Archive for June, 2009
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
The Statesman Journal has a sloppy french-kiss of a goodbye to Frohnmayer:
Dave Frohnmayer wanted to be Oregon’s governor back in 1990. That didn’t happen.
But he has no regrets, and neither should Oregonians. Frohnmayer has charted the state’s direction through the thousands of lives he has influenced. For the past 15 years he has been president of the University of Oregon.
He leaves that job today, entering a well-deserved retirement, although he still will teach a bit at the UO.
Frohnmayer is the first native Oregonian to serve as president of one of the state’s large research universities.
He is a man of considerable personal grace and courage, someone for whom leadership and public service have been a lifelong calling.
Oh, brother. But wait, it goes on: (more…)
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
From Portland Indymedia:
On Wednesday, June 10, Valdas Anelauskas, a self-described “white separatist” who is involved with Holocaust-denial circles, gave a presentation to a group of sympathizers in Portland, Oregon. The event was sponsored by the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance, and was initially scheduled to take place at the Laughing Horse Book & Video Collective.
Members of Rose City Antifascists (“Antifa”) —the Portland affiliate of the Anti-Racist Action Network—were among those who contacted Laughing Horse Books about the scheduled event. The Laughing Horse collective canceled the anti-Semitic event within 48 hours of being notified about its true nature. Subsequently the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance moved Anelauskas’ talk—on the topic of “The Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism”—to a secondary venue, which was also discovered by Antifa and then persuaded to cancel on the day of the event. Unfortunately, Anelauskas’ talk then went ahead at a third venue, a restaurant obviously booked at the last minute.
Valdas Anelauskas is a “racialist” (read: racist) activist currently based in Eugene, Oregon. This Lithuanian immigrant has assisted the World Anti-Communist League, an organization that supported Latin American death squads and has harbored former Nazi collaborators. Anelauskas is now active in the Pacifica Forum, a Eugene, Oregon organization which hosts Holocaust-denial speakers such as David Irving plus Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review. Anelauskas himself claims that the evidence for the Holocaust is “shaky”, that Jewish people are responsible for “Bolshevism”, and that the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion are credible.
Apparently Anelauskas is taking his show on the road! Well, if he thinks he’s going to get any traction in Portland, he and his little 9/11 conspiracy friends are in for a rude surprise. Portlanders don’t tolerate any hint of white-power nonsense, and I can guarantee every one of his “speaking engagements” will be disrupted by anti-fascists and/or SHARPs. (The Portland SHARP cleaned out a neo-nazi infestation in the 90′s using, shall we say, aggressive tactics.)
Friday, June 26th, 2009
As I promised, here is the comparison between Galen Rupp, the most decorated UO athlete in school history, and Steve Prefontaine. Rupp has accumulated a lot of accolades, but how does it look when you get down to nuts and bolts? (For simplicity’s sake, I’m only comparing their collegiate careers.)
Pre: Seven. Three in cross-country, four in the three-mile.
Rupp: Six. One cross-country, three indoor (3k, 5k and DMR) and two outdoor (5k and 10k).
Pre: Eight collegiate records and one American record in the 5k. Two still stand today (3-mile and 6-mile). Also holds record for fastest drunk tricycle bar lap at The Old Pad.
Rupp: Two collegiate records and American indoor record in the 5k.
Friday, June 26th, 2009
UO track and field phenom Galen Rupp just finished up his collegiate career in a big way, taking first in the 10,00o at the U.S. Track and Field Championships. It’s hard to really get a handle on his mountain of wins, records and assorted achievements, but here’s the highlights:
- 2008 Olympian and fastest non-African in the 10,000
- 2009 U.S. champion in the 10k
- Currently holds the American indoor record in the 5,000 and collegiate records in the outdoor 10k (fastest American-born) and indoor 3k
- Three-time consecutive U.S. national team member
- Only person in NCAA history to win the 3k, 5k and distance medley in a championship. If Rupp had entered the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships as a one-man team, he would have taken 10th.
- Overall, six NCAA distance titles in the 2008-2009 season – first in cross country; first in the indoor 3k, 5k and DMR; and first in the outdoor 5k and 10k.
- Ran anchor leg on the Ducks’ record-breaking 4xmile relay team.
- You might as well throw in a handful of Pac-10 championships, as well as nine time All-American and NCAA Division I Men’s Track Athlete of the year.
Rupp is the most decorated Duck in school history. Of course, this begs the question: Better than Pre? When I get the time and the gumption, I’ll stack them up against each other.
(The ODE also has a list of Rupp’s stats.)
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Michael Jackson has been reported dead today after complications due to a heart attack. The pop icon was best known for his #1 Album Thriller and his world wide success. The sudden death is a shock as Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 sold out shows in London beginning this July . Jackson survived by his three kids. Prince Michael I, Paris, and Prince Michael II (AKA Blanket).
Comments closed because of moron invasion. -ed.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
With the Iranian situation quickly out of hand on all sides I thought that I’d share this video from CNN.
[I couldn't get the embed feature to work for some reason. It wouldn't load properly. Click the link instead.]
Note how extremely uncomfortable the interviewer gets when the woman demands that “you people” [Americans] do something about the Iranian government.
