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Archive for January, 2009

Abortion, shmischmortion

January 22nd, 2009 by Scott Younker

I’m not here to weigh in on the abortion debate but the Emerald is.

Towards the end of this op-ed the Emerald claims that they’re in this for logic and reason and that Obama is basically the end of ideological politics. First point, false. Second point, this entire op-ed seems to be pretty ideological. Just saying.

Now then, my two favorite parts of this article:

No one is pro-abortion – one thing both sides of the aisle can agree on is that it would be better if abortions simply weren’t necessary.

I’m not sure if the Emerald has read any pro-choice literature but there are a lot of people out there who are very much pro-abortion. In my thinking let’s also say that people who are pro-choice are also pro-abortion, you know, that whole having a choice to have an abortion or not thing.

In fact, here’s a guy who is very pro-abortion. I mean the title of the post is, “Why I love abortion.” It doesn’t get more pro than that.

And the second piece of the article that has me scratching my head is this one:

Perhaps most significant, and certainly most appropriate, given today’s date, is Obama’s statement that he will sign the “Freedom of Choice Act.” The bill will write Roe v. Wade and its protections into law and eliminate many abortion restrictions the court has allowed over the years, such as parental notification or consent laws.

I’m okay with this act, although I haven’t read enough of it to understand it all, but the problem I have is with the last seven words of the above paragraph. What is with pro-choice people and their adhoc hatred of parental notification and consent?

Young people under the age of 18 still need parental consent/notification for tattoos and certain kinds of piercings. They also need the same for most medical procedures. So I want to know when pro-choicers decided that a) abortion isn’t a medical procedure and b) that abortion was so high and mighty that it deserves special anti-parental consent/notification loopholes.

Seems to me that the Emerald threw logic and reasoning out the window with these two.

Couldn’t Have Happened to Nicer Guys

January 21st, 2009 by Vincent

Somehow, this seems appropriate.

Publications Call For Sam Adams’ Resignation

January 21st, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

The editorial boards of the Oregonian, the Portland Tribune and Just Out have all issued calls for Portland Mayor Sam Adams to resign following yesterday’s announcement that he had sex with an 18-year-old and lied to cover it up.

The Portland Police Association is also calling for Adams’ resignation, which isn’t all that surprising given the traditional antagonism between the mayor’s office and the PPD.

The story is also getting more tangled by the moment. From a different Oregonian article:

Questions are also being raised over the hiring of a Portland Mercury reporter who had confronted Adams’ about the relationship.

In early 2008, Amy Ruiz confronted Adams about the relationship but then later dropped the story. By the end of the year, she had joined Adams’ staff as a planning and sustainability policy adviser even though she had no experience as an adviser.

For the record, you should never trust a journalist who goes into government work. It’s like a firefighter becoming a pyrotechnician. (Okay, that’s not the best analogy, but I couldn’t think of a better one. Seriously, though, how one can hold a job documenting the folly and foibles of bureaucracy and then decide to join said bureaucracy is beyond me.)

That’s Just Like… Your Opinion, Man.

January 21st, 2009 by Vincent

(Via Harry’s Place)

Witty Title

January 21st, 2009 by Scott Younker

In the past I’ve seen some posts with an anti-Diego Hernandez slant to them…I figured I’d add to the flame with a message from Diego in today’s Emerald

The best part about his letter is that it starts out with a point but quickly derails. 

He doesn’t really make his point known until the very end and then, bam, he hits you with it. Change the name of Deady Hall and make the University spend money on MLK day. 

With all this said, the University should take a look at itself and the injustices that exist within the institution. If Matthew Deady’s name sounded familiar to you, it is because our math department building is named after him. We should celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. by changing things within the institution to provide justice to what he stood for, starting with the renaming of the math department building.

That’s the second to last paragraph of his letter. The previous two-thirds are spent talking about racist history in Oregon, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, racist actions against people in other states including the Jena 6, the penultimate case of racism in America. 

All of that to inform you that the Univeristy is racist because Matthew Deady was racist. Well, now it all makes sense why I felt so empowered on this campus.

