Monday, March 31, 2008

Denver, DNC to bring art to the masses during Dem convention

Something for the anarchists to gawp at between the smashy-smashy. Rocky art critic Mary Chandler outlines how nicely "Art will play alongside politics in late August":
Denver loves to put on a show, and come late August, that certainly will hold true.

Some grassroots art-related projects will spring from the community here, but for the most part the major public artworks timed for the Democratic National Convention will be by high-powered artists from locales as varied as Hungary, South Korea and New York.
Major public artworks by high-powered artists. Here in Denver! It's an honor just to be able to help pay for them.
Between the Invisible Museum - a free-form arts advocacy group in Denver - and the Denver 2008 Host Committee, that includes works with a political edge, social commentary and plain star power.
Political edge, social commentary and plain star power. We are so lucky, Denvereens.
* The Invisible Museum [a free form arts advocacy group in Denver, in case you've forgotten or haven't thrown up yet--ed.] working with the Design Council, is bringing Hungarian artist Peter Kozma here for 10 days in April to find locations to
film. . . .

Kozma uses a Pani Slide projection system to then beam complex images of buildings and natural forms onto other buildings, streets and plazas.
So we're talkin' giant slide show here.
Organizers want Kozma to create 16 works, beaming two a night for eight nights before, during and after the convention.

The location being discussed at this time is Union Station, said Marina Graves, a founder and board member of the Invisible Museum. A PowerPoint of Kozma's work showed brilliant colors and geometrically influenced shapes projected so it appeared people could walk through them.
Chandler got to watch a Powerpoint (sorry, PowerPoint) presentation of a slideshow. Perks of a critic.
The cost? Graves said that a project Kozma did in Budapest cost about $240,000. No estimate yet for work for Denver, the artist's first in the U.S.
D-blog estimate: more than $240,000.
The lineup includes another light-projection project [can there ever be too many?--ed.], this one by Krzysztof Wodiczko, who would work with Denver's Road Home organization and homeless veterans. DJ Spooky is expected to bring his new sound and video work, Terra Nova: The Antarctic Suite - he spent a month there capturing the sights and sounds of breaking ice - to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and, later, to a high school.
And later still, to a Dumpster™.
Seoul-based architect Minsuk Cho and his firm, Mass Studios, will build a temporary pavilion in City Park to house public discourse.
You mean Denver doesn't even have a House of Public Discourse yet? Fucking cowtown.
And there's the 2008 Cinemocracy Film Festival, which has a call out for short films (up to five minutes in length) to be submitted online. The 10 top vote-getters will be brought to Denver for a screening during the convention and the top film will have a berth at this fall's Starz Denver Film Festival.
You might remember Cinemocracy. Anyway, what's the bill on this balls-up?
The cost? Goldenberg said the host committee had set aside about $200,000for cultural programming, which needs serious augmenting. . . .
Obviously, since right now they can afford about three-quarters of a Hungarian slide show. But Chandler is reassuring:
As late August approaches, I'd bet that Denver's arts communities will step forward with more for all to see.

Update: No, Ben Vereen is not a Denvereen.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Denver, DNC confront image problem

The Post:
Windmills or wind turbines? Saddles or spaceships? DNC officials sense "tension" in how best to present Denver.

When one of the producers for the Democratic National Convention Committee flies from Washington, D.C., into this land paradoxically defined by its wide-open spaces, rugged mountains and burgeoning newcomer population, he faces a challenge literally as big as all outdoors.

How to portray the West?

"Yes, I sense a tension," said Mark Squier, the producer responsible for crafting the political messages displayed inside the Pepsi Center, where the convention is to be held. "It's going to be a bit of a tightrope walk, balancing off the new and the old of the West."

A crystallizing example of the tension occurred this month in a heated, behind-the-scenes dispute between officials with Denver's host committee — the locals responsible for bringing the convention to town — and the major sponsor of the event's biggest party, the so-called Media Welcoming Party.

Mindful of the power of Old West symbols, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver wanted to stage an exhibition rodeo during the party. U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, a ranch owner from the San Luis Valley usually seen in boots and a white Stetson, wanted a cattle-drive parade like the one that begins the annual National Western Stock Show.

William Dean Singleton, publisher of The Denver Post and chief executive of MediaNews Group Inc., one of the nation's largest newspaper chains, threatened to pull his financial support from the media party, saying he didn't want the media's first impression of Denver to be that of a "cow town," several sources familiar with the dispute confirmed.
Cow town? That's rude. And untrue.
The party, held the Saturday night before the Aug. 25-28 convention, is meant to showcase Denver to the 15,000 members of the media and their support crews, along with the more than 6,000 delegates and Democratic VIPs.
It's only because Glenn Spagnuolo promised that Recreate68¡ would try their hardest not to be violent during the convention that the DNC can concentrate on the important stuff. He's a statesman.

Update: The Post editorializes against the appeasement of public labor unions to ensure a smooth-running convention:
Even before the Democrats awarded their national convention to Denver, Mayor John Hickenlooper had to promise a union-run hotel, the city's first. He delivered.

Then, with the memory of picket lines set up by Boston police during the 2004 DNC convention hanging quietly over negotiations, Denver cops received at least a 14 percent salary increase for the next three years. The contract nearly tripled the percentage raise handed out in the previous three-year contract.

And last spring, after Gov. Bill Ritter wisely vetoed a bill making it easier to form labor unions in Colorado, the AFL-CIO threatened to ask national Democrats to find a new city for the convention if the state didn't adopt a pro-labor measure.

Teamster president James Hoffa Jr. confronted Ritter, saying if he and Hickenlooper didn't work out some key issues, the convention could be plagued with protests and picket lines.

"It could blow up," Hoffa told Ritter.
That sounds familiar.
And now, parking lot workers at Denver International Airport are the latest to hold the city hostage as they negotiate a new contract.

The Service Employees International Union's chapter director for parking employees, Dennis DeMaio, said the union will strike during the DNC if it needs to. The union is concerned about which company may get the contract to manage parking at DIA.

The threat of a strike is enough to perk up most ears on the city council. After all, what would happen if 40 percent of the more than 6,000 delegates who are union members refused to land at DIA while their brethren were striking? . . .

To allow unions which represent just 7 percent of Colorado's private workforce to permanently encumber the state in exchange for a four-day party would indeed be unfair to Colorado citizens.
Still hard to believe it's the Post saying such things.

Movie watched

I Am Legend. Better than The Omega Man, which isn't saying much. Way better special effects. As Joseph Proimakis of Movies for the Masses points out:

Στρατιωτικός γιατρός είναι ο μόνος επιζών ιού που έχει μετατρέψει τον πλανήτη σε βαμπίρ και ψάχνει θεραπεία στην ανοσία του.

Indeed. Or maybe, heh.

What if they gave an Earth Hour and nobody cared?

The Post: "Denver hardly plugged into 'Earth Hour'":
The well-known guitar over Denver's Hard Rock Cafe went dark Saturday night, as did ornamental lights strung in trees along the 16th Street Mall, but most businesses remained brightly lit during a global effort to dim lights and raise awareness of climate change.
I can see downtown from my office, and there was no difference at all during EH. Good going, Denver. But still a few dimbulbs turned out to witness the spectacle, such as it was:

Steve Hulsberg, 29, of Aurora, eagerly waited outside the Hard Rock for the moment.

"I especially came down here so I could see them turn off the lights," Hulsberg said. "It's good to see a global presence and I'm glad to see Denver's a part of it."

