Monday, June 30, 2008

Trimbachs blog

Snapple notes that American Indian Mafia authors Joe and John Trimbach now have a blog (or rather, apparently, a guy named James Simon is blogging for them): AIM Myth Busters. Only one post so far, but it might get interesting, especially when John Boy Graham goes on trial in October for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash.

Monday Night at the Radio!

Fibber McGee and Molly: "Fixing the Porch Swing" (13 June 1944).

Another in our run of The Six-Shooter: "Rink Larkin" (18 October 1953).

And a couple of Vic and Sades. "Chit Chat South America" (January 1941); and "Lodge Robe Needs Alteration" (23 July 1943).

FBI to have "hundreds" of agents in Denver during DNC

Has a nice ring to it: Hundreds.

"Hundreds" of FBI agents will be in Denver during the Democratic National Convention, according to James Davis, the FBI special agent in charge of the Denver field division that oversees Colorado and Wyoming.

The FBI is "responsible for gathering intelligence on, primarily terrorist activity, any possible terrorist activity with regard to the convention, and make sure we get that intelligence to our partner agencies so they can be prepared," according to a "Colorado Matters" interview that aired today on Colorado Public Radio. . . .

Davis also said that, "We don't have any information right now about any credible threat to the convention on a terrorist
level." . . .

"Primarily, the folks we have coming in are here to respond to an incident that rises to our jurisdiction."

WARNER: "What would that be?"

DAVIS: "Like a terrorist attack."

WARNER: "O.K. So it's pro-active in many ways, having that many men and women here?"

DAVIS: "It is. I'm comfortable in saying that I would be very happy if they went home without ever doing anything."

Earlier in the interview, regarding the possibility of disruptive protests at the convention, Davis said the FBI is looking at "tactics and groups similar to what we've seen in conventions in the past and other major meetings" such as "blockage of streets and attempts to disrupt traffic flows, that sort of thing."

Don't forget the mint levitation!
Davis would not say whether undercover FBI agents have joined protests groups or attended their meetings.

More generally, Davis acknowledged the possibility the convention could draw criminal activity - and that law enforcement partner agencies were aware of that.

"Criminals are smart enough to recognize that law enforcement is going to be very busy during that time. General crimes, things that occur regularly, are more attractive - I think - to criminals at that time when they know that police are going to be heavily otherwise occupied."
Update: Final Yeopardy question: the cop-fondled pig pictured above ran for president on the Yippie ticket in 1968. Name him or her.

ACLU amends parade route suit

The Post:
The ACLU and 13 advocacy groups are asking for the following changes:

An increase in the size and location of the public demonstration zone in Lot A of the Pepsi Center so that people in the zone can access delegates through sight and sound and an electrically-powered sound amplification system.

Change the parameters of the zone to accommodate more people marching to the Pepsi Center during the convention.

Stop searches of people or possessions where such searches are based on a person's entry into the zone rather than "probable cause" or "reasonable suspicion."

Allow for the distribution of leaflets and pamphlets to the delgates.

Allow for parades that pass by the Pepsi Center along the south side of Chopper Circle and the adjoining east side of Ninth Street during times when the delegates are present.

Allow alternative parades requested by Recreate 68 to the federal courthouse on Aug. 25 and by Escuela Tlatelolco to Sunken Gardens Park on Aug. 26.

U.S. District Judge Marcia S. Krieger has set July 29 for an all-day evidentiary hearing on the issues and plans to visit the convention site the night before.

City and federal officials have told the groups that the public demonstration zone will be surrounded by chicken wire or chain-link fencing to allow for sight and sound, but the groups contend the conditions are stifling.
Chuckle of the day: An earlier Post story on the revised suit has a comment from one Pauly b: "To those who say that they are looking forward to 'seeing Denver burn'. Remember this. I and a lot of people like me will be down there 24/7 filming EVERYTHING! If a Republican protester starts a riot it WILL be on tape."

Curses, foiled again!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Analysts: Denver paper in danger of defaulting on debt

For "reasons of space" the full story in the Rocky was only at the finance editor's blog:
The continuing decline of the newspaper industry is putting pressure on the owners of Denver's two daily papers.

Tuesday, E.W. Scripps, the owner of the Rocky Mountain News, will spin off its fastest-growing businesses -- its cable networks and Internet sites -- into a new company called Scripps Networks Interactive. Shorn of those pieces, the stock of Cincinnati-based Scripps -- now a local media company, with newspapers and broadcast stations -- is poised to fall by 90 percent or more.

The final quarter of MediaNews Group, the owner of the Denver Post, ends Monday. Major rating agencies say the company is at risk of defaulting on its debt by the end of 2008. The results for the quarter ending Monday may violate the terms of MediaNews' loans, Standard & Poor's analyst Emile Courtney says.

While MediaNews executives say they expect to stay in their lenders' good graces, Courtney says the company's declining cash flow makes it "increasingly likely that MediaNews will pursue a restructuring of some kind."
My neighbor just quit the Rocky for a new job. He says it's like a morgue around there.

Rocky: City should hold Tent State to all conditions for park permit

Paper attempts backbone injection:
Denver needs to take a firm stand in negotiations with the anti-war group Tent State University.

The student-run organization recently received a conditional assembly permit to bring potentially thousands of protesters to Denver and set up a tent city in a corner of City Park during the Democratic National Convention. But one of their leaders seems less than thoroughly committed to abiding by the terms of the deal.

How many protesters might participate isn't clear. The permit sets aside space to accommodate 20,000, but Tent State organizer Adam Jung says he wants to bring 50,000 here. Such talk may be nothing more than PR, but that's why as negotiations move forward, "conditional" is the term to remember.

The city expects - as it should - the Tent Staters to abide by all 11 conditions set forth by the Parks and Recreation Department in an order it issued June 20.

Among them: No camping. No alcohol. Get the approval of neighborhood associations, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Make sure PA systems for music and other performances don't disturb the neighbors. Provide portable toilets, drinking water and trash collection for the site.

In other words, satisfy the same expectations any group hoping to bring a large number of people to occupy a major portion of a Denver park would have to meet.
Good luck with that.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

DNC carbon challenge: getting anyone interested

The DNC is worried because hardly any state convention delegations are participating in its carbon credit challenge:
Just three of 50 state delegations have committed all their delegates to being "carbon-neutral" during their stay at the Democratic National Convention, a fact that has green planners wringing their hands over how to get more states signed up, faster. . . .

On a DNC map [my linkie] that tracks state participation, large chunks of real estate remain starkly white, nearly three months after the party announced the initiative. Those states that are 100 percent committed are coded dark green, and those that are partly participating, are pale green.
When the D-blog reported on this nearly two (2) weeks ago, only California was "coded" dark green. Now Nevada and Vermont can be added to the list of dorkiest states.

Colorado, the host state with 70 delegates, is among those that remain white on the map. . . .

The DNC's director of greening, Andrea ["Hotsie-Totsie"] Robinson, estimates that each delegate's trip to Denver will generate roughly 1 ton of carbon. About 5,000 delegates will attend.

She hopes to make a strong pitch to state party executives when they gather in Denver this weekend for more convention planning.

"For some of them, it's not that tangible yet," she said.

Republicans mock:

The Republican Party has no similar program under way for the Minneapolis-St. Paul convention and labeled the Democratic call for purchasing carbon offsets "elitist" and "out-of- touch."

"The GOP convention is implementing numerous conscientious and realistic environmentally friendly initiatives," said spokeswoman Joanna Burgos. "After all, the Republican Party is the party of Teddy Roosevelt and many other notable environmentalists."
(I could have kept going.)
Taylor Bates, an 18-year-old Democratic delegate from Vermont, opted to fund the full cost of his state's delegate challenge - about $200 - because, he said, the donations go to the fight against global warming.
That's the kind of money we're talking. Even California's credits probably cost less than $500. Tells you how deep the concern goes. The kid still believes, anyway:
"The challenge hits at the heart of the problem. It funds enterprises that can make this world a greener place. It's going to wind turbines and organic farms. I don't see how that's elitist," he said.

Bates said he plans to raise the money to cover the carbon offset costs by selling memorabilia from the convention.

"I can find the money somehow," he said.
Stupid kid.

Time flies when--something or other

Everybody's got AP's rehash of the R6!8 implosion, and everybody's mocking it for the lead, which originally said that the 1968 Chicago convention was 30 years ago. Fixed now, except in the picture caption here.

