May 30, 2006

Owens Signs Immigration Bills

Designed to put the hurt--state felonies for those convicted--on those who deal in trafficking illegal immigrants and those who falsify "documents" designed to keep them here:
Gov. Bill Owens signed four immigration bills into law this afternoon that target human smugglers, human traffickers and people who make fake identification documents.

* Senate Bill 110, sponsored by Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Castle Rock, creates a $50,000 civil fine for making counterfeit identification documents and pays for a law department investigator. Revenues from collected fines would go to immigration enforcement.

* Senate Bill 20, sponsored by Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver, makes human trafficking — selling adults into indentured servitude or prostitution — a state felony.

* Senate Bill 206, also sponsored by Groff, makes human smuggling — sneaking an illegal immigrant into the country — a state felony.

* House Bill 1306, sponsored by Matt Knoedler, R-Lakewood, requires an audit of a 2003 law that limits the use of identification issued by foreign governments.

Owens has already signed into law Senate Bill 90, which directs police to notify immigration officials if they have reasonable cause to believe that an arrestee for offenses other than domestic violence or minor traffic violations is an illegal immigrant. Two other immigration bills are awaiting the governor's action.
Perhaps by putting the focus on those enabling and encouraging others to risk their money and their lives to come here illegally, and making the punishment a state felony, there will be a reduction in trafficking at least here in Colorado, as the state becomes a less desirable route for those "coyotes" and others who stack human beings in vans and speed across our highways. Unfortunately, as this is not part of a national program, the diverted and discouraged smugglers will only seek ways around Colorado and possible felony convictions.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of these bills was the show of bipartisan support for the measures:
"Clearly, illegal immigration is one of the most serious issues facing our country, and that's why this legislation is so important," Owens said. "The number of illegal immigrants living in Colorado is growing exponentially, and many of the issues and impacts have to be dealt with at the state level.

"However, as I have said on a number of occasions, individual states cannot solve the overall problem. The heavy lifting must be done at our nation's Capitol, and I think most people understand that."

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, touted the work of the General Assembly.

"I think the package that we produced with bipartisan support is one that we can be proud of," he said.

"Democrats and Republicans agreed this year on three points. First, that illegal immigration is a significant problem. Second, that the pace of reform in Washington is not satisfactory. And third, that states don't have to wait - that there are some things that states can do."

Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Castle Rock, who sponsored two of the bills signed by Owens, said the mood in the legislature changed in the midst of the session.

Wiens contends that Democrats scheduled a one-day hearing on about a dozen Republican-sponsored immigration measures with the intent of killing all of them. Democratic leaders said the Republican measures were unconstitutional, too expensive or mean-spirited.

But anger over the Democrats' action, plus the debate stirred by the massive pro-immigration marches and rallies, pushed lawmakers into a serious bipartisan effort.

"Then we had some real honest discussions between Democrats and Republicans on this issue," he said.
A great step forward? No, but better than nothing.


May 28, 2006

Ethnic Studies Chair Questions Churchill Report

From the People's Republic of Boulder:
The chairman of the University of Colorado department where Ward Churchill works urged CU officials Friday to take a long, hard look at their motives for investigating Churchill and warned any action against him could have a negative effect on faculty.

Ethnic studies chairman Albert Ramirez also called on administrators to publicly affirm his department, which has received numerous phone calls and e-mails - many of them "racist and extremely acrimonious" - since the Churchill controversy began more than a year ago.

"The university can no longer continue to remain silent in this regard, unless it wants to send a message to other academic departments on campus that, when they are at risk and under attack by a vocal segment of the bureaucratic and political establishment, they, too, are on their own," Ramirez wrote in a 3 1/2 page letter to CU leaders.

Ramirez did not say in his letter whether he thinks any action should be taken against Churchill. In an interview, he said he preferred to let the process - which will likely include a lawsuit - run its course.

. . .

In his letter, Ramirez referred to an analogy in the committee's report that compared the Churchill investigation to police pulling over a driver because the officer didn't like a bumper sticker on the driver's car.

While the reason for stopping the driver may be improper, if that driver were speeding, no court would think it were improper to issue a ticket, the panel concluded.

Similarly, the committee concluded that Churchill's misconduct was so egregious he should be punished, even if the reasons for the investigation were questionable.

But Ramirez argued CU officials must consider those circumstances more deeply, and the possibility that firing or suspending Churchill might have a chilling effect on other professors' free speech.

"The university's decision will have a significant effect on the entire university community," he wrote. "The faculty, in particular, must remain reassured by the results of this investigative process that they will not someday be targeted because of their own 'bumper stickers.'"
Thankfully, as evidenced by the following editorial, not all CU faculty support Churchill, and certainly disavow his research "methods" as incompatible with CU's mission, or academia in general:
In short, the committee found two cases where Churchill extensively plagiarized the work of others. They found other cases where he first wrote articles under a false name, and then in a later work cited those earlier articles as providing independent confirmation for his own claims.

They found a great many places where apparently detailed footnotes turned out on close inspection to offer no support whatsoever for the claims being made, and found that Churchill continued to stick with these false sources in later work even after being confronted in print with their inadequacy.

Assessing the cumulative impact of these tactics, the committee describes "a pattern and consistent research stratagem to cloak extreme, unsupportable, propaganda-like claims of fact that support Professor Churchill's legal and political claims with the aura of authentic scholarly research by referencing apparently (but not actually) supportive independent third-party sources."

The fact that this disparate group of highly distinguished scholars could reach its verdict with complete unanimity — save for the final, delicate question of what sanction to impose — should give one a great deal of confidence in their verdict. No such confidence can be taken from Churchill's own statement (available on the Camera's Web site). A careful reading of the original report, next to his response, shows him to have misstated and ignored the committee's findings at every stage. Indeed, one might almost laugh at the way his slipshod responses re-enact the very sorts of intellectual failings that the report originally highlighted.

One might laugh, that is, if the whole affair were not so depressing. Perhaps its most unfortunate aspect, beyond the immediate and very serious damage to CU, is the impression it seems to have left in some quarters that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here my own experience is relevant. In the course of my duties evaluating the work of my colleagues, I have never encountered a single instance of fraud or misconduct, or even the bare allegation of such. Additionally, in all of the graduate seminars I have conducted, and dissertations I have read, I have never seen anything even remotely resembling this sort of conduct. Furthermore, over many years of evaluating thousands of job applicants, reviewing their qualifications with the greatest care, I have never seen or heard of even the shadow of this sort of behavior. Finally, in all my years of scholarly research, over the countless articles and books that I have read, I have never encountered anything of this kind.

Happily, it does not fall upon me to decide what sort of penalty is appropriate in this case. But were such misconduct discovered among my own faculty, or in my own field at large, I would be the first to seek that person's dismissal.
As a professor and chair of the CU philosophy department, Robert Pasnau can certainly and credibly speak from authority. He can also attest to the disdain that the academic community can and should have for indiviuals who besmirch their good name for political gain. These infractions were not made in the course of political tirades such as Churchill's infamous 9/11 "little Eichmanns", but in the matter of serious academic research. Employing sock puppets (writing under another's name), fabricating sources in footnotes, and plagiarism are serious accusations, and having been found guilty of violating established academic norms that safeguard the search for truth and the credibility of academics everywhere, Churchill should be dismissed. His subsequent lawsuit would be much harder to prove, given his guilt. And as a former CU graduate student in History, as well as an undergraduate (class of 2001) at CU, it is with great pleasure that at least one of the faculty suggests his dismissal--although it would be much more heartening if the same number who advocated dropping the investigation over a year ago would now step up, acknowledge that Churchill fooled them, and call for his resignation.


No, Really, Communism Will Work This Time!

Apparently the voters in Calcutta, India haven't gotten the memo that, a) Communism has not, does not, and will not ever "work", and b) pictures of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Che are so 20th century:
The people of West Bengal have voted in the Communist Party for the seventh successive time. Humphrey Hawksley has been in the capital, Calcutta meeting the new communists.

Subodh Roy, I see when he stands up to greet me, is a small yet powerful figure.

. . .

"Stalin," I said. "Was he a good leader?"

