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Archive for October, 2004


October 14th, 2004 by danimal

I don’t care how uncool it is to link to the Onion, because this is pure gold.

Higher Learning

October 14th, 2004 by danimal

Eugene continues to distinguish itself on the AP wire:

EUGENE, Ore. – The signs marking High Street have become a hot commodity and coveted dorm room decoration in these parts.

But what might seem like a sophomore prank is turning into a costly problem for the city, home to the University of Oregon. In the last decade, officials say they’ve had to replace the sign nearly 350 times.

Besides High Street, the University Street and Westward Ho Avenue signs are also frequently stolen.

Another stab at why foreign policy is irrelevant

October 14th, 2004 by danimal

A while back I made a semi-articulate effort to explaining why I think foreign policy, far from being the main issue in this election, is actually something of a nullity.

Fortunately, Jonathan Rauch has a piece at that states the argument a little better. A gander:

Bush’s “forward strategy of freedom” is a sound and overdue policy change. Kerry is not as outspoken about it, but he won’t abandon it, if only because the old policy of supporting Arab tyrannies is a self-evident failure. For his part, Bush has pretty much run out of countries to democratize by force, and out of troops to do it with. Bush sees democratization in the Arab world as the work of decades, not years, and he is right. So the difference is mainly one of emphasis. Regardless of who is elected, democratization will remainas it long has beena polestar of U.S. foreign policy, and it will also remain slow going.

Check it out.

Not that this argument, if you buy it, makes the choice between these numbskulls any easier. If you tilt right domestically, you’ll still vote for Bush. If you tilt left, you’ll vote for Kerry. If, like me, you are some schizoid combination of right and left, you’ll just have to make a gut decision. (Me: Kerry.)

But it’s an argument worth noting if you find yourself in a terrorist panic on November 2: just calm down and make a rational choice on domestic policy.

ODE: AL Fans?

October 14th, 2004 by Timothy

I didn’t watch the third debate, I’m decided so it’s not like my opinion is going to change at this point. And I don’t even really care about todays ODE editorial, except that they mention Sox/Yankees without noting that there was another damn game on too. Astros/Braves might’ve been the quintessential NL rivalry, but Astros/Cardinals is also classic. Does no one care about the National League? Did anyone else notice that Phil Garner has apparently gone insane? Backe is pitching the game of his life and you pull him after four and two-thirds because…why? Oh nevermind.

Economists VS. The Draft

October 13th, 2004 by Timothy

Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution points to a short history lesson about the end of the US Draft. Major roles were played by Milton Friedman and Allen Greenspan among others, as well as economist William Meckling. According to that story Meckling was probably the most influential in that decision. To think, I’d never even heard of him before. So, thanks Economists for making the world safer for lazy, post-college schlubs. Oh, and thanks to Richard Nixon too for putting that council together. Man, never thought I’d be thanking Nixon for anything.

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore

October 13th, 2004 by danimal

For those of you who haven’t bothered to thumb through the Oregon Ballot Measures Voters’ Pamphlet, allow me to direct your attention to one of the funniest and most expensive practical jokes in recent memory.

One “M. Dennis Moore” apparently shelled out $1,500 to reserve the first three slots for arguments in favor of Measure 36, the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Oregon, for no other reason than to mercilessly parody every bible-thumping ad that would follow. An excerpt:

Where will it all end? After 6,000-some years of frightening attacks on old traditional values, will history never cease to unfold? Will God never stop throwing all of these radical social changes at us?

My friends, there is a simple answer. All you have to do is


It’s really that simple!

Now, which one of these radical social changes will this measure turn the clock back to? Oh, come on, let’s just


See all three ads, in full, right up top here. Then, hell, scroll and compare. And, as you read the real religious arguments in favor of Measure 36, ask yourself: Do they have anything to do with government? Should government have anything to do with what marriage is or should be?

ODE: Hobbesians?

October 12th, 2004 by Timothy

Actually, this [mercifully] short editorial isn’t really too bad, but the first line struck me:

One of the harmful byproducts of democracy is that the selection of our leaders and lawmakers seems more like a horse race than a thoughtful, well-informed evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of various individuals.

I know I’m just being petty, but ennumerating that this is one harmful byproduct implies that there are others. What are they? Should we be ruled by Philosopher Kings instead? The world may never know.

There’s also this little gem from farther down:

It’s hard to justify the idea of a government accountable to the people when both candidates act so aloof and arrogant. All people make mistakes. Mature people admit them.

That’s classic coming from folks who think those who question them are ignorant and misinformed. Be kind to schizophrenics week indeed.

ODE Website: One Big Feedback Page

October 12th, 2004 by Sho

Check out the Daily Emerald website. Apparently you can try to post some feedback, but not much else. Our website may not be perfect, but at least it’s up almost all of the time.

Screenshot from 1 pm here:

I Yearn For The Days Of Vivisected Cows

October 11th, 2004 by Tyler

The City Museum of Washington has pulled a nude painting of President Bush from its Funky Furniture exhibit. Painting here.

