Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Smart guy

Uber techno-hippie Stewart Brand (the guy who created the Whole Earth Catalog, imagined "horizontal information networks" (read "the Internet") and arranged a demonstration of the computer mouse--in 1968) is profiled in the New York Times. The piece, "An early environmentalist, embracing new 'heresies'" (yes, they put "heresies" in quotes), will make Gaia-worshippers' eyes bleed:
Stewart Brand has become a heretic to environmentalism, a movement he helped found, but he doesn’t plan to be isolated for long. He expects that environmentalists will soon share his affection for nuclear power. They’ll lose their fear of population growth and start appreciating sprawling megacities. They’ll stop worrying about “frankenfoods” and embrace genetic engineering.
Greenpeaceniks (in Moe Szyslak voice): Whaaaaaa?!?

He sees genetic engineering as a tool for environmental protection: crops designed to grow on less land with less pesticide; new microbes that protect ecosystems against invasive species, produce new fuels and maybe sequester carbon.

He’s also looking for green nuclear engineers, and says he feels guilty that he and his fellow environmentalists created so much fear of nuclear power. . . .

“There were legitimate reasons to worry about nuclear power, but now that we know about the threat of climate change, we have to put the risks in perspective,” he says. “Sure, nuclear waste is a problem, but the great thing about it is you know where it is and you can guard it. The bad thing about coal waste is that you don’t know where it is and you don’t know what it’s doing. The carbon dioxide is in everybody’s atmosphere.”

Funny thing, the reporter, John Tierney, doesn't ask Brand where he stands on Leslie Gore-bal Warming, and my cursory look didn't turn up any "we're all gonna die" riffing from the guy. Clearly he believes it's a threat, but he also seems much, much calmer about it than your average eco-doomster. As the Times says, he's strangely calm about other issues that send eco-hysterics to the (non-latex, all natural) rubber room as well. For example,
he now looks at the rapidly growing megacities of the third world not as a crisis but as good news: as villagers move to town, they find new opportunities and leave behind farms that can revert to forests and nature preserves. Instead of worrying about population growth, he’s afraid birth rates are declining too quickly, leaving future societies with a shortage of young people.
Brand also mentions the famous Paul Ehrlich/Julian Simon bet, which this wretched bog has bloviated on more than once:

Brand is the first to admit his own futurism isn’t always prescient. In 1969, he was so worried by population growth that he organized the Hunger Show, a weeklong fast in a parking lot to dramatize the coming global famine predicted by Paul Ehrlich, one of his mentors at Stanford.

The famine never arrived, and Professor Ehrlich’s theories of the coming “age of scarcity” were subsequently challenged by the economist Julian Simon, who bet Mr. Ehrlich that the prices of natural resources would fall during the 1980s despite the growth in population. The prices fell, just as predicted by Professor Simon’s cornucopian theories.

Professor Ehrlich dismissed Professor Simon’s victory as a fluke, but Mr. Brand saw something his mentor didn’t. He considered the bet a useful lesson about the adaptability of humans — and the dangers of apocalyptic thinking.

“It is one of the great revelatory bets,” he now says. “Any time that people are forced to acknowledge publicly that they’re wrong [of course, Ehrlich did so only about a few specific predictions while continuing to claim his theories are valid--ed.], it’s really good for the commonweal. I love to be busted for apocalyptic proclamations that turned out to be 180 degrees wrong. In 1973 I thought the energy crisis was so intolerable that we’d have police on the streets by Christmas. The times I’ve been wrong is [sic] when I assume there’s a brittleness in a complex system that turns out to be way more resilient than I thought.”

For you Drunkablog-reading apocalyptic thinkers out there (and you know who you are!), let me repeat that: "The times I've been wrong is when I assume there's a brittleness in a complex system that turns out to be way more resilient than I thought." And this is Stewart Brand talking, you feelthy, reedeeculous, ahging heepies! Recreate '68! Recreate '68!

(via the scintillating Naomi and Ashley of the Judd "Brothers" blog)

Update: Maybe that the Drunkablog and Stewart Brand are like this (two fingers wrapped around each other) on so many issues will finally convince some of you cockchafers that, intellectually, the Drunkablog is more akin to these folks than to these. (Physically of course he still resembles the latter).

Update II: Anybody remember any other "great revelatory bets"? There are a couple, I think, but all that comes to mind is the time the one egghead threatened to crush the other egghead's skull with a poker. That had nothing at all to do with a bet, though, I'm pretty sure.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

MIM loses its MIMd

And this time it ain't comin' back:

To the Ward Churchill legal team [legal team?]

CC: University of Colorado and senior intelligence officials [yeah, right]

We want to make clear that we stand behind you in revealing the federal government's intimidation of your supporters and its interference at the University of Colorado Law School in particular. On behalf of its agents that FBI feels have been exposed for eternity by Ward Churchill's books, FBI ran roughshod over the Bill of Rights, conducted red-baiting, threatened jobs and created a violent and embarrassing atmosphere for a member of the Law School while trying to pin most of it on MIM . . . .

Who and what in God's name is Security Minister (I recognize the straightforward, manly style) talking about? Does he mean Robert Clinton, the Arizona State University law prof who served on the committee that investigated Ward's scholarship, or maybe the guy he replaced, Robert Williams, who resigned from the committee after Pirate Ballerina exposed his too-close connections to Churchill? Or maybe somebody totally different?

Regarding your legal case to return Ward Churchill to teaching at the University of Colorado, MIM would like to make it clear that we agree with you that the Law chool in particular should not have been involved in your evaluation and we apologize for so slowly piecing together what has happened and why you made that request.

We encourage you to conduct a legal investigation wherever it may lead. We at MIM are not afraid of the intimidation--the whole pedophile, rape, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and spying rap.

And who doesn't know how annoying the old pedophile, rape, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and spying rap can be?

Whatever it takes to win, you should do. If MIM identities end up exposed, we are going to take down many others with us and provoke international repercussions.

International repercussions. Seriously, Security Minister is crazier than a KFC rat (future generations: that's a topical reference). He always acts like MIM's tentacles spread far and wide, even to the heart of the capitalist/fascist U.$. government, when you know he lives in his mom's basement.

To the feds trying to decapitate MIM leadership, realize that there is no one in MIM who is going to stand for not winning the Ward Churchill case. . . .The feds should have heeded MIM's earlier warnings, because MIM will not ask Ward Churchill to finesse the federal government's defeat the way MIM would. It would be unethical for MIM to ask Ward Churchill to arrange for other than piecemeal exposure of the federal government's role.

Ummmmm. Yes. Yes it would (frantically punches 911 on phone).

1. We call on the Law School to recognize that it made a mistake in partaking in Ward Churchill's case. We hope that it will begin to piece together the role of the FBI in influencing the evaluation of Ward Churchill's teaching credentials. . . .

It is inevitable that people in the Law School are going to figure this out, so we call on the federal government to bring this farce to an end, and quickly. Don't imagine that MIM is going to tolerate it in this case.

Oooooh, MIM's really pissed. Staggered and mind-boggled too:

2. MIM is still staggered and mind-boggled by what joint federal forces imagined they would get away with in the Ward Churchill case. MIM hopes to resolve this case with the least rocking of the boat possible, but we request that senior intelligence management quickly come to an understanding of what "joint work" just linked together and opened to Ward Churchill's discovery process in court. Let there be no doubt: MIM knows how to fight this battle and will assist in the discovery process.

I'll kill myself if Ward doesn't sue. Sec. Min.:
We encourage Ward Churchill to discover the federal role in his attempted firing:

1) To investigate blog authorship [uh-oh].

2) To investigate federal creation of forums, weapons provocations and death threats involving the University of Colorado Law School.

