Friday, June 29, 2007

Complaints Dept.

I make 'em, I don't take 'em.

So here's one: when did "Without Borders" become the required nom de moniker for every liberal organization in existence?

There's Doctors Without Borders, Teachers Without Borders; Builders Without Borders ("an international network of ecological builders working together to help ensure a sustainable future"); Mothers Without Borders (solving the "global orphan crisis"); and of course, Reporters Without Borders ("[RWB] is launching a new international campaign, "Beijing 2008," to draw attention to the cynicism of the Chinese government's refusal to allow greater freedom of expression and release the approximately 100 journalists and cyber-dissidents it is holding" [good cause, shitty sentence].

The Rocky has a big story today on Engineers Without Borders and their good works in Nepal. There's Words Without Borders ("Working to promote international communication through translation of the world's best writing"); Grantmakers Without Borders ("a network of trustees and staff of public and private foundations as well as individual donors who practice global social change philanthropy"; and even (please just kill me) Lawyers Without Borders ("working toward a more litigious Mother Earth").

Want more? No? Tough! There's Friends Without Borders; Chemists Without Borders; Bears Without Borders; Wrestlers Without Borders; Diplomats Without Borders (redundancy alert); and Geeks Without Borders (no borders, but you still can't get them out of their moms' basements).

Then there are the scary ones like Sociologists Without Borders, MBAs Without Borders and Librarians Without Borders ("a group of socially-minded librarians who wanted to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world. Our vision is to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates -- librarians").

Sustainable libraries. Believe I've already begged to be killed, so, just a reminder.

Finally, what list of borderless orgs would be complete without the strangely logical-sounding Nihilists Without Borders, or the organization so vile, so perverse, so disgusting in its leering evil that I fear to say its name.

But I will: Clowns Without Borders ("'no child without a smile'").

They'll be coming for me.

Weird Bird Friday

The D-a-W is doing another of those weeklong Buddhist meditation thingies, and she doesn't get sprung until Saturday. Luckily before she left she slipped me a bird for Weird Bird Friday:

This ain't a bird, it's a Dickens character.

What kind of person meditates for a solid week, anyway? A weird person, that's what kind. The D-a-W will probably end up being one of those yogis who are always burying themselves alive just to show off. And I'll be known as the guy the guy who talks to his wife once a week through a tube in the ground. Don't I have enough problems already?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

PETA to Moore: Oink

Since, coincidentally (maybe), Michael Moore said the other day he'd lost 30 pounds, I should link to PETA prexy Ingrid Newkirk's public note to the unsvelte filmmaker: "There's an elephant in the room, and it is you."

(via Tim B.)

Update: Sorry about mixing the fat-animal metaphors.

Update II: RMN's Littwin: I want to have Moore's bloated babies.

Update III: Keep forgetting to mention a couple more Moore items from the rally. First, he said he'd definitely be here for the Democratic Convention next year. No surprise there, but it'll be interesting to see if he hooks up with the peace-lovin' protesters of Recreate68! and if not, how he blows them off.

Second, after the press conference, as Moore walked up the steps back into the Capitol, some utterly deluded hopeful yelled, "Mike! How do I get my script on the education system to you?" Moore grumbled something about only doing his own scripts.

And third, the Capitol is closed over the weekend. Who opened it up for Moore? Would they do the same for the Drunkablog (or other schlemiel)?

Transnational mush price skyrockets

Kofi Annan, war profiteer:
University of Colorado students paid $160,000 in April to hear former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan say the people of the world must work together to bring about peace.

The amount came as a surprise Wednesday to several members of CU's board of regents, who saw the figure on a routine list of speakers and their fees for the school year that just ended.

Annan was far ahead of the second-highest-paid speaker, liberal historian and activist Howard Zinn, who received $15,500.
Noam Chomsky was next at $200 and a coupon for Starbucks.

The amount for the one-hour speech brought calls from some regents for more frequent audits of student government, which has a $33.8 million annual budget and oversees most campus speaking engagements. It hasn't had a full review in four years, though the student health center has been monitored, campus auditor Jean Stewart told the board.

"It's a large budget, and you have young, inexperienced people (in student government)," Regent Tom Lucero said following the Wednesday meeting. He raised the question of Annan's fee. . . .

Annan was brought to campus by the Distinguished Speakers Board and Cultural Events Board. Both are student panels, with 7-9 students on each board.

Of the $160,000, Annan received $100,000. The rest was for transportation, lodging, food and two security men, according to Jon Tsuda , director of the Student Organizations Finance Office.

Annan told some 4,000 people at Coors Events Center that all of humankind is linked together in the quest for world security.

"We should be responsible to protect each other from the crimes against humanity," he said, according to a report in the Boulder Daily Camera.

Cheap at twice the price!

Ron Stump, vice chancellor for student affairs, said administrators were "shocked" by the amount of Annan's fee. But, he said, that's the going rate for people of Annan's prominence.

"We're not the only people paying top dollar," Stump said. . . .

Regent Cindy Carlisle said speakers like Annan help make CU a world-class institution.

"The students are always very excited about these things happening," Carlisle said.

Wonder how she'll vote on firing Ward Churchill?

Update: the Rocky's Vince Carroll:
If the University of Colorado student government has so much money that that it can squander a speaker’s fee of that size on the vapid musings of the former United Nations secretary-general, as it did in April, maybe that’s a sign that it is grossly overfunded.

Have you ever tried to keep your eyelids at attention during a sonorous lecture by Annan on international affairs? Only someone addicted to hearing the word “multilateral” repeated like a mantra could walk away feeling enlightened or energized.

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

In between the Fatima cigarette commercials is an episode of Dragnet. This one's called "The Mother-In-Law Murder" (11 June, 1949). Jack Webb really took chances. Listen at the beginning as his character, Friday, places a long-distance call from "Los Angle-iss" to Idaho. It takes a minute and 40 seconds, and we hear every beep, boop, and stray operator comment as the call sniffs its way cross-country. Webb was crazed for realism in the sound effects on his show. John Dunning:
When the cops walked up the steps at headquarters, listeners heard exactly the number of steps between floors in the real police building. When Webb picked up a crime report and read off the description of a suspect, the listener heard him turn a page first, because descriptions were always on the second page of real reports.
So that's likely what it took to make a long-distance call in 1949.

And Vic and Sade, one of the few episodes that has more than the original four characters. In this one Chuck and Dottie Brainfeeble are staying with the Gooks. "Chuck and Dottie Wash the Dishes" (10 October, 1943).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Islamists beware

Melanie Phillips has been kicking ass with precision and vigor for weeks now, but a post yesterday was a new high in impassioned contempt for the (in her view) suicidally PC British government. I'm going to quote the whole thing, dammit:
It was once the case that, however imbecilic or incompetent our politicians might be, Britain could rely on the armed forces as the last bastion of common-sense, sanity and grounded values to defend us against chaos and tyranny. No longer. This is what Britain’s Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, told an audience at Chatham House today:

He said the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington showed the devastation that attacks fuelled by political, economic and social deprivation could achieve.

And also:

Global warming is such a threat to security that military planners must build it into their calculations… risks that climate change could cause weakened states to disintegrate and produce major humanitarian disasters or exploitation by armed groups had to become a feature of military planning.

