Friday, August 31, 2007

Leftist icon disappeared

The Maoist Internationalist Movement's print edition of its venerable (circa 1980?) MIM Notes has been liquidated.

Like the rest of mainstream or "legacy" media, MIM Notes apparently was hit hard by the rush of readers to the Internet (circulation figures for MN, of course, have always been a state secret). Compounding the problem, MIM Notes, unaccountably, accepted no advertising. Here's the Chair:
I have to report the indefinite suspension of paper MIM Notes. We are making efforts to regroup and resume publication upon completion of neglected tasks.

This announcement will also give others a chance to pick up the slack if they so desire, to publish their own papers.

At the same time, I should report that Prisons Ministry [Ministry? Puh-lease] work has picked up the pace in recent months. If MIM is an ant, then we walk on the prisons leg and the Internet leg, but not the paper ones at the moment. So we have much unevenness and disruption.
Unevenness and disruption? Say it ain't so, Deng Ho!

It's really a bummer, though. I've had lots of fun with MIM over the last couple of years, and I hate to see capitalism grind them down.*

All that's left, then, is to quote one of (paper) MIM Notes' biggest fans in eulogy:

"[T]he Maoist International Movement have used their weekly papers to advance some of the best analysis of my case and its implications yet published"--Ward Churchill.

Goodbye, li'l revolutionary stick figure!

* Hee.

(via PB, who unworthily wonders if Mumsy cut off someone's allowance. If so, it has to be Security Minister. His mom's mean.)

Update: Post edited to reflect that only paper MIM Notes is being killed. The online version will, allegedly, continue.

Please redact me, let me go

Pirate Ballerina has received ("in the mail," he says mysteriously) an account of the 1994 "assassination plot" against Ward Churchill which blames the FBIiiiii--not, as AIMsters have claimed, the Denver Police Department--for failing to warn Ward and his pals of the supposed plot. I think it might have something to do with Ward's previously rocky relations with the FBI, don't you? A scene limps to mind:
FBI Offices, 1100 Zimbalist Avenue N.W., Washington. FBI Commodore-Detective Joe Efrem is addressing a room of FBIiiiii agents:

Commodore-Detective Efrem (gravely): Gentlemen, we have just received word from the Denver Police Department Bureau of Intelligence that there is a threat against the life of Professor Ward Churchill.

Agents: Hubbub! Hubbub!

Efrem: Men, one of us will have to warn Professor Churchill.

Agents: Murmur! Murmur!

Efrem: Any volunteers?

Agents: (Silence.)

Efrem: Gentlemen . . . ah, the hell with it.

Nifong testifies in contempt hearing

Duke Lacrosse Case prosecutor Mike Nifong was on the stand this morning in his contempt hearing. I caught a little of it. What a horrible man, as my mother would say: shifting blame, minimizing, pleading ignorance, repeatedly calling the utterly discredited accuser a "victim"--unbelievable. No shame.

KC Johnson live-blogged this morning's session (and yesterday's, including the testimony of the case's hero, the heroically named Brad Bannon). Here's his live-blog of Nifong's testimony (and for those who just want a summary, here's just a summary).

Colorado edumacation notes

  • Ever heard of "Challenge Day"? They just had one for Denver Public School students:

    Wadded-up tissues littered Rishel Middle School's gym floor as tough teenagers sobbed, hugged their peers and told gut-wrenching stories about their lives during an all-day session intended to break down barriers.

    All day.

    One 13-year-old said he was abandoned by his parents and that he lies awake at night scared by sounds of gunshots outside his window.

    A 15-year-old girl talked about attempting suicide and urged anyone with similar thoughts to reach out for help.

    And a teacher tearfully warned students about their actions by revealing he was a bully when he was younger - until the person he tormented tried to kill himself. . . .

    The confessions were shared Wednesday as part of "Challenge Day," a nationally recognized anti-bullying program that travels to schools around the country.

    The program, which was featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," was brought to Denver Public Schools this week as part of the district's mission to change cultures inside the schools. Sessions were held at Rishel and the Denver School of the Arts.

    Well, if it was featured on Oprah . . .

  • Go what power?

    Angelina Sierra-Sandoval loves going to Holy Family High School, just like her mom did 17 years ago.

    But the sophomore was stunned this week when her Spanish II class turned into a heated discussion about Mexican immigrants, with at least one classmate blurting out, "White Power!" two or three times. The incident came at the outset of class Tuesday, when one student complained about having to learn Spanish. Sierra-Sandoval said the teacher responded that it could be a useful job skill to be bilingual. . . .

    Sierra-Sandoval said one student joked that maybe they should move to Canada since Mexicans were taking over the United States.

    That's when another student yelled, "Go White Power!" the girl said.

    Go White Power!, with initial caps. Oprah, come quickly! Denver needs you!

  • "Valedictorian sues over 'Jesus speech' reprimand":

    As she stepped to the microphone for her commencement speech last spring, Erica Corder knew that what she was about to say might ruffle some feathers. . . .

    "I really felt God calling me to do this," Corder said Thursday. "My top priority is obeying God."

    So Erica Corder thanked all the teachers, parents and peers in the crowd for their encouragement throughout the years.

    Then, deviating from the 30-second speech that had been approved by the principal, she began speaking about "someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine."

    "His name is Jesus Christ," Corder said. "If you don't already know him personally, I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice he made for you."

    The controversy was immediate. Parents and students - including some of her fellow valedictorians - complained that Corder had been proselytizing and that her comments were inappropriate. She also took heat from school officials for deviating from the approved script.

    Before she was granted her diploma, Corder was required to apologize in an e-mail to the entire school community.

    Now Corder is fighting back.


  • Springs school bans tag:
    An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

    "It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal of the Discovery Canyon Campus school.

    Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other, she said.
    Oooooooooooo--the Drunkablog collapses, dies, begins to rot, smell bad(der). Dogs eat his face.

  • Update: El Presidente has more on the "White Power" (don't forget the caps!) incident.

    Update II: Meet Jesus! (Warning: scary Jesus.).

    Poetry Corner

    The putrid but popular (among leftists) Mickey Z exposes his poetic sensibility:
    I know I’ve said this before but I think it bears repeating: To me, the following quote reads like a that’s how I present it:

    You’ve got to learn
    that when you push people around,
    some people push back.
    As they should.
    As they must.
    And as they undoubtedly will.
    There is justice in such symmetry.
    Yep, he's quoting the Elizabeth Barrett Browning of America-haters, Ward Churchill.


    A letter to the the Silver & Gold Record from one "George Walker" of Denver concludes:
    If Hank Brown truly believed in openness and accountability, when the regents fired Professor Churchill, the University Memorial Center would not have been surrounded by a grossly excessive number of security to make sure that students, staff, faculty and the public did not get a chance to exercise their First Amendment rights before the CU Board of Regents.
    Grossly excessive? I don't think so. Maybe in comparison to the pitiful number of protesters who showed up.

    Weird Bird Friday

    This week's weird bird is officially weird, as it was listed on the "25 World's Weirdest Animals" website. It is the Shoebill, named for... well, that's rather obvious isn't it?

    Here's one looking rather shy and sly.

    by Doug Janson

    And another looking a bit more jolly.

    From 25 Weirdest Animals.

    Here are my favorites in the categories of happiest and most morose. And as an extra bonus, the one that looks most like Drunkablog and most like Drunkawife. The main difference is that I have (slightly) more hair.

    Thanks to Caz who sent the link to 25 Weirdest to Drunkahusband while I was off "focusing on nothing" in the mountains.


    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Creepy liars

    A letter to the Post from Recreate68! "organizing committee member" Mark Cohen protests columnist David Harsanyi's characterization of the group yesterday:

    David Harsanyi claims that the name Re-create 68 "is a reference to the violent 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago," and that "anyone with even a passing historical acquaintance with 1968 knows very well the group's name implies violence."