"Yes. Yes. Stalin was strong," he says, his eyes straight on me.

"And Mao Tse-Tung of China?"

"Yes, Mao. He was good. He fought for communism, too, in the Chinese way."

"But I thought communism had failed?" I said.

"No. No," replies Mr Roy. "We will get it right this time."

We are in the headquarters of the Communist Party of West Bengal where the meeting room is adorned with portraits of Stalin, Marx, Engels and Lenin.

There is a bust of Mao and a painting of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh, with red banners of the hammer and sickle stretched across the walls.
Also, they seem to have missed the lessons drawn from one of Communism's greatest gifts to humanity and the Chinese people in particular--the Cultural Revolution.


Reason #1523654 Why A GOP Governor Is Necessary

Especially if the Democrats continue to control both legislative bodies--another reason for Holtzman to drop out:
DENVER -- Gov. Bill Owens vetoed 18 bills on Friday, including key Democratic proposals to relieve prescription-drug costs, expand the use of ethanol fuels and ban employers from requiring staffers to participate in political or religious meetings.

Also vetoed were bills to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation, monitor state contracts and simplify contracts for doctors.
Are all of the vetoed bills liberally oriented? No, but Gov. Owens knows how to wield the veto pen, and curtail the Democrats. Was his support of other liberal legislation surprising (Ref. C)? Yes. But at least he defended his position, though he faced a good deal of opposition from his own side. Elected officials won't always act consistently, or can even live up to lofty ideals (can't please everyone, all of the time), but in general having Owens for the last eight years was certainly better than a Schoettler or whatshisface (Heath, ha ha).

A successful conservative GOP candidate will certainly help to shape state politics in this state for the next four years, including the 2008 Presidential election and the battle for Allard's seat. 2010 brings a re-election campaign as well as the ability to structure the congressional layout after the census in 2012, something the Denver Post astutely picked up on. In vetoing the Dems' legislation Owens is "angering Democratic lawmakers":
The sweeping range of the vetoes shows that the governor is still in the driver's seat when setting key policies for the state despite a Democratic takeover of the legislature two years ago.

That is the largest number of vetoes Owens has ever issued in a single day and raises the total number of bills vetoed this session to 32. He also has used his line-item veto power on three budget bills. Last year, Owens vetoed 47 bills.

To top Democratic leaders in the legislature, the vetoes are proof they need a Democratic governor to enact changes.

"Bill Owens provided a pretty good argument for Bill Ritter," House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, said of the party's gubernatorial candidate.

"November now looms larger for a lot of reasons, especially in solving the health care crisis," Romanoff said. "Every month that passes, some Coloradans will be forced to choose filling their refrigerator or filling their medicine cabinet or filling their gas tank, and that's an unhappy choice."
That is why a united, conservative GOP candidacy is necessary this year. Beauprez, like any politician, has his faults--and Ritter might be viewed as relatively innocuous as far as Democratic candidates come--but faltering support stemming from a divisive primary battle will not help. As said in a previous post, Holtzman's support would not come from the "middle" or "independents", most of whom vote pretty consistently for one side or the other without declaring a party affiliation, but the disaffected GOP voters, fed up with the party nationally, or as a result of a Colorado party breakup. Holtzman might attract the anti-establishment conservatives or libertarians voting in the GOP primary, only to see them sit out the November election, withholding a key segment for a successful Beaurprez campaign.

Nothing would make conservatives happier than to see on a yearly basis the continued effect that vetoes have in "angering" a Democratic legislature--something only possible if the GOP unites now for a single candidate, and Holtzman concedes:
Owens continued to serve as a vigilant watchdog for bills that he considered hurting the economic climate of the state.

"I think the message is the same as last year," said Owens spokesman Dan Hopkins. "He certainly watches for things like overregulation. He watches for bills that are anti-business."
Ain't gonna happen if Ritter gets elected.


Springsteen Plays To The Crowd In Kennedyana--aka Massachusetts

Preaching to the choir just about sums up the latest anti-Bush tirade by "The Boss":
MANSFIELD, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Branching off from his rock'n' roll roots, Bruce Springsteen kicked off his summer U.S. tour on Saturday with songs made famous by folk musician and activist Pete Seeger and strong political overtones.

Backed by a raucous 18-piece band, Springsteen played folk tunes including "We Shall Overcome," an anthem of the U.S. civil rights movement and "Bring Them Home," an anti-war song dating to the Vietnam War era.

During a break between songs, he offered harsh words for the administration of President George W. Bush and its handling of last year's devastating Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which killed more than 1,500 people in Louisiana alone.

"I've never seen anything like it in any American city," Springsteen said of the flooding and destruction. Referring to Bush, whom he called "President Bystander" in a performance in New Orleans last month, Springsteen added, "He managed to gut the only agency, through political cronyism, that could help people at a time like this."

Many of the fans at an arena in Mansfield, about 30 miles

south of Boston, said they were happy to hear his thoughts on politics, although they were not sure if he had changed many minds.

"If it gets people informed about the issues, I think that's good," said Julie Tambascio, 39, of Boston.


May 27, 2006

Flemming Rose And The European Politics Of Victimology

Flemming Rose of Jyllands-Posten fame has a new column over at RealClearPolitics--a great daily read--that highlights the culture of victimology, cultural relativism, and immigration failures brought on by negligence and a Left that sees racism and imperialism everywhere, and where those factors will take Europe:
The worldwide furor unleashed by the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that I published last September in Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper where I work, was both a surprise and a tragedy, especially for those directly affected by it. Lives were lost, buildings were torched, and people were driven into hiding.

And yet the unbalanced reactions to the not-so-provocative caricatures -- loud denunciations and even death threats toward us, but very little outrage toward the people who attacked two Danish Embassies -- unmasked unpleasant realities about Europe's failed experiment with multiculturalism. It's time for the Old Continent to face facts and make some profound changes in its outlook on immigration, integration, and the coming Muslim demographic surge. After decades of appeasement and political correctness, combined with growing fear of a radical minority prepared to commit serious violence, Europe's moment of truth is here.

Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe, and Europe's traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates national and religious differences, and aggravates such debilitating social ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment.
Read it all.


May 26, 2006

Holtzman Petitions Onto Primary

Gets the required signatures to make it to the August 8 primary against Beauprez, even after failing at the state assembly:
"The Republican Party has always stood for ballot access. Today is proof that Republican voters of Colorado want a choice in determining who best represents their values," Holtzman said.
Joshua Sharf at View From a Height sees the Holtzman tactic of painting Beauprez as a RINO as a non-starter, and that Holtzman's standing as a future candidate will suffer if he ends up costing the GOP the governorship.

The most puzzling thing is that Holtzman's tactics will endear him to few "moderates" in Colorado in terms of the independent, non-affiliated vote--they can not vote for him anyway in the primary. The state as a whole is trending "purple", and the anti-incumbent/party sentiment is growing, and no doubt a furious and angry primary run-up will damage the GOP's image further with that bloc of voters.

Also, Holtzman seems the type--contrarian, anti-establishment, and deep pockets--that would continue even after the primary to target Beauprez, perhaps either by not publicly supporting his candidacy, or even attempting to form a third party/write-in candidacy as a protest vote. There might just be enough hard-line GOP voters to swing that way, and given Gov. Bill Owens' small margin of victory in 1998, could be enough to give Dem. Bill Ritter the slightest edge in a narrowly contested race.


May 25, 2006

Cloaking Device A Possibility?

Now we can wage secret wars even more secretively--more fodder for the black helicopter/tinfoil hat moonbat crowd:
Researchers in the US and Britain have unveiled their blueprints for building a cloaking device.

So far, cloaking has been confined to science fiction; in Star Trek it is used to render spacecraft invisible.

Professor Sir John Pendry says a simple demonstration model that could work for radar might be possible within 18 months' time.

Two separate teams, including Professor Pendry's, have outlined ways to cloak objects in the journal Science.

These research papers present the maths required to verify that the concept could work. But developing an invisibility cloak is likely to pose significant challenges.

Both groups propose methods using the unusual properties of so-called "metamaterials" to build a cloak.

