Saturday, March 31, 2007

Daily Kos on Iran and the Brit sailors

You'll be shocked to learn that it's all our fault. But first, the ritual (equivocal) condemnation:
The letters and the broadcasting of video of the sailors and marines have outraged the British government and, of course, the British tabloids. It’s hard to imagine that the British populace will be take a different stance. Publicly parading military captives before the cameras in the way that has been done is a clear violation of the Third Geneva Convention. The sort of thing that really pisses people off.
As LGF says, "BUT":

Sadly, there was a time when we took the Geneva Conventions seriously before Alberto Gonzales wrote in a January 25, 2002, memo that "the war on terrorism is a new kind of war, a new paradigm [that] renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitation on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders some of its provisions quaint."

The British government did not attempt to write itself out of the Geneva Conventions. However, as America’s chief ally in the war Tony Blair helped George Bush concoct, it certainly tainted itself with abuses of the sort given the seal of approval by Gonzales. So the cognitive dissonance that sounds when we hear Tony Blair trying to take the moral high ground in this matter is deafening.

The Kossack quotes the Grauniad today:
[British sailor] Turney may have been "forced to wear the hijab", as the Daily Mail noted with fury, but so far as we know she has not been forced into an orange jumpsuit. Her comrades have not been shackled, blindfolded, forced into excruciating physical contortions for long periods, or denied liquids and food. As far as we know they have not had the Bible spat on, torn up or urinated on in front of their faces. They have not had electrodes attached to their genitals or been set on by attack dogs. . . .
The false moral equivalence is, as always, sickening. The Kossack konkludes:

Whether Tehran was justified in taking the sailors and marines captive last week is something that can’t be ascertained fairly under the circumstances. What’s clear is that Iran deserves condemnation for its treatment of the 15 captives, even if that treatment doesn’t measure up to some of what Yanks and Brits have done in the past four years. What’s also clear is that we desperately need some mediator, someone with influence with the Iranians to urge them to put down the kerosene they keep pouring onto this crisis and figure a way to put out the fire before we all get burnt.

Way to end on a cliche, hemp-head. But you think we need a mediator, eh? I know just the fellow.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Essential B-BBC

The current open thread at Biased BBC is full of beans as the regulars dissect Al-Beeb's coverage of Iran's kidnapping of the 15 British marines and sailors. They're pissed off, they're funny, and they link. It helps if you know a little about the BBC, but even skimming unearths gems like this link from the great "Biodegradable" to a piece today in the Telegraph:
The European Union has drawn up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism in their statements.

Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.

Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".

The word "jihad" is to be avoided altogether, according to some sources, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.

One alternative, suggested publicly last year, is for the term "Islamic terrorism" to be replaced by "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam".
An EU official said that the secret guidebook, or, "common lexicon", is aimed at preventing the distortion of the Muslim faith and the alienation of Muslims in Europe. . . .
Which do you suppose worries them more?
"Careful usage of certain terms is not about empty political correctness but stems from astute awareness of the EU's interests in the fight against terrorism.
Astute awareness, not empty political correctness. Got it.
"Terrorists exploit and augment suspicions."

Details on the contents of the lexicon remain secret, but British officials stressed that it is there as a helpful aid "providing context" for civil servants making speeches or giving press conferences.

"We are fully signed up to this, but it is not binding," said one. . . .

Meanwhile, UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten claimed that the EU was in denial over the true roots of terrorism.

"This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam."

Biodegradable also links to Melanie Phillips's latest article. She's been on fire herself lately, even for her.

Unless the story is a hoax . . .

The Post has the San Diego Museum of Hoaxes' ranking of the ten best-ever April Fools' Day (checking notes) hoaxes. It won't kill you to read it. The funniest, I think, is the Grauniad's observation of the tenth anniversary of the tiny Indian Ocean Republic of San Serriffe.

Sports brief

This will get me hauled before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (J. Parnell Thomas, Chairman), but--I haven't watched a single game of the NCAA tournament.

Update: No, its name wasn't the "House Un-American Activities Committee." It was just cooler (and easier) to say HUAC ("Hugh-ack") than to say HCUA ("Hih-kuh-ooh-ahh"). Did you notice, though, what the bio of Thomas I linked to called it? The "House of Un-American Activities" Committee.

Update II: Several people have claimed that "Hih-huh-ooh-ahh" is actually Ward Churchill's Indian name. Wrong! It's Kenis. Or maybe Keezjunnahbeh.

Blog brief

The Rocky:

A veteran member of Aurora's legal staff was fired this week after setting up an Internet blog accusing his wife of having an affair with the city's fire chief.

Homer Simpson voice: Internet blog, eh?

That's, I guess, as opposed to a "chair blog" or an "ear blog." The reporter says it again, too: "Internet blog."

Anyway, dumb story, none of these people should be allowed near machinery, etc.

Political brief

Colorado Rep. Tom "Miami's a Third-World Country" Tancredo is set to announce Monday that he's running for president. He has no chance, of course.

Update: Michael Medved just sarcastically called Tancredo a "juggernaut," which he pronounced "jewggernaut." Weird.

Weird Bird Friday: Sandhill Crane Fest!

Drunkawife is off to Kearney, Nebraska, tomorrow--home of the largest gathering of sandhill cranes in the world. Perhaps next week I'll have some of my own pictures, but for today, these are my favorites among the ones I found on-line.

"Joy" by Michael Forsgerg. Sandhill crane in a mating dance.

Baby sandhill crane from the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Mother & Chick. Another one by Michael Forsberg. Damn, he's good.

A way cool sandhill by Arthur Morris at Birds As Art


Update: By the way, I'm not going to Kearney to see the sandhills; that's just a perk. I'm going to try to beat some sense into childcare providers so they don't turn the next generation into a bunch of Jeffrey Dahmers, which is, basically, what I do for a living.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Churchill case to go to CU prez next week

In the lead of a fascinating article on the case, Jefferson Dodge of the Silver & Gold Record says CU's Privilege and Tenure Committee will make its recommendation on whether Ward Churchill should be fired to President Hank Brown "within the next week."

Dodge also exchanged e-mails with Eric Cheyfitz, the Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters at Cornell University and a witness for Churchill in the committee's hearings, who makes the arguments Churchill no doubt will use in his (threatened) lawsuit: the political motivation behind the investigation, the academic "double jeopardy" Churchill was subjected to, the claim that the Army did so give the Mandan smallpox-infected blankets, and the absence on the investigating committee of "experts" in Churchill's "discipline."

Read the whole thing. Dodge doesn't let Cheyfitz go unanswered. Here's one vigorous quote he got, for example, on Churchill's claim that a historian had said John Smith also gave Indians infected bankies:
[W]hen asked about Cheyfitz's criticism of the report regarding the Salisbury citation, committee member Michael Radelet of UCB sociology said an early draft of the investigative committee's report referred to "epidemic spread by John Smith," [sic] but the last four words were edited out by the committee. [Radelet added that] "If there's anything . . . that says the U.S. Army intentionally introduced smallpox, I'll eat the book at the 50-yard line," he said. "I stand by the report. If there are a couple of pimples on it, big deal. Every time I read it, I'm more proud."
The man's willing to eat a pimply report. That's gotta mean something.

This is all from Pirate Pirate Ballerina, by the way, who also notes that DU professor Dean Saitta, a founding member of Teachers for a Democratic Society (Recreate 68! Recreate 68!), has posted another defense of Ward Churchill--or, as PB puts it, scarfed another brimming mug of Kool-Aid™.

Update: Every time I read the S & G R, this starts running through my head. Make it stop!

Fair use!

The Mammoth Book of the Funniest Cartoons of All Time
Edited by Geoff Tibballs
Carroll & Graff Publishers, New York
520 pp.

Got TMBotFCoAT out at the main library the other day. Here are a couple knee-slappers from the "Animals and Pets" section:



Wish I could stop there, but my attorneys tell me that "Eenh" and "Eh" don't constitute a review under the fair use provision of U.S. Code (Title 17, Chapter1, § 107), which reads:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

So. My review. Of The Mammoth Book of the Funniest Cartoons of All Time. Okay. Hang on a sec. Okay. Here goes:

The Mammoth Book of the Funniest Cartoons of All Time isn't.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Convention fun--and you're paying!

