Friday, February 29, 2008

"Racist hell hole"

Yes, it's been a big week for Max Karson, but thinking about it makes me fall into a swoon, occasionally even a syncope. Luckily, El Presidente of Slapstick Politics (the longest-"serving" dictator in North America) has been on it like Fidel on an oxygen bottle.

Abstract of the week!

Imag(in)ing September 11

Ward Churchill, Frame Contestation, and Media Hegemony

Erika G. King
Grand Valley State University
Mary deYoung
Grand Valley State University
This study analyzes the Denver Post's reportage on the frame contest between the dominant narrative of the September 11 terrorist attacks set out by President Bush and a challenge to that narrative in an Internet essay by Professor Ward Churchill. The authors find that by refusing to interrogate Churchill's sociopolitical argument, reducing it to the offensive rhetorical trope "little Eichmanns" he used to describe the victims of the attacks, and pillorying Churchill as a person and scholar, the Post assured his counterframe would not achieve parity with the dominant frame. The authors interpret this as an example of media hegemony and situate the Post's coverage within a crisis of hegemony that left the "sacred core" of the Bush frame—American innocence and moral exceptionalism—vulnerable to contestation. Because the Churchill counterframe flagrantly transgressed that "sacred core," it became the irresistible target of media hegemony strategies by the Denver Post.
Update: Grand Valley State University, the Sangamon State of Grand Valley.

Criminal culture glorified

Rolo (the mum-munchin' german shepherd, not the clown) was on the Today Show, um, today. Der News:
Rolo the german shepherd is a nationwide celebri-dog today, with a scheduled appearance this morning on NBC's Today Show with his owner, who battled for eight months to save Rolo from death row.
Celebri-dog. I blame hip-hop. The comments to the story, while waaaaayyyyyyy unsuitable for a family newspaper, are pretty funny. And informative! Don't read them if you are under 18 or "easily upset."

Rolo, by the way, has had a song written about him by "a key member of the Brothers Four and the Kingston Trio," Bob Haworth. Haworth has also appeared on the cover of Jazz Banjo Magazine.

Rad groups coordinate 'outrage' at upcoming trial of R68! member

This stupid blog seems to have become all Recreate68!, all the time, but you got to do the stories as they come along.

In a concerted propaganda effort, Ward Churchill and Benjie Whitmer's filthy Try-Works blog, the emotional adolescents at the "marxist youth organization" F.I.S.T. (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together), the Workers World Party and several other organizations, including the apparently interchangable International Action Center and Action Center for Justice, are running more or less the same post: "Drop the Racist Frame-up Charges Against Larry Hales NOW!

Hales, a Denver-area professional victim and troublema--er, activist--who writes frequently for Workers World and apparently belongs to most of the radical groups in Denver, including F.I.S.T, the Troops Out Now Coalition, Denver Copwatch and (here's where it gets interesting) Recreate68!, faces a preliminary hearing today and trial March 12 on charges of interfering with a police officer. Here's how the Cornell Daily Sun (why?) recounted the incident:
Last November, Denver police, without warrant or permission, broke into the home of anti-police brutality and anti-war activist Larry Hales, who was attacked and promptly arrested for “interfering with the police.” The police knocked on his door, looking for a man on parole who was temporarily staying with Hales and his partner Melissa Kleinman. Hales answered the door, asked for their business cards, which the police must surrender upon request according to a Denver city ordinance, and told them the parolee was not home. Ignoring Hales, the DPD proceeded to barge in, grab him by the neck, twist his arm, rip out some of his dreadlocks, tear his shirt and throw him down the stairs and into the street before punching him in the stomach and throwing him into a cruiser. [And through all that they were ignoring him!] He spent a night in jail. In the meantime, the police officers handcuffed Kleinman to a chair and proceeded to ransack the couple’s home.
Sounds like a bloodbath. But after all that, and as the Denver Post noted at the time:
Hales said he would not seek legal action against the police department but wanted the charge dropped and the officers involved to be suspended.
No lawsuit. Odd that a founder of Denver Copwatch would be so forgiving. You just know he could have sued the pigs to Jesus if he'd wanted to. And amazingly, the officers involved weren't even suspended.

Anyway, the "line" being pushed by Try-Works et al. is that Hales' arrest and upcoming trial constitute Denver's first power play in its effort to illegally and brutally suppress dissent during the Democratic National Convention. In other words, they're trying to get the punks pissed off and in a mood for confrontation. There will, of course, be much more of this as the convention approaches.

Weird Bird Friday

Sorry about missing last week's WBF! What can I say? I'm a bird brain.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Levitation of U.S. Mint highlights R68! protest schedule

Recalling the attempted levitation of the Pentagon during a 1967 Vietnam War protest, radical-dork group Recreate68! plans to raise the U.S. Mint in the air and "shake the money out of it for the people" during the Democratic National Convention in August.

But while that event stands out for its unoriginality and look-at-me stupidity, there's plenty more dumb stuff planned, like the "Festival of Democracy":
[A] five day event running in conjunction with the DNC Convention. The Festival will include free music and performing arts, free food and free institution building [hard to pass that up] and political training. The purpose of the Festival of Democracy will be to share some fun and to work towards the development of programs and networks that will address our community problems, ourselves, without relying on the two party capitalist system.
Fun! And "Days of Resistance":
During the Convention, there will be five major protest, one each day. Each protest will focus on a symptom of the disease of an Imperialist, Capitalist, Racist system as seen in our communities. Some of the proposed themes are as follows: Sunday - End All Occupations at Home and Abroad Monday - Human Rights/Free All Political Prisoners Tuesday - No Warming Wednesday - No Borders Thursday - No Racism/Imperialism
There will also be a separate "End the Occupations March & Rally" (11:00 a.m., August 24, Civic Center Park):
No more free pass for the Democrats. Join R-68, Troops Out Now Coaltion!, United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, The World Worker's Party, F.I.S.T. (Fighting Imperialism Standing Together), and others as we march to end all illegal imperialist occupations in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Hawaii, North America, and others. The Dems have the power to put an end to the United States illegal colonizations and wars, but they will not without pressure from the people. Join us as we create that pressure and say NO MORE! NOT IN OUR NAME! BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW! The March will begin at the Greek amphitheater in Civic Center Park and end on Speer Blvd. in front of the non-union Pepsi Center.
And again, what's sure to be far and away the most embarrassing event of the week (and on the first night, too): Shake Your Moneymaker (August 25, 5 p.m.):
It's time to redistribute the wealth. Between security and corporate pay-offs, the DNC will cost over 100 million dollars for a party. We think the people deserve that money. Join us as we encircle the Denver MInt (where U.S. currency is produced) and use our collective power to raise the mint building in the air and shake the money out of it for the people. Don't forget a sack to put all of your loot in. Bring noise makers, energy, spells, magic, costumes anything that gives you power, we will need it!
They'll need Norman Mailer too, but he's DEAD. At least they'll have a people's health clinic:

Members of the Colorado Street Medics, R-68 and other volunteers will be assembling a five-day, 24-hour FREE health clinic affectionately named "Doc's Place" in memory of Street Medic co-founder Doc Rosen. This will be a separate clinic from all protest related medic work to ensure the safety of and accessibility for oppressed community members. Doc's Place will offer a range of medical options including, but not limited to, traditional Chinese Medicine, herbalism, allopathic care, massage therapy, nutritional information, prenatal services, HIV testing and so on.
Prenatal services. Is there no limit to their caring?

A couple of pages are still under construction. One promises to list "community feeds" ("Don't hide the poor, they are us, feed them instead!"). That one I'll have memorized as soon as it's up. The other will detail Recreate68!'s two-year plan. Bet you didn't see that coming.

Update: A new logo for R68!

So cool. But why are all the fisting sillhouettes male?

Update II: Post somewhat rewritten because a) it sucked; and b) I'd totally buried the lead. Thank God for Write-On Enterprises!

Tantrum throwers get attention

Politico notices Recreate68!

A coalition of anti-war groups is vowing to protest this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Denver under the rubric “Re-create ’68,” prompting criticism from some on the left who are loath to revisit what they see as a disastrous time for both the anti-war movement and the Democratic Party. . . .

Re-create ’68?

