Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Leader suggested

A Native Hawaiian group that advocates sovereignty locked the gates of a historic palace Wednesday in downtown Honolulu, saying it would carry out the business of what it considers the legitimate government of the islands.
Hey, if they need one, I know a Chief Facilitator who's not too busy.

(h/t Snapple)

60s get another drubbing

A review in City Journal of Carl Oglesby's Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Antiwar Movement:
Amputated from his milquetoast life, [Oglesby] cut two folk albums, bedded the comeliest Weatherwoman, and during a visit to Cuba devised what became the sugar-cane-cutting Venceremos Brigade to aid Castro’s harvest. He sat on the international war crimes tribunal that Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre assembled to try the American government. He appeared, against the advice he gave others, at the staged riot in Chicago during 1968’s Democratic National Convention, and came to rue that decision: “I have yet to see what [Tom Hayden] thought our Chicago objectives really were beyond making a big scene." . . .
Hayden, of course, didn't have any objectives beyond making a big scene. In that sense, Rec!r!eate68 will probably recreate '68 quite well.


On Air America's "American Afternoon" program Monday, Roseanne Barr called for "trouble" at the Democratic National Convention. Brian Maloney quotes her:

But you know, we have a lot of power and there is a Democratic Convention in Denver in just a short time and we should a bunch of us go there and repeat the Democratic Convention from Chicago. Like, let’s just cause a bunch of trouble. Let's wrest back our government from what, six or seven you know guys like McCain and Romney and Bush from the top. Let’s just go take it. It’s ours. Nobody gives it to you, you just go take it. Let’s meet in Denver and let’s do it.

Rush, Roseanne and Spagnoodles, together at last.

The audio of the segment has even more gems:

Update: Pillage Idiot notes that the DNCC has hired Microsoft to "create a technically flawless" convention. Too old to bwahahaha, too young to die.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Amusing historical anecdote of the day!

From Peter the Great: His Life and World, by Robert K. Massie.

In Leyden [in 1697], Peter visited the famous Dr. Boerhaave. . . . He also visited Boerhaave's dissection theater, where a corpse was lying on a table with some of its muscles exposed. Peter was studying the corpse with fascination when he heard grumbles of disgust from some of his squeamish Russian comrades. Furious, and to the horror of the Dutch, he ordered them to approach the cadaver, bend down and bite off a muscle of the corpse with their teeth.
To the horror of the Dutch? How about the guys with mouths full of corpse?

Update: Could they spit it out, or did they have to swallow?

Update II: Probably wasn't a fresh corpse, either.

Update III: Think that's gross? Wait till I wield power by divine right.

Friday, April 25, 2008

State senate majority leader: Vietnam War was "genocide"

Another example (as if Ward Churchill and his ilk hadn't provided plenty) of how the word means just about anything, and therefore almost nothing. The Post:
A state senator received a sharp rebuke from some of his colleagues on the Senate floor Thursday after he compared the Vietnam War to genocide.

Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon’s comments came during discussion on a resolution in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s. Gordon said it was important to remember the genocide and how all genocides are preceded by an attempt to dehumanize the targeted group.

He then mentioned the Holocaust, the campaigns against American Indians and the Vietnam War and quoted an ethnic slur that American soldiers called the Vietnamese people.
“People can't kill other people in large numbers who they think are human beings,” Gordon, a Denver Democrat, said.
After being rebuked by several senate Republicans, Gordon apologized.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

FEMA: Every household should have 1-cubic-meter Rice Krispie Treat in garage

The alleged rice shortage, at least in this country, seems more and more like A.J. Liebling's description (in a 1946 "Wayward Press" piece) of the "Great Gouamba"--"meat hunger"--in New York that year, and the press's role in creating it:

"Gouamba" is an African word meaning "meat hunger." Mr. Liebling first encountered the word in a book "Stories of the Gorilla Country," by Paul De Chaillu, an African explorer, lecturer and author of boys' books. "On our return to Obinji," Dr. Chaillu wrote, "we were overtaken by my good friend Querlaouen, who had shot a wild pig. The Negroes feasted on koo loo meat..." For days and some times for weeks a man does not get any meat at all; and whenever any other food is set before him you will hear him say, "Gouamba," which means, literally, "I am sick of food, I have a craving for meat; I care for nothing else ..."
There was plenty of meat, of course, it was just (temporarily) expensive. The press's incessant drumming on "shortages" created a sort of meat paranoia, or meatanoia, the Great Gouamba, which fed further stories, and so on. (Fun fact: in 1946 New York had 1,791 daily newspapers, all thriving.)

This is the same business. The Great Rice Hunger. Look how Reuters plays the secretary of agriculture's (quick, what's his name?) statement today that there is no goddamn rice shortage:

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer on Thursday sought to calm the frayed nerves of consumers, saying there was no shortage of rice in the United States even as a major outlet limited sales. . . .

Even as. But:

"We don't see any evidence of the lack of availability of rice. There are no supply issues," he told reporters after addressing a conference on agro-terrorism in Kansas City.

So that should be a load off everyone's mind.

Update: Agro-what now?

Spogging blotty

The real world intrudes. I hate it so much. Here's Sol Stern in City Journal on the destructive and influential social-justice pedagogy espoused by Bill Ayers at the University of Illinois:
Ayers’s politics have hardly changed since his Weatherman days. He still boasts about working full-time to bring down American capitalism and imperialism. This time, however, he does it from his tenured perch as Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Instead of planting bombs in public buildings, Ayers now works to indoctrinate America’s future teachers in the revolutionary cause, urging them to pass on the lessons to their public school students.
An earlier piece by Stern is even more acidic:
The readings that Ayers assigns are as intellectually stimulating and diverse as a political commissar’s indoctrination session in one of his favorite communist tyrannies. The reading list for his urban education course includes the bible of the critical pedagogy movement, Brazilian Marxist Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed; two books by Ayers himself; another by bell hooks, a radical black feminist writer and critical race theorist; and a “Freedom School” curriculum. That’s the entire spectrum of debate.
Just for the hell of it, here are Billy Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn not remembering Ward Churchill teaching them how to make bombs:

(via Paxety's Pages)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Two blogging friends have linked (independently) to the very fine The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks within the last week: Caz (happy Anzac Day!) and Richard Combs of Combs Spouts Off. Now I have too.

Never able to leave well enough alone, however, let me also link to an even finer blog: Men who look like old lesbians (laughing "prohibited").

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

Fibber McGee and Molly is one of the great radio shows (and one of the three famous shows with fictional central Illinois towns as their locale), but I haven't played it much for some reason. Here's a good wartime example: "Black Market Meat" (27 April 1943).

And Suspense! Edmond O'Brien in "Blind Spot" (1 May 1948).

Mayor's Office: No release of police-gear info

Colorado Confidential got a statement from the mayor's office on the denial of their open records request for the police to disclose what equipment they were buying in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Former Try-Works hanger-on Erin Rosa quotes a Hickenlooper spokesperson:

"It is a valid concern when you're procuring equipment for security needs," says Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, spokeswoman for Mayor John Hickenlooper. "To describe the details of that in advance poses an obvious risk that we're not going subject our community to, nor are we required to do so."

Fine, fine.

Mom and Dad really screwed him up

A long preview of The Life and Work of Norman Finkelstein:

"My mother did not like what I'd become. She was afraid. And she was very guilty. She felt I was Frankenstein's monster. In this case, Finkelstein's monster."

(via Free Expression)

Thanks, Rush

Rush Limbaugh, explaining his "Operation Chaos" strategy today (close paraphrase--I was in the car): "We want this (the nomination fight) to go right up to the convention, then overturned cars, fires, riots. . ."

He was kidding, I think.

More plans for green DNC unveiled

And they're huge. The News:
Democratic National Convention staffers will use energy-saving laptops, forgo paper memos and rely on air conditioners less this summer in an effort to meet their pledge to shrink the political confab's carbon footprint.

Strict rules to use double-sided printing and to recycle equipment are also on tap, organizers said Tuesday at a briefing on the convention's green goals.

"We're only using laptops because they save up to 50 percent in power consumption compared to desktops," said Brook Colangelo, a convention committee technology expert.
Of course, they have no way of measuring whether these initiatives will actually, you know, make any difference:

Measuring what occurs may be one of the committee's biggest challenges.

"We don't have a baseline in place yet," said Damon Jones, committee spokesman. "We're still figuring out what all the pieces are."