3) To investigate legal threats against MIM if it revealed the truth of who did what.

4) To investigate the attempt to involve Congress to pass legislation to shut up MIM.

5) To investigate the role of the President . . . .+

It'll have to wait, Security Minister; the real truth about September 11 needs to come out first.

MIM will start reading Ward Churchill web pages to look for indications of an agreement on parts or the entirety of his case. If we do not see an agreement with the Law School, the University of Colorado or federal agencies, we will assume this matter is unresolved and this web page and possibly future ones will remain up, rather undiplomatically. We expect to hear Ward Churchill restored to teaching on the basis of sanity [sic], that the issues in this case should not be brought to a civil trial. Some people better start thinking about "national security.". . .

Please sue, Ward.

(via the MIM-watching Snaps, who adds, "I can't really figure out what MIM is talking about [jeez, Snaps, can't you understand plain English?]. But I think it is a good sign that Churchill MAY have got the bad word on Friday. I think this latest is just a lot of desperate threats. I think MIM's imagined lawyers are just scarecrows.")

Update: The indefatigable Snapple unearthed a quote I'd forgotten about, from an October, 2005 interview of Ward in Dissident Voice in which he thanks the MIMiacs for their support:

I've received...unqualified support from hard-line Maoists. ...[T]he Maoist International Movement (MIM) have used their weekly papers to advance some of the best analysis of my case and its implications yet published. MIM has been especially consistent in putting its cadres on the street to do political education concerning my case, gathering signatures on petitions supporting me, and the like. This has led to some interesting results, to say the least.

One of the high points of my spring was when, unbeknownst to me at the time, a bunch of MIMsters cornered Rocky Mountain News reporter Charlie Brennan on the sidewalk outside the Women's Building in San Francisco -- he was there because I was speaking inside -- and told him he wasn't taking another step until he signed their petition supporting me. Man, I'd love to have seen the look on his face!

They eventually cut him loose without signing, but let's just say he's stopped stalking me around the country -- he'd earlier shown up at a talk I gave at the University of Wisconsin's Whitewater campus, and a few other unlikely locations -- and I think the MIM people can take credit for his absence. Sooooo...

Thanks, comrades.

"Some of the best analysis of my case and its implications. . ." Now that's funny. And here we all thought Brennan was taken off the Churchill beat because of his, er, indiscreet e-mailing habits, when it was actually his fear of MIM's thuggish operatives.

Socialism forges ahead!

Yes, again. Workers World:

Cuba’s National Assembly of Popular Power [as opposed to its much-better-known National Assembly of Unpopular Power] has agreed to discuss making sex-reassignment surgery free of cost to all “transexuales” on the island who request it.

The entire public health care system in Cuba is free of charge.

The newsletter Diversidad ["Funny Looking People"] reported: “The measure would complement the present Identity Law that already acknowledges the right of citizens to change name and sexual identity. This places Cuba at the vanguard of the legislations that acknowledge the rights of transvestites, transsexuals and transgender in Latin America.”

It places Cuba at the vanguard of legislations in North America, as well. Sex-reassignment is priced out of reach for many transsexual men and women in the U.S. And health care in general is a pricey privilege denied tens of millions in the heartland of imperialism.

The publication reported that Cuba’s parliament will also discuss legislative recognition of same-sex unions.

Not overly vanguardy there, are they?
For an in-depth historical materialist look at the trajectory of the Cuban Revolution since 1959 on same-sex love and gender variance, read the Lavender & Red series at: www.workers.org. Look for the lavender and red logo.

Go ahead. What else you got to do on a beautiful Sunday morning but take an in-depth historical materialist look at the trajectory of the Cuban Revolution since 1959 on same-sex love and gender variance, hmmmm? It's only 91 chapters.

(credit: hospital pics from the indispensable site therealcuba.com)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Boulder not safe

The Rocky:

Amy Winchester and her partner, Marcy Mullet, recently celebrated the birthdays of their 1-year-old twins.

The couple couldn't help but feel somewhat uneasy that the city with a liberal and tolerant reputation isn't what it used to be, and they don't want their twins growing up in a community that they fear is increasingly becoming more homophobic and intolerant.


This week's beating of a 21-year-old lesbian student from Naropa University by at least one man did little to ease the couple's concerns.

Boulder police are trying to determine whether the attack was a hate crime that was triggered by the woman resisting the sexual advances of two men and telling them she was a lesbian. One of the men beat and kicked the woman in the head, police said.
They don't even know if it was a "hate crime" yet, but the mere possibility brought out several hundred protesters:
Winchester and Mullet and their children joined more than 300 people Friday in a march to denounce the attack - and show their support for the victim - outside Boulder's municipal building.
Boulder's turning fascist, all right.

The woman was beaten near the area of Canyon Boulevard and 13th Street, just a couple of blocks from where the rally was held.

"It was maybe like that 20 or 30 years ago," Winchester, 30, said of Boulder's liberal reputation, as she held her daughter, Sami. "This is really shocking, and this gives us an opportunity to show support for the victim and the community as a whole. I want to live where I feel safe and be accepted for who I am." . . .

"We need to let people know that it's not OK" to attack gays or lesbians, said Mullet, as she carried her son, Kai. "And we're just not going to sit down and take it."

Winchester & Mullet. I feel a TV pilot coming on.
The demonstrators, carrying signs and sporting rainbow ribbons representing the colors of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, began their march from the Boulder Pride community center in the 2100 block of 14th Street, near the Pearl Street Mall. They proceeded through Central Park and under the Broadway Bridge at Boulder Creek before gathering behind the municipal building.

No giant puppets on such short notice, of course, but:

A few demonstrators pounded out conga and bongo rhythms for the marchers, who responded with cheers . . .
. . . rather than with the forced bongoectomy most protest drummers deserve. It's okay sometimes, but man, some of those freaks don't know when to shut up.
Some carried signs reading, "Stop Pretending Boulder is Safe" [okay!--ed.], "Yes on Domestic Partnerships," "We're Here, We're Queer, We Care," "Hate is Socially Learned" and "We're All Children of God."
Hate is socially learned. I've always hated that.
"This is not acceptable," said Blake Weber, Boulder Pride's new executive director, to the demonstrators, who responded with shouts of approval. "This is not acceptable in Boulder. This is not acceptable in Colorado and this not acceptable in this country."

Boulder Mayor Mark Ruzzin said the turnout was going to mean a lot to the victim and for her recovery, and he called the assault a "shameful act."

Bo Svenson, 47, and her partner, Belinda Binette, 26, of Nederland, waved large flags of the world and colors of the rainbow. The flag of the world represents that "we're all in this together," Svenson said.
Don't remind me.

Update: We're here, we're queer, we're antidisestablishmentarianistic!

Update II: the Bo Svenson quoted in the story is NOT the Bo Svenson linked to. Wink, wink.

Okay, got that taken care of (dusts off hands, looks around gamely). What's next?

Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery . . . .

The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval.

Remember The Simpsons during at least one town meeting? Rev. Lovejoy: All in favor? Townsfolk: Aye! Rev. Lovejoy: Opposed? Single, tiny, ineffectual-sounding male voice: Nay. Probably wouldn't have gone over too well if a Virginia legislator had tried to be funny like that: Nay. So for humor this guy will just have to do:

Among those voting for the measure was Delegate Frank D. Hargrove, an 80-year-old Republican who infuriated black leaders last month by saying "black citizens should get over" slavery.

After enduring a barrage of criticism, Hargrove successfully co-sponsored a resolution calling on Virginia to celebrate "Juneteenth," a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
Wow, 80 years old and getting ready for a run at the presidency.


