Tuesday, November 25, 2008

MIM goes to the MIMovies!

"'Changeling' is surprisingly good":
The opening scene shows a working class mother named Christine Collins lose her child to an abductor. The child was alone, because the father had left at birth and because the mother was overworked. This vulnerability turned Christine Collins into a gender oppressed persyn, unable to own children like normal adults. . . .

The rest of the film is how various professionals connected to the LAPD seek to control Christine Collins, including by the use of a psychiatric hospital. The gender oppressors (men) including adult psychiatric professional females seeking to control Collins all come to no good end. "Fuck them and the horse they rode in on" is appropriate for Collins's response to the institutions of social control and other similar political situations outside the movie.

Clint Eastwood will be ecstatic.

"'Body of Lies' is Amerikkka":

CIA agent Roger Ferris kills many Arabs, gets many on his side killed and carries out a fake terrorist operation to attract attention. Then at the end of the movie he concludes his path does not work.

Ferris just quits the CIA. The end result is petty-bourgeois escapism, the privilege of the rich. . . .

Despite the conclusion, it may end up being yet another recruiting film for the CIA. Most of the dialogue is stupid Amerikkkan war on terror stuff.

The upshot may be that more Amerikans will decide to fight for the CIA for a while and then quit.

British court blocks extradition of alleged Holocaust denier

Saw this on a spinoffenzee linken at LGF:
Germany will continue to pursue a well-known Holocaust denier even after a British court ruled against his extradition and set him free, a German state prosecutor said Monday.
And it's not D-blog pal David Irving!
Gerald Fredrick Toben is wanted on charges of denying the Holocaust for articles posted to his Web site, said Mannheim prosecutor Andreas Grossmann. Toben was arrested Oct. 1 on the German warrant at London's Heathrow airport while traveling from the United States to Dubai.
Didn't recognize the name, but I googled it with Irving's and found this in the Telegraph from October 3:
Historian Irving has offered a place at his home in Windsor, Berks, for German-born Australian national Gerald Toben who faces extradition to Germany on a European arrest warrant.
That Irving. What a sweet guy.
The German authorities claim Toben launched a campaign between 2000 and 2004 in which he posted anti-Semitic claims on the internet that "denies, approves or plays down" the mass murder of the Jews.
Toben's (or "Töben's") wiki (though not the papers) details the kind of shit he spews, on his own and as founder of the Adelaide Institute:
Töben has indicated that he considers the Holocaust to be a "lie" ostensibly perpetuated by "the Holocaust Racketeers, the corpse peddlers and the Shoah Business Merchants"; he has further asserted that "the current U.S. government is influenced by world Zionist considerations to retain the survival of the European colonial, apartheid, Zionist, racist entity of Israel."
The Australian had details of the British court's ruling:
[W]estminster Magistrates Court district judge Daphne Wickham ruled the extradition could not go ahead because the warrant contained only "sparse" details about Dr Toben's alleged offences, including exactly what they were, as well as where and when they took place.

"This judgment makes no determination as to whether the (alleged) conduct (of Toben) ... amounts to an extradition offence," Judge Wickham said.

"But I do find the particulars in the warrant are vague and imprecise. Therefore I don't find it to be a valid warrant and I can discharge the defendant."

Granting Dr Toben bail, the judge laid down a set of strict conditions including that he come up with pound stg. 100,000 ($247,465) in cash as security. He had to reside at a specific address approved by British authorities and report daily to police but not use the internet, speak to the media or attend public meetings.

As with Irving, who spent a year in jail in Austria for Holocaust denial, it's nice to contemplate Toben behind bars (or, even worse, denied use of the internet), but still: thank God for the First Amendment. First they came for the Holocaust deniers, and I laughed. Then they came for the Canuck Muslim-mockers . . . and I laughed again. But you get the idea.

Two quotes from "historian" Irving, by the way, the first from the Telegraph story, before Toben was released:

However, Irving claimed outside court that the case showed that living in England was like being in Nazi Germany.
Of course it is! Isn't that why Irving lives there? (Mein Fuehrer!). The second quote, however, is from the Australian, after Toben's release:
When Dr Toben was released, Mr Irving said: "We defeated Germany again; we've defeated Europe in fact. We've always believed in freedom of speech in this country, no matter how crazy people's views are."
Yeah, crazy. Have another drink, Davey.

Tree murder

Goodbye, Sumac! Bwahahahahah--look out! Big branch!

Monday, November 24, 2008

When interns go bad

Hadn't noticed this one anywhere. TwinCities.com:
An intern for KSTP-TV did not take well to being fired. She began hurling threats at an executive producer and kicked out the glass of a conference room door in an attempt to get at her, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Jennifer Nicole Anato-Mensah, 21, a University of Minnesota student, was told about 7:15 p.m. Oct. 13 that things weren't working out for her.

"This is a young girl who was not understanding concepts in a television newsroom," said Danielle Prenevost, 33, executive producer of the station's early evening newscasts. "I said, 'I don't think your level of college experience is enough for this job.' "

At that point, Prenevost said, Anato-Mensah "just lost it." . . .

Several newsroom employees heard Anato-Mensah shouting, yelling obscenities and threatening Prenevost, saying, "You don't know where I'm from. I'll mess you up, b ——-."

Prenevost attempted to walk away from Anato-Mensah, but the intern followed her. A male employee stepped between her and Prenevost, who went into a nearby conference room. The male employee tried to get Anato-Mensah to calm down and pack up her things, but Anato-Mensah left her desk and again tried to get to the conference room, the complaint said.

Several male employees then stood at the conference room door as Anato-Mensah continued to yell and swear and try to push her way in. At one point, she kicked at and broke a window in the conference room door. She had to be restrained to keep her out of the room, the complaint said.

"The whole situation was very scary," Prenevost said. . . .

Anato-Mensah was charged with criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct. Both are misdemeanors.
(via Romenesko)

Hungry hungry Santa

Wanted: Cheerful, chubby men, preferably with fluffy white beards and no criminal record, ready to work hard for one month.

Germany is running out of qualified Santa Clauses and needs to recruit and train them fast, a leading job agency says.

Germans are trying to shut out the financial crisis by taking comfort in traditional festivities, and there is an acute shortage of Santas to entertain children at shopping centres, Christmas markets and private parties.

"Being Santa is not an easy job," Jens Wittenberger, in charge of Santa Claus recruitment at the Jobcafe Munich, told Reuters on Monday. "To be honest, not many people have what it takes to be a good Father Christmas".
And you know what happens when you hire substandard Santas:

Tragedy. (Isn't this the most convincing photoshop you've ever seen?)

The story concludes:
Recruitment sessions are being held in cities across the country, and while the job may be stressful, it's better than being jobless, Wittenberger said.

"Santas can make up to 60 euros ($75) an hour," he said. "That's not bad, is it?"
Ho Ho Ho! Ho Ho Ho! Ho Ho (chomp) Ho!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here's to moo, Denver!

On this date (one more famous for another incident, but I disremember what) 150 years ago, the city of Denver was founded, right down the hill from the Drunkablog manse at the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek.

