Sunday, September 30, 2007

Late Sunday Night at the Radio!

On vacation. While I'm gone, El Presidente of Slapstick Politics will regale you with cross-postings of his own light-hearted mix of politics, punditry and polyandry (last included for alliterative purposes only). He also, you poor saps, follows the Ward Churchill case. The difference is, he can write, so at least you get a break that way.

I might post something tomorrow, too, but after that, nay-bert.

Anyway, it's Sunday, and that means Jack Benny. This week, Jack is on vacation in Palm Springs. Sound's not too good, in fact crummy, but improves as the show goes on. It's worth it (22 February 1948).

Truth told

At History News Network, Australian journalist/historian (or vice versa) Keith Windschuttle on Ward Churchill and the politicization of history:
The University of Colorado’s dismissal of Ward Churchill for academic fraud was not only a welcome decision in support of scholarly standards, it will also go some way towards discrediting one of the most depressing tendencies of our era, the politicization of history.
Optimistic, ain't he? But his conclusion is dead center:
The argument of the 1960s generation that all history is politicized and that historians can never shed their political prejudices has been the most corrupting influence to which the profession has ever succumbed. It has turned the traditional role of the historian, to try to seek the truth about the past, on its head. It has allowed historians to write from an overtly partisan position and to engage in exaggeration, selective omission and pure invention.

In indigenous and ethnic affairs, it has led some historians to justify this to themselves on the grounds that it is all for a good cause in the struggle against racism. But no cause is ever served by falsehood because eventually someone will come along and expose you. Truth always comes out in the end, and when it does it discredits those causes built on lies.
Truth always comes out in the end. These days that's a radical statement. Read whole thing.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

They're selling like tofu-cakes

Bet you didn't know that eco-jerk author Derrick "I'd Blow Things Up If Only I Knew How"* Jensen (who'll be appearing with Ward Churchill over Columbus Day weekend in Charlottesville, VA) has a line of t-shirts--and a line of bullshit to go along:

We were going to purchase shirts made in the USA by union workers, and then decided to go one step better and buy used shirts. These shirts were purchased from a wholesaler who bales them and sends them to non-industrialized nations (how strange and horrible it is that the shirts are manufactured in a non-industrialized nation, transported to the US, stored in a warehouse until someone decides they aren't right for this year's fashions, and then shipped back to the non-industrialized nation?).

Oh, I'm gouging my eyes out over it right now, Derrick. What's really strange and horrible, of course, is the galaxy-eating hypocrisy of the man. Jensen writes mendacious books (though luckily, and not only for the environment, hardly anybody buys them), lectures around the world, and sells t-shirts (as noted, slightly pre-owned), all of which carry the message: Western civilization is killing the Earth and Must. Be. Destroyed.

Jensen's (used) t-shirts run around $20, which is probably what he pays for a bale of the nasty things. Here's the verbiage on one:

Well, thanks. I guess.

Tools for local renewal and global dismantlement: Molotov cocktail, the wrench again, bomb, gun, crappy powerfist.

That's deep, man, but really, no, don't explain. And quit touching my landbase.

*Jensen has a Masters in some kind of literary junk but a B.Sc in Mineral Engineering Physics from Colorado School of Mines, where I believe BLURG (Blowing Things Up Real Good) is part of the core curriculum. And anyhow, Ward volunteered to teach him. That's Ward--always teaching.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Weird Bird Friday

My car broke down Thursday morning, so here's a car-related Weird Bird Friday. Not one but two turkey attacks on cars!

Incident one: Cinema verité.

Incident two: Road rage.


Back to school

The Boulder Daily Camera notices that Ward will be "teaching" on campus next week:

Fired University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill will return to the Boulder campus next week to begin teaching an unsanctioned course that's being organized by his student supporters.

University officials have distanced themselves from the planned lecture series — slated to begin Tuesday night — and say that Churchill remains terminated.

They didn't use a wooden stake, though.
The students organizing Churchill's teachings say the series is intended for those who "missed out" on his years as an American Indian studies professor and as head of the ethnic studies department at CU. . . .

"He's a professor, he likes to teach people — so that's what he's doing," said David Lane, Churchill's attorney, who was unaware of his client's planned lecture series.
CU officials released a statement Thursday afternoon emphasizing that any students who attend Churchill's discussions will not receive credit and the lectures aren't endorsed by the university or considered to be sanctioned academic coursework.

"Any CU student is at liberty to invite Ward Churchill to campus to speak, but this should not be viewed by anyone as a resumption of employment or of his former professorial role at the University of Colorado at Boulder," campus officials said in the statement.

According to details posted on several Churchill-tracking blogs, the former professor's [heh--ed.] free lecture series — expected to run this fall and next spring — begins with a session from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m. Tuesday in Humanities room 1B80. Syllabi will be handed out to students along with a schedule of class times and locations.
No mention, naturally, of the restrictions on who can attend.
Churchill's supporters can hold the classes on campus because the university allows student groups to reserve classrooms when they are not in use.

Churchill supporter Ken Bonetti, an adviser at CU, said he's interested in attending the student-organized classes and said there is a need to have Churchill's teachings on the campus.

"There needs to be diverse opinions at the university, and it's important to have a voice like this, whether or not one agrees with him," Bonetti said. "I certainly appreciate a variety of opinions and approaches that were available."

Bonetti said he supports the students' organization of the classes.

"Students have a right to reserve rooms," he said. "I certainly hope the university doesn't try to stop them. That would be a travesty."
Bonetti is such a weasel boy. He's also somewhat less restrained in a comment on the Camera story (if "Kenecon" is him, which it is):
How many of Churchill's critics have read the investigative report or the critiques of that report by real experts in American Indian Studies such as Eric Cheyfitz of Cornell University, Robert K. Wilson an expert on plagiarism, Anthropologist Gary Witherspoon at the U of Washington or Tom Mayer of CU? Only Dr. Mayer knew Churchill before the CU administration began its inquisition. They all agree that the falsification, fabrication and plagiarism charges are themselves inaccurate, transform a legitimate debate into an indictment of Churchill's position or trivial [nice sentence]. The CU administration wanted to eliminate Churchill for his 9/11 essay and little more. All I see are parroted statements mimicking biased media accounts. To those who harp on Churchill's ancestry: they come either from his enemies among Native Americans who side with Bellecourt and his Minnesota AIM faction or non-native bigots. I'd like to see some of these folks 'prove' their ancestry on paper.
Well, that means I'm in the "non-native bigot" category, and I can "prove" it on paper. Better that than a lickspittle for Wart like Bonetti (aka Tommy Mayer, Jr.), who, by the way, witnessed AIM leadership council member Josh Dillabaugh's threatening to kill me before the Regents' meeting to fire Churchill and then lied about it to my face. (Everyone around Ward is such a sterling character.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Columbus Day observances announced

The American Indian Movement website has details of the Columbus Day weekend festivities they have planned for this unsuspecting ol' cowtown (via El Presidente):
This begins the ramp-up for our opposition to the Columbus Day Hate Speech Spectacle.

The Four Directions March, followed by massive rally at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday October 6, 2007. March begins at 7:30 am/rally at 8:30. Come prepared to make history.
Somehow I don't think the organizers mean that the protest, in itself, will make history. AIM's Glenn Morris doesn't seem to have been "working" with the Denver cops this year, as he did in 2005; Glenn Spagnuolo of Recrate68! and Transform Columbus Day said (well, screamed) that this year, "all bets are off"as far as peaceful protest; it's the hundredth anniversary of the holiday, and AIM has been protesting it since 1990; and, finally and most significantly, Ward Churchill, who has led the protests from the beginning, is avoiding this one. You think he'd give a blackened, diseased eyetooth to be there--as long, of course, as it wouldn't harm his lawsuit against CU.

From all this your darling Drunkablog deduces that the AIM/Transform Columbus Day axis will attempt to incite violence at this year's protest. They probably won't get much--maybe some smashed windows, an overturned car or two, some fighting--something like (certainly as moronic as) the "riot" after the Broncos won the Super Bowl for the first time in 1998. But they'll blame it, of course, on the frustration of protesters at the continuing "hate crime" of the Columbus Day Parade.

