Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Neighbors

It gets so hot in the city. . .




In case you didn't know: Churchill reinstatement hearing tomorrow

Aguilar of the Gamera:
All eyes will be on Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves on Wednesday as he takes arguments at an all-day hearing for and against giving ousted professor Ward Churchill his job back at the University of Colorado.
All eyes on Naves? That'll make his robe slimy.
The judge has the option of ruling from the bench at the end of the hearing or issuing a written decision later. Neither the judge’s clerk nor the attorneys in the case would hazard a guess as to when Naves might announce his decision.
No way he's gonna rule right away, he said with slimy certainty.
Qusair Mohamedbhai, one of Churchill’s lawyers, said no matter when the judge’s decision comes down, he is not assuming anything one way or the other.

“We’re definitely not counting any chickens before they are hatched,” he said Tuesday.
Or come home to roost.
Each side said it will bring three to four witnesses to the hearing Wednesday.

CU’s list includes Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Churchill’s legal team plans to call CU ethnic studies chairwoman Emma Perez and CU sociology professors Margaret LeCompte and Tom Mayer, in addition to Churchill himself.
Another blogger cliche I've never used before: FAIL. On both sides.
Nantiya Ruan, a law professor at the University of Denver who practices employment law, said the hearing could be compelling despite the reams of motions and responses that have been filed in the case since the April 2 verdict.

She said live witnesses [as opposed to dead ones]could give “depth” to the arguments that appear in the written motions. And even if the law in the matter may be clear to the judge by now, Ruan said, the facts of the case could be influenced by further testimony.

“If fleshing out the facts is going to come from this testimony, that could matter,” Ruan said Tuesday. “He might be hearing for the first time the depth of a motion.”
Oh, baby. And no, I can't go. Three new tenants will be crying for help--which I won't give, but I've got other things to do. Bathrooms: Brrrrrrr.

Feminism pervades textbooks; women hardest hit

Christina Hoff Sommers has a new piece on feminist "scholarship":
Feminist misinformation is pervasive. In their eye-opening book, Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies (Lexington Books, 2003), the professors Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge describe the "sea of propaganda" that overwhelms the contemporary feminist classroom. The formidable Christine Rosen (formerly Stolba), in her 2002 report on the five leading women's-studies textbooks, found them rife with falsehoods, half-truths, and "deliberately misleading sisterly sophistries.". . .
In other words, Ward Churchill in a dre--er, sensible pantsuit.
Why should it matter if a large number of professors think and say a lot of foolish and intemperate things? Here are three reasons to be concerned:

1) False assertions, hyperbole, and crying wolf undermine the credibility and effectiveness of feminism. The United States, and the world, would greatly benefit from an intellectually responsible, reality-based women's movement.

2) Over the years, the feminist fictions have made their way into public policy. They travel from the women's-studies textbooks to women's advocacy groups and then into news stories. Soon after, they are cited by concerned political leaders. President Obama recently issued an executive order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls. As he explained, "The purpose of this council is to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy." He and Congress are also poised to use the celebrated Title IX gender-equity law to counter discrimination not only in college athletics but also in college math and science programs, where, it is alleged, women face a "chilly climate." The president and members of Congress can cite decades of women's-studies scholarship that presents women as the have-nots of our society. Never mind that this is largely no longer true. Nearly every fact that could be marshaled to justify the formation of the White House Council on Women and Girls or the new focus of Title IX application was shaped by scholarly merchants of hype like Professors Lemon and Seager.

3) Finally, as a philosophy professor of almost 20 years, and as someone who respects rationality, objective scholarship, and intellectual integrity, I find it altogether unacceptable for distinguished university professors and prestigious publishers to disseminate falsehoods. It is offensive in itself, even without considering the harmful consequences. Obduracy in the face of reasonable criticism may be inevitable in some realms, such as partisan politics, but in academe it is an abuse of the privileges of professorship.
As implied by the (one hopes) never-to-be-completely-expunged mental image of Wart in a pantsuit, Sommers' points apply to Angry Studies (as a commenter at Durham-in-Wonderland calls them) in general.

(via (what a coinkidink) commenter "No justice no peace" at DiW)

Update: Warty's got cankles!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Context? Whazzat?

The St. Pete Times provides a tiny amount on the Wart-featuring "documentary" on HBO June 29, Shouting Bores:

This sprawling documentary focuses on the most extreme combatants in the fight over free speech in America, throwing off a lot of heated rhetoric without much enlightenment. Recounting how former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill lost his job amid controversy over a pointed essay on the 9/11 attacks, the film fails to explore several legitimate criticisms about Churchill while casting him as the victim of a right-wing witch hunt. The filmmakers here seemed to forget that good journalism often works best with a little context.
Like lying, fraud, plagiarism, bullying, lying (oh, I already said
that). . .