But Jones said he expects to derive some kind of goal once the planning is complete.

"By implementing green initiatives, we're going to look at how much we could expect to save," he said. "It's hard to put a big number on that now because every convention is different, and we don't have numbers from the past."

Rough estimate: five desktop computers replaced by laptops = one
R6!8 trashcan fire.

Q: "Are you guys planning any confrontations?"

A: "Something I wouldn't talk about with someone I don't know."--Glenn Spagnuolo, recorded by an operative of Troofer group Truth!Alliance at the April 13 R!68 "community meeting." Slapstick Politics has more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Abstract(s) of the Week!

Lots of theses and dissertations on rap music out there, of course. Here are a couple:

This dissertation examines the roles of agency, autonomy, and historical context in Black female rappers' practice of gangstaism, as well as the effects of this discourse on women's perceptions of Black-on-Black intrafemale (IF) violence. I present a framework of gangstressism, which grounds gangstress practice in the political, social and economic realities for female hip hop generationers. Specifically, I identified the pursuit of a rapping career and the rap music industry as a legitimate hustle and site for economic mobility, respectively, which allows for an illustration of the ways that limited production agency, solo or "lone woman" status, insecurities (i.e., low self-esteem), and limited autonomy (i.e., socioeconomic status) interact and sometimes lead to intrafemale aggression or competiton for scarce resources. Additionally, this analysis problematizes women's appropriation of misogynist language by illustrating the ways in which it both compromises the health of its proponents and functions as a weapon against other women. Consequently, this framework extends previous research on Black women performers because it explicitly links women and girls' struggles for agency and autonomy on the streets and in the studios. Further, this research extends previous work in that it focuses on women's aggression and violence as resistance, rather than on sexual agency. Even further, this is the first study to explicitly discuss and utilize hip hop feminism (which demands attention to historical context, in addition to race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation) as an epistemology, rather than simply as a practice. Regarding influencers on female rap lyrics, I explore how constraints on women and girls' production-level agency affect such content. Thus, the present work extends previous research in that I define agency in term of Black women's roles as cultural producers in rap music, rather than limiting it to the performance level (i.e., returning the gaze). Specifically, I developed an original coding scheme and method of quantifying agency to document both the appropriation of misogynist language (particularly the word bitch) and use of themes (such as spirituality and aggression) by both female and male artists on female artists' rap albums, as a function of female agency and historical context. Consequently, this study is the first quantitative content analysis of not only rap music by female artists, but also of rap music, in general. Among other results, I found that higher agency lowered both the odds of men and women using the term bitch to insult women, and the occurrence of themes such as crime and drugs. In terms of effects of music exposure, this research is also the first to investigate the effects of exposure to both violent and prosocial music by female rappers, and to use a female-only sample. Results suggest that IF aggressive lyrics may have negative implications for Black women in terms of normalizing aggression against them. Overall, using an interdisciplinary and inter-methodologically pluralistics approach, this work identifies a complex interplay of variables that influence intrafemale aggression and other aspects of gangstressism, which may be useful for developing future interventions that empower female fans and aspiring artists.
New terms: "gangstress"; "Black-on-Black intrafemale (IF) violence."

Hiphop subculture is considered by many scholars and practitioners to be globally resistive to oppression with the potential of becoming a political movement. The researcher finds that defiance in and of itself is the dominant message of popular rap music and that rap artists present themselves and their music as representing the disenfranchised. . . . The researcher concludes that rap artists defy any consistent message and present an image of political self-importance that is ultimately impotent.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Is R!68 helping Obama?

The blog Stop Obama makes the case that R!ecrea!te68, with the tacit assistance of Code Pink and, is helping Barack Obama win the Democratic nomination by threatening that angry protesters will inundate Denver if Hillary Clinton is the party's nominee:

A clear relationship exists between those preparing disruptions in Denver, and those who support Obama. This explains why the disruptions R68 plans in Denver, will be minimal if Obama is elected, and maximum if he is not.

While R68 organizers claim neutrality in the Democratic Contest- by their own irrational admissions - if Clinton secures the Party Nomination, they promise 50,000 protesters. If Obama gets the nod, anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 max.

If Obama does not secure the Democratic Nomination, the possible turn-out for R68, is very, very high. The threat of violence increases directly in proportion with the role of the Super Delegates in selecting the Party Nominee.

R68 has explicitly pledged itself to interfere with delegate routes, and specifically with preventing Super Delegates with making it into the Convention.

50,000 protesters will be the minimum Denver can expect- provided no measures are taken to cut-off access to the city. Of these 5ok no more than 2000 can be experienced provocateurs, professional organizers who will make violence with the authorities their goal. . . .

If Obama has a shred of decency and administrative qualities, he should be working furiously to disassociate himself from any associations with R68. The longer he fails to do so, the more he is implicating himself with a strategy of fear and extortion of the Delegate vote. If Obama fails to send a clear message to the Code Pinks, Colors of Change, and MoveOns, that R68 is out of bounds, he will be held directly accountable for any riots and confrontation at Denver, in August 24-28.

Earth Day Colorado in the (compact fluorescent) spotlight!

The Post has a spate of stories. First, planning your week:
The Earth Day Fair 2008 will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Tuesday] in Denver's Civic Center Park. The fair is free; there will be exhibits including information on energy conservation, recycling, composting, pollution prevention, transit options, saving water, renewable energy, natural resources and more.
Just stay away from the flowerbeds.

A ski town bags it:
In an effort to reduce the ecologic footprint of the community, Breckenridge is proclaiming Tuesday as "Reusable Bag Day." The town will hand out reusable bags starting at 11:00 a.m. at Breckenridge Recreation Center, Breckenridge Post Office, City Market, Downstairs at Eric's, Fatty's Pizzeria and MiZuppa, until all the bags are gone.
Until all the bags . . . are gone.

And the radical enviros at the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association (they say "Hey," Derrick) get in on the fun:
In honor of Earth Day,the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association celebrates the dedication of a new environmentally-friendly asphalt parking lot, through a partnership with Colorado's multi-jurisdictional Urban Drainage and Flood Control District. The parking lot dedication will be followed by a sponsored luncheon.
Sponsored luncheon = I'm there. But wait, there's more!
An open house will be at 11:30 a.m. with comments from key stakeholders and project information at Wastewater Management Division, 2000 W. 3rd Ave., Denver.
Mmmmm, wastewater.

One of many events for Youth:
[K]ids ages 6 and up can participate in a program, "Earth Transformed," during 90-minute programs between now and May 13 at each Jefferson County Public Library location. Knott's Kids, a Jefferson County Public Library interactive literacy program for children ages 6-12 and the city of Lakewood's ArtVentures are collaborating on this program, which allows kids to create custom-designed, experimental artwork while learning about recycling.
In another story the Post asks, "Going 'green' a fad or for real?" (spoiler alert: everybody the reporter asks says "for real"). Quoteskis:

These days, the environment boasts rock-star status, becoming so popular that some say it's trendy.

Not Auden Schendler, director of environmental affairs at Aspen Skiing Co.

"Someone asked me the question, 'Green is cool now, so what's next?' " Schendler said. "The answer is: 'This is what's next.' It's not a just a hipster trend that's going to pass."

Aspen Skiing Co., meet the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association.
Massive gatherings are planned in Tokyo, Beijing and Buenos Aires, Argentina. More than 1 billion people are expected to mark the event in some way.
That'll be eco-friendly. Much other bilge in the piece.

Custom-designed, experimental art work by someone older than 12. (AFP photo from the article.)

In a guest commentary, Republican state Sen. Nancy Spence pleads for a renewal of the alleged bipartisan spirit of the original Earth Day through a totally uncontroversial carbon cap-and-trade system.

Finally, the Post asks: How will you celebrate Earth Day?

Update: In contrast to this cornucopia of propaganda, the News, situational right deviationist organization that it is, has a brief in Health and Fitness and a piece in the business section comparing high-end home products for greenness.

Bruce eruption

Retarded state legislator Doug Bruce calls Mexican workers "illiterate peasants."

DNC security contracts await funding

Denver is still waiting for fed money to sign up out-of-town cops for security at the Democratic National Convention:

Denver expects to sign contracts in the next few weeks with dozens of police and emergency agencies that will help protect the city during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, clearing one of the most significant milestones in the city's preparation for the August event.

The mayor's office has been awaiting approval from the Department of Justice on what costs can be reimbursed from the $50 million appropriated to the city by Congress in December.

