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Archive for October, 2005

RRC Audio — Priceless

October 24th, 2005 by Tyler

For anybody who is worried about the power of the RRC, the ASUO’s latest bureaucratic boondoggle, I have this audio clip from tonight’s meeting. Actually, it’s a collection of three clips edited together. Listen to all of it, especially the first and third parts.

Hopefully the quality is OK; we had to cut down the size of the file drastically so we could upload it.


October 24th, 2005 by Timothy

Ahh, Ailee Slater. What would we do without your insights? Not since Simone De Bouvier Beauvoir has the world seen such consideration of the void:

In my opinion, the world at large is increasingly null and void, in and of itself. Were all going to die, be it from Avian bird flu, nuclear weapons, or some form of feisty, stormy air molecules.


Lets talk about art and culture and ways to make humans a little happier.

If life is so dull, drab, and horrible, why waste time with movies at all? So that you can write gems like this, apparently:

You can guess a film is foreign when a quarter into the plot it turns out that the main character has been dead for years.

I’d have guessed the film was foreign because its title is La Mala Educacion, but maybe I’m being too perceptive.

Here’s a tip, Ailee: no one will ever love you, and if life is so dreary, it might be nobler to take up arms against ye olde slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

“Why Should I Change My Name? He’s The One Who Sucks!”

October 23rd, 2005 by olly

More feedback generated by ODE cartoonist Aaron DuChateau, here. (Apparently, he referred to perennial campus nuisance Frog as an “ass clown”, and the community was scandalized. Scandalized!) It was a while ago, and Tyler has spoken wisely there already, but I point it out for this defense of DuChateau from always quotable Commentary Editor Ailee Slater:

Furthermore, “Ass-Clown” sigifies both immature laughter as well as deep seated anger: The word is a humorous oxymoron in itself, and its inclusion within this cartoon was therefore warranted.

Um, Ailee – quite apart from anything else – this word… I do not think it means what you think it means.

If the extremely sensitive ODE readers who left comments are right, though, and “ass clown” is defamatory, Michael Bolton is going to have one hell of a lawsuit.

If It’s A Battle Of Wits You Want…

October 21st, 2005 by olly

As pointed out in the comments below, Anthony “The Rock” Warren’s missive to the ODE has elicited responses:

The arrogance you displayed by calling popularity to question in your commentary piece can easily be turned against you and the many social factions that inherently appoint friends to you.

Zing! The man has a rapier, and he’s not afraid to use it.


October 21st, 2005 by Bryan

Apparently, we’re the scourge of Lane County. It ain’t all bad, being a scourge.

ODE Watch: Can You Smell What Anthony Warren Is Cooking?

October 18th, 2005 by olly

College Republicans Chair Anthony Warren exercises the nuclear option on ODE cartoonist, here. Offending illustration here. Warren does not address the cartoon’s scandalous deployment of scare quotes, but does use the phrase “the smell of freedom”.

In other news, ODE sub-editors have just given up trying to headline Ailee Slater columns, here. (I would perhaps have gone with “blah dysfunctional society blah”, but it’s fine the way it is.) The piece itself seems to have had vital explanatory paragraphs excised; the good ol’ five Ws are running at no better than sixty percent strength. We also have the spectacular sentence

Lucila Ventura, 18 years old, is charged with murder, attempted murder, child endangerment and so on.

It’s the “and so on” that really kills you in front of a jury, isn’t it? Hard to blame the editors for not making much an effort on this one.

Staff Meeting Watch: Accurate Date/Time/Location Edition

October 18th, 2005 by Ian

Who: Current staffers, future staffers, ex-staffers, staffers-in-law, step-staffers, and you.
What: Oregon Commentator Staff Meeting
When: Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7:00pm Pacific Time (Sod off, GMTers.)
Where: EMU Century Room D (On the top floor of the Skylight room.)
Why: Because meetings are the hip thing nowadays, and we’re all about the kids.
How: There is no how.

When In Doubt, Create Another Committee

October 17th, 2005 by olly

Nicholas Wilbur’s latest report on this new-fangled RRC thing:

[RRC Chair David] Gowards memo stated that RRC does not decide which programs are worthy of funding; it only decides whether a program is worthy of ASUO recognition.

Programs that arent recognized cant receive funding.