Update: The NYT pulls out this pearl of moral equivalency:
It is presumably an accident of timing, but in the documentary “Shouting Fire,” boy, do the scenes of protesters being arrested during the 2004 Republican convention in New York call to mind recent images coming out of Iran.
Yeah, sure.
That will only add to the film’s leftward lean, at least in the eyes of any conservative types who happen to tune in, making them more inclined to dismiss it. Too bad, because the film, Monday on HBO, explores First Amendment issues that everyone should give some dispassionate, platitude-free thought.

Yeah, su--oh, I already said that.

Update II: Anyone with HBO who reads this blog (mutually exclusive, I know) and is strong enough to watch Warty "emote," feel free to give good review here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Elmwood turns out for Ward

A couple of weeks ago eminent self-made gink JWP noticed this in the Elmwood IL (hometown of Ward Churchill) Shopper:


D-blog op "Mr. B" managed to infiltrate the redneck-rad meet 'n' agiteet. Here's his report:


"At first I thought I had arrived late and they were cleaning up bullshit, but it turns out they were cleaning up after a recent storm."



"The huge gathering was peaceful and all of Chutch's supporters present actually kept a surprisingly low profile."



"I was a little surprised to see they were having the gathering in a park that honors the white settlers who massacred Chutch's ancestors [forgot the scare quotes there, Mr. B!]."


"It turns out Chutch put in an appearance, albeit at a distance, as he flew over in one of his Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP) aircraft."

Upshot: Not a soul showed--apparently not even the moron(s) who put the ad in the paper. The power of Wart compels you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Times: Michael Jackson dies from heart attack

Hmph. Related headline immediately below: "Is Jacko up to his concert marathon?"

Update: And then, of course, there's Farrah Fawcett. I thought she was good in a couple of movies: The Burning Bed (very 80s, of course) and, especially, as Robert Duvall's ex-wife in The Apostle.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ah, memories

Jodi Rave reposts the video of Ward Churchill's firing in anticipation of the upcoming refiring. You'll see my egg-shaped head ducking out of the way of the camera early on. Fame! I want to live for a goodly amount of time! Fame! I'm feeling rather decrepit! Fame! (etc.).

Monday, June 22, 2009

As always, circumspect

On O'Reilly just now, Ann Coulter said abortion doc George Tiller wasn't murdered, he was "terminated" in his "203rd trimester." She also said she personally was opposed to killing abortion doctors, but didn't want to impose her moral values on anyone else.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Demolition Boy

Hearing ungodly noise in the vicinity this morning, I walked less than a block down the street and saw, miracle of miracles, that the old building which had been a boarded-up eyesore for at least the decade I've lived here (it had asbestos isseeyuus) was finally being torn down. Here's what it looked like before the tearing:


Funny thing is, it actually added to home values around here.

But it was glorious:


Hassan . . .



Chop!



They'd crush the insides, then pull down the walls, always inwards. Didn't come close to harming the trees.


Num num num.








And in about five hours, it was down. Sure don't make toxic, rat-infested slums like they used to.

Crap

Another day, another "peer-reviewed" journal snookered. The Guardian:
The editor-in-chief of an academic journal has resigned after his publication accepted a hoax article.

The Open Information Science Journal failed to spot that the incomprehensible computer-generated paper was a fake. This was despite heavy hints from its authors, who claimed they were from the Centre for Research in Applied Phrenology – which forms the acronym Crap.
Maybe you might miss the acronym, but applied phrenology?
The journal, which claims to subject every paper to the scrutiny of other academics, so-called "peer review", accepted the paper.

Philip Davis, a graduate student at Cornell University in New York, who was behind the hoax, said he wanted to test the editorial standards of the journal's publisher, Bentham Science Publishers.

Davis had received unsolicited emails from Bentham asking him to submit papers to some of its 200+ journals that cover a wide range of subject matter from neuroscience to engineering.

If their papers are accepted, academics pay a fee in return for Bentham publishing the papers online. They can then be viewed by other academics for free.

Davis, with the help of Kent Anderson, a member of the publishing team at the New England Journal of Medicine, created the hoax computer science paper. The pair submitted their paper, Deconstructing Access Points, under false names. Four months later, they were told it had been accepted and the fee to have it published was $800 (almost £500).
What a racket. Expect to see Ward Churchill published in one of their journals any time now. Here, by the way, is the paper. Note how they slyly sneak Noam Chomsky into the footnotes.

(via judders brud)

Update: They sneak in Alan Turing as well, for a paper supposedly written in 2003; Turing died in 1954.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

UK court: Brit bloggers have no right to anonymity

The Times:
Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled today

In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of a blog called NightJack.
I ran across NightJack a couple of months ago, but had no idea there was a court case around it.
The officer, Richard Horton, 45, a detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary, had sought an injunction to stop The Times from revealing his name.

In April Mr Horton was awarded the Orwell Prize for political writing, but the judges were not aware that he was revealing confidential details about cases, some involving sex offences against children, that could be traced back to genuine prosecutions.

