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

Archive for January, 2009

Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Country…

January 13th, 2009 by Vincent

… because your country’s going to tell you what to do, where to do it, and what time to report for duty, citizen.

I’d like to use this space to make Alex Conley aware of great opportunities like this, this, and this. All of these offer excellent volunteering opportunities that don’t require the creation of yet another vast and inertial government bureaucracy that uses millions of taxpayer dollars for the express purpose of violating citizens’ freedom of conscience by forcing them to labor on government projects under penalty of law.

Who wants to bet that all this enthusiasm for mandatory volunteerism will vanish the next time a Republican is in the White House?

UO Faculty Member Calls For “Appropriate” Free Speech

January 12th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

Mohamed S. Jemmali, a member of the UO Arabic Faculty, has a guest opinion in today’s Oregon Daily Emerald delightfully titled “Approach freedom of speech with care.” A cringe-inducing headline if I’ve ever heard one, even worse when you realize he’s writing about the recent Israel/Palestine demonstrations.

I won’t bother with the first paragraph, which describes the NRA supposedly “abusing” free speech by holding a rally after the Columbine massacre. Oregon Commentator Publisher Guy Simmons is much more versed on the subject and is already penning a letter to the Emerald about it.

It’s hard to pick a real argument or point out of Jemmali’s rambling parvum opus, but this seems to be it:

On Friday, some University students decided to exercise their freedom of speech. Lately, they’ve been watching horrifying live videos of dead, innocent Palestinian children and their hysterical mothers on a major U.S. news network (surprisingly), so they decided to take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and organized a peaceful rally on campus, where they brought “PEACE” flags to call for an immediate cease-fire.

Many other University students decided to organize another rally in the same place at the same time, and brought flags of Israel to protest against the original rally. They were certainly legally exercising their freedom of speech, but was it appropriate to try to “crash the other party”?

As anyone who was actually at the rallies could tell you, there was no party crashing to be had. The pro-Israel demonstration stayed at a respectable distance, held signs and handed out fliers. But that’s besides the point. It’s troubling that Jemmali would even suggest that there’s something inappropriate about holding a counter-protest. He seems to lack a fundamental grasp of why a liberal interpretation of the First Amendment is important – namely, the right to say things that others consider “inappropriate” or offensive.

This is all very amusing because Jemmali then goes on to say (emphasis added):

Living in America, I can’t imagine what it may feel like to live in that area in the Middle East, so I shouldn’t tell people which side is right or wrong. That’s what the UN and international laws are for. What I do know is that 9/11 happened primarily because some Muslim extremists have had enough of America’s military support to Israel.

Papailiou, Yours Truly Apply for Senate Seats

January 10th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

ASUO Exec Sam Dotters-Katz has appointed former Senate President Athan Papailiou to the seat recently vacated by Kate Jones. Papailiou is a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility and a friend of the Commentator. He was elected on the Campaign for Change slate and served as Senate President for most of last year.

Also, after consulting with my Senate Exploratory Committee, I have applied for the vacant journalism seat on Senate. Both of our confirmation hearings will be on Wednesday and will be hilarious. For example, here is the cover letter I sent along with my application:

Dear Associated Students of the University of Oregon;

I am writing to apply for ASUO Senate Seat 19: Journalism. I am a journalism major and nominally more intelligent than a trained circus bear, which, from what I’ve seen, qualifies me for the position.

I am interested in the position because the chairs in the ASUO Boardroom look really, really comfortable. Sometimes there are also snacks for ASUO Senators. I am so down for that. I wish to become a part of the ASUO nobility and trod the lowly plebs beneath my gilded feet.

I’m a firm believer in strong, autocratic government. My biggest influences in this regard are, in ascending order: Teddy Roosevelt, Ghengis Khan and Conan (the barbarian). Enclosed is my application, my resume and a picture of me shaking hands with President Frohnmayer. (He’s my bro.) I look forward to hearing your response. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,

Carl Ciaramella

Photos from the Israel/Palestine Demonstrations

January 9th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

Today on campus there were competing pro-Israel and pro-Palestine demonstrations. We have photos from the events up on our new Flickr account, such as this gem of a sign:


Whores and Homes

January 9th, 2009 by Scott Younker

A couple of months ago I noticed an advertisement on the Ol’ Dirty website for sex toys.

Since then they’ve added one more sponsor link to that little box. I’d post a picture of it but I’m at work and photoshop is not approved here, blogging is though.

What new and illustrious sponsor did the Ol’ Dirty add? The Silver Dollar? Castles? Jenna Jameson’s personal sex site?

Dreams only.

