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Archive for March, 2008

And He Came Unto Them

March 17th, 2008 by de lancie

I got a call today while working in the ASUO from a member of the Barack Obama campaign saying that Obama is planning on coming to Eugene on Friday, and they need to find a 10,000 plus occupant arena. I informed them that there would not be many students on campus at this time, at which point he responded, saying, “Yes, President Frohnmayer just informed me of that.” Of course you talked to the president of our university before little ol’ me. I don’t know if this is all for real. It might have been a hallucination caused by pulling an all-nighter in the library, taking too much aderall and the disillusionment caused by working in the ASUO. Maybe it was a premonition from God that the Messiah is coming. I will keep you posted.

Update: Word is 90% sure that Obama will be at Mac Court at 8:30pm on Friday March 21st! But this isn’t official. I am just trying to share my vision with the world. I hope no one is freaking out about this. 

Update 2: Just found a bit of confirmation for you all that my premonition about this might just in fact be true. KMTR commented on their website regarding the visit saying that is was for sure the he would in Portland on Friday and possibly Eugene.

Update 3: The Register Guard has confirmed that Obama will hold an event Friday at Mac Court. For the record, I scooped them all. It’s just too bad it’s Obama and not my man McCain.

Dispatch from the Iraq War Protest

March 17th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

I wasn’t planning on covering the Iraq war protest in Eugene yesterday, but I happened to run into it on my way to the office and decided to play “embedded reporter.”

By the time I had arrived at the EMU, there was already a large crowd gathered, hoisting various signs and such. I unfortunately missed Ty Schwoeffermann’s speech and a rap by Ari Lesser, although I imagine both were spectacular. I did, however, make it in time to hear a speech by U of O sociology professor Gregory McLauchlan. The speaker who introduced him noted that McLauchlan “has been a peace and social activist since Berkley.” (And we all know how well that turned out). (more…)

Ducks make Tournament

March 16th, 2008 by Jake

The Oregon Ducks made the NCAA tournament, which begins Thursday.  The Ducks are a No. 9 seed and play Mississippi State in the first round.  The Bulldogs finished 21-9 overall and won the Western Division of the SEC.  The Ducks are in the same bracket as Memphis, Texas and Stanford, with Memphis being a likely second round match up.

Hopefully Mitch Platt and StingRay Schafer will lead us to victory.

“Zeitgeist: The Movie” makes fringe fashionable again

March 15th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Ah, the Internet – a wonderful creation that allows unsound information to be spread to millions of gullible users. “Zeitgeist: The Movie” is the latest piece of flashy drivel to capture the imaginations of stupid people everywhere. Available to watch for free, the film is making its way across the Internet faster than you can say “nonsense on stilts.” In fact, today is apparently “Zeitgeist Day”; the movie is being screened all around the world, including on campus. Here’s part of the Zeitgeist Day manifesto, as lifted from the website:

The greatest fraud of our time is the social conditioning that leads us as individuals to operate out of our own personal self-interest and nothing more. Material, poverty, war, genocide, manipulation, crime and corruption are the results. The removal of the grand illusion known as “separation” is the true ‘activism,’ as everything else is a mere result of the consequential ‘elitism’ inherent in the need for self-perpetuation. [Blah, blah blah. Corporatism, religion.] The revolution is now.

The film is a hodgepodge of various conspiracy theories divided into three parts – Christianity, 9/11 and the international banking system. These parts that are ostensibly connected in an “everything’s connected” kind of way, but since I couldn’t make heads or tails of the “big message,” I’ll address each part separately. (more…)

The Abyss of Identity Politics.

March 14th, 2008 by Vincent

With the perhaps not-so-stunning revelation that Barack Obama’s friend, pastor, and mentor, Jeremiah Wright (the title of “The Audacity of Hope” comes directly from Wright) has, among other things, suggested that the United States is responsible for AIDS, blamed the U.S. for bringing 9/11 upon itself, and suggesting that African-Americans (emphasis on the “African,” evidently) sing “God Damn America”, Barack Obama is once again in the same boat as he found himself when his wife made her “misunderstood” remarks about only just now being able to be proud of America. That is to say, the man who was supposed to be above it all, the man who was supposed to be beyond race, the man who was supposed to represent “change” is being dragged down into the slime of identity politics.


Dotters-Katz Blasted for Being White

March 14th, 2008 by Sean Jin

Up late doing a paper due later today, I naturally am wasting my time online and checking the OC and ODE. In the Daily Emerald today (man, I am up way too late for this…) an article is featured about the Ethnic Studies departmentalization resolution that was almost presented to Senate last night. I saw the person that was going to present the resolution. At the time, I didn’t know that it was ASUO Executive Candidate Sam Dotters-Katz…anyways, I was excited for it to happen. Then he disappeared from the meeting.