Both papers have a bunch of stories, gathered here in the Post und here in the News. Both mention the city's alleged "cowtown" fixation, though only the News has a whole story about it. Neither has much to say about the Indians, who, oral tradition has it, were here first, though Bill Gallo is the more PC in the News' overview: "Pioneer Denverites once slaughtered American Indians with no thought for their humanity"--which draws a comment from one "davehughes":
First of all, the assertion by Gallo that Colorado Territorial "Pioneer Denverites once slaughtered American Indians with no thought for their humanity" utterly ignores the reality that both the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians managed to 'slaughter' hundreds of settlers who came west. And even sealed off Denver from the east by their continual attacks on travellers. Which even Col Chivington following the clear orders of General Curtis to 'punish' both tribes at Sand Creek, did not stop their depredations. In fact right on our family ranch on Comanche Creek east of Kiowa the Arapahoe killed and mutilated Henrietta Dietemann and her 5 year old son. And killed and mutilated three young boys right here where Colorado Springs now stands. Both after Sand Creek. So some of us who are also 3 and 4 generation Coloradoan's don't buy into the 'politically correct' version of history that makes all the settlers bad and all the Indians good.

Revisionist history is the fad these days. Sorry to see the Rocky Mountain News be a party to it.
Both papers have slideshows of old photos, the News' far superior to the Post's, including pics not only of the city but of people like Baby Doe Tabor and the Unshankable Molly Brown, as the heroine of the Titanic was known during her prior stint in the Denver City Jail (hey, look at me, I'm a revisionist historian!).

Only one paper, thank God, has an essay by John Temple, who apparently believes it his duty as editor to write such things: "A song of praise for you, Denver":

Yes, you are still a village, or maybe a town, when I compare you to Chicago or New York, Tokyo or London.

But I am glad, yes, glad when I arrive home from a trip and slip into your easy ways.

Last Saturday I was driving west on Hampden Avenue toward the glistening peaks.

It was then that the word glorious came to mind. I have been carrying it with me and rolling it on my tongue ever since as I think of how to mark this special day, today, your 150th birthday.

Oh, Denver.

Oh, John.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Night at the Radio!

Bill Stern's Sports Newsreel! Paul Harvey stole his entire schtick from this guy. "Rudy Vallee" (24 January 1945). I'll always love Vallee for his role as a rich fop in "The Palm Beach Story," in which he uttered the immortal line: "It's a tragedy of this world that the men most in need of a beating up are always enormous."

Okay, one more line from that movie:

Wienie King: I'm the Wienie King! Invented the Texas Wienie! Lay off 'em, you'll live longer.

X Minus 1: Robert Heinlein's early classic, "The Roads Must Roll" (4 January 1956).

A wartime Duffy's Tavern: "War Bond Drive With Boris Karloff" (1943). Karloff, "America's favorite pin-up ghoul."

Suspense! A Dashiel Hammett story (my, ain't we literary tonight): "Two Sharp Knives" (30 September 1942).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abstract of the Week!

Dance Research Journal:
Re-orienting Dance and Migration Studies

Like dance studies, the interdisciplinary field of migration studies is interested in theories and methods for understanding patterns of individual and mass human movements across the world's stage, the policies governing human im/mobility, and the social experiences that such movements engender. Both dance and migration studies privilege movement and process as categories of analysis. As such, dance studies is uniquely poised to contribute to migration studies and the foremost topics within its terrain: citizenship and statelessness, territory wars, labor refugeeism, border wars, religious and political occupation, and environmental and epidemiological displacement. Recent scholarship in the fields of music, theater, art, architecture, and literature has persuasively insisted upon the importance of the fine and performing arts to exploring the experiences and conditions of global migration. To date, no volume has investigated the impact of migration studies in relationship to dance. . . .

Paging Paul Campos

The Rocky op-ed columnist, who writes frequently about "food fascists," will blow a gasket over this story. AP:
A little less "I'm Lovin' It" could put a significant dent in the problem of childhood obesity, suggests a new study that attempts to measure the effect of TV fast-food ads.

A ban on such commercials would reduce the number of obese young children by 18 percent, and the number of obese older kids by 14 percent, researchers found.

They also suggested that ending an advertising expense tax deduction for fast-food restaurants could mean a slight reduction in childhood obesity.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

One of the last of the old-time radio writers has died. AP:
Irving Brecher, who wrote vaudeville one-liners for Milton Berle and scripted Marx Brothers movies, the TV and radio hit "The Life of Riley" and the Oscar-nominated musical "Meet Me in St. Louis," has died. He was 94. . . .

Brecher was a teenager in New York when he got his first comedy writing credits as columnists Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan named him when they used jokes he sent them on postcards.

At 19, he and a friend began a comedy-writing service for entertainers, promising jokes so bad even notorious gag-stealer Milton Berle wouldn't use them.

Berle was their first customer, then took Brecher along when he moved into radio and the movies and went to Hollywood, where Brecher got a contract with Mervyn LeRoy, head of production at MGM.

He was an uncredited script doctor on "The Wizard of Oz" and wrote screenplays for the Marx Brothers movies "At the Circus" and "Go West."

"If I were any drier, I'd be drowning," Groucho Marx says while caught in the rain in 1939's "At the Circus," which was filled with puns and other wordplay.

In another scene, Marx exclaims: "I bet your father spent the first year of your life throwing rocks at the stork."

He and Fred F. Finklehoffe were nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of the 1944 Judy Garland picture "Meet Me in St. Louis."

Brecher created the long-running radio series "The Life of Riley," about a common man whose missteps cause endless trouble.

Chester Riley, voiced by William Bendix, frequently used the tag line "What a revoltin' development this is!"

Another character, undertaker Digger O'Dell (obviously based on Boris Karloff), had the once famous tagline: "I'll be shoveling along now." Brecher was a union man to the end:
He made a video in 2007 during the writers' strike, urging the union not to settle, The New York Times noted.

"Since 1938, when I joined what was then the Radio Writers Guild, I have been waiting for the writers to get a fair deal; I'm still waiting," he said in the video. "As Chester A. Riley would have said: 'What a revoltin' development this is.' But he only said it because I wrote it." . . .

Brecher created, wrote, directed or produced several other movies, including the 1941 feature "Shadow of the Thin Man" and 1963's "Bye Bye Birdie."
Nobody's perfect. Anyway, as far as I know the only real old-time radio writer left, believe it or not, is Herman Wouk, who, like Brecher, sent jokes to comedians as a teenager (and wrote for Fred Allen for several years in the late 30s and early 40s.)

Never was a big fan of "Life of Riley," but it's okay. Here's a wartime Thanksgiving episode: "Turkey Hunt" (19 November 1944). Good war-bond plea at the end.

And one more: "Bread Shortage" (13 April 1946).

Update: Don't know how I always screw these things up. Here's "Bread Shortage." The one just above is "Riley Finds a Fur Coat" (6 April 1946)


Part two of the Ayers-Dohrn interview with Amy Goodman at Democrac!y Now, scheduled for Monday, has yet to appear. Still no explanation. One begins to suspect one or the other of them said something(s) too impolitic even for D!N. But if so, why wouldn't they just edit it out? In any case, the delay can't possibly be because of the press of news.

Oh, well. Instead, today Glottal Fry Girl interviewed academic clown Cornel West (about 14:30 in) on "my dear brother Barack" and his initial appointments. "I hope he is a progressive Lincoln" (Cornel's going to be very disappointed):

(Once again !DN!s embed code completely screws up the page.)