Hulsberg, an information technology worker, attended the Denver International Auto Show at the Colorado Convention Center before walking over to the mall to see the lights dim. He's looking to buy a hybrid Ford Escape or Toyota Highlander, he said, in the interest of being "green."

The Hard Rock dimmed lights inside and out. It was joined by the Virgin Megastore and Lucky Strike Lanes, which turned off their huge neon signs.

Ol' Steve must have crapped his pants at that.

Meanwhile, the marquee of the nearby Paramount Theater shone bright.

The Paramount wasn't alone, as businesses up and down the mall, both big and small, kept lights blazing, operating in the metaphorical dark when it came to Earth Hour.

Metaphorical dark? Ridiculously late to the story as the Post was, they did play a little catch-up with such unoriginal fatuousities as ideas about "how to live 'Earth Hour Every Day' by conserving energy at home, school and office"; "10 ideas for things to do with your hour of darkness [suicide, anyone?]"; and a reader thingie, "tell us what you'll do during Earth Hour."

The Rocky managed another squib. Neither paper has mentioned the Denver Newspaper Agency's alleged participation in the event.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Walked on by

Missed this when it happened because I didn't keep up with the giant disembodied brains at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network:

Gas card?

Update: No, I don't really believe they're driving all the way and just telling people they're walking. They do, however, have a mobile kitchen.

Update II: Film Screening and Brunch? They steal our ways, and laugh.

Friday, March 28, 2008

On the lighter side

"Man known as 'Grandpa' sold meth."

More GW crapola

The Post has an LA Times story on another doom-mongering report on global warming in the western U.S. We're all gonna die, of course, but what caught my eye was this flat statement from impressively named Times reporter Margot Roosevelt:

Carbon dioxide pollution from vehicles, power plants and other industrial emitters is a major contributor to global warming.
Well Margot, if you're sure . . .

Update: Notice also that Ms. Roosevelt didn't talk to a single skeptic.

Update II: How could I forget? The Aspen Institute had its conference on the enviroment this week. Newsbusters notes Good Morning America's fawning coverage. Read the partial transcript, especially the part about the polar bear in distress.

Update III (3/29): Another quote from global warming expert Margot Roosevelt:
The Colorado River basin, which stretches from Wyoming to Mexico, is in the throes of a record drought.
AP today:

Snowmelt will raise half-empty Lake Powell by 50 feet, opening a notable shortcut for boaters for the first time in five years, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said. . . .

"This winter has produced the best overall snowfall of the past eight years, with snow packs generally well above average as the spring runoff period begins," [a BLM spokesgink] said.

Earth Hour upon us

Tim Blair's been covering Australia's upcoming observance of Earth Hour as only Tim Blair could (sorry, can), including running with a reader's idea for a countervailing "Hour of Power." Great stuff.

But I realized only the other day that EH had "gone global" this year, and that Denver was participating. You can see us in the sponsoring WWF's list of "other cities" (i.e., "cowtowns").

The Post and News, I'm happy to report, were just as clueless. The Post has run only two stories on Denver's Earth Hour--a squib yesterday noting the mayor's (we call him "Hick") three-week-old letter hyping the event, and an actual story today, "'Earth Hour' participation growing," which I'll quote from in a second.

The News hasn't said a word.*

Weirdly though, the lead item on the "breaking news" crawl at the top of this WWF page reads: "Denver Newspaper Agency to Support Earth Hour." The DNA, of course, is the company that runs both the RMN and the Post under their joint operating agreement.

Anyway, fun quote from the Post story today:
At the Northfield Stapleton shopping center in Denver, three restaurants will serve customers by candlelight during Earth Hour. The participating restaurants are La Sandia Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, Ling & Louie's Asian Bar and Grill, and TGI Fridays.
Trendsetters all. One more:
Hard Rock Cafe Denver also is taking part, turning off some of its lighting, including the signature neon guitar sign outside the cafe on the 16th Street Mall.

"Not only will the time be romantic, but it also will save energy," said The InterPro Group, a marketing firm, in a statement about the event.
The Interpro Group. You can tell: Hard Rock Cafe really, really cares. About the Earth. About all of us.

Update: Be proud, Denverons: we made a list of "other cities" that includes Homer Glen, Illinois!

*Oops, the News did run three itty-bitty notes, one in "Extras" on the 26th, another in "Extras" yesterday, and one on the business page the same day.

Ward to get his Israel hate on

For the 60th anniversary of the "Nakba" (Happy Birthday, Nakkie!) Ward Churchill will be in Boston April 12 and/or 13 to speak at "Struggle for the Land: Zionism and the Repression of Anti-colonial Movements: An Education and Strategy Conference":
While this past January saw an escalation of the already brutal strangulation of Gaza, as well as continued colonization throughout historic Palestine, Palestinians have continued to resist in all of their historic land. In Gaza, under starvation conditions, Palestinians broke the siege by destroying the wall at Rafah crossing and continue to defend their land through armed resistance against settlers.

In spite of a wider public awareness of the brutal policies of colonial settlement in Palestine, the "United States" continues to provide the main economic, political and military aid to the Zionist settler colony. While every major presidential candidate pledges undying support for "Israel," there is a growing public discussion about the role of Zionism in the "US" political system, and especially of its relationship to the war in Iraq.
Etc. The conference is sponsored by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine, whose logo I've posted before:


The NECDP explains the need for the conference:

Confronting Zionism is crucial to any movement forward against militarism and internal oppression.

Bringing together representatives of several movements, our conference will focus on two themes: Zionist disruption of anti-colonial movements and land as the basis of struggle and solidarity.

Among the attendees: Amer Jubran, "Palestinian activist and former political detainee"; Jeffrey Blankfort, "anti-Zionist journalist and activist"; Nada Elia, "Palestinian activist and member of the INCITE! Women Against Violence National Collective"; and Jihad Abdul-Mumit, "former Black Liberation Army political prisoner."

In short, and as always, more scum.

(via Solomonia)

Update: No good place to put this, but Slapstick Politics notes the SDS joining in plans to shut down the Republican National Convention.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Night at the Radio!

A couple of Inner Sanctums with Richard Widmark: "The Man Who Couldn't Die" (30 October 1945) and "Make Ready My Grave" (23 April 1946).

Your UN in action

Foreign Policy's Passport blog (I never miss it) on the appointment by the UN Human Rights Council of the Ward Churchill-supporting, Palestinian-propaganda-spewing Princeton prof Richard Falk to

a six-year term as the special investigator into Israel's actions in the Palestinian Territories. I've got nothing against appointing an investigator to keep tabs on this issue per se. But Falk? This is a guy who defended disgraced University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill as "having made major contributions" to academia after Churchill called the innocent victims of the Twin Towers "little Eichemanns," [sic] arguing that they had deserved to die on 9/11. And how, by any reasonable standard, can Falk be considered an impartial observer on Israel-Palestine? This was Falk writing in an article entitled "Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust" last June:

Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not."
Surely there were better candidates out there.
Ward was probably the only other candidate considered, though.

D-blog readers rejoice

The use of physical restraints on nursing-home patients declined nearly 40 percent nationally in recent years as the federal government, states and the nursing-home industry placed greater emphasis on eliminating what once was a common practice.
Update: Reader question: "Mister Drunkablog, darling, why do you diss your own readers? Didn't you recently reveal the embarrassing fact that many blogs ranked with yours in traffic haven't been updated for years? Shouldn't you therefore treat the readers you do have with respect?"

To which I reply: What were we talking about, again?

