from the Progressive Party, Theodore Roosevelt, 1912) is a bit more surprising, but makes sense.

The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause–the Republican Party … The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way.

An LA Times blog takes note of an endorsement from The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, which is upset Palin was chosen over Romney for VP. The LA Times made its first presidential endorsement since Nixon, for Obama. Up in my neck of the woods, the very conservative Columbian of Vancouver, Wash., endorsed Obama, resulting in a hilarious comment thread. The Record of Stockton, Cali., endorsed a Democrat for the first time since 1936. An Obama-endorsement by The News-Register of McMinnville, Ore. was its first of a non-Republican in its 80-year history.

Rich Lowry, Editor of The National Review, won’t say if his publication will make an endorsement, but former publisher Wick Allison endorsed Obama. So did Christopher Buckley, who argues his father would have done the same.

According to editorandpublisher.com, as of yesterday, Obama/Biden has about a 3-to-1 lead over McCain/Palin in endorsements from dailies, 121-42. In 1994, Kerry merely defeated Bush, 213-205, in the category.

CORRECTION: Kerry/Bush presidential race was 2004. Sorry for the error.

Looks like that damn liberal media is passing out that crazy Kool-Aid to conservative journalists nationwide. Kids, Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid!

We’re All the Rag(e) These Days!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Sometimes, the Commentator gets mail. Often, it’s pissy. Occasionally, it’s funny. Other times — like today — it’s just plain bizarre. Jump below the fold to see what I found in our mailbox when I came to the office this afternoon.

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The End of Capitalism?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Not so much:

The point here is simple: Trust no one who declares an end to a system as complex and successful as capitalism, or who sees the current crisis as the long-awaited fulfillment of Marx’s voodoo economics.

[…]

[C]apitalism, globalization, and the free market aren’t going anywhere. Yes, unemployment is still only 6 percent—it will most certainly rise—and the stock market isn’t quite in full collapse, but is suffering from periodic seizures. And indeed, we are most certainly heading towards a severe recession. But capitalism is durable, and has sustained itself in far worse situations. So ignore the disaster socialists: They are, after all, only taking advantage of the current crisis to try a little shock therapy of their own.

Etc., ad nauseam, and all that. The stick that poked the hornet’s nest is laying over here.

Oh, and unrepentant Marxist and grudgingly repentant Stalinist historian Eric Hobsbawm has criticized capitalism. I guess the verdict is in, then, huh?

Does the Bradley Effect Apply to Fish?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

With ACORN making sure Mickey Mouse isn’t denied his right to vote and dead goldfish getting voter registration cards, maybe it’s time to stop maintaining that requiring ID to vote isn’t a villainous racist tactic designed to suppress the minority vote by hearkening back to the days of Jim Crow?

Doubly so, in fact, since many of the voter ID laws in question are at this point several years old — more than enough time by any standard to go out and get some legitimate form of identification.

For their part, Obama supporters maintain that there’s nothing to worry about because vote fraud is extraordinarily rare and voter-registration fraud isn’t really a big deal anyways — an interesting about-face from the days when Diebold was stealing elections.*

* Diebold is, in fact, horrible.