“What’s the political calculation that speaks to them of the wisdom of civil disobedience — which means a massive media spectacle — on the brink of a Democratic campaign that could plausibly put a Democrat in the White House who’s committed to withdrawal from Iraq?” asked Todd Gitlin, an anti-Vietnam War activist who was at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. “If the objective is to put a belligerent Republican in the White House, they should keep up the good work.”

Oh, they will, and with more and bigger idiots:

Cynthia McKinney, a former Democratic congresswoman now running as a Green Party candidate for president, will be expressing herself at the demonstration, said organizers. They also plan to reach out to Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent, third-party candidate. The coalition is seeking the support of ANSWER, an anti-war organization [and front for the Workers World Party, of course] with a more radical approach to street protest than [United For Peace and Justice].

Apparently UFPJ has overcome its scruples about participating in protests with a group that refuses to forswear violence. After all, the whole world will be watching. They hope. You'll never guess who else that hope has inspired to attend:
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, said her organization will participate in the demonstrations in order to focus attention on Democrats it believes haven’t done enough to stop the war in Iraq. “We’ll use it as a time to pressure leaders like Nancy Pelosi, who we feel talks a lot about opposing the war but maneuvers Congress to make sure it gets funded,” she said.

No invite for Cindy Sheehan? Oh well, she'll show up anyway.

Turns out Glenn Spagnuolo is a Hillary supporter:

“If Hillary gets the nomination, we’re going to have very large numbers — a solid 50,000 people at every event,” said organizer Glenn Spagnuolo, 37, who wasn’t yet born in 1968.
Only mention of Spags in the story.

Rep. Diane DeGette, a Democrat who represents Denver, was only 11 in 1968, but she said that she’s flummoxed by the notion that anyone would want to re-create the dark days of that year.

“I can’t figure out why, for the life of me, that somebody would want to re-create 68,” she said. “Is it the riots or tear gas — or perhaps the assassinations? Or maybe the election of a Republican president? I’m not sure the name was completely
thought out.”. . .

Gitlin, a former president of Students for a Democratic Society, fears that the protests in Denver will be too much about people speaking their minds and not enough about obtaining the results that they want.

“In the ’60s,” he said, “there were competing strains: the desire for results and the desire for self-expression. This seems to belong squarely in the self-expression camp.”. . .

The "self-expression camp," eh? Well here's a little song for them to sing around the campfire.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For all your broken glass needs

There are two ways to read this:

Either they're offering glass-breaking services (for which there's probably not a whole lot of demand), or it should be "glass [comma] broken." That, I could use. There's at least one vacant lot near here that has hardly any broken glass in it at all. I called the city, but got the usual runaround. Now maybe there's something a common ordinary American citizen can do about it.

Update: You know where Denver gets its supply of broken glass (which it spreads so selectively), don't you? Its recycling program. Off the truck, smashy-smashy, back on the truck, dumped on vacant lots (some vacant lots) all over Denver.

Update II: More fun with Yellow Pages. Under "Writers" there's:

ABD Enterprises (Sure I'll give you a job. Pothead).

Ischemia Technologies (Huh?)

Lead Dog Communications ("We'll piss all over your prose")

Legacy Prose ("Writing the words that'll be read at your funeral")

and, of course, The Write Stuff and Write-On Enterprises.

Drunkablog mood right now:

Mikey standing in the corner.

After you, Alphonse

Just last month EU member countries were given a set of "concrete measures and policies" for reaching a previously agreed goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Now Fwance and Germany are making funny noises. Reuters:
Brussels risks sacrificing European jobs with its plans to cut industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the euro zone's big two economies France and Germany said on Monday.

Europe should lead by example but must not "change the competitiveness of our economy and our companies" by adopting tougher pollution measures than in other parts of the world," said Herve Novelli, France's junior minister for industry.
"Lead by example." Bwuh--man, I can't even work up a bwahahaha. EUreferendum (via whom), also notes Germany's pending failure to meet ethanol and bio-diesel fuel targets, and opines:
Thus, from the EU's obsession with global warming, we can see all sorts of stresses building up, with resistance from member states to implementation of plans they themselves have agreed in principle. This definitely puts the EU on the line. To maintain any credibility, it will have to trying [sic] to force member states to comply with its plans but, as the economic situation gets tighter, this will prove extremely difficult.

We have always felt that global warming could prove the nemesis of the EU and, if these current problems are any guide, we are starting to see the shape of things to come.
Update: Highlighting the urgency of the greenhouse gas problem, a BBC story Monday noted:

Solo showers in jails boost CO2

Giving prisoners their own showers has forced up the government's carbon dioxide emissions, official statistics have shown.

Carbon emissions within former Home Office bodies, including the prison service, rose from 28,237 tonnes in 2005-06 to 28,925 tonnes in 2006-07.

The rise has been attributed to the increase in the prison population and the provision of in-cell showers.

Elsewhere in the story they're referred to as "en suite" showers. NTTAWWT.

(h/t the inimitable "pounce" at Biased BBC.)

Update II: Abraham Lincoln was not gay!

Hanson: Churchill didn't pull out of debate

El Presidente at Slapstick Politics notes that Victor Davis Hanson has apologized on his site for characterizing the cancellation of the debate at CU with Ward Churchill (first reported here) as Churchill having "unexpectedly pulled out." Hanson's explanation now reads, "Debate has been canceled at this time and we are working on an upcoming debate. Our apologies to Ward Churchill for misstating the reasons earlier."

Apparently it was actually a third-party sponsor, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, that cancelled the debate. Charley Arthur (aka Ward Churchill) at the filthy Try-Works blog says Ward "sent" him the explanation from the student head of the ISI, the upshot of which was that circumstances beyond their control caused the cancellation. EP:
The speculation over at Tryworks is that either ISI backed out (probable), Hanson himself chickened out (unlikely), or that a secret conservative cabal of outgoing CU President Hank Brown, President-elect Bruce Benson, and others determined that a VDH-WC debate wouldn't play well (?, also unlikely). There is also mention of Churchill pressing his contractual rights, and a potential lawsuit.
Of course. But as EP points out,
Having had some experience with bringing out high-profile speakers to CU Boulder as an undergraduate, I can say that coordinating a debate is a logistical nightmare. Having multiple parties involved--VDH and Churchill, ISI, and CU (at a minimum)--only makes the situation more complicated and more fragile. The likelihood for miscommunication rises, and could give the impression (in this case, a false one) that one party "unexpectedly pulled out", when in fact no such thing happened.
Teapot-sized though this tempest is, we'll keep you posted on developments.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Not me:
A statehouse visitor was in police custody today after reportedly being ejected from the House and then getting into a scuffle with troopers inside the Capitol. . . .

According to witnesses, the man said he wanted to address "the people" and didn't stop when sergeants-at-arms told him he was not allowed to walk down the center aisle.
Not my dog:
Rolo the dog is guilty.

Or, rather, his owner is guilty of having a dog at large and owning a dangerous animal, an Arvada jury decided this afternoon.

Rolo's owner, Laura Hagan, cried upon hearing the verdicts.
I read this story to Billy Bob. He said it was "a wakeup call" that would "change the way he thought" about biting people.

Update: Rolo lives. Damn. Now Billy Bob's all with the gang signs and shit again. Stupid dog.

Black armband history

Tim Giago in the Native American Times on a strange holiday:
For some odd reason, and I will explain what I mean by odd later, the tribal government of the Oglala Sioux Tribe celebrates a reservation-wide holiday on February 27.

On Feb. 27, 1973, a group of American Indian Movement members occupied the Pine Ridge Reservation village of Wounded Knee. The village soon became “The Knee” to the occupiers.

In the 71 day occupation an entire village was pillaged and destroyed and more than 30 families, the original inhabitants of Wounded Knee, mostly Lakota people, were left homeless. A trading post, actually more of a grocery store than trading post, was burned to the ground and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church was also destroyed. . . .

The ousted citizens of Wounded Knee Village have tried without success to have their homes rebuilt. In the interim, the leaders of AIM have raised millions of dollars for its projects and legal defense funds, but have not contributed a single dollar to rebuild the village they helped to destroy. . . .

