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Archive for the 'Ol’ Dirty Emerald' Category

Dust in the Wind

October 27th, 2009 by Vincent

The Ol’ Dirty is reporting that OSPIRG has finally been kicked out of the space in the EMU that they’ve been using since being sent packing last year. Not only that, but ASUO Executive Emma Kallaway pointed out that OSPIRG shouldn’t have been there in the first place, since they haven’t been a student group in years:

The Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group was dealt another blow Tuesday when the EMU Board of Directors delivered notice that OSPIRG’s file cabinets have to be cleared from its spot in the east side of the EMU, its professional staff can no longer use incidental fee-funded resources and a recognized student group would soon move in to share quarters with the Survival Center and the Student Insurgent.

The explanation provided was that OSPIRG is no longer a recognized student group and therefore cannot occupy space in the EMU. The inconsistency, as ASUO President Emma Kallaway noted, is that OSPIRG has not been a student group for years. Until July, the ASUO had a contract for membership in the statewide organization. No one ever bothered to mention contracted services should not have been allowed space in the EMU.

Along with OSPIRG’s illegal occupation of the EMU, it seems they’ve been using other University resources such as phone lines and computers that they had no particular right to. That, of course, hasn’t stopped them from being a bunch of ingrates:

The EMU Board says OSPIRG staffers cannot use the phones paid for by the incidental fee. OSPIRG students say they use cell phones because the land line was cut in July. The board says OSPIRG can’t use the computer provided in its former office space; OSPIRG Chair Charles Denson said it was slow anyway.

Sorry the misappropriated computer in question wasn’t up to your standards, Chuck.

A Taste of My Rage, Part 2

October 20th, 2009 by D

The recent protests against the celebration of Columbus Day has been an interesting topic to watch develop, especially because it has been discussed by so many who have not a clue what they are talking about. Always an intelligent contributor to the conversation about race, Diego Hernandez decided to make his opinion known in today’s Daily Emerald. Hernandez wrote a response to University of Oregon student Ben Eckstein’s guest column from the Emerald last Wednesday.

Whatever your opinions are on Columbus Day, they need not be covered here. What is most unsettling about Hernandez’s argument is the manner in which he frames it. Hernandez repeatedly misquotes Eckstein in order to portray him as an “ignorant white man”.

“Eckstein argues in his commentary that he is American, but he is also “Native American,” and because he is Native American and white he understands the issue and controversy of Columbus Day.”

Unfortunately for Diego, what Eckstein really said was

“My ancestors may have come from other places around the world, but I was born in this country and I am, as an individual, a native American just as much as anybody else born in this land.”

Hernandez lodges his complaint against this misquote later on in his diatribe as well

“The audacity of a white man calling himself a Native American is sickening. Just because Eckstein was born in this country doesn’t mean that he is Native American. Eckstein will never be a Native American because he does not belong to that community.”

Eckstein called himself a “native American” with the word “native” uncapitalized. Hernandez quotes Eckstein as calling himself “Native American” which is a proper noun relating to a specific race of people (otherwise improperly labeled as “American Indians”). The difference between these two classifications is not subtle, and I find it hard to believe that Hernandez glossed over this fact by accident.

Hernandez’s entire complaint against Eckstein could be invalidated after this obvious attempt to set up a straw-man argument, but it gets better.

“When you don’t have to know anyone else’s truth but your own, then it’s what many scholars like to call white privilege.”

Ignorance of another race’s trials and tribulations is just that, ignorance. The classification is free from race, and saying that “many scholars” have titled that ignorance “white priveledge” is false. Further, relating that kind of ignorance to white people and white people alone is presumptuous and quite frankly, racist.

Telling Eckstein that he is not a part of this country the same way that Native Americans are a part of this country is counter-productive. It only helps further the divide between peoples of different races, whether they be “Native” or “native”.

Things Looking Up for the Emerald

October 5th, 2009 by D

To be honest, I was looking for SPEW content.

