Thursday, March 27, 2008

"I can't believe all these clubs for Buddhists."

Via F-Words, one of the most fucked-up videos I've seen of police beating protesters in a long time. Maybe forever.

For the first time ever, I had to stop watching a video of a police intervention into a protest.

Words of wisdom from Keith Richards

The interview's long, and I found a lot of it kind of boring (but I don't know much about the Stones). However, his answer to this question was pretty good:

What’s the key to a good marriage?

Depends on the woman. Given that, I think children. I mean, outside of getting enormously successful…to watch the kids grow is the greatest pleasure. Grandkids are even a better thing, because you can hand them back! It’s a continuity of life. When I was younger, I said, “If I live to 30, I’ll shoot myself.” You reach 30 and put the gun away. It’s a fascinating process, just growing up. And it doesn’t matter—anyone who’s 15 today, in thirty, forty years…it’s gonna take ’em a bit of luck to hit 65. It’s how you deal with that process. Unfortunately, our lives are sometimes bombarded with, you know, decay…and what it comes down to is, it just depends on your relationship with other people, including your own family. Hey, you can screw up. I have. Life doesn’t get any easier as you get older. It just becomes more complex. At the same time, one starts to discern certain threads which are important to follow.

[LCSD] Board policies related to residency

These are partial quotes of relevant sections. Click the links for the full texts.


Individuals eligible for Board positions must reside in the appropriate zone unless as otherwise permitted by law.


The Board shall declare the office of a director vacant upon any of the following:

2. When an incumbent ceases to be a resident of the district;

7. When an incumbent is elected by zone and moves from the zone to which he/she was elected. The incumbent shall continue to serve as director to June 30 next following the next regular district election. At that election, a successor shall be elected to serve the remainder, if any, of the unexpired term to which the director was elected. If the term to which the director was elected expires June 30 next following the election of the successor, the successor shall be elected to a full term.

It sounds like #7 might apply to Wineteer, but only if he's changed his official place of residence to somewhere outside his zone. And even then, if there's no regular election scheduled this year (and I don't see why there would be), he might be able to stay on until June 30, 2009 and simply not run again.

It could have been anyone in Corvallis...

I tutored the former baseball player mentioned in this story for a term - he was taking a philosophy class.

Nice guy. Worked hard. Had an absolutely disgusting chewing habit (he would dribble it over his lower lip into an empty 20-oz soda bottle), but it was an overall pleasant experience for me.

That said, this wasn't really that surprising:

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- Two Oregon State baseball players, including the Most Outstanding Player of last year's College World Series, were among three men arrested on accusations they fired bullets that struck a house and a car, a newspaper reported.

Jorge Reyes, 20 and John Wallace, 21, were cited for unlawful use of a weapon and criminal mischief. Former player Anton Maxwell was arrested on the same charges, the Gazette-Times reported Thursday.

Also not surprising is that so far, the two current players have received slaps on the wrist from the OSU Athletic Department - but then again, I didn't expect anything else. Reyes especially is a good player, and there's an inverse correlation between the quality of the player and the severity of the punishment handed down from OSU on issues like this.

That said, the three still have to deal with the law. two cents? They should have been kicked off the team immediately, no questions asked (though they should be allowed to attend OSU at least through the end of the summer if not into next year - I'm not about to advocate depriving them of an education).

Firing a gun in the general direction of your neighbor's house is batshit insane.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008



From the "credit where credit is due" files

Hering writes a very, very positive editorial of Obama's visit to Oregon:

The thing about Barack Obama is that he can give a speech. No doubt it is not the only quality he has, but it’s enough to justify his claim that he represents change.

Bill Clinton has the same ability. The former president can stand in front of an audience and talk and talk, and the gestures and the voice combine to make you pay attention, even if you disagree with the words. Obama has the same skills as an orator, except that his sentences are more disciplined, more grammatical and in a sense more dramatic.


The contrast is glaring when Obama’s rhetorical style is compared to that of President Bush. People who have time with the president in private insist that he’s very good in a conversation, smart, quick and sometimes funny. But little of that comes through when he speaks off the cuff in public, when he often sounds as though he’s giving a high school recital and afraid any second of making a mistake.

Holy crap. He praises two Democrats - including Bill Clinton - and criticizes Bush? In the same editorial?

I can't say I saw this coming.

Good on you, Hering. I'm glad to see that there's some semblance of reality that you find recognizable.

Better late than never

The Daily Emerald has a pretty good story on Obama's visit to Eugene - including the entire speech in downloadable .mov format.

