Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Night at the Radio!

Never been a big fan, but here's a pretty funny Fred Allen. He rags on Jack Benny, tries to sell an act with Charlie McCarthy, and talks to the usual line-up of goofs, including Mrs. Nussbaum ("Emperor Shapirohito") about the end-of-the-war housing shortage. This one's called, shockingly, "Teaming up with Charlie McCarthy" (7 October 1945).

Dragnet! This one's called, entirely non-salaciously, "The Big Pair" (21 September 1950).

The Johnny Cash Show. An August, 1954 recording from a Memphis radio station, when Cash was 22. Apparently it was supposed to be a continuing show, but this is the only one I could find. The sound's a little hollow, but Cash sounds good--at least on the songs. He's cutely klutzy with the between-songs stuff (he repeatedly asks people to send in requests--"If we don't know 'em, we'll learn 'em") and a little tongue-tied reading the commercials for Home Equipment Company.

He could have been a chapter in Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals"

First couple of grafs of a review in the WSJ of Great Soul, a new biography of Gandhi by Joseph Lelyveld:
Joseph Lelyveld has written a ­generally admiring book about ­Mohandas Gandhi, the man credited with leading India to independence from Britain in 1947. Yet "Great Soul" also obligingly gives readers more than enough information to discern that he was a sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist—one who was often downright cruel to those around him. Gandhi was therefore the archetypal 20th-century progressive ­intellectual, professing his love for ­mankind as a concept while actually ­despising people as individuals.

For all his lifelong campaign for Swaraj ("self-rule"), India could have achieved it many years earlier if ­Gandhi had not continually abandoned his civil-disobedience campaigns just as they were beginning to be successful. With 300 million Indians ruled over by 0.1% of that number of Britons, the subcontinent could have ended the Raj with barely a shrug if it had been politically united. Yet Gandhi's uncanny ability to irritate and frustrate the leader of India's 90 million Muslims, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (whom he called "a maniac"), wrecked any hope of early independence. He equally alienated B.R. Ambedkar, who spoke for the country's 55 million Untouchables (the lowest caste of Hindus, whose very touch was thought to defile the four higher classes). Ambedkar pronounced Gandhi "devious and untrustworthy." Between 1900 and 1922, Gandhi ­suspended his efforts no fewer than three times, leaving in the lurch more than 15,000 supporters who had gone to jail for the cause.
Read whole thing. Long past time the little creep was taken down a peg or two.

Fine company

For the last week the wind has been absolutely howling around here. Shingle-rippling. Trashcan-rolling. The D-blog is beginning to feel like Lillian Gish in The Wind.

Many people say the D-blog also looks like Lillian Gish in The Wind (maybe they said Night of the Hunter), but I don't agree. The other day I had to get my picture taken for a new license, and when I saw it I was reminded of somebody. Who was it? Clooney? Maybe in my younger days. Pitt? Well, I have his nose (available on e-Bay), but that's about it.

Then I realized. I don't look like anyone in particular, I just look like a perfect candidate for the blog Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians. Hope they have local chapters like the VFW or something.

Update: And just because I can (can't I?), Lillian and Robert Mitchum doing their famous duet.



Update II: "I"-value of this post: ten in four paragraphs. Practically Obamanian.

Biggest news ever! (category: communists)

What is with the Telegraph and their non-stories about ancient commie misdeeds? Yesterday it was the blockbuster news that the Soviets had covered up Yuri Gagarin's missed landing after his space flight (he landed 200 miles from the target area, apparently).

Today it's the equally huge news that Soviet spy Kim Philby "turned to drink" after defecting to Russia in 1963:
Kim Philby, the British double agents [sic], tried to drink himself to death in Russia after losing faith in communism, his last wife has claimed.

Rufina Pukhova, a Russian-Polish woman who married Philby after he defected to the Soviet Union in 1963, said he had also been depressed by his failings in the years leading up to his death.

She told a Russian newspaper that Cambridge-educated Philby, who died in 1988, would drink two glasses of cognac a night before asking her to hide the bottle as his drinking threatened to get out of hand.
And that's the story. Two glasses of cognac. Hell, I used to drink that (well, a pint of Mr. B--same difference) before I brushed my tooth in the morning.
Mrs Pukhova, now 78, told Moskovsky Komsomolets: "His alcoholism was suicide ... he once even said that it was the easiest way to bring life to an end.

"If he continued drinking, he got inebriated quickly and changed in front of your eyes."
Why, I've never heard the like.
Philby was viewed [sic] as a traitor in Britain after his work as a double agent for the KGB was made public, but was welcomed as a hero in Russia – a reputation that remains to this day. . . .

Mrs Pukhova said: "Kim believed in a just society and devoted his whole life to communism [she must be a drunk, too]. And here he was struck by disappointment, brought to tears. He said, 'Why do old people live so badly here? After all, they won the war'."