The two major political parties will get $50 million each for their 2008 presidential nominating conventions. The Dems' convention, of course, will be held in Denver. The Post:

An Oklahoma senator's attempt to strip out of a war funding bill $100 million for security at the Democratic and Republican national conventions failed today.

Senators voted 45 to 51 on the amendment from Republican Sen. Tom Coburn that would have removed the funding for both the Denver and Minneapolis events.

Coburn criticized the fact that the convention spending was added to a bill that's intended to cover emergencies. Spending in an emergency funding bill is exempted from Congress' budget spending cap.

"You're going to vote to ask your grandchildren to pay for a party you're having now," Coburn said, referring to the growing national deficit.

"Members will have to make a difficult choice between booze and balloons or body armor and bullets," Coburn said.

At that moment Coburn's battery ran down and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Did you say $50 million?) shoved him aside:

Salazar defended the funding as an emergency because "the national convention is a national target for those who wish to do our nation harm," Salazar said.

Um, maybe. So what? Pay for the damn security yourselves. Better yet, why don't you just cancel? Nobody will care, except maybe the regressives at Recreate68.

Update: Since when have taxpayers funded the conventions, anyway? Man, I'm ignernt.

Commies? We got commies out the--we got commies

The second show in the series, I Was a Communist for the FBI: "I Can't Sleep" (4/30/52).

Marxian analysis

Regular-ish commenter "dougie" notes astutely (in comments to the old-time radio post the other day) that it takes a long time to read Das Kapital. This reminded me of a book I almost read one time consisting of letters Marx wrote to his parents. And maybe vice versa. Can't seem to find it, but, I swear, a lot of the letters from Marx, Jr. went like this:

Dear Dad,

The mode of production of material life determines the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces in society come in conflict with the existing relations of production, or - what is but a legal expression for the same thing - with the property relations within which they have been at work before. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into fetters. Then begins an epoch of social revolution. With the change of the economic foundation the entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed. In considering such transformations a distinction should always be made between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, aesthetic or philosophic - in short, ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out. Just as our opinion of an individual is not based on what he thinks of himself, so we can not judge of such a period of transformation by its own consciousness; on the contrary, this consciousness must be explained rather from the contradictions of material life,
from the existing conflict between the social productive forces and the relations of production. No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself. Therefore, mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, we will always find that the task itself arises only when the material conditions necessary for its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation.

Love, Karl

P.S. The check was late again. Ask Mom to send more cookies. No chocolate chip!

Except, you know, about 4,000 times longer.

Update: Okay, you caught me. The quote is actually from Marx's "Preface to 'A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy'" (1859). This in no way detracts from the point, which, if I have to spell it out, is that Marx is REALLY BORING.

More (bad) spelling!

Remember yesterday how the Post misspelled the word "siege" on its front page? They've done it again. This time it's "Ukrainan." Wait. They didn't spell "siege" U-K-R-A, etc. They spelled the word Ukrainian, Ukrainan. On the front page.

This is gettin' monotonous.

Update: Weird story, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dog returned to pound; owner cites missed performance goals

Make your dog sit! to read this:
CALVERT, Md.- Toby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and began jumping up and down on the woman's chest. The dog's owner believes the dog was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life.
The Heimlich maneuver? Oh, bullcheet. Take a moment to examine this diagram:

The Heimlich maneuver.

Notice anything? Like, how the woman's hands are gripping each other under the sternum of the rather-too-ostentatiously choking lad? Yes, hands. Dogs ain't got 'em. Coupled with the fact that Toby was "jumping up and down" on the woman, it's perfectly clear he was performing, not the Heimlich maneuver, but CPR. And what dog doesn't know CPR?
Debbie Parkhurst, 45, of Calvert told the Cecil Whig she was eating an apple at her home Friday when a piece lodged in her throat. She attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself but it didn't work. After she began beating on her
chest, she said Toby noticed and got involved.
Billy Bob is not the getting-involved sort.
"The next thing I know, Toby's up on his hind feet and he's got his front paws on my shoulders," she recalled. "He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest."
One time when I got a piece of steak stuck in my windpipe, Billy Bob pushed me to the ground and, once I was on my back, began gnawing on my neck to get it out.

That's a lie. It wasn't steak, it was a piece of that 70/30 ground round that comes in a tube.

Okay, there was no meat involved. Billy Bob just got me down and tore my throat out. Now I talk through one of those vibrating boxes. Happy? More about the heroic fuckin' Toby:
That's when the apple dislodged and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out, she said. . . .
Now we're getting a little ridiculous. Licking her face? Do they teach that at lifesaving school? (Billy Bob, of course, taught himself.) Sorry. This is all about Toby:
"The doctor said I probably wouldnt be here without Toby," said Parkhurst, a jewelry artist. "I keep looking at him and saying 'You're amazing.'"

Are you gazing into his eyes as you say this? What does he say back? Is he smoking a pipe? Have you ever been placed on an involuntary 72-hour hold?

Update: Performing self-Heimlich is easy! Just follow these simple steps:

1. Put on 1950s housedress. 2. It doesn't matter, just stop making that face, for the love of God, stop making that face!

Update II: The Cecil Whig is a "newspaper."

Update III: Waited till late to post this one so the kiddies would be in bed, but: does it look to you like the ostentatiously choking lad is sporting rather a respectable stiffy? Especially since he's choking on--well, what do you suppose he's choking on? Never mind. That's some weird coffee cup.

On the Post's front page

A story about the sick POS who held seven students hostage at Platte Canyon High School last year, killing one of them before shooting himself, reads, "No conclusions in seige report." Seige? Oddly, it's misspelled in the story too. Does that mean neither the reporter nor the editor knows how to spell the word?

Update (2:13 a.m.): Still on the front page, still misspelled. May have to go to liveblogging on the story.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Night at the Radio!

This one's pretty durn funny: Dana Andrews as Matt Cvetic in I Was a Communist for the FBI (April 23, 1952).

And, of course, a 15-minute episode of Vic and Sade: "Manual for Wives" (February 2, 1941). Wait for the Latin.

Update: Best line from IWACFTFBI: "I went back to my room and boned up a little on the Communist Manifesto."

Update II: Oh yeah, you need Quicktime to play the shows. It's fwee! It's fwee!

Mumia wins social justice award!

Woikers Woild:
The Community Church of Boston will present the 30th annual Sacco and Vanzetti Social Justice Award to death-row political prisoner and renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal on March 25. The award will honor Abu-Jamal for the work he has accomplished, despite government repression.

Fine, fine. Just take it outside before it stinks up the joint.

Actually it's quite a church, the Community Church of Boston. They don't have worship services, they have Sunday "forums." The one a few weeks ago was on "The suburbs as a place for justice: Youth activism in the 'burbs"; the 11th was "International Women's Day with the Navarasa Dance Theater"; and last week was Central America Week, with a forum on "Globalization and the Undocumented."

There's no Sunday School, either; rather, it's called (don't run!) Social Justice School: "The Justice School teaches and learns from young people about social justice and how to live it. It's a great program on Sundays and other days that's just beginning, for kids and teens ages 7-17."

There's only one thing missing from the Community Church of Boston: God. On the entire website He doesn't rate a single mention.

Anyway, Mumia's award ceremony featured:

Pam Africa—activist, community organizer and president of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Pam Africa will accept the award on behalf of Abu-Jamal [Mumia, of course, being unable to attend].

Other speakers . . . include Lynne Stewart, human rights attorney and recipient of the 2005 Sacco and Vanzetti Award; Boston’s popular political hip-hop group “The Foundation Movement”; Kazi Toure, former political prisoner and co-chair of Jericho-National; and youth performers from Voices of Liberation.

Dashed sorry to miss it.

(via Schnapps (I salute her, um, indefatigability! (yeah, that's the ticket))).

Blog check!

The Rocky Mountain News' first, tardy foray into blogging was Maximum Editor John Temple's Editor's Blog, which debuted in April, 2005. Now they have at least 18 of the little beasts, not including the "citizen journalism" dealiebob the paper has with the Denver Post,

They've got every Colorado pro sports team covered, except, for some reason, the Orange Crush, Denver's team in the Arena (indoor) Football League. They've got their main blog RockyTalkLive. Their fillum critic, Robert Denerstein, has his Film Clips blog, and there's a Mile High Tech blog as well (no business blog, apparently).

