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So much for student autonomy.

November 17th, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

The ASUO Senate is a public body that deals with $12 million in student money. Their emails are — surprise, surprise — public record.

So I put in a public records request for all emails from May 25, 2010 until now:

November 16, 2010

Mr. Fielding
Ombudsperson
ASUO Senate
EMU Suite 4
1228 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

Dear Mr. Fielding,

Pursuant to the Oregon open records law, ORS 192.410 to 192.505, I write to request a digital copy of all email correspondence sent to senate@uoregon.edu or asuosenate@lists.uoregon.edu from May 25, 2010, to present. If you do not maintain these public records, please let me know who does and include the proper custodian’s name and address.

I agree to pay any reasonable copying and postage fees of not more than $5. If the cost would be greater than this amount, please notify me. Please provide a receipt indicating the charges for each document.

If you choose to deny my request, please provide a written explanation for the denial including a reference to the specific statutory exemption(s) upon which you rely. If some of these records are disclosable and others are exempt, please provide the disclosable records and let me know the exemption(s) preventing disclosure of the rest.

Please understand that we seek these records for the purposes of public interest, and we hope that the spirit of openness in Oregon government will prevail.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Alyssa Diamond
Managing Editor
Oregon Commentator
EMU Room 319
1228 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

From Mr. Ian Fielding, I received this response:

Jubilant Jalousean Jannocking Journalists,

Ex-senator Diamond, you recently contacted me via a lovely letter to have access to all Senate emails from May 25th 2010 onwards. I ensure you that are [sic] senate conversations are absolutely enthralling. As a former senator, and current prestigious journalist, I can understand your lust for this information.

Franklin, you seemed to echo the aforementioned similar sentiments of Ex-Senator Diamond. After all, who would want to miss out on experiencing the exhilarating rush of deciphering senate emails!

I want to make sure both of your requests are fulfilled so you can join me, and my fellow senate members, in analyzing fun issues!

In order to receive this information we will need you both to fill out an official public record request for this information. I have taken the liberty of providing you a link to the appropriate webpage to do so:

http://www.oregon.gov/DOC/public_record_requests.shtml

We also will need you to cover the costs that it will take to provide you with this substantial amount of information. If the cost is inaccessible I will look to find ways to make it more accessible.

If you have any further questions or need additional aid in this process feel free to contact me!

Much love,

Ian Fielding
Senate Ombudsperson AKA The Sergeant in Arms

Hey journalism students — what’s wrong with this picture?

I spoke to Franklin today (ASUO reporter for the Ol’ Dirty) and apparently he went to Ian to whine about the fact that I got access to information he didn’t have, and thus I was able to scoop him. LOL to that.

My response to Ian:

Ian,

Uhh . . . that is a link to the department of corrections website. You sure that’s where you wanted to send me? The letter I sent you WAS an official public records request. With reference to the statutes and all.

Please let me know exactly what else you need from me. I am willing to cover costs up to $5 without any other correspondence, but if it is going to be more than that, you have to tell me why, and provide a reciept. Also, please keep in mind that I requested a digital copy, not printed copies.

Thank you,

Alyssa Diamond

Ran into ASUO Senate President Zachary Stark-MacMillan in the EMU a little while ago, and he said something about how the ASUO is an entity of the UO, so they’re going to have to run the request to UO’s general counsel.

So much for student autonomy, I guess. (Alternate statement here – wah wah wah wah wah.)

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

2 Brief Things to Mention About Alcoholic Beverages

October 27th, 2010 by C.W. Keating

(1)

Ingredients for my self-concocted “Russian Roulette”:

4 Shots of Vodka (Smirnoff is sufficient)

1 jar of Pickle Juice

2 Tablespoons of Anti-Freeze

See who blackouts/dies first!

(2)

Appropriate Names for Alcoholic Weekdays:

Thirsty Thursday

Fucked-up Friday

Smashed Saturday

Soused Sunday

Mixed-Drink Monday

Trashed Tuesday

Wasted Wednesday

Obviously.

Christine O’Donnell Campaign Slogans

September 30th, 2010 by Rockne Andrew Roll

As Politico and The Huffington Post can attest, Delaware Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell is nutters. Since a good campaign slogan is catchy and lets a voter make sense of the candidate’s views, I propose these new slogans for the O’Donnell campaign, as well as the quotes their based off of:

“It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can’t masturbate without lust.”/ “I’m a young woman in my thirties and I remain chaste.”

Christine O’Donnell for US Senate: If you get aroused, the terrorists win.

“I dabbled into witchcraft. I never joined a coven.” / “One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar.”

Christine O’Donnell for US Senate: I will turn Chris Coons into a fucking toad!

“You know, these are the kind of cheap, underhanded, un-manly tactics that we’ve come to expect from Obama’s favorite Republican, Mike Castle… Mike, this is not a bake-off, get your man-pants on.”

Christine O’Donnell for US Senate: Mike Castle is a pansy.

God may choose to heal someone from cancer, yet that person still has a great deal of medical bills.