Pine Ridge still has one of the highest infant mortality rates in America, some of the shortest life spans for adults, and one of the highest rates of unemployment in America. February 27 should not be celebrated as a holiday, but as a day of mourning. Every member of the tribe should wear black armbands.
Just a couple of weeks ago I quoted this from a 2001 interview of Russell Means in The Progressive:
Q: What lasting effect did the occupation of Wounded Knee have on the Indian community at Pine Ridge?

Russell Means: It gave birth to self-dignity and self-pride and the idea that we can self-determine on our own merits. In 1973, the full-blood Indians on the reservation were living in abject poverty. They were totally overlooked, and their spirits were almost totally destroyed. Our culture, our song, our old people--everything was denigrated by our own people, as well as by the larger society.

What Wounded Knee did was give pride in just the fact that you are an Indian, and you can do something, and we have allies.
Read the whole Giago piece.

(h/t Snapple)

Update: Giago gets in a plug for former FBI agent Joe Trimbach's book on the sacking of Pine Ridge, American Indian Mafia. Now so did I.

Ritter: brokered Dem convention may increase protests

The guv on Colorado Public Radio yesterday:

[W]e’re very mindful of the potential for protests at this convention anyway. This is apart from whether or not it’s a brokered convention. America’s a great country. And part of it being a great country is there’s a freedom of speech. Part of the freedom of speech is the right to protest. It can’t be violent. You can’t break laws but you can certainly engage, you can participate in a way that is, you know, contentious, publicly contentious. So when you’re planning a big convention like this, there’s a great amount of planning that goes into security planning. So, there may be additional protests if it’s a brokered convention but we have in place a security plan already that will allow people, I believe, to exercise their First Amendment right and still protect the public.
And since Recreate68! has been involved, the plan is foolproof. Foolproof, I tells ya!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lincoln stuff

Finally finished downloading the 36 discs of Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about Often-Honest Abe and his cabinet, Team of Rivals, to the Drunkablog I-Pud. At roughly six and a half minutes per disc, it took (hmmm, 36 times 6.5--that's a shoes off problem) almost four hours of downloading.

Not sure it's going to be worth it, either. I don't know much about Goodwin except that she used to be on Don Imus a lot and that she improperly footnoted, er, misread her notes, er, plagiarized in several of her books, big-time. And I read one of her Kennedy hagiographies many years ago--Schlongs of Our Fathers, I think it was.

Anyway, Team of Rivals is a little too Lincoln-looney even for me (I've listened to five or six discs). It's also convinced me that Lincoln was definitely gay. Wait, did I say "definitely gay"? I meant "definitely an astute politician" (who was gay).

James M. McPherson sure liked the book. But he would.

Everybody's probably seen the newly discovered pictures of Lincoln's second inauguration. I don't care. Here's one of them, from the same Library of Congress that mislabeled them in the first place:

Soldiers lining up.

Australian multi-blogger John Ray last month posted some little-known (he claims) Lincoln quotes, like this: "My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery." Maybe they're little known to Aussies. But Ray is solidly in the Lincoln-was-a-fascist camp (as you'll realize by reading his post, "Abraham Lincoln: Fascist"). I maybe even understand why somebody might feel that way, but: tough. Why does everyone think the South, if allowed to go its own way, would eventually and peacefully have rejoined the Union? They might just as well have committed genocide against their slaves before or after becoming a socialist paradise and nuking New York. Nobody knows (he said sententiously).

Farrakhan endorses Obama

In his first major public address since a cancer crisis, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Sunday that presidential candidate Barack Obama is the "hope of the entire world" that the U.S. will change for the better.
Gee, he used to think Mao was the hope of the entire world.
Farrakhan compared Obama to the [Nation of Islam's] founder, Fard Muhammad, who also had a white mother and black father.

"A black man with a white mother became a savior to us," he told the crowd of mostly followers. "A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall."
(via Belmont Club)

Update: Chicago Tribune:
Although Farrakhan's praise for Obama may generate increased support from the black community, the Obama campaign's response was cool.
"Senator Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hanson-Churchill debate canceled

Rats. The message on Hanson's site:
Debate canceled until we find another opponent. Ward Churchill unexpectedly pulled out.

Sunday NIght at the Radio!

Jack Benny: "Jack watches TV" (18 February 1951). Jack also gets a violin lesson: "Play it softly not so brassy, pull your tongue in you're not Lassie."

And Gunsmoke: "The Railroad" (27 October 1952).

Three sentences

From Professor Peter Kirstein's speech at NYU's "academic freedom conference" yesterday:
Let us be clear. Let us be direct. There is a movement in this country, while claiming a monopoly on patriotism, is a threat to the national interest.
Update: Onward and Wardward:

PB quotes from an account of a typical Ward Churchill class from a woman who took five of them (I'm snarkless) from the hack:
His midterm "exams" consisted of ten true/false items, with bonus points for spelling your name correctly. If you simply showed up for class, you got an "A" on this test. The final was the killer for most indoctrinated students, however, as Ward always wanted us to write a paper that dealt with how the material impacted our lives, individually. For me, this was a chance to place myself within a brand new reality pradigm, which challenged every assumption about the world I'd compiled to date. For most others, however, this idea of applying the material to their life was more than they could handle -- and it was astonishing to find out just how many students failed his courses for not completing the final.
Yeah, that must have been it.

The celebutards at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network have posted their wart-take on the selection of Bruce Benson as prez of CU:

As you may remember, CU President Betsy Hoffman announced her resignation a few days after warning the faculty about the “new McCarthyism” attending Ward Churchill’s case. She was replaced by Hank Brown, one of the founding members of Lynne Cheney’s American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). ACTA issued its “How Many Ward Churchills?” report in the midst of the Churchill investigation. Brown announced his plans to retire almost immediately after ensuring that Ward Churchill was fired.

Benson’s qualifications?

A member of ACTA’s Trustee’s Council (click here for more on the ACTA connection to Ward Churchill’s case)

Multi-millionaire oil and gas executive

Has a BA in geology; apparently believes we don’t really need to worry about climate change (since people and plants emit CO2)

As president of the trustees at Metropolitan State, had the rules rewritten to eliminate tenured faculty and replace them with cheaper help (otherwise known as the Wal-Mart approach).

Update II: Wordsmith Kirstein again: "Senators Obama, Clinton, McCain: Your Silence on Gun Control is Defeaning"

Update III: In the New York Times, Stanley Fish sides with the Solidaires (and CriticalThinking Kirstein) on Benson's appointment:
In one of those ironies that make life interesting, the University of Colorado, which dismissed controversial professor Ward Churchill because of doubts about his academic qualifications, has appointed a president who doesn’t have any. (The final vote was taken on Feb. 20.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Abstract(s) of the week!

"The Comrades' Belief: Intended and Unintended Consequences of Communism for Neighbourhood Relations in the Former GDR."

We examine how relationships among neighbours in the former GDR were affected by the regime's housing policy of mixing people of different classes. Our retrospective data were collected in May 1992 (n= 189) and in April 1993 (n = 300) among two random samples of respondents in Leipzig and Dresden. While the communist regime was very successful at creating neighbourhoods of mixed social composition, its housing policy failed to create friendship between classes. . . . We understand these shallow and homogeneous neighbourhood networks as the unintended effect of the party's political control of private life: one would be unlikely to invest in relations that posed a threat and with individuals one did not trust, such as neighbours, who were dissimilar to oneself and who, because they lived next-door, knew about one's private life as well. . . .

It's possible to use this word too much, but: duh. (By the way, if you haven't seen The Lives of Others yet, don't bother, because you're dead to me. Get it? Dead.)

More about me:

"Selective memory and the persistence of paradoxical self-esteem."

Previous research suggests that paradoxical self-esteem (contrasting levels of self-liking and self-competence) is associated with selective memory for self-relevant information. The form and function of this bias was examined here. College students classified as paradoxical or nonparadoxical viewed a series of trait adjectives. Recognition memory for the words was later tested. Results revealed that heightened selectivity in paradoxicals was limited to words conveying low social worth. Those paradoxically low in self-liking showed distinctively good memory and those paradoxically high in self-liking showed distinctively bad memory for these words. . . . The claim that memory bias contributes to the persistence of paradoxical self-esteem was also tested. As expected, the self-liking of paradoxicals with the strongest memory bias showed the least shift toward self-competence four months later.