Despite living in exile, Philby retained one connection to Britain – the cup of English tea he would drink with milk from a fine porcelain cup at 5pm as a daily ritual, The Guardian reported.
Awwww. Speaking of the Grauniad, some raisin-brain columnist conducted an "interview of sorts" with a couple of the Blac Bloc-ers who tore up shops (which is not violence, remember) during the budget-cut protests in London the other day. Actually what he did was print some questions the Bloc-heads posed to themselves and then answered. Hard-hitting. One q & a:
Don't you think the violence has invalidated your message?

Our only collective points were the promotion of a confrontational attitude and the use of symbolic direct action to show that direct action in the wider society was both valid and possible, and that there is a radical movement in this country that's going to put up a fight. We made these points. Anyway, you cannot be "violent" to property. The police chose to attack and arrest people in their defence of property, and got themselves hurt in the attempt. If they had acted rationally, and decided a cracked window was not worth a protester's cracked skull, they would have been fine.
Glenn Spagnuolo, eat your shriveled, black little heart out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tough luck, Ward: no feathers for fake Indians

Reuters:
The U.S. government is allowed to bar non-Native Americans from using eagle feathers for religious purposes, even for rituals that imitate or borrow from Indian culture, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Native Americans alone should benefit from a special exemption carved out for government-recognized Indian tribes in a federal law that generally prohibits possession of eagle feathers.

The opinion reversed a lower court that sided with a man in Utah who was not member of a registered Indian tribe and claimed that he been wrongfully prosecuted for incorporating eagle feathers into his own religious rituals. . . .

The ruling stemmed from a Utah criminal case involving Samuel Ray Wilgus, who was found with dozens of bald eagle and golden eagle feathers in his vehicle when he was pulled over by Utah police in 1998.

Wilgus, who is not an enrolled member of an Indian tribe recognized by the federal government, was convicted of illegally possessing the feathers.
Wonder if Wart still has that eagle feather he had on the stand with him during his testimony at the trial of his suit against CU? Search warrant, toute de suite!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New angry studies department opposed

At some place called Kennesaw (GA) State University. The Marietta Daily Journal:
The creation of a new department at Kennesaw State University that would house various racial, gender and environmental programs has come under fire from one longtime KSU professor who sees it as a hive for radical indoctrination.

In the next month or so, KSU Interim Provost Dr. Ken Harmon will determine whether to greenlight a new department within KSU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences called The Department of Cultural and Regional Studies.

That department would have seven academic programs under its banner: African and African Diaspora Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Environmental Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Peace Studies and American Studies.
Funny how they stuck Environmental Studies in with the other junk.

So, who's going to stop this madness? What we need is a hero, preferably named Melvyn.
"This is being put together by a bunch of activists," said Dr. Melvyn Fein, a tenured professor of sociology at KSU.

"These folks do not have degrees in what they pretend to teach. To call it neo-Marxist is being very modest. These are activists who are going to use this to try and indoctrinate instead of teach."
Melvyn! (Sigh.)

But Arlethia Perry-Johnson [boo, hiss], KSU's vice president for external affairs, said the seven programs that would make up the new department already exist at KSU, and the proposal is to simply consolidate them into one department.

Bringing together professors who teach similar subject matter creates synergies and aides [sic] in communication, she said.
Synergies. I'm sold.
For example, at present, part of the Environmental Studies program is housed in KSU's College of Humanities and part of it is housed in KSU's College of Science and Mathematics, because students take courses offered by both colleges to shape their degree, based on whether their focus is more policy or science oriented, she said.

Perry-Johnson said the proposal for the new department has been created by the coordinators of each of the seven programs in question. They are: [blah, blah, blah]; and Thomas M. Pynn, assistant professor of philosophy, (peace studies).
,Peace studies, eh?
Pynn recently introduced KSU President Dan Papp at an event where he described "The Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx as "a call to conscience." . . .
,Yep, peace studies.
Fein accused the professors in question of trying to push through subject matter in the proposed new department that they have failed to get approved in existing departments.

Once the new department is created, Fein said it would intrude on courses taught in other departments, by claiming to have a stake in them.

"It's going to be detrimental to the reputation of the university as a serious school," Fein said. There's a reason why programs such as women's studies are on the decline nationwide, he said.
Are they? The only school I could find even proposing to close its women's studies program is UNLV, which is trying to close 32 other degree programs as well.
"Departments are closing around the country because students have learned, among other things, that if they want to get a job they shouldn't major in them. If your major is in women's studies, any employer who hires you is crazy. You're hiring a lawsuit, for heaven's sake," Fein said.

Among the subjects offered under the Gender and Women's Studies program, according to KSU's website, are Gender in Popular Culture, Transnational Feminisms, Black Feminisms, and "Queer Theory and Sexuality."