Katherine Archuleta, the mayoral liaison to the convention, said the DOJ has been working since January and significant progress was made last week. However, she said, "we can't commit to any funding" until the approval is received. .

Denver police Chief Gerry Whitman has said the department has 1,450 officers but can deploy only 800 per shift during convention week. Whitman has said he would work with more than 40 area law enforcement agencies to assemble between 2,000 and 2,500 officers for convention coverage.

Including the National Guard, New York had perhaps 20,000 security personnel in and around the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in 2004.

Update: DemocracyNow!'s Amy Goodman interviewed Mark Cohen of Re!create68 and Mark Silverstein of the Colorado ACL!U. Nothing new, but I like this from Cohen:
We’re . . . staging what we’re calling the Festival of Democracy, which will be a five-day event in downtown Denver, during which we will have trainings, workshops, teach-ins, and provide people the opportunity to come together and learn about alternatives to the two-party system, solutions that communities can provide to their own problems. We’re also, during that, going to have a 24/7 free health clinic, legal services, two feedings a day in cooperation with Food Not Bombs and other services for the community.
Mmmmmm, feedings. EP has more and other.

Happy birthday, Adolf!

The News:
Two inmates were killed at a Florence prison Sunday after a massive fight that authorities say may have been racially motivated and planned to coincide with Adolf Hitler's birthday.

The fight broke out around 12:30 p.m. in the recreation yard of the high-security U.S. Penitentiary, said Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley.

As many as 100 inmates were involved, and five were transported to local hospitals with injuries.

Don't forget your jammies with the little hammer-and-sickles on them

Slapstick Politics notes an anti-war "Tent City teach-in"/slumber party at the University of Denver this weekend.

EP also links to Unconventional Action Midwest's call (in their first and so far only blog post) for protesters to adopt a delegate (to harass) at the Republican National Convention:
Unconventional Action Midwest invites all autonomous groups and individuals to“adopt a delegate” in preparation for the Republican National Convention taking place in St. Paul September 1-4.

How does it work? Easy! Simply choose a hotel and do what you can to [make] the delegate experience in the Twin Cities an unforgettable one!
And guess what:
In congruence with the RNC Welcoming Committee’s Points of Unity and the historic St. Paul Principles, UA-Midwest respects and encourages a wide diversity of tactics.
That sounds familiar.

Ward Churchill speaking in Toronto for Israeli Apartheid Week

At Ryerson University in February:

via Spontaneous Arising, who calls Chutch "the Outlaw Professor" and adds with impeccable accuracy: "Oops! He criticized Israel! And look what happened to him. Go figure."

Update: God, I hate embeds. Here's the video.

Update II: Reverse the polarity!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

10,000 puff away at CU 4/20 celebration

The Gamera:
A crowd of about 10,000 people collectively began counting down on the University of Colorado’s Norlin Quadrangle just before 4:20 p.m. today.

Yet the massive puff of pot smoke that hovers over CU’s Boulder campus every April 20 — the date of an annual, internationally recognized celebration of marijuana — began rising over the sea of heads earlier than normal this year.

“Oh forget it,” one student said, aborting the countdown to 4:20 p.m. and lighting his pipe early. He closed his eyes, taking a deep, long drag.

And no citations:
Although it’s become an annual and renowned event at CU, this year’s 4/20 celebration was different in some ways than in many previous years: The crowd was so large it migrated from the long-traditional site of Farrand Field to the larger Norlin quad; festivities kicked off earlier than normal with daytime concerts; and CU police handed out zero citations.

“At this point, none are anticipated,” said CU police Cmdr. Brad Wiesley.
Fun stuff:

From the steps of Norlin Library, some of the thousands present said the turnout appeared comparable to that of a peace march or protest.

Comparable? Jeez, what are you people smo--oh, yeah. But that's far more than they'd get for a stupid peace protest.

This will set CU administrators' little hearts all pit-a-pat:

CU freshman Emily Benson, 19, of Kansas City, said she thinks the decriminalization of marijuana will become a hot topic in the upcoming political season, and said she felt part of something bigger than just a smoke-out today.

“We’re at the starting point of a movement,” she said. “This is a big part of the reason I applied here — for the weed atmosphere.”

One commenter observes, "I guess it explains why so many on campus listened to fake Native American wack jobs." No, it doesn't.

(via Drudge, who doesn't need the link)

Update: The Rocky weighs in.


A little boidie reliably informs the Drunkablog (strictly on cheep background, of course) that Ward Churchill's lawsuit against the University of Colorado has been docketed for March, 2009.

DNC short-film competition: Now even more anti-American!

Time to check in on Cinemocracy, the Democratic National Convention's short-film competition, in which filmmakers are invited to filmmake on the question, "How Do You Define Democracy?"

Only one new film this time, but it's a bad 'un: 2004: A Year in Dissent by "FluxRostrum." It pulls together clips of protests from throughout that year, from the G8 summit to the Million Worker March (15 thou, tops), but focuses on the protests at the Democratic and Republican national conventions:

Warning: features Dennis Kucinich; bad protest singing.

This is what we have to look forward to, Denveroons.

Funny how the images of self-righteous, narcissistic protesters, idiotic signs, childish props and histrionic arrests could be posted unchanged by a rightie blogger to show the peace creeps as the narcissistic, histrionic and childish people they are.

Wonder if anybody at the DNC has noticed yet that, of the 12 films submitted thus far, all except one are crude anti-Americana, or that several promulgate your more mainstream conspiracy theories?

The top ten films, remember, will be shown at an "event" in Denver during the convention, while the winner will be shown at the convention itself and at the Starz Denver Film Festival (no cowtown!) in November. They better get some more milquetoasty (not to mention saner) contributions up by July 15 (the contest end-date) or they might have to stealth-jettison (too late) the whole extremely dumb idea.

Voting is open to anyone. Right now the least offensive film (though still offensive in its liberal smarminess), Colorado Youth at Risk, has 3.7 stars and a slight lead over the quite stupid and nasty So Were You, at 3.3. My favorite, or at least the one I voted for, the Troofer mini-epic Bodies, is currently at 3.2.

Update: Many more bad rad films posted at the FluxRostrum blog, Vlog-flux.

Update II: Haven't received my credentials to blog inside the convention from the DNC yet. I'm getting a little antsy.

Update III: Redstate warns that downtown Denver is going to be WAY underpoliced, and a commenter shows his math.


It's Islam Awareness Week at CU ("Chutch U," as LGF spinoff linker TerpMole called it). The Muslim Student Association sponsored event's website schedule is somewhat sparse, but lists speakers Shaikh Idris, DU assistant prof. of religious studies Liyukat Takim and "stealth Islamist" Khalid Abu Al Fadl.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sarcastic columnist: ReCreate6!8 will improve Civic Center

The Rocky's Mark Brown:

Watch out. Re-create '68 is coming to Civic Center.

The plan: Invite thousands of protesters to camp out for days during the Democratic National Convention in August in a place that doesn't have adequate water or toilets.

They're going to turn it into "Free City" - free of racism, sexism and homophobia (and, one assumes, soap and hygiene).

Smelly-hippie joke in the lead. Always appreciated by readers.
They're gonna protest. They're gonna camp out overnight. They're gonna wipe out "the disease of an Imperialist, Capitalist, Racist system as seen in our communities," according to their Web site. They're going to get naked and spell out the word peace with their undoubtedly well-toned bodies.
Errrrrr. . .
They say 50,000 people will show up to live in tents during the Democratic National Convention.

I'm betting it's fewer than that. I'm betting they're going to be trading in veggie burritos and cheese sandwiches. I fear that Grateful Dead and Bob Marley music will be played. I fear drum circles. I fear that odd smells will waft through the air.

It'll be mayhem. It'll be a disaster.

Oh, no, wait - did I say "a disaster"? I meant to say "an improvement."
The park is a little seedy. Brown tells a jolly story to illustrate:
Elementary-school children on a field trip were at the park a year ago, and when lunchtime came the kids insisted on sitting in the dirt flower beds to eat. Despite adults' repeated requests that they eat their lunches somewhere cleaner, they wouldn't budge.

"Isn't it sad that so many homeless people have to sleep in this park at night?" I asked one girl.

She nodded.

"When they have to go potty at night, where do you suppose they go?"