Any other revelations you want to take away from it, like her screaming “This is Hitler” or people getting axed at universities. Quite ridiculous.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
Well, tonight saw President Obama’s “health care forum”. The ABC network has come under a great deal of criticism for its perceived kowtowing to the Obama Administration and refusing to sell ad time to the dissenting Republicans (can you imagine the outrage had the players instead been Fox News and President Bush, circa 2004?). The Republicans are calling the whole thing an “infomercial“. Media Matters is calling Fox News a bunch of hyporites (I guess whether “turnabout is fair play” or “he who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster” is a more appropriate slogan for the left’s sudden enthusiasm for uncomfortably close ties between the government and the media depends on which side of the aisle one hails from…). Meanwhile, reports indicate that ABC employees donated to the Obama campaign by a factor of roughly 80:1 ($124,421 to Obama, $1,550 to McCain) and Michelle Malkin is howling about “astroturfing“. Other statistics (“damned lies…” and all that…) indicate that 89% of Americans are more or less satisfied with their health care, raising the question of why exactly it’s so urgent to push through health care reform right now — as others have mentioned, maybe fixing Medicare first would provide an encouraging example of Obama’s brilliant ideas on health care — or is Walter Reed a harbinger of state-run health care (actually Walter Reed is state-run health care…)?
But never mind all that. The masthead says “a conservative journal of opinion” and, since we’re not getting any of that sweet, sweet, free stimulus money (and since we find the idea of the government bailing out newspapers utterly repugnant– sorry journalism majors), I thought I’d call attention to Cato’s crucial coverage of what’s poised to be a total health-care debacle — one of positively federal proportions. In any case, you can find an informative live-blogged response to the President’s err… “highly adversarial” appearance on ABC here.
And in case you don’t give two squirts of piss about the de facto socialization of health care in this country, I invite you to instead discuss this article, which seeks to establish whether or not the “FreeCreditReport.com band” is “legit” or not. But I’ll never respect you again.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009
We don’t talk a lot about sports on the Commentator blog or in the magazine. This isn’t a problem, maybe in the print version but that’s a debate for another day. Occasionally we showcase the stupidity of University of Oregon athletes, like the three basketball players who shot ducks with pellet guns at Alton Baker park.
Considering my strange love for American football, and my current internship at a sports journalism site, I thought I would share a few thoughts about the NCAA that have become increasingly apparent to me. You may have come to this conclusion long ago yourself but I didn’t start following collegiate sports and its myriad of issues until I became a freshmen. Even then it took a few months.
My conclusion: The NCAA is the United Nations of the collegiate sports world.
I don’t mean this in a good way. I’m talking about the U.N. that has no power (which it doesn’t) and mostly allows for easier (or if you care to argue the other way) diplomatic ties for various countries. The power that the media, fans, and schools ascribe to the NCAA is on the whole ridiculous.
Thursday, June 18th, 2009
We’ve been getting pretty deep on here in the last few posts. I missed some of the more ridiculous things that happen in the world that we usually post about. Admittedly there have been some hilariously insane commentators in the posts but it’s nothing like, oh, I don’t know:
PETA getting mad at Obama for swatting a fly.
If you ever start thinking that maybe the world is boiling down to just politics and that we’re splitting down party lines everywhere never forget PETA, they’re always around to make sure that you remember terrible PR campaigns and general craziness.
Like this commercial that was, for obvious reasons, banned:
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
“Obama refuses to ‘meddle’ in Iran“. I guess letting the world know that the President of the United States stands behind people who’re being beaten and shot by “security forces” for demonstrating against corrupt elections might run the risk of “offending” Iran.
The President is in full-on “grovel” mode, it seems. Martin Peretz has some related thoughts regarding the “Cairo Speech”.
Monday, June 15th, 2009
I picked up my copy of the Hate Issue over the weekend when I was able to get on campus.
I didn’t read the copy before it went out—not that I’m complaining, I enjoy fresh material. Mortis the Pestilent’s hate column on student protests caught my eye. The column grabbed my attention because I’d just reread this article prior to the “I Hate Student Protests” one.
Yes, we’ve known about this issue since January, the article is from then as well, but seeing friends graduate and parents wander around the campus like Japanese tourists (some of whom probably were Japanese tourists) reminded me of what I’ll be facing next spring when I graduate.
And then it got me angry. Not at the University, because well, fuck them as is.
Every single day when you walk by the EMU amphitheater some dim-witted OSPIRG brainwash with a clipboard tries to assault students with the “environmental cause” or the “I hate Bush cause” or my personal favorite “the student cause.”
These priviledged, ignorant “students” will protest the most hopeless causes to death. Darfur, the Russel Athletic Contract, white privilege, racism, whatever.
But when it comes to something that’s close to home, like the University out-right picking the Athletic Department over students, no one said a word except one lonely article in the ODE and a few angry comments under CJ’s post about it.
Beyond being lost in their own rhetoric maybe, just maybe even the goons in the Insurgent could have mustered up some kind of crazy, hippy rage over this. No one has bothered to protest this. Two professors came out against it in the media, Nathan Tublitz and Bill Harbaraugh. The School of Music supported the decision, to be honest, fuck the school of music.