I stepped out into the hall about an hour later, and I found Dotters-Katz essentially being harpooned by Jennifer Lleras, Kari Herinckx, and Oscar Guerra about the Ethnic Studies issue and race relations. Having dealt with Ethnic Studies majors off and on for the past two years, I can tell you that listening to any Ethnic Studies major is excruciatingly frustrating. I actually went BACK into Senate instead of listening to them talk.

Anyways, the article in the ODE quotes Oscar Guerra as saying that Dotters-Katz was making the resolution to benefit his ASUO Exec bid. True or not, I like how Take Back Campus is just getting people involved and this resolution is a political move. I really don’t see any difference in the two, except that putting a resolution before Senate actually is doing something instead of just bitching for two hours and calling it good.

But I suppose the real difference is because Dotters-Katz is white, so anything he does must be a political move. And Take Back Campus was organized by more “people of color”, so it cannot be related to elections in any way.

Editor of OSU Liberty to run for Oregon House

March 13th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Rockne Roll, friend of the OC and Executive Editor of The Liberty over at OSU, is running for the Oregon House of Representatives District 16. He will be facing Democratic incumbent Sarah Gelser. Although I don’t know Gelser, I can almost guarantee that Roll has finer taste in clothes and cigars. Best of luck to Roll in his campaign.

P.S. Via NW Republican, Matt “The Law” Lindland, a former Olympic wrestler and ultimate fighter, is running for House District 52.

Freshman claims non-fulfillment of duties against McLain, SunOwen

March 12th, 2008 by Ossie

A grievance was filed yesterday against ASUO President Emily McLain and Vice President Chii-San SunOwen by University freshman Caroline Beranek for non-fulfillment of duties. The grievance requests the two be removed from office. From today’s Emerald story:

Three elections board members were confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 23 and one was confirmed on Feb. 20, 2008. The ASUO constitution states that all members must be confirmed by November 1 of each academic year. […]


“Some of the issues were brought up months and months ago, so I’m really confused why this grievance is being brought up several months after the fact,” McLain said. “I’m confused as to why a student who wasn’t even here is bringing this up. She was a senior in high school in May.” […]


Last year, then-Senate President Sara Hamilton was removed from Senate by a grievance alleging non-fulfillment of duties. The court ruled it had no other choice.

Abstinence-Only Education Leaves Lasting Impression On Teens

March 12th, 2008 by Sean Jin

The news has been all over the recent Federal study on STD prevalence in teens. The study of 838 teens showed that 26% were infected with some form of Sexually Transmitted Disease.

Some critics have pointed to abstinence-only education as the culprit, claiming that by only teaching them abstinence, they did not have adequate education on STDs or proper protection. I like to think that these critics are just liberals that are capitalizing on this scapegoat of STDs to try to proliferate promiscuous, irresponsible sex amongst our nation’s youth. The social conservatives are the only thing keeping our children moral and clean, by keeping them in the dark about everything related to their genitalia.

I also like to believe that if I close my eyes, anything I disagree with will stop and disappear.

Nix resigns

March 11th, 2008 by Ossie

Derek Nix, campaign manager for the Oregon Action Team slate and candidate for a PFC Senate seat, has resigned from his position as Student Senate Administrative Assistant. In his resignation letter, sent out Monday morning and acquired via a public record’s request, Nix said verbal conduct in the workplace that may be interpreted “to cause professional harm to my position in the ASUO and worse, to my personal safety,” led to his resignation effective immediately.

Over the last two weeks, I have been subject to repeated workplace harassment that threatened me with my job, the details of which have been reported to the Personnel Committee, but it culminated Thursday when Senator Gulley threatened me with physical injury. Senator Gulley had and has no evidence to support his slanderous accusations at Wednesday night’s Senate meeting. (more…)

Pacifica Forum addresses MLK lecture, promises another

March 10th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

On Friday, the Pacifica Forum met to continue it’s discussion, “Pacifica Forum: Attacks on and in.” The meeting addressed media coverage of the forum, as well its recent controversial lecture on Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, the forum never got around to answering my question as to why it had allowed itself to be overrun by complete assholes, but there was plenty of other fodder for discussion.

After an introduction by PF founder Orval Etter, Michael Williams, a member of the Community Alliance of Lane County’s Anti-Hate Task Force, addressed the forum with the following written statement:

One reason for the persistent criticism of the Pacifica Forum is that the forum has provided an approving and affirming environment for the expression of bigotry and hatred aimed first at Jews and now at African-Americans.


These diseased expressions of bigotry and hatred find a safe harbor in Pacifica Forum. Instead of correction and healing, this sickness is given encouragement and support; hatred is legitimized. This is what the community sees when it looks this way, this is what journalists hear when they accept the invitation to come and listen. This is why Pacifica Forum has developed such an unsavory reputation.

I invite you to consider whether racism and anti-Semitism are qualities you want to encourage, are attributes you want associated with your forum and your name. Because this is not the doing of a plotting media – you are doing this to yourselves by your silence, by your approval, by your applause. (more…)

Is It Aug. 25 to 27 yet?