Least shift toward self-competence. That really hurts.

What were we talking about?

Mandatory diversity training for Campus Press staff

How unexpected:
The University of Colorado student newspaper's staff will undergo diversity training and meet other measures outlined Thursday by CU officials in response to a column published earlier this week that said Asian people should be rounded up, "hog-tied" and "forced to eat bad sushi."
Specifically, the paper will "schedule a series of diversity-awareness workshops for the entire staff with the CU Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, with participation of professional journalists of color."

And, of course, a lesson has been learned:
"I'm confident that the current crop of editors has begun to develop a new, more nuanced understanding of the delicate balance between absolute free speech and journalistic social responsibility," [j-school dean Paul] Voakes wrote. "I also want to apologize on behalf of the school for the upset that our student publication has created."
CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard was unctuous: "I think they learned words have power to wound and to hurt."

God, what a school.

Update: Slapstick Politics wonders, "Where are the Ward Churchill acolytes to defend Karson's free speech protections?"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wolves removed from endangered species list

Bill Scanlon's story in the Rocky:

Wolves proved so resilient in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana that today the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the Endangered Species List, turning their management over to the states, along with the $3 million yearly price tag.

The delisting doesn't affect Colorado, because there have been virtually no wolves in the state since the 1930s, aside from a few cases of individual wolves found the past few years — either their footsteps spotted, or a carcass found on a major highway. . . .

Still, there may come a day when breeding pairs make it here, in which case they'll be treated as endangered species and given all the protection that such a listing entails, F&W officials said in a conference call today.

"The wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains are thriving and no longer require federal protection," Lynn Scarlett, deputy Secretary of the Interior, said during a conference call, crediting the wolves themselves, but also the states and tribes in the area. . . .

She credited the wolves? What was it, like, "hats off to the wolves!" or "those wolves deserve a raise!" or what?

"The expansion of the wolf population has been stunning," said Lyle Laverty, assistant secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks. "It's because of years and years of hard work from academics, consumer groups, landowners, state governments.
Never mess with activist wolf-consumers.
"We're confident the wolves will be in good hands"
(Or, as someone says in comments, "they taste like dog.")
Hall said about a quarter of all adult wolves in the area die each year, either from being shot, run over or other causes. Still, the wolf population has been expanding 24 percent a year, he said.
That seems like an awful lot to mahhhhaggggggggggggghbhh-
hhhgggggghhhhhhhck . . .

Sorry, just Billy Bob, but wolves were reintroduced only in 1995 and there were only 66 of them, facts Scanlon doesn't mention. I'm no lepidoptorist (and neither is my wife, goddamnit), but that seems like pretty good multiplying.
Ed Bangs, Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator for USF&W, said Montana, Wyoming and Idaho all have agreed to make sure the populations in their states never get below 15 breeding pairs and 150 individual wolves.
Just knowing there exists a person going under the moniker, "Ed Bangs, Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, USF&W," gives me renewed faith in America. But Bangs seems somewhat self-contradictorally dismissive about wolves' chances in Colorado:
"The chances of a pair of wolves getting into Colorado are fairly low," Bangs said. . . .

Wolves are "extremely adaptable animals" that can live "anywhere humans allow them to live," Bangs said. Still, "clearly, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have, head-and-shoulders, the best habitat."

Colorado has beautiful wilderness areas, but perhaps not enough sustained unspoiled areas to support wolves, especially in winter when wildlife moves to lower elevations, he said.
He just said they can live anywhere humans allow them to, for pity's sake. They'd thrive here; in fact, they're already here. The wolf Scanlon mentions that was found dead on a "major Colorado highway"? The major highway was I-70, it was the first wolf sighting in the state in 70 years, and it was one of the Montana pack. Odd Scanlon doesn't include that factoid.
Colorado has a plan ready to go if wolves get here on their own, but the US Fish & Wildlife Service has no plans to reintroduce wolves here, Bangs said.
They'll just let "nature" take its course. But if that doesn't do it:
Earlier this week, WildEarth Guardians said it will sue the National Park Service for not giving a fair look at reintroducing wolves to Rocky Mountain National Park as a way of controlling elk overpopulation. . . .
WildEarth Guardians has the requisite run-together words in its name, but where's the exclamation point?
Ron Green of Little Falls, Minn., said, "If the bureaucrats want to trim the elk herd, wolves are the best way.

"If they insist on shooting the animals, then a special hunting season should be implemented, with the tag money going to reintroduce the wolves."
And just who the f#ck is Ron Green of Little Falls, Minn., when he's at home in (consulting notes) Little Falls, Minn.?
But Dr. Myron Goldstein of Morrison wrote that he spends part of the year in Cody, Wyoming, near Yellowstone National Park and has seen wolves destroy too many elk and moose.
Same question, of course, applies to ol' Myron (just substitute Morrison, Colorado and Cody, Wyoming for Little Falls, Minn.)

"The wolf is a very successful predator and not only kills to eat, but kills everything it can," Goldstein said. "The introduction of wolves is a terrible idea. If it is determined that elk populations need to be controlled, then hunting is the best way to do it.

"The idea of introducing wolves to control elk populations is equivalent to putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank."

Too late. Whatever Ed Bangs says, Colorado is going to have a wolf population. Ranchers, environmentalists and property owners will be at each others' throats, and wolves will get in people's garbage and eat the occasional dog, baby or aged adult.

All adding to the variety of life. Somehow.

Anarchy in the U.S

Speaking of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement-Denver (and if you're not, pretend to, at once!), they did a little gorilla (see? I know how to spell it now) theater on Colorado primary day, hanging signs off an overpass on I-25:

Racist, of course. And blurry.

Pics autocontrasted so you can actually read the things. (Anarchists, incompetent? Who'd a thunk it?)

The comments are hilarious. "Agentofkaos" (his mom gave him the nick) sez:
Bad ass. [Bad ass--ed.] Can imagine how daily commuters felt seeing these messages. Heard anarchists were to drop banners that day too about the election, We Vote No and stuff. Any pics of those?
Since Agentofkaos doesn't describe how he imagines daily commuters felt, allow me:

Commuter #1: Assholes.

Commuter #2: Assholes.

Commuter #3: Peter Boyles is such an asshole.

Commuter #4 . . . . . . . (reading newspaper)

"Smash Amerikkka" weighs in:
Those banners are great. Excellent work! I hope that anti-white, anti-Amerikkkan propaganda will be a regular feature in occupied Colorado. Those fucking Amerikkkan crackers need to hear it.
Racist, of course.

What happened to the signs? Did the pigs eventually take them down?

No, they're still there. Idiot.

"Anarchy lives" adds piquantly:
Those slogans are great. Not the typical liberal crap. Good to see something with some bite around here. I bet the pigs shit bricks. Right the fuck on! Fuck the pigs! Fuck Amerikkka! Smash the State!
I bet the pigs shit bricks. Again the bizarre leftist self-aggrandizement that magnifies a pointless (and annoying and boorish and unfunny) gesture into an heroic act of defiance. (Think Columbus Day protests, or, more recently and trivially, Ward Churchill and Try-Works' embarrassing "Pigasus II" campaign.)

Peter Boyles' wiki, by the way, appears to have been written by Peter Boyles.

Ward Churchill's class schedule released

The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement announces Wart's rogue class schedule for this spring:
For a second semester some fine students from CU-Boulder are hosting a lecture series by Ward Churchill. Class begin next Tuesday. Below is the tentative schedule with room numbers.

2/26/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 199 Confirmed
3/4/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 252 Confirmed
3/11/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 252 Confirmed
3/18/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 252 Confirmed
4/1/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 252 Confirmed
4/22/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 252 Confirmed
4/29/2008 7:00 PM 10:15 PM Hellems Room 252 Confirmed
Kind of a short semester. Probably be difficult to finish all the required readings, papers and tests, huh?

Update: Ugh, just noticed the class is three-and-a-quarter hours long. But I guess Wart's cig breaks will cut that down to a more reasonable hour and a half.

Benson's the one

On a party line vote, University of Colorado regents have picked Bruce Benson to lead the university into (well, a few years toward) the 22nd century. The News:

Newly appointed University of Colorado President Bruce Benson vowed Wednesday to build the kind of support among students and faculty members he enjoys among some of the state's education leaders.