Christine O’Donnell for US Senate: Obamacare is a sin.

“During the primary, I heard the audible voice of God. He said, ‘Credibility.'”

Christine O’Donnell for US Senate: God tells me what I don’t have.

“American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

Christine O’Donnell for US Senate: I am bat-shit crazy.

UO Matters suddenly, inexplicably optimistic.

August 11th, 2010 by Alex Tomchak Scott

This was just posted on UO Matters under the headline “Every now and then”:

8/11/2010: there is a sign that UO is moving towards being a real institution for the public good, with decisions made in the open, on the basis of joint goals and a shared mission. We are still a long way off, but I think the direction is good.

Of what is this a propos? I certainly don’t have the answers. If you do, let us know.

Happy President’s Day

February 15th, 2010 by Drew Cattermole

We at the University of Oregon unfortunately do not have the day off, but if you would like to spend the day wasting time here are some presidential links to wet your whistle.

CNN’s Look into forgettable Presidents.

The top 43 sexiest Presidents according to Nerve.com.

CSM’s Look into the facts of President’s Day.

Teddy being a badass

Feel free to comment on your favorite or sexiest president below. I know there has to be some people that think Taft is sexy.

Celebrities Endorse Anti-Pacifica Resolution

January 29th, 2010 by D

(From left to right) Carrie-Anne Moss, Stefan Urquelle, McLovin, James Blunt and Colin Farrell present a senate resolution

Protesting the Protesters

January 21st, 2010 by D

Apparently the Pacifica Forum protesters discussed a rumor that the Oregon Commentator would, “Send 30 or 40 people to protest our protest of the Pacifica Forum.” Looks like they were wrong.

Apathy is a human right.

The Anti Hate Task Force (Makes the girlies wanna scream)

January 20th, 2010 by Arty Stiff

The AHTF is number one in the hood, G.

My name is… Shake zoola, the megaphone rula

You want to picket? I’ll bring it to ya!

Gridlocked and we on top/Rest assured we’ll call the cops/Black Tea you up next with yo’ knock-knocks

Anti-Hate in your grills, G/Anti-Hate made of sugar, see?

We censor the crowd/We get real loud/Sticks up your ass and lots of shouts from the town

Check, check it/Cause we are the Anti-Hate Team

Make the ASUO say ‘ho!’ and the girlies wanna scream

Thumbs Down [Update]

January 4th, 2010 by D

The first winter term edition of the Daily Emerald came out today, inexplicably without any editorial or opinion column whatsoever (where’s my D’Andrea retrospective on the last decade?) What the paper chose to run on its opinion page was instead an enlarged section of its “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down” blurbs.

Now if you’re not familiar with the section, they are essentially uncredited (read: without a byline, standing as the general editorial stance of the newspaper) paragraph blurbs about news stories the Emerald approves or disapproves of. My favorite of today? This one:

Thumbs Up for No Smoking – North Carolina, the nation’s top tobacco-producing state, went smoke-free inside bars and restaurants Jan. 1. If it can happen there, it’s hard to imagine why smoking would be allowed anywhere else. Say, on campus, for instance.”

Glad to see the Emerald still has the wonderful editorial slant that disallows private business owners to make decisions for themselves. And if they had it their way, students as well.

It’s good to be back.

[UPDATE] The second edition of the Emerald came out today, and despite their 5-person paid opinion staff, the entire opinion page had borrowed columns from Portland State’s The Vanguard. I wonder if the Vanguard staff collected a stipend for that?

State of Oregon Transparency Program a bit Opaque

January 3rd, 2010 by D

R.I.L.F. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) helped push the initiative for more governmental transparency.

The State of Oregon launched a website this week that is supposed to act as a large step forward in governmental transparency. The website, which is found at www.oregon.gov/transparency has several categories for enraged voters to pour over including: State Budget, Agencies and Performance, Revenue and Expenditures, Contracts and State Employment.

The press release included:

“The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has been working on the site for the past six months and they were able to develop this new venture using existing resources. “I was very pleased to see the “can-do” approach from DAS, especially during tough budget times,” Thatcher noted, “the upcoming tax measures have generated a lot of questions from voters about the state budget and this new site should help them dig down for some answers.”

Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) is one of the names attached to the movement and the website, but to be honest I was hoping for a better showing from my hometown representative. You see, after much clicking around I failed to figure out how much money the website itself had cost taxpayers to create. One would think that would be, you know… relevant.

Oh well. I suppose it is still a work in progress…

I’ll Just Have Water, Thanks

December 27th, 2009 by D

simpsons

“Note to self: Stop. Doing. Anything.”

As a lover of all things “jerky” I find vegetarians and vegans impossibly difficult to understand. Lucky for me, there’s some sane people still out there who console my straying conscious back into the right.

In a particularly interesting article written a few days ago, science columnist Natalie Angier wrote about the viability of ethics-based veganism – a topic I’m sure we’re all familiar with given our own geographical location. In her article, Angier noted that vegans often argue the ethical way of consumption is choosing not to eat meat. In the opinion of Angier (and myself), the choice hits a few snags. Angier highlighted the more ridiculous points of the argument:

“Before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot.”