The Real World Denver blog scored a massive scoop last week, revealing that Tyrie had been busted for urinating on the sidewalk in Lodo. (I gotta start watching that show.) Uber-lib cartoonist Ed Stein uses his blog to comment on his 'toons; there's a "Shop Smart" blog, a "style" blog, a video games blog . . .

And amazingly, all these blogs are active--if by "active" one means "updated in the last two weeks." The single exception? Editor John Temple's blog, which hasn't been updated in two months.

For shame.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Title pending

Post theater critic John Moore on the man who went down--er, brought down the Rev. Ted Haggard:
Mike Jones needs to go away. Fifteen minutes ago.

Has there been a more shameless grab for fame than the aging prostitute/masseur/drug liaison's ongoing effort to parlay his exposure of now-disgraced evangelist Ted Haggard for his own aggrandizement? . . .

Jones made the news three times just last week: First for appearing with sleaze-talker Montel Williams, then for auctioning the massage table on e-Bay that he used to oil up Haggard. Then for e-Bay's decision to yank the auction from its site.
Actually, according to Jones he did more than "oil" Haggard "up" on the infamous table. Moore moralizes:
To me, Haggard is the worst kind of religious hypocrite. The former head of a 14,000-strong Colorado Springs megachurch and president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals was a staunch opponent of the statewide referendum that would have provided basic legal rights for same-sex couples.

But Jones sent Haggard - and any chance of Referendum I's passage - down the toilet by accusing Haggard just six days before the election with paying him for three years of meth-fueled sex. (Haggard admits only to massages and buying drugs from Jones.) . . .
Mini-digression: can one be accused with something?
Jones thought shining a light under Haggard's bushel [nice, John] so close to the election would bolster I's chances, but it more likely torpedoed it: His tawdry tale introduced stereotypical images into voters' minds intertwining homosexuality with drugs and prostitution and seedy, back-alley sex.
What back alley? They had that nice, comfy, slightly torn massage table.

Pro-I Mayor John Hickenlooper's election message of "It's not marriage, it's fairness" had been carefully tailored to emphasize equal legal rights and responsibilities, mostly to benefit long-term, monogamous, same-sex couples. Goodbye, I. But at least Haggard had the decency to go away.

Jones hired a publicist.

The referendum lost 53% to 47%; no way Jones swung the vote that much. Doubtful he swung it at all, either way.

Moore gets indignant when Jones' publicist sends a press release asking the theater critic to "sit with Jones through a performance of Boulder's Dinner Theatre's [sic] 'Crazy For You.' Seriously: Offering up Jones to a theater critic is scraping the bottom of the barrel."

Oddly, Moore doesn't say whether he accepted. The Drunkablog's guess: no--he'd already reviewed the musical.

Then last month I was invited to a screening of the documentary "Conviction" at the Skylark Lounge. It tells the story of three Dominican nuns who staged a peaceful protest against the Iraq war and served federal prison sentences of up to four years.

"Peaceful" might be stretching things a bit.
"As an amusing bonus," the press release said, "Pastor Ted Haggard is featured throughout the film to explain why supporting war is the genuine Christian choice. Of course, nobody knew what the future held for him when the film was made."
Not quite getting the connection there, but, Jonesward!
And so who did they line up to host the screening and lead the discussion afterward? Mike Jones, described in the press release as "Ted Haggard's former 'business associate."'

That turned my stomach.

What're you, anticapitalist?
This film was the story of three courageous people imprisoned for acting on their beliefs - hosted by a man whose entire life had been conducted in opposition to the teachings of any church. It's not that Jones is evil - he's just offensive. And icky.
The ewwwwww factor'll get you every time.
This sordid affair has left a trail of victims, starting with Haggard's family and all those who put their faith in a flawed, tormented man.

The only decent thing Jones can do now is take a cue from Haggard and go away - before he proves to be the bigger hypocrite.

Yeah, being called a hypocrite might ruin the "prostitute/masseur/drug liaison's" reputation.

Update: I really wanted to title this post, "Gays of Rage," but obviously it doesn't fit. Nobody's mad except Moore. Delusionally thinking the phrase quite clever and original, however, I googled it and found this.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paranoid, vaguely threatening, bourgeois-demeaning quote of the day!

From the civil libertarians at the Maoist Internationalist Movement:

Trying to handle MIM, Ward Churchill etc. as if they were Third World Islamic teenagers is not going to work. The fact that we are politically unpopular does not remove our means of retaliation. We may not use the avenues that the ACLU uses, but we are aware of the inherent nature of bourgeois politics and we will see to it that politics do not regress beyond those limits. The nature of the conflict that the "Patriot Act" crowd wants has historical precedents and the enemy has overreached out of ignorance of bourgeois dynamics.

Third World Islamic teenagers. That's pretty good. But goddamnit. How many times has the Patriot Act crowd been warned not to overreach out of ignorance of bourgeois dynamics? Don't bother to look, I'll just tell you: hundreds of times. And what's the first thing they do? Overreach out of ignorance of bourgeois dynamics.


(h/t Schnapps)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Say it!

I've had the new(ish) AP Stylebook on my desk for weeks, determined to think of something funny to write about it. Amazingly, no luck. But that's never stopped me before, so here are a few entries from a page picked at random:

drowned, was drowned.
If a person suffocates in water or other fluid [smacks forehead: other fluids!], the proper statement is that the individual drowned. To say that someone was drowned implies that another person caused the death by holding the victim's head under the water.
A fine distinction!

Dr Pepper. "A trademark (no period after the Dr) for a brand of soft drink."

drugs. "Because the word drugs has come to be used as a synonym for narcotics in recent years [recent years?], medicine is frequently the better word to specify that an individual is taking medication."

"Yes, Mother, I've been taking drugs, and I'm feeling much better." Does sound a little peculiar, doesn't it?

drunk, drunken, drunkenness. No explanation necessary.

duel. "Three people cannot duel."

I'd say that depends on the people involved, and how drunk or drunken they are.

duffel. "Not duffle."

Dumpster. "Trademark for a large metal trash bin. Use trash bin or trash container instead."

Drugs, drunkenness, duel, duffel, Dumpster. Story of my life in five words. Six if (as recommended) you substitute "trash container" for "Dumpster."

Dunkirk. "Use this spelling rather than Dunkerque, in keeping with widespread practice."

So widespread I've never seen it spelled Dunkerque. People who spell it Dunkerque also say Neek-ah-rah-wah. Sorry, I just love saying that: Neek-ah-rah-wah. Say it! Pretend you're Antonio Banderas! (That's fun to say too: Antonio Banderas.)

Dutch oven, Dutch treat, Dutch uncle. Antonio Banderas.

dyeing, dying. "Dyeing refers to changing colors. Dying refers to death."

People change colors when they die, too. Longer they're dead, the more colors they change.


For a while now the News has been running its reader-contributed Speakout columns online with a note: "This Speakout has not been edited."

Not been edited? Is that, like, normal for a newspaper these days? Oddly, not all Speakouts bear the warning (or whatever it is). Here's one by Henry A. Hurst, III of Aurora, on, er, Experiential criterion of divinity (yes, I'm always working that in somewhere):
I would like to put Doug Leek's challenge "Find Out About Jesus For Yourself" (Letters 3/12/07) into a somewhat timeless perspective that I have discovered in my research of this subject.
Not edited.

But this one, on the Army's use of Colorado land? Edited.

How about "The dangers of motorcycle helmets"? Nope. Or a Speakout on the Voice of Coors Field controversy (bet you didn't even know there was one):

The Colorado Rockies recently announced Ryan Saunders as their new Public Address Announcer for Coors Field. But it appears the Rockies knew they were going to hire Saunders before they even put the ad on their website or planned their media-frenzied contest.

Rigged American Idol-type competition: not edited.

Most of them aren't. What exactly does "not edited" mean, anyway? Spelling not corrected? Facts not checked? Piece not even read by an editor? Weird. Even dangerous. I like that. Not something you often associate with newspapers, danger.