Sam Adams, You really screwed the pooch on this one

January 20th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

News has just broke that Portland Mayor Sam Adams has admitted to having sex with an 18-year-old. From the Oregonian:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams is expected to make his first public statement today in response to news reports that he had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old in summer 2005 and, on the eve of his campaign for the city’s highest office, lied about it and urged the young man to lie as well.

The story was originally broke by the Willamette Week, august slayer of philandering Oregon politicians.

Adams is the first openly gay mayor of a top-40 city in America, and as such, you would think he would have the goddamn common sense not to do something like this. He’s just playing into the hands of those troglodytes on the religious right. It’s hard to say how this will affect LGBTQ politics, but mark my words it will.

And no, I don’t have a big problem with the sex aspect of the whole debacle, besides, y’know, the lecherous old man part. It was consenting, and according to statements from Adams, Beau Breedlove (seriously his name) was 18 at the time of their, uh, liaison.

Another point worth commenting on: It’s bizarre how most of the comments in the Oregonian story try to defend Adams, saying that the media are being “petty” and “intrusive.” Frankly, that’s the media’s job. I didn’t hear much crying when stories broke claiming that erstwhile House of Representatives-candidate Mike Erickson allegedly knocked a girl up and paid for her abortion. To put it another way: The media’s job is to uncover the lies of politicians. Therefore, you can only blame politicians when they get exposed for, say, having sex with 18-year-olds and lying about it.

Data Points

January 20th, 2009 by Vincent

The United States now has more people engaged in the business of government than in the business of manufacturing goods that can be sold for a profit.

When our new President declares that “[w]e’re all going to have to tighten our belts. We’re all going to need to sacrifice. We’re all going to need to pull our weight,” surely he means government payrolls, too?

(Via Instapundit)

Meet the New Boss …

January 20th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

OC alum Timothy beat me to the punch in a comment thread below, but here it is anyways.

The New Era of …uhmm, something?

January 20th, 2009 by Scott Younker

For me, the words “New Era” have become the latest buzz word in this political season.

America is entering a “new era” of peace.

Obama is leading the United States and the world into a “new era.”

It’s a “new era” for American politics.

I just saw an article the other day with the blurb, “Obama team faces new era of counter-terrorism.”

I honestly want to know what’s so new about it all. Sure, a black man as president is “new” but I don’t really care about that.

Looking around in the past few weeks, months even, it doesn’t look like we’ve entered a new era. In fact, it looks the same. The politicians haven’t changed; they seem worse than before. Tell me, how has Blago not been impeached yet? And Dems, where’s the conviction you guys fought so hard to get? Letting Burris take a seat seemed like the same ol’, same ol’ from the sorriest party in America.

Here’s the best part, supposedly under this “New” administration we’ll be changing for the better. You know, the one with roughly the same Democrat controlled Congress that didn’t do anything for for four years now, and we expect them to do something now? Ha.

The only thing that I’ve seen that’s new in the past 3 months is the Arizona Cardinals making it to the Super Bowl. That’s new.

So, I just want to know, I want someone to explain to me how and why this country is entering a new era. Because to be honest until Barack Obama actually starts doing new things as President it all looks the same to me. Then again, the world is giving Obama the best blow job he’s ever had, so I suppose that’s new, but not really.

On Hubris

January 18th, 2009 by Vincent

With the inauguration of Barack Obama only days away and and the Eugene Weekly trumpeting that “Our Long National Nightmare is Over“, I found today’s column by Peter Beinart in the Washington Post both refreshing and instructive. In the context of a plea for Democrats to finally recognize the success of the “Surge” in Iraq,  Beinart cautions liberals and progressives, especially young ones, the likes of which one frequently encounters around the University, against excessive hubris:

Because Bush has been such an unusually bad president, an entire generation of Democrats now takes it for granted that on the big questions, the right is always wrong. Older liberals remember the Persian Gulf War, which most congressional Democrats opposed and most congressional Republicans supported — and the Republicans were proven right. They also remember the welfare reform debate of the mid-1990s, when prominent liberals predicted disaster, and disaster didn’t happen.

