Friday, November 30, 2007


Here's one of those things one is required to blog about even if one can regard it only with an immense ennui:

Condom art competition increases AIDS awareness

CSU's Cherokee Park Ballroom filled with laughter as visitors attempted to demonstrate their ability to use condoms at the table in the back on Nov. 29. Artwork made out of condoms was impossible to miss on the way to the bananas and wooden phallus awaiting safe sex demonstrations.

Check out the pictures (young girls put condoms on huge phalluses!), but apparently the big hit was the Eiffel Tower:

Moron outs self

The white guy who got national attention last week after he complained that Denver's diversity training video was prejudiced against white guys was fired from his city job eight years ago after he was accused of being, weeeeellll:
The Denver city employee who triggered an uproar when he complained about a diversity-training video that portrayed a white man as a bumbling bigot was fired from the city in 1999 for allegedly holding a knife to another worker's throat and using racial slurs.
Yep, a bumbling (and dangerous) bigot.
Dennis Supple, who is white, said the incident from eight years ago was overblown and that he's being retaliated against for speaking out about the video.
Supple calls the incident "horseplay that was misconstrued." No doubt lawsuits will fly, but it did seem a little weird that he was willing (he said) to use equity in his house to take Denver to court over the stupid video (which for you masochists is available in full here).

Update: El Presidente points out that I didn't include a link for this story. We strive for competence around here, because a man's reach should etc., etc., but let's be realistic. Here's the News' account.

Up to

five feet of snow forecast in the southwest mountains tonight. I blame gorebal warming. For everything (h/t, the recondite (but only when necessary) JWP).

Weird Bird Friday

NEWS FLASH! Pin-headed birds are stupid!

With millions in funding from a multinational group of scientific societies, researchers make this ground-breaking discovery: Birds with smaller brains are more stupid than birds with bigger brains! I feel like my world has turned upside down.

It was all worth it, however, as they offered this picture of a lovely, but stupid, bird.

The article offers this insightful quote:
The researchers found that birds with larger brains relative to their body size survived better in nature than birds with small brains. This may explain why, for example, birds with small relative brain sizes, such as pheasants (like the one shown above), find it harder to avoid a moving car than those with larger brain size, such as magpies.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Night at the Radio!

How about Suspense? This one's called, simply, "Phobia" (26 June 1947).

And Vic and Sade: "Double Feature in Hopewood" (10 June 1939).

Update: Other movies starring Gloria Golden (and frequent co-star Four-Fisted Frank Fuddleman) include:
I Place My Heart In Thy Rosy Hands, Part Time Freight Agent Lewis

You're The Cowpuncher Of My Dreams, Foreman Hastings

You Are My Moonlit Dream Of Love, Apprentice Able-bodied Seaman McFish

Gazing Into Your Eyes Like This Is Heaven, Minor League Assistant Umpire Drake

My Heart Is In Your Hands, Master Sgt. Irwin Strohm

Love Lingers On, Assistant Deputy Game Warden Rogers

Resumes enhanced

The bite-sized intellects at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network link to a Baltimore Sun op-ed on the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act." They're agin it, in case you couldn't guess (Churchill was quoted on the bill at Democracy Now when the House passed it last month).

Much more interesting, a commenter on the op-ed links to a site called "Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth," which claims to have 221 actual architects and engineers as signers of its petition urging "that the 9/11 investigation . . . be re-opened and . . . include a full inquiry into the possible use of explosives that may have been the actual cause behind the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers and WTC Building 7."

Be sure to hire one of these fine technicians for your next project!

Not a good sign

Newsweek "editor-at-large" Evan Thomas and Time managing edtor Jim Kelly get together to discuss the future of print journalism, and the "event" is called "How dead is print?" Naturally, both say it's not dead a'tall, just a little runny around the edges.

Thomas, while conceding that internet news will only continue to gain in importance, can't get used to the, er, vitality of reader comments on web stories, calling them "'crude, vengeful, heedless, thoughtless, discouraging. . . they're mostly venting--they're like road rage.'"

He must read Try-Works. But Thomas really betrays his cluelessness in explaining why newspapers are still essential. It's--I swear to God--their objectivity:
Thomas admitted that citizen journalism in the form of blogs is gaining wide popularity, but he said that blogs cannot replace print news because they lack objectivity. "Journalists at least try to hide [their biases]," Thomas said. "That's just missing from most of the blogs."
"At least try to hide their biases." This is the guy, remember, who in 2004 said the MSM would portray Kerry and Edwards as "young and dynamic and optimistic and all[.] [T]here’s going to be this glow about them that is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

Capital "H"

Missed this AP story yesterday:
After more than 60 years, Nazi documents stored in a vast warehouse in Germany were unsealed Wednesday, opening a rich resource for Holocaust historians and for survivors to delve into their own tormented past.

The treasure of documents could open new avenues of study into the inner workings of Nazi persecution from the exploitation of slave labor to the conduct of medical experiments. The archive's managers planned a conference of scholars next year to map out its unexplored contents.
There they go again, privileging the "Holocaust."

Survivors have pressed for decades to open the archive, unhappy with the minimal responses - usually in form letters - from the Red Cross officials responding to requests for information about relatives.

"We are very anxious," said David Mermelstein, 78, an activist for survivors' causes in Miami, Fla., who wants to scour the files for traces of his two older brothers whom he last saw as he passed through a series of concentration camps.

"Now I hope we will be able to get some information. We have been waiting, and time is not on our side," said the retired businessman.

Izzy Arbeiter, 82, the head of a survivor's organization in the area of Boston, Mass., said he hoped to go to the museum next month to browse the files.

Izzy Arbeiter.

"My goodness, I don't know where I would start, there are so many things I am interested in," he said. "The history of my family, of course. My parents. One of my brothers is missing. We never knew what happened to him."
Of course, being a Jew, Izzy will get on that right after he tries to extort money from the Germans.

Update: Don't need to say "/Wart 'n' Normie," do I?

Thrill of the perverse

The California Aggie:

Over 500 members of the Davis community packed into 123 Sciences Lecture Hall on Tuesday night to listen to former University of Colorado ethnic studies professor and controversial American Indian activist Ward Churchill. . . .

Churchill, who delivered a speech titled "Zionism, Manifest Destiny and Nazi Lebensraumpolitik: Three Variations on a Common Theme," attracted a crowd so large that the event was delayed an hour as Cal Aggie Hosts scrambled to facilitate a line of people wrapping around the lecture hall and courtyard.

Appearance protested

Before the event commenced, approximately two dozen demonstrators from the Davis College Republicans and Aggies for Israel handed out literature and occasionally chanted slogans such as "We prefer Winston!" and "Churchill: Al-Qaeda approves!"

"If the Muslim Student Association shares [Churchill's] views, that should scare you. It scares us," said DCR chair Allison Daley, a junior political science major.

Lies told

While Churchill's question-and-answer session fostered a hostile and tense environment, his lecture progressed without interruption, save an occasional smattering of applause or murmur of unease.

"You find in the later pages of Mein Kampf an articulation of Hitler that comes from an analysis of empires," Churchill said. "He's examining the other European powers for models that would be an applicable model of the German destiny. He points directly to what he calls the Nordics of North America. The United States is the model.". . .

In the last 15 minutes of his hour-long lecture, Churchill shifted his emphasis to Israel, arguing that Zionists use the same justifications as did Hitler to perpetrate what he believes is a Palestinian genocide. . . .

"You have active negotiations going on between more radical Zionist organizations, the fascist Italians and Nazis themselves," he said. "Zionists would collaborate with the Nazis in what would be arranged as guerrilla operations against the British war effort … in exchange for a certain guarantee that there would be a territory set aside in that area for Jews and Jews alone."