These metamaterials can be designed to induce a desired change in the direction of electromagnetic waves, such as light. This is done by tinkering with the nano-scale structure of the metamaterial, not by altering its chemistry.


May 24, 2006

Vicente Fox Visits Utah, Stirs Protests

Gateway Pundit has a roundup and a bunch of photos.


May 23, 2006

Aljazeera And More Wacky Cartoons's English website has more wacky cartoons, this time taking aim at a purported Bush invasion of Iran being stalled due to "limited invasion capabilities" and another that sees Statue of Liberty snuffing out a protestor in the immigration debate with a spray canister with the label "Laws". Funny, when you think about it.

Cartoon series 1--Bush invasion of Iran:

Cartoon series 2--Statue of Liberty snuffing dissent:

The figure being sprayed, having watched the cartoon, is not of an immigrant, but of protestors--protestors being squelched by America's laws, which is funny a) given the first amendment, and b) the sheer number of people who protested.


Now Colorado GOP Lawmakers Call On Holtzman To Step Aside

As he should:
Thirty-one Republican legislators today wrote Marc Holtzman and asked him to drop out of the race for governor, saying they feared his candidacy could do serious harm to the Republican party this fall.

The letter was also signed by nine GOP candidates for legislative seats around the state.
Here is the full text of letter (also contains the names of those who signed):
Dear Mr. Holtzman:

We write today as Republican legislative elected officials and Republican candidates for State House and State Senate asking you to forgo your opportunity to submit petitions to place your name on the Republican primary ballot for Governor.

You have clearly worked hard to communicate with Republican activists throughout the state, and we appreciate your sincere interest in moving Colorado forward. However, the grassroots of our party have made their decision, and now is the time for the Republican Party to come together under one candidate for Governor.

The stakes are simply too high for anything less.

Your decision whether to expend time and money on what will, no doubt, be an expensive primary will have a direct effect on each of our races and those who are running for our seats. With already limited resources, it is essential that we focus our efforts early and unite for the common purpose of winning in November.

We ask that you respect the results of Saturday’s Republican State Assembly and put your time, effort and energy toward helping elect Republicans statewide, up and down the ballot.

The Democrat Party had a coronation for their candidate for Governor in Greeley—we simply cannot afford to have a divided party through August.

Now is the time to be a statesman and to unify the Republican effort. Join with us to make the Colorado Republican Party stronger.


Denver Could Host Both Conventions In 2008

**Update--Or not--GOP Won't Pursue National Convention

The first of two new reports on the progress of Denver as the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2008 (Daily Kos is hosting an online poll, with Denver comfortably in the lead):
Denver is one of four cities still in the running for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth announced the news today and said that the other three cities still being considered, Minneapolis, New York and New Orleans, lag behind Denver in a poll linked to Democratic Web sites.
. . .
Hickenlooper said the city would also bid for the Republican convention.

"We are a non-partisan city," Hickenlooper said.
Or a guarantee that the next president (that's right moonbats, Dubya isn't a dictator for life like Hugo Chavez wants to be) will be picked here in '08:
DENVER -- There's now an even better chance the next president of the United States will be nominated in Denver.

The Mile High City was already one of four in the running for the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and on Tuesday local Republican officials announced they may submit a bid for the GOP convention.


First Lady Visits Mesa Verde

From RMN (full text of Mrs. Bush's speech here):
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK — First Lady Laura Bush today fulfilled a dream to visit the 52,000-acre preserve of archaeological wonders left by ancient tribes that built homes into cliffs, farmed atop mesas and have baffled experts for generations with their mysterious disappearance.

Mrs. Bush, who will spend two days in the park with friends from childhood, was honored with flute music, prayers and dancing by the descendants of the ancient Puebloans that lived in the area from about 700 A.D. to about 1300 A.D.

The First Lady told a gathering of tribal members, park service employees, local residents and a group of junior rangers that she and her friends hike in a national park each year and she was delighted to visit Mesa Verde this year.

"Preservation is an issue President Bush and I care about very much," said Mrs. Bush, who is on the National Parks Foundation's board and works with several other non-profit groups to protect the parks' natural and cultural resources.


Busy November Ballot

Looks like a cheat sheet will be necessary to navigate this year's election in Colorado.


Mao Parody Offends Chinese Students

(h/t Volokh Conspiracy) Mao=George W. Bush=George Washington=Jesus--minus the slaughter, starvation, and "Cultural Revolution" of course!:
A mob of angry Chinese students protested at Massey University yesterday after Chairman Mao was lampooned on the cover of the student newspaper.

Students likened the cover of Chaff, which this week satirises women's magazine Cosmopolitan, to the anti-Muslim cartoons circulated around the world in February.

. . .

UCOL student Xing Tang said Chaff staff are ignorant of Chinese culture.

"Chairman Mao is like Jesus to us," he said on the verge of tears.

"We pay $20,000 in fees and a Musa fee (which funds Chaff) and this is how we are treated."

Student Ronnie Cao likened the cover to the anti-Muslim cartoons.

"This is discrimination against us."

. . .

Yang Chenglin said students are proud of their Chinese culture.

"Mao gave us independence. He's no more a killer than George Washington or George W Bush.

"He is the father of China - without Mao, there is no China."

Mao Zedong, or Chairman Mao, was the founder of the People's Republic of China and one of the most prominent figures in Chinese history.

He is also revered as a great spiritual leader and cultural symbol.

. . .

Tensions flared as agitated students confronted Chaff editor Edrei Valath and news editor Matt Russell.

"It was an arbitrary decision to run the cover of Mao," Mr Russell said, adding it was intended as a joke.

"We were looking for a picture of Marx or Lenin and we couldn't use Castro because he had a beard and it just didn't work. I didn't think it would offend."

Mr Valath said students are "enraged for the sake of being enraged".

"It is ironic - in China, the students would have no forum in which to complain."

He said Chinese students studying here should be made aware a good sense of humour is part of Kiwi culture.

. . .

However, Chinese Massey student Tony Song said protesters were being "too sensitive".

"It's been done to the Queen before. I'm not offended at all. I was laughing."

Massey University international office director Bruce Graham said the Chaff cover is in "extremely poor taste". However, he accepted Chaff has editorial independence.

"This shows a lack of respect. Chinese students are an important part of the university's community."

Mr Graham has suggested to Chaff an apology is required.
Perhaps someone from Castro's Cooooba will demand an apology for this following Slapstick parody:


The Constancy Of President Bush

The Anchoress--if you haven't been to her blog, go there now, and be sure to blogroll it--has an extremely insightful and thoughtful examination of Bush's presidency and the good it has produced. There is no need to agree with all her points, just go check it out.


Republican Party Asks Holtzman To Drop Out Of Race

(CBS4) DENVER The head of the Colorado Republican Party asked Marc Holtzman to drop out of the gubernatorial race to support Congressman Bob Beauprez.

Holtzman refused to drop out and promised to petition his way onto the primary ballot. At his campaign headquarters, there were no signs he got steamrolled at last weekend's republican assembly where Beauprez got 72 percent of the vote.

“We did reasonably well,” Holtzman said. “We always knew that we were going to have to petition onto the ballot.”

Beauprez's camp said Holtzman should drop out and avoid a primary fight in the name of party unity.

And he should. Registered Republicans and conservatives of all stripes, as well as moderates, are down on politicians in general, and with the immigration issue, particularly hard on Senate GOP and the President--as they should be. But with both houses of the Colorado legislature in Democratic hands, retaining a Republican governor is essential, regardless of how people feel about the outgoing Gov. Owens. Holtzman's continued presence, combined with Ritter's now unfettered path, can only spell increased uncertainty and danger for GOP retention of the governor's seat in November. In tearing each other apart, the two candidates cannibalize fundraising, increase the likelihood of intraparty animosity of the kind that brought Coors down when not too few Schaeffer backers sat the 2004 race out--with Salazar winning the seat more handily than he might have with total support, and generally place themselves in the undesirable position of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The people at the convention spoke quite clearly, and forcing the primary only to perhaps see a repeat of the same results is the definition of absurdity. There is nothing against Holtzman here, or resentment for his backers. At a time, however, of party upheaval and backpedaling nationally, it would be nice to see a more united front against the real opposition--Democrats in the person of Ritter, and not continue intraparty squabbles. Does any GOP voter really want four years of a Democratic governorship with the potential for holding both executive and legislative dominance for at least the next two years, if not longer? No, and this is a time to remember that politics is a game--one that some of us don't like to play, or don't care to envision as such. Nevertheless, it is a game, and sometimes the choices we confront are not ideal, but the alternative is usually much, much worse.