March 6th, 2008 by de lancie

I must say, I really must say, that I am sick and tired of election season already. No, I am not talking about the ASUO Elections. Those have just started and I am giddy in anticipation for the first grievance to be filed. I am sick and tired of the race for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominee. It dawned on me today that maybe the Democratic Party is not torn between two transformational leaders, but that it simply is not satisfied with what it is left with. This is not to say that Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton are not transformational leaders, or that the DP doesn’t like them.

Maybe the initial media hype of “the first woman president” and “the first African-American president” that kept both candidates high in the polls (this speaks more to Obama polling higher than Edwards) is beginning to wear off. With almost identical policies, characteristics (combative, strong, dedicated, organized), and messages (Clinton’s initial campaign slogan was “If you are ready for change-she is ready to lead”),  the only things differentiating these two are their skin-color, gender and that Obama got a better graphic designer. Hopefully not a single one of these differences will be the one that decides who gets the nomination, but then what will?

Wait…I don’t care so shut up about it already! 

EW covers Pacifica Forum

March 6th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

The Eugene Weekly ran an article today on the Pacifica Forum, covering much of what I wrote about yesterday. However, here’s a nice tidbit I hadn’t heard yet:

[Michael] Williams, who has been monitoring Pacifica Forum meetings since 2003 on behalf of the Community Alliance of Lane County’s (CALC) Anti-Hate Task Force, distributed a leaflet including a comment Pacifica Forum regular Valdas Anelauskas made on the Oregon Daily Emerald website and his critique thereof. Anelauskas’ comment, in response to columnist Deborah Bloom expressing support for the Iraq War, argued that the war was only being fought for the security of Israel and included statements such as, “Even if the author’s name wasn’t Deborah Bloom, after reading your opinion piece in the Emerald (Feb. 7) there is no doubt that it was written by someone who is Jewish. Because only from people of that peculiar tribe can we expect such Talmudic hatred for humanity. There is even a famous saying that wars are the Jews’ harvest. And today it is truer than ever.”

Eva Sylwester, who wrote the article, has her ongoing coverage of the forum archived here.

Pacifica Forum to address OC coverage, assholes

March 5th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

This Friday, 4 p.m. in the Walnut Room of the EMU, the Pacifica Forum will be meeting to address recent OC coverage of the group.

According to several emails I received, Editor-in-Chief of the Eugene Weekly Ted Taylor sent Orval Etter, the founder and organizer of the Pacifica Forum, an email on Feb. 18 asking him to confirm several details from my story. On Feb. 27, Etter announced that the forum topic of that week was being changed to “Pacifica Forum: Attacks on and in.” (The Pacifica Forum’s immediate reaction when questioned or criticized for its often deplorable content is to claim it’s being attacked).

That Friday, Feb. 29, Jimmy Marr, the delightful fellow who previously called Martin Luther King, Jr. a “moral leper and communist dupe,” read the email from Taylor aloud to the forum. In it, Taylor asked Etter to comment on my question as to why the forum had allowed itself to, as I wrote, “be overrun by complete assholes.” Etter reportedly said this would addressed at the next meeting (March 7).

I will be there, of course, recorder in hand, dutifully capturing all the wackiness. To catch up on the Pacifica Forum, start here. Also, contributing writer to the Eugene Weekly Eva Sylwester has her coverage of the forum archived.

Authenticity Envy

March 4th, 2008 by Vincent

Is anyone really surprised that a white woman living in Eugene, OR has been caught peddling fake memoirs of growing up as a half-Native American orphan, running drugs for the Crips in a Southern California ghetto?

The kind of “street cred” that comes along with a story like that is the wet dream of countless bored, white, middle-class “progressive” types who seem to associate people trapped by poverty, violence, and misery with some sort of authenticity. Remember Ward Churchill’s various chicaneries regarding his military service and supposed Native American heritage? Even more extreme examples include the perverse glorification of the Palestinian “resistance” and breathless assurances that life in Castro’s Cuba is lovely, thanks to 100% literacy and free health care — excuses in both cases proffered by comfy activists much like Margaret Seltzer, who justified her lies by claiming she was “[putting] a voice to people who people don’t listen to.”

If anyone doubts the “authenticity” aspect of all of this, the New York Times excerpts a few bits from her book:

There are “some parts of me that did die in L.A.,” she adds, “and that I’ll never get back, and other parts of me that die daily because I exist away from the city, in a world where people can’t begin to imagine what it was like where I grew up… I made it out of L.A. with what life I had left.

Like Ward Churchill’s various pronouncements on the tragedy of Native American history and by-the-numbers declarations of genocide in Gaza by Hamas PR men, Seltzer’s narrative is intended to instill both a sense of shock and reverent awe among the Prius-and-latte set as well as a sense that the world has gone horribly wrong and justice must be restored.

But while her former editor called Ms. Seltzer “very, very naive,” the truth is that Margaret Seltzer was just another comfy charlatan activist who made it her business to profit from the misery of others, supposedly in the service of a “larger truth”.