Monday, February 27, 2006

Hammer of the small (but rapidly growing!!) nonprofit

Slow posting because I've been working on a strange and last-minute editing joint (hey, I'm Spike Lee!) for a nonprofit that's trying to snag walloping shitboats of money from somebody. The application is long, complicated, and leftily earnest as all get-out, but the Drunkawife is involved so I won't even be able to make fun of it.

(Credit: The rolling pin lady is actually a greeting card!)

Update: Sorry, this is Spike Lee; the other guy is Spike Jones.

Update II: The Drunkawife bears absolutely no resemblance to the rolling pin lady. She would kick the rolling pin lady's ass and look good doing it. And I'm no prize anyway.

Update III: Caz lends support in comments:
Oh, you poor, poor, poor fool. I know the pointlessness of trying to snag walloping shitboats of money by filling in application forms that are too long, too complicated, too stupid, and written by nasty people with a pre-determined outcome (I know it's all a conspiracy). You have my deepest sympathies, and I hope you don't come out of this a lesser man. . . which is what happens to most people filling in these application forms: even the women.
I'm only about a foot tall now, Caz, so it's a little late to worry about becoming a "lesser man." Unless you're speaking figuratively, of course, in which case, yes, my soul is destroyed.


Four sections of 250 words each. One thousand words to get across that the nominee is the greatest and most charismatic human being in this or any other universe (even a formaldehyde-based one), while also touting nominee's holy humility and selfless dedication to absolutely everything. Madness. One paragraph should have begun, "Though a living saint . . .

But we're near the end, so maybe I won't lessen up too much more.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The wages of recycling is mess

Look, the Drunkablog is as ecologically sensitive as the next guy, but he has a problem with recycling--or more precisely, with the way one of his tenants recycles:

"Like a landfill, only porch-sized!"

It gets a little annoying, but the guy's lived here longer than we have. (We bought the place eight years ago; he's lived here for over 12.) He also puts up with the D-blog's landlordial incompetence, so it's like, just don't burn the place down, buddy! Until we tell you to!

And anyway, the Drunkablog himself has finally learned the value of recycling.

Shame revealed

You ever seen those guys who drive around in pickups with four flat tires because they're stacked roof-high with phone books? I hate them. They see a multi-unit dwelling and know they can dump a ton of the things. And guess who recycles them?* Last week was bad. What must have been a regiment of F-150 maurauders deposited these:

This happens every six months or so. Hey, need a Denver phone book? They're free! (Sorry, one per customer. Please add $40 shipping.)


Update: The little deflated basketball guy has been sitting right there all winter. I don't know where he came from, but if you pick him up he says "From downtown!" or "He shoots! He scores!" in a funny cartoon voice. Freakin' scary. I won't touch the thing anymore.

Update II: The "next guy" link is to a picture of Captain Joseph Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez. Here's the BBC's weird 1999 story marking the 10-year anniversary of the eponymous disaster.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Marv Albert is even stupider than Noam Chomsky

Oh wait, I mean Michael Albert, the commie twit who's been babbling about "participatory economics" since at least 1847, the last century or so on Z-net. Michael made a pilgrimage to Venezuela last fall, and guess what he found:

There are beautiful waterfalls and mountains. There is rich surf, sand, and sun. But nowadays the biggest attraction is revolution.
My first and arguably most personally surprising encounter with the Bolivarian Revolution was at the Ministry for Popular Participation, which was created in accord, I was told, with [Venezuelan president Hugo] Chavez's desire "that the people should take power."

I asked the officials we interviewed, "What does that mean, that the people should take power?" After noting thousands of years of "empires obstructing people from participating in politics," all culminating in "the North American empire," the official said the "U.S. has had 200 years of representative government, but in your system people turn over control to others." Instead, in Venezuela, "we humbly are proposing a system where people hold power in a participatory and protagonist democracy. We want a new kind of democracy to attain a new kind of society."
Of course (smacks forehead)! A new kind of society!

Lots of little circles

On the wall was a diagram of their aims. It had lots of little circles, then other larger ones in another layer, and so on. The idea, they said, "was to establish numerous local grassroots assemblies or councils of citizens where people could directly express themselves." These local councils would be the foundational components of "a new system of participatory democracy."

So how's that working out?

We visited barrios, which were gigantic stretches of hillside covered with small shack-like homes, and we saw intermittently the newly constructed small but clean medical clinics the [allegedly 20,000] Cuban doctors [sent by Castro] worked from. We also heard about a plan for eye care, even offering free eye operations of diverse kinds, 500,000 operations over ten years, to poor U.S. citizens. The Venezuelans would provide the transportation. The Cubans would do the surgery. Having eye problems myself, I listened closely, smiling at the thought.

And education?

Workers councils ruled ["Bolivarian University" in Caracas, which is situated in buildings "liberated" from the oil industry]. The government minister of education became its Rector. In time, he overrode the council [sic], determining instead that there would be only meetings of smaller groups, and that he would only interact with representatives from those. . . .But the pedagogy of the new university is, I learned by interviewing a professor there, very innovative, emphasizing serving diverse communities by students having to do projects at the grassroots, having to relate their studies to social conditions and needs, and having grading being a shared task for students, faculty, and community residents.

"They will learn ethics, social responsibility, respect for a Latin American and Caribbean identity, solidarity, respect [the professor said]. The professional produced by this institution will work for the transformation of society. She will be a critical thinker who can stimulate others and generate questions.

Critical thinkers working for the transformation of society. I like it! But what if a critical thinker's critical thinking leads that critical thinker to decline (politely, of course) to work for the transformation of society? What then? Huh?

And the media:

VIVE TV is a new station created, like Bolivarian University, by the Chavez government. . . .The widest salary difference, from the head of the company to people who cleaned up, was three to one, but the new payment policy, being steadily if slowly enforced, was to attain equal hourly pay for all by periodically raising wages of those at the bottom until they reached parity. . . .

VIVE takes no ads, "to avoid being controlled." There is actually, on the shows, much criticism of the government, since the shows convey grass-roots opinions. But this criticism, unlike that on mainstream private stations, is honest and heartfelt, not manufactured. Rather than trying to create dissension, it is constructive.
Yeah, constructive.

Oh, and, since this is Michael Albert, how's the economy doing?

[A "trade union worker"] told us that "five or six years ago the typical Venezuelan worker would not exhibit any class consciousness, but now the Bolivarian revolution was awakening class consciousness not only in workers, but in all people." . . .

Because when you've got class consciousness, you've got everything.

I also asked this trade union leader, who was explicitly responsible for international relations, about links with movements and unions in the U.S. She reported Venezuelan Chavista unions having links to the "AFL-CIO in California, some grass-roots unions, and the antiwar movement," but not with the national AFL-CIO because they are still giving money to those imposing old bureaucracy and fomenting coups."

Very interesting.

Just a'quiverin' with love

Albert reaches a few conclusions, Venezuela-wise:

(1) The Bolivarian movement, and in particular President Hugo Chavez, is pushing the population leftward. Even more, the Bolivarian movement, and particularly President Hugo Chavez, is seeking to replace old capitalist forms with new forms that they call anti-capitalist, participatory, socialist, and Bolivarian, among other labels.

