The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Archive for January, 2008

Tom Cruise: Saving the World

January 16th, 2008 by Timothy

From the oppressive DC-8 piloting forces of Xenu the evil, ancient space emperor who is the cause of all of the world’s problems. Gawker has the full scoop.

Other than being a completely hilarious belief system, Scientology—the made-up religion of pulp writer/hack L. Ron Hubbard—is dangerously litigious and secretive organization. Known for creating “dead agent packs” to intimidate and silence their critics. The video of Cruise linked above is a fairly frightening window into the mindset of the organization through one of its most fervent supporters.

Yahoo’s coverage here.
Previous OC coverage of Scientology here.
Another trip down the rabbit hole here.

Obelisk Webcams, science or internet smut?

January 16th, 2008 by Ossie

For you obelisk lovers out there, the University has set up an obelisk webcam on top of the Chapman Hall pointed down on the South Lawn of the Knight Library. According to the public and media relations website, history professor John Nicols and physics professor Gregory Bothunmet met with the media on Dec. 21 to discuss the winter solstice and “about potential plans for a permanent structure on campus that marks time with an ancient science and pays tribute to campus scholarship.” (There’s a video to watch about it on the site.)

The seaweed green obelisk, which was named the 2007 Phallic Object Of The Year by the Oregon Commentator, will be torn down by the end of the month, according to this sexy ODE article from last week. The temporary obelisk, which is made of mostly wood, was erected “to stimulate campus discussion,” and to prompt donations for a permanent member of the University community.

The permanent structure would likely be made of bronze or granite, physics professor Greg Bothun said. The structure probably won’t be installed in the quad, and supporters say a University Street and 13th Avenue location is more plausible. The area below the permanent obelisk will include cement markings to measure shadows.

“You can’t do that on the grass surface,” Bothun said, referring to the quad location.

ASUO Senate Vice President Donnie Kim resigns

January 15th, 2008 by Ossie

more details to come.

I’m watching Dr. Phil and I’m ashamed

January 15th, 2008 by Ossie


Just an hour ago, CJ told me about this Facebook group, 30 Reasons Why Girls Should Call It A Night. I just got home and turned on the TV and guess who’s on Dr. Phil? Jasmine Kalimullah, the officer of the group! The group is a database of thousands of photos of girls boozing, partying, puking, passed out and what not.


Dr. Phil just brought up the mayor of Arlington and is talking to a reporter of the Eastern Oregonian.


And people say cultural standards are declining.

OSPIRG to screen “Sicko”

January 14th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Speaking of everybody’s favorite money-grubbing, off-campus political group, OSPIRG will be screening Michael Moore’s “Sicko” at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Willamette 100. Guess who has two thumbs and isn’t going? (Hint: I’m pointing at myself with my two thumbs right now). According to the poster, the movie is “a shocking look into the United States health care system.” I don’t feel the need to say too much about this, since the good folks at Reason already gave the film a proper thrashing.

P.S. Who wants to bet the movie will be followed by a high-pressure sales pitch to join the OSPIRG army?

P.P.S. If anyone wants to go for the chuckles, let me know how it turns out.

Waiting on Con Court

January 14th, 2008 by Ossie

I just got an update from President Emily McLain on the upcoming special elections. She said the tentative date for the election is Jan. 22, next Tuesday. The Commentator is trying to get a special election issue out on Friday, but it is a little hard without the information on what the students will vote on. McLain said she, and the rest of us, are waiting on Con Court to give the final wording of the new i-fee rules. The Con Court needs to get this done as quickly as possible so students have ample time to review and analyze the changes.

A case of the Mondays

January 14th, 2008 by Ossie

I was wondering today, as I sat in class and listened to an OSPIRG speech for the umphteenth time, just how much of our time the Oregon Students Public Interest Research Group wastes. The OSPIRG street campaigners can at best make me lose my train of thought as I walk past them. The 10-minute speeches at the beginning of classes, however, is during time that students pay for. We are paying to hear about their campaigns and to be asked to sign up for their e-mail list. I know it’s not much, but when you multiply 10 minutes by the number of speeches each year by the number of students, it turns into thousands of hours of intellectual time used up for the better of their own organization. Though, it does give me an extra 10 minutes to work on the NYT crossword.

Ten blogs enter; one blog leaves

January 13th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

The Oregon Commentator has been selected as one of the ten finalists in the America’s Future Foundation 2008 College Blogger Contest. Here’s part of the sweet email we got:

Dear college blogger,

Thanks for entering the America’s Future Foundation College Blogger Contest. I’m happy to let you know that you’ve been chosen as one of ten finalists. You are now eligible to compete for the $10,000 grand prize. Contest judges will now regularly monitor your blog through April at which point they’ll announce a winner.

Not bad for a bunch of boozehounds, eh? Here’s the full list of finalists:

The contest will be judged by a group of noted bloggers who you’ve probably ran across if you’re conservative or libertarian and spend any time at all on the internet. Most of them are on our blogroll on the right side of the page, but in the interest of completeness:

Congrats to the other finalists, and thanks to the America’s Future Foundation for putting on the contest. We’ve made some basic plans about what we’ll do with the money if we win, but all I can say at the moment is that it will probably be the kind of event that divides history (i.e. pre and post-“that time the Commentator won 10k”). All fiscal conservatives will be invited.

Senate reels in the Tra La La

January 11th, 2008 by Ossie

First off, the ASUO Senate decided Wednesday to allocate $8,256 from the surplus funds for a free concert by Günther, yes, that Günther. As reported in the ODE:

“Günther thanks you all as well. Very much.” (more…)

Frohnmayer expresses concern about telling the truth

January 10th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

As the OC recently reported, the State Board of Higher Education is implementing a new resource fee structure that would roll all of the “hidden fees” that state universities charge into the general tuition. Of course, President Frohnmayer is none too pleased. From the Daily Emerald’s article:

University President Dave Frohnmayer at Wednesday’s University Senate meeting lamented the passage of the Oregon University System’s new resource fee structure, reiterating his concern the “sticker shock” could drive students away.