That isn’t to say that I’m not opposed to the idea of finding something readable in the pages of our campus newspaper. I’m just not used to it. I happened upon a blog post by opinion columnist Greg Dewar about concealed carry on campus and it made me wonder:

Could the Emerald be good this year?

We’ve seen over the summer that opinion editor Robert D’Andrea has been able to levy fairly reasoned judgment on rather large issues–quite a difference from last year in which the opinion section of the Emerald resembled the diary of a 13-year old girl. “I just like, think we should, like, all get along and junk. You know?”

And not to toot our own horn or anything, but Commentator editor emeritus CJ Ciaramella has been lobbing intelligently written news pieces since day one–in fact, the first regular issue of the Emerald this school year had a front-page article by Ciaramella… not like that reflects well on the Commentator or anything… just saying.

The point is, with an opinion editor that seems to be able to regulate idiocy from his pages, a news team that’s gaining strength and an already top-notch sports section, we may be in for a good year of the Oregon Daily Emerald.

This is not a bad thing for anyone. This campus desperately needs a newspaper that isn’t filled with single-minded, prattling Obama lovers spewing all over its opinion page. The reporting on campus, since I’ve been here, has been atrocious as well–the AP feed the Emerald pays for should take a back seat this year with a precedence on local and campus news. Lord knows there’s tons of it out there, they just need to go and get it.

We all know that this campus has a major, respected journal of opinion. You can’t deny that fact. The Emerald needs to step up this year and deliver a real newspaper to run along side us.

I think they’re doing a great job so far.

He’s back?

October 1st, 2009 by Scott Younker

In case you though that Blount was out of the picture after his apology letter today, you might be wrong.

I was looking at some Oregon Ducks sports news today when I came across an article on Foxsports that hinted at Blount’s possible return to actually playing for Oregon this year. That article led me to Rob Moseley’s blog post on the Register Guard website.

Oregon football coach Chip Kelly will address the status of suspended running back LeGarrette Blount with media following the Ducks’ walk-through today, UO officials said, including the possibility that Blount could play again this season.

Last week, a UO spokesman confirmed the Ducks had been in communications regarding Blount with an on-campus conflict management program.

Of course, being the Register Guard the story is vague and Moseley doesn’t really provide much evidence to prove that Kelly is actually going to put Blount back on the field.

But hey, it’s Eugene! Unsubstantiated rumors are what make this town run.

ODE Columnist Offers Up More On Ideological Diversity

June 2nd, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about Dan Lawton’s research into political diversity at the UO. Well, Lawton penned an opinion piece for the Ol’ Dirty yesterday that expands on his original article.

Among the full-time faculty of the University departments of journalism, law, political science, sociology and economics, there are 111 registered Oregon voters. Two of them are Republicans.

[T]here were 98 Democrats, nine Independents, two Republicans and two members of the Pacific Green party staring back at me. Both of the two Republicans were in the School of Law, and one of them was University President Dave Frohnmayer.

Frohnmayer, you ol’ polecat! But seriously, you should read Lawton’s whole article. It’s an argument that we at the Commentator have voiced many a time: namely that a politically homogeneous faculty is doing a disservice to students who come here to be intellectually challenged.

Pulled Quotes from the Ol’ Dirty

May 22nd, 2009 by Scott Younker

There were some articles in the ODE today that provided very interesting quotes. I know, we’re the Commentator we should be scooping the ODE and blah, blah, whatever.

Just check out these quotes, some are funny, some aren’t. They’re things to mull over as you go into the weekend.

First from UO, ASUO president closer than most.

“Student voice isn’t with Cimmeron Gillespie and the radicals who want to see the incidental fee doubled every two or three years,” Dotters-Katz said. “It’s a ridiculous and disrespectful notion to say that we didn’t listen to student voice. Because we did what students really wanted. They’re talking about the students who are in the EMU and want bigger budgets. We’re talking about the 22,000 students we represent. We did what they wanted.”

A good hit at Cims Gillespie is always a plus in my book.

