Wednesday, November 29, 2006


About 10 degrees F around noon, when Beelzebob and I did our first lunchtime skiing of the season. Too cold for me, but BB was unfazed:

Update: Check out this this shot on the Post's front page right now (here's the uninteresting weather story it ran with). Don't see black and white on the front page much anymore. Wash. Park is gorgeous, the ritziest park in Denver. The pics in this post, of course, were taken at the much more proletarian Sloan Lake.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Too real

Tonight's the premiere of Real World: Denver! That's exactly what the Drunkablog would have said last Wednesday if he'd known anything about it.

The Post's Real World blog says 8.5 million people watched the show, which blogger John Wenzel claims is a strong start for a reality show, and attributes to the possibility that this season (the show's 18th) might "outstrip past seasons in terms of sexual drama and fights." If venerable alt-weekly Westword's list of the premiere's "firsts" can be believed, that's an understatement. Among them:

• This is the first premiere episode with a three-cast-member kiss.

• This is the first premiere episode in which a cast member hooks up with more than one person.

• This is the first premiere episode in which more than one cast member hooks up with more than one person.

• This is also the first premiere episode in which a cast member has intercourse.

Be proud, Denver!

Westword, by the way, also has a drinking game for watching the show. Play at your own risk. (The Drunkablog no longer drinks, for obvious reasons, but he's found that he can still play drinking games by employing simple substitutes. For example, wherever a rule says "take a shot," he hits himself in the head with a nine-pound rock. Wherever it says, "chug a beer," he has the biggest guy handy punch him in the liver (or thereabouts). No fun, but no hangover either.)

Wreath fans wax wroth

The News jumps into the wreath "controversy" with both club feet, running not one but two polls. The first is "Should the wreath stay or go?" At the moment it's 96 percent "stay," four percent "go."

The second is, "What does the wreath symbolize to you?" Choices are:

  • Peace

  • Holiday theme

  • Satan

  • Something else

    Strangely, "Peace" leads with 306 votes; "Something else" has 20; "Holiday theme," 19; and "Satan," three.

  • Update: Rocky columnist Mike Littwin calls it "the most idiotic story of the year." He ought to know; it's his paper running the stupid polls.

    Update II: Official RMN blogger Mark Wolf asks plaintively, "How did Colorado become ground zero for weird news?" I've wondered that myself.

    Update III: The Post has another so-dumb-it's-great headline: "Peace wreath wins battle." Everybody knows peace wreathes are incapable of violence.

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Colorado squeezins'

    So what have the rapidly expiring papers in this dingy ol' craptown, er, dusty old cowtown, been talking about recently? Well:

    Smart people

    The Post had a reminder last week that despite its many problems, the University of Colorado is a pretty good research institution:

    As a young doctor working at the National Institutes of Health, George Eisenbarth wondered what he would do with the rest of his career.

    Ultimately, he decided to direct his efforts where the need was greatest and treatment left the most to be desired.

    "Clearly," he says now, "that was diabetes."

    A quarter-century later, Eisenbarth - executive director of the University of Colorado's Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes- has won an international research award [the "Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize"] for work that may lead to a vaccine to prevent Type 1 diabetes . . . .

    The prize? A new JC Penney "Sovereign" bedroom set! No, it's a trip to Paris (and, incidentally, $192,000)!
    "Professor Eisenbarth is one of the greats of diabetes research," said Pierre Godeau, chairman of the Servier Institute's scientific committee. "His meticulous research over the past 25 years has shown us that, in genetically predisposed individuals, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease."
    Eisenbarth co-authored a study which "identified genetic differences that can predict with high accuracy whether a child will develop Type 1 diabetes." Even more important:
    The Barbara Davis Center soon will be part of a trial to see whether oral insulin can be given as a vaccine to prevent Type 1 diabetes from developing.

    "We can now design trials very early before children really start their autoimmunity," the process that leads to full-blown diabetes, Eisenbarth said, adding that he's eager to return to work when he gets back from Paris.
    The story says about 14.6 million people in the U.S. have Type 1 diabetes, the type (the Drunkablog learned all on his own) that isn't caused by one being a greasy Amerikkkan pig who will devour the world if not prevented by any means necessary.

    So it's okay to be happy about Eisenbarth's achievements.

    And morons

    A much more heavily populated category, of course. The Post again:

    Longmont police have arrested four people in a paintball attack that blinded a mother of three.

    The 28-year-old woman was walking down the street on Nov. 7, with her children when the suspects drove by and fired.

    She was hit in the right eye, and is not expected to recover her sight in that eye.

    Sheesh. Being one and all, the D-blog likes morons, but these morons make you think there's a place for sharia right here in this smelly ol' cameltown.

    Now here's a moron the D-blog can identify with. The News:
    A Lakewood homeowner was charged with murder Wednesday in the Nov. 16 shooting death of his tenant . . . .
    Well, maybe not identify with. Sympathize with. I mean, nobody ever told me you couldn't kill tenants who're behind in the rent.
    The incident initially was reported as a potential "make my day" shooting that occurred as [tenant Richard] Kohler was trying to force open the door to the house, a Lakewood police spokesman said.

    When police arrived, they found Kohler's body just inside the foyer. A screwdriver with a bent lip [sic] was found near his hand.

    Colorado's home-protection law, popularly referred to as the "make my day" law after a line from a Clint Eastwood movie, protects people who take lethal measures when they feel threatened in their homes.

    When first interviewed by police at the scene, [homeowner Floyd] Nuss said he was in bed watching television when he heard a noise at the front door, a noise he described as "a screwdriver prying at (the) door," the affidavit says.

    Asked how he knew it was a screwdriver, Nuss reportedly told investigators, "That's the noise a screwdriver makes."
    Yup, I know that sound. Little-known fact: in the day-to-day exercise of his duties, a landlord necessarily develops super hearing, if only in the interest of self-preservation. But there were some holes in Nuss's story:
    Nuss also initially told police that there were no issues between Kohler and him. Police later learned that Nuss had given Kohler two weeks to leave the house because he was behind on his rent and that the two were not getting along, according to the affidavit.
    If I killed every tenant who was behind on his rent our crawlspace would be bursting, just bursting. Nuss probably isn't a good representative of the landlord fraternity anyway:
    Nuss has been arrested on charges of fraud, larceny, marijuana possession, selling liquor to minors, selling liquor without a license and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.
    Even the Drunkablog's record is cleaner than that.

    Here's a late-breaking moron story from the Post:
    A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

    Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

    In the Durango Herald, one of those residents was identified:

    Kearns declined to describe the complaints he had received about Jensen's wreath but expressed his own opinion.

    "The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it," he said. "It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started."
    Instead of making one google like the Post does, the Herald provides an explanation for this slightly remarkable statement:
    The 1972 edition of Symbol Sourcebook: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols, a major reference work by Henry Dreyfuss, admits to uncertainty about the source of the "crow's foot" design.

    "Controversy surrounds the origin of the ubiquitous peace symbol," Dreyfuss wrote. "It was introduced by pacifist Lord Bertrand Russell during Easter of 1958, when he marched at Aldermaston, England, campaigning for nuclear disarmament."

    Dreyfuss said the symbol, designed by a British commercial artist, most likely represents the convergence of the semaphore symbols for the letter N and D and the circle symbol, for total nuclear disarmament. Others claim the symbol represents an upside-down cross with broken arms and is therefore anti-Christian or Satanic.
    One of the many things the Drunkablog did not know. Here's the peace sign wiki, which says basically the same thing as Dreyfuss, only more so.