Impertinent questions asked

As Churchill concluded his lecture, approximately 10 audience members stood in a line to ask a question. Though Churchill said questions "should be limited to 3.5 seconds," most audience members ignored his request.

"As a proven academic fraud and imposter, what basis can you claim in coming to a public university, which is funded by the government, which from your speeches and writing you so clearly despise?" asked Pete Markevich, a junior political
science major. . . .

Position explained

Markevich attempted to explain his question further, but Churchill told him to "shut up."

"My answer is, far more than you," Churchill said. "By the way, you want to look at the famous university report? The university has completely withdrawn that from scholarly scrutiny. There is no case other than the 'little Eichmanns' thing."

Markevich responded by asking Churchill to clarify his Sept. 11 remarks.

"Three young high school students were traveling on a plane to an award ceremony. Of course, they never made it," Markevich said. "They were murdered."

"By Bush and Cheney," someone shouted, to wild applause by some of the audience. Churchill smiled and shrugged, but did not comment.

"My question is, were those three students part of a cog in a capitalist machine and were they also 'little Eichmanns' who deserved to die as you claimed?" Markevich said.

"Little Eichmanns" defined again

"That was an amazingly stupid question," Churchill said. "If you have a reading comprehension above the eighth grade, which you should have, since you appear to be impersonating a student up there, then you'd understand that those three … could not be construed as the technocratic core of the empire, and that's who I described as little Eichmanns. That's disingenuous bullshit you just spit out."

Tension heightened further when an audience member who identified himself as a University of California professor chastised Churchill.

"You came here propelling the thesis that Zionism, which most Jews consider to be the national movement of the Jewish people, is comparable to Nazis'," the professor said, citing Palestinian population figures.

"Yes, it is," Churchill responded.

"I think you failed in your thesis, and I'm in a position to give you a grade," the audience member responded. "What I want to know is where are the God-damned Jews of Poland and Romania and Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. And they were God-damned! Where are they? We know where the Palestinians are," the professor said.

"Do you? Do you, professor?" Churchill said.

The debate between Churchill and the unidentified UC professor subsequently disintegrated into a shouting match, though less than half of the original crowd was still present to bear witness to it.
Update: From a guest editorial by Ron Lee in the Tomah (WI) Journal:
I saw a report on TV where 90 percent plus college faculty are liberal. So we have many professors such as Ward Churchill at Colorado University and Kevin Barrett at the Wisconsin University teaching kids liberalism, and boy are they radical. I don’t know what type of government they support, but I get the feeling they don’t support America or our democratic system of government.
Me too, Ron, only with me it's, it's--more than a feeling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Going for the locked-ward vote

The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Acworth, N.H. -- Call it the liberal-libertarian ticket, where left meets right and Democrat Dennis Kucinich picks Republican Ron Paul to be his vice president.

Kucinich, the Cleveland congressman running in a longshot bid to become president, suggested it himself Sunday.

"I'm thinking about Ron Paul" as a running mate, Kucinich told a crowd of about 70 supporters at a house party here, one of numerous stops throughout New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend. A Kucinich-Paul administration could bring people together "to balance the energies in this country," Kucinich said.

It would create a stunning, if dizzying, blend of beliefs, wedding two politicians who hold different views on abortion rights, the role of government in providing health care, and the use of government in fostering -- or hampering -- the public's greater good. Those are among the reasons it would never work, said a spokesman for Paul, a Texas congressman and doctor.
Ron Paul doesn't even have a tongue stud.

(via LGF)

Protesters disrupt Ashcroft speech

The Post:
Several protesters were forcibly removed from the audience at a speech given by former Attorney General John Ashcroft at the University of Colorado at Boulder Tuesday night.

About 20 student protesters from CU and Naropa University, wearing shirts with "shame" written on the backs and wearing American flags over their faces, welcomed Ashcroft to the stage by standing up and turning their backs to him.

Hackneyed. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, Rocky Mountain News, which said there were "about 10" protesters.)

The organizers of the event called in extra security from the Boulder Police Department at the last minute after hearing rumors about the protests, said Jessica Forthofer, chair of CU's Cultural Events Board, which was responsible for organizing the speech.
Last minute? Rumors? They couldn't figure out that this was inevitable?
But the small group of silent protesters from the Students for Peace and Justice were overshadowed by several other unidentified demonstrators who rushed the stage to confront Ashcroft repeatedly during his speech and the question-and-answer portion.

"I have a question," yelled one woman who was removed several times but kept finding a way back into the auditorium. "What medication are you on that you could violate our rights with such a clear conscience because I'd really like to get some." . .
Ashcroft remained calm while the crowd booed him loudly several times during his speech, including when he said Guantanamo Bay was a "good place" for detainees and that he was proud of the United States government and its self-policing of Abu Ghraib, but he lost his composure when a man in the audience called him a liar.

"For those of you who have nothing to learn," Ashcroft asked. "Why did you come tonight?"
For the same reason they come to speeches by other conservatives: to deny them their right to speak.

City yanks diversity video

Denver has pulled a diversity training video for city workers that an employee complained portrayed white males as "drooling, stupid fools." The News:
Denver is shelving a diversity-training video that portrays a white man as the sole racist, sexist and homophobe among a cast of blacks, Hispanics and women.

The decision to pull the video, Laughing Matters - Think About It, comes after Dennis Supple, a white man who works for the city, complained that it was racist and violated his civil rights

The video about inappropriate humor in the workplace follows the antics of a bumbling bigot who is a white, blue-collar worker.

"Make way! She's backing up!" the actor yells when an overweight woman's pager goes off. "Hey, somebody get the license plate of that truck!"

"It's not a fair portrayal of white male trades workers," said Supple, a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning mechanic. "This is just like treating white male trades workers like Stepin Fetchit, like we're all a bunch of drooling, stupid fools. Well, that's not the case."

Councilman Charlie Brown objected to the video after he was contacted by Supple, who lives in his district. . . .

Brown said that Supple and other white men had to sit through a diversity training class with their colleagues staring at them and thinking "you're the cause of all evil."

"We all have these issues - all races do - and that's not reflected in the video," he said.

Kathy Maloney, a spokeswoman for the Career Service Authority, said last week that the city was going to continue showing the video until a new one was shot next year or in 2009.

"Following (an article in the Rocky Mountain News), we've had a number of other employees now voice their concerns and actively engage us, wanting to participate in the re-creation of this video. And, of course, we encourage that dialogue," she said. The city will "suspend the use of the video" until employees have a chance to weigh in at an upcoming summit, she said.

Supple said he is happy that the city pulled the video. "That's half of what I wanted," he said.

"The other half - and I still want this - is for them to apologize to all the white male trades workers who had to watch the video."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Appearance by Idiots protested by other idiots

The Oxford Union had Drunkablog fave David Irving and British National Party leader Nick Griffin in last night to debate freedom of speech with apparently unnamed opponents, and things got rowdy. The BBC has video.

By the way, did you know the Euros don't even have a First Amendment? Instead they operate under some piece of collectivist crap called the European Convention on Human Rights, which, according to the BBC, states fearlessly that:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression."

But it adds that governments can restrict free speech for, among other reasons, in [sic] the interests of national security, preserving public safety and for the prevention of disorder or crime.

Kind of like the old Soviet constitution.

Abstract of the Week!

Annette Gough of Deakin University in Australia presented this paper at the 2003 Sydney conference on "body modification":

Embodying a Mine Site: Enacting Cyborg Methodology

This paper will discuss my experiences of body modification as a feminist poststructuralist environmental education researcher through "autoethnographic rants" (Crawley 2002). I have worked as an environmental educator for much of the past 30 years, and a frequently recurring theme in my curriculum work has been the impact of mining on the environment, and what "restoring the land" means. It never occurred to me that my body would become a mine site too. However, in August 2001 doctors discovered a rare ore body, Paget's Disease of the Nipple, on my corporeal body and rushed to excavate this new diamond mine site. This paper focuses on my coming to terms with my post-operatively scarred body as a quarry, which I saw as in need of reconstruction to return its appearance to normality as a cyborg, and all that entailed--theoretically as a feminist poststructuralist researcher and physically as an aging female." . . .

