Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Modern multicultural twist" on EastEnders

This ought to be interesting. Not the show, of course, but the reaction in the British Muslim "community." Grauniad: "EastEnders: Muslim character to have gay love affair." Subhead: "Muslim property developer to share on-screen kiss with gay caterer in 'traditional love affair with a modern multicultural twist'":
EastEnders is to tackle one of the last taboos left in soap, with a storyline featuring a Muslim character embarking on a gay love affair. . . .

The BBC1 soap's production team researched the plot, which is bound to prove controversial with some viewers, contacting academics, gay Muslim support groups and members of the Muslim Council of Great Britain.

In the storyline, the 24-year-old Masood, played by Marc Elliott, finds his "religion and sexual feelings in conflict". . . .

Diederick Santer, the EastEnders executive producer, said: "We've always tried to make EastEnders reflect modern life in multicultural Britain and we've always told social issue stories relevant to our diverse audience. . . .

"This is not a story about Syed and Christian's physical relationship – we don't see anything beyond one kiss. It's more about the inner turmoil and conflict Syed endures trying to remain true to his faith while questioning his sexuality. . . .

A Gallup survey earlier this month found that British Muslims hold more conservative opinions towards homosexuality than European counterparts, with none of the 500 people questioned believing that homosexual acts were morally acceptable.
That's more conservative, all right. Read whole thing.

(via Biased BBC)

Group of 88 honorary member

Nancy Wadsworth, assistant professor of race stuff at DU, on the quote from Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor that a "wise Latina woman" can beat up a white guy any day or whatever it was she said that's stirred up such a ruckus:
"I think the brouhaha over it is a total red herring. And it's a brouhaha that comes from a perspective of privilege, particularly white-male privilege," said Nancy Wadsworth, a professor at the University of Denver who teaches courses on race and religion in politics.

"White males think they make all decisions in the abstract, in some vacuum," Wadsworth said. America "had a debate over whether Barack Obama was capable of being objective because he's black, whether Hillary Clinton could be objective because she's a woman. The assumption is that if you are John Roberts, a white male, your ability to hold off bias is unquestioned."
Wadsworth also has the requisite, um, thinness of publication to qualify for G88 membership.

Update: Stokely-on-Carmichael!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

July 1 for Churchill reinstatment hearing

Aguilar of the Gamera:
Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill will make his case for getting his job back during a one-day hearing to be held July 1, a Denver District Court clerk said Wednesday. . . .

Chief Denver District Court Judge Larry Naves will preside over the hearing, during which both Churchill and the University of Colorado will argue for and against reinstatement of the former controversial ethnic studies professor. . . .

Naves will decide whether Churchill, 61, gets his job back at CU or whether he should be paid a lump sum of money instead. The judge could also choose to award the former professor nothing.
Ooh, I like the sound of that.

Update: Steve Russell in Indian Country Today on Wart's "first jury," real Indians. Concluding graf:
Churchill is eligible for Social Security right now. Even if the court gives him back his job, he is close enough to the end of his career to sum it up or at least consider summing it up. It’s at this stage when Indian people begin to be regarded as “elders,” in the sense of having lived a good life of contribution to the tribal community. Or not.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Night at the Radio!

Only played this once before, but it's a funny show: The Henry Morgan Show: "Strange Men of History" (5 February 1947).

Night Beat: "Old King Death" (10 July 1950).

CBS Radio Workshop: "The Enormous Radio" (11 May 1956). Cheeverinian! Notice Bill ("Too Short And Dumpy For Gunsmoke On TV") Conrad doing the narration. He did everything for CBS for decades (that voice!), but after they turned him down for the TV role of Matt Dillon, he would never talk about his days in radio.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Make it stop

It's been raining steadily for about three hours now.

It rained a few hours this morning.

It rained most of yesterday.