This man believes the demonstrable nonsense about man made global warming, in the teeth of all the empirical scientific evidence to the contrary. He has swallowed all the falsifications about malaria and ice caps and hurricanes and polar bears; he believes the earth is now hotter than at any time in history despite clear evidence to the contrary; he believes that wild guesswork built on wilder hypotheses built on dodgy computer models has come up with the truth. Worse, much worse – he believes that the 7/7 attacks were caused by ‘deprivation’. This man is the head of our armed forces, responsible for our safety –and yet he has not got the first glimmering of a clue about the reality of the global Islamic jihad that threatens his country and the entire free world and against which his soldiers are fighting. Instead he parrots the sub-Marxist, cretinous claptrap that blames the west for all the ills of the world.

One day I will wake up and find all this was just a nightmare.

There's plenty more if you go to her main page and scroll. And if this woman is angry at you, do not let her within head-butting distance.

Update: Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup? Sounds like a gay porn name. (Need I make the standard disclaimer?)

A bum's bum

Wait, that doesn't sound right.

I've been messing around for a while with a post about the Denver Post laying off mushy lib columnist Jim Spencer, but everything I've come up with sounds too mean. So I'll just quote a little from Spencer's farewell column:

I wanted to fight the upcoming battle for decent, affordable health care for all Coloradans.

I wanted to continue as a witness for compassion in the immigration debate in a state that cannot afford to hate Mexicans.

I wanted to champion the radical but indispensable quest to reform and pay for great public education from preschool to graduate school.

I wanted to show kids where to find alternatives to gangs.

I wanted to keep calling out powerful people who violate the trust of the people they are supposed to serve.

I wanted to keep challenging myself and others to understand the homeless, the disabled and everyone else who scars our narcissistic vision.

I wanted to keep begging young people and adults to find ways to settle their differences without resorting to fists or sticks or knives or - God help us - bullets.

I wanted to keep explaining the fundamental immorality of intolerance for people whose values, faiths or lifestyles differ from yours.

I wanted to continue to separate science from religion and church from state, trying all the while to respect both.

I wanted to continue exploring workaday corners of Colorado that might otherwise be ignored.

Again, keeping the mouth shut. But in order to challenge myself (and others!) to understand homelessness, I took this picture today:

Check this guy out. He's like, a Master Bum. He's clean (at least, his clothes), his stuff is neatly packed, he's got the really cool-looking Dalmation mix leashed to his buggy, and he has a freakin' bedside lamp to read by. That's class.

Update: Westword's Michael Roberts wrote last week on the Post's ongoing downsizing.

"Scuttlebutt Update"

That's the title of MIM's latest communiqué on the Ward Churchill case. It's (bet you'd never guess) both vague and crazy:

Some of what we were hearing about Colorado seemed too improbable. We have now accepted that anything is possible when it comes to Colorado.

We may have contributed to certain misconceptions that the FBI is still trying to take advantage of. Let's be clear that we know that FBI needs space to make its jokes. We're not impressed with those jokes anymore. Maybe even FBI begins to suspect that things are little more knotty than that.

I love how Security Minister (for it must be he) liquidates the definite article before "FBI." It's so KGB.

While we are on the subject, we did not take "DIE X!" as a joke in 2005. We cannot help wondering if a certain one or two maximum donors to the Bush campaign in 2004 thought they got their money's worth with that. We actually intend to canvass opinion with that question, not just make a sarcastic point. We honestly do not know the answer. We could be far off.
Far off? Not you, Security Minister! But Security Minister is always pragmatic:
It's been rightly pointed out that we are beyond the point where an assassination of a MIM leader would matter. The party heirlooms are spread around too much for that to matter. MIM is gladdened to see wider circles start to chew on the same problems.
The party heirlooms. Those anything like the family jewels? And wouldn't "The Family Jewels" make a great band name? Maybe not.

(h/t der Schnapple)

U.S. off the planet

The U.S. attorney for the district of Colorado opines on the state of law enforcement in Indian Country:
True or false: One out of every 10 Native American women living in the United States will be raped at least once in her lifetime.

Answer: False. In truth, more than one-third of all Native American women will be raped at least once. And for native women living on many of our country's roughly 300 Indian reservations, the rate of violent sexual abuse is far higher. In one recent study, professor Barbara Perry of the University of Ontario found that Native American victims report fewer than 25 percent of all violent crimes to law enforcement.
The problem, or one of them:
Many Americans - native and non-native alike - are surprised to learn that a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision actually prevents sovereign Indian tribal governments from exercising any criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crimes on Indian reservations, including the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute nations in Southwestern Colorado.

The court also recently ruled that tribes have no legal ability to enforce Congress' "trust" obligation to protect them.

In other words, there is no trust account, no minimum funding requirement, to ensure that public-safety and criminal-justice needs on Indian reservations are met. The tribes simply get whatever Congress chooses to appropriate in any given year for law enforcement and other essential governmental services.
On its face this makes no sense, and U.S. attorney Troy A. Eid's statistics strike me as questionable, but if it's even remotely as bad as he says, think how fortunate Native Americans are to have Ward constantly fighting and speaking to right such egregious wrongs. Oh, wait . . .


As PB might say, hardly OT:
Most students at the University of Colorado's Boulder campus are likely to see a 14.6 percent tuition increase in the fall, and engineering students will take a 21.7 percent jolt.

Those increases are included in a resolution that will go before the CU regents at their meeting Thursday.
But it's not as bad as it sounds:
The numbers are softened for about 40 percent of students who are considered financially needy. Their increase is capped at 5 percent, and some of the increase paid by other students will be used to provide financial aid.
I like this paragraph:
CU promised to cap nonresident tuition to stem the flight of out-of-state students during the 2002-03 school year, when the school was embroiled in scandals. That promise does not apply to nonresidents entering this fall. Tuition for them goes up by $1,130.
Now that they've cleared up all those scandals . . .

Update: Welcome to the new, improved CU tuition (now with 14.6 percent more cost!). Seriously, I guess we shouldn't begrudge the increase--how else can CU pay to keep world-class scholars like Ward Churchill and Tom Mayer?

Blogging threatened

CU law professor Paul Campos considers starting a blog:

I once asked a friend of mine, a novelist, why so many writers have drinking problems. "A better question is why so many drinkers have writing problems," he replied.

His response came to mind recently when I began to toy with the idea of starting a blog. . . .

A blog allows one to dash off a brilliant riposte to some flawed argument or rhetorical atrocity, without having to deal with publishing schedules or, worse, editors who insist that factual assertions be true, and who place other tiresome demands on creative genius, even as it pours forth from a metaphorical pen.

These same features also represent the disadvantages of a blog. Every time I hear the Blog Siren singing its Celine Dionesque song, I end up thinking of a certain type of legal academic blogger - the sort who has a habit of concocting (intentionally?) preposterous posts, which then elicit a predictable stream of insults from various precincts of the blogosphere.

Our brave blogger then sallies forth in a state of high dudgeon, demanding apologies from those who have insulted her, while at the same time exacerbating the situation by engaging in the most incredibly juvenile banter (for example, she has been known to joke about the supposedly diminutive genitalia of her male critics).

Note the sudden descent from the general to the specific. It took only a second to figure out to whom Campos is referring.

In truth, I find it difficult to believe that such witticisms aren't composed with one hand, while the other clutches a glass of cabernet sauvignon the size of Lake Tahoe.