Everyone got out of the flower beds.
Will R!68 get out of the flower beds?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Denver mayor: "We will arrest" protesters who try to camp in city parks

The Post has highlights of Denver mayor John Hickenlooper's appearance on The Mike Rosen Show today:

"I was not the strong supporter of bringing the convention here," said Hickenlooper. "Although I did respect the benefits, the potential benefits it had, I certainly saw the risks. Whether it’s protesters, whether it’s inflaming certain issues. But there’s also benefit, assuming that we pull it off correctly.”
Hick's wiki:

Hickenlooper, like his Democratic predecessor Wellington Webb (1991-2003) led the successful campaign for Denver to host the landmark 2008 Democratic National Convention, which would coincidentally be the centennial of the city's first hosting of the landmark 1908 convention.
Yes, yes it would be. Back to the Post piece:
With thousands of members of the media due to be in town, the benefit, he said, is "an opportunity to show off all the good things you do in your state."

To Rosen's question about protest groups, led by Re-Create '68's Glenn Spagnuolo, vowing to create a "Free City" in Civic Center park during the four-day convention in August, Hickenlooper said, "Well, again, he says they're going to stay overnight and camp in the park and sleep in the park. We can’t let them do that, right? So we will arrest them."

Rosen pressed Hickenlooper on the prospect of protests in Denver rivaling those of the intense confrontations between protesters and police during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

Hickenlooper said Denver and Chicago are much different cities and that "people are generally a lot happier" in Denver.

“In Chicago, they actually put the dogs on some of the protesters, right? Our dogs are much happier. We don't do that kind of...We planted 67,000 trees last year. We have very many happy dogs.”
A mayor to match the times. And what's with the PoliticsWest "editor" (Chuck Plunkett, probably) making the stupid dogs the headline?

Update: Listened to the show. Hick: "Our police are gonna be trained about ten hours an officer" in how to deal with protesters. Rosen: "And's it great that they're being trained because the other guys, the bad guys, are being trained too." Hick laughs and laughs but gradually tapers off as Rosen reads a story about the protester legal training held at DU last week.

Update II: Rosen pronounces Spags' name, "Span-you-oh-lo." Can that be right? I've always pronounced it with a hard "g."

Update III: Hick professes not to get it:

Hick: I'm at a loss of what [Spags'] real agenda is . . .

Rosen: Oh, you're not at a loss Mr. Mayor, to make trouble, that's his agenda. . .

Hick: I can't figure it out, Mike . . .

Rosen: He's a professional troublemaker, he just likes to make trouble for the sake of making trouble . . .

Weird Bird Friday

A WBF puzzle! What does it say? (It's pretty obvious.)


= this:

+ this:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Night at the Radio!

Science fiction! X (X-x-x-x-x-x-x-x) Minus (Minus-minus-minus-minus) One (One-one-one-one). The opening of the show is great, the stories sometimes not so. This one's called "Man's Best Friend" (24 April 1957) . It's okay. Great sound.

Somebody call PETA!

The Post: "Starship to perform at Do at the Zoo":
The Denver Zoo announced today that the band Starship will perform at the zoo's fundraising event June 19. . . .

Starship had radio hits in the 1980s, including "We Built This City," "Sara," and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now."
Commenter: "Great news! I love those guys! Oh by the way, I wrote this message in 1983."

Update: Man that video is bad.


Chuck Plunkett of the Post:

Protesters will not be confined to "cages" during the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the city wants to get away from the long lines of shoulder-to-shoulder, riot-gear-clad police that typified security at the national conventions in Boston and New York, Denver city councilman Charlie Brown said today.

"We don't want to provoke violence," Brown said. "We don't want to provoke violence."

Sounded so nice, he said it twice. But what does it mean, exactly? Is Denver going to let protesters stay overnight in city parks? Who knows, but Brown was definitely going for kinder and gentler™ rhetoric:

Brown said he talked with Mayor John Hickenlooper Wednesday and the two discussed "trying to get away from having lines of police officers.". . .

And replace them with what?

The councilman made his comments before a group of about 50 law students and others at the University of Denver law school, where local law groups are sponsoring a four-day series of workshops and discussions that offer training and tips for activists and protesters planning to demonstrate in and around convention week.

Brown participated in a noontime panel discussion with Glenn Spagnuolo, a representative for Re-create 68 . . .

Spagnuolo had charged that Denver planned to keep protesters as much as a mile away from the Pepsi Center, where the convention is to be held, saying he had it "on good authority" that the security perimeter would extend in a mile radius around the arena. . . .

Details of the perimeter have not been released, but Mike Dino, who leads the Denver committee responsible for hosting the convention, told a group of business executives at the Pepsi Center this morning that the mile radius was a rumor that was not true.

Brown said he expected details of the perimeter to be released in six to eight weeks.

Spagnuolo has said the city "is creating a very dangerous situation" because it awarded, in a blind lottery, a permit for Civic Center on the Sunday before the convention begins to the host committee's party planner. But he has also said the group is nonviolent, and he repeated that claim several times today.

Camera hunt!
"They're trying their hardest to repeat a mantra that this group is going to engage in violence," Spagnuolo said. "That's a distraction to avoid focusing on the real violence that our country is perpetrating around the around the world."
The Troofer piece on R!68 I linked to yesterday called Glenn "charismatic." He's original, too. And articulate.

Update: No, I'm not going to link to a racier "cheerleader" site.

Update II: The left blog "Not My Tribe" has a take on the Spags/Brown faceoff:
Glenn Spagnuolo of RECREATE-68 held his own against Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown at a symposium held today at the University of Denver. Asked whether the use of shields constitutes non-violent protest, Spagnuolo told of the permanent injuries which Police have inflicted at previous demonstrations, such as at the FTAA, and he described Denver’s newly requisitioned equipment such as shotguns which fire long distance tasers (XREP) and ear-piercing weapons systems (LRAD), while Councilman Brown stressed the importance of protecting the upcoming DNC from the threat of terrorism.

The City of Denver refuses to release its security plan, to preempt a timely legal challenge. According to Spagnuolo, the city is considering a mile wide perimeter around Pepsi Stadium [sic]. Spagnuolo also clarified that Recreate-68 is not calling for repeating the violence of the 1968 Chicago convention, but instead hopes to re-activate the public to the level of engagement it exhibited in 1968, when the same Democratic Party refused to heed the will of the people to stop funding the illegal war in Vietnam. As history repeats itself forty years later, the anti-war movement has yet to summon the courage of the American people.
On Spagnoodles:
Glenn Spagnuolo comes to Recreate-68 with experience leading to arrest and acquittal in demonstrations in 2005 and 2007 against the Columbus Day parade. He’s worked with the South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, ACT-UP, and against the FTAA in Florida.
Actually Glenn wasn't acquitted in the 2007 protests; the charges were dropped.

Update: Slapstick Politics has posted the vid of Charlie Brown debating Spagnuolo on Jon Caldara's show last week.

Stormfront notices R!!!68!

And commenter "Aurick the Great White Elf" at the white supremacist site has a suggestion: "Denver comrades should do what they can to disrupt the event, make a loud noise and bring signs to offend the liberals and get some attention for our cause. A good sign would be 'No War For Israel!'"

They'll fit right in.

Aurora won't send 300 cops to help Denver provide security at the Democratic National Convention unless Denver picks up the tab for liability and worker's compensation, Aurora officials said Wednesday.

Denver plans to contract with as many as 30 law enforcement agencies - including Aurora, Colorado Springs, Lakewood, Littleton and Westminster - for extra security at the DNC.

But Aurora City Attorney Charlie Richardson said Denver is dragging its feet in reaching agreements with them and could fall short of the 4,000 to 5,000 law enforcement officers it will need.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Albright to welcome furriners to DNC

The Post's Pluck Chunkett reports:
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hopes to use her hometown's hosting of the 2008 Democratic National Convention to, she says, begin to repair the United States' reputation abroad.

She says she'll start the process through a diplomatic organization she chairs, the National Democratic Institute, which expects to bring as many as 600 heads of state, prime ministers, ambassadors and [other assorted riff-raff] from 100 nations to the convention.

Albright: Welcome to Denver. Are you hungry? I'm hungry.

Feminists at Colorado College "seek dialogue"

And humorlessness ensues. Tomi-Ann Roberts, director of the Feminist and Gender Studies Program at CC:
I would like to address several errors in recent media coverage of the controversial publication of a satirical flier at Colorado College, and present some perspective from the college's Feminist and Gender Studies Program.

