Friday, June 30, 2006


We're going to the mountains, or at least to a crude representation thereof, later this weekend, so posting might be funky.

Also, around the 10th I'll be headed to the Drunkablog family confab in Lincoln, Illinois. Here's what I wrote last year about my native land:

You see, Drunkablog's ancestors throve and grew full-'tarded on this land, this "Central" Illinois, with it's babbling brooks and majestic cottonwoods and frolicking deer all long ago drained and cut down and shot so as to concentrate everybody's mind on what's really important: corn.

So it's kind of like, I don't know, a homecoming. And if I don't chicken out from buying one I'll have a laptop and be able (maybe) to post along the road. It's been done to death, but when has that ever stopped &tc.

By the way, can one park outside a wi-fied motel and connect to the internet? That would be very helpful. What about truck stops? Do they generally have wi-fi these days?

Update: Don't forget to move Smiley -4 degrees!

Forget James Dean

Norm Geras links to yesterday's Guardian article on jazz trumpet genius Clifford Brown, who was killed in a car wreck 50 years ago at age 25. But here's a much better June 26 Wapo article that includes a retelling of The Mystery of Clifford's Last Jam.

Update: One respects Miles, one loves Brownie.

Update II: Both newspapers' headlines are sub-par, but the Post's is really bad: "Unmuted awe?" Beeeyarrrrf.

Update III: Anybody (else) think I'm posting about Clifford just to salvage some cred after the previous post, which inexplicably mentions Hall and Oates?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

This post links to big hair

The other day the D-a-W asked if I could translate a Spanish word for her. This was odd because I don't speak Spanish and she's fluent in it.

Drunkablog: What's the word?

D-a-W (pronouncing): Mahn-eh-ah-ter. You know, with an "er" verb ending.

D: Mahnny ah tare.

D-a-W: Mahn-EH-ah-tare, you blithering fagsicle.

D (Woundedly but proudly, strongly but tenderly, gently but steelily (lilly?) and above all in a deep voice): You know, that was funny for a while, but ever since we went to PrideFest the "fagsicle" stuff's had a little edge to it. Are you once again questioning my manli--forget it. Okay. Mahn-eh-ah-tare. Where'd you see it?

D-a-W: It's a Nelly Furtado song [she sings some of her stuff in Spanish--and in Portuguese and English and a little Hindi, apparently--ed.], but I couldn't figure out what the word meant for the longest time. Let's see if you know it. Write it down while I spell it.

D: (saying the letters after her): M- A--oops, let me pick up my pen. Owwwwwww, my eye!--N - E - A--shut up, Billy Bob! Owwwwww, don't bite my wounded eye!--T - E - R. Got it! (looks again) (goes to sleep) (wakes up) (looks again) (gets something to eat) (looks again) (takes it to an expert):

D: It's English! "Maneater!"

And it was, though I'm glad to report that Furtado's Maneater is not a cover of the Hall and Oates version.

Update: I thought about calling this post "Whoa whoa here she comes" but I Can't Go for That (No Can Do).

Update II: Do not confuse the word "maneater" (or song(s) of the same name) with the word "manhunter" (or the excellent movie of the same name).

Update III: Turn loose the lightning metal hawgs!

Update IV: "By: Delmo."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Drunkablog gets dread "vote of confidence" from self

I'm still quite confident that the statement posted on Try-Works yesterday and purported to be Ward Churchill's response to CU Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano is authentic. But neither the Post nor the News has updated the story, and neither has said where they got the statement, which would seem to indicate that they got it from Try-Works and ran with it without further confirmation.

Just like the Drunkablog did.

Oh, and it's still not up on CU's website, though this might mean only that Churchill's decided not to communicate directly with the hegemonate anymore.

Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' etc.

But I'll give it a shot. 1. Churchill gave his June 13 statement to Try-Works first too. 2. That little touch of trying to turn the charges around on the committee is pure Churchill. 3. And what would be achieved by a fake statement anyway? If it ain't Churchill it might as well be.

Update: Putting up rather than shutting up: If I'm wrong I'll eat my magic blogger's hat.

Plastic fantastic hassles solved

The Rainbow Family's problems, about which I blogged yesterday, are over. Their knight in shining armor has arrived. Turns out it's David Lane, lone champion of Ward Churchill and Defender of the Freaks!
Rainbow Family members on trial for camping without a permit and other charges should be tried in a larger public courtroom – not a small, rural firehouse near Steamboat Springs, attorney David Lane said today.
One thing, though: If, as the Rainbows say, nobody's in charge, who hired Lane? Yes, that's a rhetorical question. He was probably camped out with the Rainbows from the start, and now is acting completely pro boner (hippie chicks have a rep, maaannnnnn).

No, it's the face time. As is obvious from the Drunkablog's coverage, the story's got eggs. I mean, legs.

Update: Sorry about the double or triple screwed up postings. Bogger's been absolutely pathetic today. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Churchill responds to DiStefano*

At Try-Works, so I'll just link to PB's post, where I saw it first. It's mostly the same old crap, but Churchill does have a few fresh feces to fling:

From start to finish, the interim chancellor's blatant conflicts of interest – not to mention the political nature of his biases – have been obvious to anyone who cared to view the matter honestly. So, too, the ways in which he has manipulated the process at every step in order to guarantee the outcome he announced on Monday, June 26. . . .

The interim vice chancellor's strikingly duplicitous comportment over the past 16 months will not go unchallenged. I will file an appeal of the whole charade with the Faculty Senate's Committee on Privilege and Tenure (P&T) within the next 10 days.

He'd better make that nine days, hadn't he? Then Churchill goes after the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct in those Trotskyite tones we've all learned to love:

In fact, each kind of academic misconduct the interim chancellor's carefully-selected panel claims I committed is engaged in by the panel itself in the writing of its report. (One of the panelists even takes credit for authoring a work unquestionably written by another scholar.)
That's a new one. Isn't it? Anybody know who he might mean?

Update: Once again Churchill uses Try-Works to get his message out. He's found his own level.

Update II: The Post is first with an AP story that gives Chutch's response in full.

Update III: And now the Rocky with an AP summary.

Update IV: Just commented over at PB (same post) that one thing newspaper reports have consistently done in the Churchill story is use the unacceptable shorthand that Churchill compared 9/11 victims to "a Nazi." Then I looked at the lead of the AP summary again.

*Well, PB has deleted Churchill's alleged statement, saying rightly (and with input from Snapple!) that its authenticity hasn't been confirmed, especially since Try-Works claims to have got it first but the Denver papers had it only an hour later. Neither Denver paper is questioning the document, though, and I'm leaving it up for now, but caveat lector.

Colorado chit-chat!

What is it with people getting shot in stores around here? First was the K-Mart shooting (they caught him); then Sunday a rampage at a Safeway warehouse (they killed him). LGF noticed that one for some reason. Oh, and today the gunman's brother was shot and wounded in an incident "not believed related" to the Safeway shootings.

Happy news

A relief, then, to be able to turn to a story about peace, love and har--now wait just a hemp-pickin' minute:

Federal forest officials Tuesday clashed with members of the Rainbow Family north of Steamboat Springs, where the free-spirited tribe plans to hold its annual summer gathering of as many as 20,000 celebrants next month. . . .

The conflict was sparked by the U.S. Forest Service's decision to start issuing citations to early-bird Rainbow campers entering the Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District - roughly 30 miles north-northeast of Steamboat Springs - without a special-use permit.

Denise Ottaviano, an information officer for the National Incident Management Team [what do you want to be when you grow up, Denise dear?--ed.], said about 15 U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers were forced to abandon a safety-and-information checkpoint after being encircled in a hostile manner by more than 200 Rainbows.