Indeed, among writers in general, and bloggers in particular, alcohol and narcissism go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Psychologists define narcissistic personality disorder as involving a grandiose sense of self-importance, and an overwhelming need for the constant attention and admiration of others.

Uh-huh. Campos calls Althouse an alcoholic with narcissistic personality disorder (in, of course, a deniable weasel-lawyer way), but it's she who's juvenile.

What better example of this can there be than bloggers obsessed with how many "hits" their posts are eliciting on their site meters, or how often they're mentioned on the Internet, and who take pride in drawing attention to themselves by being aggressively obnoxious? (This is a trick most people learn by the age of 4, and begin to become embarrassed about employing shortly thereafter).

Okay, why's he dragging me into this? (Or is that just the alcohol and my narcissistic personality talking?) No matter:
Blogs pose special dangers for academics. The whole point of academic life is that it's supposed to offer those who live it the time to spend months and years becoming expert about, and reflecting upon, complex issues, before committing their thoughts regarding such matters to print.

Journalists, of course, can rarely afford that luxury - yet bloggers face even more intense temptations to make fools of themselves. The scholarly monograph mulled over for a decade before appearing in print may be wrongheaded or dull or both, but it runs comparatively little risk of making its author look like a narcissistic idiot.

The same can't be said for the chardonnay-fueled rant posted at three in the morning, which may inadvertently tell your readers far more than they wish to know about your living room decor, your psycho-sexual neuroses, and your views on the latest episode of American Idol.
Campos seems to have forgotten the ostensible subject of his column, starting his own blog.
None of which is to deny that many bloggers, including many academic bloggers, do excellent work. For example, just a few of the lawyers and law professors who regularly write first-rate things in the genre include Glenn Greenwald [sic], Jack Balkin, Eugene Volokh and Sandy Levinson.
Greenwald, of course, is famous for being caught employing multiple sock puppets to felicitate and defend himself; Balkin and Levinson write for the same blog.
I could list many more [so why don't you?]. These writers represent a variety of perspectives, but they all write fluent, accessible prose, they mostly avoid shooting from the hip, and their analyses of various topics are, if I may say, generally quite sober.
Since he seems to have forgotten all about it, maybe Campos doesn't really want to start a blog. Please do, Professor, so we can hear more nonhip-shooting about Althouse's alcoholism and narcissistic personality, and maybe even about how Glenn Reynolds is just like Ward Churchill.

Update: Doco-mentarian Grant Crowell links to his interview with Campos on the Churchill case. It's old (pre-Standing Committee on Research Misconduct), but Campos is very solid on the iss-ee-yoos of the time, and not unfunny. On Churchill's claim to Indigenosity:

[W] e're not just talking about some technicality about whether he is or isn't an enrolled member of a tribe, we're talking about someone who presents no evidence whatsover that they belong to the category to which they claim to belong and gaining lots of advantages from it.

I for example could be claiming that I was a black woman with apparently as much warrant as Churchill has for claiming he's a Native American. Why? Because I believe I'm a black woman? 'Cause I have a very sincere attachment to the notion of being a black woman? I would hope that really wouldn't be good enough in holding myself out as a black woman in the context of the modern academy."

Paulie, of course, is too modest: he would make a fine-looking black woman if he shaved and did a great number of other things.

Anyhow, kick in the TV screen, Edna, because the prof also discusses blood quantum! Columbus Day! The Ninth Amendment! And such. The interview's 42 minutes long, but well worth it. In fact, Campos makes so much sense you have to seriously wonder if he hadn't had a few pops before (and during!) the writing of dumb stuff like the Althouse and Reynolds columns.

Hope the kid's all right

A two-year-old girl was bitten by a fox as she played in her yard in Denver yesterday. I've seen foxes several times, even got a picture of one, and blogged about them in what now seems an inappropriately jocular way.

Update: Neighbors, officials track, kill fox that attacked toddler.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Night at the Radio!

Fibber McGee and Molly: "The War Is Not Almost Over" (12-7-43). Everybody stops by to abuse and disabuse Fibber.

Here's a wild one. Information Please, with the regulars and a guest named Myron Wallace, whom host Clifton Fadiman describes as "a mere beardless boy, a student at the University of Michigan, selected by his university to represent the spirit of youth on our program."

Myron Wallace, the spirit of youth, of course, is now the ancient 60 Minutes reporter with the head like a giant melanoma, Mike Wallace. As you might imagine, Mike comes across as a smug little jerk. Within five minutes you just want to pound him. Great stuff. Date: February 7, 1939.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Michael Moore in Denver

Back downtown this evening to see his appearance on the west steps of the Capitol to flog his new movie Sicko push for universal health care. Took a lot of pics and a few notes:

The Gathering.

Many signs, of course.

Yep, the troofers showed up.

Ha-ha! He's wearing a fake butt! Get it? A few minutes later he was dancing up and down the Capitol steps wagging the very same butt. This significantly furthered the cause of single-payer health care.

Goth chick reminds us of our mortality.

Unworkable plan.

She look like she's taking her meds?

Anticipation mounts.

Gink comes out and yells, are you ready for Michael Moore? Yeah! Well, we have some other speakers first! Pssssssssh, the balloon goes a little flat. First speaker didn't quite make it into the movie, maybe because he doesn't sound like your typical case: his son was born with hemophilia, and the insurance company, United Healthcare, has been fighting payment almost from the beginning.

Hemophilia? How did that happen, and might it have something to do with the precariousness of his son's coverage? He didn't say.

Next up was Donna Smith of Aurora, Colorado.

Donna appears in the movie and is one of the people who went to Cuba with Moore to take advantage of their world-class healthcare system. "I will not rest until every American has access to free, universal health care!" [Update: Moore's site says Smith suffered from asthma and sleep apnea.]

Then it was Moore's turn.

"Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy and homelessness." (Moore said that, not Spongebob. Of course.)

Michael, meet Ward: The American way of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" might have worked when "we were exterminating the natives" and
enslaving blacks, but it doesn't work so well now.

Moore said he's dropped 30 pounds. "If you come from my part of the country, you know I'm one of the skinny ones."

"Think of the children" photo op.

On the war: "I hold the media more responsible for this war than George W. Bush. He didn't know any better."

A heckler started shouting somewhere in the crowd, and a few moments later stalked right by me.

Heckler (l); gentle hippie (r). GH: Peace, man. H: Oh, peace, man. Wanna stroke my cock? Huh? Wanna stroke my cock? This significantly furthered the conservative cause. [Update: Gentle Hippie could have crushed the asshole's skull like a blood-filled tick, to use a Dan Ratherism. Oh, it's not? Maybe I
should go back into therapy.]

After Moore finished speaking there was a press conference to which only "media" were invited. Some official type asked who I was with and, informed I was only a lonesome blogger, asked the name of the thing, shook me by the paw and let me through. Shocking. Unfortunately I still couldn't hear the questions, so I just kept shooting.

Man made homeless by medical bills (l); Michael Moore (r). (Update: have just been informed that the "homeless" man is actually
Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin. Things are bad in the newspaper industry, folks.)

The presidential candidate Moore backs will support: free universal healthcare, abolition of private health insurance, "strictly regulated" pharmaceutical companies ("as if they were public utilities"), and the banning of campaign contributions from pharmas and health insurers--in fact, the banning of (private) campaign funding altogether.

The candidate who comes closest to Moore's ideal on the issues? "His name rhymes with 'floor.'" My guess? Dennis Kucinich.

