Monday, December 31, 2007

Rocky me gently

Rocky columnist (and Independence Institute research director) Dave Kopel on Google's good idea to feature comments by people quoted in the stories it carries:
Here's how the feature works: Let's say that you're the head of a local environmental group in Akron, Ohio, and you're quoted in a story in the Akron Beacon Journal. The reporter talked with you for 15 minutes and you had a lot to say. But, due to space considerations, the paper only printed two sentences of your quotes. You then contact Google News, and verify your identity, proving that you are indeed the person who was quoted in the Akron Beacon Journal. Google will then allow you to write an unedited comment, in which you can amplify or elaborate your ideas related to the published story.
The feature didn't garner much attention when it was introduced last spring, but a story in the New York Times last week (which Kopel mentions but the Rocky doesn't link to) got it some.

Speaking of the Rocky, they have a strange problem with their website--at least I think it's their problem. Every time I try to copy a story (er, part of a story) to quote here, it makes me highlight the whole page, sidebars, ads and all, or nothing. Quite annoying. Any of you other plagiar, er, serious bloggers noticed this?

Update: By the way, Recently, Kopel started a blog for the Colorado Union of Taxpayers called, strikingly, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Weblog. For some reason (since I've never written a single post on tax issues) I was asked to contribute. Replying, I pointed out that this wasn't exactly a tax-type blog, but agreed, thinking, What the hell, if I ever come across a funny tax story, I'll post it.

Well, apparently there's no such thing as a funny tax story. Worse, a few days ago I got a note from Kopel saying, in a polite way, to post in the next week, or else.

Actually the note wasn't only to me, but to every blogger who'd signed up for posting privileges except Kopel himself and somebody going under the nom de blog "awatcher." That's right: in the month since the blog's start, only two out of the 12 people who accepted invites to post (all listed in the blog's sidebar) have done so.

We are, in short, pathetic. I blame everyone else, naturally, but somehow still feel guilty. My little waterboarding joke (see above) probably won't help, huh? Dave, it's actually an ironic comment on what lefties think of the Independence Institute, I swear.

Anybody got a funny tax story? Like, now?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

MLA on supporting Ward Churchill: Let's not and say we did

In a comedy piece titled "A Moderate MLA," Inside Higher Ed covers the organization's vote, at its just-concluded annual convention, on stances toward Ward Churchill and critics of Israel:

The Modern Language Association frequently helps out its critics with provocative session titles and left-leaning political stands offered by its members. At this year’s annual meeting, in Chicago, some MLA members have worried that the association was poised to take stances that would have sent David Horowitz’s fund raising yhrough the roof with resolutions that appeared to be anti-Israel and pro-Ward Churchill.

But in moves that infuriated the MLA’s Radical Caucus, the association’s Delegate Assembly refused to pass those resolutions and instead adopted much narrower measures. The association acknowledged tensions over the Middle East on campus, but in a resolution that did not single out pro-Israel groups for criticism. And the association criticized the University of Colorado for the way it started its investigation of Ward Churchill, but took no stand on whether the outcome (his firing) was appropriate.

The votes by the MLA’s largest governing council came in an at-times-surreal five-hour meeting. Cary Nelson, author of Manifesto of a Tenured Radical, was in the position of being the leading moderate, offering alternative language to defeat Radical Caucus proposals. . . .

Surreal, all right. Ladies first:

The original resolution before the MLA Delegate Assembly condemned the University of Colorado for firing Churchill and for undertaking an investigation of him as “retribution” for his 9/11 comments. . . . As they entered the meeting, MLA delegates received a letter to the MLA from Hank Brown, president of the University of Colorado, and a copy of one of the faculty reports finding Churchill to have committed scholarly misconduct.

In the letter, Brown said of Churchill: “His comments about 9/11 are in our view protected free speech and were not at issue. What was at issue was Professor Churchill’s academic work.... I recommended dismissal to the Board of Regents because he fabricated his research. Please read the faculty report carefully before you mischaracterize his dismissal.”

The day before the MLA vote, A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, a professor emerita of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, spoke out at a hearing against the original resolution. Ruoff, who has written and taught about Native American literature and culture, said that she was concerned about the process under which the university started its probe of Churchill. But she said that the university appeared to have conducted “careful deliberations” into the allegations against
Churchill, and that the MLA wasn’t in a position to conduct an investigation that might lead to other conclusions. . . .

Nelson, of the AAUP, noted that some professors believe Churchill received due process and that the faculty role was respected at Colorado. He proposed an amendment — a version of which eventually passed — that criticized Colorado for starting the investigation as it did, but that offered no opinion on the decision to fire Churchill. “We are not set up to judge the character and quality of that investigation,” he said.

Several professors said that they were uncomfortable backing even the watered down resolution, fearing it would show support for Churchill. Ruoff asked the group why it couldn’t just indicate its opposition to politically motivated investigations and leave Churchill out of it.

You wish.

Charles Rzepka, a professor of English at Boston University, said during the meeting that he was startled to read some of the pro-Churchill material distributed by supporters of the original resolution, and that he was wondering if the MLA would be seen as backing the wrong side. In an interview after the meeting, he said that the MLA’s reputation would take a hit for any perception that it was backing Churchill. “I support speaking truth to power,” said Rzepka, but that requires truth, he added. (He said he was among the 15 people who voted No on the revised resolution, which passed with 57 votes in favor.)

Others dismissed the idea that the MLA should worry about whether Churchill’s record made him worthy of support. One professor cited the history of the civil rights movement, in which some women prior to Rosa Parks were not defended because they weren’t seen as perfect from a PR perspective — an attitude this professor criticized. . . .

Finley C. Campbell, a retired English instructor at DeVry University, said that Churchill was being punished for being the “uppity” minority person whom the powerful could not tolerate. He said there was no way the MLA could pretend there was not an individual at the center of this issue. “Crucifixions are always
,” he said.

And critics of Israel?
[Grover] Furr [of the MLA's Radical Caucus] was the author of the original resolution on the campus climate for critics of Israel. The resolution as he wrote it said that some who criticize Zionism and Israel have been “denied tenure, disinvited to speak ... [or] fraudulently called ‘anti-Semitic.’” The resolution called this a “serious danger to academic study and discussion in the USA today” and then resolved that “the MLA defend the academic freedom and the freedom of speech of faculty and invited speakers to criticize Zionism and Israel.” The resolution made no mention of the right of others on campus to embrace Zionism or Israel or to hold middle-of-the-road views or any views other than being critical of Israel and Zionism.

Nelson offered a substitute — which was approved to replace the original by a vote of 63 to 30 — after heated debate. Nelson’s substitute noted that the “Middle East is a subject of intense debate,” said it was “essential that colleges and universities protect faculty rights to speak forthrightly on all sides of the issue,” and urged colleges to “resist” pressure from outside groups about tenure reviews and speakers and to instead uphold academic freedom.
This line got a paragraph all its own, as well it should:
Defenders of the original version faulted Nelson’s version for being even-handed.
Update: Israpundit focuses on the Israel section of IHE's piece.

Update II: According to the blog Free Speech at CUNY, these are the texts of the two resolutions put forward by the Radical Caucus of the MLA:

On Zionism and its critics:

“Whereas some organizations and individuals have urged that faculty, writers and speakers who criticize Zionism and Israeli policies be denied tenure, disinvited to speak, speak only when “balanced” by a pro-Zionist speaker, or be fraudulently called “anti-Semitic”; andWhereas this constitutes a serious danger to academic study and discussion in the USA today,

Resolved that the MLA defend the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech of faculty and invited speakers to criticize Zionism and Israel.”