It rained hellaciously Saturday, with flooding and hail and a tornado or two spotted on the Lonesome Prairie©. It's been raining in the mountains, with snow forecast the other day over 9000 feet. Down here (about 5500 feet) I have a space heater on.

In fact, it's been an extraordinarily wet and cool spring. This though I can recall reading at least two pieces in the Post (which I can't find now, natch) quoting various sonorous and no doubt well-qualified poops predicting drought this spring because the winter was unusually warm and slightly unusually dry. A trend goes on forever.

You should see the wildflowers in the front yard. They're quite regimented-looking. If it ever gets light again I'll post a picture. A little scary going out there, though. When it's dry there are tons of bees, and they're freaking out. I found the mailman lying on the porch Friday enjoying a brief anaphylactic-shock break.

Update: The Telegraph: "Global warming of 7C 'could kill billions this century'"

Global temperatures could rise by more than 7C this century killing billions of people and leaving the world on the brink of total collapse, according to new research.

The study, carried out in unprecedented detail, projected that without "rapid and massive action" temperatures worldwide will increase by as much as 7.4C (13.3F) by 2100, from levels seen in 2000.

Previous estimates have concluded that the likely increase this century would probably be 2.4C (4.3F).

However the new study by scientists at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology included projected economic growth in developing countries and new information on the affect increased carbon emissions will have on biological processes, such as the capacity of the ocean to absorb greenhouse gases.
(via Watts Up With That, where much fun, naturally, is being had with the study)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sports brief

Lakers v. Nuggets in LA. Nugs win. Fine, fine.

Spotted by the play-by-play guys in the crowd: Jack Nicholson (of course); Will Ferrell; Teri Hatcher; Maria Shriver; Tom Cruise. I probably missed a couple.

Who are they gonna spot in Denver? "There's, uh, Ward Churchill!"

Not a cowtown.

CU replies to Chutch motion for reinstatement

With a big "Yuck!" Peter Schmidt at the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
The University of Colorado has filed a court brief formally responding to Ward Churchill’s bid for court-ordered reinstatement to the faculty. As university officials had suggested would be the case, their stand on his reinstatement is a very emphatic no.

In the brief, filed yesterday in state court, the university’s lawyers note that the jury . . . determined that he was due only $1 in damages. The jury’s decision to award Mr. Churchill such a nominal sum “can be seen only as a complete repudiation of Professor Churchill’s scholarship and the jury’s ultimate conclusion that he destroyed his own reputation.”
Interesting, since Churchill's attorney David Lane and juror Bethany Newill have said that only one juror didn't want to give Churchill lots of money. But I also remember CU lead attorney Patrick O'Rourke on Caplis and Silverman saying just the opposite, that basically only Newill was hot to make Chutch rich(er).
The brief also seizes upon remarks by Mr. Churchill’s lawyer, David A. Lane, as reason to deny the professor’s reinstatement. In an interview with The Denver Post following the jury’s verdict, Mr. Lane said university officials would face another lawsuit by Mr. Churchill if they so much as “look at him cross-eyed” after his reinstatement. Likewise, Mr. Lane told the Colorado Daily that Mr. Churchill would sue if the university put him in a basement office or stripped him of class time.
Maybe somebody's big mouth on the other side will make a difference this time.
The brief argues that such threats place the university in an untenable position, where it faces the threat of litigation over routine academic decisions and must effectively immunize Mr. Churchill from complying with professional scholarly standards if it does not want to be sued for investigating any new complaints of misconduct brought against him.

If the court decides to award Mr. Churchill anything, the brief says, it should only be compensation for the pay he would be earning if he had kept his job. The brief argues, however, that he should not even be given that.
Update: The Daily Camera has more (via P & B)

Update II: CU's brief is devastating, particularly the appended affidavits against Churchill's reinstatement from Thomas Brown, John LaVelle, Susan Shown Harjo and a host of others, including Rhonda Lynne Kelly, sister of Churchill's former (and deceased) wife Leah Kelly. The lies, the threats, the intimidation Churchill routinely uses, all succinctly spelled out, and what they spell is: scumbag. No way he's getting his job back. (via Schapps)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Expedite me!