    Update: He'p me, Jesus: The Post has a new headline on the story: "Wrath wrought by peace wreath."

    Update II: Cover of La Petite Girond from the neato Virtual Absinthe Museum.

    Update III: Yes, the Dreyfus link is a reach. But what is Man, if his reach never exceeds &etc.

    Update IV: "HOA surrenders on peace wreath."

    Saturday, November 25, 2006

    MPAC and Irving, sittin' in a tree . . .

    Didn't get to this story last week, but I'm just sittin' here with my teeth in my mouth so here it is. The Observer:
    One of Britain's most prominent speakers on Muslim issues is today exposed as a supporter of David Irving, the controversial historian who for years denied the Holocaust took place.
    Love how the Brits put things, sometimes.
    Asghar Bukhari, a founder member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), which describes itself as Britain's largest Muslim civil rights group, sent money to Irving and urged Islamic websites to ask visitors to make donations to his fighting fund.
    He did more than that; he gave Irving a "luv ya, babe, hang in there":
    Bukhari contacted the discredited historian, sentenced this year to three years in an Austrian prison for Holocaust denial, after reading his website. He headed his mail to Irving with a quotation attributed to the philosopher John Locke: 'All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to stand idle.'
    Actually the quote's always been attributed to Burke--er, Burke, probably wrongly, but never to Locke. In any case, if the founder of a front-group for islamofascists can quote it to David Irving, everybody else probably ought to quit using it for a century or two. The Observer continues:
    In one email Bukhari tells Irving: 'You may feel like you are on your own but rest assured many people are with you in your fight for the Truth.' Bukhari pledges to make a donation of £60 to Irving's fighting fund and says that he has asked 'a few of my colleagues to send some in too'. He also offers to send Irving a book, They Dare to Speak Out, by Paul Findley, a former US Senator [actually a member of the House from Illinois. Well, we had Lincoln too], who has attacked his country's close relationship with Israel. Bukhari says Findley 'has suffered like you in trying to expose certain falsehoods perpetrated by the Jews'.

    In a follow-up letter, Bukhari writes: 'Here is the cheque I promised. Good luck, if there is any other way I can help please don't hestitate [sic] to call me. I have also asked many Muslim websites to create links to your own and ask for donations.' . . .
    The Observer concludes:
    MPAC, which strongly denies allegations that it is anti-semitic, accused The Observer of 'twisting an innocent gesture of support (even if gravely mistaken) into more than it is'. The story was just another Islamaphobic attack aimed at undermining and harming the brave individuals who support the Palestinian cause
    and the cause of Muslims within Britain.'


    Bukhari posted a rambling reply yesterday at the MPAC website. He barely mentions Irving, naturally, and, equally naturally, devotes most of his time to blaming the jooooooooos for everything. Why, MPAC can't even post a picture of a famous comic-book character without being accused of anti-semitism:
    It got so crazy that at one point in a talk with Alan Hart, a Zionist blogger accused us of anti-Semitism because we had a Spiderman picture on our website. I was honestly baffled? Was the man who made Spiderman a Nazi or something and were we going to be accused of knowing his history and using a Nazi superhero. It felt like you needed a degree in anti-Semitism to make sure they couldn’t get you on it. It turned out that 60 years ago or something some spider was used by the Nazi’s to represent Jews, so they accused us of knowingly putting Spiderman up. So you need a degree in Nazi history to work this stuff out!
    You sure do! The MPAC site isn't working too well, so I couldn't do much of a search for this picture of "Spiderman," but what do you want to bet it wasn't Spiderman at all but something a little more traditional like this? Bukhari continues, whether about Spiderman or another picture I can't tell:
    We used an image from a neo-Nazi website and that is another charge. Even this was crazy to me. For a start, I don’t believe anything I hear from the Zionists at all, as I have said before. If they used such machinery on MPACUK, I would be a fool to think they were not using it on all their opponents. Right now somewhere out there they are claiming MPACUK is a neo-Nazi website or anti-Semitic or a Muslim extremist or hate website, any old thing to label us. If they could claim that about us, they could claim it about the next website.
    That ol' chill wind threatening dissent again. Bukhari moves on to one of his core principles:
    To this day I believe that any pro-Muslim or pro-Palestinian person charged with anti-Semitism is almost definitely innocent. If ever I heard that they were calling someone anti-Semitic, I no longer believed it, and I still don’t. I may have got it wrong with Irving, but I’m not taking any blame for that, the way I see it is you can’t blame a man for not believing a compulsive liar because one time he was telling the truth [huh?]. The Zionists were always lying and smearing people. For once they told the truth and complained when people didn’t believe them.
    There's much more, but the only other time Bukhari mentions Irving is in a note at the bottom of the piece:
    *Please note I wrote this not because of any pressure from the Irving smear, because I don’t care what these Zionists think of me. But after reading a Blog by a sincere non-Muslim who seemed to stick his neck out for MPACUK (conscientious blogger at Lenin’s tomb). I thought the least I can do is tell him and others like him where I am coming from, and why I made any of the mistakes I made in the past and may make in the future. It is simply in my journey to freedom with my people.
    Why, he's just like Martin Luther King.

    Update: Earlier Irving argle-bargle here and here. Love dat man!

    Friday, November 24, 2006

    Weird Bird Friday

    Strange Duck holding Weird Bird

    This is a resident of El Refugio, an orphanage in Mexico where I volunteered for a week before starting school last January. He's holding one of the 35 or so puppets I brought down with me, each one a different animal. The kids carried them around everywhere. They were very sweet (the kids, that is)!

    Apologies for being late with this Friday's weird bird. I ate too much of another, much more common, bird yesterday to feel like doing much of anything else.


    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Look, 11-17-64

    The whole damn issue is devoted to the drug-addled, womanizing, Bay of Pigs-abandoning, Vietnam War-starting 35th president of the United States.

    Mrs. JFK with the future editor of George.
    JFK (coffin, upper right) looks on.

    Every single maudlin and/or dishonest article. There's Fletcher Knebel on "The Unknown JFK"; Robert McNamara on "The Competent American" ("He had a moral insight"); Martin Luther King, Jr. on how it's "a difficult thing to teach a President"; and somebody or other on "The Words JFK Loved Best" (Pericles, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Stephen Vincent Benét, Robert Frost . . .).

    Anyway, I had about alls I can stands of the JFK myth decades ago (and yes, I know today's the anniversary of his assassination), so here's a couple of ads and we'll leave it at that:

    Sexist, racist, anti-gay, genocidal Pilgrims go away--ye Indians.

    Here's one that might have (but didn't) come from James Lileks' Gallery of Regrettable Food:

    Looks like the slugs baked up just right, Aunt Bea! Them's good eatin'!

    Update: The Drunkablog staff and to a lesser extent the Drunkablog himself wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

    Update II: Last year's post honoring Thanksgiving.

    Update III: See? Somebody writes to the News complaining that neither local paper marked the anniversary of JFK's death.

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Scraping bottom

    Before floor:

    After floor:

    Not something I'd want to do for a living.

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    Restoration play

    Alleged meth-snortin' homo the Rev. Ted Haggard is being restored to his previous allegedly non-meth snortin', non-homo life, according to the Post:
    Following an extraordinarily public fall, the Rev. Ted Haggard now enters a period of self-reflection guided by three spiritual elders whose mission is defined with a nebulous term: restoration . . . .
    But just as with a house, this restoration might be a slow and laborious process:
    Though Haggard's path ahead is uncertain, London [H.R. London, a Focus on the Family executive who's part of the troika doing Haggard's remodeling] said anyone seeking restoration experiences stages of grief that come with any loss [loss?--ed.]. The restoration process could take five years, maybe longer, and may fail, London said.