On Ward Churchill:

“Whereas, upon criticism of Professor Ward Churchill for his remarks concerning the 9/11 attacks, the University of Colorado initiated proceedings against him, and investigations of his scholarly work, and removed him from his directorship of the Ethnic Studies Dept. and subsequently from his tenured teaching position, andWhereas such acts of retribution threaten free expression in the university setting, particularly against those in historically marginalized disciplines,Be it resolved that the Modern Language Association condemns this action of the President and Regents of the University of Colorado.”

Saturday, December 29, 2007


The Post's top ten online stories for 2007 (by page view, I guess) are very weird, not to mention embarrassing. Funny how "Haggard says he is "completely heterosexual" at number four exactly matches his finish in 2006 with "Haggard admits meth buy."

Speaking of which: "Museum to show ax of heroism."

I'll take a Russell Means Columbus Day over a Peace Mom Rose Bowl any time:

There could be some discord during the Tournament of Roses Parade as demonstrators promise to raise issues during the holiday spectacle that has been going on for more than a century. Human rights advocates plan to protest a float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and anti-war activists, including "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan, intend to rally for peace.
You knew Peace Mom couldn't stay retired.

Saturday Night at the Radio!

Information Please, this one with Ben Hecht (30 August 1938).

And since parades came up, Vic and Sade: "No Marching for Sade" (25 February 1941).

Funny review of Arthur M. Schlesinger's Journals by P.J. O'Rourke (via T. Blair).

Update: Michelle Malkin links to the home page of the Rose Bowl protest. Note the typical self-aggrandizement in their appropriation of the anti-Nazi White Rose for their own utterly safe and pointless call for impeachment.

Spreading the balm

On the Post's front page: "al-Quaida balmed in Bhutto death."

Update 5:15 p.m.: Fixed. Don't know when. Bet they had to go way up the chain of command to get an okay to go into the system.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Lost: Ludicrous plots, craptastic acting and network TV preachiness. Heaven. It's also got a nearly inexhaustible supply of extras to kill off. Maybe ten main characters and 30 bodies to feed into the island's savage maw.

Abstract of the Week!

Arutz Sheva:

A research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers' committee prize finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that "the lack of organized military rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals."

The next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this manner: "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences - just as organized military rape would have done."
(via LGF)

"Santa Trauma"

Missed this:

If they wished, Denver officials could lock up reservations at prime city parks and deny requests from protesters or other groups during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

City permitting-rule changes being considered by the City Council would create a structure that gives governments first dibs.

The revamped permitting process is meant to resolve disputes with protest groups and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Weird Bird Friday

Happy New Year! Stay warm!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Too-cool-for-school minimalism fights back!

In the humor industry, I'm told, that's known as a callback.

Yes, more krep.

Always find the local angle: Killer tiger born at Denver Zoo. (More.)

Aspen police crack down on paparazzi:
It's the holidays in Aspen and the paparazzi are out in force in the ritzy ski town in search of celebrities. . . .

"We have reached the limits of frustration with the paparazzi," police Sgt. Bill Linn said. "If (a celebrity) can't walk down the street unimpeded, then the photographers are going beyond the scope of what's acceptable."

Police get six or seven police calls about pesky paparazzi daily. Linn said on Sunday, there were more complaints about photographers than calls for accidents on the town's busy, slippery streets.
Lunch money? Casual blogging not just lunch money now.

Victor Davis Hansen in 2005 on Ward Churchill:

No one knows what to make of his various arrests, boasts of bomb-making, trip to Libya, angry and traumatized ex-wives, braggadocio about petty vandalism, tales of phone threats, and the variety of other sordid stories that surround this fabricated man. [We know what to make of them now, don't we?] Churchill’s presence on campus is like the weaving driver who is pulled over by the state police, who quickly find no license, registration, or insurance, but plenty of warrants — and thus wonder how many other paroled miscreants they’ve missed out there, one accident away from being a public-relations nightmare.
That analogy sounds familiar.

Teachers' rep ready for revolution: "Let's give established procedures for school innovation a chance."

It really blows, it really blows, it really blows: Denver approaching fifth snowiest December. You don't want to know what I blame.

Waiting for the local angle: Pakistanis in U.S. fear for homeland.

Lazy-ass columnist: The Rocky's Paul Campos hacks up a piece on the commercialization of Christmas. Christ.

Rocky first with local angle: Coloradans fearful, hopeful.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Graham murder trial set for June 17

Missed this yesterday. AP:
The second man charged with the 1975 slaying of an American Indian Movement activist will stand trial in Rapid City starting June 17, according to court documents.

John Graham, 52, was extradited from Vancouver, British Columbia, on Dec. 8, four years after he was arrested and charged with killing fellow AIM member Anna Mae Pictou Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Her body was found in February 1976 north of Wanblee with a gunshot wound to the head.

Graham pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in U.S. District Court in Rapid City and is being held in the county jail.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Khristmas (Eve) Krep

We're going to watch the whole first season of Lost between now (6:15 p.m.) and whenever tomorrow--with occasional breaks for the bathroom, family gatherings, &tc.

Here's Santa's blog. It's quite boring, but if you're here, you're used to that. Quote:

In addition to the normal mall appearances, I also had staff meetings, a few media appearances, parades, and a brief tour of the production, distribution, and replenishment centers. I can tell you after the tours and staff meetings that overall readiness is very good. It may be the best we have ever been. 2007 is going to be a very good Christmas!
CEO Santa. If you liked that, you'll love the new Shubel Morgan video, On the Theory of the Productive Forces (in English with Chinese subtitles).


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Jack Benny! "Last Minute Shopping" (21 December 1947).

Gunsmoke! "Christmas Story" (20 December 1952).

And, for der Schnaps, The Great Gildersleeve: "Christmas, 1942" (20 December some year or other).

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Took a little hike along Clear Creek today. This hunk is right in the Denver metro area, and even though the trail is never quite out of earshot of traffic, it's very nice:

But deadly.

Just a hole in the ice. No idea why it came out looking like the Planet-Sucking Corpuscle of Micturon L-7.

Trimbach interview plus

Richard Two Elk of Two Elk Enterprises sent the link to an interview he did last June with former FBI agent Joe Trimbach on his book American Indian Mafia. Nothing new for those who've read it, but still worth listening to:
"They [AIM] were a maverick group who were looking out only for themselves and to the extent they were able to snooker the public and many other Indians they were successful, because out of Wounded Knee, what do we have as a result? We have nothing--nothing has improved for the residents of Pine Ridge. The people at Wounded Knee lost everything. This is nothing to do with treaty rights. Everything was destroyed, and the leaders of AIM come out with money, fame and power."
"Voices of Wounded Knee," another Two Elk mp.3, bears Trimbach out. A series of snippets from interviews with people who lived in Wounded Knee during the "occupation" by American Indian Movement militants, "Voices" traces the devastation AIM visited on the village, from the sacking of Gildersleeve's Trading Post to the burning of the village churches. Some of the segments are in lousy sound, but listening hard will take care of that.

Update: Two Elk also included a tape of the incident mentioned in American Indian Mafia in which Russell Means and peace-loving fake Indian Glenn Morris (Trimbach doesn't mention that he was there) threatened Two Elk if he didn't quit "maligning" AIMster Troy Lynn Yellow Wood by reporting about her involvement in the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. Did somebody say "scum"?

Update II: Okay, after swearing at Hilda in comments, I'll concede her point: there's no specific threat on Two Elk's life in that mp.3, so I've replaced "threatened [his] life" with "threatened Two Elk." As someone who has himself been threatened by Morris (among other AIMsters), I know what they were threatening, but no, it wasn't stated. Of course, Two Elk was actually assaulted during the incident, too, as Trimbach notes in American Indian Mafia.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Achievement noted

Ward Churchill's firing from CU in July is seventh on the AP's list of the top ten Colorado stories for 2007, just ahead of Matthew Murray's killing spree at an Aurora missionary center and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Way to go, Wart.

Friday Night at the Radio!

