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Archive for November, 2006

Monetarism Is Dead.

November 16th, 2006 by Timothy

Well, it’s inventor and biggest supporter is, in any case.

Milton Friedman did more for popularizing economic thinking and the understanding of government’s role in causing economic difficulty than any other Economist of the 20th century. He helped foster the Rational Expectations revolution, and, I think most importantly, argued strongly against the Phillips Curve and established grounding for the NAIRU. I think the last paragraph of the FT obit sums it up nicely:

Friedman himself attributed the spread of both free markets and monetarist ideas to belated recognition of the consequences of soaring government spending and high inflation in the 1970s. But so far as the reaction was coherent and rational, much of the credit must go to him. The very success of free market policies has, of course, led to fresh problems; and what would one not give for a reborn 30-year-old Milton Friedman to comment upon and analyse these new challenges?

Goodbye, Milton. And thank you.

UCLA campus police use Taser on student

November 16th, 2006 by Sho

Apparently, the student refused or failed to show campus police his student ID during a “random check” in the Powell Library CLICC computer lab late Tuesday night. After the student was Tasered, the officers allegedly threated to use their weapons on a crowd of bystanders:

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.The student began to yell “get off me,” repeating himself several times.

It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition…

Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number.

Link (via Boing Boing)

UPDATE:  Here is a more recent article, which includes video footage of the incident taken by a student with a cameraphone.

The Color of Love

November 15th, 2006 by Niedermeyer

The Daily Emerald’s commentary page has long been known for columnists who, desperate to impress with their “innovative” politics, tie themselves into knots trying to justify a novel take on old issues. In this morning’s column, “Watch out for ‘Jungle Fever'”, Ty Schwoefferman abandons his feuds with TGraf and Bush to try his hand at some more controversial fare, arguing that interracial relationships are a) founded on racist stereotypes and b) doomed to fail because of “negative prejudices (which) exist in the general public’s conscience.” That’s right folks, some of you may have thought that recent increases in mixed-race relationships signified improvement in race relations, but you would have been wrong… so very, very wrong.

Schwoefferman opens his column by comparing attraction to other races to a virus… “It is a common condition for those with no knowledge of self. The virus is spreading rapidly at the University. Beware of its major symptom: An uncontrollable sexual desire for the opposite race.” Um, Ok Ty… if you say so, but please clear some things up for us. For example, what the hell does “opposite race” mean? Were the races paired off into sets of opposites while I was napping? Oh, and what do you mean by “knowledge of self,” and what does it have to do with any of this?

Having established that black people and white people suffer from “an uncontrollable sexual desire for the opposite race,” Schwoefferman goes on to kick up the stereotypes a notch. “(People who date outside their race) will say things such as, ‘I date white women because they are easier than black women,’ ‘I date black men because I want a brown baby,’ or ‘I date white men because they treat me right.’ Of course there are some exceptions to the rule; I myself know of a few relationships that work. The overwhelming majority of these relationships start with questionable logic and little thought about the political implications.” Oh no Ty, surely these are the only reasons to date outside your race… and for the love of god, who EVER thinks of the “political implications” of their relationships?

Having covered the stereotypes held by people in interracial relationships, Schwoefferman continues by disclosing his own prejudices about other people in interracial relationships. “My initial reaction to any interracial couple holding hands is that ‘something isn’t right.’ I can’t help it, but I have a strange uncontrollable reaction to the sight of an interracial couple when I see one. When the couple is in my sight, my mind justifies it with general stereotypes that attempt to explain reason why the two might be together: ‘That black guy is just dating around and it must not be serious,’ ‘It’s about time that she got a white man,’ or ‘That white girl is just dating him for the fashion statement.'” Imagine for a moment if, hypothetically, TGraf or even Ben Lenet had confessed to these mental turdlets in one of their columns… is there any doubt that they would almost immediately be burned in effigy in the Amphitheater for their bigoted, racist comments?