More here.


May 21, 2006

Former Internment Camp Gets Landmark Designation

From CBS4:
(AP) GRANADA, Colo. A weekend ceremony is planned at Camp Amache, a site on the plains of southeastern Colorado where more than 10,000 people of Japanese ancestry were interned during World War II.

The camp, 17 miles east of Lamar, included 550 buildings on 640 acres. Nothing is left but the concrete foundations of the barracks. A camp cemetery includes a memorial near the graves of 11 children who died in Camp Amache.

On Saturday, the site be formally dedicated as a National Historic Landmark by Ken Snyder, regional superintendent of the National Park Service.

"This is an important day for all -- it's a culmination of more than 20 years of work from the Japanese-American community in Denver and the town of Granada," said Derek Okubo, the son of an Amache detainee. "It's a story I hope will continue the healing process across racial and generational lines. Our desire is that we all can learn from this experience to avoid similar mistakes in the future."


Simpsons As Philosophy?

You make the call.


Four Indicted For Vail Resort Arson

The damage:

The alleged enviro-wackos:

From 9NEWS (with video):
DENVER - Prosecutors say a federal grand jury has indicted four people on arson charges for allegedly setting fires at the Vail ski resort in 1998.

The grand jury indicted 29-year-old Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, 28-year-old Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff, 31-year-old Josephine Sunshine Overaker and 33-year-old Rebecca Jeannette Rubin.

Gerlach and Meyerhoff are in federal custody in Oregon. Overaker and Rubin are still at large. Gerlach and Meyerhoff were arrested at the end of last year along with four other people believed responsible for a series of arson attacks in the Pacific Northwest.

The group was indicted on eight counts of arsons for a series of fires set at the resort on Oct. 19, 1998, according to federal prosecutors. The recently completed Two Elk Lodge was burned in the fire along with a restaurant, ski patrol office and operators' shack of four ski lifts.

. . .

The arsons caused about $12 million in damage.

"This indictment is a result of over seven years of hard investigative work," said United States Attorney Bill Leone.

If convicted, the defendants face between 5 and 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine for each of the eight counts.



Some environmental fun on a Sunday afternoon.


Beauprez Gets GOP Nod At Assembly

Holtzman needs to step aside, but knowing his campaign strategy, he won't. Garnering less than 30% of the vote in the assembly, usually more conservative than the later primary, is not a good sign. Rather than siphoning more money from the main campaign, Holtzman should use the opportunity to throw support to Beauprez and note his contribution in keeping the GOP candidate grounded in conservative values. That is what the primary is for, not for tearing the state party apart.

More on the assembly yesterday, including the voting snafus that angered a few of the delegates here and here (video).


May 20, 2006

Global Warming: The Debate Continues

This show should be interesting, as well as a resource in fighting Al Bore's new apocalyptic enviro-fear-mongering "documentary":
In this FOX News special, climatologists, atmospheric scientists, glaciologists, economists, a U.S. Senator and a Bush administration spokesman acknowledge that global warming is happening and will continue in the future. But, these experts say greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels are only partly to blame for global warming and are not the major force responsible for changes of the Earth’s climate.

The key message from these scientists is that the computer climate modeling predictions for future catastrophes — massive sea level rise, drought, disease, and species extinction — are baseless. Much of the field work, many of the assumptions and most of the computer modeling used to make the alarming predictions do not account for the complexity of climate change in the past, let alone for the future.

It will surprise many people but United States, while not signing the Kyoto Protocol, is spending $5 billion dollars a year on research and development of technologies and solutions to meet the challenges of global warming — more than all of the other countries combined.

We'll also examine:

• How much will the Earth warm?

• Can climate predictions be made for the decades and centuries to come?

• How much of it is man-made and is there anything we can do about it?

• Should we be alarmed?
More on Gore's new opus, An Inconvenient Truth Unmasked


Denver Officially A Candidate For 2008 Democratic National Convention

It is official.

Competition: Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New Orleans and New York City.


Mayor Of Tal Afar Thanks 3rd ACR At Fort Carson

"Thank you."

Najim Al Jibouri, mayor of Tal Afar, Iraq, hugs Col. H.R. McMaster at a ceremony Friday morning at Fort Carson for the 3rd Armored Cavalry.

On the 160th birthday of the 3rd Armored Cavalry regiment, the troops stationed at Fort Carson got a special thank you, from the mayor of Tal Afar, Iraq, Najim Abdullah Al-Jobouri (video of the speech and ceremonies):
"You made the smiles of our men and women and children, or rather the smile of our city go from ear to ear," said Mayor Al-Jobouri, addressing the soldiers through a translator.

Members of the 3rd ACR spent months rooting out insurgents in Tal Afar.

"If I were to spend the rest of my days writing of the attributes of the 3rd ACR I could not do you justice," Al-Jobouri said.
He added. . .
"Are you truly my friends?" he asked through a translator. "Yes. I walk a happier man because you are my friends. You are the world to me. I smell the sweet perfume that emanates from your flower of your strength, honor and greatness in every corner of Tal Afar. The nightmares of terror fled when the lion of your bravery entered our city."
Al Jibouri recognized the part the 3rd ACR had in ridding Tal Afar of "insurgents":
"One year ago today, not even a bird used to be inside the city of Tal Afar because of all the shooting that happened continuously," he said. "All of the schools were closed and all the government facilities were closed completely. Killing and murdering was allowed - even of the children."
The note of thanks and warm wishes was well received and certainly well-deserved by the soldiers and their families:
The mayor patted his hand on his heart and made the peace sign as a crowd of soldiers and their families gave him a standing ovation.

Public acknowledgement of the sacrifices and achievements, rather than the hyped "failures" and "mistakes" of the men and women in our armed services--often made for political gain--is a welcome and refreshing change of pace. Too bad this did not get the national play it deserves from the MSM.

Stop The ACLU Weekend Open Post


May 18, 2006

Churchill Follow-Up

The fraud might not be smiling much longer.

Vincent Carroll over at the RMN has another note on the imminent closure of "Ward's World". He too finds it interesting that the committee tok a swipe at the media, and that common folk might have an opinion on what goes on in the ivory towers of academia. What, they should be responsible and called to task by, God forbid, non-academics?

Churchill is going to go ahead with a lawsuit should he be fired--though his case has far less credibility now that an academic committee has found him guilty of plagiarism, a "firing" offense. Churchill's lawyer David Lane, however, compares Churchill to the 17th century scientist Galileo:
Lane compared Churchill to Galileo, who was tried for heresy in the 1600s for saying the Earth orbited the sun.

"The committee has determined what the historical truth is," he said. "Churchill has his versions of the truth."
Unfortunately for Churchill, he is on the wrong side on this one, having more in common with the Church inquisitors than the silenced scientist in terms of having verifiable truth on their side.


May 16, 2006

Churchill Committed "Deliberate" Academic Misconduct

First, duh--the nicknames "Shitting Bull" and "Walking Eagle" now official. Second, this is but the first step toward possible punishment. There are quite a few more hurdles to jump before Churchill faces any real sanctions. Text here (pdf). 9NEWS has a huge video roundup of the press conference, as well as reaction from Gov. Bill Owens. Churchill, inevitably, responds.

BOULDER, Colo. -- A University of Colorado investigative committee reviewing the writings of professor Ward Churchill has unanimously determined that he did commit serious academic misconduct, including several instances of plagiarism, falsification and fabrication, according to a report released Tuesday.

"The Committee found that Professor Churchill's misconduct was deliberate and not a matter of an occasional careless error," the report said. "The Committee has found repeated instances of his practice of fabricating details or ostensible written evidence to buttress his broader ideological arguments."