Younger liberals, by contrast, have had no such chastening experiences. Watching the Bush administration flit from disaster to disaster, they have grown increasingly dismissive of conservatives in the process. They consume partisan media, where Republican malevolence is taken for granted. They laugh along with the “Colbert Report,” the whole premise of which is that conservatives are bombastic, chauvinistic and dumb. They have never had the ideologically humbling experience of watching the people whose politics they loathe be proven right.

In this way, they are a little like the Bushies themselves….

Come Tuesday, there’s likely to be a lot of celebration and triumphalism among Democrats and other liberals here in Eugene and indeed nationwide. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’d do them well, though, to keep in mind that Peter Beinart isn’t really talking about the “Surge” at all. He’s warning against the temptation to believe that, after eight years of the “national nightmare,” the return of the Democratic party to the Oval Office has vindicated the “progressive” worldview as being inherently superior to competing ideas.

The idea that the Republican party has become a “permanant minority” or little more than a “regional” Southern party might be comforting to some, but it’s more than a little reminiscent of Karl Rove’s “permanent majority” rhetoric. Conceiving of conservative thinking as a whole — from the Republicans to the Constitution Party, Libertarians, and others — as wholly discredited and fundamentally unserious (as Beinart argues the Bush Administration treated its critics) or simply viewing them as an undifferentiated mass of Bible-thumping racists might feel good on a visceral level, but it’s not really grounded in reality and it certainly isn’t good long-term thinking.

Indeed, anyone who thought Barack Obama was going to work that way has already tasted disappointment. Some have already begun to jokingly refer to the Obama Administration as the “third Bush term“. While such quips are obviously tongue-in-cheek, they do reflect “progressive” disappointment that Obama himself hasn’t shown much interest in waging an ideological crusade against Republicans and conservatives in Washington.

“Being proven right too many times is dangerous,” Beinart concludes. “It breeds intellectual arrogance and complacency.”

If Democrats and “progressives” follow the same path along which the Republican Party has trudged since 2000 (Or 1994. Or 1981.), toward arrogance and complacency, they might find themselves hunkering down and bracing for the next “national nightmare” in 2012. After all, what happened in November 2008 wasn’t a revolution. It was just a Presidential election. And these things happen.

Coming to a Classroom Near You: Porn

January 17th, 2009 by Matt Tham

A university in Taiwan has begun offering courses in everyone’s favorite subject: Porn! The class calls on students to analyze porn and the impact it has on it viewers.  Maybe you would think there would be some concern over the exploitation of women, but you would be wrong.  The biggest worry heard from the class was best put by one anonymous student:

“I am really worried my parents will see the score report when it is mailed home. I won’t know what to say if I get a high score. However if I fail the course, I can speak to my parents and suggest that maybe I should watch more porn.”

Other news worth reporting; I am currently working on my transfer application to a university in Taiwan.

The Passion of Athan Papailiou

January 15th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

Last night’s ASUO Senate meeting was the kind that makes me embarrassed to be associated, however tangentially, with student government. At the heart of the meeting was the confirmation of Athan Papailiou to Senate Seat 9, and the “discussion” dragged on for hours, complete with mudslinging and crying (seriously).

Papailiou was appointed to the seat by ASUO Exec Sam Dotter-Katz. He had previously served several years on Senate, one as Senate President. But despite his qualifications, Papailiou had one fatal flaw: The student unions hate him because he is fiscally conservative.

By the time of his hearing, the Boardroom was filled with representatives from the various unions, such as our old friend Diego Hernandez, and they were all there with the expressed purpose of sandbagging Papailiou.

The confirmation hearing started out appropriately when Sen. Gower accused Papailiou of threatening to file grievances against the Senate if he was voted down. Hernandez followed suit by bringing up some controversy from last year. He had to be interrupted by Senate President McCafferty for being too “sarcastic” (read: douchebaggey).

One by one, the other student union members proclaimed with quavering voices how “threatening” Papailiou was to student programs, how minorities were being “silenced.” They were trotting out all their classic catchphrases, such as “safe space” and “institutional oppression.” Sen. Carina Miller broke down in tears towards the end of the hearing, saying how hard it was to be one of the only people of color on the Senate and how she didn’t feel “safe.”