I’m glad we got that cleared up: the RRC won’t decide which programs are worthy of funding, it’ll just decide which programs can receive funding. I don’t know about you all, but I feel much better now.

As Ian pointed out below, this quote is significant:

The only instance that a program might not qualify for continuation of recognition is if its Mission and Goals statements have drastically changed since the previous year.

On its face, this seems airtight; but if that’s the whole story, it seems to make the RRC little more than a rubber stamp with a budget attached, given that most groups’ mission and goals statements don’t change drastically from year to year. In effect, though…

Goward said that in 98.9 percent of cases, programs lose recognition after somebody files a grievance a formal complaint with the ASUO Executive or the Constitution Court.

Aha. And that shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange, right? The RRC looks, to me, like an end-around designed to avoid the circus that ensued last year when PFC started making value judgments about groups’ mission statements, by ensuring that disfavored groups never even make it in front of PFC. If that is its purpose, I don’t think it’s a good idea. If that’s not its purpose, I’d be interested to hear other suggestions.

(And the potential impact upon this particular student group? Well, as last year demonstrated, an angry grievance-filing mob can be drummed up at relatively short notice on virtually any pretext. What I’m curious about is the legal distinction, or lack thereof, between PFC and a manufactured gatekeeper committee. My instinct is that the RRC, as a branch of student government, would be every bit as bound by Southworth as PFC is – but I may well be missing some of the nuances here.)

(…And That Passeth For Poetry)

October 16th, 2005 by olly

A non-substantive coda to the previous post: you just knew there was going to be poetry involved somewhere, didn’t you?

“Intricate wisdom, carefully woven and bound together by monumental strands of time,” eh? Allow me to riposte.

The Peace That Passeth Understanding…

October 16th, 2005 by olly

I’ve been browsing the Strike For Peace website for a while, honestly attempting to take it seriously. I have been aided in this by some of PJ O’Rourke’s pithier essays on Boomer protest narcissism, a large glass of Scotch, and two icepacks: one for the drink and one for my head. I have a few more comments.

First of all, the kindest thing that can be said about the Strike for Peace view of pre-1950 history is that it is naive, and reading the Petition for Peaceful Priorities I’m inclined to think “revisionist” might not be too harsh a term:

When America was born a people-first country, the concept of freedom spread rapidly throughout the world without military force…

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, nonsense. The concept of freedom didn’t even spread particularly well throughout America without military force. And depending on when Bogart is pronouncing the birth of the nation, “born a people-first country” is either a euphemism for “taken by brutal conquest”, “seized by armed revolutionary struggle”, or “riven by a bloody civil war”, none of which seem especially accurate. Bogart’s vision of a peaceful and harmonious international community subverted by evil profiteers since WW2 (so, perhaps not coincidentally, during Bogart’s own lifetime) strikes me as completely at odds with reality and seems to be among the factors that have driven him around the bend. At the risk of spoiling the party, may I point out that the world was arguably an even worse place before Bogart’s generation came along and taught the world to sing?

Also, and I’ve gone through the PPP with a fine-tooth comb looking for an answer to this, what the hell is Bogart actually demanding? Well, he’s demanding that “our national policies reflect our priorities and serve the rights and needs of the common people.” But what does this mean? Well, his primary beef seems to be that ” more than 350 of our universities are developing weapons for the Department of Defense,” where the word “weapon” is, I suspect, being interpreted rather loosely. OK, so he wants to cut the Pentagon’s R&D budget. Or I assume he does; the PPP is not long on specifics. By how much? Or, since “[d]eveloping weapons at our institutions of enlightenment contradicts the inherent purpose of learning,” is it OK if the research he objects to is carried out at other labs? (This would be a major loss of research funding for universities, by the way.) Since Bogart feels that military subcontracting is impeding the ability of, say, Campbell’s to coordinate a massive stand against war by the nation’s soup manufacturers, is he demanding (as he has implied in Eugene Weekly pieces) that the military should once again take internal responsibility for meeting all its soldiers’ needs? If so, is he relaxed about the fact that such a policy would be incredibly, unnecessarily expensive and make the military an even larger public employer than it already is?

