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Archive for March, 2005

Ding Dong

March 31st, 2005 by Timothy

Terri’s dead. We now return to your regularly scheduled Michael Jackson E! Re-enactment.

So, So Wrong.

March 29th, 2005 by Timothy

But I simply cannot stop laughing at this. It’d be better without the comments section. [Hattip: Bill]

Who’s Cryin’ Now?

March 29th, 2005 by melissa

Note: The Oregon Commentator does not, and has never, paid anyone a stipend out of student incidental fees.

The PFC starts Spring Term off with a bang. Unlike me, most of you have a life that concerns itself with matters off-campus. But this latest dirt really bakes my cookies.
Yesterday’s ODE story here
Today’s continuation here

Convenient that when the OC was going through PFC problems (Quiroz, Cortez and Kieffer to name just three), all of these student groups were staunchly anti-OC and pro-PFC. The MCC, MEChA, LGBTQA, etc all showed up at our hearing to applaud the PFC stomping all over our First Amendment Rights, so long as it served an approved purpose. Now that the PFC isn’t financially beneficial to the poor baby student unions (and, ironically, being responsible to the rest of us):

“Native American Student Union Co-Director Natasha Joseph expressed concerns that the PFC did not follow through on a commitment to address the pay model. “Once again, you’ve lied and once again you’ve not done your jobs properly and it’s just kind of disgusting to sit here and hear all your excuses,” she said. “

That is so funny, because when Tyler said the same thing to the PFC last month, he was booed down by the same crowd making the above statement.

In summary, the Programs Finance Committee is having budget problems. To fix this problem and bring them back into the black, they had to cut from somewhere. Student incidental fee funded paid positions were first on the chopping block; rightfully so, if you ask me. Here’s why:

(1) All college student group positions should be volunteer, and used for resume purposes only. Luring leaders with large stipends does not improve the candidate pool; if anything, it contaminates the pool. Some people will do anything for a few bucks, including pretending to care about the Survivor Center. Real leaders work for their cause for free.

(2) Cutting student stipends should not be an issue of race, but nearly every student union addresses the problem with their old cry racism standby. The student groups affected by the cuts argue two things: that they are being targeted as “students of color,” and that the only way they pay for rent and food is with the stipends from their positions. From 3/28/05,

“Representatives of several multicultural groups voiced concerns to the PFC at a March 16 meeting that the pay cuts unfairly affect international students and students of color. Multicultural Center Co-Director Maria Hwang called the cuts a “major structural change,” adding that they would lead to the “gentrification of the (student) unions.” She said some student leaders depend on stipends for essentials like rent and food.”

I’d like to know how these people justify taking enough incidental fee money to pay their rent, and why they deserve incidental fee money on the grounds that they are “of color.” This “of color” justification just has to stop.

Gentrification? If she means “the restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle-class or affluent people, often resulting in displacement of lower-income people,” then she’s way off base. News for you, Hwang: being non-white doesn’t make a person poor or lower class. Furthermore, the white community on this campus is sorely underrepresented by the precious student unions.

The international students have no place to complain about this situation: being an international student means accepting the fact that your financial resources, and employment opportunities while studying here, are limited. International students are here with the understanding that academics are the main occupation.

(3) Most student leaders paid by the incidental fee do almost nothing. Keep in mind that these individuals include those at the infamous ASUO retreat (Sarah Wells). Anyone with questions? I suggest that you take a random walk through the ASUO offices and check in on a few student group offices. Then ask yourself: do these people deserve to be paid?

(4) Getting a real job is highly profitable. Nearly everyone I know works for a living, and none of them receive incidental fees as stipends. My advice to those affected by student stipend cuts: Shit happens. Get a real job.

I Agree With A Hollywood Activist

March 28th, 2005 by Timothy

Details here.

Shameless Plug

March 27th, 2005 by Timothy

I have a new webventure, where I will be doing some blogging about things. Welcome to the web One-Handed Economist. Thanks to WWB for the name.