(2) The Bolivarians' unusual transitional approach has as its vanguard aspect that the Bolivarian leadership is ideologically and programmatically far ahead of its populace and trying to get that populace to move further and faster than it is alone inclined to. [Yeah, real unusual.]

(3) The centrality of a single leader, at least that it is Hugo Chavez [sic], seems to be a highly unexpected benefit. Chavez, so far, has not just been congenial and inspiring, audacious and courageous, willing to step outside every box and implement program after program, experimenting and learning, but has also shown remarkable restraint in utilizing the accoutrements of central power and has even been a key source of anti-authoritarian influence.
"Congenial and inspiring." "A highly unexpected benefit." "A key source of anti-authoritarian influence." Albert is dictator-fellating turd. He finishes:

I left Venezuela inspired and very hopeful. Venezuela looks to me like Uncle Sam's worst nightmare. I was humbled by Bolivarian ingenuity and steadfastness and by my own continued citizenship in the world's most rogue and brutal nation, against which I and other radicals have had such limited organizing success. Hopefully my country can follow Venezuela's lead rather than crushing its aspirations. Hopefully, citizens in the U.S. can make that happen. Officials won't, of course.
Now that's just about the most pathetic thing I've ever read: "the world's most rogue and brutal nation, against which I and other radicals have had such limited organizing success." Wait, did I say pathetic? I meant "hilarious"! Crush aspirations! Crush aspirations! Crush aspirations!

(Credits: Page on the treatment of Russian intellectuals from the Library of Congress's Soviet archives exhibit; picture of guy lying in small but clean "Bolivarian street hospital" from, not very oddly,

Update: Eat Lima Beans: They're a key source of anti-authoritarian influence.


The D-blog hasn't posted in days. Worse, he has failed to notice any buzz of alarm over this in the blogosphere. No Anyone know what's going on with the D-blog?; no I sure miss the D-blog's gentle apes (that's japes, jerk); no the D-blog makes me want to live--I hope he's okay; not even a (females only!) If the D-blog comes back I'll consent to bear his mutant children.

So you're all creeps.

But the sad fact remains that the D-blog is (once again) Out of Ideas (OI). There is nothing, nothing in the entire world I am inclined (or competent) to write about.

Z-net to the rescue!

Of course! There's always something to mock there! And look! A new piece by Noam Chomsky!

Well, not really new. I don't think Chomsky has actually written anything in years. He just spouts the same crap over and over to an endless procession of brain-dead multi-culti sycophants in reverential "interviews," one cinderblock paragraph laid after another into the far, far distance.

So as a public service I'll just go through this latest (2/22) interview and pull out sample opinionations from the Chompster. The five-minute Chomsky!

SUN WOO LEE: How is your health?

NOAM CHOMSKY: I am fine, as you can see.

[Yay.] [Sorry. Let 'er rip, Noamy-O.]

. . . . [Pollutants] are simply not controlled properly. And the reason they are not controlled is just the power of major financial institutions or corporations and others and their power over government to prevent decent regulations. In fact, the most dramatic case of all which may actually destroy the human species is the unwillingness to take appropriate steps with regard to environmental catastrophes like global warming, which could be extremely serious. And the failure to act properly on that is considered a major human crisis, which may make life unlivable for our grandchildren. . . .

[Can you imagine what this guy's farts smell like? Okay, I'll shut up.]

. . . .The first book on corporate manslaughter by a British legal specialist just appeared about seven or eight years ago. Actually he asked me to write an introduction to it, which is how I knew it appeared. And in the U.S., I am not even sure how much study there is. Powerful systems tend to have ways of immunizing themselves from punishment. Actually, that is true in all of international affairs. I mean, take the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. . . .

[The grooves are worn so deep he cannot be kept out of them. He hasn't even bothered to change the way he phrases things in 40 years.]

. . . . Human beings are facing now some of the greatest threats in human history. There has been nothing like this. I mean, there have been two major crises which literally threaten survival. The most serious one is [1] nuclear war. That is a very serious problem. It is not discussed anywhere near seriously enough. But if you look at the literature of strategic analysts and others who pay attention to this, many of them regard the crisis as greater now than at any time during the Cold War. . . .

. . . .The second is [2] [that's, I say, that's 2, y'all] environmental catastrophe. That is a longer term. Nuclear war could take place tomorrow by accident. Environmental catastrophe is longer term, but it is coming and it is serious. And no one knows exactly what the effects will be. But they could be very serious. . . .


. . . .Well, the invasion of Iraq was an outright war crime. It is a clear, explicit war crime. It had no pretext, no justification and there was a reason for it: the reason was to take control of Iraq's enormous oil resources and to strengthen U.S. power in the region. I mean it is well understood by strategic analysts and international affairs specialists and has been for 50 years, that the reason the U.S. wants to control Middle East oil is not to gain access to the oil. . . . The point is
to have a strategic weapon against their rivals, meaning against Europe and Northeast Asia. . . .

["well understood by strategic analysts and international affairs specialists . . ." Now that's goooood Chomp.]

[On dealing with North Korea]

. . . . There's a way to do it. There's a very simple way to solve it. In fact, it came pretty close to working. In 1994, there was a framework agreement, which, as far as we know, stops nuclear weapons development in North Korea. In return, the West, primarily the United States, pledged to provide them with the capacity for nuclear energy development, which they need. They don't have internal resources. The West didn't live up to that bargain. . . .

[He probably thinks Kim Jong Il is the "Lodestar of the 21st Century" too.]

. . . . Israelis reflexively have to do what the U.S. tells them. . . .

[Had to get that one in. It's in every other interview. And here's Chomsky on the "fall of socialism" in the Soviet Union]

First of all, there was no fall of socialism because there was no socialism. In fact, in my view I wrote about it - the collapse of the Soviet Union was a small victory for socialism. Just the Soviet Union was one of the main barriers to it. It had been since 1970. I can go into that if you like. . . .

. . . .Take, say, the coverage of the Iraq war, the biggest issue. I mean, they claim there's criticism, but it's the kind of criticism you had in Russia during the Afghan war. Now if you read Pravda during the Afghan war, there would be critics and they'd say, "Look, too many Russian soldiers are dying. It's not working. We should put in a different general." That's the way the Iraq war is going. I mean if you went back to Pravda in the 1980s, nobody would say that "It is wrong to invade Afghanistan", or you know, "It's a violation of international law", and it would be all full of the, you know, benign intent: "We are not invading, we're there at the request of the legitimate government, we are trying to help the people." That's exactly what you read in the western press. People don't even think about it. They're so indoctrinated. They can't think about it. . . .

[Huh? Were you talking to me?]

SUN YAT SEN: Do you perceive the U.N. functions properly?

NUM CHUKSY: : There are plenty of internal problems at the UN, but they pale into insignificance in comparison with the major problem: the great powers place sharp restrictions on what the UN can
do. . . .The current UN Ambassador, John Bolton, has been quite frank in expressing his belief that the UN should not even exist except as an instrument of US power interests, primarily. . . .

[Hump de dum. La la.)

SUN WOO LEE: Are there any internet sites that you frequent?