    That's because Haggard's problem is especially bad. No, not the meth:

    The fact that Haggard's transgressions involve another man pose additional challenges both to his own healing and to a possible comeback, said Tony Campolo, a more liberal evangelical who served as one of President Clinton's spiritual advisers after the Monica Lewinksy affair [that's liberal, all right--ed.].

    "There is a tendency to say, 'A heterosexual affair, any of us could do that,"' Campolo said. "But there is not the same grace shown to people who commit a homosexual act. Somehow this is put into a super-sin category."

    Special sins require special tools:
    Haggard's restoration is to include a clinical exploration of his sexuality, possibly including a polygraph test and consulting with a psychologist, church officials say. Haggard has said he is not gay.
    There is a teeny tiny flickering ray of hope:

    Former Iliff School of Theology interim president Philip Wogaman, who also advised Clinton, said a comeback cannot be ruled out, given that Christians believe in grace and forgiveness.

    Wogaman pointed out that Christian tradition includes examples well before the fallen televangelists and reformed felons who are back in the public eye.

    Before becoming one of Christianity's early leaders, he noted, the apostle Paul was an accomplice to murder.

    Which, in case you didn't know, is even worse than being gay.

    Update: Wogaman! Wogaman! Yaaaayyyyy former Illiff School of Theology interim president Philip Wogaman!

    Update II: Having (strongly) implied on no evidence whatever that Charles Atlas was gay, I am now going through the various stages of grief over my loss of principles.

    Moron joins 21st century

    As a Luddite (actually more of a Cruddite) I held out long after it quit making sense to do so, but a couple of weeks ago I finally got a cell phone.

    It's okay. Works pretty good.

    Sheet, who am I kidding? I love it, love it, luff it! It's a Razor (probably spelled Razr) I got through T-Mobile (the company that has the commercials with Catherine Beta-Whatever-who-married-that-guy-who-was-in-The-Streets-of-San-Francisco-no-not-Karl-Malden-the-other-guy), and it is the ultimate in groovitation. The cool kids like me now.

    And we got some variety of fambly plan, so I'll save money, just like people have told me I would for about seven years now!

    Update: It is spelled Razr. Just paid a few bills today. One was to Citi, a credit card company, another to Xcel, the local power company, and another to Qwest, my old phone company. If anybody wants me I'll be hanging from the showr rod.

    Update II: Here's a Razr.


    And here's the D-a-W's phone:

    Mega-unhip. Someone, we don't know who, tried to eat it (note holes). Police are investigating, but amazingly, the thing still works perfectly.

    Update III: Here's a completely unrelated (and unposed!) picture of Josie:

    She sure likes her phones, er, bones!

    Sunday, November 19, 2006

    Beautiful spam

    Machine-generated poet Elizabeth Shepherd e-mails this contribution to the Drunkablog spam poetry series (of one):

    Sick laugh years

    Yards thou lay anta.

    Your drunk talk clean;

    Most voice prose is

    Low Greek.

    The Drunkablog knows poetry.

    Update: Broncos up by six with 11 minutes left. Chargers threatening.

    Update II: Chargers try not to score for a play (don't see that very often), then do. Up by eight with 1:14 left.

    Update III: Broncos at the Chargers' 32, 24 seconds left. Chargers trying to lose by penalties. Can't do it. Chargers 35, Broncos 27. Not good. Fans walking past our house from Invesco Field will be in a bad mood, which means trash in the yard tomorrow morning. Hey, I'm a sociologist!

    Update IV: Quite the rogues' gallery, that Dead Sociologists' Index, what what?

    Compare and contrast

    Yes I know that's redundant. Shut up. Post critic Michael Booth on a featured movie at the Starz Presents the 2006 Denver International Fillum Festival (which ended today):
    Wow, run out as soon as you see this and buy tickets for the showing of the Dixie Chicks documentary “Shut Up and Sing” at the Denver Film Festival [last] Thursday night. It’s a tremendously insightful and surprisingly moving portrait of the music industry, the current state of American politics/polemics, and the friendship of three remarkable women. There’s no schedule yet for it to open for a long run in Denver, though it likely will happen later this fall — so the festival is a good chance to see it early. The movie tells the story of their rash comments about President Bush, and how radio station conglomerates and reactionary talk show hosts collaborated to temporarily shut down the Dixie Chicks’ careers. Even if you’re not interested in the politics, there are terrific renditions of some of their best songs, and intimate portraits of the three musicians’ family lives.
    And the Washington Post's Stephen Hunter, who liked the movie too, but is slightly less admiring of one of the Cheeks:
    One of the excellent attributes of "Shut Up and Sing" is that it lets the cards fall where they may and really doesn't try to spin the Chicks themselves. It's quite possible, then, to watch the film and come to the conclusion that Natalie Maines has a big mouth. Spectacularly talented, the young singer is also a spectacular blowhard, and documentarian Barbara Kopple almost subversively focuses on Maines blabbering away at meetings without a serious thought in her head, no impulse control anywhere in sight, and, for some reason, always supine, as if her great status grants her the right to encounter the world from bed.
    (via Tim Blair)

    Update: Think I've mentioned this before, but besides being a Pulitzer-winning movie critic, Stephen Hunter is one of the best thriller writers around. Start with The Day Before Midnight.

    Update II: Pretty anemic group blog the Post had going during the festival, isn't it? Why, if you didn't know better you'd think newspaper types still didn't get blogs, darned if you wouldn't.

    Colorado AG in Saudi Arabia to "explain" sentencing of Al-Turki

    LGF always beats me to stories about this guy. Well, at least I get more traffic than the old hippie:

    Colorado’s Attorney General took a trip this week to Saudi Arabia, to explain to the leaders of the religious apartheid state why Colorado sentenced a Saudi man to 28 years in prison for enslaving and sexually assaulting his Indonesian housekeeper: Suthers reassures Saudis.

    Because in Saudi Arabia, this sort of thing doesn’t even raise eyebrows.

    More from the Rocky story:
    Suthers sat knee-to-knee for an hour with King Abdullah and also met with Crown Prince Sultan, Saudi journalists and relatives of Al-Turki during his weeklong trip to the capital city of Riyadh, Deputy Attorney General Jason Dunn said Friday.

    "There was a lot of public attention in Saudi Arabia on this case," Dunn said, adding that "misperceptions" there about the U.S. judicial system and Colorado in particular convinced U.S. officials that the highly unusual trip was warranted.
    Somehow nobody says what those "misperceptions" (now apparently corrected) might have been. Luckily, Homaidan himself explained at his sentencing:
    “Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit,” he told Judge Mark Hannen. “The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution,” he said.
    Guess who was behind Suthers' week-long trip:
    Suthers' trip this week was sponsored by the U.S. State Department in consultation with the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia and Gov. Bill Owens.

    While there, Suthers explained how the U.S. judicial system works and said that "in Colorado, crimes of this sort are dealt with severely," Dunn said. "He wasn't apologizing for it [my suspicion of groveling proves baseless!--ed.], but he wanted them to understand why the result of the case was what it was."

    The federal government picked up the tab for Suthers to spend the week in Saudi Arabia with Owens' chief counsel, Jon Anderson, Dunn said.
    How often do you suppose this is done in other cases involving furriners? A) never; B) no not never; C) not in dis worl', chile.

    Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Maybe he isn't gay!

    TomKat got fixed, er, hitched, today. It was beautiful:
    Bracciano, Italy - In a fairy-tale setting, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes exchanged wedding vows Saturday in a glowing 15th-century castle in this medieval lakeside town . . . .

    Oil-fed torches and tiny candles flickered from the battlements and windows of the Odescalchi castle as the couple and fellow celebrities gathered for the ceremony in the town about 27 miles northwest of Rome.

    One of the guests was the couple's daughter, 7-month-old Suri, who was dressed in white and arrived in her mother's arms.

    Holmes wore a black dress and boots before she changed into a Giorgio Armani gown for the ceremony. Cruise came from Rome, where the family had been staying in a luxury hotel near the Spanish Steps, in a van and, sporting dark shades, waved to fans.

    When the groom drove up, Holmes, anxiously gesturing with a hand, watched from a castle window.
    All the "big names" were there:

    Other VIPs driven through the castle gates included Brooke Shields, Richard Gere [and friends], Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey and Roberta Armani, the designer's niece.

    Oh, and the wedding "was expected to be a Scientology ceremony" (must be one of those before-the-fact stories). If you're wondering what that might entail, helpful reporter Maria Sanminiatelli elucidates:

    Scientology ceremonies contain many elements of traditional weddings, including rings and vows. But they also include certain Scientology fundamentals, including vowing never to go to bed without communicating about any differences.

    Scientology's marriage philosophy is the bastard son of a hundred lousy sitcoms. They must become paranoid (doesn't mean nobody's out to get you™, of course) just to keep from boring themselves to death.

    Update: Maria Sanminiatelli. Say it without gesturing.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Churchill talks!

    Marathon Pundit says Bill O'Reilly's Most Ridiculous Item of the Day (everybody's got one) was a clip of a producer "confronting" Ward Churchill outside his house and Ward telling the producer to "kiss my ass." The producer then asked Ward if he'd ever apologize for calling 9/11 victims "nazis." Yeah, that's gonna happen. Like the "F-Troop Indian" (as M-Pundit calls him) is suddenly gonna see the light when Wedgehead Bill's producer yaps at him.

    Update: Ya got a tregger fanger, don't ya?

    Update II: Petty to point it out, but petty's my middle name: the Drunkablog likened Churchill to an F-Troop Indian long ago (scroll down a titch).

    Update III: "titch" is not pronounced "teesh."

    Update IV: I'll stop linking to myself now.

    Next: "Naked Kiss" for tots! Oh, wait a minute . . .

    In her near-rave review of the new kids' movie Happy Feet, the New York Times' Manohla Dargis says that director George Miller, "after doing an extremely credible approximation of the wonderful world of Walt Disney, plunges his hapless hero into a nightmare worthy of Samuel Fuller’s Shock Corridor."

    Ever seen Shock Corridor? Here's the plot as the Times' Hal Erickson describes it:
    Peter Breck plays a ruthless journalist who believes that the quickest way to a Pulitzer Prize is to uncover the facts behind a murder at a mental hospital. To glean first-hand information, Breck pretends to go insane and is locked up in the institution. While pursuing his investigation, Breck is sidetracked by the loopy behavior of his fellow inmates. During a hospital riot, Breck is straightjacketed and subjected to shock treatment. By now almost as crazy as he's previously pretended to be, Breck begins imagining that his exotic-dancer girlfriend Constance Towers (a Samuel Fuller "regular") is actually his sister!
    Your 7-year-old will love Happy Feet!

    (via Michael Medved)

    Update: All the li'l linkies in that last graf were in the NYT's version. When did they start sticking links in their old reviews? Who cares, it's a good idea.

    Weird Bird Friday

    I'm taking my lead from Caz's Duck Friday this week. (There is definitely an advantage in being able to view Australia's Animal Friday blogs on Thursday afternoon this side of the dateline.) Here's a political Weird Bird Friday. I found this picture on an old Aging Hipsters post with the title, "Big Bird, We Hardly Knew Ye."

    "President Rove" as the Aging Hipster calls him
    (and his mouthpiece, George Bush).

    The Aging Hipster had some ideas of what the Republicans might do to PBS:

  • Bert and Ernie are sent off to a gulag (obviously gay)

  • Big Bird is hosting a new show titled "Living Right" (you're never too young to be a good little republican)

  • "Nova" does a hard-hitting series on "The Big Ozone Lie"

  • "Antiques Road Show" goes to the national parks to do valuations on ancient timber and oil for big business.

  • "The McNeil Lehrer Hour" isn't cancelled but renamed "The McNeil Lehrer 30 Seconds." (programming note: new time, 3AM)

  • --Drunkawife

    Thursday, November 16, 2006


    Another photo of a pool. Got a bunch of them, all from Slickhorn Canyon on the San Juan River. The canyon (at least for five miles or so, which was as far up as I felt like hiking) was waterfall after pool after waterfall:



    Of course, the only reason there was so much water was that it rained a lot that trip.

    Update: Reverse the polarity on those captions, Scotty.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006


    A cabin made of (brace yourselves) stone!

    What do you want to bet the person who lived
    here was, um, eccentric?

    Yep, eccentric: bizarre, disturbing face carved into an inside wall. This guy had too much time on his hands.

    (photos courtesy Desolation Canyon, Green River, Utah.)

    Filler up

    Heron, Blue

    Real work intrudes

    The bastard.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Krazy kommie kollective kracks Karl's Kapital

    The Grauniad last week:
    There is no wedding, no romantic interest and no plot to speak of. Instead the reader of Karl Marx's epic work, Das Kapital, is treated to a lengthy treatise on the division of labour and capitalist modes of production, offered up in long, convoluted sentences.

    Yet none of this has deterred a German theatre group from achieving the seemingly impossible: bringing the huge classic on economic theory to the stage. Not since Proust was serialised has a dramatist faced such a gargantuan task - turning catchy topics such as "the production of absolute surplus value" into a crowd puller.
    Any crowd that goes to this is a bunch of pullers, all right.

    To that purpose, the stage of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus is bedecked with bookcases and a bust of Marx. Eight people - selected from among the few who have read the book from cover to cover - tell their own stories, creating a theatrical collage where Marx forms the common thread.

    The play, Kapital: Volume One, is the brainchild of Rimini Protokoll, a collective of young German directors who have made a name for themselves in "documentary theatre".
    Doing Kapital is right up Rimini Protokoll's (literally, "Hair Cheese") alley. Their site lists many other consciousness-raising projects, among them Cargo Sofia, "a Bulgarian truck ride through European cities"; Call Cutta, "the first mobile phone theater"; Alles Mus Raus, "a radioplay on the global market"; and Zeugen! Ein Strafkammerspie, "a meta-process on the theatre of justice."

    Smash hits every one, I bet. Kapital will be no different--think Springtime for Hitler for the gulag set.

    (via Normblog.)

    Update: This all reminds me of the time some amateurs staged a play in the basement theater of the old Denver Public Library. Don't even remember what it was, maybe an original by one of the actors. I didn't care. All I wanted was a warm place to drink beer that wasn't my apartment.

    Two people, sitting apart, were the only audience in the 200-seat theater when I walked in. I took off my beer pack and sat down, and the play started.

    It was traumatic. Actors forgot their lines, giggled uncontrollably, burst into tears, knocked over furniture. You could hear the director having a breakdown in the wings. It was horribly embarrassing to watch.

    But I'd already popped a beer, and I was going to finish it.