"I will be out building bridges, creating bonds," Benson said shortly after the regents named him the 22nd CU president on a 6-3, party-line vote, with Democrats opposed.

It was the first time since 1974 that a CU president was appointed on a split vote.

Benson said he'll schedule meetings with groups who opposed him, including the regents who voted against his appointment.

"When your votes are over, you just forget everything in the past. You embrace everybody. You treat everybody exactly the same, work together for the common good of our institution," he said.

Benson briefly hugged Regent Cindy Carlisle, a Boulder Democrat.

Shud. Der.

Still, it's amazing that the Try-Works' opposition (Pigasus II!) failed to derail Benson's bid.

More: Everybody is spewing apologies for CU student Max Karson's lame "Asians hate us" column in the Campus Press the other day, with several pointing out that the column wasn't "properly labeled" as satire. Again, if you need to label it, it ain't.

More more: CU red "scare" figure dies. The News (what would we do without the noble institution of the newspaper?) again:
The last surviving University of Colorado faculty member investigated and fired during the "Red Scare" has died at age 91.

Judd was dismissed from the university in the 1950s after refusing to answer questions about his political beliefs in the CU inquest that produced a secret 126-page report. CU's Board of Regents voted 50 years after Judd's firing to make public that document, which had been locked away in a bank vault.

It confirmed what many people had suspected was the real reason for Judd's dismissal: His name had been added to a list of suspected subversives because he wouldn't give a straight answer to former CU President Robert Stearns' questions, "Are you a member of the Communist Party," and "Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?"

Stearns originally said Judd was let go because he was a boring teacher -- even though his department had judged him the most valuable of its instructors, upped his pay and recommended his promotion.
Sounds like Ward Churchill. But isn't refusing to "give a straight answer" (i.e., lying) grounds in itself for dismissal? Doesn't matter:
When the secret report was released in 2002, Judd was awarded a medal for his service to academic freedom.
The one question left unanswered is put by a commenter: "Well Mr. Judd were you a communist?"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PC controversy at CU

This one sparked by Max Karson, the strange-o (I mean, "Carson" with a "k"?) arrested last year just after the Virginia Tech shootings for expressing inappropriate anger at inanimate objects.

This time Karson's written a column in the Campus Press titled "If it's war the Asians want. . . it's war they'll get." The Daily Gamera's Heath Urie reports:
An editorial penned this week by a University of Colorado student has divided some past and present members of the Campus Press -- the official student newspaper at CU -- and enraged other students for what some said is a racist and inflammatory commentary about people of Asian ethnicity.
The column is actually just utterly unfunny satire, like this:
When I blow my whistle we will scatter in every direction and capture as many Asians as possible. Make sure to pay special attention to the rec center, the UMC, the math and engineering buildings and Lollicup. If you're not sure someone's an Asian, give them a calculus problem to solve in their head. If they get it right, net 'em.
Har. But as Urie notes, the Campus Press gave no warning that the piece was satire. Very irresponsible. Now it's a big deal. The Rocky has more, and even uses the word "firestorm."

Update: Didn't Swift put some kind of warning on "A Modest Proposal"? "Here be satire" or "I keed! I keed!" or something?

Crazy talk

Fort Collins poetess Natalie Constanza-Chavez tries to clue you lunkheads in:

Mentally ill need healing, not ridicule

. . . [L]let me list every slang word I can think of for psychiatric hospitals: loony bin, funny farm, insane asylum, nut house, booby hatch, bedlam, bug house, psycho ward, cuckoo's nest, laughing academy, mad house, snake pit, rubber room, lunatic asylum, padded cell, crazy house. If you know any others, please add them to the list.

There's a bunch in Thomas Szasz's A Lexicon of Lunacy, though only a few good ones like "Squirrel Ranch," "Nut Foundry," and "Transitional Living Center." (A couple--"Buggery" and "Home of Twisted Nuts"--are unintentionally funny. English is not Szasz's native language.) Costanza-Chavez:

What they are is ill. Chronically, maybe. Situationally, maybe. It matters not. . . .

Some people are so sad, they believe they will never get better. Sometimes they can't even take care of themselves. Some people are deeply confused by an illness that they can't understand or control. Some people are such a danger to themselves, are perhaps even to others, that they — for a time — can't
be alone. . . .

These people are called "your family."
So why is it that we think it's OK to target someone's ill fortune just because that ill fortune happens to be a mental illness? It's awfully old-fashioned, don't you think?
I guess so. Strangely, Ms. Constanza-Chavez cites no specific examples of this "mental" cruelty, though one imagines she's thinking of Britney Spears or maybe Doug Bruce. Anyway:
The next time you hear a joke about the latest person to timber down into painful public splinters, remind yourself it's 2008.
"Timber down into painful public splinters." See? A poetess.

Psychiatric hospitals are places of healing, just like regular hospitals.

Well, the patients can be a little different. (Yes, I know (most of the time) that it's 2008.)
I'd bet my life on one if I needed it.
When your time comes, honey, you don't have a choice. It's not called an involuntary 72-hour-hold for nothing.
No one wants to be unwell. No one.
Except people with Munchhausen Syndrome. Okay, I'll stop (sometimes I'm afraid I won't be able to stop). Read the whole thing. It'll make you want to go out and mock a paranoid schizophrenic (don't: they can't take a joke at all).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Strange science: nighttime light increases breast cancer rates

Women who live in neighborhoods with large amounts of nighttime illumination are more likely to get breast cancer than those who live in areas where nocturnal darkness prevails, according to an unusual study that overlaid satellite images of Earth onto cancer registries.

The finding adds credence to the hypothesis that exposure to too much light at night can raise the risk of breast cancer by interfering with the brain's production of a tumor-suppressing hormone. . . .

The mechanism of such a link, if real, remains mysterious, but many scientists suspect that melatonin is key. Secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, the hormone helps prevent tumor formation. The body produces melatonin primarily at night, and levels drop precipitously in the presence of light, especially light in the blue part of the spectrum produced in quantity by computer screens and fluorescent bulbs.

Abraham Haim, a University of Haifa chronobiologist involved in the study, said the findings raise questions about the recent push to switch to energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, which suppress melatonin production more than conventional incandescent bulbs. "This may be a disaster in another 20 years," Haim said, "and you won't be able to reverse what we did by mistake." He called for more research before policies favoring fluorescent lights are implemented, and for more emphasis on using less light at night.
And the energy bill signed into law in December mandates phasing out incandescent bulbs over the next dozen years. Sheet.

Contiguous stories

On the Rocky's news page:

Colorado highways less deadly
Coloradoans are dramatically safer on the state's highways today, as the number of fatal and injury crashes has plummeted 63 percent in seven years.

State patrol seeks to increase more than 100 traffic fines
State patrol chief Mark Trostell has a new strategy in his drive to eliminate traffic deaths: raise fines.
Update: Sixty-three percent? Incredible.

Monday, February 18, 2008

International news

Al Jazeera interviewed antisemite academic Normie Finkelstein the other day. He's working on his seventh book, the fetchingly titled A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-up of American Zionism, and in the midst of an international speaking tour. Good quotes:
Al Jazeera: Has there been much controversy so far on your speaking tour?

Finkelstein: There are some die-hards occasionally in the US but that has pretty much ended.

Israel's case [for occupation] has collapsed, it's not just weak, it has collapsed. You could see in the audience [at Manchester University] there was a row of hostile people who were anxious to hear me finally come to the end, but when I was done they had no objections because you can't argue the case any more. . . .

[AJ]: George Bush, the US president, has called Iran and North Korea "rogue states". Do you consider Israel a "rogue state"?

It is more than a rogue state. It is a lunatic state. The only country in the world where the population overwhelmingly supports an attack on Iran is Israel – 78 per cent want to attack Iran. The state has gone berserk. The whole world is yearning for peace, and Israel is constantly yearning for war.
Constantly yearning for war. DePaul sure screwed up, denying this guy tenure. One more little quote from the Finkster:
One million Palestinians armed with picks and hammers should go to that wall and say "The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said this wall has to be dismantled. We are implementing the ICJ decision. We are knocking down the wall."
That'll work.

