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Archive for October, 2008

LTD Can’t Pay Operating Costs, Asks ASUO For Money

October 21st, 2008 by Vincent

The Ol’ Dirty is reporting that Lane Transit District is asking for more money (to the tune of over $170,000) to fund the 79x bus route, which serves Ducks Village and the Autzen Stadium area. The 79 route is on the chopping block, along with the Breeze program, as part of LTD’s announced service reduction, which means the 79x will see more riders.

If the increase goes through, students will be shovelling over nearly $1,000,000 per year to the Lane Transit District, a number which is sure to increase once LTD realizes it can continue to extort money from the ASUO by threatening to cut service on routes that serve students. The incidental fee is high enough without increasing it to help fund a transit district that evidently can’t support itself with “[a] combination of passenger fares, payroll taxes, and state and federal monies…” as well as the $800,000+ dollars students already pay to LTD.

No, But Seriously. Fuck Hipsters

October 17th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

I don’t like Adbusters. In fact, I hate it. It’s whole Naomi Klein-esque, anti-capitalism posturing is laughable. But Douglas Haddow should get a Pulitzer for his cover story, “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.” It includes such priceless exchanges with braindead hipsters as:

Standing outside an art-party next to a neat row of locked-up fixed-gear bikes, I come across a couple girls who exemplify hipster homogeneity. I ask one of the girls if her being at an art party and wearing fake eyeglasses, leggings and a flannel shirt makes her a hipster.

I’m not comfortable with that term,” she replies.

Her friend adds, with just a flicker of menace in her eyes, “Yeah, I don’t know, you shouldn’t use that word, it’s just…”


No… it’s just, well… if you don’t know why then you just shouldn’t even use it.”

The massive comment thread tends to reinforce the writer’s argument. For example:

Be that as it may, we’re the ones having the time of our fucking lives. No one pretends it’s a ‘counter-culture’ movement, it’s just some kids who like dressing up and know how to have fun. That’s probably why we’re uncomfortable with the ‘hipster’ label.

Maybe you’re uncomfortable with the term because you’re a vapid, contemptible twit.

P.S. For extra fun times, read the article again but replace every instance of the word “hipster” with “Jew.” It suddenly becomes Henry Ford’s unexpurgated autobiography!

Presidental Search Open Forum Yields Pentagonal Results

October 16th, 2008 by Amy

Today the ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz, and the Grad Student serving on the closed Presidential Search Committee, Max Rayneard, held an open forum for students to voice their concerns and ask questions about the students’ involvement.

Unfortunately, only eight students made an appearance, three of which were from Duck U (the J-School TV news broadcast). Three students aside, I feel it’s appropriate to list the other five attendees, in no particular order: ASUO Vice President Delashaw, Senator Gray, Senator Schultz, an office assistant from the ASUO to take minutes, and yours truly (The Chair of the EMU Board of Directors). Sam, when asked by Senator Schultz, stated that students have a keen ability to smell bullshit, so the most important trait a new President can possess is consistancy.

The meeting, scheduled until 6pm, was done an hour early, and like any responsible journalist/concerned student should, I proceeded to Rennie’s Landing for three lemonades before my 7pm class.

A Tax of a Tax: ASUO Meeting Wrap-up

October 15th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

I’ve got a convenient bullet-point wrap-up of the Senate meeting after the jump, but first The Big News:

The Oregon University System is taxing the Incidental Fee. Yes, they’re taxing a tax – a tax of a tax on students. Apparently this is a regular practice (known as “assessment”), but it was brought up tonight in the Executive announcements because the OUS upped the tax from two to three percent … after EMU and PFC budgeting. This basically screws over student programs, as well as the EMU operating budget. Furthermore, there is no cap on how much the OUS can tax the I-fee.

The ASUO will lobby to set the I-fee off limits to the assessment tax. To be honest, I’m a little bit out of my depth on this; this is all what I gleaned from the Senate meeting. However, Michelle Haley, who is on the EMU Board, will be writing more about the issue.

