June 30, 2006

Saudi Man Guilty In Nanny Slave Case, Defense Alleges "Islamophobia"

Al-Turki is done. Finished. Stuffing and gravy time! The counts were reduced, but as a whole, he could spend up to life in prison (to be sentenced August 31--video):
ARAPAHOE COUNTY -- A jury late this afternoon convicted a Saudi man accused of kidnapping, extorting, and sexually abusing a 24-year-old woman who came from Saudi Arabia six years ago as a cook and nanny.

Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, was found guilty of 12 counts of unlawful sexual contact, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of criminal extortion and one count of theft.

He will be sentenced Aug. 31.

Prosecutors had argued that Al-Turki used deception and coercion in a deliberate effort to keep the woman captive in his Aurora home for more than four years.

Defense attorneys shot back on Thursday closing arguments that the prosecution had engaged in "Islamaphobia" during the nearly three-week trial of doctoral student Homaidan Al-Turki, stressing his Muslim faith rather than the facts.

Al-Turki’s wife, Sarah Khonaizan, has already pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Of course the defense alleges "Islamophobia", as the unenlightened and obviously biased jury neglected to factor in Al-Turki's "faith", one that leads to expropriations of sexual favors, nonconsensual restraint of movement, and various other "aspects" that Islam expected of the benefactor. More:
After the conviction was announced Al-Turki's attorney, John Richilano, who had argued that cultural differences were at the heart of the charges, said he would appeal. He declined further comment.

About two dozen men, women and children who were in the courtroom in support of Al-Turki erupted in cries after the verdicts were read. Some were distraught and had to be helped by others out of the courtroom, while one man was confronted by a sheriff's deputy and ordered to leave.
To shouts of "Allah Akbar"--this is the precise reaction anytime a barbaric, medieval religion encounters the justice of a modern, trial-by-jury process that deems rape and kidnapping, and a form of indentured servitude as not only illegal, but wrong according to any "faith" and in spite of "cultural differences". If the jury considered Al-Turki's religious beliefs at all, they rightly regarded them as inconsistent with our Constitution and ruled against him.

Unfortunately, this is not the end:
Al-Turki also faces an October federal trial on charges of forced labor, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant.

Al-Turki, a linguist, worked at a Denver publishing and translating company and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado. He is free on bond.
As an alumnus of the University of Colorado system, I can't say I'm surprised at Al-Turki's position at the university--maybe he was working with Ward "Shitting Bull" Churchill, though it will be interesting to investigate this further.


New Study Challenges The Cost Of Illegal Immigration

The Bell Policy Center's new study contradicts the prevailing reports of the cost illegal immigration, arguing that illegal immigrants pay enough in taxes to provide as much as 70% of the burden they place on the system.

Defend Colorado Now, which opposes non-federally mandated state expenditures on illegal immigrants, suggests that the study is flawed, incomplete, or inapplicable to Colorado's situation. Their figures suggest that even if the tax income the Bell Policy Center asserts is true (close to $200 million), that would be less than 20% of the $1 billion in annual expenditures on services.

If illegal immigrants do not contribute at least 100% of the amount spent on them--and they don't according to either study--then they are at least a net drain on the resources of state and local governments, and that is hardly an argument for maintaining the status quo.


Smoking Al-Fresco

Unless you are 15 feet away from a business entrance, or on a patio--or one of the exempted areas in the legislation, it will now be a crime to smoke in public.

Of course, the actual threat of second-hand smoking notwithstanding, the real thrust of the legislation is more nanny-state control over our lives, now dictating where one might smoke legally. Rather than leaving that choice to individual business owners best suited to take into consideration their patrons and their own employees' concerns, the state has decided to determine the outcome for them. How nice.

But you can still drink, although that was also once the target of a campaign that led to the most well-intentioned and least effective government program ever: Prohibition. The arguments were essentially the same. The government saving you from yourself.

Still, at the end of the day, I fear the immediate impact (no pun intended) of the drunk/intoxicated driver instead of the remote and tenuous possibility that second-hand smoke might affect my health in, oh, 5o years. I'll take the chance frequenting places that offer smoking, now essentially reduced to casinos, while lighting up a great cigar the half-dozen times a year the feeling strikes me. Don't misunderstand, I support alcohol freedom, including the push for legalization at 18. Just don't tell me or private enterprise where to smoke or socialize with those who do. What's next, no smoking at home?


June 28, 2006

Senate Committee Questions AP's Gore Supporters

Alleging a bias in its methodology, the GOP majority press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works questions Seth Borenstein's Gore puff piece entitled "Scientists OK Gore's movie for accuracy":
WASHINGTON - The nation's top climate scientists are giving "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary on global warming, five stars for accuracy.

The former vice president's movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets — mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press.

The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is in limited release, or read the book.

But those who have seen it had the same general impression: Gore conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
The committee asks the AP writer to diclose those scientists contacted, and quote them all in full:
In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the “more than 100 top climate researchers” they attempted to contact to review “An Inconvenient Truth.” AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore “five stars for accuracy.” AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore’s movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific “skeptics” they claim to have contacted.
If the "top climate scientists" were so enthusiastic about Gore's movie and its portrayal of climate change, why not get quoted or drop names? Why does the article cite them anonymously? Have they something to hide? Or are they unwilling to support something they might believe in their hearts--global warming caused by humans--but do not see clear evidence of in the science? Maybe they don't want a repeat of the "global cooling" scaremongering of the '70s. Sounds like nothing more than the response offered by the government bureaucrats at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones asks who was working on the Ark--"top men." Not very convincing in either situation.


Gov. Owens To Call For Special Session On Illegal Immigration

It's official--special session on tap next week (full conference video):

The Legislature will be brought back to work to consider barring non-emergency state services from illegal immigrants.

Owens said the session will begin July 6 and -- unless lawmakers craft a "substantive" proposal -- he would like to see a measure sent to the voters in November.

The governor's announcement came a few hours after he received a letter signed by 19 House Republicans asking him to give the public a chance to vote on any plan approved by lawmakers -- in essence, a request to put something on the Nov. 7 ballot instead of settling for a change in state law.

The immigration debate has been heating up in Colorado and two weeks ago, the Colorado Supreme Court barred a proposal from the ballot that would have asked voters to deny most non-emergency state services to people in the country illegally.

Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, and others say the judges effectively kept the public from deciding an important issue based on a technicality (the court said the ballot question addressed two subjects instead of the single subject required by state law).

"Colorado citizens were denied their constitutional right to vote, and it is the duty of the governor and the General Assembly to restore this right," the Republicans told Owens.

The governor agreed, saying he found their decision puzzling and unfair to voters.

Exactly what might come out of the Legislature isn't known, but supporters and opponents of the original ballot initiative struck a compromise this week.

Both are backing a plan, modeled on a recent Georgia law, that cracks down on both employers who hire illegal workers and illegal immigrants trying to get public assistance.

Majority Democrats said they could put a law on the books immediately rather than wait to ask voters in November, drawing the ire of Republican lawmakers who insisted that the special session should be a referendum on "activist judges," not just illegal immigration.

"This is a desperate attempt by Democrats to deny our citizens their right to vote on one of the most pressing issues facing Colorado today," the Republicans told Owens. "We therefore affirm our belief that the principle goal of this special session be to give the vote back to the people of Colorado and allow their voices to be heard."
Not sure of the efficacy of mixing the illegal immigration issue with the criticism of activist judges--sometimes the secondary issue (activist judges) becomes the primary focus--but the special session is sure to produce some rhetorical fireworks following July 4th, resonating come November, regardless of the outcome of the legislation referred. Cracking down on those taking advantage of the system, including the employers making use of cheap labor, sounds like a better plan when combined with verification requirements for the immigrants themselves. Too bad this does not/will not happen on the national level, where real effective policy can be made. Nonetheless, the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to strike off this ballot initiative has ended up bringing this critical issue to the fore even more quickly, with the debate taking place in the next week or so, rather than the slow campaign debate that would evolve over the next few months. It also gets the Democrats on record for the fall on their positions on illegal immigration, an added boon for the GOP.