But wait, there's more!

Protest of Columbus Day Parade 9:30-Noon. Rally to call for justice for Native peoples everywhere, for an end to the Colum-Bush legacy, repeal the Columbus holiday, call for an end to another Columbush imperial invasion in Iraq.

Rock Out Columbus Day Concert, Thursday, October 4, 2007, Oriental Theater, 44th Ave at Tennyson. 7-midnight. Featuring Debajo del Agua and Savage Family, with other indigenous acts.
And even more!
On Friday, October 5th, during the Friday night artwalk in the Santa Fe Drive District, "Columbuscide - Denver, 2007 • 515 years of invasion, indigenous resistance and renewal," sponsored by the American Indian Movement of Colorado and Transform Columbus Day Alliance. The show will expose the deception, death and destruction embodied in the celebration of Columbus Day, which was born 100 years ago this year in Colorado.
Colum-Bush. Columbuscide. These guys are wit. ty. Professional Indian Russell Means will have his own artwork at the show, by the way. Gee, do you think any of it will be for sale?

Update: Cheap?

Shocker: Churchill classes not open

You knew this was coming. The Drunkablog's source got a little clarification from a "non-student member" (presumably of the sponsoring group), about the "free classes to students" Ward Churchill will be teaching at CU (source's quotes):
"As this is a private function of a student group admittance to the room is at the discretion of that student group. Think of it as a controlled enrollment class. Further, as a part of its decision making process...a press strategy [has been developed], which will be duly implemented."
You don't know whether to cry or join the circus. Wonder what that press strategy will be . . .

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday Night at the Radio!

Since I mentioned Lenny Bruce in comments to the previous post, here's his appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts when he was 24. His mother introduces him (18 April 1949).

Free, gratis and worth nothing

More on Ward Churchill's return to CU. The Drunkablog's source talked to a CU spokesrelativist and sent this:

Churchill has not been banned from campus. He was simply fired from his position. If certain student groups want to sponsor these types of events, that is their business; however, if you read [why does everyone question the D-blog's ability to read?], this is open to all students. That means any fee paying students and no student (College Repub, Campus Press student or otherwise) can be turned away. The media cannot be turned away either because these classes are being held on a public campus in a public building.

In all honesty I don't think these students thought this through. It will only bring more attention to Churchill and bad publicity to the students and student groups as other student groups can and may retaliate.

But again, I think attention will wane fast. Churchill is an aging, disgraced ex-professor, frantically trying to keep irrelevance at bay. It shows, too.

El Presidente reports that one of the sponsoring groups (assuming there's more than one) is 180 Degrees/Eleventh Hour, which I couldn't find in this list of CU student groups, nor on the interwebs. Probably just one of those instant ad hoc deals the posers are always forming.

Update: More free speech for Churchill's attorney to defend. The Rocky:

The student editor in trouble for printing the f-word has retained attorney David Lane, best known for representing former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill.

J. David McSwane ran the words "F--- Bush" in headline-size type last week in the Colorado State University newspaper, the Rocky Mountain Collegian. He is to defend the decision at 7 tonight before a student publications board. Lane said he won't be at that meeting because he's involved in a murder trial.

"I wrote a letter to him outlining his legal rights and I told him to feel free to distribute it to the oppressors at CSU," Lane said. He said the letter analyzes First Amendment rights.

If McSwane is fired, it will be up to him if he sues, Lane said.

"If he wants to sue and they have retaliated against him for his First Amendment protected speech, I would be happy to do that. If he does not wish to sue, then that's his choice," Lane said.

This one might not be pro bono. Lane's already got one ward.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ward to hold classes at CU?

Got this from a source who may or may not wish to be named, but is definitely trustworthy. No link, either; it sounds like an e-mail from one of the alleged student groups:


This continuous event, which will be going on during the fall '07 and spring '08 semesters, will be supported by a number of student groups in welcoming back the teachings of Professor Ward Churchill for all those who missed out on his years as a proffesor [sic] and as a head of the ethnic studies department here at CU.

Churchill Teaching on Campus
Free Classes to Students
Humanities 1B80
October 2, 2007 6:30-9:15
*syllabus to be handed out first day of class along with scheduled class location and times

Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. I'll try to nail this down, but of course I had to go with it right away, he said recklessly.

More Churchill stuff: According to the baggy-pants knuckleheads at the local Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement, the Four Directions March will be held the morning of the Columbus Day parade instead of the day before, as it was when I attended two years ago (God, I was so naïve).

(The exclamation, "Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket," stolen from here.)

Update: Churchill's dog Benjie appears to confirm the story (no link). Big deal. It's a stunt, and the class will be a sideshow just like the sideshows Wart used to run, except free and not for credit. I doubt many students will waste their time after the initial interest, if any, dies down.

Another measured, thoughtful column from Paul Campos

Today the CU law professor, who once likened blogger Glenn Reynolds to Ward Churchill, and just a couple of weeks ago called those who still insist on commemorating the 9/11 attacks narcissists, compares Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to a pornographer he used to live next door to--unfavorably, of course:
The Porn King built himself an impressive mansion here in beautiful Boulder (this is just one of his several residences I'm given to understand), and it towered above my modest home.

I myself was more than once invited to partake of his food and drink, but politely declined. Still, I occasionally found myself engaged in a friendly stop-and-chat with my amiable neighbor. I always came away from these trivial moments of social intercourse with a slightly confused feeling. Was it, after all, a bit cowardly on my part to treat him as if I didn't know or care who he was?

All this came to mind last week when I glimpsed Bill Kristol's smooth and amiable face on the television, where it appears so often. Kristol - editor of The Weekly Standard, Fox News contributor, co-founder of the key neo-conservative group the Project For the New American Century, and current visiting professor at Harvard - is the very definition of a well-respected man about town, doing the best things so conservatively.

But how respectable is Kristol, really?Anyone who pays the least attention to him soon discovers that the ruling passion of Kristol's life is to involve the United States in as many wars as possible, with as many enemies as he can find or create.
Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' etc.

In short, Kristol thinks about war in much the same way the narrator of Lolita thought about 12-year-old girls: with a constant, obsessive, perverse longing.

I choose this analogy with some care [!]. An overwhelming lust for violence seems to be the common vice that links together Kristol, the various Kaplans (Lawrence, Fred, Robert), and other leaders of the contemporary neo-conservative movement.

All these men appear to genuinely love the idea of war for its own sake. The thought of their countrymen - not they themselves of course, as not one of them has ever come within a thousand miles of a live bullet - inflicting the horrific violence of modern warfare on various hapless foreigners is something that clearly excites these gentlemen quite a bit.

And that, when you think about it, is rather disturbing. . . .

For my part, I'd rather give the Porn King the Presidential Medal of Freedom than shake Bill Kristol's hand.

As with Ward Churchill frau (and former CU law professor) Natsu "Truthforce" Saito, one can only wonder: how is someone like Campos allowed anywhere near innocent students?

Update: Actually, Campos, as deranged and idiotic as he can be, is nowhere near as pernicious as Nutso Natsu.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Posting here will continue to be, like the Drunkablog's face, spotty. Lots of work to do before I can become a lam-ist from this rancid old lardtown and go (gulp) backpacking, which I haven't done in like seven years because it's so, um, oh yeah, painful. Worse, in those seven short years my legs have spindled, my spine has noodled and my muscles (sic) have wasted to the size of mouse droppings. I shuffle.

Anyway, we're going to the Sangre de Cristo mountains in southern Colorado.

Update: In keeping with Denver-as-lardtown I guess I should call them the Sangre de Crisco Mountains, huh?

Update II: Among the dozen or so poems the Drunkablog has personally written in his personal life is one called "Upon for the First Time Doddering."

Update III: We're going to die.

Looks like a chimp, too

The Boulder Daily Camera notices the AAUP's 2007 report on academic freedom:
University of Illinois professor Cary Nelson does an exercise with his students: They read Vietnam-era poetry, and then substitute references of the war and Lyndon B. Johnson with the Iraq conflict and George W. Bush.