(via Sydney Line)

It's worse

Michelle Malkin has posted a snippet of the Denver "diversity training" video we mentioned the other day, and notes understatedly that it's like a "bad, bad Onion parody."

Update: "More fairies than a Shakespeare play"?


Calling him a "free-speech activist," the California Aggie notes Ward Churchill's scheduled appearance at UC-Davis tonight to speak on "Zionism, Manifest Destiny, and Nazi Lebensraumpolitik: Three Variations on a Common Theme":
Churchill's visit is sponsored by the Students for Peace & Justice and co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Association and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan.

"We decided to invite Professor Churchill due to the fact that he is a prolific scholar and award-winning professor in demand around the country and internationally. Also, his case is widely recognized as a test case for Academic Freedom around the country - and given the current repressive atmosphere at UC Davis in that arena, it seems especially appropriate," said Amir Ali, an event organizer and junior neurobiology, physiology and behavior major. . . .

When asked about the title of the lecture, Ali said he was unaware of the specifics of what Churchill will discuss.

"I cannot speak for Ward Churchill, as I'm not his spokesman. But what I can tell you from the title is that he will be paralleling these ideas and providing the audience with the common, generally overlooked, similarities - and more importantly, consequences," he said.
Consequences. What evil smugness.

Khalida Fazel, president of the [Muslim Student Association], said the organization believes Churchill has a right to share his views. "The MSA does not necessarily condemn or condone everything Churchill says, but we stand by his right to express his opinions on issues we feel are extremely relevant to the current domestic and international state of affairs," said Fazel, a senior civil engineering major, in an e-mail interview.
They always say they don't "necessarily" agree with everything Churchill says, but they do.
"Granted, [Churchill] is indeed a controversial figure, but his perspective is one that has been suppressed in public and private discourse, and what better setting to engage with these issues than on a university campus," Fazel said.
Suppressed? Sane people are also quoted:

Several student groups, including Aggies for Israel, have criticized SPJ's decision to invite Churchill to campus.

"Aggies for Israel and the Davis community are appalled that Ward Churchill will be speaking at UC Davis," said Yoni Sassoon, vice president of Aggies for Israel in an e-mail interview.

Sassoon, a sophomore economics major, said Churchill's lecture title alone is offensive and incendiary.

"Zionism does not share a 'common theme' with Nazism and saying that it does is clearly false and openly inflammatory," he said. "Ward Churchill and the extreme groups that are hosting him are dangerously using false comparisons between Jews and Nazis to defame Israel."

"Ward Churchill coming to speak… is a disgrace and an embarrassment to UC Davis. . . .

Ali said he believed Churchill's opinions have been twisted by popular media.

"Ward Churchill's views on the 9/11 attacks have been grossly misrepresented by the mass media," Ali said.

"The issue he raises is looking at why people might be motivated to engage in such attacks, and that's something everyone should discuss. [Republican presidential candidate] Ron Paul proposed a similar [argument] in the discussion of etiology on a national platform, and no one other than Rudy Giuliani questioned him and/or asked him to apologize," Ali said.

Update: Unsurprisingly, and not unlike Ward Churchill himself, the Muslim Student Association is somewhat selective in the free speech they choose to support.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Night at the Radio!

So much CommieTalk™ today, we must have an episode of IWACFTFBIiiiii! This one's called "Little Boy Red" (22 October 1952).

And Vic and Sade: "Vic to Make Speech at the Bright Kentucky Hotel" (29 September 1941). This is a great one.


The Pals of Lenny blog reminds everyone of the Frisco (as residents affectionately call it) appearance by Ward Churchill tonight, and adds this note:
$5-10 donation accepted (no one turned away).
The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement got around today to posting the announcement of another event to mark "Native Survival Week." Unfortunately the event was today, too. Judging by the poster, it might have been fun. You got your klanspersyn, you got your sexy chicana, you got your sexy chicana's armrest or whatever the little fellow is supposed to be:

More important, you got Arturo Aldama, Ward Churchill's former colleague in the Ethnic Studies department at CU (he's still there; Ward, of course, ain't), who is also the originator if not the sole articulator of the famous intellectual defense of Ward known as the "defense by footnote volume" (scroll tiny bit).

RAIM also posted this Thanksgiving commemoration:

Whatever, but what's with the gloved hand and unidentified grinning phizette extreme lower left? (Shubel Morgan, where they got it, doesn't explain either).

Shubel Morgan, by the way, is fast taking over MIM's place in the Ashheap of History of My Heart.

Speaking of MIM, Snapple notes that Security Minister has posted another scuttlebutt (no "k") update. He's still making (as Maoists say) self-criticism--sort of:
We are grateful for global expressions of concern about us. We have said many times that the reactionaries can physically exterminate some MIM comrades. [Yes, but may we?] It would signal a desire for a chaotic escalation of conflict that MIM is confident the oppressed would get the upper hand in. So we would say MIM is not unreliable [but WE wouldn't, comrade]. The struggle MIM is tied up with cannot be stopped in its general outlines. There is only a question of direction and timing.
Yeah, sure.

At this time, obviously in the imperialist countries the anti-war movement is a high priority. Nonetheless, the pressure of the anti-war movement sometimes leads to perverse results in the imperialist system. The imperialists can always decide that it is better to hurl towards doom faster.
MIM always gets me hurling fast, sometimes even towards doom.

At the moment, MIM's day-to-day struggle among the exploiters goes very well.

But then this bit of showtrial-worthy self-accusation:

MIM is a party of exploiters led by imperialists. It is surrounded by professional spies. So if anyone concluded that MIM is an imperialist plot, it is a good guess. We cannot blame anyone for that. One must always be alert especially when it seems struggle grinds to a halt.

Security Minister's motto: If your mother tells you she loves you, she is an enemy of the people!

Poorly developed psychic powers no hindrance to prediction

Commenter Sandy notes another speaker of truth to power, "history professor" (adjunct, she doesn't say where) Carolyn Baker, who has a blog she calls, with typical leftist modesty (and originality), "Speaking Truth to Power." From her latest (pre-Thanksgiving) post:
I have no crystal ball, nor do I claim to have well-developed psychic powers, but I'd be willing to bet almost anything that next Thanksgiving season will be dramatically different from this one. A dark curtain of despair has descended, along with $100 oil, on Wall Street, and the amount of debt that the American working and middle classes are trying to juggle is, as Stan Goff so eloquently stated in his article on my site, "Middle Class Angst", nothing less than "pre-volcanic." . . .

As I continue to write and talk about collapse, the "tell-me-what-to-do" supplications escalate, and when I speak my truth in reply, my words are met with responses only slightly less hostile than eye-rolling. . . .

Two hundred species or more of life forms died today on planet earth, and two hundred will die tomorrow, but I'm not supposed to remind you because that wouldn't be "hopeful"?

On this Thanksgiving Day I will shudder as I do every day for those clueless individuals and families who in a few years or even months may be daily visiting food banks which are already experiencing shortages. I will feel deep grief as I contemplate the teeming masses of innocent humans who will die because of Peak Oil, climate change, global pandemics, and species die-off and who because they didn't want to have their bubble of hope burst, called people like me a fear-monger while continuing their suicidal courses of action. . . .

Yet another part of me-a different part of my physiology experiences a bit of relief-perhaps a release and expansion in my cells as I realize that empire is reaching the end of the line, that the slogan my friend Matt Savinar has at the top of his website is not only true, but unfolding faster than I or anyone else could have imagined:

Deal with reality, or reality will deal with you.