That's about it. Some guy said he'd have the whole thing up on Youtube tomorrow. I'll link to it.

Oh, yeah. Pridefest was just ending, too.

Update: Still no vid of the event at Tubeyou.

Misspelling of the week

The Rocky misspells its own critic's name, twice. It's Mary Voelz Chandler.

Update: Fixed.

Weekend fun!

Niece Katie is in the second year of this hot-shit master's degree program called the Bread Loaf School of English. It's named after a mountain in Vermont Robert Frost fell off one time when he was drunk, I think. It meets each summer for six weeks, takes five years to complete, and is available in different parts of the country. Last year, for example, Katie attended in the aforementioned Vermont; this year she's on on the campus of St. Johns College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Readers of this blog will only dribble morosely into their spit cups to hear that Bread Loaf (two words or they'll break your feckin' neck), welcomes students early into the zany world of post-structuralism.

Anyway, Santa Fe being a not-ungodly distance from Denver, Katie drove up for the weekend (explaining the paucity of posts, as if anyone but me sainted mither gives a crap). Stupid kid. I've been bringing up the name "Ward Churchill" every few seconds, making the connection to the pernicious theories of Derrida, et. al, shoving the Churchill Report into her hands, telling her stories of the jolly Satanists at Tryworks, showing her the pic of Chutch being interviewed by Barbara the Bovine, etc. She's sitting in the corner now, holding her throwing hatchet (see below).

Here are some pictures Katie took on the drive up. Strangely, all of them are of clouds:

Happy clouds.

Pissy clouds . . .

And clouds that look kind of like those boiling clouds in Close Encounters of the Third Kind* or that incredibly nasty piece of work, Independence Day, that show up to herald the approach of aliens (friendly and hostile, respectively).

We went downtown yesterday to walk around (these are all her pics too):

The (allegedly) Unsinkable Molly Brown's house.

Vendors' tents reflected in the windows of the main library. Just by luck or whatever Pridefest was yesterday at Civic Center Park. Last year, of course, I went on purpose.

She had to get some shots of the art museum. Bravely into the future, and all that. (First time I've noticed its resemblance to Moby Dick, though.)

A mountain lion on the Pioneer Monument. Poor thing doesn't even have a dribble cup.

Update: Of course we got to talking about Katie's dad (my b-in-law), a cop whose humor (and not only his humor!) tends (he said circumspectly) toward the sadistic:

1. When Katie and her younger sister were adolescents, he would call home when Mom wasn't there, breathe heavily into the phone and whisper things like, "are you alone, little girl?" and such. Katie said it scared the shit out of them the first time (duh), but after that it was like, "Mom said to get some milk on the way home."

2. When they had slumber parties he would burst into the room, throw a live spider on the floor, shut off the lights and slam the door. Maybe they only had the one slumber party.

3. At an age when other girls were getting Barbie dolls, Katie got a throwing hatchet. For which Dad set up a tree-round target in the backyard.

4. Yes, I asked Katie if I could tell these stories.

*There's a dogpoop scooping service in Denver whose motto is "Specializing in close encounters of the turd kind." I know, but if it's so obvious, why didn't you think of it, smart guy?

Update II: Speaking of Pridefest, the Ballerina's got all kinds of humorous and informative posts of the (Ward) Churchillian variety, things this blog, sadly, lacks. Yes, in spades. This old piece on the "genocide" (scare quotes approved by the Institute for Fairness in Punctuation) of Native Americans is a particularly instructive linkage.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday (Early) Morning at the Radio!

Since it's been so warm around here the last few days (I blame glo--never mind), here's a classic Suspense: "August Heat" (5-31-45), with Ronald Colman as the chiselee.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Weird Bird Friday

Those awkward teenage years:

Juvenile Cockatoo

Don't worry, kid. You're going to be gorgeous.

Adult Cockatoo

Or maybe not.

Weird Adult Cockatoo


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Night at the Radio!

In honor of the "it" couple of the moment, Natsu Saito and Ward Churchill, here's an episode of Suspense: "I Had an Alibi" (1-4-45). The Roma wine commercials are great. Party maven Elsa Maxwell: "Don't worry about special glasses. Any glasses available are perfectly correct."

And two 12-minute Vic and Sades: "Miss Nagle to Break Up Lee Street" (12-7-42) ("strictly all beef"); and "It's Algebra, Uncle Fletcher" (10-9-42).

Update: I think the picture of Elsa Maxwell is from Fark via Mason Oller, but I'm not sure.

Truthforce untruths noted

Commenter Noj at PB dismantles, if that's not too weak a word, "Truthforce" Saito's Counterpunch piece:
Lie #1: Nancy states that CU is firing Churchill for "improper footnoting or author attribution." No, they are firing him for multiple counts of plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification.

Lie #2: Nancy states that CU found against Churchill because he "failed to provide sufficient evidence that in the 1837 smallpox epidemic...(a) infected blankets were obtained from an infirmary." No, he is charged with fabricating the existence of smallpox blankets taken from a military infirmary in St. Louis. It's not a matter of "sufficient evidence." Churchill has yet to provide any evidence at all, for any part of this claim. In fact, he has since abandoned this claim. His new defense is that the fur company-owned steamboat was a floating infirmary. His original claim about the military infirmary in St. Louis has flown out the window, given that he has no evidence at all for this fabrication.
And on and on, ten little lies all in a row. S'wonderful.

Update: PB also links to the blog of one Crotchety Old Bastard, who notes an e-mail from Ward responding to COB's mockery of his tales of derring-do in Vietnam. It's great stuff, but I want to focus on Ward's language for a moment. Here's part of his e-mail:

From: "Ward L Churchill" To: "Frankie Caryl"

Monday, June 04, 2007 11:56 PM

Subject: Re: Oxygen thief
A combat jump with the 101st? Yeah, right... Reckon you must be a WW II vet, eh? Funny thing, tho, y'seem to have gotten the years wrong by a couple of decades. And that truly IS verifiable, dipshit.
Yeah, right... . . . Reckon . . . y'seem . . . dipshit.

The false laconicness, the hayseed contractions, the purposely casual vulgarity. Remind anyone of the comedy stylings of a security guard we all know, name of Charley? Yeah, me too. No biggie, just another brick in the wall.

P & T panel makes no response to CU prez Brown's recommendation to fire Churchill

The Silver & Gold Record:

Ward Churchill of UCB ethnic studies has requested a private hearing with the Board of Regents regarding the recommendation that he be dismissed, according to his attorney, David Lane [we knew that]. Lane told S&GR that the hearing has not yet been scheduled. He also said the Privilege and Tenure Committee dismissal panel did not issue a response to President Hank Brown's recommendation that Churchill be dismissed.

Prior to Brown's recommendation, that panel had agreed that there are grounds to dismiss Churchill, although three of the five members recommended suspension and demotion in lieu of dismissal, according to the panel's report. In addition to the right to request a hearing with the board, under regent policy, Churchill may respond in writing to the dismissal recommendation within 20 business days of being notified of that recommendation. Any action the regents take regarding the recommended dismissal must be done in public.
Update: The hearing hasn't even been scheduled, which means we're into 2008 before CU finally sacks Churchill. (Kidding, but only a teeny-tiny bit.)