    But our name is not "Re-create Chicago 68" or "DNC 68." What we want to re-create is the spirit of mass political participation of that year: a massive anti-war movement that opposed the violence of Vietnam; the optimism of the McCarthy and Kennedy campaigns that brought millions of young people into the political process; and the opening of opportunities for African-Americans, Latinos and women that could hardly have been dreamt of 10 years before. We want the democracy that the Bush administration claims to be exporting to become a reality here at home, as it promised to be and briefly was during the movements of the '60s.
    Oh, bullshit (from, of course, R68!'s website).

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Craig questions

    This probably betrays an embarrassing naiveté on the Drunkablog's part, but after Idaho Senator Larry "shake hands, pard" Craig stared through a crack into the undercover cop's restroom stall; after Senator Larry Craig tapped his foot and the cop answered by moving his (no doubt suggestively) "up and down"; and after Senator Craig waved at the officer from the next stall ("you-hoo!"), what was supposed to happen? Would one guy join the other? That seems rather risky. Would they reach underneath the stall divider? To do what? And whatever it was, wouldn't it require extraordinarily long arms? Or would they sit or kneel on the floor? Too gross to contemplate.

    Maybe the foot-tapping is code! "Meet me at the Holiday Inn Express, room 620. Bring cold cuts. And a six-pack. Not domestic."

    Wednesday Night at the Radio!

    Oh, mama. Pat Novak: For Hire. This one's called "Rory Malone" (20 March 1949), as if it mattered. The show was basically an excuse for Jack Webb to show off his amazing writing. Novak, describing the requisite babe:
    She was a lovely girl, the sort of person you'd expect to see in a choir loft--about three hours after choir practice. Her hair was red, her eyes were cold as rigor mortis. And you knew the first time you met her that you'd been seeing her too often.
    You won't believe the next few lines. They talk boners. On national radio. In 1949.

    Great sound, too. And Raymond Burr as Hellman.

    Violence-threatening idiots dissed (again)

    The Post's David Harsanyi on the egregious Recreate68!:
    While many of you have a tendency to romanticize the '60s, clearly, there are certain events no one wants to relive: Vietnam. Assassinations. Abbie Hoffman.
    [Update: "Many of you." That's great. Have to admit to once suffering from the disease myself.]
    This 2008 Democratic convention is beginning to shape up to be a royal pain. It has nothing to do with the Democrats - a peace-loving bunch - but rather those fringe groups demanding that the city capitulate to their whims.

    The outfit making the most noise has been Re-create 68. The "68," is a reference to the violent 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. This group has a call out to "all the grassroots people who are tired of being sold out by the Democratic Party."

    Power to the people!

    Right arm! And farm out! Required graf:

    Re-create 68 claims to be anti-war, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, and though all of it is framed in boilerplate freshman-year Marxist inanity, like any other group they deserve all the protections provided by the First Amendment.

    That out of the way, Harsanyi gets to the point:

    But they don't deserve exclusive perks.

    So it's been irritating watching Re-create 68 members constantly in "talks" with the mayor's office, or the Denver Police Department and even federal officials. Is their cause any nobler than any other protester in this city for the past 30 years? Or has the implicit threat of violence moved elected officials to take meetings?

    Read the whole thing. As the Drunkablog has noted before, though, the threat of violence isn't always merely "implicit" when R68!'s peerless leader and Wart Churchill pal Glenn Spagnuolo is talking.

    It just might work. . .

    Over at PB, Jim Paine makes a proposal to ensure transparency, as the cant word has it, in academia:

    Require all publicly-employed educators, tenured, full-time, part-time—all publicly-employed educators—to post on the internet, accessible to all:

    1. Their curricula vitae (with only home address and phone numbers redacted/omitted);

    2. The syllabuses of the various classes they teach; and

    3. Their assigned reading lists for those classes.

    Simple, easy, effective. It'll never happen.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Tribune: Finkelstein classes cancelled

    The Chicago Tribune (whom the Drunkablog beat scoop-wise by a whole day) on the cancellation of Norman Finkelstein's fall classes at DePaul:
    The required reading was at the bookstore, the students had the course syllabus, and space in Political Science 235, "Equality in Social Justice," was standing-room only when DePaul University pulled the plug Friday on what was to have been Norman Finkelstein's final year at the school.
    Pulled the plug. It's in the headline, too.

    By Monday, the books for his course had been pulled from the DePaul bookstore's shelves, while his case was restarting a firestorm of protest. The American Association of University Professors was preparing a letter to the university, protesting Finkelstein's treatment as a serious violation of
    academic ethics. . . .

    And more fun's a'comin':

    Finkelstein vowed not to take the rebuff lying down—or, perhaps more correctly, to do something just like that. In addition to canceling his course, the university informed him that his office was no longer his.

    "I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience," Finkelstein, 53, said in a telephone interview. "If arrested, I'll go on a hunger strike. If released, I'll do it all over again. I'll fast in jail for as long as it takes."

    A tactic Ward Churchill wouldn't consider for one horrified second. In the interests of solidarity, though, maybe Fink could use some drummers (stolen from PB; I think EP from SP actually took the pic). The Tribune notes:
    According to the norms of academia, a professor denied tenure has the right to a final year of teaching at the university that turns him down. The watchdog of those rights is the American Association of University Professors, the umbrella organization of college teachers, which can censure a school found in violation of its ground rules. Such a finding also can be the preliminary to a lawsuit against the university by the faculty member.
    But remarkably, the paper has only this to say about why Finkelstein's "terminal year" classes [notice it's no longer just the fall quarter] were cancelled:
    DePaul officials declined to comment on the case. Denise Mattson, associate vice president for public affairs, said: "Finkelstein has been assigned to an administrative leave with full pay and benefits for the 2007-08 academic year. Administrative leave relieves professors from their teaching responsibilities. He was informed of the reasons that precipitated this leave last spring."
    Apparently Tribune reporter Ron Grossman is unaware of Normie's website, or of Dissident Voice, both of which provide the (probable) reason for the cancellation of Norm's classes: the physical(ish) confrontation between Finkelstein and DePaul Dean of Arts and Sciences Chuck Suchar after Finkie was denied tenure in June. Finkelstein says Suchar kept repeating "fuck you, fuck you" (academics: such refined folk), but what did Finkie say to Suchar? Bet it was nasty--even, perhaps, a smidge threatening.

    Unlike Churchill, though, Finkelstein says he doesn't intend to sue:

    Finkelstein said that, rather than filing a lawsuit, he intends to fight the university's action with a hunger strike, and the attendant publicity."

    In the court of public opinion, I can win," Finkelstein said. "I say: 'Let the people judge.'"

    He won't get the verdict he wants from them, either.

    Update: Norm Finkelstein, Menace II Society.

    Update II: Marathon Pundit:

    DePaul needs to explain what the hell is going on at DePaul. If Finkelstein was given the heave-ho right after he his tenure request was denied, how did one of his classes--or more--end up in the school's course catalog.

    Update III: The revered hippie-educator Peter Kirstein has stuff, including a link to the DePaul Law School blog.

    Churchill: I might return

    In a rehash of the Ward Churchill firing for the new school year, CU's Campus Press quotes the ex-professor:
    Churchill had some advice for CU students and challenged them to bring him to campus as a speaker or for a public debate.

    "I would be more than willing to have a public debate with David Horowitz or even Hank Brown," Churchill said. "Students should be aware of the facts. And they should not rely on only the facts given to them by Hank Brown."

    If the lawsuit's outcome would allow his reinstatement as a professor at CU, Churchill said he might come back to work.

    "I would consider and feel that I am entitled to work at the university again," he said.
    The paper also asked some students what they thought of the case. Best response: "From what I've been told it seems like he deserved to be fired, but I also think Churchill experienced a bad run of luck."

    Update: Pirate Ballerina links to the World Socialist Web Site, which craps on about Ward in the usual manner.

