December 31, 2006

Sic Semper Tyrannis--Saddam Hussein


Rot. In. Hell.

Michelle Malkin, and Gateway Pundit lead the way on the end of Saddam and reaction from bloggers and moonbats alike.

A music video in his (dis)honor:

Courtesy of Queen.


December 27, 2006

Teflon John Hickenlooper: Cracks In The Facade

John Hickenlooper has seen better days.

The political honeymoon of Denver's mayor John Hickenlooper may have ended following November's election debacle and December's blizzard, and is almost entirely self-created:
For three years, Mayor John Hickenlooper's charisma and fresh approach to governing proved a potent combination as he attracted new businesses to the city and repeatedly persuaded voters to tax themselves.

But after two notable city struggles - with snow plowing and a botched election process - some in government now wonder whether Hickenlooper's silver-lining attitude has hindered him from making hard decisions to fix problems.

"He looks at snow and disaster and sees cocoa and sledding. He looks at election problems and sees the voters willing to stand in line for three hours and not the ones who left without voting," said City Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez. "In a leader, you want someone who can see both."
Hickenlooper checks packed snow at the corner of Utica Street and West Seventh Avenue in Denver on Tuesday. Some believe cracks are showing in his popularity. (Post / Hyoung Chang)

Hickenlooper said he has not been viewing the city's problems through rose-colored glasses. He reiterated that the Election Commission problems were a "disgrace" and noted that he has repeatedly told city residents that the snow-packed roads were not satisfactory.

"The city has never responded better in a storm than it did now," he said Tuesday. "But in spite of the work, there are still problems."

Hickenlooper doesn't now face serious opposition in his bid for re-election in May. And the same qualities that made him one of the state's most popular politicians remain intact.

But cracks are showing, leading Rodriquez and others Tuesday to wonder whether he may have a bumpier re-election ride than anticipated.

"My biggest concern about his political situation is that he made seemingly crazy statements like all residential streets had been been plowed, and they clearly weren't," said Diane Wolta, a representative of the Virginia Village/Ellis Community Association. "Yeah, I'd be worried if I were him. It doesn't show a good grasp of what's going on in the city."
No, Hickenlooper does not control the weather. But he is in charge of the city's snow removal, and pathetic responses in the wake of two earlier blizzards, in 1982 and 1997, also had political ramifications for Bill McNichols and Wellington Webb. This blizzard's aftermath came right on the heels of a slow response to a much smaller late November storm, when plows failed to be activated quickly enough. This is a logistical and service problem, and the city of Denver failed--on Hickenlooper's watch.

The political ramifications won't be as easy to fix as reducing parking fees, or paying a few parking tickets.

Adding more plows is a costly solution, especially for an event that has only happened three times in the last decade. Perhaps a better contingency plan for reaching the side streets once the main arterials have been cleared. Once the blizzard moved out Thursday afternoon, the weekend saw much sun and the snow began to melt quickly. Most residents expected the city to clear the street within 24-48 hours, and not make one pass. In addition, the previous blizzard of March 2003 was different in that the heavy, wet snow--once cleared--did not refreeze and create the deep rutted roads that are at best a nuisance and at worst nearly impassible. Facing another storm that could potentially bury these already-in-bad-shape neighborhood streets with up to a foot or more of additional snow will only exacerbate drivers' commute and Hickenlooper's political capital will take yet another hit.


Remembering Gerald Ford: Vail's Ambassador

Gerald Ford meets with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

Gerald Ford is being remembered as a "good neighbor" who helped put Vail on the map.


NYC Enthusiasm For DNC Waning

Denver Democrats want the convention because they--and the city--have earned it, and not because NYC no longer covets the Democratic soiree:
Advocates for bringing the 2008 Democratic National Convention to Denver were heartened Monday by persistent news reports that rival New York's power brokers are souring on that city's bid.

But Denver boosters made it clear they're keeping their eye on the prize: working nonstop to heal an 11th-hour union rift that could kill the city's bid before Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean picks the convention winner next week.

"Sure, we should be encouraged by it," Denver 2008 Host Committee Executive Director Debbie Willhite said of the latest "tea-leaf- reading story" out of New York City. "But what we should really be encouraged by is all the strides that Denver has made to put this city into the competition.

"What I don't want people in Denver to think when we get this convention is we got it because New York didn't want it. There has been enormous hard work put together to keep this bid moving forward.

"It will not be a default victory."


December 26, 2006

Muslims "Demand" Right To Worship At Cordoba

Yeah, that's right, "demand"! (h/t Gateway Pundit):
Spanish Muslims have written to the Vatican to demand the right to worship at Cordoba Cathedral.

Spain's Islamic Board wrote to Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, calling on him to grant them permission to worship in the cathedral, parts of which were built as a mosque during Spain's period of Islamic rule.

The group said in their letter: "What we wanted was not to take over that holy place, but to create in it, together with you and other faiths, an ecumenical space unique in the world which would have been of great significance in bringing peace to humanity."

They said that senior Spanish Catholic clergy had earlier rejected requests for Muslims to be allowed to prostrate themselves inside the Cathedral.

Mansur Escudero, the board's secretary general, said security guards often stop Muslim worshipers from praying at the old mosque.

He said: "There are reactionary elements within the Catholic Church, and when they hear about the construction of a mosque, or Muslim teachings in state schools, or about veils, they see it as a sign we are growing and they oppose it."

Mansur said Muslims came from around the world to see Cordoba's Cathedral, which is still commonly known as the Cathedral-Mosque.
Reactionary as in the state of Saudi Arabia, which bans all religions other than Islam and forbids churches or bibles or preaching? Or Mecca, which is a "Muslims-only" holy site?

What happened the last time the Muslims "entered" this area?
The Roman Catholic cathedral had originally been a mosque but was converted into a cathedral in the 13th century.

The mosque itself was built on the site of the earlier cathedral of St Vincent which was demolished by Cordoba's Muslim rulers following the Islamic invasion and occupation of parts of southern Spain in the eight century.

In December, Spain's Catholic Bishops Conference released a statement, quoted by newspaper ABC, saying it "did not recommend" Muslims prayed at the Cathedral and was not prepared to negotiate the building's shared use with other faiths.

Spain's last Muslim territory fell with the conquest of Granada in 1492 after almost eight centuries of Muslim rule.
Yet more "evidence" of Islam's "tolerance".


Kwanzaa's Karenga "Honored", Forgets History

Kwanzaa seems nice in theory, if one forgets (or has not been exposed to) the history of the holiday's founder.