Days before Australia (or "the Rudd government"--take your pick) apologized to the Aborigines, the Australian published a "preliminary extract" from Keith Windschuttle's forthcoming The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume Two: "The Stolen Generations," in which the muckraker of the Australian history profession proposes (yes, modestly) much more than an apology:
If the Rudd Government apologises to the Stolen Generations it should not stop at mere words. It should pay a substantial sum in compensation. This was the central recommendation of the Human Rights Commission's Bringing Them Home report in 1997.

The charge that justified this, the report said, was genocide. This allegedly took place from the 1910s until the late '60s right across Australia. In some parts of the commonwealth it was still going on in the '80s.

None of the politicians who plan to apologise next Wednesday can avoid the term genocide. It is embedded in the very meaning of the phrase "Stolen Generations".

Bringing Them Home found indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes so they could be raised separately from and ignorant of their culture and people.

The ultimate purpose, it claimed, was to end the existence of the Aborigines as a distinct people.
For those who believe this, Windschuttle has some rough figures:
The Aboriginal population today numbers almost 500,000, living in about 100,000 families. Those who are serious about an apology should back it with a lump sum payment of $500,000 to each family, a total of $50 billion. Only an amount on this scale can legitimately compensate for such a crime and satisfy the grievances of activists such as Lowitja O'Donohue and Michael Mansell.
Sounds reasonable to me. Did I ever tell you my grandmother claimed she was Aborigine? She got stuck in the loony bin for it (well, that and the cannibalism), but I believed her. No blood quantum!

Speaking of self-identifiers, finally there's a way for Ward Churchill to become a real Indian. Russell Means, Chief Facilitator of the new but unimproved Republic of Lakotah (told you this was international news), said in an interview last month that people who renounced their U.S. citizenship and became citizens of the republic could also become Lakota. He offered no details.

(h/t Snaps in comments)

Update: Here's the Israeli poll Finkelstein is referring to (I think). Scrupulous, ain't he?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Sunday night JB: "The Cast Sings the Commercial" (3 June 1951).

And I need a Pat Novak For Hire: "Rubin Calloway's Picture" (13 March 1949).

A blubbery stench

Benjie Whitmer's filthy Ward Churchill-supporting Try-Works blog is busy trashing longtime University of Colorado history professor Patty Limerick after she wrote a letter to the editor supporting Bruce Benson as president of CU (no link, h/t Snaps). Ignoring her (reasonable) arguments, Whitmer repeats another blogger's charges of cronyism because Benson serves on the board of the Center of the American West, for which Limerick is faculty director and chair.

Strangely though, Whitmer doesn't mention that Limerick was also a victim of Ward Churchill's scholarly fraud, when he misused a quote from her book, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West, to support his oft-repeated lie that the 1887 Dawes Act contained a "formal eugenics code" requiring a certain blood quantum as proof of Indianness. As Berny Morson wrote in the Rocky's series on Churchill back in 2005 Frontpage's reprint):
But the passage he cites from Limerick's The Legacy of Conquest refers not to the Dawes Act, but to a proposal floated - then dropped - a century later by the Reagan administration for administering the Indian Health Service.
What the hell, only a century off. (Professor John Lavelle's disclosure of this particular fraud is contained in his 1996 review (pdf, p. 111) of Chutch's Indians Are Us?: Culture and Genocide in Native North America.) (h/t, again, Snaps, and somewhere in there, Noj.)

It's guerrilla theater, man

Try-Works, by the way, has out-recreated Recreate68! by starting a campaign to have Pigasus II, a nonexistent pig, named president of CU. The campaign, of course, is a slavish imitation of Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies' likewise hilarious running of a pig (the original Pigasus) for president of the U.S. in 1968. That's right: Wart, Benjie and the little Chutches think Abbie Hoffman was funny.

Here's the petition, just as childishly nasty as you'd expect. First signee, Ward; second signee, Benjie. Almost all the other signatures are fake, and include PB's Jim Paine, Grant Crowell, and, of course, Snapple. [Update: CU law prof Tom Russell is also an involuntary signee.]

Snapple points out, by the way, that Benjie and his Try-Works homonculi are still signing her name to fake deleted comments, and signing other banned enemies' names to some of the obscene and lying comments that are posted. Well, Ward's an old hand at signing others' work (and vice-versa), and Benjie hasn't been above praising himself through a sockpuppet, so, no surprise there.

Update: I misspelled "guerrilla." Fixxed. [update to update: and said the Dawes Act was passed in 1885 when it was 1887. Brain farts multiplying . . .]

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Existential question

Transcript isn't up yet, but apparently in discussing with Bill "Wedgehead" O'Reilly last night whether students and professors should be allowed to carry guns on campus (on the theory that this might prevent, or shorten, massacres like the one at NIU Thursday), Marc Lamont Hill, a professor of urban studies at Temple, asked the Leader of the Anti-Churchill Forces, "Would you want Ward Churchill carrying a gun?"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Boulder updates

Dit-dit, dit-dit-dit, dit, dit-dit-dit-dit, dit-dit:

CU faculty, students say bugger off, Benson; and

Boulder Bush-impeachment bid blocked.

Update: More on Benson:

Bruce Benson was answering questions about his support for diversity on campus last week when he assured University of Colorado students that he absolutely supports the "handicaps."

Students booed. But he used the term again.

This from a man whose resume lists involvement with the National Sports Center for the Disabled and his role as director at the Institute for Cognitive Disabilities.

Okay (not great) band name: Bruce and the Handicaps.

Weird Bird Friday

Happy Valentine's Day!

From here.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

From the desk of Barrister benson smith

Please kindly accept my apology for sending unsolicited mail to you I believe you are a highly respected personality considering the fact that I sourced your profile from a human resource profile database of your country.
Oh yes, the Highly Respected Personality Human Resource Profile Database. It was quite an honor to be included.
Well, I am Barrister benson smith, a Solicitor. I am the Personal Attorney to Mr ANDREAS SCHRANNER Who Died With all his Family in a Plane Crash in the month of July 2000.
You know Where this is Going. I'm rich! Rich, rich, rich!

'Climate change' blamed for wrong predictions

The Post:
Dry-winter forecasts were flat wrong this year for much of Colorado and the Southwest, and weather experts say they're struggling to understand why the snow just keeps falling.

Some forecasters blame climate change, and others point to the simple vicissitudes of weather. Regardless, almost everyone called for a dry-to-normal winter in Colorado and the Southwest — but today, the state's mountains are piled so thick with snow that state reservoirs could fill and floods could be widespread this spring.

"The polar jet stream has been on steroids. We don't understand this. It's pushing our limits, and it's humbling," said Klaus Wolter, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado at Boulder. . . .

"Wolter said he's troubled that his and other long-range forecasts have been off two years in a row now. . . .

"So we have two years in a row here where the atmosphere does not behave as we expect," Wolter said. "Maybe global changes are pulling the rug out from underneath us. We may not know the answer for 10 years, . . . but one pet answer is that you should get more variability with global change."


Update: We got only about an inch of the six inches of snow predicted for Denver yesterday.

Update II: Purgatory extends season:

Purgatory Mountain in Durango has extended it season by a week because it has received so much snow this winter.

More than 21 feet of snow have fallen at the ski area in the past 10 weeks. About 10 inches fell late Wednesday night with another 6 to 14 inches possible by Friday.

One comment, from "Hydro_Man": "God bless global warming!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cowtown? Ha!

The Post has this photo of Denver's newest piece of public art:

The sculpture [Mustang], designed by the late artist Luis Jimenez, was installed Monday on a dirt mound between the inbound and outbound lanes of Pena Boulevard, before the inbound road branches off to the east and west terminals [of DIA]. The mustang's creator, Luis Jimenez, was killed in 2006 when the torso portion of the sculpture swung out of control and fell on him while it was being hoisted in his New Mexico studio. The 32-foot-tall rearing blue fiberglass horse with fiery red eyes left California on a flatbed trailer late last week and arrived at its new home at Denver International Airport on Sunday. (photo by Barry Gutierrez)
Commenters are calling it "the horse from The Exorcist," "Satan's stallion," "the ring-wraith horse from Lord of the Rings" and (my favorite) "Death."