Update II: Occasionally I give money to streetcorner signholders. Not a good idea, I know, but it's way too easy to see myself standing there, and if I were, I'd want me to give me a buck.

Anyway, one of those signholders is "Dave," who often stands on a 6th Avenue off-ramp. I like Dave because he says things like, "Dave's just got to sing his song," and "Dave's not happy unless he's singing," while showing no sign of actually bursting into song. (One time he said, "Dave's got to sing, but the carbon monoxide is killing Dave.")

Dave just lost himself a patron, though. The other day he asked if I hadn't come through that intersection earlier. I said no, must have been some other extraordinarily handsome guy. Dave peered in at me and said "no, you're just like me."

Dave, of course, is a 46-year-old crack addict (so looks 66) who apparently wears the same olive-drab coat, filthy ski cap, verminous jeans and holey sneakers every day of the year. Scraggly beard, matted hair, many missing teeth, the few that remain crooked and stained a rich walnut--you get the idea. Keeps me humble, it does.

Update III: Yep, my good buddy Dave. Think I'll invite him home to supper.

Violence embraced

Poorly edited but interesting piece in Human Events on the "peace" movement's increasing reliance on violence:
Once content to thump drums and dig deep for chants that rhyme, the “peace” movement’s foothold on the public soapbox has slipped. The peaceniks -- ANSWER,, Code Pink and the rest -- are in the midst of very public identity crisis. They are facing, for the first time, visible and vocal opposition to both their words and their methods. And it has made them angry….very angry….angry enough to (pause for dramatic effect) use violence as an option!

As organizations have come together to face them in the streets (and have successfully released the left’s stranglehold on activism and the media) the lefties have revealed their inner violent streak to which they have always proclaimed an immunity. . . .
No mention of Recreate!68, probably because they'll be "trying their hardest" not to be violent during the Democratic National Convention.

(via LGF spinoff link)

DNC hires security chief

The Rocky:
Steps continue to be taken [love the passive voice] toward security for the Democratic National Convention, this time with the mayor's office announcing Wednesday the appointment of a director to handle planning in the event of a security breach.
Too late.

Mumia gets new death-penalty hearing

A & P:
A federal appeals court on Thursday said former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be executed for murdering a Philadelphia police officer without a new penalty hearing.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Abu-Jamal's conviction should stand, but that he should get a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions. If prosecutors don't want to give him a new death penalty hearing, Abu-Jamal would be sentenced automatically to life in prison.

Abu-Jamal, 53, once a radio reporter, has attracted a legion of artists and activists [and Ph.Ds like Ward Churchill, genocide scholar!] to his cause in a quarter-century on death row. A Philadelphia jury convicted him in 1982 of killing Officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, after the patrolman pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother in an overnight traffic stop.

Comparison made

Powerline's John Hinderacker on two very different Minnesota welcomes:

We learned yesterday that veterans of the United States Army and Marine Corps who have fought for their country and have been awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, the Navy Cross and other decorations are too controversial to be allowed inside a public high school in Minnesota. Some of those high school students, whose tender sensibilities needed to be protected from America's vets, will go on to attend Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota.

SMSU is a public, taxpayer-funded institution, just like Forest Lake High School. Forest Lake students who go there will be safe, no doubt, from whatever dangers are posed by touring veterans who want to talk about their experiences in America's armed forces. But they will be able to participate in programs like this one:

The 15th annual Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies Spring Conference will be held April 2-4 on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University.

This year's conference is entitled “Dakota People, Minnesota History and the Sesquicentennial: 150 years of Lies” and kicks off April 2 with a 7 p.m. address by Waziyata Win (Dr. Angela Cavender Wilson), a member of the Upper Sioux Community in Granite Falls and a historian from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

The Sesquicentennial, if you missed the reference, is the 150th anniversary of Minnesota's statehood. Minnesota joined the union in 1858, just in time for its young men to participate, with rarely equalled heroism, in the Civil War. It appears, though, that the Sesquicentennial "celebration" will be hijacked by the Left, and won't be a celebration at all. Rather, it will be an opportunity to teach Minnesota's young people about the alleged "crimes" of their ancestors, chief among which was defending themselves against a series of spree killings unleashed by violent elements of the Dakota population in 1862. The SMSU program is just one of many instances of this hijacking:

Thursday, April 3 (SMSU Conference Center and Bellows Academic Commons)

8:30 a.m.: Gaby Tateyuskanskan, Dakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

10:30 a.m.: David Larsen, Jr., Bdewakantunwan Dakota, Lower Sioux Community, Morton, Minn., “The History of U.S. Racism.”

Here is the piece de resistance:

7 p.m.: Dr. Ward Churchill, genocide scholar, ”Genocide and the Dakota People"
So Ward Churchill--fake Indian, fake academic, two-bit leftist hate peddler fired by the University of Colorado for academic fraud--is now calling himself a "genocide scholar!" I'm guessing, though, that he won't be talking about the genocide that the Dakota carried out, pretty successfully, against the Pawnee.

It would be interesting to know how much Churchill is being paid for his appearance, and whether Minnesotans' tax dollars are paying the tab. As a Minnesota taxpayer, I have a personal interest in the question. Be that as it may, the contrast couldn't be starker: in Minnesota, our decorated veterans are unwelcome in public educational institutions, whereas demonstrably fraudulent charlatans like Ward Churchill are welcomed with open arms. As long as they are anti-American.
That's "Dr." Ward Churchill to you, sir.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday Night at the Radio!

Tonight, Command Performance, this week with Captain Glenn Miller and the AAF Training Command band (12 February 1944).

And about as different as you can get from that bit of fluff, Dragnet: "Claude Jimmerson, Child Killer." This one has Webb taking the unusual step (never heard it on any other Dragnet) of warning parents: "this program is for you, not your children" (2 February 1950).

"Solid work"

Speaking of Glenn Spagnuolo's best bud Ward Churchill, he'll be at the 15th (and last) Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies conference at Southwest Minnesota State University April 2-4 to speak, shockingly, on "genocide." Organized by veteran Chutch defender and ethnic studies prof Chris Mato Nunpa, this year's conference will be on "Dakota People, Minnesota History on the Sesquicentennial: 150 Years of Lies” (grammatical as usual). Good hunk:
Even though some have called Churchill a fraud, Mato Nunpa said he has used a lot of Churchill’s articles in his classes, adding that he’s checked the sources.

“They’re right on, they’re solid work,” Mato Nunpa said.
This from the guy who thinks Buchanan was the president just after Jefferson. The schedule of the conference has this for April 2: "7 p.m. — Dr. Ward Churchill, genocide scholar, 'Genocide and the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S.'”

Update: the Dakota Studies program at SMSU is apparently ending, too.

Catching up with. . . Glenn Spagnuolo!