NICK HORNSBY: Personally, I use the internet almost exclusively for research purposes, and rarely access any sites. I haven't even seen the site that friends have put up in my name:, I think it is called.

[He thinks. And as reader tbiscuit points out, that's a very odd claim C.H.O.M.P.S makes, that he uses the internet for research purposes but rarely accesses any sites. A senile attempt to claim impartiality, is my guess.]

Sun Woo Hoo: Speaking of the truth, you have pointed out that intellectuals have a special responsibility to speak the truth. What is the truth?

[HAHAHahahahaha. . . Ha-ha. Ha. Ha. Hunh. I'm so depressed.]

Update: And I'm so funny I forgot to link. Here's the whole interview.

Update II: This post somewhat rewritten (mostly condensed) because it sucked. No quotes were changed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Apology forthcoming

For posting more spam poetry.

Re: Smug:

Be qualm, man--

My jobholder be screechy, and

Nora told Eloy about bock.

Why Layney Mullett, when Bonito rod control

Does glassy grave?

Monday, February 20, 2006

He's too kind

Keith Windschuttle weighs in on the Danish cartoon ruckus in "The perverse anti-Westernism of the cultural elite." Everyone's favorite "moral bankrupt and. . . scholarly charlatan," Ward Churchill, gets a nice mention.

Update: Christopher Hitchens is measured in his words (wait, I mean had several measures of Glenmoragnie) for a piece in Slate Tuesday:

The incredible thing about the ongoing Kristallnacht against Denmark (and in some places, against the embassies and citizens of any Scandinavian or even European Union nation) is that it has resulted in, not opprobrium for the religion that perpetrates and excuses it, but increased respectability! A small democratic country with an open society, a system of confessional pluralism, and a free press has been subjected to a fantastic, incredible, organized campaign of lies and hatred and violence, extending to one of the gravest imaginable breaches of international law and civility: the violation of diplomatic immunity. And nobody in authority can be found to state the obvious and the necessary—that we stand with the Danes against this defamation and blackmail and sabotage. Instead, all compassion and concern is apparently to be expended upon those who lit the powder trail, and who yell and scream for joy as the embassies of democracies are put to the torch in the capital cities of miserable, fly-blown dictatorships. Let's be sure we haven't hurt the vandals' feelings.

Absolute must-read. Hitch is so good you almost think he really can write this kind of stuff drunk. (via prolific commenter paco at Tim Blair's.)

Update: I spelled "Glenmoragnie" correctly without looking it up.

Update II: No I didn't. It's "GlenmoRANGIE." Wish I could say this is the most embarrassed I've ever been in my entire life, but it's not even close. Still, what a GlenMORONgie. Hah!

Update III: I've drunk a fair amount of Glenmorangie, of course (I've drunk a fair amount of Scope, too, so don't think I'm putting on airs), but I'd never heard of the "16 men of Tain" before. Very Middle-Earthish--if it's not an adman's fantasy, of course.

Update IV: Just so I don't get into Million Little Pieces territory, let me confess here that I've never actually drunk Scope, or, as the Drunkawife too readily points out, any other mouthwash. No Oprah for you!

Old stuff

From the January 18, 1964, Saturday Evening Post:

Lewis Lapham: "On first hearing, electronic music seems an arbitrary collection of the ghastly noises associated with the last scene of an Alfred Hitchcock film. No melody, no harmony, no flutes or even violins; nothing but a succession of bleeps, rumbles, squeakings, clanks, whooshings, blops and bongs."

The cover has some variety of quintuplets, which magazines like this were crazy about at the time.

The "Speaking Out" column has Richard Nixon, eight weeks after Kennedy's assassination, proposing a change in the presidential line of succession that would have had the electoral college vote for a new vice president rather than the automatic elevation of the Speaker of the House. Weird.

There's a very lengthy excerpt from Peter De Vries' then-latest, Reuben, Reuben. Sample yoks:

"'Jimmy's interested in comparative religion, a woman said, "and his mother was wondering if he might get into Yale Divinity School."

"He hasn't got a prayer," I said.

. . . .

A poet, I thought, shaking his hand. Why, he looks just like anybody else. In fact, worse.

Then there's a story on charming basketballer Bill Russell: "I owe the public nothing."

And finally, a Post editorial: "Don't overlook Henry Cabot Lodge." Oh, we won't.

First Amendment ignored by foreigners

Oh well. While I'm still a firm believer that all speech should be allowed (except the standard American exceptions) on the old theory that it makes it easier to spot the idiots, I'm somehow not bothered that David Irving was sentenced to three years in Austria--oh, sorry, three years in an Austrian prison--today for Holocaust denial. What a hypocrite I am. Heil, mein Fuehrer!

Irving: "Heil myself!"

Update: Wretchard, on the other hand, is bothered:

Having established that Dachau at least existed, I still cannot sympathize with the Holocaust Denial Laws under which historian David Irving was convicted. The Times of London reports on his conviction and sentencing in Austria.

The sincerity of David Irving’s claim that he now believes millions of Jews were killed by the Nazis and that gas chambers did exist was challenged by his twin brother yesterday.

John Irving is so unidentical to the right-wing historian and Holocaust denier that he serves as chairman of Wiltshire Racial Equality Council.

Asked about his brother’s recantation before a Vienna court, John Irving told The Times: “If I said ‘E pur si muove!’ would it mean anything to you?”

The quotation is often attributed to Galileo who was forced by the Inquisition in 1633 to retract his heretical belief that the Earth moves around the Sun.

The astronomer and philosopher was facing the death penalty but escaped with life imprisonment after disowning his findings. Under his breath, he is reputed to have murmured the now famous Italian phrase meaning: “Yet still it moves.”

These Holocaust Denial laws are the poorest defense of truth possible. They allow individuals like Irving, who have written bad history, to clothe themselves with the appearance of martyrdom. Galileo is supported by empirical evidence. Irving cannot even explain the photographs [of Dachau] above. But laws establishing "official truth" create categories of the Unmentionable into which subjects like the Jihad, feminism, abortion and Global Warming -- all the assertions, half-truths and humbug of the world -- will presently seek refuge. The best defense of the truth of the holocaust is an uncompromising commitment to free speech. Unless free speech is protected then some of the very evils Hitler sought to foist upon the world will be reintroduced in the name of fighting his memory.

Run for your life (if you can)

A completely superfluous gesture on the Drunkablog's part, inspired by Mr. Wiener of Wienerville:

Oh wait, wrong picture. Here we go:

I picked on the Rocky and the Post for their tentative treatment of the mo-toons issue, but always thought it would be presumptous for a tiny pathetic piss-blog like mine to publish them, as if anyone would give a shit. Now, weeks late, it's even more presumptous. But the point is to make clear where you stand (begging your pardon and only if you don't mind, of course).

Sunday, February 19, 2006


The Drunkablog needs to be let out--I mean, to get out, more. But he and his much more sociable wife (not work safe! not the Drunkawife either!) did deign to attend the blog bash last night at Breckenridge Brewery, just a projectile vomit down the street from beautiful Coors Field in downtown Denver.

We had no idea what to expect. I'd never even met a blogger before (besides myself, of course. I've met myself any number of times), and was quite prepared to view them, as a species, askance.