Aguilar of the Gamera:
Lawyers for ousted University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill want a one-day hearing next month to determine on an “expedited basis” whether their client gets his job back on the Boulder campus, according to a motion filed in Denver District Court.

The motion, dated Monday, states that Churchill would like to know by next [sic] May 27 when the hearing can be scheduled in June.
Why is the "next" in there?

Monday, May 18, 2009


The Post:
Police and a sharpshooter hired by Greenwood Village have killed six coyotes since early this year, when the City Council authorized killing aggressive animals, the city said today.

Four of the animals were killed by police, while two were killed by a sharpshooter with a company called Animal Damage Control, said Ryan Gregory, spokesman for the Greenwood Village city manager's office.

The city's decision has angered animal-rights groups, but Greenwood Village said lethal measures are necessary as the coyotes have become acclimated to their urban environment and, in some cases, aggressive.

In announcing the number of coyote kills, the city said that in recent weeks, there have been "multiple reports" of coyotes chasing residents

Additionally, said the city, coyotes on "multiple occasions" have jumped 6-foot privacy fences into backyards near Tommy Davis Park. As a result, residents in the Tommy Davis Park neighborhood have had to rescue their dogs from the coyotes. . . .
City officials said today they recognize the value and benefits provided by all wildlife and that the city has a four-part, comprehensive management plan that includes hazing in an effort to spare the coyotes' lives. . . .

Some people protested Friday evening just hours after police shot and killed a coyote that two residents said attacked their dogs as they walked near Monaco Park.

Lt. Joe Harvey of the Greenwood Village police said his officers also were trying to find the dead coyote's possible mate, which the WildEarth Guardians animal-protection organization has named "Limpy."

The female coyote has been seen and photographed limping badly.
Limpy. I have a friend we call "Stumpy" because he broke his leg in a tragic softball accident about 20 years ago. No, he doesn't limp. Or even stump, and as far as I know nobody's tried to shoot him, much.
Nicole Rosmarino, the wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians, said the objective of Friday night's protest was to save Limpy's life as well as other coyotes in Greenwood Village.
Why don't they just give them all cutesy names? Limpy, Mangy, One-eye, Spagz, Rabies . . .

Sunday, May 17, 2009

DNC doco to debut

Gabby gabster Bill Husted in the Post:
More than one movie was made in Denver during the Democratic National Convention.

You may have heard about the proposed doc about Mayor John Hickenlooper, directed by his cousin, George Hickenlooper. In a trailer (since removed from the Epoch Films website), there's some salty language. Titled "Hick Town," the movie shows Mayor Hick speaking to a crowd, saying, "I tell you how you deal with the press. You (expletive) the press."

Now comes "Convention," a look at Denver and the DNC and how we handled it. The doc is directed by filmmaker AJ Schnack and produced by Britta Erickson, the Denver Film Society bigwig.

The movie gets an invite-only screening Monday at the Denver Newspaper Agency auditorium. It'll have its official world premiere June 17 at the Silverdocs Film Festival in Silver Spring, Md. It will definitely be screened in Denver this year.

Erickson says six shooting teams hit the city every day to catch Hick, the police, Recreate 68 and the press, most notably Denver Post staffers Allison Sherry and Curtis Hubbard.
What, no bloggers? I saw the film crews around; hard to miss since they wore bright yellow plastic blazers with "FILM CREW" on the back. Maybe I got a walk-on.

Friday, May 15, 2009

ICT: Don't reinstate Churchill

There's some "colonialist" drivel in there, but professor emerita Elizabeth Lyn-Cook in Indian Country Today nails one aspect of the case that was hardly touched on by CU's defense:

Actually, the case that should have been tried against Mr. Churchill was a case of fraud, identity theft and scholarly misconduct which Native scholars (who were largely absent from the court as witnesses during the free speech case) have understood from the beginning. The spectacle of Churchill’s claim to Indian heritage has been an ongoing scandal, unfortunately an unchecked plague in the field of Indian studies for which there seems to be no remedy. . . .