Perhaps the painting was pulled not because it was mildly offensive, but because it was terrible. Look at Cheney. Why does he have that under bite? Is his jaw afflicted with Gout? Compare this painting to the painting on which it is based, Manets Olympia.

Since when did museums even consider displaying crappy editorial cartoons? Does this mean that Steve Baggs will have a future in the New York City art world?

[via Drudge]

Emerald To Students: We’re So Totally Awesome!

October 11th, 2004 by Timothy

Dan Rather might be the Queen Of The Space Unicorns, but nothing quite rivals the self-congratulatory audacity of the Emerald Editorial Board. “We are not biased!” “We report nothing but facts!” “Our commentary writers are both awesome and diverse!” Right.

For You, Ze War Is Over

October 11th, 2004 by olly

Riddle me this: which words is the ODE going to extraordinary lengths to avoid using in the following excerpt from an otherwise blah story concerning a minor infringement of state law? Here‘s a clue.

Senator Toby Hill-Meyer was unaware that the executive sessions were a violation of the law, the senator said. Because they were held to discuss hiring practices, Hill-Meyer was under the impression that the executive sessions were “implicit,” the sentator [sic] said.

Good job, that sub-editor. The deliberate typo is a particularly nice touch, used as it was in many ancient cultures to convey disrespect. (Which is why you see so many of them around here, obviously.)

But how will Hill-Meyer respond? Well, you’ll have to ask hir.

An Open Letter To Libertarian Non-Voters

October 9th, 2004 by Timothy

If you’ve not heard of this movement, let me explain. You see, many Libertarians and libertarians (the capital can make all the difference, I’m not just being a joker) are very dissatisfied with both major political parties in the United States. Not surprising, really, and I’m sure many folks of all political stripes are fairly dissatisfied with both parties for all sorts of reasons. But, you see, what sets some Libertarians apart is that they make a big hairy deal out of it and, on-principle, decide to stay home because they don’t like the platform of any of the candidates. They vote by not voting, refusing to lend credence to either party. Now, I suppose I can understand this in theory, but I don’t think it has the same practical effect that they might want. Of course, it’s within your rights to not vote, go right ahead, I can’t make you. But, let me suggest a better way to get libertarian ideals out there: Vote instead.

More importantly, register as one of the major parties and vote in their damn primary. Some states don’t require party registration, but I know many do. Oregon does, but its primary is so late as to not matter. I’d suggest the GOP because it seems more likely to be moved substantially in a libertarian direction by a large enough influx, but if you get organized something similar would work for the Democrats. The reason I suggest the GOP is that the younger elements of the party are already moving that way (Arnold, Guiliani, Franks, Rice, Pataki, &c.), and I think it’d be easy to help push that along more expediently. You see, by doing this, you can get libertarian ideas into government again instead of staying at home and complaining about the state of American politics.

It’s true that there’s not a small government party in the US anymore, and that makes me very sad, but it’s not going to change so long as others like me who believe in small government principles stay at home and let others make decisions. I know it’s very un-libertarian of me to suggest a course of action to others because I think it would be better for them than what they’re doing [and let me emphasize again, are more than welcome to keep doing if they feel like it], but if the goal is smaller government, more individual responsibility, and less involvement of the state in people’s lives, we’re going ot have to make some steps. So dammit, libertarians and Libertarians, go out there and start influencing primaries and local elections, this is the way to win back a small-government platform because it’s obvious that the rest of the population who is, you know, voting every election doesn’t want that. And that’s fine, they can think that, but it’s not my idea of good leadership and I think there are enough non-voting-libertarians out there to have a major effect on the outcome. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just thought I’d let y’all know.

Give This Man A Trophy

October 9th, 2004 by Timothy

Take that, parking enforcement, take that.


October 7th, 2004 by Timothy

Is, I think, generally considered an affront to justice by pretty much everyone sensible. Personally, and I think this goes for most of the folks at the OC, I see no problem with same-sex marriages, and I sure as hell don’t want to see marriage made into a federal issue.

Bush is known to be completely wrong on this, but is Kerry also?

“The president and I have the same position, fundamentally, on gay marriage. We do. Same position. But they’re out there misleading people and exploiting it.”

Does that mean that Kerry is also for the FMA? Will Andrew Sullivan react? Stay tuned. Also, how is Bush misleading people and exploiting his very clearly defined stance in favor of the FMA? Huh?

I just can’t take no Moore

October 7th, 2004 by danimal

Okay, Tim, to make up for dropping the ball on Howard Dean’s visit, here’s so much advance notice you could even fly in from Texas in time:

Monday! Monday! Monday! Michael Moore, Lane County Fairgrounds, October 18! The “Slacker Uprising Tour” is hitting Eugene! One day only!

He’s not even here yet, and already he’s giving us Spew, from the press release:

“The non-voters are the poor, the disenfranchised, the single moms and young people.”

Yes, Mike. The “disenfranchised,” literally, “those who cannot vote,” are indeed non-voters. Good luck getting out the 8-year-olds-and-felons vote.