His blog, which gave a behind-the-scenes insight into frontline policing, included strong views on social and political issues, including matters of “public controversy,” the judge said.

The officer also criticised and ridiculed “a number of senior politicians” and advised members of the public under police investigation to “complain about every officer . . . show no respect to the legal system or anybody working in it.”

Mr Horton has now deleted his website and received a written warning from his force.

He has received several offers to publish a book after using the success of the blog to attract a literary agent.

Some of the blog’s best-read sections, which on occasion attracted nearly half a million readers a week, were anecdotes about the cases on which Mr Horton had worked.

The people and places were anonymised and some details changed but they could be traced back to the prosecutions.

In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”. . . .

The action arose after a Times journalist, Patrick Foster, worked out the identity of the NightJack blogger “by a process of deduction and detective work, mainly using information on the internet,” the judge said.

Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for the blogger, had argued that “thousands of regular bloggers who communicate nowadays via the internet under a cloak of anonymity would be horrified to think that the law would do nothing to protect their anonymity of someone carried out the necessary detective work and sought to unmask them”.

The judge said: “That may be true. I suspect that some would be very concerned and others less so.” . . .
Read whole thing.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's rained

Hard, eight or nine days in a row in Denver, which, some claim, is semi-arid. If I wanted to live in Seattle, I'd live in Seattle. Repeat after me: Weather is not climate; weather is not climate . . .

Like a giant Duke

Thank God for the First Amendment.

(via David Preiser in a comment at Biased BBC)

Update: Levant's got back (ground).

Update II: And just keep reading. Levant's blog is full of fascistic CHRC goodness.

Or, if you don't feel like scrolling, just watch this:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rural briefs

JWP found an interesting notice in the Elmwood (Central Illinois hometown of Ward Churchill) Shopper. Just check it out. I did a crummy photo-essay on all-American Elmwood a couple of years ago.

Update: Daily Gamera: "Churchill to be featured on HBO documentary." The D-blog mentioned the doco months ago.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Signs, signs . . .

On Colfax between Federal and Wadsworth. First, a warning:



Several motel-sign shots. This is from the motel that formed part of the legendary Eddie Bohn Pig 'n' Whistle Empire:



Detail of pig:


Several questions suggest themselves.



Weekly rates for down-at-heels aristocrats.

Think I've posted this one before:


Still have no idea why they changed the name from "Bugs Bunny Motel."

Never got a close-up of Bugs, er, Big, either:


Scae-ry.

The Modern Institute of Reflexology:



And detail:


Scae--oh, already said that.



America: On the move! (Yay.)

The Blunderbuss gun shoppe:


Black powder fixins.



Buy here, pay here!



A Colorado anti-meth campaign billboard.

And finally, the Rose Lady has it covered:


Glass.



Nails.



Wireless.



Bar.




Update/Correction: The Rose Lady's "bar" actually isn't; it's a chocolate shop that used to be a bar.

Update II: The more you look at Bu--er--Big Bunny, the weirder he gets. He's got a carrot in one hand and (apparently) a beer in the other. His beer hand is wearing a glove; carrot hand, no. His glove hand is also apparently missing a digit, with the glove conveniently cut away to allow the stump to breathe. And look at his right ear. Is that blood?

Let's stake out some cats

A neighbor stopped by last night to tell me he'd just seen two coyotes trotting down the alley, pausing occasionally to sniff for delicacies in the trash cans that line it. I assume they came up the bluff from the Platte River, but maybe Spagz et. al have started an urban catch-and-release program.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Ferengi prevention

Steve Russell in Indian Country Today on how to weed out the fake Indians:
Ward Churchill’s case brings it up in our collective face, but most Indians in academia have had the problem of persons who “self-identify” as Indian without anything to back up the identity beyond alleged family oral history. . . .

Tribes in modern times are in charge of their own rolls, and they can certainly in some cases make it easier to check out somebody who claims tribal citizenship. But until recently, I was at a loss to suggest how tribes could do anything proactive to discourage fakes.

I wish this idea were mine, but it belongs to Stacy Leeds, a Cherokee law professor at the University of Kansas. I mention it with her permission.

A tribe could bring a lawsuit in tribal court for an injunction against a fake who claims to be a tribal citizen. This kind of fraud harms the tribe’s reputation.

Whoa, the lawyers will say – the tribal court has no jurisdiction. That is true only if the faker is a fake. If the faker challenges tribal jurisdiction on the grounds the faker is not part of the tribal community and not bound by tribal law, there’s the self-admission of fakery. If the individual is a tribal citizen, jurisdiction can be founded both on tribal citizenship and on the fact that misrepresenting the tribe is a tort that has an impact where the tribal court is located. But if the individual is a tribal citizen, chances are we are not having this conversation.

Or, if the faker ignores the tribal court proceedings, the same result follows. The tribe gets a default judgment declaring the faker to be a fake.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009