So on this Thanksgiving week as stomachs are stuffed and the cacophony of credit card transactions deafens and defies the reality of global economic meltdown, I will celebrate that we are now closer to the total collapse of civilization than we have ever been, and that for all the rampant suffering it will evoke around the world, the soul-murdering, mind-numbing, body obliterating culture of empire is terminally ill and on life-support. I know not how many, if any of us, will survive its collapse, but I do know that until it has fallen fatally silent, no life form on earth will ever experience freedom or fullness of life.
Anybody wants me, I'll be hanging (yes, once again) from the shower rod.

Update: Had lentil soup and jalapeno cornbread for supper tonight. It was excellent, but if you'll excuse me, I'm feeling a little pre-volcanic.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bring a date

The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement-Denver proudly announces:

On 144th [sic] anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre ‘Indigenous Survival Week’ will be held at CU Boulder. All of these events are free.

WEDNESDAY, November 28th

Performances by: The Tortuga Project, REBEL DIAZ and SAVAGE FAMILY

Club 156 on the first floor of the UMC, 6:00 to 11:00


PANEL on Hip Hop, indigenous resistance, and community selfdetermination and self-definition.

Glenn Miller Ballroom at the UMC, 6:00 to 8:00

We’ll keep you posted if we get further details.

Socialist scarcity: Two events constitute a "Week." Anyway, the lone commenter makes an offer:

I have produced an award-winning film about the Sand Creek Massacre as told from the point-of-view of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people. Would you like to screen it at “Indigenous Survival Week?”

Don Vasicek

Sadly, no answer.

Update: Wondering what award Vasicek's "award-winning" film was awarded? "Best Documentary Short Film, The Indie Gathering Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival."

Update II: "'Violence is the fearful solution to weak-minded human beings, more fearful of utilizing their human intelligence than their human impulses to strike out and harm that which is causing them the fear.'-Donald L. Vasicek." Oh yeah, I want this guy working on my script.

Update III: Other "recognition" for Vasicek's award-winning film includes a "Walnut Hills Elementary School 4th Grade Screening."


In Drinkers of Infinity, Essays 1955-1967, the extremely weird Arthur Koestler recounts his experiences with psilocybin mushrooms in the early 60s and the false insights that often occurred under their influence. In this vein he mentions a story he says George Orwell told him about the similar effect of another drug:
[A] friend of [Orwell's], while living in the Far East, smoked several pipes of opium every night, and every night a single phrase rang in his ear, which contained the whole secret of the universe; but in his euphoria he could not be bothered to write it down and by the morning it was gone. One night he managed to jot down the magic phrase after all, and in the morning he read: 'The banana is big, but its skin is even bigger."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Churchill not quoted

The Militant has an account of the five-day "rolling panel discussion" on “United States: A Possible Revolution” at the third Venezuela International Book Fair in Caracas last week. Ward was there, but apparently got lost in the revolutionary shuffle. No worries, there was plenty of idiocy from other particpants. Quote:
“I’m going to take issue with what every one of you has said,” stated Amiri Baraka, a poet from Newark, New Jersey, speaking from the audience. Baraka, a panelist on the closing day of the event, has been active in Black nationalist, Maoist, and Democratic Party politics since the 1960s. Attacking [Socialist Worker "labor editor" Lee] Sustar for not identifying himself as a “Trotskyite,” and falsely accusing fellow panelist George Katsiaficas of introducing himself as a former member of the Black Panthers, Baraka’s intervention was the first time in four days of sharp debate that the tone of civil discourse was breached.
The tension must have been palpable.

Friday, November 23, 2007

White guys hammered

The News:
The city of Denver is showing its employees a diversity training video that portrays a white man as a narrow-minded buffoon — triggering allegations of "institutional racism" against Anglos.

"Right now, their diversity program is racially motivated against white males," said Dennis Supple, a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning mechanic who has worked for the city 1 1/2
years. . . .

The character who breaks all the rules is Billy, a white, blue-collar worker who's a racist, sexist goofball.

In one scene Billy is told that another employee named Carlos can't do anything because he's waiting for supplies.

"What's his problem?" Billy asks. "He can't sell breakfast burritos without the supplies or he takes a siesta?"
The humor of the State is always humorous!

Supple said the video violates his civil rights and that he's considering taking the equity in his house to file a lawsuit to stop the city from showing it.

That seems a little extreme. Maybe David Lane could represent him free, gratis and for nothing.
"Diversity, to me, doesn't mean hammer the white guy," Supple said. "Diversity means you have respect for everyone, regardless of their race, their gender, their religion, their sexual orientation."
Sounds reasonable. But you won't believe this part:
The video, developed by the city's Diversity Advisory Committee in collaboration with Channel 8, the city's television channel, won second place in 2005 for Instruction/Training from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.
Well, yes you will.

Weird Bird Friday

God smiling?


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Pirate Ballerina is finally up again! Go on over and welcome him back. (Sample welcome: "Howdy, hunchback! How'd you like a sock in the snot locker?")

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Night at the Radio!

A couple of wartime Thanksgiving shows (ain't I original?). The Great Gildersleeve: "Thanksgiving B Ration Book" (22 November 1942); and Jack Benny: "Jack Dreams He's A Turkey" (21 November 1943).

A Christmas Garland

FORT COLLINS--City officials are bracing for a huge crowd at tonight's meeting about a controversial proposal to ban religious holiday decorations on government property. . . .

Traditionalists have been in an uproar ever since a city task force recommended that public property display a holiday theme with "a broad multicultural message" by sticking only to white lights and plain garlands.
White lights. Of course. And since "pretty" garlands are, like, totally a social construction, who's to say what a "plain" garland is? That's right: men.
The task force concluded that colored lights and greenery decorated with ornaments and ribbons could evoke an improper religious message.
An improper religious message, eh? And I believe the accepted term nowadays is "lights of color."
Only "secular winter symbols" such as snowflakes and icicles should be permitted, the task force said.
Task force. Think I'll go lie down.
The panel also recommended that the city museum develop a religious holiday display featuring an array of nine [!] or more [!] religions based on federal guidelines. Those would include such celebrations as Bhodi Day, a Buddhist winter holiday, and Oshogatsu, a Sinto [sic] New Year celebration. Christmas and Hanukkah would be included in the list.
How thoughtful.
The 15-member panel had representatives from three churches, five Jewish organizations, some civic and activist groups, the city's human relations commission and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
As if you couldn't have guessed.

That's harsh

The Post:
State delegations representing about 5,000 Democratic National Convention delegates were assigned hotel rooms in the Denver metro area on Tuesday, but Florida was not among them.

Delegations from 55 states and territories were assigned one of 27 hotels, "all within 20 minutes of the Pepsi Center," according to the Democratic National Convention Committee, which handles logistics in Denver. . . .

Florida moved its primary up to January in violation of Democratic National Committee rules, leading the party to strip the state of its delegates for the convention and prevent them from being assigned a hotel.

The eventual Democratic presidential nominee could ask that Florida's delegation being [sic] reinstated to the convention, a likelihood given the state's electoral importance. But it's unclear what that would mean for the 210-member delegation's accommodations in Denver.
A wag comments: "trash! garbage! who cares? their democRATS. put them out on the street or in dumpsters. That's where the baby murderers belong."

Keeping up with: Peter Kirstein!

Always fun to quote America's dumbest academic, the Ward Churchill-supporting tenured history professor Peter Kirstein, but he's really outdone himself lately.

On the death of "baby killer" Paul Tibbets:
The captain of the Enola Gay, a weapon that perpetrated a holocaust over a city is typical of America’s disregard for non-combatants and a racist fury that has not abated since this evil moment in world history on August 6, 1945.
At least he can write.