The news conference will come at 2 pm MDT:
The special session will include a proposal by ballot initiative proponents for a compromise on the issue based on a law enacted in Georgia, Owens' spokesman Dan Hopkins told The Associated Press.
The Georgia law requires employers to verify a worker is in the United States legally or lose the right to deduct that worker's salary on their taxes. It also requires people applying for non-emergency state services to prove their citizenship.

"The agenda will include the compromise proposal by Defend Colorado Now as well as other significant immigration related issues," Hopkins said.

The compromise between Defend Colorado Now and Keep Colorado Safe was worked out Tuesday afternoon. Both sides say their goals can be accomplished with comprehensive legislation.
. . .
The governor's decision to call a special session came a day after the state Supreme Court said it would not reconsider its decision to block an immigration proposal from November's ballot.

The ballot proposal would have barred illegal immigrants from getting non-emergency state services; the state would still have to provide schooling and emergency medical care under federal law.


June 23, 2006

Forest Service Denies Permit For Rainbow Family Gathering

Everywhere in Routt National Forest, the animals are rejoicing:
ROUTT COUNTY (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday it denied a request by the Rainbow Family for a permit to gather in the Routt National Forest this summer.

Members of the group applied for a permit Tuesday -- more than a week after they started showing up in the forest. Officials say at least 500 people had already arrived. The Forest Service says groups of 75 or more people need a permit to gather in a national forest.
. . .
Forest Service officials say the group's permit application didn't meet the required guidelines.

The agency also says the site proposed for the gathering is served by only one road -- not enough to get large numbers of people out in case of a fire at a time when fire danger is high.
"Campers" could face fines and jail time if they stay after being asked to leave.


Colorado Democrats Call For Special Session On Illegal Immigration

No doubt in an attempt to stave off any election advantage by the GOP on the hotbutton illegal immigration issue.


June 22, 2006

HoltzmanWatch (6/22): The Bell Tolls For Thee

"It's over, man."
--Holtzman spokesman Jesse Mallory

Holtzman's pursuit of the August primary effectively ended when the Colorado Supreme Court threw out his appeal. Now the state GOP can move on to building a coalition of ex-Holtzman supporters and rebuild internal rifts stemming from a heated and adversarial early campaign season.


June 19, 2006

Fort Carson Unit Turns Zarqawi Hideout Into "Parking Lot"

Doing the dirty work to rid the world of terrorists and their ilk, this Fort Carson unit cleaned up the wreckage of Zarqawi's last hiding place:
The commander of a Fort Carson team based in Iraq talked with reporters on Monday about the role his unit played in the killing of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The 3rd Heavy Brigade combat team was the coalition team called to the site after the air strike, and they cleaned up afterwards, according to Col. Brian James.

"We took the area and we bulldozed basically the whole house and everything down (and) covered it up and buried it out of concern that somebody would turn it to a shrine for nefarious purposes," James said. "What basically was a house and a place where he was killed is (basically) now a parking lot."

The team is heavily involved in training Iraqi security forces. They are beginning their second half of their year-long tour in Iraq.


HoltzmanWatch (6/19): Judge Orders Holtzman Off August Primary Ballot

And Holtzman receives the requisite stay of execution as the judge allows for Holtzman's appeal. But if the Colorado Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, Holtzman says he'll back Beauprez for governor, which is the best political move he can make at this point of the game (video):
"We will accept and abide by the decision of the Supreme Court," Holtzman said.

"The alternative (to a Republican governor) is unthinkable for Colorado's future," he said.
Until that time, of course, Holtzman will continue to campaign.


June 16, 2006

HoltzmanWatch (6/16): Holtzman Denied Again

Things continuing to not go well for Holtzman's judicial appeals:
DENVER - Republican Marc Holtzman has lost his latest effort to become an official gubernatorial candidate.

Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt ruled against Holtzman Friday afternoon.

The embattled candidate had argued that a state law requiring 1,500 signatures be collected in each of Colorado's seven Congressional Districts to qualify for the ballot was unfair. His attorney stated since valid voters can cast ballots anywhere in the state for statewide races, signatures should not be required to come from a specific area. Judge Hyatt disagreed.

Holtzman will now go before another judge to see if he in fact does have 1,500 valid signatures from each of the districts.
As Richard Allen, who knows Holtzman, asked in the Denver Post a few days ago, What would Reagan do?
This advice to Marc Holtzman comes from one who is not part of any "establishment," but rather from a longtime Republican and veteran "Reaganaut" who has served on the front line.

Holtzman should now take special cognizance of the Reagan example, retire gracefully and endorse the inevitable nominee of the Republican Party, Bob Beauprez.

Reagan would never have approved of the bitter struggle now being waged by Holtzman. To paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen in the vice presidential debates of 1988, "Marc, I served with Ronald Reagan, I knew Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Marc, you are no Ronald Reagan."


Clinton Double-Dipping: Columbine Memorial And Democratic Fundraisers

An artist's sketch of the memorial. Messages from families of the victims will be engraved on the outer ring.

He can "feel your pain" while you fill Democratic coffers:
Former President Bill Clinton is expected to give Colorado Democrats a big boost Friday when he headlines a fundraising event for them in Denver.

Clinton is speaking at the Colorado Convention Center during a $100-a-plate luncheon that could raise as much as $75,000 for the party.

"This is a huge deal. We're absolutely ecstatic," said Pat Waak, head of the state Democratic party. "I think we will see more and more public figures coming into Colorado because we're a target state in November."
. . .
Clinton will officially be in town for the groundbreaking of the memorial to those killed in the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School, but he is doing fundraisers on the side.
Drop in, flash the Clinton charisma, raise a few hundred thousand dollars. All in a days work for the former President.

Local news, of course, is going bonkers for Bill:
CBS4 (video)
9NEWS (video)


The Church Of Environmentalism

Via Cox & Forkum:


The Truth About The MSM

From a cat on helium. NSFW and profanity-laced, but f'n hilarious! (h/t The Anchoress)


U.S. Bishops Approve New Mass Translation

This probably has absolutely no impact on those outside Catholicism, but it reflects a movement toward unnecessary tinkering that bureaucracies, including the Catholic Church are prone to engage in from time to time. Normally, bringing translations more in line with the original text would appeal to my historical predilections, but the new iterations of some of the most familiar lines of the Catholic Mass are awkward and unnecessary:
The new translation alters the wording of key texts spoken by Catholics during worship, including the Nicene Creed, the Gloria, the Penitential Rite, the Sanctus and Communion.
. . .
Minor changes to the wording of many portions of the Mass will be obvious to Catholics. The repeated exchanges "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you" between a priest and his congregation, for example, become "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit" in the updated version.

The prayer said before Communion would become "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof," instead of "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you."
Dude, like, the Latin is so much more righteous and 60s chic. "And with your spirit"? Maybe the Latin text itself needs to be changed, or as is often the case, something is lost in the literal translation. (Yes, I can translate the Latin phrase et cum spiritu tuo) The latter sounds as if one is embarassed to invite God over since you still haven't cleaned up last night's kegger, or you happen to be a complete slob. Also, this apparently did not take up much time on the bishops' agenda:
Some bishops said the changes would deepen lay people's understanding of Catholicism and Scripture. They said priests could use the changes to spark a discussion of the liturgical reasoning behind them, including citing biblical stories and the Latin version.

Bishops debated for about 20 minutes on a variety of wording changes, some pitting the familiar against the new. A proposal to change the words of the Nicene Creed from "one in being" to "consubstantial," which is closer to the Latin, failed.
These appear to be nothing more than trivial changes, so it is not clear why such changes are so pressing in these times, considering all the other questions on the table (recovering from the scandals, the threat of Islam). However, the aesthetic of the previous wordings--to these ears at least--provided a clearer sense of the meaning to English ears. Wasn't that the point of Vatican II and the dispensation of the Latin Mass, to make the Mass more appealing to the various peoples within Catholicism? Personally, the Latin Mass in general sounds better than the English translation, but come on, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof"? What is this, 1660?


June 15, 2006

Smoking Ban Opponents File Lawsuit

Though it looks unlikely to succeed, the lawsuit challenging the involuntary smoking ban by the "we know better" nanny-statists is a welcome sign.