Churchill has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong. Churchill said he had no comment about the report.

The committee has been looking into seven cases in which the embattled ethnic studies professor is accused of falsifying data or misrepresenting historical facts in his scholarly work.

The five-member committee differed on what sanctions to impose. Three members of the committee believe his actions are so serious that dismissal from CU is not an improper sanction. However, only one of these three professors recommended dismissal. The other two members recommended that he be suspended from CU without pay for five years.

Two other members of the five-member committee don't think he should be fired. They don't think his conduct is so serious as to revoke his tenure and recommended that he be suspended without pay for two years.

The committee's recommendations are not binding and the decision on Churchill's future will be made by university officials later this year. Churchill has said if he is fired, he will file a lawsuit that could drag on for years.
Just to repeat--Lies ≠ Academic Freedom

The committee's findings:
The Committee’s investigation of the seven allegations before us has unanimously found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Professor Churchill committed several forms of academic misconduct as defined in the policy statements of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Colorado system:231
1. Falsification, as discussed in Allegations A, B, C, and D.
2. Fabrication, as discussed in Allegations C and D.
3. Plagiarism, as discussed in Allegations E and G.
4. Failure to comply with established standards regarding author names on publications, as discussed most fully in Allegation F but also in Allegations A, B, and D.
5. Serious deviation from accepted practices in reporting results from research, as discussed in Allegation D.
We did not find plagiarism in Allegation F.
Of course, the committee did not hesitate to take some rather large swipes at the media, politicians, "researchers" and internet sources (e.g. blogs) for fomenting "public animosity":
There is another factor as well that we believe requires consideration by those who must decide on the proper sanction for Professor Churchill’s misconduct: the role of some media outlets and certain public figures in stirring up public animosity toward him and the University of Colorado. Political interference in the University’s processes and decisions has recently undergone one of its periodic spikes, causing in some cases only a regrettable waste of resources, but in others actual threats to academic freedom and the best traditions of higher education. Although the great majority of the University of Colorado’s funding comes from other sources, the State continues to provide some support. We appreciate that citizens of the State are entitled to take a proprietary interest in the way the institution conducts its business, despite the declining role of state financial support. Indeed, those of us on the Colorado faculty depend in many ways on the citizens of Colorado and their loyalty and (in the best case) affection. The two of us who teach at other state universities also recognize this relationship in our own States. Moreover, we cannot deny that the University has, in many instances during the past few years, mismanaged its affairs in a way that lends support to its critics. (Some of us have been among those critics.) But at the same time we have seen some elected officials exploit the legitimate concerns of their constituents and transform them into an agenda that weakens higher education in Colorado.
But wait, there's more!
The role of the public and press in attacking Professor Churchill is part of a more general opening up of the academic world to wider participation over the past 20 years. Debates that would previously have been conducted within the academic world itself by scholars who worked in a given field are now matters of public knowledge and sometimes of considerable public interest.
As it should be, since academia produces our history, sociology, psychology, etc. and influence trends in every field, especially and most clearly in promoting the political correctness of the last two decades. This is important enough and justly deserves public scrutiny.
Everyone is able to express opinions about academic issues by contacting the media, posting ideas on the web or internet, or sending e-mails directly to the scholars involved.
God forbid! Free Speech?!?!?!?! Oh my, what a "chilling effect"!
While this expansion of discussion has many positive features, it contains some worrying characteristics too. Members of the press have acquired considerable power to advance or harm scholarly reputations, especially for people who frequently appear in public venues and who advocate controversial positions about contemporary issues. Circulation figures rise if news media prepare accounts that grab public attention, sometimes irrespective of complete accuracy. Short news segments do not lend themselves to balanced reports of complex arguments. The ease of posting or sending anonymous statements on the web or e-mail has weakened previous expectations for accuracy and civility in debate over public issues. It may be difficult to assess the reliability of such statements and impossible to determine the motives of those who send them. Scholars who are described in negative terms in the news are sometimes subjected to vicious personal attacks on web pages or by e-mail.
So publishing vicious, anti-American rhetoric is okay, and perfectly fine in terms of free speech (which it is, however misguided or stupid), but it is not okay to take those people to task, to criticize them personally?
These changes in communication can have particular impact when an accusation of academic wrongdoing becomes a matter of public interest. People without formal training in a particular field of scholarship are able to assert just as forcefully as specialists that someone has falsified or misused evidence or has offered unwarranted interpretations.
Lies are lies are lies. Plagiarism charges usually do not warrant an academic inquiry simply to detect them, just ask that Harvard author who borrowed other's words, got caught, and lost her advance.
In this case, both the University administration and Professor Churchill relied at times on assertions made by “researchers” with no formal qualifications, background, or training about the topics under consideration. A recent book that discusses instances of alleged academic misconduct emphasizes that the outcomes of such accusations are heavily influenced by the extent of media/web/internet involvement. Another analysis stresses the power of political groups and advocacy organizations in promoting charges of scholarly wrongdoing. Focusing on historians, its author suggests that publications that question traditional American values may be scrutinized with particular intensity by people in the wider community. If any evidence of misconduct is found, scholars who critique accepted views are far more likely to be fired from their jobs—not just reprimanded—than are academics who support familiar interpretations.
What about those with "no formal qualifications, background, or training" who nevertheless asserted that not only were the accusations incorrect, but politically motivated. Sure, phony experts *cough, Churchill, cough* can be trotted out to support any position or make an argument, just ask the conspiracy theorists and moonbats on the Left.

Pirate Ballerina has more.


Moses In Da House

A Ten Commandments remix for all those Charlton "From my cold, dead hands" Heston fans--including yours truly, as well as Presidente's Mom (belated blog Happy Mother's Day!):


May 15, 2006

LA Psychologist Sues Over Mother's Day Promotion

**Welcome Tongue Tied readers! Please take a moment to wander around the site.

Claims "age and sex discrimination":
Michael Cohn's class-action claim in Orange County Superior Court alleges that thousands of males and fans under 18 were "treated unequally" at a "Family Sunday" promotion last May and are entitled to $4,000 each in damages.

. . .

Cohn, who could not be reached for comment, complained to the Angels about unfair treatment in a June letter asking the team and college to pay $4,000 in damages to all males attending the game. The Angels responded by sending Cohn four tote bags and a letter stating that the team "ran out of the item that day and had to order more."

"They claimed they didn't have any more bags, but my client said there was a mountain of bags stacked so high a show dog couldn't have jumped over them," said Alfred Rava, Cohn's San Diego-based attorney.

Angel officials said Cohn's was the only complaint about the giveaway.

This year's Family Sunday promotion, to be held this weekend, will not specifically cater to women 18 and older. The first 25,000 fans — male or female — 18 or older will be given a red "Mother's Day Ladies Tote Bag."

Mead declined to say whether the change to this year's promotion was made in response to Cohn's complaint.

"It was done after a lot of internal discussions," he said.

Rava said the giveaway still violated some fans' civil rights because those under 18 will be denied a bag based on their age.

"By looking at the bag, you can see a 17-year-old male or female would be just as happy with it as an 18-year-old male or female," Rava said. "I don't know why the Angels and Bryman College had a seemingly contrived cutoff for this ageless bag."
When civils rights are violated because, God forbid (ACLU lawsuit expected on that one), a man does not receive a red tote bag, then the world is truly unjust. One question, if a certain kind of man looked like he really wanted a tote bag, would giving him one constitute profiling?


Choosing "The Lesser Of Two Evils"

From Captain Ed--why feeling that voting in November's election is futile and therefore justifies staying home is an abdication of responsibility:
Usually, voters are given the choice of the greater of two mediocrities. People face that choice quite frequently in life, and it doesn't absolve them from action. With a given financial situation and set of priorities, people don't simply refuse to buy a car just because they can't afford a Maserati. I bought my last suit from JC Penney because it was well made for the price range I could afford; I don't go naked because I can't afford Armani. Responsible people research their available choices and select from the limited choices they have.