The latter describes itself as "an interdisciplinary course that considers the global emergence and significance of theories and practices that 1) refute and destabilize the notion of an essential, normative sexuality and gender, and 2) suggest that sexuality is fluid and varied and is constructed by social, political, and economic factors."
Sexuality is fluid. Yuck. Sounds like it's a done deal, though:
Faculty from the departments impacted voted 33-4 in January to authorize the initiation of discussing such a proposal. A New York University consultant, Dr. Mary Louise Pratt, came to KSU in January to give advice for the program. She was paid $3,309 for her work.

Faculty then voted, 49-6 in favor of creating the program in a referendum from March 21 to 23. . . .

Another tidbit

So to speak, from John Dower's book Embracing Defeat, about the American occupation of Japan after WWII:


The caption reads, "A Japanese nurse is sentenced to imprisonment at a trial of accused "B/C" war criminals convened in Yokohama. She was found guilty of having participated in eating the liver of [a prisoner of war] executed at Kyushu University, where vivisections were performed on POWs."

Questions and reflections:

  • Participated? Was it like a tea ceremony, or did people just gather around saying things like, "Hey, give me a hunk" and "Don't hog it, horrid nurse-person"?

  • If she was a "B/C" war criminal, can you imagine what the "A" war criminals were like? (Very, very bad.)

  • This sort of thing will become only more common under Obamacare.

  • Kyushu University, the Harvard of the Japanese Empire.

  • "Hey, who brought the Chianti?"

  • Too soon?


  • Update: No idea why the pics from this and the preceding post keep disappearing. I've replaced each about four times apiece, but I quit.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Catching up with: Peter Kirstein!

    Been years since I visited the blog of America's dumbest professor. So, what's he been up to? Veteran Kirstein-watchers will know he was guaranteed to go bonkers over the nuclear reactor mess in Japan, and so he has, using a pic of an atom-bomb survivor to illustrate the horrors of nuclear power generation:


    Kirstein caption: "Welcome to our nuclear world with the immoral, diabolical fissioning of the uranium or plutonium nucleus."

    Okay, that's probably enough catching up with Kirstein, though if you're bent that way there's mega shit-boatloads of verbiage to go with the pictorial obtuseness.

    Same difference

    The Grauniad and Independent have "Environment" sections; the Mail and Telegraph have "Royal Wedding" sections. I'm going back to bed.

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Abstract(s) of the Week!

    Women hardest hit: Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Nathalie J. Chalifour: A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes
    Effective domestic policies are urgently needed to address climate change. A great deal of energy is devoted to selecting and designing the optimal policy instruments, with questions of environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency dominating the debate. However, it is equally important to consider how those policies will impact upon different segments of society and to ensure that they are designed in a way that is fair and does not further entrench systemic inequalities. This article approaches this social justice issue by examining carbon taxes from a feminist perspective, specifically considering how carbon taxes impact upon women. The article proposes the gender analysis of environmental taxes framework, which goes beyond the evaluation of distributional impacts to consider non-income impacts, implications of related mitigation, and revenue-use policies as well as the outcome of the measure. Applying the framework to British Columbia's carbon tax and Qu├ębec's redevance annuelle reveals that women may bear a disproportionate burden of the increased prices created by carbon taxes. The article also demonstrates that policies designed to mitigate the impact of carbon taxes on low-income households do not address income disparities between women and men, nor do they take into account the socio-economic status of women. The author concludes with recommendations for developing carbon pricing policies that avoid perpetuating existing systemic inequalities between women and men and that might even help to overcome these inequalities.
    Collaborative Anthropologies Stuart Kirsch: Experiments in Engaged Anthropology
    Engaged anthropology. Anthropology as advocacy. Ethnography-as-activism. Collaborative anthropology. Militant anthropology. Public anthropology. Despite their differences, all of these projects share a commitment to mobilizing anthropology for constructive interventions into politics. Prior understandings of anthropology as objective science might be seen as giving way to new concerns about social justice. However, the notion of science is also undergoing a transformation in which science and society are increasingly intertwined (Nowotny et al. 2001). Scientific funding agencies increasingly require projects to include mechanisms for making research results available to the public and sometimes request identification of the project's social benefits. Science is no longer seen as estranged from social problems, which both expands and normalizes the relationship between research and its potential applications. Within anthropology this has resulted in the proliferation of new conceptual categories and practices, which might be described as a series of experiments in how to make anthropology . . .
    Completely worthless?

    Update: Thought this was so obvious it didn't need mentioning, but with D-blog readers, who knows? Anyway, note the similarities between anthropology as presented here and climate "science."

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    You miserable puppy!