Ottaviano said the permit is required for a gathering of more than 74 people [seventy-four?--ed.] on Forest Service land.

About midday Tuesday, Ottaviano said, "a group of between 60 to 80 Rainbows started approaching the law enforcement officers from the interior of the gathering area in a very hostile manner.

"They broke up into groups and started surrounding the law enforcement officers at the checkpoint, and that incited the group of about 200 that was outside of the gathering area to then also approach and join in with the group that was already there, and start surrounding the law enforcement officers."

Ottaviano said that when the officers saw they were encircled, they drew their weapons ["they may get us, but we'll take a few hippies to hell with us!"] but did not fire [rats]. They were then able to get into their cars and leave.

News of trouble in a planned paradise 10 days before the start of the Rainbows' mass summer reveries didn't sit well with Rob Savoye. He's a 47-year-old Rainbow Family member who lives near Nederland and helped locate this year's gathering site. He wasn't present at Tuesday's confrontation.

The problem with securing the required permit for the use of the federal land, Savoye said, is "nobody is in charge (of the Rainbows), and so nobody can sign a permit.

"We always say, anybody who looks like they're in charge, obviously isn't."

That reasoning won't wash with the feds.

They still don't have a permit. Whatever, but more people are showing up every day, there's only one road in to the meadow where they're gathering, and the place is a tinderbox. As a friend of mine once said, "God bless the gentle hippies."

Cowtown no more, and I'll say it till it's true

First came the news that KATIE COURIC was coming to Denver to conduct some sort of dipshit town meeting. As Penny Parker p-p-p related:
Starting Monday you can visit for a chance to be chosen for the town hall talk with Couric on July 13 at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

One hundred local folks will be selected for the meet and greet with the new CBS Evening News anchor, based on answers to an online questionnaire. Denver is one of six towns across the country that Couric will visit before debuting on the anchor desk in September.

"She wants to talk about issues and what people want to see in a network newscast," said CBS 4 news director Tim Wieland. "People sitting in the town hall will get to shape a network newscast. How often can you say that?"
I don't know. But here's one for you, Tim: How many consecutive times can you heave up green bile and live? (Update: Cal Thomas giggles girlishly at the prospect of Katie's tour.)

But the Rocky's Parker isn't through yet, in the same piece pitching the dishes about Avs goalie Jose Theodore's tryst with celebrity skank Paris Hilton.

Last item!

"Embezzlement suspect ordered to stay jobless." A perfectly sensible decision.

Update: The Post's Ed Quillen tells the story of the first Rainbow Gathering in 1972.

Update II: As some of you may know, the Drunkablog has his own Incident Management Team.

Update III: I originally said Penny Parker works for the Post; the Rocky's Linda Seebach points out that I'm wrong and also an idiot. Fixed.

Update IV: In the interest of journalistic accuracy, Seebach didn't actually say I was an idiot. But she thought it.

Rob Smith, RIP

Late to this, but Acidman died yesterday. No surprise, he was a physical (and sometimes mental) wreck, but still, it sucks. Gut Rumbles was one of the first blogs I ever read (I know, join the club), and the A-man's appalling honesty set a standard that will never be surpassed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

CU's DiStefano: We're going to fire Churchill

That's what the Rocky is saying, with a little red "breaking news" banner on their front page that I've never seen them use before. Here's the caption to the Churchill photo accompanying the piece, which contains more info than the actual story: "The University of Colorado has started the process to terminate controversial professor Ward Churchill, Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said today at a 2 p.m. news conference. There are avenues of appeal open to Churchill, DiStefano said."

Update: The Post has a little more:

"Today I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position here at the University of Colorado," said Phil DiStefano at a press conference.

Update 2 billion: Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, wishy-washy as ever on the subject:

"'If a university is a marketplace of ideas, then Mr. Churchill is the rotten fruit among hundreds of good apples,' Owens said in a statement. 'Hopefully, we can soon say good riddance to Ward Churchill once and for all.'"

Churchill has 10 days to appeal.

"A university is a marketplace of ideas, a place where controversy is no stranger . . . indeed one of our most cherished principals is academic freedom, the right to pursue and disseminate knowledge without threat of sanction," said DiStefano. "But with freedom comes responsibility."

Update II: KHOW has the audio of the news conference here.

Update III: As Pirate Ballerina points out in highlighting this DiStefano quote, "the burlesque is far from over":

[...L]et me briefly explain the process as we go forward. Professor Churchill may request within 10 days to have President Brown or me forward this recommendation to the Faculty Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure. If Professor Churchill does so, a special panel will then conduct hearings about this matter and make a recommendation to the president about whether the grounds for dismissal are supported.

Update IV: Churchill attorney David Lane on KHOW's Caplis and Silverman said all this faculty stuff is just "window dressing" and expressed the requisite lawyerly confidence that a Colorado jury will see through it.

Update V: Egregiously-toothed CU lickspittle Dan Caplis: "CU handled it right."

Update VI: C & S are interviewing DiStefano now.

DiStefano: This isn't about freedom of speech, but about Churchill's falsification, plagiarism, baby raping, etc.

Silverman: Lane claims Churchill didn't get sufficient notice.

D: Yes he did.

Caplis: Tell us the process from here.

D: Blah, blah, blah.

Caplis: Churchill doesn't have a case. All he can do is yell retaliation! Retaliation! Retaliation!

Caplis again (to DiStefano): I once thought you were a beast, but now I love you and want to bear your children. It's a proud day for you and the faculty.

D (shyly): Thanks, Dan.

S: How long can he drag it out?

D: Millenia (I didn't hear what he actually said. Sorry.).

S: David Lane says the university owes him $20,000 . . .

D: Legal is handling.

D (asked whether Interim Provost Susan Avery and Arts and Sciences dean Todd Gleeson supported the decision): Yes.

Interview over, kiss, kiss, kiss, a little tongue from Dan, then:

C: He's (Churchill) gonna lose in so many ways . . .

Update VII: PB points to Hot Air's un-pc reaction.

Update VIII: The story's right, but Florida Cracker, a very fine blog, goes a little too far in the headline: "WARD CHURCHILL FIRED."

Update IX: Huh. So does Occidentality (who has a good blog reax roundup): "University of Colorado Finally Resolves the Churchill Farce. Sorry, Occi, but there's still a whole bunch of clowns crammed in that little car.

Update X: The Kos kids are resigned.

Update XI: Wouldn't normally link but over at Try-Works Moredy is clenching his chubby little fists cutely and screaming at DiStefano: "You neo-Stalinist fuck" (link removed).

Update XII: The papers pontificate: the Denver Post: "The long goodbye at CU"; the Rocky: "Just deserts for Churchill." Predictably, the Post doesn't mention the various embarrassing defugalties CU committed during the controversy, while the News, as might be expected, emphasizes them:

If we appear somewhat stingy with compliments for the CU hierarchy, it's no accident. Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, not only was showering Churchill with praise long after he might have worried that his ethnic studies professor was a scandal waiting to happen, but Gleeson also privately mocked a 2004 complaint from someone who heard Churchill give a speech at Macalester College in St. Paul and wondered if it was "the educational mission of your institution to employ someone who encourages students to terrorist action."

After the furor broke over Churchill's "Little Eichmanns" essay - an essay, by the way, that justifies a "dose of medicine" against the U.S. in the form of chemical or biological weapons - Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano released a tepid statement distancing the university from the renegade professor but revealing little sign of genuine outrage. CU's president at the time, Elizabeth Hoffman, eventually would wax indignant, but against Churchill's critics, claiming they were the vanguard of a "new McCarthyism."