Update II: Specutating here, but isn't the P&T panel signalling its acquiesence to Churchill's firing with this inaction? In the wimpiest possible fashion, of course, but they could have protested and didn't. Then again, maybe they did, and ACTA thug H. "Rap" Brown chilled their free speech. Wonder how the Dune Buggy Attack Battalion will react to this news? Actually I don't wonder at all: with their usual venom.

SALT talks

The "progressive and caring" Society of American Law Teachers has put out a statement urging the CU Board of Regents to reject President Hank Brown's recommendation to fire Ward Churchill. Fun quote:
While the CU investigative committee claims that it took great care to avoid the speech which precipitated the furor over Ward Churchill, there is no way to divorce the review of his scholarship from the public controversy which caused it. If Professor Churchill may be dismissed on the basis of the charges found valid by CU’s P&T Appeals panel, charges which he contests, scholars critical of the status quo who teach in the Colorado system, as well as throughout the country, should not rest easily. For if the same standards and a similarly flawed process were applied to all scholars, many of them might lose their jobs as well. The message that a dismissal in this case sends to all academics who engage in work that questions the status quo is that they continue that work at their peril. If they continue to publish politically unpopular ideas, then, like Professor Churchill, they may find their scholarship put under a microscope, their livelihood threatened, and due process and fundamental fairness considerations put aside by administrators who lack the courage and conviction to protect academic freedom when it matters most, when unpopular individuals and ideas are in the crosshairs.
Naturally, SALT smears the committee with the bogus countercharges made against it by Churchill's supporters, while completely ignoring the substance of the committee's findings; equally naturally, Churchill's frau Natsu Saito is on SALT's board of directors. PB has the whole sickening statement.

Update: In the idiot pages of Counterpunch, Frau Churchill thanks the little people for their support:

What has meant the most to us, however, has been the support of elders like Carrie Dann of the Western Shoshone and Japanese American activist Yuri Kochiyama, young people who are searching for a way to cope with an uncertain future, and regular people on the street--parking lot attendants, baggage handlers, homeless people--who consistently express their appreciation that Ward refuses to be silenced. They know this is not about footnotes.

(via "Lawyer" in comments at PB)

Update II: PB checks "Truthforce" Saito's math.

Update III: In the Counterpunch piece Saito claims that Ward "published an article in Z Magazine in which the editors, without telling him, deleted his attribution of co-authorship to "Dam the Dams." . . .

The same claim was made by Tom Mayer:

Churchill gave the Dam the Dams campaign co-authorship of this article, however, the organization's name was omitted by Z-Magazine's editor [editor, editors, who's counting?] without Churchill's knowledge and against his wishes.

And by Churchill himself to the investigating committee, which responded with:

[T]his claim, like many of Professor Churchill's claims, is difficult to disprove, but it is the responsibility of an author working with a publisher to ensure that proper credit is given to co-authors and sources.
Left unexplained by Churchill or anyone else is why Z-rag would be so recalcitrant on this point of authorship against Churchill's express (though he apparently never quite says he expressed them) wishes. Also unexplained is why Churchill, having been ignored in such egregious fashion, continued to write for the magazine, never protesting publicly until the article became an issue in his case.

Update IV: Almost totally OT: "CU professor drowns in Mexico."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Indians just as silly as GW hysterics

The Concord (N.H.) Monitor: "Earth Mother getting angry"

American Indians fight climate change

From New Hampshire to California, American Indian leaders are speaking out more forcefully about the danger of climate change.

Members of six tribes recently gathered near the Baker River in the White Mountains for a sacred ceremony honoring "Earth Mother." Talking Hawk, a Mohawk Indian who asked to be identified by his Indian name, pointed to the river's tea-colored water as proof that the overwhelming amount of pollution humans have produced has caused changes around the globe.

"It's August color. It's not normal," he said.

August color?
"Earth Mother is fighting back - not only from the four winds, but also from underneath," he said. "Scientists call it global warming. We call it Earth Mother getting angry."
I call it consensus.
At a United Nations meeting last month, several American Indian leaders spoke at a session called "Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change." Also in May, tribal representatives from Alaska and northern Canada - where pack ice has vanished earlier and earlier each spring - traveled to Washington to press their case.

In California, Minnesota, New Mexico, and elsewhere, tribes have used some of their casino profits to start alternative or renewable energy projects, including biomass-fueled power plants.
Oh, give me a break.
In New Hampshire, where American Indians have become integrated in the broader society, some have questioned the effect of local development.

Jan Osgood, an Abenaki Indian who lives in Lincoln, said she worries about several proposals that would clear acres of national forest on Loon Mountain for luxury homes.

"It breaks my heart," said Osgood, who attended the sacred ceremony.
A sacred ceremony, was it? Thanks for telling us, objective newspaper!
She approached Ted Sutton, Lincoln's town manager, and gave him a collection of writings by North American Indians detailing the history of the U.S. government's unfulfilled promises to their trips [sic].
Gee, you shouldn't have. But Sutton is a politician:
After reading the book, Sutton said he agrees with the American Indian philosophy of life: Use nature respectfully, never taking more than is needed.

"American Natives have been telling us all along that this [what? global warming?] was going to happen to the earth," Sutton said. "They were telling us hundreds of years ago that what we were doing (to the environment) would come back and haunt us. They have been proven right. But hopefully we've started to listen to them and move back to some better management of our lives."
Here's life management, Ted: I quit drinking! Unfortunately, that's about all I can manage. Funny quote:

Those who study American Indian culture believe their presence in the debate could be influential. They point to "The Crying Indian," one of the country's most influential public-service TV ads.

In the spot, actor Iron Eyes Cody, in a buckskin suit, paddles a canoe up a trash-strewn urban creek and then stands by a busy highway cluttered with litter. The ad, which aired in the 1970s, ends with a close-up of Cody, shedding a single tear after a passing motorist throws trash at his feet.

Wouldn't you love to know who among scholars of Native America points to that commercial?

"Within the last six months, there's just been a loss of faith in the insistence (by some politicians) that global warming isn't happening and that we have nothing to do with it," said Shepard Krech III, an anthropology and environmental studies professor at Brown University.

Krech is the author of The Ecological Indian, which examines the relationship between American Indians and nature. . . .

Interestingly, The Ecological Indian is at least a partial debunking of the Noble Savage (Steward of the Earth division).
The New Hampshire ceremony was attended by members of the Passamaquoddy, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Micmac, Lakota Sioux and Abenaki tribes.

Some of whom sound as eager for climate meltdown as any white ecocatastrophist:

Thunderbull, a Lakota Sioux, offered a prayer for people who had suffered from recent flooding in the Midwest. Talking Hawk prayed for those who would suffer from natural disasters ahead.

"Think of the people who will die in the cleansing of Earth Mother, all around the world," he said.

"Think of their spirits."

Got drool on your chin there, T-Hawk.

(via Droodge)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Move along, no plagiarism here

Pint-sized commie ratbag and CU sociology professor Tom Mayer attempts to refute the Churchill committee's findings of plagiarism against Wardo. Just more of the same old octopus ink, but some good quotes:

  • Mayer says Churchill is being persecuted for a "lack of mandatory patriotism."

  • In what might be called the negative argument from footnote volume, Mayer notes that the committee's report "cites about a dozen footnotes (out of well over 10,000 in Professor Churchill's collected works) in which Churchill references articles he has ghost written." Gee, only a dozen? Man, we went all McCarthyite over nothing.