Not that we'd missed anything, but the Rocky has a remarkably unprobing profile of the R6!8 mouthpiece:
The self-described eternal optimist [what? I didn't say anything] who believes that revolutionary politics are the best way to address a government that "needs to be completely eliminated and replaced" is sipping on a morning coffee at the Gypsy House Cafe, doing his absolute best to avoid being profiled in a newspaper he doesn't have much use for.
His absolute best isn't very good, is it?
Not that Glenn Spagnuolo is being rude about it. No, his tone is downright cordial as he explains he doesn't want to be "some fluff piece." He insists that "the media tends to make leaders" and "I don't want to get caught in the cult of personality stuff" because "I'm interested in the issues being covered, not me."
This demands the old blogger cliche: Oh, puhleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.
His aversion to fluff and personality cults aside, the fact is that Spagnuolo has become the most visible - and audible - representative of Re-create '68, a coalition of local and national groups that intends to rekindle the spirit of 1968 and inject some zest and muscle in the anti-war movement, as well as social-justice issues, through a potpourri of demonstrations and diversions such as concerts and perhaps even a "nude-in" on Colfax Avenue.
Hadn't heard that one before. Real original, Glenn.
While some of its agenda seems benign enough on the surface, the fact that R68 wants to build a bridge back to the infamous and bloody 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago has chilled many in the, hmm, establishment.
The establishment. That's me.
"I get nervous . . . when they're making threats against visitors to the city and say they want to disrupt the city," says Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown.

Brown's concern may stem from the fact that Spagnuolo's rhetoric sometimes strays into the realm of threats. Take the subject of the large protest march he says will take place Aug. 24 with or without Denver's sanction.

After his group was denied one of the permits it sought for Civic Center, Spagnuolo said into a thicket of microphones and cameras, that the city could be facing "a dangerous situation."

He followed that up with comments like, "If Denver needs to become Ground Zero in the fight to take back our rights, it will," and the possibility that things might "blow up" when the police step in.

His words, he insists are "not a threat," just an acknowledgement. The Democrats and the city are the ones "absolutely spoiling for a fight," by denying R68 its parade permit.
Of course, the truth is the Dems will do anything to avoid a fight, and he knows it.
"We're going to try our hardest not to be violent," he says, adding, "We don't intend to provoke." But then, "I'm not naive enough to think the police won't react in a violent manner. That's how they're trained to handle conflict - through violence."
He concedes revolutionary fervor among potential foot soldiers isn't what it was 40 years ago.

"The spirit is missing in society; young people are apathetic about politics," says Spagnuolo. "In 1968, three out of every four college students said they believed in revolutionary politics. Today, we can't get one out of four to come out for our protests."
You can't get one out of 100 to come to your protests, Spagnoodles, and the ones that do show up are the dregs.

Voluble as he is on revolutionary politics, Spagnuolo turns sphinx-like when it comes to his personal history. He admits to being 37 and, well, not much else.

He wears a wedding band but won't say if he's married. He's from New York but refuses to say where in New York. Asked about the fact that another newspaper story said he was from the Bronx, he replies, "not everything in that story was right."

What does he do for a living?

"What I do for a living is enjoy life and have a good time. I don't get paid to organize."

What might he put down as his profession on a resume?

"Radical organizer and existential lover," he says, smiling, admitting it's an Abbie Hoffman line.

Ick. But gee, that Abbie Hoffman was funny.
If he had more time for an interview, Spagnuolo might be wiling to talk about his protest resume. While living in Longmont, he fought against the construction of a Wal-Mart. He helped get a street named for John Chivington - the leader of the brutal Sand Creek Massacre - changed.

He's been arrested for interfering with the traditional Columbus Day Parade on the grounds that Columbus was guilty of genocide against American Indians.

He experienced other incendiary moments in the media when he supported former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, whose comments about the victims of 9/11 - and subsequent charges of academic plagiarism - got him fired.

At an April 2005 rally, Spagnuolo told the crowd, "Don't sit back and wait for an invitation to the revolution. Riot about something real, like Ward Churchill."
Leave it to Glenn to call the fakest person in Colorado "real."
At least that's how he was quoted in the Rocky Mountain News, a paper he insists is biased against him and his causes.
Does that mean he denies the quote?
As far as he's concerned, when it comes to coverage about R68, "The press in general has made this about images and personalities and not the issues. It has damaged the movement. I'm not in this for myself; that's why I don't want this to be about me."

And who would he be?

"Believe it or not I've always been an eternal optimist," he says, smiling.

That might be news to some city officials who have dealt with him, officials who can't stand him, say they find him "confrontational," "adversarial" and "hypocritical," but won't go on the record.

One official who will is Brown, who has debated Spagnuolo on TV and radio about an ill-fated attempt to place restrictions on how the police could deal with protesters if things got out of hand.

"I wouldn't want to get between him and a TV camera or a microphone," Brown says. . . .

Monday, March 24, 2008

They have good senses of humor, too

Late to this, but too good to pass up. The Post:
Despite threatening words from one of the groups planning to protest during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, most of the anti-war protesters eyeing Denver this summer are peaceful and creative, an expert says.

Glenn Spagnuolo of Re-create 68 said Thursday that city officials were "creating a very dangerous situation" after the convention host committee was selected by lottery for a Civic Center park permit for the eve of the convention. He said his group would not "give up" the park for its demonstrations, which he hopes draw 50,000.

R-68 has been meeting with groups such as United for Peace and Justice, which organized 500,000 protesters for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, and CodePink, a women's movement against the war that is another top-tier organizer.

"None of the mainstream organizations have any agenda like property damage," said Michael Heaney, a political science professor who has studied the anti-war movement since 2002 and who was in Washington, D.C., last week observing the many protests marking the fifth anniversary of the war.

Heaney met Spagnuolo and R-68 organizers Mark and Barbara Cohen in Atlanta this summer during a convention of progressives, and found them serious and well-organized. He said he thinks that, depending on the nominee and whether the convention will be brokered, Denver could expect between 10,000 and 50,000 anti-war activists. . . .

CodePink's co-founder, Medea Benjamin, greatly doubts the 50,000 figure and says an Obama nomination could reduce interest to but a couple of thousand. Then again, Benjamin said: "We don't feel that either of the candidates will get us out of Iraq without strong pressure." . . .

Benjamin met with Spagnuolo in Denver several weeks ago and toured Civic Center and other sites. She said Denver's host committee shouldn't get the park and agreed with R-68's plan to occupy the grounds, but stressed CodePink would do so without violence.
Nothing sleazier than peace groups that think they can work with R6!8 and not get their own bell bottoms muddy.

(via the tinpot dictator of North Denver, El Presidente)

Do the math

Aussie blogger Caz at Avatar Briefs spotted a wonderful example of environmentalist hyper-exaggeration and journalistic mathematical incompetence the other day: Magic plastic:
Are we really such gobemouches as to believe that Australians used 4 billion plastic bags last year? That Australians used an extra one billion plastic bags, last year - a whopping 40% increase? Or that the weight of those bags in land fills was 22 million tonnes? That’s some awfully, awfully, awfully heavy plastic we’re carrying about our persons.
As Caz points out, Australia has a population of 21 million. So every man, woman and child in the country threw out just over a tonne (ten percent heavier than our short ton) of plastic bags last year. That's a lot of bologna sandwiches.

I found an earlier article by the same reporter (who labors under the name "Ben Cubby") in which he says that total Australian bag consumption in 2005 was between 3.9 and 4.5 billion bags, and that "China, which consumes as many bags in 48 hours as Australia does in a year, announced it would be imposing a levy on bags." None of these numbers squares with one another, or, of course, with reality.

Update: "Gobemouches"?

WSJ: Harvard needs Hankie

On the Wall Street Journal's Fox News show yesterday (I didn't even know they had one), deputy taste editor Naomi Schaefer Riley continued the Journal's strange and sudden push to have former CU prexy Hank Brown named president of Harvard:
[Editorial page editor Paul] Gigot: Winners and losers, picks and pans, "Hits and Misses," it's our way of calling attention to the best and the worst of the week.
Snappy patter for an editorial page editor.
OK, next, a hit to former University of Colorado president Hank Brown. Naomi?