Weird Bird Friday

I've had Richard Thompson's ever-so-cheery song (aren't all of his songs cheery?) Walking on A Wire going through my head for the past three weeks. Yes, three weeks. So it must be time for weird birds on a wire:

I collected this in my Weird Bird directory months ago and now can't remember what it is or where it came from. Any ideas out there?


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dupe and poop?

A few more Colorado (or around in there) stories:

  • The Rocky's whole business section has been turned over to coverage of the trial of former Qwest (God I hate that spelling) CEO Joe Nacchio, who sold $100 million of the Denver phone company's stock under peculiar circumstances in 2001. Isn't there a name for that? Pump and dump? Prime and slime? Pee and flee? Whatever. Here's more about the case than any sane person (as Noam Chomsky would say) could ever want.

  • Yellowstone grizzlies taken off endangered species list:

    Grizzly bears have recovered so well in Yellowstone they no longer need protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, said Deputy Interior Secretary Lynn Scarlett today.The U.S. Government officially announced it was removing the bear from the threatened list.

    Louisa Wilcox of the Natural Resources Defense Council disagreed with the decision, saying grizzlies are being threatened by the effects of global warming. One of the bear's primary food sources, white bark pine tree, is being attacked by pine beetles, reducing what the bears can eat, she said.

    Cue the the polar bears:
    "Recognize that grizzly bears and polar bears are close cousins," Wilcox said. "They are going to live in a world of shrinking habitat because of warming weather. We are deeply opposed. We think it's premature."
  • Woody Harrelson's dad dies in Canon City Supermax:
    Charles Harrelson was convicted of murder in the May 29, 1979, slaying of U.S. District Judge John Wood Jr. outside his San Antonio, Texas, home. Prosecutors said a drug dealer hired him to kill Wood because he did not want the judge to preside at his upcoming trial.

    Charles Harrelson denied the killing, saying he was in Dallas, 270 miles away, at the time.

    Wood, known as "Maximum John" for the sentences he gave in drug cases, was the first federal judge to be killed in the 20th century.
    Also the only one, as far as I can tell, though a federal judge's family was murdered a few years ago.

    Update: In a letter to a Denver attorney last June, Charles Harrelson

  • wrote eloquently about a peaceful, silent existence of reading and writing, of watching David Letterman's monologues and listening to National Public Radio and the BBC.

    "Being able to take a shower anytime, stay awake all night if I wish, ... read or write or watch whatever TV channel (some 70 channels are available) or listen to the 10 or so radio stations ... offers something akin to independence."

    Idyllic. Wonder who you have to ki--never mind. The Belfast Telegraph has a fascinating piece on Charles (the judge wasn't the first murder he was tried for, nor the second) and the effect he may have had on young Woody--who is, rather famously, nuts.

    Anti-war hoo-haw junior

    The Post:
    Shouts of "Stop the War" rang through downtown Denver as 200 high school students walked out of class to protest the war in Iraq. . . .

    "We don't want to fight because we want justice here," said Jazs Garcia, 17, an organizer of the march. "If we don't have justice here, how can we have justice somewhere far away?"
    Two questions, Jazs: 1. You're an idiot. 2. How do you pronounce that goofy name of yours? Gar-CEE-uh, I imagine. Favorite quote:
    People standing on the sidewalks along the march route respectfully watched the students.
    They better have.

    Our future: one in four will become a little Churchill.

    Update: The story and pic are on the Post's front page. The Rocky seems to have missed it altogether. Go, as the old saying has it, figure.

    Update (3/24/07): The Rocky gets around to it. Quote: "'It's an imperialist war based on manifest destiny,' said Julio Tapia, a student at Emily Griffith Opportunity school."

    The tiny guy in the string tie at the top of that last link, by the way, is Tom Noel, "Dr. Colorado," who teaches history at CU-Denver. He's at least as much showman as historian, and, like Ward Churchill, quite prolific. The resemblance (except that both are white) ends there. Noel doesn't write much about smallpox-infected bankies. He's probably never said "U.S off the planet!" or "I bring you greetings from the Elders of my tribe, the Keetoowah band of Cherokee." He just writes cheery cheesy pop history that (usually) doesn't call for the violent overthrow of Empire. Churchill--and Noel's CU-Denver colleague Glenn Morris, for that matter--probably don't have much respect for him.

    Two minutes hate

    Illiterate commie rag (anti-semitic, too!) Counterpunch has a large-spirited piece by California ethnic studies professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: "Hating the Rich--Go Ahead, Hate Them, It's Good for You":
    "The rich are not like you and me." "The poor will always be with us." Get real and accept it we are told. You've heard it all, and maybe even believe it in your heart. But, it's toxic thinking.
    Not hating constitutes "toxic thinking." Got it.
    I have a suggestion for clarifying our consciousness: learn to hate the rich. Hate, yes. You can dress up the language and call it rage. But, hate is a concept underrated.

    And, lucidity is a concept overrated:

    Everyone does it, but no one wants to admit it, usually hating the wrong person. Hate is the opposite of love. Do you love the rich? Like the rich? If not, than [sic] maybe you can learn to hate the rich.
    I did send the rich a Valentine's Day card. Is that love?
    I don't mean shame the rich in order to get money out of their guilt, as has been a long practice on the left and among non-profits [it has?--ed.] I mean NOT taking money from the rich,
    Not taking m-m-m--
    isolate the rich, make them build tall walls around their estates and corporate headquarters as the people force the rich to do in Latin America. How dare they have plate glass windows!

    Plate glass windows? ¡Ya Basta!

    We are held back and diminished by the claim that hating is bad for us, bad for everyone. You can hate the act but not hate the person. You can hate wealth or capitalism but not the rich. It's a ridiculous logic that keeps us hating and blaming ourselves for not being rich and powerful.
    Why, she's just like Jesus.

    Anyway, it's not consistent; it's all right to hate slavery and slaveowners, fascism and Hitler, etc. Why not hate the rich, the individual rich, not an abstract concept?

    Notice how I've resisted (so far) linking to a picture of Paris Hilton? Not easy.
    We have to be careful about that, living in a country that does not admit to class relations, and class is subject to little analysis even on the left.
    The left is bored to suicide by it, too, dear. But just who are the rich?

    It's not a matter of income per se. And it's essential in hating to target the enemy and not some front for the enemy. High income can certainly make a person full of herself, and most US citizens who live on high fixed or hourly incomes due to circumstances of a good trade union or a professional degree have no idea that they aren't rich. In polls they say they are in the top fifth of the income ladder, and they aren't.

    We use polls to determine that stuff now?

    A majority of US citizens don't want to tax the rich more, because they think they will be rich one day. They won't. The rich own not just a mortgaged house and a car, maybe a boat or a cabin in the woods or a beach house to boot; rather they own you. Even the cash and luxury soaked entertainment and sports stars are not the rich; they certainly deserve contempt and disgust, but not hatred. Don't go for scapegoats--Jews, Oprah, Martha Stewart.
    Oprah's cool, anyway.
    Hatred should be reserved for those who own us, that is, those who own the banks, the oil companies, the war industry, the land (for corporate agriculture), the private universities and prep schools, and who own the foundations that dole out worthy projects for the poor, for public institutions-their opera, their ballet, their symphony, that you are allowed to attend after opening night.
    Only after opening night? Now, we hate!
    My oldest brother, who like me grew up dirt poor in rural Oklahoma, landless farmers and farm workers, rebuts my arguments by saying that no poor man ever gave him a job. That says it all. The rich own you and me.
    These rich are your rich, these rich are my rich . . .

    In all the arguments about the crimes of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions, rarely is their greatest crime ever discussed--the leveling of class, rich and poor are the same in god's sight. What a handy ideology for the rich! The same with US democracy with its "equal opportunity" and "level playing fields," absurd claims under capitalism, but ones held dear but [sic] liberals. Hating the rich means also hating the state, the United States of America that is the ruling corporate body of the rich. . . .

    Well, duh.
    Passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the world.
    Huh. I'd have said that's the one thing they've got plenty of (baby). Nail it down, Roxie:
    Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich.

    Check out Roxanne's website, too. She's like the female Ward Churchill:

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, daughter of a landless farmer and half-Indian mother. Her paternal grandfather, a white settler, farmer, and veterinarian, had been a labor activist and Socialist in Oklahoma with the Industrial Workers of the World in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The stories of her grandfather inspired her to lifelong social justice activism . . . .