December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

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December 24, 2006

Blizzard Blogging 2006--The Aftermath

NOAA's National Weather Service December 2006 blizzard totals (excellent graphic):

The blizzard made a lackluster December snowfall (approaching records for least snowfall in December) into at least number 5 all time:
That makes this month the 5th snowiest December on record for the city. Records date back to 1882.
1. 1913 -- 57.4"
2. 1973 -- 30.8"
3. 1982 -- 27.1"
4. 1987 -- 21.5"
5. 2006 -- 21.2" so far
6. 1924 -- 18.4"
7. 1960 -- 17.8"
8. 1891 -- 17.5"
9. 1979 -- 16.5"
10. 1916 -- 16.3"

Since 1946, the holiday 2006 blizzard would rank as the 7th biggest snowstorm in Denver.
1. 31.8 inches Mar 18, 2003
2. 30.4 inches Nov 3, 1946
3. 23.8 inches Dec 24, 1982
4. 21.9 inches Oct 25, 1997
5. 21.5 inches Nov 27, 1983
6. 21.2 inches Nov 19, 1991
7. 20.7 inches Dec. 21, 2006
8. 18.7 inches Mar 5, 1983
9. 17.7 inches Nov 19, 1979
10. 17.3 inches Apr 1, 1957
11. 16.9 inches Mar 20, 1952
12. 16.0 inches Oct 3, 1969
13. 15.8 inches Apr 26, 1972
Not all are happy with Denver's plowing efforts after the blizzard:
Denver-area residents poured sand under spinning wheels, wielded shovels and emerged Saturday to find sodden streets still packed with slushy ruts of snow two full days after a holiday eve blizzard.

Denver's public works department said that by noon Saturday, the city had sent a snowplow down all city streets, even residential ones.

Tell that to Earthel Ware.

She said that she watched crews go down Gaylord Street in the Five Points area Friday night, but they never visited the street she lives on, Vine Street.

"I kept waiting for them to turn and come back by, but it never happened," Ware said. "It'd be nice to get some help out here."


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December 23, 2006

Of Roosting Chickens And Ward Churchill Shills--"John Moredock" Exposed

--Grant Crowell, artist and documentarian, broke the identity of "John Moredock"

PirateBallerina believes that he may have uncovered the identity of the pseudonymous Ward Churchill shill "John Moredock", who just last week sent this "missive" to bloggers intending on opening a new flame-war on behalf of his idol "Shitting Bull":
How’d You Like An Official John Moredock Missive In Your Inbox?
December 15th, 2006
Our form letter as follows.

Hello sir/ma’am,
I’m part of a Denver media watchblog that’s taken an interest in Ward Churchill. Cruising around the internet, I stumbled across your piece describing Mr. Churchill as a “fake” Indian.
I’m curious as to what evidence you have. Was it the word of the 14 rapists and murderers who make up the so-called “National Grand Governing Council Of The American Indian Movement” who claim to have expelled him ( Or was it the genealogy composed with the expert advise of, ahem, two anti-Churchill bloggers and a retired New Jersey cop which the Rocky Mountain News published (
The reason I’m asking is that Mr. Churchill has been vouched for by hundreds of indigenous activists and scholars, including no less than Russell Means and Winona LaDuke. And has been chosen as a leader of Colorado AIM, a chapter of the Autonomous American Indian Movement (, a group which, as I understand it, consists entirely of American Indians. And has served as a delegate to the United Nation’s Working Group on Indigenous Peoples. And has been a national spokesperson for Leonard Peltier. And a Witness to the First Nations International Court of Justice.
Needless to say, I’m a little curious as to what knowledge you’ve stumbled upon that none of the folks above seem to have attained.
And one more thing. Why do you think no one’s made a fuss about the “ethnic fraud” committed by right-wing token Indian, William Bradford? You remember, Bradford, yes? He was touted as the anti-Churchill in David Horowitz’s latest hoax, The Professors, in that he was combat veteran, a “real” Indian and a Silver Star winner.
Seems he’s a fraud on all levels. Not only were his Silver Stars acquired at a pawn shop, he’s enrolled in no Federally recognized tribe whatsoever, even though right-wing pundits from Bill O’Reilly on down have claimed otherwise (
Ironic, don’t you think? When do you suppose Horowitz’ll print his apology?
Again, if you have some information I don’t, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, I’ll just assume you’re some kind of gibbering idiot with all the ethical intelligence of a fucking woodpile.
John Moredock

We sent it off to Michelle Malkin, and left it in the comments of the following blogs/newspapers:
The Union Leader
Slapstick Politics
Red Alerts
Unconsidered Trifles
Blinkered Thinker
Free Republic
Brainster’s Blog
New York Sun
Marathon Pundit
We’ll post any replies. If we’re bored enough to follow up.
And, dear reader, it is your loving devotion that makes this blog go ‘round. So if you stumble across any likely candidates, just let us know:
And who is this "John Moredock" fellow according to PirateBallerina and Drunkablog?

It may be CU Ethnic Studies adjunct professor Benjamin Whitmer, who offered this defense of his idol:
I have been a part-time adjunct faculty member of CU Boulder’s Ethnic Studies department since January of 2005, beginning just a few weeks before the Ward Churchill controversy broke. During the time since I’ve had the pleasure of being a first-hand eyewitness as events unfolded, and thought I’d share some a few impressions as CU barrels towards the preordained conclusion of its pig-circus.

* I’ve seen hundreds of death threats and racial slurs pour into the Ethnic Studies department, which CU administrators neither condemned nor made any attempt to stop, instead posting a memo on the department’s door stating that the views therein should not be confused with the views of CU, ensuring the faculty understood they were being hung out to dry.

* I’ve passed a gentleman day after day as he stood outside the Ethnic Studies department holding a sign that contained the most offensive possible racial slurs, and who was only reluctantly removed by CU after repeated requests by students, ensuring the Ethnic Studies student population understood they were being cut loose as well.

* I’ve listened to hack journalists, politicians and radio jocks fill hundred of hours worth of air time with the kind of sleazy innuendo and flat-out lying about Ward Churchill that would make Walter Winchell renounce journalism in shame, which CU administrators encouraged, pandering slavishly to the local media.

* I’ve heard scores of CU faculty members express private support for Ward Churchill, while, with a few notable exceptions, always finding a way to weasel out of making their beliefs public. This was the most disheartening spectacle of all. While I expect administrators to evince the lowest kind of cowardice and servility, I had harbored some illusions about faculty members. After all, what’s the use of the protection granted by tenure if you’re too spineless to stand for anything?