No, the latest sponsor is a website with an immensely long list of articles on home improvement. Which leads me to believe that the ODE wants students to not only think about their masturbatory pleasure but also the look of the home that their masturbating in.

Sex and home improvement apparently go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I understand the ODE is looking for any ad source that will pay them. However, it’s a little out there when their sponsored links are to websites with services that few college students can afford to spend money on, even if they wanted.

This is the dude who (allegedly) stole your Xbox

January 9th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

One of the perks of being a “media outlet” is that we’re privy to press releases from the Eugene Police Department, complete with mugshots. For example:

Adam Wayne Klunder, age 21, a campus area resident and who identified himself as a University of Oregon senior on a full academic scholarship, has been charged with one count of Burglary in the first degree and investigators are looking into additional charges as they begin to link the recovered property to additional burglaries.

Among the items found at his residence were “high ticket” articles such as several flat screen televisions, numerous laptops, iPods, and Xbox game systems.  Based on the property detectives believe Klunder may have been responsible for as many as 20 burglaries throughout the campus area, which occurred while students were on winter break.

For the Record

January 8th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

We scooped the Emerald’s front-page story today by almost a month. Remember, everyone: It’s the small, petty victories in life that mean the most and feel the best.

ODE Grows a Pair, Comes Out Against Smoking Ban

January 8th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

The Ol’ Dirty Emerald issued an editorial two days ago against the statewide ban on smoking in workplaces that went into effect on the 1st. Seriously. And it wasn’t even all that wishy-washy. Check it out:

Cigarette smoke is undoubtedly bad for one’s health, and people should not be forced to breathe it in when they want to go out for a drink. But couldn’t there be some middle ground? Banning smoking from all but a few public places could seriously damage bar owners’ and others’ business, and is a decision that should be left up to the owners’ control. In order to curb smoking, the state could offer tax breaks to smoke-free establishments, rather than taking the most restrictive course possible. Let’s not forget that if an individual wishes to avoid secondhand smoke, he or she can simply choose not to go to establishments where smoking is allowed.

Aw, I didn’t think you guys had it in you – what with your embrace of novel concepts like “individual choice” “business” and all. Of course, the first comment on the online version makes me weep a little bit for humanity:

[sic]once again the poor victim is being abused. the smoker who won’t acknowledge the health cost of their vice for themselves or the people who are forced to exist near their areas of smoking. the smokers could have stopped, could have stopped tossing their butts anywhere, could have had establishments designate areas and require air systems but no they would rather demand freedom to kill themselves and others.
i am sorry i won’t feel sorry for smokers who are being inconvienced.  and if any smoker doesn’t like it have a cold and then walk into you living area and see how your world smells to others [/sic]

Larry Flynt wants money?

January 7th, 2009 by Scott Younker

I came across this today.

Let it soak in a moment…

Okay, so we have Larry Flynt and the Girls Gone Wild guy (who I could have sworn was in jail for tax evasion or something along those lines) asking the government for a $5 billion bailout. Their DVD sales have slipped, but their website growth has actually increased in the past year.

And their reasoning for this is not that they need money but rather:

[T]he industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. “People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt said in the statement. “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”

“With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It’s time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”

I am as pro-porn as the next pro-porn person, but this is just god-damn ridiculous. What I’d like to see is exactly what Flynt’s plan is for rejuvenating the sex lives of Americans. Personally, I’m doing alright, but still …

I guess we’ll see how broken the government is depending on what they do with Flynt’s request (ignore it, I imagine).

A final note, the quotes from that article are the most amazingly vague quotes I’ve seen in some time, and we just had an election.

ASUO Bullet-points: Sen. Jones Resigns, Meeting Tonight

January 7th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella
  • Sen. Kate Jones has resigned from the ASUO Senate. Jones was one of the most senior members on the body, as well as one of its more influential members. This brings the number of vacant seats to two, the first being the journalism seat vacated by Suzie Giacomelli. The ASUO Executive will fill the two seats with appointments. The Comic Press has some suggestions for appointments, including a certain Sudsy O’Sullivan. (We’re working on it. Keep your fingers crossed.)
  • There’s a Senate meeting tonight at seven p.m. As usual, I will be twittering the proceedings. Hard to say how interesting things will be from looking at the agenda, but it’s budget season, so all bets are off.
  • ODE reporter Alex Scott has an article on the proposed amendments to the ASUO Constitution that I wrote about yesterday.

Tony Diep is God

January 6th, 2009 by Scott Younker

I realize that this “news” came out yesterday but at the time I dismissed it as trivial (it still is). Also, I didn’t actually read the article until today while I was bored at work.