Update: I predict that this horse (and the noble mound of dirt on which it sits), will some day be a World Heritage Site.

House crazy

Fresh off his his censure for kicking a photographer during the House's morning prayer, Rep. Doug Bruce added massively to his Grandmaster Jerk points today. The Rocky:

Rep. Douglas Bruce did it again.

The Colorado Springs Republican last month outraged fellow lawmakers by kicking a Rocky Mountain News photographer during the morning prayer on the House floor in his first day as a representative. Colleagues voted to make him the first state lawmaker in history to be censured for dishonoring House decorum and basic decency.

Today he infuriated fellow lawmakers by being the lone legislator who refused to cosponsor a Joint House-Senate resolution honoring Military and Veterans Appreciation Day. He would not say why he did it.

“Today we were honoring people who died for our country, who served our country, and Douglas Bruce is spitting in the eye of every veteran who served our country, and it’s a disgrace,” said Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. “I’m so angry I can’t even talk right now.”

Rep. Rob Witwer, R-Genessee, said he’d never seen a colleague refuse to cosponsor the annual resolution.

“Some of our veterans have sacrificed all for their country,” Witwer said. “The least we can do is say thank you.”
And that's his own party.

Democrats were also stunned and dismayed.

“I feel like I want to say to him what we used to say in the McCarthy era, ‘Have you no shame?’” said Rep. Alice Borodkin, D-Denver.

It was a catchphrase, like "smell you later."

The rookie lawmaker has often protested other ceremonial resolutions, including an annual one honoring President Ronald Reagan’s birthday, as a waste of lawmaker’s time that could be better spent working on legislation.

Yet Bruce did cosponsor resolutions honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Colorado 4-H Day.
He's nuts.

Update: Bruce has been kicked off the House veterans and military affairs committee.

It's 66 degrees and sunny

Tomorrow the forecast is for six inches of snow and a high of 29. I blame everything but anthropogenic global warming.

Anti-semitism at UC-Irvine

A just-released report (pdf) states the problem:
1. Jewish students have been subject to physical and verbal harassment because they are Jewish and support Israel;

2. Hate speech, both direct and symbolic, is directed at Jews by speakers and demonstrators;

3. An annual week-long event sponsored by the Muslim Student Union is an anti-Semitic hate fest targeting Israel and Jews using lies and propaganda dating back to the anti-Semitism of the Middle Ages;

4. Speakers who are pro-Israel and/or those who condemn speakers who espouse anti-American and anti-Israeli views are subject to disruptive behavior by Muslim students and their supporters;

5. Jewish students claim they are subject to a hostile class environment by faculty members who adopt an anti-Israel bias;

6. Materials contained in certain Middle-East Studies courses are biased and are indicative of a “leftist” orthodoxy that characterizes this area of study;

7. The UCI administration is not responsive to complaints by Jewish students.

8. Jewish students complain of a “double standard” when the administration enforces campus rules and regulations.
The report, though long and kind of poorly written, is worth reading. It even mentions the incident last spring in which blogger reutrcohen was interviewing Ward Churchill and a member of the Muslim Student Union kept shoving a camera in her face (p. 14).

(via reutrcohen, duh)

Berkeley breakdown

Latest is the San Francisco Chronicle saying the Berkeley City Council is "ready to rescind" its disinvitation to the Marine Corps recruitment center. They have video and pics.

Zombie has posted some pictures too (and promises much more). Check out this classic:

(via LGF, which runs the same picture)

Finally, Associate Little Churchill "Hilda" links to an East Bay Indymedia post with pictures of some of the high-school-age anti-war protesters, apparently taken by one of them. It's pretty funny, if by funny you mean pathetic:

Fourteen-year-old posers. Note dork in bandanna.

Update: The D-blog has noted dorks in bandannas before (scroll around, you'll find them). This poor tool is definitely the youngest.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bush impeachment may be on Boulder City Council agenda

America's smartest city likes to elect window lickers:
Boulder's elected leaders are expected to decide next week whether to draft and vote on a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

For the past few weeks, activists have been showing up at Boulder City Council meetings, carrying signs, handing out "impeach" pins and asking City Council members to take up such a resolution. Similar measures have passed in cities across the country, including Detroit and Telluride.
Not Telluride!

Liz Robinson, one of the organizers of the effort, said people hoping to see impeachment proceedings have given congressional Democrats -- who won a majority in the fall of 2006 -- plenty of time to act.

But since they haven't, she said, locally elected officials should take up the slack."Whether or not it's the city's business directly, like potholes, I feel this affects all of us," she said. "We're the ones who are paying the taxes to support this administration's depredations, especially the war."

Impeachment proceedings would be worth doing even if they only put the last few months of Bush's eight years in office at risk, Robinson said.

The group appears to have some support among the City Council, although it's not clear if it has the five votes it would take to get a resolution drafted and subsequently debated. City Councilman Macon Cowles wrote in a memo to his colleagues that he'll likely make a motion at the Feb. 19 meeting asking that a resolution be drafted.

Naturally, lots of commenters support the impeachment of Chimperor McHeilChrist, but even they frequently urge the city council to get a grip (often followed by "you morons"). Unfortunately:

It wouldn't be the first time the City Council has weighed in on matters far outside the city's physical boundaries. In 2006, the council approved a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and in 2003, the council passed a resolution opposing the invasion.

Deputy Mayor Crystal Gray, who helped draft the 2006 resolution, said Boulder has a tradition of debating big-picture issues.

"I'm a believer that the council should be responsive at the level of local government to issues that the residents raise, just like the Iraq war resolution," she said.

Even Molderer Boulderer:
Students vehemently opposed to multi-millionaire oilman Bruce Benson becoming the University of Colorado's next president wheeled 6-foot-tall, wooden oil rigs around the campus Monday, staging a protest in advance of the controversial figure's scheduled return to Boulder today.
Ethnic studies majors minoring in shop.

("window lickers" via the impeccably cancer-free Tim Blair)

Update: Benson tells CU profs he won't meddle:
Bruce Benson assured faculty members again this evening that he will not interfere with tenure or academic freedom if he is named University of Colorado president.

Under intense but polite questioning by professors, the Denver oilman said he would work hard to raise money for CU, but would leave control of academic issues mostly to the faculty and the campus chancellors.
An important question:
[Benson] was twice asked whether he would support the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. He said no.
No window licker, he! Even more important:
Benson told the professors he would support research on climate change, a major study area at CU. Some professors have questioned him about that because of his connection to the oil industry.

"This is a serious problem. It [sic] something we do have to address," Benson said.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hobnobbing with the stars

A couple of weeks ago our friend Caz at Avatar Briefs experienced one of the wonders of blogging when Jeremy Justus, author of "Surveillance, Paranoia, and Abjection: The Ideological Underpinnings of Waste Management in the EPA's Measuring Recycling Guidelines and Don DeLillo's Underworld," responded (weirdly, if good-humoredly) to her dismemberment of that scholarly work, months after she'd posted it. (He'd googled himself.)

Now, gamely, Justus has honored Her Avatarness with his latest effort: "Piss Stance: Private Parts in Public Places: An Analysis of the Men's Room and Gender Control."

Caz is funny on this, of course, but read the paper, too, which is almost awe-inspiring in its relentless resort to po-mo cliché. Okay, one quote Caz didn't use:
In its function as a place of gender performance, the public men's room represents a stage that both demands a specific gender performance and prescribes this type of performance to its users. That is, as a grand theater, the public men's room is a space that affects its users by demanding that they perform according to the ideological context that the space demands. Additionally, much like an athletic arena, the public men's room functions as a space in which gender performance is comparatively evaluated.

Update: This post was originally titled "Touching the stars," but was changed for (now) obvious reasons. Sorry, Caz!

His-toe-ree (part ten)

Teacher, playwright and, of course, activist Shannon Reed in the Johnstown "Flood? What Flood?" Tribune Democrat:

All over the country on Tuesday, women began weeping at the polls. I know. I was one of them.

At 6:15, the very first voter in my precinct, I teared up behind the thick plastic curtains.