* However, I’ve also seen Ward Churchill, Natsu Saito and the rest of the Ethnic Studies faculty resist the worst kind of bigotry and lynch-mob rhetoric with a kind of grace and courage that I can only hope to emulate. Watching most of CU’s faculty scuttle over themselves to prove their own craven mediocrity, I have been immensely proud to be a member of Ethnic Studies.

Into the future, I expect nothing but Ward Churchill’s firing from CU. Just as I expect CU will continue to marginalize Ethnic Studies in the interest of mollifying the lynch mob drummed up by the local media. Likewise, I have no doubt but that CU will continue to earn its well-deserved national reputation of being profoundly hostile to faculty and students of color.

They say, after all, that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Benjamin Whitmer
Adjunct Faculty
University of Colorado at Boulder, Ethnic Studies
Apparently "John Moredock" has apparently taken down both of his websites, and


Kwanzaa Komedy-A Poem

relapsed catholic's Kwanzaa Komedy:
'Twas the night before Kwanzaa
And all through the 'hood,
Maulana Karenga was up to no good.

He'd tortured a woman and spent time in jail.
He needed a new scam that just wouldn't fail.
("So what if I stuck some chick's toe in a vice?
Nobody said revolution was nice!")

The Sixties were over. Now what would he do?
Why, he went back to school -- so that's "Dr." to you!
He once ordered shootouts at UCLA
Now he teaches Black Studies just miles away.
Read it all. Comes complete with explanatory links of Kwanzaa's deconstruction.



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December 22, 2006

Sen. Allard Reaffirms Post-New Year Election Decision

Sen. Wayne Allard offered no hints on a potential 2008 reelection (or retirement):
Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard won't make a decision until early next year whether he will run for a third term or honor a pledge to retire after two. But Allard says Republican Party leaders are pressing him to run.

GOP leaders "have expressed concern about me not running," Allard told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. "They've been encouraging me to go ahead and run. We're giving it some thought."

In Colorado political circles, all eyes are on the unassuming senator from Loveland as he mulls his next eight years. Some Republicans fear they won't be able to hold onto the seat if he retires. Even if he doesn't retire, his 2008 re-election contest likely will be one of the most competitive races in the country.

Allard says he isn't giving any hints about which way he's leaning. Instead, he said he is weighing the advantages of staying in office -- including building seniority and clout -- against his belief that lawmakers should not become professional politicians.

Ultimately, he said, "It's going to be a personal decision. It's going to be my family and myself."
Even if Allard agrees to campaign once again, many have listed his seat as one of the most vulnerable, and Time even named him one of the "worst" senators and dubbed him "The Invisible Man". Funny, should all senators be egotistical, attention-seeking blowhards like McCain, Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton, Reid et al.?

A senator that works for his constituents rather than for himself. He must be defeated!
Political pundits named Allard one of the most-vulnerable and least-effective senators and have compared him unfavorably with Colorado's flashier Democratic senator, Ken Salazar.

Salazar made a splash in his first two years in office by jumping into high-profile debates on subjects from immigration to Supreme Court judge nominations. Allard and his staff say the claims and comparison to Salazar are unfair and inaccurate. They defend Allard as a "workhorse" not a "showhorse," who gets things done for his state behind the scenes.
On the campaign trail, Allard has a quiet demeanor that disguises an ability to infuriate opponents (Democratic candidate Tom Strickland was flustered in many debates) while aggressively touting his own record without showboating. Unlike Sen. Ken Salazar, who apparently seeks to insert himself into the news at every opportunity, Allard prefers being low-key, and Colorado is better served by him--indeed the entire country would be in a better state if other politicians took a page from his book, whether or not he seeks difficult reeelection or blissful retirement.



Denver's Convention Bid Sees Progress

By possibly unionizing the Pepsi Center and winning labor approval:
Progress was made Thursday on breaking an impasse that has held up Denver's bid for the Democratic National Convention.

The Denver stagehands union, which would handle much of the inside construction at the convention, thus far has refused to sign a pledge not to strike or picket during the gathering. The Pepsi Center ordinarily uses nonunion crews, and the union has said it won't sign an agreement unless the Pepsi Center management agrees to negotiate.

Now national labor officials in Washington, D.C., are trying to find a compromise between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local No. 7 and Denver's host committee.

"Folks in Washington are thinking creatively about what could work," said Leslie Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation. "I've been getting calls from the national AFL-CIO."

Labor unions are a core constituency of the Democratic Party, and the convention can't be held in Denver unless all the unions involved sign off. Moody said it is premature to talk about a possible agreement, but she said labor's ultimate goal was to unionize the Pepsi Center.


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December 21, 2006

Blizzard Blogging Christmas 2006

Denver is guaranteed a white Christmas, New Year and Easter at this rate (possibly the Fourth of July, if you consider the 5 foot drifts).

Denver's in the national news for a storm predicted to bring "just a few inches" by today. Once again, forecasters incapable of making accurate predictions for storms a week in advance argue that their 50-year projections of "climate change" show the future to any degree of certainty fail the sniff-test. This blizzard was brought to Denver by El Nino, a very well-documented cyclical climate phenomenon. Or the next ice age.

DIA is closed until Friday and local malls have been converted into shelters for stranded drivers. The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post are both offering free online versions of their papers due to the blizzard (phenomenal slideshows here, here, here). 9NEWS, CBS4 and 7NEWS have local updates, closings, and photos/video of the storm.

Staggering snow totals: Mount Bailey (above the town of Bailey) -- 55 inches, Bailey and Coal Creek Canyon -- 36 to 48 inches (heavy drifting), Conifer -- 37 inches, Black Hawk and Evergreen -- 33 to 38 inches, Boulder and Estes Park -- 32 inches, Aurora and Longmont -- 23 to 27 inches, Castle Rock -- 26 inches, Denver -- 22 inches, Fort Collins -- 21 inches, Littleton -- 20 inches.

If you live on a side-street, you may not see a plow until Saturday.

Cars across Denver are buried by the snow drifts, and these snow drifts are also precariously hanging over many houses' eaves on the south sides of the building, creating beautiful but dangerous winter sculptures.

Some views from the yard yesterday (more to follow):

A snow drift's progress (7pm):

10 pm.

10 am.

How deep?

The cleanup begins. . .neighbors with front end loaders are a God-send (he's getting a nice-sized gas card):

A little perspective on snow depth:

Pile it on:

Mt. Virtus (Ben DeGrow) has some blizzard bloggage as well.