Riley: Yes, earlier it this month [sic], University of Colorado president Hank Brown stepped down from his position. He's only been in it for about three years now, and in that time, the man has managed to do what basically no other college president has managed to do. He has--well, he's first fired Ward Churchill. A lot of people would have liked to do that. He has managed to--

Gigot: The professor who said anti-American things.
Gigot's understanding is both deep and wide.
Riley: Yes, after 9/11. He's managed to fight grade inflation. He's made the university more accountable to taxpayers. He has also managed to clean up the athletic department, which was involved in a sex scandal when he took over.

So I say, in this man's three years, he has done amazing things. And we should send him to Harvard next.

Gigot: All right. Thanks, Naomi

Update: What do you want to be when you grow up, little girl? I wanna be deputy taste editor of the Wall Street Journal!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


The Independent: "Farewell to 'predictable, tiresome and dreary' women's studies":
Women's studies, which came to prominence in the wake of the 1960s feminist movement, is to vanish from British universities as an undergraduate degree this summer. Dwindling interest in the subject means that the final 12 students will graduate with a BA in women's studies from London's Metropolitan University in July.

Universities offering the course, devised as the second wave of the women's rights movement peaked, attracted students in their hundreds during the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the mood on campuses has changed. Students, it seems, no longer want to immerse themselves in the sisterhood's struggle for equality or the finer points of feminist history . . . .

(via one of those link thingies at LGF and Death by 1000 Papercuts)

Good advice

The paper edition of the News had this squib in the world briefs Friday, headed "Unusual Warning":
Health officials in the Philippines have issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals, urging them to get tetanus vaccinations before they flagellate themselves and are nailed to crosses, and to practice good hygiene.
Update: More Easter silliness: Check out the caption on the Post's picture of the traditional sunrise service at Red Rocks:

"Members of the New Generations Christian Ministry sing along during the services just before the sun was to rise. (Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post)."

"Just before the sun was to rise." That's one cautious caption-writer.

New movie recreates 68--in stop-motion animation!

There is no escape. Post fillum critic Lisa Kennedy on the, yes, stop-motion retelling of the trial of the Chicago 7, Chicago 10:
For those in Denver hankering for (or fearing) a repeat of the debacle that occurred 40 years ago [at the Democratic National Convention], "Chicago 10" should be seen as a cautionary tale.

The actual trial was of the Chicago Seven: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines and Lee Weiner. The inflated number comes from an assertion Rubin made that Bobby Seale should be included (though the Black Panther co-founder's case was split off), and that attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass should be counted too. After all, they were sentenced for contempt of court.

The stop-motion animation used to re-create the trial (courtesy of Curious Pictures) recalls the pop muscularity of Howard Chaykin's indelible "American Flagg!" comics.

Agile cuts from color to black-and-white archival footage of clashes in the streets to telling news reports and back prove yet again that talking heads and voice-over are not narrative necessities for nonfiction film.

A car driven by a woman with a bouffant surrounded by National Guardsmen with bayonets drawn is intercut with footage of poet Allen Ginsberg leading a chant. Later, a female shriek pierces the crowd murmur to signal something far uglier is underway.
Uglier than Allen Ginsberg leading a chant? This I gotta not see.
But "Chicago 10" is a flawed beauty rife with regret and nostalgia. The regret may be Morgen's. The maker of the lauded documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture," about producer Robert Evans, was born in 1968. The nostalgia likely belongs to his producer, Graydon Carter, 58-year-old editor of Vanity Fair magazine. When the U.S. bombed Afghanistan, the two commiserated on the lack of the vociferous, multitudinous youth-led war protests of the Vietnam years.
Meeting Spagnoodles and Recrea!te68 would cure that bit of nostalgie de la boue in a hurry.

Kennedy manages several good (bad) lines:

If absurdism were a person, "Chicago 10" would be his biopic. . . .

Hayden, Davis and especially Dellinger come across in the news footage as adults working for change. . . .

But Hoffman (Azaria) and Rubin (Ruffalo) are Morgen's impish stars.

(Again the myth that Abbie Hoffman had a sense of humor.) And the stupidest sentence of the week:
What could be more irony-laden than Judge Julius Hoffman (voiced by the late Roy Scheider) presiding over a trial starring Abbie Hoffman?
If you don't actually know what the word "irony" means, nothing.

Update: "Official' trailer for Chicago 10; Seale v. Hoffman.

Update II: That's not stop-motion animation, is it? Looks more like a Saturday morning cartoon.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Top frontpage headline, on a zoning story: "R2--R1? Who cares?"

It goes downhill from there.

Of Harvard, that is

A Wall Street Journal "Review and Outlook" piece goes way overboard on former University of Colorado president Hank Brown: "Brown for president":
The modern academy is notoriously immune from accountability, as Larry Summers so painfully learned at Harvard. So it is worth noting, and applauding, the achievements of Hank Brown, the best college president you've never heard of, who retired this month from the University of Colorado.

Mr. Brown took over as interim president in April 2005 when the school of 50,000 was in turmoil. This was a couple of months after CU professor Ward Churchill had become infamous, and a year after the school's athletic department was accused of offering alcohol and sex to recruit football players. A former U.S. Senator, Mr. Brown was reappointed in 2006 in a permanent capacity. . . .

Mr. Brown proceeded to oversee a complete examination of Mr. Churchill's work [errrr, not quite], and the ethnic studies professor was eventually fired because of fraudulent scholarship, not his politics. Mr. Brown then initiated a complete review of CU's tenure policies, making it easier for his successors to get rid of deadwood. He also took on the equally sensitive subject of grade inflation, insisting that the university disclose student class rank on transcripts. If a B average puts a student at the bottom of his class, future employers will know it. . . .

Hank Brown may have upset some students and faculty, but he built support elsewhere, such as among the university's board of regents. He long ago saw the importance of active trustees to improving higher education. In 1995, he and Senator Joe Lieberman wrote in Roll Call newspaper that "campus political pressures often make it difficult for those on campus to defend academic freedom." During his CU presidency, Mr. Brown got the regents to support his policies and even to adopt a statement encouraging greater intellectual diversity on campus.

As for that athletic scandal, Mr. Brown's commitment to transparency proved the right antidote again. He settled the lawsuits, personally apologized to the victims and made all of the information about the case, both good and bad, available to the public. While predicting the behavior of college football players is risky business, it is a safe to say Mr. Brown has changed the culture of CU on and off the field.
Risky business, indeed.
Anne Neal, the president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, recently summarized Mr. Brown's accomplishments. "In a little more than two years, he has helped restore CU's reputation for educational excellence and accountability. Alumni and public confidence quickly followed." As Mr. Brown departed, Ms. Neal noted, "CU was enjoying a record level of public support," including record increases in alumni giving the last two years.

Send that man to Harvard.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Recreate68 loses Civic Center Park for DNC protest; honcho threatens "blow up"

Glenn Spagnuolo is blustering again. The News:

Denver could face a "dangerous situation" on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, war protesters said Thursday, after losing a coveted permit for Civic Center to the convention host committee.

"When things blow up because the police have to enforce a permit that the Democrats got, don’t blame us for that," said Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer for the Re-create 68 Alliance.

"Blame the Democrats for trying to silence dissent in the city of Denver."

How drearily predictable of ol' Spagnoodles, blaming others for the violence he's clearly been yearning for--and planning--all along.

The do-over went smoothly.