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    DePaul cancels Finkelstein's fall classes

    Tenure-denied DePaul University professor Norman Finkelstein won't be teaching classes this quarter--the beginning of his "terminal year"--after a confrontation in June with Charles Suchar, dean of DePaul's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. According to Dissident Voice:

    On Friday, August 24th, it was learned that DePaul’s University has decided to cancel Professor Norman G. Finkelstein’s classes for the autumn quarter. Finkelstein was scheduled to teach two undergraduate courses in the political science department, one called “Freedom and Empowerment” and the other called “Justice and Social Equality”.
    Great lead. Farther down, DV explains:
    In a previous article, I documented that Finkelstein simply confronted Dean “Chuck” Suchar outside of 990 Fullerton on June 14th after the special LA&S emergency meeting [hey, they had an emergency meeting, too!] devoted to discussing the procedural and academic freedom violations in the Finkelstein and Larudee cases. . . . Suchar apparently alleged that he felt harassed by Finkelstein, calling for the administration to issue a restraining order against his colleague. . . .
    Couldn't find this incident recounted anywhere reputable. DV continues:

    Finkelstein is being thrown out of his office and might not even have access to office space this coming academic year at DePaul. Naturally, DePaul students are outraged and are demanding a serious explanation from Dean Suchar and other DePaul administrative officers.

    But apparently DePaul administrators are trying to think up a good joke:
    Not expecting a serious answer from the administration, while anticipating wider assaults against critical thinking and dissent [oh, yeah--ed.], the students are planning an academic freedom conference at the University of Chicago for October 12th. The conference’s keynote speakers are Noam Chomsky (MIT), John Mearsheimer (Univ. of Chicago), Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia), Neve Gordon (Ben-Gurion University, Israel), and Tariq Ali (Verso Books). See here.
    A likely bunch.

    Update: The DePaul Defend Academic Freedom Committee has a press release.

    Update II: I always call it Dissident Voices instead of Dissident Voice, which, after all, is what the rag is named. Fixilated.

    Where's Ward?

    The Post:
    A freshman was slashed in the throat on the University of Colorado campus today by an incoherent man who then began stabbing himself, school officials said.

    The student underwent surgery and was "holding his own," university spokesman Bronson Hilliard said. The suspect, a middle-aged man, was arrested and hospitalized with serious stab wounds, the university said.
    Update: the Post has added the suspect's identity. Not Ward.

    Update II: the News has much more about the assailant, who's nuts.

    Update III: Classes started just today, and a commenter at the Post notes, "geez, what a sucky first day at college."

    Readers agree!

    The unquestionably nonpartisan American Conservative Daily polled its readers on "whether or not you agreed with the idea that Ward Churchill’s first amendment rights were violated by his being fired from the University of Colorado for gross incompetence, plagiarism, lying and so on." Amazingly they found that "92% said that they disagreed with this assertion (87% strongly so) while we had the typical cadre of constitutional illiterates who agreed; just 8% of all respondents."

    And so on.

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    DNC detail

    Der Post:
    The Democratic National Convention is expected to bring in cash, national attention and big shots to Denver, but it also may bring a change for the city's students.

    Denver Public Schools is considering delaying the start of school next year until after the Pepsi Center convention, which is Aug. 25-28.

    That would mean school would start after Labor Day for the first time since the 2000-01 school year.

    "We have 37 schools within a 2-mile radius of the convention center," said Joseph Sandoval, DPS's executive director for educational services.

    Likely traffic problems, potential security issues and the fact that staffers and students may want to be involved in the convention are driving the possible change to the schedule.
    Update: More DNC frolics:

    Florida Democrats would forfeit their votes in selecting a presidential nominee unless they delay their state election by at least a week, the national party said in a stern action Saturday meant to discourage others from leapfrogging ahead to earlier dates.
    Of course:
    Elected officials in Florida have said they would consider legal action and a protest at the convention if the national party barred the state’s delegates.

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Saturday Night at the Radio!

    An episode of the gently witty The Halls of Ivy. This one's called "Stolen First Edition" (14 June 1950).

    And a Vic and Sade: "Ritual Dinner Ceremony Honoring Exalted Big Dipper" (12 May 1941). This is a good one, with a small piece of the "Latin" spoken in Vic's lodge: In hoc spittle dum cluc nomenclature
    . . .

    Order at once! Don't make Mumia mad!

    It's that time again! Time to order your Certain Days Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar! This year's theme--The Legacy of the Black Panthers. The friends of Peltier blog has the deets:

    Featuring Herman Bell, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Laura Whitehorn, Gord HIll, Joy James, Safiya Bukhari, Emory Douglas, Daniel McGowan, Ward Churchill, Tom Manning, Ashanti Alston, George Katsifiacas [actually spelled Katsiaficas], David Gilbert, Carlos Cortez, Noam Chomsky, Soffiyah Elijah and more! The 2008 calendars are back from the printers NOW and ready for you! This important project is a great fundraiser for YOUR groups, as well as for the San Francisco 8! [my links].
    I'd pay to see Noam Chomsky in a bikini. Once.

    Update: Wonder if the Boy Scouts . . . naaaah.

    Update II: Certain Days. Sounds like a brand of tampon.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Friday Night Evil Weenies!

    For some reason I got a google alert linking to this audio of Ward Churchill and "eco-luddite" Derrick Jensen at a college appearance. It's labeled "new show," but it's from 2004 and even the Drunkablog linked to it months ago (the links at "Derrick" and "Jensen"). But it's a nearly pure example of the twisted logic, the intellectual arrogance, the nihilism disguised as idealism these pukes feed to students--and how eagerly the students lap it up--and so worth linking to again, IMIO (in my infallible opinion).

    Notice, by the way, that Ward says Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1940. Nobody corrects him.

    Update: Let's all watch Democracy Now instead of South Park.

    Friday Night at the Radio!

    Gunsmoke. Such a smart show. This one's called "Shakespeare" (23 August 1952).

    Weird Bird Friday!

    You know it's a jgm production this week because a) it's late; and b) I always use an exclamation point in the title (to denote excitement!)!

    The D-a-W is in the mountains somewhere camping and meditating with the other Zen freaks [update: er, students]. Even people who spend their time focusing on nothing need a change now and then.

    This week's weird bird is via the non-profit Community Energy Systems of--I don't know exactly where. Springfield, central Illinois, around in there.

    Actually it's from "dougnic," who runs the Energy Tough Love Blog for the .org and whom old-timey D-blog readers will remember as occasional commenter "dougie." CES wants to bend your ear about energy use, then use the energy released by your ear snapping back into shape to power their offices. It's all about renewability, Flopsy.

    This pic was taken at the Illinois State Fair at an energy conservation display:

    The bird (don't know what make or model) is weird because it's dead. Up close and personal:

    It's mounted up there to show the danger (see sign lower right) of high voltage. dougnic sez: "Yes it is a dead bird. Not merely resting."

    Of course.

    Update: Forgot to mention that JS over at Dissident News has a "New York Friday" post up with many nice pictures of (duh) New York City. Intro:
    Pictures of my trip to work this morning across the Manhattan Bridge. I decided to take the Manhattan Bridge instead of the Brooklyn Bridge because I hate dealing with the tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge who are constantly stepping in front of one's bike. I also like the gritty urban Flash Dancer feel to the bike trip.
    He's thinking of making this a regular feature. He should.

    Update II: In his post Dougnic calls me an "avid environmentalist." If by that he means a kid who saw Deliverance and thought, to paraphrase another friend, "I've got to do that" (canoe a river, not be ravaged by filthy toothless hillbillies), then he's right. If by it he means somebody who, you know, knows anything about the environment--any environment--then, sadly, no.

    Ex-professor to speak

    Mark your calendar: Ward Churchill will be at Virginia Commonwealth University September 7 for "From a Native Son: Conquest and Colonization in the Americas: An Evening with Ward Churchill." Here's how the VCU University Student Commons and Activities, which is sponsoring the free event, describes Wart:
    Ward Churchill is a prolific author and former professor of ethnic studies and coordinator of American Indian Studies Program at the University of Colorado. Professor Churchill (Keetoowah Band Cherokee) is one of the most outspoken Native American activists and scholars in North America and a leading analyst of indigenous issues.
    "Former professor." At least they got that right.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Thursday Night at the Radio!

    Thousands of requests (well, one) for I Was a Communist for the FBI. This one is called "Squeeze Play" (3 September 1952).

    And it's been a little bit since I've played Information Please. This one has the usuals (John Keiran, Oscar Levant, Franklin P. Adams) with Clare Booth (no Luce) as guest (1 October 1940).