    Unfortunately, while I was doing so first one, then the other audience member got up and walked out. Suddenly there were six or seven people on stage performing their incompetent little hearts out for an audience of one--me--and we were still in the first act.

    Now I was done with my beer, too. How could I leave without hurting their feelings? I mean, they could see me sitting there, for Christ's sake. If I left, what would they do?

    Didn't matter. I had to get out of there. Gathering my beer pack and empty can (I was a neat drunk), I got up and started pantomiming toward the stage, meaning to convey something like, "I'm going to the bathroom, but I'll be right back," and slunk out. I'm sure they saw me, and equally sure they knew I wasn't coming back.

    "Truth" defended

    Pirate Ballerina notes that the giant throbbing brains who held an "emergency summit" at Lawrence, Kansas, in September to discuss a defense of Ward Churchill have finally hashed out a resolution and posted it at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network (I laugh every time I read that name). As PB points out, it's basically a rehash of the bogus arguments Ward himself has used, but regular PB commenter Noj particularly notes this clause:
    WHEREAS the University of Colorado is attempting to fire Ward Churchill based upon pretextual charges of research misconduct which have been "investigated" by a committee of non-Indigenous academics, none of whom are experts in American Indian Studies . . . .
    Noj points out that committee member Robert Clinton, though not an indigene, is actually not completely ignorant of Indian law (pdf file).

    My favorite whereas, though, is this one:

    WHEREAS the University of Colorado’s investigative committee has chosen to reinforce mainstream "truths" concerning the 1837 smallpox epidemic and other matters while accusing Ward Churchill of "disrespecting American Indian oral traditions" despite extensive testimony by Indigenous scholars supporting Professor Churchill’s historical interpretations . . . .

    In fact, the committee is as full of shit on this point as Churchill. In accepting Mandan oral tradition about the 1837 smallpox epidemic, the committee said in its report that it relied on

    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.

    In other words, they had no standards of evidence at all. I wrote about this at amazingly boring length when the report came out last June.

    So there's Churchill and his defenders on one side, lying about Mandan oral tradition to bash the U.S., and the investigative committee on the other, accepting that same tradition on zero evidence to bash Churchill. History, too, is a ass.

    Everything's getting better

    Hilarious thread at Ace of Spades on a post noting (as many have), the sudden reappearance after the election of good news on various fronts. Commenters were asked to report sudden good news of their own. Some of the winners:
    I finally coughed that thing up!--Rita Cosby.

    Hey, my arm grew back! Thanks!--Def Leppard's drummer.

    Shakespeare! Finally!--Million typing monkeys.

    A couple of other favorites:
    I don't have to have my anal glands squeezed anymore! Thanx, Nancy!--Scooby Doo.

    The dingos gave my baby back!--Aussie chick.
    Ward Churchill even makes an appearance:
    So, I guess this means I get my job back, right? With back pay? Sweet. Everything's coming up Ward, baby!--Ward Churchill.

    Ward Churchill invited me over to see his little Eichmann!--Cindy Sheehan.
    Be warned: the thread is over 1400 comments long.

    Update: Forgot to mention that there are even a few "slice like a fuckin' hammer" jokes. That'll take some of you blogeezers back.

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    Sat Eve Post 6-5-65

    A little late for Halloween, but here's a scary cover:

    Such a fine-looking, manly little chap, wasn't he?

    Only one ad this time:

    That's 17th Street on the left, I think; Dillon Reservoir and a new Denver development on the right.

    The development, blown up:

    If you have a lawn around here now you're a planet-murdering freak, he exaggerated slightly.

    Stewart Alsop's "Affairs of State" column shows that some things never change:
    The war in Vietnam has brought to the surface again a mysterious phenomenon. This is the peculiar fatuousness which the profoundly anti-intellectual Communist system seems to inspire in a good many American intellectuals and would-be intellectuals.
    Both Alsops were very bitter bitter-enders on Vietnam. This picture was at the end of Stew's (his friends called him Stew) column:

    I'm surprised the guy in the foreground has such long hair.
    It was 1965, after all. Hmmm. He kind of looks like somebody I know.

    Then there's the piece teased on the cover about corruption in Massachusetts, which halfway through morphs into a higly favorable semi-profile of Ted Kennedy. Favorite quote comes when the reporter wants to "learn whether [Ted] really intended to commit his peronal mystique, and the immense moral authority [keep scrolling; some of the cartoons are hilarious] inherited from his brother, to an attack on the state's serious problems." Teddy, no doubt gurgling like a baby getting a belly rub, replies,
    I agree with what you say regarding my moral authority. I fully recognize my responsibility. . . . [But] we must work as best we can in a quiet way. I don't want to be a dictator.
    The next picture is from the same story. No reason to post it except it's cool:

    Then part two of "I Spied for the Russians," which for some reason I can't get myself interested in, although the ciggie case with the secret compartment is neat:

    You'd probably be kind of conspicuous carrying a
    cigarette case around these days.

    A story by P.G. Wodehouse:

    Sample quote:
    "He writes books?"

    "He's written one. He calls it Hypnotism as a Device to Uncover the Unconscious Drives and Mechanism in an Effort to Analyze the Functions Involved Which Give Rise to Emotional Conflicts in the Waking State, but the title's going to be changed to Sleepy Time."
    Wodehouse even has a little essay marking the 50th anniversary of his first appearance in the Post:
    From 1909 onward I had been living with a group of young writers at a Greenwich Village hotel, all of us just getting by with occasional sales to the pulps. We read the Post regularly and discussed its contents in awestruck voices, but the most optimistic of us never dreamed of having anything in it. Even the Post Scripts, we felt, were far beyond our scope. Munsey's was more our form, and the Popular and the Argosy.
    Finally, a piece on India by Stanley Karnow that, at least as far as the country's food situation, was, thankfully, completely wrong:

    "Under current conditions, even optimists are really pessimistic. As a prominent American diplomat, known for his hopeful outlook, put it: "'India has a fifty-fifty chance of keeping afloat, but fifty-fifty simply isn't good enough.'"

    Security Minister: forces of reaction gather in Churchill case

    Snapple points out another invigorating bout of paranoia from our friend Security Minister of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, this one actually concerning MIM's favorite academic (and ours), Ward Churchill.

    MIM doesn't have any hangups about ownership, of course (they're communists!), so Security Minister won't mind if I quote a little more of his communique than one normally would under "fair use":
    We have rumors of five camps taking action in Colorado and we are seeing provocations including one after we shut down email.

    1) Ward Churchill

    2) FBI

    3) "RCP"

    4) MIM Thought-inspired comrades

    5) Liberal (for lack of better information)

    In terms of any conflicts in Colorado, the goals of the "RCP" and FBI would be identical via the MIM-Thought camp.

    Security Minister always puts "RCP" in quotes like that, probably because he considers the Revolutionary Communist Party to be neither revolutionary nor communist. To MIM everyone is a right deviationist.

    The only two camps we can say we have hard knowledge of for sure are Ward Churchill's and FBI's.

    Why does Security Minister hate the definite article?
    The other three camps may only be commenting from the sidelines and may not really exist.

    That's funny. I comment from the sidelines and may not really exist.

    This has to do with the 50-40-10 situation of things being 50% infiltrated by spies.

    Those damn 50-40-10 situations of things being 50% infiltrated by spies!

    MIM is supporting the Ward Churchill camp and opposing the FBI camp and Colorado media. Among other things the federal attorney in Colorado has done nothing appropriately to protect Ward Churchill's civil rights. The Colorado media have very low credibility for us, even lower than in the rest of the country.