Declaring all choices as "evil" provides false justification for abdication of that responsibility. In this case, once the primaries have determined the candidates for office, voters are presented with two candidates (in most cases) with realistic chances for victory. They rarely turn out to be philosophical or policy twins and/or uninspired candidates, but if that happens, the parties they represent have real differences, and the choice made in this one race will impact the ability of both to push their national agenda. When voters of either party refuse to vote, the absence of the vote has a negative impact on that national agenda.


Bristol To Apologize For Slavery?

More apology/reparations/groveling desired, this time from the English city of Bristol:
For generations Bristolians have gloried in the beauty of their city, with its graceful Georgian terraces, grand public buildings and honey-coloured churches. But this week they face a decision that has split the city - whether to apologise for the cruel trade that paid for so much that makes it beautiful.

The front page headline in the Evening Post, Bristol's local newspaper, was in no doubt. 'It's time the city said sorry' it shouted last week. But there is no consensus on the issue; on the contrary, the debate is stirring up anger and upset.

'Bristol was one of the main ports involved in the trading of slaves taken from West Africa to British colonies in the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries, and most Bristolians were involved in the slave trade in one way or other,' said Dr Gareth Griffiths, director of the city's British Empire and Commonwealth Museum. 'Local people supplied the labour and provisions for the slaving ships; they created the goods that paid for the slaves and they bought the spoils from the ships when they returned.'

Griffiths is the inspiration behind this week's Apology Debate, at which leading historians, politicians and other public figures will argue whether the city should apologise. It will then be thrown open to a vote. 'The issue is particularly resonant in the lead-up to next year's 200th anniversary of Britain's abolition of the slave trade but emotions run particularly high in Bristol,' Griffiths said.

. . .

Kofi Mawuli Klu, chair of the Pan-Afrikan Taskforce for Internationalist Dialogue, agrees that Bristol has failed to honestly come to terms with its role in the trade. 'The story of enslaved African peoples must be remembered, retold and reinterpreted. Only then can we come to terms with the fact that, although the trade ceased 200 years ago, the descendants of the slave trade in Bristol still live in mansions while the descendants of slaves remain in poverty,' he said.

Toyin Agbetu, of Ligali, a non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to challenging negative representations of the African British community, said that an apology by Bristol would encourage honest engagement with the past. 'An apology is just a beginning,' he said. 'As well as an apology, there should be re-education, reparation and a rewriting of history.'

Bristol City Council is refusing to be drawn on whether it is likely to deliver the apology but Professor AC Grayling, who will be chairing the debate on Wednesday, hopes they will not. 'An apology like this is futile gesture politics and a navel-gazing distraction from the much more important issue of how much slavery goes on, unrecognised and unheeded, across the world today,' he said.

The issue of who should do the apologising, and to whom, is a contentious one. 'Morally this is an incredibly complicated issue,' said Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society. 'Africa itself was the main perpetrator of slavery; the continent is deeply implicated as a buyer, catcher and seller of slaves. What is really important is the lasting damage done to the psychologies of black people.'

That, he believes, is the issue at the core of a lot of Africa's problems today. 'What needs to happen is something much deeper than an apology,' he said. 'There needs to be a coming together of all the countries involved in slavery and its global legacy needs to be discussed.'

All of those in the debate, however, agree on one point; it is when a people no longer feel the need to ask for an apology that their wounds can be judged to be healed and their self-confidence restored. . .


Trees Killed Mammoths

With a little help from humans (h/t Instapundit):
Dale Guthrie, a researcher at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, has spent some 20 years examining more than 600 bones of large mammals from Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

His analysis points toward climate as the culprit.

Guthrie's data, published in tomorrow's issue of the journal Nature, shows that increases in moisture and warmer temperatures 13,500 to 11,500 years ago allowed for edible plants to migrate north.

This plant exodus provided more food sources for horses, mammoths, bison, and elks living in the far north, he suggests.

But then the milder climate backfired on the big mammals. It paved the way for trees, which eventually outshaded and outcompeted the low-lying plants the animals depended on, Guthrie says.

The upstart forests transferred the landscape's nutrients to the treetops, out of the reach of large mammals. Elks and bison, it seems, adapted better to the new landscape than mammoths and horses.


May 12, 2006

"To My Country": Exploiting Children For Political Gain In The Immigration Debate

Dear Member and Family,

As part of our campaign to defend the rights of immigrants and fight against racist and destructive legislation and messages, we are starting a new project.

We want to solicit the perspective of children of immigrants, with the idea of putting together an exhibition directed at the public, politicians, and the press to raise awareness about the human face of immigration.

We are asking that children of immigrants write a letter “To my country,” directed at the United States. They can write about how they see the country, the situation of immigrants here, what they propose to solve the problems, and whatever else they would like to say. Please write the letters in English if possible, and in Spanish if not. We are also asking for drawings, artwork, and photographs of the kids. If you contribute photos, you should know that they could be included in a public exhibition or used by the press.

Please mail or deliver the letters to SEIU Local 105
40 W. Louisiana Ave, Denver, CO 80203,
Attn: Greg Douros, by September 1st.

For questions, contact Leah at 303-698-7963, x118.

Together we can win a reform that is pro-immigrant, pro-family, and pro-humanity!
In other words, they want to exploit the children of illegal immigrants, some of whom are U.S. citizens by birth, to give a "human face" to the immigration debate, and attack the "racist" opposition to an open-borders policy.

Others are doubtful of the intentions of the union backing this campaign (video):
Critics accused the union of pandering to the human interest stories because "they don't have a leg to stand on."

Fred Elbel, who runs the day-to-day operations of the Defend Colorado Now ballot initiative, said the country needs to secure the borders, enforce existing immigration laws, deny taxpayer services to illegal immigrants, and not parade children out in front of the cameras.

"I feel sorry for the kids who are being used and abused for political purposes," Elbel said. "We have to look toward the future, toward the type of country we're going to leave to our descendants of all races. We can't keep bringing in unending streams of illegal immigrants into our country. It's destroying the fabric of our country which is based on the rule of law."
To have children who have a stake in the immigration debate trotted out to write letters designed for emotional appeal only--there are no substantive arguments save of the muddled leftist sort ("there are no borders"/"no one is illegal"/"Americans are closet racists"), speaks to the lack of cogent arguments for an open border or amnesty. Simply arguing that "we are here, therefore we have the right to stay", as these letters appear to do, masks the type of logic that was prevalent in the recent rallies. Earlier rallies featured Mexican flags almost exclusively and generated a great deal of backlash, so all subsequent rallies made a priority to have more American flags, although the Mexican flags did not disappear (neither did Che). This provides one more way to obfuscate the true intentions of many of the immigrant activists, whose agenda is much more sinister than simply supporting the childrens' right/desire not to be separated from their illegal immigrant parents. This measure is simply a screen:
The effort, organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 105, encourages children of immigrants to write letters saying how they feel about the immigration debate.

So far, the union has received 40 to 50 letters, and hopes to have hundreds, if not thousands, by the time the campaign ends Sept. 1.

"I think it's important that children have a say in this debate," said Greg Douros, the union's property services director.

"They are going to be impacted in a major way by the laws that are passing."

The union plans to exhibit the letters at coffee houses, churches and other places around the state.

"It's about putting a human face on this whole issue," said Michelle Dally, spokeswoman for the union's Local 105.
Because, let's face it, who's against the children?

Nope, not enough human faces here.


Cause all non-Latin American or Mexican immigrants are from Europe.

More Marxist anti-sovereignty open-borders mentality.

The message is quite clear.

The true agenda perhaps?


May 11, 2006

Religious Intolerance

Right wing Christians? Islamofascists? No--the Dalai Lama:
Although he is known for his tolerant, humane views, he is a surprisingly harsh critic of homosexuality. If you are a Buddhist, he says, it is wrong. "Full stop.

No way round it.

"A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife - astonishing. It is the same with a husband and wife using certain sexual practices. Using the other two holes is wrong."

At this point, he looks across at his interpreter - who seems mainly redundant - to check that he has been using the right English words to discuss this delicate matter. The interpreter gives a barely perceptible nod.