Daily Nativity 12-21-06


December 20, 2006

In The News 12-20-06

Japan rolls back pacifist pillars

Revisiting The Horrors Of The Holocaust

O, Muslim town of Bethlehem

UK report says robots will have rights


British Lord Chastises Sens. Rockefeller And Snowe Over Free Speech Denial

It is sad that it takes a British lord to school two United States Senators on the fine points of allowing scientific debate in an open society that values free speech:
Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, has sent an open letter to Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe (R-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of ExxonMobil to cease funding climate-skeptic scientists.

Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, writes: "You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to 'senior elected and appointed government officials' who disagree with your opinion."

In what The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail has called "an intemperate attempt to squelch debate with a hint of political consequences," Senators Rockefeller and Snowe released an open letter dated October 30 to ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson, insisting he end Exxon's funding of a "climate change denial campaign." The Senators labeled scientists with whom they disagree as "deniers," a term usually directed at "Holocaust deniers." Some voices on the political left have called for the arrest and prosecution of skeptical scientists. The British Foreign Secretary has said skeptics should be treated like advocates of Islamic terror and must be denied access to the media.

Responds Lord Monckton, "Sceptics and those who have the courage to support them are actually helpful in getting the science right. They do not, as you improperly suggest, 'obfuscate' the issue: they assist in clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument and they compel necessary corrections ... "

Lord Monckton's Churchillian reproof continues, "You acknowledge the effectiveness of the climate sceptics. In so doing, you pay a compliment to the courage of those free-thinking scientists who continue to research climate change independently despite the likelihood of refusal of publication in journals that have taken preconceived positions; the hate mail and vilification from ignorant environmentalists; and the threat of loss of tenure in institutions of learning which no longer make any pretence to uphold or cherish academic freedom."

Of Britain's Royal Society, a State-funded scientific body which, like the Senators, has publicly leaned on ExxonMobil, Lord Monckton said, "The Society's long-standing funding by taxpayers does not ensure any greater purity of motive or rigour of thought than industrial funding of scientists who dare to question whether 'climate change' will do any harm."

To the Senators' comparison of ExxonMobil's funding of climate sceptics with tobacco-industry funding of research denying the link between smoking and lung cancer, Lord Monckton counters, "Your comparison of Exxon's funding of sceptical scientists and groups with the former antics of the tobacco industry is unjustifiable and unworthy of any credible elected representatives. Either withdraw that monstrous comparison forthwith, or resign so as not to pollute the office you hold."

Concludes Lord Monckton, "I challenge you to withdraw or resign because your letter is the latest in what appears to be an internationally-coordinated series of maladroit and malevolent attempts to silence the voices of scientists and others who have sound grounds, rooted firmly in the peer- reviewed scientific literature, to question what you would have us believe is the unanimous agreement of scientists worldwide that global warming will lead to what you excitedly but unjustifiably call 'disastrous' and 'calamitous' consequences."
Free speech and open debate, a real "inconvenient truth" for "global warming"/"climate change" fearmongers and scientist activists.


Daily Nativity 12-20-06


December 19, 2006

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

It'll be looking a lot like Christmas over the next 24 hours here in Denver.


Democrats Postpone Convention Announcement Until Early January

Translation--the Democrats, including Howard Dean, want a convention in Denver, and the frequent delays are merely stalling tactics to allow Denver to put all of its fundraising and (now) labor squabbles behind them:
Democrats are putting off an announcement on choosing a 2008 national convention site until early January.

Democratic Party officials said Tuesday they are hard-pressed to pick between Denver and New York.

Party officials have been negotiating for months with host committees for New York and Denver. A series of problems with Denver's bid and a significant cooling of interest from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg led Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean to seek more time to make a decision.

"Chairman Dean is going to make the best decision for the party based on the merits of each city's bid. ... Because of the holiday week, and at the request of both cities, we will announce the convention city in early January," DNC press secretary Stacie Paxton said in a statement.
Clearly, if New York had been the clear-cut favorite over the last few months the site would already have been chosen. Democrats are allowing Denver to buy time to make the bid look less like a foregone conclusion while allowing the city's committee to square away some lingering issues so that a Denver convention doesn't get off to a rocky start.

The Rocky Mountain News has more on Denver's critical reprieve and the union squabble that threatens to derail the convention bid.


Labor Leader Refuses To Sign "No Strike" Agreement, A "Deal Breaker" For Denver's Convention Bid

Leave it to a loony labor leader to louse up Denver's convention bid by refusing to sign a "no strike" agreement:
Denver's bid to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention hit a serious snag Monday after a union leader refused to sign a no-strike pledge, with a decision due anytime.

City and union officials confirmed Monday that Jim Taylor, head of the local stagehands union, is refusing to sign a mandatory agreement with national Democrats pledging not to strike if the convention comes to Denver.

Debbie Willhite, executive director of the host committee, said not having full union support is "probably a deal breaker" for the DNC.

But Denver's director of theaters and arenas, Jack Finlaw, said he was "optimistic" that Taylor and the stagehands would sign on.

"There is still time," Finlaw said.

The decision could come as soon as today, but Democrats said they would finalize their 2008 convention by the end of the year.

Taylor, president of the Local No. 7 International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, balked at signing because labor views the Pepsi Center as anti-union, said labor leader Leslie Moody.

"I think that has been the case all along," said Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation. "There are several unions that really aren't interested in signing on."
Unions are not the law of the land west of the Mississippi, and Democrats hoping to appeal to voters beyond their "special interest" activist base--unions especially--will end up snubbing the independent Western unaffiliated/moderate voters by choosing ultra-unionized New York as their venue. Excuses such as fundraising issues have been created to deflect the real reason why Denver's convention bid is sinking: union obtuseness. Apparently, the Democrats and their convention are a still "closed shop".

Even the Dems think this sucks, as Jeralyn Merritt of Elevated Voices urges the local union to get with it.



Swift Hired Illegal Immigrants To Depress Wages, Former Employees Allege In Lawsuit

To the tune of $23 million, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 18 former Swift employees who allege that the company's reason for hiring illegal immigrants came from its desire to lower wages:
Former employees are suing Swift & Co. for $23 million, alleging the meatpacking company conspired to keep wages down by hiring illegal immigrants.

The 18 former employees are U.S. citizens and legal residents who worked at a plant in Cactus, north of Amarillo, one of six facilities raided an a multistate federal sweep that led to the arrests of nearly 1,300 employees and temporarily halted Swift's operations.