Update (I've lost count): The Rocky consulted six "legal experts," all but one of whom said Churchill is a dead duck:
Attorneys who specialize in higher education law said CU can win a suit as long as the university followed due process in moving against Churchill.

And, they say, a powerful report by a CU investigative committee, detailing the evidence of misconduct, will be tough for Churchill to overcome.

"If they fire him, he'll stay fired," said Harvey Silverglate, a Massachusetts civil liberties attorney who specializes in representing faculty members in academic freedom cases.
How. Ever.

Michael Olivas of the University of Houston Law Center said Churchill has "a better-than-average chance" of showing that the investigation of his scholarship was launched in retaliation for his expression of unpopular opinions.

"They wouldn't be caring about Ward Churchill if it hadn't been for his 'little Eichmanns' remark, which may be inelegant, but he's entitled to it," said Olivas, the author of a widely used book on higher education law.

Update 2 billion: Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, reticent as ever on the controversy, backs the "it's just Churchill" line:
"'If a university is a marketplace of ideas, then Mr. Churchill is the rotten fruit among hundreds of good apples,' Owens said in a statement. 'Hopefully, we can soon say good riddance to Ward Churchill once and for all.'"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Drunkablog goes to PrideFest!

I don't know. It has something to do with gay people.

Walked by the Libeskind art museum expansion on the way.* It's set to open this fall. Trailer lower left is new main entrance.

There was a pretty good crowd:

This was the tail end of the parade, but it's the only real crowd shot I got. Most everybody was already at the rally.

This unappointed but impeccably dressed arm of state power estimated the crowd at 10,000-15,000.

Even Robin Williams showed up. (That's a joke, son.)

These guys could ripple their chests in counterpoint. Ripples went through the crowd too: "They're porn stars!" The Drunkablog has absolutely no idea if this was the case.

I didn't listen to any of the speakers, either. Can you ever forgive me?

The City and County Building. There was all kinds of commerce, of course, including booze. Half the crowd was baked by 11:00.

Did that make it easier to sell insurance, or is this guy baked, too?

Left, main library; right, old part of art museum; bottom left, behind Coors truck, Civic Center.

The pool at the other end of Civic Center Park.

Statue above the guy in the leopard-skin print is Joe P. Martinez of Ault, Colorado, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in WWII.

The end.

*I go by that musuem addition at least twice a week, and I've never seen Daniel Libeskind around. What's up with that?

Update: The Drunkawife and I were supposed to meet up at this thing, I swear, but we missed each other and she ended up riding in the parade in the back of a pickup, "practicing her queen wave." How odd. She usually does that whilst sitting on the toilet.

Update: Here's how the News covered it; here's the Post, which insanely claims a crowd of 200,000.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

They all have hairy backs, too

A study has found that nearly every person working in newspaper sports departments is white. And male.
"I expected it to be pretty bleak, and it certainly was," said Richard Lapchick, founder and director of the University of Central Florida's DeVos Sports Business Management's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

Lapchick's team of graduate students found in studying the 5,100-employee makeup of 303 sports departments that 94.7% of sports editors, 89.9% of columnists and 87.4% of reporters are white. The study also showed that 95% of the editors, 93% of the columnists and 90% of the reporters are male. Similar percentages were found in the positions of assistant sports editors and copy editors.
They should get Larry Summers to explain it to them.

(via Romenesko)

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Many deep thinkers, including me (shut up), have argued that Ward Churchill's academic fraud is not an isolated incident, but rather a representative example of the ideologically corrupted scholarship done by ethnic-studies faculty in general and accepted all too blithely by the academic community as a whole.

This can be found right in the Churchill committee's own investigative report (pdf), which employs extremely dubious historiography to criticize Churchill's now-famous claim that the U.S. Army gave smallpox-"infested" blankets to the Mandan Indians in 1837.

In making this claim, the committee said, Churchill misrepresented Mandan oral tradition. They were right about that, of course. Unfortunately, their explanations of how they themselves came to accept (sort of) real Mandan traditions about the epidemic use exactly the kind of assumptions Churchill uses to stoke his Rousseauian fantasies. Here, for example, is the committee's take on "truth" in history (p. 46):

The Committee recognizes the validity of many ways of knowing about the past. . . . Multiple perspectives, providing different vantage points about a given set of events, enhance our ability to understand the complexity of the past. Thus the oral traditon of a tribe involved in a previous event may force reconsideration of established acounts derived exclusively from written documentation. . . .The oral traditions of the Mandan, Arikara, Hidatsa, and Sioux peoples, those closest to the events at Fort Clark, likewise contain multiple and conflicting assessments. We believe that all kinds of sources have value; we privilege none.

How did the committee's belief that they could avoid "privileging" one truth over another work out in practice? Here they are accepting (sort of) "an apparently Mandan perspective" on the smallpox epidemic found in a speech

said to have been given by Chief Four Bears as he was dying of smallpox in 1837. The text of the speech was preserved together with [a racist jerk going under the name of] Chardon's journal and was later inserted into the appropriate chronological place by the editor of the published volume. Although the authenticity of the speech has been questioned, it seems possible that Four Bears did give such a speech (though perhaps not on the day of his death) and that Chardon was told about it by someone who spoke both Mandan and either French or English. While Four Bears' speech was certainly mediated--translated and transcribed by someone other than its nominal author--it may provide a generally accurate representation of his sentiments. A descendant of Four Bears recited his statement in full in a conversation around 2000 and accepted it as reliable.

Yep. Fake but accurate.

How should oral traditions be judged?

A visit to Wikipedia finds an apparently non-moronic historian going under the name Gilbert Garraghan setting forth minimum historiographical standards for oral traditions. The biggies:

The tradition should be supported by an unbroken series of witnesses, reaching from the immediate and first reporter of the fact to the living mediate witness from whom we take it up, or to the one who was the first to commit it to writing.

There should be several parallel and independent series of witnesses testifying to the fact in question.
Other requirements:
The tradition must report a public event of importance, such as would necessarily be known directly to a great number of persons.

The tradition must have been generally believed, at least for a definite period of time.

During that definite period it must have gone without protest, even from persons interested in denying it.

The tradition must be one of relatively limited duration. (Elsewhere, Garraghan suggests a maximum limit of 150 years, at least in cultures that excel in oral remembrance.)

The critical spirit must have been sufficiently developed while the tradition lasted, and the necessary means of critical investigation must have been at hand.

Critical-minded persons who would surely have challenged the tradition — had they considered it false — must have made no such challenge.
Clearly the committee's rationale for accepting the Mandan oral tradition falls short of several of these requirements: there's no unbroken chain of witnesses; the smallpox epidemic is well over 150 years old (and who can say whether the Mandan "excel in oral remembrance," anyway?); and the tradition has been contested by a number of "critical-minded" people. Still, that tradition must be given at least equal weight with all the other "truths" the committee says are knocking around Fort Clark.

An Aboriginal oral tradition

This almost uncritical acceptance of Mandan oral tradition wouldn't fly with Keith Windschuttle, the Australian historian whose examination of Aboriginal oral traditions has made him an extreme skeptic of all such traditions. Windschuttle, whose work should be better known in the U.S., had this to say on the subject in a paper piquantly titled "Doctored evidence and invented incidents in Aboriginal historiography," that he read at the new Australian National Museum of History in December, 2001:

I am well aware that there is often a postmodernist spin put on oral history and ethnic legends. This claims that traditional notions of history have been undermined by recent epistemological critiques, and that all cultures are authentic in their own terms, and that all legends are therefore true for their believers. The advocates of this view often apply it to such worthy cultures as those of ethnic and indigenous minorities, as well as other fashionable political interest groups. They rarely recognise that the same argument confers authenticity on the claims of cultures of which they might not approve, such as those of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Islamic jihadists and other species of political depravity. This rejection of traditional empirical history leads to cultural relativism in which the legends, myths and prejudices of any culture become legitimate. It is a philosophy of anything goes. . . .