But in an evening of thoughtful conversation it slowly became apparent that bloggers are in the main intelligent, interesting, and attractive people.

End gentle joshing

It was fun, because it had the number one ingredient of a good party: people. So here's a link to every blogger the D-blog and his personal wife (patriarchal, ain't I?) personally conversated with at the bash, more or less in order of appearance:

Bert Wiener of the eponymous Wienerville, who is a wiener only in the most complimentary sense of the term, and who just posted the mo-toons.

Andy of World Wide Rant, who, though a big-time blogger, did not mock the (small-time) Drunkablog's countrified ways.

David J. of ResurrectionSong (a beautiful name--not David J., ResurrectionSong).

Twentysomethingmom Shannon with special guest Lily Claire (I'm guessing at the spelling of that name).

Linda Seebach, a blogger in spirit, even if she does think John Temple is the nuts.

Leif Smith of the veddy cool Explorers Foundation. Hey Leif, do you know the work of Michael Polanyi?

Goyishekop of A Menshe Trakht and other endeavors.

Roger Fraley of (the Latin-epigram quoting!) XDA (which he is).

Jed, setting liberal hearts pit-a-pat in his "celebrate diversity" t-shirt.

Steve Wheeler (who sang divinely) and for whom, a verse:

Won't you come with me to Alabamy
Let's go see my dear old Mammy
She's fryin' eggs and boiling hammy
That's what I like about the South

--That's What I Like About the South.

And there to add extra eclat were two other big-time bloggers, Stephen Green of Wodkapundit and Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom. I didn't really talk to them.

Update: Boiling hammy? Do Southerners as a rule boil their hammy? It sounds disgusting.

Update II: The bash even had its own logo, which if I remember my tax law (and I do) means it's, like, totally deductible.

Friday, February 17, 2006


A reader wrote the other day in response to a Drunkablog post that included a tiny diss of the Denver Post's business columnist, Al Lewis. The reader, who is intensely and often irritated by Al (not unusual among his readers), wondered if the gray-livered one would write more about him.

But like Lewis, the Drunkablog is a journalist (when convenient), and as such he tries to be at least somewhat familiar with a colleague's work before he picks on that colleague. Often he will even go to the trouble of reading a column (sometimes two!) and finding a bad picture of said colleague. Journalists call this "research," and while we don't really have to do it, the Drunkablog always goes the extra mile.

So naturally I ran across Lewis' column from last Sunday, "Suit alleges a warehouse of horrors." It's pretty interesting:
Eventually, Matthew Ricks got tired of the writing on the walls.

Racial epithets. Profane insults. Swastikas. Depictions of black and Hispanic men hanging by nooses.

"I don't even know how to describe the feelings," the 33-year-old warehouse worker said about seeing hatred on bathroom walls and equipment at work.

"The only good (slur) is a dead (slur)," Ricks said, reciting one of the phrases. "That's a terrorist threat in my opinion."

Ricks, who is both black and Native American, said he has worked fearfully amid these conditions since he was hired in 1995, although the abuse has lessened with each federal complaint. . . .

Federal complaints? What federal complaints? The story continues:

"I would come home and cry sometimes, feeling that the world was worthless," he told me. "I would even cry in front of my son sometimes."

Ricks' allegations are enumerated in a lawsuit that he filed last week against his employer, the Albertsons grocery chain, in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Ricks claims supervisors intimidated him and gave him less desirable assignments. He also claims his bosses addressed him with racial slurs themselves. . . .

Ricks told me he eventually had a panic attack at work, leading to disability leave from August 2004 to February 2005. He received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. . . .

The case has drawn attention from Alvertis Simmons, 49, an organizer of the 1995 Million Man March on Washington, D.C. (Simmons has legal problems of his own, including a recent forgery charge stemming from a security business. He has pleaded not guilty.) Simmons said he has spoken about Ricks' case to Chicago minister Jeffrey Muhammad, Millions More Movement coordinator.
Oh boy! Alvertis Simmons! There's also an interesting NYT article on Jeffrey Muhammad (who is a minister of the Nation of Islam, Al fails to note), detailing how a grand jury declined to indict him for aggravated kidnapping. Lewis continues:
The minister told me if the allegations are true, he will support Simmons, who is considering a national boycott of Albertsons. "It makes you go back 100 years," the minister said of the allegations.

"This is Black History Month," Simmons said. "Don't take us backwards. We want to go forward. But Albertsons, you are taking us backwards."
Pretend you're a reasonable person for a minute. Do you believe Ricks' story? I don't. Not that it's necessarily a total lie, but it just goes against common sense. For one thing, Ricks claims he has endured this harrassment since 1995. Why? For another, all Al gets from Albertson's is a basic
We take all allegations of workplace discrimination very seriously," Albertsons spokeswoman Shannon Bennett said. "We thoroughly investigate and respond to all allegations that are brought to our attention." Beyond that, Bennett said she could not discuss Ricks' case.

The EEOC has determined that there is probable cause to believe that the charges of Mr. Ricks are true," the lawsuit reads. "EEOC has further advised the parties that it intends to bring a class-action suit against Albertsons."

The class action would involve at least 200 people, the suit states. An EEOC spokeswoman declined to comment.

Now that sounds like they must have something, but what? And what happened with those federal complaints? The harrassment of Ricks lessened, Lewis says, but is that because the complaints were found to be valid, people were disciplined and Albertsons' changed its procedures? Lewis doesn't say. But the involvement of Simmons and Muhammad is hardly reassuring.

The responses to Al's story on his "blog" (in "Al's mailbag") are generally skeptical, too. One begins:
Congratulations on your column of Sunday, February 12 in the Post. You have clearly established a new low in journalistic integrity. Even for you, this was an astonishing achievement in the malignant slander and malicious smearing of a defenseless target.
Albertsons, defenseless? I guess so, because the second letter reads, in its entirety:
Having worked in Personnel/H.R. for quite awhile, I don’t “buy” Ricks’ story. If true, since 1995, all his managers and the H.R. people for Albertson’s, have been incredibly stupid; that is most unlikely. I’m waiting for the “It’s not about the money” disclaimer, which should be coming soon? Simmons being in the mix, makes the story even more suspect. He strikes me as one of those guys, that if you shake hands with him; you’d better count your fingers!
But here's another HR person who does "buy" Rick's story, or at least considers it highly possible:


I’ve read your article and I’ve been an HR professional for 15+ years. . . . I don’t have any direct evidence that Mathew Ricks’ allegations are true or false but I can tell you they are entirely possible even in this day and age. If ethics and compliance training is not taught and talked about on a regular basis and the desired behaviors are not modeled, human beings can and do cross engage in unacceptable behavior at work.

Now that sounds like an "HR professional."

In any case, unless the class action suit goes forward, we're probably never going to hear Albertsons' side of things. Lewis reports in today's column that the grocery chain will cave quietly to Ricks and Simmons' demands:

Albertsons spokeswoman Shannon Bennett told me the company flew a team of executives into Denver "to open up a dialogue." She previously told me the company takes all such allegations seriously and investigates them thoroughly. . . .