“(Dotters-Katz had) no regard or consideration for those that he worked with,” ASUO Sen. Deborah Bloom said. “It was pretty upsetting to see our collective morale weared down by his deprecations. It definitely affected how we acted as a body when we had to answer to someone who showed us no respect.”

Dotters-Katz called Bloom’s appointment the worst of his tenure, saying, “Egos of that size don’t have a place in the ASUO.”

Sam’s just flinging the disses around.

Kallaway called McLain’s relationship with the administration “more effective.”

“She not only consulted with the administration, but she told the students what she was saying to the administration,” Kallaway said. “There are times when (Dotters-Katz) has chosen not to share.”


Next one from the Athiest Appeal.

The group applied to be a recognized ASUO group but was denied. The ASUO explained that the group must exist for six months before it can gain official recognition. “The ASUO hasn’t let us use any kinds of materials,” Gubbins said. “It’s like they don’t even want us to be a group.”

I like how Gubbins apparently didn’t pay attention to the ruling at all. Yay, athiests.

The last few come from Andrew Edwards’ Op ed Of briefs, blurbs, and tweets.

The interesting quotes don’t come from him but rather Sean Smith a former editor/writer for Premiere and current one at Entertainment Weekly.

“Brevity is really efficient, and reading Twitter posts, or Facebook status updates, or headlines on an aggregator site like Drudge or Hollywood Wiretap allows you to skim through huge amounts of data in a very short period of time,” said Entertainment Weekly L.A. Bureau Chief Sean Smith, who has written features for Premiere, Newsweek, and Entertainment Weekly. “But what it threatens to do is to turn journalism into a series of headlines, rather than a series of stories,” which he said can’t convey complexity and nuance beyond the most basic facts.

“We become miniaturists, sculptors of non-fiction haiku,” Smith said. “What’s sad about that is that now more than ever, I think, the public needs journalists to step back from the day-to-day of breaking news to make sense of the world around us – to provide insight and context and depth of reporting and knowledge on a subject.”

“My fear is that fewer and fewer people click past the headline at all,” Smith said. “And that leads to the only thing more dangerous to a democracy than an uninformed public: An uninformed public that thinks it’s informed.”

“According to…”

May 13th, 2009 by Vincent

Well, campus today is all aflutter for the impending “march on Johnson Hall“. In what seems to be a deliberate attempt to rekindle past glories, the “Step Up, Oregon!” faction is going to demand that Oregon distance itself from a clothing manufacturer accused of employing sweatshop labor, breaking the law, and generally being very, very bad.

Even the ASUO is trying to get in on the action.

I want to avoid weighing in on whether Russell is an evil company or not; They may very well be, and I’m in no position to say they aren’t.

The problem I have with virtually every argument that I’ve seen advocating breaking with Russell (apparently in violation of OUS rules) is that they do little more than repeat Workers Rights Consortium talking points without even a hint of skepticism.

We’re told that closing down a factory “…prompted Worker Rights Consortium investigations, which found that the decision to close the factory was at least partly because of [unionization attempts], constituting a violation of Honduran labor laws.”

That’s all very well and good, but did anyone honestly expect them to come to any other conclusion? The WRC has painted a proverbial target on Russell’s back, and I think everyone would be absolutely shocked if they didn’t reach the exact conclusion that they did, in fact, reach.

To put it another way, I find the WRC’s “findings” about as convincing as a report reading something along the lines of “an investigation by the Democratic National Committee found that George W. Bush was a bad President” or “investigations by the Communist Party of the USA found that capitalism is bad”. Those statements may or may not be true, but, like anything coming from the WRC, they’re not exactly unbiased.

As part of their college education, students are expected to show at least a modicum of skill in critical thinking.

It would be nice if those skills could be put to use questioning the veracity of claims of corporate wrongdoing made by an organization whose express purpose is to accuse corporations of wrongdoing.

I’m not necessarily disputing the claims that Russell may in fact be a rotten company. I’d just like to see people be a bit more careful about repeating what amounts to little more than propaganda.