  • Anotha', motha' (or, if you prefer, anothra, Mothra):
    Besides being an academic scholar [what other kind is there?] Ward Churchill is also a public intellectual--arguably the most renowned public intellectual on the CU faculty--
    He's right. Savor that for a moment.
    --and a key participant in the American Indian Movement [the tiny Colorado American Indian Movement, of course; national AIM hates his guts].
  • And Mayer's conclusion:

  • A just monetary compensation for Ward Churchill would be very expensive indeed. The damage to freedom of thought may be irreparable in the near future.

    Note how the idealistic Tiny Trot mentions money first.

    (via PB and the lonesome fistulas at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network)


    Had to be down by Confluence Park today, so here's the confluence:

    That's the South Platte coming in from the right, Cherry Creek at top. This is where Denver was founded in 18 and 59.

    Looking upstream: the Speer Boulevard Bridge over the Platte:

    Animal stories

    Nice headline in the Post: "Zoo: Dead worker at fault."
    A zookeeper who was mauled to death by a jaguar failed to follow routine safety precautions in which she was fully trained, officials with the Denver Zoo said today.

    Ashlee Pfaff, 27, was killed in February when a 140-pound jaguar named Jorge got into an employee access hallway through an open cage door and pounced on her. An autopsy found she died of a broken neck and had extensive internal injuries.

    At a press conference this afternoon, zoo officials said that two key safety violations were made by Pfaff; including the failure to verify the location of the jaguar before opening the keeper access door to the exhibit, and failure to maintain two locked doors between the keeper and the animal.

    "We have thoroughly researched every possibility and have concluded that the tragedy resulted from human error," said Craig Piper, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Denver Zoo.

    "Ashlee opened the door to the exhibit while the animal was in it apparently thinking she had transferred it to its outdoor habitat," Piper said in a statement.

    "We have failed to determine why Ashlee failed to follow established protocols she had been trained to perform regularly without incident for more than one year," he said.

    The jaguar was shot and wounded and later euthanized by other zoo employees.
    This one's even nastier:

    Pleasant Grove, Utah - The grandfather of an 11-year-old boy who was killed by a black bear blamed federal foresters today for not warning that the animal had harassed another group of campers at the same site hours earlier.

    "We're hoping that the Forest Service will do a better job protecting campers. It's been like a surreal nightmare," Eldon Ives told reporters at a news conference on his front lawn.

    "The violent way he was taken is a sorrow that will never heal," Ives said.

    He said there was no food in the tent to attract a bear.

    Sam Ives was snatched from inside a tent that was a Father's Day gift to his stepfather, Tim Mulvey.

    "Something's dragging me!" the boy screamed as he was pulled by his sleeping bag before midnight Sunday in the Uinta National Forest, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
    This brings up a question I've had occasion to ask before: just what's so feckin' "great" about the "great outdoors," anyway?

    The boy was found mauled to death about 400 yards away, hours later. The family had pitched their tent about a mile from a designated campground.

    Authorities said it was the same 300-pound black bear that confronted campers before dawn Sunday. Kurt Francom said his son was kicked in the head through a tent wall. The bear clamped his jaws on a pillow and carried it off.

    Using tracking dogs, Forest Service staff tried to find the bear but were unsuccessful. Signs in the area generally warn about bears.

    The bear that killed the boy was fatally shot Monday, about 12 hours after the attack.

    Sam Ives would have been a sixth-grader in the fall at Valley View Elementary School in Pleasant Grove.

    Yeesh. The story mentions somewhat ambiguously that "Signs in the area generally warn about bears," so maybe grandpa shouldn't be laying all the blame on the Forest Service. Those signs aren't a joke, even if certain people treat them like one.

    Another animal story? Here's a heartwarmer: "Tiger has a cub."

    And, stretching the category beyond recognition: "Denver 'panty burglar' charged in break-ins":

    A 34-year-old man was charged Monday with breaking into several homes in northwest Denver and stealing women's undergarments and other personal items.

    Police said [Carlos] Vigil, whom they called the "Panty Burglar" [wonder how much time they spent coming up with that nom de perv--ed.] entered houses through open windows and doggie doors. They said he took clothing and photographs.

    Whatever. But here are some interesting facts and figures:

    A man in Colorado Springs recently pleaded guilty to breaking into houses and stealing women's undergarments. A man in Fort Collins faces charges in the theft of more than 1,300 women's undergarments from apartment laundry rooms near the Colorado State University campus.

    Because, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, that's where the panties are.

    Sense made

    Inside Higher Education continues its Churchill kick with a piece by American Council of Trustees and Alumni president Anne D. Neal in which she singles out the American Association of University Professors for its waffling on the case:
    Historically the custodian of academic freedom, the AAUP is struggling to clarify, for itself and others, what academic freedom is. And that struggle centers on accountability — which, unfortunately, explains much of why the AAUP is encountering such difficulty. Roger Bowen, the outgoing general secretary, has vocally defended the notion that academics should not have to answer to anyone but themselves. “It should be evident,” he has written, “that the sufficient condition for securing the academic freedom of our profession is the profession itself.”

    This is a far cry from [CU president Hank] Brown’s conception of academic freedom as part of a public trust. It’s also a far cry from the AAUP’s own foundational 1940 statement on academic freedom, which defines it as a set of “duties correlative with rights” and which sees academic freedom as the means by which colleges and universities serve the public trust: “Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher … or the institution as a whole.”
    Seems clear enough. As with its last piece on Ward, the comments will probably be more interesting than the piece itself, as IHE's academic readers (like "Unapologetically Tenured") weigh in with their usual, um, thoughtfulness.

    (via PB)

    Update: the hopefully pseudonymous "Markus Kemmelmeier" has a twist on the famous "speeding ticket" analogy used by the Churchill investigating committee:
    [Churchill] is like the driver who gets stopped for speeding, but who then no longer can hide all the dead bodies in the trunk. Arguing whether stopping someone for speeding is the right thing to do or not seems to be missing the point. . . .
    (Billy Batts can be found on a t-shirt or "Signature Mouse Pad" at

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Green writers

    Bad writing in an eco-opinion by the Post:
    The spring chirping birds might not be music to some ears, but consider the silence if it were gone.

    Bird songs provide nature's soundtrack and a sure sign that all is right in their world. We should all hate for those sounds to go away.
    Had to quit there.

    Bad headline for someone else's eco-opinion in the Post:

    "Don't leave it to the beavers."

    Climate change is here [yay!] bringing with it a seven-year drought in the Southwest.

    That'll come as news to some in Colorado. But let's pretend:

    Dry winters produce more dust on the high snow packs in the Rockies. The dark dust decreases the snow cover's albedo - the percentage of light falling on the snow that is reflected back - which speeds melting and shortens the spring thaw. Developers and dam builders are predicting that if spring runoff goes more quickly, we will need more dams to catch it. . . .
    I couldn't find anyone, dam builder or not, who's "predicted" this, but somebody probably has, so let's keep pretending:
    So many half-full reservoirs should quiet dam proponents, but they are like beavers: the sound of running water stirs them to action without conscious thought. A beaver will build a wall of mud and sticks on the face of a loudspeaker that plays the music of running water. Human dam-builders are much the same.

    That seems rather rude. I would be very unhappy if somebody built a wall of mud and sticks on my speakers, even if they are old. Anyway, the writer goes on a good deal longer. Do with the information what you will.