Nelson — who teaches modern poetry courses and is the president of the American Association of University Professors — says faculty members absolutely have the right to draw comparisons and analogies across a range of subjects and historical periods.
Of course it's okay to compare George Boosh to LBJ or Ahab or Moby Dick or Hitler or Krusty the Clown. For some reason, though, the word "childish," does not appear in the report.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Night at the Radio!

Yeah, maybe Jack Webb was a scumbag, but he squandered his talent and died young. Doesn't that make up for it a little bit? In any case, for a while he was a wonderful writer. Here's a Dragnet. This one's called "Big Drifter" (date to be added).

And better late than never, Jack Benny: "Guest Star Frank Sinatra" (5 February 1948).

And the playacting continues . . .

A new communiqué from the anonymous goobers at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network:
The attempt to silence Ward Churchill has failed, but the unremitting attacks on him by the University of Colorado, local and national politicians, and the media have had a very predictable chilling effect on those who would question the status quo.
Haven't noticed anyone talking about Churchill much at all lately, let alone unremittingly attacking him.
Despite the smokescreen of “research misconduct” charges, most people understand that CU was under tremendous political and financial pressure to get rid of Professor Churchill, and simply had to find some pretext. Ward Churchill has filed suit, charging the University with firing him in retaliation for his First Amendment-protected speech. He continues with a full schedule of speaking engagements around the country, and has several new books in the works.
Maybe Ward will be nice and attribute authorship of one of those books to Natsu; Lord knows she needs it.

We are grateful to the many people who have sent contributions to the legal fund. Even with David Lane contributing his time, depositions, transcripts, filing fees and expenses associated with bringing in witnesses, require us to raise tens of thousands of dollars.
Tens of thousand? Isn't that kind of an understatement?

The University, apparently, is happy to spend its tuition or tax dollars on this; we have to rely on regular folks around the country. So, we hope you’ll join our campaign to raise $25 from 1,000 people…
Regular folks. Like the nonexistent parking lot attendants, baggage handlers and homeless people Natsu hilariously thanked for their support. And what's the big deal about getting 25 bucks from a thousand people? That's only two-and-a-half cents apiece. Why, I might even--naaaaahhhh. And why don't they have one of those fundraising thermometers to show how far they are from their goal?
At the same time, we need to remember that this case isn’t about a statement Ward Churchill posted on an obscure website on September 12, 2001, much less about a handful of footnotes or attributions in his prolific body of scholarship. It’s about sending a message (i.e., “shut up”) to all who would question the legitimacy of the U.S. government’s actions, both today and in the past.
Strangely though, WartNet's anonymous apparatchik (Tommy Mayer?) doesn't--shut up, that is. In fact he makes the blockbuster announcement that the site will soon expand its scope:
Over the next few weeks we’ll be reorganizing this website and updating it to include links to many of these struggles. Please contact us if you’d like to sponsor a talk by Ward Churchill, or have a link to a related struggle.
In comments at PB, Noj asks, "Why don't they mention Phil Mitchell, the religious conservative CU instructor who CU harassed and ultimately fired? Could it be that acknowledging Mitchell's travails puts the lie to Chutchnet's claim that all free speech martyrs are victims of the vast right wing conspiracy?"

Well, of course, although the new CU branch of the American Association of University Professors has issued a disapproving report on Mitchell's firing, and there's some overlap in that group with the dead-end Chutchites, including president Margaret LeCompte, VP Vijay Gupta and staff representative Ken Bonetti.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weird Bird Friday

Click to supersize.

From The Rut. He has a series of penguin cartoons, too. WARNING (especially for those of you who have 11-year-olds who have recently become fascinated with certain Weird Bird links): This guy's penguins ain't no nice guys.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mmmmm, eggplant parmesan

Elizabeth at Charlottesville Words has a couple of blogging tips:
(1) Want to double your traffic? Put the words “Ward Churchill” anywhere on your site. If you post it, they will come.
Funny, it's never worked for me.

(2) To the person who came here looking for “eggplant parmesan” — I hope you found something useful.
Actually (2) isn't a tip, but a wag comments: "I have been looking for Ward Churchill’s eggplant parmesan recipe for I don’t even know how long."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Churchill to miss Denver Columbus Day protest

Looks like Ward Churchill and frau Natsu Saito will be giving Denver's Columbus Day protest a pass this year. Instead they'll be in Charlottesville, VA with eco-cruddite Derrick Jensen and Dana Lyons to
engage in three days of public events exploring the Columbus legacy: its origins, implications, and impact upon contemporary American culture.

Through the mediums of film, music, and the written word, the community is invited to examine fresh and controversial perspectives on our past and present, in an effort to better understand a more humane approach to our collective future

Oh boy. But why would Truthforce 'n' Wart miss the protest this of all years, the hundredth anniversary of the Columbus Day holiday? Are they, perhaps, worried about violence? Wart, of course, likes to encourage others to violent acts, but tends to shy from them himself. More likely, though, it's because of his lawsuit against CU. Being arrested might not look good to potential Denver jurors.

What, me violent?

(via Charlottesville Words, which opines of the Virginia Columbusfest, "Just one more reason Charlottesville is an awesome place to live.")

(John Brown via our friends at the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement)

Update: looking at the schedule of events, I suppose it's just possible for the dynamic duo to get back to Denver for the parade/protest and then fly back to Charlottesville for Sunday's public forum ("Get there early. Seats will go fast").

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Suggested" reading

The Modesto anarchists are in financial trouble:
Modesto Anarcho has a $84 PO Box bill to pay! If you can send any type of donation that would help us out allot! You can also buy something from our distro.
Among the pamphlets available from their "distro":

  • Anarchist Parenting. Edited by Anarchist FAQ. An in depth look at what an approach to raising children in an anarchist fashion would look like and a critique of "authoritarian parenting".

  • Dropping Out: A Revolutionary Vindication of Refusal, Marginality, and Subculture. By Crimethinc. Argues that 'dropping out' of mainstream modes of existence can lead to revolutionary struggle.

  • Reclaim Rewild: A Vision for Going Feral and Actualizing our Wildest Dreams. What would it mean if we left 'civilization' behind and started to re-wild ourselves in a sustainable way with the earth? This booklet talks about various people doing just that.

  • Sabotage in the Workplace. A selection of real life accounts of people fighting back, stealing from, and sabotaging their workplaces.

  • Why I love Shoplifting from Big Corporations. By Crimethinc [my link--ed.]. A fun and easy to read critique of capitalism and consumerism and a defense against 'proletarian shopping'. You'll never look at a big store the same way again. "Nothing compares to the feeling of elation, of burdens being lifted and constraints escaped, that I feel when I walk out of a store with their products in my pockets. In a world where everything already belongs to someone else, where I am expected to sell away my life at work in order to get the money to pay for the minimum I need to survive, where I am surrounded by forces beyond my control or comprehension that obviously are not concerned about my needs or welfare, it is a way to carve out a little piece of the world for myself—to act back upon a world that acts so much upon me." Free!

  • The Youth Need a Liberation Front. By Rev. Terry and Crudo. A critique of modern schooling - and a call for social war by students against it. Short and easy to read. "If school is the beginning, then we will unmake school, better yet - we will declare war. An endless war for the endless attack that the system of markets, commerce, and work has created all around us."

  • This is Me, Using My Choice: A Collection of Women's Abortion Stories. By various. A collection of real life women's stories about their experiences with having an abortion.

  • Got the Hollow Points for the Snitches. A look at some of "snitches" who have lead to arrests in the radical ecological movement.

    And what anarchist reading list would be complete without:

  • The Calvin and Hobbes Guide to Daily Life. Edited by Robin Banks. Everyone's favorite cartoon duo is back - this time with a message of revolution! Various C&H cartoons are reprinted along with discussions and notes about further meanings behind them. Ideas around school, work, society, the media, and ecological destruction are all discussed. A great and entertaining introduction to anarchist ideas.
  • Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Saturday Night at the Radio!

    I'm supposed to be camping tonight, but instead I'm home with Billy Bob and the Grippe. I need a heavy dose of Information Please.

    First, a pre-war show with the regulars (New York Post columnist Franklin P. Adams and "general fount of wisdom" John Kieran) and guests Boris Karloff and Warden Lewis E. Lawes. Just delightful--and I got the quote from Ten Nights in a Barroom right away (24 January 1941).