But when Jenny Anderson, event planner for the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, won the permit for Civic Center for a kick-off Aug. 24, Spagnuolo accused the committee of creating a "very serious, dangerous situation . . . for everybody."
For everybody.

Re-create 68 - which has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the bloody 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago - will be at Civic Center on Aug. 24, with or without a permit, he said.

The group, which is expecting up to 50,000 protesters from across the country, plans to march from Civic Center to the Pepsi Center, where the convention will be held, on Aug. 24, even though a parade route or a security zone hasn’t been announced.
Spagnuolo and Mark Cohen, another protester, said that the host committee shouldn’t have been allowed to apply for park permits.

"They have the Pepsi Center," Spagnuolo said. "Now they’re taking one of the biggest public spaces in this city from the public."
EP at SP has mo, mo, mo.

Update: The Post:

"We're having our protest at Civic Center," said a livid Glenn Spagnuolo, a lead organizer for the group Re-create 68. "We're not going to give up Civic Center park to the Democrats. . . . They are creating a very dangerous situation."
Spagnuolo has been meeting monthly with city officials for a year, hoping to win the right to use Civic Center throughout the convention. He says 50,000 war protesters are coming for a march from Civic Center to the Pepsi Center on Aug. 24.

He said Thursday that he would not respect the host committee's permit and would occupy the park, even if it forced police to intervene.

Referring to the $50 million in federal security money slated for the convention, Spagnuolo said Denver police would need "$25 million to protect the Pepsi Center and $25 million to protect Civic Center."
Update II: Pepsi Center, in the news!

Update III: Hmmmm:
On Thursday, Berliant was carrying bogus credentials for several media outlets, Denver police said, and he also had business cards in his name touting various professions.
Update IV: DIA parking employees might go on strike before the convention:
The 200 parking-lot employees at Denver International Airport have a bigger bargaining tool this spring, when they are due to renegotiate their contract, thanks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

The Service Employees International Union chapter director for the parking employees, Dennis DeMaio, said the union is fully prepared to strike should it need to, and its employees are concerned about a possible cut in health-insurance coverage. The current contract expires April 15, and DeMaio calls it "outdated."

Weird Bird Friday

Birds weren't always the sweet little things we now know. Once, terror birds strode the earth.

Actual photo

And they're none too happy about the change.

(Don't know why this is so blurry. Click here to see it more clearly.)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Denver newspapers to host giant DNC party

The Post:
Colorado's two largest newspapers and Elitch Gardens will host the biggest party of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, officials announced today.

The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, through the Denver Newspaper Agency, will pay to host the so-called media party and will invite the 15,000 members of the media, the more than 6,000 delegates and alternates, and assorted Democratic VIPs.
Completely unrelated fact: Combined News/Post circulation declined 12 percent in the last reporting period, and has dropped by more than half since 2001. Par-feckin'-tay.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Protest voodoo

"War protesters halt traffic, recall dead"

Update: O/t: JWP sez, "too funny," and it is.

Update II: Michelle Malkin quotes from today's D.C. protest action plan:
March of the Dead with Activist Response Team (A.R.T.) and other activists who join us will imagine what would happen if the dead, civilian and military, return to enter Washington to seek justice for the crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan because of U.S. foreign policy. . . .

Meanwhile, DNC names official hotel

Politics West:
The DNCC has announced that the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center will be the official Headquarters [sic] hotel or "nerve center," outside of the Pepsi Center, for the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Aug. 25-28.
That'll make it easy for Spagnoodles & Friends--a nice five-minute walk (aka "The Gauntlet") from the hotel to the Pepsi Center (and back!) for shell-shocked delegates. Maybe the first day protesters could just welcome them to town, ease them into it a little.

Do-over: DNC protest lottery postponed until Thursday

And Recr!eate68 hump Glenn Spagnuolo is on the front page of the Post:

Denver's new system for issuing permits to occupy parks during the 2008 Democratic National Convention ran aground as it began Tuesday, delaying the process for two more days.

Several applicants for the coveted Civic Center park discovered that their names had been omitted from a pile of cards that were to be drawn from a clear, plastic lottery box. Another applicant for another park was awarded a permit for a day he hadn't requested.

Protest groups critical of the new system seized on the blunder, accusing the city of unfairness and incompetence.

"I think it's a disgrace," said Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer with the protest group Re-create 68. "They had all this time to figure it out, and they still couldn't get it right."
There's video! This bit is good, too:
The lottery was supposed to give everyone who wanted to occupy the parks during the convention an equal chance.

After months of meetings, the city's new system came to this: two groups, one anti-war and one anti-abortion, packed the process with multiple applications to improve their chances.
Slapstick Politics has more.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Night at the Radio! (Arthur C. Clarke Memorial Edition)

These two Arthur C. Clarke short stories are from Mindwebs, a sci-fi series that ran in the late 70's on WHA in Madison, Wisconsin.

"The Nine Billion Names Of God" (9 September 1978);


"The Sentinel" (28 January 1979).

"Nine Billion Names of God" is preceded by another (very) short story, "Test."

"Chickens Of Our Own Making"

Renowned polymath Cindy Sheehan on Barack Obama, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and those goddamned chickens. Fun graf:
Yes, with arrogant American exceptionalism, we were indignant when almost 3000 of our brothers and sisters were killed on 9-11. We were indignant and we were stunned, shocked and sorrowed. But instead of searching our collective souls and reflecting about why they "hate us" so much, our insane president (backed by a bloodthirsty gang of racist opportunists) set off on a mission to send more chickens out into the world that will be a helluva bitch when they come home to roost.
Okay, one more:
Yes, on December 7th, 1941 (another day that will live in infamy), a US Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japan. On that day, 2338 American service personnel were tragically killed, but there was little of what our Pentagon calls "collateral damage," civilians killed. As a matter of fact, during WWII, Japan killed very few American civilians. However, the US military command in the Pacific killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in aerial bombings and with the use of the new WMD; H-bombs.
H-bombs? The woman radiates stupidity.

(via JWP at PB, where a commenter calls Sheehan "the nuclear bomb of retarded ass-pirates." Renowned polymath, retarded ass-pirate--it all comes down to framing)

Update: Speaking of Cindy (and other polymaths):

Zombie deserves a Pulitzer for her/his/its latest Berkeley protest report.

(via LGF)

R!ecreate!68 founder responds to Drunkablog post on Sunday's peace protest

Glenn Spagnuolo takes valuable time from his plans to destroy the Democratic National Convention to comment on my claim of harassment by R68ers at the peace protest Sunday:
You are so pathetic. Trying to act like you were in some kind of real danger. If I wanted to hurt you, I would have and there would have been nothing you could have done about it, but it would be a complete waste of time. Never claimed to be a peacenik. Oh yea, thanks for the ten buck donation.
You're welcome. But Glenn, I never said YOU harassed or threatened me. You didn't. You just pointed me out so others could. In other words, you used the same cowardly tactics your good buddy Ward Churchill uses.
Nice not to mention that the scarf guy was playing with you, but I know, you need to create a story so go with it.
So that's why he made that hilarious attempt to disguise himself: he was playing.
We do not mind the attention,
but speaking for myself, I do mind your false bullshit. Keep it up though,

I shall!

when someone like you starts writing something positive about me is when I know I have gone wrong [update: then I guess you'll never go wrong, Glenn]. Hey Drunkawife, your husband was never in any real trouble, he likes to pretend so he could look all dangerous to turn you on when he gets home. I guess you would have to be a drunk wife to cuttle up to that poor excuse of a man.
Boy, he's right there. You should see her lunge for the bottle when I'm in the mood for love. Spagnoodles also explains that he had a public safety reason for pointing me out to his pals:
I pointed him out because people thought some one shit their pants because of the smell, I assumed it was John so I let them know. . . .
Oops, forgot the ol' Depends that morning. (Another reason the D-a-W hits the bottle.)

