Archive for May, 2012
Hateful days are here again.
The Hate Issue is available now. Read it. Or don’t. Asshole.
UO economics professor William T. Harbaugh, the immortal being behind the beloved, anonymous, whistleblower blog UO MATTERS, was awarded the First Freedom Award by the Society of Professional Journalists of Oregon and Southwest Washington this past Saturday.
The Ol’ Dirty covered this on Monday, but its Commentator policy to be a day late, a dollar short, okay?
The SPJ’s First Freedom award is given annually to an individual who has upheld the principles of the First Amendment. Harbaugh has long been a beacon of the First Amendment, most notably when he illegally published the Oregon Public Records Manual on his official uoregon website. The upheaval this precipitated compelled the attorney general’s office to make the manual available on the internet for the first time ever.
Harbaugh’s recognition is long overdue and largely understated. Y’all should know that the UO Matters blog is updated several times a day, and his posts are usually these quick, fuck-you-exposés about UO athletics and administration that require a kind of efficiency and genuine concern that we will never (maybe a few years ago we came close) have. Knowing he’s out teaching economics and doing this in his spare time both worries and impresses us. UO Matters is invaluable to the entire, “engaged” university community, but is especially invaluable to drunk, disoriented student journalists like ourselves. We’re the ones constantly referring to UO Matters for direction and content, so finding the Commentator website listed under UO Matters’ “Resources” is an honor and probably some sort of mistake.
Bill, you are the resource. As renowned sultans of hate speech, there aren’t too many people we love to love. And let’s just say that you might be one of those people.
So here’s to you, Harbaugh. And for the record, UO Matters will forever be bookmarked on my Firefox browser.
Last Tuesday, or perhaps it was Wednesday, I was riding my bicycle home down Alder St. While passing The Lorax, I noticed a man strapped to a light post, climbing up. He was perhaps 25 feet high. He seemed intent on his task, sliding the straps and pulling himself up.
I rode past, not thinking much about it. Then, Thursday afternoon, I saw a press release with his picture in front of the capitol building. He is part way up a flagpole with a banner hanging under him that reads, “Schools or trees? We want both.” According to OregonLive.com, Perry Graham, who climbed the flagpole in Salem, is a member of the Cascadia Forest Defenders. On their website, the group expresses their desire for Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Land Board to “decouple public school funding from state forest management.”
The land board approved a plan for the Elliott State Forest last October which notably increases logging and clear-cutting with the revenue contributing to the Common School Fund.
By chance, I met Perry at a friend’s house about two hours ago. He, our mutual friend, and other friends were hanging out, discussing our midterm woes and other things when he brought up a photograph one of his fellow protesters took using his phone.
Myself: “That was you? I saw you practicing the other day!”
Graham: “On Alder?”
Myself: “Yeah! How high were you in the picture?”
Graham: “Probably about 60-70 feet.”
Myself: “How was that?”
Graham: “It was really surreal. I strapped myself to the pole and I was like, ‘Oh fuck, I’m on the pole. Oh fuck, I’m climbing up. Oh fuck, there’s a cop right there.’ ”
Myself: “What were their reactions?”
Graham: “I didn’t talk to them. I had a liaison communicating information.”
Myself: “Oh, I see. Was that because you were so high up that they couldn’t, like hear you without yelling? Or because you didn’t want to talk to the cops?”
Graham: “I mean, kind of both”
Myself: “Right. So, how long did you train for this?”
Graham: “I practiced for about 5 weeks before and pretty intensely the last week.”
Perry Thompson Graham, 23, climbed about 80-feet up the pole at 7:45 a.m. He stayed aloft for about 90 minutes before he came down voluntarily.[…] After his arrest, Graham was taken to the Marion County Jail. He will be charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and criminal mischief, according to a police press release.ell, Wednesday morning, climbs flag pole in front of the capital building in Salem.
The flag was still hanging when Graham descended the flag pole. Apparently, rented equipment was needed to remove Graham’s protest banner from the flagpole.
If you haven’t yet, skim it now. More nods and firm handshakes for Sam Stites and the ODE for its front page exposé: the cost of the Ducks Football, Inc Rose Bowl trip last January.
Well the magic number is $1,599,307 and the magic word is muthafuckinexcessive.
$220,107 was spent on transporting the 212-piece armada of players and staff for nine days. That’s $1038 per immortal football being.
Oh wait. Food and lodging for the fleet was $404,356. That’s an additional $1907 per person.
So in all we’ve got $2945 per footballer.
But more curiously is how much the Athletic Department spent on transporting an “official party” to accompany the armada: $123,851 for the transportation of 56 people. Now that’s $2211 per “official party member.”
Food and lodging was $95,483 for the civilian gaggle, an additional $1705 per person.
2211+1705=$3916 per official accompanying partygoer.
The ODE tells us that “the official party consists of athletic department officials, representatives of the University’s third-party rights holder IMG, and 6 students whose names were redacted from the list.”
It included UO Provost Lorraine Davis and “family” along with OC darlings Ben Eckstein and Katie Taylor.