    And one from mid-war, with the regulars plus bitter crater-face and Nobel Prize-winner Sinclair Lewis and Lewis Browne, of whom I'd never heard (6 December 1943). Turn up the gain, Edna, the sound's a little muddy.

    Update: Just because I can, here's the full text of Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, which the Drunkablog enjoyed mightily as a Young Adult. It is the power of the gods the Drunkablog wields! Bwahaha&tc.

    "Anti-war" protest in D.C.

    AP picture of the International ANSWER-sponsored poser-in:

    Tight shot=tiny crowd.

    The accompanying story begins:
    Thousands of protesters gathered Saturday outside the White House to demand an end to the Iraq war as counter-protesters rallied to meet them on a planned march to the Capitol.
    "Thousands" in AP-speak, means anything over 1,000. The reporter quotes several of them. There were some counterprotesters, too:
    About 13 blocks away, nearly 1,000 counter-protesters gathered near the Washington Monument, frequently erupting in chants of "U-S-A" and waving American flags . . .
    Only one is quoted, though, and he's running for president:

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., made a surprise visit to the counter-protest, which was organized by the group Gathering of Eagles. The group was created this year by veterans who wanted to challenge war protesters.

    "We're a people of faith, courage and fidelity," said Hunter, a 2008 presidential candidate. "It's for this generation that we will win this war on terror."

    Update: Fox News just said about 5,000 at the rally, maybe 1500 at the die-in. Worst. Protest. Ever. Cindy's there! That guarantees failure! Guess she couldn't stand to be away from the cameras for another second. Heck, she's been a Stalinist since she found out what a Stalinist was (a couple of years ago), which is why she's been welcomed by International ANSWER.

    Update II: Why do the Fox ginks keep using the phrase "die-in" like they never heard it before? Fox sucks, that's why. They're so overdramatic, too. There were some (I don't know how many) peaceful arrests and some screaming back and forth between protesters and counter-p's, and the anchorwench says, "this really got out of control." Another reporter just said the divide in America over the Iraq War is "certainly getting thicker," and another just mentioned Pennsylvania Avenue in New York. Kee-rist.

    Columbus Day Tribunal grabs world attention

    Workers World, that is, which beats the major dailies with an account of the "Truth Commission" on Columbus held at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver last weekend:

    Colorado AIM and the Transform Columbus Day Alliance held a two-day Truth Commission in Denver on Sept. 8-9 as Colorado gears up for the 100th year since it began celebrating Columbus Day and as activists mobilized to oppose to the iconization of the slave trader and mass murderer.

    Colorado held its first statewide celebration in 1907. The Transform Columbus Day Alliance has been protesting the holiday since 1989 and won a slight reprieve from further injury of Indigenous people through the celebration in 1992, some 500 years after Columbus led the European invasion of the Western Hemisphere.

    Further injury of Indigenous people. How did warrior peoples become so bloody delicate, anyway?
    However, the fete’s organizers have continued to rebuff a dialogue with community leaders.
    Actually, they had an exchange of views only last year:

    What some see as a possible warm-up for this [2006 Columbus Day] weekend's annual showdown between Italian Americans and Indian activists took place Monday at a news conference in north Denver called by parade organizers.

    Three American Indian activists, who slipped in to watch the event, eventually were invited to join the discussion. Suddenly, though, the two sides began exchanging insults.

    Pro-parade forces had brought in an American Indian, David Yeagley, of Oklahoma City, a classical-music composer with a Ph.D. in history, to explain why Columbus should not be considered a racist icon. But before the event was over, Yeagley, who identifies himself as a Comanche, called one of the activists a "commie."

    Each side accused the other of racism.

    And with David Yeagley around, they were both right. The Woikas Woild piece continues:

    George E. (Tink) Tinker, an Indigenous professor [sic--of the Prolix tribe] at the Iliff School of Theology [and member of both AIM's Leadership and Elders' councils], testified about the actual population of the Caribbean and the long history of undercounting, so as to make colonization seem less brutal than it was. . . .

    Larry Hales of FIST testified about Christopher Columbus and his legacy’s impact on African people brought to the Americas. . . .

    Glenn Morris testified about the legacy of Columbus on Indigenous people and what it means today, as U.S. imperialism aggressively targets poor workers around the world for highly exploitable labor and to steal the resources underneath their feet.

    Man. How could I have chosen, yes, chosen, not to attend?

    When they even managed to cram it, yes, cram it, into 17 short hours?

    The WW piece concludes with a traditional commie delusion:
    The Truth Commission, just like the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, provided the true history of people. As the struggle to stop imperialist wars abroad and the war against the oppressed and workers in the U.S. intensifies, this truth becomes increasingly more important and provides the history that will inundate the lies of the oppressors.
    Uh-huh. Chutchologists will note that Ward Churchill frau Natsu "Truthforce" Saito, while pictured, is not quoted. Even more tellingly, her name is misspelled. My cryptic communication skillz say: purge a'comin'.

    One other thing. The five speakers pictured couldn't have taken more than, say, nine hours to give their talks, right? What did attendees (if any) do for the remaining eight hours? Probably the usual: Myers-Briggs test, breakout groups and workshops, encounter sessions. Maybe they even had the money for a corporate comedian (clean only) to lighten things up. Guess we'll have to wait for the DVD.

    (via El Presidente at Slapstick Politics).

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Weird Bird Friday

    Typographical Ibis:

    From Bembo's Zoo. Also see F for flamingo, P for peacock and Q for quail.


    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Rosh Hashanah at Sloan Lake

    Billy Bob and I went for a run this evening. One of us actually ran.

    You'll often see Orthodox Jews strolling around the lake, but tonight they were all over the place, praying and talking:

    Billy Bob classes Orthodox Jews the same way he classes all people: A) will throw frisbee; B) will not throw frisbee. Orthodox Jews? "A".

    Note duckie lower left. The kid did.

    Billy Bob distracted some of the younger guys.

    Kid on the left said: "Awesome dog." I love this country.

    Hickenlooper: Don't fear convention

    The News:

    Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper today urged downtown businesses to look beyond the logistical challenges of the Democratic National Convention.

    He asked residents and businesses instead to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the Democratic process and showcase Denver to the world.

    "There's a notion that the convention is something happening in Denver and we don't have to participate," he said. "The actual seeds of democracy are being planted right in our city. This is a unique and wonderful opportunity."

    One year from now, Denver will be the center of American politics when Democrats meet at the Pepsi Center to nominate their presidential candidate.

    Gross. Cue the whiners:

    Already business owners and residents expressed concerns about the logistics of the convention, with many envisioning traffic clogging downtown streets, street closures, security blockades, or worse, hoards of media portraying downtown as a scary place to come.

    "I'm concerned about street closures and people getting to work. When the NBA All-Star game was here, business suffered," said Lee Goodfriend, owner of Racines restaurant. "How do we stop the media from scaring away people from downtown?"

    Others wanted assurance from the Hickenlooper [sic] and the DNC that local business would get a lion's share of convention contracts and business.

    No kidding.

    Hickenlooper said that the convention is expected to pump $160 million into the regional economy.

    The convention is expected to draw 35,000 visitors, including dozens of U.S. senators, members of Congress and governors, 15,000 journalists and 12,000 local volunteers.
    As noted here, though, some have questioned those numbers. In any case:

    "We want to make sure all in the Denver community get a piece of the pie," Hickenlooper said
    I want ice cream, too.

    Update: Slapstick Politics links to a CBS4 report from a couple of days ago on how jerk-radical crap-group Recreate68! pulled a fast one and bought up website addresses the Democrats likely would have used for the convention. Entering one of those addresses now takes visitors not to a Democratic Convention site, but to R68.

    Far out.

    Only odd thing about the story is CBS4 reporting it now, when R68! pulled the stunt last January, as was widely noted at the time.

    Churchill, taped

    Debunken! has more video of Ward Churchill's appearance at Virginia Commonwealth University last week. In this segment the debunkenmeister engages with Churchill directly over the Korean War, and Churchill shows yet again what a fulminating asshole he is. What must it have been like to disagree with this jerk in class?