    Roxanne took a position teaching in a newly established Native American Studies program at California State University at Hayward, near San Francisco, and helped develop the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as Women's Studies. In 1974, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights.

    Except that she and Ward apparently went their separate ways--as, in a classic commie schism, did so many AIMers--over the treatment of the Miskito Indians in Neek-ah-rah-wah. From the illiterate commie rag (anti-semitic, too!) Monthly Review:

    Dunbar-Ortiz writes about this aspect of the US contra war, too [in her book Blood on the Border]. She details the attempts by various elements of the American Indian Movement (AIM) to discredit her by repeating propaganda contrived in the CIA counterintelligence offices or just by calling her a leftist. Other attempts -- including one signed onto (rather ironically) by Ward Churchill that called her "Indianness" into question and another by Nation writer Penny Lernoux that attacked the Sandinistas with as much vehemence as Ronald Reagan ever mustered -- kept her in a state of regular re-examination. This would usually express itself in excessive alcohol consumption -- a demon with which Dunbar-Ortiz had battled before.

    Another woman Ward drove to drink.

    Update: Roxanne has three photos of herself (the young man in glasses on the left in the last pic is her, I think) on the main page of her website.

    Update II: And an autobiography (apparently part of an envisioned trilogy) called Outlaw Woman. Read the blurb. Uck.

    Update III: "In 1968, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz became a founding member of the early women's liberation movement. Along with a small group of dedicated women, she produced the seminal journal series, No More Fun and Games."

    Update IV: Pirate Ballerina in comments asks just how I got the idea Dunbar-Ortiz is gay (since in this post I originally called her the "lesbian Ward Churchill"). And I realized: I had no bloody clue, except the physical mannishness she exhibits in her pictures. She herself says nothing about being gay. So, I changed that line to "female Ward Churchill." I have no idea whether Dunbar-Ortiz is gay.

    Update V: Now it's Snapple's turn to give me shit for my temporarily intemperate phraseology (via the wonders of e(lectronic)-mail): "Wow, you sure got corrected today [see comments]! We will have to give you time out! I have room on the Grassy Knoll."

    And I have the perfect outfit!

    Popular delusion

    Even the Rocky Mountain News has succumbed to the notion that Ward Churchill has already received his pink slip. As Pirate Ballerina points out, nuh-uh. He's no more fired now than he was at the beginning of March.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007


    Lazy, stupid, and out of ideas. All's well at the Drunkablog! The first two pictures were taken by friend Dan Zack, who's, like, a pro. The last is mine, I think.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Colorado cornucopia (almost forgot the)!

  • A benefit concert yesterday for Colorado ranchers nailed by this winter's blizzards:
    Pueblo - Sitting with their hands entwined, Eddie and Joyce Ming could finally enjoy their 44th wedding anniversary as Michael Martin Murphey's soft country voice echoed through the Colorado State Fair Events Center on Sunday.

    Winter blizzards buried their 133-acre farm near Pritchett, and the past 10 weeks have been spent digging out their home and cattle.

    "We've been a little barnbound, we like to say," Eddie Ming said.
    Tough folks. I'd be hanging from a beam in that barn by now. Wouldn't be suicide, neither. (Remember that if it happens.)

    There's a fine "Old West" sort of name, by the way: Ming.

  • Eternal truth in the headline of a News Speakout column: "Deadly organic spinach." Interesting piece, too:
    Organic food activists are being served a heaping platter of organic crow [I said interesting, not well-written--ed.] now that we finally learn last fall's outbreak of deadly E. coli O157:H7 was caused by organically grown spinach.

    On Tuesday (February 27th), California food regulators admitted under direct questioning at a state senate hearing that the tainted spinach that ultimately killed 3 and sickened over 200 was traced to a 50-acre organic field - contrary to the repeated denials of organic activists.
    Calls to inorganic activists were not returned.

  • Man with Alzheimers found in San Diego.

    To which the Taranto-esqe reply must be: there's only one guy with Alzheimers in San Diego?

  • I know I saw this on Law and Order:
    Prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against Castle Rock Middle School students who took nude photos of themselves and each other using cell phones and distributed the images - some online - to their classmates this month.

  • More eternal truth (if can you stand it) in a story about how Dixie the avalanche rescue dog finds people buried in the snow:

    "'We all smell more than we think' [ski patroller Brent] Redden said."

  • Finally, this gem of lesliegorebal warming hysteria from the Post:

    It's not just about hungry polar bears.

    Can't leave the fuddin' polar bears out of it even once, can they?

    If Arctic sea ice continues to shrink in coming decades, Colorado could see less rain and snow and may suffer more frequent droughts, said Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado.That's because changes in the extent of Arctic sea ice can alter weather patterns across much of the Northern Hemisphere.

    Some climate simulations indicate that continued ice loss could lead to increased precipitation in western and southern Europe, while the American West could get shortchanged.

    "Now whether this is exactly what will occur, we're not sure," he said. "But the real take-home message here is that what happens up there can affect us down here."
    That's the "post-normal" take-home message, you understand.

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center tracks the annual swelling and shrinking of the floating shell of sea ice that blankets the top of the world . . . .

    The summertime extent of the polar ice layer has been declining since the late 1970s, with especially steep drops over the past five years.

    If the trend continues, one computer simulation suggests that the Arctic could become nearly ice-free in September between 2040 and 2050.

    The losses are shrinking the habitat available to polar bears, who hunt from the ice. But as Serreze and his colleagues point out, other changes could be in store thousands of miles away.
  • Exit bears, stage left.

    The ongoing sea-ice decline could reduce the severity of Arctic cold fronts dropping into Colorado, reducing snowfall and impacting mountain snowpacks, the ski industry and the winter wheat crop, he said.

    Unbelievable. Literally!

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    More anti-war hoo-haw

    The Post has had a simpering piece on the "revived" anti-war movement on its front page for two days now. Favo quote-o, under the subhead:

    The movement's impact

    War protesters are slow to claim responsibility for the swing in the polls [against the war], but they suspect the movement has some role in nudging public opinion.

    "Partly it's because some folks see more light and act," said 57-year-old peace activist Peter Sprunger-Froese, sporting an anti-war button as he sat in a Colorado Springs warehouse where he assembles bicycles for the homeless. "And partly it's the persistence of an earlier voice that is deepening."
    By day, he builds bum bikes. By night, he's--Sprunger-Froese: Peace Activist!

    By the way, check out this pic the Post runs with the story, of your typical Denver anti-war protester:

    You're sixteen, so beautiful, and you're Allah's.

    Hell of a picture. In fact, it reminded me of another great shot I'd seen in the Post, this accompanying the paper's story last summer on the "March for Lebanon":

    Remarkable. Different photographers, too.


    The ACLU undertakes another critical defense of free speech:

    Two people ejected from a presidential appearance in Denver because of a bumper sticker have added a former White House deputy assistant to the list of individuals they are suing.

    Greg Jenkins is being sued because he managed appearances by President Bush as head of the White House office of advance, and the office had a policy of ejecting anyone with views perceived as different from the president's views, said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the Denver branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Leslie Weise and Alex Young were removed from the taxpayer-funded Bush speech in Denver on March 21, 2005, though they had done nothing disruptive. They were told later by a Secret Service agent who investigated their removal that they were ousted because they arrived in a car with a bumper sticker that read, "No more blood for oil."

    Weise and Young, backed by the ACLU, are suing for violation of their rights to free speech, Silverstein said.

    Whatever. Stupid is as stupid does. The only reason I mention it is to compare (AND contrast!) the ACLU's proactivated stance on this irredeemably minor issue with its handling of the Ward Churchill case--that is, that they're not handling the Ward Churchill case at all.

    David Lane is still Churchill's attorney, apparently, but neither Churchill nor Lane's name has been paired with "ACLU" for quite some time. So why hasn't the union backed up the ringing (well, tinkling) declaration they made at the beginning of the mess? Hmmmm? (Psssst, the word starts with "l," ends with "r" and oozes in the middle).

    Adults Only! XXX!!!

    Spam (all sic) from "Bertolis Bertzin":

    "Instead of looking how Jacel rubboing his baton in shoower cubicee [link] to she rilpeaced hiss sceoptre with her tongue."