    Security Minister is correct in all particulars. Well, maybe just the last particular.
    MIM is pushing public opinion work and perhaps there are people in Colorado who can do propaganda (theory) work, because it is too early in the revolution to do recruiting. Right now vanguard people recruit themselves.
    Too early in the revolution for recruiting? I bet they haven't even tried the obvious. But being a vanguard persyn sounds dangerous:

    Frankly speaking, all alleged [sic] MIM-inspired activities in Colorado are under heavy suspicion, because of specific goals of the enemy in Colorado and timing. People who pop up out of no where should be scrutinized carefully. . . . .

    And, just in case you were curious (not healthy):
    There is no MIM comrade in Colorado. Anyone who said so is lying. There could be MIM Thought-inspired comrades. They should stay out of confrontation with individuals in general. No one should agree to meet with someone who claims to be some MIM Thought-inspired persyn [Ha! I used it first!] out of nowhere. Be sensible and meet them if you know them already. Some shit is stirring.

    If Security Minister says so, you can take it to the bank, comrades. So to speak.

    Update: The Michigan Every Three Weekly has an undated but important story about advances in MIM's technological capabilities.

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Weird Bird Friday

    A break from tradition!

    So far, Weird Bird Friday has consisted only of pictures taken by the founder and weekly poster of Weird Bird Friday, Drunkawife. I am breaking with that tradition this week by posting a scanned picture from one of Drunkahusband's old magazines. This is from the Saturday Evening Post, August 24, 1968. Drunkablog had a whole post about this issue, but he didn't mention this article. He generously saved it for me to use in Weird Bird Friday.

    Cute weird birds

    Sadly, soon-to-be-dead weird birds

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    It rubs in the lotion or it gets the hose

    Taking a friend to the hospital today for tests. Don't know what they're going to do, but they won't let her drive home afterwards, so I'm chauffeuring. For some reason they require my presence there the whole time, too.

    That means it's filler time!

    I've posted pictures of this road before. It leads down to a put-in spot on the Green River:

    Steep, steep, steep.

    Years ago some guy got out of his car to guide his wife around a washed-out curve and watched as she slid over the edge and down. It took them days to get her body out.

    We don't worry, though:

    Our bus is equipped with a high-tech braking system the outfitter calls "a rock with a rope tied to it."

    Update: Ed Bradley died. He was only 65, roughly half the age of Mike Wallace and Morley Safer.

    Update II, 6:02 p.m.: Everything's hunky- (provisionally and subject to the usual disclaimers) dorey with my friend, so that's good. I was hoping the place had wi-fi so I could be the first person to live-blog a hospital waiting room, but the receptionist was all "I don't even want to know what you're talking about," so that was out. It might have been interesting. Probably not.

    Instead I just read. I'm still on the same book.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006


    Hadn't been to visit the sane 'n' steady folks at the Maoist Internationalist Movement for a while, so I stopped by today. They said to say "hi" to y'all.

    They've been doing some redecorating around the old site. For example, they've added a handy one-word description to their headlines to let us know what kind of piece each one links to:


    It's really helpful. Let's say you read this headline: "Attention racist CIA lackey." Before MIM added classifications you might have been confused. "Is this article on STRATEGY AND TACTICS, or WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A COMMUNIST," you'd ask yourself, thereby wasting time you could be using to help the proletariat to victory.

    Now you know right away. "Attention racist CIA lackey," it turns out, is IDEOLOGY. "I have been feeling the need for a little ideological reinforcement," you say to yourself, and click:
    by Security Minister

    You have 10 days to show up at and admit the following:

    1. I have a connection to the CIA.

    2. I worked with "RCP."

    3. I pornographically harassed MIM as a third party voyeur.

    4. MIM is definitely not crazy to be concerned about spies [bold added to highlight craziness--ed.]

    5. In the Vietnam War, I did not struggle against naming non-imperialist war criminals, but for persynal racist and pornographic reasons I did struggle to lighten the attack on Iraq war criminals.

    You will also write a letter using points 1 and 3 to a mutual acquaintance using your real name and your best guess at names for point 3 and see that it gets passed on to MIM. You will not use the MIM PO Box. If this does not happen within 10 days, MIM is going to start documenting what it is talking about. The 10 days will be cut short if any further harasssment of MIM requires that the 10 day deadline be cut short.
    Security Minister is pissed! "Lackey" was disloyal (read only if you enjoy the paranoia of others), and you know what happens when commies fall out:
    Lackey, this is your best chance to keep the range of hurt feelings to a limited few. And if anything happens to the MIM web page, people should google in the next few weeks for +"Security Minister," +"Maoist Internationalist Movement." This lackey better hope nothing happens to the Security Minister or select comrades, because if it does, the story is going to come out in more brutal form . . . ."
    Yep. Ideology.

    We've done things your dumb Liberal way for many years. It did not work. Now we're going to try getting to the bottom of this a different way.

    Just think about all the shit MIM does not care about and count your blessings, pig. Get this done and then peace be with you.

    And with you!

    Flars of evil

    MIM has always been concerned about convicts in American prisons. You know how Stalinists love criminals--lowest of the low, oppressed of the oppressed, vanguard of the revolution, etc. Well now MIM's added a convict poetry section. A loooonng convict poetry section. I waded through it (so you don't have to), and found this:
    The next seven poems were inspired by the book Agents of Repression which is about the government COINTELPRO wars against revolutionary groups in the 1960s and 70s.
    Isn't it romantic? A poem cycle dedicated to Ward Churchill's 1988 book on the feds' "war" against AIM and the Black Panthers. Here's a sample:

    Government Skeleton Crew

    Laws that ignites dissension among the people

    Professional criminals with badges of authority

    Diabolical actions summed into the cointelpro era

    Frameups to prosecute all leftist potential

    Ku Klux Klans sworn into the oval office

    Concentration camps as windows to population control

    Executive tricks for the disappearance of martyrs

    Congressional statutes to eradicate radical voices

    Memorandums transformed into secret service bullets

    An opened grave to another dying song
    Kind of like that last line. One more:

    Status Quo Democracy

    Status quo with a national police force

    Answering only to those among its ranks

    Civil murders as the main recourse

    Agent provocateurs at the helm of its flanks

    Centuries of suppressing freedom of speech

    A lifetime dedicated to reactionary pursuits

    Domestic wars protecting the corporate leech

    Raising the fascist flag for new recruits

    As Peter N. Kirstein of the University of Northern Iowa says, "Revolution!"

    Update: Sorry to be so predictable, but: "the helm of its flanks"?

    Update II: New! Elongated twin powerfists w/giant cuffs!

    Update III: Commenter Noj notes that Peter Kirstein actually teaches at St. Xavier University, not Northern Iowa. As its name implies, St. Xavier is a Catholic school. Revolution!

    Update IV: Commenter Snapple noticed that Security Minister continued his/her ideological instruction yesterday: "Attention racist CIA asswipe: Part II." Money quote:
    As you know, racist CIA asswipe, MIM already knows that you have a long history of causing problems for your own reasons. The unknown quantity for MIM is the FBI. MIM theorizes that if we make an example out of racist CIA asswipe, this issue will quickly simmer down internationally. No one will have to be guessing where this or that shit came from.
    Run, racist CIA asswipe, run!

    Update V: I have got to get categories. More MIM hijinks here and here, among other places. If you want to see your husband/wife and children again, you will read them and sign where indicated!

    Course correction

    Billy Bob to Josie: "Lips that touch toilet water shall never touch mine."

    Update: Britney dumps K-Fed (for the same reason).