Our program's bathroom publication, the Monthly Rag, is itself something of a parody, if you note its title, which emphasizes the idea of women being "on the rag."
Say, that is funny. Fifteen-year-old-boy funny.

It is meant as a playful, informational flier regarding "taboo" subjects related to women's bodies and sexuality.

In the issue that was taken down in many bathrooms and replaced with the Monthly Bag, our flier has a point of historical fact with "Did You Know" as its heading. In it the term vagina dentata is explained. (The vagina dentata, or "toothed vagina," appears in the myths of many cultures, representing castration fears.)

She's an educator, all right.

Contrast this to the Monthly Bag's own "Did You Know." There, the point of educational fact is: "The Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle has an effective range of 2,000 meters."

These two "Did You Know" segments are decidedly not equivalent. I daresay that speaking freely on these matters in public forums would get you different "punishments" indeed. Say, for example, the Bag writers were in an airport, and they spoke out loud about the vagina dentata. They might get some disgusted looks from other passengers. Some might even tell them to shut up. But let's say they spoke out loud in the airport about the range of a .50-caliber sniper rifle. They'd be taken out by security.

And a logician.

If you post an anonymous, hostile parody of a publication intended to educate about the experiences of a historically marginalized group, then get ready for folks to fight back. What we want is dialogue. That's not what the Bag was. A community has the right to ask its members to take ownership of their opinions and to share them in a way that is respectful of others. . . .

The Rocky's Vincent Carroll writes that the problem with the Monthly Bag is "who it offends. It commits the mortal sin of poking fun at the work of activists associated with the Feminist and Gender Studies program" ("CC's free-speech fears," On Point, April 8).

Excuse me, Mr. Carroll, but did you ask any feminists if they were offended? No. . . .

Most of us wanted to take the opportunity to open up a campuswide dialogue about why some white men feel silenced; why our publication offends some; or what gendered experience is about in a "post-feminist" world. That's not how things went down. . . . But please stop fabricating a story about humorless, offended feminists silencing men's free speech. Stop using us as the scapegoat for a mean-spirited "freedom-quest."


High temp of 83° in Denver yesterday

Right now, 38° and snowing hard. I glame blobal climate destubulation.

R!68 excluding Troofers

Troofer umbrella group has a piece on the DNC protests and Recreate68. They're being shut out, and they're not happy about it [all sic, natch]:
Even though 911 Truth has been around for a long time and has a massive network base, ReCreate 68 has been adamant about having anyone attend under their group name and they will not let any 911 truth speaker present, even when asked by We
Are Change Colorado on Sunday, April 13th's community meeting. How is it that a group that pops up out of no where gets so much press and 911 truth, Colorado 9/11 Visibility, We Are Change Colorado and many others have worked so hard to get attention from local media?
They're also not happy that !R68!! is operating under false pretenses:

Glenn Spagnuolo, the coordinator for the group, has ben traveling around the United States speaking with every activist group you can think of to coordinate them under his group. Code Pink, Food Not Bombs, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Green Peace, Scholars for Peace and Justice, and many famous immigration groups, unions, and anti-globalist activist networks are all working under ReCreate 68 with the thought that this group is just a peaceful festival of celebration. This is untrue.

[Update: It's untrue both that R!6!8!'s intentions are peaceful and that these groups are unaware of its real intentions, of course.]

By attending, these groups do not yet realize they will be giving up their message and name for the ReCreate 68 name which is permitted to protest. The problem with this is that ReCreate 68 has been inviting more radical groups and violent anarchist groups as well. To add to this, ReCreate 68 has not told other activist groups the extent of which these demonstrations will endanger the safety or security of any peaceful demonstration.

Troofers care.

This would be news, if true: TruthAlliance claims to have a FEMA memo discussing Denver hospitals' assumptions and preparations for the DNC:

Click to read.

The most interesting part:
Security alert: Hospitals in the Denver area have reported suspicious activities. Reports have included individuals posing as members of a federal agency to gain access to a facility and people watching entrances and exits for several hours and taking notes. Your awareness is needed to help reduce security risks.
But since it's from a Troofer organization it's quite possibly, even probably, fake.

This also is new, though not surprising:
After speaking with RAIMD, We Are Change Colorado became aware that they intend to throw bags of urine and blood on cops at the DNC protests, all under the name of the umbrella organization ReCreate 68.
R!68's! lineal descent from the Direct Action Network and the Kohl's department store spray-painting incident were both news (to me), too.

Oh, you've got to watch poor old Gary Hart being harassed by We Are Change Colorado at a booksigning here a couple of weeks ago. He does okay, and gets gratifyingly irascible at the end, but even I have trouble believing he'd never heard of the North American Union before:

Which means, of course, that 9/11 was an inside job.

Update: Of course the feckin' embed won't work. Here's Gary (who once took my ticket) on The Jones Report. Lovely site.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lefty blogger: Spagnuolo, R!68 are "morons"

"Unconventional Conventionist" at the pompously named (and pompous) Denver blog Les Enragé ("This blog is ANTI-TORTURE") shows that even some leftists can see right through Spagnoodles & Co.:
I think you'll be able to understand that The Powers That Be have put the Convention in a very controlled spot. More footage later of Civic Center Park where I think most of the action is going to be, what with the upcoming battle of the Recreate '68 morons.
In response to a commenter who says "the hell raised by your 'morons' may well be the only evidence that anything real is going on at all at the 'Democratic' Convention. The fascists own it all," UC explains:

I call them morons as their agenda is their own aggrandizement; it's not to further any political agenda. I've been monitoring that Spagnuolo creature who is their mouthpiece for some time now and am pretty confident in making that assertion.

Refreshingly discerning.

Tuesday Night at the Radio!

Jimmy Stewart as The Six-Shooter. Somehow never played this before. Well-written show, and Stewart was at least as good on radio as he was in fillums. This one's called "The Coward" (27 September 1954).

And the best radio show ever, Vic and Sade: "Robert And Slobert Are Scoundrels" (24 July 1944).

Update: Anybody's head would be turned by a firkin of homemade mucilage.

Party like it's--oh, forget it

The DNC host committee announced its party schedule for the night before the convention opens:
The city's committee responsible for hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention announced today the 24 venues at which it will welcome the 54 delegations.

The sites include some of the city's jewels, such as Red Rocks, the Botanic Gardens and the Zoo. The parties will be held Sunday Aug. 24. The convention runs Aug. 25 - 28.

Top slots went to the state delegations representing the home turf of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who remain in a heated race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama's Illinois delegates will be treated to a party at the Denver Art Museum. Clinton's New York representatives will party at the Pinnacle Club.
Colorado delegates will be feted at the Governor's Mansion.

Michigan and Florida, who broke party rules by holding primaries early, have been stripped of delegates and don't have a party location.
The host city's party planner, Jenny Anderson, said the venues were picked "to showcase all that the region has to offer."

Interestingly, Civic Center park isn't among the venues. Though Anderson won a permit for the park for the 24th, and angered protesters in the process, she says she is still determining what event or events to hold there.
Here's a map of where the venues is going to be at.

Update: Everyone loves to draw a happy clown cartoon! Or else!

Update II: Stay with the monster truck vid. The dinosaur munching vehicles to U-2's "Vertigo" is awesome.

Monday, April 14, 2008

DIA protects passenger morals

The Rocky, under the meaningless headline "Web surfers makin' waves," on Denver International Airport's policy of blocking certain internet content over its wi-fi network:

Travelers rejoiced late last year when Denver International Airport began providing free wireless Internet access, eliminating a fee for the luxury of surfing the Web while they waited for a flight.

But the switch came with a caveat.

DIA started blocking certain content that travelers might find offensive, a list that includes seven categories ranging from pornography to "provocative attire.". . .

DIA chose broad categories, meaning some relatively innocuous sites are blocked. Think Victoria's Secret, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and a handful of popular blogs.

Which pissed off an aging rock star:
The filter has irked some travelers. David Byrne of the rock band Talking Heads, for instance, wrote on his blog [my linkie] in February that he was blocked from getting onto, a site about science, technology, toys and art. The reason: It was listed under the "nudity category" because several of the thousands of postings - including one with photos from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal - contained a nude picture, Boing Boing wrote on its Web site.
Yes, David Byrne has a blog. (Note to self: Kill self.) Some supposedly hypothetical blockages:

  • You and your husband have been trying to conceive a child. It's been a few years; unfortunately, you've had no luck [great backstory]. While waiting for departure, you decide to explore fertility options [heh]. You visit BLOCKED

  • You need a new bra.