Claire Ryder, a member of the Denver Green Party, said she attended some Re-create 68 meetings but now refuses to talk about them. Duke Austin of Boulder-based Students for Peace and Justice also declined to comment. So, too, did Codepink organizer Zoe Williams.
Unity dominated a recently weekly [sic] meeting of Recreate 68 in the basement of a Denver coffee shop. “Love is free will. Enter with luv,” read a sign as organizers discussed convention preparations, including the topic, “Be positive: R68 is not exclusionary — we are working with everyone.”

“We firmly support the idea of a black president. That’s a racial step forward,” [R68 founder Glenn Spagnuolo] said. “But we don’t applaud what Obama stands for or what he’s done the last couple of years. The only thing now is that imperialism has a black face instead of a white one.”


Recreate 68’s preparations include an attempt to encircle and levitate the Denver U.S. Mint and shake the money out to spread the wealth — a nod to Abbie Hoffman and protesters who tried to levitate the Pentagon in 1967.

“I think that everybody has a little bit of magic inside them and if we combine our energies, who knows what could happen,” Spagnuolo said.

Dour, humorless Spagz playing a Merry Prankster. Urk. (Of course, the Merry Pranksters weren't very funny either.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Clowns get tent, and other DNC news

The Post:
The many bloggers who weren't selected to get credentials for the Democratic National Convention will have access to a special venue within blocks of the Pepsi Center.

"The Big Tent will be a 9,000-square foot, two-story structure that will house work space for bloggers and new media journalists as well as the Digg Stage with events for the public," according to the statement Thursday from sponsors, including Daily Kos, Progress Now, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, Digg, Google and YouTube.

The facility will be at 15th and Wynkoop in lower downtown Denver. There will be events to which the public is invited, but a four-day blogger pass requires an online application before June 30 at Those selected will be asked to make a $100 contribution to defray costs.
Gouging bas--I mean: such a deal! I'll apply, of course, and when I'm not picked I'll apply for space in the dumpster outside ($75). Fifteenth and Wynkoop, by the way, is more than half a mile from the Pepsi Center.

MSM: get those stinkin' anarchists away from us:
Denver's selection of a spot for protesters to congregate during the Democratic National Convention has angered another group - the national media.

Some of the media tents to be erected on the Pepsi Center parking lot will be within a stone's throw of the area the city has designated for protesters.

Members of the media are concerned that loud demonstrations could disrupt broadcasts or that reporters and photographers could be doused with tear gas or pepper spray if there are confrontations between police and protesters.
What a bunch of wusses. Dan Rather must be turning over in his grave.
Andrew Taylor, chair of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, said he is sending a letter to Mayor John Hickenlooper requesting that another site be designated for the demonstrators to congregate, away from the reporters.

The one-acre protest site on the southeast corner of the parking lot, near Seventh Street and Auraria Parkway, will only be about 40 feet south of one of the media tents, Taylor said. A second media tent will sit west of the protest site.
Forty feet? I could toss a (toy) washing machine that far, he said muscularly.

"The media is more sympathetic than virtually any other group for the need to have protesters, to give them a place to speak out," said Taylor, an Associated Press reporter. But then he added:

"We're just basically raising what are really the obvious issues; you're going to have thousands of protesters covering an acre, and it's going to be right next door to two tents, where the print and broadcast media are going to try to do their jobs," Taylor added.

The city is looking into it.

The Connecticut Survivalist Alliance is worried about COINTELPRO-type operations at the DNC:
As we have reported, groups like Re-Create 68 have been infiltrated by informants and operatives, who will make sure violent episodes will be instigated with security forces. Even in non-violent oriented organizations like The Alliance for Real Democracy, there are sure to be paid informants.
Of course, R68 doesn't need (paid) instigators. Anyway, check out CSA's flag logo. Didn't know Connecticut was part of the Old South.

That's Waak:
The head of Colorado's Democratic Party has a problem to solve today - undoing a mistake that saw one too many men elected as delegates to the national convention in Denver.

Party rules require that every state's delegation be split evenly among men and women. But Colorado, with 70 total delegates, currently has 36 men and 34 women.

That means that Pat Waak, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, has the unenviable task of removing a male delegate and making him an alternate, then choosing one of the alternates to fill the spot.

In the end, an alternate may be replaced as well because that group also must be balanced by gender.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vote love!

Unrepentant terrorist and all-round coprophage (once you start, you can't stop!) Bill Ayers gave the commencement address to New City High School this month (pickings must be gettin' a little slim for Bill these days), and he, like Peter Kirstein, modestly posts his speech. Read the whole smug, simpering, condescending, unbearable thing; I'll just steal the peroration:
Care about other people—really care—and be willing to sacrifice something of yourself in the tiny, unsung, unsexy ways every day that make life bearable. Give assistance and advice to everyone who asks, no exceptions. Devote your income and labor to others.
The inevitable implication: "As I do."
So in this election year, and in the years to come: VOTE LOVE!

For all kinds of people in all kinds of circumstances.

Embrace a new world in the making, and dare to taste it with a kiss.

Just Vote Love!
(Or else!)

Thursday Night at the Radio!

Inexplicably, it's been a while between Jack Bennys. This one's "To Have and Have Not," with Bogey and Bacall. Funny (I always say that) (5 January 1947).

And a Lux Radio Theater. This is an old one. Joe E. Brown as "Elmer the Great" (5 October 1936).

Soon to be syndicated coast to coast

The devil-may-care shiteaters (sorry, JWP, "coprophages") of the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network make an announcement:
Ward Churchill’s case continues to be emblematic of the ongoing attacks on those who teach and write about “unpopular” truths, insist that the histories of Indigenous peoples and peoples of color be made accessible, and resist U.S. violations of human rights and international law.
If you say so.
To bring you updated information on such struggles, to keep you informed of developments in Ward Churchill’s lawsuit against the University of Colorado (scheduled for trial in March 2009), and to better respond to your queries, we’re launching a new website (right here) in mid-July.

We’ll be featuring a column written by Ward, blogs, an updated calendar, news, and easier access to documents about CU and their corporate cronies.

Ward, the David Broder of the jerk-rad set. Be interesting to see if the column or blog(s) (written by whom?) will have comments enabled.

Update: American Indian Mafia authors Joseph and John Trimbach were interviewed earlier this month on Native America Calling on the siege of Wounded Knee. None of the Indian callers wants to hear what they have to say, though several acknowledge the less-than-exemplary behavior of AIM leaders and a couple specifically dismiss Ward Churchill and his lies about the incident. The Trimbachs come across as both sincere and truthful (is that redundant?); unfortunately, the host lets callers filibuster.

(via, I rudely forgot to say, Schnapple)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No pointed sticks

Arapahoe County has prohibited DNC protesters from carrying poles and sticks or wearing gas masks during protests in the county:

No large sticks and no poles. Those are the rules approved Tuesday by the Arapahoe County Board of County Commissioners for protesters surrounding the Democratic National Convention.

The ordinance makes it unlawful for anyone in unincorporated Arapahoe County who is involved in a demonstration, rally or picket line or similar public assembly to:

possess any metal, hard plastic or wood object that is sharpened or that exceeds the allowed dimensions set forth in the ordinance (no longer than 2 feet)

possess any type of projectile launcher [that's a relief]

possess a gas mask

Demonstrators said they understand the need for safety, but believe this ordinance goes too far.

“A gas mask can never be used to hurt somebody, it is not an offensive thing,” said Glenn Spagnuolo with Recreate 68. “It can only be used to protect somebody from being injured.”

“In the unlikely event that law enforcement would have to deploy chemical agents to either relocate or move an unruly or disruptive crowd,” said Sheriff Robinson. “Certainly anyone who has donned a gas mask would be counterproductive to our efforts.”

Spagz deploys the giant puppet defense:

“At these protests we use extremely large puppets to try to get across a political message and stuff,” said Spagnuolo. “The only way to hold those up are with poles and PVC piping and stuff like that. So now they want to try to minimalize the visual effect we would have.”. . .

Why Arapahoe County?

Sheriff Robinson said he anticipates protestors at several hotels in his county where delegates are staying during the convention.

This ordinance only covers Arapahoe County, but both Spagnuolo and the sheriff anticipate the city and county of Denver will pass a similar law before august.

Spagnuolo said he would fight any such ordinance in Denver.

