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Archive for April, 2009

Possible Swine Flu Closes WOU

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Just in from the Oregonian:

Western Oregon University announced late tonight that it would close through Monday after a student turned up with a probable case of swine flu at the Monmouth campus.

This is kind of a non-sequitur, but I’d really like to hear John Madden announcing the swine flu news. “Swine flu’s explosive offense has really taken countries by surprise this year. Watch as it [scribbles drunkenly on screen] finds the vector and … boom! With speed and unpredictability like that, swine flu could go all the way to a level six pandemic.”

They’re Back!

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The Whigs, that is:

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY — The Modern Whig philosophy is to empower the states with the resources to handle their unique affairs.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE — Reduce dependence on foreign oil by developing practical sources of alternative energy. This will have the simultaneous effect of changing the national security dynamic.

EDUCATION/SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT — Increased public and private emphasis on fields such as space, oceanic, medical and nanotechnology. Also, providing common-sense solutions to enhance our educational system from pre-school to university-level studies.

STATES RIGHTS — Each state can generally determine its course of action based on local values and unique needs.

SOCIAL PROGRESSION — Government should refrain from legislating morality.

VETERANS AFFAIRS — Vigilant advocacy relating to the medical, financial, and overall well-being of our military families and veterans.

A sensible, socially liberal, fiscally conservative platform with no crazy Constitution Party-esque God-bothering. Why couldn’t the Republicans have run someone like that the last few times around?

Schweinehund!

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I usually like Matt Petryni’s columns. I don’t always agree with the guy, but he usually seems genuinely thoughtful and I’d put him at the top of the list of this year’s otherwise… lackluster opinion roster over at the Emerald. That said, today’s piece, which attempted to link industrial farming with swine flu (or pandemics in general), was all sound and fury (well, sound at least, and only if you were to read it aloud), signifying… nothing in particular.

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Campus Atheist Club?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

 

Wonder what Dave thinks about this?

Wonder what Dave thinks about this?

I saw these guys again as I was cruising around campus. I don’t quite get the point. Part of the reason religion doesn’t appeal to me is because of proselytizing. On a related note, the OC is planning to start a campus Nihilism Club. We’ll never meet, and we won’t do anything.

 

This is just annoying.

This is just annoying.

Strange goings on around campus…

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Well it seems that campus had that special visitor, I think his name was Rob? Lets call him LTD Shouter. He rides down 13th now and then yelling some random thing about LTD. Well good ol’ polecat CJ happened to get a word in with him. Turns out that he hates LTD because they kicked him off the bus and then banned him for life. He claimed it was because of a disability, but I have a hunch it’s because he’s nuttier then a peanut factory.


The LTD Shouter
CJ conducts a thrilling on-street interview

Start the Fear Mongering

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Swine Flu is all the rage this week, and we just learned that it does not mean we like to pork fatties.

So far it has killed 152 people, with the only deaths being in Mexico. In the United States there have been reported cases in California, Ohio, Kansas, and New York.  The virus that normally infects pigs has began to infect humans causing The World Health Organization to raise it’s pandemic warning level from 3 to 4 meaning that we are one step away from declaring a global pandemic.

With the Virus being tested for in Santa Clara County, Oregon is starting to worry. But have no fear, the Oregon Government is on it, Lane County has been apparently prepared for years, and even our very own Health Department has started preparing for the flu.

But don’t forget it’s going to kill us all.

The Athiarchists and OSPIRG: A Few of My Least Favorite Things

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Look what popped into the Commentator inbox today:

Were coming back this saturday!! Another concert in support of OSPIRG…11AM…same place as before…This is us calling out all the big talking students behind their computer screens, including ring leader CJ Ciaramella(that started the whole online blog battle by saying we were “Eugene’s crappiest metal band), all the people that said our fans were fat single mothers, anyone that was involved in the whole battle we went through last time we did this, anyone that made comments on my orange shorts, and my white pasty skin complexion?, that said we were eugene’s crappiest metal band and then back-peddled and said we were still better than 95% of the bands in Eugene, all the people that threatened us behind their computer screens, its on, lets battle global warming!!!

Just keep in mind, we never threatened anyone, we are just a happy heavy metal band, that has a severe dislike for uneducated public opinions, why don’t you come out and see for yourself?

The Athiarchists
athiarchist@gmail.com

Oh noes, we’ve been “called out!” Not only that, but we’ve been called out so much that “it’s on.” I’m not sure what this means, though. Pistol duel at ten paces? Scowly face contest? Furthermore, I’m not sure how calling The Athiarchists crappy is “threatening,” and I’m pretty sure I was in front of my computer screen. Oh, but I digress. My reply letter to The Athiarchists is after the jump. (more…)

Same as It Ever Was

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

In a typically quotidian column, “Eagle Eye” Alex Conley has decided to tackle the question of President Obama’s “First 100 Days”. Unfortunately for Obama boosters, unambiguous successes have been few and far between since January 20th. After demolishing some conservative straw men, Conley has to admit as much.

What’s interesting about his article, however, isn’t the paint-by-numbers conservative bashing or his shopworn cheerleading, it’s Conley’s apparent difficulty in admitting that, thus far, Obama’s tenure has not departed radically from many of the policies supported by his predecessor.

Thus, we’re informed that Obama has gotten “a strong start in the right direction” and that “[m]ost of Obama’s policies in general have been a reversal of previous policy.”

Evidently Mr. Conley is unfamiliar with the President’s positions on TARP and other bailouts, “Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell”, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, gay marriage, marijuana legalization, Iran’s nuclear program, the Armenian Genocide, or torture. Even President Obama’s much-vaunted turnaround on Cuba has not amounted to much as of yet.

