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Archive for June, 2008

A Server Darkly

June 13th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

I was perusing an old back-issue today in the office, and I came across an article by Jeremy Jones describing some of the bizarre sites that can be found on the U of O servers. Seeing as how it’s the end of the school year and how it’s a real drag coming up with original ideas, I did a little digging and found a few gems of my own. Without further ado, I present the following sites for your viewing pleasure:

Emergency Senate Meeting

June 11th, 2008 by Sean Jin

No, I was not at ASUO tonight.

But short story:

Nik Antovich was appointed to Con Court, which should be really good for next year. I know we give Nik a lot of crap on this blog, but like I’ve been telling everyone, he’s a really smart person and makes great decisions. He’ll be a good voice of moderation on the body next year.

Lee Warnecke resigned from Senate tonight, too. I don’t know why, but word has it he missed me too much. As a potential leader of Senate next year, his principles and logical thinking leaves Senate at a loss for next year. Hopefully somebody else will be able to step into his shoes. Calling Neil Brown…

“Hate Speech” Versus Free Speech

June 11th, 2008 by Vincent

 If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you might’ve heard about the controversial case before a Canadian “Human Rights Commission” regarding Mark Steyn’s infamous Maclean’s article, which is an excerpt from his book, “America Alone.” While I’m not necessarily a fan of Steyn or his thesis, which I find to be rather too histrionic, the fact that one of Canada’s most prominent journalists, as well as one of its oldest publications, being marched up in front of some “human rights” troika for the “crime” of essentially hurting some peoples’ feelings discomforts me, to say the very least.

After all, regardless of what one might think of buffoons like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore — or even outright racist scumbags like David Irving — here in the United States, people are for the most part free to say whatever they please in whatever forum will let them speak.

This article, published in the New York Times, muses upon the idea of whether or not the Canadian model, which effectively prohibits “hate speech” is perhaps, in some ways preferable to the American one, in which “newspapers and magazines can say what they like about minorities and religions — even false, provocative or hateful things — without legal consequence.” It cites legal scholars who are quick to put “respect” and avoiding “distress” before freedom, the argument being that some speech is simply “too dangerous” to allow.

Such a position is, I fear, even more dangerous to the values of a democratic society than any “hate speech” ever could be. In a perversion of Voltaire, “hate speech” laws seem to say “I disapprove of what you have to say, so I shall revoke your right to say it.” Opening the door for ever greater government control over what we can and cannot say in order to protect the “right” to not be offended is to test the law of unintended consequences.

There is a George Orwell quote that I am fond of: “Liberty, if it means anything at all, is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Those in favor of “hate speech” laws would do well to take it to heart. Being subjected to a racist tirade, suffering a homophobic rant, or being the target of any of what might be called “hate speech” cannot be anything but degrading, offensive, and hurtful.

It also should not be anything but legal. Otherwise, we’ve cashiered our liberty for the illusion of tolerance.


Reason has a post up today about the same subject that’s worth reading. I also encourage people to read the links that Olly posted in the comments section.

Deb Frisch Strikes Again

June 11th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

If you think ex-UO professor Deb Frisch is just crazy on the Internets, check out these two videos of her hamming it up at various city and county meetings. In the first, she advises the Lane County Budget Committee to euthanize themselves. In the second, she cracks some “jokes” at a Eugene City Council meeting. Her delivery is kind of like a violently unfunny, methed out Mitch Hedberg.

Thanks to Teh Daily Squeak for the tip.

Metal Monday: Springfield Edition

June 9th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Springfield is unveiling a new tagline. The four-word phrase “Proud History, Bright Future” will soon adorn Springfield banners and assorted paraphernalia. However, city leaders want to emphasize that the phrase is not a motto. It’s a tagline. Don’t ask me what the difference is. A PR firm was hired to conduct focus groups and surveys to gauge resident’s feelings on the venerable town, and that’s what they came up with.

Personally, I would have gone with something more appropriate like “Trashed, Lost and Strungout.” Speaking of which, take it away, Children of Bodom!

Slow News Day

June 8th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

The weekend before finals week isn’t exactly brimming with tantalizing news from the U of O, but here’s a few links to keep you busy:

  • Activists will be protesting David Irving’s speech tomorrow. Check out the bottom of the story for a couple good quotes from our friend Dawn Coslow (DC).
  • Mesaret Defar failed to set a world record in the 5K today at the Prefontaine Classic; Eugene girl Kara Goucher came in third.
  • The Portland Mercury has a hilarious profile on the Pink Pistols – an LGBTQ gun club. These must be the bitter gun nuts Obama was talking about. Noted for possibly the best lede ever:

“Most gun clubs are for men who like John Wayne or Charlton Heston. They’re for the pussy, football, and beer crowd,” says Pink Pistols member Steve Gilbert, as we’re taking a break from shooting on a sunny Saturday afternoon. “The difference is, we’re more for the dick, shopping, and champagne crowd.”

P.S. I disabled comments for this post because it mentions David Irving, and we don’t want those people to come back.


June 6th, 2008 by Ossie

The double feature you’ve been waiting for all year is finally here. 32 pages of Hate + 16 pages of Hack Attack = the apocalypse – if not that, at least one uproarious read. Enjoy.