More: The News asks, in an expansion of its original story on Tent State being issued a permit for City Park:
But what about portable toilets, showers and dining alfresco for 20,000 young people?

Jung hopes the city will provide the outhouses. He plans to ask churches and like-minded Denverites to welcome folks in for showers. As for food, the group will issue participants a list of recommended organic, enviro-friendly local restaurants.

Ultimately, the group must meet a long list of city requirements, including plans to provide security and bathrooms, control concert noise, and monitor alcohol use and parking.

Opinions of several people at the park Tuesday ranged from skeptical to accepting to blase at the prospect of a tent city going up.

Paul Plavetzki, a four-year resident of the neighborhood, had plenty of questions.

"Who is basically paying for the use of the park?" he wanted to know. "If the city of Denver has to recoup all the costs, who's going to pay for restoration?"

His friend, Matt Pickett, was not as concerned. "So long as it doesn't affect me, just do what you want to do," he said.
Update: Pointed sticks.

Update II: Nader: Obama "talking white"; says he will be in Denver for convention.

Update III: The city has released a "redacted" copy of its jail manual to the ACLU:

The ACLU sued the city last month over the manual, citing concerns that the jail was unprepared to handle the anticipated onslaught of protester arrests during the Democratic National Convention.

The ACLU cited complaints about operations at the jail, including misidentification of people arrested and the death of Emily Rice, who bled to death at the jail from internal injuries after she was arrested for DUI following a traffic accident. . . .

People have been mistakenly arrested due to misidentification, inmates have been "lost" at the jail as a result of internal misidentification and unnecessary delays persist in releasing persons after they have posted bond, he said.

The ACLU will examine the policies, Silverstein said, to see if the problems at the jail are the result of inadequate policies or failures to follow policies already in place.

The ACLU also is concerned that the jail will be overwhelmed by the mass arrests expected during the Democratic National Convention and won't be able to meet inmate needs for food, toilets, medical care and attorneys.

Trash monitors, but no fried goat-cheese won tons

The Wall Street Journal on the DNC's greenie pretensions:
The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wanted 15,000 fanny packs for volunteers. But they had to be made of organic cotton. By unionized labor. In the USA.

Official merchandiser Bob DeMasse scoured the country. His weary conclusion: "That just doesn't exist."

Ditto for the baseball caps. "We have a union cap or an organic cap," Mr. DeMasse says. "But we don't have a union-organic offering."

Much of the hand-wringing can be blamed on Denver's Democratic mayor, John Hickenlooper, who challenged his party and his city to "make this the greenest convention in the history of the planet."
What a maroon. Quoto favorino:
Watching the greening frenzy from afar, Fred L. Smith Jr., president of the libertarian Washington think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, suggested the Democrats could really shrink their footprint by staging a virtual-reality convention: "Just have everyone stay at home with their laptops, sitting in their pajamas, interacting through their avatars."
Hey, protesters could do the same! R68 leader Glenn Spagnuolo wouldn't even have to stir from his posh suburban Highlands Ranch home to stick it to The Man.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

City to allow Tent State protesters to hang out in City Park

Sounds like they're getting ready to let them camp overnight, too:
Neighbors are bracing for 20,000 anti-war protesters planning a five-day camp in City Park during the Democratic National Convention.

The city issued an assembly permit for Tent State University to bring the tribe of college kids from across the country for an "alternative university" Aug. 24-28 in the southwest corner of the park.

"Come to Denver to end a war!" declares the Web site for Tent State University (my yink), which describes itself as "a a positive, youth-led initiative to fund education instead of war."
The Disney version of R6!8.

Tent State will be a staging area "to experience real democracy" and DNC protests and it will be a campus for "classrooms" teaching nonviolent antiwar tactics and strategies, the Web site says.

But organizers have to iron out some big kinks before they can pitch the tent city just two months from now.

While city statement said the permit is for "approximately 20,000 participants," chief Tent State organizer Adam Jung said he dreams of luring up to 50,000 protesters if he locks up hot music acts ranging from political hip-hop to Southern honky tonk.

Those idealistic kids.

The hang-up: Overnight camping is illegal in the park.

That means each night, thousands of protesters could be forced to exit the park by 11p.m., roaming the city for places to sleep. Jung says there's not enough nearby hotel rooms at prices college students can afford.

"It's not a camp out," said City Councilwoman Carla Madison, whose district includes the 314-acre park, home to Denver Zoo, a golf course, tennis courts, a lake with paddle boating, and popular music and arts festivals.

"The park closes at 11 p.m. and they have to be gone," she said.

"Now, don't ask me how it's really going to shake out," Madison added. "But that's the way it's going to be: that they can put their tents up, but they can't camp out in them."

Organizer Jung is hopeful that ongoing negotiations with city officials will allow the group to camp overnight at the park.

"We've met with the mayor and we've met with police officials and they're very reasonable people," said Jung, a 28-year-old, raised in a Missouri farm family who hopes to draw people from across the political spectrum to the tent city. I think the city is open to it.

Clearly we're going to see that "raised in a Missouri farm family" every time Jung is mentioned to get across that he's from the heartland like Johnny Cougar and couldn't possibly be one of those crazed radicals, but rather an authentic voice of middle America.

What does "raised in a farm family" even mean, anyway? My dad grew up on a farm (went to a one-room school, too). Does that mean I was raised in a farm family, even though the family happened to be in Westport, Connecticut and never raised a hoe in anger? Whatever. More:
"Our main argument is, if people are allowed to camp, is that we retain control over the entire event," he said. "We're bringing in professional security, so we can direct the energy and we can keep it safe and ... a very positive event."

But, he added, "If we have to figure out a way to remove all of these people at 10 or 11 at night, it becomes very problematic."

"That's what happened in Chicago," Jung said, referring to the 1968 Democratic National Convention's notorious clashes between Vietnam War protesters and Chicago riot police.
Is it now? Well why didn't you say so before?

Update: Booty promised:
Federal officials have told the city they approved the $50 million in federal funds to offset any security-related costs for hosting the Democratic National Convention, a top aide to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said today.

Katherine Archuleta, the mayor's liaison to the convention, said she learned the news during a telephone conversation with federal officials on Monday.

"They want to give the money to us as quickly as possible," Archuleta told Denver city council members during their weekly meeting with the mayor.
Well bless their little hearts.

The council also learned of three additional expenditures — each covered by the federal money — related to the convention.

The expenditures include $62,500 for purchase of "specialized gas detection equipment," $165,170 for a "mitigation device" and $128,500 for "biohazard equipment." Details on the purchases were not available.

Update II: Another warning about all the cultural crap that'll be around during the DNC (including Cinemocracy at Red Rocks).

Monday, June 23, 2008

More DNC protest details released

The News:
City officials released a few more details Monday for groups that want to protest outside the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention, including the fact a wire mesh fence will be used to mark the protest area.

But other key components — including what portion of the parking lot will be designated for protest groups and how high the fence will be — were not disclosed. However, the city said it didn't plan on topping the wire mesh fence.

When they say "topping" one assumes they mean this rather than this.

And then there was the issue of the marching route for protest groups and how far away it would be from the Pepsi Center during the convention Aug. 25-28.

Apparently, it was far enough to bring howls of protest from some of the protest groups.
Apparently? The ever-reticent Glenn Spagunolo:
"New York City let us march right in front of Madison Square Garden. I could put my foot on the first step," said Glenn Spagnuolo of Recreate 68. "If New York can let 600,000 people march in front of Madison Square Garden, then they should let 25,000 people march in front of the Pepsi Center."

But city officials assured protest groups that delegates going to and from the Pepsi Center during the convention would be within earshot of protestors and that there would be plenty of other chances for protestors to speak out throughout the city.

Katherine Archuleta, senior policy advisor to Mayor John Hickenlooper, said in a statement that the so-called "public demonstration zone" would allow the views of protest groups to be heard by delegates. She also said the protest area of 50,000 square-feet would accommodate several thousand people.

Several thousand? That's all? What if even 10,000 show up?

"Our intention is to maximize opportunities for people to express themselves in a safe manner that also respects the rights of others as well as local, state and federal laws," Archuleta said.

The one thing protesters don't want to do, of course, is respect the rights of others.

According to Denver City Attorney David Fine, the city won't treat the protest area any differently from other public sidewalks and walkways in Denver. The city will not require permits to enter or use the area and will not allow others to obstruct the viewing area.