    Update: "rubboing"?

    Update II: No I didn't hit the link. It's Sunday, you filthy pigs.

    Update III: Jeez, I forgot to include the subject line: "gave mom too fulfil all beer wishes"

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    D.C. protest!

    Yuck, turn on the TV and there's some girl screaming while somebody holds a sign about Palestine. Good start.

    Somebody from the "Hip Hop Coalition." Didn't catch his name. Rev. Lennox Yearwood. He sounds just like Rochester.

    Don't forget: sponsored by International ANSWER (Workers World Party)!

    Three thousand plus died in this war for resources. 600,000 Iraqis. If we don't stop this war now, in the 21st century, we won't have a 22nd century.

    Crowd: A bandanna-ed revolutionary! Yay! Hip Hop not War! Hip Hop not War! Power to the people!

    Mahdi Bray, our co-host, introduces somebody in a hijab. Khalilah Sabra of the Muslim American Society. Free the people of Iraq and change the destiny of America!

    Michael Letwin of New York City Labor Against the War: Bush admin, even tho overwhelmingly rejected at the polls, is escalating the war, arming Israel in its oppression. Has killed at least 650,000 Iraqis (up, up and away!).

    At home the admin continues to attack civil liberties and everybody else. The democratic party can not be trusted to end it. This brilliant anti-war movement must be led by GIs!

    Cynthia McKinney: Democrat majority in Congress chose war over us, and we say bring our troops home now. Minimum wage, "right of return" for Katrina survivors! Why is impeachment off the table? This country is bankrupt! For jobs! For healthcare! For education!

    Crowd pic: Drummer!

    Struggle is for nothing less than the soul of our country. I hereby declare my independence from every bomb dropped, every child maimed, every civilian killed . . .

    Power to the people!

    They're moving 'em fast. Big guy comes up and taps them on the shoulder. Wrap it up, asshat.

    Michael Berg. The people of Iraq united against this country. Nick Berg died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. One down (Rummy), one on the verge, and one to go. Impeach Bush.

    Crowd: Bush's head on a stick. He's wearing a cowboy hat.

    Crowd: MC leads crowd: Impeach Bush!

    Jonathan Hutto of Appeal for Redress. Everybody's dying.

    Crowd looks tiny. And cold. Another guy from Redress. Truth is, our protests will not end this war, only our resistance will end this war! Protest will never catalyze the masses sitting on the fence. Only our determined risk-taking, our bold resistance can make a difference. Let's put our bodies in the street!

    Crowd: freezing.

    Another soldier. Lemme see your powerfists! Down for your war, tell me what for!

    Garett Reppenhagen, Iraq vets against the war. Support the troops means hold gov't accountable!

    Crowd shot: another drummer.

    Viet vet: Stop this war! The yellow ribbons are faded now. Your job: talk about this war. To your brother, your lawyer, your butcher your baker your candlestick maker! Stop ALL WAR!

    Courage to Resist organizer. Soldiers coming back with PTSD. George Bush killed a vet who committed suicide or something. Walter Reed (several have mentioned Walter Reed, of course).

    Muslim guy, Mounzer Sleiman of the Nat'l Council of Arab Americans: Bring troops home now. Incoherent.

    Certainly no more than 10,000 in the crowd; probably much less. Oh boy, there's the trumpet player.

    Eric LeCompte of School of the Americas Watch: Wish you could see what I see: tens of thousands of people!

    Uh, no.

    Sisters and brothers, the crowd is huge! (C-Span obligingly does a low level pan from which you can't tell a thing.)

    Ramsey! Crowd peps up a little. Can't spend so much on arms without killing people with them. Iran couldn't hurt us if they had nuclear weapons. Bill of Rights shredded. Habeas Corpus means nothing! Torture! They believe in it! Impeachment! How many crimes do you have to have? How close are we to tearing the country apart? We're making enemies all over the world! Impeachment is the first step to make amends.

    Co-host: Impeach Bush! Impeach Cheney!

    Esam Omesh, president of the Muslim American Society. I greet you with the greeting of peace! More than 3,000 lives later, more than 650,000 (!) Iraqi lives later, we are looking at the catastrophe we predicted. End the war today! Lots of "brothers and sisters."

    Man, nobody's speaking for more than a couple of minutes.

    Malik Rahim, Common Ground Relief, Katrina organizer: Salaam aleikem. I challenge George Bush to tell the truth about New Orleans! He knew that 150,000 people had no means of escape!


    Not yet. Mahdi Bray says let's yell for all who couldn't make it because of the weather.

    Cindy's cold. Quit complaining.

    Cindy Sheehan: Forty years ago there was a march on the Pentagon. Forty years later here we are again! When's it gonna stop? I'll probably be in my wheelchair! Let's stop this bullshit war now. It's for the corporations! Halliburton and (others)! Counterprotesters don't realize that America isn't the whole world. Five percent of the people, we use 40 percent of the resources! We have to start sharing! We have to say "we have enough, do you want some too!?" Being in the shadow of the war machine is like being in the shadow of the death star! We need to stop paying our taxes to fund this war (cheer!!!). Tell Congress, you don't work for Halliburton! We are the deciders! We have decided we want (Bush and Co.) in prison! On the fourth of July, we're going to meet in Philadelphia and declare our independence from this government! The people who want peace will not live under this government any more!

    Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, partnership for civil justice: We're freezing! Nobody could come!

    Crowd shot: guy wearing Red Army hat with big star next to hijab-ed women. Mara begging for money. Red buckets being passed, nobody contributing.

    Here we go again. These people can't keep OT. Gloria La Riva, "Free the Cuban Five". Cuba doesn't knuckle under to U.S.! Reads letter from Leonard Weinglass. Cuban exiles are committing terrorist acts against Cuba. Tries to get a chant going: "Free the Cuban five!" Nobody bothers.

    The "courageous" Giuliana Sgrena (I'll try to add links later). The occupation is getting the worse! (sic) The only way to survive is to leave Iraq!

    Crowd shot: guy in a Statue of Liberty costume. We forced Italy out of Iraq, but U.S. planes in Italy still bomb Iraq and Afghanistan!

    Rocky Anderson, mayor of Salt Lake City ("D," as the C-Span identifier says). You're all patriots! We are becoming like every other oppressive government! We are saying to an irresponsible and complacent Congress, Impeach these people! No more wars of aggression! No more torture! No more kidnapping! No more trampling on our Constitution!

    The crowd finally gets it, shouting back, NO MORE! You are great American patriots!

    In back it looks like people are leaving already.

    Milida Arredondo of Gold Star Families. There is no such thing as an illegal! Bush and Co. look for immigrants to serve in this war! It's an economic draft! There's one way to become a citizen. If you are killed in Iraq, you will become a citizen! Posthumously! ICE raided Massachusetts factory and separated mothers from children! Those illegals were making body armor for the troops!

    Her husband: Impeach! Impecio! (Impecio?) (I found "impugnar" for impeach, but not impecio.)

    Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait chick. More chanting. Bush and Cheney are preparing new war against Iran! The Democrats suck! We have to stop this war! We have to drive out the Bush regime! We need more protests! We haven't seen the campuses shut down! We haven't seen thousands of troops refuse to carry out war crimes!

    Crowd shot: Guy holding sign: "The rapture is not an exit strategy."

    Chant: The world can't wait! Drive out the Bush regime!

    Efia Nwangaza, NION lady: Power to the people! We demand that the Bush regime be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity! No war on Iran!

    Brian Becker of ANSWER. (There are only a couple thousand people left.) We're telling all the people, from Palestine, to Iraq, to Venezuela, you are not our enemy! He begs the crowd to hang out. Only six more speakers! Don't leave! We're being broadcast live on C-Span! We're being broadcast live on Al-Jazeera! Please don't embarrass the movement! (Everybody's still leaving).
    Mahdi Bray again. If loving freedom and justice is wrong, I don't want to be right!

    C-Span's quit showing long shots of the crowd.

    Leah Obias, Justice Not War in the Phillipines chick. Chant: U.S. imperialists! Number one terrorists!

    Militant greetings, brothers and sisters! We denounce the U.S. occupation in Iraq, Palestine, the Phillipines, and everywhere! The blood of the Filipino people is on your hands (BushCo)!