But Schwoefferman is not prejudiced. No, he believes that interracial relationships can work, they simply cannot work in America. Why should the land of the free also be the land of sexual segregation, according to the column? Emmett Till, Birth of a Nation, and the Harold Ford Jr. attack ad, that’s why. A 50 year old hate crime, a 90 year old movie, and a racially charged political ad from Tennessee are all the evidence that Schwoefferman needs to conclude that “In conclusion, I believe that stereotypes in America are so entrenched in our society that I see no way to sustain a true black and white relationship harmoniously.”

I agree that there are stereotypes Ty, problem is, you’re the one perpetuating them. You’re the one who thinks that interracial relationships must be based “uncontrollable sexual attraction for the opposite race” or one of the other equally inane and offensive stereotypes, scattered throughout your column. I recommend you calm down, and rent the movie “Bullworth,” if only to pick up one concept: “White people, black people, brown people, yellow people, get rid of ’em all/ All we need is a voluntary, free spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction/ Everybody just gotta keep fuckin’ everybody til they’re all the same color.”

Know Your Rights: Emerald Style

November 15th, 2006 by Blaser

In attempt to “educate” the campus community, the Emerald published the story Know Your Rights, a Q&A of sorts with officers from both the EPD and DPS in order to inform students that you shouldn’t lie to cops, and that DPS officers shockingly have little authority to push you around. The lesson here? Although they look similar, don’t get them mixed up, because you need not have any respect for rental cops:

“University students who have run-ins with campus and city police may not be able to differentiate the two based solely on their uniforms and professional demeanor. But the Department of Public Safety and Eugene police have different protocols for legally entering a house or using a Breathalyzer, and an ASUO attorney said students should know their rights when dealing with law enforcement officials.”

This stunning piece of reporting was accompanied by a splashy layout, and a snazzy game of “Which is EDP and Which is DPS”. Go figure, the ODE got the officers reversed, naming the EPD officer as DPS, and vice versa. Seems like the folks at the ODE should have known this information considering their own June 10th party, of which police were called after a beer bottle was thrown at Parker Howell’s head, as well as the attempted theft of a precious barbeque by a student in a Beast Ice-induced rage.

Here’s a few tips for the kids at the ODE:

1. If you’re going to do a real story on knowing your rights, let kids know what the hell they can get away with, what they can’t, and what they should fight in court. Have some damn information about what students should do if they feel like their rights have been violated by over-reaching authority, and don’t get all of this information from the departments themselves. And don’t let the fuzz get away with statements like, “Your party is not so important to us to violate state laws … we’re not driving around looking through windows,” pertaining to their right to enter your residence, when you know for a fact that we have a Party Patrol in Eugene, and that officers go out of their way to bust even legal parties.

2. If you are going to print such drivel, at least label the officers correctly. I sadly found the ASUO’s responsible partying pamphlet much more satisfying, and the clip art figures were appropriately labeled, while still amusing.

3. If you are having an end-of-the-year blowout, at least spring for better than Beast Ice — I would have been chuckin’ some bottles, too if I was treated so rudely by a host. Believe me, if you provide the micros, we can prevent any more instances of incredulous barbeque theft in the West Universtiy Neighborhood.

Racist is as racist does.

November 15th, 2006 by Andy

Ty Schwoeffermann is a racist.

Now you may not think that the Dirty would see it fit to print such tripe, but you won’t believe your eyes.
In Ty’s latest diatribe about racial purity, he attacks interracial relationships; “I’m no love doctor, but I see too many black men or women making bad decisions when they get into unhealthy relationships with white men or women.” So race determines if a person is dating material in Ty’s opinion. Maybe he thinks that people can’t be color blind for love, but in a country so racially integrated as the United States, it is outright ignorance to claim that interracial dating is “unhealthy.” Saying that only blacks and whites shouldn’t date is equally egregouis. As Ty seems to be clearly a product of an interracial relationship, is he saying that his birth was a bad decision?

I am not-white but my girlfriend of five years is, and the biggest problems in our relationship has been distance, school, family issues, etc…you know like the same problems that anyone has regardless of what race you are. Never has race been an issue in my relationship and in fact I am taking her to meet the other side of my family in Ecuador on vacation this Christmas.
If Ty wants to improve race relations in this country, he should focus on breaking down stereotypes – not calling for segregation!