Colorado Common Law Marriage--Girls At 12, Boys At 14

Willis Lee Rouse, now 38 and in prison, began living with girl when she was 14.

In a case likely to grab headlines in the future, as well as portending potential debates over the age of consent sure to involve pedophilia arguments, comes this Colorado court decision:
A 15-year-old girl can enter into a valid common-law marriage in Colorado, and the minimum age could be as young as 12 for girls and 14 for boys, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The court stopped short of setting a minimum age but said under English common law, which Colorado recognizes, common-law marriages could be legal at 12 and 14.

. . .

The appeal was filed by Willis Rouse, 38, who is serving time for escape and a parole violation. He argued that he and the girl, identified only as J.M.H., began living together in April 2002 and applied for an Adams County marriage license a year later.

The girl had become legally independent by April 2003, but her mother consented to the marriage and accompanied the girl and Rouse to the county clerk’s office to obtain a license, the ruling said.

The county clerk issued a license, but District Judge James Hartmann in neighboring Weld County granted a motion by the Weld County Department of Human Services to invalidate the marriage, saying anybody under age 16 must obtain judicial approval for either common-law or ceremonial marriage.

The Court of Appeals agreed with Rouse that he could legally marry J.M.H. The court did not conclude whether the two have a valid marriage, but sent the case back to the trial judge to make that determination.

. . .

Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, D-Golden, said she was appalled by the ruling and said lawmakers need to look at the issue next year when the Legislature reconvenes.

"That’s a child. You’re taking advantage of an undeveloped person, putting them in a situation that’s for life. That’s something we need to take a look at," she said.
More here.


If El Presidente Lived In South Park. . .

He would probably look like this:

Take that, you Islamofascist-jihadis!

Envision yourself on South Park.


Owens' Special Session Threat Puts Democrats In "Political Pickle"

Or an extreme case of CYA by trying to cover all the bases while doing the splits on immigration:
If Republican Gov. Bill Owens makes good on his threat to call lawmakers back to the Capitol to address immigration reform, he will put Democrats in a political pickle, observers say.

A special session would force Democrats - who will be struggling in November to keep their slim margin of statehouse control - to strike a tough balance between appeasing their liberal base without looking soft on immigration.

"They're going to have to oppose what Owens is going to do, but ... they can't come out in favor of illegal immigration. He's put them in a tough spot," said Bob Loevy, a Colorado College political science professor.
Call it the state GOP's "nuclear option." The Democrats must pander to their leftwing-activist base--those most inclined toward viewing the "undocumented workers" as "victims" of socioeconomic circumstance, racism, and any other disadvantages--while attempting not to offend the greatly coveted Colorado independent bloc. Voters across the board appear to favor legislation that targets illegal immigration or its consequences (English vs. Spanish, taxpayer burden, human trafficking) to some degree or another, as evidenced by the Democrat's willingness to engage some bipartisan immigration bills in the last session. Neither party can afford to offend the swelling Hispanic/Latino/Mexican voting contingent, but holding a political line cornering the enforcement aspect of immigration can only be a net positive for the GOP, and consequently puts the Dems in a very interesting bind come this fall in races across the board.


More Bush Hostility To Nature In Evidence

Or not:
WASHINGTON -- The world's largest protected marine area is being created around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The archipelago is 1,400 miles long and 100 miles wide.

It's home to rare marine mammals, fishes and birds.

On Thursday, President George W. Bush is to announce his decision to create the nation's newest national monument. It covers the vast chain of largely uninhabited islands, atolls, coral reef colonies and seamounts.


HoltzmanWatch (6/15): Undermining the GOP?

Another possible unintended consequence of Holtzman's legal challenge:
The state Republican Party contended Tuesday that a court decision in favor of gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman would obliterate its "basic function" in selecting candidates, according to court papers.

If Holtzman is permitted to collect only 10,500 signatures from anywhere in the state instead of 1,500 from each of the state's congressional districts as required by current law, it would undermine the party's interest in making sure a candidate for governor has backing from all of the state's "distinct geopolitical regions," the GOP argued.


June 14, 2006

Happy Flag Day!


English Immersion Ballot Proposal Approved

Well, we can't demand they speak English if they aren't taught the language--this applies to immigrants here legally:
DENVER -- The state Supreme Court has upheld the wording of a proposed ballot initiative that would require English-immersion classes for students still learning the language, clearing the way for backers to collect petition signatures.

English for Colorado, a Weld County-based group that includes county commissioner William Jerke, wants to ask voters in November to mandate up to a year of immersion classes for students who aren't proficient in English before they join mainstream classrooms.

English Plus, a group that helped defeat an English-only initiative in 2002, had challenged the wording of the proposal, saying it did not clearly state how restrictive it is.

The Supreme Court ruled last week the state's Title Board, which passes judgment on the language of ballot issues, acted properly when it approved the wording.
The truth, however, is that the vast majority of non-English speakers to this state among the student population are native Spanish speakers, which includes not too few children of illegal immigrants:
About 98,000 public school students in Colorado are classified as English language learners, said Barbara Medina, director of the English Language Acquisition Unit of the state education department. Although the students speak a total of 143 languages, 86 percent have a Spanish-speaking background, she said.
So five of every six English-deficient students speak Spanish as a primary language, and aside from native born children of Americans who speak Spanish, or those here legally, a good number of those (over 84000) are children whose legal status, or those of families, are in question. If some form of amnesty, guest-worker, or citizenship path is approved, the likelihood that most if not all of these students will remain here to adulthood as legal citizens--by birthright or legalization--then it is in their best interest as well as ours to raise their English proficiency to fluency levels. They will benefit through access to better education and employment, and America through assimilation of its new citizens. No one cares what language is spoken at home or among family and friends, but English is the de facto if not de jure language of the land, and this would certainly be a step in that direction.


June 13, 2006

CU Committee: Fire Churchill

Welcome all--thank you for visiting--please consider bookmarking the main page and/or blogrolling the site. And keep reading!
**Update--Churchill responds--full statement here--(video, with response from CU and Churchill's lawyer)--Committee concludes stricter reviews needed:
Churchill has repeatedly denied misconduct and he did so again Tuesday.

"Baloney. That's my one-word-response," he said. "The basic situation here is there was a call ... for my termination clear back last February, whether or not it was legal. They're willing to take the heat and go to court if necessary and stand behind an illegitimate investigation."
Committee findings:
"unanimous in concluding that the severity of the infractions, their repeated and deliberate nature, their impact on the scholarly enterprise, and the apparent unwillingness of Professor Churchill to acknowledge the violations combine to exhibit 'conduct which falls below minimum standards of professional integrity'"

"The SCRM strongly disagrees with critics of the Investigative Committee report who have suggested that Professor Churchill’s violations were isolated, mundane, or trivial. To the contrary, we conclude that the violations are extreme examples of research misconduct, particularly in this area of study. Providing misleading or incorrect citations, bending accounts to fit one’s desired interpretation, or simply making up information all strike at the foundation of scholarly historical work"

Churchill, in presumably happier times.

Professor Ward Churchill's writings about the victims of 9/11 sparked an outcry that led to an investigation of his claims of being American Indian and of allegations of plagiarism. (Post / Hyoung Chang)
Looks like the smiles are gone. . .

The second University of Colorado committee recommended that Prof. Ward Churchill be fired:
A majority of the University of Colorado committee leading an inquiry into Ward Churchill recommended today that the ethnic studies professor be fired.
Of the 11 voting members, two said he should be suspended without pay for two years, while two others recommended a five-year suspension without pay. Another member of committee was absent, and the panel's chairman is a non-voting member.
In a 22-page report, the committee — made up of 10 CU faculty, a staff member and a graduate student — agreed with the findings of an investigation released last month. That investigation concluded Churchill "committed serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct," including plagiarism and fabrication of material.
. . .
The recommendation from the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct will now be sent to interim provost Susan Avery and Todd Gleeson, dean of the college of arts and sciences.
Avery and Gleeson then will make separate recommendations to interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who will have the final say on whether Churchill should be fired.