The point is that in a stunning display of “journalism” our intrepid Emerald reporter managed to get all the information about the year 1999 from one person, Tony Diep.

Sure, Diep is a self-described pop-aficiando but in an article with a head line that leads me to believe we’re actually getting a flashback this was just disappointing. Mostly this article was Diep getting to be nostalgic. Whoo.

Really though, the opening paragraph is money:

As 13-year-olds growing up in Southeast Portland, Tony Diep and his friends carefully closeted their love of bubble gum pop music. Instead of partaking in the wars waged among Britney, Christina and the plethora of 1999 boy band fans, the teens opted to lip-synch to DMX beats played on Jammin’ FM 95.5. Secretly, Diep rooted for the Backstreet Boys while his ‘N Sync-crazed friend “hated them.”
“In 1999, everyone was trying really hard to be cool,” Diep said. “It was the beginning of the crazy pop phase; a less extreme version of it.”

Our intrepid reporter seems to be talking about a coming out party here.

But before you get lost in the ridiculous that is Diep, don’t forget that Andrew Pomeroy got in on the act late in the game with two random quotes. Apparently, Pomeroy used to like Limpbizkit but now realizes that was a mistake and he hates Soulja Boy and the word “hyphy.”

Thank god for his insights.


January 6th, 2009 by Jake

A Pennsylvania township has banned smoking in outdoor areas. South Heildelberg Township located outside of Reading Pa., (and 10 minutes from my house) has disallowed any smoking on township property including parks, playgrounds and the parking lots adjoining public buildings.

Perhaps the most hilarious part of this ban is that the one exemption is the parking lot next to the police station. “Police are on duty 24/7, and it was felt they should have a place to smoke if desired,” said Township Manager Ronald R. Seaman.

The story cites Seaman’s reservations about the loophole in the law, but Seaman claims that the loophole will save the Township time and money in the long run. “They could jump in a cruiser, go to a supermarket parking lot and have a smoke. This way, they go outside, have a quick smoke and get it over with.”

Yes, God forbid we inconvenience the cops. I am more concerned about the displaced high school students who will no longer be able to congregate in the parks en masse to smoke once school lets out. In the words of Helen Lovejoy ‘What about the children. Won’t someone please think of the children?”

More Info on Amendments

January 5th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

I posted earlier today about ASUO Exec Sam Dotters-Katz’s proposed amendments to the ASUO Constitution. Well, Daniel Bachhuber brought it to my attention that maybe some people don’t understand what the hell the Daily Emerald and I were talking about. Explanation:

First of all:Here is the full text of the proposed amendments. These proposals will be sent before the ASUO Constitution Court to be decided on*. If approved, they will be added to the ASUO Constitution, the governing document of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon. Dotters-Katz is proposing four main amendments: (more…)

OC one of ten finalists in blog contest; booya

January 5th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

I just got an email informing me that the Oregon Commentator has once again been chosen as one of ten finalists in the America’s Future Foundation College Blogger Contest. Last year we had the pleasure of being chosen as a finalist, and we took second place. The official list of finalists hasn’t been announced yet, but the judges this year are:

which is pretty freakin’ awesome.

On an aside, I’m reminded of when we first found out we were in the contest last year. Someone asked, “What do you think our odds of actually winning are?” to which then Managing Editor Jake Speicher deadpanned, “I’d say about one in 10.”

ASUO Constitutional Amendments, Grievance Update

January 5th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

ASUO Exec Sam Dotters-Katz has proposed several amendments to the ASUO Constitution, engineered by former Senate President Athan Papailiou, that would add justices to the Constitution Court and grant the Senate greater oversight over the court and the Elections Board. From the ODE:

Dotters-Katz and Papailiou’s proposal would add two justices to the existing five-member court and require it to submit rules changes to the Senate for approval. It would also re-establish the Elections Board as an independent entity to avoid conflicts of interest that Papailiou said were endemic under previous administrations.

Speaking of Con Court, OC contributor Michelle Haley sent the august body a nice Christmas card over break regarding her ongoing grievance with ASUO Senator Nate Perley*:

Honorable Members of the Court;
I hope your Winter break is going well. I am writing to notify you that I have yet to be served Sen. Perley’s response to the grievance I petitioned November 19th, 2008, or a response to the addendum I have filed December 3rd, 2008. I hereby request that this Court view any response filed by Mr. Perley as void because he has communicated with the Court while failing to serve Petitioner with these responses. It has been the precedent of this Court to only allow items that have been completely reviewed by all parties to be part of any deliberation or decision and it is my hope that this procedure remains the same in this case.
Thank You,

* Perley, as you might remember, told everyone he was “not going to cry” when he was served with the grievance.