The only hole the self-described media mole’s head is in is his asshole.

Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow

November 12th, 2006 by Niedermeyer

Ask almost anyone under 30 about their politics, and chances are that they will confess to being basically apathetic on most issues. Young Oregonians no longer have that luxury, as our legislature now seems poised to destroy all that is great about the state of Oregon. Let’s face it: the reason most of us get through the long, rainy winters, the reason we are able to put up with endless hippe drivel is Oregon’s abundance of high-quality, reasonably priced microbrews. Indeed, if Oregon has a single global claim to fame, it is as the microbrew center of the world, a mecca for all things hoppy, malty and alcoholic. Enter the dour killjoys…

The Register-Guard’s cover story today tells us that Oregon’s delightfully low beer tax of about 3/4 of a penny per 12 oz glass is likely to increase soon to the highest level in the nation, thanks to the new Democratic majority in the state legistlature. And it’s not just going up a little bit either, thanks to state Senator Bill Morrissette (D-Sprfld) who “is working on a draft bill to increase the Oregon beer tax to a total of about 10.5 cents per 12 oz. glass” according to the RG story. Rep. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland) is also quoted as saying “To me, it’s at the top of the list of things to do this time.” Talk about getting your legislative priorities straight.

The justifications for this move seems to be first, that more money needs to be spent on alcohol abuse prevention, and second that the beer tax is simply low in comparison to other alcohol taxes. Former OLCC director Pam Erickson tells us that the wine tax is about average compared to other states, and that the “sale of hard liquor in state-controlled stores generates a reasonable amount of money for the state through markups” but that “the existing beer tax is so low, it’s almost not worth collecting.” Aw, how tragic. Maybe the state’s world-class beer industry would be worthwhile to the legislature if it became a state-managed monopoly just like hard booze… wouldn’t that show Oregon’s micro-death merchants the meaning of responsible citizenship.

Although there is a clause in the proposal that would exempt breweries that produce less than 200,000 barrels per year from the new tax, established not-quite-micros like Widmer and Deschutes produce enough to potentially get hit hard. Ultimately, Oregon microbreweries are some of the most vibrant businesses in our economy, and have huge potential for continued growth, especially in exports. In a globalizing economy, our state needs to recognize that products such as microbrews and Oregon pinot noir are as much part of Oregon’s international branding as timber, salmon and seasonal affective disorder. We urge our state leaders to reject this unnecessary, regressive and short-sighted tax, and rather to celebrate the economic and other benefits of Oregon’s status as one of the world’s premier brewing regions.

“Achewood is not responsible for any snappages.”

November 10th, 2006 by Sho

Coming to a fraternity party near you: junk plucking.* Well, that is if frat guys read Achewood. Do they? Tell us, frat guys. The world, it needs to know.

*Might be NSFW if your boss wouldn’t appreciate the image of a cartoon cat getting picked up by his junk on your computer monitor.

Dudes already know about chickens.

November 9th, 2006 by Sho

Let’s take a break from national and school politics for a bit and focus on the world’s greatest resource on Pokemon and Star Wars novels, Wikipedia.

Vandalism is a constant problem with Wikipedia, but Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics has proposed a solution to the problem: Instead of vandalizing Wikipedia in general, everyone should just vandalize the article on chickens, thus leaving the rest of Wikipedia vandalism-free.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me as we already know chickens are pretty tasty and that’s all we really need to understand.


Fools rush in

November 9th, 2006 by Niedermeyer

I wrote this in response to the Emeralds commentary titled “Surplus funds should be spent on endowment.” I sent it as a guest commentary two nights ago, so they either aren’t gonna run it, or I’m scooping them big time. Either way, up yours, MSM.

The Oregon Daily Emeralds editorial of 11/7/06 was very poorly considered on several points. First, it seems odd that the Emerald would choose to offer an editorial position on an “idea” for ASUO policy, before such a policy has even been officially proposed. Such an endorsement can hardly be credible, given that the reader does not receive the context, let alone a real debate on the quasi-proposed endowment in question. Rather, the editorial has chosen to ignore basic facts about the surplus, in favor of an unwavering commitment to an idea which as yet remains highly undefined.