Mr Tibbets was a colonel at the time but of course was later promoted to Brigadier General for his racist, butchery of untold magnitude. . . .

Remember the genocide forever and the evil nation that introduced nuclear weapons into the world’s arsenal. America, you are a killer nation that is responsible for some of the worst examples of state terrorism in human history.

Kirstein lists nine reasons why dropping the bomb was unnecessary. All, of course, have been refuted, repeatedly and in detail.

On fired DePaul professor and holocaust-minimizing antisemite Norman Finkelstein (got this via Marathon Pundit):
The Norman G. Finkelstein case represents more than one individual’s tragedy and expulsion from the academy. It represents a closing of the American mind. It affirms that revisionist or dissenting scholarship on Israel, the Palestinians, the Holocaust and the influence of the Israel Lobby is fraught with peril that only the tenured few can survive. Graduate students and non-tenured faculty, I am afraid, will avoid legitimate inquiry into these seminal topics for fear that a Dershowitz or other organized entity might engage in a campaign of personal destruction and succeed in intimidating and eviscerating a university’s capacity to exercise impartial judgment and evaluate fairly non-tenured faculty during their probationary period. . . . “We are all Professor Finkelstein” emblazoned the shirts of the intrepid professor’s supporters at the DePaul University fall convocation and during the first day of classes. Indeed we are: now and forever.
Now and forever. Well, as long as I can still be Ward Churchill, too. (Don't forget, by the way, that Kirstein has spoken at two of David Irving's "Real History" conferences.)

Finally, Kirstein writes about Thanksgiving, in a post embarrassingly titled, "Talking Thanksgiving Day Blues" (is there no 60s cliche he won't stoop to?):
The shame of America is its unbridled selfish racism and refusal to spread its bounty to even its own citizens much less other oppressed peoples of the Earth.

Thanksgiving is a farce and a charade because we should not emphasise the nation’s bounty and wealth, but as a result of this monstrous nation’s actions, why so many have so few. The purpose is not to be thankful for what some have but determined to see a radical distribution of the nation’s resources in a manner whereby the ruling elites are brought to account for their policies of blind pursuit of wealth, imperial overstretch and lack of redistributive justice.
As he sometimes does, Kirstein includes a little art with the post:

Get it?

Update: For those who enjoy every little instance of Kirstein's genocide of the English language, he spells the word "scuttle," "skuttle" and the word for those things soldiers receive, "metals."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year little kids write picture essays about Thanksgiving and what it means to them. Here's one from the ironically named Jo Swift, who apparently is an adult (bold, sic):
Thanksgiving Day: What Are We Giving Thanks For? The Extermination of Native Americans?

I'm so angry about

the historical denial built into Thanksgiving Day

We should replace the feasting with fasting

and create a National Day of Atonement

to acknowledge the genocide of indigenous people

that is central to the creation of America

While the concept of genocide, which is defined

as the deliberate attempt “to destroy, in whole

or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group,”

came into existence after World War II,

it accurately describes the program

that Europeans and their descendants pursued

to acquire the territory that would become the USA
. . . .
Mercifully, the bold stops there, but Swift doesn't, moving on to deny, like a true Marxist, that humans have anything that might be called an inner life:
The argument that we can ignore the collective cultural definition of Thanksgiving and create our own meaning in private has always struck me as odd.

This commitment to Thanksgiving puts these left/radical critics in the position of internalizing one of the central messages promoted by the ideologues of capitalism --that individual behavior in private is more important than collective action in public.

The claim that through private action we can create our own reality is one of the key tenets of a predatory corporate capitalism that naturalizes unjust hierarchy, a part of the overall project of discouraging political struggle and encouraging us to retreat into a private realm where life is defined by consumption.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cowtown no more!

You know how I knew the Denver Broncos were playing at home on Monday Night Football tonight? The Goodyear blimp cruised by my window.

Not enough? I could go to a poetry slam almost any night of the week, if I wanted to.

Update: By "cruised by my window," I certainly don't mean it was at window height or anything, just that I saw it putter by at whatever altitude blimps usually fly at.

Stupid is as . . . uh . . .

An opinionator in the Post (the Post is positively oozing with delights today, ain't it?) notes a certain community's increasing All Must Have Prizes mentality:
The latest example of that . . . mentality came last week, courtesy of the Boulder Valley School District. Worried about hurting the feelings of excellent students who weren't quite at the head of the class, a committee decided to dump the tradition of having just one valedictorian at each high school graduation.

Instead, they'll honor students in groups, as colleges do, with a summa, magna and cum laude honors, according to a story in the Boulder Daily Camera by Amy Bounds.

Earlier, the district stopped calculating each student's class rank. "Getting rid of class rank, district officials said, should reduce the unhealthy competition for a high rank," Bounds wrote. And without class rankings, the valedictorian system no longer made sense.
The D-blog has noted before how he graduated fourth in his class (from the bottom), so low that the kid immediately below him in rank was known to all as "Ug-Man," but honestly, my feelings weren't hurt in the least by having a valedictorian. The only way they might have been is if my nickname had been Ug-Man. (I, of course, was the "brilliant, handsome, troubled youth whose potential reaches the stars." You can read it in the school counselor's file. His nickname, I don't know why, was "Tigger.")

Security funding for Dem Convention held up in fight over Iraq

Denver fought to get this convention, and I am ever so grateful we did. The Post:
Denver will be forced to pay millions of dollars in upfront security costs for the 2008 Democratic National Convention if federal appropriations remain stalled in Congress, several officials said last week.

The concern is at such a level that Rep. Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, and Rep. Betty McCollum, DeGette's counterpart representing St. Paul, Minn., which is hosting the Republican National Convention, plan to send letters this week to the congressional leadership and to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee urging action. . . .

The cities say that they aren't prepared to pay the costs of providing security for the national conventions in the post-9/11 environment and that they aren't prepared to wait for the federal bureaucracy to reimburse them long after the balloons and confetti have fallen.
The party's over, it's time to squeal like a pig . . .

Maybe just one to celebrate

The Post's Bill Husted:

In 2004, Men's Health magazine named Denver the drunkest city in America.

In the upcoming December issue of Men's Health, Denver is again named the No. 1 drunkest city — and to put a capper on it, we're the "most dangerously drunk city."

Colorado Springs comes in as the third drunkest city. Aurora is the 19th drunkest city. . . .

The magazine came up with the rankings by factoring in "annual death rates due to alcoholic liver disease, as well as who's headed there by regularly downing five or more drinks in a sitting. Next, we factored in drunk-driving arrests and the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists. Then, after tallying the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) report card on state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking, we had our ranking and, for the state of Colorado, a [sic] invitation to AA."

In an interview at the Love To Drink Inn, Metro Denver Visitors Bureau spokesman Rich Grant countered:

"Whaddaya mean I'm cut off? Fug you! Fug everbody! You fuggin' fuggers! Fug you!"

It's bad around here.

Update: "Denver more dangerous than New York, San Francisco." Coinkidink? I think not.