''These plaintiffs are ... victims in a longstanding scheme by Swift to depress and artificially lower the wages of its workers by knowingly hiring illegal workers,'' said their attorney, Angel Reyes. ''By lessening its labor costs and increasing its profits, Swift has severely damaged the potential earnings and livelihood of these hardworking men and women.''

Greeley-based Swift and the Dallas investment firm that owns it, HM Capital Partners LLC, said in a statement that ''the lawsuit is completely without merit.''

The lawsuit was filed late Friday against Swift and HM Capital Partners in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. They contend Swift and HM Capital Partners engaged in racketeering to manipulate commerce.

''When the Swift plant opened in Cactus, wages were approximately $20 an hour,'' said another plaintiffs attorney, Michael Haygood. ''Now, the average wage is approximately $12 to $13 an hour. Illegal immigration has fueled this depression in wages.''
So they were doing the work legal immigrants and U.S. citizens will do, but not for that lower wage. Whenever illegal immigrant advocates in the Hispanic community or business owners trots out this canard, it is easy to dispel the myth of "jobs that Americans won't do"--we simply won't do them for a lower price. Heck, that is the whole point behind labor unions in the first place, protection of wages.

Faced with high labor costs, businesses end up sending jobs overseas, the dreaded "outsourcing" that liberals and unions despise. With cheap labor available elsewhere--and knowing that American job-seekers will refuse to accept a lower salary for the same work--the result is to move the job to the lower labor per unit cost area. Or in Swift's case, import the cheaper labor here, by allegedly knowingly employing illegal immigrants who are more than willing to accept marginal wages that Americans won't--or can't--accept. The legal immigrants and U.S. citizens most affected by this influx of cheap, illegal labor are Hispanics.

This is why amnesty will fail. The newly legalized citizens and those with work permits will be able to demand higher wages as the result in the change of their legal status--thus necessitating even more illegal immigration to maintain the normative depressed wages. Legal Hispanic immigrants and U.S. citizens displaced by more illegal immigrants. Seems like a logical solution to me.

Tammy Bruce notes that Americans are lining up to the jobs opened by the Swift raids.



Daily Nativity 12-19-06



December 18, 2006

Colorado Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert

A little Christmas treat.

Free streaming video from CBS4:

Part I

Part II


Fort Collins Says "Bah-Humbug" To Menorah

We can thank the ACLU for decisions like this, where Fort Collins bureaucrats refuse to allow a menorah so as to not open the floodgates to other religious displays (unlikely) while opening themselves to cries of discrimination and legal action (more likely):
For the second year in a row, this normally serene university town at the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains is embroiled in a dispute over holiday symbols.

The controversy, similar to recent wrangling over Christmas trees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, centers on the refusal by Fort Collins to allow a menorah to be displayed downtown during Hanukkah, near a Christmas tree and other Christmas displays.

In November 2005, Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik of the Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado asked the city to place a nine-foot menorah near a Santa’s workshop display in Old Town Square, a popular gathering spot surrounded by shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars.

The Downtown Development Authority, a quasi-governmental agency that owns the square, allowed a menorah-lighting ceremony but refused Rabbi Gorelik’s request to leave the menorah there for the eight days of Hanukkah. He then asked the city if he could place it with a Christmas tree display in Oak Street Plaza nearby. The City Council refused that request, saying it would have to study the issue.
Allow the menorah, a nativity, Christmas trees, a few reindeer, a snowman etc. and all will be well. The outrage over the removal of Christmas trees in Seattle's airport should be matched for this slight to the Jewish community.

Mark Steyn has some thoughts on the Seattle tree flap:
This isn't about religion. Jesus is doing just fine in the United States. Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized American Christianity unique in the Western world. What the rabbi in Seattle and the cops in Riverside are doing is colluding in an assault on something more basic: They're denying the possibility of any common culture. America is not a stamp collection with one of each. It's an overwhelmingly Christian country with freedom of religion for those who aren't. But it's quite an expansion of "freedom of religion" to argue that "those who aren't" are entitled to forbid any public expression of America's Christian inheritance except as part of an all-U-can-eat interfaith salad bar. In their initial reaction, Seattle Airport got it right: To be forced to have one of everything is, ultimately, the same as having nothing. So you might as well cut to the chase.

What, after all, is the rabbi objecting to? There were no bauble-dripping conifers in the stable in Bethlehem. They didn't sing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," either. That's, in effect, an ancient pop song that alludes to the birth of the Savior as a call to communal merry-making: No wonder it falls afoul of an overpoliced overlitigated "diversity" regime. Speaking of communal songs, they didn't sing "White Christmas" round the manger. A Jew wrote that. It's part of the vast Jewish contribution to America's common culture.

Seattle Airport could certainly put up a menorah. And maybe a commemoration of Eid, and Kwanzaa, and something for solstice worshippers, and perhaps something for litigious atheists. But to do that is to turn society into a kind of greater airport departure lounge -- to say it's no more than an assemblage of whoever happens to be in it at any particular time. Successful societies (unlike plastic trees) have deep roots: Nobody should be obliged to believe Jesus is the son of God, but likewise nobody should take such umbrage at trees and tinsel and instrumental versions of "Silent Night" that he would deny the reality of the land he lives in to the vast majority of his fellow citizens. Because the logic of that leads not to a diverse secular society but to an atomized ersatz non-society. And, as those other touchy types the Islamists well understand, once you put reality up for grabs, all kinds of pathologies suddenly become viable.
Pathologies like Islamism, multiculturalism, and victimism for instance.



'Round The Blogosphere 12-18-06

Victimism 101 On Ward Churchill's Campus

British Muslim leader: Only Muslims are innocent (video)

Liberal or conservative? The myths and facts


Daily Nativity 12-18-06



December 17, 2006

'Round The Blogosphere 12-17-06

Against Political Art

Tom Tancredo and Taiwan

Why the Texas ten percent plan is worse than traditional affirmative action

If They Never Teach It, They Don’t Need To Deny It

"We live in an era of a spectacularly inexpensive propaganda produced by unusually blinded zealots"-- 2006: probably the coldest year in the last five years

The "Godhood" Of Senator Obama And The Problem It Poses To His Presidential / Vice Presidential Aspirations (Revised)

Pope and Archbishop issue joint declaration

Uncle Joe Redux

Niqab-wearing Muslim woman backs out of "alternative" Christmas message


ICE Raids Uncover Weld County's Immigration Crisis

Weld County's immigration problems affect businesses from agriculture to meatpacking to fast-food joints--and once again the excuse of the necessity of illegal immigrants to do "jobs Americans won't do":
The federal raid on a Greeley meatpacking plant shone the spotlight on a long-standing local secret.