If you Can’t Eat ’em…

March 25th, 2005 by melissa

Chocolate crosses for Easter!? Egg-ads! I do belive this issue may be resurrected when Christmas comes around.

New Issue

March 24th, 2005 by Tyler

The new double issue is up on your right. It includes a plethora of fantastic articles. Olly Ruff discusses the Ward Churchill brouhaha; Melissa Hanks takes on the Women’s Center; and Ben Brown has an interesting report on a former vice chair of the PFC.

Enjoy. Let me know if you encounter any problems or glaring mistakes.

Utah to Residents: “You Weren’t Using that Brain, Were You?”

March 24th, 2005 by melissa

Utah, fertile land of censorship, book banning, and the usual infringements upon Constitutional rights. The other 49 states have come to expect this from Utah, but every family has its black sheep. The US is no exception.

Utah lawmakers’ latest attempt to keep children safe from the outside world

“Service providers which fail to disable access to pornography sites on the list, following a users request, can be subject to felony charges… Commentators are concerned about the vagueness of the law, and point out that the definition of provider is so broad that it could cover just about anything, including private homes with unencrypted wifi access points.”

Commentators are concerned about what?! How about further confusing the already confused children who dwell within the land of sister-polygyny, lame sex education , the nation’s most notorious polygamist , and bizarre liquor laws. Can you imagine being married to several women, not knowing how babies are made, being likened to Tom Green and not being able to drink it away after 7pm? Now, you can’t have porn, either! Madness!

This latest suggestion is not even close to the problem brought by a parent this January which alleged that the Red Cross blood donor questions are:
“very sexually explicit questions without parental consent,” said Ogborn, 37, who argued that state law dictates the sexual content to which students can be exposed, and by whom. Technicians’ questions like, “Have you ever had sex with a male who has sex with another male?” go too far, Ogborn said. “As a parent, how I read it, it looks to me like it violates the law.”

I think someone has control issues.

Hey, Alanis: This is Ironic. Don’t ya Think?

March 22nd, 2005 by melissa

My sister nearly slapped me for my heartlessness in pointing this out last night. Lucky for me, USA Today picked up on it, too.

Terri Schiavo, darling of the media, is in a vegetative state due to a heart malfunction resulting from a potassium imbalance. That potassium imbalance was the result of an eating disorder; the media won’t say for sure which one it was, but bulimia seems to be the favorite.

“…keeping the weight off was a struggle for Terri Schiavo, and years later after her heart stopped briefly, cutting off oxygen to the brain a malpractice case brought against a doctor on her behalf would reveal she had been trying to survive on liquids and was making herself throw up after meals. The Schiavos’ lawyer said her 1990 collapse was caused by a potassium imbalance brought on by an eating disorder.”

“It is a cruel twist lost on no one close to the case: A woman who is said to have struggled with an eating disorder is now in the middle of a court battle over whether her feeding tube should be removed so that she can starve to death.”

Here’s the kicker: Had her heart not faltered, Schiavo probably would have died of starvation anyway. She had stopped having her period; this is one of the end stages of death by eating disorder.

My point: Why keep her feeding tube in and force feed her if she had made the choice years ago to starve herself? Isn’t starving to death what she had planned on doing? Plus, this malpractice suit that is briefly mentioned by the media is a complete breach of patient confideniality. But that’s another blogging for another time.

Where to Begin?

March 17th, 2005 by Ian

There were a number of national news developments today (3/17/05), not least of which were the unnecessary-yet-interesting Congressional hearings on steroids in baseball. This was a highly entertaining proceeding, as it had everyone from the parents of dead steroids users to a terrified Bud Selig. Mark McGwire’s testimony (which largely consisted of “I’m not here to talk about the past”) was perhaps the most notable, although Congressman Shays’ (R-CT) aggressive questioning of Selig led to some hilarious and awkward moments as Selig and his cronies scrambled to explain why they have a “five-strikes” rule.