An exact timeline for that decision has not been determined, but could come within weeks.
Read the committee's report here:
Conclusion and Recommendations

After reviewing carefully the report of the Investigative Committee and Professor Churchill’s response, the members of the SCRM were unanimous in concluding that the severity of the infractions, their repeated and deliberate nature, their impact on the scholarly enterprise, and the apparent unwillingness of Professor Churchill to acknowledge the violations combine to exhibit “conduct which falls below minimum standards of professional integrity,” as specified in the Laws of the Regents.

In deliberating about appropriate sanctions, SCRM was not unanimous in its recommendations, nor did it feel any obligation to reach a consensus. The SCRM’s rules do not require a consensus; moreover, since the committee’s role is to provide recommendations to the ultimate decision makers, we believe that representing the range of perspectives of the committee members will be most useful to those decision makers. With that in mind, six of the voting members of the committee recommended dismissal, two recommended suspension without pay for a five-year term, and one recommended suspension without pay for a two-year term. (Our recommendations were the result of a secret ballot. As with the Investigative Committee, we agreed among ourselves not to disclose to anyone our individual votes.)
The SCRM studiously avoided the "9-11" and "free speech" issues to avoid any perception of bias alleged by Churchill:
In the Churchill case, the SCRM shares the concerns expressed by the Investigative Committee regarding the timing and context in which the allegations against Professor Churchill were raised. However, at each step of the process, the SCRM was careful to restrict its review to the allegations of research misconduct, without consideration of issues that have received widespread attention by others interested in Professor Churchill’s work. In particular, the SCRM’s deliberations were devoid of any discussions of Professor Churchill’s “9/11 essay,” or of issues of academic freedom or free speech in general. Rather, our work was specifically and narrowly focused on the findings of the Investigative Committee with regard to research misconduct.
They also take great pains to point out the egregious nature of Churchill's transgressions, and the magnitude of their impact on scholarly work--not to mention the credibility of academia in general:
The SCRM strongly disagrees with critics of the Investigative Committee report who have suggested that Professor Churchill’s violations were isolated, mundane, or trivial. To the contrary, we conclude that the violations are extreme examples of research misconduct, particularly in this area of study. Providing misleading or incorrect citations, bending accounts to fit one’s desired interpretation, or simply making up information all strike at the foundation of scholarly historical work. Scholars rely upon the accuracy of each others’ work to create a cumulative and incremental basis for extending our understanding of events. When that foundation turns out to be based on intentionally fallacious and misleading information, the usefulness of subsequent information is called into question and the work of many scholars may be compromised. The SCRM also was persuaded that making unfounded accusations and fabricating support for them, such as, for example, that the US Army intentionally collected smallpox-infected blankets from an Army infirmary to spread the disease to native populations, is serious by any standard. It not only distorts an already tragic history, but creates a social harm by spreading misinformation under the guise of scholarly research, injures the very cause being promoted, and casts doubt on other scholarship in the area.
Anyone familiar with the academic profession knows the seriousness with which issues like plagiarism and citation are treated. Historical arguments often hinge on the corroborating citations made to other scholars' works--and being able to trust another's assertions as grounded in fact and responsible interpretation is paramount. Inventing facts, plagiarizing, using "sock puppets" and any other form of research misconduct tarnish not only the individual's standing, but those of colleagues and other members of the field, should those transgressions go unpunished.


Republicans Call On Owens For Special Session

**Update--Owens threatens special session if court does not overturn decision:
Gov. Bill Owens, considering a request by Republican lawmakers, said Tuesday that he will call a special session if the Colorado Supreme Court does not reverse its decision and put on the November ballot an initiative that would deny most state services to illegal immigrants. Attorney General John Suthers also said will ask the Colorado Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

"Yesterday, our State Supreme Court ignored years of legal precedent and decided that the public should not have a say in one of the most important public policy debates of our time. In my opinion, the court's decision was inconsistent, it was inappropriate, and yes, I even believe it was arrogant," Owens said.
To address the Colorado Supreme Court's usurpation of ballot access on an illegal immigration ballot proposal:
Republican lawmakers asked the governor to call a special session today in a last-ditch effort to get a proposal on the November ballot that would deny most state services to illegal immigrants.

The request to GOP Gov. Bill Owens came one day after the state Supreme Court disqualified the proposal, saying it addressed more than one topic, a violation of the state constitution.

House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, said voters deserve a chance to weigh in on the issue.

''The state Supreme Court illegally denied access to the ballot on an issue I think enjoys overwhelming support. The question is access to the ballot. To have that taken away by the courts needs to be resolved,'' May said.

It would take a two-thirds vote in both houses, which are now controlled by Democrats, to get it on the ballot.
Read the GOP's letter to Gov. Owens.


Colorado Ties To Zarqawi's Death

Located near Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Schriever Air Force Base assisted in sending Zarqawi to hell via GPS tracking and coordination with pilots in the air (video):
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs had a connection to the air strike that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The base is where 29 satellites for the world's global positioning system are controlled.

They were able to tell the pilot exactly where he was and the precise location of the target. The second of the two bombs to drop on al-Zarqawi's hideout was guided by GPS.
Zapping Zarqawi with assistance from the men and women in Colorado--job well done!

The blasts from the bombs did not kill him instantly, and therefore Zarqawi had some time to contemplate his own demise. . .


June 12, 2006

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Against Defend Colorado Now's Constitutional Amendment

**Update--Proposal backers have two weeks to appeal the decision (which they will)
--video, opponents' lawyer declares proposal dead, Peña's absurd response, proponents vow to continue fight--More Peña blathering (video)--

Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy (bookmark it) finds the ruling puzzling as well.

Rep. Tom Tancredo weighs in:
On Monday, Tancredo, the Littleton Republican who is one of the most vocal congressional critics of current immigration policy, called the court's decision an "arrogant usurpation of citizens' constitutional prerogatives."
So does the Rocky Mountain News editorial:
We note for the record that this newspaper has taken no position on the initiative. The only issue that concerns us here is the people's right to launch ballot issues without contrived interference from the courts.

It's clear to us that the proposal doesn't even come close to violating the single-subject rule. If the high court can keep the electorate from voting on this issue, there's practically nothing that can get on the ballot if four members of the court don't want it there.

Former Denver Mayor Federico Pena and attorney Mark Grueskin, background, discuss the state Supreme Court's decision Monday. Peña said the amendment hadn t been drafted carefully. (Post / Hyoung Chang)

More judicial activism from the Colorado Supreme Court--as it rules against a proposed constitutional amendment:

DENVER -- The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that a proposal to deny most state services to illegal immigrants cannot appear on the November ballot.

The ruling may mean the issue is dead for this year because a key deadline for the November ballot is past, the secretary of state's office said.

The proposed constitutional amendment, promoted by Defend Colorado Now, violates a state constitutional requirement that initiatives deal with only one subject, the court said in a 5-2 opinion.

The measure aimed to decrease public spending for the welfare of illegal immigrants in Colorado and restrict access to administrative services, the ruling said.
So any new proposed amendment/initiative must have only one purpose? Every proposal has a main goal, however, many additional goals may be explicitly or implicitly inferred from the main purpose, like the Fastracks proposal two years ago--more public transport=less automobiles on road=less commuting time=less pollution. More than one outcome there.

"This is outrageous judicial activism, Exhibit A in how courts disregard precedent to reach a political result," Lamm said in a statement. "This isn't law, it is raw, naked politics."
A similarly worded proposal apparently did not attract as much attention two years ago, and was approved despite similar challenges, although proponents failed to gather enough signatures to get it on the ballot:

The Supreme Court had approved a similar proposal for the 2004 ballot, rejecting a challenge that it was misleading. Proponents were unable to gather enough signatures and it did not get on the ballot.

This year, proponents had argued that the court could not reverse its decision from 2004. The court disagreed, saying the measure had been challenged on different grounds, and that state law requires the justices to review any challenges.
The Colorado Supreme Court applies some pretty tortured and convoluted logic in ruling against the proposed amendment, and the judicial capriciousness and politicking is rightly taken to task by the two dissenting votes:

The ruling said Defend Colorado Now touts the possibility of reducing taxpayer expenditures by restricting illegal immigrants' access to services, as well as the goal of restricting access to services.