It has been known in Native academic circles that Churchill has consistently “ghost” written works and published them under the names of others, then used them as objective sources to support his own perverted histories. This issue of scholarly misconduct alone should be enough to disqualify Churchill from joining the community of Native scholars who know how to do research and apply the rules of academia.

Indeed, when Churchill was hired in his position, several Native American scholars spoke against his hiring during the vetting process, to no avail. It is not only inappropriate, it is another example of colonial domination to allow Churchill to further damage an emerging discipline like Indian studies, which has already been complicated by the ideological grounding of White America’s values and supremacy.

It was never a case of “wrongful termination.” It is not a case of “having a chilling effect on scholars,” as the Society of American Law Teachers has written. It is not a question of “diverse” access. It is a question of allowing an egotistical, failed and disreputable scholar to corrupt the long-overdue emergence of one of the most significant disciplines in academia – Indian studies – to emerge and develop appropriate standards to finally tell the essential story of America in history, politics and literature.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wrong for men, wrong for women

Just saw a clip on TCM of Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis. Decent movie--"Clang, clang, clang," "Have yourself a merry little" and etc. But I can't watch it ever again, because Garland wears some kind of super-mullet in the pic, and it's very creepy, like a cross between a regular mullet and Herman Munster's 'do.

Feeling tired? Oppressed?

Mentioned the other day that I'd begun Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and predicted that I'd never get through it.

I didn't, of course, because it's vague, poorly written Marxist claptrap (surprise!) which doesn't even rise to the level of mockworthiness. But Sol Stern at City Journal, no doubt uncoincidentally (Sol's always copying me) apparently managed to read the whole thing: Pedagogy of the Oppressor.

Word salad

No baco-bits. Here's the opening graf of a post titled "Missionaries and the secular mafia: A reality check" at a blog called "Paganism" ("Another excellent weblog"):
The Christian evangelist zeal has in fresh years acquired a different collegiate dimension. The activity to ruin tribals from their ancestral roots and force an uninstructed about approach of duration has the damned blessings of our mundane journalists. Harvard sociologist Pitrim Sorokin observes: “During the any passВ not altogether centuries the most hostile, the most bellicose, the most wolfish, the most power-drunk fraction of Homo sapiens has been correctly, the Christian Western period. During these centuries western Christendom had invaded all other continents; its armies followed before priests and merchants clothed subjugated, robbed or pillaged most of the non-Christians.
The piece mentions Ward Churchill:
Tribal groups clothed been marginalized in every nook the monotheistic period. Until 1824, fatality American Indians was not a outrage, as reflected in the saying: “the contrariwise hoard Indian is a depths Indian.” Ward Churchill, professor of ethnic studies, University of Colorado, celebrated that the reduction of the North American Indian natives from an estimated 12 million in 1500 to conduct 237,000 in 1900 represents a “vast genocide., the most steady on best performance.” Right Wing Christian apologists demand supernal providence; a appropriate genocide from stem to stern smallpox and bother to which the natives were pathologically unprotected with no arrange inoculation.
It has to be machine-generated, doesn't it? But machine-made or not, that old saying, "the contrariwise hoard Indian is a depths Indian," is deep.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hank Brown on the WC case

Very briefly, in an "innerview" in the Colorado Statesman:
CS: Were you surprised by the Ward Churchill decision?