Time for a Christmas show. The Great Gildersleeve, perhaps the original spinoff (from Fibber McGee and Molly). A family show, but funny. This is from the first season: "Christmas Gift for McGee (20 December 1941).

Und! Information Please, with guests old-time MSM bigfoot Arthur Krock and Alice Roosevelt "if you can't say something good about someone sit right here by me" Longworth.

Weird Bird Friday

I was trolling the internet for weird bird pictures (I started Weird Bird Friday because I had "so many" weird bird pictures, but I ran out a long time ago), and came across the Southern Ground Hornbill on a Portuguese site called Privilégios de Sísifo. For some reason I couldn't save that picture, but here are a couple of others from elsewhere:

Would almost be rather regal-looking except for the weird red bits stuck all about its face. (From here.)

Here's another I like because it looks like a bird with attitude.

Don't mess with me while I'm walking down my road. [from here]

But really, all of this is just an excuse to post just about the coolest picture I've ever seen in my life which I found while trolling over at old Sisyphus' site. Here 'tis:

By Laurence Shan. Stone statue of Shennong, the Divine Farmer and legendary originator of Chinese herbal medicine, in Shennongjia, Hubei Province.

It was posted under the title, "Continuo a ser um Inimigo do Estado." I don't know Portuguese, but it is close enough to Spanish for me to confidently translate this as "I continue to be an enemy of the state."


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nature Boy in Great Northwest

Some knockwurst at Portland Indymedia reviews eco-anus Derrick Jensen's Q & A last night at a place or thing called "Disjecta" in Portland. Great stuff from the hip-talking, violence-espousing, lying little coward:
He mentioned that the feds even allow Ward Churchill to fly and leave the country without a hassle [why wouldn't they? Not even the leaders of the anti-Churchill forces, David Horowitz and Bill O'Reilly, have suggested that Wart be prevented from flying]. Later he followed this point up by talking about how as a "radical" writer he would actually be a huge liability to any group or organization if he actually participated in some of the resistance he preaches is necessary.
Kill for my principles, but don't ask me to get dirty. Just like Ward. This one's even better:
Derrick said he was once asked if he would sacrifice the lives of his closest loved ones if he could be guaranteed the survival of the salmon. He said he would have to ask his family, but when he did they responded that he better have said yes! He said this made him very happy. He also said he would give his own life for the same cause . . .
Well, that's okay then. One time I asked the Drunkawife if she'd sacrifice her life for the salmon and Ritz cracker canapes in the refrigerator. She said yes! It made me very happy.

Reporters at work

The News' John Ensslin and Berny Morson get the facts:

A Bengal tiger cub is secured in a cage after officials from the Division of Wildlife and Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office removed it from a home on South Fillmore Circle in Centennial.

Residents of a quiet block in Centennial suspected something that growls was living behind their neighbor's fence.

Maybe they heard it growling.

The 4-month-old male weighed about 40 to 60 pounds, said Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.

Churchill said the animal is considered dangerous to humans. A suburban back yard is not considered good habitat for the animal, she added.

"Miss Churchill!" veteran reporter Berny Morson shouted fiercely, "are Bengal tigers considered dangerous to humans?" "Miss Churchill!" demanded hard-hitting knight of the keyboard John Ensslin, "is a suburban back yard considered a good habitat for a Bengal tiger?"

Wonder which reporter looked up this last fact:

They [tigers] eat people only when other prey is not available, according to the World Book Encyclopedia.

My bet: Berny Morson.

Update: that last little josh would be much funnier (well, funny, maybe) if I had a picture of Berny Morson to link to. He's worked for the Rocky for like a thousand years, but I can't find a single likeness of him on the Interurban. He's what you might call studious-looking.

Post stolen from reputable (but not peer-reviewed) source

Several interesting facts and figures in the University of Colorado's Silver & Gold, er, Silver & Gold Record this week. First, the hunt for a new prez to replace Transparent Hank continues:
Tom Riis of UCB music asked if there is any particular piece of information, either true or false, that gives candidates pause about coming to CU. Bosley said there are certain perceptions about the University nationally, including some related to the 2004 football controversy and the dismissal of Ward Churchill of UCB ethnic studies.
On a related note, CU's Colorado Springs campus wants to offer degrees in both ethnic and women's [sic] studies next year:

In the written proposal for the B.A. degree in women's and ethnic studies, Shockley-Zalabak emphasized that the program would be the only one of its kindin Colorado and would integrate academic concepts from both women's studies and ethnic studies ­-- while still allowing for in-depth study in both areas. She added that the program would also enhance campus diversity efforts. . . .

Students majoring in women's and ethnic studies would also satisfy the LAS core-curriculum requirement for a class emphasizing global issues, according to the proposal. At the Nov. 28 regents meeting, Regent Tillie Bishop pointed to the 65-16 vote of LAS faculty approving the new women's and ethnic studies degree, and asked, "What do those 16 know that we don't? . . .

Finally, no background checks on lower-level teachers, at least for a while:
UCB officials have put on hold a requirement that background checks be done when hiring graduate teaching assistants or reappointing full- or part-time instructors and lecturers who have previously worked at UCB. . . . Faculty leaders have pointed out that some colleges and schools would face conducting background checks for hundreds of TAs, instructors and lecturers, creating what they termed a "bureaucratic nightmare."
Worse than the Ward Churchill or football program bureaucratic nightmares?

Tie granny's rocker on the truck, Ma, we're a'movin' to Meania!


The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference. . . .

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.
I was getting tired of being a United Statesian, anyhow.

(via the only peer-reviewed blog on the net, Pirate Ballerina)

Update: "The US 'annexation' of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere 'facsimiles of white people,' said Means." Obvious joke: it's also made some white people mere facsimiles of Indians.

Update II: President Means is already planning his first official acts.

Update III: Commenter Heidi, who I'm sure is Native American and I think is Lakota (is that right, Heidi?) comments in comments:

I don't think Russell speaks for any Lakota, except himself. I just emailed some friends and they had a good laugh about the story.
Update IV: In Indian Country Today, Suzan Shown Harjo picks her "Mantle of Shame" award-winners for 2007, and guess who makes the cut:
Russell Means - for his mid-December announcement in D.C. that he is unilaterally withdrawing the Lakota Sioux from treaties with the United States. News flash to Means: treaties are made between nations; you are a person and not a nation; you are not empowered to speak for the Great Sioux Nation; as an individual, you can only withdraw yourself from coverage of your nation's treaties. (Means is the same Oglala Sioux actor who tried to beat domestic violence charges by challenging the sovereign authority of the Navajo Nation to prosecute him - he took it all the way to the Supreme Court and lost.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Abstract of the Week!

Don't know why womyn's studies always has the good ones:
Kendall, Laurie. "From the Liminal to the Land: Building Amazon Culture at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival," American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, April 2006.

Every year in August, thousands of womyn from around the globe make a journey that takes them from the liminal world of patriarchal marginalization, oppression, and violence to the safety of a land where they build a matriarchal culture of families, homes, and sacred traditions. This new culture binds these womyn to each other as a people and to the 650 acres in Michigan that they call their homeland. This dissertation is a five-year ethnographic study of the cultural community womyn build at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. It focuses on the experiences of 32 participants, and the physical work they do to create a world that places their minds and bodies, their values and experiences, and their relationships in the center of their own community structures. By inverting the concept of liminality used to describe lesbian cultural spaces, this study reframes these womyn as a diasporic group who journey home once each year to reconnect with their home, family, and sacred traditions. The significance of the study is that it demonstrates the ways womyn resist patriarchal oppression by using love as a technology for building a matriarchal culture. Theorectically, by inverting the concept of liminality, researchers might better understand and articulate the interlocking structures of power and oppression, as well as the “methodologies” that marginalized people use to resist oppressive forces in American culture.
Bonus abstract!
Moon, Jennifer. "Cruising and Queer Counterpublics: Theories and Fictions," American Culture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 2005.