    Billy Bob, arrogant supermodel (circa 2006):



    Billy Bob, sulking convalescent (today):



    He had these disgusting growths on his leg that got so big they had to be surgerized. They were really gross. Little girls screamed when they saw them. And one of the masses was growing at like an inch an hour. Just before it was cut out, it kind of looked like this.

    Confidential to Pirate Ballerina: No, that is not a peg-paw.

    Earth Hour continues to approacheth

    The Post, in an obvious dereliction of duty, has still not seen fit to mention the advent of Earth Hour tomorrow. Pravda, on the other hand, ever forward-looking, is teasing a story on its front page. The Post sucks. But not for that reason. Actually the Pravda story is only a few grafs of boilerplate from the World Wildlife Fund, as are the two stories it links to, one from China's Xinhua ("The Earth Hour event . . . was first started in Sydney of Australia in 2007 . . ."). But check out the first comment on the Pravda story. Apparently there are AoSHQ morons in Russia. Update: As has become another Australian tradition, noted greenie Tim Blair asks his readers what they'll be doing to observe Earth Hour. Update II: Slow to this, but: J'accuse! As Watts quotes Wikipedia (wha!) on the exclusion of outliers in a reply to a pooh-pooher downthread:
    Deletion of outlier data is a controversial practice frowned on by many scientists and science instructors; while mathematical criteria provide an objective and quantitative method for data rejection, they do not make the practice more scientifically or methodologically sound, especially in small sets or where a normal distribution cannot be assumed. Rejection of outliers is more acceptable in areas of practice where the underlying model of the process being measured and the usual distribution of measurement error are confidently known. An outlier resulting from an instrument reading error may be excluded but it is desirable that the reading is at least verified. In regression problems, an alternative approach may be to only exclude points which exhibit a large degree of influence on the parameters, using a measure such as Cook's distance.[11]If a data point (or points) is excluded from the data analysis, this should be clearly stated on any subsequent report.
    Put more simply: The Team (again) committed fraud. I'm gonna show this to the girl scouts tomorrow.

    Update III (3/27/11): Toronto Sun: "Earth Hour may be losing steam as novelty wears off"
    TORONTO — More Canadian municipalities are pledging to power down Saturday for Earth Hour, but an expert says interest in the event may already be fizzling.

    Earth Hour has "done a great job of capturing the imagination of an awful lot of people around the world" to raise awareness of climate change issues, said Mark Sarner, who specializes in marketing for non-profits.

    But "just more of the same gets old fast," he said Friday, noting most marketing campaigns will fade after a few years without something new to draw the public's attention.

    "If I think back to last year's Earth Hour, I don't think it was as big a deal because, you know, novelty normalizes and this is no longer a novelty," he said.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Which name really doesn't fit?

    From a Boulder Theater "Upcoming Events" e-mail:
    Leon [Russell] has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, andsurf records. As a session musician, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, record company owner, bandleader, and touring musician, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, B.B. King, Freddie King, Bill Wyman, Steve Cropper, Carl Radle, Chuck Blackwell, Don Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and groups such as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, The Monkees, The Astronauts, The Accents, The Fencemen, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Tractors and on and on and on.

    Irony not found

    Been reading John W. Dower's Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Fascinating stuff. The shifty-eyed Nips (h/t Batman: the 1943 Serial) were sure put through (and put themselves through) some changes during the American occupation.

    But what I want to mention is the back cover "advance praise" of the book from one Stephen Ambrose: "Without question, Dower is America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific. I steal from him shamelessly in my lectures; I do make sure to give him credit when I steal from his material in my books . . ."

    Embracing Defeat came out in 1999, before the Ambrose plagiarism scandal broke, so of course I had to check to see if Ambrose actually had stolen from Dower. Apparently not. Rats. Hell, if I were Dower I'd be a little miffed.

    Update: Page 220 of ED: "As of early 1945, there was no plan to induce a democratic revolution in the defeated nation. The old Japan hands who still controlled postsurrender planning anticipated a mild reform agenda at best." Hmmm, reminds me of something . . .

    Update II: Can one be more than "a little" miffed? "I was hugely miffed." "Miffed beyond endurance." "So miffed I could scream." Nope.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Eggs, milk, bread, potassium iodide . . .

    The Gamera (hey, that moldy old joke finally makes sense, sort of):
    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Wednesday that it has detected minuscule amounts of radiation in Colorado from the earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

    The initial sample, which detected radioactive isotope iodine-131, is being sent to the Environmental Protection Agency for further testing.

    Michelle Law, a radiation safety officer for the Department of Health and Environmental Safety at the University of Colorado, said Colorado residents have no reason to be concerned.
    Because most of us are already horribly deformed from eating Rocky Mountain Oysters. No really, we don't have to be afraid, according to this dweebeen, because
    "It's a teeny, tiny amount of radiation," she said.
    Can the jargon, egghead. Just tell us if we should start right now with the raping and the looting and the pillllllllll-aging (glavin!) until the living envy the dead or wait till tomorrow morning when we can see what we're doing. Oh, and:

    Thinking of running out to buy potassium iodide to protect yourself from that radiation?

