Archive for November 3, 2007

How and Why My Uncle Likes Obama and John McCain at the Same Time

November 3, 2007

Noted without comment except to say that I agree:

Obama support offers people a chance to symbolically demonstrate their enlightenment at no cost. I’ve heard and read a number of times now about racist white people developing a strange attachment to Obama. They don’t normally like Democrats but this kid seems alright. It doesn’t hurt that he uses language designed to help him buddy up with those who are, more or less, afraid of black people — he is, in some ways, professionally a nonthreatening black man. I don’t mean that as a criticism. To an extent this highlights the expert way in which he has navigated this country’s complicated and often awful relationship with race, but ultimately it doesn’t mean much for his chances come election day. People are brilliant in this country at finding ways to vote conservative when everything they know tells them not to. My mother knew Bush was a disaster and she voted for him anyway not because Kerry would do anything to make abortion more common but because he approved of it. They’ll find something or other like that come election day if Obama gets the nod. There’s no reason they can’t say one thing and do another. They might even go on doing it after the fact. Obama has been adopted by many racists and anxious, defensive republicans as a symbol, but that’s as far as it goes.


Dispatches from Another Planet

November 3, 2007

From the Gazette-Times, a letter that…well, look:

The amazing amount of drinking and partying any time of day or night, mid-week or week-end, is a health danger to the students, a destructive force in the lives of their neighbors, and a safety risk to all involved. Lives are being destroyed by alcoholism, but at any time we could see a similar tragedy to the one in North Carolina.

Two things must be done immediately: The City Council should adopt an ordinance forbidding more than two adults from different families in any single-family dwelling. Second, OSU must require that all undergraduates live on campus until their senior year.

Forbidding more than two adults from different families from living together? That’s just insulting – there are plenty of students for whom such luxurious conditions are simply not an option. And, of course, many of the new apartment buildings going up in Corvallis are those crazy five-bedroom townhouses that rent for well over $2000; I would like to see Mr. Weiss explain how two STUDENTS are supposed to afford that. The same goes for the dozens or hundreds of older houses with three, four, and five (or more) bedrooms that have been converted into student housing.

And requiring all undergrads to live on campus for at least three years? Please:

1. OSU does not have anywhere near the capacity to do this. Maybe when the Leg allocates enough money to triple (or more) the number of dorm rooms available, then it might be logistically possible. But…

2. It takes away freedom and agency from legal adults. If Mr. Weiss wants people to be treated like children until they are 21 or 22, then he should just say so – and be prepared to be mocked and ridiculed extensively, because that suggestion is just plain stupid.

3. Can you imagine what would happen if college students were allowed to move off-campus only upon turning 21? I think the drinking problem, such as it is now, would get much, much worse.

While this guy’s concern is obviously genuine, his suggestions are – and I think this is an accurate choice of words – fucking idiotic. He just doesn’t get at anything even remotely resembling a cause for the problems to which he alludes.

Shock and Awe

November 3, 2007

Hasso. What else could it be?

This reminds me of a middle-school English paper:

So here we are again, fellow sufferers, on the verge of upsetting the rhythm of our lives.

Or rather, letting the government upset our personal and work routines for no conceivably justifiable reason at all.

I am speaking, naturally, of the impending change in the official time. As you know, having been reminded in the press and on the air, that it takes place at 2 Sunday morning, which becomes 1 a.m. instead.

Sometimes I think ‘Hasso Hering’ is the pen name that various writers at the Heritage Foundation use when they want to write on something other than foreign policy.

Though I’m not sure who is less coherent – William Kristol or Hasso Hering. It’s a close one.