"A Western friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it," the Dalai Lama continues, warming to his theme. "But the purpose of sex is reproduction, according to Buddhism. The other holes don't create life. I don't mind - but I can't condone this way of life."
He does not call for any beheadings, or other punishment--a Buddhist wouldn't anyway--but he plainly states that according to Buddhist practices, such lifestyles are "wrong". Hmmm, I wonder what the Left would say about this--or stay quiet as they apparently have.

The point is not that the Dalai Lama declares such behavior wrong, and therefore it is wrong. The point is that very enlightened people can have serious disagreements on what constitutes proper conduct in life. Opposing politically (public life) or on spiritual/ethical/moral grounds (private life) the conduct of another's life does not amount to discrimination or intolerance. Unfairly labeling those who oppose your own preferences, however, does. Unfortunately many on the Left seem to have forgotten that.


Yet Another Reason Not To Read Or See "The Da Vinci Code"

Or take the "Gospel of Judas" seriously:
It's a good rule in this line of work to respect a hit. But golly, The Da Vinci Code makes it hard. At the start of the book, Dan Brown pledges, "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." It's everything else that's hokum, beginning with the title, whose false tinkle testifies to Brown's penchant for weirdly inauthentic historicity. Referring to "Leonardo da Vinci" as "da Vinci" is like listing Lawrence of Arabia in the phone book as "Of Arabia, Mr. L," or those computer-generated letters that write to the Duke of Wellington as "Dear Mr. Duke, you may already have won!"

. . .

Novelist Dan Brown staggered through the formulaic splendour of his opening sentence. I've discussed his anarthrous kickoff with a couple of novelists and they say things like, "It doesn't sound like a novel," and I usually reply that that's the point. If The Da Vinci Code were just a novel, it would just be crummy writing. But insofar as it evokes one of those interminable Newsweek background pieces reconstructing the John Kerry presidential campaign or some such, it bolsters the sleight of hand of the book: it rhythmically supports the impression that this is not a work of fiction, but a documentary unlocking of a two-millennia-old secret -- to wit, that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and sired a long line of descendants unto (anarthrous alert) police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, played in the movie by renowned French actress Audrey Tautou. In other words, the Gospels are a crock. Acclaimed painter Leonardo da Vinci knew the truth and left clues in his acclaimed paintings.

This premise has made anarthrous novelist Dan Brown the bestselling anarthrous novelist in the world. Even in a largely post-Christian West, Jesus is still a hit brand but, like other long-running franchises, he's been reinvented. It's like one of those bizarro Superman/alternate universe specials the comic books like to do. Or maybe one of those sputtering soaps that take refuge in ever more bizarre storylines -- that season of Dallas where they wrote off the previous year's worth of shows as a bad dream of Pam Ewing's.

The latest Bizarro Christ bestseller is the so-called Gospel of Judas, lost for 1,600 years but apparently rediscovered 20 minutes ago, edited by various scholars and now published by the National Geographic Society in Washington. Evidently, National Geographic has fallen on hard times since the days when anthropological studies of remote tribes were a young man's only readily available source of pictures of naked women. So I hope this new wrinkle works out for them. Renowned betrayer Judas Iscariot, you'll recall, was the disciple who sold out Jesus. Only it turns out he didn't! He was in on the plot! The betrayal was all part of the plan! For, as the Gospel of Judas exclusively reveals, Christ came to him and said, "Rudolph, with your nose so bright . . ." No, wait, that's a later codex. Christ said to Judas that he "will exceed all" the other disciples because it had fallen to him to "sacrifice the man that clothes me."


Denver Voting Machines Controlled By Hugo Chavez?

Some say it is worth investigating, others that it is a "crackpot theory":
Officials in Washington and Chicago are questioning whether leftist Venezuela President Hugo Chavez's government has financial ties with the U.S. company that supplies voting machines used by Denver voters and millions of citizens across the country.

A New York congresswoman has asked the U.S. Treasury Department to determine if the Venezuelan-connected Smartmatic, the parent company of California-based Sequoia Voting Systems, was properly vetted by federal officials.

. . .

"It's a crackpot theory," Jack Blaine, president of Smartmatic and Sequoia, told Chicago reporters last month. "The ability of Hugo Chavez to manipulate the vote in Chicago is impossible."

He maintains that "no shares in Smartmatic have ever been held by any foreign government."

. . .

Denver Election Commission officials have stood behind Sequoia, saying the city has a 50-year track record of reliable performance from the firm.

"We here at the municipal level are only concerned about making sure that we have a smooth election and making sure that we are in compliance with federal and state (voting-machine) statutes so as not to get the city sued," Alton Dillard, the commission's interim executive director said Wednesday.

"Anything having to do with international affairs we will gladly defer to our congressional delegation."

The City Council has given initial approval to using $1.4 million in federal funding to purchase 240 Sequoia touch-screen machines for the Aug. 8 primary election. They're needed for Denver to comply with a federal mandate to provide polling technology that allows disabled citizens to vote without assistance and to meet a state requirement that new electronic machines provide a paper record showing individuals how they voted.

Denver City Council members do not give credence to the Venezuelan suspicions.

"It sounds just like a conspiracy theory to me," said Councilman Doug Linkhart.


Domestic Surveillance

IN A BOLD AND CONTROVERSIAL DECISION, the president authorized a program for the surveillance of communications within the United States, seeking to prevent acts of domestic sabotage and espionage. In so doing, he ignored a statute that possibly forbade such activity, even though high-profile federal judges had affirmed the statute's validity. The president sought statutory amendments allowing this surveillance but, when no such legislation was forthcoming, he continued the program nonetheless. And when Congress demanded that he disclose details of the surveillance program, the attorney general said, in no uncertain terms, that it would get nothing of the sort.
GWB? Nope.


"In God We Trust" Under Attack

Yes, by Michael Newdow.


Carlos The Great

First, Carlos Mencia bitch slaps terrorists--NSFW (h/t Jawa):

Carlos flashback from late 2001/early 2002 where he exposes Political Correctness for the BS it is--NSFW:


May 10, 2006

Churchill Lawyer Demands CU Drop 'Witch Hunt'

Churchill attorney David Lane miffed that due process takes too long:
Embattled professor Ward Churchill's attorney demanded the University of Colorado drop its "latest round of witch hunting" or else face a federal lawsuit.

Attorney David Lane sent the seven-page letter, which was obtained by The Denver Post, to the school's attorney on Tuesday. He said the investigation, along with comments made by officials, was damaging Churchill's reputation and preventing him from fulfilling publishing contracts and speaking engagements.

School officials told The Post they had not seen the letter.

"Let the process decide what happens," university spokesman Barrie Hartman said, declining further comment.
More here, as Churchill is described as not having "the time or desire to respond to the most recent allegations". Awwww, damned scholarly requirements!

Based on recent history at CU, however, it seems that the professors and staff "take care of their own" and haven't issued sanctions in recent years:
University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill could become the first person to face sanctions for research misconduct since CU formed a committee to investigate such cases 17 years ago.

But that remains to be seen, even after the five-member faculty committee selected to investigate Churchill turned its findings over to CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct.

The standing committee, made up of 10 CU faculty members, one staff member and a graduate student, will spend the next week reviewing the findings. The report will not be made public until the committee votes to accept it. That is tentatively scheduled for May 16.

CU's standing committee has reviewed six cases, including Churchill's, since 1989, according to data obtained through an open- records request. Two others warranted a full investigation, the standing committee ruled.

But in no case has the committee ever found that misconduct occurred, and the group has never recommended action against a faculty member.

The five-member faculty investigation into Churchill took four months to review charges, which include plagiarism, fabrication of material and misuse of sources.

According to university policy, the committee should have settled on one of three findings: misconduct; no misconduct but "serious research error"; or no misconduct and no research error.

After the standing committee makes its determination, Churchill and his attorney will have time to respond to the findings. The standing committee will then issue a recommendation on what action - if any - should be taken.
How much would you bet that the recommendation will be no action, and that the finding of no misconduct or research error will lead to an even larger lawsuit?


Ding Dong The Witch Is Red

Only a communist could label Hollywood "fascist".

Or a moron, but I repeat myself.

