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Archive for January, 2004

Why not just give out the ‘Distinguished Student Award?’

January 23rd, 2004 by Sho

Students at a high school in Omaha were disciplined after placing posters advocating a white South African student for the school’s “Distinguished African American Student Award.” Another student was punished for circulating a petition criticizing the practice of recognizing only black student achievement with the award.

Check This Out!

January 23rd, 2004 by Timothy

I know that some members of staff do not share my, shall we say, very positive feeling about concealed carry laws. But, I think this is a particularly good thing overall, even if it fails. The OUS is good at making senseless rules, and this might help get them to stop.


January 23rd, 2004 by Sho

Here’s a video clip of Dean “going nuts” in Iowa. To be fair, he just looks like he was getting pumped up and rallying the crowd. Still, it’s quite a spin for coming in third when he was the front runner just a few days before.

City Of Eugene Apparently Has A "Club"

January 22nd, 2004 by olly

While skimming this week’s EW, I noticed a mention of UO lawprof Garrett Epps’ address to the City Club of Eugene, full text here in PDF. I wanted to read the whole thing to see if it actually backed up the EW‘s summary:

…peacetime brings reconciliation and apologies for such abuses, but the Bush/Ashcroft excesses may be the worst Bill of Rights abuses in US history.

Mmph. This in a paragraph that also mentions Lincoln suspending habeas corpus, and the Japanese-American internment camps in WW2.

Folks, I think I can fairly say that there’s a consensus against PATRIOT on this site, as there is virtually everywhere else in the 9740* zipcodes. (And in Epps’ speech, which doesn’t make the above claim.) But let’s keep things in perspective, please. (Unless the fingerprints they collected from me at the airport get misfiled and I find myself attorneyless in a dark hole somewhere. Then I’ll be yelling about internment camps at the top of my lungs, not that anyone’ll listen.)

(While I’m on the subject, if you like books that feature religious arguments and the Frohn as a character, Epps’ To An Unknown God may be just the thing for you.)

Tell PETA To Go Stick It

January 22nd, 2004 by Bret

PETA continues to support the worst domestic terrorism we know. They rake in tons of money, scare children and don’t really care who gets hurt. Sign this online petition that will be sent to the IRS in hopes of having their non-profit status revoked.

What’s the Answer?

January 22nd, 2004 by Timothy

Why, more government of course! This is just one more example of how the stunning amount of paperwork involved in dealing with the DHS screws everything up.

“Your permit is valid until April, you don’t need to renew it, have a nice trip.”

“You’re a criminal, go back to Germany and we’re taking your baby.”

“Your permit is valid until April, but because you don’t have your passport and documents that the other idiot branch of government took from you, we can’t help you straighten the whole mess out. Have a nice day”

Shakraspeare In Love

January 22nd, 2004 by olly

Some days you open the paper and just know you’re in for a treat. We can’t blame him for the headline, but everything else in Plath’s talent overshadowed by death lives up to that stellar billing. From the opening paragraph, in which we learn that “it’s blatantly obvious the word ‘ablution’ doesn’t come off the top of your head when writing a poem” – as opposed to the word ‘douche’, presumably – to the conclusion, in which we learn that our hero doesn’t know what the word ‘juvenilia’ means, this is pure patchouli-scented gold. I hope that if this column is also being used to make up an overdue term paper he does very, very well out of it.

It all builds up to this line, which has had myself and the office-mate convulsed with laughter for the last twenty minutes:

Suicide is clearly an idea that Plath gained a mastery over…

Yes, she certainly did. As opposed to Eugene O’Neill, who never quite got the hang of it.

Taken as a whole, it’s sacrilege. Or, perhaps, Shakralege. But that’s why we love it. Please, Brad Schmidt, if you’re reading this, make him do T.S. Eliot next.

Taverns For Tots!

January 21st, 2004 by olly

Via Tyler Cowen at the VC, and Clay Whittaker before him, this intriguing and probably doomed endeavor in Ohio.