Leftist disses white privilege, urges violence at Portland protests

Hard to believe, isn't it? An anonymous (of course) poster at Portland Indymedia analyzes peace groups' attempts to block military shipments there, and finds that the pacifist approach (even the nonpacifist pacifist approach Michelle Malkin and others have been noting) fails because of the racism, sexism and classism inherent in the movement:
When we look at how issues of sexism [for example] are handled within [the "Port Militarization Resistance"], it's important to look at who is missing from the group's constituency as a whole. PMR is primarily white, and the values of the group reflect this fact. Because of this, often times the deeper, structural roots of sexism and other kinds of oppression are ignored within PMR. Instead, "feel-good" actions that focus on personal "empowerment" but fail to threaten the dominant capitalist, white, patriarchal, heterosexual, able-bodied paradigm become the norm.
Pacifism, the poster quotes Peter Gelderloos in How Nonviolence Protects the State:

"is an inherently privileged position in the modern context. [B]esides the fact that the typical pacifist is quite clearly white and middle class, pacifism as an ideology comes from a privileged context; it ignores that violence is already here, that violence is an unavoidable, structurally integral part of the current social hierarchy and that it is people of color worst affected by that violence. Pacifism assumes that white people who grew up in the suburbs with all their basic needs met can counsel oppressed people, of whom people of color are a major part, to suffer patiently under an inconceivably greater violence, until such time as the Great White Father is swayed by the movement's demands, or the pacifists achieve that legendary "critical mass". People of color in the internal colonies of the US cannot defend themselves against police brutality or expropriate the means of survival to free themselves from economic servitude. They must wait for middle class people of color and conscientious whites to gather enough people to hold hands and sing songs, than [sic] change will surely come.". . .

Well, if (incredibly) singing songs and holding hands doesn't work, what will? Guess:

Taking all of this into consideration, perhaps it would be wise for PMR to reconsider its Code of Nonviolence and adopt a new code such as: "We, the members of Port Militarization Resistance (PMR), believe that the ideology of nonviolence is an inherently privileged position that only acts to reinforce systems of domination and oppression and does absolutely nothing to undermine these said systems. We recognize the right of people to self-defense and community defense and encourage people to dismantle the real violence, that is structural violence, of white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism by any means necessary.

Straight from the Ward Churchill playbook (though he rates only a cite at the end of the piece). Only violence is effective--or, more succinctly, "ya got a trigger finger, don't ya?"

More little Churchills

The internationalist itchbags of the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network note a speech by Hone Harawira, a Maori member of the New Zealand parliament, who "denounced recent attacks by the New Zealand 'security' forces on Indigenous activists, revealing the systemic nature of the silencing of dissent around the world" during debate on New Zealand's Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill.

What the speech actually reveals, of course, is the systemic nature of Churchillian bullshit around the world:
I don't understand terrorism as it is understood by those fuelled by the jingoistic, acid-drenched, hate-filled, anti-Islamic, death to anyone from the Middle East, vitriolic, poisonous claptrap that the United States is trying to foist upon the rest of the world. . . .

Mr Speaker, when a member of this House characterizes terrorism as the importation of deadly diseases, the murder of innocent civilians, and the wholesale theft of a people's lands and territories, is he referring to the terrorism of the colonial invasion of Aotearoa, because you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see those very terrorist activities in our own
history . . . .
Some background from the New Zealand Herald.

Update: PB (who should be back online today) notes a fundraiser for Wart at Woodstock, NY on the 21st. The announcement of the event at the Colony Cafe says:
Churchill was recently fired by the University of Colorado for "engaging in research misconduct" in a 2001 essay in which he claimed that people killed in the World Trade Center attacks were involved in provoking the attack. . . . A video interview with Churchill from White Buffalo Media will be followed by music from Hugh Brodie, Wet Paint, Gayle Two Eagles, Ras T Asheber Posse, Paul McMahon, Lynda Sunshine.
Teach your children well.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Jack Benny, naturally. Here's his first show for CBS after network head William Paley stole NBC's entire comedy lineup, as David Halberstam recounts in The Powers That Be (2 January 1949).

A Vic and Sade. "Robert and Slobert Are Scoundrels" (24 July 1944). Just gonna keep playing these until I'm dead and runny around the edges.

It's Hunker J. Sponger.

Churchill: On the MOVE

According to the Friends of Lenny blog, Ward will participate December 2 in a panel discussion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (December 3, as if you didn't know) in Dorchester, MA. Among other amoral freaks scheduled to appear are the ubiquitous Pam Africa; Ashanti Alston, whose political prisonerness began when the "official court system convicted him of armed robbery" (his supporter-written wiki notes, however, that "Alston, like most anarchists, disputes the moral issues of property and terms his activity in the BLA 'bank expropriation'"); and Jihad Abdulmumit, who
will present The Shootout, a two-person theater performance and workshop. The Shootout is a two-man dramatization depicting the spiritual and psychological divisions that have historically ripped apart just about every semblance of unity amongst African Americans. . . . Among the root causes of violence in oppressed communities are economic exploitation, social underdevelopment and the colonial relationship between the community and those in power. . . .
Maybe there'll be a couple of good tunes.

The event is sponsored in part by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine. Here are the committee's "principles of unity" along with a clever map of "Palestine."

So they'll probably have cake, too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Abstract of the week!

Courtesy of the fine Sage publication, Organization & Environment:
Global warming is the most serious environmental problem of our time and a major issue of environmental justice. Yet meager public response in the form of social movement activity, behavioral changes, or public pressure on governments is noteworthy in all Western nations. . . . Ethnographic and interview data from a rural Norwegian community indicate that nonresponse is at least partially a matter of socially organized denial. Because Norwegian economic prosperity is tied to oil production, collectively ignoring climate change maintains Norwegian economic interests. . . . This project examines wealthy citizens who perpetuate global warming as they turn a blind eye. Environmental justice implications of socially organized denial are discussed for global warming and beyond.
(via commenter "Abandon Ship" at Biased BBC)

Weird Bird Friday

Special This Week --- Weird Bird Friday Contest!

Correctly answer the Weird Bird Friday Contest question and win an all-expenses paid (by you) visit to your home town from Drunkablog & Drunkawife! (WBF fans from Australia and South America especially encouraged to enter.)

The question is: What is especially weird about this Friday's Weird Bird?

Macroglossum stellatarum

UPDATE: It appears from the millions of answers flooding in (well, okay--two) that the WBF contest was a bit too simple for my brainy readers. Apparently, I'm the only one who labored for months under the impression that this was a picture of some sort of weird hummingbird.
It is, indeed, a moth. The new contest question is: What kind of moth is it? The common name wins you the same prize listed above. The scientific name will get you a bonus prize--you get to take Drunkahusband and Drunkawife out to a fancy restaurant (your treat, of course) while we're in your exotic town visiting you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Night at the Radio!

In honor of dying newspapers everywhere, a couple of newpaper reporter shows.

First, Night Beat, the adventures of star Chicago Star reporter Randy Stone (Frank Lovejoy). This one's called "Mentallo, The Mental Marvel" (1 May 1950).

And Box 13, with Alan Ladd as writer Dan Holiday, who every week ran an ad in the paper: "Adventure wanted -- will go anywhere, do anything." So he's not actually a newspaper reporter, sue me. This one's called "Diamond In The Sky" (21 November 1948).

Rocky revamps

Can't get the front page to load at the moment, but the Rocky Mountain News's website has undergone extensive cosmetic surgery (just click on any other section if the front page is still blank).

Looks nice, but they also went inside and liposuctioned out the equivalent of 20 pounds of unsightly lard: almost all the blogs are gone.

It's very sad. Only a year and a half ago Rocky editor John Temple was boasting about how blogs were "blossoming" at the paper. Every columnist and reporter seemed to have one.

Unfortunately, they all stank. Hardly anybody posted regularly, and what got posted was, often, simply redundant of columns or news pieces. Rocky blogs also (with occasional exceptions) got few comments.

And now they're all disappeared--sports blogs, lifestyle blogs, political blogs--everything, it seems, except their main effort, RockyTalk Live, and a new business blog. (Oddly, each section of the site has a heading for "Columns and blogs," but while they all indeed contain columns, no blogs are evident.)

Temple probably found euthanizing his own blog (not updated--other than two apologies last month for technical problems that delayed delivery of the paper--since May) a relief, if not a positive pleasure, just as I did the liquidation of Mike Littwin's hilarious (kidding!) "Fair and Unbalanced" blog (untouched since September 28).