    Marbury: dog-fighting a sport, Vick "good human being"


    New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick, calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting.

    "I think it's tough," Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind
    closed doors.". . .

    "I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down," Marbury said. "I think he's one of the superb athletes, and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation."

    Now that's dumb. Best comment: "I agree...Dog fighting should be in the Olympics."

    Old plot to assassinate Churchill alleged

    Brenda Norrell at the blog "Censored" recalls the days of the "Denver Spy Files":
    It was called the “new McCarthyism” by the editors who would print those stories, before the ACLU filed lawsuits in Denver and across the nation.

    Navajo Times was among the first to print the articles that I wrote in October of 2002. Glenn Morris, professor, AIM member and Columbus Day protest organizer said, “It seems that Indians, and Colorado AIM in particular, have been targeted in the ‘spy files.’”

    Morris was targeted, along with Russell Means, Vine Deloria, Jr., Wilma Mankiller, Winona LaDuke, John Echohawk, John Mohawk, George "Tink" Tinker, Wallace Coffey, Ward Churchill, Dennis Banks, the Leonard Peltier Support Group, Big Mountain Support Group, Colorado AIM, and Indian staff and attorneys at the Native American Rights Fund.“This is the Indian equivalent of having a police spy database in the Black community that consisted of files on WEB DuBois, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood Marshall, Jesse Jackson, NAACP, the Black Panthers, Cornell West, John Hope Franklin and Angela Davis, all at the same time,” Morris said.
    Thurgood Marshall and Angela Davis, together at last! Anyway, amid much other verbiage and finger-wagging is this little nugget:
    Law enforcement knew of a plot to assassinate Ward Churchill, but never told him.
    Never heard that one before. No details, either, but why does the name "Bellecourt" come to mind?

    More Wardishness: IntelligentaIndigena crows over "winning" a "Thinking Blogger Award" from the Existentialist Cowboy (not pretentious, are they?), whose remarkably unintelligent post about Ward was mocked here not long ago.

    Part of winning the award is naming five other "thinking" bloggers. Among II's five is the Try-Works, which, according to II, is "Still sticking it to the Colorado corporate media machine, via lefty invective . . . "

    Actually, Indigena, the Try-Works' Benjie Whitmer spends most of his time obsessing about your darling Drunkablog. In fact, he's still in a snit because I refused to shake his lying, moronically slanderous, shit-under-the-fingernails hand at the disastrous National! Emergency! Forum! to drum up support for Ward last April. I'd rather kiss a rotting corpse, naturally, but he seems to think this was some great breach of etiquette. Benjie's insane, you understand.

    The "Thinking Blogger" award, incidentally, comes with a button proclaiming one's having won the thing. Think Benjie will put it in the Try-Works' sidebar?

    Update: Brenda Norrell, who mentions the Ward Churchill "assassination plot," is "southwest staff reporter" for Indian Country Today (which for some reason disallows linkaging). I could find no mention of the plot in her previous writings there (though admittedly they only go back to 2004; the spy files revelations came in 2002). Can't find anything on the interwebs, either. I'll leave a comment over there asking her to back it up.

    Update II: PB notes in comments that Churchill frau Natsu Saito (or someone using her name) made the same allegation of a plot against Churchill last year in a note to "ethnic studies folk." (Note to self: always check PB.) Pertinent paragraph from Natsu:
    This group ["National" AIM] has spent considerable energy attacking Colorado AIM. Recently released intelligence files reveal an the Denver Police [sic] were informed by the FBI in 1995 of a plan by unnamed individuals from Minneapolis to assassinate Colorado AIM leaders Ward Churchill and Glenn Morris and wound Russell Means.
    One wouldn't expect Natsu to provide any evidence, and she doesn't. But Norrell is a reporter for a real newspaper, and even though she didn't make it at ICT, she still, as a reporter, should back up her claim. Documents, please.

    Update II: Sure would like to know how they planned on doing Chutch in. Gun? Knife? Making him run half a block?

    More Churchill: A home-schooled kid's blog called, bluntly, "Blog about Kirsten," posts Pirate Ballerina's July 26 post on Ward Churchill's firing with no link and no attribution. So that's how blogging works.

    Lefty blogger Hullabaloo points to a lunatic piece calling for George W. Bush to be made president-for-life. Wardo has a cameo appearance, and, hoax or not, the Bush-for-dictator piece is pretty funny.

    Update III: PB has the pertinent quote from Denver Police files (they're online?) on the supposed plot to assassinate Ward. Only Glenn Morris is mentioned by name, with another name, probably Ward's, redacted. PB asks an interesting question about that: "incidentally, aren't informants' names regularly redacted in these reports, you know, to protect their cover?"

    He's trying to bad-jacket Wardo, man.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    More Churchillian cheatery

    Everything Wardo touches turns to lies. PB has the latest. Actually he had it about ten hours ago, but I've been busy.

    Summer fun in the Democrat sun

    The Drunkablog ventured down to the Pepsi Center today to witness Dem National Committee Chairpersyn Howard Dean's appearance at a "one-year-out" rally, marking one year until the Democrats nominate the "next president" here in this busty old canktown.

    Some pics of the excitement:

    Foreground space for white-ticket holders (rabble) filled before rally began; inside the barriers were press and cameras and VIP Dems of various sorts. Entrance required a red ticket.

    Unfortunately, the Drunkablog had no ticket, of any color. Luckily, he can still spot the open lane:

    And suddenly he was on the other side of the barrier. Hi, ma:

    See the guy farthest left on the platform? Wonder what he's looking at? Probably just checking out people's campaign buttons.

    Like this Hillary button I spotted.

    The DNC had videographers interviewing "youth" and "activists" and "old people" and "struggling families" all over the place:

    There was style:

    Men in touch with their manliness:

    And women in touch with their--whatever it is they get in touch with:

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah!"

    Of course, before the pols we had to endure opening acts. This singing duo (I didn't catch their names) was from the Labyrinth Art Academy (reaching out to underserved Youth):

    They sang the Mar-stankled Banger (c+), some putrid ditty called Umbrella--"ella ella, a, a, a" (f), and America the Beautiful (b-). They had, I think somebody said, recently participated in a play about homelessness.

    Okay, the dudes, introduced by the Stones' should-be-taken-out-and-shot Start Me Up:

    Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper: the Dems will have "the greenest and most inclusive convention in history." Democrats are "pro-business, pro-environment" (Recreate68! will probably disband in happiness after hearing that).

    Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter: What a place! (i.e., Colorado). Yep, we're pro-business and pro-green all right!

    And still the only specific green proposal I've heard is the now near-mythical Vail Resorts recycled lanyard.

    Finally! Howie!

    Yeeearr--oh, can it, dipshit. If Hick's tie is red, what color is Dean's? That's right: pink.

    I'll just take the good Howie quotes from the Rocky and Post. Post first:
    Saying that "any Democrat is better than any Republican running," Dean outlined what he called clear differences between the parties.
    And the Rocky:

    Dean also criticized Republicans for a "culture of corruption," alluding to ethical scandals that plagued national Republican lawmakers in the months before the 2006 elections.

    I thought since the Dems took Congress it was ix-nay on the orruption-kay, but Dean used the phrase several times. One more:

    "Every single one of the Republicans running for president thinks we ought to stay in Iraq, maybe for as long as 50 years," said Dean. "Every Democrat thinks we ought not to be there."
    With "minor differences" among them, Dean added, though the Rocky didn't.

    So there you go. Oh, El Presidente of Slapstick Politics was there too, though back among the rabble. But he got the three amigos on vid so you can hear and see them almost as if--you. were. there. EP also, as we left, made an astute comment on my unenthusiastic response to the rally: "At least nobody called you a pedophile."