    (via the tutu-ed pirate with the new rubber tip on his pegleg)

    Fun letter to the editor in the Commonwealth Times about the same appearance:
    Churchill is the latest in a series of left-wing and otherwise bizarre speakers and guests that the university has hosted at the students’ expense. This is nothing new; last spring the university shelled out big bucks to bring socialist Elaine Brown, as well as the raunchy “Sex Workers Art Show” performers, neither of which I would classify as “conservative.”

    [W]hen will the university see fit to bring a qualified, competent conservative or libertarian thinker on campus? Syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock and MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan come to mind almost immediately.
    Pat Buchanan? Bring on the sex workers!
    But no, the university will instead invite someone in the form of Howard Zinn or perhaps Rosie O’Donnell. Maybe she could convince us that 9/11 was an inside job.
    Probably not.

    The Silver & Gold Record notes CU's attempt to have Churchill's suit dismissed, in case you missed it:

    Last week, CU attorneys filed motions to dismiss the claims, arguing that the regents and CU have immunity from such lawsuits under the 11th Amendment, and that CU has the right to undertake an investigation of whether a faculty member has committed violations of his or her duties. CU also filed motions to dismiss the breach-of-contract claims made by Churchill, who says in his lawsuit that the University breached its contract with him when CU failed to provide him with up to $20,000 for attorneys' fees to help pay for representation in his dismissal-for-cause procedure.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for the judge's ruling, though:

    The suit will be heard in Denver District Court by Chief Judge Larry Naves. CU Associate Counsel Patrick O'Rourke said Monday that no date has been set for a hearing on the motions, and that he does not expect any rulings for at least 90 days.
    Update: A strange, scattered post from prairiemary on requiring American Indian history in schools. Not even sure why I'm linking to it, except that prairiemary seems interestingly strange and scattered herself.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007


    According to Abukar Arman, to be finkelstein-ed is to be
    maliciously branded Anti-Semitic. It is to be gagged, to be silenced, to be profiled, to be tainted, to be ostracized, and to be humiliated. It is to be intimidated, to be harassed, to be dehumanized, to be demonized. It is to be targeted, to be rejected, to be denied access, to be falsely accused, to be black-listed, and to be black-mailed. It is to be ganged upon, to be viciously manhandled, to be wrongly punished, and to be to be brutally injured. It is to be betrayed, to be ambushed, to be caged, and to be buried alive. It is to be intellectually shackled, to be morally scorned, and to be emotionally tortured. It is to be trapped and be hunted down. It is to be ill-indicted, to be ill-represented, and to be ill-judged. It is to be denied due process, to be railroaded. It is to be misconstrued, to be repressed, to be oppressed, to be enraged, to be outraged, and to be pushed to the edge. It is to be brow-beaten, to be bullied around, and to be sucker-punched. It is to be wronged, to be accused of heresy and to be excommunicated. It is to be maligned, to be libeled, to be slandered, and to be exploited.

    I'm sorry. Were you saying something?

    It is to be crucified....for being the voice of the voiceless, for championing intellectual freedom, for intellectual honesty; for active scholarship, for speaking truth to the power [sic]; for moral sanity, for ethical clarity, for refusing to bow to the pressures of a prevalent groupthink, for upholding God-given rights, for upholding the First Amendment. . . .

    That's some word, finkelstein-ed. But if Normie went through half of what Arman says he did, it's amazing he's even alive (think what crucifixion, all by itself, does to a person). Not only is he alive, he's spry enough to run around threatening his former colleagues.

    Arman, who's been profiled in Frontpagemag (always a warrant of good character), dribbles off into that peculiar Pali-speak in which "the truth about Palestine" is referred to but somehow never stated, and even those who regard a two-state solution as "moot" have "the well being of both peoples [as] the central pillar of their argument." He'd benefit from a good finkelsteining himself.

    Dummy speaks

    One of the most flickering of the dim bulbs at the disastrous National! Emergency! Forum! to save Ward Churchill's job last April was Reggie Dylan (scroll down to "Messages of solidarity"), a contributing writer for the "Marxist-Leninist-Maoist" Revolution Magazine (whose leader, as you probably know, is Chairman Bob Avakian).

    Now Dylan has an article in Revolution decrying David Horowitz's declaration (can he just do that?) of a National Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week in October, "to further harden," according to Dylan, "the dangerous polarization that sees the only choices in the world as between Jihad and McWorld/McCrusade—between Islamic fundamentalism on the one hand and capitalist-imperialist domination led by the U.S. on the other."
    This fall campus offensive needs to be met by a Fascism Awareness counter-offensive that focuses on the threat represented by this country’s Christian Fascists and the Bush Regime, and at the same time brings forward an alternative vision of the future that is tied neither to the imperialists nor to the Islamic fundamentalist states and movements.
    Christian fascists. McCrusade. Alternative vision. You get the idea. Read the whole thing if you're bent that way.

    Somebody's gotta do it

    The Manhattan Institute, publishers of City Journal, has a new website,, "dedicated to the revival of intellectual pluralism and the best traditions of liberal education at America's universities." Longtime Newsweek columnist John Leo is editor, and he writes about it today in the Washington Post, in the cutely titled "Among collegiate educators, a disturbing hegemony":
    As college students return to campus this fall, we are reminded of the academic controversies of the past year. These events -- associated with the names Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, and the Dartmouth Trustees -- raise profound questions about the health of our universities. Have they forgotten their academic purpose in pursuit of radical ideological causes?
    Yes, they have, though the Dartmouth situation, while bogus beyond belief, isn't really in the same category as Churchill and Finkelstein (great law-firm name). has a short answer to that question: yes. It is a new enterprise that will seek to provide necessary supervision [my link--ed.] for universities that have increasingly cut themselves off from the broader society. . . .

    One need only look to the many professors who falsely accused the Duke players of rape last year, or to the large number of academic supporters that Ward Churchill gained [and lost, at least publicly], or to the growing threat to free speech on many campuses highlighted by such organizations as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (F.I.R.E.), to understand that our universities require closer scrutiny-and reform.

    A curtain has been drawn around the academy [a hemp curtain], inside of which the protection of certain favored ideas trumps intellectual exchange and the search for truth.

    Our goal is civil conversation about the universities, about what has happened to them, and what must be done to make them genuinely open institutions, with no established or protected ideas.

    The writing is all over the place, from Mark Bauerlein on the paranoia and duplicity of the critical thinking crowd in "I'm OK, you're not OK," to Michael Bérubé's typically self-regarding defense of more or less the same folks in "Freedom to teach," to Sara Dogan's piece in FrontPageMag on the new academic freedom policies at Penn State and Temple, with people like Clarence Page and the startlingly fatuous Bradley Hammer, a with-it educator whose students write blogs rather than old-fashioned essays and papers, wedged in. Leo concludes:

    As the new college year begins, we will no doubt be hearing about many more Ward Churchills and Norman Finkelsteins.

    Many more?

    But the past year reminds us that our universities should not be held to lesser standards than other organizations that purport to be impartial. Balance and true diversity of thought are the indispensable characteristics of any higher education worthy of the name. Students, alumni, professors and administrators should look to not as a threat, but as an ally in the effort to renew a rich American tradition of education that values such academic balance and intellectual pluralism.

    They'll see it as a threat.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    9/11 Wardo roundup

    The Commonwealth Times has an account of Ward Churchill's speech at Virginia Commonwealth University Friday:
    “I’m not in an especially good mood tonight,” Churchill said.“I don’t need Jon Stewart to tell me George Bush is a disaster.” Churchill criticized celebrations of Columbus Day and the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. He said the major difference between European settlers’ genocide of Native Americans and Nazi Germany’s holocaust during World War II was that Germany lost.
    That's Ward, all right. Same ol', same ol'. There was a somewhat surprising dissent, though:
    Mary Ann Owens, adjunct professor of mass communications, said she did not attend the event because she objected to Churchill profiting financially as a speaker on the lecture circuit. “I certainly support his right to freedom of speech,” Owens said. “But it’s very easy to be sitting over 2,000 miles away and come up with wording that dehumanizes the lives and deaths of over 2,000 people.”
    Yes it is. The piece ends with this Wart whopper:
    Sometimes I do get tired of hearing myself talk,” he said. “All I’ve ever tried to do was shoulder what I felt was my responsibility.”
    Professor Peter "Spellbound" Kirstein celebrates the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by recalling the words of Susan Sontag ("The disconnect between last Tuesday’s monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing."); Wardo ("But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire"); and University of New Mexico history professor Richard Berthold ("Anybody who blows up the Pentagon gets my vote"), and ends with this passionate plea (you can tell it's passionate because it's all in caps):
    JUDEO-CHRISTIAN FANATICAL CRUSADES, EH, er, eh? This is a professor, don't forget.