More importantly, the Senate passed a Budget which did not incorporate President Bush’s proposed spending cuts in Medicare and other domestic programs. The pork-laden budget was passed thanks to Gordon Smith (R-OR) and other moderate Republicans who jumped on the Democrats’ no-Medicaid-cuts bandwagon. The House, meanwhile, stuck to its guns and kept its budget in line with the President’s recommendations. After it’s all said and done, it seems very likely that the House (and President’s) version of the budget will be passed, but it’s likely there will have to be compromises.

Insignificantly yet widely covered is the Terri Schiavo case. For those of you who are blissfully unaware of the details, the case is basically an argument between Schiavo’s husband and Schiavo’s parents over what her wishes were. The husband says that she had no desire to lie for eternity in a vegetative state (most of her brain is, for all practical purposes, gone) while her parents argue that she wouldn’t have wanted to be killed if she went into a coma. The state supreme court and federal courts have ruled in the husband’s favor, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly denied to review the case. To put it simply, it has been ruled that the husband is in the right.

Now that the Schiavo case is big news, though, politicians have become involved. Like flies on a dead dog, Florida state legislatures and U.S. congressmen have began bending the law and their own jurisdiction in order to have a piece of the PR pie. Drudge reports that

The Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee, Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) has requested Terri Schiavo to testify before his congressional committee, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. In so doing it triggers legal or statutory protections for the witness, among those protections is that nothing can be done to cause harm or death to this individual.

It will obviously be rather difficult for her to testify without a cerebral cortex:

Schiavo Catscan
If Drudge’s reporting is true, this is quite an inappropriate act by Mr. Enzi.

In the midst of the turmoil over the case, President Bush released the following statement:

The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues. Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected – and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities.

How about a culture of following the law and obeying court rulings? I agree with the president’s sentiment, but the court rulings have been clearly in favor of the husband’s position. When the federal government and state legislature attempts to get involved in one person’s medical case, something is wrong. President Bush has taken a very unfortunate position on the federal government’s role in determining assisted suicide’s legality. In the case of Oregon vs. Gonzales, his administration has taken the position that Oregon may not decide what a “legitimate medical use” of a substance is, and instead that these “legitimate” uses are up to the acting Attorney General even if that leads to wildly inconsistent interpretations. In Schiavo’s case, his administration is apparently taking the position that the courts should rule on a moral rather than legal basis.

And I cannot mention morals without talking about John Gibson’s despicable editorial that was posted on yesterday. Gibson says that

Gays can’t have kids other than going to the abandoned kids store and getting one or two, or borrowing sperm from someone with more sperm than brains so by definition they’re out of the marriage game.

An adoption agency is an “abandoned kids store”? Marriage is, according to Gibson, contingent on the ability to have children. Brilliant. For the rest of his indisputable legal argument, I recommend reading the piece. Of course, this isn’t the first time Gibson has blessed us with his prescient, in-depth insights into how the world works. Why, who can forget his analysis of every European’s intellectual capability:

Does anybody but Paris Hilton take pictures of themselves as stupid as this? It’s really nobody’s problem but hers.

I can’t stand to hear myself talking about her anymore.

OK, how about this: She’s famous for being dumb. The Euros are dumber. There, I’ve said all I can on both subjects.

It’s really worth reading both of his articles. People shouldn’t knock FOX News for being “conservative,” they should knock FOX News for publishing excrement like Gibson’s articles.

Lastly (and perhaps most distressingly of all,) my Elite Eight is still together but the rest of my bracket took a beating. How could I possibly pick ‘bama to win two straight? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

If You Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine

March 16th, 2005 by Ian

College basketball fans, what are your picks for the Final Four and National Championship?

Here are mine:
Men’s Final Four:
Illinois vs. Louisville
UNC vs. Kentucky
Men’s Final:
UNC vs. Illinois

Women’s Final Four:
LSU vs. Minnesota
Tennessee vs. Connecticut
Women’s Final:
LSU vs. Tennessee

Indulge yourself in criticising the unoriginality and homerism of my picks.