Hilariously, Windschuttle proceeds to jump all over the devoutly multi-culti museum crowd, pointing out that the central exhibit in the Aboriginal section of the museum,

a photographic display of the so-called Bells Falls Gorge Massacre near Bathurst in the 1820s, gave credibility to a mythological event for which there was no contemporary evidence. Although it is now claimed as part of ancient Aboriginal tradition, Aboriginal activists only learnt of it from an article about local legends written by a white amateur historian in 1962.
With some exasperation, then, Windschuttle asks:
How many times do we need to learn the same lesson? Old legends and oral history, unless they are corroborated by original documents, are worthless as historical evidence whether told by blacks or whites. Historians who go down this road leave the search for truth behind.
Is it any wonder Australia's "black-armband" historians start twitching when they see Windschuttle shlubbing over the horizon? Their fear is so naked that at the annual confab of the Australian Historical Association in 2004, a motion specifically aimed at Windschuttle called for (as The Australian put it) "a code of ethics that would gag historians from criticising the integrity of their peers in public." Highly instructive. This country is long overdue for its own Windschuttle.

Update: Linked to the wrong CU committee report. Fixed now.

Update II: The Wikipedia historian's name is Garraghan, not Garragher as I had it. Fixed.

Update III: Churchill minion "Glo" makes a pathetic attempt to fisk my argument in the comments to this post at Pirate Ballerina. Worth reading to laugh at his (or her) typically shoddy methods and to watch, awestruck, as the Drunkablog employs a tiny piece of his massive brain to answer his (or her) arguments. Glo is right about one thing, though: I do seek to "undermine" ethnic studies in general.

A trifle high-handed

State employees in Kentucky have been banned from reading blogs:

Political bloggers have joined pornographers, casinos and hate groups on the Fletcher administration's list of Web sites that state employees are blocked from visiting.

So have blogs and Web sites dealing with entertainment, auctions and humor, and sites that could transmit computer viruses.

Political blogs were among the categories added to the list yesterday. A blog is shorthand for Web log [haven't seen that little explanation in a while--ed.].
Now, most blog readers will agree with Kentucky in lumping "bloggers," as they're known, with pornographers, casinos, hate groups and, especially, auctions (though not humor). But banning political blogs altogether? What brought that on? The Louisville Courier-Journal has a possible answer:

One political blogger in Kentucky [] said the timing is suspicious and charged the Fletcher administration has targeted his site because he is critical of the governor. On Tuesday, he ran excerpts of a New York Times story Tuesday about the state hiring investigation, which included quotes from him criticizing Fletcher.

Mark Nickolas, a Democratic blogger whose Web site is harshly critical of the Fletcher administration, said his site is important for state workers to read.

"It's phony to say a Web site like mine doesn't serve a legitimate purpose. People in government are developing policy and need to understand what's going on in the state, and they can help inform themselves of that by visiting my site," he said. "This shows the Fletcher administration's way of dealing with dissent is to censor it."

He also noted that access to sites of the political parties was not blocked. . . .

[State spokeswoman Jill Midkiff] said mainstream media sites were not blocked because they can provide state employees a broader range of news on issues that agencies may need.

Midkiff said the recent report from the state's consultant did not show state workers were visiting the sites of the Kentucky Republican and Democratic parties.

Charles Wells, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said he did not believe state workers should visit political blogs on work time, but should be allowed to do so during breaks or lunch.

"And I don't understand why a state employee can go to the Republican Party Web site but not BluegrassReport" [they can go to the Democrats' site too] he said. "Drawing the line where they have has started another fight this administration didn't need to fight."
Here's the NYT story. Fletcher's in a heap 'a trouble.

Half-assed "research" noted

A quick and dirty look found three states' policies on employee internet use. Vermont doesn't prohibit its employees from reading blogs; neither does Virginia. And an executive order on internet use last year by Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne says nothing about blogs. The policies of all three states permit limited personal use of the internet on the employee's own time.

I thought the all-knowing and all-powerful source of state info, the National Conference of State Legislatures, would have more. But all I could find was a rundown of various legislatures' policies for their own employees, not for state employees in general. I also found a model policy on internet use that dates way back to 1997. Not good.

(via Romenesko.)

Update: Nicholas of notes today that state employees can still access right-wing blogs. Whether he tried to pull up any leftie ones, including his own, he doesn't say.

Update II: The National Conference of State Legislatures has a blog!

Update III: Yes, I know that for Drunkablog readers the exclamation point in update II is utterly superfluous.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Worst. Powerfist. EVER.

Refuse and Resist is some variety of commie-anarchist site. I'd never heard of it before, but William Kunstler lent his threadbare name to its organizing committee way back in '87, so it must, I thought, be a good'un.

It's not bad. Refuse and Resist decries police brutality, holds an annual "Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers," links to the websites of Lynne Stewart and Cindy Sheehan (check out Ghandi looking down approvingly on Cindy et. al. Impeace Bush!), and laves Mumia. It also has an artists' section ("We Will Not Be Silent!") and a link dump to various articles of general leftoid interest.

So Refuse and Resist is right in there with the Z-Nets and Counterpunches and somewhat to the right of the totalitarian comedy stylings of MIM--and a perfectly decent target for mockery. But that idea went overboard when I noticed their "logo." Look on it and shudder:

The fist says Resist!: But don't we have to Refuse! first?

Beyond incompetent

This is without doubt the worst powerfist I've ever seen. It's an embarrassment to serious fist artists everywhere. Let's quickly go over its major flaws:

  • The fist (and I'm sorry to have to point out this disgusting fact) has legs.
  • Legs! I'm going to be sick.

  • That doesn't bother you? Okay, what's with the busted chain and noose around the fist's wrist or waist or whatever it is?

  • I can see a chain, but a noose? Not believable.

  • Why in God's name does the dead yellow lynched fist-with-legs thing appear to be doing The Bump, a "grinded groin" dance of the 1970s?

  • Refuse and Resist doesn't get a nickel out of me (and I was going to join at the $100-a-month level) until that fist is G-O-N gon, baby.

    Update: Somebody should have told me Cindy had a new book out. Well, it doesn't matter. It actually came out April 1, so I'll be able to find it in the dumpster behind the ARC store by now.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Colodolo in the news!

    Yes, it's Collorarardo in the news! Let's get-r-done:

  • Man shoves granddaughter at Elks (I mean, elks):

    A California man has been jailed in Larimer County on charges that he shoved his 6-year-old granddaughter dangerously close to a herd of calving elk in Estes Park.

    Harold Wellsted, 63, is also accused of hitting a 58-year-old Fort Collins woman who protested what he was doing and then knocking down her 82-year-old father, who had been using a walker, police said.

    This guy was a piece of work:

    Wellsted, who was wanted on a child abuse warrant out of California, has also been charged with assaulting an Estes Park officer in the booking room of the jail, said Estes Park Police Commander Wes Kufeld. . . .

    Witnesses told police that a van pulled up and a woman, an older man and two young children got out. The family stepped over the fence and approached the elk, witnesses said.

    "The grandfather . . . grabbed the 6-year-old child and pushed her toward the elk and told her to get up there so he could take a picture," Kufeld said.

    One of the elk began rearing up and the child began to cry, Kufeld said. The witnesses began yelling at Wellsted. They said he approached one woman and hit her. Then he shoved her father to the ground, Kufeld said.