Moving on … (more…)

ASUO Senate Meeting Tonight

October 15th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Another Wednesday, another ASUO Senate Meeting. I can’t tell if there will be anything juicy from reading the agenda (being the enthralling piece of prose that it is), but the Survival Center is putting in a special request (surplus request for “revolutionary filing cabinet,” I presume).

I’ll be doing my part as a 21 century, techno-wizard journalist and twittering the night’s proceedings. As usual, the sideshow starts at seven p.m.

P.S. Oh, I guess there is that whole “presidential debate” thing tonight, or so I hear, but who cares about that?

Data Point

October 15th, 2008 by Vincent

FOR ME, NOT FOR THEE: “An NHS trust has spent more than £12,000 on private treatment for hospital staff because its own waiting times are too long.

(H/T: The Agitator)

Oregon Senate Race Gets… Constitutional.

October 14th, 2008 by Vincent

According to a new survey, the Oregon Senate race has Gordon Smith and Jeff Merkley, who’ve been running two of the most disgusting campaigns I’ve ever seen, running neck and neck (41% and 46%, respectively), “undecided” pulling in 6% of the vote and… David Brownlow of the Constitution Party (?!) polling at 7%.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Constitution Party, whose Presidential candidate won the endorsement of gnomish kingmaker Ron Paul, their motto is “Life. Liberty. Limited Government.” So far, so good. Then you read their platform.


ODE Starts Blogging; Hilarity Ensues

October 14th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Facing decreasing ad revenue and increasing production costs, the ODE, like many papers around the country, is slimming down it’s print content and moving online. As part of its new strategy, the ODE is finally forcing its staff to blog. Prognosis: delicious!

For example, check out the glorious prose of “Partygoing gets treacherous as weather gets cold” by Opinion Editor Anastasia Strgar in “Our Words,” the ODE opinion blog (emphasis added):

I went to a party on Friday night. It was themed and at a frat [!] just down the road from my apartment. Quite convenient, I figured. It wouldn’t be too long of a walk in my scanty little dress that I’d bought earlier that day at the street fair for only five dollars- what a bargain. As I sexified myself [!!], I danced to loud music in my room and pre-gamed it with my roommate and some friends who would be accompanying me. They were in similarly scant outfits and we were ready to party!

Reality hit us hard across the face [?!] as we stepped outside into the bitter cold of the early October evening. It had begun to get cold just a few days before. Fall seems to do that. We all could feel it, but all the same, walking to class when it’s cold in jeans and a sweatshirt isn’t quite as extreme as going in dresses meant for hot, sticky summer nights.

We made it to the party only to find that as soon as we stepped inside, we’d entered the haven of a hot, sweaty college party. Relieved, we threw ourselves into the orgy that is a frat party [!!!] and instantly, our goosebumps disappeared.


Even when it’s pouring rain and we have to risk our hair getting wet, college girls will almost always choose to party. Because getting dressed up, dancing, and making out with cute college boys is worth it.

In completely unrelated news, Strgar is hereafter invited to all future Commentator parties.

P.S. In fairness, the sports blog and photo blog have a lot of potential, and I’m glad the Emerald is finally getting a handle on this whole “Internet” thing.

Voting is Dead

October 13th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

From our inbox:

Esteemed Oregon Commentator,

Perhaps you have noticed that there are quite a few register to vote people out there that insist on treating students like they are children who constantly need to be reminded of their responsibilities. I’m guessing that you are as annoyed as much as I am with these officious people, and with that in mind I would like to mount a protest (Don’t worry – a protest utterly lacking in picket signs, slam poetry, and organization). My idea is that when people are asked if they want to register they write Frederich Nietzsche as the name of the applicant and then promptly walk away. This will waste their voter registration form, make it clear that their efforts are unwanted, and ultimately make them hesitant about asking students. Understand that I’m not against voting in the slightest, I am registered and certainly will be voting, but I loathe the people who seem to assume that I can’t handle my civic duty. I realize that this is a little late, but I only recently thought of it.