My dissertation examines cruising—the aggressive solicitation of sexual contacts in public spaces—as a form of sexual and social interaction that contributes to the development of queer counterpublics. As depicted in post-WWII fiction and contemporary media representations, I argue that cruising offers a radically compelling vision of intimacy, sexual identity, and belonging that deviates from the normative model of the privatized conjugal couple and nuclear family, while also structuring alternative, publicly queer modes of existence. By drawing on queer social theory and contemporary cultural studies, I situate my analysis of cruising texts within the context of democratic cultural politics and queer media representation. My dissertation moves from the general to the particular—from a social-theoretical perspective on the relationship between public sexuality and identity, to a consideration of queer counterpublic intimacies and lesbian cruising representations. The first half develops the theoretical framework of the dissertation through the juxtaposition of social theory and contemporary cultural analysis, and it examines queer identity-formation in terms of mainstream recognition and belonging. It connects the public sphere’s exclusionary norms to theories of recognition and stigma, and it argues that queer identity-formation is an ongoing process shaped by both structural inequalities and interpersonal interaction. The second half considers the sexually non-normative subject in relation to queer counterpublics and attempts to articulate a theory of queer counterpublicity that is not organized around the identitarian categories of gay and lesbian. Instead, they propose a relational understanding of homosexuality and suggest that shared conditions of marginalization can constitute a queer form of belonging. My exploration of cruising as a form of intimacy seeks to document different configurations of queer sexual community and, in doing so, to reclaim aspects of queer public culture that may be seen as antithetical to the aims of the mainstream gay and lesbian movement.

With friends like these . . .

Ex-FBI guy Joseph Trimbach, in American Indian Mafia, on murdered AIMster Anna Mae Aquash and a few of her (former) comrades:

Russell Means:

Like the rest of his AIM brethren, Means has had an uphill task convincing the people of Indian Country that he knew nothing of the plot to kill Anna Mae or of the ensuing coverup. Time and again he has pleaded ignorance to the crime, despite admitting the murder victim was taken to his brother's house, where Clyde Bellecourt allegedly received Vernon's order to execute the prisoner. In fact, Bill Means' house was purportedly Anna Mae's last stop before she was driven to the cliff near Wanblee, South Dakota. Further compounding Russell's problem is that he and his brothers were reportedly on the reservation when Anna Mae was buried, yet boycotted her funeral. They were seen driving by the ceremony on their way to a basketball game. If Means wanted to dishonor Anna Mae's memory, he couldn't have chosen a more telling way. . . .

Another problem facing Means is justifying a 24-year wait before emerging as an Anna Mae advocate. To some observers it is simply an indication that he'd seen the writing on the U.S Attorney's wall. Like many aging AIMsters who do not want to spend their last years incarcerated, Means may be trying to hop a ride on the justice bandwagon. (p. 30)

Dennis Banks:
Curiously absent from the courtroom proceedings [during the 2004 trial of Arlo Looking Cloud for Anna Mae's murder] was the man whose name came up more times than he would have preferred. Dennis Banks was nowhere to be found in Rapid City, and for good reason. he was persona non grata in the town and courthouse where his former wife, surrounded by FBI Agents, was slowly undoing his legacy. . . . Choking back the emotional burden of having to implicate their children's father in murder, Ka-Mook [Banks] stood her ground and steadfastly recounted the truth:

[Prosecutor] McMahon: When did you find out she was dead?
Nichols [Ka-Mook Banks]: On February 24th. . . .
McMahon: How do you remember it was February 24th?
Nichols: Because Dennis called me. . . .
McMahon: How did you relate that call to February 24th?
Nichols: Because he was in San Francisco, I was in Portland, Oregon. . . . I looked at the calendar and it was my nephew's birthday, and I was remembering it was my nephew's birthday and I needed to call him, and Dennis told me they had found Anna Mae.

The question Ka-Mook's testimony left hanging in the air, the one federal prosecutors yearn to have answered to this day, was: how had Dennis Banks known the identity of the dessicated corpse in the canyon a full week befroe the FBI identified the body? (pp. 25-26)
Leonard Peltier:
Once Anna Mae's trustworthiness became an issue, Banks and Peltier forced her to collaborate in their bomb-making activities so that her fingerprints could be linked to incriminating evidence. Kamook watched as her husband and Peltier planted bombs at various locations around Pine Ridge. It was also Peltier, according to Ka-Mook and others, who placed a gun to Anna Mae's head during at least one of the interrogations, a charge that stands in stark contrast to author Peter Matthiesson's description of Peltier's easygoing manner when confronting the future murder victim. (p. 25)
Scumbags then, scumbags now.

Credit where due

David Horowitz's Frontpagemag notes the University of Colorado's adoption of the American Council on Education's "Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities" (which we noted here a couple of weeks ago). The story has a funny example of Horowitzian spin:
In an article posted on the ACE website, former State University of New York at Albany president Kermit Hall credits David Horowitz and Students for Academic Freedom with ACE’s proposal and adoption of the statement on student rights in the first place.
Here's how Hall "credited" Horowitz:
“The statement was a pragmatic response by the higher education establishment to the escalating challenge posed by its neo-conservative critics [Nazis] in general and their most ardent advocate [der Fuehrer], David Horowitz, in particular,” Hall writes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


U.S.-supporting British socialist (I didn't stutter) Oliver Kamm has a long, entertaining history with drink-fuddled Holocaust-denier (hey, I'm a 1940s Time magazine!) David Irving. This week Kamm notes Irving giving advice to one of his "fans" on threatening to sue Kamm for libel.

The husky, round-headed semi-blogger also has an interesting take on the firing of Normie Finkelstink (the whole post is interesting, but scroll down a little).

Monday? Wednesday? Whatever Night it is (Please Don't Tell Me it's Saturday) at the Radio!

Haven't been playing Jack Benny like I should, so here's a make-up Kubelsky: "On The Train to New York for the Heart Fund Benefit." Sponsored, as always, yet in this case so ironically it's boring, by Lucky Strike cigarettes. That's Sheldon Leonard as the racetrack tout (29 January 1950).

And, you lucky beeotches! Pat Novak: For Hire. This one's called "Jack of Clubs" (20 February 1949).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Book Review

No, not American Indian Mafia ("Riveting"--Laurie), but The Psychic Bible: The Definitive Guide to Developing Your Psychic Skills.

In chapters like "Exploring the Mind," "Energy Healing," "Channeling and Spirit Guides," and "Psychic Pets," author Jane Struthers takes readers on a spiritual "trip" through the world of mentally deficient lunatics who believe utterly bogus shit. (Full disclosure: since my psychic skills are already well-developed, I just had my spirit guide read me the good parts.)

After an instructive "how psychic are you" checklist--"Do you sometimes know who's on the other end of the phone before you pick it up?" (yes!) "Do the palms of your hands tingle when you're with people who are ill?" (yes!) "Do people tell you you're too sensitive and easily hurt?" (I could kill you for asking me that!)--Struthers gives us sections on dreams, chakras, auras (and their care), Edgar Cayce ("Cayce's story is so extraordinary that his detractors believe his healing work must have involved trickery, suggestibility, a desire for financial gain and every other racket they can imagine"), psychic surgery (natch), dowsing and, of course, channeling:
Many people channel information without realizing it. Writers sometimes talk about the inspiration for a book coming out of nowhere, and that they feel the words were being dictated to them by a higher source. If you have ever surprised yourself by saying something immensely profound without any conscious effort, thought or knowledge, you may have been channeling that information.

Incredibly, that just happened to me today. The section on angels is good, too:

There are many documented cases of angelic intervention, usually in dramatic circumstances. For example, you might trip over in the middle of a busy road and be helped to your feet--just before a bus bears down on you--by a man who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. The man gently steers you to safety and you thank him, but then when you look around for him, he has vanished.