"Because we determine these purposes are unrelated, we conclude they comprise multiple subjects connected only by a broad and overarching theme," the ruling said.

In a dissent, Justices Nathan Coats and Nancy Rice expressed concern that the decision was influenced by the motives of the measure's proponents and by its potential effects. They said the court has inconsistently applied the single-subject requirement, giving justices "unfettered discretion to either approve or disapprove virtually any popularly initiated ballot measure at will."

"The susceptibility of any group motivation or objective to being thinly sliced is limited only by the ingenuity (and desire) of the court doing the slicing," the dissenters said. "And according to the majority's logic, each such `purpose' apparently constitutes a `subject' of the initiative."
Exactly the modus operandi of modern judicial activism--finessing the law through the position of the court as the final arbiter, and an almost academic manipulation of the words comprising the law itself. Who but the judges would not ascertain that a denial of state services to a substantial population of illegally present immigrants would not constitute a savings of public money and therefore reduce state expenditure? So reducing services and therefore reducing expenditure are unrelated--"connected only by a broad and overarching theme"? Even if, as Defend Colorado maintains, they did not tout the reduced expenditure as an explicit benefit of the proposal, it would surely be implied. If it is only the implicit suggestion that denial of service to illegal immigrants would reduce state spending that resulted in the Court's decision, then all ballot proposals should face similar scrutiny (and all would fail) of the Court's "unfettered discretion to either approve or disapprove virtually any popularly initiated ballot measure at will."

View From A Height has more on Our Postmodern Judiciary--and the need for checks and balances.


June 11, 2006

Passion Of The Christ "Most Controversial Film"

So says Entertainment Weekly via the BBC:
Biblical epic The Passion of the Christ has been named the most controversial movie to date by in the recent edition of US magazine Entertainment Weekly.

Mel Gibson's film depicting the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ began a "culture-war firestorm unrivalled in Hollywood history", the magazine says.
More controversial than any of these other films in the top 25--A Clockwork Orange, JFK, Natural Born Killers, The Da Vinci Code, United 93, Fahrenheit 9/11, Deep Throat, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Deer Hunter, Basic Instinct, Do the Right Thing and Kids.



Time Magazine's Zarqawi Cover

Though many, including Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Che, and numerous others have warranted an appropriately similar cover treatment, it is nice to see that Zarqawi has been compared to Hitler, at least graphically, on the new Time cover.

June 19, 2006

May 7, 1945

August 20, 1945


Mention Jesus At Graduation And You May Have To Apologize

School officials quickly distance themselves from the statement made by the school valedictorian, so as to not appear to "condone" the statement, and then demand an apology from her as well:
(AP) MONUMENT, Colo. A high school graduate who used her commencement speech to urge families to learn about Jesus Christ has acknowledged said she did not tell school officials she planned to make the remarks.

Lewis-Palmer High School officials asked Erica Corder to tell the parents of other students that educators did not condone her remarks at the May 25 commencement. School officials said that would have been a violation of the Constitution.

In her part of the valedictorian speech, the 18-year-old Corder said, "If you don't already know (Jesus) personally, I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice he made for you."

Corder said she planned the remarks for months but did not tell school officials or the other 14 speakers, who had cooperated on drawing up a speech and who each took a part in presenting it. Corder went last.
All this Jesus talk has school officials pondering corrective action:
Lewis-Palmer School District Superintendent Dave Dilley said the district has no policy on commencement speeches but is considering whether it needs one.
No Jesus speak at school! Allah, however, is apparently ok.
In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press, even from conservative talk radio, California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:

Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."

Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."

Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.

Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."

Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks.
Others, however, have rejected the ACLU and censorship of prayer and Christianity.


Colorado Prepares For Hippie Invasion By The "Rainbow Family"

Somewhere between 20000 and 60000 smelly, tree-hugging, birkenstock-wearing, granola-eating hippies, excluding those already in Boulder of course, are expected to convene near Steamboat Springs this July (video):
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS - Routt County is bracing for 20,000 to 60,000 members of the "Rainbow Family."

The Rainbow Family, often described as hippies, is expected to converge on a site on national forest land for the group's weeklong annual gathering in July.

Members of the group turn up every year in Boulder where some residents consider them to be a nuisance. They are often accused of panhandling, drug use and sometimes violent attacks which has officials worried.
Panhandling and drug use? Oh, there's a shocker!


June 09, 2006

HoltzmanWatch (6/9): Grasping At Straws

**Updated below

Holtzman begs to be on ballot:
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Mark Holtzman asked Denver District Court on Thursday to immediately place his name on the primary ballot - even though it's still unclear if he has enough valid signatures.
**Holtzman made it onto the August ballot, even though he may not be a valid candidate:
A Denver District Court Judge Friday ordered the secretary of state to put GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman's name on the August primary ballot.

However, Holtzman might not be a valid candidate.

Judge Michael Mullins says the courts will later have to determine whether Holtzman had enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

The decision does not re-instate Holtzman's candidacy, but gives him time to argue about the validity of the signatures. Mullins left that up to another judge.
Judge Michael Mullins said the courts can sort out the other issues later and determine whether Holtzman had enough valid ballot signatures to get on the ballot.

Mullins said that Holtzman would suffer irreparable harm if he were kept off the ballot now and it was later determined that those votes should be counted. He said if courts rule that Holtzman did not get enough signatures, votes cast in his favor would not be counted.

"This is a victory for good government, open access, and all the people of Colorado," Holtzman said. "I want to personally thank everyone who has extended words of encouragement and support during this process."

Secretary of State Gigi Dennis disqualified Holtzman last week, saying he did not collect enough signatures to petition his way onto the ballot after his party chose Rep. Bob Beauprez as its only candidate to replace term-limited Gov. Bill Owens.

"What's at risk here is basically if Mr. Holtzman is successful on his challenge to the certification of insufficiency, then he doesn't have a remedy if he is not allowed on the ballot, in effect denying his access to the ballot," Mullins said in issuing his ruling.
Mullins said he would give opponents time to appeal his ruling to the state Supreme Court. Attorneys for the Republican Party at first thought they would seek an injunction so they can appeal the judge's ruling, but have decided not to go that route.

Mullins said that a Supreme Court judge would have to hear legal objections over whether petitions should be disqualified because the petition gatherers did not meet qualifications, and also hear evidence that Holtzman had enough valid signatures. Mullins said that would take too much time and possibly cause the state to fail to meet federal voting requirements for absentee ballots and voters living overseas, which must be sent out in the next few weeks.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General Maurice Knaizer, representing Dennis, said a failure to put Holtzman's name on the ballot could "lead to chaos" if a judge later determines he had enough signatures, possibly even delaying the Aug. 8 primary.

Holtzman filed the lawsuit after Dennis ruled that he did not have enough signatures to petition onto the ballot. The lawsuit, filed in Denver District Court, alleged that Dennis was "about to commit a breach or neglect of duty by using improper legal standards" by saying Holtzman did not have enough valid petition signatures to get on the ballot.


Obligatory Zarqawi Post

Blogger--for this blog at least--was offline much of the day yesterday, thwarting whatever feeble attempts by this blog to add much to the cacophony of responses following such a momentous occurrence. Here, however, are the best treatments of the nicest news out of Iraq and the War on Terror in some time:

Michelle Malkin leads the way.
Hot Air has video and linkage.
Gateway Pundit has scoured the blogosphere thoroughly, and presents a good roundup and sources as well.
Memeorandum has tons of links as well.

Zarqawi: Rot in hell, bastard!


Newsflash--7th Congressional District Race Wide Open

Always great to see the MSM point out the obvious (video), given the close electoral margin of the seat four years ago, when Bob Beauprez edged Mike Feeley by a mere 122 votes. This also demonstrates the power of individual votes, contrary to those third party advocates, or the stay-at-home-and-hand-Democrats-victory Republicans who might oppose the GOP this November for no other reason than taking out their frustrations and anger at a sometimes--admittedly--unresponsive Republican Congress. It just makes one wonder how they would like seeing a Congressional delegation in favor of Democrats 4-3 or better.