  • In wildly unrelated news, the Post notes that Denver had its best year ever for tourism. (Tourism Bureau motto: Do like Harold and bring the family!)

  • The Denver MSM are pissed off that Sheriff Mink of Jefferson County won't release videotapes made by the Columbine killers.

  • Two CU researchers have discovered why mothballs cause cancer. Scary quote:

    Mothballs contain naphthalene, and some air fresheners have
    para-dichlorobenzene or PDCB, both proven carcinogens.

    Air fresheners cause cancer? The Drunkablog demands to know: what are air fresheners?

  • The Post editorialates: Quit giving money to bums, ya morons! It's a real problem; the bums (homeless! sorry!) are on almost every busy corner, holding their cardboard signs, smoking their rollies, and hanging out with their friends. The Drunkablog shall not quit giving them money, though; he doesn't believe in "10-year plans."

  • In disgusting pig news, the Rocky's "On the Town" columnist says Bill Clinton, in town Friday for, coincidentally, the groundbreaking of the Columbine Memorial, is a disgusting pig: Clinton eats two desserts (creme brulee and cheesecake). "'At the end of the night, he was headed to the bathroom' [no sh*t--ed.] [Strings restaurant owner] Cunningham said. 'He stopped by the big marble round table and said, 'Hey, are you guys having a good time? Isn't this a great restaurant?'"

    Can't you just hear him saying that? And all the while he's holding in a big fat--never mind. Clinton also talked about Ethiopia and signed a menu that's "already at the framers."

    Update: Yes, I added the "s" to "the framer(s)" so a stupid joke would work. Sue me (please don't sue me).

  • Lawyer confident Churchill would lose lawsuit

    Scott Robinson, "a Denver trial lawyer specializing in personal injury and criminal defense" who writes an occasional column for the Rocky, says Ward Churchill will lose his (possible) lawsuit if he's fired by CU. Robinson concludes:

    Churchill's attorney likens his client to Galileo. More apt comparisons are to erstwhile journalist Jayson Blair or disgraced young novelist Kaavya Viswanathan . . except for the fact that those two plagiarists owned up to what they did.

    Not so Ward Churchill.

    Will the committee findings be enough to insulate CU from legal liability for what could be viewed as a personnel disciplinary action undertaken in retaliation for Churchill's controversial public statements?

    Probably so, even despite the ongoing demands for his dismissal by politicians, who appear heedless to the fact that they are providing valuable ammunition for Churchill to use in his upcoming legal battle.

    Far more certain is this: After months of investigations, the costs of ridding the university of Ward Churchill are only going up

    The whole piece is all over the place like that. Worse, Robinson doesn't say exactly why--for what concrete legal reasons--he's so sure CU would prevail in a court fight with Chutch. He doesn't, for example, address two worrisome points mentioned in this post--that CU conducted a confidential process in public, and that they went after Churchill because of speech they acknowledged was protected by the First Amendment. Do they need something akin to probable cause to investigate a professor's scholarship? Nobody has answered that--at least, not to this reporter's satisfaction.

    Update: For some reason Iowahawk's classic "Chutch" TV script doesn't link to the equally classic Part Two: Chutch, Hawaiian Style! Rowwwrr!

    Monday, June 19, 2006


    Ventured into the mountains this weekend to help the Drunkawife secure her boss's mountain fastness from threats both foreign and domestic.

    The Boss's mountain fastness.

    This meant only one thing:

    "The hills were alive" with the barks of Billy!
    (Billy Bob, bottom center.)

    We weren't isolated, either: Communications center
    at The Boss's mountain fastness.

    The place has hummingbird feeders all over. We had to fill a couple of them. Fun fact! Despite their small size, hummingbirds are very noisy. They like to chatter and whistle all day long! All night too!

    Bonus fun fact: Hummingbirds live on human blood.

    We took care of the domestic animals too:

    This is Misty, one of The Boss's dogs. She's an old sweetheart whose rotting teeth and pus-filled gums exude a mephitic miasma of death. Misty loves to be cuddled!


    So the one acts all unconcerned while the other just sits there and stares. You could tell: they hated me.

    Billy Bob: Stupid dog never goes anywhere without his frisbee.

    Update II: Third link above should go to The Sound of Music, not The Hills Have Eyes. Fixed soon!

    Update III: Sometimes Billy Bob tries a little too hard to dig out the grounders:

    He doesn't go to his right very well, either, if you were thinking he could maybe fill that hole at shortstop.

    Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Friends all over

    That Ghanaian soccer player who waved an Israeli flag after his team's goals against the Czech Republic yesterday reminded me of the Pentacostalist parade that wandered by my house last year. They waved Israeli flags too. I e-mailed a link to that post to Melanie Phillips, saying something like, "bet you've never seen anything like this before!" and she e-mailed back, "Indeed." Melanie Phillips wrote that in an e-mail. To me.


    (via I forget where.)

    Update: Natalie at B-BBC notes the "curious" way the BBC handled the story.

    Update II: See, "curious" is in quotes because the Beeb's handling of the story ain't. Curious. At all.

    Update III: Did I just say I sent an e-mail to Melanie Phillips that read, "Bet you've never seen anything like this before!" And that she replied, "Indeed"?

    I'm so embarrassed.

    Saturday, June 17, 2006

    Sat Eve Post 3-21-64

    Knew it was going to be a music issue this week, but couldn't decide between the Beatles:

    Cover story on the elevator-music specialists just after their first American tour. (Elvis Costello is said to have retorted Stipe-ward, "If it weren't for this elevator music, you'd still be taking the stairs." I have no idea what that means.)

    And Dylan:

    Like he's the pope or something: "A rare picture of Bob Dylan in seclusion."

    Okay, it's the Beatles. Let's "meet" them. But first! This week's issue begins with next week's stories:

    Can't wait for "Tart talk." But Kennedy for veep? Who cares! I want to know what scoundrel stole the the "Gary" from Francis Gary Powers. Not sure that "dark enigma" piece would go over so well in our present modern times of today, either.

    A drug company ad:

    And now he has Daddy's gun.

    Couple of "interesting" letters to the editor. John Glenn's first run for the Senate inspires this effort: "I predict A-OK all the way to the White House for John Glenn.--Cecil W. Tisdell, Dougherty, Okla." (Actually if you scroll down to the "political life" section of Glenn's wiki you'll learn that he withdrew from the race after being attacked by a bathroom mirror. Who'd a'thunk?)

    The other is a letter from the editor of The (London) Observer, David Astor, disputing the Post's claim that the newspaper hired Soviet spy Kim Philby even though "the highest executives of The Observer were made aware from the beginning that Philby was under suspicion, though nothing had been proved."

    Astor replies that this is "the very reverse of the truth," and a 2006 Guardian timeline of The Observer has this to say:

    1963 Kim Philby, widely accused of being the Third Man (the Soviet Spy who had let it be known that Donald Maclean was about to be exposed), was cleared by the British and American Government. He became the Observer's Middle East correspondent based in Beirut but was expelled and fled to Moscow. He had been the Third Man all along.
    Were our faces red!

    Next comes some happy talk:


    Then the first of three (urp) articles on the Beatles, this one clumsily titled "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Music's gold bugs: The Beatles." Typical condescending early-Beatlemania bilge. Only the catty description of Brian Epstein as a "delicately mannered young man who once wanted to be a dress designer" stands out.

    Then the man who warned America about the supposed dangers of subliminal advertising, Vance Packard, analyzes the Beatles' appeal. For the life of me I can't figure out what he's insinuating here:

    The subconscious need that they fill most expertly is in taking adolescent girls clear out of this world. The youngsters in the darkened audiences can let go all inhibitions in a quite primitive sense when the Beatles cut loose. They can retreat from rationality and individuality. Mob pathology takes over, and they are momentarily freed of all civilization's restraints.