Struthers could be describing an incident that happened to me years ago. Well, almost: the man from nowhere steered me in front of the bus, it wasn't a man but rather the darling Drunkawife, and there was nothing gentle about it. She did, however, vanish--with my wallet.

The chapter on psychic pets drew me with an almost (you "guessed" it!) psychic power. Starting with the fundamentals ("Are pets psychic?"), readers are taken step-by-step through the process of communicating mentally with their companion animals. The section titled "Making contact with your pet" alone is worth the price of the book (update: no it's not: $14.95 for an itty-bitty paperback). Struthers' abundant common sense shows well here:

Don't get caught up in thoughts about how impossible it is that your pet can talk to you; simply trust that it is so. You should also avoid blanking out messages that you don't want to hear because they make you uncomfortable or guilty. For instance, you might become defensive if your rabbit tells you that he doesn't like it when your toddler pulls his tail; or annoyed when your guinea pig announces that she hates her water bottle. However, these are important messages and, if you take note of them, you will start to improve the quality of your pet's life.

Fucking guinea pigs, always with the mouth. The section on "Striking up a conversation" is priceless, as well:

1. Start by considering what it must be like to be your pet. . . . Imagine yourself standing on all fours, if that's how your pet stands (if he's a snake, imagine what that must be like). . . .

5. If he's having behavioral problems, ask him what's wrong, but don't do this in a judgemental way. Listen to his answer. Discuss the situation with him and work out together how you can improve it.

The Psychic Bible belongs on the mental bookshelf of every thinking person and pet.

Whitmer shown door at CU?

According to the spring-summer 2008 CU ethnic studies department course schedule, Ward Churchill's best boy Benjie Whitmer won't be teaching a class this spring--although there's still one course listed as "open" that he might pick up: "Ethnic Studies 3671-001--Fight the Power." Amazingly, teaching that would be a step down, intellectually speaking, from "American Indians in Film" or whatever it was called Whitmer taught last semester.

(Inspired, I guess you'd say, by PB, whose post, and the one following it on Churchill's peer-reviewed publications--the cause of so much swooning and fake indignation at Benjie's filthy Try-Works blog--are full of warty goodness.)

Update: Yes, a course at "the flagship university of the state of Colorado" (as one wag termed it) called "Fight the Power." Some other ethnic studies courses available this spring and summer: "Contemporary Black Protest"; "Topics: Chicano Identity"; and the unavoidable "Race, Class and Gender," taught by the equally unavoidable Arturo Aldama. Guess I should be glad there isn't a radical oratory course called "Speaking Truth to Power."

Update II: A reviewer likens Mathias, leader of the undead in The Omega Man, to Ward Churchill. I don't see it.

Update III: The fine blog Cheap Area Rug ("All About Cheap Area Rugs") notes that Ward has been fired from CU:
Administration and faculty tried to sweep complaints about Churchill under the rug to avoid the public disgrace of having to Lawsuits against the university could abound in this area, especially if he is not terminated from CU.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Download this book

Joseph and John Trimbach's American Indian Mafia, that is. Well worth the five-spot, judging only by the section dealing with some of the lies in Churchill's two books on the FBI and AIM's takeover of Wounded Knee. With appropriate contempt, and under headings like "The Nutty Professor," "Hatemonger Extraordinaire," and "Grand Buffoonery," Trimbach goes through Churchill's fabrications, omissions, misdatings and misidentifications, and notes that:

Perhaps the best way to deal with the professor's books on the FBI is to reclassify them as works of comedy, satirical stories of conspiracy as seen through the eyes of a professor full of beans [beans?--ed.].
Can't wait to see the reaction to American Indian Mafia at Churchill's dog Benjie's filthy Try-Works blog. Wart himself ("Charley Arthur") might have to reply--not only there, but, one hopes, in discovery for his suit as well. Trimbach disposes of the ex-professor by echoing a thought many Churchill-watchers have had:

The problem with political loons like the professor from Boulder is that they never seem to get around to actually addressing the problems of their claimed constituents--in this case, Native Americans. If this Indian wannabe was genuinely interested in the plight of Pine Ridge residents, one would think he would be out in front on the issues of the day, putting his taxpayer-subsidized wampum [you'll be called a racist for that one, Joe] where his mouth is. Instead we get substandard academics laced with self-indulgent fantasy under the guise of constitutionally protected speech and "academic freedom."

Trimbach gets it.

The book even seems to read better than I'd hoped, given its long stay in publishing purgatory. Now, how the hell do I print a pdf file?

Update: This post originally had another paragraph delineating some of the topics Trimbach addresses. I took it out because it read like shit. Maybe I'll try again after I've actually, you know, read the book.

American Indian Mafia available online

Outskirts Press is offering former FBI Agent Joe Trimbach's Wounded Knee exposé in PDF for the low, low price of $5.

(h/t Snapple)

Keeping up with: Peter Kirstein!

The unendearingly dopey professor of history and ardent Ward Churchill supporter elucidates on an AP story about the rising rate of desertions among U.S military personnel:
According to the Associated Press in an article written by Lolita C. Baldor [it's Baldur--ed.], the imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are beginning to take an increasing toll on the willingness of soldiers to participate in this aggression. In the army that takes the brunt of the casualties [and we all know which army that is], 9 out of every 100 soldiers in fiscal year 2007 which ended on September 30 took to the highway.
That's got to be a typo, doesn't it? Not even Peter Kirstein could believe that nine percent of the entire U.S. Army deserted ("took to the highway") in fiscal year 2007 (which ended September 30), could he? You bet:
A year earlier it was 7 per 100. Some 4700 soldiers deserted, and should be given the Congressional Medal of Honour [note to JWP: heh].
The number the AP actually used, of course, was nine in 1000--and even that figure was subjected to debunkular contextualization at, probably among other places, American Thinker.

But what do you expect? Nobody reads Kirstein for facts. It's the writing we crave:
I am not claiming this is due to mere ideological awareness that torture, waterboarding, killing of p.o.w., baby-killing–which sometimes occurs in random acts of violence, shooting vehicles that dare traverse near checkpoints, assaulting buildings of civilians and generally creating an American Empire in the heart of the Muslim world are immoral and disgraceful.
Tenured. One more sentence:

We are not witnessing levels of heroic dissertions [you think you're going mad, don't you?] that were so impressive during the Vietnam Genocide. . . .

Read the whole thing, if you don't care whether you live or die.

Huh? Huh? Huh?

Update: Kirstein will be speaking to the Progressive Forum at the Empire Buffet in Matteson, IL, on Wednesday. He's really excited about it too, because (as he begins his latest post):

I was informed by George Ochsenfeld, the organiser of The Progressive Forum, that Phil Kadner, a columnist for the Southtown Star, will be covering my talk, “Towards a New Past: The Meaning of the Iraq War,” on Wednesday, December 19, 2007. The Daily Southtown merged with the Star in November. The papers are owned by The Sun-Times News Group which of course publishes the Chicago Sun-Times. In Chicago, besides the two major dailies, there are regional papers such as the Daily Herald and the Southtown Star that cover areas that by themselves would be one of the larger metropolitan areas in the nation.
I think the newly merged Southtown Star might be trying to get rid of good ol' Phil Kadner, don't you? Sure don't want to miss that piece.

Update: St. Xavier University, where Kirstein teaches, is rated one of "America's best colleges for 2008" by

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Down in the Alley

Update: Last night I dreamt that somebody had stolen the dirt from around the trees I planted last spring.

Update II:

Don't know why this just came to mind.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Regrets only

Regret the Error has posted its roundup of "The Year in Media Errors and Corrections" (or "crunks," as they call them). Obama/Osama confusion, the Russian sub from the movie "Titanic," the personal nature of definitions of the phrase "eight ball"--all present, as well as my favorite, the runner-up for typo of the year:
Reuters, the reigning back-to-back champ in this category, didn’t win but did come in second place by calling the Muttahida Quami Movement the “Muttonhead Quail Movement.”
On second thought, where's the typo?