As opposed to telling them the real cost of tuition? Oh, but I guess that would actually be ethical. Keep in mind the new structure would still not include the money-sucking incidental fee.

Socialism has no place in the U.S.

January 10th, 2008 by Ossie

Here’s a good letter to the editor in today’s Register Guard that thin-skulled socialist students should consider: (more…)

Interview with Andrew “Shadow” Hill on the NH Primaries

January 9th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

I got a chance to speak with Andrew “Shadow” Hill, the president of the College Republicans, about the New Hampshire Primary and the election in general. The Daily Emerald ran a story on the NH primaries today, but they interviewed their own columnist, Nik Antovich, to represent the College Repubs. Classy, guys. The OC interviewed Hill back in 2006 when he was running for state office.

OC: Any general thoughts, gut reactions or detailed analysis of New Hampshire?

Hill: Well, I think the early primaries are a joke. All these states that don’t matter get bumped up in the primary schedule; I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. It’s still a long, long road to the elections.

It kind of sucked that Ron Paul only got half of what he did in Iowa. As far as the Democrats, I was surprised that Hillary kicked Obama’s ass. Apparently, everyone felt sorry for her and that’s why she beat him.

OC: Who would you rather have get the Democratic nomination, Hillary or Obama?

Hill: They’re not very different, but I guess I’d rather have Obama … because he’s not Hillary. It seems like Obama at least actually believes what he’s saying, whereas I think Hillary is doing it 100 percent for personal gain. [OC alum] Andy Dolberg always said he wanted to see Hillary as president in ’08 because it would speed up the revolution.

OC: Who are you voting for?

Hill: I like Ron Paul, and I’m going to vote for him. A lot of people call him a libertarian RINO, but he’s just a conservative.

I don’t like any of the front-runners. None of them are true Republicans. One of my friends described Huckabee as a populist, which he is. He’s kind of like Bush. He believes in traditional, conservative values, but he’s a big-government guy. And Mitt Romney is just as bad as the Democrats. He doesn’t understand the Second Amendment. I will not vote for him; I will vote third party. We’ve been playing this “vote for the lesser evil” game too long, and it’s time to let politicians know we’re fed up. I think it’s time to start voting third-party.

OC: Who do you predict will take the Republican nomination?

Hill: I think Guiliani will be a sleeper candidate. He’ll take New York, and if he can pull California and Texas as well, he’ll have the primary in the bag. Right now, I’m predicting Guiliani with McCain as his running mate; they’re pretty buddy-buddy. That’s not what I’d prefer, but that’s what I think will happen.

OC: Are the College Republicans doing any election events?

Hill: Yeah, we’re putting out a table, hopefully sometime next week in front of the EMU, with information, propaganda, etc. on all the Republican candidates.

Eastern Oregon, welcome to Web 2.0

January 9th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist of Arlington, a small town in Eastern Oregon, is in trouble with her constituents for some racy pictures she posted on her Myspace profile. One picture shows Kontur-Gronquist posed on the town’s fire engine in her skivvies. This is usually the part where Kontur-Gronquist would issue some sort of awkward apology, right?

the mayor said she did nothing wrong and those who are offended need to get over it.

“That’s my personal life,” she said. “It has nothing to do with my mayor’s position […] I’m not going to change who I am.”

Judging from her picture, no one is going to force her to change either; Kontur-Gronquist is stacked. Or, as the Fark headline put it, “Mayor McKickYourAss saw no reason to remove the lingerie pictures from her MySpace page after being elected, what are you going to do about it?”

Hmm, speaking of mayors, I wonder …


Ron Paul Newsletter Revelations Rock Campaign

January 8th, 2008 by Niedermeyer

The New Republic has all of Libertarianism abuzz over this story which reveals the racist, homophobic and generally crappy material in The Ron Paul Newsletter, The Ron Paul Survival Report, The Ron Paul Freedom Report, The Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Investment Letter and other publications linked to maverick Republican Presidential candidate. The New Republic has these selections available in .pdf format, so if you are a Ron Paul supporter you might just want to stop now and go take a look.

Paul has released a statement based on this hasty interview with Reason Magazine, in which he dismisses the newsletters as “Ancient History,”  and claims that much of the material was written by others. His campaign has since released this statement, which concludes “For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”

Needless to say, the “Ron Paul Revolution” is over… or at the very least the name is going to have to change. I, for one, appreciate Paul’s proving to the Republicans that “Liberty matters” over the course of this election, but he wasn’t exactly poised to take the party over, either. In fact, this story will probably be spun mostly by Republicans in order to tar Libertarians with the “wacko” brush, and push them back from the political mainstream. Either way, the newsletters have nothing to do with the ideals of libertarianism, shouldn’t prevent people from embracing elements of Paul’s message even if they can no longer support the man.

College Drinking Games Lead to Higher Blood Alcohol Levels

January 8th, 2008 by Ossie

In “first on-the-scene study of college drinking behavior,” researches somehow manages to discover the above headline. Hold the phone.

The team observed 1,304 young adults (751 men, 553 women) at 66 college parties over the course of three semesters. The parties all took place in private residences close to an urban public university in southern California. The team noted party environment, surveyed attendees and collected blood-alcohol concentrations.

The researchers found that playing drinking games, having a personal history of binge drinking, attending a party with many other intoxicated people, and attending a themed event all predicted higher blood alcohol levels. The researchers expressed surprise over the finding that women at themed events drank more heavily than their male peers.