Simmons told me Albertsons sent four executives: two vice presidents and two consultants, all African-American.

"The conversations have been meaningful and respectful," Simmons said. "This thing is going to get resolved. . . . When we finish with these negotiations, people are going to be proud of what we did."


Update: Oh, here's the bad picture of Lewis.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Legal term learned

From a story in the Rocky about a Saudi couple charged with kidnapping:

A judge today denied a Saudi woman's request to be tried separately from her husband on charges of kidnapping an Indonesian nanny and holding her against her
will in their Aurora home....

Both Al-Turki [the husband], who is free on $400,000 bond and Khonaizan [the wife], who is free on $150,000 bond, face additional federal charges of forced labor, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant. That trial is set for April 24.

The story's gotten quite a lot of attention, understandably, but I never read far enough to get to the term (and the charge of) "documentary servitude." According to the Human Rights Center of the University of California at (yay!) Berkeley, documentary servitude is "withholding or destroying documents as part of [a human-] trafficking scheme." Documents like green cards or passports or whatever furriners are supposed to carry, one supposes.

Doesn't one? In any case it's gonna take some work to use the term five times in a sentence (in a sentence five times? five times in five different sentences?), ain't it?


It snowed this morning; only about the third time this winter. Three inches, maybe. Actually the mountains are getting plenty, it's just Denver that's being shortchanged. Always possible we'll get it all at once like we did in the blizzard of March 18-19, 2003 (worst snowstorm since 1913; I measured 36 inches, one yard, of snow in the back yard), but it's been crackling dry.

It's been very cold too (around 10 degrees) and nobody was at Sloan's Lake, so we let Billy Bob run:

Hey, he's gotta eat too.

The Post has a cute dog pic in their snow story. If you like that sort of thing.

Update: the title "Killdozer!" obviously has nothing to do with the post. It's just another pathetic pander to the Drunkablog demographic.

Update II: That's twice in the last week I've (intentionally) insulted my readers, if any. Not bad.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Doors of misperception

This is the Drunkablog's garage.

From right: Historic spare canoe paddle; shovel; grocery bag filled w/dog poopage; last fall's leaves.

Close-up of historic spare paddle used by the Drunkablog on Utah's Green River (full disclosure: historians refuse to acknowledge paddle is "historic"); the site is off-limits to tourists until February, 2007, when, engineers say, restoration of the paddle will be complete.

But you need to see the other door, the one the car goes through (or rather, under, if you're doing it right). It's pretty cool:

Throw open the gate! The Vistacruiser approacheth!

Up close:

Really: It looks like a bloody castle gate.

The door was hand-made and installed by "Bill," the Drunkawife's father's ward. Well, he's not actually his ward, since Bill is in his mid-70s. We just call him that. See, the D-a-W's dad, "Wendell," is a devout and active Christian, and Bill was sort of a church project that somehow ended up being his. And he's helped Bill in many ways too, up to and including buying him a house. Nothing fancy, but, you know, a bloody house.

Anyway, both Bill and Wendell are expert woodworkers, and both have shops in Wendell's basement, which is where Bill made the door.

Off topic, but can you believe this? It's the back end of Wendell's basement. Two woodshops, two stubborn old men. The place has never been cleaned. That's sawdust on the lens. Say, got a light?

Interesting facts and figures

  • The garage door so overawes the neighborhood that it has never been defaced by graffiti.

  • The garage itself could actually hold only two-thirds of a Vistacruiser. You have to maneuver to get a Ford Escort in there.

  • Bill enlisted in the Navy before World War II at the age of 11 (eleven). He was, he says, "big for his age."

  • Bill once said to me that since he was a "communist," Martin Luther King "got what he deserved."

    As Art Linkletter says (my God he's old)--people are funny.

  • Monday, February 13, 2006

    Remark regretted

    The Drunkablog wishes to withdraw unreservedly a word used to describe the Drunkawife that he, never-to-be-sufficiently-damned toad of Satan that he is, included in the previous post. That word is "mental."

    The Drunkawife is not, and has never been, "mental," about mosaics or anything else. She is, rather, "passionately interested."

    Yeah, that's the ticket.

    Anyway, the reason she loves mosaics is that she makes them herself.

    This is the Drunkawife's fish. She's really good, isn't she (answer: yes)? But you should have seen the talent it took to hang the damn thing. It may not look that heavy, but it weighs 11,000 pounds (11,000,001 kilos) and the Drunkablog hanged it all by himself. Arty! (Help me Arty! A giant fish has fallen on me!)

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Twenty-five hundred photographs, my little daffodil?

    An embarrassment of riches! Mexico pics by the Drunkawife! Who is holding me hostage until I print them all!

    More freaky Mexican masks. These things are scarier
    than malevolent clown dolls.

    You come when mamma calls next time, hear?

    The Drunkawife is mental about mosaics.

    Look how carefully and precisely the pieces are laid.

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Rocky shows stones

    The newspaper publishes a whole section on the mo-toons controversy today, including a slide show that cleverly juxtaposes the Muslim-offending bomb-turban cartoon with others reviling Christians and Jews that are far more offensive but, of course, sparked no riots.

    Lots of passingly instructive blather, too, including the portentous lead editorial, and John Temple's contribution, in which he wonders whether newspapers are dumping cartoonists in droves because, well, they're always offending someone, and who needs the headaches? (Maybe partly. Much more relevant is that newspapers are cheap and cartoonists are expensive. Duh.)

    Then there's Daniel Pipes' typically unnuanced riff (that's good), and the editor of the Beirut-based Daily Star, Rami G. Khouri, with a ludicrously Saidian explanation for Muslim overreaction: "European arrogance the cause of Muslim anger."
    It is too simplistic and easy to categorize this as a clash of civilizations, a very western perspective that explains political tensions primarily through the lens of cultural and values differences. Most Muslims (and non-Muslim Middle Easterners such as several million Christian Arabs) probably see the current tensions as a political battle, not a cultural one. This is not primarily an argument about freedom of press in Europe, much as our dashing European friends would like to believe it is. It is about Arab-Islamic societies' desire to enjoy freedom from Western and Israeli subjugation, diplomatic double standards and predatory neo-colonial policies.
    Of course it is. Oh, and while Khouri mentions the lack of Muslim reaction the first time the cartoons were published, he somehow manages to avoid mentioning where they were first published. Nor does he refer directly to the Danish imams' deliberate circulation of fake cartoons around the Middle East.

    Anyway, good stuff. And way better than what the Denver Post has managed, which is a feebitorial or two and a link to the cartoons on someone else's site.

    (Darwish article via Melanie Phillips)

    Update: "dashing European friends?"

    Update II: I was wrong about where the cartoons were first published, which of course was in the Jyllands Posten, after which they were reprinted in Egypt.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Story broken

    A source whose name shall never be revealed dishes to the Drunkablog that tomorrow the Rocky will for the first time publish certain cartoons on its web editorial page. Source mum on exactly what cartoons, but the Drunkablog calls scoopsies or whatever it is journalists do.

    Another grim milestone

    The Drunkablog's one-year blogiversary! Yep, exactly 367 days ago a timorous tyro stuck his tiny pink toe into the 'sphere. He was ignorant, alone, and afraid. But he was plucky.

