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Archive for October, 2004

The Senate And The Trough

October 25th, 2004 by olly

The ODE deserves a tip o’ the hat for making such a big deal out of this one, if only because the collective comedy self-mortification has been so much fun to read. However, I think their post-debacle analysis doesn’t quite hit the spot. (Link to today’s editorial coming as soon as it’s online.)

After a hard day of “facilitat[ing] open communication and foster[ing] goal setting”, I too am usually disposed to kick back with some suds. I (and for once I feel confident speaking on behalf of the entire OC) find it difficult to moralize too much about the revelation that participants of this ASUO “finance retreat” drank – shock! – beer and smoked – gasp! – pot. And the ODE doesn’t do that either, exactly. What they do say is that this is inappropriate behavior for participants in a retreat funded by $3200 of student incidental fees. And they’re right, because ASUO groups should never get to spend $3200 of incidental fees on resort accomodation. Never. I don’t care whether they behave, collectively, like Mormons or the second coming of John Belushi. I don’t care how much open communication was facilitated. It matters not to me how much goal setting was fostered. Even if they fostered the setting of (say) eight goals during this process, that still works out to $400 a goal. Folks, this is an unacceptable price for goal-setting-fostering. That money was – figuratively if not literally – pissed up the wall. And the only reason it’s even reported as something outside the norm is that some college students (from Eugene, no less) got high.

Just wanted to underline that point. Moreover, if you really want to facilitate open communication, a couple of cases of beer will do a hell of a lot more than a trip to Sunriver.

I’m Not One To Make Empty Allegations….

October 24th, 2004 by Timothy

Okay, so I am. And I’ll bet Blog did this! My evidence? He’s for terrorists! He mocks esteemed member of government! He takes advertising from hard-left front groups! And he’s the Peter-Parker of Anti-Bush propaganda yard signs! You did it Blog, we all know you did it. Your mother and I are very disappointed in you. Go to your room. Nevermind, go to this room instead. Damn I must be desperate for content if this is the best I can do.

American Exports

October 23rd, 2004 by Timothy

I might be the only one of us who cares about the World Series this year, but abroad America’s Pastime is being taken up in what may seem like an unlikely place. Awesome.

He’s still got it

October 22nd, 2004 by danimal

Buried deeply in Reason’s “Who’s Getting Your Vote?” feature is the funniest line I’ve seen all week, from the no longer ubiquitous P.J. O’Rourke:

“I always vote Republican because Republicans have fewer ideas. Although, in the case of George W., not fewer enough.”

Memo From The Crushing Sense Of Ennui Desk

October 21st, 2004 by olly

Here is Ryan Nyburg on Michael Moore. Nyburg is equivocal, but one bit demands a response. Actually, it doesn’t. But I’m going to respond anyway:

For all of this, [Moore] does make good points.

“The only time I’ve seen this guy (John Ashcroft) stand up for the Constitution is when he ordered the FBI to stop searching gun files. And to this day the FBI has not been allowed to find out if any of the 19 hijackers had purchased any weapons,” [Moore] said.

So tired. So very, very tired. How is it possible to rebut everything? Even someone setting out to be sceptical, like Nyburg is, will eventually start letting some of this stuff pass. The thing is, I know you’ll be shocked to hear this, but I’m passing familiar with the issue and it’s not as simple as Michael Moore reckons. I know, I know, stop the presses. Not that Ashcroft is anyone’s ACLU attorney, but… oh, just read the link. I’m going to the bar.

You know, back in my lefty heyday, one of the things I esteemed the most highly about my chosen political backwater was that we felt obliged to take a nuanced view of things, consider both sides of issues, avoid sloganeering, and so forth. Let me tell you: it seems like a long, long time ago.

Life before the Student Conduct Code

October 21st, 2004 by danimal

So some benevolent but inscrutable soul donated a 10-inch stack of very old issues of Playboy to the 1st floor men’s room at the Knight Library yesterday. They looked fairly hygienic, and as I am a softy for both (a) periodicals old enough to be historically interesting, and (b) boobings, I helped myself to October 1980, “The Girls of Canada.”

As I flipped through the articles back at home, I noticed this bit of snark in the “After Hours” section:


In a new teaching assistants’ handbook, the University of Oregon plagiarized a section devoted to plagiarism from a similar handbook published by Stanford University. University of Oregon officials apologized and said they would revise their guidebook. Reportedly, the next version will be called either Robert’s Rules or Crime and Punishment.

Okay. I have no idea how to end this pointless post, so how about a 1980 Playboy Party Joke?

“When, in the inexperienced days of my youth,” the middle-aged man recounted to the psychiatrist, “my lovely young wife stroked my hair, my organ stood up! But now,” he continued, “whenever the old bag strokes my organ, my hair stands on end!”

Ho ho ho! They sure knew how to work a room back in 1980!

“Typhoon” must be some killer shit

October 20th, 2004 by danimal

Typhoon Tokage Kills at Least 31 in Japan


Florida Heats Up; Ohio Cooks Up

October 18th, 2004 by olly

Part of one familiar, naggingly insistent narrative reconstruction of the 2000 election involves the giant mess that was voter registration in Florida. I’m always somewhat irked by claims that this was a Republican (or exclusively Republican, at any rate) dirty-tricks campaign, and am a bit more sympathetic to, for instance, Dave Kopel‘s analysis. (Scroll down to “Deceit 4”.) Maybe it’s just because he seems a bit more, I don’t know, nuanced. Maybe it’s because he shouts less.