Police Chiefs Worry About Unfunded Mandate To Tackle Illegal Immigration

At a meeting with former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, who is sponsoring a November initiative designed to deny some state services to illegal immigrants.


Professor Accused Of Leaving Feces At Musgrave Office

The offending fecal matter.

A little early for this sort of mudslinging (poo-flinging?--give a new meaning to "smear" campaign):

A former professor of French at the University of Northern Colorado has been cited for allegedly making a special delivery to U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave that reeked of political partisanship.

Kathleen Ensz, professor emeritus at UNC, is accused of depositing a Musgrave campaign mailer full of dog feces at the Republican lawmaker's Greeley office. Ensz was charged Thursday by Greeley police with criminal use of a noxious substance, a misdemeanor.

The offending package arrived on May 31 about 1 p.m. The original addressee's name and address were scratched off, but a police officer was able to use the bar code on the envelope to track the sender's vicinity, which eventually led investigators to the 63-year-old Ensz, said Greeley police spokesman Joe Tymkowych.

Ensz, who couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, is a supporter of Angie Paccione, the Democratic challenger for Musgrave's 4th Congressional District seat, Ensz's friends say.
So the campaign has gone to the dogs already--though it is not surprising that this sort of unhinged response came from a former academic supporting a Democratic candidate. Apparently, one that is not that bright, either.

Those who know her say they find it difficult to believe that Ensz would take such a bizarre action to express her opposition to Musgrave. Then again, Ensz has been known to speak her mind on certain subjects, said Carol Burkhart, who has been active in the Weld County Democratic Party for years.

"Kathy is a pretty straightforward type of person," Burkhart said. "She is a no-b.s. - so to speak - kind of person."

The incident triggered harsh exchanges between the Musgrave and Paccione camps. Musgrave supporters said this could be an early indication that the congresswoman will again be a target of sleazy campaigning.

"Angela Paccione needs to put an end to this gutter politicking now," said Shaun Kenney, Musgrave's campaign spokesman. "If this is how her supporters intend to wage her campaign today, what kind of sleaze and harassment can we expect leading up to November?"

In 2004, Musgrave opponents ran a series of television ads depicting her picking the pockets of soldiers and corpses. She went on to defeat Democratic challenger Stan Matsunaka.

"Shades of 2004 all over again," Kenney said.

Kenney also called for Paccione to return all campaign donations from Ensz and to apologize for the "disgusting" behavior of her supporters.
That won't happen, it'll just be distancing and denial from Paccione's campaign. That does not, however, preclude the notion of suggesting a Rovian conspiracy-like accusation of attempting to sidestep important issues on the part of Musgrave by distracting media attention with this stunt:

James Thompson, spokesman for Paccione, said Ensz is not part of the Paccione campaign and that her actions do not reflect the spirit of Paccione's campaign. "We don't condone this type of extremism, no matter what party or organization they're affiliated with," he said.

Musgrave wanted to make the incident public to divert voters' attention away from her re-introduction of the gay marriage ban in Congress, Thompson said. Given Musgrave's extremist agenda, he added, it was only a matter of time before an extremist on the other side of the political spectrum pushed back.
Ensz no longer holds a position at UNC, so there will be no ramifications there, though in this current climate, she might become a minor cause celebre for the Kostards.

So far, the campaign for the 4th District - which encompasses much of Colorado's northeastern plains as well as the cities of Fort Collins and Greeley - has been relatively calm, said Steve Mazurana, a political science professor at UNC.

But the rhetoric is likely to become more strident as the November election approaches, he said.

"I think it will particularly spike when and if the gay marriage amendment goes to the House of Representative for a vote," Mazurana said.

Mazurana, a Democrat, knows Ensz and was stunned by the allegations against her. "I'm very surprised by the dog feces," he said. "That's not the Kathy I know."

Ensz began teaching at UNC in 1970 and earned her emeritus status in 2000, said UNC spokeswoman Gloria Reynolds.

Since she is no longer on staff, she doesn't face sanctions, Reynolds said.
Greeley police disavow any favoritism in pursuing the matter, putting a dent in the tinfoil moonbat timing conspiracy theories, but it just amazes how inadvertently the perpetrator of this particular poo proceeding could sum up the Democratic message for 2006, and without words no less. A heaping pile of . . .

The Rocky Mountain News has more on this "smear campaign".
The story has gone national. . .


June 08, 2006

Amnesty Aside, Bush Reaffirms Need For Assimilation, English Learning

All those who stand on any side of the immigration issue acknowledge that immigrants here legally or illegally at least learn the language and assimilate, as does President Bush:
He said immigrants should know there is a legal way to stay, if they are willing to make the effort: "One is to say you got to pay a fine for being here illegally. You got to learn the English language. In other words, you got to repay a debt to society and learn the skills necessary to assimilate into our society. Show us you've been working hard."
Legal immigration is the ideal, and the stated position of this blog, but getting those immigrants already here, both legally and illegally, to speak and learn the English language and assimilate American values (freedom of speech, individualism, capitalism) would be a great start.


HoltzmanWatch (6/8): Sec. Of State Agrees With Holtzman

Let a district court judge decide:
After a sometimes angry hearing, the Secretary of State's office agreed Wednesday to let a district court judge decide whether GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman has enough valid petition signatures to get on the August primary ballot.

A deputy to Secretary of State Gigi Dennis waived the deadline for Holtzman to appeal her ruling that the petitions were insufficient, allowing Holtzman to file a lawsuit in state district court to settle the issue.


June 07, 2006

No Blood For French Wine!

Too. Damn. Funny.
Top 11 Things That Anti-War Protesters Would Have Said At the Normandy Invasion on D-Day (Had There Been Anti-War Protesters At Normandy)


Tancredo Wins Michigan Straw Poll

Apparently GOP members favor Tancredo's immigration stance--he is not known for anything else at this point--over bigger White House potentials Giuliani, Rice, Allen, Romney, and McCain.

The Denver Post has much more, including the notion that Tancredo's support amounts to protest votes against immigration policy, and commentary on the candidates' current stand (McCain) or lack thereof:
The win left Tancredo "happy as a clam," he said, but not because he wants to be president.

"What has just happened is perfect for me," Tancredo said.

"I'm a relatively unknown individual. The fact that I can show up in a straw poll ... sends a message."

Tancredo said he hopes his Republican colleagues will pay attention to what the poll underscores about immigration.

"If I were a serious candidate for president and I understood the importance of Michigan, I would be concerned about the fact that some guy from Colorado who isn't an active candidate has out-polled me," he said.
Pay attention GOP senators, presidential candidates, and immigration "moderates".


Hugh Hewitt VS Paul Campos

First, the column by Campos that set the whole thing off.

Hewitt invited Campos on his radio show to discuss his column, as well as other comments Campos has made over the past few years.

Transcript and audio of the interview here.


Air Marshals Accuse Managers Of Compromising Safety

And U.S. Senator Wayne Allard is calling for a federal inquiry.


Why Capitalism And Competition Are Good

Having never flown Southwest--it had not had a presence in Denver--it must be said that I can't personally vouch for the intrinsic quality of the airline itself, but its mere presence the past few months certainly provides another example of the way in which the invisible hand of capitalism and, in this case, competition have improved the Denver market by introducing the "Southwest effect" of lower fares and greater choice in airlines and departure flexibility:
The little airline that revolutionized the industry is expanding its business in Denver.

While some of the so-called legacy airlines such as United, American and Delta are cutting flights and raising fares, Southwest is adding flights and forcing fares down.

Rival airlines call it the "Southwest effect" -- when the airline comes to a city, targets destinations popular with local travelers and draws in passengers from other airlines with low fares that other airlines may be forced to match.


Owens Signs Anti-Trafficking And Verification Bills

Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement (video):
Gov. Bill Owens signed immigration bills Tuesday establishing a State Patrol unit to crack down on human smuggling.