    I'll take it.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Didn't even break a sweat

    At American Thinker, Randall Hoven comes up with another 21 incidents of scholarly or journalistic malfeasance to add to his original 62, including should-be two-time loser
    7. CBS, Dan Rather, The Wall Within (1988). Fell for hoax, liars. This documentary had Dan Rather interviewing six Viet Nam veterans who told stories of slaughter, cruelty and the horrors of war. "You're telling me that you went into the village, killed people, burned part of the village, then made it appear that the other side had done this?" Rather asked. "Yeah. It was kill VC, and I was good at what I did." It turned out that five of the six were never in the service at all, and the sixth, who claimed to be a Navy SEAL, was an equipment repairman and never near combat.
    And how could we forget:
    14. New Orleans Times-Picayune The New Orleans Times-Picayune and many other newspapers reported rumors, hoaxes and lies [about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina]. The NOTP came clean and critiqued itself and others who "... described inflated body counts, unverified ‘rapes', and unconfirmed sniper attacks as among examples of ‘scores of myths about the dome and Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials'." Also see Popular Mechanics for a refutation of Katrina myths.
    There's one I came up with Hoven still hasn't mentioned: Thom Beal, assistant editorial page editor of the Rocky Mountain News: Plagiarism, er, "duplicated wording."

    Update: Originally I had Micah Wright as the second example from Hoven's new list, but that was two military fakers and I wanted variety, of which there is plenty.

    Lackey mocked

    Pirate Ballerina links to Try-Works (God bless 'em), where CU instructor and sociopath-about-town Benjie Whitmer posts a speech he says he intended to deliver at the regents' meeting when they fired Professor Ward Churchill last month. Among other declarations of undying fealty, Benjie promises to teach his American Indian film class in the spirit of his master--not only using Churchill's books and teaching his claptrap radicalism, but giving every student an "A." (Benjie, you'll remember, gives only two-thirds of his students "A's.")

    Anyway, Benjie lays it on with a crap scraper (if such a tool exists). The comments at PB dissing both Wart and his li'l pup are much more entertaining.

    Update: Just a hunk of "CU Phd Anthro"'s comment on Benjie's master plan:
    Must be difficult to teach a class when you lack originality and insight into the material. Any class that is "film" and not in the Art or Theater department, is generally known as an "underwater basketweaving class" (that is one anyone can pass). Bet he gives out 95% or more "A" grades.
    Update II: PB might have done this long ago, and it's wonderfully moot now, but I counted up the "good" versus "poor" quality ratings for Ward at Rate My Professor, and got 39 students calling Churchill "poor" to 13 rating him "good," with seven or eight "average"s thrown in.

    Update III: By the way, judging from his photo at Rate My Professor, Ward has cut his hair and dumped a ton of weight.

    "Why colleges are becoming anti-American"

    In Investor's Business Daily, Thomas L. Krannawitter, an assistant professor of political science at conservative Hillsdale College, takes a whack at it:

    The keystone of multiculturalism is the hypothesis that what ordinary people believe is "true" is nothing but their own cultural prejudice. The real test of multicultural
    education is whether one has freed one's mind from the trappings of one's culture — especially if one's culture happens to be, like American culture, more powerful and prosperous than others.

    Celebrating foreign cultures and rejecting America are two sides of the same multicultural coin; it is the way American multiculturalists demonstrate their own multicultural sophistication to each other. From their perspective, the most anti-American Americans are the most educated Americans.

    And dings David Horowitz for conceding the multiculturalists' main point:

    Some conservatives, David Horowitz most notably, oppose the prevailing multiculturalism of our schools by pushing for an "academic bill of rights" to ensure greater "intellectual diversity" and thereby remove politics from education. But in his emphasis on "diversity," Horowitz concedes the most important ground to the multiculturalists.

    Horowitz wants to break up the monopoly liberals have on academics today, and I applaud him for that. But his complaints ring hollow unless he can defend the principles that conservatives want to conserve as true, something he seems reluctant to do. If all political ideologies are equally irrational and therefore equally untrue, then why does it matter if students are exposed to one irrational prejudice or a "diversity" of prejudices?

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    National Day of Prayer scheduled


    Eleven extras have been injured after falling off a truck on the German set of Tom Cruise's latest movie, Valkyrie.

    One man was seriously injured in the accident, which happened when the side of the vehicle burst open as it drove around a corner, Berlin police said.

    The other 10 were treated in hospital but later released. Police said there were "no findings to suggest anyone famous was involved".
    Oh, thank God!

    Of course, this is just an excuse to post a picture of Tom Cruise in a saucy little nazi costume:

    Earlier Tommy posts here and here and here and here (yes, I'm shocked too).

    Demise of a "Boot Camp for the Revolution"

    Ralph Keyes, an alumnus of Antioch College, describes its downfall:

    The Antioch Muriel and I returned to [in the 80s] did not emphasize . . . open inquiry. The assumed endpoint was always to one’s left. As a result, Antioch’s emphasis had gone from searching for the truth to propagating the truth, from asking questions to teaching answers. One alum told me of asking a women’s-studies professor at Antioch if she ever assigned Camille Paglia. The professor recoiled, saying “I wouldn’t!” Why not? “Because she’s the enemy.”

    In promotional pieces, Antioch billed itself as a “progressive” institution. Accepted applicants were invited to share notes on an online message board called “Radical Chat.” Inevitably Antioch’s appeal narrowed to an increasingly esoteric group of progressive-alternative students. When a longtime history professor reminded colleagues that Antioch was a college, not a “boot camp for the revolution,” students began wearing Boot Camp for the Revolution T-shirts. Eventually this became a campus credo. . . .

    Antioch’s indifference to outside concerns could be seen in the commencement speakers invited by graduating seniors. Those speakers included the convicted police murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal (attracting hundreds of demonstrators, including current and former police officers, as well as widows of slain officers), the former Black Panther Bobby Seale, and — until the interim president intervened — the poseur-professor Ward Churchill. Antioch’s commencement speaker this year was Cynthia McKinney, the former congresswoman best known for wondering aloud if members of the Bush administration had advance knowledge of 9/11 and for slugging a U.S. Capitol police officer.

    Read whole thing.

    Who told them?

    The Fredericksburg (VA) Free Lance-Star finally gets the word: "Professor booted":
    Don't waste any tears for this man [guess who!], who seemed intent on decrying the very country that gave him success and fame. At least he won't be leeching off the public now. That's got to be a relief for the families of those he called "little Eichmanns."
    Update: not o/t a'tall: CU might begin testing the "basic skills of third-year undergraduate students - skills like writing and critical thinking."

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Pinky picks a genocide

    At the very strange The Pinky Show blog, a 14-year-old girl asks Pinky why she never talks about the Holocaust. Pinky answers, in part:
    Personally I don’t say that the Shoah is not as important as Native American genocide, or vice versa. The logic of genocide is evil in every case, and I cannot in good conscience tell the victims of any like situation that they have been less victimized. I think this in itself can be hurtful or dehumanizing, no disrespect intended to the countless innocents who perished in occupied Europe.

    She then recommends, among other books, Ward Churchill's A Little Matter of Genocide.

    The Pinky Show is also a "super lo-tech" TV program allegedly aimed at adults but also encouraged for use by teachers. A couple of sample programs: "Do-it-yourself ribbon stickers":

    Those Support Our Troops stickers are everywhere. Make your own!


    "Banked into submission: the globalizationist's guide to developing poverty."

    Bunny tells Mimi about how the World Bank and IMF can be used as extremely useful tools for the cultivation of Third Word poverty. Sorry, phrases such as "structural adjustment", "austerity programs", and "conditionalities" are not mentioned in this episode!

    Sunday Night at the Radio!

    Sunday = Jack Benny. How about 1946, and a show in which Leo Durocher talks with Ronald and Benita Colman about baseball--and Jack (17 November 1946); and "What if Jack Benny had Never Been Born? (2 February 1947). Frank Capra makes an appearance.

    Ronald Colman to Benita: The Brooklyn Dodgers are a baseball team.

    Leo Durocher: Thanks.

    MIMitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    MOM takes a miment--I mean, MIM takes a moment--to define who is in the proletarian camp:
    Give us a choice between Bono hobnobbing with imperialists and a random persyn in the imperialist countries calling himself "Marxist" and we'll take Bono every time, because 95% of so-called Marxists do not know exploitation when they see it. They are instead fans of the white petty-bourgeoisie mistakenly referred to as proletariat.
    In an earlier post MIM is a little more specific. The proletarian camp is
    the minority that includes MIP-Amerika, the MIP-Kanada, the Ghetto Liberation Political Party, the movement to put the Latin Kings/Queens on the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist road, SLALA Sakai-supporting anarchists and sections of the lumpen-proletariat, oppressed nations and youth. Though Bono is from the capitalist class, he defected enough politically to end up in our camp [wonder if he knows that]. The proletarian camp opposes exploitation. We cannot say the same of fascists or so-called leftists.
    When U2 finally folds I've got a great name for Bono's new band: Lumpen. First album: Electric Lumpenland.

    Update: MIP!

    Update II: Wrong SLALA. Here's the one MIM's talking about.

    Probably just cheap

    John Andrews recounts two Republican CU regents' strangely post-modern reactions to the proposal to establish a Department of Western Civilization last year:

    "Is it Western hemisphere? Is it Western hemisphere north of the equator?"

    The inquiry sounded like a game-show contestant trying to buy a clue. Or like your boss going on offense to cover an embarrassment.

    Unfortunately the questioner was University of Colorado Regent Paul Schauer. The mysterious "it" was Western civilization, recognizable to most people as 2,500 years of unparalleled achievement from Greece and Rome to the present. But apparently not to Schauer.

    When asked to join four other Republican regents in establishing a university department to teach about our civilizational heritage, according to a story in the Colorado Daily last year, "Schauer questioned what 'Western civilization' even means." After his GOP colleague Pat Hayes opined similarly that "this resolution makes no sense," the proposal died for lack of a fifth supporter on the nine-member board. . . .
    Andrews asks a sensible question:
    Why [didn't Schauer and Hayes] focus their skepticism on asking what ethnic studies "even means," or on venturing that women's and gender studies "make no sense" - to name two of the numerous flimsy subjects that do have departments at CU?
    Read the rest.

    Update: El Presidente catches ex-ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill in some heavy projection.

    Plan B

    The Drunkablog will attempt to be accredited to the Democratic National Covention in Denver next year, but, fat chance, right? Here's a possible fallback plan:

    If you're a "Mile High" donor and give $52,800 to help Denver host the 2008 Democratic National Convention, you get invited to the biggest parties and are granted multiple advertising opportunities.
    Multiple advertising opportunities.

    If you're "Presidential" [oh, I'm Presidential all right--ed.] and donate $1 million or more, you also get VIP access and credentials to the coveted Pepsi Center convention hall, choice hotel reservations, invites to private meetings with the mayor, the governor, Sen. Ken Salazar and Rep. Diana DeGette - and loads of other perks.

    The story has some numbers:

    It could take $120 million to put on the Aug. 25-28, 2008, convention.

    National Democratic officials who form the leadership nucleus for the Democratic National Convention Committee have rented office space in downtown Denver. Nearly a dozen have moved from Washington and set up their temporary Colorado homes. Next year, more than 150 will be working here full time.

    Denver's host committee has been in high gear since January, trying to raise the $55 million in cash and donated services it must make available to the DNCC.

    Officials are planning how the buses and light-rail trains and hotels will join to prepare for the arrival of the nearly 6,000 delegates, 15,000 media [ewwwwwww--ed.] and thousands of others expected.

    For the host committee, the most pressing goal is the money. It missed a June deadline for $7.5 million and now must rally to meet its goal of $15 million by the end of the year. . . .

    These days, a private donor gives money to the host city, not to the political party itself. The FEC counts donations to the host committee as civic contributions - money given to boost the host city's profile - and not as political gifts.

    The distinction means the FEC doesn't cap how much may be given. As a result, the percentage of private money backing conventions has increased dramatically.

    In Denver, the FEC has given $16.3 million from the presidential election fund, a voluntary taxpayer- supported account, to aid the Democratic Party's convention effort. Congress is considering a $50 million appropriation to fund the local and state security needs during the event.

    Denver's host committee is expected to bring in $40.6 million in cash and $15 million in donated goods and services. . . .

    Okay, we got the basics.

    The rise of private donations has come with a cost to the country's democratic ideals, critics say.
    It's fingerwaggin' time!

    "(Corporate donors) want goodwill to pass their agenda, which is fine, but you don't see the ranks of Colorado's uninsured having a lavish party at the aquarium". . .
    Think she means the "which is fine" part? By the way, I see people having lavish (okay, not very lavish) parties outside the aquarium all the time, down by the Platte River, and not the ranks of the uninsured, neither, but actual bums.

    . . . said Nancy Watzman of Denver, the director of research and investigative projects for Public Campaign, a nonprofit organization based in Washington that promotes publicly financed elections. "We need a level playing field."

    But the reality on the ground [ugh again--ed.] for Hickenlooper is that he and his peers have to find ways to convince corporations that their money is good for the community and for
    their industry. . . .

    One way to reconcile the donation as beneficial to the hometown was revealed last week when Colorado-based Vail Resorts announced it had donated $500,000 to the convention.

    Vail Resorts' gift was packaged as supporting the goal of convention organizers to make the event the most environmentally friendly political convention ever.

    It all hinges on the lanyards. But what about those embarrassing donations from less, er, savory operations?

    [T]he strategy is more complicated with a $260,000 donation from Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., a corporation with a global reach that is a frequent target [my link--ed.] of environmental and human-rights activists.

    So far, Newmont Mining hasn't publicized its gift.
    Gadfly ex-Gov. Dick "duty to die" Lamm, who apparently has been reading sword and sorcery, gets the last word:

    "I think the companies do realize this is a two-edged sword that will come back to haunt them," he said. "The mere fact that they're cautious is at least an advancement."

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Scummiest scam e-mail ever

    It starts pretty funny as these things go:
    I am Clement Moore, a member of lndependent committee of Eminent person {ICEP} , switzerland.
    Independent committee of Eminent person {ICEP}, eh?

    ICEP is charged with the responsibility of finding bank account in switzerland belonging to non-swiss indigenes, which have remained dormant since world war11 [world war eleven]. . . { may 1945}. most belonged to Holocaust victims. . . .

    Gee, guess what's coming:

    It is against this back drop that a dormant account or ORDNER ADELE with a credit balance of 6,000,000 00,us dollars plus accoumulated lnterest was discovered by ME .the beneficiary was murdered during the holocaust era, leaving no will and no possible records for trace of heirs.

    The claims resolution tribunal has been mandated to report all unclaimed funds for permanent closure of accounts and transfer of existing credit balance into the treasury of switzerland government of assets of deceased benificiaries who died ltenstate {leaving no wills} . . . .

    So that's what "ltenstate" means. I've always wondered. Anyway, if I act fast I can split the money with Clement rather than let the Swiss government get their greedy welfare-state hands on it. Just one little thing: I'd have to pretend to be the next of kin of poor murdered ORDNER ADELE:
    I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successfuly. I have contacted a lawyer that will prepare the necessary documents that will back you up as the next of kin/benefciary to ORDNER ADELE before the funds can be transfered to you to a nominated bank account of your choice.
    Classic. They'll take your money and prove you're a piece of shit in the bargain. Oh, one more thing:

    My share will be 60 percent and your share is 40 percent of the total amount . There is no RISK INVOLVED.


    Update: Clement Moore, you might remember, is the name of the author of A Visit from Saint Nicholas (no link; too early in the year).

    Max Roach

    Quite a few clips out there, so just two almost at random. First, Max, Elvin Jones and Art Blakey in some sort of TV drum-down back in the 60s. Here's Max's solo:

    And from much later, Drum Waltz:

    Here's the NYT's obituary.

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Friday Night at the Radio!

    Tonight, for Schnapple hanging out with her brother in Schcottsdale and still not taking any commie bullshit, how about The Adventures of Harry Lime, with the immense Orson Welles. The radio series takes place before the events depictolated in The Third Man, of course, and the stories are much lighter. Welles is great. This one is called "The Bohemian Star" (7 September 1951).

    And another show new to this craphole, The Henry Morgan Show. Just listen. This one is called "Strange Men of History" (5 February 1947).