  • I do need a new bra.
    You want to check out Victoria Secret's selection online. BLOCKED . . . .
    That's just wrong. Read whole thing, which has many interesting facts and figures.

    DU hosts R68 protest training; MSM coverage shallow, credulous

    Channel 7:

    Law students and Denver University's People's Law Project brought in guest lecturers Monday to talk about free speech rights and the public's rights when confronted by police.

    The lecture included role playing, where students enacted different scenarios that might happen during the DNC. Thousands of protesters are expected to come to Denver during the convention and some worry about a repeat of the 1968 riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

    Organizers said that civil disobedience is different from violent confrontations. . . .

    Later this week a panel discussion will be held with a member of the Denver city council and the protest group Recreate 68.

    The group said it doesn't want to revisit the violence of the 1968 Democratic convention, but to capture the spirit of the time.
    Watch the video. What are they doing with that chair?

    Update: The Post is a little better:

    In this week's seminars and panels sponsored by the group, DNC People's Law Project, and held at the University of Denver, protesters and activists are being given legal tools aimed at preventing their arrest and stymieing police in their attempts to infiltrate or gain on-the-ground information about protest groups.

    "Cops lie: Don't trust cops!" Greg Michalec, of the Oakland, Calif., group Midnight Special Law Collective, wrote on a white board at the DU law school to set the tone for Monday's hour-long session.

    Update: John Andrews in the Post:

    The event took place at the University of Denver law school, under arrangements made by individual DU students and with no official sponsorship by the university [so contrary to this post's title, DU didn't "host' the event]. It included simulations of protesters being "bullied by... nightstick-bearing police officers," and outlined a plan for "hundreds of 'legal observers'... who bring video cameras to document any disruption."

    "I don't think it's helpful to portray the police in that light," said Denver city attorney David Fine. "Frankly, that's not the reality, so... it will give the participant a false sense of what their relationship will be like with police during the convention."

    After repeated calls to the DU office of news and public affairs this morning, I spoke with staffer David Brendsel, asking whether Chancellor Robert Coombs, Law School Dean Jose Juarez, or any other DU official wanted to go on the record as Fine had done, specifically dissociating the university from the event's unhelpful, unreal, and false portrayal of police ethics and methods.

    His answer: "We have no statement to make in response to that." The studied pose of moral neutrality reminded me of those MSM news anchors (not to mention Barack Obama) who have made a point of not wearing American flag lapel pins in these wartime years. Wouldn't want to take sides, you know. Wouldn't want to compromise our objectivity. How pathetic.

    Amazingly, Andrews seems still able to muster a sense of moral outrage. Poor guy.

    Groundbreaking documentary: Americans are disgusting pigs

    Okay, maybe not so groundbreaking:

    Human Footprint

    When and where: 7 p.m. Wednesday, National Geographic Channel.

    It all adds up.

    Just one average American's lifetime consumption of beer, disposable diapers, loaves of bread or even energy required to power a hair dryer (three-quarters of a ton of coal just for this task) really makes a difference. . . .

    My lifetime consumption of beer and disposable diapers (there's a direct correlation) must be quintuple the average American's. I feel so guilty.

    This two-hour special is more than startling stats: It provides dramatic visual demonstrations revealing how much of the world's resources an average American consumes in a lifetime.

    Even a number like 28,433 (total showers taken in a lifetime by the average American) [on the other hand, I've taken far fewer showers than the average American] doesn't quite register intellectually. So the producers of Human Footprint recruited volunteers to lay out 28,433 rubber ducks (each representing one of those showers) spreading from the second-floor bathroom of an ordinary house, down its stairs, out the front door, across the yard and through the neighborhood all the way to a nearby pond.

    Ever seen 19,826 eggs (an average lifetime diet) cascading onto a warehouse floor? You will on this show. [Reason enough to watch in itself!] Maybe most amazing of all: an artful arrangement of 43,371 crumpled, discarded soda cans.

    No special effects are used in the program to illustrate Americans' consumption of resources, which - bottom line - exceeds the planet's ability to replace them. . . .

    So says Frasier Moore, television writer. Bottom line, absolutely no doubt, you're an evil fool if you think otherwise, you planet-killing dickhead retard.

    From the show: Fisheye view of American flag made of (white) bread.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Blogger loses hope

    The piquantly named "A case of the doldrums in Denver" removes himself from the zeitgeist:
    As of April 12th 2008 I have given up all hope in politics whatsoever and cannot even begin to give a damn about the election or the democrats and the republicans. I didn’t see something in the news or have an epiphany, I just don’t care. Obama, Hillary, and McCain can go straight to hell for all I care. The only time I’ll ever talk about it again is during the DNC where I’ll be front row and center to cover the riots.
    This is bad:
    Oh yeah, and I added a link to Recreate 68 on my blogroll.
    They get you when you sleep.

    Bad thinking = bad wrighting

    Derrick Hudson, assistant professor of African and African American Studies at Metro State, on Barack and the Rev:
    The recent fallout over Pastor Jeremiah Wright and Sen. Barack Obama continues to create ripples in the presidential campaign.>
    Fallout ripples. We're already in trouble.
    For many, Wright's words were jarring as we heard them across radio airwaves, saw his impassioned gestures in the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ, and discussed the media coverage surrounding this explosive story.
    Like so many commenters on the left, Hudson neglects to mention exactly what Wright said. This makes it possible (he thinks) to write the following:
    I think it might be instructive to place the relationship of the pastor and the senator in terms of the blues and gospel impulses in African American music.

    It's a musical exoneration!
    Craig Werner, in his scholarship, offers some definitions of blues and gospel music. Blues music is essentially three heartbeats: fingering the jagged grain of one's brutal experience; finding a near-tragic, near-comic voice to express that experience; reaffirming one's existence.

    Fingering the heartbeats of the jagged grain of one's brutal experience to reaffirm one's existence. Got it.
    Blues, the second heartbeat, is what we heard in Wright's sermons. The blues mpulse realizes that good and evil runs [sic] through each of us. So, we saw Wright doing a jagged riff-a blues riff-on these sound bites. African Americans need these blues riffs to deal with some of the brutality of trying to be in an America "that has never been."
    You mean the America that gives its own citizens AIDS, pushes crack in the ghettos, supports "state terrorism" against Palestinians and "never batted an eye" when it nuked Japan? That America that has never been?
    As Obama reminds us in his Lincolnesque opening line, "We the people, to form a more perfect union" [Lincolnesque?] have never quite gotten there collectively as African Americans. Some may have "arrived," although as W.E.B. DuBois reminds us, what does it mean to "arrive?" Why did we feel we needed to get on the train in the first place?
    Because you already had a ticket, and there was nowhere else to go.
    I believe Obama, in his speech in Philadelphia, was drawing on the blues and gospel impulses in his remarks. Wright's sound bites were blues bites, but Obama reminded us that the larger legacy of the pastor's leadership was grounded in the gospel impulse. . . .

    And, I do believe that Obama is the embodiment of the gospel impulse-he's aware of the deep felt needs, the burdens and tribulations of people and yet he remains relentlessly hopeful.
    Deep-need-feeling, burden-and-tribulation-aware, relentlessly hopeful embodiment of the gospel impulse, or half-term senator from Chicago? No matter:
    I am convinced this is one of his greatest attributes and makes him a special man for all Americans in this historical time. And, as he alluded in his closing remarks, he is prepared to use the jazz impulse to create a new America. . . .
    The jazz impulse. Better than the socialist impulse, of course, but what about all the boozing and heroin addiction that goes with it? Yeah, quit interrupting:
    I think the recent developments surrounding Wright and Obama might be making some of us uncomfortable with him. As humans, we must learn to live with paradox. The rose and the thorn. The ying and the yang. Something and nothing.>
    Lies and truth.
    Lately, the question for me is not whether Obama is ready, but are we? [By "we," of course, Derrick means "you," you racist piece of shit.] I think Wright's remarks, however troubling they might be, need to be weighed in the broader context of the African American experience in America.
    Oh, that's original. Finally, Hudson invokes Saint Barack:
    Obama, who transcends the blues impulse and still remains connected to it, prompts the conversations that can redeem, reconcile and advance all of America. I, along with the African American story, audaciously hope we will have the courage to hear the jagged edges so we can move to hopeful places, to the America that can be.
    Well I, along with the European Oppressor story, audaciously welcome you to listen to as many jagged edges as you like. I'll be over there (making across-the-room gesture) having a l'il drinkie.