Fine also said that people using the protest area may be subject to search and seizure laws under Constitutional standards but would be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

Spagnuolo said the city's action was designed to "chill free speech" and that it was setting up "freedom cages" in what he viewed as a disregard for First Amendment rights.

As always, that the guy most vehement in trying to deny free speech to others on Columbus Day can whine about his First Amendment rights being chilled (they're not, of course) is hard to take. This makes up for it:

"It will make us look like animals in a zoo," he said. "Don't touch the animals behind the cage."

And Ben Whitmer thinks Spagz is good with the media. One of many possible responses: It's not the wire mesh that'll make you look like animals in a zoo, Glenn. You've prepared people to have that perception of Recreate-68! from the beginning.

U.S. Secret Service and city officials are also trying to keep some other aspects of the protest area under wraps — including the actual height of the fence and how close the demonstration area will be to delegates.

But based on information released by the city, the marching route ends at the entrance of the public demonstration zone in Lot A at 7th Street and Auraria Parkway — the far southeast corner of the 350,000 square-foot lot.

Second pic here was taken from the far northwest corner of Parking Lot A looking across to the far southeast corner (just to the right of the tower). Doesn't seem too bad to me.

Update: O/t, but Fred notes in comments that the only CU regent to vote against firing Spagz-pal Ward Churchill last year, Cindy Carlisle, is being opposed for reelection by (as the Boulder Daily Gamera puts it) "past and present Democratic colleagues," who are "endorsing and financially backing her opponent," Rollie "the" Heath. Cindy must really be something special.

Update II (even more o/t!): Madonna Constantine, the African American Columbia prof and activist who gained national attention last year when a noose was found hanging from her office door, was suspended indefinitely for two dozen instances of plagiarism, the New York Sun says. Now a grand jury is looking into whether she and/or a minion hung the noose to gain sympathy during the plagiarism investigation. This is Churchillian:

"During the months since the College levied sanctions against her," the letter [to faculty] said, "Professor Constantine continued to make accusations of plagiarism, including in at least one instance to the press, against those whose works she had plagiarized."
Update III: It's a keeper: Racial Microaggression.

(via an LGF spinoff linkie to this post)


The Post: "Survey: 92% believe in God."

The Post--AP, actually (I'll pay! I'll pay! Please, just don't break any more fingers!): "God accused of selling cocaine near Tampa church."

Unrelated II: The News: Haggard back at Springs home.

The News: Thousands flock to Pridefest.

Update: I got some good pics of P-fest a couple of years ago, he said Modestoly.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something's missing here . . .

Not a single mention of Recreate68! in this appalling piece of DNC protest propaganda by Colleen O'Connor on the front page of the Post:

A nude-in with bare bodies arranged to spell "PEACE," traffic-stopping bike blockades, music with a message. Civil disobedience, direct confrontation, radical cheerleading.

That funky fusion of protest, performance and pompoms.

I can't go on. I must go on. I can't go on.

The new generation of activists, and the daisy-in-the-rifle protesters who birthed them, is busy with creative ferment, organizing public dissent for the Democratic National Convention here in August. They are motivated by the desire to create social change with people power, not political power, frustrated by a mounting list of problems, from the housing crisis to soaring prices for gas and food.

"There will be a lot of people at this convention who are progressive and who are angry at the Democrats," says Virginia Trabulsi, who has worked for years with the anti-war group United for Peace and Justice.

"They're saying, 'Why have we not impeached Bush? Why is Homeland Security out of control?'"

Because you're a fucking idiot! (Sorry, I'm very tired.)
Tens of thousands of activists are expected, homegrown and imported. Some plan to drive FEMA trailers up from Mississippi for a media-savvy statement about continuing Hurricane Katrina struggles. Others are coming from Seattle, like the Backbone Campaign, which will haul 70-foot-tall political puppets [yay!] called The Chain Gang: prison-suited images of Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
Donald who?
CodePink, a national anti-war organization, plans a Restore Democracy Parade, an extravaganza of dissent: floats, political theater, musicians, stilt performers, radical cheerleaders, puppets, drummers and bands.

The local spokeswoman for CodePink is Zoe Williams, a 22-year-old platinum blond with spiky hair, rectangular glasses and a penchant for black-and-white polka-dot canvas shoes.
The chick-rad uniform.

She's part of the new face of activism, a youth-driven alliance that includes Students for Peace and Justice, Students for a Democratic Society, and Tent State.

"That's something our progressive movement is now seriously considering," she says. "How can we make ourselves less frightening? How can we make ourselves look open?

"One of the big things about the colorful, creative protests is to show that we are a very interesting, artistic, positive group of people. We aren't this scary image that protesters often get painted as."
Colorful. Creative. A very interesting, artistic, positive group of people. Jesus.

She works closely with guys like Adam Jung, a farm boy from Missouri who now studies at the University of Denver and spends his free time organizing Tent State University, mobilizing students to confront the Democrats and end the war.

"I'm definitely not right-wing or conservative, but I do identify with rural values," Jung says. "If I called my granddad an environmentalist, he'd smack me, but those are his values."

The base camp he envisions for Tent State University will include thousands of tents staked in City Park, with a music festival featuring political hip-hoppers The Coup and Wayne Kramer, who played with his old group the Motor City 5 during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Tent State workshops will train activists in nonviolent direct action, and focus on building a grassroots movement.

And from this idea sprang the newly minted Denver chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society. . . .

Back in the 1960s, the SDS was the most influential group of radical student activists in the country. It died out in 1969 but was re-created two years ago and is now one of the fast-growing groups of young activists, with more than 300 chapters on college and high school campuses. The goal is to create a society free from poverty, war, racism and sexism.

"SDS is starting to become cool again," says Jung.

So Adam Jung, who made a big show of divorcing his group from the violence-mongering ratbags of R68, endorses a group with exactly the same aims and methods. Good going, Adam.
Whether rooted in the '60s or the '00s, activists are driven by the same fuel.

"We are passionate people who really spend way too much time thinking about all the awful stuff in the world that's so urgent," says Sarah Gill, program director for the Denver office of the American Friends Service Committee. "We just want to do the right thing, and it matters if we do it the right way, because people's lives depend on it."
The narcissism is sick-making. Read the whole putrid panegyric.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Night at the Radio!

Pat Novak: For Hire. "Joe Denine" (18 June 1949).
The only way you can make friends down on the waterfront is to die. I found that out Tuesday night. I went to the wrestling matches and watched Gorgeous George throw some guy around like a poker chip in Tijuana. . . .
Sound's a little muddy. As always, Raymond Burr as Helman.

Suspense: Agnes Moorehead and Ray Collins in "The Diary of Saphronia Winters" (27 April 1943). An archetypal episode.

And another The Six-Shooter, starring Yimmie Stewart: "Silver Annie" (11 October 1953).

Students for a Democratic Society calls for disruption of DNC

Shiftshaper B28651 at (A)utononous Resistance ("rank: Comandante. points: 3048. occupation: Rebel Insurgent. location: Occupied Turtle Island, US") has the call to action:
For SDS, the call to disrupt the DNC (as well as the RNC) offers a tremendous opportunity to plug into what will likely be a major mobilization. Under the direct action strategy being discussed, SDS chapters can participate in this disruption by selecting and utilizing the tactics with which they are most comfortable. The direct action framework will allow SDS chapters to work with those engaging in similar tactics, both within and outside SDS. Finally, chapters are free to theme their actions how they see fit and there could conceivably be SDS actions highlighting everything from the role and complicity of the Democratic Party in the occupation of Iraq, to immigration and poverty, to the rising cost of tuition. Regardless of the themes and tactics chosen, imagine the excitement that we would all feel if SDS held down a few intersections and played a key role in shutting down the DNC… *

To that end, we are calling on SDS chapters to both endorse and participate in the direct action strategies for disrupting the DNC layed forward by Unconventional Action, DNC Disruption, Recreate ‘68, and Tent State.
Little behind the times there.
We are calling on SDS chapters to embrace a diversity of tactics and both endorse and participate in the model of dual power utilized by Recreate ‘68 in their effort to support the needs of their community while explicitly confronting the false illusions of electoral “democracy.” Those participating in direct action to shut down the DNC will be free to shape their actions as they see fit, using the tactics they consider appropriate.
Any and all tactics.

Update: Hey kids! Ask your mom and dad to support the fine work of SDS!