    In a review of AK Press's (which publishes Ward) catalogue in Anarchy, Bob Black attacks Churchill from the left or whatever direction it is anarchists come from:
    Churchill is truly a piece of work: ex-Long Range Recon ("search and destroy") in Vietnam [anarchists aren't big on facts, either, apparently]; ex-Weatherman [see?]; ex-white man; American Indian Movement splitter; tenured faculty without a Ph.D or a single scholarly publication; non-Indian pan-Indian nationalist; anti-Semite; and, needless to say (but, in a letter to AJODA, he did say it), no anarchist. AK Press is forever fumbling for his zipper. Churchill always publishes there the books that even other leftist publishers shrink from. He was keynote speaker at the (unofficially) AK-controlled Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair two years ago. When David Horowitz and other right-wingers campaign against campus academic freedom, Exhibit A is always Ward Churchill. Churchill has always had agent provocateur written all over him. Churchill has always had agent provocateur written all over him. That is how many Native American activists regard him. . . .
    You speak truth there, anarcho-boy.

    Update: A Journal of Desire Armed. I wouldn't name a dog that.

    Update II: Mostly o/t: El Presidente spots a new travel study course at the University of Colorado at Denver--"Venezuela: Venezuela's Public Health Revolution"--and notes:
    Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the students will use this trip to investigate how not to do health care, but instead inspire them to emulate a failed system in an emerging totalitarian dictatorship, and bring it here.
    But, but, isn't Venezuela basing its public health revolution on the example of (and with allegedly massive help from) the universally lauded Cuban system?

    Update III: Pirate Ballerina looks at the American Association of University Professors' 2007 report on "Freedom in the Classroom" (from its Stalinist-sounding "Committee A") and finds it--well, you can probably guess.

    Update IV: JS over at Dissident News has pictures of New York in the rain taken from the roof of his apartment building for this September 11. Check out the churches with Manhattan in the background.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    What a bore

    At Virginia Commonwealth University Friday Ward repeated the Little Eichmanns slander, to feeble applause:

    Must be getting close to 9/11.

    (from Debunken!, who adds, "His lecture was mostly one big pile of anti-American, almost comically ahistorical nonsense." I find this hard to believe.)

    Sunday Night at the Radio!

    And that means Jack Benny, damn you. "Jack begs Sam Goldwyn to do 'The Life of Benny'" (6 April 1947). Lots of references to The Best Years of Our Lives, and Hoagy Carmichael does the Lucky Strike commercial to the tune of "Ol' Buttermilk Sky."

    This is fun: The Les Paul Show. The infallible scholars at Wikipedia get it right again:
    Paul . . . hosted a fifteen-minute radio program, The Les Paul Show, on NBC in 1950, featuring his trio (himself, Ford, and rhythm player Eddie Stapleton) and his electronics, recorded from their home and with gentle humour between Paul and Ford bridging musical selections, some of which had already been successful on records, some of which anticipated the couple's recordings, and many of which presented dazzling re-interpretations of such jazz and pop selections as "In the Mood," "Little Rock Getaway," "Brazil," and "Tiger Rag."
    Great stuff. This one's got "Brazil" (12 May 1950).


    Not central to my thinking, but, Go Broncos. (Tape as soon as it shows up.)

    Update: Post first with a story, but lose points for backing up their timestamp. Story says "2:15 p.m." but wasn't up until 2:25 at the earliest.

    Good God, who the hell cares.

    Update II (2:36 p.m.): News has a picture and a paragraph, but story is still "forthcoming."

    Update III (2:57 p.m.): The Rocky's got a bloody AP story up. Sheesh.

    Update IV (9/11): Screw the tape of the Broncos' last-second win (which I never found, anyway). The Post: "Everett's injury catastrophic."

    Ward jokes

    Apologies in advance, but here are a couple of Ward Churchill jokes from a page of rather limp humoresque about Islamists and leftists and suchlike at Gagdad Bob's "One Cosmos" ('Circumnavelgazing the Whole Existentialada of Lumin Development . . . "). Supply your own rimshots:
    How about Ward Churchill? The fact that this America-hating academic fraud was drawing a six-figure salary at taxpayer's expense brought to mind the words of another Churchill: "Never have so many owed so much to a faux Sioux."
    Cree, Creek, Cherokee, Sioux--whatever:
    By the way, Churchill never said he was an Indian -- what he said was that he had "a patchy work history."
    It's not my fault and you'll forget anyway, with time. Maybe a little therapy.

    Update: For Snapple:

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    International legal expert judges at Katrina Tribunal

    Ward Churchill played a judge last week (after his recent stirring portrayals of an Indian and a scholar) at the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans. According to (who else) Workers World, in a piece subtlely subtitled "We charge genocide":

    The tribunal, initiated by the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund was supported by many national and international organizations, and was attended by hundreds of survivors of both hurricanes along with political and community activists from around the country and the world.

    The main purpose of this people’s tribunal was to expose to the world a multitude of crimes against humanity amounting to genocide carried out by the U.S. government on a local, statewide and federal level against the survivors, then and now.

    New Orleans Indymedia said:
    Kali Akuno of People’s Hurricane describes the purpose of the Tribunal as a “critical step in the ongoing struggle for the right of return and a self determining reconstruction process.”
    Right of return. Self-determination. Where are the Zionist oppressors?
    Furthermore, Akuno states the wider objectives of the Tribunal beyond the Gulf Coast; “if the government gets away with these abuses - after the tragic consequences of deeply entrenched racism and classism horrified both national and international audiences - the gentrification and ethnic cleansing of communities throughout the US and world will only accelerate.”
    Ethnic cleansing and gentrification! What could be worse? Of course, the Tribunal heard about other crimes as well:

    During the International Hurricane Katrina and Rita Tribunal we heard all sorts of testimony about white vigilantes 'hunting' down Black folks. This was in addition to the widespread police brutality. In some instances New Orleans police were seen riding with and working with white vigilantes who claimed they were protecting their neighborhoods.

    Former Black Panther Malik Rahim of the organization Common Ground was witness to white vigilantes who were roaming his neighborhood in Algiers which is located on the West Bank of New Orleans. This was one of the few places in the city that did not experience flooding. It was the only neighborhood in all of New Orleans that still had safe drinking water.

    During his searing testimony Malik offered up a documentary he and his comrades from Common Ground put together. In the documentary we get to see and hear angry white people bragging about how they were shooting and killing Blacks while they were barbecueing. It seems so outlandish to the point of dis-belief until [sic]. They went out at night on what they called 'pheasant Hunts'. Malik estimates that over 200 Blacks lost their lives to white vigilantes.

    Yeah, sure. The "preliminary" findings of the Tribunal:
    “It is our view that the US Government has committed crimes against humanity particularly in relation to its failure to maintain functional levees that should have protected the City of New Orleans from flooding….it was the reckless disregard and, in some instances, negligence of the US government, the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans that created the devastation we continue to see today.
    ”But wait, there's more!
    [Jill Soffiyah] Elijah also announced that the Tribunal made preliminary findings that the federal, state and local governments are guilty of violating the human rights to life, dignity and recognition of personhood; the right to be free from racial discrimination--especially as it pertains to the actions of law enforcement personnel and vigilantes; the right to return, resettlement and reintegration of internally displaced persons.
    There's even more, but I'll jump to the conclusion:
    The Tribunal Conveners—representing movements for justice on four continents—reminded Tribunal participants and witnesses of the solemnity of their task. Lybon Mabasa, a founding member with Stephen Biko of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, insisted, “We must hold these criminal governments to account in order to stop the world from sinking into barbarism and to make the world one where life is worth living.”
    Yep, Ward can definitely help with that.