Ah, it’s all so clear now. Thank you, Sam Stites. Thank you, dearest ODE.
The numbers y’all found gives much elucidation on as to why the Athletic Department can gross $88 billion but can only afford to..
1. Pay only 3% overhead back to the UO when other departments like University Housing pays %7
2. Run the athlete-only Jacqua Center on intended-for-students general state funding until this lucky break
3. Not set up an academic scholarship that was agreed to be started in 2006
4. Try and weasel the ASUO into giving them a budget raise, then subsequently deny any chance of more student tickets at Autzen
Because now I know that the Athletic Department has more important things on their tab. Like paying for lavish, all-inclusive $3916 So-Cal getaways for our greedy, beloved Athletic Dept bureaucrats, some “third party rights-holders,” and students like Katie muthafuckin’ Taylor.
Read the tab itself here.
Adam Nathanial Yauch, a great hero and matchless artist of the innovative group The Beastie Boys– the three original proponents of fighting for our right to party– has passed away. He sadly lost his long battle with cancer this morning.
Having announced his battle with a cancerous parotid gland and lymph node in July of 2009, MCA, along with fellow Beasties Ad-Roc and Mike D, postponed their new album and tour. Just last month, The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame– only the third hip-hop group to accomplish this.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Yauch taught himself how to play bass guitar and formed a hardcore punk band with his friends Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz. Their transition to hip-hop led them to break unknown ground in the world of music and bestowed upon them unmatched sound and fame, along with multiple Grammys.
Play ’em loud all day in remembrance. Rest in peace, MCA.
I have to hand it to ’em. This year, the Ol’ Dirty Emerald has truly lived up to the name we’ve given them. They’ve been getting dirty. And I mean real filthy. There was this, and now there’s this—heavy ODE assailment on the Oregon Students Association’s (OSA) involvement in the ASUO.
Well this time around they’ve got a gaggle of former ASUO members who have come out of the woodwork to accuse the OSA of giving hush-hush endorsements to ASUO executive candidates. These prize candidates, coincidentally, usually end up winning the elections. Apparently this has been going on for years.
In a fucking stretch of a comparison, the former ASUO gaggle has romantically dubbed this process “Fight Club.” Look, if we’re going to compare this shady bullshit to a David Fincher film, it had better be to Se7en. Why? Because the thought of all of this makes me want to chop off Gwenyth Paltrow’s head and wrap it in a package.
According to Sam Dotters-Katz, the OSA, or an outside organization, picks out “a student leader as their preferred ASUO presidential candidate well before elections, and aids that individual with campaign trainings, resources and potentially other forms of assistance.”
Yeah yeah alright. My favorite testimony though, comes from former ASUO Senator/Fight Club Member Sara Hamilton:
“When I was an intern and was selected to run on a slate that outside organizations supported, I was asked to meet in the basement of a bank on a Saturday morning,” Hamilton said. “I have no idea what organizations they were affiliated with. They told us that outside volunteers would be brought to campus during the weeks of the campaign to help us out.”
Okay that’s kinda Fight Club. But I wish she elaborated on how she made her way into the basement of a bank. I also wish she had elaborated on how banks have basements and how they’re available for student advocacy organizations to hold secret meetings in.
Anyway, in the ODE there was another nice anecdote from another member of the former ASUO gaggle about an overheard conversation in an elevator. She said she heard a United States Student Association (USSA, parent of OSA) coordinator from an Arizona campus apologize to an ASUO presidential candidate for the organization not choosing her. That sorry ASUO presidential candidate in the elevator lost the election that year.
Ultimately, the OSA is accused of this ASUO election/ASUO executive meddling to ensure they are funded the upcoming year.
After that though, the ODE article’s thesis dilutes itself like usual. There are contrary statements from other OSA-loyal gaggle members that try to assure that the OSA remains strictly non-partisan during elections.
So I’m taking this Logic & Inquiry class. And before we get into any conclusions, I want to practice my reasoning by laying out the factual OSA premises for you.
1. The Oregon Student Association (OSA) is an outside organization, a statewide advocacy and organizing non-profit that:
2. An OSA representative teaches the ASUO internship class
3. The OSA is funded by the I-Fee.
These, in addition to the former ASUO/Fight Club gaggle testimonies, clearly suggest corrupt OSA influence and involvement in the ASUO. But emphasis should be added to “suggest.”
Are the effects of the OSA’s influence and involvement actually measurable, accountable?
Is anything going to come of this?
Why is this important then?
Well, the ODE has been hard at work with a compelling series of articles about an almost certainly inappropriate relationship between the ASUO and the OSA. It’s important because this is really promising student journalism. Great job, Emily.
Really? That’s it?
Yes. Welcome to the ASUO. The slimy, unaccountable, unchanging thicket of politically driven students (and non-students! <3 OSA, OSPIRG, etc.) that use student I-Fee money to pay the salaries and pursue the far-flung interests of lobbyists not affiliated with the UO. All we can do is talk shit on the OC blog. So start talkin’