    Weird Bird Friday

    Can't seem to get away from Australian weird birds . . . this time Australian mosaic birds, from Kim Grant Mosaics.


    "La Famiglia"

    I looked for some mosaic birds because, once upon a time, I used to make mosaics myself. I did a different style of mosaic however. Kim's work is done in the more classic style using tesserae (expensive little Italian tiles), while I did what is sometimes referred to as "crazy mosaic," using broken bits and pieces of whatever. Crazy mosaic has its roots in Victorian England, where women used to make "memory pots," gluing various bits of broken pottery and other memorabilia from their lives onto a pot. I don't have any weird birds, but here's a weird fish, made from broken Talavera from Puebla, Mexico.

    At odds with society

    Speaking at a convocation of system administration employees Monday, outgoing CU president Hank Brown aimed a jab at faculty who recommended Ward Churchill be retained, according to the Silver & Gold Record:
    "A key employee who continues to lie and plagiarize in major ways impacts the reputation of the institution," Brown said. He noted that a majority of faculty who reviewed Churchill's work and case had recommended that he should have been retained, which Brown said is "at odds with society.... [These] faculty were thinking about their rights and privileges."
    CU faculty thinking only of themselves? Say it ain't so, Hank.

    More Chutch:

    The Rocky's Vincent Carroll gets a shot of his own in while discussing a completely different topic:

    Take David Lane, an attorney best known for his defense of Ward Churchill but who has championed real civil liberties
    cases, too. . . .

    Update: In his speech Brown also noted that
    During the past year, public confidence in the University has increased . . . as demonstrated by the fundraising success of the CU Foundation. The Foundation's numbers are almost 50 percent higher this year than the previous best year, which Brown said shows a "test of public confidence.... It reflects a focus on doing things right."
    Or something.

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Newspapers dying for a reason

    The beautiful and talented Caz of Avatar Briefs spotted this wonderful example of old-media condescension toward bloggers from one Jane Fynes-Clinton, a writer of some sort for the Brisbane Courier-Mail:
    STRESS, pressure, lack of work-life balance, domestic tensions, poor diet – it could be for lot [sic] of valid and justifiable reasons.

    But it all comes together when people sit at their keyboards. They become champagne corks, poised to pop.

    They surf, they look, they read – and away they go.
    And away she goes:
    Blogs and electronic feedback devices have become the new circuit breaker. Consumers unload, offload and shift the blame before they damage something in the real world. They rant, they swear, they let it all out. And presumably they feel better. . . .

    Good God woman, you are so full of shit. (Hey, I do feel better!) Crappy writer, too. (Better yet!)

    The problem with blogging is that it is too easy. It's easy to let fly and rant. It's easy to let off steam, defame and mock, and think it all goes into the ether.

    You may have sensed that I'm experiencing an irresistible urge to let off steam, defame and mock at this very moment. Must be poor diet.

    Blogs and comments are a long way from the red pen of an editor and often the whispering voice of conscience.

    (Must not defame. Must not defame.)

    Another area that could use a little bit of a brush-up is presentation.

    Now I know the internet is a place that is loudly bereft of formality. I know the lingo used is about as far from Year 12 English as you can get [Oh yeah? Well I know what anagnoresis means, you hunchbacked slattern--oops, I defamed--ed.], but sometimes it's just plain hard to understand what people mean. If mess gets in the way of the message, surely it's time to review the delivery. It doesn't have to be correct or proper, just readable. Please.

    Wait a minute. "Mess gets in the way of the message"? "Loudly bereft of formality"? And you're lecturing others about their writing? Where's that editor you're so in love with? Or that creepy whispering conscience of yours?

    For some, blogging is not the harmless, personal communication it once was. There is also the more serious side: in the past couple of years, it has become possible for people to make livings from blogging [whaaaaa?--ed.]. There are sites that rank blogs according to how much traffic they attract. Political groups and government keep an eye of the traffic [sic].

    With this seriousness and professionalism [hi, ma!--ed.] comes an increased risk that someone will cop it legally over a spiteful, personal attack on someone else. . . .

    Not in this part of the world, dearie (do not insert Try-Works link here).
    Bloggers who share a little acid in their touch-typed words need to be careful. I am not suggesting censorship in a strict sense.

    Well, as long as it's not in a strict sense--
    But bloggers need to be a bit mature and a bit sensible, lest they be bitten badly down the track. It might keep the "blogosphere" [sic] a little cleaner and clearer without stemming debate or watering down the diversity of opinion.

    Oh, it's a bit mature and a bit sensible we need to be, is it, if we're not to be bitten on this cruddy dogtrack of yours? Think I'll take my chances.

    It would just be good if bloggers thought twice before unleashing words they might later regret [you mean like "hunchbacked slattern"? Too late, already unleashed--ed.]. Let a blog entry act as a circuit breaker, by all means, but do it prudently. . . .

    Surely, it is not that hard: 1. put brain into gear; 2. poise fingers above keyboard; 3. gather thought and consider its consequence [sic]; 4. write.

    Slow down, I'm taking notes. And don't call me Shirley.
    Circuit breakers are designed to minimise harm. That notion should apply to all in the virtual world as well as the real one.

    I bet she can't name a single blog.

    Morning Wardo

    Revolution ("Our leader is Chairman Bob Avakian!") on Wardo chickenhawks:

    Many scholars and intellectuals have defended Churchill and condemned the witch-hunt against him. They have seen through the lies surrounding this case, understood the tremendous threat to critical thinking hidden behind them and have defended Churchill as an expression of principle.

    Unfortunately, many others have stood on the sidelines. Others have joined in on the attacks, or have blamed Churchill for his problems, and for putting others in danger. Some have even advocated throwing Churchill to the dogs in order to protect themselves--which amounts to sawing off the branch you're sitting on.

    Throwing Churchill to the dogs while sawing off the branch you're sitting on. They're not academics, they're acrobats!

    Academics have a special responsibility--to “sound the alarm” as broadly as possible, enlist the broad masses in the defense of dissenting scholars and critical thinking in academia, and contribute to the greatest degree possible to the awakening of society in fundamental opposition to this whole regime.
    Speaking of the broad masses, a couple more comments from the petition to Free, er, Reinstate Ward. "Elizabeth Aahronson, Ed.D." offers this:
    If they come for Churchill in the morning, they'll be coming for me in the evening. [One can only hope.] Respect academic freedom!!!!
    While "Kathy Nicholas" truly needs help:
    The firing of Ward Churchill has confirmed for me that this country is in perhaps our darkest days ever. That an institution of higher learning would pander to the far right and disregard the Constitution and the rights of students to an education is not only appalling, but seriously frightening. For the simple sake of what is right I urge you to reinstate Professor Churchill.
    Update: the two other "main points" of the Revolutionary Communist Party ("besides "Our leader is Chairman Bob Avakian") are "Our Ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism" and "Our Vanguard is the Revolutionary Communist Party" (natch).

    MIM would probably disagree with that last.

    Update II: "Our darkest days ever." Wow.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    When have they ever been optimistic?

    Inside Higher Edumacation reports on the (perceived) crushing of dissent among "social scientists":
    A greater percentage of social scientists today feel that their academic freedom has been threatened than was the case during the McCarthy era.

    That finding — from Neil Gross, an assistant professor of sociology at Harvard University — was among a series of pessimistic papers presented at a forum on academic freedom Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

    Gross surveyed social science professors last year about whether they had felt that their academic freedom was threatened, and found that about one-third did. In 1955, Paul Lazarsfeld, the late Columbia University professor, did a similar survey and found only one-fifth of professors feeling affected by attacks on their academic freedom.
    This next line is great:
    There are many explanations for the increase, which may not mean an increase in the likelihood of a particular social scientist facing a threat to his or her academic freedom, Gross said.
    No, no it mayn't. Another presenter, Professor of International Relations at Columbia University Lisa Anderson, has
    just finished 10 years as dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and the last few years of her tenure found her among the Middle Eastern studies scholars who were regularly criticized by some pro-Israel groups for alleged anti-Israel or anti-American bias. The attacks have “deeply damaged the research community,” Anderson said.
    You'll remember some of the fine scholars in Columbia's Middle Eastern Studies Department. Anderson added a warning:
    Those outside Middle Eastern studies should not assume that they are immune, she said. Anderson pointed to the squelching by the Bush administration of research on climate change, or to the political attacks on evolution in several states as examples of scholars being attacked for their views.
    Wait a minute. Did you say attacked for their views? This must be stopped! By any means necessary!