Then again, hope springs eternal.

The Phantom Menace

May 6th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

I almost keeled over from apoplectic rage today when I picked up the Ol’ Dirty. The top story is a profile on Nathan Ruddick, AKA The Phantom – that douchebag who flies through campus on his longboard doing lame tricks and nearly running into people. You’ve all seen him – board shorts, headphones, a look of faux concentration as he powerslides in front of you.

I’m really glad that the ODE decided the most important news of the day was the twat who annoys the living hell out of everyone. Coincidentally, OC contributor Justin Hurst wrote an article about The Phantom for last year’s Hate Issue. Here’s a snippet:

I did not think I could hate this felcher any more. That was until I saw him ride up on the crowded sidewalk, where he decided to powerslide right in front of a group of fine looking females. This caused them to shriek and jump back to avoid being taken out by the tail of his board. Not only does this fuckass dance around like a retard, but he decides that an empty street isn’t good enough for him, so goes out of his way to showcase his useless talents by pissing a bunch of people off who are only trying to make it to class without some nugget skidding in their path. He uses people on campus as obstacles in his imaginary longboard course, and if that doesn’t make someone a dick, I’m not sure what does. If he truly wanted to impress anybody he would ride a fucking skateboard and do a kickflip like any reasonable person who wanted to perform tricks on a board.


April 30th, 2009 by Vincent

I usually like Matt Petryni’s columns. I don’t always agree with the guy, but he usually seems genuinely thoughtful and I’d put him at the top of the list of this year’s otherwise… lackluster opinion roster over at the Emerald. That said, today’s piece, which attempted to link industrial farming with swine flu (or pandemics in general), was all sound and fury (well, sound at least, and only if you were to read it aloud), signifying… nothing in particular.


Same as It Ever Was

April 28th, 2009 by Vincent

In a typically quotidian column, “Eagle Eye” Alex Conley has decided to tackle the question of President Obama’s “First 100 Days”. Unfortunately for Obama boosters, unambiguous successes have been few and far between since January 20th. After demolishing some conservative straw men, Conley has to admit as much.

What’s interesting about his article, however, isn’t the paint-by-numbers conservative bashing or his shopworn cheerleading, it’s Conley’s apparent difficulty in admitting that, thus far, Obama’s tenure has not departed radically from many of the policies supported by his predecessor.

Thus, we’re informed that Obama has gotten “a strong start in the right direction” and that “[m]ost of Obama’s policies in general have been a reversal of previous policy.”

Evidently Mr. Conley is unfamiliar with the President’s positions on TARP and other bailouts, “Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell”, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, gay marriage, marijuana legalization, Iran’s nuclear program, the Armenian Genocide, or torture. Even President Obama’s much-vaunted turnaround on Cuba has not amounted to much as of yet.

It seems that old “Eagle Eye” is more impressed by Obama’s towering poll figures on tough questions like “Does he understand the troubles of average Americans?” than the President’s actual policy positions, many of which are barely distinguishable from Bush’s.

Tellin’ ‘Em What For

April 27th, 2009 by Vincent

Just thought I’d call attention to the fact that Commentator Publisher Guy Simmons has a letter-to-the-editor in today’s Emerald, laying to rest any notion that Truman Capps’ lamentable pro-gun control article was written or edited by anyone with even the slightest clue of what they were talking about.

Extra points for using the phrase “statist pukes.”

The Crusade Against ODE Advertising

March 12th, 2009 by Scott Younker

It turns out that this is becoming a personal folly that the rest of you get to witness.

Previously, I noted the odd advertising choices on the Ol’ Dirty’s website.

Well, there’s more, and it hasn’t gotten any less weird. An image for your consumption:

My apologies for the size, I had to do it in paint and photobucket…a frustrating task.

Look, I realize that the Emerald is out to make money, they are a business of sorts. My only issue with the ongoing persecution of their advertisements is the lack of sensible marketing behind it.