Michelle Malkin has a roundup on THE WACKY WHITE WITCH


Endangered Statues In Egypt

Endangered statues?

From the BBC:
A religious ruling condemning the display of statues has angered Egyptian liberals and intellectuals who fear it could encourage religious zealots to attack the country's pharaonic heritage.

The ruling was issued by the Mufti, the most senior religious scholar in Egypt.
Islam has always been wary of representations of the human figure.

Anything which could even remotely suggest idolatry is frowned upon.

But sculpture in Egypt is as old as the pharaohs.

There are thousands of statues in museums and temples, not to mention the modern works standing in major squares in the big cities.

The fatwa raised an outcry, with many critics saying they are surprised the issue has been raised at all.

But these days Egyptians are increasingly seeking religious rulings on all aspects of life.
Like the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, the world stands to lose a great portion of its history if the Islamic iconoclastic jihadis get their way and begin to censor the legacy of Pharaonic Egypt by destroying statues and carvings of representations of the human figure.

What fatwas against ancient statuary has given the world (before and after):

Why? Because the statues may be "idolatrous" and there is no god but Allah. . .


May 09, 2006

Churchill Deadline Here, Report To Be Released Next Week

And so the waiting continues:
DENVER - The report on CU Professor Ward Churchill is expected to be returned to the CU Standing Committee by the Investigative Committee Tuesday.

But on Monday, CU Spokesperson Barry Hartman said the report will not be released to the public until next Tuesday, May 16th.

The report deals with whether or not Churchill engaged in research misconduct, specifically seven allegations including plagiarism and misrepresentation of facts. Hartman said the release plan is still tentative at this point.

The investigative committee can, but hasn't yet, asked for an extension of time to continue its investigation.


May 08, 2006

"Draft Hollywood"--More Pro-US Movies

America, and Hollywood in particular, should promote the war on Islamo-fascism--that is, get behind the effort that battles those who would take away all the fundamental rights that America in general but Hollywood in particular take for granted. Hollywood leftists continue to cry about "McCarthyism" and the "chilling" effect that they believe they have been targeted with as a result of their "dissent". Stars like George Clooney self-righteously proclaim the "bravery" of the Academy for tackling tough issues--usually well after those issues are topical. Instead of battling current dictators like Hugo Chavez, these moonbats flock to his (and Fidel Castro) side, to vogue for the paparazzi, shill for their host, and decry the "evil" that is America and George W. Bush. Put a different way, if this were the 1930s, they would be hailing Stalin's Five-Year Plan, ignoring the death in Ukraine and the political murders. . .oh wait, they practically did just that back then too (Progressive Hollywood has more on the "Popular Front" of the 1930s, and comes from a liberal perspective, so it isn't just a rant about "Commies"):
In short, we need war movies now even more than in the '40s. So why aren't we getting them? One reason surely is that, in the years since World War II, our self-assurance as a nation, the self-assurance necessary for the waging of war, has been shaken, and Hollywood reflects that. The change occurred against the backdrop of postwar history, but I believe it has as much to do with our cultural values, their uses and misuses, as it does with events. The Western ethos, with its Christian roots, demands that we look to our own sins before judging the sins of others. It's amazing how quickly, after the war ended, Hollywood began to examine the ways in which Americans shared the moral failings of the Axis.

As early as 1947, we had "Crossfire," about an American GI who commits an anti-Semitic murder. In 1949, "Home of the Brave" depicted a heroic African American soldier dealing with prejudice. And by 1955, there was the classic "Bad Day at Black Rock," in which a veteran uncovers homicidal anti-Japanese bigotry when he tries to deliver a medal to the father of a Japanese American killed on the battlefields of Italy.

Such self-examination and reform are part of the measure of our greatness. But there's a difference between a humble nation confessing its sins and a country of flagellants whipping themselves for every impure thought. Since the '60s, we have had, it seems, an endless string of war movies, from "Dr. Strangelove" to "Syriana," in which the United States is depicted as wildly aggressive and endlessly corrupt — which, in fact, it's not; which, in fact, it never has been.

In taking our self-examining ethos to these extremes, we have lost a kind of wisdom, wisdom that acknowledges the complexity of human life but can move through it to find the simple truth again. While assessing the intricate failings of our moral history, many of us have lost sight of the simple truth that the system that shapes us is, in fact, a great one, that it has moved us inexorably to do better and that it's well worth defending against every aggressor and certainly against as shabby and vicious an aggressor as we face today.
Having read all of Progressive Hollywood, it would be remiss if it was not pointed out that some of the pro-US movies that celebrated the patriotism and heroism of the American soldier were in fact primarily anti-fascist in nature, due to the heavy influence of leftist thought of all stripes on the directors, screenwriters, and actors of the period. What this means is that most Hollywood progressives hailed the Soviet Union during the 1930s, were mostly dumbfounded when the Hitler-Stalin pact was signed (splitting the left into pact apologists and anti-fascist hardliners), cried about US isolationism after Hitler invaded in June 1941, and celebrated after Pearl Harbor. They got the fight that they wanted--and could now more openly support our ally. That these movies were openly supportive of the war effort, ostensibly cheering on the American troops while nevertheless maintaining the hope that someday soon the US would join the great socialist experiment embodied by the Soviet utopia--remains engrained in our current mindset. Instead of pining for a the way Hollywood "used to be"--which it was to some extent, as not all movies or personnel were pro-communist/socialist/liberal--we must acknowledge a Hollywood that "never was". Movies like "Syriana" or "Jarheads" represent not a less-reverent Hollywood attacking America, but rather an extension of anti-capitalist/conservative/patriotic thought begun in the 1930s, that exploded in the 1960s, and that finds a ready audience in today's cinemaplexes nationwide.


May 07, 2006

Cinco De Mayo Slower Than Normal

Cinco De Mayo cruising appears to have declined this year (video):
Denver - Along an open stretch on Federal Boulevard Saturday afternoon, vendors were far and few between selling Mexican and American flags.

At the corner of 23rd and Federal, Laurie Madrigal is seen waving hand held Mexican flags trying to make a buck.

"Come on down," says Madrigal to drivers passing by along Federal.

A veteran of sales along this road, Madrigal has noticed a decline in the volume of traffic celebrating cinco de mayo with the traditional cruising.

"They're afraid to come out, or they're too busy, or they just don't want to spend," says Madrigal.

From a combination of economic boycotts in the U.S. and fear of authorities in the middle of a nationwide illegal immigration debate, some vendors think drivers are hesitant to express themselves as freely as in the past.

"I think they're afraid of being pulled over and getting a ticket, showing proof of insurance. I don't think they want to be hassled by police," says Camilo Aguilera, a flag vendor.


Milwaukee Brewers to Have "Cerveceros" Day

More "assimilation" from MLB. Honoring African-Americans who played in the old Negro Leagues is one thing, and certainly deserving. But just Hispanics? What about the Italians, Poles, etc. etc. that have played/watched/inspired the game? Paying tribute to players who were kept out of MLB because of their race is one thing, promoting only a certain segment of the current population with alternate uniforms in Spanish is another:
Miller Park will take on a Latin flair when the club presents "Cerveceros Day" on July 29.

For Cerveceros Day, the Brewers will again wear alternate uniforms for their game against the Cincinnati Reds, and they plan to transform Miller Park with bilingual public address announcements, Latin-themed music and videos featuring some of the game's great Hispanic players.

Instead of the traditional "Brewers" script, players will wear jerseys with the Spanish version, "Cerveceros." Brewers great Teddy Higuera and Milwaukee Braves infielder Felix Mantilla will be honored at the game.


May 06, 2006

"Los Rangers" And Cinco de Mayo

Get your "Los Rangers" gear here. had a small blurb at the bottom of this page:
"The Rangers wore special jerseys commemorating Cinco de Mayo that had ''Los Rangers'' on the front. The jerseys were being raffled off after the game."
It's kind of ironic that the Rangers played the Yankees on Cinco de Mayo. MLB may not have to wait to expand baseball to Mexico, if the "reconquistadores" have their way.

More at Michelle Malkin.

Stop The ACLU Open Borders Weekend Fiesta