All very instructive, but don't forget, this guy leads the organization the city and DNC negotiated with in their planning for the Democratic National Convention. As a sage once said: Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket.

Update: Scales seem to be dropping from a few eyes:
The city of Denver scrambled Monday to fix a loophole that allowed duplicate applications to stage protests and other events during the Democratic National Convention in August.

On the eve of today's blind lottery to handle competing requests, the city contacted people and organizations with multiple applications for the same event at the same park on the same day and asked them to "voluntarily" withdraw duplicates.

The city's plea was falling on deaf ears.

"First of all, I can't tell people who are part of our organization who have submitted two applications not to apply," said Mark Cohen, an organizer for the protest group Recreate 68 Alliance.

"Even if I could, I would have no intention of doing so," he added.
(via El Presidente at Slapstick Politics, who has much more on the story)

Update II: By the way, I'm just kidding about the D-a-W drinking. She's been sober for getting on for six years now, and long ago evolved other methods for coping with my animal needs.

Update III: Speaking of hilariousness:
The lottery to win permits to demonstrate at the Democratic National Convention screeched to a halt this afternoon when an organization claimed it wasn't being given a fair shot at a five-day permit to rally in Denver's Civic Center.

The mayor's office stopped the lottery just 45 minutes after it had begun. It was scheduled to resume about 2:20 p.m.

The lottery, held on the second floor of the Wellington Webb Building in downtown Denver, featured dozens of business cards sitting on a table, waiting to be selected in a random process.

But Barbara Cohen, representing the Recreate '68 group, noticed that only one business card from her group was on the table. There should have been five, because the application was for a five-day permit, she said.

"Something got screwed up, and screwed up badly," Cohen said. "It's very distressing. This is supposed to be a city-run lottery."

Chantal Unfug, special assistant to Mayor Hickenlooper, said "Obviously, there was a clerical mistake in transferring the information from the application forms onto the business cards."
Savor the name: Chantal Unfug.
City officials are cross-referencing the application forms with the cards, and doing it in the open, in front of all interested parties, to help re-instill faith in the process, she said. They hope the lottery can be completed by the close of business today.
Yes, indeed.

Update IV: The Post:
The first park in the Denver lottery is for the City of Cuernavaca Park. Re-create 68's affiliates have locked up the park from Aug. 23, Saturday, through the 26th.

Stand for Peace got first dibs on the 23rd. Bring Them Home, which is part of Tent State University, took the 24th. People's assembly took the 25th; and Carnival for Participatory Democracy won the 26th.

"We're satisfied so far," said R-68's Glenn Spagnuolo, whose group has been seeking permits to protest in city parks and streets during the Democratic National Convention, Aug. 25-28.
Tent State University.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Progress not made

Checked my blog ranking on the TTLB Ecosystem today and cried (a little) when I got looking around and noticed that many similarly ranked blogs are actually defunct:

The Atheist Resistance gave up the ghost months ago;

My Secret Place succeeded in keeping itself secret and hasn't been updated for three years;

Newfoundland and Labrador--October Reign: Provincial Elections 2007 has been deserted since October (checking notes here) 2007;

Mookie Riffic, notwithstanding Mookie's riffic-ness, hasn't been updated since 2005;

Stuff I Think You Should Know taught you everything he thought you should know several years ago;

America Is Doing Far Too Little To Protect Its Ports is just a great blog name;

No Sex & The City has had no update since January;

The Flying Bagpiper grounded himself last July; and

Ron Paul 2008 is actually current, but it's, you know, Ron Paul.

I'm so depressed.


The Rocky:
Super-sized snowpacks and forecasts for a warm spring have large parts of the state on flood watch.

State snowpacks, at 126 percent of average, are their highest in a decade, with some regions, such as the Arkansas River Basin seeing the deepest snows in more than 40 years, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Statewide snowpacks in all mountain watersheds are above average, something that is rare in Colorado. Though snowpacks along the northern Front Range are just slightly above average, the Arkansas River Basin, whose waters serve Pueblo and Colorado Springs, are at 156 percent of average.

"At 150 percent of average, as a general rule of thumb, that's where we begin to get concerned," said Mike Gillespie, snow survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Great phrase:
Colorado's mountain snows, even in deep years, often melt in an orderly fashion, but if high runoffs combine with intense spring rainstorms, flooding is likely, officials said.

Rafters and kayakers should be particularly careful this spring, said Robert Jarrett, a hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey.

"We don't know how the runoff is going to come off," Jarrett said. "But what we do know is that there are going to be many months of high flow and the waters are going to be freezing cold. Anyone who gets in who can't get out quickly is going to be in trouble. That's what the public needs to know."

Quote of the day or perhaps even a somewhat greater length of time!

Kind of a long one, but buck up, chappies, it's worth it:
The recognition granted in a free society to the independent growth of science, art, and morality, involves a dedication of society to the fostering of a specific tradition of thought, transmitted and cultivated by a particular group of authoritative specialists, perpetuating themselves by co-option. To uphold the independence of thought implemented by such a society is to subscribe to a kind of orthodoxy which, though it specifies no fixed articles of faith, is virtually unassailable within the limits imposed on the process of innovation by the cultural leadership of a free society. . . . And we must face also the fact that this orthodoxy, and the cultural authorities which we respect, are backed by the coercive power of the state and financed by the beneficiaries of office and property. The institutions by which their authority is exercised, the schools, universities, churches, academies, law courts, newspapers and political parties, are under the protection of the same policemen and soldiers who guard the wealth of the landowners and capitalists.

Must this institututional framework be accepted as the civic home of a free society? Is it true that the absolute right of moral self-determination, on which political liberty was founded, can be upheld only by refraining from any radical action towards the establishment of justice and brotherhood? That indeed, unless we agree that within our lifetime we must no more than loosen the ties of a free society, however iniquitous they may be, we shall inevitably precipitate men into abject servitude?

For my part, I would say: Yes. I believe that, on the whole, these limitations are imperative. Unjust privileges prevailing in a free society can be reduced only by carefully graded stages; those who would demolish them overnight would erect greater injustices in their place. An absolute moral renewal of society can be attempted only by an absolute power which must inevitably destroy the moral life of man--Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge (1958).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Denver Peace Rally!

Couldn't stay for the speeches, dammit, but got pics:

As always, the rally was on the west steps of the Capitol.

Just jumping in:

Eurotrash-lookin' dude in kaffiya.

Eurotrash-lookin' dude in kaffiya and red star beret, with Palestinian flag.

The complete ensemble: Eurotrash-lookin' dude in kaffiya, red star beret, Palestinian flag, "Death to Empire" sign and cannon.

Local rabble rouser Larry Hales (r). [Update: I had identified the man on the left as Shareef Aleem, but !R68 head Glenn Spagnuolo says it's not, so I don't know who it is.]

The troofers showed up in good time. Troofers are always punctual.

In case you didn't know, anti-war protesters are so cool. Way cooler than you are.

You first.

How satisfied with yourself you must be.

Peace grannies or whatever. They sang anti-war songs. Horribly. (But you knew that.) [Update: They're the Raging Grannies, of course, not the "Peace Grannies."]