    Culture of corruption

    Fine, fine:

    Denver prosecutors are reviewing an audit that revealed a high-ranking official at the University of Colorado at Denver misappropriated $268,250, school officials and the district attorney's office said today.

    Specifically, auditors at the school focused on four international trips that Donald Stevens claimed he took on behalf of the university.

    Stevens is married to Gail Schoettler, Colorado's former lieutenant governor and former state treasurer.

    The auditors concluded that Stevens, who recently retired as managing director of the school's Institute for International Business, spent most of his time on his own and only briefly went to the seminars he claimed he was attending.

    On a couple of occasions, he traveled to countries not even on his trip itinerary, the auditors said.
    Oddly, though the Post's story notes that Schoettler is a "former lieutenant governor and former state treasurer," it neglects to mention that she is also a very current columnist for the Post.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Sunday Night at the Radio

    Since somebody (well, me) mentioned Walter Winchell, guess I'll play a couple of his Jergen's Journal "news" programs, one from only months before America's entry into World War II, the other from early 1945.

    Only 11 minutes or so apiece, these two shows have everything: nazi-smashing, red-baiting, egotistical preening, and tons of war news and commentary of questionable reliability. Here's the first, from 5-18-41. Among much other fun stuff, Winchell mocks Rudolph Hess, who the week before had parachuted into Scotland on his bizarre "peace" mission, and claims Hess's wife has just been arrested by the Nazis); and the second, from February 25, 1945, with even more war news and gossip like: "Newspapermen just returned from overseas tell me that Martha Gellhorn, the novelist, has confided to them that the honeymoon with her husband, Ernest Hemingway, is over."

    Confided to them. Fascinating stuff.

    Update: In the first show Winchell's famous opening sounds like, "Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships and cripples at sea." Tell me it doesn't.

    Comedy tonight

    PB has the lowdown on Channel 9's interview with Ward Churchill this evening. Good thing, because I completely (as opposed to partially) forgot about it. Same old, same old, I guess, but live. Here's 9's video.

    Okay, I've seen it. A few slobservations:

    Ward was expressionless as always, but kept gulping for air.

    David Lane sure likes to invoke the First Amendment a lot to defend a man who explicitly denies First Amendment protection to others.

    Humoresque as well is Churchill's invocation of "Enlightenment principles" to defend himself. Ask him in another venue and he'll tell you those same principles are the cause of all the evil in the world.

    Lane tries (and for all I know succeeds at) intimidating CU by saying his "best guess" is that the suit will take "one to two years." And you know what vets say: a "Churchill year" is equal to six human years.

    The ten or 12 of the "slew" of questions from viewers that made it to air were all but uniformily hostile to Ward (one asked a setup question about whether Ward considered himself a "scapegoat"). What does this mean?

    Ninth Amendment trumps the First, Ed

    The Post's reliably quirky Ed Quillen jumps Wardo:
    It would be easier to support Churchill's claim that his First Amendment rights are being circuitously violated if there were any evidence that he actually believed in the First Amendment.

    Most of us, after all, figure the First Amendment applies to everybody, even people we disagree with. But Churchill has been arrested on several occasions for attempting to violate other people's rights to free expression - specifically, the marchers in Denver's annual Columbus Day Parade.

    In Ward's world, the parade is "hate speech" and not entitled to First Amendment protection. Now others have made decisions that likely stemmed from his expressions, which some found rather hateful. Perhaps some chickens have come home to roost.
    Update: Not that Quillen totally understands:
    [C]hurchill was denounced by every right-thinking opportunist in American public life. That outrage was rather selective, though. In essence, Churchill argued that the United States had allowed certain evils, and had thus got what was coming to it. That is also what the Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson claimed at the same time: America tolerated evil and justly suffered retribution.
    Pat 'n' Jerry, of course, aren't paid by the taxpayers to teach our yoof. Also, they got giant rashers of shit for their idiotic comments.

    Update II: Quillen is another of those columnists who thinks Ward's already been fired.

    Internet polls are always accurate

    The Post's David Harsanyi mocks Denver's doofus "Climate Action Plan" in today's column, which also includes a poll: "How significant a threat do you think global warming is?" Surprisingly, "Very significant," at 34.66 percent, is 18 hundredths of a point behind "Not significant at all" at 34.84 percent. Makes me feel warm all over. No, wait, that's because Denver got to 97 today, pulverizing the record high of 94 set in 1940. Now only nine of thirteen record high temps in Denver happened before 1955.

    Update: El Presidente points out that those records are for year-round averages, not summertime highs. I knew that.

    Recrate 68?

    KOA radio gink and Colorado Media Matters' favorite columnist Mike Rosen wrote Friday about would-be Democratic National Convention protesters Recreate68 and its leader (and Transform Columbus Day's token Italian), Glen Spagnuolo:

    The Recreate 68 Alliance is a collection of "progressives" (that's a leftist euphemism for ultra-liberal, connoting "progress" on the road to socialism) on whose Web site you'll find a clenched fist logo and all the standard Marxist cliches attacking American capitalism, materialism, imperialism and racism. . . .

    One of the protesters and organizers of Recreate 68 is Glenn Spagnuolo of Longmont. That name might be familiar. He's turned radical protesting into a career. A cheerleader for Ward Churchill, he's also a regular at anti-Columbus Day demonstrations, arrested in 2004 for blocking the parade route.

    Spagnuolo complains that demonstrators at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston (he was there, too) were confined to a restricted area where they couldn't sufficiently harass delegates. Good. Let's do that in Denver, too. He also claims that the 1968 Chicago convention only turned violent after the police attacked demonstrators. Baloney. Spagnuolo is still wet behind the ears. He wasn't even born in 1968. Yes, the police may have overreacted, but those radical demonstrators were hellbent on violence and did everything they could to provoke the cops, whom they routinely called "pigs" in those days.

    This was the era of the "Days of Rage," the Yippies, the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and the Weathermen. Turmoil, anarchy and riots were all part of their game plan. We've seen similar behavior at G-8 and World Trade Organization conferences in cities all over the world. Spagnuolo and his ilk are professional agitators. The last thing I want to do is give them the keys to our fair city.

    Our fair city. Game plan. Wet behind the ears. Rosen gets it, but he sure gives it back in cliches. Less work that way. I hear.

    Update: How the hell does one render "Recreate-68," anyway? The jerks themselves use "Re-Create 68" (including quotes) or R-68, but they're jerks. I've seen Recreate '68, Recreate 68, Re-create 68, Re-create '68, R68, and the way I've (mostly) rendered it, Recreate68! and R68! (the exclamation point adds pizzazz).

    Update II: The cheerleader is George W. Bush, who made time for the activity in between dodging service in Vietnam and keeping Hitler's brain moist and chewy.

    Update III: The origin of the word "pizzazz" is unknown. It's not in my 1939 Webster's at all, but it sounds like something Walter Winchell might have come up with (scroll down to "The Blessed Event Room."

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Saturday Night at the Radio

    All commie night! First, an episode of I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. This one's called "Jump to the Whip" (9-24-52). Sadly, hero Matt Cvetik's evil cell leader, "Comrade Ted," doesn't make an appearance.

    Next, an episode of The Adventures of Sam Spade, starring Howard Duff. The show itself has nothing to do with communism, though Spade's creator, Dashiell Hammett, of course, did, and Duff was named in Red Channels. This one's called "The Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail Caper."