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    My feet stink

    And I vote!

    Update: The Post: "CHAOS: "Voting extension denied amid massive computer problems":

    Denver District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport denied a emergency request from the Democratic Party to keep Denver's voting centers open for an additional two hours this evening due to faulty computers.

    Attorney Mark Grueskin, representing the Democrats, had asked the court to extend the voting hours to 9 p.m., because voters were becoming disenfranchised from the numerous incidents of computers crashing and because of the abnormally long lines at the polls . . . .

    Widespread computer problems were reported, some shutting down entire voting centers, but the problems appeared to ease after 2 p.m.

    The line at our polling place was almost a block long at 1:00, and the system was down. But it was sunny and 75 degrees, and I had a book to read.

    Unfortunately, the guy behind me in line was our city-issued neighborhood "character," "Darryl." He's about what you'd expect. Rides around on an old Schwinn. Collects cans. Smells like rancid beer. Not crazy, exactly, but not quite compost mentis either.

    Apparently Darryl's gone off his meds (literally!), because he was much loopier than usual today. For one thing, he talked the whole time, loudly and to no one in particular, about how he was going to vote for John Salazar--who actually represents the western half of the state (sort of), so Darryl couldn't possibly vote for him.

    Every five minutes a poll worker came out to apprise newcomers of the situation. (The actual machines were working fine, she said, but the internet connection they used to verify registered voters had crashed.) Every single time she came out, "Darryl" would bellow, "Show of hands!" The second or third time he did this the worker snapped, "show of hands for what?"

    "SHOW OF HANDS!" Darryl yelled. Darryl's breath, needless to say, was as the breath of the dead.

    The woman in front of me, "Darrylene," had her ten-year-old kid with her. He didn't complain once, spent the whole time chasing leaves falling from the trees. Darrylene, on the other hand (show of hands!), would occasionally turn to the 4-foot-6 Costco worker in front of her and say, darkly, "Bet we know who's responsible for this," or, "They're probably on the phone to Diebold right now."


    "They probably typed in some sort of code to crash the computers."

    The Post concludes:
    Denver Election Commission spokesman Alton Dillard said there was no systemwide failures and that the delays were being caused by heavy voter turnout combined with "congestion" in the computer network used to confirm voter registeration. "It's our application. It got overloaded," Dillard said.
    Update: The D-a-W waited 90 minutes to cast her vote at 6:30. She said the connection went down again for a few minutes, but mainly the place was just crowded. Highly unusual.

    Update II: Registeration?

    Update III: The News: "Auditor blasts Denver election panel for voting problems":

    Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher sent a scathing letter to the Denver Election Commission today about its disastrous management of the election, which left voters turning away in disgust and frustration at long lines and inoperable computers.

    Voters waited for up to two hours to cast ballots in Denver, primarily because the election commission placed only four computers in each vote center to check whether a citizen could vote. That created a huge logjam.

    At the vote center at Augusta Lutheran Church, 5000 E. Alameda Ave., a Rocky Mountain News reporter waited an hour to vote in late morning because there were only four computers to check the electronic poll book for voters' identity. The center had 23 computerized voting machines, which worked fine; it was the shortage of laptops for checking voter registration that created a line of 80 people.

    Election commissioner Susan Rogers said they didn't have enough laptops at each voting center to check voter registration, and the servers being accessed by those laptops to check voter information went down twice in the afternoon because they were overloaded with requests from the vote centers.

    Rogers said the voter registration software was manufactured by Sequoia, the same company that made the city's voting machines. She said this is the first time any city has used the software. However, Rogers did not blame the software. She suggested the servers might need to be upgraded.

    Update IV: "Gallagher: fire election officials":
    Denver woke up today with a bad hangover, after embarrassing computer glitches prevented thousands of residents from voting, piles of absentee ballots still to be counted and a call for heads to roll.

    Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher today asked that Denver's two elected voting commissioners - Susan Roger and Sandy Adams - resign and that the mayor fire Clerk and Recorder Wayne Vaden as well as the entire senior staff of the election commission, including executive director John Gaydeski . . . .

    Gallagher said Tuesday's mistakes were so severe that he questioned the outcome of some races.

    "We may never know what the real outcome of some of those races were," he said . . . .

    "I can't believe I'm in the United States of America," said Sean Kelly, a Denver resident who gave up and went home after waiting three hours in line at a polling place Tuesday.

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Photoshopped to death

    Check out the entries in the "Last Photo I Ever Took" contest.

    (via Normblog.)


    Deformed powerfist alert!

    And if you're one of those people who can never get enough powerfisting . . .

    Update: Her feet are really messed up, too.


    She's back, and dumber than ever. Cindy Sheehan, in a piece titled--oddly, given its thesis--"Resign, Rumbo":

    The outcry calling Rumbo to resign due to incompetence is specious, at best. I think that in cowardly attempts to avoid what is really important in this mistake in Iraq . . . [ellipsis in original] calling for Rumbo to resign, or for George to fire him, is definitely a smoke screen to not have to talk about who else should resign: George, Darth Cheney, Condi, Alberto, etc. Rumbo is not the only callous and incompetent member of this devious administration who lied our country into war and has authorized crimes against humanity from the very highest level of our government: the executive branch.

    The Gandhian deep thinker comes perilously close to word salad:
    With almost a million people dead due to the gross ineptitude of BushCo and over three million displaced, it is time to stop punishing one country for the crime of being trapped in George's corrupt and insatiable lust for blood, guts and glory. It's ironic that the glory he sought will be forever turned into infamy as he goes down in history as the worst president in a long line of pretty bad presidents! A gullible public more interested in American Idol than our nation's leaders committing or endorsing cold-blooded murder were satisfied with the lies of a grateful Iraqi public with oil flowing into our tanks and goodwill flowing over the oceans were given only a desert awash with blood and guts and littered with shrapnel and limbs blown off with cluster bombs that look like toys.

    But finishes strong, or at least coherently:
    Instead of calling for Rumbo's resignation, good people of humanity from all parties, should be calling for impeachment, removal from office and imprisonment for all of the Bush regime.

    This would be true progress in our search for peace and justice.

    Vote for Peace on November 7th and join GSFP for their accountability sit-in surrounding the White House.
    Not sane, but coherent.

    Update: Rumbo? Never heard that one before. I probably need to get out more.

    Update II: Tim Blair has a picture of Cindy in front of the White House today. The sign she's holding has a rather common mistake (scroll down).

    Update III: AP: "Peace mom Sheehan arrested in front of White House." Hadn't heard that appellation in a while.

    Pot, meet kettle

    The Rocky's Vincent Carroll gets in one last pre-election shot at the dope fiends who shouted down Gov. Bill Owens and others at an anti-Amendment 44 rally on the Capitol steps a couple of weeks ago. He quotes an e-mail from Allan St. Pierre, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws:

    "I'm genuinely dismayed," [St. Pierre] wrote, "to see the Rocky Mountain News' editorial board chose to highlight Governor (Bill) Owens' disgusting slur rather than one hundred and fifty Coloradans' righteous and angry tones confronting prevaricating politicians . . ."

    St. Pierre, who witnessed the protest, seems to believe the First Amendment does not apply to anyone who utters what he considers a dangerous lie.

    But the ever-fair Carroll does concede one point:

    [St. Pierre] complains that Owens was out of line in comparing the protesters to "brownshirts" - aka Nazi storm troopers. And to be fair, the Nazi analogy in contemporary America is almost always a stretch.