Israel = evil

The Rocky's first real blogger, Bridget Johnson, has an excellent post on a panel discussion at CU Monday: "Panel at CU rails against Israeli 'apartheid,' won't condemn terrorism":
The speakers for the evening were Katherine Fuchs, national organizer of the occupation-ending campaign (who said that her "End the Israeli Occupation" group "doesn't take sides"), Diana Buttu, onetime PLO spokeswoman and legal adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Eddie Makue of the South African Council of Churches. As I was perusing the handouts offered at the door, I saw how much they were leaning on South African sources to claim that Israel practices apartheid in the Middle East. My first thought was the rank anti-Semitism exhibited when Durban, South Africa, hosted the U.N. World Conference Against Racism. The good reverend gave an impassioned lecture about the evils of apartheid in South Africa, a talk that was stirring in its correct context of egregious human-rights violations. Then, as he decried apartheid as "legal forms of discrimination to promote a diabolical philosophy ... that people are unequal," he began to pepper in the comparisons to Israel. "The argument we're having is, 'But it's right to have
apartheid,'" he said, and that apartheid there "thrives on teaching its youth, its children that other people are less human."
Same old, same old. Read the whole thing; Johnson does a good job of contrasting statements and actions.

The bastard children of Derrick and Ward

The Feds are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of four eco-terrorists accused of, among many other crimes, the 1998 firebombing at Vail Ski Resort. The News:
The four are believed to be members of a radical environmental group known as "The Family" that is blamed [yeah, blamed] for a series of arson attacks, vandalism and other crimes in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Colorado from 1996-2001.

They are Josephine Sunshine Overaker, Joseph Mahmoud Dibee, Justin Franchi Solondz and Rebecca Rubin, and are believed to be living outside the United States.
Ah, diversity.
The 1998 firebombing at Vail ski resort is considered one of the most devastating ecoterrorism attacks in U.S. history.

The group also is suspected in a 2001 ecoterror arson of the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle.
At least the Rocky doesn't cavil at using that word.
The incidents were among at least 25 criminal actions by members of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front that caused more than $80 million in damages, officials said. . . .

A total of 17 people have been indicted on ecoterrorism charges related to actions by the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, Ward said. Thirteen have been convicted.

The FBI said Solondz, 29, may be in Canada, Europe or Asia; Dibee, 31, in Syria; and Rubin, 35, in Canada.
"Sunshine" Overaker may be in Canada too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

News you will use--or else!

A history lesson in song from the North Korean News Agency:

Many revolutionary hymns reflecting ardent reverence for President Kim Il Sung have been created in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and are widely sung among people.

The creation of hymns praising him dated from the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle.

Representing the will of the young revolutionaries of the new generation and people to look up President Kim Il Sung, who took the road of the revolutionary struggle in his early years and was devoting himself to the liberation of the country, as the centre of unity and cohesion and the leader of the nation and to be loyal to him, the song was disseminated among the people, gripping their hearts from the first days after its creation.

The immortal revolutionary hymn "Song of General Kim Il Sung" which rocked the mountains and rivers of the liberated country is full of the boundless reverence of the Korean people for and their absolute trust in him.

A lot of hymns including "Song Devoted to Marshal Kim Il Sung", "Marshal Kim Il Sung Is Our Supreme Commander", "Long Live Generalissimo Kim Il Sung" and "Long Life to Generalissimo Kim Il Sung" were created in the periods of building a new country, the hard-fought Fatherland Liberation War, postwar rehabilitation and construction and the socialist construction; they inspired dynamically the people to the efforts for making a leap forward, heightening their revolutionary confidence and great pride of having the peerlessly great man.

Today the Korean people are vigorously turning out in the efforts for accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Juche, loudly singing revolutionary hymns including the song "Generalissimo Kim Il Sung Is with Us" created in response to the ardent desire and will to hold him in high esteem as the eternal leader of the revolution and the sun of Juche.

Update: Remember Paul Anka's surreptitiously recorded "When I move, I slice like a fuckin' hammer" rant? A great blogosphere moment. Last year Ace (from whom), noted that the movie Oceans 18 (or whatever it was) steals that line as well as the classic "Don't make a maniac out of me."

Update II: More golden memories. "An original song of his member."


The inaugural podcast of the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Blogs is tonight at 9 p.m. MST.

The show will feature exemplary bloggers Randy Ketner of Night Twister and Michael Alcorn of Best Destiny. Guest will be Seeme Hasan, founder of Muslims for America.

Someday I'll be on to discuss, um, well, one of the many things I'm an expert on.

Chew on this (if you can, gummy)

The Mail has a piece on a rare book on 18th-century dentistry to be auctioned this month:
Written in 1770 by Thomas Berdmore, who was considered to be the outstanding dentist in England and was known as 'Operator for the Teeth' to King George III, it makes toe-curling reading as he details how pliers and wire were used to give a patient a brilliant smile. . . .

Addressing the subject of 'how to bring teeth which are ill into beautiful order', he wrote: 'Pass gold wire from the neighbouring teeth on either side, in such a manner as to press upon what stands out of the line.'

The somewhat drastic alternative, Berdmore suggested, was to 'break the teeth into order by means of a strong pair of crooked pliers'.

The book, called 'A Treatise On The Disorders And Deformities Of The Teeth And Gums And The Most Rational Methods Of Treating Them', is thought to be the first-ever English-language tome on the art of dentistry.

Berdmore also encouraged youngsters with milk teeth to 'chew upon coral, wax and suchlike bodies', and advised: 'Cracking nuts is hurtful to teeth, as is the custom young girls have for cutting sewing thread with their teeth.
As true now as it was then:
'The boyish custom of carrying a table or chair in their mouth is as dangerous as it is absurd. Tooth picks are also very bad practice.'

Monday, November 17, 2008


Part two of Amy Goodman's interview with Billy 'n' Bernie was supposed to air today, but nada. No explanation.

Wart's demographic

Been a while since I ran across a new member of Ward Churchill's target audience, but here's one: James F. Marino, author of the succinctly named blog, FASCISM--"9-11"--MIND CONTROL--The Mother Of All Black Operations.
9-11 Is The Worst Black Operation Ever Perpetrated Against The American People. This Site Documents This Inside Job As Well As My Experiences With Precedent Setting Government Corruption & Civil Rights Violations Committed Against Me By The FBI, NSA & DHS Under The Color Of Law. US Federal Intelligence Has Become A Modern Day Gestapo - An Orwellian Nightmare -- NSA Satellites And Remote Neural Monitoring Technology Are The Modern Day Equivalent Of Orwell's Big Brother.-- James F. Marino
Ward isn't a troofer, at least publicly, but this Marino guy relies on his COINTELPRO lies for much of his outlook. Here he is on the FBI and the J. Edgar Hoovette office building in D.C.:
A Fitting End To The TERRORIST FBI

Since the latter part of the 20Th Century the J. Edgar Hoover Building has represented Nazism in the strongest sense of the word. It has stood for tyranny, the most abject cruelty, and the destruction of the United States Constitution and basic human rights. Each leader of the FBI from the paranoid megalomaniac John Edgar Hoover, on down to the latest of this Bureau's Nazi minded representatives has stood for oppression and the destruction of American freedoms.

The FBI should be abolished since its existence in the United States is diametrically opposed to the freedoms which this country is supposed to represent.

The J. Edgar Hoover Building should be demolished. Since the mid 1970's it has stood as a symbol of oppression for all Americans.

In its place, a memorial park should be erected in honor of all of the FBI's millions of victims; those who've been disenfranchised of their rights as American citizens -- many of whom were covertly tortured and murdered by the FBI.

The J. Edgar Hoover Building's remains should be buried in the ocean as a barrier reef to propagate new marine life -- the only "healthy" use that the materials which went into the construction of this building will ever have.

Throughout the FBI's criminal history, there have been so many lives destroyed by this Nazi indoctrinated anathema to basic human rights, but perhaps the following testimony does justice to how EVIL the Federal Bureau Of Investigation truly is, and why it must eventually be abolished:
His examples of the Nazi-like murderingness of the FBI (millions of victims, mind you) are John Trudell and Judi Bari (whom I'd never heard of before).