    Much to his surprise (but as is the way among bloggers), he was made to feel welcome. Even the drive-bys eventually stopped, and the Drunkablog began to work toward his revolutionary goals. Outcomes, please:

  • Break a major story.


  • Overtake LGF in readership.

    Done. (Evidence to be posted.)

  • Prove he "ain't no dumb guy." This was difficult, but with lyrical yet hard-hitting writing and intelligent photography, the Drunkablog demanicheanized the blogosphere-wide assumption that he was a moron.

  • Write insightful movie and book reviews.

  • Done. Here, for example, is his treatise on 2004's Alien v. Predator.

  • Become a devil with the ladies.

    Done. (Evidence to be posted.)

  • Have Glenn Reynolds "heh" one of his posts.

  • Who?

  • Make fun of Native Americans like Ward Churchill.


  • Entertain the most discriminating readers on the 'net.


    (Credits: Woman saying you are boring in ASL from the remarkable American Sign Language Browser at Michigan State University; disgusting toenails from the not-quite-as-remarkable Toenail; sheet music for "Plucky Lindy" (who I bet never had toenail fungus) from Sonny Watson's; "Native American" Don Diamond ("Chief Crazy Cat" on F-Troop) from Don and Marla's Collections.)
  • Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Bartender! Oh, Barrrrrtender!

    Time for another pulse-pounding episode of Ten. Nights. In a. Bar-Room!

    In our last episode the mysterious narrator watched in horror as Simon Slade, owner of the Sickle and Sheaf, hurled a whiskey glass at drunken sot Joe Morgan, only to strike Joe's daughter, Little Mary. A doctor is tending the insensate child when suddenly:
    A woman stood in the door, with a face in which maternal anxiety and terror blended fearfully. Her countenance was like ashes--her eyes straining wildly--her lips apart, while the panting breath almost hissed through them.

    "Joe! Joe! What is it? Where is Mary? Is she dead?" were her eager inquiries.

    "No, Fanny," answered Joe Morgan, starting up from where he was actually kneeling by the side of the reviving little one, and then she lay white and pulseless in the arms of her husband. As the doctor applied restoratives, I had opportunity to note more particularly the appearance of Mrs. Morgan. Her person was very slender, and her face so attenuated that it might almost be called shadowy. Her hair, which was a rich chestnut brown, with a slight golden lustre, had fallen from her comb, and now lay all over her neck and bosom. . . . [A]bout her whole person was an air of neatness and taste. She could not now be called beautiful; yet in her marred features--marred by suffering and grief--were many lineaments of beauty; and much that told of a pure, true woman's heart. . .
    Is it just me, or does ol' T.S. Arthur sound like he's sportin' a stiffy when he describes poor pulseless Mrs. Morgan?

    (Credits: Coffin lady from iStock Photos; Martha Stewart mask from; T.S. Arthur from Lombard Antiquarian Maps and Prints.)

    Other TNIABRs here and here.

    Program note

    My post on the Rocky Mountain News' handling of the Mohammed-cartoon controversy has undergone so many interesting additions, it's like brand-new!

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Keep on pushin'

    Couple of old magazine ads:

    Faster? I'm gonna get my little hammer and bust out my own teef!

    An evil clown in an ad for Magnavox televisions. Note how in the 1960s clowns were considered suitable entertainment--even for children.)

    (Credits: False teeth from the August 10, 1965 Look; psycho clown from the May 9, 1964 Saturday Evening Post.)

    Update: Yes, I'm posting crap because I feel bad for being nasty to the face-transplant lady. I mean, how would it be if Billy Bob ate my face while I was passed out? He would too, no doubt about it. Hell, he's tried to feast on my features when I was fully conscious. And if he actually got me, where would I be? Without a face, that's where! So enough false superiority. I'm just going to move the poor woman down the page as quickly as possible.

    Rocky defends cartoons, doesn't publish them

    The Rocky waddles in with a defense of free speech in the mo-toons controversy today:

    The strokes of cartoonists' pens have proven mighty enough to open deep fault lines in European society.

    The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was trying to demonstrate an important truth about tolerance and freedom of speech when it commissioned a dozen cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad that it published Sept. 30. The truth: People in Europe have become frightened of saying things that Muslims might find offensive, for fear of violence and the threat of violence. . . .
    The editorial clanks to a predictably ringing conclusion:
    The Vatican also got it wrong, saying on Saturday that "freedom cannot imply the right to offend" religious believers.

    On the contrary, freedom must imply the right to offend religious believers - as well as the members of every other organization or group. Otherwise, we will have ceded our freedoms to the veto of the most intolerant among us. The intolerant in Europe and throughout the Muslim world are now trying to exercise such a veto. They must not be allowed to succeed.
    Only one problem: the News itself hasn't published the cartoons.

    Update: Neither, of course, has the Post, and all they've managed editorially is Cal Thomas.

    Update II: Well, I'm confused. John Temple says the News ran one of the cartoons "with the editorial," but I didn't see it yesterday and I don't see it today. He also says they've linked to all 12 cartoons "since Thursday," but the only link I can find is in his post. I'll ask him. Also, the Rocky has a reader Q & A with its cartoonist, Ed Stein.

    Update III: Rocky editorial writer Linda Seebach replies in comments to my query of John Temple:

    One of the cartoons ran in the newspaper -- you know, that old-fashioned kind of news that comes on paper? Since we seldom use any kind of illustrations with editorials, there's no automated process for making sure they make it onto the Web page. A human's help will be solicited.

    (We printed the one about running out of virgins, but not all of them because they aren't worth that much newsprint.)

    There's a box on the front page that has "Islam cartoons" as one of the options, and if you click on that, there are links to the editorial, to a Dutch site that has all the cartoons, and a story about local reaction

    Dear Ms. Seebach: What is this "paper" of which you speak? Hah! Zing!

    All funnin' aside, I see the links to the cartoons and the local reaction story are on the editorial page now, but they were added long after I wrote this post (tho I don't know when you put up the link on the front page).

    In any case, shouldn't John Temple have noted in his post that the single cartoon the Rocky published appeared only in the print edition? And can I take it from "A human's help will be solicited" that that cartoon will now be posted on the Rocky website as well? A wondering world waits, or maybe a waiting world wonders. Or maybe everybody's just off getting drunk somewhere. Thanks for your response.

    PS: Oh, and since you didn't link to it here, the Rocky's story on the "reax" of local Muslims is quite interesting.

    Update IV: Post title changed from really lame to fabulous.

    Update V: John Temple gives himself an indirect pat on the back for the News' publishing of one of the cartoons while chiding other American media for not doing so. No mention that the cartoon was published only in the News' print edition and has yet to show up on the paper's website.

    Update VI and I hope to God the last: Another note from Linda Seebach:

    John Temple says the link on the main page has been up since Thursday last week. Someone from the Web desk added a link from the editorial online to that site with all the cartoons as soon Wednesday after I saw your post as it took me to catch John to tell him about it and him to send them an e-mail and someone there to respond. (It only *seemed* like "long after" to the anxiouly waiting blogger ...)