FBI agent's book on AIM and Wounded Knee to be released

Former FBI agent Joe Trimbach's book, American Indian Mafia: An FBI Agent's True Story about Wounded Knee, Leonard Peltier, and the American Indian Movement, will be out December 24--a little late for Christmas giving. Former Indian Country Today editor Tim Giago has this blurb at Amazon:
As a longtime journalist, author, and Oglala Lakota born, raised and educated on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, I have been appalled at the many books, movies, and documentaries about Wounded Knee II and about Leonard Peltier that are so filled with myths, misconceptions and outright lies. Trimbach takes apart Matthiessen's In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, movies like Thunderheart, Lakota Woman, and A Tattoo on My Heart - The Warriors of Wounded Knee 1973, and exposes them for the frauds that they are. It is refreshing to finally hear the other side of the story.
Though Giago doesn't mention it (I hope Trimbach does), those "frauds," of course, include long-time Peltier sycophant and veteran Wounded Knee liar Ward Churchill.

(via Snaps (duh)).

Irving v. Lipstadt, round two?

The Jewish Chronicle:
HOLOCAUST-denier David Irving claims he is preparing to serve court papers on the American historian he unsuccessfully sued for libel in London’s High Court eight years ago.

This week, the JC learned that the discredited historian, who last year served part of a three-year sentence in an Austrian jail for breaching the country’s Holocaust-denial laws, emailed Deborah Lipstadt informing her he intended to institute unspecified court proceedings against her.

He told the JC that this could only be done while she was within the jurisdiction of the High Court. When Irving found out that Prof Lipstadt would be in the UK for a series of talks, he got in touch with her.
Favorite quote:
[Irving] added: “[Ms Lipstadt] is no friend of mine. I have many Jewish friends but she is not one of them.”
(via Oliver Kamm)

Weird Bird Friday

Who's the weird bird?

From RobotBlogger.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ulcer speaks truth to power

A very long-winded anarchist lays it out, Ward Churchill style:

To paraphrase Malcolm X, "All revolutions are struggles for land." In fact this expansionist white settler-colonialist system stole all of the land that is considered America today, and continues to suppress any liberation struggle from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Occupied Mexico (Aztlan), the Republic of New Africa (The South), the North East, and so on. The truth is, white settlers have no roots in this hemisphere, and the only way they can survive here is by a massive police and military, in other words the state apparatus. The people of this hemisphere will never be free until we destroy this system founded on white-settler colonialism and all of those who defend it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Security costs lower for somebody

A confused (or maybe that's just me) editorial in the Racine (WI) Journal Times:

Let ideas flourish on state campuses

This past weekend, UW-Madison officials said they would meet with University of Wisconsin College Republicans about a $1,293 bill from the university police. It was for extra security at an October speech by neoconservative David Horowitz. It was a large sum for a student group, the university admitted, and said security fees are charged at the discretion of police. A member of the College Republicans said the group had received a few e-mail threats before the Horowitz visit.

But fees are not equally applied. The UW-Milwaukee recently lowered its fees for the visit of a self-described former terrorist.

Guess who-ooo!
Colorado Professor Ward Churchill came to UW-Whitewater in 2005 to talk about his essay saying that people killed in the World Trade Center attack helped advance practices which inspired the attack. His speaking fee of $4,000 and security costs of $6,049 were covered by donations and fees from the two student groups which invited him. A review by the Wisconsin State Journal of 10 years of UW-Madison security charges found that 46 groups have been charged, including about $2,600 for liberal events, $8,700 for conservative events, $10,700 for apolitical or bipartisan events, and $4,900 for unclassified events. And leaving the billing up to police does give them the opportunity to discourage certain groups from inviting certain people.
I don't get it. How did "they" (the cops? UW-Whitewater?) lower their security fees for Churchill's appearance when costs for it were over $6000, but for Horowitz not quite $1300?

Anyway, after a boilerplate defense of "free" (as opposed to "stupid" or "worthless") speech by clucks like Churchill and Iran president Ahmadinejad:
A solution to the university dilemma lies in a simple policy change: the UW System should end extra security charges for speakers who come at the invitation of a university or its affiliated student groups. Perhaps there should be an extra student fee to help build a pool of money for extra security, but a total of about $27,000 in 10 years is a pittance which the system could easily cover on its own. It would be a very small price for advancing the principle of free speech on which universities are built.
Fine, fine.

Update: FIRE's The Torch liked the editorial, and indeed its conclusion is well-nigh unarguable; I just couldn't make out who in particular was being treated unfairly.

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

Vic and Sade: "Hank Gutstop, Publicist for the Royal Throne Barbershop" (21 June 1940).

Vic and Sade: "A Miserable Object of Public Ridicule" (20 November 1941).

Vic and Sade: "Roy Dejectedly's Hidden Formula for Hyena Grease" (5 April 1944).


First let's get the contextless headline out of the way--"Ethics club to repair reputation"--so we can go right to this week's old-timey-Denver picture:

The caption reads: "A Denver policeman detains an intoxicated man in front of a 'drunk tank' on Larimer Street in 1905."

Are they (or rather the book Historic Photos of Denver, where the pic is collected) talking about that metal cylinder behind the cop and the (amazingly devil-may-care) souse? That's a drunk tank? Which they'd stick living people in? Just for being drunk?

A slight google of drunk tank pulls up (besides what everyone knows as a "drunk tank"--a jail cell reserved for drunks) a moronically obscene urban dictionary joke (who knew Benjie Whitmer wrote entries?) and this little nugget from (all sic):

Czech inventor of 'drunk tank' dies aged 91

Záchytka is a wonderful Czech word that stands for the institution for the collection of drunken (and possibly disorderly) individual wondering city streets occasionally referred to in English as 'drunk tank' or 'sobering-up station'. It was invented by the Czech Czech psychiatrist Jaroslav Skála and opened on 15 May of 1951. The first client was an inebriated Russian naval engineer. By 1981 there were 63 such institutions who had served one million drunks. According to the Czech Wikipedia entry this was replicated around the world. Yet another Czech contribution to the world!
Indeed. Nothing, however, about the existence of individual-sized, lockable facilities for the inebriated. Were drunk Denveronians actually confined inside these barbaric public contraptions? For how long? Who cleaned them out in the morning (the tanks, not the drunks)? They were cleaned out, weren't they? Why aren't we still using them today? And so on.

Quick, somebody call Dr. Colorado!

Update: The Drunkablog: member in good standing of the Institution for the Collection of Drunken (and Possibly Disorderly) Individual Wondering City Streets. ("Over one million drunks served!"™)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Night at the Radio!

And now, Roma wines, R-O-M-A, made in California for enjoyment throughout the world, Roma Wines, presents--Suspense! Tonight, "The Man Who Thought He Was Edward G. Robinson" (17 October 1946).

And a Vic and Sade: "Uncle Fletcher Reveals Rishigan Fishigan From Sishigan Michigan's Real Name" (21 June 1944).

Drunkablog: Now banned in Wartland!

The filthy Churchillite blog Try-Works has declared me persona au gratin, and all it took was my asking Ward ("Charley Arthur" at Try-Works*) why he didn't defend his frau Natsu Saito when Westword printed my account of how she, an associate professor of law at Georgia State, not only witnessed a death threat against my little white skin, but congratulated the thug who made it.** Ward didn't like that, and "suggested" that Benjie ban me--which, needless to say, Benjie immediately did.

So now seemingly every person (except maybe Laurie) who has attacked Wart, Benjie, et. al, at Try-Works has been banned. How unutterably boring these people are in their nastiness. Whatever the venue, Churchill and the DBAB--through anonymous lies, through obscene and scatological insults, through threats and physical intimidation--try to eliminate the voices of those who disagree with their evil beliefs. It gets old, but it's good that they never seem to realize they're only exposing themselves for the brutish totalitarians they are.