Billy Bob (r.) and his inner cartoon character (l.). Dahhhhhh, shucks.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Golden oldies

Been really uncomfortably sick all week with the flu (still am), but it's warmed up and the snow is almost gone, which means the two-month-old deposits of dog poop in the back yard--formerly encased in ice like tiny mastodon poops--have thawed (nay, liquified!). So I staggered out there today to gather, or as we like to say, "harvest" them. Nature's eternal cycle.

Anyway, snow had been on the ground so long it (the ground, ya eejits) was actually moldy:

Moldy flower bed: Hey, maybe I can sell the stuff. Maybe this will even start a mold craze like the Dutch Tulip Mania! Please, leave me my dreams.

Martyr with a wood rasp

There's a student article about CU ethnic studies instructor Ben Whitmer and his scuzzy Try-Works blog on CampusPress.com, "CU's only student voice." Not surprisingly, the piece treats the Try-Works controversy as if it were about academic freedom, and Whitmer's only too happy to go along, mouthing such meaningless moronities as:

"Academic freedom and the right to free speech never existed. They were fantasies. Yeah, you may not always be hauled off to jail for exercising them [no, not always--ed.], but the media will do everything they can to ruin you. They won't bother getting you for what it was you said, they'll just find some trumped-up charge to ruin you with," Whitmer said."Make no mistake, the only difference between it and McCarthyism is the manner of the smear."

Make no mistake, the only difference between Ben Whitmer and Dalton Trumbo is that Trumbo never wished a female newspaper editor had been "fucked with a wood rasp," as the womyn-hating Whitmer fantasized about Westword editor Patty Calhoun. (Hey, there's something he said that he might plausibly be "got" for, huh?) The educator continues:

"There is a duty to speak out about these issues," Whitmer said. "The first duty is to the students, and they deserve all sides of a story. They deserve to be treated with the respect of telling them the truth. They deserve professors who engage them, who challenge the status quo, who care more about making them think than about getting them to regurgitate the same crap they learned to regurgitate in high school."
Oddly, the piece contains no examples of Whitmer's version of the truth, or his peculiar way of telling it, though it does have a URL--no link--to a Pirate Ballerina post the paper says contains "excerpts" from Try-Works. It doesn't.

PB (where I saw the story) has his favorite quote, and so do I, this from the ostentatiously clueless Albert Ramirez, chairman of the ethnic studies department at CU:
When asked about Whitmer's blog, Ramirez said, "Why should it concern me? As I understand it, he didn't use any university resources to do so."
And that, of course, is all that matters.

Update: CU just had idiot Marxist journalism professor and Ward Churchill buttboy Robert Jensen to speak at its annual "diversity summit." PB again has the interesting facts and figures, so I'll just ask the obvious question: are these people 'tards, or what?

Update II: I'm wrong, there's another big difference between Trumbo and Whitmer: Trumbo had talent.

Weird Bird Friday

Pelicans, generally speaking, are fairly weird birds at their best. Here, however, are a couple of rather normal looking American White Pelicans at the Denver Zoo.

Normal looking, that is, until they turn and show their profile:

They've got big bumps on their beaks!

Thinking that this was a pretty weird looking thing, even by weird bird standards, I googled "pelican bump beak" to find out more about it. I learned that the bumps appear on both males and females during mating season. They basically communicate, "I'm hot for you, honey!" which is certainly what I had thought the big guy was communicating to me as I snapped his photo.

Here's another American White with even weirder bumps. This one is from the Edinburgh Zoo. Unfortunately, I did not take this picture, although I have been in Edinburgh. DrunkaHusband and I got married in Edinburgh, as a matter of fact. We'll have to tell you about that some time... if you ask very nicely.

Here's a lovely post about the ever-so-much-more-beautiful Australian pelican.

BTW, I took the pelican pictures at the Denver Zoo last summer, as part of an "incentive" trip in a program I was running to help teenagers quit smoking. Here's a picture of a few of my victims, during a little break from walking around the zoo. It gives you an idea of how successful my stop-smoking program was.

Not very.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Two clowns were shot and killed by an unidentified gunman during their performance at a traveling circus in the eastern Colombian town of Cucuta, police said Wednesday . . . .
(via Drudge)

Update: Volokh and Riehl World View point out that "beclowned" has been around for a very long time. Also, a commenter at Volokh noticed the Colombian clown massacre yesterday, damn him.

(via Instapundit)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

CU fiddles with dismissal process

As the Ward Churchill brouhaha enters its third year, CU's faculty senate has voted to implement a "shortened dismissal-for-cause timeline and to launch an external audit of CU's faculty grievance processes, including those of the Privilege and Tenure (P&T) Committee," according to the Silver & Gold Record.

The (slightly) streamlined dismissal process "grew out of the work of the advisory committee on tenure-related processes last year -- specifically, the finding by tenure study leader Howell Estes that there is substantial public concern about the amount of time it takes to fire a tenured faculty member," the S & G R said.

The Record outlines all the interesting facts and figures, but doesn't mention the Churchill case--most likely the source of that "substantial public concern." So we still don't know why, if the P&T Committee held Churchill's hearing at the beginning of January, as they did, their report hasn't yet been submitted to CU prexy Hank Brown--if it hasn't (the process is secret).

But no matter what, it's got to happen soon, doesn't it (he asked in a quavering old man's voice)?

Update: "Prexy"? I have beclowned myself.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Found: "the Ward Churchill of the right"

Rocky Mountain News columnist (and CU law professor--who coulda' guessed?) Paul Campos says today that Glenn Reynolds is the right's Ward Churchill for suggesting that selectively targeting Iranian officials and scientists might be preferable to bombing the bejeezus out of the place to stop their nuclear program:

[W]hile it would perhaps be an exaggeration to call people like Reynolds and his fellow law professor Hugh Hewitt (who defended Reynolds' comments) fascists, it isn't an exaggeration to point out that these gentlemen sound very much like fascists when they encourage the American government to murder people.

All this raises several interesting questions. For instance, does academic freedom insulate a law professor from any institutional consequences when he advocates murder? Reynolds and Hewitt, after all, certainly didn't object when University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's celebration of the murder of American civilians raised serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person, and led to an investigation of Churchill's academic record.

Indeed, Hewitt and Reynolds both went out of their way to publicize the Churchill affair, as an example of left-wing extremism in our universities.

Why does right-wing extremism in our universities, as represented by such things as law professors calling on the Bush administration to commit murder, get so much less attention?

Maybe (just throwing out ideas here, Paul) because Reynolds' extremism exists only in your own mind? Reynolds, of course, gleefully (well, soberly--I'm just projecting) dismantolates Campos, who sounds like he consulted CU colleague Glenn Morris on the column.

Update: In his reply to Campos, Reynolds quotes an e-mailer who uses the verb "beclowned"--an absolutely wonderful word I'd never heard before. Just now though I noticed that Tim Blair used it yesterday. That's a little scary.

Update II: Michelle Malkin noticed all the beclowning going on, too.

Update III (2/21/07): Reynolds hits back in the Rocky. Campos is so thoroughly beclowned he'll have to change his giant pants.