We are asking each of our members to raise $100 - $300 (or however much they can) from their parents, relatives, or friends if it is appropriate for your family’s financial situation. Please ask your family to support the work you care about.

We will send you a “how-to” packet and support you (we know it’s not easy)! It will include a fancy letter and presentation with snazzy photographs of our incredible 2-year history, to demonstrate what a wonderful organization we are and to show your parents that the money will be well spent.

We figure, this isn’t about getting your parents to support SDS’s sweet progressive politics, it’s about showing their love and support for their children’s interests by joining and helping your movement. . . .

Gee, if it'll get little Billy to stop sacrificing small animals to Satan . . .
If you might be interested in asking your parents for money, please RSVP to We will send you a full packet of information that will make your request super easy! Trust us, your folks will love it and be really proud of you.
Really, really proud.

Update: Oops, forgot to include the paragraph the asterisk above refers to:
*This Call to Action was written through an open, participatory process that incorporated many voices within SDS. Many thanks to ACTIVATE (Grand Rapids SDS) for much of the language, which is adapted from the SDS RNC Call to Action. Also, many thanks to Animas SDS and THS SDS for their indispensable input, as well as various individuals within the SDS-AAC.

An open, participatory process. "THS" is Tuscarora High School in Frederick, MD.

Update II: I beat Infoslop, anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008


The News has more on the awarding of DNC parade permits:
One protest group still was unhappy, however, because the city turned down its request for two marches along nondesignated routes.
Guess who!
Re-create 68 wanted to stage marches on the first two days of the convention. One would have gone from Viking Park in north Denver to the Pepsi Center. The other would have gone from Civic Center to the federal courthouse.

"They're actually turning down applications but trying to pretend like they're being gracious," said Glenn Spagnuolo, of Re-create 68.
Still no hint of what other groups got permits.

Weird Bird (every other?) Friday

Drunkawife has been very remiss in getting her Wierd Bird Fridays posted. Its not for the most obvious reason that may come to mind when one considers my blog name. I'll leave it to my ardent WBF fans (all 1½ of you) to guess why I haven't managed to post every week.

I'll tell you now why I'm not going to post next week. I'll be in another week-long meditation retreat. In honor of said event, I thought I'd post a zenny-looking bird picture.

by Tyler Stone

See you back here in a couple of weeks!


More wankers to attend DNC

Penny Parker:
The Creative Coalition [thanks, no breakfast for me this morning], a nonprofit organization that hosts 25 Hollywood types to attend and hold discussions on topical issues during the convention, has added to its roster Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Dana Delany, Barry Levinson, Matthew Modine, Alan Cumming, Cheryl Hines, Rachael Leigh Cook and Wendie Malick. They will be joined by co-chairs Tim Daly, Kerry Washington, TV writer Tom Fontana and director/writer/producer Sue Kramer.
Doogie Houser and Matthew Mo--I mean, Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee. Call us a cowtown now.
Also during DNC week, the CC will host a luncheon honoring actress Annette Bening and saluting the 14 women senators in Congress, along with issue-oriented lunches, dinners and receptions.
CROW TO FLY HERE: I have it on good authority that singer Sheryl Crow has been booked for a Red Rocks show exclusively for DNC delegates on Aug. 24, the Sunday before the convention begins.
Meanwhile, back in the real(ish) world:
The shortage of money plaguing local efforts to finance the Democratic National Convention played a role in the resignation of the top official in charge of volunteers — and concerns are growing that Barack Obama won't be able to help.

Sondra Williams, the director for the 12,000 volunteers who will be assisting Democratic leaders and delegates and others during the convention, resigned after 13 months with the host committee.

She left at the end of a training day for volunteer captains and directors held June 7.

"I was not empowered to do my job," said Williams, on loan to the host committee from the National Education Association. "And therefore I felt I just couldn't continue."

She wouldn't elaborate, saying she does not want to malign the host committee, but she said the group was tense over its cash-flow problems. The committee, charged with raising $40.6 million for the convention, missed its final deadline Monday by more than $11 million.

"We all had our disappointments around it, and there was a lot of stress on the fundraising people," Williams said.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

City issues DNC parade permits

The News:

Every group that wanted to have a parade during the Democratic National Convention will.

And every parade will end "within walking distance" of the Pepsi Center — but nobody knows yet exactly where that will be.

The protesters will mostly be young. The young can walk great distances.

The "public viewing area" will be in Lot A and is expected to be occupied by demonstrators. The city had earlier committed to establishing that area within "sight and sound" of the Pepsi Center.

The parade route, however, may not end within "sight and sound" of the arena, Cobb said.

In all, the city awarded parade permits to seven groups, who have planned a total of 12 parades.

The protest group Recreate 68 got a slot for a parade each day.

Weird. Not a word about who else got permits. How many are R!68 front groups?

The exact route has been a point of contention — protesters wanted to pass close by the Pepsi Center, with a chance to be seen and heard by convention delegates.

"I think there's a lot of delegates that will see people parading," Cobb said.

So far, the city has made public only part of the route, beginning in Civic Center, traveling west on Colfax Avenue, then north on Speer Boulevard. At the intersection of Speer and Larimer Street, the route stops — for now.

Cobb said the final ending point will be determined in the coming weeks.

The city also has announced that parades will be allowed only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Although the first parade will be scheduled to start each day at 11, the times for those following it won't be firmly established.

"It will depend each day on the size of the parades," Cobb said.

Most delegates will begin arriving at the Pepsi Center around 3 p.m., with events scheduled to begin each day at 4 p.m., DNC officials have said. . . .

Nothing in the Post yet . . .

Update: Mike Rosen hides his feelings about Recreate-68: "Hard-core parade of fools":
Free speech? Let them write a letter to the editor, or a book or take out an ad. It's no secret what these would-be revolutionaries believe in. The icon of a raised fist on their Web site accompanies the menu of daily protest themes, with each one focusing "on a symptom of the disease of an Imperialist, Capitalist, Racist system." Glen Spagnuolo, Marxist revolutionary-in-chief, describes his group as representing minorities, anarchists, communists, socialists and radicals. He expects 25,000 people from across the country to join his Denver protest. So what? Whom do they represent? And why should anyone else care? . . . Even if it were a hundred times that number, what would it matter? So what if a hard-core band of "anarchists, communists and radicals" takes to the streets to indulge their rage and self-disenfranchisement. Why in the world should such tantrums affect any rational citizen's fundamental beliefs or positions on important issues?

Quote of the Day!

As painful as it is to say, the true purpose of the federal government flying military helicopters around Denver without any sort of notification to the public is part of a plan to socially engineer people to the reality of a militarized police state.

Kiddie Kamps Klosed!

Not quite as bad as Kamp Krusty ("Dear Mom and Dad, Our nature hikes have become grim death marches . . ."), but fairly bad:

About 40 girls and boys staying at the Rocky Mountain Education Center near Bailey were evacuated last night to the Platte Canyon High School gym after methamphetamine was discovered at the camp.

The kids were moved after trace amounts of methamphetamines were discovered in three buildings at the camp owned by National Farmers Union, said Clay Peterson, the union's administrative vice president.

Farmers: drug-abusing freaks, every one of 'em.
In April, the Park County Sheriff's Office arrested the camp's caretaker, James Higday, for possession of a firearm by a previous offender, Peterson said. Court records indicate Higday was also charged with drug possession at that time.

The union had done a criminal background check on Higday — who was fired at the time of his arrest for performance-related issues — before they hired him, Peterson said.

"It would be safe to say" Higday would not have been hired a year ago had the union known about his past criminal background, Peterson said.

It would be safe to say.

One canister with meth in it was found in the trailer home on camp property where Higday lived with his wife. Traces were also found in the A-frame building that housed the camp kitchen and in a home on camp property, Peterson said.

Meanwhile, at Camp Chief Ouray:

Norovirus has shut down a YMCA camp in Grand County for the rest of the week after 72 campers and 15 staff members fell ill.

About 180 other children, ages 8 to 17, were sent home two days early from Camp Chief Ouray near Rocky Mountain National Park Wednesday, with the others quarantined for 24 hours until the flu-like stomach virus subsides.

Norovirus is often associated with cruiseships and other confined public facilities, such as schools and hospitals. Highly contagious, the stomach virus causes one- or two-day bouts of vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.

Camp Chief Ouray, operated by YMCA of the Rockies, will be closed for sanitizing in time for the next camp session to begin on June 29, said YMCA spokeswoman Lori Van Horn.