    Long shot: a few hundred people left. Total disaster for ANSWER. Why no coverage of the counterprotests, which apparently had several thousand people as well?

    Ben Depuy, former "ambassador at large" of Haiti. Latin America is burning! People are freezing and this guy can hardly talk.

    Crowd sign: "The worst tyrants ever: Napoleon, Hitler, and Bush." Depuy: We need the socialism of the 20th century (sic)! Down with capitalism! Thank you!

    Chuck Kauffman from the Nicaraugua Network. No blood for Exxon. U.S. has 700 military bases in 130 countries. If Bushco weren't bogged down in Iraq, they'd probably be invading Venezuela. We need to become sugar in the gears of the war machine (sic)!

    More cops than protesters now.

    Somebody from the Mexico Solidarity Network. No U.S. intervention in the Middle East, no U.S. intervention in Latin America, no U.S. intervention in the world! She's so small she disappears behind the podium.

    Larry Holmes of something or other. It's cold out, but you're all hot (yay)! There's a war at home called police brutality! There's a war at home and it's called political prisoners! How many of you have heard of Leonard Peltier? (yay!). Remember how the immigrants rallied last year and shut the country down? It's gonna happen again! The people, united, will never be defeated.

    Oh boy, they're down to the high school students who stuck stickers up around town for the protest. Jihan Hafiz of Youth for Truth! The whole world is watching! (Uh, no.) End the military-industrial complex!

    Some girl in the crowd is ranting that people are being maced somewhere else. I'm sure the Black Bloc left a long time ago to get rowdy.

    Resist! Resist! Raise up your fist!

    Girlie from the Party for Socialism and Liberation. This war isn't a mistake, it's a policy. That's capitalism!

    Final speaker! Mara whatever who spoke before. National Lawyers Guild. She's very emotional. Crowd shot: C-Span keeps showing these two girls dressed in sequined hoodies. I think it's the Olsen Twins (had time to find that link!).

    Mahdi Bray: Power to the People!

    Crowd leaving. They don't look happy. Or empowered.

    Update: Updated AP story says cops "privately" estimated the crowd at 10-20 thou. Check out the careful cropping on the pic.

    Update II: Slapstick Politics has good coverage and pictures of the Denver protest. I didn't even know there was one.

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Quote of the undefined period of time!

    Technology Review:
    [Dan] Rather is one of the most vocal supporters of digital technologies to come out of Big Media; he's also its pariah. His six decades spent covering Watergate, Vietnam, and the end of the Cold War were, for many, wiped out after bloggers called into question a critical piece of evidence, the Killian documents, used in Rather's controversial story about President George W. Bush's military record during Vietnam. Still, the 76-year-old newsman landed on his feet, going to work for Mark Cuban's HDNet.
    Yeah, called into question. And Rather landed on his feet at HDNet, did he? Look, it would be a comedown for me to work at HDNet (whatever that is), and I've spent most of my life lying drunk in my own filth.

    Weird Bird Friday

    Crazy Birds Island :p - Watch today’s top amazing videos here

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Oh yeah, the other CU scandal

    The Silver & Gold Record:

    A date has been set for hearing an appeal of the March 2005 dismissal of the Title IX lawsuit that sparked the UCB football controversy in 2004.

    Media outlets also reported last week that an Aurora woman who claims she was sexually assaulted in June 2000 by a UCB football recruit -- prior to the alleged assaults at a December 2001 off-campus party that prompted the Title IX lawsuit -- is asking for a special prosecutor to revisit the decision to not pursue charges in her case.

    According to reports by 9News and The Denver Post, that recruit, who went on to play for the Buffaloes, and a former assistant coach said former head coach Gary Barnett requested assistance in finding an attorney for the recruit in January 2001.

    Vy ees dees zeegneefeegant?

    Barnett said under oath that he "did not recall" hearing about any other cases of sexual misconduct involving UCB football players prior to December 2001, according to the reports. To win the lawsuit, the plaintiffs would need to demonstrate that CU officials had been notified prior to December 2001 of the risk that football players and recruits would sexually assault female CU students, and were "deliberately indifferent" to that risk.
    Update: Ah, those carefree days when all we worried about was Betsy "Terms of Endearment" Hoffman.

    Update II: Here's an old USA Today timeline of the football scandal with lots o' links. CU: the flagship university of the state of Colorado.

    Speaking of young people . . .

    "Get the hell off my property, ya lousy kids, ya!" is what I will no longer be yelling at the hip-hop punks who cut across my yard every day as they head over to North High School. Sure don't want to make them mad:

    Brodie Clayton of Lochbuie has tattoos of the letters ICP on his left hand and a picture of a hatchet on the other hand, according to court records.

    Tess Damm of Lafayette calls herself a "Juggalette" who designed her MySpace .com page with several pictures of two rappers dressed in clown makeup.

    Her boyfriend, Bryan Grove, constantly played tunes from a Detroit-based rap group, according to a friend.

    All three are young fans of the rap music group Insane Clown Posse, but they have another thing in common:

    They've all been implicated in murder.

    As police investigate recent violence committed by teenagers, some officials are seeing crimes, and even gangs, linked with fans of Insane Clown Posse . . . .

    The two-person group, also known as ICP, is known for its violent lyrics and descriptions of murder. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope formed the group in the early 1990s and perform in black and white clown makeup. . . .

    Some ICP songs include killing a pig and stabbing people. In the song, I Stab People, the duo raps, "I order food just to stab the guy when he gets there. I don't care, I stab anybody anywhere."

    Cue the expert!

    Violent music can have an effect on young people and their actions, said Kathleen Heide, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida and author of Why Kids Kill Parents. "Music is one of many ingredients that can cause a child to commit murder," she said. "Violent music itself is not enough to cause someone to go over the edge. But if one is angry, alienated or abused, music with violent themes can ignite violence." . . .

    Read the whole piece, a classic of the "why aren't you cowering in a corner?" school of journalism. My favorite line:

    There are many people who dress up as clowns who are good people . . .

    Yeah, sure. And it's only a tiny minority of radical clowns who are doing all the killing, too.

    Big time

    The New York Times (pinch me, the New York Times!) notes the ascension of John Denver's Rocky Mountain High to Colorado co-state song, and goes to the trouble of finding a flak to quote:
    “A lot of people probably think it’s already the state song,” said Richard Grant, a spokesman for the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. . . .

    “It’s certainly going to appeal to a lot of young people,” Mr. Grant said. “It’s just a cool thing to take a rock song and make it the official song.”
    Rock song? Young people? Right. Reminds me of another quote about a not-quite-so-famous musician from some time ago:
    First brother Roger Clinton really wowed them in North Korea. He's "well-known among the pop-music circles for presenting many lively and optimistic songs," government apparatchik Ri Jong-Hyok told the official Korean Central News Agency.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    You know you're in Boulder . . .

    When you spot a woman driving a Prius sporting this bumper sticker:

    "Every letter has a symbol that represents a system of thought: The crescent and star for Islam; the pentagram for Wicca [note: in this case it's a peace sign, which is sort of a religion, I guess--ed.]; the relativity formula for science [again, in this version it's an hermaphroditic "e"--ed.]; the star of David for Judaism; the Karma Wheel dotting the i for Buddhism; the Tao symbol for Taoism; the cross for Chrisitianity."

    Not very inclusive, are they?

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Relief, comic (type 1--attempted)

    The ridiculous way Iran's nefarious nuke ambitions may have been at least temporarily thwarted--the oil-rich theocracy can't pay its bills to the Russkies--is almost Dr. Evil-ish:

    Dr. Evil (standing defiantly at the heart of his undermountain facility before the usual weapon of complete Earthal destruction):

    Soon the world shall be mine! Bwahahaha--

    (a descending whooooo sound* as the power dies and the lights go out.)

    Henchpersyn (in the dark): Dr. Evil! Our nefarious nuke ambitions have been at least temporarily thwarted! How has this happened?

    Dr. Evil (chewing pinkie nail): Ahmaqoaviecar.

    Henchpersyn: Sir?

    Dr. Evil: I maxed out the Visa card!

    Henchpersyn: Sir! (Sets self on fire.)

    Death threat mania!