Update IV: Best comment at the Rocky so far, from "Chuck" at 11:11 a.m.: "non-cAmpos mentis."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The company he keeps

Kesher Talk friend Pamela Hall bravely "infiltrated" last week's End Israel Apartheid Week festivities in New York. Her three-part commentary is here, but it was her mention of the speech by American Indian Robert Robideau, a longtime pal of Colorado AIM, Glenn Morris and Ward Churchill, that caught my eye:
In between [two other speakers] we had the "Native American". I almost left. He NEVER shut up. On and on and on he went about the history of the "Indigenous Peoples" and America's holocaust and land-grabs that ....I wasn't ever really clear what he was asking for .... He was such a poor speaker. Read from notes. I thought at one point we were going to get a Ben Stein homage "Anyone...Anyone...?" Finally he popped an Apartheid reference...droned on some more and mercifully SAT DOWN!!. My friend said he chose that horrid 20 minutes or so to relive his WHOLE Senior Year in high school. (Wish I'd thought of that.) Nope! I actually tried to pay attention.
That's time you'll never get back, either, Pamela. I know. Robideau, not at all by the way, was tried (and acquitted) for the infamous 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota--the same murders his cousin Leonard Peltier was convicted of (Robideau later became director of Peltier's defense committee). Here's Robideau's all-over-the-place piece in Countercurrents last year, mostly on the Mohammed-mocking Cartoons of Death, but also pointing out the supposed parallels between Palestinians and American Indians:

Mr Zahar, the leader of Hamas who rose to power in 1989, reportedly said, "Spies and thieves must fear us," and "thieves are those who steal our land". As a member of the American Indian Movement, I know full well that the roads into the Americas were paved by thieves. It was A government spy sent to create internal disruption, who set the stage for the execution of Anna Mae Aquash, an icon in Indian country; and while over 150 government police terrorized communities on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota reservation in the summer of 1975, the federal government stole one eighth of the Pine Ridge reservation land.

The state of Israel sets on land that was originally Palestinian but Zionist movements in Europe and the United States claimed that the "land was given to them by God" and their belief that their race possessed some "natural superiority". Euro-Americas pray to "god and country" and teach their future generations to pray homage to the gangsters, outlaws and thieves who stole the country from Indian nations in god,s name.

The European idea that they possessed a "God given superiority" not only had brought them into conflict with the Palestinian people, but also North American Indian Nations in the 1800s.

Notice that Robideau doesn't mention his own involvement in the Pine Ridge mess.

But it's not only the barely literate Robideau who believes the situation of Palestinians is like that of American Indians. In fact (and here I go again "imputing" opinions to the guy) associate professor of political science at CU-Denver Glenn Morris spouted exactly the same line at the so-called March for Lebanon in Denver last August (scroll down, you'll see him): Palestine is the imperialists' 21st-century wild West, and the Palestinians are being exterminated just as "native" Americans were back then (and still are today). It's genocide, I tells ya.

Robideau's take on the cartoon controversy is worth noting, too:

Most European and North American newspapers support the editor of, Jyllands-Posten, the first paper to publish the offensively racist cartoons, expressed position, "we cannot apologize for freedom of expression."

The word "but" is a favorite transition of hypocrites who would have us believe on one hand that freedom of speech is a democratic principle to be defended at all cost, while on the other hand are quick to condemn when it attacks and incites hatred toward them and those they wish to protect.

For years Abu Hamza al-Masri, an Egyptian Muslim, had exercised his right to free speech at his Finsbury Park mosque in London. The British authorities attempted to revoke his citizenship and for years never brought criminal charges against him. With the new atmosphere created around the global war on terrorism (GWT) an English tribunal recently convicted and sentenced Hamza to seven years in prison for allegedly "directly and deliberately stirring up hatred against Jewish people and encouraging murder of those he referred to as non-believers." Certainly the same could be said of the cartoonist.

Oh, certainly. One-eyed hook-handed freak Abu Hamza, convicted not of exercising his right to free speech but of six counts of solicitation to murder, is just like cartoonists who draw pictures of Mohammed. Does Morris agree with Robideau on that as well?

Update: Glenn! Where are you? Why don't you write? If you're still embarrassed by that little imply/infer problem, awwww, forget it.

Update II: Notice that Robideau thinks the Cartoons of Death were drawn by a single person?

Update III: Needless to say (yeah sure), the typos in Robideau's piece are sic.

Shock: Haggard had other "improper relationships"

And "sordid conversation":

The Rev. Ted Haggard's former congregation was told Sunday that while an investigation uncovered new evidence the influential evangelical leader engaged in "sordid conversation" and "improper relationships," the church can heal its wounds.

More than 100 days after Haggard's firing amid a gay-sex scandal, 14,000-member New Life Church received a progress report from its board of overseers, an outside panel of pastors.

The Rev. Larry Stockstill of Baton Rouge, La., an overseer, read a letter describing results of "extensive fact-finding" into Haggard's claim he had long struggled with a "dark side."

Strange way to put it. Were they confirming things Haggard told them, or ferreting out information he tried to hide?
"We have verified the reality of that struggle through numerous individuals who reported to us firsthand knowledge of everything from sordid conversation to overt suggestions to improper activities to improper relationships," Stockstill said. "These findings established a pattern of behavior that culminated in the final relationship in which Ted was, as a matter of grace, caught."
As a matter of grace, caught. Stockstill sounds like one scary dude, man.

Update: The Rocky: Haggard dragnet revealed "unrelated sin issues" among church staff.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Otra victoria para el socialismo!

No wait, I meant look out below:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize supermarkets that sell meat above the government-set price as his administration struggles to stem a surge in the cost of basic foodstuffs.

Chavez told a gathering of pensioners Wednesday in Caracas, Venezuela, he's waiting for the "first excuse" to take over butcher shops and supermarket chains that manipulate stockpiles of beef and other foods to artificially boost prices. The government blamed manipulators for a 4 percent surge in the cost of food in January that pushed inflation to the fastest in two years.

"If they continue to violate the interests of the people, I'm going to take the meat markets and supermarkets," Chavez said. "I'll nationalize them."

Good thing nobody doesn't like chicken feet.

Update: Man, Hugo is really pushing it:
Some private companies are also concerned about President Chavez's intention to make them allow their employees time during the working day to study socialism.
That'll make for a lively break room.

(via Tim Blair)

Update II: Over his own imagined love-line, Z-net's veteran Hugo-hummer Michael Albert asks the dictator-in-training, Will you be my valentine?:
[W]hat if the person whose views you want to hear is not only incredibly open in his or her demeanor, and incredibly thoughtful by reputation, but also part of a process committed to seeking advocacy from all directions? And what if you think - whether you are deluded in this or not [sic]- that your questions are right up the person's alley [sic], in this case Chavez or other folks participating in the Bolvarian Revolution, and are key to your and others advocacy? If so, how about floating your questions out into cyber space, hoping for the best.
And float the questions do, on waves of pure love:
Hugo Chavez says he wants to build twenty first century socialism. He decries market relations. He excoriates capitalism. His innovative approaches to popular political and economic decision making and his prioritization of radicalized health, education, and other human services also inspire great hope. But beyond claims and short term policies, where is the Bolivarian Revolution going?
While you're thinking, Hugo, have a chicken foot. Yes I know they're gross, Hugo.

Update III: Albert's assertion that Hugo is "committed to seeking advocacy from all directions" reminds me of Stephen Leacock: "Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse, and rode madly off in all directions."

Weird Bird Friday

2nd in the Weird Chicken Series

As promised last week, here is the second and final weird chicken in my weird bird collection. We're finally out from behind the pulque factory, and back at the Aviary in Puebla, Mexico.

There really is a chicken head under that fluff of feathers.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

I predicted this

From the science or technology or entertainment section of the NYT, somewhere like that:

Over almost three decades, a small laboratory at Princeton University managed to embarrass university administrators, outrage Nobel laureates, entice the support of philanthropists and make headlines around the world with its efforts to prove that thoughts can alter the course of events.

But at the end of the month, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory, or PEAR, will close, not because of controversy but because, its founder says, it is time.

The closing will end one of the strangest tales in modern science, or science fiction, depending on one’s point of view. The laboratory has long had a strained relationship with the university. Many scientists have been openly dismissive of it.