    The comments are worth reading, too.

    Update: I misspelled "edumacation." Fixed now.

    Update II: Commenter "Sol" at IHE mentions another Columbia faculty member:
    The problem, at least at Columbia where Anderson teaches, is often that the anti-Israel faculty screams “McCarthy” when it is the scholarship that is being questioned. Take the tenure battles at Columbia this year. There is opposition to on the grounds that [Nadia Abu El Haj's] book is absurd and not based on evidence. True, the book is highly political. She would like to eliminate the Jewish State. Her method of doing so, however, is to write a book about archaeology and conclude that the ancient Israelite kingdoms are a “pure political fabrication.” No wonder the alumnae are up in arms.

    British lefty makes sense

    "Left-wing interventionist" Oliver Kamm, whom I admire for the cheerful if somewhat stuffy way he maintains that impossible position, wrote a piece for the Grauniad last week on the the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. In it he debunks some of the revisionist canards have cropped up over the last four decades. A common one, he says, is often voiced by Greenpeace:
    Greenpeace maintains that a different American approach might have prevented the cold war, and argues that new research on the Hiroshima decision "should give us pause for thought about the wisdom of current US and UK nuclear weapons developments, strategies, operational policies and deployments".

    This alternative history is devoid of merit. New historical research in fact lends powerful support to the traditionalist interpretation of the decision to drop the bomb. This conclusion may surprise Guardian readers [several probably dropped dead from shock--ed.]. The so-called revisionist interpretation of the bomb made headway from the 1960s to the 1990s. It argued that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were less the concluding acts of the Pacific war than the opening acts of the cold war. Japan was already on the verge of surrender; the decision to drop the bomb was taken primarily to gain diplomatic advantage against the Soviet Union.

    Yet there is no evidence that any American diplomat warned a Soviet counterpart in 1945-46 to watch out because America had the bomb. The decision to drop the bomb was founded on the conviction that a blockade and invasion of Japan would cause massive casualties. Estimates derived from intelligence about Japan's military deployments projected hundreds of thousands of American casualties.

    Truman had to take account of this, and dropped the bomb for the reasons he said at the time. Contrary to popular myth, there is no documentary evidence that his military commanders advised him the bomb was unnecessary for Japan was about to surrender. As the historian Wilson Miscamble puts it, Truman "hoped that the bombs would end the war and secure peace with the fewest American casualties, and so they did. Surely he took the action any American president would have undertaken." Recent Japanese scholarship provides support for this position. Sadao Asada, of Doshisha University, Kyoto, has concluded from analysis of Japanese primary sources that the two bombs enabled the "peace party" within Japan's cabinet to prevail.
    In two subsequent posts Kamm takes on his critics, by the way savaging "historian" Gar Alperovitz,
    the principal populariser (though not the originator) of the view that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the first acts of the Cold War. He is much cited by anti-nuclear campaigners, but ignored by historians owing to two fundamental weaknesses in his thesis. First, there's no evidence for it; and secondly, his use of source material is a scholarly disgrace.
    Gee, that sounds familiar.
    Alperovitz's characteristic technique, maintained consistently in the 40 years since the first edition of his book Atomic Diplomacy and continued in its successor volume, is to use ellipses in order to alter the meaning of the sources he purports to be examining.
    Gee, that sounds familiar too. Read the whole thing(s).

    Eco-terrorism works

    Vail Resorts, once the target of Earth Liberation Front arsonists, has seen the (green) light:
    Vail Resorts has pledged $500,000 to support the 2008 Democratic National Convention and encourage environmentally friendly practices at the gathering.

    Vail will provide lanyards and credential holders made of recycled materials to more than 15,000 journalists and guests expected for the gathering next August.
    Not just credential holders. Lanyards.

    The resort pledged to encouraging the use of recycled materials and renewable energy at the convention. Democrats hope to make the convention "green" through the use of wind-power credits, by reducing the amount of paper consumed and by encouraging delegates to use vehicles powered by alternative fuels. . . .

    Which reminds me of celebrity environmentist Ed Begley, Jr.'s appearance on The Simpsons, when he drove a go-cart powered only by his "own sense of self-satisfaction."

    Change of heart

    Apparently I finally broke down and signed the petition to Free, er, Reinstate Ward Churchill. There I am at #448: "John Martin. Professor Churchill speaks truth to power."

    He does.

    Update: Snideleigh Whiplash joins us:
    I'd like to add my plea to that of the esteemed Dr. Snugglesworth; Please reinstate Mr. Churchill. Snideleigh Whiplash, PhD - Chair, Department of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Studies - Faber College.
    More humorously, Lillian Valenzuela opines:
    Ward Churchill's contributions to revealing the true imperial history of this country in the context of Indian history far outweigh any minor footnote errors. He is a valuable and effective teacher who induces students to examine the operating moral values of themselves and their country. The integrity of honest scholarship at CU depends on his full reinstatement.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Tuesday Night at the Radio!

    Dragnet night, citizens! A double-foature: "Big Book" (6 April 1950) about, believe it or not, porn, and "Big Car" (30 November 1950). Somebody's knocked over 15 food markets in four months. "Your job: stop 'im."

    Update: "He dragged out a steamer trunk from under the bed and counted out a stack of books and pamphlets covering the general topic of degenerate filth in stories and photographs."

    Update II: what incredible sound effects Dragnet has.

    Die, tamarisk!

    The News a few weeks ago:

    A year after beetles developed by scientists were released in selected tamarisk infestations at three sites in Colorado, the project is showing encouraging signs that the bugs will significantly defoliate the water-sucking trees that clog most Western rivers.

    "It's still wait and see, but so far it's very encouraging," Dan Bean, manager of the Palisade Insectary, which helped develop the tamarisk leaf beetle, said Thursday. "If everything goes well, we'll see significant effects in two years."

    Bean said 8,000 tamarisk leaf beetles, released last August in Horsethief Canyon west of Grand Junction, along the South Platte River in Adams County open space and at Bonney Reservoir in Yuma County, are taking hold and not being eradicated by ants, their main predators.

    Releases in 2001 at four sites, two in Nevada and two in Utah, have matured and beetles are defoliating hundreds of acres of tamarisk. Bean also said that beetles released in 2004 near Moab, Utah, are taking hold.

    The tamarisk, a tree native to Eurasia, has crowded out native species such as willows and cottonwoods and sucked up vast amounts of water in the West.

    Mr. Bean was even more enthusiastic in the April issue of the Tamarisk Coalition Newsletter (pd and, yes, f):

    Beetles released at the experimental field site near Delta, Utah were originally collected from a site near the town of Chilik, Kazakhstan . . . . The most spectacular successes for these Kazak beetles have occurred along the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. In 2006 beetles defoliated at least 18 river miles of dense tamarisk stands both upstream and downstream from Moab, after having defoliated only 2-3 total acres in 2005.
    The Rocky continues:
    Labor-intensive efforts to eradicate tamarisk cost $1,500 to $3,000 per acre. The tamarisk leaf beetles may be able to do the job for less than $10 per acre, according to U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Mel Lloyd.
    Those labor-intensive efforts are cutting, burning and poisoning--sometimes all three on the same stand.
    The beetle, officially Diorhabda elongate deserticola Chen, has undergone more prerelease testing than any other biological control agent in the country's history, Bean said.

    So this probably won't happen.

    The BLM and the Palisade Insectary, operated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, both play a role in the release and monitoring of the insect.

    "They're slow and steady, but doing well," Bean said.

    Sort of before: that's all tamarisk back there (Green River photo courtesy John G. Martin).

    And sort of after: a pic blown up from the newsletter:

    Crummy pic, and it may look better with the greenery from a distance, but tamarisk is a devil weed.