Update: Episode 401: "Kamp Krusty" (Kamp Krusty--where they serve only Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel!).

Update II: Every day should be a Higday.

Won't you please not?

In the Post's entertainment section, a piece on DNC protest group Come Up to Denver and their new song:

We can change the world.

That's the mantra of Come Up to Denver, a self-described "group of diverse people that have come together to promote the DNC Counter Convention, a networking opportunity for activists around the country."

Rocker Graham Nash wrote "Chicago" after the turbulent 1968 Democratic National Convention. The lyrics — "Won't you please come to Chicago/No one else can take your place/ We can change the world/ Rearrange the world" — became a peacenik anthem that still swims in my head (although younger reporters here at the Post have never heard of it and begged me not to sing it to them).

Come Up to Denver mouthpiece Laura Kriho says she obtained permission from Nash to rewrite the song to "Won't you please come up to Denver" — and you can see a video of the band Freedom Kage performing it at The video shows scenes from Chicago, Abu Ghraib, Iraq — and Denver. There's also a shot of Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley that flips to a pic of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Here's Freedom Kage (lousy band name):

Lousy tune.

The Denver footage apparently was taken during the protest last March.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sunday, greeny Sunday

More eco-awareness hammered into your brain by the re-educators of the DNC:

Wishing to both promote environmentally friendly practices and lure folks downtown during the Democratic National Convention, city officials are expected to announce today a "Green Frontier Fest" for the public to be held on the Sunday before the convention begins.

The free event will include human-powered carnival rides for the kids, information booths, exhibits and artwork promoting eco-friendly messages.

A human-powered carnival ride.

The city has partnered with the Denver company ReDirect Guide to host the one-day festival Aug. 24 at the Sculpture Park of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

ReDirect Guide offers information on how to help make "green choices" and publishes a directory of businesses chosen for their sustainable practices.

"We want to offer an opportunity for families and residents to come down on Sunday to take a look at how they individually can impact the sustainability of our city and our globe," said Katherine Archuleta, the mayoral liaison for the convention.

ReDirect Guide official Sarah Wells said the festival will feature the "New Energy Station," a house designed by a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The station, to be displayed at the sculpture garden through the convention, will feature technologies that make use of solar power and improve energy efficiency.

Other presenters include Sustainable Living Roadshow, which will bring along the "Consciousness Carnival."

I've always preferred a good Unconsciousness Carnival, myself.
"It's intended to be a really engaging event," Wells said.

Oh, my.

Democratic National Convention Countdown!

The glorious El Presidente of Slapstick Politics has returned from vacation refreshed and ready to purge. He's taken back the convention countdown and demanded that I make self-criticism.

I suck.

Infinite thanks to El Presidente for allowing me the opportunity to commit verbiage in his stead.

Real Democracy to hold "massive" anti-war march; plans conflict with Recreate-68

The News:
A new coalition of protest groups promises free concerts, art displays, classes for activists and a "massive" anti-war march during this summer's Democratic National Convention.

The Alliance for Real Democracy is made up of 12 groups, many led by activists in their early 20s and 30s.

Organizers said Tuesday their nonviolent events will urge an end to the war in Iraq and raise awareness of "the global climate crisis." . . .
The what now?
Some of the groups were previously affiliated with the Re-Create 68 Alliance, but split off after a disagreement over tactics.

Re-Create 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the notorious Democratic convention in Chicago held in 1968, which was accompanied by street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.

Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn't talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.
Probably don't want to get their heads beat in by R68 thugs.
But they released bylaws that say the group "will not use or return violence - verbal or physical - toward any person or other creature," and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.

Re-Create 68, meanwhile, has said that if confronted with violence by police, members will defend themselves.
Bet they use drugs and alcohol, too.
The Alliance for Real Democracy includes groups such as CODEPINK, the Green Party, Tent State University, the Denver International Socialist Organization and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Members declined to say how many people they are expecting at their events, and some details - such as dates and locations of concerts - have not been finalized.

The anti-war parade is scheduled for the Sunday before the convention, which starts Aug. 25 and runs through Aug. 28 at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver.
Recreate68, of course, is also planning a massive anti-war march for the Sunday before the convention. Guess they'll just politely ignore each other.

The concerts will include a guitarist who played in protest of the Vietnam War during the 1968 convention in Chicago, as well as a local hip-hop group, according to organizers.

Among other events planned is an "aerial image," in which thousands of people will use their bodies to form a message to release detainees at Guantanamo Bay and to stop torture, said Zoe Williams, a member of CODEPINK, an anti-war group whose name is a play on President Bush's color-coded terror alert level.

But will they be naked?

The guitarist mentioned is Wayne Kramer, whose group, MC5, as the Rocky says, "played an eight-hour concert in Chicago's Lincoln Park at the 1968 Democratic National Convention." Kramer is an unregenerate leftist idiot, but his "The Hard Stuff" (1995) is one of the best hard-rock albums ever. Here's "Crack in the Universe," which is a little dated (remember "going postal"?), but still good, clean fun.


  • the Rocky has a couple of stories and a slideshow on the Blackhawk helicopters flying around downtown all week doing anti-terrorist training.

  • "Tribes to showcase political clout at DNC":

    Four superdelegates and an estimated 150 delegates — a doubling from the past two conventions — will represent the Zuni, Choctaw, Winnebago, Comanche, Blackfoot, Kiowa and more of the nation's 563 tribes. Delegates and superdelegates say they expect to showcase their culture along with their growing political clout.

    Indians, who represent 1 percent of the U.S. population and whose political affiliation is an estimated 80 percent Democratic, also have an unprecedented six members on the Democratic National Convention Standing Committees.

    Colorado AIMsters, who will be stuck outside the convention center with the rest of the losers, no doubt consider them Uncle Tomahawks.

  • The Washington Post notices the DNC's funding shortfall, mentions that there may be protests at the convention:

    The convention is also expected to attract protesters. A coalition of antiabortion groups, including Operation Rescue and the Christian Defense Coalition, intends to hold a series of prayer vigils and demonstrations.

    How frightening! Oh yeah, some others might be protesting too:

    Protests are also expected by an organization called Re-create 68, a reference to the year when protests outside the Democratic convention in Chicago turned famously violent.
  • Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Pepper spray threat peps up lunatics

    Alex Jones' Infowars website, noting today's story on the Denver Police Department pepper spray weapons, says, "It looks like the government ops over at Re-create 68 will be successful," and quotes a site called Just Get There:
    There is a growing trend of peaceful events being infiltrated by agent provocateurs who operate under the umbrella of black-ops. The goal is to create radical groups who seek out violence either during events, or on corporate and federal property. The operatives will be in positions of power or influence, and will only promote violence instead of a peaceful information based strategy for activism. . . . The cops at first stand down against their own agents, then engage the peaceful activists. This modus operandi has been used in the past, and seems to be in motion for this event by the group ReCreate 68.
    An even darker accusation:
    Isn’t it curious that Re-create COINTELPRO, er 68, came into view at the same time as Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” (also the name of a CIA op against antiwar activists in the 1960s). . . .
    Totally wrong, of course, but I like "Re-create COINTELPRO," Glenn Spagnuolo, FBI!

    Now we have Mark Cohen on the fake “left” calling for a repeat of the DNC, circa 1968.

    “In politics nothing happens ‘by chance.’ If something happens, then you can bet that it was planned that way,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    I can’t think of a better way to destroy any positive political activism during the DNC.

    Me neither! And what's amazing is that it's not a COINTELPRO op (I know all the lingo).

    Ms Betty is worried about R68!, too (caution! Ms Betty's site has the only "content warning" I've ever seen on Bogspot--Ms Betty is a mild 'n' campy dominatrix):
    There are helicopters performing tactical exercises over downtown. The police are stocking up on crowd control weapons, and we have a group called Recreate 68 who has been nothing but combative from day one, implied that riots are possibility and threatened to take over the park, but can't understand why anyone thinks they might cause trouble. Oh, and apparently there may be a huge surge in child prostitution in the area.
    Not quite sure how that last sentence relates to the rest.
    Streets will/may be closed. They still don't know if they will have to interupt or re-route public transportation, and the mayor tried to get himself hit by a train the other day.
    Mayor Chickenpooper almost hit by a train? Hadn't heard about that. Must have been that time he went out hoboing to get to know the homeless.
    It's going to be a looooooooooong summer.
    Yes it is, Ms Betty. Thank you for deigning to blog about it, Ms Betty.