“It’s been an embarrassment to science, and I think an embarrassment for Princeton,” said Robert L. Park, a University of Maryland physicist who is the author of “Voodoo Science: The Road From Foolishness to Fraud.” “Science has a substantial amount of credibility, but this is the kind of thing that squanders it.” . . .

As opposed to, say, fomenting hysteria over global warming.
Dr. Jahn, one of the world’s foremost experts on jet propulsion, defied the system. He relied not on university or government money but on private donations — more than $10 million over the years, he estimated. The first and most generous donor was his friend James S. McDonnell, a founder of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

In one of PEAR’s standard experiments, the study participant would sit in front of an electronic box the size of a toaster oven, which flashed a random series of numbers just above and just below 100. Staff members instructed the person to simply “think high” or “think low” and watch the display. After thousands of repetitions — the equivalent of coin flips — the researchers looked for differences between the machine’s output and random chance.

Analyzing data from such trials, the PEAR team concluded that people could alter the behavior of these machines very slightly, changing about 2 or 3 flips out of 10,000. If the human mind could alter the behavior of such a machine, Dr. Jahn argued, then thought could bring about changes in many other areas of life — helping to heal disease, for instance, in oneself and others.

This kind of talk fascinated the public and attracted the curiosity of dozens of students, at Princeton and elsewhere. But it left most scientists cold. A physics Ph.D. and an electrical engineer joined Dr. Jahn’s project, but none of the university’s 700 or so professors did.

Prominent research journals declined to accept papers from PEAR. One editor famously told Dr. Jahn that he would consider a paper “if you can telepathically communicate it to me.”

News of the Princeton group’s experiments spread quickly worldwide, among people interested in paranormal phenomena, including telekinesis and what people call extrasensory perception.

Notable figures from Europe and Asia stopped by. Keith Jarrett, the jazz pianist, paid a visit . . . .

Wonder how Keith feels about global warming.

Don't envy us

It's the snow-shoveling:
West Virginia and Kentucky have the nation's highest levels of heart disease and Colorado has the lowest, according to a first-of-its-kind study released by U.S. health officials today.

The new research is the first to look at what percentage of people in each state live with or have survived heart attacks and certain other cardiac problems.

It found that states in the Southeast and Southwest were heart disease leaders. Meanwhile, Colorado and the District of Columbia had the lowest percentages.
My heart swells with pride--at least, I think it's pride.


For research purposes I read as many of the comments as I could stand on Amanda "Godbag" Marcotte's Pandragon post announcing her "resignation" from the Edwards campaign. There were lots of these: "{{{{hugs}}}}," of course, but I finally found this gem:


I had to explain this to my little girl tonight.

She had such hopes. For you. For John. For the people speaking and making what she called “a difference”.

She doesn’t understand it all, but when I told her you had to resign, she had tears in her eyes. I think part of it was being afraid of the future.

But more than that, I think she really felt betrayed. That sense of abandonment that you might have suffered.

I think she is wounded with you, tonight.

I will hold her, and do my best to comfort her. . . .

--Dave in Texas

*ucking Christofascists.

Update: Dave in Texas?

Update II: Well, Austin maybe.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day: on the march!

Now this is brilliant:

This Valentine's Day, one publisher wants you to be the one doing the bodice-ripping.

Books by You says it sells thousands of personalized romance novels every year, with titles such as ER Fever and Pirates of Desire, where the reader is the star. It's not Bronte, but customers are going crazy for the novels that make them the main characters.

They have a little sample paragraph function so you can see how it works. All it asks for are names of hero and heroine, eye and hair color for same, and the name of the heroine's best friend. I used ER Fever:

Dickmunch McCrabs is a nurse with a passion for saving lives and no plans for adding a different kind of passion in her life. That is, until she meets Lance Smegma, a surfin' doc whose dazzling good looks and dedication to his patients are everything she's been looking for.

They fall into a steamy relationship that seems like pure bliss ... until a secret from the past is revealed. One that could cause a heartache no medicine can cure! So read on and get your prescription for passion, ER Fever!

New doc on the block! Dickmunch meets Dr. Smegma ...

That doesn't sound very romantic. Here's the excerpt:
...The two nurses prepared for the cardiac patient's arrival and heard the ambulance pull up outside County General's emergency room entrance. As Dickmunch and Buttface walked in the direction of the sliding glass doors, they saw a man in a white lab coat striding toward them.

“Hi, I’m Lance Smegma ,” he said, extending a hand to Dickmunch. She accepted it and was instantly captivated by his warm touch. His dark brown hair looked professionally messy, as if he had just rolled out of bed and into Dickmunch's ER. She could not help but notice that his body was perfectly proportioned and undeniably sexy.

“Dickmunch... Dickmunch...” she stammered, searching her memory for her surname. She was still shaking Lance 's hand when Buttface coughed loudly behind her, breaking her friend's reverie. “Dickmunch McCrabs,” she finally blurted out. “I’m the charge nurse tonight. Nice to meet you, Dr. Smegma.”

Her friend grinned at Dickmunch's unusually flustered demeanor. “And I’m Buttface, and here’s your first customer, Dr. Smegma,” she said hurriedly, as a stretcher wheeled past guided by two paramedics.

"We're ready in trauma room nine, guys," Dickmunch shouted over the noise of the ER...

Update: Where does Book by You get off telling women, "Can't think of a hero? Consider George Clooney or Brad Pitt!" and not saying to men, "Can't think of a heroine? Consider Emma Goldman or Mother Jones!"


From the 1/7/69 Look I posted a while ago:

"For the armies of the impoverished, unknown to themselves, are already divided. Once victorious over the wealthy West--if ever!-- they could only have a new war. It would take place between those forces on their side who are programmatic, scientific, more or less Socialist, and near maniac in their desire to bring technological culture at the fastest possible rate into every backward land, and those more traditional and/or primitive forces in the revolution of the Third World who reject not only the exploitation of the Western world but reject the West as well, in toto, as a philosophy, a culture, a technique, as a way indeed of even attempting to solve the problems of man himself"--Normie.

Nitwit that he is, Normie foresaw a real split in the left that's evident today. What he didn't foresee is people like Glenn Morris and Ward Churchill (and their, yes, ilk), who manage to have it both ways, rejecting the West as a philosophy and a culture while taking space at its very tippy-top to hurl (or rather, girlie-toss) imprecations down on it, and to advocate Rousseauian fantasies through every technological means they can. Beeeezarre.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Such a nonsense

Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus, in an interview with the Czech economics daily Hospodárské noviny ("Earwig transfer"), on global warming:

Q: Isn't there enough empirical evidence and facts we can see with our eyes that imply that Man is demolishing the planet and himself?

A: It's such a nonsense that I have probably not heard a bigger nonsense yet.

Q: Don't you believe we are ruining our planet?

A: I will pretend that I haven't heard you.

At the bottom of the piece it says, "[English translation from Harvard Professor Lubos Motl]."

(via commenter Murph at Tim Blair's, who calls him, as many, many others have, "Vaclav Havel." The way you keep 'em straight is, Klaus is the Czech president who wasn't into the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.)

Update: Not being a journalist, I didn't include Vaclav's next line, the one that supposedly made the interview newsworthy: "Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can't."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Kids build aeroplane

North High School, picked on here recently, has a very cool program:
High school students often hear that the sky's the limit when it comes to their futures, but North High School students are working on a project that will literally take flight.
(reading that lead makes me thank God alcoholism derailed my once-blossoming career as a journalist.) (by the way.)

For the past four years, students have been working on a life-size World War I-era fighter plane, which is scheduled for its maiden voyage [voyage?] in a couple of months.

Isn't that funny. When I was in high school we built a World War I-era anti-aircraft battery.

"I've been working on this since I was a freshman and still can't believe we are building something this big that is actually going to fly," senior Brandy Gorman said.