(Sen. Rajabzadeh commented shortly afterwords about how she, as a woman of color, never felt unsafe on Senate, but this was quickly lost in the ensuing drama and grandstanding.)

But frankly, that’s all B.S. The real reason Papailiou was attacked was because two years ago he advocated for a zero percent benchmark budget increase for student programs. And as we all know, fiscal conservatism is racism according to the bunker mentality that pervades the ethnic studies crowd.

When it was finally called to question, the vote came down 5-8-3, with Senators Scandalios, Nix, Gray, Rajabzadeh and Reid voting for Papailiou.

Senate has been surprisingly civil this year, but last night’s meeting was a return to form. Several Senators wondered aloud how the body was going to be able to function after what happened. By the way, my confirmation hearing was not held, and, after last night, I am reconsidering my decision to apply. Not because I fear being railroaded by the MCC et al, but because I don’t think I could hold down the bile.

P.S. You can get up to the minute news during Senate meetings through our Twitter account. ODE reporter Alex Tomchak Scott also twitters during meetings.

P.P.S. Jonathan Rosenburg was appointed to Constitution Court.

Lest We Forget

January 14th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

The Chronicle of Higher Education reminds us why civil liberties and academic freedom are important:

Saudi authorities have released Matrouk al-Faleh, a political scientist and one of Saudi Arabia’s leading human-rights activists, after holding him without charge for nearly eight months, CNN reports.

It remains unclear why Mr. al-Faleh was released or even why the Saudi secret police arrested him in the first place, on May 19 in his office at Riyadh’s King Saud University.

The arrest came shortly after Mr. al-Faleh publicly criticized the harsh and overcrowded conditions that two of his clients were facing in prison. Both men were fellow human-rights activists who had been found guilty of “incitement to protest” after supporting a demonstration outside the prison.

A lot of time on this blog and elsewhere is spent criticizing the leftist-leanings of academia, but I will never argue against the right of professors, even those with whom I disagree vehemently, to voice their own opinions. In fact, I will take the inconvenience of a blathering sociology professor over a state-run goon-squad any day.

Cross-posted at Campus Magazine Online.

The Economy is Hurting Child Sales

January 13th, 2009 by Matt Tham

Earlier this week Marcelino de Jesus Martinez proved to the world that he is not only a poor father but also one of the worst negotiators of all time. Martinez reportedly sold his fourteen year old daughter to eighteen year old Margarito de Jesus Galindo with the intent of the two marrying.

What is the going rate for a fourteen year old girl today you may ask? Well, Galindo paid $16k and “provided [Martinez] with 160 cases of beer, 100 cases of soda, 50 cases of Gatorade, two cases of wine, and six cases of meat.” I f you ask me Galindo really came out ahead in this deal. Hell, $16k would only get you a few hours with one of Eliot Spitzer’s girls and this guy is giving his daughter away forever. And as for the rest of the food and beverages I think he should have asked for much much more. If I were him I would have asked for at least 200 maybe 250 cases of beer. And I would have made it something good, like PBR.

Responses to Jemmali

January 13th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

Today’s ODE has a letter in response to Mohamed Jemmali’s guest opinion that ran yesterday. Unfortunately, the Emerald did not deign to also print OC Publisher Guy Simmons’ letter, so I’ll just throw it up here:

Dear Editor,
Faculty member Mohamed Jemmali should not believe everything he sees on television. The NRA did not “organize a rally” in the same town that had just experienced a school shooting. The Columbine massacre occurred ten days before the NRA’s annual meeting. The meeting was planned years in advance and was expected to draw 22,000 people. However, in respect to the victims of the tragedy, the NRA canceled all of its planned meetings except the annual member’s meeting, which was required by federal law for non-profit organizations. This is not exactly an uncaring approach to freedom of speech.

In the future, Professor Jemmali should check his sources for accuracy and bias. It is embarrassing for university faculty to repeat lies about an organization that protects our civil liberties.

Guy Simmons, UO Biology Student