Imagine the United States government running record surplus after record surplus, while taxes actually increase every year. Imagine a corporation which makes huge annual profit without giving a dividend to its investors. Although a million excuses exist to avoid thinking of it in such stark terms, the money was taken from fee-paying students, and ideally should be returned. As the editorial board notes, this cannot happen since the money is now in a state account, which means it’s never coming back out… even though the state gives out millions of dollars in tax “kicker” rebates every year.

The real problem with the Emeralds endorsement of the endowment concept is that it does so with no idea of what the endowment money would be used for. Perhaps the editorial board was so enthralled by the word “endowment” that it needed no further information about the use of the money before giving the idea a ringing endorsement. One example, six $5,000 scholarships, sounds good until discussion begins on how to implement this idea. Given the students Senate’s recent inability to pass comprehensive guidelines for its own operations, one can only wonder how effective they would be in creating truly fair guidelines for awarding these hypothetical scholarships.

ASUO politicians, like all politicians, love to wax eloquent on their commitment to improving the lives of their constituents, but as with all politicians, we must trust action, not words. Fees have now risen to over $200 per term, and our leaders are asking us to subsidize scholarships? If the ASUO were to use surplus money to establish a fund with which to finance a freeze or reduction of student fees for as long as possible, their rhetoric might have some substance behind it. Until they have a plan which actually benefits all students, the ASUO should not spend any of the surplus, and until the ASUO proposes a concrete plan, the Emerald should not rush to endorse half-baked ideas.

If Facts Have a Liberal Bias, Does That Make Kera Abraham a Monarchist?

November 9th, 2006 by Ian

There’s a pretty funny letter in the Eugene Weekly today from one James Johnston. Johnston, who participated in the 1995 campaign to prevent logging at Warner Creek, took issue with EW Reporter Kera Abraham‘s previous article. I’ll let him give the details:

Kera Abraham’s article (11/2) about the Warner Creek campaign was the worst piece of reporting I’ve ever read. For the record, absolutely nothing that was reported about me is accurate. There was never any such thing as a “Monty Python Forest Engineering Division.” I didn’t build the fort. Abraham got my age wrong, my past job wrong, my current job wrong — she got literally every single detail about me wrong.

The vast majority of facts as reported in this story, including dates, times, and who did what, where, when are similarly just plain wrong.

I was proud to play a minor role in the Warner Creek campaign. Everyone involved took full responsibility for committing misdemeanors — including physically affixing ourselves to a logging road. It was a very conscientiously crafted response to a timber sale that could only be sold because Congress had suspended all environmental laws.

Warner Creek had absolutely nothing to do with orgies, arson plots, or hairy armpits. The Warner Creek campaign was made up of a group of smart, serious and strategic people taking radical but carefully measured action against a government that thought it could break its own rules and get away with it.

And no, I never “made love, as free wild creatures do” at Warner Creek. For one thing, it was cold as hell most of the time and I wouldn’t have taken off my clothes for sex or money.

I have been a working locally on forest issues as a volunteer and paid professional for almost 15 years. Most of the people reading this probably know me as a guy who knows what the hell I’m talking about. Anyone interested in Warner Creek should know that Abraham’s characterization of the people and events of that time are flat wrong. After communicating with her at length about her piece and her sources, I am convinced that she is an extremely sloppy reporter who relied on other peoples’ reporting for a third of her story, second-hand gossip for another third of the story, and simply made up the remainder.

[My emphasis]

To be fair to Abraham, Johnston was probably pretty high he was making sweet, sweet beastial love and just can’t remember.

But wild animal sex aside, how many factual errors in the story does EW fess up to? Meh, only six or seven.

First the Ol’ Dirty, now this?

November 9th, 2006 by Blaser

Tyler Graf, we here at the OC still follow what you are up to. We read your column in the ODE, and even forgave you when you brought up the disturbing imagery of Tara Reid’s fun bags at the end of a recent column. Despite all of this, we still like you around here, and we still care.

With that in mind, what the hell is this? I know it was Halloween, but damn it Tyler, pull yourself together!