It’s blatant cheating, but I hope they get away with it.

Developing. Or Perhaps Not Developing.

January 21st, 2004 by olly

This is probably the most interesting thing in today’s ODE – above, say, Bush’s Speech Draws Criticism, Praise – but it’s relegated to the news briefs. I want to know more. Who was making comments that were “getting personal toward a member of [the] PFC”? This stuff is fun.

(However, the piece mentioned above does feature Greg McNeill saying “I love the State of the Union. It’s like the Super Bowl of politics.” Come on: it’s not even like the Super Bowl halftime show of politics. It’s not even like the Sunday night game wrap-up of politics. I can only imagine that he’s going to combust with sheer excitement when an actual election takes place. I’ve heard there might be one happening later this year.)

UPDATE: In fairness to McNeill, Reason‘s Julian Sanchez makes the same comparison. I still don’t get it.

Pause For Film-Related Announcement

January 21st, 2004 by olly

Amidst a fusillade of puppies, kittens, penguins, and miscellaneous cuteness, Blog does me the service of linking to the script for Charlie Kaufman’s latest: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

It’s creepy and disturbing and the best screenplay I’ve read in ages. My Charlie Kaufman geekdom has just reached a new level. If you’d told me a month ago that I was going to be this excited about seeing a movie featuring the dramatic stylings of Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Kirsten “Vampire Moppet” Dunst, I’d have been mortified.

(While reading it, I was afraid that Kaufman was going to recycle a trick from Adaptation: namely, that he’d suddenly realize this was a Jim Carrey film and write in fifteen minutes of fart jokes at the end. Rest assured, that doesn’t happen in this draft. Anyway, The Truman Show was OK. There’s hope.)

Howard….Appliance? Part Deux.

January 20th, 2004 by Sho

That is all.

(via Totten, mp3 by Lileks)

Ted Rall Apparently Not So Much Of An Anomaly

January 20th, 2004 by olly

While researching horrible things that I can fecklessly quote Tim as saying about various politicians, I came up with the following, which I think we should all continue to bear in mind:

The same [tendency towards the negative] is true of the media’s treatment of our presidents and vice-presidents throughout American history. Washington was treated like scum by the press. Adams was called “blind, crippled, and toothless.” Lincoln was vilified in the most extravagantly simian terms. Andrew Johnson was called “a low sot” who “defiled our council chamber with the spewings of a drunken boor.” Henry Adams said that the life of Ulysses S. Grant proved that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was completely wrong. Nastiness in the news media is as American as apple pie.

The quote is from Joe Queenan’s Imperial Caddy. It’s out of print, but absolutely essential election-year reading if you can find a copy.

Bush’s Approval Rating Among 18-29 Year Olds: 62 Percent…

January 20th, 2004 by Sho

… which is higher than his nationwide approval, says Morton Kondracke of Roll Call. According to a Jan. 17 CBS poll, Bush’s national job approval rating is at 50 percent.

Kondracke writes:

“It seems impossible that a generation reared on free-love television and rap music, a generation far more tolerant of ethnic diversity and homosexuality than its elders, could support the GOP, whose base in anchored in the religious right.”

Maybe it’s because there are many young Americans who don’t buy into the misconception that you can’t be Republican and socially liberal at the same time.

"Who on earth are they?"

January 20th, 2004 by Sho

A photo from the arrival of Japanese troops in southern Iraq to inspect the grounds for their future base in the town of Samawa. The story is here and more photos are here. It’s a little weird to see Japanese soldiers walking around and armed with rifles in a combat zone post-WWII, but here’s to hoping that their presence will help the effort to stabilize Iraq.

Plus, they might bring robot suits or something.


January 20th, 2004 by Timothy

Is Democratic Presidential Hopeful Howard Dean really Mr. Appliance? We report, you decide (TIP: Listen to the last couple of seconds)