    I don't think it's much of an issue whether there's an actual cartoon on that (web) page or just a link. Wouldn't you think that just about everyone who is interested enough in the topic to be reading an editorial about it on the Web has already seen them? And in case there are those who haven't, we gave them a link. If it weren't for the backstory, nobody would think that worthy of comment.

    When John wrote in his Tuesday post "we printed one of the cartoons" it hadn't occurred to any of us in Commentary that something needed to be done about the Web. I don't think it has happened before (we've used illustrations but not where they were an essential part of the content). Although "printed" does rather suggest paper was involved somehow.

    Well Linda, if Steve Outing at Poynteronline agrees with you guys, as he apparently does, this "anxiously waiting blogger" (my fingernails are a fright) must be wrong (as bloggers tend to say, "/sarc").

    I just think that by "printing" one cartoon, one time, only in the "print" edition, Temple was taking the easiest way out consistent with maintaining some measure of self-respect.

    And even though it was rather rude to print the cartoons in the first place, once the reaction--and the role of the Danish imams in fomenting it--became clear, it would have been better for the News to avoid the appearance of ambivalence toward publishing the cartoons by publishing them all (including the fakes) both in the paper and, especially, on the web. After all, you have plenty of room there.

    Update (sorry) VII: Buncha' Poynteronline Poindexters pontificating (via podcast) on the subject here. (There's text too.)

    The Voice of Colorado

    How did I miss this? From the Denver Post Friday:

    For going on seven years, The Post has opened its op-ed pages to an eclectic circle of columnists from across the state, writers who draw on their interests and experiences to tease out some of the most interesting issues of the day.

    We call them Colorado Voices, and print two of their columns each week. The Voices are an opinionated lot who come in all shapes and sizes. In the next few months, we'll introduce our final group from the class of 2005-06: Sandra Dorr, who runs writing workshops in Grand Junction; Stephen Terence Gould, a member of the Denver Commission to End Homelessness; Larry Pozner, an irrepressible defense attorney from Denver; and high school student Emily Spearman of Louisville.

    Today is our call-out for Voices who would serve in the year ahead.

    We hope to hear from you. Or the sister-in-law with a bent for tall tales and small lessons. Or the accountant with a literary bent. Or the blogger next door. If you feel you represent a voice that is often missing from these pages, we invite you to speak up.

    Drunkablog a shoo-in

    You have to submit two column samples. Let's see. The post immediately below is good. Short, pithy, on-target, with a wry humor aimed squarely at Mr. and Mrs. Middle America. Okay, that's one.

    And here's the other! A light-hearted slice o'life that shows how 21st century couples like the D-blogs cope with family, career, and our busy Colorado lifestyles.

    Can't miss.

    Obligatory face-transplant-lady post

    It's not that her own dog ate her face. Not even that now she's walking around with somebody else's face sewn to her head. No, what creeps me out is her mouth. It's the slack, dead mouth of a corpse. Let me put that in Stephen King: She has the slack, dead mouth of a corpse!

    Otherwise she doesn't look bad at all, considering.

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    Drunkablog hits bottom, writes review

    Just finished reading Deborah Martinson's biography, Lillian Hellman: A Life With Foxes and Scoundrels. Poorly written, indifferently documented, and a near-total whitewash of Hellman's lifelong Stalinism, Lillian does, at least, have a few good quotes:

    Sam Goldwyn was Hellman's Hollywood boss for nearly every film she made, and Goldwyn had more fights than any other man in Hollywood." "You always knew where you stood with Goldwyn--nowhere," or so said F. Scott Fitzgerald. Goldwyn was stubborn, persistent, and wily; his success depended on it. "He was a titan with an empty skull," Billy Wilder said of Goldwyn in retrospect, "not confused by anything he read, which he didn't." . . . He was never stopped by a simple no. He pressed and recruited inexorably. One time Paul Jerrico wanted to take a Goldwyn job but had made a verbal commitment to another filmmaker. Goldwyn wanted Jerrico too, and Jerrico recalled, "This is a true Goldwynism . . . He said, 'do the decent thing. Take this job and don't even tell him.'" Indeed Goldwyn's relentless nature paid off. By the late 1930s his Formosa Avenue studio housed great writers like Elmer Rice, George Hecht [sic] Robert Sherwood, and Frances Marion, along with Hellman, who became the star of his stable. Goldwyn bragged, "Just classy writers, Goldwyn's got just classy writers."

    "Star of his stable?" Please. About Hellman's good friend Dorothy Parker Martinson writes, "After one party that Parker and her husband Alan Campbell threw in their North Canon Drive house, Parker declared that her "hangover was impressive enough to be referred to as 'we.'" (Lesson: no matter what anyone says, drinking does too make you witty.) And on Hellman's legendary physical unprepossession (unprepossessiveness?) Martinson quotes somebody saying that Hellman "looked like the Ancient Mariner in drag."

    But otherwise the book is lousy, as Martinson is apparently determined to extenuate or ignore Hellman's vitriolic Stalinism in paragraph-long nonsequiturs and moral equivalences:

    It seems hard to believe that the Communist Party recruited between 50,000 and 75,000 American members, just when news of Stalin's purges emblazoned every newspaper's front page. Hellman, along with countless others, swallowed the CP line. Hellman signed a manifesto in defense of Stalin and joined 150 progressives in signing The Moscow Trials, A Statement by American Progressives. "The text of the statement makes clear that the signers' pro-Soviet attitude was conditioned by Soviet resistance to Hitler, by Soviet attempts to improve the living conditions of Russians, and by Soviet efforts to strengthen the League of Nations as a force for peace. Lillian's signature on this document is neither surprising nor damning." The "demonstration trials," as Stalinists called them, appeared to many outsiders legitimate consequences of treason and Trotsky's efforts to retake power from Stalinists. Stalin seemed the Russian premier of choice, since Trotsky actively promoted worldwide revolution while Stalin preferred domestic stability first. The trials seemed far away and the consequences of someoone else's political upheaval. "Even the New York Times seemed to accept the verdicts."

    The New York Times? Well why didn't you say so?

    Anyway, just one more thing: Martinson claims that Hellman's longtime lover and whatnot Dashiel Hammett thought The Glass Key the best of his own novels. The movie (for some reason not yet out on DVD) is great too, not least because William Bendix beats the crap out of Alan Ladd (as the "Little Rubber Ball") about 47 times. Quite brutal-looking early noir. It has Veronica Lake sulking around too.

    Very little, very late

    Everybody knows what the acronym (yes I know it's not really an acronym) PBUH means, but for some reason the question came up today, what do the acronyms SWT and SAW you also see used after the mention of Allah or Mohammed mean?

    It took some hellish research that involved actually reading a review of Saw II (stinko!), but I found out: SAW is the "[a]cronym for Arabic 'Salla Allahu alaihi Wa Sallam.' It means 'peace be upon him,' but it is used when referring to Prophet Muhammad (SAW)."

    "SWT" somewhat more strangely stands for "'Subhanahu wa ta'ala' meaning 'Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son.'"

    Update: A comment at the ever-witty B-BBC that I can't find at the moment mentions the baby Jesus and ritually intones, "May his father bless his little cotton socks." This is very cute and makes an easily pronounced acronym: "MHFBHLCS."