If I'd taken the time to read the whole sign, there is no doubt I'd have become a revolutionary on the spot. I could feel it.

Think that'll help when they turn on him?

GWB with an "Impeach" sign on his back.

GWB sez: Thumbs up to that!

Signs aren't cheap, either, I guess.


It started getting a little hairy for me around then. R68 head Glenn Spagnuolo knew who I was, and starting pointing me out loudly as "that Drunkablog asshole" who's always ragging on them. Naturally, some of his minions started following me around, taking my pic and getting in my face:

Don't know why they wanted my picture. I've got nothing to hide--except, well, that one thing. But this guy apparently did have something to hide (or, more likely, pretended to--posers, don't you know), because suddenly he threw his scarf around his face:

One more time: You should do this before somebody takes your picture, ya dimwits. BEFORE.

Shockingly, several people saluted me in this manner, a few adding, by way of explanation, "fuck you, Drunkablog!" So atypical for peaceniks. [Update: notice scarf dude unscarfed in the background. What a maroon.]

Oh yeah, another of them said, "We're watching you." Of course you are.

Think Denver and the Democratic National Committee will take this little R!68 flyer as the plain warning it is, that the group is planning on vandalism and violence?


Join "Revo the Rabbit" and R68 as we search downtown Denver for hidden cameras that have been installed by the city to keep an eye on activists! Come with a group or join up with one and see if you can win the Great Camera Hunt! To win your team needs to locate the most spy cameras in your designated area. Meet back with Recreate 68 at Civic Center Park for a potluck picnic. Celebrate the resurrection, the resurrection of a revolutionary spirit!

I don't.

Larry Hales came over and introduced himself. Our dialogue went something like this (I recorded it but haven't listened yet):

Hales: You're that Drunkablog guy, aren't you?

Me: That's me. And you are?

Hales: Larry Hales.

Me: Larry! How's it going?

Hales: I'm not going to shake your hand.

Me: I didn't offer, you'll notice.

Hales: You been writing all that shit about me. You don't even know me.

Me: Just what I read in the papers.

Hales: Well, if you take my picture again, I'm going to throw your camera out in the street.

Me: Naw, don't do that.

Hales: You take another picture I'll throw it out in the street. Put that on your blog . . .

Me: Oh, I will, Larry. Don't worry, I will. But I thought you were all (making double peace signs) "peace, man."

Hales: I never said I was a pacifist.

Larry Hales gestures to indicate the approximate trajectory my camera would take on its flight into the street.

Well, I know when I'm not wanted (when bullyboys start following me around and a revolutionary wants to do harm to my camera--duh), so I didn't stay for the speeches. Probably missed some great stuff.

Literature and collectibles:

RAIM was there, of course:


Update: El Presidente of Slapstick Politics was there as well, even staying for and videoing at least one speaker (who urges the crowd to burn down Lockheed-Martin). He's got lots of good pics, too.

Update II: Ringo's Pictures makes this post look quite sick, with tons of great photos of the protest in Los Angeles yesterday. Even in its anti-war protests, Denver's a cowtown.

Update III: Finally had a chance to watch the whole of El Presidente's video montage of the protest, and I have to say, the white-boy rapper is perhaps the single most embarrassing thing I've ever seen in my life.

Update IV, March 17: Neither paper mentions the protest; CBS4 has basically nothing, but at least posted some film; 9News apparently thought its resources better employed covering a human-interest story ("One-legged cheerleader stands tall"); and Channel 7 followed suit ("Woman says boyfriend tried to light her on fire").

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Denver jerk: Ladies' nights will lead to new Hitler

A Speakout column by Steve Horner, anti-ladies' night activist:
[M]y shutting down ladies' night is benign compared to the revenge taken out by some toward hypocritical policies that say one thing but mean another. Examples are schoolkids shooting other schoolkids because they feel angry and betrayed (real or imagined); machine-gunners blasting their way through abortion clinics; angry, right-wing border vigilantes shooting border hoppers at will; and suicide bombers blowing up Jewish seminaries.

So, you can call me crazy or mean or whatever, but I'm just the tip of the iceberg. Hitler was another man who felt betrayed by hypocritical, liberal (Marxist) public policies and you remember how he responded, don't you? That's what I'm trying to prevent. Because if we don't stop the betrayals through hypocritical public policies, it will happen again. Because there are people a lot more angry than I am. Trust me.
Oh, we do.

Ward speaks

Or rather, apparently, Ward spoke, in Regina Thursday on "Healing Begins When the Wounding Stops: Reflections on the Dynamics of 'Truth and Reconciliation' in Native North America."

Ward wants healing? Who knew? Interestingly, Churchill seems to have permanently abandoned (at least in public) his claim to be a member of the Keetoowah Band of Cherokee. Wonder if they threatened to Sioux (sorry) if he didn't:
Ward Churchill is a prolific American Indian scholar/activist. He is a member of the Rainbow Coalition Council of Elders and the leadership council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado.
The only description of the "Rainbow Coalition Council of Elders" I could find was this, from the "Third Wave at the US Social Forum" blog last year:
the encuentro included elders from the Black Panther Party chapters in Oakland and Chicago, brothers from the Young Lords Party, and Ward Churchill from AIM. it was a small gathering of folks, maybe about 40 youth and 5 elders. they rapped with us about their experiences--how they'd come to join a revolutionary organization, what were the conditions that led them to want to be involved, and what was important about joining an organization. At the end, they announced that they were in the process of forming a Rainbow Council of Elders, comprised of elders from different social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, which would include I Wor Kuen and other revolutionary organizations.
So, kind of like the Justice League.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Abstract of the Week!

Actually it's a review in the journal Feminist Studies: "Class absences: cutting class in feminist studies. (research)":

Until the missing story of ourselves is told, nothing besides can suffice us/We shall go on quietly craving it/In the missing story of ourselves can be found all other missing stories. --Laura Riding Jackson

In "Disappearing Acts: The State and Violence against Women," Michelle Fine and Lois Weis compare the fate of poor women at the end of the twentieth century in the United States to the sleight of hand that erases women "on the edge" in traditional circus disappearing acts. Fine and Weis observe that similar to the awestruck, hoodwinked, and immobilized audiences under the big top, "we witness poor and working class women shoved into spaces too small for human form." These "state sponsored disappearing acts" remind Fine and Weis of the dangers of political invisibility and the cost of separating pleas for access to "economics and education from struggles against violence." (1)

As a multigenerationally poor woman and feminist, poverty-class scholar, I concur that class erasure is indeed present in U.S. media and in political, legislative, public, and policy rhetoric and analysis. I additionally argue that poverty-class erasure, cooptation, and misrepresentation are increasingly--and dangerously--practiced in academe, including in feminist and working-class studies of particular concern to us. The unique perspectives and experiences of the poverty class are neglected in feminist texts and teaching even when the goal of such projects is to study the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and other salient identity markers. Furthermore, those experiences of poverty are rendered invisible as they are folded into and subsumed under analysis of the experiences of the working class, even in feminist labor and working-class studies. As a result, poor women who are feminist poverty-class scholars are caught between a proverbial rock and a hard place. (2) Facing erasure on the one hand and cooptation, repression, and misrepresentation on the other, many of us (who have literally been homeless in life) become homeless again in academe. This sleight-of-hand erases the complexities of women's poverty as it prohibits full, first-hand, poverty-class analysis of the American condition, to the detriment of us all; certainly to the bane of assiduous feminist scholars committed to inclusive knowledge, honoring difference, and struggling for social justice.