It also requires state contractors to verify the immigration status of new hires.
Should have had this years ago, but better late than never.
"There are few crimes more heinous than the smuggling and trafficking of human beings," Owens said. "Enforcement is a key element in the state's efforts to stop this appalling practice and the new CSP unit will play a critical role."

The new 24-member unit will be an addition to the patrol and will not divert troopers from other work, Patrol Chief Mark Trostel said.

Trostel said the unit will eventually include 20 troopers, a captain, two sergeants and an administrative support member. He said 12 new troopers will be hired after July 1 and 12 more beginning in July of next year.

The idea is to crackdown not on the illegal immigrants themselves, but on the "coyotes" who bring them into the U.S.
Target the enablers, the human smugglers and those who encourage illegal immigration through employment.
Last week, the Owens signed two other bills that will make human smuggling and human trafficking felonies.

Human smuggling was already a crime under federal law, but state law-enforcement agencies and immigration critics complained that federal authorities haven't been tough enough on people who transport illegal immigrants in crowded vans and trucks.

"We see them come through everyday," said Raymond McDaniel, who lives in Lochbuie. "They're easy to spot."

However, the sight may become less common with the new law.

"We're doing everything we can think of that we can do as a state," said Owens.
Which, again, is a good thing, though true action should come at the federal level, since national security and our nation's borders are federal responsibilities, not the individual states'.
The State Patrol hopes the new law stops the human smuggling before they have to. "It's like anything else. If someone knows they're going to be charged with a felony because of actions they're doing, that's a deterrent," said Trooper Eric Wynn with the Colorado State Patrol.

Under the second bill signed Tuesday, contractors doing business with the state are required to use a federal database to verify that new employees are in the country legally.

Contractors who knowingly hire illegal immigrants could lose their state contracts.

The measures were among just a few immigration bills to survive after the Legislature spent weeks wrestling with the issue. Many were killed early in the session.
Unfortunately, this should be extended to all businesses, not just those doing work for the state. Others doubt the efficacy of the new bills.
And some are skeptical the new law will really work. "What are they going to do? What are they going to do with them when they pick them up? Are they going to deport them? And they'll be back tomorrow," said McDaniel.

The State Patrol says it runs into 527 illegal immigrants a week on average, and it's still unclear what will happen to the immigrants themselves once the new unit is up and running.
527 is probably a mere fraction of the total number, which could easily be many, many times higher. Once again, this represents not the ideal, but rather a better than nothing situation, which in today's political climate seems to be the only realistic outcome--though that should not discourage tougher stances and higher expectations of elected officials.


HoltzmanWatch (6/7): Judge Must Decide

Whether or not Holtzman has enough valid signatures to get on the August primary:
Embattled GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman said Tuesday a judge will have to decide whether he gets into the August primary.

However, he stopped short of saying he would file a lawsuit or seek a court order.

Secretary of State Gigi Dennis ruled last week that Holtzman failed to gather enough valid signatures to be on the primary ballot. Holtzman insisted Tuesday he had enough signatures but said state law bars Dennis from reviewing her own work.

"I think the courts are the only forum that have the jurisdiction to resolve this issue," said Bob Gould, Holtzman's campaign manager.


June 06, 2006

Global Warming? Chill Out!

An excellent column which engages not the facts of the case for or against global warming (the causality, not the presence of it) but rather the state of the debate, or lack thereof, on such a crucial, public policy matter. First, David Harsanyi suggests the proper way for discerning members of the totalitarian left (aren't they all totalitarian?) clinging, in this instance, to their cherished pet cause, global warming:
You'll often hear the left lecture about the importance of dissent in a free society.

Why not give it a whirl?

Start by challenging global warming hysteria next time you're at a LoDo cocktail party and see what happens.

. . .

So next time you're with some progressive friends, dissent. Tell 'em you're not sold on this global warming stuff.

Back away slowly. You'll probably be called a fascist.

Don't worry, you're not. A true fascist is anyone who wants to take away my air conditioning or force me to ride a bike.
Harsanyi's main message is directed toward the pushers of the current fad, including hysterical scientists and demagogic politicians--Algore, not just their nattering acolytes:
Admittedly, I possess virtually no expertise in science. That puts me in exactly the same position as most dogmatic environmentalists who want to craft public policy around global warming fears.

The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.

"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."

Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a different fear: a coming ice age.

"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."

Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be?
Gray isn't alone in his criticisms, and finds an ally down the road from CSU at CU (nice to see Colorado scientists demanding free and open debate in scientific matters:
Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado, is also skeptical.

Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions.

I ask him: How do we fix the public perception that the debate is over?

"Quite frankly," says Pielke, who runs the Climate Science Weblog (climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu), "I think the media is in the ideal position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out there, which they rarely do, things would change. There aren't just two sides here. There are a range of opinions on this issue. A lot of scientists out there that are very capable of presenting other views are not being heard."
It is great to see the MSM challenged, but if Pielke waits for the MSM to finally do its job by reporting news rather than creating or directing it, he might see another Ice Age come and go. . .

Thankfully, Harsanyi points out just some of Algore's hypocrisy:
Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard and heard and heard. His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying the atmosphere just to tell us about it.
Unfortunately, in both the public sphere and the scientific community, dissent is being squelched in favor of the more "trendy" view:
"Let's just say a crowd of baby boomers and yuppies have hijacked this thing," Gray says. "It's about politics. Very few people have experience with some real data. I think that there is so much general lack of knowledge on this. I've been at this over 50 years down in the trenches working, thinking and teaching."

Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. "I don't question that," he explains. "And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle '40s to the middle '70s."

Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.

"Plenty of young people tell me they don't believe it," he says. "But they won't touch this at all. If they're smart, they'll say: 'I'm going to let this run its course.' It's a sort of mild McCarthyism. I just believe in telling the truth the best I can. I was brought up that way."
In the 17th century Galileo was condemned by the Church--not scientists, mind you--for having "heretical" views. At least one might say that they were operating out of erroneous faith, or at the worst, keen on maintaining religious control of science. But the scientists/hippies/enviro-wackos of today have a new religion, one that says man is the root of all evil, that human activity is out of balance with nature and is poisoning the Earth, and that that activity must be curtailed--and demands that there be absolutely no dissent. The present Galileos like Gray and Pielke face not the stake, but public disapprobation orchestrated by Algore's minions. Like Harsanyi says, just try suggesting an alternative viewpoint on global warming, and see the reaction you get. That's how you'll discover the true fascists of today.


Colorado National Guard Troops Could Be Sent To The Border

Colorado troops should find out as early as July (video):
DENVER Colorado National Guard Troops should know in July whether they will patrol the border between Mexico and the United States.

Utah and Arizona guardsmen began patrolling the border in Arizona on Monday as part of President Bush's plan to crack down on illegal immigration. The mission for the 55 soldiers is to build fences, roads, and border lighting near Yuma, Arizona, which is the nation's busiest U.S. border patrol station.

The Colorado Guard anticipated between 150 and 200 troops would be called to the border and all would most likely be volunteers.

There are about 4600 Air and Army National Guard available for deployment. If sent, the troops could stay in Arizona between 2 weeks and 3 months.

"The only thing right now that's off the table that I know of for sure is that there will be no law enforcement activity," said Major Gen. Mason Whitney, head of the Colorado National Guard.

The decision to send Colorado troops to the border would require Governor Bill Owens' approval.
Of course, some don't want troops at the border, like the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers):
"We've increased militarization on the border since 1994 and it hasn't decreased the number of people coming over," said Gabriela Flora with the American Friends Service Committee. "What it has resulted in is increased deaths along the border and increased criminal rings. What we really need is just comprehensive immigration reform."
Duh. Secure the borders, enforce the laws, encourage assimilation. That is what American needs.


Holtzman Ties Hope To Software And The Courts, Ritter Fundraising Outpaces GOP

As the summer heats up and the candidates begin their tuneups for the fall, Holtzman hopes that software designed to screen names will help get his on the primary:
Bob Gould, Holtzman's campaign manager, said Holtzman has hired a data analysis firm to go over each of the 4,239 signatures that Dennis rejected because the name was illegible or the address wasn't clear.

