Monday, January 24, 2005

This Might Hurt a Little

Before you read this post, I want to caution you- this is not for the weak at heart. Our friend Jordan at Cheese and Crackers tipped me off to this nice little story out of Oregon- courtesy of ABC affiliate KEZI:

"Support our Troop" Stickers...Creates a Stir at U of O

That's right- the University of Oregon has banned the Yellow Ribbon sticker. Writer Andrew Padula is to be commended for bringing this saga to our attention. Thanks, Andrew. Now let's discuss the piece.

In an e-mailed statement.. the University of Oregon says it is unclear if the decals are a political statement.

But to make sure they are in compliance with state restrictions... all stickers were ordered to be removed.

Wow, that's great. If there's ever any doubt, always default to the old "Screw the First Amendment" tactics- it's the best way to silence all those idiots who are dumb enough to love their country.

And then there's this:

The university determined that some may view the yellow ribbons as a political statement....therefore they demanded that all those stickers be removed.

That's brilliant. Imagine the possibilities! Let's ban SUV's and those cool little electro-hybrid thingies- might as well call them politimobiles! Let's ban Heinz ketchup while we're at it. Can we allow the employees to say things like "I love my country" or "Man, I'm glad I don't live in France?" Too political? I thought so.

U of O student Terra Wegner puts it in perspective for us-

"I think it's really a tough situation... because both sides have valid arguments."

Well said, Terra! Can you please share the "valid" arguments in support of the university's decision? No fair saying that they just didn't know what to do so they banned the stickers- they've already made that argument and we all laughed. I want a valid argument. Terra?

Andrew's article is chock full of valid arguments, but I couldn't find any that supported the University of Oregon's dubious position. Check it:

"I don't know how they think these are political.. I think they're patriotic," said Pete Baker, U of O delivery driver. "I'm not democratic or republican.. and I was really surprised the university deemed them to be political," said Baker.

We're all surprised, Peter.

"These are like their offices- they work in them for eight hours a day.. they're going to do something personal with them," said Ron Lattion, facilities Maintenace worker. "I don't think it's political I think they're just trying to support the guys who are putting their lives on the line for this country. Be it right or wrong.. be it right or left."

Good point, Ron. You might very well be the smartest man in Oregon. Hey, I'm just going by what I'm reading in this article. Stay with me here.

"It really comes down to the question of should state employees be allowed to express their opinions," said Morgan Goulding, a Eugene resident.

Ouch. Thanks for playing, Morgan. That's not what it comes down to at all. The university decided that displaying a "support the Troops" sticker is an expression of a political opinion (which it is not) as opposed to an expression of support for the troops (which it clearly is)- and sold it by saying "some people may think this- therefore it is so." Once that was accomplished, they tricked people like you into thinking that the whole debate is about whether or not state employees have the right to express their political opinions. It's an evil trick, but it only works on stoopid people. Sorry. Just read some blogs and you'll get more smarter, I promise.

For you really smart folks out there- I give you this (thanks again, Jordan):

Email University President Dave Frohnmayer ( or call his office at 541.346.3036 and let him know how you feel about this policy.

Yes. Tell him what you think. It's fun!

Best Story of the Year Thus Far

This Washington Post article is the most informative and compelling piece of journalism I've seen in quite a while. Here's a teaser:

Imaad began to slap his mother, he said. "The American people are devils," Um Imaad recalled her son repeating.


"I used to have a good opinion of the Americans," Imaad said. "But they are the enemy. They are bad."

I know it sounds hard to believe, but please read the whole article. If you read it, you will learn absolutely nothing about American soldiers and even less about Iraqi people. Instead, you will discover how painfully easy it is to be a journalist in today's market. You will begin to understand why more and more people are turning to publications like US Weekly and People for their news and information. No, let me finish. You will hate yourself for laughing about a guy who slaps his momma, but if you go visit Tim Blair's site- you will find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

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