    The Beatles have become peculiarly adept at giving girls this release.

    Then a couple of pages of Lennon's, um, "Beatalic graphospasms":

    Thorg hilly grove and burly ive,
    Big daleys grass and tree
    We clobber ever gallup
    Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me.

    Finally, the obligatory editorial, "Two cheers for the Beatles." It begins,
    The Beatles have come and gone. Press-agentry has scored one of its greatest triumphs since the Ringling Brothers' Thomas Leef planted a midget on J.P. Morgan's knee.
    Goodbye, midget.

    Update: I've seen it a million times, but repeated searches failed to turn up the famous "midget in Morgan's lap" picture.

    Update II: Special to Drunkablog regulars (if any): my friends, I used Wikipedia a lot in this post for historical background, so feel free not to click on anything that looks too, you know, difficult.

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    Ethnic studies chair to CU: Validate us

    Albert Ramirez said the university needs to show support for ethnic studies:
    The faculty of this department need to know that the leadership of the university considers both them and their discipline as legitimate and credible as any other department," said Albert Ramirez, ethnic studies department chairman. "It's an important message to hear.". . .
    Ramirez laid out his feelings about the Churchill case and the problems in the department in a four-page letter, and he said he is meeting soon with administrators to discuss the letter.

    "It is puzzling, in fact, that the university has not taken a more supportive role in regard to the department, since ethnic studies at CU has contributed significantly to the research and teaching mission of the university," Ramirez wrote, adding that the course and faculty ratings regularly exceed the school average.
    In fact, the Churchill report explicitly voices support for the department and brands the Churchill mess an isolated incident, almost certainly to forestall complaints like Ramirez's:
    "We have taken pains in this report to explain that the findings (of academic misconduct) apply only to professor Churchill and should not be casually generalized to the others in his department or field of study," the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct wrote. "We recommend that the chancellor consider means to ensure that the reputation of other faculty and staff in the department of ethnic studies is restored and maintained appropriately."
    Ramirez just wants CU's "more supportive role" to take a particular form:
    He has asked to fill the position of Churchill's wife, Natsu Taylor Saito, who recently resigned, and wants to make sure he can fill Churchill's job if he is fired. Ramirez said he isn't sure why the administration did not respond to the racist calls and e-mails the department received in the spring of 2005.
    So he wants an assurance that CU isn't going to try to phase out the department through attrition. Oh, and those "racist calls and e-mails" CU administration didn't respond to?

    Malmsbury confirmed that the ethnic studies department received racist e-mails and that administrators met to discuss the situation, but she did not address what was done in response to the e-mails or whether there would be a statement of support for the department.

    What happened to the "calls?" And hasn't everybody on Earth received at least one racist e-mail by now? That gambit has completely lost its ability to outrage anybody except ethnic studies types and media wowsers. Toughen up, chaps and chapettes! You're revolutionaries!

    Ramirez . . . said that the department is vital in the face of immigration controversy and other national issues.

    "We help create for society voices that are now invisible," he said. "For a lot of society, that is kind of threatening and kind of controversial."
    See? Revolutionaries.

    Update: Pirate Ballerina links to a statement from Boulder Faculty Assembly Chair Jerry Hausen, who pours on the PC just the way Ramirez likes it:
    Part of the fallout from this case has been public questioning of the validity of disciplines that focus on the historical and contemporary accomplishments of and questions of social justice concerning women, peoples of color and other groups that often have been consigned to the political, economic and legal margins of our society. Studying the contributions of marginalized, often underrepresented and, during some periods of American history, unrepresented citizens plays an important role in a broad-based education. Such courses invite students to consider the complexity of struggles to be treated with fairness and justice and to think critically about the vestiges of these struggles that persist in today's society. Courses that examine these parts of the American experience and provide opportunities to reflect on their causes and cures have significant value for helping our students become positive contributors to the continuing American dream of a society based on amity and hope. We call on the Board of Regents of the University to reaffirm its support for these disciplines.
    Will the regents knuckle under to this? The suspense is freakin' awful.

    Better-late-than-never update: Hi, PJM readers! Hang around and check out the Drunkablog main page. You'll be ashamed you did!

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Yee! Also haw! It's the Colorado (news) Roundup!

    Smile when I say that, pard.

  • Reaction to the Ward Report at the RMN blog is the usual semi-literate back-and-forth among the cognescenti, so just one summatory quote:
    Ward Churchill is the fungating tip of a deeper cancer destroying Universities across the US.
    Fungating. Describes the Drunkablog perfectly. (And notice how the D-blog upped his own vocabularity--"cognescenti," "summatory"-- to honor this fine word?)

  • Letter to the Editor: Where have hippies, their idealism gone? Maybe to Aspen for the summer. And you'll probably find lots of 'em at the Rainbow Gathering next month.

  • Sleeper
  • house sells after four years on the market. According to the News, "The price . . . paid wasn't disclosed, but those familiar with the deal said it sold for less than the asking price of $4.85 million, which already was less than half the original asking price of $10 million."

    Here's the house:

    Can you figure it out? Who wouldn't want to spend $10 million on a "clam-shaped" concrete house overlooking I-70? Woody Allen made a movie there, for Chrissakes!

  • Denver officials warn that they've, uh, misplaced 150,000 voter records.

  • Oops, found (most of) 'em!

  • An unusual manner of death: Sculptor killed by creation for DIA. That mustang was after him, man.
  • Finally, in local perv news, two (!) stories: High school teacher tries to hire teen for fight; and Colorado court: 15-year-olds [maybe even 12-year-olds] can marry under common law.

    Update: Story updated.

  • Update II: RMN: Marriage ruling a "real shocker."

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Let's have a go at some Circus Boys!

    The Circus Boys in Dixie Land: or, Winning the Plaudits of the Sunny South, that is!

    Strangely, given its title, Circus Boys in Dixie Land (1912) contains neither jot nor tittle of Southern flavor--no dialect, no happy "darkies," no Kentucky Colonels, no Southern belles, nothing. The author, E.P. Darlington, must have been tired the afternoon he wrote it.

    So a couple of quotes that have nothing to do with the South. They seem to be about Teddy, one of the Circus Boys. First quote from Chapter I, "Under Canvas Again":

    I've been thinking of an idea, Mr. Sparling," said Teddy by way of changing the subject.

    Phil glanced at him apprehensively, for Teddy's ideas often had consequences of a serious nature.

    "Along the usual line young man?"

    "Well, no."

    "What is your idea?"

    "I've been thinking that I should like to sign up as a dwarf for the rest of the season and sit on the concert platform in the menagerie tent. It wouldn't interfere with my other performance," said Teddy in apparent seriousness.

    Mr. Sparling leaned back, laughing heartily.

    "Why, you are not a dwarf."

    "No-o-o. But I might be."

    Against all evidence, Teddy thinks he's a dwarf!

    Another quote, from chapter XX, "Disaster Befalls the Fat Lady":

    The result was that Teddy sat down suddenly. Fat Marie sat down on him, and Teddy's yell might have been heard a long distance away. Those on the tail end of the circus train saw the collapse, then lost sight of the couple as the train rolled around a bend in the road.

    Down the bank slid the Fat Woman, using Tucker as a toboggan, with the boy yelling lustily. Faster and faster did they slide.

    No links on the soft-core, pervs. And why is she called "Fat Lady" in the chapter title and "Fat Woman" in the text, hmmm? There's a dissertation in there.