    Update: AP breaks one: I'll quote the first paragraph for $12.50 (AP: check's in the mail):
    A number of protest groups have formed a new coalition that will organize events during the Democratic National Convention to call for an end to the Iraq War.

    They're talking, of course, about the groups that dumped !R68 almost two weeks ago. Best $12.50 I ever spent.

    Update II: Mayor Chickenpooper is not a hobosexual. Let's put that rumor to rest right now.

    Update III: Check out the nifty little DNC logo the Rocky's sporting at the top of its front page, until after the convention, one supposes. They must be serious.

    Update IV: TalkLeft links to Denver's MK-IV order from Veritas Tactical ("Progressive solutions for impossible situations").

    Bumper sticker mentality

    The Post:
    Watch out for cars with bumper stickers.

    That's the surprising conclusion of a recent study by Colorado State University social psychologist William Szlemko. Drivers of cars with bumper stickers, window decals, personalized license plates and other "territorial markers" not only get mad when someone cuts in their lane or is slow to respond to a changed traffic light, but they are far more likely than those who do not personalize their cars to use their vehicles to express rage — by honking, tailgating and other aggressive behavior. . . .

    It doesn't seem to matter whether the messages on the stickers are about peace and love ("Visualize World Peace," "My Kid Is an Honor Student") or angry and in your face ("Don't Mess With Texas," "My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student"). . . .

    Szlemko and his colleagues in Fort Collins found that people who personalize their cars acknowledge that they are aggressive drivers but usually do not realize that they are reporting much higher levels of aggression than people whose cars do not bear visible markers.

    "The more markers a car has, the more aggressively the person tends to drive when provoked," Szlemko said. "Just the presence of territory markers predicts the tendency to be an aggressive driver."
    Fave comment:
    Can't wait for the study about bloggers. For some, it's like screaming into space. Blogging is much more anonymous than a bumper sticker, but is still a venue to vent and spew venom.

    What kind of latent pyschological issues do we have? If you're thinking "none", you are so wrong.
    So, so wrong.

    Update: Who the hell needs a bumper sticker to mark his territory anyway? I just pee in my car.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    I hear them

    The helicopters. Fwappa-wappa-wappa-wappa! Zort! Zort! Zort!


    Update: "Wayward Bill" of Deadheads United saw them:
    During the past 3 hours very large troop helicopters have been practicing maneuvers for riot control for the upcoming Democratic Convention. These suckers are huge. I am not up on my Army nomenclature these days so I can't give them a name. They are flying over right now as I type. It's phun living at the edge of downtown and being only 3/4 of a mile from the Pepsi
    Center. . . .

    Well, I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying
    In the yellow haze of the sun" (neil young)

    "Don't ask Hickenlooper to help you
    Cause he'll turn the other ear
    Won't you please come to Denver
    Or else join the other side
    We can change the world —
    Re-arrange the world
    It's dying — if you believe in justice
    It's dying — and if you believe in freedom
    It's dying — let a man live his own life
    It's dying — rules and regulations, who needs them
    Open up the door"
    (Chicago, graham nash/annotated for the Denver National Convention 2008)

    Yes dear friends to paraphrase and annotate another older song about Chicago,

    "It going to be a [hot] time in the old town this August."

    I am writing this as a forewarning to all those who want to ReCreate 68 in a negative way!

    Bring Peace, Love, Good Vibes To The Democratic National Convention.

    Honey catches more ants than vinegar!
    Read post for full loopy flavor.

    Update II: Citizens! Do not be alarmed! (Favorite comment, from "The Punnisher": "FOUR DEAD IN OHIO....says it all." Well, maybe not
    all . . . )

    Update III: Totally unrelated: "Denver stocks up on pepper weapons."

    Democratic National Convention Countdown!

    For pity's sake. I've lost count. I think it's only 72 days before the Democratic National Convention. Stories, stories, stories:

  • Colorado DNC delegate wants to show Obama his electric car:
    Nate Vanderschaaf has a dream:

    Slip his car keys to Barack Obama - and off they'd go.

    He's not a crazed fan. He's the owner of one of the world's few truly electric cars and also a Colorado delegate to the Democratic National Convention - which falls in a summer when most poor souls are getting poorer paying $4 a gallon for gasoline.

    The Longmont man sees a chance to sell the idea of electric cars to a national audience and - hope against hope - offer a test drive to the possible next president of the United States.
  • Darwinian Nagging Catastrophe. Rocky columnist Sam Adams asks, "What does DNC mean to me?" There's even a Sam-ulcast.

  • Crap cannon tests underway:
    The helicopters flying over parts of Denver tonight are part of a U.S. Department of Justice training exercise, according to Denver police.

    "They gave us a heads up," said Det. John White, spokesman with Denver police.

    Few details were known about the exercise Monday.

    It was not clear where the helicopters were taking off from.
    Gee, anything else you don't know?

  • Greenest ever:

    Chances that ground-level ozone will spike during the Democratic National Convention, blanketing the metro area in bad air and triggering public health alerts, are keeping air quality officials up at night.

    Denver is already in violation of the ozone standard in the Clean Air Act, thanks to a series of bad air days last summer.

    State health officials and Denver planners are hoping Mother Nature, as well as the use of shuttles, bicycles and car pools, will prevent ozone levels from tripping monitors that ring the metro area during the last week of August, while the convention is in full swing.

    Still, the prospect that bad air will cloud what's touted as the most environmentally sensitive political confab in history is taking some of the shine off the event.

    "I give credit to the DNC for trying to make it the greenest convention ever, but bringing in tens of thousands of people who are going to be flying in on planes and renting cars is going to be a strain as far as air quality is concerned," said Jeremy Nichols, director of Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action. "The reality is we have a significant challenge ahead of us."

  • Strategically placed: Webcams along the protest route. Somebody tell Revo the Rabbit.

    Update: Sorry, only 71 days until the Democratic National Convention. El Presidente is going to be pissed. He thinks he made the trains run on time.

  • DNC greenery

    With an August 1 deadline, here so far are the states participating in the "Green Delegate Challenge," the Democratic National Convention's carbon-offset program. Guess which is the only state to totally buy into it:


    How embarrassing, though. One full participant, with Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, New York, Vermont and Arkansas (?) in the "maybe" column. This profound lack of interest might be related to the crummy prizes the DNC is offering. From the press release announcing the challenge:
    As part of the challenge, delegations with the highest percentage of members offsetting their carbon will be recognized in their seating section on the floor of the Pepsi Center during the Convention. Each delegate, alternate and super delegate from that state will also receive a limited edition "green" prize. Any delegate who offsets their travel will receive a unique wearable "green item" for Convention week, available only to these delegates, and be recognized individually on
    DNC Condescending Green Tip O'the Week!
    Did you know cleaning your home can be harmful to your health?
    Exactly why I never clean it.
    Many common household cleaners contain toxic solvents, fragrances, disinfectants and other ingredients that can pollute the air and cause respiratory, skin and other reactions. Before you clean out your garage and cart everything off to the dumpster, go to to find out where to recycle, donate and safely dispose of many of your possessions.
    But what if I don't want to recycle, donate or safely dispose of many of my possessions? Oh, yeah.

    No surprise

    City misses DNC fundraising deadline:

    The committee charged with raising $40.6 million in cash for the Democratic National Convention fell more than $11 million short of that figure and missed today's contractual deadline. . . .

    Not that is was a surprise to one of the fundraising point men — Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

    Hickenlooper was the one who let the cat out of the bag about a month ago when he said the Denver 2008 Host Committee was $15 million short, creating an avalanche of speculation about the shortfall. Shortly after that, the host committee announced it was scaling back delegation parties from more than 50 to a single event.

    The mayor said on a fundraising trip to Kansas City this weekend that he knew they wouldn't meet the contractual deadline set up by the Democratic National Convention Committee.

    "I've always made my peace with that [how nice for you]. It's no different than trying to get a restaurant open. Some of the restaurants we did, we didn't get as much money as we wanted to and so you end up having to adjust the budget. So you didn't spend as much money on the lighting or you didn't spend as much on this or that [just suggestions]," Hickenlooper said. "This thing is going to happen, but the more resources we bring to it, the more successful it will be for the city."

    Damn you, Chickenpooper.