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Weird Bird Friday

    Another weird bird rendition of Mr. & Mrs. Drunka. Only this time, we can't have a contest to guess which one is which, because the painted toenails give it away. (Mr. Drunka is the one with those, of course.)

    A relaxing Saturday night at the Drunka house


    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Thursday Night at the Radio!

    Another Suspense. Tonight, "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1-12-43). Very nice job, with Henry Hull as Pit Boy. One nasty skip of several seconds seven or eight minutes in.

    And how about another episode of the best hard-boiled simile-slinger around: Pat Novak: For Hire, with Jack Webb. This one's called "Ruben Callaway's Pictures" (3-13-49).

    Hellman (Novak's cop enemy): One guy's dead on Pier 19, another up here in your apartment. You're mixed up, Novak, there's a connection. I'll shop around till I strike it.

    Novak: You couldn't strike oil in a filling station. You got a double murder. Shop for a pair of people.

    Hellman: I'll shop far enough to get you, big shot! Far enough to see you fry!

    Novak: Well, you got the lard for it, Hellman.

    (smacking sounds)

    Hellman: If you keep your mouth shut now you can hold the blood in!

    I don't know why they both like shopping so much.

    The PBBBD

    Playing frisbee is hard and hot work for the aging (don't tell him I said that) Billy Bob. Before now I'd never caught the whole process on camera, but this is how he cools off: The Patented Billy Bob Butt Dip:

    Out in the water.

    Positioning is crucial.


    Butt dip! Ahhhhhhh!

    Bonus butt:

    P.S.: We still love you

    Pirate Ballerina has posted the CU Privilege and Tenure Committee's arguments for dismissing El Wardo. They are many and good, but for some reason the committee feels the need to include a familiar and sickening bit of special pleading:
    The issues here include allegations that Professor Churchill plagiarized, fabricated, and falsified facts related to Indian (Native American) history. This area of study is still in its infancy as compared to numerous disciplines and programs. The Academy is finally beginning to recognize Ethnic Studies and has started to legitimize and given [PB's sic] credence to research in this area. For many scholars in Ethnic Studies, publishing meant work appearing in what would be considered non-mainstream journals; today, evaluation of that type of scholarly work is beginning to be considered as valid research [my sic, this time]. . . .
    That last clause is simply gibberish, but the intent of the paragraph is clear: to reassure the notoriously insecure ethnic studians that their field isn't the load of crap it so manifestly is. Then it's back to sternity:
    Some scholars in Ethnic Studies may focus on rewriting historical ethnological data in search for "truth," but this does not support nor does it grant anyone the right to plagiarize, falsify, or fabricate evidence.
    Yep, "'truth.'"

    Update: Somewhere along the line in the de-churchillization process one committee or other very briefly discussed getting rid of the Ethnic Studies department, but I'm too lazy to hunt it down.


    Barbershop quartets to invade Denver--including one named Stormfront, er, Storm Front.

    Other local briefolos:

  • Danver and Blouder do well in another of those stupid city livability rankings magazines love to run. This one is from, which ranks the area number 2 (so to speak) in livability for "singles." Their paragraphal paean begins: "Denver will always be a mecca for skiers, but there's plenty to do in all seasons: listen to Jazz in City Park with the Rockies as a backdrop . . . . "

    Unfortunately, an article in the same edition of the News notes that:

    Denver resident Dana Alexander has crossed the City Park Jazz series off his family’s calendar this year. . . .

    During the first two weekends this month, gang activity tarnished the popular jazz series, a normally peaceful and family-friendly event.
  • Only in Colorado:

    Colorado's anti-abortion movement is in turmoil after Colorado Right to Life was dumped by its national organization Wednesday, in large part for attacking Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

    The booting of the organization, which was founded in the early 1970s - several years before National Right to Life - signals a deep philosophical rift in the movement. It's between those who believe abortion must be stopped all at once, which is the hard-line approach of Colorado Right to Life, and those who believe abortion will be overcome by making incremental changes in public beliefs and laws.

    They attacked Dobson for praising the Supreme Court's upholding of a ban on partial-birth abortion.

  • Study in worldviews: the News: "Fewer homeless on Denver streets"; the Post: "First-time homeless rise sharply."

  • Perv ex-judge:
    The laptop computer that former District Judge Larry Manzanares is charged with stealing contains the baffling contradictions that surround his fall from the city's power elite: jury instructions and legal documents stored along with numerous pornographic images and videos.
  • World's oldest pilot:
    When Cole Kugel was born, the Wright brothers were more than a year away from completing their historic first flight. Still, Kugel managed to squeeze in 78 years of flying before he died Monday at his Longmont home.

    Living 105 years gave Kugel plenty of time to pursue his passion for aviation, eventually landing him in the Guinness World Records book in 2001 with the title of oldest plane pilot. He was 99 at the time.
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Hippie school to close

    The Cincinnati Enquirer:

    Antioch College [school motto: "the Sangamon State of Ohio"--ed.] said Tuesday that it will close in 2008 because of a lack of money and will try to find enough funds to reopen four years later. Enrollment at the college, known for its offbeat approach to education and a history of social activism, has dwindled from more than 2,000 students in the 1960s to 400 this year, spokeswoman Linda Sirk said. . . .

    A small endowment [heh--ed.] and heavy dependence on tuition combined to hurt operations, said the college, which is about 60 miles northeast of Cincinnati in Greene County. . . .

    About 160 faculty and staff will lose positions when the school shuts down, said Mary Lou LaPierre, vice chancellor for university advancement.

    And for Ward Churchill, another hope for a teaching position is gone.

    The school also has been a fertile ground for social activism. Civil disobedience has been part of that, with anti-Vietnam war protests in the 1960s and '70s, and demonstrations against the Iraq war in recent years. In 1994, students took over a campus building for 32 days to protest the school's plans to turn it into an admissions office instead of a student-activity center.

    Tuesday, Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens, a 1971 Antioch graduate, recalled his time at the college, when the only three rules were: no cheating, no wearing bathing suits to the cafeteria and no sex on campus (a rule students successfully lobbied to have removed).

    Owens said his classmates were liberal and socially active and, above all, honorable. After some students were scolded for breaking windows in protest of the Vietnam War, subsequent vandalism came in the form of papers taped to intact windows noting that the window had been "officially broken." Another time, an anonymous artist was leaving a footprint in various places on campus, he said, and the bursar arrived one day to find that very footprint inside her safe - along with $38,000 that hadn't been touched.

    That's heavy. A couple of the comments are cute, too:
    I graduated in 93. I intentionally transferred to Antioch after 4 years at O.U. because of the co-op program and because of the reputation for social activism. “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” has been my personal motto. . . .
    Now it's my personal motto too! One more:
    Some of the [anti-Antioch] comments below are completely ignorant, and demonstrate, above all else, the same kind of xenophobia that is threatening our country today (i.e.: fear of the other or "Middle East" masked as a desire to spread "democracy," i.e. U.S. interests). Those who speak poorly of Antioch do not see the need to teach, from a radical stance, the importance of understanding institutional racism, fighting sexism and gender discrimination, and understanding the impact of globalization. To those of you who condemn the college for attempting to breach the hegemonic paradigm of protestant, capitalist, imperialist America: clutch your Bible tight, may you find your salvation in another life. This life, however, is for action, change, and revolution.
    Dare you to start counting the leftist cliches in that paragraph.