The 261 arrests at Swift & Co. on Tuesday left more than just families in limbo. It brought attention to a culture in Greeley where illegal immigrants are accepted, and depended on, as part of the workforce and as consumers.

"It's really just accepted, the immigrant workers and the illegal immigrants. And why? Because they are needed," said Steve Mize, owner of Jerry's Market. "We know it exists; it's just an ignored factor. It's not an argument; it just is."

The Bell Policy Center, a nonprofit research group, estimates that about 11,900 people in Weld County are undocumented, accounting for 5 percent of the total population. At the request of The Denver Post, Bell reviewed research done by the Urban Institute, the Pew Hispanic Center and its own work to arrive at the rough estimate. Bell also estimated that about 6,756 undocumented immigrants are in the Weld workforce, accounting for 5 percent.

Statewide, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates, there are 225,000 to 275,000 undocumented immigrants.
Of course, there are always open-borders advocates ready to offer their Nazi analogies:
Leather-goods store owner Thomas Hodge is troubled by the raids at Swift and the increasingly shrill debate over illegal immigration in Greeley and elsewhere.

"I thought it was an atrocity. I wondered if they were taking them to the gas chambers on those buses," he said. "I don't think we're going about this the right way."

He didn't like the way the illegal immigrants were treated nor that some legal Latino residents were subjected to questioning and detention during the raid.

The Real Trading Co. Inc. in southeast Greeley sells and repairs leather products and Catholic religious items such as Bibles and statues. About half of Hodge's customers are Latino, and many don't speak English. Hodge speaks enough broken Spanish to cater to those customers.

"Eventually, I think they should open up the border and let people live where they want," Hodge said.


Archbishop Chaput Questions The Timing Of ICE Raids

We question the timing--as in why has this not happened earlier, and more frequently?--
Catholics should "vigorously question the timing, manner and focus" of the Swift raids, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said Wednesday, adding that the tactic won't solve the immigration problem.

"Staged on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and barely two weeks before Christmas, these raids have disrupted hundreds of families in the immigrant community and frightened many thousands more," Chaput said in a statement.
. . .
Chaput questioned whether the raids were really to stop identity theft.

"Most of the real criminals - the people who steal and sell false identities so that undocumented immigrants can find work - were not among those arrested," he said.

The archbishop also repeated what he has said in his church-sponsored immigration forums: The Church "supports our nation's right to regulate immigration and secure our borders for the common good of all citizens."

However, the raids aren't serious reform, he said.

"Dramatic, get-tough arrests of more and more average workers will not solve our immigration crisis," Chaput said. "In fact, such actions often engender more confusion and bitterness, and they don't strike at the root of the real issue: an immigration system that seems disconnected from the human and business realities of the American economy."

Raids "put a human face on the flaws in our immigration system."
Had these raids been conducted at any other time of the year, the timing would still have been "questioned". Offering a feast or Christmas as a reason to oppose such raids is really misleading, as immigration advocates reject any attempts to enforce the law anywhere and at any time. Platitudes about a country's "right to regulate immigration" is only intended to deflect the concern of those who see these raids as nothing more than law enforcement completing a raid/investigation/sting on criminals. No one flinches when a meth lab is taken down, or a prostitution ring eliminated. Targeting child porn is ok, but enforcing laws on immigration, and arresting identity thieves is not allowed?

Also, having Chaput cast the issue as one of Catholic solidarity especially grates. There is surely a wide range of stances on immigration held by a diverse body of Catholics across just this state alone, many who support enforcing immigration laws and encouraging those here legally to assimilate (which does not mean leaving their own culture/religion/language behind). The archbishop should not expect Colorado Catholics to simply fall in line with the amnesty position.


Daily Nativity 12-17-06



December 16, 2006

High Price For Pepsi Center Renovations For Democratic National Convention

Should the 2008 Democratic National Convention be held in Denver, the cost of accomodating the media and upgrading sound systems won't come cheap:
It will cost millions of dollars to get the Pepsi Center ready for the Democratic National Convention if Denver is chosen to host the event.

The sports and entertainment arena would be unavailable for other events for up to eight weeks around the Aug. 25-28, 2008, convention in order to accommodate interior construction, setup and breakdown.
. . .
The city would not pay any of the estimated $80 million to host the convention but would help provide security - at an estimated cost of about $25 million - and would be reimbursed by the federal government, according to bid documents from the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee.

At national political conventions this decade held in Los Angeles, New York and Boston, more than $10 million apiece was spent to renovate the respective arenas.
. . .
Some expected changes would be converting 50 of the Pepsi Center's 93 luxury suites into TV anchor booths, according to bid documents. Other upgrades could include additional audio systems and the installation of a teleprompter system.

The bid documents also detail how the host committee would be responsible for all associated construction costs and for returning the sports arena to Kroenke Sports in a "condition acceptable" to the company.


Daily Nativity 12-16-06



December 15, 2006

Denver's Democratic National Convention Rollercoaster

One minute Denver is potentially the underdog, the next day prospects look great:
Another day, another lengthy phone call with Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, but this time leading Colorado Democrats emerged "very hopeful" that Denver can land the 2008 national convention.

Cody Wertz, spokesman for Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colorado), said the senator joined Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Governor-elect Bill Ritter, and others on a one-hour conference call Friday with former Vermont Gov. Dean.

After that conversation, Wertz says Salazar emerged "confident and enthusiastic" that Denver will show Dean it can raise the $80 million needed to hold the convention.

Thursday, Salazar told 9NEWS he spoke with Dean for half an hour and came away feeling that Colorado's chances were about 50-50. Dean expressed concerns that Denver could host a convention of that size and proportion and "make sure it goes off without a hitch."


Tom Tancredo Reinvited To Miami

By the Miami Beach chapter of the Rotary Club, after the Miami Rotary Club's speech was called off:
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo may soon have another opportunity to give a speech in the Miami area after an earlier talk was called off.

A small Rotary Club in Miami Beach on Friday invited the Republican congressman from Littleton, saying it wanted to give him a forum for his views.