ASUO Senate-land 11/9/06 edition

November 9th, 2006 by Niedermeyer

It’s time again for a look at the topsy-turvy alternate reality which exists every Wednesday at 7pm in the EMU Boardroom. Some call it the ASUO Senate, we call it the only reason to get up in the morning. Here’s another dose of the madness…

Who Needs The Onion When You Have Hugh Hewitt?

November 8th, 2006 by Ian

Don’t worry folks, the reality distortion field surrounding Hugh Hewitt and other “conservative” Republican apologists is still holding strong:

The long and short of this bad but not horrific night was that majorities must act like majorities. The public cares little for the “traditions” of the Senate or the way the appropriations process used to work. It demands results. Handed a large majority, the GOP frittered it away. The chief fritterer was Senator McCain and his Gang of 14 and Kennedy-McCain immigration bill, supplemented by a last minute throw down that prevented the NSA bill from progressing or the key judicial nominations from receiving a vote. His accomplice in that master stroke was Senator Graham. Together they cost their friend Mike DeWine his seat in the Senate, and all their Republican colleagues their chairmanships. Senator McCain should rethink his presidential run. Amid the ruins of the GOP’s majority there is a clear culprit.

Yes, that’s right, the overwhelming Republican losses are all John McCain’s fault. Did Bush’s blundering in Iraq have anything to do with it? Not at all! Did the House Republican’s unwillingness to discipline people like Cunningham, Ney, DeLay, and Foley have anything to do with it? No way, man! Is it because congressional Republicans have spent money like it’s going extinct? Heck no! It’s all because of McCain, his passionate love of illegal immigrants, and, of course, the international underground Zionist homosexual mainstream media Rice-a-Roni-eating cabal.

But don’t worry, friends. There’s still some good news!

President Bush will not flag in the pursuit of the war, and Senator Santorum is now available for a seat on the SCOTUS should one become available.

That’s Justice Santorum, to you! Of course, some of Hewitt’s commenters aren’t as, uh, optimistic:

Everybody get your Koran and Burqas. America’s end is near. Our government is now securely in the hands of Liberal TRAITORS and our borders will be ransacked. Our nation will be overrun with Mexicans and terrorists financed and trained by Chavez and possibly also Daniel Ortega. What a great time for America to lose the Global War on Terror. The patients are runing the Asylum! God SAVE US! The terrorists will be on CNN and FNC tomorrow celebrating in the streets with DEATH TO AMERICA chants shooting their AK47’s. They will be emboldened by this victory to swell their ranks and step up the slaughter of inocent Americans everywhere ESPECIALLY here in the next 6 months or so after we pull out or troops. It’s over, y’all. Go home, get on your knees, and pray to God for His mercy. Be especially prepared to meet Him soon.

Actually, I’m already covered since I received my complimentary Koran and Burqa in the mail after I voted for Kerry in 2004.

To be serious for a moment: A Democratic majority in the House and (probably) Senate is probably a good thing if you’re libertarian-minded. Not that the Democrats are good on many of the issues– in fact, Pelosi’s views on gun control and social security reform are enough to make anyone interested in limited governance openly weep. But there is a strong potential for healthy gridlock and, no matter what negative things they bring to the table, the Dems will at least provide a check on Executive power that is sorely needed. Additionally, the slim majority in the Senate will depend on moderate Democrats who are more sensible on important issues like the Second Amendment (see: Webb, James).

Oh the Schadenfreude

November 8th, 2006 by Sho

Reason Hit & Run: “Your tears are so yummy and sweet.

14% of Oregon Voters Help Make The Case for Education Reform

November 7th, 2006 by Ian

Oregon Measure 46 amends the state Constitution to allow for campaign finance limitations to be enacted through initiative or legislative action. Measure 47, meanwhile, creates a law that places limits on campaign fundraising.

So in order for Measure 47 to be enacted, Measure 46 must also pass.

This simple logic has apparently been lost on about 14% of Oregon voters, if early returns are any indication. 40.4% of people voted for Measure 46 while 54.3% voted for Measure 47. In other words, 14% of people voted for something that they voted against being able to enact on the same ballot.