Oh, and while I’m sniping: the point of a strike is that a group of workers can collectively withhold something of value from their employer as an extreme negotiating tactic. What exactly is being withheld here? (I mean, the guy’s even getting credit for his classes during this alleged strike, so the University is presumably still getting state money for having him on the books as a student.) How is this negotiation supposed to play out? Slice the Pentagon’s R&D budget by some amount to be specified later, or Brian Bogart will never set foot in a classroom again! And then he’ll get rained on in the winter! And then… and then you’ll be sorry? I’m not sure I’m buying this.

Al Qaeda condemned to Supercuts

October 15th, 2005 by Skeletor Ogboggle

Al Qaeda’s barber arrested
Walid Muhammad Farhan Juwar al-Zubayadi, also known as “The Barber”, has been arrested by U.S. forces. Zubaydi actually is a professional barber who altered the hair and beard colors and styles of senior Al Qaeda members in order to help them evade capture. I guess from here on out the worlds most dangerous terrorists will have to sneak into the mall for their perms and custom dye jobs. One wonders how long they’ll last now.

Kids These Days: In Other News, Things Cost More Than They Used To!

October 14th, 2005 by Timothy

AP trots out a poll of old people complaining about rudeness. It seems to have mostly sampled the old, a class of folks notoriously disatisfied with everything but Matlock. Some tidbits:

Carole Krohn, 71, a retired school bus driver in Deer Park, Wash., said she has seen children’s behavior deteriorate over the years, including one time when a boy tossed a snowball at the back of another driver’s head. In this litigious society, she argued, a grown-up risks trouble correcting someone else’s kid.


Bernard F. Scanlon, 79, of Sayville, N.Y., would like to see one railroad car set aside for cell phone users to ensure peace and quiet for the rest. Amtrak has taken a stab at that by banning cell phones and other loud devices in one car of some trains, especially on chatty Northeast and West Coast routes.

Yeah, like the old guy can even hear the other passengers talking to begin with. Anyhow, Amtrack might be dying. [Hattip Drudge & Asymmetrical Info.]

UW Columnists Channel Shawn Miller’s Ex-Girlfriend

October 14th, 2005 by Ian

Going to tomorrow’s Ducks/Huskies football game? Need a bit of material to get psyched up for cheering your damn head off? Look no further than the noisemakers being exercised over at the Yew-Dub student newspaper‘s sports section:

Oregon’s defeat of Washington in ’94 was punctuated by Kenny Wheaton intercepting a pass from UW quarterback Damon Huard and waddling it back for a score. Since then, the Ducks have clung to that one play much like the Mariners cling to Edgar’s double. It is the one shining moment in their otherwise dismal existence.

This is coming from a school that’s lost its past ten conference games. But is that not enough forgetful trash talk to convince you to sacrifice your vocal chords for a few days? How about this:

Not only does the team look primed for the victory, but beating Oregon — a team hated more than the Cougars in some cases — could turn the program around. There is nothing like a win over a hated rival to push a team in the right direction.

Onterrio Smith Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman

October 14th, 2005 by Ian


The victim alleges that she was drinking with Smith and another Vikings player when she passed out. She later woke up and said both players were on top of her. The woman has fetal alcohol syndrome.

If it weren’t for his off the field problems, I’m 100% certain Smith would be a starting Running Back in the NFL right now. Instead, he’s suspended for a year for drug use and accused of raping a disabled(?) woman.

New RRC Memo Attempts to Address Concerns

October 13th, 2005 by Ian

ASUO Programs Administrator (and RRC Chairman) David Goward sent a new memo to all ASUO programs this evening in an attempt to defuse concerns.

Two important snippets:

[H]istorically the ASUO Executive has had sole power and responsibility to review all current programs and approve new programs. This is a recurring process that has yet to change. The difference now is that we are doing it in an open forum where all students can voice their opinion, and more students can be involved in the review and recognition process.


If the ASUO were to ever deem that a current program does not to meet the guidelines for recognition as outlined in the Green Tape Notebook, the program will not continue to be recognized, and thus, not be eligible for Incidental Fee Funding. A note though to current groups: you have already gone through the recognition process and the ASUO agrees with your status. The only instance that a program might not qualify for continuation of recognition is if its Mission and Goals statements have drastically changed since the previous year.

(The memo came in proprietary .doc format, so I’ve taken the libery of converting it to .pdf. It is otherwise unedited.)