HB: I was. There was no question in my mind that the reason for his dismissal was his plagiarism and falsification (of his resumé). Throughout the process, which took two years, he was the only one who ever brought up 9/11. No one at the university even mentioned it.
Uhhhhh . . .
And you know faculty committees. They would be the least likely of any human beings on the face of the Earth to discipline somebody for (expressing) what they thought. There simply isn’t anybody on any of the committees that thinks that way.
In fact, the committee bent itself like a (soft) pretzel trying to treat Chutch "fairly." A question unasked (in a long line of them): Why the hell did they keep Mimi Wesson on the investigating committee, let alone as its chairwoman? Two committee members resigned when their pro-Churchill comments were unearthed (by JWP, of course--I again salute his indefatigabilty); why wasn't Wesson strongly encouraged to do likewise after her anti-chutch remarks were leaked? Could they not have known that David Lane would hammer on it (The "Wesson Committee"; "O.J., M.J. and Billy")?
So, yeah, I was surprised and disappointed.

CS: It wasn’t a total victory either way.

HB: I think the fact it was just an award for $1 shows that the jury had some concerns, too. And it’s still too early to tell whether they’ll force him to come back. I think it’s very much up in the air.
Update: By the way, did anyone ever look into who exactly leaked Mimi's memo?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

History on Trial 'optioned'

Historian Deborah Lipstadt's account of the libel suit brought by David Irving after she called him a Holocaust denier has been optioned (whatever that means) for a movie. As Lipstadt says, that's a long way from buying your popcorn and settling down for the previews, but if it happens it might be interesting. I see Ian McKellen as Irving, Kate Winslet as Lipstadt and Tom Cruise as Richard Evans. You need big names for a courtroom drama.

Irving, by the way, has a blog. Scrolling through lackadaisically, I found this in a post from Denver during Irving's triumphal selling-books-from-the-trunk-of-his-car U.S. tour last year (scroll down to September 2):
The Leftist-agitator Mr Martin phones me politely at seven p.m., no doubt from the Embassy Suites, to ask where the meeting is, as he "cannot find" it. Small wonder. I say: "Nor will you! I am refunding your registration fee. Goodnight," and hang up. I refund Martin's credit card payment online, before he can complain, and hit my bed after midnight.
It's even a pull quote at the top of the page. My memory differs slightly on the details, but, close enough for historical work.

What's our pal Irving up to these days, anyway? Well, he says he's found new documents that prove his figure of 135,000 (or maybe 250,000) deaths in the Dresden firebombing. Scroll down to April 24, and check out the comments under part 1 of the Russian documentary on the event he links to on his main website page. "Compromised frontal lobes." Jesus H. Christ on a Big Wheel.

Ward speaks!

Noon today at South Puget Sound Community College. We hear his honorarium is a free tune-up on his SUV (don't forget to check his tire inflation, kids). The appearance is sponsored by BRICK (Building Revolution by Increasing Community Knowledge), whose website has a nice powerfist, but doesn't mention Ward's visit.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Hey, Boe!

I was just curious. You've said here and there that you're 79 years old. How did you start reading blogs? My father-in-law is somewhat senior to you, and probably better-looking (sorry, irrelevant). He reads websites, tho not often blogs, including mine, but he doesn't do so happily. He's afraid the wonders of the net will distract him from more important stuff, like God.

Anyway, would you mind expatiating on your blog/internet awakening, and whether your interest interferes with living a reasonable life at 79?

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Just under the deadline:

Ward Churchill filed a motion Friday in Denver District Court formally asking a judge to put him back in a classroom at the University of Colorado, a month after a jury awarded him $1 and found that he was fired in retaliation for writing a controversial essay about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Chief Judge Larry Naves is expected to schedule a hearing to decide whether Churchill can return to the campus or receive "front pay" for years he could have worked at CU.

Another Post story quotes from the motion:
This Motion for Reinstatement respectfully requests that this Court abate the chilling effect caused by Defendants' unlawful punishment of Professor Churchill's political speech, and reinforce the importance of academic freedom in our country, by reinstating Professor Churchill to his fully tenured position at the University of Colorado," the motion says. "Only by doing so can Professor Churchill be returned to the status he had earned before Defendants inflicted their unconstitutional retaliation upon him."