They've added a few things too, I guess, including the capability for comments on every story. But other papers have created successful blogs. Why can't the Rocky?

American Indian Congress meets in Denver

Only the Rocky has mentioned it, which is odd because, as noted here, the Post has been running a series on Indian justice this week which discusses some of the very same iss-ee-uuuuus. The Durango Herald:
Hundreds of American Indians are gathering in Denver this week, hoping to flex their political power before next year's national elections.

The National Congress of American Indians [my link] was founded in Denver 64 years ago. Today, the congress maintains a full-time operation in Washington, D.C., to lobby for native causes - housing, health care, education and economic development, said Jacqueline Johnson, executive director of the group.

This year, the group is rolling out its Native Vote campaign, which will focus on getting more Indians to the polls in 13 states, including Colorado.
Hillary spoke to them via satellite, they got a taped message from Chimpy McGenocide--and Ward Churchill couldn't make it. Something about a conflict with an appearance at an anarchist bookstore.

Ira Levin

The sly-humored horror writer (Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives) who was way more fun to read than Normie and gave the world, or at least me, two enduring catchphrases--"Oh God, Frank, you're the master" (SW), and "Hair Satan" (RB)--died Tuesday.

Only Regent to vote against firing Churchill to run for state Senate

Face the State:

Cindy Carlisle, a University of Colorado Regent known best for being the lone dissenting vote against the firing of controversial professor Ward Churchill, has announced she will run for the Colorado state Senate. . . .

Carlisle’s July vote in support of Churchill garnered national media attention, including Fox News. She was outnumbered 8-1 by her fellow regents, who decided after a two-year investigation to fire Churchill, an ethnic studies professor who initially raised public ire in early 2005 after a an inflammatory essay he wrote became public.
More Wardness: According to the Friends of Lenny blog, Churchill will appear at the New College Theater in San Francisco on the 26th:
Ward Churchill will speak on the history of COINTELPRO and the State’s ongoing campaigns of repression targeting dissident groups. Richard Brown will speak on behalf of the SF8, eight former Black Panthers whose recent arrest on previously-dismissed charges demonstrates that COINTELPRO is alive and well.
Even Warder: PB linked to a post saying that Ward would be in Caracas, Venezuela this month to participate in a forum (or fora) asking the musical question: "The United States: Is Revolution Possible?" The guy who posted the link later took it down.

Update: By the way, there's a new Colorado website (new to me at least) called Face the State (linked above). They seem pretty serious, though I'd never heard a thing about them before. That's how I know they're serious. The site is like (though they probably wouldn't appreciate the comparison) a libertarian Colorado Confidential.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

Information Please: Frequent guest and author of Mrs. Miniver, Jan Struther; ambassador to Moscow and showtrial-approving com-symp Joseph E. Davies (19 December 1941).

And Gunsmoke: "The Cast" (21 November 1953). Sponsored, you'll note, by "Post Toasties, the heap good cornflakes." Oy vey.

And Vic and Sade: "The Lunges Are Coming" (9 June 1944). Listen to this show much and you'll understand why Paul Rhymer, its sole writer for the 12 or 13 years of its run, was often compared to Mark Twain. Actually, he's funnier.

Media tour big building, predict boredom

Der Posten:
Political directors from major news organizations who toured Denver's Pepsi Center confirmed what many Democratic operatives have been saying for months: that Denver's choice as host city [for the Democratic National Convention] will mean media coverage from everything to [sic] slice-of-life stories to hard-news looks at the so-called Western Democrat.
Update: Coaxed the dog?

Update II: Now I know why we need Bassett rescue.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another lunatic for Ward

Meet Ampro: "I am an author/artist/activist from Buffalo, NY. I tend to blog about activism, Unitarian Universalism, polyamory and performing."

Here's part of Ampro's latest post, snark-free for your enjoyment:

In Derrick Jensen's latest book, endgame: vol II, he credits Ward Churchill with having told him that the GNP (Gross National Product) is just a scorecard of how fast the nation converts life into death. Living trees into dead paper, living animals into fast food commodities, living plants into textiles and the like. Personally, I had never really thought about the GNP very much before, but I see where they're going with that. I think it's more than that though. I think that's one major component of it, and another major component is changing the earth's chemical equation (converting inorganic things into products (which also has catastrophic consequences (consequences, like turning the living into the dead I suppose (but that's a little too indirect for me)))). Anyway, the powers that are go around converting all kinds of non living things into products: water, rocks, gases, whatever else. Things like carbon and coal and oil and radioactive elements that are supposed to be buried under the ground are now out and just hanging around with us on the surface, changing our atmosphere, making us sick, doing whatever all else.

In book [sic] I'm presently writing, the Problem With Earthlings, I talk a lot about the battle I've been waging against the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for most of my adult life. . . .

These days I take my anti-consumerism to a ridiculous extreme according to many of my friends. According to me I'm just living my life. I am pretty zealotous about it though. Around this time every year I sit down and calculate how much money I did not give to Altria corporation by not smoking? And how much money I did not give to McDonald's by never ever going to McDonald's? How much money is Anheuser Busch lacking due to my not drinking? And it goes on and on and on. . . .


be Peace,

Update: Okay, couldn't help adding one tiny li'l linkie to Ampro's ignoration. It's kind of funny, though.

Government urged to waste more money

By reopening investigation of UFO sightings:

An international UFO group based in Colorado supports a call from pilots and former government officials to the U.S. government to reopen its investigation of UFO sightings to secure the skies.

"There's a big air safety issue," said James Carrion, international director of Mutual UFO Network based in his Bellview home north of Fort Collins. "It's a national security issue."

Remember all those midair plane/UFO collisions? You don't? Well, national security, then. Carrion's got a point there. Certainly his concern has nothing to do with standing to make even more money from heightened interest in UFOs, right?

An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials asked the U.S. government yesterday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation, according to a Reuters report.

The Air Force investigated 12,618 UFO reports from 1947 to 1969 in what was known as Project Blue Book, the Reuters report said.

In 1969, the Air Force cited a $500,000 University of Colorado study called the Condon Report in deciding not to continue its investigation, Carrion said. CU researchers were very negative and said UFO reports did not merit further research, he said.

But thousands of UFO sightings reported by credible people including former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and numerous near misses between aircraft and UFOs counter that conclusion, he said.

Everybody knows Reagan and Carter did a lot of acid together. But more credible witnesses are cited as well:
Recently, Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a U.S. Congressman from Ohio, confirmed he saw a UFO 25 years ago. Author Shirley MacLaine claimed in her book "Sage-Ing While Age-Ing" [Kill! Kill! Kill!--ed.] that Kucinich reported to her that he saw gigantic triangular UFO hovering silently above him at her house for about 10 minutes before it sped away at a speed he could not comprehend.
Bet he says that about lots of stuff.
A spokesman for Kucinich, David Kelley, could not be reached for comment today.
Keep calling.
The nonprofit group MUFON [MUFON!--ed.], which now has 2,500 members from round the world, took over the task of investigating UFO sightings after the Air Force "publicly" ended it's study, Carrion said.
The group has certified [sic] 800 people including about 20 in Colorado to investigate UFO sightings, Carrion said. Colorado is one of the top states for UFO citings in the U.S., he said.
High country, clear skies, airheads galore.

About 75 percent are explained by natural phenomenon like asteroids or man-made objects like satellites, he said.

Carrion said he does not believe the government stopped investigating UFOs, but has done so secretly.

"The government is putting a lid on what is happening and we'd like to know why," he said. "What we want is for the government to declassify documents."
Right after they declassify all the documents on 9/11.

You can probably tell I'm skeptical of UFOs (of alien origin). Didn't really used to be, or rather, like every reasonable person I believed the universe had to hold intelligent life out the ying-yang (besides, if you're feeling generous, us puny humans), so why wouldn't they be checking us out? This, of course, despite that nagging little question of Fermi's.