Real boss

Staggering around Home Depôt the other day looking for something or other and a clerk, noticing my distress, came over and asked:

"Whatcha lookin' for, Boss?"

Boss? Several times in the last couple of years I've been addressed that way, but before that, never. Where did it come from? Is it a rap thing? An artifact of the prison-industrial complex? It's weird, and vaguely insulting. Whatever happened to "May I help you, sir"?

The Urban Dictionary lists 94 definitions of the word. Number nine:

An employee of the state or county entrusted to guard prisoners; the prison guard, the jailer, the warden, the bailiff. The Man.

Number 11:

Disingenuous form of address used by insolent little twats, which although ostensibly deferential, actually implies that they don't actually have any respect for you at all.

"Alright boss!"

"Thanks boss!"

Yeah, that's it.

Non-native W. Churchill to discuss native issues

In Canada again, where they seem to have more tolerance not only for "diversity," but for frauds as well. The Daily Gleaner:
St. Thomas University's native student council hopes to attract a crowd on the campus for Native Awareness Days.

From Nov. 17-21, the student council will host a series of discussions titled, Combating Convenient Untruths.
The Pirate with the Palsied Parrot notes the irony of that title.

The discussions will focus on social justice issues pertaining to First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples on topics as diverse as Arctic sovereignty, race relations, the residential school apology and the role of rhetoric in compromise.

Special guests will include Mary Simon, the national voice of Inuit from Nunatsiavut to Inuvialuit; Ward Churchill, a political activist and author; Isabelle Knockwood, author of Out of the Depths: the Experiences of Mi'kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, N.S.; and Roland Chrisjohn, St. Thomas University professor and director of native studies.

The events will wrap up with a drumming ceremony and feast featuring the Muskrat Singers from St. Mary's First Nation on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in the native student lounge in Sir James Dunn Hall.
Native student lounge?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Genetic mutation linked to Jewish ancestry found in San Luis Valley Hispanics

Fascinating piece in the Smithsonian:

One September day in 2001, Teresa Castellano, Lisa Mullineaux, Jeffrey Shaw and Lisen Axell were having lunch in Denver. Genetic counselors from nearby hospitals and specialists in inherited cancers, the four would get together periodically to talk shop. That day they surprised one another: they'd each documented a case or two of Hispanic women with aggressive breast cancer linked to a particular genetic mutation. The women had roots in southern Colorado, near the New Mexico border. "I said, 'I have a patient with the mutation, and she's only in her 40s,'" Castellano recalls. "Then Lisa said that she had seen a couple of cases like that. And Jeff and Lisen had one or two also. We realized that this could be something really interesting."

Curiously, the genetic mutation that caused the virulent breast cancer had previously been found primarily in Jewish people whose ancestral home was Central or Eastern Europe. Yet all of these new patients were Hispanic Catholics.

Mullineaux contacted Ruth Oratz, a New York City-based oncologist then working in Denver. "Those people are Jewish," Oratz told her. "I'm sure of it."

Pooling their information, the counselors published a report in a medical journal about finding the gene mutation in six "non-Jewish Americans of Spanish ancestry." The researchers were cautious about some of the implications because the breast cancer patients themselves, as the paper put it, "denied Jewish ancestry."

The finding raised some awkward questions. What did the presence of the genetic mutation say about the Catholics who carried it? How did they happen to inherit it? Would they have to rethink who they were—their very identity—because of a tiny change in the three billion "letters" of their DNA? More important, how would it affect their health, and their children's health, in the future?

Some people in the valley were reluctant to confront such questions, at least initially, and a handful even rejected the overtures of physicians, scientists and historians who were suddenly interested in their family histories. But rumors of secret Spanish Jewry had floated around northern New Mexico and the San Luis Valley for years, and now the cold hard facts of DNA appeared to support them. . . .

Crypto-Jews! One parish priest now displays a menorah in his church. Anyway, a good excuse to post a pic or two of the San Luis Valley:

(via an LGF spinoff link from "archigabe")

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The other Ayers interview yesterday

He and the transcendentally nasty Bernardine Dohrn were interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy N!ow. Read the whole thing if you can stomach it and you like playing "Spot the Lies," but just a quote or two here to give you the flavor:
Ayers: [I] was not a terrorist. I never was a terrorist. And the idea that the Weather Underground carried out terrorism is nonsense. We never killed or hurt a person. We never intended to. We existed from 1970 to 1976, the last years, the last half-decade of the war in Vietnam. And by contrast, the war in Vietnam really was a terrorist undertaking. The war in Vietnam was terror on a mass scale, with thousands of people every month being murdered, mostly from the air. And we were doing everything we could to stop it. So, again, it’s hard to know where to start to interrupt that narrative. . . .

BERNADINE [sic] DOHRN: Nothing the Weather Underground did was terrorist. And, you know, we could make lots of choices if we were reliving it. Nothing we did was perfect. But decision was made, after the death of our three comrades in a townhouse, not to hurt people, to engage in direct actions that were symbolic, that were recognizable and understandable to the American people and that protected people. And that kind of restraint was widespread. There were tens of thousands of political bombings over that first three—1970, ’71, ’72, ’73, all across the country, not under anybody’s leadership, but they were overwhelmingly restrained, symbolic.
Restrained, symbolic bombings. Jesus. Moral maggots, both of them. Watch Billy evade the single specific question Goodman asks:
AMY GOODMAN: Bill O’Reilly, Bill Ayers, in the ad said that you admitted to bombing a police station and weren’t sorry about it.

BILL AYERS: What I wrote in my book, Fugitive Days, I wrote about the extraordinary decade in which many of us came of age and committed ourselves to fighting against war and against injustice and for peace. And mostly what we did was nonviolent direct action through that whole latter part of the ’60s. And then we reached a kind of crisis, which is, we had convinced the American people—we and forces—you know, it’s an interesting thing to think about the years ’65, ’68. In three years, the American people swung all the way over to oppose the war. Kind of reminds you of the recent events, where in three years a popular war became massively unpopular.

But in any case, the question was, what do you do? And in no way do I think, or in my book do I rationalize or argue, that what we did was the best thing or the only thing. But what I do say is it was understandable in its own terms. “Is it terrorism?” Juan asked. No, it’s not, because terrorism targets people and intends to intimidate and murder people in order to get a political—its political way. We never did that. We never intended to do it. And no one was hurt or killed. So that’s an important distinction.
Right. There's lots about how happy they are Obama was elected, and Billy holds forth, vaguely of course, on his educational theories. Note how Amy calls Bernardine an "attorney." No, she's not.

Update: Guess I could embed the video while I'm at it. [Update: had to take it down; it was completely screwing up the page.]

Update II: As you'll notice, this is only part one.

Update III: Amy Goodman has the worst case of glottal fry I've ever heard in a TV personage.

Update IV: Snaps helpfully links to Sean Hannity's program from yesterday, in which FBI informant Larry Grathwohl gives the lie to Ayers' denial that he had any intention to harm people:
I was assigned [by Ayers] to Detroit, and we were planning to bomb the DPOA building in the 13th Precinct. He told us what the bomb should contain--fence staples and nails in order to injure people and kill them. When I protested that one of the bombs would destroy a restaurant, Bill said "Well, sometimes people have to die in a revolution."
Of course he did.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night at the Radio!

Since we've been talking about distinguished educators like Billy "We Didn't Do Enough" Ayers, how about an episode of Our Miss Brooks: "The Bookie": 15 October 1950. (Reminder: "Walter Denton" was played by Richard "Rambo" Crenna and "Mr. Boynton" by Jeff "Broken Arrow" Chandler.)