    In an update to a post yesterday I noted that the utterly vile Charley Arthur of the Ward Churchill-lovin' Try-Works blog had made (yet another) death threat, this time against Churchill documentarian Grant Crowell:

    Comes the moment of our forthcoming 1-on-1 in Chicago, Walking Eagle [Crowell], we’re volunteering right here and now to administer unto you a desperately-needed hot lead enema.

    Two or three in succession, if need be.

    Nice. Pirate Ballerina, proactive blogger that he is, last night e-mailed various CU administrators and faculty, including members of the school's committee on research misconduct and ethnic studies chairpersyn Albert Ramirez, asking their reaction to a post (not a comment) like this being made on a blog run by a CU employee--of course, our old pal, ethnic studies instructor Ben Whitmer.

    No answer yet, but PB has a fine concise post detailing the background of the Try-Works/Churchill axis and its history of obscene and violent threats.

    Want more?

    Here's Charley Arthur last week on a thread to yet another post attacking Crowell. Charley and Whitmer are discussing the identities of various anti-Churchill commenters, mainly at PB but here as well:

    Charley Arthur Says:


    We see that the mad knitter [a nasty pro-Churchill commenter] has resumed her habit of sodomizing herself with her knitting needle.

    How fucking quaint is that?

    Remember, that's a supporter he's talking about, but Charley is too reckless to notice. And once again he indulges his misogynist fantasies of violent rape with a piece of metal. Read the whole thread and wonder how you'd feel if you were one of the women these two freaks talk about.

    Update: And don't forget, there's a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that "Charley Arthur" is the Great Wardo himself.

    Update II: An operative in Pirate Ballerina's world-girdling network of authentic journalist-approved sources managed to snaffle the title page to Ward's next book. PB doubts its authenticity, but the thorough footnoting persuades me. (Did you know that Ward's books have 400 footnotes per chapter? Well they do, you miserable puling technocrat of Empire!)

    Update III: PB received this response from CU President Hank Brown's office:
    University of Colorado President Hank Brown asked me to look into your concern outlined in your e-mail of March 14 and respond to you. After reviewing the matter, university legal counsel has determined that the postings you refer to are personal correspondence outside the purview of the university. Should Mr. Crowell be concerned for his safety, that is a matter for law enforcement. Thank you for writing.

    Sincerely, Ken McConnellogue
    Associate Vice President for University Relations
    Office of the President
    Now that, with apologies to Samuel L. Jackson, is some repugnant shit. Is there no moral turpitude clause in instructor contracts?

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Rocky Mountain low

    The Post:
    "Rocky Mountain High" has perhaps been Colorado's unofficial state song for years.


    Capitol lawmakers made it official today, elevating one of John Denver's biggest hits to the status of co-state song. The ballad shares the spot with "Where the Columbines Grow," adopted in about 1915 . . . .

    In the House, a few representatives tapped their feet and sang along during a live, guitar-led performance [of Rocky Mountain High, not Where the Columbines Grow--ed.] [Update: now how the hell would I know that? Answer: I wouldn't. I made an assumption. For all I know they tapped and sang to WtCG.]

    Anyway, they got into it.

    The resolution passed 50-11 after the failure of a Republican-offered amendment that would have clarified the song is about Colorado's elevation and "in no way reflects or encourages" drug use.

    Sen. Bob Hagedorn, the Aurora Democrat [aha!--ed.] who sponsored the measure in the Senate, accused his dissenting colleagues of making too much of the lyrics, which include "friends around the campfire and everybody's high."

    "They are just words," he said. "It's how people want to interpret them."

    Hagedorn said the line about the campfire could refer to "a bunch of guys who spent the day hunting or fishing and are having a couple six-packs" or "kids pigging out on s'mores."
    After getting high, of course.

    Update: The Post's Ed Quillen suggests Giardia lamblia for State Parasite.

    Update II: The story is so important, the Post moved it to its front page! (As of midnight, anyway.)

    Update III: That's really a terrible title, isn't it? Even for me.

    New allegations against Churchill

    The Rocky Mountain News' Berny Morson reports:
    Did University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill see secret Canadian government files about child abuse in Indian boarding schools?

    Highly unlikely, says a Canadian researcher who reviewed the files and cited them in his 1999 book about the history of the infamous boarding schools.

    So how did references to those documents end up in Churchill's 2004 book on the schools?

    "Unless he got himself into one of those black suits that Tom Cruise used in that movie and snuck himself into the Department of Indian Affairs at midnight, he's not seen the documents," said John S. Milloy, a professor at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
    Tom Cruise and Ward Churchill, together at last!

    This is not the first time Churchill has been accused of stealing facts from someone else's research . . . .


    Churchill did not return phone calls or an e-mail message about this latest allegation. His attorney, David Lane, declined to comment.

    Churchill's book, Kill the Indian, Save the Man, and Milloy's book, A National Crime, deal with an ugly chapter in U.S. and Canadian history.

    Beginning in the late 19th century, Indian children in both countries were taken from their parents and sent to boarding schools, where they were forced to adopt European culture.

    Milloy, who published first, had access to files of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada because he was a researcher with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, a massive government probe into mistreatment of Indians.

    Milloy said he was the only person, apart from Department of Indian Affairs officials, with access to the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada files. Even his graduate assistants had to stay outside the room where he reviewed the materials, he said. . . .
    Milloy was given copies of documents, but only under promises not to share them. He said all of the references in his book were to confidential documents.

    Churchill, in three cases in his book, cites documents with the same file numbers as the ones Milloy quotes.

    "If he's quoting INAC," Milloy said, "then he's taken it from me, plain and simple, no doubt."

    No doubt. But wait! There's more!

    The footnotes in both books are not the only similarities between Milloy's work and Churchill's work.

    Nine of the 31 photographs in Churchill's book are the same as ones in Milloy's work, including six from Anglican Church of Canada archives.

    Churchill credits the photos to the church, but a church archivist, Nancy Hurn, said if he had permission to use the pictures, it's not in her records.

    Hurn said the photos, however, have been widely reproduced and are in the public domain.

    "It's a concern, because we are pretty open with the use of our photographs, but we request people make the request directly from us before they reproduce them," Hurn said . . . .

    Elaine Katzenberger, Churchill's editor at City Lights Books in San Francisco, said no one has complained to her about misuse of photos. She declined to comment on the references to confidential documents.

    "I stand behind this book as it is until someone proves to me that Ward stole something," Katzenberger said. . . .

    Churchill's book is heavy on footnotes. The 82 pages of text have 546 footnotes, including 78 that cite Milloy. However, five references to INAC documents do not credit Milloy.

    Five hundred and forty-six footnotes in 82 pages! Estupendo! A new record! Milloy doesn't seem to think the five questionable references are important, anyhow:

    "I'm not going to spend any time on it," Milloy said.

    "I talked to my publisher and he said, 'That's interesting. What are we supposed to do and who cares?'"
    (via Slapstick Politics)

    Update: Sort of OT, but I wonder if Ben Whitmer has already been told his contract to teach at CU isn't going to be renewed. How else explain allowing the mentally unstable "Charley Arthur" to make yet another murderous threat on his blog? This one's against Churchill documentarian Grant Crowell:
    Comes the moment of our forthcoming 1-on-1 in Chicago, Walking Eagle, we’re volunteering right here and now to administer unto you a desperately-needed hot lead enema.

    Two or three in succession, if need be.

    It’s not really clear that your condition hasn’t already become too advanced for even such radical intervention as that to be effective, but it’s the only thing we can imagine that stands a chance of purging you of the rapidly-increasing quantity of maggot-infested excrement clogging the bowels of what, in your hyper-constipated state of delusion, you imagine to be a mind.
    Now that's "satire" even the chairpersyn of CU's ethnic studies department, Albert Ramirez, might not appreciate, whether it was written on a CU computer or not (scroll doon, as Groundskeeper Willie would say). Arrogant (and slow-witted!) as Ramirez is, he knows the department is--his cliche--"under a microscope."

    Update II: The name "Walking Eagle," of course, has been applied to Churchill for years, usually by other (sorry, I mean real) Indians.

    Update III: And everybody knows why Churchill is called Walking Eagle, right? If not, droop me a line, as Groundskeeper Willie would also say.