    Update: Just noticed that you can submit a quiz on Circus Boys stuff at the Literature Network site. Here's a start (answers in parentheses):

    1. Are the Circus Boys gay? (yes)

    2. Is there anything wrong with that? (no)

    That's all I could come up with.

    Update II: Couldn't find a bio for Edgar E.P. Darlington, just the cryptic notation that his name was a "pseud for Grank Gee Patchin," which I find hard to believe.

    Update III: Dr. Phil's got a head like an anvil, doesn't he?

    Update IV: Yes, "Grank" Gee Patchin is a typo. Not mine. Still no bio, but Darlington/Patchin did write the Pony Rider Boys series as well.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Same old, same old: Churchill publishes full response

    Via Try-Works:

    On February 2, 2005, Colorado Governor Bill Owens called for me to be fired because of statements I made about U.S. foreign policy that were clearly protected by the First Amendment. It would have been illegal to do so then, and it is just as illegal today.

    More than 16 months ago Governor Owens informed then-CU President Betsy Hoffman that his office would "work closely with her and the Board of Regents to terminate" me. A few weeks later President Hoffman expressed her fears of a "new McCarthyism" to the Boulder faculty, and a few days later she resigned. Apparently this message was not lost on the remaining CU administrators.

    The fact that CU has spent over a year and a great deal of money conducting a sham investigation of "research misconduct" does not convert an otherwise illegal action into a legitimate one. In its determination to fire me, the University has continuously violated its own rules, the Regents' laws on academic freedom, and the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection. As today's press release illustrates, CU administrators have conducted a "trial by media," not a confidential personnel investigation. Today's report is but the latest step in this process.

    After encouraging malicious and frivolous allegations to be made, Interim Chancellor DiStefano, as complainant, submitted the resulting media stories as if they were his own allegations of research misconduct. These were then investigated by a committee which, over my objections, was dominated by CU insiders. That committee's report has now been rubber stamped by the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct (SCRM), and SCRM's approval will proceed back up the internal hierarchy to Interim Chancellor DiStefano for his approval.

    Anyone who bothers to read the investigative committee's unnecessarily long and obfuscatory report will see that the committee both deviated from and far exceeded its mandate to served as an unbiased, non-adversarial, fact-finding body. Instead, it functioned as prosecutor, jury and judge. Despite the availability of outside experts in my field, no one on the committee had expertise in American Indian Studies and the committee included no American Indians.

    The investigative committee artificially constricted the time and manner of my responses and then disregarded the evidence I was able to present. It did not measure my work against the accepted practices of my discipline; instead it invented and applied a secret set of standards. Even so, it was unable to provide the required evidence that I violated relevant norms and, in the end, resorted to recommending harsh sanctions because I did not have the "right attitude."

    This process has not demonstrated that I engaged in any serious research misconduct but that, after more than a year of painstaking review, those charged with firing me could find nothing more than a few footnotes and questions of attribution to quibble over. University of Colorado administrators have simply confirmed that they will shamelessly cater to political pressure, discarding the most basic principles of academic freedom in their attempt to silence me and discredit my work.

    Ward Churchill

    Boulder, Colorado

    June 13, 2006

    Update: In the same post, "John Moredock" on Try-Works' exclusive: "Amazing how we seem to keep scooping, like, everybody, ain't it?"

    Yes, yes it is. But maybe a better word is interesting.

    Update II: Can't seem to find the quote, but hasn't Ward made a disdainful remark or two about Try-Works in the past? So really, why did he give them this? Could it be that the spoiled, vain and foul-mouthed juveniles over there are the only friends he has left? Good luck, Ward.

    Update III: The Rocky's updated story quotes Churchill's attorney David Lane rather than the man himself. The Post has already (1:00 a.m. MDT) dropped its short, linkless story from the front page.

    Update IV: The Rocky finally has Churchill's response, and the story is back up with more detail on the Post's front page. After outlining the next steps in the process, the Post's Arthur Kane notes:
    With all [the] steps [still needed to fire Churchill], it may seem that the Churchill investigation could stretch for years, but CU spokesman Barrie Hartman said sees [sic] an end to the year-and-a-half-long process, at least for the school.

    "There is not only a light at the end of the tunnel but a big light," he added. "We should be done in three or four weeks."
    Not including the lawsuit, of course.

    Doddering cretin wonders

    Do you think the new Superman movie will update his image so that now he fights for "truth, social justice, and the American Way"?

    Update: Question 2: Doesn't anybody understand that this blog is a cry for help?

    The Churchill Report: Interesting facts and figures

    Now that I've actually read (some of, sort of) the committee's report, I can start criticizing it! This, from the Executive Summary, is funny:

    With regard to corrective actions, the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct is recommending that publishers of the articles, chapters, and books in which falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism were found be informed of the Investigative committee report. Although there may be no opportunity to publish errata or corrections in most cases, the Standing Committtee hopes that the publishers takes [sic] appropriate steps to respond to the Investigative Committee’s findings.
    Yeah, that'll happen.

    From the section "The role of context and motivation," a bit of CYA (it's elaborated later in the report):
    In the Churchill case, the SCRM shares the concerns expressed by the Investigative Committee regarding the timing and context in which the allegations against Professor Churchill were raised. However, at each step of the process, the SCRM was careful to restrict its review to the allegations of research misconduct, without consideration of issues that have received widespread attention by others interested in Professor Churchill’s work. In particular, the SCRM’s deliberations were devoid of any discussions of Professor Churchill’s “9/11 essay,” or of issues of academic freedom or free speech in general. Rather, our work was specifically and narrowly focused on the finding of the Investigative Committee with regard to research misconduct.
    I just don't know if that'll work. Probably? (The Drunkablog is nothing if not decisive.) More:

    The SCRM strongly disagrees with critics of the Investigative Committee report who have suggested that Professor Churchill’s violations were isolated, mundane, or trivial. To the contrary we conclude that the violations are extreme examples of research misconduct, particularly in this area of study. . . .
    Ever'body say d'oh!

    The SCRM also was persuaded that making unfounded accusations and fabricating support for them, as, for example, that the US Army intentionally collected smallpox-infected blankets from an Army infirmary to spread the disease to native populations, is serious by any standard. It not only distorts an already tragic history but creates a social harm by spreading misinformation under the guise of scholarly research, injures the very cause being promoted, and casts doubt on other scholarship in the area.

    In a feeble vote of confidence, however, they add,

    We firmly believe that the process should raise no concerns for faculty whose scholarly work complies with accepted standards of research integrity.

    Goodbye, Ethnic Studies. (Yeah, sure.)

    Update: The committee subscribes to the Lone Gunman theory:

    Impact. We discussed under the heading of "Seriousness" the impact of research misconduct on scholarly research in general. It is obvious to even a casual observer that this investigation has attracted considerable national attention. Some members of the public seem to have concluded that Professor Churchill's behavior is symptomatic of the academy at large; indeed, Professor Churchill's own comments may have bolstered this belief. As the Investigating Committee noted, these doubts and accusations have particularly challenged other, legitimate scholars in the fields of ethnic and Indian studies. As a committee charged with encouraging the highest ethical standars of research, we regret--and condemn as inaccurate and misleading--this erosion of public trust. We wish to remind all parties that this investigation had to do with one individual, and that his conduct should not be generalized to others. We consider the harm that his behavior has done to his field and to the academy more generally to be an aggravating factor in our determination of an appropriate sanction.

    Update II: A significant omission:

    In accordance with our rules, we explicitly inquired into potential biases or conflicts of interest, a process that included Professor Churchill's input regarding potential members of the committee--
    not to mention the highly unwelcome but much more effective input of a certain scurvy-livered dog who uncovered the "potential bias" of two committee members and forced their resignations. Whew. The outcome could have been completely different, y'all.