Che Guevara’s Kids Tired of Wannabe Revolutionaries

June 6th, 2008 by Vincent

Shockingly enough, Che Guevara’s kids are tired of seeing their father’s face used to sell products:

Two of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s children said Thursday they were tired of seeing their father’s image used to sell everything from T-shirts to vodka, calling the growth of the revolutionary as a global super-brand “embarrassing.”

Aleida Guevara, the eldest of Guevara’s four children by his second wife, Cuban revolutionary Aleida March, said the commercialization of her father’s image contributed to tension between rich and poor in some countries.

“Something that bothers me now is the appropriation of the figure of Che that has been used to make enemies from different classes. It’s embarrassing,” she wrote during an Internet forum sponsored by Cuba’s government ahead of what would have been her father’s 80th birthday on June 14.

So it’s official: no one likes “revolutionary” posers wearing Che shirts, not even actual revolutionary communists.

Paging Zack Vishanoff

June 6th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

So this is Gordon Smith’s new logo:

Notice anything familiar? How about that “O”? No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; that’s the same font the U of O athletic department uses. Is Smith trying to get in on the Phil Knight gravy train, or does he just bleed yellow and green?

A shake of the fist to those d-bags at Blue Oregon.

UPDATE: The font is not only copyrighted by the U of O, but it’s top secret. Smith must have pulled a Mission Impossible to get his hands on it. The Duck Sports News Blog has more details.

UK’s Dirtiest Old Man Turns 112

June 6th, 2008 by Vincent

Henry Allingham, one of the three survivors of World War I still alive in Britain, has just had his 112th birthday. A founding member of the RAF and a veteran of the battles of Jutland, the Somme, and Ypres, Mr. Allingham’s longevity is, by his own admission, the product of years of “cigarettes, whisky and wild women”.

The Commentator salutes Mr. Allingham as an example for us all.

Ol’ Dirty Drama-rama

June 5th, 2008 by Amy

Deborah Bloom, opinion writer, known for her ODE column “Anything but Apathy” has something to say about her newest and last column, published today. The piece, linked previously, was edited by Elon Glucklich, and according to Deb’s comment on the ODE website, was published with a completely different intent than the original. Luckily for us, Deb also posted in her comment, which *UPDATE* has now been taken down.

In response, Elon sent Deb an email calling her writing self-involved drivel and wishing her a great summer.

It’s been suggested by one of my OC colleagues that Deb is welcome to stop by the office if she needs a shoulder to cry on. I think I know someone that may have two ready and willing shoulders available, eh Vincent?

Also, have an amazingly great super-stellar awesome summer guys!

Sorry, you’re going to need a permit for that

June 4th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

PSU student Adam Sweet and his brother started a part-time moving business with their pickup truck. Soon business was flourishing, and they were successful enough to afford a real moving van. They christened their new, full-time outfit “2Brothers Moving Company.”

Imagine their surprise when the state fined them and towed their truck because they didn’t have a “Oregon Intrastate Certificate to Transport Household Goods or Passengers.” In the state of Oregon, all moving companies must be licensed. Now Sweet, with the help of the Pacifica Legal Foundation, is suing Oregon Attorney General Hardy Meyers, claiming the licensing system violates his 14th Amendment rights and provides “an unequal and unconstitutionally protectionist advantage to established moving companies who are able to limit their own prospective competition.”

Here’s what Sweet means by “protectionist advantage”: Even if 2Brothers had applied for the license, they probably wouldn’t have got it. The state notifies all other moving companies about a new application, and if they object, the application will be denied. According to the PLF, every company for the last two years that has applied for the license has been denied. This reminds me of something. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, right:

Cartel: a combination of independent commercial or industrial enterprises designed to limit competition or fix prices

Surely the fact that 2Brothers were significantly undercutting regular moving companies had nothing to do with the state bringing the hammer down on them. Here’s the case complaint, and there’s a video from the PLF after the jump, complete with sweet graphic representations of economic oppression.

Update: Crossposted over at Oregon Catalyst.


McCain Gives Shout-out to OC

June 4th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Well, sort of. The Oregon Commentator is listed as a suggested conservative blog on John McCain’s website. It’s kind of cool to be listed alongside some of the big names like Volokh Conspiracy. A few of our friends from the AFF blog contest are also listed, as well as local Oregon blog NW Republican.

Of course, this all comes with a catch. From the website:

Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known. Once you’ve commented on a post, video or news story, report the details of your comment by clicking the button below. After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center.

What’s the current exchange rate for McCain Points? Can I also win McCain Points by playing skeeball? How many do I need to get a secret decoder ring?

“When I take a road trip, Styx rides shotgun.”

June 3rd, 2008 by Vincent

In case you ever wondered how bad life can get, all you have to do is read this.

’08 Elections Odds & Ends

June 3rd, 2008 by Vincent
  • Hillary Clinton is “open” to being Obama’s VP. We all knew she was holding out for something, didn’t we? In any case, I’d rather see Vice President Clinton than Supreme Court Justice Clinton (either one of them, actually).
  • Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, told a bunch of racist scum to go die in a fire. Good for him, especially since Ron Paul couldn’t bring himself to give back the money the owner of Stormfront donated to his campaign.
  • John McCain is still old and boring. No news yet about what he seriously thinks his chances in this election are.