Is it just me or is this not something to get indignant about? It’s one thing to protest Darfur. Most of the kids protesting that will never go to Darfur, will never meet a real African and in all likelihood all they did was buy a t-shirt that sent 10 dollars to the Red Cross and not Darfur. Sure they might not wear Russell Athletics clothes but who cares, they all wear Nike anyway.
This seems, to me, like something for the general student to protest. It might be something that I would take a flyer for. It’s an event that really proves how much the University caters to Athletics over Academics. Myself, I normally don’t care because it’s not really affecting the educational quality of the Univeristy, non-diverse (in all aspects politically, ethnically, whatever) faculty and bureaucratic bullshit affect the quality of education here.
However, this feels like a slap in the face.
Now, the important question, will I protest?
Mostly this is just indignant anger. Mostly the lack of response of by 98% of the UO community has created in my apathy towards protesting for the betterment of those people. If I were to protest it would be for me. To be honest, it’s a little selfish to protest for yourself, make it a little bigger in my head and I might. For now, no.
Sunday, June 14th, 2009
Rather than trying to append this to the smoking, charred remains of the last post that dealt with intellectual diversity, I thought I’d give this piece from Kenneth Anderson at The Volokh Conspiracy its own space.
Much has been made in the comments section of this blog about what the problem actually looks like and what can be done about it, and I think that Anderson does a reasonably good job of crystallizing a few of the major concerns regarding the lack of intellectual diversity in the academy.
He makes clear the results of a lack of intellectual diversity in the academy, and it’s not just that students run the risk of ending up in a classroom with biased instructors. Rather, courses that approach subject matter from a conservative or libertarian perspective simply are not taught. This is due in large part to the fact that many existing faculty are either uninterested or unable to teach such courses, with the outcome that classes in conservative political thought or historical interpretation, etc. have more or less disappeared from curricula. For support he cites Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, who writes:
To be sure, a political science department may feature a course on American political thought that includes a few papers from “The Federalist” and some chapters from Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America.”
But most students will hear next to nothing about the conservative tradition in American politics that stretches from John Adams to Theodore Roosevelt to William F. Buckley Jr. to Milton Friedman to Ronald Reagan. This tradition emphasizes moral and intellectual excellence, worries that democratic practices and egalitarian norms will threaten individual liberty, attends to the claims of religion and the role it can play in educating citizens for liberty, and provides both a vigorous defense of free-market capitalism and a powerful critique of capitalism’s relentless overturning of established ways. It also recognized early that communism represented an implacable enemy of freedom.
While ignoring conservatism, the political theory subfield regularly offers specialized courses in liberal theory and democratic theory; African-American political thought and feminist political theory; the social theory of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and the neo-Marxist Frankfurt school; and numerous versions of postmodern political theory.
Berkowitz argues that, far from actively seeking “conservative” scholars during faculty searches, departments should instead look for professors who, regardless of their political background, would be able to convincingly teach a courses about conservative interpretations of history, ideas, politics, etc. to complement the stable of scholars in virtually every humanities or social science department who are fluent in leftish ideas.
This approach would likely have the effect of attracting a more “diverse” group of applicants and nullifies the basis of the argument that only “liberal people apply to liberal schools” (or the even more absurd notion that conservatives are simply too thick to be academics) while at the same time avoiding any sort of political “litmus test” during the hiring process.
While approvingly quoting Berkowitz’s admonition against “affirmative action for conservatives,” Anderson also notes the stultifying results of the left-liberal coccoon in academia:
… within an academic institution, I find myself treated as “conservative” – either to recoil from in faint horror, with a certain advice to students, well, if you take him, you have to know what you’re getting, or with a certain faint institutional pride that we’re broad-minded enough to have someone like him, which is to say, there is nothing an academic institution cannot praise itself for if it tries hard enough. I’ve had conversations – earnest, well-intentioned – that amounted to saying, “We’re so glad you’re our token conservative.”
If a quality education that exposes students to a wide variety of ideas and perspectives is indeed the mission of this institution (and sometimes one wonders…), then it simply isn’t enough to retort “well, go take an economics class” whenever someone complains that conservative ideas are given short shrift in the academy. Students actually need to be able to expose themselves to a truly diverse set of ideas that are taught by people who’re interested in and qualified to teach them, regardless of their political background (I mean, can you imagine what a class at the UO campus on the ideas of Ronald Reagan or William F. Buckley might look like?).
As it stands, students are often presented with the illusion of choice and given the option of taking courses in any number of subjects, a large number of which approach the course material, whatever it may be, with much the same theoretical framework.
That’s not diversity, and telling conservative academics to get out of town and move to Texas doesn’t change that.
Thursday, June 11th, 2009
For those who don’t know, I’m travelling to Prague for a couple of weeks as part of the Collegiate Network’s Geo-Strategic Journalism Course*. If you’re some sort of creeper and want to see what I’m up to, you can check out the CN Prague Blog, where I, along with the other members, will be posting.
* The Collegiate Network is a cool group that gives support to independent college publications and journalists through grants and trips like the one I’m on.