Throughout the day, I heard from my women friends and co-workers a story similar to what I had already experienced: We took 15 minutes out of a busy day to stand in line at our polling places, our minds elsewhere – on the job, on the kids, on the budget, on the dry cleaning – until it was time to slip into the booth and start clicking off names.

Looking at the choices, we began, by rote, to reach up toward the candidate we liked the most, or respected most deeply, or felt was the most competent, or had settled on as the lesser of two evils.

And then, our hands stretched out, we froze. We realized, in a moment of quiet joy – we could vote for a woman.

They didn't know they could vote for Hillary until they got into the voting booth. Re-restrict the franchise!
Someone like us. A woman as equally derided as loved, yes. A woman full of flaws and virtues, yes. A woman who, like so many of her generation, seems to have worked harder than any man to arrive where she is.
Yes yes?
A woman who, as we would see in the news later, made a questionable wardrobe choice that day. A woman who probably longed to talk to her husband and daughter as she spent the day with strangers.
Oh, please.

(via Judds)

Update: With any luck a certain spouse will miss this post.


Just noticed that the Denver Post has a cold cases blog--"Sometimes all that is needed to reignite a murder investigation is a pivotal clue . . ." Top post: "New profile: Three presumed dead after scalp found."

Update: AP (via Hilda, apparently experiencing a fit of humor by proxy):

The discovery of an apparent piece of human scalp has puzzled police knocking on doors to try to determine the source."At this point it appears to be human," police Capt. James Raymond said Tuesday. "We're taking a leap that the person it belongs to probably is not alive."

Eriberta Salinas said her 4-month-old puppy Clifford [aawww] brought home the apparent piece of scalp with reddish hair on Sunday from a back yard in the neighborhood.

Police went door to door in the neighborhood in this central Washington town for about five hours Monday to ask neighbors if they had seen any red-haired strangers in the area lately.

Investigators initially thought the scalp might have been taken in the recent car prowl and theft of a kit containing body parts for training cadaver dogs in nearby Kennewick, but that was later ruled out, police said.

Kit? I'm getting off the organ-donor list.

CU waffles on Benson

New West (links theirs):
The candidacy of Republican fundraiser Bruce Benson to become the president of the University of Colorado received another blow over the weekend when CU regent Cindy Carlisle announced she would no longer support him. A candidate for state Senate from Boulder, Carlisle had previously been the sole Democrat on the board of regents to come out in favor of Benson.
Carlisle, of course, was the lone regent to vote against firing Ward Churchill. Can't figure out why she was in favor of Benson in the first place.

Late last week the CU faculty assembly postponed a vote on whether to support the proposed appointment of Benson, who has been an oil and gas CEO and is the former chairman of the Colorado Republican party. He is the sole finalist for the job of CU president.

The strikes against Benson are easily compiled: he has no experience as a scholar or a college administrator; he holds no advanced degrees; he has been a partisan political figure (helping head up, for instance, the right-wing Trailhead Group); he doesn’t believe in global warming (at one campus gathering last week he cited National Geographic as proving that current climate change could be part of long-term cycles); and he has no apparent qualifications to head a major state-funded research university [emphasis mine].

Update: Legislators join in.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Jack Benny, natch. "Jack loans Phil $2000" (15 May 1949).

More fantasy from Russell Means

The pas de deux-ing pirate notes a piece in the Rapid City Journal on Lakota Chief Facilitator Russell Means' plans to build wind turbines on "Republic of Lakotah" land:
Two months after announcing that the newly formed Republic of Lakotah had seceded from the United States, organizer Russell Means outlined plans for a wind-energy project for citizens of the new country.

At a meeting in Rapid City on Saturday, Means said he has been talking with representatives of a California company about plans to put windmills on land owned by both Native Americans and non-Natives willing to become citizens of the new Republic of Lakotah. He declined to name the company. Means, a longtime activist, said he and other organizers have met with tribal members of the Standing Rock, Rosebud and Yankton Sioux tribes. Windmills could be sprouting on the Standing Rock, Rosebud and possibly Pine Ridge reservations this spring, he said.
This spring. Fave part:
Means said the homestead acts, allotment acts and the 1877 sale of the Black Hills to the U.S. government are all illegal, under Article 6 of the Constitution.

"All of the people living in our land are outlaws," Means said. "All of the states are outlaws."

He also called existing tribal governments "collaborators in genocide."
He's not only the Republic's Chief Facilitator, he's its Chief Diplomat too!
But Means, one of the early leaders in the American Indian Movement, said the new country's organizers do not seek confrontation. "We want to live within the law," he said."We are legal and, most important, we are lawful," he said. "There aren't going to be any Wounded Knees," he said, referring to AIM's 71-day standoff with federal and tribal authorities on the Pine Ridge reservation village in 1973.
No Wounded Knees? But Wounded Knee was a landmark in the struggle for Indian freedom, according to Russell. Here he is in an interview with The Progressive in 2001:
Q: What lasting effect did the occupation of Wounded Knee have on the Indian community at Pine Ridge?

Russell Means: It gave birth to self-dignity and self-pride and the idea that we can self-determine on our own merits. In 1973, the full-blood Indians on the reservation were living in abject poverty. They were totally overlooked, and their spirits were almost totally destroyed. Our culture, our song, our old people--everything was denigrated by our own people, as well as by the larger society.

What Wounded Knee did was give pride in just the fact that you are an Indian, and you can do something, and we have allies.
Rhetorical question: so why is he disavowing it now? Back to the Rapid City Journal:
Means predicted that existing city, county and state governments, as well as tribal governments, would continue but eventually wither away as the new country flourishes.
Just . . . wither away. New sobriquet for Russell: The Lakota Lenin.

Update: o/t, but rumors have been going around that this is Pirate Ballerina. I can say almost unequivocally that it's not.

Update II: I'd forgotten that the Denver Art Museum has one of Andy Warhol's American Indian Series (Russell Means) (1976).

The future Chief Facilitator as lipstick model.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I took these pictures

Is exactly what I'd say if I had taken these pictures. Actually they're by Wilson Bentley, the first person to successfully photograph snowflakes.

Lots more here, from the collection, almost absurdly appropriately, of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Abstract(s) of the Week!

Or, why Ward Churchill advocates violence.

Abstract #1
This ethnographic study examines how members of egalitarian intentional communities define and engage in social and political activism. Their reactions to traditional activist methods are examined as well as how they have redefined activist behaviors in their own lives. Many members of these communities chose communal living because of their experiences in the counter-cultural activist movements they participated in, particularly the environmenal, peace, and animal rights movements. These members often found their experiences with those movements frustrating and ineffective; they did not produce the social change results that were expected and desired. These members left those organizations and joined intentional communities, reasoning that change from inside social structures is slow or impossible, whereas creating new social structures is more beneficial on a personal as well as at a societal level. This type of “lifestyle” activism is a different version than has been previously studied on middleclass Americans engaging in voluntary simplicity. Communal “lifestyle” activism permeates all aspects of their lives. . . .
Abstract #2
According to criteria developed by Robert Burrowes (1996), the US anti-war movement’s current strategies are based on pragmatic and reformist nonviolence. Guided by this strategic approach, leaders of the United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) coalition, for example, point to recent shifts in public opinion, social norms, Congress, and political momentum as evidence of effectiveness. I suggest that these measures of success are limited and deceptive. To transform a society and world characterized by “war without end,” we need to develop a political culture of oppositional love that avoids the pitfalls of conventional politics, looks beyond numbers, and seeks more than symbolic victories.

To show that today’s US anti-war movement relies on a pragmatic and reformist view of nonviolence, I first focus on the strategy developed by Tom Hayden, one of UFPJ’s leading voices. Next, I introduce the concept of oppositional love and discuss its relevance for studying contentious politics. Then, I outline my own anti-war strategy, highlighting the significance of a political culture of oppositional love, and illustrate it with examples from the landless workers movement in Brazil (MST). Although MST participants do not deny the importance of elections and government policies, they focus primarily on personal and social transformation, both in material conditions and human relationships. I conclude with thoughts on what US anti-war activists can learn from the MST in efforts to develop and apply their own political culture of oppositional love.
Update: Forgot the link to the site I got these from, and now I can't find it. God, it was a motherlode of fatuity, too. Luckily (for me, at least) there are many, many more such aggregations of idiocy on the interwebs.