    So let's concede that SAFER protesters were by no means the modern equivalent of Ernst Rohm's SA. A more generic term will have to do for those who deny freedom of speech to their fellow citizens.

    My humble vote is for "fascists."

    Har-har. Well, SAFER gave Carroll the opening; they can't expect him not to waltz through.

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    What's on TV?

    In an act of altruism unmatched in the history of the universe (sorry, Jesus), Denver cable company Comcast has voluntarily upgraded the lineup of stations it makes available to basic cable subscribers.

    Before, we got channels like American Movie Classics--which alternates exclusively between old Au-dee-dee Murphy movies (is there any other kind?) and Gothika--TVLand (nasty sitcom reruns), MSNBC (blech) and your various CSpans. Yes, Indian children are literally starving for CSpan-2's "nonfiction weekends," but still, our channel selection seemed pretty lousy.

    Now, for no additional cost, Comcast has added all kinds of dee-luxe garbage. A few of the new channels and their typical fare:

    USA Network: Weekday lineup already memorized: Coach, Coach, JAG, JAG, Walker, Walker, Walker (Texas Ranger), a couple of trash movies, and home-free with three or five or seven straight hours of Law and Order. Thank God I quit drinking.

    Lifetime: How Clean is Your House, Cruel Intentions 3, Golden Girls reruns, and movies like Always Say Goodbye:
    Nick is a confident, successful wedding photographer who just can't get enough of the ladies. But this womanizing veteran begins to change his ways when he meets Anne. They move in together and everything is going well until Anne questions Nick's commitment, and Nick goes into a tailspin that makes him question his career choice. Will their relationship withstand these new obstacles? Stay tuned!
    Clearly a channel for manly men and those who wish they were.

    Spike: This really is a channel for men, and boy is it gr--awful: Trucks!, Disorderly Conduct: Video on Patrol, Late Night Strip, etc. (No links; the site is infested with popup ads. Wash hands after viewing.)

    Cartoon Network: What the--Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, Bo-Bobobo Bo-Bobo? No Chuck Jones cartoons? Screw it.

    CNN: Again, no Chuck Jones cartoons.

    Fox News: Bill O'Reilly! I can finally watch Bill O'Reilly! I must telephone my friends with the news!

    Court TV: Wall-to-wall true crime. The Drunkablog, as those who followed his award-winning John Mark Karr coverage know, is susceptible to true crime, at least in its written form, even though there are only three books worth a damn in the whole disgusting genre: In Cold Blood, Helter-Skelter, and The Executioner's Song--and Normie's magnum dopus is ruined by his already sickening admiration for murderers who write well.

    Turner Classic Movies: Saved the best for last. Lots of good movies, many of them in dread black and white. Turner is a socialist numbnuts, but if he wants to run great movies commercial-free, I say, onward and Ted-ward, toward the socialist dawn!

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    History Channel outs gay pastor

    Well, not really, but we'll get to that. In what one imagines is a first for the Denver Post, the paper's website features a picture of a gay prostitute on its front page. Why? Because he just came forward with the claim that he regularly serviced the pastor of a Colorado Springs megachurch:
    Facing shocking allegations that he paid a gay prostitute for sex, prominent Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard placed himself on administrative leave Thursday from his church position and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a platform that made him a rising star in conservative politics.

    In interviews over the past two days with KHOW talk radio, 9News and The Denver Post, Michael Forest Jones, 49, of Denver alleges he had sex on a monthly basis with Haggard over three years. Jones claimed Haggard used the name "Art," admitted he was married and used meth before the two had sex.
    Boy, once these pastors go bad, they don't hold back. Some question the timing of the revelations:
    The timing of the disclosure has stirred controversy, coming days before Colorado voters will decide on two measures related to gay rights and marriage. Haggard is a chief supporter of Amendment 43, which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, and he has taken no position on Referendum I, which would grant domestic-partnership rights to same-sex couples.
    The News removes all doubt:
    Jones said he had thought about revealing his alleged affair with Haggard months ago but was advised by his attorney that he needed to gather more evidence. He said he decided to come out with his story before the election to influence voters.

    "There are two important initiatives," he said, referring to a measure that would grant same-sex couples legal protections afforded to married couples, and another that would define marriage in Colorado as a union between a man and a woman.

    "Friends have suffered because of our laws. I felt obligated to get the information out about the hypocrisy of people who make these laws and those who support them."
    Good ol' democracy. What's really weird is how Jones allegedly discovered Haggard's true identity:
    "The Da Vinci Code was out, and the History Channel was showing all these shows about it. There was one show about the Antichrist. And (Haggard) appeared as an expert. It flashed his name for a moment. I didn't catch it. But I knew right away it was him. I thought, 'Oh my God, there he is. Oh my God, that's Art.'"
    Antichrist, indeed. The History Channel isn't all nazis and World War II anymore.

    Update: Might help if I included links. Fixed.

    Update II: Bye-bye, Ted.

    Update III: I am a deceiver and a liar.

    Update IV: That should read, "Disgraced Haggard: I am a 'deceiver and a liar.'"

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Weird Bird Friday

    Drunkawife here, with another edition of Weird Bird Friday.

    This week, we take an historical view of the weird bird. Here is a weird bird from the ruins of Cacaxtla, in the state of Tlaxcala (east of Mexico City), from around 500-700 AD.

    A bespectacled heron

    Here's another bird, not as weird, but I like it.

    Impressive looking claws, don't you think?

    These two pictures are from a reproduction of the orginal mural. Here's a sample of the real thing.

    It's amazing that it's as colorful as it is after so many years.

    Next week, we'll explore weird birds from Greenland!

    P.S. I'm lying about Greenland. The only place I've really traveled is Mexico, so you're stuck with Mexican weird birds for the duration.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Court: Churchill dismissal proceedings can continue

    Front-page Post:
    The University of Colorado can proceed with dismissal proceedings against Professor Ward Churchill and doesn't have to pay his legal fees as he fights dismissal, a Denver judge ruled today.

    Churchill's lawyer, David Lane, wanted Denver District Judge Stephen Phillips to stop the proceedings until the court decided whether CU had to pay Churchill up to $20,000.

    But Patrick O'Rourke, CU's lawyer, said that the university is only required to pay attorneys fees in the narrowest of circumstances, and this was not one of them.

    Phillips said he agreed with the university and that if Churchill prevails, he can later seek reimbursement for legal fees and lost wages . . . .

    The rules of the faculty committee that's hearing Churchill's appeal say the university "shall contribute" up to $20,000 for attorney's fees when a faculty members is recommended for termination. But CU spokeswoman Michele McKinney said minutes from a Dec. 19, 2002, meeting show regents never accepted that as policy.

    Lane sent CU a letter demanding that the university either agree to pay its share of legal fees or stop the appeal until the university was willing to abide by its own rules.
    Since the injunction was denied, according to the News' pre-hearing story,
    Churchill’s appeal process resumes Monday with the committee setting a date for a dismissal for cause hearing that must take place within 60 working days.
    It was just a delaying tactic all along, of course, and it could have worked. Now The Process is going to overwhelm Churchill like the Blob, and by the time it's through all that'll be left are a pair of wraparound sunglasses and a mangled pack of Marlboros.

    Update: Speaking of The Process, Pirate Ballerina has a handy-dandy guide to what happens next, and when.

    Update II: And, as PB's Jim Paine says in comments, he now has a pdf of Ward's complaint, as well as an interesting comment by CU law prof Thomas Russell assessing the damages Churchill could receive (not much) if he happened to prevail (not likely) in his lawsuit.