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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another voice of outrage

Joining a growing chorus of protest, the president of the African nation of Gabon today voiced his extreme displeasure with the imminent firing of University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere. Ali Bongo Ondimba, who met with Lariviere at the White House this past June, said Lariviere's termination could unravel the strategic partnership that the U of O has entered into with his country on "environment and development."

Here is the full text of the Bongo statement, which was hand-delivered by a diplomatic courier to Cylvia Hayes, the governor's girlfriend, at the couple's Portland home:

It deeply saddens me that some people in power in your state continue to drive Oregon into a death spiral with their embrace of mediocrity. Having witnessed many a death spiral of my political opponents, I am keenly aware of the telltale signs. It's yet another application of Oregon's Assisted Suicide law, just as my own troops have been present for many unfortunate suicides here in Gabon.

For the Chancellor and the State Board of Higher Education, a "team player" is someone who falls in line with their acceptance of mediocrity, and the one who strives for excellence does not fit in. In our nation, excellence is commonplace, as is evidenced by the literally dozens of luxury homes owned by my family in Beverly Hills, the French Riviera, and elsewhere around the world.

Let us hope that the Oregon community can take this astonishingly bad decision and recognize that it does not have to define you. You still have the collective capacity to rise up and do great things. For example, having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Gabon Chambers Of Commerce and Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Central Bank Of Gabon Apex Bank.

We are now ready to transfer the fund overseas and that is where you come in. It is important to inform you that as civil servants, we are forbidden to operate a foreign account; that is why we require your assistance. The total sum will be shared as follows: 70% for us, 25% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incidental to the transfer.

The transfer is risk free on both sides. If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:

(a) your banker's name, telephone, account and fax numbers.

(b) your private telephone and fax numbers —for confidentiality and easy communication.

(c) your letter-headed paper stamped and signed.

Alternatively we will furnish you with the text of what to type into your letter-headed paper, along with a breakdown explaining, comprehensively what we require of you. The business will take us thirty (30) working days to accomplish.

Please reply urgently.

Comments (16)


Careful, Jack. These guys will see it as another junket and risk-free investment opportunity.

It must be real, there are no typos!

A. Bongo Ondimba is the best that Ricky could do?

Perhaps, to better plead his case, Ricky Lariviere should utilize his deep friendships that he cultivated within the power structures inside the state of Oregon, instead of African heads of state.

It can't be real, there are no typos!

You're a real Prince, Jack!

So funny, so true, so sad.

Until I read this, I had no idea that Gabon's national motto was "Just do it!"

But now Kitzhaber's release his statement in the Oregonian - he's the real Ali Bongo:

In my opinion, should the Board of Higher Education decide to terminate Dr. Lariviere's contract on this basis, it would be fully justified from an executive management standpoint. Any private sector CEO, faced with a division manager who was totally dedicated to his or her specific department but willfully and repeatedly undermined the needs and goals of the overall company would, I expect, fire the manager – and probably after the first instance of such behavior; not the second.

I voted for Kitzhaber to be Oregon's CEO? I thought it was for Governor - with checks and balances like the public meetings law.

If we're going to have a CEO, can't it be Phil Knight? At least Knight knows how to put people to work.

For two bucks a day? Thank you, no.

Oh bingo bango bongo
We're so happy in the Congo

Jack, I find your obsession with all things U of O very sad. I get that the Ducks own your Cardinal and that Uncle Phil does not give Stanford as much love(still a pretty nice chunk of change). I know such things can give a person a serious inferiority complex (see OSU). Still, it always seems so petty.

My loathing of the U of O is multi-faceted, but it is certainly not motivated by jealousy.

The academic sector of the university itself is pretty good, and it has my sympathy. But the athletics program has become quite disgusting -- the Alabama of the Northwest.

And the administration is beyond arrogant. "Give us $800 million, and all of the assets that the taxpayers and students paid for over the last century, and don't try to tell us what to do, ever again." Paying for the chancellor's every meal while he's sitting in his Portland house, plus paying to maintain a mansion for him in Eugene. Strategic partnerships with, literally, murderers like Bongo. It goes on and on.

Just follow the uomatters blog, written by somebody who works there. Something's very wrong at the top of the big-shot state university, and those of us who live and pay taxes here are concerned -- ashamed, even. It's not about Phil Knight and his sweatshop money. But you're right, it's very sad.

Ha! I think Brian may have been joking Jack. This blog centers on local corruption. The university system is rife with it...so it's natural to go after them.
I'm a PSU alumni. The school is roughly twice as big geographically then when I was there in the early 2000's. I applaud when you call them a property development firm.
Like when I refer to elections as auctions. Good fun. And appropriate.

Bongo's "emissary" has obviously achieved the vulcan mind-melded with Phil Knight . . . same message I read writ on high and sent by Nike-bolt to U of O.

The next thing you know they will be tossing out letters of support from the ambassadors of all the stans as well. Gabon huh? How many readers even know where Gabon is? So now he has support from Phil Knight and President Bongo.

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