"Let the fireworks begin," said Steven Shulman, who arranges speakers for the 23-member Rotary Club of Miami Beach.
. . .
Miami's Rotary Club, a different chapter, had invited him to speak Thursday, but the restaurant where Tancredo was to have appeared canceled the talk, saying his controversial appearance wouldn't be a good fit with a number of holiday parties that day.

Tancredo is interested in taking the Miami Beach chapter up on its offer if a time and place can be arranged, said his spokesman, Carlos Espinosa.
. . .
The smaller Rotary Club extending the latest invitation to Tancredo said it isn't worried about the potential circus that he might draw.

"What the congressman has to say is worthwhile, whether you disagree with it or agree with it," said Bill Coffman, Rotary Club of Miami Beach president.

Coffman's group still needs to find a location for the speech, but was considering the city's convention center. The group would sell tickets to cover the cost, Coffman said. There could also be speakers who disagree with Tancredo on the program.


New Documentary To Challenge Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth"

A rebuttal to Al Gore's documentary Oscar-caliber "movie" and the claims of consensus on "climate change"/"global warming":
A critic of "global warming alarmism" began filming a documentary Thursday that seeks to rebut some of the claims former Vice President Al Gore made in his popular movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."

Steven Hayward, editor of the "Index of Leading Environmental Indicators," began filming "An Inconvenient Truth ... Or Convenient Fiction?" with presentations at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Hayward, who is a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, said he hopes to counter some of the "alarmist" claims that supporters of global warming catastrophe theories make.
. . .
Hayward also criticized global warming "alarmists" for trying to close debate on the issue.

The centerpiece of his documentary, like Gore's, will be the presentation of a slide show on climate change science. But where Gore's presentation gives evidence that shows a consensus on the severity of global warming, Hayward's theme is that there is no consensus.
H/t Ace, who has another Gore debunking piece.


Dick Wadhams Undecided, Democrats Take Potshots

More reaction about the campaign to have Dick Wadhams installed as state chair of the GOP:
"I can't think of a better choice," House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, said Thursday.

"When you suffer the losses we have the last couple of cycles, bringing in a talent like this is something we can get our folks excited about for better days."

May said he and Senate Minority Leader Andy Mc- Elhany, R-Colorado Springs, have been talking to Wadhams since November.

Wadhams scored a string of successes in Colorado and nationally before this year's surprising loss in Virginia's U.S. Senate race.

"I haven't decided yet," Wadhams said. "I'm trying to decide what to do next."
. . .
Democrats had a field day with the news.

"We're trying to create more jobs in Colorado, and I guess it's working. We just stole one from Virginia," said Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver.

Said blogger Jason Bane: "Last year, they were calling Dick Wadhams the heir apparent to Karl Rove. Now he's the heir apparent to Bob Martinez."
Up until George Allen's unscripted "macaca" moment, the campaign was cruising to victory. The fault wasn't in Wadhams' hands.

The Colorado state GOP is looking for someone bold and not divisive, and Wadhams has the political savvy, deep campaign experience, and no doubt the proper contacts. The decision is ultimately his, but he certainly would be an improvement for a floundering state party.


Tom Tancredo A Hot Topic In Miami

Speech or no speech, Tom Tancredo has stirred the pot in Miami:
Even though Tom Tancredo didn't get to talk here Thursday, Miami can't stop talking about Tancredo.

The Colorado congressman was the main topic this morning on local Spanish-language talk radio. The Miami Herald played cancellation of Tancredo's planned speech here on its front page.
. . .
He's not here, because the restaurant feared protestors and a media onslaught would jeopardize patron and worker safety.
. . .
"It deeply hurt people here in Miami, they were very offended," Nicole Palilonis, 22, of Miami said about that comment. "Miami is like no other city in the U.S. People love this city. They love the diversity."

Reactions to Tancredo mirrored Miami's diversity. Some found him ignorant and repulsive. Others disagreed with him only in part. Some wholeheartedly endorsed Tancredo's view.

Nearly all criticizing him or praising him at the restaurant Thursday said they'd never heard of him before the Third World comment last month. Even now, they're not sure who he is. Some refer to him as senator. One calls him governor. A few believed he was coming to the restaurant to apologize.

Elkin Pavajeav, 30, immigrated to Miami from Columbia 20 years ago, and agrees with Tancredo in part. Miami, he said, can look like a Third World Country.

"There's a lot of poverty here. It's like Cuba. The rich live on one side, the poor live on the other," Pavajeav said. But Tancredo seems to imply, Pavajeav said, "that the only person who should be here is the Americans.

"America is the open to everyone. The dream can happen to me," said Pavajeav, a U.S. Marine who said he fought in Iraq. "I'm not defending Columbia. I'm defending this nation here."

Rotary Club member, Manny Klieaner, 82, a Miami resident of 30 years, had even harsher words about Miami than those from Tancredo.

"It's more like a toilet than a Third World country," Klieaner said. "They type of government we have. You have commissioners going to jail. You have commissioners running for reelection after they've been indicted."

Klieaner also complained about bilingual workers who speak Spanish in professional settings like hospitals and law offices, saying it's rude to English speakers.

"It's either total lack of manners or a high degree of stupidity," he said.

Others agreed with Tancredo.

A few of those who came for the Rotary Club meeting, which went on with a new speaker, expressed disgust at the threats and harassment that prompted cancellation of Tancredo's appearance.

"We really are a Third World Country if we can't allow people with divergent views to speak at a public forum," said Norman C. Kassoff, 76, Miami native and retired director of operations from the Metropolitan Dade County Medical Examiner Department. "It's like living in one of those tin horn dictatorships."

A veteran, Kassoff adds that people died in wars to give Tancredo the right to free speech.

Some used expletives to describe their reaction to Tancredo, saying he's full of a word that can't be printed here.

"He's just an outsider making an opinion, without knowing or understanding diversity," said expletive-wielding Bill Beckham, 50, a Miami native and insurance salesman, who came to the restaurant for today's Rotary Club function. It went on without Tancredo as the speaker.

Even with that opinion, Beckham said he wanted to hear Tancredo speak.

"I was disappointed that it was canceled," he said.

Rumors continued today that a bomb threat forced cancellation of Tancredo's speech, something Miami police won't verify. Rotary Club of Miami Richard Tonkinson said the threat "basically was that there would be damage done to the property if they were to proceed."

Other details of what happened Wednesday morning leading up to the cancellation emerged today.