    "Don't," Law said. "There's actually more risk for taking it."

    Dr. Chris Urbina, chief medical officer and executive director of the state health department, said in a statement Wednesday that the side effects of taking potassium iodide far outweigh the benefits. It can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, rashes, allergic reactions, soreness of teeth and gums, and inflammation of the salivary glands, he said.

    Kinda sounds like radiation poisoning.

    Update: Glavin. That's so 2002.

    Update II: And saying something is "so (insert year)" is so--well, I don't know what year, but it's old and should be avoided by careful users of the really bad meth that's been floating around town.

    Earth hour approacheth

    Saturday, March 26th, 8:30 p.m. And for once I've got my decorations up early.

    Oddly, the Post hasn't let out a peep about upcoming Denver observances, even though the Girl Scouts of Colorado are planning a "viral" "national media event" where they gather at the Capitol to spell out a flashlight-lighted "GS" (recycle those batts, you little schmucks!) and do other neat stuff like "sing," and man, er, girl, "interactive eco-action stations."

    The only other Earth Hour participant I could find locally was the Denver Botanic Gardens, which has gone all out and
    [C]reated a virtual light bulb on earthhour.org to show our support online. Our facility has pledged to turn off all non-essential lights from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Employees are turning off their lights at home and creating their own virtual lantern to pledge participation. We are spreading the word and encouraging everyone to be a part of this impactful event.
    Impactful. Fine, fine. They also urge all you ginks still living in (figurative, for now) darkness to "Go Beyond the Hour." Click on the little blue squares to get helpful advice and find out what people all over are doing to save the planet. Here's one guy: "Don't turn on too much the lights that it will make the Earth become hotter." Another wag says, "I won't do burnouts in my V8 during Earth hour! Promise!" Oh, and here's the official Earth Hour vid.


    There is no one to bair us out.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    At least she's consistent

    Cindy Sheehan, thuddingly sarcastic neocon:
    Thanks to the helpful feedback I have received over these past two, or so, years, I have seen the enormous error of my ways.

    I used to be against ALL wars and the use of violence, but (and I must admit a little confusion on this one, at first) now it seems that I am against wars, acts of war, and violence ONLY if a Republican is president. Now I understand with perfect clarity that it was good to protest Bush—and if the US-UN resolution against Libya was done when Bush was president, it would have been wrong—but now it’s “compassionate.” I must admit, I was a little shocked to find out that the US actually commits compassionate acts and, again, silly me—I thought most acts of war and war were for profit. I realize that only a jerk (or racist) would think that now. I have repented.

    I cringe with embarrassment when I think of the wasted years imagining that there could be any other way to solve problems without killing more innocent people! It’s okay to bomb Libyans to save Libyans (or Iraqis to save Iraqis; or Afghans to save Afghans; or Yemenis to save Yemenis, etc) because a Democratic president who has been given the cover of the UN Security Council may bomb them. Yep, it’s all starting to make sense. With all the continuing conflicts, imagining a world without war was starting to seem useless—and now I know it was! Phew!

    This is another kooky idea I had—that the Security Council of the UN oftentimes, if not always, bowed to the will of the global oligarchy—or should we say, OILigarchy. I chuckle, because apparently that notion was either dead wrong, or was just a fact of life up until January 20, 2009. . . .

    Now the skeptical, old and ignorant Cindy Sheehan would have thought that the US was only concerned with the regime in Libya “killing its own citizens” because Libya has large crude oil reserves, but that was before I reflected on the fact that Barack Obama (D) has told us that offshore drilling and nuclear power is safe! Like my new hero, Barack Obama (D) keeps saying, we do need to “reduce” US dependence on “foreign oil,” but not before we kill as many people as we must to get all of that oil. The old me also would have thought that we needed to entirely eliminate our dependence on petroleum and petroleum products all together, but if Barack Obama (D) says it’s safe, that’s good enough for me!
    Read whole thing, which is in Eurasia Review for some reason.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Note to self: never trust REI

    Regular readers if there were any might remember the D-blog congratulating himself some years ago on his kindness to a roadside panhandler, and how said panhandler reciprocated by implying that the D-blog looked like a crack addict. Well, the other day I got to show my huge empathy chops to another bum, this one at the I-25 and Colfax exit. He (I'll call him "Adrian") had a sign that said, "Ask me for my story." So, after giving him a whole dollar, I did. Here (with no comment) it is:


    (click to exfoliate)

    Okay, one comment: Infowars, Adrian? Gimme my buck back.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Easy choice

    So I was at the library today and saw two newish presidential autobios or whatever. One was Chimpler X's Decision Points, the other Jimmy's White House Diary.