It seems that old “Eagle Eye” is more impressed by Obama’s towering poll figures on tough questions like “Does he understand the troubles of average Americans?” than the President’s actual policy positions, many of which are barely distinguishable from Bush’s.

On Cognitive Dissonance

Monday, April 27th, 2009

From your local college Republicans:

The whole “Obama = communism” thing is a little stale (George Bush not exactly being the paragon of fiscal restraint and all), but it is funny to see vapid college kids get sent through the ringer.

P.S. Be on the lookout for ASUO Vice President Johnny Delashaw (he of the dirty mustache), who has probably the most awesome spot in the video.

Tellin’ ‘Em What For

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Just thought I’d call attention to the fact that Commentator Publisher Guy Simmons has a letter-to-the-editor in today’s Emerald, laying to rest any notion that Truman Capps’ lamentable pro-gun control article was written or edited by anyone with even the slightest clue of what they were talking about.

Extra points for using the phrase “statist pukes.”

Let The Wookie Win

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Of course, according to Homeland Security, Chewbacca is not only a smuggler but also a potential terrorist.

Mo’ ODE Opinion Columnists, Mo’ Problems

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

You didn’t think we were going to let yesterday’s opinion piece in the ODE about concealed carry on campus slip by, did you? In case you missed it, columnist Truman Capps wrote about how icky guns are and how they shouldn’t be allowed on college campuses. Of course, he made sure to get his liberal credentials out in the open:

I live in Portland and listen to NPR, and my family owns a Prius and a Subaru (with a Volvo in our recent past) – perhaps it’s not surprising that I disagree with the notion that a campus full of armed students and staff is safer than an unarmed one. While I agree that people, not guns, kill people, I am also a firm believer in the familiar adage “Mo’ firearms, mo’ problems,” especially on a college campus.

It’s not so much that I completely disagree with Capps (although I do); it’s that his article is factually wrong on several counts. For example, at the beginning of his second paragraph Capps writes:

Currently, concealed weapon permit holders can take their guns with them everywhere except for government buildings, bars and college campuses.

There is no Oregon statute against concealed carry in bars or college campuses. According to ORS 166.370, possession of a firearm in a public building is a Class C felony, but one of the exceptions is “[a] person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun.” In fact, the only public buildings you are not allowed to carry a firearm into are courtrooms, airports and federal buildings.

The university system code against concealed carry is in clear contradiction of state law. I don’t even know where Capps got the idea that concealed carry is illegal in bars. Perhaps before he writes an article disseminated to the whole campus, he should do some basic research first. Or perhaps his editors should fact-check his stories for, y’know, blatant errors. Perhaps a retraction is in order.

I wrote an article last year about concealed carry on campus, which prompted this response from the ODE. Searching through the blog archives for “concealed carry” and “gun control” is also fun.

P.S. In his penultimate paragraph, Capps writes, “[I]f campus safety is such a concern, let Department of Public Safety have guns.” Can we nominate this for oxymoronic phrase of the year or something?

FIRE Speaker to Lecture on Campus Tomorrow

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Tomorrow Luke Sheahan from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) will give a lecture in Columbia 150 at 7 p.m.

FIRE is a great organization that protects students’ rights on college campuses. It’s often pigeon-holed as a conservative organization, but it’s actually quite non-partisan. (It just so happens that most violations of students’ rights these days are against conservatives for being “biased” or “intolerant.”) If you’re interested in First Amendment issues and controversies, specifically in higher education, come check it out.

FIRE has also supported the Commentator in our time of need. The event is sponsored by the Oregon Commentator and KWVA.

I ain’t passed the bar, but I know a little bit

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Someone in our comment section brought it to our attention that the cease and desist letter sent by the Oregon Action Team to anonymous person(s) it accused of libel was actually a sample letter cribbed off the Internet. For use against the Opus Dei, no less. Here’s the first paragraph of the sample cease and desist letter:

Dear Sir or Madam:

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER is to inform you that your and the Opus Dei cult’s harassing and intimidating actions against my fellow Catholics and I has become unbearable. Such anti-social behavior is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. This letter is to demand that your and the Opus Dei cult’s continuing involvement in, planning and encouragement of, high-pressure recruitment, information gathering, harassment and intimidation must CEASE AND DESIST immediately. Should you and the Opus Dei cult continue to pursue these activities in violation of this CEASE AND DESIST ORDER, we will not hesitate to pursue further legal action against you and the Opus Dei cult, including, but not limited to, civil action and/or criminal complaints.

Now go back and check out the OAT’s letter. You can’t make this stuff up.

Columbine Massacre Myths Revealed

Monday, April 20th, 2009

As many of you probably remember ten years ago today, a couple of wackos shot up a high school in Colorado. The media had a field day blaming guns, violent video games, scary sounding music (Marilyn Manson in particular), bullying and trench coats. Well, not so unsurprisingly, it turns out a lot of what was initially reported wasn’t true. Slate wrote an article about it a few years ago, in which you can read all about the myths here and the rest of the story right here. Also, there is a new book out that apparently has all the gory details (from the FBI reports and such). 

I think it is great that the misinformation and lies surrounding the columbine massacre are being steadily put to rest. Maybe it’ll help put the kibosh on the many asinine rules and policies that high school administrators use the massacre to justify. Plus, as someone who strongly believed that everyone you picked on and tortured during high school became your slave when you reached Valhalla it is slightly vindicating.