Sincerely, Nicholas “Ubermensch” Stachelrodt

In other news, everyone is butthurt because John Stossel had the cajones to suggest that some people are too stupid to vote.

Politicians to Visit Campus on Tuesday

October 12th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

On Tuesday, 1:30-2:20 in the Ben Linder room of the EMU, Sen. Russ Feingold (yes, that Feingold), Peter “Bikebridge” Defazio, Jeff Merkley and Kitty Piercy will be speechifying and taking questions from the audience. It’s a Democrat blowout! It’s also your chance to finally ask those burning questions, such as:

  • Sen. Feingold, your thoughts on McCain-Feingold: bad act or worst act?
  • Congressman Defazio, how do you respond to criticisms that you are a “little socialist moleman?”
  • Jeff Merkley, but seriously, that Defazio guy. Isn’t he a little socialist moleman? Yeah, high five!
  • Mayor Piercy, if elected this November, what horrors do you plan on unleashing upon Eugene?

School of Hard Knocks Closed Due to Accusations of Bias

October 10th, 2008 by Vincent

In case you didn’t know, this week was “National Coming Out Week”, leading up to “National Coming Out Day”, which falls on October 11 of every year. To commemorate National Coming Out Week, the University’s LGBTQA held a celebration in the EMU amphitheater on Tuesday, part of which was a balloon arch floating across the street in front of Collier House.

Unfortunately for the LGBTQA, some asshole decided to climb up the lamppost where the balloons were tied and cut them free, sending somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 balloons drifting off into the sky. No matter how you want to slice it, that was a pretty dick move.

I found the LGBTQA’s response to the incident to be pretty disappointing. Throwing around unfounded and unprovable charges of homophobia and bias seems to have been the first and only thing in their playbook:

LGBTESSP Program Assistant Cat McGraw, who stayed in the amphitheater for most of the morning and early-afternoon, said because of the nature of the climate on campus, she would consider the incident an act of bias.


McGraw said she believes the timing of the act was deliberate because other University organizations have had balloon arches in the same place. She said the person clearly ruined the arch to make a statement. 

I have to disagree with Ms. McGraw, here. The only thing that’s “clear” is that someone felt like cutting loose 300 balloons. Maybe that person was motivated by fear and disgust of gay people, maybe not. Unless she has supernatural powers, I’m reasonably sure Ms. McGraw has no idea whether a “statement” was intended or not.

[Homecoming Weekend Committee Member Amber] Garrison said that given the nature of the campus’ history, she believes this was an act of intolerance.

“It was hard for me not to believe it was a hate crime or an act of bias.”

First off, calling this a “hate crime” is patently absurd in any case. Secondly, no other possible explanation besides “bias” comes to mind? Not drugs or alcohol? Not stupid college kids acting like stupid college kids? Not just indiscriminate vandalism?

The predilection to denounce outright and in the strongest terms accomplishes little, I think, except to reinforce and perpetuate a victim mentality. It betrays a mindset that imagines the whole world to be engaged in a pernicious conspiracy and that every setback is the result of hatred and bias. In actuality, it might’ve be as simple as someone being an asshole.

The same dynamic is in play in the 2008 election. We’ve been assured, time and time again, that the only reason Barack Obama could possibly lose the election is because of racism. Criticism of Obama is routinely cast as being “racially tinged“, even when race has nothing to do with the matter at hand. “Racist subtexts” are found everywhere, and “coded racism” seems to be all over the place.

While wallowing in such paranoia might rally the faithful, it does little to draw support from third parties, who’re implicitly being told that if they engage in criticism of such-and-such candidate they’re motivated by racial prejudice. The same thing applies to gay rights. I’m a strong supporter of equality for homosexuals under the law, but I’m consistently turned off by the siege mentality of the LGBTQA.