    I got Ricky Martin's Me.

    Update: Dear Diary,

    Every night the same dream. Fangs.

    Update II: Was there ever any doubt who Ricky really wants to be?

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Remedial revolution

    San Francisco BayView National Black Newspaper (rolls trippingly off the tongue!) has an interview by Minister of Information JR ("M.O.I. JR" for short) with the director of Cointelpro 101, a "documentary" playing in Frisco (as natives call it) late this month. Interesting facts and figures:
    “COINTELPRO 101” is a recently released documentary that takes a long hard look at the deeds of the U.S. government under the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program. We are featuring this interview because it was the government’s program to crush resistance that led to the deportation of Marcus Garvey, the assassinations of Malcolm X, George Jackson, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King Jr., Bunchy Carter, Filiberto Rios and others, the incarceration on trumped up charges of Mumia Abu Jamal, Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the Angola 3, the MOVE 9, the Omaha 2, Veronza Bowers, Mutulu Shakur, Oscar Romero, Leonard Peltier and others who are still languishing in this country’s concentration camps.
    Angola 3, MOVE 9, Omaha 2: Add those up and and you get Veronza Bowers. Wart is mentioned and, of course, waxes gaseous in the movie. Nothing in the interview you haven't heard a million times, but be sure not to watch the trailer.

    Note from Dave

    Mighty thoughty of him to keep in touch like this (all oomphs mine).

    Writing in Washington DC., Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Mail address: P O Box 1707, Key West, FL 33041, USA

    To [me]

    David Irving talking privately in Texas and New Mexico in mid April

    Dear John,

    I am back in the United States completing my biography of Heinrich Himmler, on which I have been working for eleven years. But I have also set aside time to meet my readers - to talk about Adolf Hitler and this extraordinary man, his chief henchman, who created the Waffen SS, built a slave-labor based industrial empire, masterminded the Holocaust (whatever that was) and was already dead at age 44.
    "Already dead at age 44." What a strange locution.
    I am talking to small groups of my friends all round the USA this spring and fall. I have titled my talk "Hitler and Himmler: 44 years in 45 minutes." . . .

    I am speaking privately on April 12 in Dallas/Ft Worth; April 13, in Houston; April 15 in San Antonio; April 16 in El Paso; April 17 in Albuquerque. . . .

    Please come, and bring family or friends you can vouch for; ask us about special payment arrangements in that case. You can bring children under 18 free. If you already have some books by me which you'd like me to autograph, bring them too. If you can't come, you can contribute to help my International Campaign for Real History [then a bunch of crap detailing how I can contribute to the worthy cause].

    Your Pal [actually he said "Yours sincerely"],

    David Irving

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Sunday Night at the Radio!

    So I was at Rude Rec the other day, over in a corner picking up not-very-heavy-at-all metal objects and putting them down again to no discernible purpose, when I heard this--commotion. It was a couple, a guy and a goil, and they were having just a hell of a good time.

    Nothing special about them: youngish, tubby, obviously not gym rats. But they were so loud. He'd order her mock-sternly to get on this or that machine or do such-and-so many reps and she'd scream and laugh shrillly (the only word in the English language with three 'l's--look it up), and then they'd hug and kiss and flounce over to the next machine, she still laughing hysterically, he still fake-ordering her about.

    They were ostentatious, that's what it was. And after a half hour of it, it got old. Other people were looking over and shaking their heads as if to say, "Would you morons please STFU so I can torture myself in peace?"

    I chalked it up to new love, or maybe decaying-but-still-willing-to-give-it-the-'ol-community-college-try love, but it reminded me of something--finally I get to it--a radio show, Vic and Sade, or rather, one particular episode of that show. So here it is. Chuck and Dottie Brainfeeble do the dishes (10 March 1943). I've played this one before, and the sound's not great, but shut up.

    And since it's Sunday, Jack Benny. "Jack listens to The Mean Old Man on the radio" (21 March 1954).

    Scary

    Just received e-mail, allegedly from Paypal (it has the Paypal logo at the top and everything):

    Your PayPal account information needs to be updated!

    We are currently performing regular maintenance for security measures. You account has been randomly selected for this maintenance, and you will be taken through a series of identification verification pages.
    Regular maintenance by random selection. Okay.
    The information is used for verification purposes only. Your credit card will not be charged. This has to be done before March 25, or your Paypal account will be suspended. [Then a supposed Paypal link.]
    What's next is weird. It sounds like someone--some third party--is interjecting this. I don't get it:
    Then it has page where I have to fill in all my personal information, name, address, bank info PLUS pin number, social security number, bank name, address, credit card number, expiration date.
    How did that little personal note get into an e-mail supposedly from the Paypal billing department?