    Sunday, June 15, 2008

    Dumb as anybody else

    Bloggers, that is. Mostly dumber. AP story about a group of them getting training from real journalists to learn, among other things, how to avoid situations like this:
    Miami real estate agent Lucas Lechuga began blogging to share his knowledge of the local market. He didn't bargain for a $25 million defamation lawsuit when he wrote that a Miami developer had gone bankrupt decades ago.
    And didn't check it. Here's his excuse:
    Lechuga said he never claimed Hollo filed for bankruptcy, and that the definition of the word "bankrupt" is open to interpretation.

    "You can say that someone is emotionally bankrupt -- it's the same for financial," Lechuga said. The word bankrupt "could mean they were down in the gutter, that they lost a lot of money," without actually filing for bankruptcy protection in court.
    That'll work. But this and other, unnamed cases have some living in fear:
    In Lake Geneva, Wis., commodities trader Gary Millitte registered the Internet domain name eight years ago, but is so worried about the legal boundaries of writing online that he still hasn't started the ultra-local news site.
    A few unsourced numbers:
    Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association, said more than 100 judgments valued at $17 million have been handed down against bloggers over the last three years—about 60 percent for defamation, 25 percent for copyright infringement and 10 percent involving privacy.

    "It's the tip of the iceberg," Cox said. "Bloggers are being asked to write checks. The threats against bloggers are very real. The costs are very real."
    Huh. So anyway:
    About a dozen would-be reporters navigated the basics of journalism at a recent training offered by the Society of Professional Journalists in Chicago. The group plans similar seminars this month in Greensboro, N.C., and Los Angeles.
    Read whole thing, but don't try to get me to.

    Saturday, June 14, 2008

    Saturday Night at the Radio!

    Another in the run of The Six-Shooter we've been doing: "The Stampede" (4 October 1954).

    Update: It's actually "The Stampede" now, not "The Coward."

    Democratic National Convention Countdown!

    Didn't post yesterday, so double-rich DNC goodness today.

    Seventy-four and/or 73 days until the convention.

    There's going to be more than one moonbat convergence in town during the DNC. Penny Parker:

    Expect to see bold-face names [that's famous people to you hicks] from Hollywood, television, journalism, commerce and politics gathering in Denver for the 2008 Symposia of the Rockies, a series of think-tank discussions that will be open to the public Aug. 25-27 during the Democratic National Convention.

    A secret source leaked me an impressive list of confirmed attendees, and Jim Polsfut, head of the symposia series confirmed the participants. Here's the list so far: CBS' The Early Show co-host Harry Smith; An Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David; media mogul Ted Turner; Google Inc. exec Andrew McLaughlin; former FCC chief economist Michael Katz; Level 3 VP Don Gips; Time Warner Telecom Inc. EO Larissa Herda; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; New York Times columnist Tom Friedman; former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; and former U.S. Senator from Colorado Tim Wirth.

    Singer Bonnie Raitt and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano have also RSVP'd to attend, according to my spy, but Polsfut couldn't 100 percent confirm those names. And invites are still out to U2 lead singer Bono and others that Polsfut declined to name.

    No more reason to live:

    Invited but not able to attend is heartthrob actor George Clooney, who will be out of the country during the DNC, according to his L.A.-based publicist, Stan Rosenfield. That cracking you hear is the sound of hearts breaking throughout Colorado.

    The symposia, which will cover topics including global poverty, wellness and prevention, economy, technology, social security and retirement, emergency preparedness and the climate, will take place in the Boettcher Concert Hall, and The Space and Ricketson theaters.

    "We're working on opportunities for Coloradans to be represented and see some of these distinguished inviduals," Polfsut said, but details on ticket sales aren't set. "This is a citizens' initiative of individuals who realize a lot of very important and engaged people will be coming to Denver — some of them Democrats and some not — because of this historic event. They will sit down with each other at round tables, and a lot of Coloradans are going to see it happening."

    Wow. Round tables.

    Ridin' on a smile and a shoeshine:

    Mayor John Hickenlooper has crisscrossed the nation and met with a Who's Who of deep-pocketed potential donors since March 2007 raising money to host the biggest political convention in Denver in 100 years.

    The mayor put his salesmanship to the test before a bevy of heavy hitters, from Loews Hotels' Chairman Jonathan Tisch in New York to real estate magnate Walter Shorenstein in San Francisco.

    The coast-to-coast fundraising to put on the Democratic National Convention Aug. 25-28 has included several stops inland, too.

    Last May, the mayor spent two days in Las Vegas and made a pitch to "construction king" Irwin Molasky and his son, Steven, among others.

    Six months later, Hickenlooper jetted to Fort Worth, Texas, and tried to shake money loose from billionaire Edward Bass, one of the world's richest people.

    In all, the mayor has embarked on 20 fundraising trips, including a visit this week to Kansas City, Mo., according to an accounting of the mayor's DNC-related travel.

    The Denver 2008 Host Committee is under contract to raise $40.6million by Monday.

    They're not going to make it, apparently:

    Continuing struggles to raise cash for the Democratic National Convention forced the suspension of a national media event scheduled for Thursday at the Pepsi Center, multiple sources said, according to Denver Post reporter Chuck Plunkett [swoon--ed.].

    The Democratic National Convention Committee announced Friday morning that it had postponed the Spring Media Walkthrough, a meeting designed to give the hundreds of media organizations that will cover the convention important logistical information.

    An earlier story in the Rocky quoted host committee member Chris Lopez saying that it wasn't due to money. A comment there has the best name I've run across for Hick: Mayor Chickenpooper. (Update: LGF sez, "Let's put these people in charge of the country.")

    Don Surber has a song parody about R68 and the legendary crap cannon. To the tune, somewhat reluctantly, of "Born to be Wild":

    Get your love beads on, man
    Head to Colorado
    Lookin’ for a protest
    Re-create Chicago

    Yeah Darlin’ just like ’68
    With Social Security checks
    Make some noise and demonstrate
    And demand some respect

    I just heard a rumor
    Cops have a new weapon
    Play a frequency
    And cause a bowel movement

    Yeah Darlin’ they’ll make crap happen
    Make stuff come out of your back end
    Fire all of your guns at once
    Better wear some Depends

    Like a South Park cartoon
    They can crap zap protesters
    We will drop a load
    I will be embarrassed

    Don’t crap zap me, bro.
    Don’t crap zap me, bro.

    I am not making any more Depends jokes.

    The owner of a well-known diner along the parade route is angry:

    The owner of the Denver Diner may have a national network camped out in his restaurant during the convention.

    But he wonders if he'll have any customers.

    "This is gonna kill me," said George Skordos, who has owned the city landmark at Speer and Colfax since 1990.

    Skordos shook his head Thursday as he surveyed the proposed protesters' parade route, which appears to effectively shut down access to the storied diner.

    Storied because it's a late-night hangout for a rather, shall we say, raffish crowd.

    Indymedia does media training for DNC protest groups and other lefties:

    Saturday, June 14th more than 20 media activists gathered together at the Five Points Media Center in the offices of Free Speech TV to learn how to be the media. Colorado Indymedia conducted the training in the hopes that grassroots activists could begin to document their own stories and struggles during the Democratic National Convention.

    Preparing participants to use video, radio, photo, print, and web tools to document the protests and participation in the Democratic National Convention, trainers presented a wide variety of tools and techniques for grassroots journalism and production.

    Participants included members of: Coloradans for Immigrant Rights, Recreate 68, Unconventional Action, Colorado Indymedia, Free Speech TV, KGNU, Indymedia Newsreel.

    Man about town

    Predictable laving (look it up, Glenn) of Glenn Spagnuolo by longtime Rocky columnist Bill Johnson: "City should just say it wants not even one DNC protester":

    First off, it should be said that the city is fooling no one. I have seen this movie before, and it will not end happily.

    Indeed, the closest Glenn Spagnuolo or any of his fellow protester pals are likely to get to the Pepsi Center and the Democratic National Convention come August is likely to be some out-of-the-way building or warehouse where the feds and police will be booking dissenters.

    It is the way it worked in New York City with the Republicans in 2004. And I am just cynical enough to believe it will be little different this time out in Denver, that the city will at the slightest provocation employ similar no-nonsense, borderline police state tactics to keep the peace this summer.

    It is why I called Glenn Spagnuolo, the seemingly everywhere activist most noted for his Columbus Day protests in Denver, currently in the news as a co-founder of the Re-create 68 Alliance, which is planning protest marches each day of the Aug. 24-28 convention. . . .