Using a how-to manual, students began cutting metal, drilling rivets and shaping a fuselage and wings. In the next few weeks, they will mount a 68-horsepower engine, an instrument panel and a sturdy cloth covering that will be the skin for the French-designed Morane-Saulnier.
French-designed? You little Fokkers.

And by early March, the airplane is expected to be ready for its maiden voyage. It will be piloted either by a Frontier Airlines executive who is sponsoring the project or by North science teacher Jim Moravec, who is an accomplished pilot and aircraft builder.

The special project is funded by an airline executive, who has invested $23,000 in the project, Moravec said. Moravec declined to name the executive.

The students are serious about making sure their project flies safely. The structure of the plane passed Federal Aviation Administration inspections, Moravec said.

And guess what? Now everything at North is perfect and nobody drops out or gets pregnant and there are no more gangs or nothin'. Well, maybe next year:
In December, the school district announced that North would be redesigned and that its roughly 37 teachers would have to reapply for their jobs this spring. The school's new focus would lean heavily on Advanced Placement opportunities for students . . . .
What do you suppose that means--"lean heavily on advanced placement opportunities"? "Get rid of the dummies"?

The future for the North science program looks promising. While the program is not designated as Advanced Placement, the school is seeking grant funding to expand its teachings . . . .

The next special project will include a student-built observatory at the school and a second airplane. The next plane will have a passenger seat for students, Moravec said.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Reply to Colorado AIM's Glenn Morris

Oh, that title'll have readers just swarming.

Colorado American Indian Movement leader Glenn Morris responded to a post of mine on his recent op-ed in the Rocky, urging support for a state senator who's trying to end Columbus Day as a holiday in Colorado. Here's Morris' whole comment. I've cut some repetitive stuff here, but nothing significant:
Your blog was brought to my attention today. While your post about my recent column in the RMN was somewhat amusing, I'm afraid that your cynicism cannot obscure some glaring misstatements and factual errors. I have neither the time, nor the inclination, to address all of the problems in your post [rats--ed.], but I would be glad to debate the issue with you (or any other credible advocate of the Columbus holiday) at a mutually-agreed time and place.
Have to take issue with a couple of things right off, Glenn. First--whaddaya mean, somewhat amusing? Second, my misstatements may smile vacantly, but they never glare. Anyway, you continue:
Two points that you infer are: 1. that Columbus continues to deserve a holiday, despite the fact that (in your words) "Columbus was a dick;" and, 2. that I cannot support my point that the suggestion that Columbus Day was initiated to honor Italians is absurd.
You mean "imply," not "infer." But yes, I screwed up by disagreeing with that last point. Columbus Day clearly was not created to honor Italians. I meant to say otherwise, but I'm not very bright and forgot to fix it, so let me say again: Columbus Day was not created to honor Italians. Okay? Next you ask:

Why would landlocked Colorado, more than 2,000 miles removed from any area ever visited by Columbus, honor this lost sailor with a state holiday?

That's kind of a non sequitur, Glenn. The reason poor little landlocked Colorado, so far from the scenes of Columbus' exploits, celebrates Columbus Day is the same reason most of the hemisphere does: his "discovery" of the New World symbolizes the spread of western civilization and its values, and the dramatic and continuing improvement in the general lot of humanity that resulted.

Now, you probably don't agree with that (that's a joke, Glenn). Columbus, you've said many times, unleashed hundreds of years of slavery and starvation and murder, the destruction of indigenous cultures, and the oppression of millions. Not only that, the civilization he brought is worse than worthless. You and Russell Means held forth to that effect on your old AIM site:

Columbus Day is a perpetuation of racist assumptions that the Western Hemisphere was a wasteland cluttered with savages awaiting the blessings of Western "civilization." Throughout the hemisphere, educational systems perpetuate these myths - suggesting that indigenous peoples have contributed nothing to the world, and, consequently, should be grateful for their colonization and their microwave ovens.

Microwave ovens! The shame! Indigenous culture is clearly superior to a civilization that produces useless crap like microwave ovens:

As Alfred Cosby, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Jack Weatherford have illustrated in their books, not only was the Western Hemisphere a virtual ecological and health paradise prior to 1492, but the Indians of the Americas have been responsible for such revolutionary global contributions as the model for U.S. constitutional government, agricultural advances that currently provide 60 percent of the world's daily diet, and hundreds of medical and medicinal techniques still in use today.

This, of course, is ax-grinding nonsense, which I won't bother with except to pick on your sources. (For some reason that's always a good line of attack when dealing with professors involved with Colorado AIM. Why is that, Glenn?)

Your first, Alfred Crosby, (despite the ridiculously tendentious title of his book, Ecological Imperialism) is a serious fellow. Unfortunately for you, he seems to support the generally accepted view that biological factors, particularly disease, rather than "genocide," killed off the indigenes of the Americas.

How about your second source, self-described "eco-luddite" Kirkpatrick Sale, author of such articles as "An end of the Israeli experiment?" and (in the Nation, for which he's a contributing editor) "Unabomber's secret treatise: Is there method to his madness?" (1995) which includes this scholarly exegesis:

I would agree with the Unabomber's general position that "to make a lasting change in the direction of development of any important aspect of a society, reform is insufficient," and I might even agree that in certain circumstances therefore "revolution is necessary."

And this:

All in all, I think despite its flaws [the Unabomber "manifesto"] is a document worth publishing, and not only because that could presumably help stop the killing. There is a crucial message at the core of it for those with fortitude enough to get through it, and unless that message is somehow heeded and acted on we are truly a doomed society hurtling toward a catastrophic breakdown.
Hurtling. Not someone I'd rely on, Glenn, but that's just me. More of your comment:

[T]he passage that you pasted in from the Library of Congress says absolutely nothing to challenge my assertion. The Columbian Exposition of 1893 was definitely not an honoring of Italians . . . .

Think I've conceded that. Onward:

There is an extensive literature on the Columbian Exposition and its cultural meanings. I suggest to you Robert Rydell's, All the World's A Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions - 1876-1916 (University of Chicago Press, 1984) and Shari Hundorf's Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination (Cornell, 2001).

Oh goody, more sources to impeach. Here's part of a review of All the World's a Fair that appeared in The Journal of San Diego History in 1986:

Rydell insists that the social and anthropological elements in these fairs were encouraged by an American elite endangered by popular, democratic forces and intent upon preserving its own dominance, and that the fairs shaped "the world view of millions of Americans" (p. 235). "Largely as a result of the expositions," he concludes, "nationalism and racism became crucial parts of the legitimizing ideology offered to a nation torn by class conflict" (p. 236).

Really, Glenn, don't you lefties ever get tired of the old race-class-gender routine? It's so lame. But you and your good bud Glenn Spagnuolo want to "Recreate68," so I guess you're stuck with it. Just a little more of the review:

[Many] will no doubt be surprised to hear that . . . anthropological displays originally offered [at the Exposition] represented conscious propagandizing for Anglo-American racial and cultural supremacy and were intended to reinforce the dominance of the city's social elite. Indeed, Rydell's argument is flawed at its heart....