And Ronald Colman as Ivy College president Toddhunter Hall (in a turn remarkably reminiscent of Ayers' soul brother Ward Churchill) in The Halls of Ivy: "Mr. Granger Threatens Dr. Hall" (17 March 1950).

Ayers on GMA


(via JWF)

Update: What is it that's so irritating about this old mugshot we've all seen a million times?

It's the head tilt, isn't it? Like a bratty kid being told he can't have a candy bar and getting ready to throw a tantrum.

Update II: AP: "Former radical distances himself from Obama."

Yeah, former.

You don't say

Headline in the Post: "Faith meeting at U.N..n. rejecacts of violencence."

Update: Fixed. Rats. Took 'em hours and hours, though.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Haggard: I was sexually abused as a kid


Disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard says he was sexually abused as a child and that the experience "started to rage in my mind and in my heart" when he was caught up in a sex scandal involving a male prostitute. Haggard made the remarks in two recent sermons in Morrison, Ill., ABC's "Good Morning America" reported Wednesday.

Haggard said one of his father's employees "had a sexual experience with me" when Haggard was 7, according to audio recordings of the sermons posted on the ABC News Web site.

Haggard said he later became "a conservative Republican, loving the word of God, an evangelical, born-again, spirit-filled, charismatic, all those things.

"But some of the things that were buried in the depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade started to rage in my mind and in my heart," he said.

In 2006, Haggard was fired as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs when a former male prostitute alleged they had a cash-for-sex relationship. The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine. Haggard also stepped down as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

He has said some of the allegations were exaggerated but he has never offered specifics.

Mike Jones' massage table had no comment.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Colorado BBC interview that set Bolton off

A couple of days after the election I linked to a video of former UN ambassador John Bolton, in the BBC studios on election night, going off like a hairy firecracker on the bias of a BBC reporter's interview with somebody at the GOP election-night gathering here in Denver. Unfortunately, the interview itself wasn't included in the clip, and nobody seemed able to come up with it, so there was no, you know, context. Who the hell was the guy even interviewing?

But finally a commenter at Biased BBC has found it. As it turns out, the interview, by reporter Rajnesh Mirchandani, was with Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams. It took place at a point when Obama hadn't quite won yet, but things were looking dire.

Mirchandani is condescending ("you're putting a brave (or cheerful) face on it" he says several times), ill-disguisedly triumphant and, yes, argumentative, as Bolton points out. But Wadhams handles it just fine, giving back at least as good as he gets, as one would expect from an old pro.

So maybe Bolton was just trying to shake things up a little. But check it out for yourself. Here's a question: Does Wadhams even know about Bolton's reaction to the interview?

Sample lessons

From Radical Math (all pdf, sorry):

Bar graphs:
Comparing disparities in incarceration rates

Based on this graph, which racial group makes up the largest percent of the total U.S. population? Approximately what percent is this?

Which racial group makes up the largest percentage of people currently incarcerated?

In your opinion, what does this graph tell us about race and incarceration rates in this country? Why do you think this is the situation?
Comparing and understanding the casualties in Iraq over a 1-year period

First, imagine you work for the army, and you need to put out a press release that states the average number of soldiers killed per month. What number would you choose as your average? Explain how you got this number, and why you chose this as your method.

Next, imagine you are working for an Anti-war organization, and you need to put out a press release that states the average number of soldiers killed per month. What number would you choose as your average? Explain how you got this number, and why you chose this as your method.
Basic math concepts:
The cost of war in Iraq: How does it affect my community?

This activity allows students to investigate the cost of the war in Iraq and compare it with the cost of addressing both local and global problems. The goals are for students to understand how much money is being spent on the war, gain mathematical literacy, and conduct internet research so that they can educate themselves about the war.
A data-processing lesson for statistics about AIDS: Reading a graph or chart

Students will work on describing the scope of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by extracting data from a table. They will also work to make comparisons and draw conclusions from the data. This document also contains a social studies lesson about AIDS.
Various categories:

Measuring water with justice

Students in the group working on who has access to clean water were among the most startled. Reading the book For Every Child: The U.N. Convention on Rights of the Child in Words and Pictures and a selection from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they found that access to clean water is considered a human right by various international conventions. They were surprised that despite this, 18 percent or 1.1 billion people don't have access to clean water. Using data from the UNICEF website they wrote, "Every day 5,000 kids die because of dirty water and poor sanitation — that means 242,000 kids die in a year because of water." Using the book What's a Million? they wrote, "Over one billion people don't have clean water in their house. Can you imagine how many zeros one billion has? One billion has nine zeros! If you started counting to one billion it would take you 95 years


Fast food maps

This "Google Mash-up" website allows you to map fast food restaurants anywhere in the US.

Hurricane Katrina resource maps

These maps were prepared for selected areas in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. They contain data on poverty, race, age, education, and other demographic categories for different counties, cities, and states that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Building a community garden and a math community

This is a geometry unit that gets students involved in community gardens to learn about the practical applications of perimeter, area, similarity, and more. Students will also develop a deeper understanding of issues including hunger and poverty.

Graffiti graphing

Several similar units that utilize an online simulation of learning about graphing, angles, rotation, and other geometric concepts through creating computerized "graffiti" letters.

Mean, median, mode:
Negotiating a fair wage increase for unions
Net worth:
Being black, living in the red

[D]emonstrates that many differences between blacks and whites stem not from race but from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. Property ownership--as measured by net worth--reflects this legacy of economic oppression. The racial discrepancy in wealth holdings leads to advantages for whites in the form of better schools, more desirable residences, higher wages, and more opportunities to save, invest, and thereby further their economic advantages.
Math, SATs and racial profiling

The author writes about how he and his students have used technology to investigate racial profiling and to analyze the relationship of family income level to scores on standardized tests.
How class works: an interactive exploration

From the NY Times' "Class Matters" section, this interactive, multimedia website is divided into four very user-friendly topics: Components of Class, How Class Breaks Down, Income Mobility, and A Nationwide Poll.
Attempting to connect anti-capitalist work with mathematics education

Pinochet’s regime measured malnutrition in relation to a person’s weight and height, in contrast to the usual comparison of weight and age. This talk will explore the connections between understanding the outrageousness of collecting such statistics, and acting to change the outrageousness of such situations.
It's outrageous, all right.

Update: Take a gander at NYCoRE's (New York Collective of Radical Educators) Katrina curriculum (yes, pdf).

DNC prosecution costs questioned

The Rocky:

Lawyers for protesters arrested during the Democratic National Convention want to know how much Denver is spending to prosecute the cases, citing a 1-17 losing streak so far.

According to Brian Vicente, executive director of the People's Law Project, of the first 18 cases set for trial, only one has resulted in a conviction.

In that case, prosecutors were able to produce videotape that showed protester Eric Nunez standing in the street flashing a peace symbol while surrounded by police officers, Vicente said.

Funny how the reporter leaves that scenario unexplained. I assume the video shows the guy disobeying a police order to get out of the street.
So far, the city attorney has dismissed eight defendants, juries acquitted six and judges acquitted two. One faces retrial after a jury deadlocked.

"If the Denver Nuggets opened their season with a 1-17 record, people would raise serious questions about what changes needed to be made," Vicente said. . . .

But City Attorney David Fine noted that about 50 of the protesters who were arrested have entered guilty pleas. He also said that a much larger group that took part in the protest was allowed to disperse.

In two trials, Fine added, the juries that acquitted the defendants issued statements essentially praising the behavior of the police and the prosecution.