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    MIM makes funny

    Click on the headline, "New Trotskyite leader explains why Amerikkkan 'workers' are so chauvinist," and you get this.

    Oh, those cut-up commies. Wait, that's commie cut-ups. Haven't linked to MIM's humor page ("This is our humor page") in ages, either. Have "fun"!

    Weird Bird Friday

    Barn owls? Or the first toehold of an alien invasion?


    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Another despised professor

    The Silver and Gold Record has a letter from CU professor Tom Mayer--Stasi interrogator, coprophage--and now, poet:

    Editor's note: The following is an open poem to the CU community.

    The Firing

    The august board of nine

    that governs the esteemed institution

    and righteously defends its good name and scholarly probity

    reconvened ninety minutes late.

    The audience of hundreds,

    motley in attire and demeanor,

    hushed quickly.

    The outcome was never in doubt

    but the unfolding spectacle and prolonged clash of wills

    exuded drama.

    Eight to one the august board

    fired the despised professor

    with C.C. [unCommon Courage] the sole dissenter.

    Already the despised professor was a marked man

    branded "DESPICABLE" by

    ten million irate citizens

    one thousand scribes of our populist -- and corporatized -- media

    fifty democratically elected legislators

    five supposedly expert investigators

    two state governors

    and one university president.

    The despised professor's

    spoken, written, and electronic rhetoric

    severely embarrassed

    his less articulate colleagues.

    But being despicable

    is not a suitable cause for firing

    at any esteemed institution

    that values its good name and scholarly probity.

    As luck would have it

    a more actionable cause appeared:

    an astounding congruence of politics and procedural rigor.

    Fortune favors the powerful.

    The august board,

    which voted eight to one to fire the despised professor,

    did not deny he had:

    inspired students,

    written books,

    provided footnotes,

    attracted readers,

    received citations,

    garnered awards,

    adumbrated ideas,

    promulgated systematic interpretations,

    stimulated numberless discussions,

    inspired social change.

    Nevertheless the august board

    had weighty reasons

    to fire the man.

    According to the unquestionable conclusions of unimpeachable authorities

    the despised professor:

    falsified history,

    fabricated sources,

    plagiarized authors,

    not to mention other

    rumored but undocumented,

    sins of omission and commission.

    Ample -- if fortuitous -- cause to fire

    a deeply despised professor.

    On that day the august board

    cast its eight to one vote

    before beating

    a hasty, nervous, monosyllabic retreat.

    What reasonable soul could doubt

    the unquestionable conclusions of unimpeachable authorities?

    What moral person could challenge

    the considered decision of the august board?

    Those who witness hypocrisy,

    experience injustice,

    see truth negated,

    who comprehend the totalitarian persuasiveness of power

    come by doubt honestly.

    If not fearful or beholden,

    if not vengeful or nursing a prior grudge,

    if not starved of status or spoon-feeding a career,

    if not complacent or drowned within private life,

    if still able to locate merit in a bitter foe


    no rocket science is needed to find

    evidence flawed and incomplete,

    conclusions questionable,

    authorities impeachable,

    august boards fallible,

    the prosecution a house of stacked cards,

    the firing a systematic framing,

    the victim the commonweal.

    And yet the professoriate,

    leaving aside incorrigible malcontents,

    greet the termination of their erstwhile colleague

    with deafening quietude

    and ferocious passivity.

    The good doctors take care

    never to offend Caesar,

    never to think a thought

    for which they might be terminated,


    or even shot a second glance.

    A crucifixion in the neighborhood?

    No concern of theirs ...

    let alone a mere firing.

    Perhaps these voiceless inert instructors of the young

    even thank the august board

    for exorcising

    a public embarrassment.

    July 24, 2007.

    On that date the august board

    dispatched the despised professor,

    preserving the good name

    of the esteemed institution.

    June 22, 1633.

    On that date occurred another exorcism.

    Another august board


    another despised professor,

    preserving the good name

    of another esteemed institution.

    Or, to be more precise,

    a prior and more authoritative august board

    inscribed a despised professor as antichrist,

    condemning a man of the planets

    to perpetual house arrest.

    Galileo Galilei.

    "And yet it does move."

    What goes around will come around.
    If blood makes you squeamish, please close your eyes while I slit my throat.

    An even more bizarre letter from one R. Igor Gamow disputes what CU claims to have spent thus far to fire Ward:
    A few weeks back, on Aug. 10, the Boulder Camera ran an article stating that the [Ward] Churchill case had cost CU $352,000! That number is simply ridiculous, and demonstrates how disingenuous CU really is with dispersing information to the public. I thought -- silly me -- that a ton of people would complain, citing the obvious omissions of CU continuing to pay a full professor's salary to Professor Churchill for nearly four years, while paying another professor to replace Professor Churchill, since he was not allowed to teach his classes. Also CU had to pay someone to do his committee work for three straight years. I am sure I could dredge up more costs, like who paid for the cost of maintaining his CU office for three years?
    Turns out Gamow knows what he's talking about:
    It cost CU some $1 million to have me fired and the game is still not over, and I was just a small fry compared to Professor Churchill! Part of this $1 million was $280,000 that CU had to pay to Dr. Dana Ruehlman, as a result of losing their case in a 2006 jury trial, Ruehlman v. CU.
    Ruehlman v. CU? From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
    A federal jury on Thursday ordered the University of Colorado to pay $285,000 to an instructor in the Boulder campus's physiology department after concluding that she had been sexually harassed by R. Igor Gamow, a prominent inventor and chemical engineer who was fired by the university in 2004 for "moral turpitude."
    See? Bizarre.

    Finkelstein resig reax

    Grauniad Unilmited:

    The latest act in the saga of the controversial academic Norman Finkelstein ended not with a bang - or at least a hunger strike and civil disobedience - but with a whimper: a settlement with DePaul University, in Chicago, that secured his resignation.
    John J. Miller at National Review Online posts an e-mail from DePaul student Nicholas Hahn:

    [Finkelstein's] anti-climactic press conference, which closed the book to his DePaul career, was pitifully comical. His remarks were frequently interrupted by loud construction noises on the near-by DePaul campus. After reading a prepared statement to approximately 70 or 80 people, most being non-DePaul students on a campus of almost 20,000, he wanted to thank “a few” of his supporters. He ended up thanking a good majority of the crowd listening to his farewell speech. Thanking supporters implied some reception of an honor or an award, when in reality Finkelstein had just received his pink slip.

    IHE goes the rehash route.

    The Tribune's Ron Grossman observes:

    Wednesday's demonstration witnessed the way in which [Finkelstein's] personal and academic struggle has been subsumed into a constellation of larger issues. Though the majority in the pro-Finkelstein ranks were college age, some in the crowd of 120 looked like veterans of many an earlier protest. One carried a placard and a portable oxygen supply [no, it wasn't me].

    Members of the International Socialist Organization hawked their newspaper, as did representatives of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Others wore orange headbands, signifying solidarity with prisoners at Abu Ghraib, where U.S. military guards abused Iraqi detainees.

    Abu Ghraib?

    One person Wednesday wore a T-shirt with the words of Albert Spies, an anarchist executed after the 1886 Haymarket Incident in Chicago, who told the court: "Here you tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up."

    Yeah, sure.

    Grossman also quotes Alan Dershowitz:
    "The university has traded truth for peace," said Dershowitz. "The statement that [Finkelstein] is a scholar is simply false. He's a propagandist."
    Update: Haymarket Incident?

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    Mmmmmm, extra buttery

    Probably everyone and his dog has linked to this already (I know my dog has), but still, too weird to ignore. The Post:

    "Man surprised by 'popcorn lung' diagnoses"

    Centennial - Some people smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Some drink a few beers. The health risks are well documented.

    But tasty, buttery, microwaveable popcorn?

    Wayne Watson never figured his two-bag-a-day habit of his favorite store-brand extra-buttery popcorn was something that would harm him, but every day over the past decade — sometimes 3 bags a day — it has been doing just that.