"Flawed at its heart," Glenn.
Such fuzziness in analysis and terminology abounds, frustrating the reader and undermining the persuasiveness of the work. In short, All the World's a Fair is badly flawed by presentism and tells as much about the author's socio-political beliefs as it does about the fairs that are ostensibly its topic. [Rydell] wrenches evidence from context and forces it to fit his thesis. Readers who want to get a feel for what went on at America's many world's fairs, or of their meaning in American life, will have to turn elsewhere for satisfaction.
It doesn't even sound worth reading, let alone using to bolster one's argument. But you soldier on, Glenn, with another attempt to show how racist we are:
In the same year as the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Daniel Arata, an Italian, was lynched at the corner of Colfax and Kalamath in Denver. Actually, he was lynched TWICE, and shot full of holes, by a mob estimated to have numbered nearly 10,000 . . . .
Didn't know that story, and it's a good 'un. Here's the version I found in the unquestionably authoritative Colorado Adventure Guide:

Daniel Arata was the bartender in charge at the Hotel d'Italia on Wewatta Street, long considered the seamey [sic] side of town. This was a known hangout for prostitutes and various types [of] con men. Into this den of iniquity stepped the well liked Civil War veteran, Benjamin Lightfoot. Ben ordered a beer and after enjoying it, was on his way out when Arate [sic], who had been drinking and playing with his new gun all day, blocked the way and insisted that Ben have another.

Lightfoot was happy to enjoy another beer, especially since he thought it was on the house. When Ben got up to leave Arata asked him to pay up, when he found that Ben didn't have any cash he took the old veteran's hat until he came up with the money. The tough old Civil War veteran refused to leave without his hat and a fight ensued. Arata a much younger man knocked Ben to the floor and kept kicking the 60 year old until his eyeball popped out. Then he shot him and dragged the body behind the bar.

Just by the by, what'd he do with Lightfoot's eyeball? (My guess: stuck it in his pocket to eat later.) In any case:

Arata continued to serve drinks to the crowd that had been attracted to the earlier commotion. Unfortunately for Arata the Police also had heard the commotion and came to investigate.

Naturally they found the body and arrested Arata. Word got out and traveled around town like wildfire, the next night a crowd of 10,000 people, outraged that an Italian had killed an honored Civil War veteran, surrounded the city jail. They broke in the door and stormed the jail overpowering the deputies. The lynch mob grabbed Arata from his cell and drug him into the street where they tried to hang him from a tree near the intersection of West Colfax and Santa Fe Drive. The hanging wasn't really very successful because more than 20 people shot him first.

The disappointed latecomers to the necktie party put a rope around his neck and hauled him to 17th and Curtis where they hung him for the second time.

There's a great country/western song in there, Glenn, but it's kind of a slender reed to hang all the quasi-Marxist trash on, isn't it? You continue:

I will count you among us who encourage the repeal of Columbus Day. I am certain that you would not want your tax dollars spent to maintain a state/national holiday to "a dick."
But at the beginning of your comment, Glenn, you said I "inferred" that we should keep Columbus Day. Which is it? Okay: if you and Suzanne Williams want to try to get the votes to decertify (is that what you'd call it?) Columbus Day, go for it. Problem is, again, the holiday isn't really even about Columbus, dick or not: it's about celebrating western civilization, and no matter how much you want to, you're not going to get rid of that.

One other thing. At the end you accuse me of saddling you with opinions (Ward Churchill's) that you don't hold:
In closing, I would like to say that whatever Ward Churchill's views of the 9th v. 1st amendment might be, they are his. I am quite capable of articulating my own analyses, and I would very much appreciate your not imputing positions to me that I have not taken. Thank you.
Hmph. Let's go to the sources again and see if I'm imputing to you a position you haven't taken. Here you are on the old AIM site:
Not all speech is protected under the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps it should be, but that is a different column. The fact is that it is not. Falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, threatening to kill the President, using speech to defraud someone, publishing obscene material, and defaming someone falsely are all examples of speech that may be prohibited or regulated by the state. Since 1988, the United States has been a part to the 1948 Convention on Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide. Under provisions of the Convention, which is now considered part of the federal law of the United States, the crime of genocide, as well as public incitement to commit genocide, and complicity with genocide, are violations of federal and international law.
Funny, that sounds exactly like Ward's argument. And here's a quote from the Colorado AIM blog, in response to a Rocky Mountain News editorial on the acquittal of Columbus Day protesters in 2005:
In the trial, the jury heard that the first amendment isn't the only amendment. There is also the 9th and 14th amendment to consider. Also, there is no such thing as absolute free speech in the United States. Hate speech is not allowed. You cannot put up a sign that says White Only in your store. You cannot make threats against the president of the United States nor can you make sexual comments to people in the workplace. It's pure speech but this society has decided those types of speech are not allowed. There are all manner of speech that is restricted in the U.S but the closet racists try and hide behind the first amendment.
That's your organization's blog, isn't it, Glenn? So tell me: how, exactly, does that position differ from Ward's?

Update: Commenter Noj points out that in the Indians 'R' Us, Ward Churchill accuses another of Morris' sources mentioned above, Jack Weatherford, of plagiarism.

Update II: Fun with math: If the crowd estimate is accurate, roughly ten percent of Denver's population turned out to lynch and/or shoot Daniel Arata. Must have been all reruns on TV that evening.

Update III: Does it ever make you wonder, Glenn, that you have people like Try-Works' Ben Whitmer (no link) defending you?

Update IV: And the Amazing Vendor?

Update V: PB notes that Morris is a Harvard Law School graduate--you know, One-L and The Paper Chase ("You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer") and all that? All the more pathetic that he agrees with Ward Churchill on massively important points of constitutional law instead of with, say, these jolly fellows.

It's also pretty clear that Morris isn't crazy about being associated with Ward's position--at least, not since Churchill's frothings started drawing all the negatory attention. That's why he and Chutch maintain a false distance--by Churchill taking "leave of absence" from AIM's leadership council, for example, and not participating in the Columbus Day protests, or, in the present instance, by Glenn claiming I've falsely imputed Chutchian opinions to him.

But they're obviously Morris's opinions too. Maybe it's just that, unlike anyone else around Churchill, he's still capable of embarrassment.


  • Somehow I've missed all 14 episodes (so far) of Real World Denver. Luckily the Post keeps up on its Get Real Denver page. Latest poll: Will the cast ever get its drinking under control? "No frickin' way" leads with 85 percent of the vote.

  • Thought Horowitz had a monopoly on this sort of thing:

    A self-proclaimed conservative group targeting college liberalism is assailing a University of Colorado course that examines gay and lesbian literature.

    The Young America's Foundation, based outside Washington, DC, gives the CU course "Introduction to Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Literature," a "dishonorable mention" in a study titled "The Dirty Dozen: America's Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses.". . .

    The CU course on the Foundation's hit list includes poetry by Walt Whitman, who some say was gay, as well as works of novelist Virginia Woolf, who had an affair with a woman. The syllabus also includes films such as the gay cowboy tale "Brokeback Mountain." . . .

    Topping the Dirty Dozen list, Occidental College's course "The Phallus;" The University of California-Los Angeles' "Queer Musicology;" Amherst College's "Taking Marx Seriously: Should Marx be given another chance?" the University of Pennsylvania's "Adultery Novel;" and Occidental College's course "Blackness."

  • "We live in a really crazy world where people think if you're white and do good, you're Christian or in a cult"--"visionary and CEO" Tom Spaulding of the newly reorganized, Colorado-based Up With People. (For a balancing view, here's "Secret Agent Orange" explaining why he thinks Up With People is, in fact, a cult.)
  • Volokh Conspiracy contributor Dave Kopel's Rocky column notes the Denver media's "excessively credulous" coverage of the report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by Denver's media. They got nothin' on the Sydney Morning Herald.

  • Occasionally overwrought fine-art critic Kyle MacMillan notes that not everybody hates Daniel Libeskind's addition to the Denver Art Museum.

  • And one that has nothing to do with Denver: "6,124 couples kiss, break world record" "An unofficial tally showed 6,124 couples kissed simultaneously, organizers said, but the number needs to be verified by an independent auditor and approved by Guinness World Record officials before it becomes a world record."
  • Update: Bonus! The Guinness Book of World Records pic of the fat twins on motorbikes!