    Update: Chet Baker.

    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    Abstract of the Week!

    From the Paranormal Research Initiative:
    Report Abstract

    Private Residence Near London, ON February, 28, 2008

    Several light anomalies were captured in digital photographs taken throughout the investigation. However, these were likely produced by light reflecting off of airborne particles (dust). No other phenomena were captured during the investigation. As a result, we cannot conclude that any paranormal activity has taken place at this location.
    Try again:
    Private Residence London, ON December 19, 2007

    The evidence collected by the PRI investigators was limited solely to EMF fluctuations in the first floor master bedroom. However, these fluctuations were likely the result of an electrical current running through a water pipe located beneath the bed (running across the basement ceiling). A range of natural explanations may also account for the phenomena reported by the residents. Consequently, the PRI cannot conclude that any paranormal activity has taken place at the residence.
    Rats. One more time:
    Museum Report, London, ON October 5, 2007

    Several light anomalies were captured in photographs inside the museum and on the adjacent archaeological site, and one auditory phenomenon was recorded in the main gallery. However, natural explanations can account for all of these phenomena. It therefore cannot be concluded that the museum is home to any paranormal activity.

    Update: Exciting pictures!

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Attention law enforcement!

    The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement begs to remind you that R!ecreate68 is having a "community" meeting Sunday, April 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There you will learn:

    about all of the National groups who have joined the efforts

    Events planned before and during the week of the convention

    legal issues including information on the permits

    how you can help

    how this effects your organization

    There will be additional information covered. If your are not working with R-68 this meeting will share information that will help your efforts also, so please come down.

    Yes, please come down. And by the way:

    Parking is free on Sundays, but please consider taking light-rail!

    !R68! and RAIM-D: Caring about the environment (actually from the WTO riots in Seattle).

    Update: Another brilliant idea I'll just give away: R68 and RA!IM could adopt a port-a-potty (sp?)! That'll stop the war machine in its tracks!

    Weird Bird Friday

    Weird Bird Friday meets "The Scream"


    UPDATE: I know, I know... It doesn't look anything at all like "The Scream," especially the Homer version. But it's got the fence, the foreground figure, the background figure. Use your imagination!

    Age reporters "pressured" not to pen negative Earth Hour stories

    The Australian:
    Journalists at The Age yesterday condemned management for undermining the Melbourne newspaper's editorial independence, claiming reporters were pressured not to write negative stories about Earth Hour and sports coverage was in danger of being compromised by commercial considerations.

    At a subsequent stop-work meeting, staff passed a resolution saying recent developments had undermined the separation between commercial considerations and editorial independence.

    In a statement accompanying the resolution, staff said the Earth Hour partnership placed basic journalistic principles in jeopardy: "Reporters were pressured not to write negative stories and story topics followed a schedule drafted by Earth Hour organisers."
    Which reminds me, I don't think either Denver paper ever mentioned the Denver Newspaper Agency's last-second sponsorship of Earth Hour. What exactly did that consist of, do you suppose?

    (via the great Blair)

    Film buff's corner

    Occasional frequenter Mason notes this short, posted at the Democratic National Convention site, on Things To Do in Denver When . . . You're At The DNC (geddit?). It deserves wide release because it tells the truth about Denver:

    Basically all there is to do here is drink.

    Bob Seger (ably covered by The Hamsters) said it best.

    Update: Ably covered by the hamsters. That sounds weird.

    Update II: Forgot the funny part (which Mason also pointed out): the related videos listed at the bottom of the screen include some from a new organization called So right on the DNC site you can watch anti-DNC videos.

    ProtestDenver08 seems to be made up of a guy named Wolfgang Cushing. Check out part 3 of Wolfie's series on stalking a presidential motorcade. Synopsis: An idiot (Wolfgang Cushing) stands near Secret Service people and cops with a video camera and whines, "why can't I stand here? It's a public sidewalk, isn't it? Just tell me what law I'm breaking," and so on, while the fascists brutalize him with their annoyance. Cushing proves, as if more proof were necessary, that America is a police state, or at least a trifle impatient with dipshits:

    Update III: This is too much: now one of the related videos is Recreate68's Mark Cohen speaking before the Denver City Council in favor of allowing protesters to camp in city parks during the DNC:

    El Presidente said he looks like Ahmadinejad. Maybe a little.

    Ackba celebration tomorrow

    Don't forget, the 60th anniversary of the "Ackba" (Arabic for "ass-kicking") will be celebrated tomorrow and Sunday by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine, who've invited Wart Churchill to help out with balloons and face-painting.

    More on the event and all the other high-toned invitees here.

    Update: Reutrcohen notes that Normie Finkelstein will be speaking at Jihadist U (UC-Irvine), probably "during or around the Muslim Student Union's 'Anti-Israel' week this spring."

    Brilliant idea that I'll just give away: an anti-semitic speakers' bureau for all your jew-baiting needs. I could come up with "A" and "B" lineups off the top of my microcephalic l'il haid. (Ward would definitely be on the "B" list.)

    Codepink Colorado makes plans

    Via e-mail:
    We will do a tax day action (Next Tuesday, April 15). We will dress in pink, cover ourselves with fake money, pass out informational flyers and postcards for peace to be mailed. We may make a big pentagon with a money-eating mouth.
    That'll stop the war machine in its tracks!
    We will do something around Mother's Day- Either the day before or on that day- Please share your preference. Going to email Mother's Acting Up to see if they have an event planned already. We talked about Passing out seed packets that say "Plant for Peace" and also asking people to donate to receive a certificate for their mothers ("Give the gift of peace to your mother").
    Mom will like that.
    We also talked about doing an actual planting for peace. Maybe as a memorial for vets around Memorial Day?
    Vets will like that.
    We should continue to generate ideas for the DNC. Check out Recreate 68 Website. Housing options? Themes/Costumes? Fundraising? Please email and share your ideas. Would you like to be part of a "Green Team" to make sure the events don't
    have a negative environmental impact? We are also thinking about adopting a port-a-potty (sp?). Any thoughts?
    None at all.

    Planning on joining Impeach Colorado for one of their upcoming weekly protests. Will find out location, day and time and send that info. soon.

    Meeting with others to discuss possibilities for collaboration, such as CO Campaign for Dept of Peace and Colorado Progressive Action.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Brown-on-Spags-on-Caldara action!

    Saw most of Independent Thinking with Jon Caldara interviewing Recreate68 "Lovely Leader" (as he encourages followers to call him) Glenn Spagnuolo and Denver City Council-tan Charlie Brown. Far more bleat than light, though there were a few good moments, like Spags calling the Boston Tea Party "nonviolent civil disobedience," and Charlie repeatedly pointing out that Glenn and R68 had already "worn out their welcome" with--well, basically everyone.

    Glenn denied that the infamous "dangerous situation" quote was a threat, and even seemed to leave open the possibility that protesters might leave city parks by closing time (11:00 p.m.) voluntarily.

    "We are committed to nonviolence," he said, but naturally then went into the "it's the city that wants violence" routine: "They want to create this conflict, they want to create this violence."

    Both Caldara and Brown kept trying to get Glenn to admit he was encouraging people to break the law. After some word salad he did. That's when the Boston Tea Party (for which the punishment would have been hanging, he didn't mention) came up.

    Caldara: If there's a water cannon, can I use it?

    Too much fake (or, God forbid, real) chumminess among the three. Glenn gave Brown an R!68 t-shirt with "Revolution begins with 'R'" on the back and that awful R!e!cre!ate68 orangefist and "Do it in Denver!" slogan on the front.

    The show will be repeated at 5 p.m. Tuesday on local PBS channel 12. If a transcript or video shows up I'll post it.

    Update: Weirdly, before the show I'd just gotten home from the forum on the DNC at North High School, which Spagnuolo and a few other R68 and Tent State members also attended. It was pretty tame, with disappointingly few (as El Presidente of Slapstick Politics, who was there too, put it) "Don't tase me, bro" moments. None, in fact. Actually it was mostly a sell job. One panelist even noted the new flower planters, trees and American flags (a hundred and eight of them!) that were going to spring up downtown. We are not a cowtown.