    Every day. Sometimes three bags a day. Pardon my Sanskrit, but, oooooooiiiink.
    Watson can laugh now [ha-hack! ha-hack hack hack--haaaaack] that his "15 minutes of fame" [haaaaaaaaaaack!] has come as the result of eating too much popcorn. His lung capacity, which deteriorated to about 50 percent while he was popping corn, has stabilized and improved to about 75 percent since a doctor at National Jewish Medical and Research Center pinpointed the cause of his condition, broncheolitis obliterans. Or as it has come be known: "popcorn lung."
    "Obliterans." That doesn't sound good.
    However, the microwaveable popcorn industry isn't laughing. Three manufacturers responsible for most of the products sold in the United States said on Wednesday they would stop using diacetyl — the chemical tentatively associated with Watson's damaged lungs - as soon as possible.
    As soon as possible? As soon as possible? You mean like after they run out of all the (checks notes, coughs up piece of lung) diacetyl they have on hand? Ha-hack!

    Update: I mean, give me a break. As soon as possible?

    Update II: Think anybody'll sue?

    Wednesday Night at the Radio!

    A Suspense for a cool, rainy night (at least, here in Denver). How about "Evelyn Waugh's study in mounting terror called--'The Man Who Liked Dickens'" (10 September 1947).

    And an episode of The Lives of Harry Lime: "Art is Long, And Lime Is Fleeting" (11 September 1951).

    Finkelstein resigns

    The wuss. Chicago Tribune:
    The long-running confrontation between embattled professor Norman Finkelstein and DePaul University ended today without the dramatics he had promised.

    Instead, he read a statement announcing his resignation this morning on the university's main quadrangle before about 120 supporters announcing that he and DePaul had resolved the controversy. But the terms were kept confidential.
    With any luck somebody will leak the settlement.
    Finkelstein had vowed to present himself at his office door today and, if denied entrance, to perform an unspecified act of civil disobedience. He vowed to go on a hunder [sic] strike if he were jailed.

    Finkelstein read both his statement and DePaul's today. No university official appeared.In its statement, the university wrote: "Professor Finkelstein is a prolific scholar and an outstanding teacher."
    Prolific. Not "excellent." Not "good," Not "competent." Prolific.
    A colorful demonstration for Finkelstein on campus this morning included representatives of the National Lawyers Guild, the Socialist Workers Party, the Revolutionary Communist League and Jewish Voice for Peace.
    Colorful clothes, maybe, colorful signs, but we know what socialists are like inside. Think they're happy with this sellout? A cynical soul (and commies are nothing if not cynical) might even wonder if Finkelstein didn't use them to pry a better deal out of DePaul.

    (via Marathon Pundit)

    Update: Peter "Don't Take The Brown Acid" Kirstein has the full text (amazingly, sans commentary) of Finkelstein and DePaul's joint communique. They agree to disagree. Best Finkelstein line:
    DePaul students rose to dazzling spiritual heights in my defense that should be the envy of and an example for every university in the United States.
    Dazzling spiritual heights. The man is an utter narcissist. Best DePaul line(s):
    Professor Finkelstein has expressed the view that he should have been granted tenure and that third parties external to the University [pssssst, the Joooooos] influenced DePaul in denying tenure. That is not so. Over the past several months, there has been considerable outside interest about the tenure decision. This attention was unwelcome and inappropriate. In the end, however, it had absolutely no impact on either the process or the final outcome.
    Unwelcome and inappropriate attention? It's not sexual harassment, ya weirdos.

    Heroic professor professes heroically

    To Matthew Abraham, an assistant prof at DePaul, anyone disagreeing with the Establishment in the Finkelstein affair is a hero, including himself: "Standing Firm With Norman G. Finkelstein and DePaul's Heroic Students: A Defining Moment":
    I am an untenured, assistant professor at DePaul University in Chicago, where Norman G. Finkelstein, the most heroic critic of U.S. and Israeli policy in Palestine ever to set foot in the U.S. academy, was denied tenure over nearly three months ago. I was, and am, deeply saddened that DePaul University, the institution where I have chosen to make a career, has so effectively undermined its social justice mission in a series of actions that have put us, as a faculty body, in grave peril. . . .

    If faculty find themselves unable to rally around him, too busy with the usual duties that attend preparing for the beginning of the academic year, perhaps DePaul faculty should ask themselves why they are in this business of opening young minds to new ideas, when they are incapable of seeing that our campus is on the brink of devolving into something reminiscent of the Red Scare of the McCarthy Era. Will those faculty associated with, and standing in support of Finkelstein, be the next targets of DePaul’s administration? If so, I would certainly be a likely target. I am ready to accept that challenge.
    I am ready to accept that challenge. Can you see him saying that aloud to himself as he wrote? These people are unbearable.

    CU asks for dismissal of Churchill suit

    The Post:
    The University of Colorado filed motions Tuesday asking a Denver district judge to dismiss former CU professor Ward Churchill's lawsuit against the school.

    Churchill, who taught ethnic studies, filed a complaint in July, charging that the regents and the school violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and denied him due process in his termination.

    School officials responded Tuesday, saying the regents have immunity from a lawsuit over their decision to fire Churchill and that school officials have a right to investigate whether a faculty member violated his duties.

    "The governing legal framework specifically requires the employer to undertake a reasonable investigation," the motion says.

    Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said he hasn't seen the motions but doesn't believe they will get the case dismissed.

    "I don't believe they are a correct statement of the law," he said.

    CU attorney Patrick O'Rourke said he believes the university has a strong argument to get the lawsuit dismissed.

    "I wouldn't file the motions if I didn't think they had a good chance of success," he said. . . .

    The school initially contemplated moving the lawsuit into federal court but decided to fight Churchill's lawsuit in Denver District Court.

    "We're in a better position in state court," O'Rourke said.

    Lane has at least 15 business days to respond to the lengthy motions, although he could ask for more time.

    Judge Larry Naves will decide whether the case will proceed.

    There is no time limit for how long Naves can take to decide on the dismissal motions.
    Update: Forgot to say, via the fascinating Personal Injury Lawyer News.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Truth Commission to tell lies

    Get ready for torture!
    The American Indian Movemement [sic] of Colorado and The Transform Columbus Day Alliance present: The Official Colorado Truth Commission On Columbus, Columbus Day and the Columbian Legacy.

    Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
    The Great Hall, the Iliff School of Theology, 2201 S. University Blvd., Denver
    Seventeen hours. Seventeen weekend hours, over the same weekend. Fun stuff bolded:

    The Transform Columbus Day Alliance invites you to hear two days of expert testimony on the historical reality behind the celebration of Columbus and the 500-year Columbian legacy, as well as personal testimony by people whose lives have been affected by the celebration of Columbus Day. Invitations have also been sent to organizers of the Columbus Day Parade, to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper and to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to offer their perspective on the holiday.

    After hearing testimony, the Truth Commission will issue findings of fact, and recommendations about how Colorado and the U.S. might move forward from the division and acrimony of the past to a future of mutual respect and historical integrity

    Or, as Transform Columbus Day Alliance member Glenn Spagnuolo put it at last year's protest:
    A hundred years, next year [that Columbus Day has been celebrated in Colorado]]! This is it! This is the last chance they have [to end the parade and/or the state holiday]! Next year, all bets are off!
    I had my culture stolen by these parasites (Columbus Day paraders) the same way the Klan used to hide behind their white sheets to voice their racist views!
    Mutual respect and historical integrity.
    Distinguished commissioners who will hear testimony . . . include Dr. Vincent Harding, Iliff School of Theology; Professor Nancy Ehrenreich, University of Denver Sturm College of Law; Professor Salvatore Salerno, University of Minnesota; Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone Nation.
    Uh-huh. This is shaping up to be a bigger disaster than the National! Emergency! Forum! for Ward Churchill. At least that had a free commie-catered lunch.
    A report, along with audio and video documentation from the hearings, will be available for educators, students, and political, religious and community leaders.
    Thank goodness, for I find that I shan't be able to attend, dash it. Being at once an educator, student, and political, religious and community leader, however, I should be able to obtain a copy easily. In any case, El Presidente (via whom, by the way) said he planned to spend his own personal weekend videotaping every second of the event. He did. Said he'd just bring a bag lunch, and not to worry about him.