The OC Is Hiring…

March 14th, 2005 by Tyler

Writers, layout folks, photographers, copy editors …



Stop by the office. 319 EMU.

The Daily Buzz

March 14th, 2005 by Tyler

The Ol Dirty congratulates itself on a job well done. How truly Meta. How truly insignificant. Thanks for the memories, Jen.
The Matrix meets Charlottes web in one of the most obnoxious flash animations Ive ever seen. Apparently the makers of the Meatrix thought they could make a salient point about the horrors of factory farming with poor animation and some of the worst voice acting heard outside a Final Fantasy video game. Kudos.
First Vice Magazine rips off the OC with its pale imitation of our Hate issue. Now theyre ripping off shudder the Voice with their far superior Sex issue. Apparently those obnoxious, ether addicted clowns cant get enough third-rate UO campus media!

Shakra To The Future!

March 11th, 2005 by olly

An old friend weighs in.

So it is not unexpected that Commentator staff members would turn to the First Amendment instead of taking responsibility for their privilege. And as the microcosmic vanguard for white, patriarchal America on campus, the law fully supports the publication’s position. Of course, “feelings” aren’t considered within a system of law that prides itself on supposed “rationality” and “objectivity.”

No, they “aren’t”. And “microcosmic vanguard for white, patriarchal America”? If this is how people are reading the mission statement, no wonder there’s been all this confusion.

After all, if we were to consider feelings in our decision-making process, how it feels to have your privacy invaded might count.

I detect a note of petulance in this piece: nobody cared when we said mean things (or, as he would put it, engaged in “white, heterosexist journalism”) about Shakra, because he’s white, heterosexual, and obvious comedy gold. He also apparently considers his newspaper column to be some kind of personal territorial bubble, within which he is protected from criticism; I see no other way of interpreting his claims of privacy invasion. Also, when he exhorts us to

look beyond this [conservative/liberal] spectrum, and even the rules themselves, to take responsibility for creating a safer campus and a more tolerant community

the irony is so thick you can float pennies on top of it.

Either way, it’s good to see he’s still rolling along. For what it’s worth, I stand by what I said here:

I am still convinced that Shakra is the quintessential student columnist. His writing is a closed system upon which the outside world barely impinges – and when it does, it does so in unpredictable ways, as when he discovers that he has a literature paper overdue. He represents the very worst tendencies in all of our writing – towards grandiloquence, obfuscation, melodrama, narcissism, and cant – to such an extent that it would not surprise me to learn that the whole thing has been a spoof. But even if it is, it has been a valuable one. Believe me, folks, there’s a little Aaron Shakra in all of us.

Oh, The Insanity

March 11th, 2005 by Timothy

As I sit here waiting for the 800,000 record SQL table I’m working with to finish its long, slow climb up Mount Analysis, I came across Jeff Jarvis’ latest post on BuzzMachine. It’s about insanity. Jarvis sums up my attitude pretty much to the letter: That the real problem is the sort of faux compassion of not putting the clearly incompetent into some sort of facility where they can be treated. People are afraid to say, “Hey, this person is obviously completely out of touch with reality, maybe he/she needs help.” I think the deinstitutional movement did much more harm than good. And I think the recent campus-wide attitude surrounding one Hatoon is clear evidence that Jarvis is right. The woman didn’t need a gym membership, she needed anti-psychotics. Granted, Hatoon wasn’t a dangerous vagrant, but I’m sure the damange wrought upon her family over the years was a huge price for her untreated illness. I am not afraid to say it: Hatoon was a nut, the guy in the coat who asks for change and mumbles is a nut, two-thirds of the hobos in Eugene are mental and I don’t think it’s good for anyone to just smile and say, “awww, look at the cute psycho, here’s a dollar.” It’s unlikely to change, true, but I still think the attitude is all wrong.