Anyway, I think it’s always valuable to be reminded that electoral fraud is
a thoroughly bipartisan issue. And this story is especially funny, because it features crack, and crack is funny.

(If you didn’t read it already, Kopel’s monograph is good level-headed stuff, the kind of thing we could use more of. If the only person I’d heard criticizing Fahrenheit 9/11 was Ann Coulter, I’d probably assume it was righteous as well.)

(It hardly needs to be said, but the hat tip goes to Hit and Run. Their headline is better, too.)


October 17th, 2004 by Timothy

By making sure that there’s not enough flu vaccine to go around. Bush personally contaminated the whole supply from that British company just to make sure that your pregnant wife and your sickly old grandmother will DIE OF THE FLU! Just ask John Kerry.

“Hope Is On The Way”, Claims Squinting Man

October 16th, 2004 by olly

I missed the Edwards rally because, well, I think I’ve heard all the slogans he has to offer at this point. (“I was brought up in the light from the TV of America. But that light is flickering! America needs basic cable! Under our administration, America will be able to get HBO!”) But intrepid photojournalist Blog was up in Portland for our edification.

Bush/Kerry: Now Less Than Ever!

October 16th, 2004 by olly

Praise the Lord, voter-registration season is over. I am sick unto death of people asking me if I’m registered yet. I am sick of explaining to people that I’m not a citizen. After a while, I started just saying “no” and glaring. Then I started claiming to be a felon. Then I started telling them that voting was for losers, and that violent revolutionary change was the only way forward. In all, I’m glad the deadline for registration has passed before this process could evolve any further.

Of course, had I the great responsibility of casting a ballot in this fine republic, I have no idea where I’d cast it. My Bush animus shows quite a bit – in short, the phrase “culture of life” brings me out in a rash – but in fairness I’ve noticed that the applause lines of Kerry’s speeches tend to have me knocking my head against the bar, as well, beginning with “I will not privatize Social Security!” at the convention. Now, I don’t seriously expect either candidate to do anything to fix, say, Social Security – but when it’s an applause line, something has gone wrong somewhere.

And on the wonderful things that Kerry predicts will follow from a $7 minimum wage, I can’t snark it better than Jacob Sullum:

If the minimum wage can work this sort of magic, why not raise it to $100 an hour? Then everyone would be well-off, with plenty of spending cash to stimulate the economy.[Yes, it’s a reductio ad absurdum. Don’t care. Still funny. – ed.]

A hypothetical vote for Kerry would, then, have me hoping for him to win and then be completely ineffective in office, which seems unsatisfactory to me. On the other hand, a Republican Congress would presumably grow some teeth with a Democrat in the White House. (I can’t believe No Child Left Behind would have passed in this scenario.)

Mmph. I know some of the answers already, but I’d be curious to know how you denizens of our comment sections are planning to vote. After all, in your cases it’s actually a meaningful decision.

Daily Show’s Jon Stewart on Crossfire

October 16th, 2004 by Sho

Did any one happen to catch this?

Stewart has been critical of shows such as Crossfire, which he says has done more to hurt America than help it. Therefore, when he came on the show yesterday he didn’t hesitate to engage in serious debate about the media. This seemed to catch hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson off guard, who I think were expecting a more jovial — and less confrontational — conversation.

Though Stewart displayed some of his usual, whimsical self, he delivered some honest and unrestrained opinion on the show and its hosts. It’s amusing to watch Carlson and Begala scramble as they realize the audience is on Stewarts side, and they try to cut to commercial breaks and attempt to swing Stewart onto other topics such as Bill O’Reilly. The result made for some really good television, perhaps the most interesting of recent history.

Just watch it and see for yourself. It’s very refreshing.

Regulatory Body Makes Right Decision, For Once

October 15th, 2004 by Timothy

The FCC has decided against preventing Sinclair media from broadcasting an anti-Kerry documentary. Good. Now, before everyone gets all up in arms about how the CBS pic about Reagan was “censored” remember that the network decided to put it on Cinemax after preassure from the public, not government intervention. Liberals are welcome to attempt the same with Sinclair.

News To Me

October 14th, 2004 by Tyler

Check out the lede from this blas�story about last nights debate

“Vice President Dick Cheney called himself “a pretty angry father” on Thursday after Sen. John Kerry mentioned their gay daughter during the final presidential debate — comments Kerry said were meant to be positive about families with gay children.”

Wow. There’s so much I didn’t know about the candidates.

More About Hir

October 14th, 2004 by Tyler

With the help of Jared over at the Emerald, I found this Register Guard story that implies that we are intolerant, hate-mongering homophobes. Guess who supplied the information.

Quote: Toby Hill-Meyer, another member of the city work group, has encountered more direct ridicule as a result of gender identity. A student government senator at the UO, Hill-Meyer was recently mocked in The Commentator, a conservative student newspaper on campus, that used vulgar language in a person-on-the-street parody.

Since when is penis vulgar?