*Charley denies he's Ward Churchill, but, hey, Wart, just as you said it was my responsibility to prove false the charges of window-peeping, panty-stealing and child molestation (in Boulder County, yet) you made against me, it's up to you to prove you're not Charley Arthur. Which you clearly are. Once again your ego has made you vulnerable, Chubbsy.

**Natsu didn't defend herself, either, of course.

G.B. Shaw had the same problem

Sitting on a corner lot as it does, this decayed hellhouse has roughly 570 feet of sidewalk, walkways and steps to shovel. I've measured. It's great exercise, but sometimes inconvenient--like, say, when you have an extremely painful swollen gland in your neck and even strangers just walking by feel empowered to call you Goiter Boy.

No, I don't have a snow blower. Don't believe in 'em. That is, I believe in them, of course, they exist and everything, but I don't believe in using them. Also, I've priced them at Home Depðt.

Don't call me Goiter Boy

Update: The mark above the "o" in "Depot" is a "small eth, Icelandic," as if you didn't know.

Update II: It's snowing again.

Graham extra-diddly-dited to South Dakota

A & P:

RAPID CITY, S.D. - Four years after he was arrested for the 1975 killing of a fellow native activist, John Graham pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court, a day after his last attempt at a Canadian appeal failed.

He is one of two men charged with first-degree murder for the slaying of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Her body was found in February 1976 north of Wanblee with a gunshot wound to the head.

(via Schnappleen)

Update: Sorry about the last two post titles. Stoned on Zicam.

Update II: Just noticed that people have been yakking about this in comments here and at PB for roughly a week now. This "blogging" thing is harder than it looks.

What is "myocardial infarction," Alex

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has suffered a mild heart attack, according to KRLA radio in Los Angeles.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The ol' bod is trying to come down with something. A gland in my neck is swollen to the size of a La Loma chimichanga (scroll to bottom--yum!) and it hurts to move my head. Think I'll draw a bath, set my little TV up on the poopette, and watch the 2005 Oscar winner for best picture, Fear of Clowns. According to New York Times reviewer (I think he is) Alien Redrum, it's great.

Update: Excellent.

Duke rape case blogger hangs it up

Absolute must reading as the redoubtable KC Johnson puts his blog Durham-in-Wonderland on hiatus. "Legacies":
Anyone following higher education over the past decade would recognize vignettes about the pernicious effects of academic groupthink. The University of Colorado, where research fraud Ward Churchill became a full professor and department chair through touting his “Native American” heritage and publishing extremist essays. Columbia, where Joseph Massad told one of his classes that Israeli agents were responsible for the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics—and where more than 100 professors, including the former provost, publicly attacked Massad’s critics. Most recently, the University of Delaware, which had enacted a required residence hall program proclaiming that non-whites couldn’t be racist and mandating “treatment” for those whose beliefs challenged the preferred approach.

Are these episodes, as defenders of the academic status quo suggest, out-of-the-ordinary developments? The Duke case involved dozens of professors, revealing tenured faculty with “perpetually forthcoming” books or almost comically race/class/gender-oriented research agendas. The Group of 88 and their crusade attracted equally ill-reasoned support from other quarters of the academy—whether the fifteen African-American Studies professors who defended Houston Baker’s racist April 2006 letter or the April 2007 ruminations of Wesleyan’s Claire Potter on how “the dancers were, it is clear, physically if perhaps not sexually assaulted.” And prominent elite universities (Vanderbilt, Cornell, University of Chicago) hired some of the Group’s key members—with tenure (and, in the case of Cornell) a promotion.

The affair is, to borrow a term from mathematicians, an existence proof. Given the documented, public record at one of the nation’s leading universities, it will be more difficult to claim that future abuses at other institutions that attract public attention are isolated examples to be ignored.
There's much more.

Update: "Perpetually forthcoming." Heh ("heh" in second item).

'Hard' questions asked, answered

An op-ed yesterday in the Washington Post by Villanova political science professor Robert Maranto, "As a Republican, I'm on the Fringe," begins, hilariously:

Are university faculties biased toward the left? And is this diminishing universities' role in American public life? Conservatives have been saying so since William F. Buckley Jr. wrote "God and Man at Yale" -- in 1951. But lately criticism is coming from others -- making universities face some hard questions.

At a Harvard symposium in October, former Harvard president and Clinton treasury secretary Larry Summers argued that among liberal arts and social science professors at elite graduate universities, Republicans are "the third group," far behind Democrats and even Ralph Nader supporters. Summers mused that in Washington he was "the right half of the left," while at Harvard he found himself "on the right half of the right."

This no doubt is what Summers would have said at UC-Davis if he hadn't been deemed--unlike Ward Churchill (who, you'll remember, advocates violence)--"too controversial."

I know how he feels. I spent four years in the 1990s working at the centrist Brookings Institution and for the Clinton administration and felt right at home ideologically. Yet during much of my two decades in academia, I've been on the
"far right" as one who thinks that welfare reform helped the poor, that the United States was right to fight and win the Cold War, and that environmental regulations should be balanced against property rights. . . .
A sociologist I know recalls that his decision to become a registered Republican caused "a sensation" at his university. "It was as if I had become a child molester," he said. He eventually quit academia to join a think tank because "you don't want to be in a department where everyone hates your guts.". . .
What a whiner. I've been publicly accused of being a child molester--by Ward Churchill, of course, but still--and I'm not even a Republican.
Now there is more data backing up experiences like mine. Recently, my Villanova colleague Richard Redding and my longtime collaborator Frederick Hess commissioned a set of studies to ascertain how rare conservative professors really are, and why. We wanted real scholars to use real data to study whether academia really has a PC problem. While our work was funded by the right-of-center American Enterprise Institute, we (and our funders) have been very clear about our intention to go wherever the data would take us. Among the findings: . . .
Read the whole thing to be totally (but pleasantly) unsurprised.

Update: memo to Maranto: A "diminished role for universities in public life" is a feature, not a--whatever that word is that's used as the antonym of "feature."

Update II: Initially I didn't notice that "Fringe" in the Wapo's headline was capitalized. Why do they do that?

Update III: Lawyers, Guns and Money sneers at Maranto and one of his commenters. I, in turn, sneer at Lawyers, Guns and Money's hip-pretentious name.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Jack Benny for a snowish night. Thought I'd played this one before, but apparently not: "Jack Buys Don Shoelaces for Christmas" (8 December 1946).

Church shootings

Four people were shot today in the parking lot of New Life Church, Ted Haggard's old pastorate in Colorado Springs. This in addition to the shootings at a "missionary center" in Arvada north of Denver last night in which two people were killed. Nobody's saying the incidents are related, but the thought has occurred to many.

Update: The Post has more on the missionary dorm shootings.

Update II: Last week Christopher Hitchens said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show (no transcript) that incidents like the Omaha mall massacre--and, one presumes, these--are essentially unnewsworthy. He might change his mind knowing the one shooting was at Ted Haggard's former church, of course, but otherwise his point was that such stories, though profoundly depressing, convey no useful information.

Update III: Attacks linked:

Arvada police said Sunday they have "reason to believe" that deadly attacks at two religious institutions 70 miles apart that left five dead and six injured are probably linked.

Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said his agency sent officers to share notes with Colorado Springs police. And late Sunday, authorities from both agencies were searching a home in southeastern Arapahoe County they say could be related to the case.

And yes, the "security team" member who shot and killed the gunman was a woman.

Update IV: Since when do churches have "security teams"?

Update V: Killer identified.

Update VI: He "hated Christians."

Update VII: "Steady hands." [Oops, link added.]

Update VIII: Killer's rants published.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sloan Lake today

See the snow on the geese's backs?




Update: "To take photographs means to recognize--simultaneously and within a fraction of a second--both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis"--Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Now you tell me.