Fine said those juries also admonished the defendants and said their acquittals should not be interpreted as condoning their behavior.

On Sunday, Vicente filed an open records request, asking Denver officials to estimate how much money and how many hours the police department has spent preparing for and testifying at the trials. He also asked for the amount spent on the prosecution.

He said each trial has lasted an average of three days and involved two to three lawyers from the city attorney's office.

"Is that a good use of time?" he asked. "There's domestic violence cases and rape cases and all sorts of other issues plaguing the city of Denver."
Civic-minded, ain't he?
The People's Law Project recruited 40 lawyers to represent people arrested during the convention and to defend their First Amendment rights.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A few Dickies

Richard Thompson at various times. First, with Fairport Convention in 1970. He's the curly-headed (!) guy singing low harmony. The camera's on him at the end:

From 1983, Shoot Out the Lights:

From 1984, Tear-Stained Letter:

From much later, Mingus Eyes:

With his son Teddy, Persuasion:

And covering (as they say) Britney: Oops, I Did It Again:

Update: Once you start, you can't stop. This isn't on any album. It's called "I Agree With Pat Metheny":

Guess I should include some background. Joke: What does Kenny G say when he gets into an elevator? "Hey, this place rocks!"

Update II: For you small-government types. Pharoah:

Update III: I'll just keep adding 'em as I finds 'em until my head explodes. A typically tender love song. Cold Kisses:

Armistice Day at the Radio!

Couldn't really find anything dealing with WWI recording-wise except this: General Pershing apparently recorded at Menlo Park (1918).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unrecommended reading

Some books and fillums for teachers wishing to teach for (you'll pardon the expression) social justice at the middle and high school level, with the publishers' descriptions.

Conscious Women Rock the Page:
Three award-winning activists and novelists-Black Artemis, E-Fierce, and J-Love, joined social justice educator Marcella Runell Hall and a diverse team of educators to develop this collection of engaging lesson plans for grades 6-12 and beyond. The lessons explore the tools of oppression such as violence, patriarchy and racism and are based on the young adult books: The Sista Hood: On the Mic, Picture Me Rollin' and That White Girl.

That White Girl?

The Corporation:

The film traces the history of corporate personhood, and then plays on the conceit that corporations are legally people. If they are indeed people, then they are psychopaths, the film proposes. A running psychological profile throughout the film finds that the modern corporation demonstrates: an incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, a reckless disregard for the safety of others, deceitfulness — repeated lying and conning others for profit, an incapacity for experiencing guilt, and the failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors. . . .

Interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Naomi Klein; with extended interviews on a companion DVD.

Little Brother:

Description by Teaching for Change Busboys and Poets Bookstore Manager Don Alen:

Set in the very near future, Little Brother goes to technological places that Orwell's Big Brother couldn't. Students that [weren't we just discussing this grammatical error in comments until I almost ran amuck? Yes, we were.] have read 1984 will love the references to Orwell's original and will appreciate the upgrade. After a major terrorist attack in San Francisco, 17-year-old hacker extraordinaire, w1n5t0n (pronounced "Winston") is arrested by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that has gone on a civil rights-crushing campaign to fight "terrorists." In no time our clever protagonist realizes that the DHS is the real enemy of the American people, although these same American people roll over and endure the loss of rights so that they can feel safer. Sound familiar? Shortly after the government crackdown, a group of high school kids figure out how to circumvent the surveillance techniques of authorities and launch a movement to jam the system (and not trust anybody over 25).


A tool for educators to help middle and high school-aged students explore the role of the military in their lives and in their communities. This curriculum provides a critical lens to help students navigate recruiters' messages and to examine the role of the military throughout this country's history to the present.

This may be the scariest of all:

Starting With I:

Collection of student essays for middle to high school classrooms. Introduction by Edwidge Danticat.

Maybe I'll submit "The Splendor of Me" for inclusion in any subsequent edition.

Books Not Bars:

With a hip-hop soundtrack, youth activists and formerly imprisoned teenagers discuss their view of the prison industrial complex: the growing incarceration rates of minors and people of color, and the decline in public investments in education. A great way to politicize teens! A co-production of WITNESS, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the Rights Now campaign of Columbia University's Human Rights Institute.
I'm going to father two children at once so I can send one to CU, one to Duke, and one to Columbia.

Chavez and Venezuela:

This groundbreaking new documentary by Aleida Guevara (a physician and Che Guevara's daughter), explores Venezuela's revolutionary terrain post-April 2002 when President Hugo Chavez survived a coup attempt instigated by the United States. The film is primarily an interview with Hugo Chavez and includes an interview with the minister of defense on the coup attempt, and brief interviews with grassroots activists, Cuban doctors, and others. This film affords a rare opportunity to glimpse through the blockade of information imposed by the United States into a country rich with hope, dreams and... oil.

Earth and the American Dream:
This extraordinary film examines U.S. history from the standpoint of the earth. Beginning with Columbus, it effectively blends contrasting quotes from Native Americans and European "settlers" with images of the environmental consequences of these ideas. We've never seen a film that does this so powerfully. A vital classroom resource.
From the standpoint of the earth.

Update: Busboys and Poets Bookstore. That sounds quite perverted. And no, not just to me because I'm perverted. It's objectively perverted.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday Night at the Radio!

Noting the antics of commie scum (sorry, "distinguished professors") always puts me in the mood for I Was A Communist For The FBIiiiiii! This one's called "Very Private Funeral" (12 August 1953).

Comrade Revchenko (William Conrad with the worst Russian accent in history--until he wisely quits trying, anyway): "Comrade Cevetik, what do you know about the so-called 'electronic brain'"?

And a Vic and Sade: "The Thunder Storm" (1942). That Paul Rhymer is barely remembered, let alone not considered what he is, an American humorist on a par with Twain (actually I think he's funnier) is a war crime. This is a good one.


The unutterably foul Bill Ayers in the Toronto Star today, on his being an issue in the late presidential campaign:

For the past few years, I have gone about my business, hanging out with my kids and, now, my grandchildren, taking care of our elders (they moved in as the kids moved out), going to work, teaching and writing. And every day, I participate in the never-ending effort to build a powerful and irresistible movement for peace and social justice.

In years past, I would now and then – and often unpredictably – appear in the newspapers or on TV, sometimes with a reference to Fugitive Days, my 2001 memoir of the exhilarating and difficult years of resistance against the American war in Vietnam.

Then came this political season.

You can read how put upon he and Barack were for yourself. I'll just quote the big finish:

In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders – and all of us – ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas. Lacking that simple and yet essential capacity to question authority, we might still be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings today.

Yet hope – my hope, our hope – resides in a simple self-evident truth: the future is unknown, and it is also entirely unknowable.

History is always in the making. It's up to us. It is up to me and to you. Nothing is predetermined. That makes our moment on this Earth both hopeful and all the more urgent – we must find ways to become real actors, to become authentic subjects in our own history.

In this time of new beginnings and rising expectations, it is even more urgent that we figure out how to become the people we have been waiting to be.

Veteran Churchill watchers will know the feeling when I ask (plaintively), How can there be anyone who doesn't see through this guy?

(via Killian Bundy on an LGF spinoff link, which I've never figured out how to link to)

Update: Or rather, since Snapple will be watching, "to which I've never figured out how to link")

Plans for Auschwitz gas chambers found

Jerusalem Post:

The German newspaper Bild published never-before-seen architectural plans of the Auschwitz extermination camp on Saturday that reveal, in their unequivocally marked sections, that everyone involved in the operation of Auschwitz knew full well that it was intended for the systematic extermination of human beings, the paper said.