Bad things happen to lots of people every day and most of the time those bad things aren’t motivated by bias or phobia. The person who wrecked the balloon arch might’ve been a homophobe. He could just as well have been high or drunk. Neither Cat McGraw or Amber Garrison — nor anyone else except for the person who did it — actually know what was going through his head.

Unfortunately, they chose to act like victims of persecution instead of standing up, saying “fuck you”, and getting on with life.

Another Victory for Free Speech

October 10th, 2008 by Vincent

It looks like there was a happy conclusion to Mark Steyn’s ongoing legal problems in Canada, as the case against him has been dismissed :

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled Friday that a controversial article about Islam in Maclean’s magazine did not violate the province’s hate speech law.


 The Canadian Islamic Congress, which brought the complaint, has previously failed in two other jurisdictions: Ontario, which said it did not have jurisdiction over printed material; and federally, where the complaint was rejected as without merit.

With the publication of The Jewel of Medina earlier in the week and now the dismissal of the charges against Mark Steyn, this has shaped up to be a pretty good week for anyone who’s tired of seeing zealots using the courts and the threat of violence to stifle speech that is supposedly “offensive” to their religion. You can read more, including a PDF of the actual decision over at Mark Steyn’s website (sorry, no permalinks).

(H/T: Instapundit. I’ve previously written about this here and here.)

Presenting Back to the Booze

October 10th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

After much ado, here it is. On the inside you will find:

  • A survival guide by the master of barely surviving college, Drew Cattermole
  • A big ol’ piece about the joys of free markets
  • A feature on women’s roller derby, possibly the coolest thing ever
  • Of course, the annual bar guide.
  • A really shitty comic
  • A piece about the joys of Sarah Palin
  • Oh, and a badass cover (that’s not on the inside, but whatever)

Sorry for the wait, but I think y’all will enjoy it. I’m going to make some minor tweaks and send it off to print in the morning. Cheers!

Alright, Now They’ve Gone Too Far

October 9th, 2008 by Vincent

Coming on the heels of news that there might be a re-make of “Red Dawn”, some tosser in Slate thinks the movie should be seen as an allegory for the invasion of Iraq. Really:

In my memory, Red Dawn celebrated America and its virtues. But its guiding ideology is actually fascism…

[W]hat’s most unsettling about Red Dawn today is not its infatuation with the warrior death cult. It’s that the movie’s historical parallels have been turned upside down. In 1984, the Soviets of Red Dawn represented, well, the Soviets, and the Wolverines represented both the Americans and also the plucky Afghan mujahideen then defeating the Red Army in a guerilla war.  But on re-viewing, Red Dawn isn’t a stark reminder of Cold War fears. Rather, it’s a pretty good movie about Iraq, with the United States in the role of the Soviets and the insurgents in the role of the Wolverines. [emphasis added]

I guess you could see it that way… if you were totally committed to brutally torturing common sense to construct a mountain out of a molehill of superficial similarities for the purpose of weaving together some sort of shallow anti-American narrative “insightful and instructive commentary” about a 1980’s action film.

Notice, too, the subtle swipe at “Conan the Barbarian”. Inexcusable all around.

Kicking Ass and Taking Territory from Other Countries

October 8th, 2008 by Vincent

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, when I see something like this, it makes me wish we had a leader in this country who wasn’t afraid to make judo DVDs:

A montage on Russian television of the white-robed prime minister body-slamming opponents accompanied the release of the video, “Let’s Learn Judo With Vladimir Putin,” in Mr. Putin’s hometown, St. Petersburg, on Tuesday.

The video is part of a growing media library highlighting Mr. Putin’s masculinity that includes episodes of Mr. Putin, a former K.G.B. agent, bare-chested on a fishing expedition and in flight in a fighter jet. No cameras were rolling when Mr. Putin was said to have tranquilized the tiger as it stalked the journalists who had accompanied the prime minister and some scientists on a scientific expedition to Russia’s Far East in late August.

George Bush clearing brush on his ranch just doesn’t stack up very well against all that, does it?