    Update II: The link added to the word "partners" is from this top-ten album cover list. You all know what the album is.

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    Did the word "stickie" exist in 1963?

    Haven't posted Billy Bob-related photolios in a while. Here's one taken just Wednesday:

    It's dashed difficult to throw a frisbee and then focus and shoot a digital camera at something as fast as my vicious brainless-zombie dog Billy Bob. But every once in a while I git 'im good.

    Enough Billy Bob for you?

    Feck off!

    Okay, here's another of my dumpster-rescued old magazines:

    The December 31, 1963, Look.

    Five weeks after Kennedy was assassinated, and they didn't redo the cover:

    Underneath the stickie it says "Christmas at the White House."

    At the time Look had a circulation of "more than 7,400,000," so they probably thought it would be insane to reprint the whole run. But why did they have the magazine ready and printed so long before Christmas? And how did they put on all those stickies? Can you imagine the labor that would take? Or did they rig up a machine? Seems to me there's a thesis in this, and I expect it on my desk first thing Monday morning.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    Or pastries obtained from sources complying . . .

    This story would be funnier if such people didn't have our lives in their hands:

    Clean air bill mistakenly killed

    By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News February 3, 2006

    House Democrats accidently killed their own clean air bill Friday when gubernatorial candidate Gary Lindstrom, a Democratic representative from Breckenridge, mistakenly voted the wrong way.

    The goof set off a partisan firestorm at the state capitol, with Democrats accusing Republicans of lacking "civility" by telling them they wouldn’t vote in favor of allowing Lindstrom to correct his vote.

    Republicans, meanwhile, said they were simply standing on principal in their opposition to the bill and shouldn’t be expected to put that aside simply to help Democrats correct their mistakes.

    The blowup was centered on a controversial air quality bill backed by most Democrats and several environmental groups that would enable the state to set more stringent cleanup standards than the federal government.

    Democrats backing the bill say it’s critical to prevent EPA policies they argue would ease pollution controls on industrial plants and open the door to more mercury
    emissions in Colorado.

    Republicans and business groups counter that the bill would make it easier for citizens to bring lawsuits against industry, and that ramped up regulations aren’t needed in a state that has steadily cleaned up its air over the past 20 years.

    The bill failed on a 33-32 vote on second reading when Lindstrom said he voted "yes" on what he thought was a vote on the bill itself. Instead, the vote for was an amendment that would kill the bill.

    "There was a one-vote margin; my mistake caused the bill to fail when I wanted it to pass," Lindstrom said.

    The bill’s sponsor Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, said she consulted with House Minority Leader Joe Stengel, R-Littleton, about a motion to reconsider. Stengel, she said, told her he would be willing to go to the podium to ask his Republican colleagues to go along with it.

    But he also told her, McGihon said, that she wouldn’t get enough Republicans to get the two-thirds of the chamber needed to consider giving Lindstrom another chance to vote.

    All that was missing was Charles Laughton to hand former gubernatorial candidate (not really!) Lindstrom a sword to fall on.

    But the bill will be reintroduced and Gar'll probably get another shot. Read the whole thing for it is exceedingly stupid.

    Transition needed

    Here's a phrase I'll bet you've never heard before. It's from the draft of another bill:

    12-44-211. Unlawful acts. . . . (1) (b) To sell or serve to any person, in, by, or from a food service establishment, any food unless the same is [blah blah]. . . except that nothing in this section shall prohibit . . .

    (I) The preparation and serving of only coffee, tea, and NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS DOUGHNUTS. . .

    The Drunkablog is strong, and will forbear uttering the obvious Homer Simpson line. He asks that his readers if any show equal civility.


    This is the library my mother took us kids to every week, the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut.

    Picture's too small to really tell, but the building is totally goth.

    It's named for the Pequot Indians, who, as usual before Indians have things named for them, were massacred--well, sort of.

    Anyway, this was the library's main desk:

    These gas fixtures are still there.

    There were (still are) three walk-in fireplaces in the place, and come winter they actually burned wood in them.

    But it was really wonderful in the summer. We'd ride to the beach with our books, hang out, then cut over to the library to return same and get new ones. Nobody cared that we were both shoeless and shirtless, or that we tracked sand into the place.

    And here, just by way of contrast, is the library I use today:

    The main branch of the Denver Public Library.

    Not a still from Close Encounters of the Third Kind: just the 4th floor of the DPL.

    The storytelling area in the kiddie section of the DPL.

    View from the storytelling area of (from left): City and County Building, Civic Center Plaza, big chair, small horse (no, I don't know why).

    (Credits: Storytelling area and big chair-small horse pics courtesy me.)

    Update: Man I'm an idiot. One should probably read more than a couple of paragraphs of the pieces one links to, or one might find oneself to be very wrong about what such pieces say. The article on the Pequot Massacre, for example, is actually a debunking of same. A friend had to point this out to me. Sentence changed accordingly.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Glorious spam

    Sometimes it's just too damn funny, I claim when I need filler:

    Dearest one.

    Actually I did not want to discuss this matter with you before but after fasting and prayer I just decided to contact you for your help, please I real need your help. I am 20 years old girl. I leave alone because I don’t want the people who killed my late Father, to kill me too. I will be very happy if you promised me that you will keep this secret until this money arrival your care in your country.

    My late Father deposited one trunk of box with a security company here before his dead and because of situation of political crisis here that led to war going on here in my country, I need some body that I will trust to come in and help me claim this consignment out from the company for the safety of my property that was deposited under there custody.Please I am contacting you for your assistance, to help me because I don't have anyone in here to help me and I don't have money to travel from here to any country please I need your assistance to stand by me and help me to transfer the box to your for future investment. You will contact the security company as SONIA MICHAEL foreign partner who want to help me and claim the box that was deposited by my late Father DR. DANE MICHAEL from Republic of sierra Leone.

    My late Father did not declared the real content of the box to the security company officials. He only told them that the box is containing family valuables. You are the only person I have sent this message across to. I will like you to keep the secret until this box arrive your country.You have to promise me that you will not betray me when this box is under your care.

    I will send the documents and the security company contact to you once you accept to help me. You have to give me your private phone and fax number to enable me to send the documents to you.The money inside the trunk box is Twenty two Millions Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($22.3 Millions Dollars). I will offer you 10% for the total sum of amount, if you help me and claim this box from the security company.

    You will also provide investment programme where the money will be invested properly when it arrival your hand safely. I wait to hear from you. May God bless you.

    "You will also provide investment programme . . ." Whoa there, baby. I'll give you my phone and fax and even my bank and credit card numbers, but an investment programme? I'm not a banker, baby, and you're never gonna see this high roller in a monkey suit.

    Favorite line: "My late father deposited one trunk of box with a security company here before his dead. . ."

    Drunkablog reax: International intrigue? Ten percent of $22 (.3!) million? A "20 years old girl" I don't know calling me "dearest one?" I'm in!

    Update: Message from the D-a-W in sunny Meheeco: I'm out.

    Update II: Coincidentally, Tim Blair has a post today that mentions Nigerian spammers, and one of his commenters helpfully links to the 3rd Annual Nigerian Email Conference.