But now I believe it is time to echo, even amplify, Fergie's, er, Fermi's question, posed so many years ago: Where. The fug. Are they?

Update: Drunkablog's corollary to Fergie's Paradox: If the bug-eyed little bastards are snubbing us, they can just fug off and die for all I care.

Which doesn't fit?

Categories of interesting facts and figures on the Post's "Data Center" page:

Colorado Sex Offenders
Denver Metro Home Prices
Colorado Crime Stats

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thanks for the MIMories

Let me just blurt it before my tears short out the keyboard:

Security Minister, and the whole Maoist Internationalist Movement website, have been purged.

Purged! Typically for Maoists, Security Minister was also forced to self-denounce:
Security update
November 10 2007

Earlier in the week, we received word that our website would be shutdown. On November 7, Alexa also changed our categorizations for page rankings to be removed from political websites and changed to writing. Since last year we have given up readership share steadily by virtue of the topics we have intentionally chosen to update. MIM has had this web page over a decade.
As before, we inform readers to watch for "Security Minister, MIM," if a new website arises.
We will, Security Minister! We will!
MIM comrades are fine [thank God!]. Team Oppressed is doing well in the global struggle, glory to the Iraqi insurgents. Although Annapolis looks like a photo-op still, MIM is still pushing the two-state solution.
Glory to the Iraqi insurgents (what insurgents?), but a two-state solution. Unusual. As always, though, Security Minister has our safety in mind first and foremost:
Most readers will not want to get involved and they should consider their security, but if you believe our administrator is making an error in assessing the significance of this web page, you may complain to or offer to send money.
Offer made! No money forthcoming!

We are in the process of contacting a writer centrally affected by the dynamic of our time [update: I mean, he just died, didn't he? I'd call that being quite directly "affected by the dynamic of our time."]

There remains much work to be done on the web page just to organize what is already there. It requires index pages that we will be working on.

Security Minister, emotionless as always. So that's it. Goodbye, little MIM. What better epitaph can I offer but the famous tribute from one of your most fervent admirers: "T]he Maoist International Movement have used their weekly papers to advance some of the best analysis of my case and its implications yet published."

Me want

And me want NOW:

Global Warming Mug with Chocolates

Fill the mug with a hot beverage and watch the world’s coastlines disappear. Unwrap a milk chocolate Earthball, pop it into your mouth, and it, too, will disappear. 12-oz. ceramic mug arrives with 6 oz. of creamy, delicious chocolates in colorful foil wrappers. The perfect stocking stuffer.
Earthballs. And of course the mugs (though not the chocolates) are completely organic, and no toxic chemicals or energy were used in their manufacture.

(via commenter Latino at Tim Blair's)

Update: $17.95? Seventeen dollars and ninety-five cents for a coffee mug? Me no want no more.

Update II: Not that anybody cares, but I originally said the price was $17.50.

Laws ridiculous

The Post is running a series on the jurisdictional nightmare of "Indian justice." The first article, "Promises, justice broken," bears the blurb, "A dysfunctional system lets serious reservation crimes go unpunished and puts Indians at risk." It has links to the other articles thus far, including one on the 1885 law that led to
the most complicated jurisdictional regime in the country. It's the only legal system under which the race of the victim and perpetrator determines the court of jurisdiction.
It's ludicrous:
Police working on or around Oklahoma's patchwork reservations have to carry GPS devices because the change by a few feet in the location of a crime can determine whether it's under state, tribal or federal authority.
Luckily, Native Americans have Ward Churchill to fight for them.

Flyover news

My sister Sabra sent the link to a small slideshow of the fire after an explosion at a local power plant (maybe THE local power plant):

Caption reads: "Smoke and haze drifts north from City Water, Light and Power after an explosion Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007. Max Bittle/The State Journal-Register."

Nice picture. Pure luck:
There were 11 workers at the plant at the time of the explosion. [Mayor Tim] Davlin said one man was 15 feet away and several others were seconds away from being seriously injured or killed.

“This is a magnitude that probably none of us are going to realize the real expense for quite some time. It’s unbelievable. On any other given day, had it been 7 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon, there probably could have been 20 people that would have been either injured or killed right where this happened,” he said.
But nobody was.

Update: Mayor says wrong thing:
“Tough.” That was Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin’s response Sunday when pressed about why it took officials two hours Saturday to release information to the public about the power plant explosions and possible dangers to the community.
I like the "tough," but you should probably get in front of talk-radio rumors that clouds of toxic gas are drifting over your city.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Jack Benny: Jack returns from his command performance in London. Dinah Shore is the guest. Funny (of course) (19 November 1950).

Update: The Tallulah Bankhead reference explained in her wiki:

In 1950, in an effort to cut into the rating leads of The Jack Benny Program and The Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy Show which had jumped from NBC radio to CBS radio the previous season, NBC spent millions over the two seasons of The Big Show starring "the glamorous, unpredictable" Tallulah Bankhead as its host, in which she acted not only as mistress of ceremonies but also performed monologues and songs.[14] Despite Meredith Willson's Orchestra and Chorus and top guest stars from Broadway, Hollywood and radio--including Fred Allen, Fanny Brice, Groucho Marx, Ethel Merman, Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn, Jimmy Durante, Martin & Lewis, George Jessel, Judy Garland, Ethel Barrymore, Gloria Swanson, José Ferrer and Judy Holliday, The Big Show, which earned rave reviews, failed to do more than dent Jack Benny's and Edgar Bergen's ratings.
Update II: Tallaluhwiki, ya'll.

And a Vic and Sade: "Rush's New School Clothes" (24 August 1942).

Quinners never wit

Interesting alleged facts and figures on smoking in Colorado just before the 30th anniversary of the dorkily named but well-meaning Great American Smokeout:
When the Smokeout started 30 years ago as a way for people to stop using tobacco - even for a single day - a lot more people lit up regularly, about one in three adults. By last year, the figure dropped to fewer than one in five. And Colorado now ranks ninth in the nation for lowest prevalence of adult smoking, with 17.9 percent of the population using tobacco. Officials attribute the decline to the 2004 tobacco tax increase that funds tobacco-education programs and to the 2006 state ban on indoor smoking.
Don't know why it comes to mind just now, but Rocky columnist David Harsanyi's book Nanny State arrived in the mail yesterday.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Know how I quit smoking? It was easy. I just quit drinking 15 to 20 beers and a half-pint (or more) of McCormick's vodka every day first. Try it. You won't believe what a Lark (heh) quitting smoking is compared to that. Hint: no clonic
seizures. :-)

Update: McCormick's, the only vodka to win the coveted EPA seal of approval, is now calling itself the "Earth Friendly Vodka."

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Not a big fan of Norman Mailer or his work (though the first half of The Executioner's Song is great), but there is a tiny connection. His "literary executor and biographer," J. Michael Lennon, quoted announcing his death at the top of the AP's obituary, was years ago the publisher of the little (not "little," just little) magazine I worked for.

Even then Mike (his first name is John, hence the "J. Michael" business) was always jetting off to hang with "Norman," or planning projects around Norman, or writing about Norman, or, especially, talking about Norman. This naturally engendered a certain cynicism among the younger staff, both toward "Normie," as we invariably called him, and toward his (eye rolls implied it) li'l buddy, Mike.

But look at him now: literary executor and official biographer of one of the most famous writers of the 20th century.

And look at me. No, don't look at me!

But I have my doubts that Lennon (who's a good guy, by the way) can shake off decades of training himself around Norman's hellish personality and write something reasonably balanced.

Update: Comcast home page, linking to the same AP obit: "Beloved author dies at 84." Beloved. "Pugnacious prince," odious as the alliteration is, comes a lot closer. Even closer: pugnacious pr--never mind, I'll wait.