The floor plans, cross-sections and maps on yellowing paper, mostly on a scale of 1:100, were reportedly found during the evacuation of an abandoned Berlin apartment. They were drawn up between 1941 and 1943.

The 28 documents include detailed blueprints of prisoner barracks, gas chambers marked clearly Gaskammer (Gas chamber) in a gothic-inspired font and a cross-section of the gate into which the rails of trains entered carrying Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled persons and other people the National Socialists sent to die.

Imagine that. Well, good. Maybe now David Irving will finally take the gaspipe (and all the other accoutrements of such devices) for fact.

(via Eye on the World, who links to the documents.)

Update: Hey, some of my best jokes are Jewish.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Police blotter!

If it weren't for bad luck:
Officers responded to railroad tracks near 47th and Mitchell streets at 4:45 a.m. Sept. 23 on a report of a train vs. pedestrian accident. A 46-year-old man sustained non-life threatening injuries to his head and leg after he was struck by the railway of a staircase on the train as he was attempting to cross a bridge on the tracks with his bike. The man was knocked off the bridge and fell 10 feet into the creek below. He was pulled from the water and transported to Boulder Community Hospital. The man also had been the victim of an earlier hit and run accident the prior evening at Folsom and Canyon streets. He had just been released from the hospital and was on his way to a campground when the second accident occurred.

Deputy pepper-sprayed undercover cops during DNC protest

And the ACLU is trying to blame the wimpy "riot" the first night of the convention on the incident. The Post:

When a Jefferson County deputy unleashed pepper spray at unruly protesters on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, he did not know that his targets were undercover Denver police officers.

Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado is questioning whether that staged confrontation by police pretending to be violent inflamed other protesters or officers during the most intense night of the four-day event.

The protest occurred Aug. 25 at 15th Street and Court Place near Civic Center. Police ultimately arrested 106 people, the highest number of arrests in a single day during the convention.

According to a use-of-force police report obtained by the ACLU, undercover Denver detectives staged a struggle with a police commander to get pulled out of the crowd without blowing their cover. The commander knew they were working undercover, and the plan was to pull them out of the crowd and pretend they were under arrest so protesters would be none the wiser.

A Jefferson County deputy, unaware of the presence of undercover police, thought that the commander was being attacked and used pepper spray on the undercover officers.

The report says that the commander and an undercover detective were sprayed, but it does not indicate how many others were affected. The report also doesn't say whether the pepper spray used on the undercover police was the first deployment of chemicals that night or whether the riot was already
underway. . . .

On Thursday, the ACLU of Colorado sent a letter to Denver's Independent Monitor, Richard Rosenthal, asking for the Internal Affairs Bureau to conduct an investigation of the pepper-spraying incident.

"The actions of the undercover detectives on August 25, 2008, may have had the effect of exacerbating an already 'tense situation,' as their feigned struggle led nearby officers and the public to believe that a commanding officer was being attacked by protestors and that the situation necessitated the use of chemical agents," says the letter, written by ACLU staff attorney Taylor Pendergrass.

"Such actions may have escalated the overall situation by causing officers on the scene to fear that the protestors threatened their safety, when in fact the struggle was only between uniformed officers and undercover officers," he wrote.

Provoking, apparently, the orgy of head-bashing and nut-crushing the cops thereafter engaged in. Oh, wait . . .

In other protest news:
A federal judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit filed by two activists who said their rights were violated by White House officials and volunteers when they were removed from a 2005 visit to Lowry by President Bush.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Wiley Daniel ruled that Leslie Weise and Alex Young had no constitutional right to be present at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum because it was a "limited private forum or limited nonpublic forum."

"President Bush had the right, at his own speech, to ensure that only his message was conveyed," Daniel wrote. "When the president speaks, he may choose his own words."

Daniel's order dismisses the case filed against three volunteers and White House officials. Motions are pending from two of the other defendants.

Weise and Young were among three people, referred to as the "Denver Three," removed from the museum before Bush started speaking. They had obtained tickets for the taxpayer-financed event from a local congressional office, but when they pulled into the parking lot in a car bearing the bumper sticker "No More Blood For Oil," they were pegged as potential troublemakers by White House staff.
Nothing gets by the Secret Service! And more, this from the ongoing trial of three of the arrested protesters:

People designated as legal observers to monitor protests and marches during the Democratic National Convention were not exempt from arrest, Denver police testified Thursday.

Legal observers wore bright green hats to identify themselves, and Nathan Acks, one of three people on trial this week in Denver County Court for allegedly blocking a street, was wearing one when he was arrested.

"It's not a free pass, the green hat," said Cmdr. Deborah Dilley. "It's no guarantee they won't be arrested. They should not be interjecting themselves into what is going on."

Sgt. Anthony Martinez said police received very little training about legal observers.

"It really doesn't matter," Martinez said. "A legal observer does not have the right to violate the law. If they were out in the middle of the street, they were in violation of the law and could be arrested like any other person."

Another county heard from

The laff-a-minute Maoists of Shubel Morgan opinionate on the election of Barack Obama:


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stolen moments (election edition)

A few clips that didn't get much play around these parts, the first two via Iain Dale. All involve Brits in one way or another. First, John Bolton tells BBC election-night presenter David Dimbleby that the BBC should fire the reporter you see at the beginning of the clip, Rajnesh Mirchandani, who had just completed a piece from Colorado:

Mincing words. Unfortunately, from the comments at Dale's blog and Biased BBC, nobody's managed to find Mirchandani's report. The BBC's search function didn't work at all for me. Too bad, because the piece would probably be of particular interest to Coloradoonians.

Anyhow, from the same show, Dimbleby interviews Gore Vidal, who will soon be confined to one of those posh Eastern asylums whose elegantly dark-panelled walls are cleverly designed to conceal feces smears:

Dimbleby: "That was fun."

And finally, a drunken reporter from the Birmingham Mail, in South Beach of all places to cover the election, videos in his resignation:

He's a little hard to understand, but what he did was copy and paste a BBC piece and send it to the Mail as his own.

The Mail ran it. Briefly.

Update: The BBC-hating Telegraph calls Vidal's turn "withering" instead of "senile."

Update II: The Grauniad's MediaMonkey blog quotes perhaps-former Birmingham Mail reporter "Steve Zacharanda, also known as Adam Smith" on the Youtube clip that brought him sudden fame:
"Right, the thing is, right I've just woke up. And seen this video, which I don't really remember. I've been told to phone the Birmingham Mail because I am in trouble." He adds: "I was off duty, I am on official holiday working at the South Beach Miami Barack Obama campaign where I had just done a 18-hour shift trying to make the world a better place. Please check every BBC News outlet and see if I have cut and pasted anything. I have not, it was a joke and should be taken in the spirit it was said."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

For no particular reason, Fibber McGee and Molly: "Election Day" (5 November 1940).

And The Great Gildersleeve: "Election Day Bet" (5 November 1944). Very interesting show, he said uninterestingly.

Out of the huts of history's shame

Just poked fun at Maya Angelou the other day for her Hallmark Card writing and acute case of Obama Derangement Syndrome (unlike BDS, people suffering from ODS are derangedly in love with the object of their derangement), but she really is an awful writer. And (Denver's own) Harry Smith, who interviewed her today, is beyond parody:
SMITH: Of your many great poems, the poem that I have been thinking about, since I knew that I was going to talk to you today was ‘I Rise.’ Could you, would you give us some of it this morning?
Could you? Would you? Well, what could Maya say to that?
ANGELOU: It begins [jumped on it, didn't she?], ‘You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt but still, like dust, I’ll rise. Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise up from a past rooted in pain I rise. I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise into daybreak miraculously clear I rise. Bringing the hopes that my ancestors gave, I am the hope and the dream of the slave.’ And so, Harry Smith, we all rise.
Harry Smith rose so high his brain wasn't getting enough oxygen:
SMITH: And I rise.