"It's probably never been done before in politics," Gould said. "We have some very high-end technology."
Meanwhile, Ritter's campaign fundraising outpaces both GOP candidates combined in both April and May:
Democrat Bill Ritter raised more money than his two Republican rivals combined for the second month in a row in the race to be Colorado's governor.

But the GOP candidates - Congressman Bob Beauprez and Marc Holtzman - retain the overall fundraising lead with about $1.9 million each, while Ritter has totaled about $1.5 million.

In May, Ritter collected $201,066. Beauprez raised $99,528, and Holtzman took in $81,559.
What is disconcerting is not that Ritter is doing so well, but that these figures demonstrate the GOP split, and represent the siphoning off of so much campaign funding from either candidate, since only one will make it from the primary, assuming that Holtzman manages to make it on in the end. If the GOP appears vulnerable--which it certainly does now--then more out-of-state money will pour in, and given 2004's record with shadowy groups buying so much time, this could be a long and expensive gubernatorial race.


June 04, 2006

Boulder Proves Futility, Passes Anti-War Resolution

In another case of political self-pleasure, the Boulder City Council in its profound wisdom, passed a resolution Saturday that called for withdrawal from Iraq, although without a firm timetable:
BOULDER, Colo. This city of Boulder passed a resolution on Saturday calling for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq, but set no timetable.

The resolution was passed after a 4 hour hearing that drew about 70 people, many wearing anti-war shirts and buttons.

"I'm disappointed we couldn't get a firm date, but this goes a long way for our position on the war," said Dan Winters, who gave a 10-minute presentation outlining changes the coalition wanted in the city's drafted resolution.

Councilman Shaun McGrath disagreed. "If we give this an arbitrary number, I think it will lose its credibility," he said. McGrath said more than 70 towns and cities have passed resolutions but none with deadlines.

The resolution has no legal impact.
Note the last line. Why does Boulder waste taxpayers' money by holding hearings on a resolution with no legal impact, and very little emotional/rhetorical/philosophical ramifications generally? Everyone who has not lived under a rock for the past thirty years knows Boulder opposes wars, nuclear weapons, and eschews violence in general. The symbolic gesture carries no more weight than a butterfly fart for those other than the few dozen "activists" and peaceniks that inhabit Boulder, or prove once again how asinine the moonbat, looney-left, granola munching, Birkenstock wearing. . .ok, I'll stop. The best comment came from the one dissenting City Council member:
Richard Polk, the only council member to oppose the resolution, said it didn't have the support of the entire community.

"As a councilman, I have to respect the 100,000 residents that aren't here," Polk said.


June 03, 2006

Holtzman Looks To Precedent, Hopes History Repeats Itself

To help him in getting on the primary ballot in August:
He lost at the state assembly. He doesn't have enough valid signatures. But don't count Marc Holtzman out yet.

If Colorado history is any indication, the Republican gubernatorial candidate could still make the primary ballot - and win.

Twenty-six years ago, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mary Estill Buchanan was in the same boat. But five days before the primary, she got on the ballot and won.

That's why Holtzman has hired Buchanan's attorney - Denver lawyer John Head.

"Well, we did have a good result then," Head said Friday. "It was thrilling to have the (Colorado) Supreme Court rule in our favor. And it did keep her on the front page for weeks."

. . .

Buchanan, the secretary of state running for the U.S. Senate in 1980, also did not garner enough votes at the GOP state assembly to make the ballot, according to news reports at the time. Like Holtzman, she alleged the party bosses had instituted a smear campaign.

What transpired afterward was "one of the most extraordinary political dramas in Colorado history, resembling at times a soap opera, a stampede and a dog fight," according to a Sept. 4, 1980, Denver Post article.

. . .

Buchanan won the four-way primary by less than 1 percentage point. Her opponents felt she had greatly benefited from media coverage painting her as a scrappy underdog.

Just two months later, Buchanan lost to U.S. Sen. Gary Hart in the general election.
'Cause that's the kind of history Colorado GOPers want to relive! Go Holtzman!


June 02, 2006

Greenpeace Just Kidding About Armageddon

Global Warming Nut: "You know that piffle about global warming and Armageddon and all that?"
MSM: "Yes?"
GWN: "We made it up."

Too funny not to post:
The environmental activist group Greenpeace wanted to be prepared to counter President Bush's visit last week to Pennsylvania to promote his nuclear energy policy.

"This volatile and dangerous source of energy" is no answer to the country's energy needs, shouted a Greenpeace fact sheet, decrying the "threat" posed by the reactors Bush visited in Limerick.

But after that assertion, the Greenpeace authors were apparently stumped while searching for the ideal menacing metaphor.

"In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE]," the sheet said.

The Greenpeace spokesman who issued the memo, Steve Smith, told the Web site that a colleague was making a joke in a draft that was then mistakenly released.

The final version did not mention Armageddon; instead it warned of plane crashes and reactor meltdowns.


Colorado Marine's Career Ended By Haditha Deaths?

May be a "political casualty"

Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, right, commander of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and Major Gen. Richard Huck, commanding general for the 2nd Marine Division, wait for a helicopter to land in Haditha, Iraq, during a January visit. Chessani was relieved of his command in April. (Official Marine Corps photo / Cpl. Adam C. Schnell)

Since this is still under investigation, there will be no commentary:

Washington - Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani was headed for the height of the U.S. Marine Corps until horrifying deaths in a small Iraqi city stained his distinguished combat record.

For the past 16 years, when the Marines went to war, so did Chessani, who grew up in northwestern Colorado. He joined in the U.S. invasion of Panama. He was in Saudi Arabia for the Persian Gulf War and returned to the region for the war in Iraq. In 2004, Chessani helped plan the military's assault on the insurgent-controlled city of Fallujah.

And he was considered a prospect for promotion to general.

"In the Marine Corps, you have to check the boxes. You have to have been in hot spots and have been in combat," said Mike Zacchea, a Marine Corps reserve major who served with Chessani in Iraq. "He was a guy who was certainly in competition for a (general's) star."

He called Chessani, 42, "a man of principle, a conscientious and thoughtful Marine officer."

But Chessani's soaring career plunged to earth Nov. 19 in Haditha, a city in Iraq's seething Anbar province 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.

He was the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, when members of its Kilo Company allegedly shot and killed as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians, including women and children.

Marines reported the Hadithah deaths the next day as being the result of a roadside bomb blast and a subsequent firefight with insurgents. But over the past few months, starting with a Time magazine report in March, eyewitness accounts have emerged of a rampage by Marines after one of their own was killed.

In April, the Marines, citing "lack of confidence in their leadership abilities," relieved Chessani and two of his officers - Capt. Lucas McConnell, who commanded Kilo Company, and Capt. James Kimber - of their commands.

Hadithah was not mentioned in the public announcement of the Marines' action. Kimber told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was a "political casualty," adding, "I was in a different city not playing any role in this incident."

There have been no reports that Chessani participated in the alleged rampage, ordered it or witnessed it. The colonel, now stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, has not returned several phone calls from The Denver Post over several days.

There are two ongoing military investigations: of the Hadithah incident itself, and of how officials reported it.

No matter what the conclusions, Chessani's fast-track career climb is probably over.
Coffman Recalls Hearing Details Of Haditha Probe:
Colorado state Treasurer Mike Coffman, a Marine who was in Iraq last year, said he discussed the incident with Hyatt in January shortly after Coffman arrived in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Hyatt said the incident began after an attack on a Marine convoy, Coffman said. Hyatt was told Marines were being shot at from nearby homes and went to clear them out.

"(Hyatt) had learned that the Marines were hearing noises in the room and thought it was insurgents reloading their magazines for their weapons. (They) burst in the room, obviously shooting," Coffman said. "It turned out to be a family having breakfast."

Hyatt was critical of the incident, Coffman said.

"But he didn't feel it rose to a criminal level," Coffman said. "It might have been poor judgment. He never indicated to me that it rose to a level that there were any war crimes committed."
Other stories:
Lawyer denies officer is target of Iraqi death probe
Marines' claims that bomb killed Iraqi civilians unravel
Survivors describe horror of suspected Iraq massacre
Marine's hometown wrestles with news
No direct link ties Marine to deaths