Also check out the multimedia show. It's pretty good... maybe someone at the managerial level for the local "professional" newspapers could take notice and start joining college papers in the 21st century?

Onward to the 18th Century!

I want to know what this means:

Although the Bush administration objected to the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the president wrote a memorandum ordering the state courts to comply.

He said the ICJ's decision must be carried out because the US had agreed to abide by the court's rulings in such cases.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the ICJ's decision could not be forced upon the states.

The president may not "establish binding rules of decision that pre-empt contrary state law", Mr Roberts wrote.

Politically, it's a potential PR boost for Bush - he tried, he really really tried! - but for once I'm not concerned about that.

I'm concerned that it seems like the Supreme Court just ruled that international agreements signed by U.S. rank lower than.... the will of individual states?



I must be missing something. It sounds like Roberts just introduced one hell of a doctrine of states' rights.

Any attorneys (past, present or future) out there want to comment? Please?

h/t CA.

Maybe he should keep writing fiction, as this sort of thing shouldn't happen in, you know, real life.

It took me a long time to digest the fact that yes, Niven is serious:

Among the group's approximately 24 members is Larry Niven, the bestselling and award-winning author of such books as "Ringworld" and "Lucifer's Hammer," which he co-wrote with SIGMA member Jerry Pournelle.

Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

"The problem [of hospitals going broke] is hugely exaggerated by illegal aliens who aren't going to pay for anything anyway," Niven said.

"Do you know how politically incorrect you are?" Pournelle asked.

"I know it may not be possible to use this solution, but it does work," Niven replied.

The charitable response is, um, that he's factually incorrect (the best information I have seen suggests illegal immigrants both use emergency rooms at a much lower rate than is commonly believed and that illegal immigrants are a net gain on the economy) - and that he should probably be concerned with all those white citizens who are using emergency rooms because they can't get medical care any other way.

But I digress. The less than charitable response, or at least my less than charitable response is this:


Monday, March 24, 2008

Does He Think We're Dumb?

I have fuzzy memories of someone spending his State of the Union speech talking about sending a live human to Mars.

That doesn't jive very well with this:

Mar 24th, 2008 | LOS ANGELES -- Scientists plan to put one of the twin Mars rovers to sleep and limit the activities of the other robot to fulfill a NASA order to cut $4 million from the program's budget, mission team members said Monday.

The news comes amid belt-tightening at NASA headquarters, which is under pressure to cover cost overruns of a flagship Mars mission to land a Hummer-sized rover on the Red Planet next year.

The solar-powered rovers Spirit and Opportunity have dazzled scientists and the public with findings of geologic evidence that water once flowed at or near the surface of Mars long ago.

Both rovers were originally planned for three-month missions at a cost of $820 million, but are now in their fourth year of exploration. It costs NASA about $20 million annually to keep the rovers running.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More Ways to Change the Newspaper Business

Ted's "Ten Point Plan to Reinvent The Newspaper Business."

My two most notable:

6. Be BOLD now. Take the Top 10 big newspapers and join together and then acquire something massive that can be shared. Why aren't the newspaper companies banding together to acquire Yahoo as an example? Buy a big social networking site and launch a cross platform classifieds network within to compete with eBay and Craigslist. Acquire Twitter and create real time news and classified for sale network. Do something big and meaningful. Your shareholders will love you for it.


8. Get rid of senior editors. Turn them into algorithmic managers. Editors are passé. What is needed is a team of people that know how to work and create blog rolls and how to get the content up high into the algorithms so that when a consumer searches the newspaper's content it comes up high in the rankings. Knowing statistically what content gets the best click through across all media is a key deliverable. Newspapers need math majors running big swaths of the organization. There are too many English majors in key positions in love with the sound of their own voices. Math is king in the new world order and having managers that understand the big algorithms in the sky will redefine journalism for our next generation and redefine circulation into syndication.

I should clarify: I dislike both of these ideas, but I appreciate their boldness.

Summing it up

Glenn Greenwald:

There is no better phrase to describe the animating feature of the modern Limbaugh/Kristol/Fox News conservative faction than "threatened tribalism." The belief that they are good and pure, yet subjected to unprecedented systematic unfairness and threatened by some lurking Evil Other against whom war must be waged (the Muslim, the Immigrant, the Terrorist, the Communist, the Liberal, the Welfare Queen) is the centerpiece of their ugly worldview.

I would imagine sociologists and anthropologists everywhere are writing books on the phenomenon.

What? They're not?


I know, I know

Posting has been light.

I moved yesterday.

You understand.

Go watch this.

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