ANGELOU: Yes, we do.

SMITH: I rise.

ANGELOU: Yes, we do.

SMITH: And I rise. Dr. Maya Angelou, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

ANGELOU: Mr. Harry Smith, thank you very much for having me.
(via Ms. Michelle Malkin, who also has a hilarious video parody of Angelou giving a taste of her Obama inauguration poem from David Alan Grier.)

Prison break

A tenant just came pounding on the door, in tears. She'd opened the back gate to bring her bike in and four dogs, previously scattered all over the yard, instantly converged in a mass breakout.

Now, this is a tough neighborhood. I've not only heard gunfire, many times, I've seen people shooting at each other. But when it comes to missing doggies, everybody's a Good Sam. By the time I joined the hunt there were a dozen people pointing out puppy-trails and hallooing down alleys, while a tough hombre in a Ranchero cruised the neighborhood yelling "Miss Peabody! Josie! Jasmine! Charlie!"

We got them all back quickly. Thank God, because Josie is a stone killer.

Martin Luther King . . .

Wouldn't even be 80 yet.

(via Judd)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


El Presidente is on CBS4 now. Also Bill Menezes from Colorado Media Matters and two (count 'em) anchor-chicks. They're taking questions from viewers.

MIM: Dems will 'destroy Marxism's global image'

Security Minister of the Maoist Internationalist Movement on the election:
The 1% of very visible and active people who have given Obama money are 3 million people.(1) Unfortunately, some people still claiming Marx are saying the battle of the margin is between the vanguard and these three million people. They invent theses about "re-polarization" and "re-proletarianization" whereby a communist movement arises by going with the Democrats, who are supposedly the party of the working class by long-standing dogma. These liberal Democrats masquerading as something else do not understand how they are destroying Marxism's global image.
Can't understand why Security Minister never gets on Fox News.

Live election coverage!

Not here, praise Jesus, but over at the People's Press Collective (just scroll). There might be some stuff about the election here, too, but it will be at best live-ish, and more likely stone cold dead. For example, I voted Friday (Halloween) and thought to takes some pics of the early voting process as accomplished at Rude Recreational Center in Northwest Denver.

Got a pic of Rude Rec:


And a blurry one of a polling volunteer in a kitty suit--

Before I was stopped by a more senior polling volunteer (not in a kitty suit, he claimed).

So much for photojournalism.

Update: The ghost of Rude Rec, La Llorana, made an early appearance in these pages.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dictator to commandeer local TV station

D-blog pal El Presidente of Slapstick Politics will be a "featured blogger" during CBS4's election coverage tomorrow night from 7 to 8 p.m. How cool is that? It wasn't that long ago TV news shows local and national were still saying "blog, short for 'weblog'." EP isn't sure what the format will be, but believes it involves "dancing with the stars." Or commenting on the election from the conservative side, I forget which. Either way, he'll be great.

BB and AB

The Independent asked prominent African-Americans what they think of the prospect of an Obama presidency.

Maya Angelou:

What it means if Mr Obama is voted in, is that my country has agreed to grow up, and move beyond the childish idea that human beings are different. . . .

I'm talking to friends in the UK, in Italy, in China who can't vote, who cannot press anything other than the point home, so I know the world is watching. We have lain so long in the undergrowth of ignorance. Can we really be saved from the rage of consumerism where we identify ourselves by our spending: 'I'm a shopper'. What kind of stupidness is that? Buying things we cannot afford and do not need.

The undergrowth of ignorance. The rage of consumerism. You can see why she's a best-selling author. But of course that's the multi-millionaire Maya Angelou talking. Favorite wiki line: "In 2002, Angelou lent her name and writings to a line of products from the Hallmark Greeting Card Company." Bet she made them pay for forcing her to sell out like that. At least we can be sure she didn't use the money to buy things she doesn't need.

But how exactly does she expect Obama to stop "our" consumerist rage, anyway?

Toni Morrison (I always confuse her and Angelou, probably because I'm a fucking racist) has been bobbing for apples in the kool-aid again:
I think the situation is dire, I cannot think of a large issue where things are going right, and Senator Obama will have an extremely difficult time. But there are two things that one should remember. The first is a cliché, but he himself has said it, 'It's not about me, it's about other people'. He cannot do it on his own, he needs the force of those who voted for him. The second thing – and one of the reasons I really respect him – is that he surrounds himself with really smart people, and not just smart people that say what he wants to hear. He likes the dialogue, the questioning, the one who tells him the truth as opposed to the one who strokes ego.
Why Toni (to totally steal from Iowahawk), I believe you just had an orgasm!

Samuel L. Jackson:
We have been through eight years of pretty much lunacy and madness. In America, we have tended to think that we are the greatest living things on the planet and our leadership has exemplified that. There's been a sort of warrior culture here, and it's time that ended.
That's Samuel L. Jackson--who's played hero cops and military types (not to mention murdering but hip psychopaths) in a score of movies--decrying our "warrior culture."

Stevie Wonder, while no murdering psychopath (thank God for behavioral therapy), is completely insane:
He's a combination of JFK and Martin Luther King. With that, he can't lose. I see a time when we will have a united people of the United States. And that is why I support Barack Obama.
Tiger Woods, on the other hand, is uncomfortable to the point of imbecility:
I've seen him speak. He's extremely articulate [black people are allowed to call each other "articulate"], very thoughtful, I'm just impressed at how well, basically all politicians really do, how well they think on their feet. Especially those debates. It's pretty phenomenal to see them get their point across. But I just think that he's really inspired a bunch of people in our country and we'll see what happens down the road.
That we will, Tiger!

Barack Obama’s senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week’s election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harbouring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.
(via the noneuphoric--but cheery--Tim Blair)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cheap entertainment

There are signs posted all over the neighborhood telling people that parking is prohibited along certain sections of street during Broncos games, because we're so close to the stadium. One of those sections is right in front of this house. The Broncos are at home today. Here's some d-blog time-lapse photography:

2:41 p.m. MST: City enforcement personage spots truck in violation.

2:41 p.m. MST: Commences ticketing process.

2:42 p.m. MST: Tow truck arrives.

2:43 p.m. MST: Ticketing process continues.

2:44 p.m. MST: Ticketing process complete.

2:45 p.m. MST: Towing process begins.

2:45 p.m. MST: Towing process continues.

2:46 p.m. MST: Completing towing process.

2:47 p.m. MST: Tow truck leaves.

Six minutes. Let me add it up: $80 for the ticket, $20 admin. costs, towing fee (at least $75), and impound charge (at least $100).

To see the stinkin' Broncos.

What's fun (to witness, anyway) is after the game, when the fans show up back where their car was and stand there going "wtf" (in the parlance of today). They've watched the Broncos lose, they're half-smashed, and they've walked more than they're used to. Where's the fuckin' car?

Now, I'm not a (total) jerk. If I happen to see them parking in front, I'll warn them off. If I happen to see them only after the game, and they clearly can't figure out what's happened, I'll tell them. Once I interrupted a hysterical couple as they were calling the cops to report their vehicle stolen.

God, reading over this I realize once again: my life has no meaning. Still, it's better than watching the stinkin' Broncos. Somebody should tell Jay Cutler he's supposed to throw it to the guys on his own team.