    As far as news: the Secret Service might never release a map of the actual perimeter around the Pepsi Center past which protesters won't be allowed, though the cop who said this in response to an R68er's question also said that, "in accordance with case law," protesters would be within sight and hearing of delegates; Councilman Rick Garcia seemed to hint that the city might be open to further negotiations with R68 as far protesters camping in city parks, though the city's Katherine Archuleta seemed firm that protesters would not be allowed to do so; and, in response to another R68er's question, the cops won't say what role, if any, the National Guard might play during the convention.

    EP videoed at least the interesting parts of the event, and I believe he'll put up a much more thorough post in the near-to-midrange future. I'll link to it. Yes, I'm lazy.

    Update: Slapstick Politics has the vids.


    Colorado Public Radio has posted a nothing one with Glenn Spagnuolo; second half is Katherine Archuleta, senior mayoral aide for convention planning, who does some tapdancing but reiterates that protesters will not be allowed to stay overnight in city parks, including Civic Center.

    Spagnuolo and City Councilman Charlie Brown face off on Independence Institute president Jon Caldara's Independent Thinking show on KBDI channel 12 tonight at 8:30. That might be interesting.

    Useless idiot

    The way-beyond-parody "Carol For Peace" ("Exploring ways to make peace within ourselves & the world") on Recreate6!8:

    Some of the local activists here formed a group called Recreate 68 some months back. The name references the "spirit of change" that existed in 1968.

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

    One of Recreate 68's goals is to work with the city so that a repeat of Boston's convention won't happen here this August when Denver hosts the Democratic Convention. If you remember, in 2004, protesters at the Democratic Convention in Boston were put into cages called "Free Speech Zones" (in our democracy you can only practice free speech in a designated cage?).

    Organizers of Recreate 68 entered the lottery to reserve parks for specified times during the convention. They won a lot of good venues, but didn't get Civic Center Park on the Sunday before the convention - a place and time that they feel is important. It looks like they're planning to just gather there anyway on that day. . . .

    I have kind of wandered away from most actions of activism (and I've been meaning to talk to the brains behind this blog to get the "social activist" words removed). Not saying that I might not, at some point, be found in the streets again instead of just standing at my Saturday corner.

    Standing at her Saturday corner, the way most people like to do on a Saturday.
    I understand why the creators of R68 are doing the work they're doing. If I were in the shoes of many of them, I would probably be doing exactly what they are doing.

    But for me, right now, I'm clearing out the weeds inside so that I can work for peace from a place of peace. I can't see how I can do it any other way at this moment.
    Update: It figures. Carol stands on Saturday street corners because she's part of Women in Black Standing in Silence for Peace, the group you always see at protests yacking away to each other (scroll down, you'll spot them).

    Update II: Check out Carol's "About Me" page. Who's the guy in the funny hat? Billy Jack? He's not aging well at all.

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Wednesday Night at the Radio!

    As the snow begins to come down in this dusty ol' Maotown, time for another edition of I Was A Communist For The FBIiiiiii. This one's called "A Study in Oils" (28 January 1953).

    Only in America

    Der News:
    A Denver city employee was suspended for four days after he asked two Hispanic co-workers how much it cost their "people to get across the border these days."

    But the disciplined employee, Jack Burghardt, an administrative support assistant in the Clerk and Recorder's Office, appealed the suspension and won.

    Burghardt, a Polish immigrant who has lived in the U.S. for the past 13 years, told a Career Service hearing officer that he meant no harm and that in Europe, people wouldn't be so easily offended.
    No jokes.

    Update: The Drunkablog knows a popular Polish phrase (rendered phonetically and without word breaks): yebajakoshkanoshnowa, which means, "Your mother sucks donkey dicks." Hey, I'm a polyglot!

    Recreate!68 to create "free city"

    The Post's Pluck Chunkett, er, Chuck Plunkett, on Recreate68's big plans for Civic Center park during the Democratic National Convention:

    A new city is coming to Denver, representatives for Re-create 68 and other anti-war activists announced this afternoon at Civic Center park.

    “Free City” as the four activists [lemme guess: Spagnoodles, the two Cohens and Larry Hales] renamed the park, will attempt to open the Sunday before the 2008 Democratic National Convention gets underway, set up tents and exist all the way through convention week, Aug. 25-28.
    That's it?

    The activists briefly set up a sky-blue sign with the words FREE CITY in white. Yellow tulip-like flowers that bloomed in the shape of fists brightened the borders.

    Within seconds of the four’s attempt to hammer the sign into the ground, wind blew it over.
    Nice eye for the telling detail, Chuck. (Chuck keeps on making fun of these people, they might grow to dislike him. He'll enjoy that.)

    The residents of “Free City” will attempt to occupy the park beyond the legal rights R-68 affiliates have to the park, Spagnuolo said. Last month, in a blind lottery, R-68 and its affiliates won permits to use the park on Aug. 25 and 27, a Monday and Wednesday. By allowing camping in the park after curfew, Free City will also be in violation of city rules that forbid overnight stays. . . .

    Ask what Free City would do if police tried to enforce the rules and tried to remove the occupants, Spagnuolo would only say that Free City’s occupants wouldn’t leave.

    Spagnuolo has said many times in the past that the largest march of the protesters would be an anti-war march that started Sunday morning at Civic Center and made way for the Pepsi Center, site of the convention hall.

    Today he said whatever happened Sunday would be organic and without leaders.
    Organic is good.

    Update: 9News (say that in a deep, manly announcer's voice like it's the most important and exciting phrase in the world) actually sent a crew to film the four revolutionaries, no doubt as a result of R!!!68's media communiqué, and has some quotage from Spags:

    "We're here today to formally reject societies and governments that celebrate greed and consumption. We reject a society that oppresses its own members and others and destroys its environment for profit. We reject a government that was built upon and commits genocide," he said.
    Fine, fine. Then 9News went to RMN jazz critic Norman Proviser and asked him for his deep thoughts:
    Professor Norman Provizer, of the Metro State Political Science Department, says the Recreate '68 group's message may be a little vague. He looked over their Web site, which urges protestors to gather in Denver for the August convention.
    What do you want to bet they had film here of him sitting at a computer looking at R68's website?

    "I think there's a recognition that the right to protest is extremely important. But that comes with limits," Provizer said.
    Bold. Uncompromising. That's Norman. On the other hand:

    Provizer says the government has a strong interest in making sure protestors do not incite violence or illegal behavior.

    "That's why there's a right to peaceably assemble. There's a set of limits placed on that right by the Supreme Court referring to time, place and manner. There is no right to assemble in a non-peaceable manner," he said.
    Get 'em, tiger.

    Update II: Not sure this needs to be pointed out, but by calling the Sunday march (or any other !R68 event he wants to) "organic," Spagnuolo of course is trying to give himself an out for anything that happens, violence- or vandalism-wise--you know, charges like incitement to riot and the like.

    Update III: My guess about who the four R68ers were was wrong. Fox News has a pic (and story by poor Charlie Brennan):

    And the Rocky identifies them:

    Adam Jung and Jojo Pease, of the group Tent State University, and Zoe Williams, of Colorado Street Medics, joined Spagnuolo at the press conference. They said the "tent city" would operate on a "10-point program" that included being free of racism, sexism and homophobia.

    And yes, one of the most fun ones - there will be free love as long as it's consensual," Jung said.

    Spagnuolo said events are being planned at Civic Center, even on days when others have permits.

    "Some folks are actually organizing a nude-in where they're going to spell the word 'peace' out of nude bodies across the middle of the park," he said. "You're going to see a bunch of different things happening."

    Again, very derivative. More good Rocky quotage:

    [City] Councilman Charlie Brown laughed when he heard that Civic Center had been christened with a new name, but then said Denver was going to have to be "firm and strong" with protesters.

    "As far as I'm concerned, we're not going to back down," he said.

    Brown said he was confident that police, the Secret Service and FBI would be ready to handle "what could be a very serious situation."

    Re-create 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, which saw street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.

    Several members of the group and their affiliates participated in a lottery the city held to issue permits for park use during the convention, but failed to get all the days they wanted at Civic Center.

    When the convention host committee won a permit last month for Civic Center on the eve of the convention, Spagnuolo said Denver could face a "dangerous situation."

    Brown said the Re-create 68 protesters need to grow up.

    "They acted like children when they lost the lottery," he said. "We need to let some cooler heads prevail here and perhaps get some adults in on this conversation."
    Fat chance.