(more…)

Look what you’re missing

December 10th, 2009 by D

nazistuff

I’m not even sure what to do with this one… the upper line reads “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media…”

In compliance with that statement, I’ve blacked out the date and time for this event.

You’re welcome.

Lest We Forget…

December 6th, 2009 by Vincent

Sometimes, living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s easy to forget just how loathsome and malignant hipsters are. They are, after all, nearly as ubiquitous as such similarly squishy and useless northwest fixtures as “fog” and “moss” [Fog is not squishy. -ed], not to mention their close namesakes, hippies. We observe with embarrassed disgust these irritating, unimaginative raiders-of-long-dead-pop-culture pedaling around town on their fixed-gear bicycles, frequently sporting absurd facial hair and 1980’s garb — though neon-colored early-1990’s clothing has in recent years begun to creep into “fashion”.

But lest we forget how miserable and, ultimately, brainless and malevolent hipsterism is, one need only take a glance at the sorts of antics International Hipsterdom routinely engages in, specifically the marketing of designer jeans produced in such transgressive, counter-culture places like North Korea. According to the Swedish hipster at the center of all of this:

The idea for the project was born out of curiosity for North Korea, which has grown increasingly isolated in recent years under Western criticism of its human rights record and nuclear ambitions. “The reason we did this was to come closer to a country that was very difficult to get into contact with.” [emphasis added… also, die a painful death of syphilis, or something, you putrid sore]

Frankly, I agree. Damn the West for “isolating” North Korea by “criticizing” its human rights record. I guess when you’ve had the collapse of Enron happen on your soil, you’ve got no place pointing fingers at all those gulags. After all, it isn’t as if North Korea hasn’t walled itself off from the rest of the world since the 1950’s. Then again, no one ever accused hipsters of having any sense of history — unless you’re talking about what sorts of clothes were trendy from about 1978 until sometime in the 1990’s, that is.

Thankfully, it seems like non-hipster factions in Swedish society have come to their senses, refusing to allow shelf-space to so-called “NOKO” branded designer clothes (if you didn’t hate hipsters before, just take a look at the wastes of sperm pictured in the BBC report). At least one of the founders of “NOKO Jeans” admits that North Korea “sometimes treats its citizens terribly.” Huh. You don’t say. Well, it’s a good thing, then, that a gaggle of well-intentioned young lads decided to give it the good old college try and did what they could to fix the situation by… err… peddling North Korean-made clothing at exorbitant prices in Swedish luxury boutiques (the jeans were reputedly slated to be sold for $215). I’m sure that they really would’ve made a difference if the forces of international capital hadn’t forced their wares off the shelves.

The game’s just so loaded, you know?

At any rate, the next time you see some hipster galavanting around campus, cocksure in his faux-Mercury mustache or her unconvincing “nerd-girl” attire, just remember to ask that person if they’d buy the latest, hippest “NOKO” jeans if given the chance. At the very least, it’ll make them feel uncomfortable, defensive, and most importantly, unfashionable. What’s certain is that the those of us who don’t necessarily mind being used as marionettes by the forces of international capital need to take every advantage over this vile sub-species that we can afford, even if it means making them feel that they’re not decked out in the most transgressive and “avant” of duds.

Because that’s the real crime.

Journalistic Failure

December 5th, 2009 by Guy

The original publisher of the Oregon Commentator, Dane Claussen, once said that the OC’s purpose was to print the news that, “the other publications are unable to tell you because of inexperience, incompetence or the narrow-mindedness of their staffs.” That was some 26 years ago and it seems the OC still has purpose. Not to continue to toot our own horn or anything but, as any regular reader of the blog knows (because we’ve been pimping it hard), the OC has recently published a 25th anniversary book edited by the current publisher Timothy Dane Carbaugh.

Call me crazy, but it seems to me students creating, printing and selling a 300-page hard bound history book completely on their own volition about a student organization that’s survived significant adversity for more than 25 years would be a newsworthy event. Which is why I am glad to finally announce that, now just about a month after the book was released, the Daily Emerald has gotten around to publishing a story.

You’d think that this would be the sort of thing that would hit the front page of any daily student newspaper, but here at the University of Oregon you’d be wrong. Instead, the story was buried deep in the “scene” insert. I would link to the article, but it is suspiciously absent from their online content. Luckily for them, we’ve published the article here.

I wonder if ol’ Mr. Claussen would chock this up to simple narrow-mindedness or gross incompetence? I can’t say, but you take a look at this editorial cartoon about Sarah Palin’s book recently published by the Emerald and you will probably agree that it is a real chicken shit outfit over there.

Going ROUGE

Do not ridicule someone’s “intellectual substance” if you are going to screw up the spelling of “rogue”.

Go Solstice!

November 30th, 2009 by Kiefer

The Emerald Magazine came out today.. as an insert.

I for one am thoroughly outraged at the under representation of one very important part of the holiday season.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Korean present wrapping traditions…

Where is winter solstice?

GAP understands me.