    Anyway, I've never given Paypal a credit card number, so I felt safe enough clicking on the link to see where it went. MS warning: "This website has been reported as unsafe." No surprise.

    But, besides that weird personal note and the randomly selected regular maintenance, the e-mail looks pretty legit. Beware or be cubetopped.

    Still not going back to TV news

    Some days I have trouble separating headlines at my homepage, MailOnline. Today, for instance, I read this: "Japan's nuclear nightmare: Fears grow as bikini girl Jenny McCarthy is joined by a male friend as she relaxes on the beach."

    Try again: "Libyan rebels warn of 'half a million dead' as Sharon Stone makes skin-tight leather look elegant . . . even with animal print stilettos."

    Dammit. Once more: "The tottering towers of Tokyo: Megan Fox exposes her bra as she leaves her shirt unbuttoned on shopping trip."

    Rats.

    Update: Too soon?

    Update II: But I did learn that Jenny's boytoy has a rather impressive set of moobs.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Abstract of the Week!

    Just to get your mind off imploding nuclear reactors and such. From Advertising and Society Review in an issue devoted to examining the advertising of "feminine hygiene products."

    An Odor of Racism: Vaginal Deodorants in African-American Beauty Culture and Advertising

    Michelle Ferranti

    The use of vaginal deodorants such as douches and feminine sprays is a troubling phenomenon due to its association with many adverse health consequences. Complicating this issue is the fact that African-American women are four times as likely to use these products as Caucasian women. This essay seeks to explain this practice as an element of African-American beauty culture. By reframing the use of vaginal deodorants as an aesthetic rather than hygienic practice, the historical racist underpinnings of vaginal deodorization are made evident. Moreover, an examination of advertisements for douches and related products provides significant insight into the historical and contemporary meanings of vaginal deodorization practices in African-American women’s lives.

    The essay begins by examining how pervasive olfactory discrimination against African Americans established personal deodorization as a key to social and legal acceptance in White society. The supposed malodor of African-American women was also linked to damaging sexual stereotypes that made Black women highly vulnerable to predation and violence. The essay continues by showing how manufacturers of vaginal deodorants attempted to exploit racist notions by appealing to African-American consumers’ insecurities about personal odors. This appeal is still evident in targeted marketing strategies today. Finally, the essay concludes that aggressive advertising is no longer necessary to maintain the practice of vaginal deodorization among African-American women. The habit has been institutionalized as a cultural norm and is now perpetuated outside the market. Nonetheless marketers have embraced the image of cosmetics for the vagina and are using it to stimulate sales without regard for women’s health.

    A very, very cursory look for the "many adverse health consequences" of using such products revealed--not much. They may change your (or my, for that matter) vagina's ph level or mask an already existing infection. That was about it.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    More recent examples to hand

    Althouse notes philospher/law prof (shudder) Brian Leiter's philosophical take on the Wisconsin mess:
    Meanwhile, the Republican criminals in Wisconsin forced through their attack on workers' rights, leading to an uproar in Madison. . . . At some point these acts of brazen viciousness are going to lead to a renewed philosophical interest in the question of when acts of political violence are morally justified, an issue that has, oddly, not been widely addressed in political philosophy since Locke. (Ted Honderich's somewhat controversial work on Palestinian terrorism is a recent exception.)
    Since Locke, eh?

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Leave Kate alone!

    You think public unions are freaking out in Wisconsin? Check out England. The Mail: "Unions threaten Kate's wedding after Hutton tells public sector: Work TEN years longer for a smaller pension":
    Militant leaders said the country should brace itself for a co-ordinated programme of walkouts, which could hit the royal wedding. They had already warned of walkouts at the time of the ceremony next month and today's explosive pension reforms appear to make industrial action even more likely.
    The piece is as full of "woulds" and "coulds" and "mays" as any article on CAGW, but no point in waiting to get your rage on, I guess.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    My worldview is based on Star Trek: TOS

    PB notes an essay by Ward Churchill published in a 2009 book, fetchingly titled Evoking Genocide, in which Wart makes more accusations of deliberate infection of Indian bankies with smallpox. PB quotes this hunk (those are his brackets, too):
    Sam Houston, the first president of Texas, almost certainly used blankets to infect the Wichitas with smallpox in 1843. This sort of thing ws actually reported in newspapers from time to time, as when, on March 6, 1853, the Daily Alta California [published in San Francisco, or Yerba Buena, as it was then called.—Ed.] announced that smallpox had been used to rid the northern portion of the state of its last remaining Indians.
    Incontrovertible. The authors gathered in the book, according to editor Adam Jones, "pay eloquent tribute to the works of art and media that influenced their engagement with genocide and crimes against humanity. The subjects include books and stories, films, songs, drawings, documents, monuments, sculptures, personal testimonies, and even a Lego set."