Three different ads for lawyers based in Portland? Really? Because that’s going to help anyone who gets in trouble in Eugene, especially students.

They got rid of the sex toys advertisement which is somewhat disappointing. The mortgage refininancing is still there which is a nice touch, you know for all those homes that I’m buying.

The only two that make any sense are the Debt consolidation and Tote bags links. Although the tote bags one is pushing it. I looked at the site, they sell Safeway bags with your name on it. Because when I’m shopping for food at the local Safeway what I really need  isn’t a generic Safeway brand bag but a bag with my name on it. It really sends the message that I care about…something.

My favorite ad though was the one for the Adult Shop in yesterday’s print ODE. Apparently, Sasha Grey and Jesse Jane will be in Salem this weekend, in case you happen to like those particular porn stars.

Not quite as good as the Ron Jeremy visit my freshmen year.

[Ed. Note: The writer was misinformed. Sasha Grey and Jesse Jane will be appearing in Salem on April 4th, not this weekend. Apparently, it will be from 7pm to 10 pm at 2410 Mission St. SE. Salem, Or. We are sorry for the misinformation.}

Keep the ODE Independent

March 4th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

I’m issuing this as an editorial. I’ve talked with Guy, the publisher, and he is in agreement with it. If any of the staffers disagree, that’s fine. You’re welcome to write your own opinion and post it on the blog. Without further ado:

It has come to the Oregon Commentator’s attention, as it probably has to most of the campus, that the Oregon Daily Emerald is on strike.

In a front-page editorial and separate broadsheet issued this morning, the Emerald presented what it says are unacceptable conditions forced on it by its Board of Directors and stated that it would cease publishing until the board meets the staff’s demands.

The full substance of the Emerald’s argument will not be restated in this editorial, but we will summarize it for context: The Board of Directors, going directly against the wishes of the Emerald staff, hired Steven Smith to be the paper’s new position of “interim publisher” for a year while it searched for a permanent publisher. (more…)

I’ll Speak Out

February 26th, 2009 by Guy

The ODE published an anonymous letter today, titled “Speaking out,” which related a tale of sexual assault. It’s a usual story of date rape: I thought you were my friend – I thought I was safe – I got sauced up on drugs and booze until I was comatose – I can’t believe you took advantage of me – I am traumatized – You are a jerk.

I am aware that I’m opening a real can of worms here because such conflict exists between the  personal responsibility and “blaming the victim” crowds. I just don’t think letters like these serve any purpose (outside of being therapeutic for the author). Sexual assault prevention advocates often defend the practice of passing out drunk by saying “girls have the right to have fun.” That’s true; they do. It could also be said that you have the right to sleep on train tracks, but that isn’t going to stop you from getting hit by a train. Which brings me to my point: No one ever talks about what is really important – not getting raped in the first place.

As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” How come there isn’t any emphasis on teaching women that if they incapacitate themselves with drugs people will take advantage of them given half a chance?

If you know why, tell me all about it in the comments.

Today’s ODE Sports Coverage Brought to You by the AP

February 25th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

This paragraph is from an AP story by Michael Marot about Rulon Davis, a defensive-end competing in the NFL combine who survived a horrible accident:

In July 2005, he was rear-ended on a California highway, thrown off his motorcycle and into the path of an oncoming semitrailer, which ran over both his legs. Somehow, Davis survived with no broken bones and no ligament damage, though he couldn’t walk for a month and had to retrain his legs.

And this is a paragraph from today’s Oregon Daily Emerald article about the combine by Robert Husseman:

In July 2005, Davis was rear-ended by a semi on a California highway while riding a motorcycle, throwing him off the bike. The semi ran over both of Davis’ legs. Somehow, his bones weren’t broken and his ligaments weren’t damaged, but it took Davis a month to relearn how to walk.


UPDATE: Husseman also incorrectly listed the top four football positions in terms of highest average score on the Wonderlic test. (He claimed they were offensive tackle, quarterback, center and guard.) The correct order is offensive tackle, center, quarterback and guard.