    CU committee recommends Churchill firing

    The University of Colorado's Committee on Research Misconduct has recommended that Ward Churchill be thrown on the ash heap of history.

    Six committee members recommended firing, two recommended a two-year suspension, and one recommended a five-year suspension. According to the RMN:

    The recommendation from the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct will now be sent to interim provost Susan Avery and Todd Gleeson, dean of the college of arts and sciences.

    Avery and Gleeson then will make separate recommendations to interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who will have the final say on whether Churchill should be fired.

    An exact timeline for that decision has not been determined, but could come within weeks
    Well, well, well.

    Update: A response from Churchill in the Denver Post:
    "Baloney. That's my one-word-response," he said. "The basic situation here is there was a call . . . for my termination clear back last February, whether or not it was legal. They're willing to take the heat and go to court if necessary and stand behind an illegitimate investigation."
    Shockingly, I think Churchill's right, if only about the school's willingness to (finally) bite the bullet and give him the old heave-ho. After, of course, the lawsuit.

    Update II: Funny line in the Post story: "Since [the "little Eichmanns" essay, Churchill's] case has been cited by conservatives as an example of how universities have overstocked their faculties with leftists."

    Update III: This was via Hugh Hewitt, by the way. I vaguely heard him say something about it being a bad week for somebody (I didn't hear who, but I can guess) what with the Rove non-indictment, Bush in Iraq, and now (Hewitt said) "the University of Colorado." The Drunkablog went "uh-oh," and sprang into inaction.

    Update IV: Here's the committee's report (pdf via the RMN).

    Cowtown no more

    I kept telling you bumpkins how hip Denver is, but you wouldn't believe me. Now you have to:

    The world's most famous baby just made a Denver retailer the world's most famous baby clothes store.

    Belly, an upscale boutique in Cherry Creek, supplied the tiny dove-gray T-shirt worn by Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt on the cover of this week's People magazine.

    Since the magazine featuring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and baby Shiloh hit newsstands Thursday, the store has been deluged with Internet and telephone orders.

    The Drunkablog bought two tiny dove-gray T-shirts! And he doesn't even have kids! Anymore!
    Update: One bowl of Brangelina every morning (w/skim milk) provides as much roughage as six bowls of Total. (Oops, I mean fiber.)

    Update II: That is one weird headline: "Local boutique LANDS Brangelina's baby"?

    Old style

    Jim Romenesko's subtly named sorta-blog "Romenesko," which covers (mostly) old-style media, is indispensable to journalists and bloggers alike. It provides hard info, of course, but reading it is sometimes like listening in as the "professionals" tell stories about the glamorous world of newsgathering.

    Romenesko's linking shows his concerns: articles on ethical issues ("'The practice of source confidentiality needs an overhaul'"; "Where should editors put the Duke lacrosse 'rape' story?"); journalism awards and citations (what is it with journalists and awards, anyway?); "interesting" interviews with newsies in the news ("Friedman doesn't worry about running out of column ideas," to which the only appropriate response can be thank God); and even the occasional nugget of condescension to bloggers ("Blogosphere is slowly establishing journalistic legitimacy").

    But the site has always bugged me. Part of it is its bias, of course (which way are they biased, o putrid-livered one? Duh.), part of it is its stodgy earnestness (of a piece with its bias), and part of it is its aforementioned condescension to bloggers.

    What really bugs me, though, is Romenesko's apparent compulsion to link to stories about how predictions of the demise of newspapers are so, so greatly exaggerated. It's as if he thinks it's his duty to bolster the morale of reporters, editors, owners and stockholders with the "good news" about newspapers.

    The other day I searched the site using the phrase "newspapers not dying," and came up with (among others) "Newspaper industry hardly dying, says McClatchey CEO"--"Last year, the world celebrated the 400th birthday of the newspaper. Those of us in the business also recognized it as the 399th anniversary of the first prediction of our demise. Speaking as someone whose company is writing a $6.5 billion check to triple its newspaper holdings, I beg to differ." McClatchey, of course, is buying Knight-Ridder and (surprise) immediately selling off a number of its papers, so the CEO certainly doesn't have an ulterior motive for saying that. Then there was "Oft-told tale of newspapers' waning influence is wrong"; and, just a touch hysterically, "To say newspapers are dying is just crazy." Crazy, I tells ya!

    It's not that Romenesko ignores the bad news--he doesn't, as that last link shows. It's just that the assumption with him is always that the decline of newspapers is necessarily a bad thing. I don't think so. The Drunkablog is a recovering five-papers-a-day man--of course, this was only during the time he was alcoholically inclined and unemployed--and now he doesn't subscribe to even the local papers, and hasn't for several years (he hasn't drunk for several years now either, but that's neither here nor there). It's a little sad, but newspapers are just too slow.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Abu's not here

    The Rocky Mountain News' Rockytalk blog asked readers if it was appropriate for the paper to run the picture everybody's seen of a very dead Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi on its front page:

    Most of the commenters were rational, more or less, and supported the decision to run the picture, so I won't bother with them. Here, though, are a few of the crazier reactions:

    From "in market for evil dictator nuggets":

    I think they should put the head in famaldahyde [sic] and sell it on e-bay. . . . And it would be a great conversation piece while entertaining. Would be cool if the eyes could twitch and a neck vein could pulsate.

    From "Boulderite":

    This is disgraceful. The Geneva Convention prohibits the display of dead or captured enemy combatants. The US should pay compensation to the people of Iraq and to his family immediately.

    From "alcoholic":
    If they put it on a stick and parade it through the streets of Denver, it would be a new excuse to drink [my man!--ed.].
    From "Man of Truth":
    Gee, this is about the 4th time that they have supposedly killed him. U.S. OUT OF IRAQ NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And my favorite:
    That sure looks like Tommy Chong passed out somewhere. Posted by Cheech on June 10, 2006 07:31 PM.


    In response to reader demands, here's another duck. It's a Spanish duck. Not a very good picture, but obviously that's never stopped me before:

    The D-a-W thinks he (?) is just the cutest thing. She particularly enjoins us to note how he (?) is seductively wiggling his little butt-fan. It reminds her of me, she says. That's why, she says, she calls me "Duck-butt."

    Where's George?

    Going through my wallet just now to throw away the smaller bills (the Drunkablog does not deign to use $1's, $5's or $10's) I found a bill with this curious notation stamped on it:

    "Track This Bill."

    Basically an automaton that does what it's told, the Drunkablog duly went to and entered the bill's serial number to see where it had been.

    The wheresgeorge site has been around since 1998, supported, as the Washington Post explained in 2002, "by advertising, sales of T-shirts and other memorabilia, and by users who pay a fee for extra features." The Post continues:
    If you haven't seen one of these bills, it's no surprise. There's about $600 billion worth of U.S. paper money circulating worldwide, according to the Treasury Department. In contrast, only about $101 million has been stamped "wheresgeorge." The bill with the most "hits" has been registered 13 times. But more than a million registered users seem to be obsessed with it.

    Users compete for a "George Score," which takes into account how many bills they've entered and how many "hits" their bills get. Most high-ranking players have entered about 60,000 bills apiece. (One has entered more than 124,000 bills.)
    The single bill the Drunkablog entered has traveled a total of 17 miles in 18 days. Pathetic. Boring, too. I mean, who cares? As the Post wisely pointed out,
    [S]ome people wonder if sitting at a computer typing in dozens of serial numbers isn't kind of, well, dopey. Fans say you have to be intrigued by the thrill of seeing where money goes. Says hard-core Georger Tom Walsh, of Georgia: "You either get it, or you don't."
    The Drunkablog don't, and now, neither do you.