    One author's engagement was influenced by the "I, Borg" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    The book, by the way, is "endorsed" by Mia Farrow, "activist and actor." Why? Because she would, that's why. One funny thing: In the "contributors" section, the Ward mini-bio ends with, "Most recently, a jury concluded that he had been illegally fired from his faculty position at the University of Colorado for expressing his political views. It is expected that he will be reinstated as a tenured full professor of American Indian Studies, effective fall semester 2009."

    Update: Thanks again, Wart. Gamera: CU reconsidering rule that keeps fired professors on payroll for a year:
    When the University of Colorado fired Ward Churchill, the tenured ethnic studies professor remained on the school's payroll for a year [to the tune of $96,000--ed.] because of a 45-year-old severance pay rule.

    Now, that rule -- which has rarely been used but guarantees terminated tenured professors a year's worth of pay unless they're fired for reasons of "moral turpitude" -- may be stiffened in future cases.

    Under the proposed change, the faculty panel on privilege and tenure would need to recommend that a fired professor receive one year's salary upon termination, and then the Board of Regents would be required to approve the payout. . . .
    Probably can't make it retroactive, huh?
    The current payout rule stems from a 1966 regents' decision to adopt portions of the American Association of University Professors guidelines on tenure and academic freedom. One of those rules requires that professors who are dismissed for reasons not involving "moral turpitude" receive salaries for at least a year from the date of dismissal, whether or not they continue their duties with the university.

    In 1940, the AAUP adopted its principles on academic freedom in response to professors being fired for reasons that included being Catholic or Jewish, according to R L Widmann, a CU-Boulder English professor who leads the university-wide Faculty Council Educational Policies and University Standards Committee. At that time, job protection for professors was rare.

    "We don't have these willy-nilly firings anymore," she said.
    Yeah, it's a completely rational and orderly process now.

    Monday, March 07, 2011

    Charlie Sheen!

    Yeah I know, that bandwagon flew the coop long ago, but I was just talking to one of my thousands of sisters, and she asked if I'd seen any of the videos of the half-man holding forth. Amazingly, I haven't (though I did watch the SNL skit posted on roughly 10 billion blogs since Saturday. Meh.). Anyway, sis said that I just, just had to watch at least one of them to see if Charlie, as he strongly did her, "reminds you of Dad."

    Pass.

    Update: "as he strongly did her." Grammatically correct, but there's something not right about that phrase.

    A couple of just-received

    spam e-mails. First, from one Mignonne Riegler: "ErecttilleDisfunctioonIsthePlagueofOurSociety" (don't I know it); and, second, the solution, from, of all people, Bette Davis: "America'$MostPopualarlimpneceeMeidactions." Not exactly "It's going to be a bumpy ride," but if ol' Bet's gonna come back from the dead to help with my limpnecee, who am I to say her nay?

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    End:sanity

    You thrilled to his nasty used t-shirts! You swooned at his leaden appearance in behalf of Ward Churchill! You were warned that this movie would eventually appear! Now, commit seppuku as the Derrick Jensen-focused crockumentary End:Civ premieres in Denver!

    Here's the trailer, which is beyond the power of mere mortals to mock. In a world . . .



    So funny these guys are: "The following preview has not been approved for American audiences by the US Department of Homeland Security." And what's with the announcer's voice? Sounds like it's gone through one of those voice distortion things. Why? And get Derrick: There's no way to stem the tide of eco-destruction except with explosives. That's Derrick "Go blow things up for my cause since doing it myself would be counterproductive" Jensen. Y'all.

    Damn, just noticed that the premiere's tonight. I'd go, but I've already made other plans.

    (h/t "nightlife." Ohoh, I love the nightlife, I've got to boogie . . .)

    Update: Looks like the whole thing is on Youtube in seven delectable parts. Involuntary 72-hour holds are in order for all involved. Here's part one:

    Until they do . . .

    You've heard it a million times from AGW deniers: "When rich eco-socialists like (gore-Al, Arianna Huffington, Michael Moore, etc., etc.--in the present case, Robert Redford) start to live as if they take AGW seriously, I'll take it seriously too."

    But why? If every eco-hypocrite lived like the hermit in Young Frankenstein, it wouldn't change my mind a'tall. So what if they're stupid and/or fervent enough to actually walk the quack? It still wouldn't make CAGW real. Hell, Bed Egley, Jr., lives the eco-aware life, and it hasn't prompted me to do a damn thing (though that bicycle-powered toaster sounds pretty c--oh, who am I kidding).

    Gotta like ol' Ed, though. I'd forgotten that Simpsons episode in which he zips away in a go-cart powered by his "own sense of self-satisfaction." (It's also the episode where Bill Clinton invites Marge to meet him in the "toolshed out back" of the White House.)

    Ed's looking more and more like his dad, too.

    Update: "AGW deniers?" How'd that slip past the editorial layers here?