    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Book (reviewer) notes

    From the Rocky's freelance book reviewer bio page:

    "CLAYTON MOORE is a freelance writer whose book reviews have appeared in Paste Magazine, Atomic Magazine, [and] Dirty Linen. He also writes a monthly column about crime and mystery fiction for Bookslut magazine."

    (caption unfairly edited)

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Hey grandpa, what's for supper?

    The blessings of socialism are pouring down on Venezuela:
    Meat cuts vanished from Venezuelan supermarkets this week, leaving only unsavory bits like chicken feet, while costly artificial sweeteners have increasingly replaced sugar, and many staples sell far above government-fixed prices.
    Allow me to illustrate. In Venezuela, this:

    Hunk of meat.

    Has been replaced by this:

    Chicken feet (soup). (Don't be rude, wave back.)

    Normally this would be enough to cure most people of socialism all by itself. Hugo, however, has a classic excuse:

    President Hugo Chavez's administration blames the food supply problems on unscrupulous speculators, but industry officials say government price controls that strangle profits are responsible . . . .

    Shortages have sporadically appeared with items from milk to coffee since early 2003, when Chavez began regulating prices for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor.

    Yet inflation has soared to an accumulated 78 percent in the last four years in an economy awash in petrodollars, and food prices have increased particularly swiftly, creating a widening discrepancy between official prices and the true cost of getting goods to market in Venezuela.

    But really, who could have predicted that price controls would cause shortages and inflation?

    At a giant outdoor market held last weekend by the government to address the problems, a street vendor crushed raw sugar cane to sell juice to weary shoppers waiting in line to buy sugar.

    ''They say there are no shortages, but I'm not finding anything in the stores,'' grumbled Ana Diaz, a 70-year-old housewife. ''There's a problem somewhere, and it needs to be fixed.''

    Hate to tell you, Ana, but if Venezuela continues down the road of every other socialist paradise, the next problem Hugo will fix is your big mouth. Socialist paradises have a thing about grumblers, dear.

    (via the surprisingly erudite blog of Ashley and Naomi--I mean, the Brothers Judd)

    Update: Hey grandpa, what's for supper?

    Weird Bird Friday

    Here's a weird chicken, the first of a series I'm going to call: "weird chickens." Fortunately for you, I have only a couple of examples, so it will be a short-lived series.

    We're still behind the pulque factory in Oaxaca, Mexico. Here's a poor horse that has to walk around in circles all day on concrete to squish the juices out of the maguey to make the pulque, and here are my traveling friends sampling the product. This was the point (when everyone else started drinking) that I went out back and discovered the little zoo and its weird birds.

    Here's a chicken with hairy legs:

    And here's two of them doing the "funky chicken":

    Doesn't the one on the left look like a person in a really bad chicken costume? It's the leg. Weird.


    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Non-gay pastor settles with church, pledges to keep mouth shut

    Ted Haggard got the ol' golden handshake from his ex-church, says the News' Jean Torkelson:

    Ted Haggard and the church he founded and led for two decades have reached a settlement that includes a financial package and a pledge by Haggard not to talk about the scandal that destroyed his ministry . . . .

    She said "package."

    Haggard, one of the nation's most prominent evangelical leaders, stunned his 14,000-member church and created a worldwide buzz when he admitted last November to purchasing drugs and to sexual immorality involving a male prostitute.

    Leaving Colorado Springs was part of the agreement between Haggard and the church. Haggard has also agreed to continue therapy wherever the family settles, according to the Rev. H.B. London, Jr., one of the members of Haggard's restoration team.

    [Associate pastor Rob] Brendle said such formal agreements are typically sought with anyone who leaves the church's employ . . . .

    Odd quote:

    Brendle said that a church overseer's characterization this week that Haggard believed himself to be "completely heterosexual" was meant to communicate the idea that, "Ted's choice is to be married to his wife and love her and be married to her for the rest of his life."

    And not have anal sex with men anymore. Right? Anybody? Bueller?

    "Human sexuality is a complicated issue [oh, Storme Shannon Aerisooooooon!] and ultimately the only one who can know for sure is Ted, and speculation about that is fruitless," Brendle said.

    He said "fruitless."

    "The three-week counseling program was a beginning, not an end. The facility where Ted and Gayle went is a reputable secular psychological treatment center which aimed to help him understand what's going on inside of him," Brendle said. "We recognize the restoration process is one not of months, but of years."

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Stupid amendment screws up everything

    In another strange but boring Colorado politics story, an amendment pushed by liberal rich guy Jared Polis to limit gifts to public employees to a value of $50 was so poorly worded it may prohibit scholarships to the children of those employees:

    Wealthy entrepreneur Jared Polis is the legislature's favorite whipping boy these days because of problems with Amendment 41, even though a number of politicians last year supported the measure.

    Polis didn't write the ethics bill, but he helped get the measure on the ballot and passed. He now admits it is poorly worded, and lawmakers are trying to figure out how to address the unintended consequences, such as a provision that may make children of public employees ineligible for certain college scholarships.

    Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver, now calls Amendment 41 "Jared's Law."

    "If he's trying to make my name synonymous with clean government, that's certainly a cross that I can bear," Polis said Tuesday.

    He's not, Jared. The Rocky's Lynn Bartels was amusingly tough on Polis in an interview Tuesday:

    Do you think you sold something to the voters that wasn't so good?

    I've observed the state governmental process up close for several years. It constantly frustrated me how lobbyists with resources have special access to legislators compared to regular citizens and nonprofits' lobbyists who don't have the deep pockets to take people to sporting events or expensive dinners.
    But surely you've heard the criticism that you're someone with deep pockets to implement legislation the way you want it. Very few people can hire the dream team that you've hired.

    One of my core values is that I support campaign finance reform and ethics reform.

    But you spent a fortune to help Democrats take the state House in 2004 . . .

    Absolutely I did. . . . but I'm willing to be part of the mix in terms of reducing the influence of special interests . . . .
    You talk about the coalition (to fix the amendment). Who is in the coalition besides yourself?
    There are a number of nonprofit groups and advocacy groups that are members of Coloradans for Sensible Ethics, including the Colorado Association for Public Employees, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Colorado Medical Society and such.
    But on a percentage breakdown, how much are you paying for the dream team and how much are they paying?

    This really isn't about Jared Polis [a classic!--ed.]. . . . For the life of me, I don't know why legislators are more interested in taking shots at me than helping a kid depending on a scholarship to continue her university studies.

    I think the unintended consequences are what neither I nor the other proponents of Amendment 41 nor the voters wanted or expected.

    But those "unintended consequences" were pointed out last year by critics. Voters were told scholarships could be in jeopardy. It's like saying, "We didn't mean to tell everyone they must wear a red coat" when the authors wrote "Everyone must wear a red coat."
    Amendment 41 is poorly worded, but it's not awfully worded. Scholarships are earned by students . . . .
    Some legislators supported the concept of stopping lawmakers from getting expensive sports tickets and trips. Why didn't Amendment 41 target them only? Why did it include most government employees, such as the snowplow operator who works for some government entity?
    How it affects snowplow drivers is you can't give them gifts to do your driveway or do your street first. In terms of how it affects their everyday lives, not at all. Unless there's a gift being given to them to breach the public trust, Amendment 41 has no application.
    Are you still planning on running for a congressional seat?
    Oh, I don't have any comment on that at this time.
    Update: The Post: "Ritter sued over Amendment 41":
    A group of Colorado citizens and nonprofit corporations filed a lawsuit today against Gov. Bill Ritter, claiming Amendment 41 is violating their First Amendment rights.
    That goddamn First Amendment is a pain in the ass, too.