Columbus Day protesters in court

Guess they've all recovered from the bloodbath--even the guy whose face was destroyed!--enough, at least, to help make court proceedings as cumbersome as possible:
Protesters arrested for blocking Denver's Columbus Day parade made good on their threat to drag out proceedings with jury trials and motions Friday.

Police arrested 83 demonstrators during the Columbus Day Parade Oct. 6.

After five hours of hearings Friday, a municipal court had heard motions on only four of the protesters. The motions demand the cases be thrown out because officers could not verify that the defendants in the courtroom were actually the people they dragged off 15th Street during the parade.

Late Friday, Judge Claudia Jordan decided to go into the night to complete motions hearings on 10 additional defendants. They are part of the first group to be tried on Dec. 17, 18 and 19.

The rest of the protesters will be tried later.

Glenn Morris, a University of Colorado political science professor who is a leader of the protesters, said motions hearings will occur in every case.

Protesters, including fired CU professor Ward Churchill, won acquittal on charges of disrupting the 2004 Columbus Day parade after a jury trial.

The charges — mostly disrupting a lawful event and blocking streets — carry 90-day sentences.

Friday, December 07, 2007

ACTA reacts to Churchill's UC-Davis invite

Anne D. Neal, president of Churchillite bête noire the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, issued a somewhat belated statement on Wart's appearance at the school last week.

At UC Davis, former Secretary of the Treasury and Harvard president Lawrence Summers was deemed "too controversial" after he was invited to speak on campus, but documented academic fraud Ward Churchill -- who was fired by the University of Colorado for academic misconduct -- gave a lecture on November 27.

The student newspaper is now editorializing -- correctly -- that it was right to allow Churchill to speak. But that's not the end of the story. The real question is: Why the double standard?. . .

Real, but rhetorical.

It's clear that UC is confused about one of the core purposes of any good university: ensuring a broad and vigorous exchange of ideas. That's why in September, ACTA called for a comprehensive review of intellectual diversity by the Board of Regents. They have not responded -- and it's worth noting that they themselves disinvited Lawrence Summers back in September.

On November 27, Ward Churchill spoke at UC Davis on the topic "Zionism, Manifest Destiny and Nazi Lebensraumpolitik: Three Variations on a Common Theme." When one student challenged Churchill in the Q&A period, Churchill told him to "shut up" and deemed his contentions "disingenuous bullshit."

The Aggie is right: Controversial speakers should be allowed to come to campus. But as things stand now, former Secretaries of the Treasury seem to be just too controversial for UC. That's not a state of affairs of which the Regents -- who have ultimate fiduciary authority over the university system -- ought to be proud.

Friday Night at the Radio!

In commemoration of today's date, here's Words at War: "They Call it Pacific." Based on "bulky, handsome" AP reporter Clark Lee's adventures in the days just before and after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, this one will blow you away (10 July 1943).

And a regular, Information Please. Anecdotage:
The pianist and wit Oscar Levant was introduced to [Robert] Lowell by a mutual friend. Like the poet, Levant suffered from periodic mental illness:

We all had dinner in the Oak Room at the New York Plaza Hotel. Lowell was slightly sloshed and garrulous, but he looks the way a poet should look . . . .

"I've been committed to twelve sanitariums," he announced with an air of triumph. "How about you?"

Who counts? "Ten," I said at random. I didn't want a contest.--New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes, from Levant's autobiography, The Unimportance of Being Oscar.
So naturally an Information Please with Oscar Levant on the panel. This is an old one (26 May 1938), from before Levant became a regular on the show. John Gunther and Bernard Jaffe are also in attendance.

Weird Bird Friday

Sorry I'm late! I just got back in town (nothing too exciting--I was in Indianapolis) late last night and I've been "nesting" ever since, just like this lazy bird.


CU regents okay statement on 'intellectual diversity'

According to the Silver & Gold Record, the University of Colorado has adopted the American Council on Education's "Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities," which says revolutionary stuff like:
"Colleges and universities should welcome intellectual pluralism and the free exchange of ideas. Such a commitment will inevitably encourage debate over complex and difficult issues about which individuals will disagree. Such discussions should be held in an environment characterized by openness, tolerance and civility."
"Academic decisions, including grades, should be based solely on considerations that are intellectually relevant to the subject matter under consideration. Neither students nor faculty should be disadvantaged or evaluated on the basis of their political opinions. Any member of the campus community who believes he or she has been treated unfairly on academic matters must have access to a clear institutional process by which his or her grievance can be addressed."
Unsurprisingly, "Some faculty leaders questioned not the language in the statement, but the possibility that external political forces were driving the effort," the S & G R noted. Actually:
According to "A Cautionary Tale of Academic Rights and Responsibilities," an article by Kermit Hall posted on the ACE Web site . . . . "The statement was a pragmatic response by the higher education establishment to the escalating challenge posed by its neo-conservative critics in general and their most ardent advocate, David Horowitz, in particular," Hall wrote.
Update: Wisconsin v. Southworth.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Worry aired

Recalling CU's recent history of spectacular PR disasters (so many, so stupid, so nasty), Michael Roberts says CU president Hank Brown's successor "will likely have to clean up just one more mess left over from the old days -- Ward Churchill's lawsuit, which Brown has shown no interest in settling."

Worry: What about his successor? Whoever it is isn't going to be an ACTA-crazed stormtrooper like Hank Brown. What's to stop her/im from saying, The hell with this, let's shovel the bastard a few (hundred thousand) bucks and be done with it. We'll call him "prolific" and he'll promise not to tell how much we gave him. Hey, who's for pizza? I'm buying! Bwahahaha! Or words to that effect?

Update: Guess what a first edition of Acts of Rebellion: The Wart Churchill Reader (2002) costs. Go ahead, guess. Now: scream!

Stupid story contains humorous phraseology

Poynter Online poynts to a Denver Post piece on the dangers of its direct (and free) competitor, Craigslist: "Craigslist develops a dark side":
Ahh, Craigslist, that happy little website of frugal friends buying, selling or trading worn-out cars and cozy apartment furniture.

Plus, there are all those hilarious jokes about blacks, gays, Hispanics, women and Jews.

The dirty little secret about the wildly popular Craigslist is that one click away from its home page are some raunchy and often deeply offensive forums inviting blatant racism, rants and sexual kinks.
Think about that. One click away from sexual kinks.
Just below the better-known free classifieds for housing, goods and services, the "discussion forums" frequently descend to exchanges of racial and homophobic epithets, sexual fantasies or bad-driver diatribes. Did you hear the one about the Indian and the prostitute? Or why Bill Clinton was the first black president? Thanks to Craigslist, your kids probably have.
Wish I had kids then, 'cause I couldn't find either joke.
Craigslist, of course, is not the only Internet portal to crude conversation — equally offensive material can be found at individual pages or discussion groups on MySpace, Yahoo and other popular sites.
And, as many commenters poynt out, at Denver Post forums as well. Who cares, the story has what's got to be the favorite for best subhead of the year:

Applauding troubled minds

Critics of the Craigslist-style forums say the sites act not as healthy outlets for inevitable sentiment but as encouragement to troubled minds.

"I don't see how that belongs on Craigslist," said Shari Julian, a Texas psychologist and frequent expert witness and corporate consultant on workplace behavior and harassment.

The Internet has been a great forum for what Julian calls "real communities" of cancer survivors or military families. But it has also nurtured an "artificial" sense of community among the hateful, she said.
The hateful community. Another good one.

"When you have a venue for ventilating rage, your belief in that rage is ratified," Julian said. "It increases their belief that their behavior is acceptable. Their behavior is applauded, seconded. In that case, it's scary. It does seem to roll and escalate."

Roll and escalate. And two new D-blog mottoes: "Ratifying Your Rage Since 2005"; and "Your Internet Portal to Crude Conversation."