At the Rotary Club office, callers opposed to the speech swamped the small staff working the phone, swearing and otherwise intimidating the workers, Tonkinson said. Some people barged into the office and became belligerent with staff, Tonkinson said, forcing them to close the office. He didn't know how many people barged in.
A typical tactic in shutting down speech you don't agree with--intimidate the hosts, the people working at the speaking venue, create a "chilling" effect (the real kind, where people genuinely feel threatened, not the fake liberal "chilling" that they constantly whine about when someone disagrees with them). When your ideas don't have much standing, you have to resort to physical threats.

The Miami Herald thinks Tancredo should reschedule and be allowed to speak.


Happy Hanukkah

Adam Sandler's classic.

Not sure what Hanukkah means/is?


Denver Convention Up In Air, Fundraising Questioned

Fundraising is the main issue--where are all those big Democrats with deep pockets that have helped the party in recent elections (Gill, Stryker?):
Denver's chances of winning the 2008 Democratic National Convention looked less promising Thursday, with U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar saying he was "concerned" that Denver might lose to New York City after a conversation with DNC chairman Howard Dean.

Salazar and Dean spoke for more than 30 minutes Thursday morning, and it ended with the senator putting the odds of Denver winning the convention at "50-50" - a less optimistic assessment than previously, said Salazar spokesman Cody Wertz.

"He is concerned about whether or not the convention will come here," Wertz said. "It is not our decision. It's Howard Dean's decision. Sen. Salazar, along with several others in Denver and the state, are working hard on the issue."

The main issue is money. Dean is worried over whether Denver can raise the estimated $80 million required to host the convention.


Che Chic, Target Style

Merry Marxist Christmas from Target!:
Target, the retailer that distinguished itself last year by banning Salvation Army bell-ringers, has topped itself this yuletide by selling Che Guevara CD cases for a little tyrant-chic right under your tree.

The big box retailer has jumped onto the Guevara bandwagon, selling the murderous revolutionary's image as if it had just turned its stores into Marxist rally stalls.

What next? Hitler backpacks? Pol Pot cookware? Pinochet pantyhose? Target gives this monster a pass, while using common sense on almost everything else it sells.
Gateway Pundit, Fausta and Babalu have more on the murderous Marxist's marketing makeover.


'Round The Blogosphere 12-15-06

How Academe Shortchanges Conservative Thinking

Intellectual Diversity Unwelcome at American Universities

More '08 Senate Speculation

Liberal vs. Conservative Blogospheres

Many more links at Conservative Grapevine


Daily Nativity 12-15-06



December 14, 2006

Dick Wadhams Asked To Head Colorado GOP

Political whiz and effective campaigner Dick Wadhams has been asked to rebuild Colorado's floundering state GOP:
Colorado Republican Party leaders have asked Dick Wadhams, who helped engineer the defeat of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota, to return to Colorado to run for state party chairman in March, The Associated Press has learned.

Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany said today he began recruiting Wadhams shortly after the November election, when Republicans lost control of the governorship, giving Democrats control of that office and both houses of the Legislature for the first time since the 1960s.

"I've been recruiting him as hard as I can," McElhany said.

Wadhams managed Wayne Allard's successful 1996 and 2002 senatorial campaigns in Colorado and was campaign manager for Bill Owens, who in 1998 became the first Republican to win the state's governorship in 24 years.

McElhany said it hasn't been determined whether the party's central committee would ask the current party chairman, Bob Martinez, to step down, saying "that's all up in the air." Wadhams would still have to run for the post at the state party central meeting in March.

Wadhams said he will return to Colorado after he closes down the Burns campaign office, and he would only say that he is considering several offers.

"I don't know what I'm going to do yet," Wadhams said.


Vail Arsonists And Ecoterrorists Plead Guilty

The focus of their moonbat ecoterrorist firebombing efforts, the Vail lodge, has been rebuilt:
Two people who have admitted helping in the $12 million firebombing of a lodge at the Vail ski resort as part of an ecoterrorism campaign formally pleaded guilty today to federal arson charges.

Chelsea Dawn Gerlach and Stanilas Gregory Meyerhoff, both 29, had already pleaded guilty to some of the $20 million worth of arsons committed between 1996 and 2001 by a Eugene-based cell of the Earth Liberation Front known as the Family. Under plea deals with federal prosecutors, they agreed to have charges from the 1998 Vail arson transferred from Colorado to Oregon to be settled along with their other cases.

Prosecutors have recommended a 10-year prison sentence for Gerlach, who is to be sentenced April 18, and 15 years and eight months for Meyerhoff, who has a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 10.

The Vail firebombing focused national attention on radical environmentalists who ascribed their attacks to the secretive Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, characterized by the FBI as the nation's top domestic terrorism threats. The investigation went nowhere for years until a task force found an informant who got old friends to talk about the crimes in recorded conversations.

Two others indicted in the Vail arson, Josephine Sunshine Overaker and Rebecca J. Rubin, remain at large.

The Vail firebombing was one of 20 firebombings in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Colorado blamed by federal investigators on the Family. Twelve people - 10 in Oregon and two in Washington - have pleaded guilty in the cases, and others remain at large. The alleged leader of the group, William C. Rodgers, committed suicide in an Arizona jail in December 2005.

The lodge destroyed in Vail, about 100 miles west of Denver, has been rebuilt.


A Look Back At Denver's Only Convention, The 1908 Democratic National Convention

Good video (complete with ragtime music) and retrospective on the only convention Denver has hosted, the first west of Kansas City.

The 1908 convention was the first to allow women delegates (didn't know that), had a generous amount of East Coast elitism and snobbery, and resulted in the nomination of three time loser William Jennings Bryan.

Here's to Denver's success in hosting the next Democratic National Convention, and to the same results as well!


Raid At Swift, Day 2

The largest workplace raid ever (video). A preemptive firing by Swift of 400 workers with questionable documents in the preliminary stages of the investigation. Angry activists and families in anguish. Victims of identity theft blamed for carelessness. Seeking refuge from "government terrorism" at a Catholic Church more concerned for the lawbreakers than the rule of law.

Swift is running at reduced capacity in Greeley and elsewhere. Weld County social services are expecting to be hit hard by relatives of the suspected illegal immigrants and identity thieves. 9NEWS has a good video roundup.


Tom Tancredo: "What I Meant by 'Third World' Miami"

Tom Tancredo released a copy of comments he was expected to deliver tomorrow in Miami, until he was forced to cancel because of threats or venue reluctance:
The following remarks were prepared by Rep. Tom Tancredo for a speech at the Miami Rotary Club that he was forced to cancel because of threats of violence.
. . .
I have three concerns about the evolution of this Miami experiment over the past half century, the magnet it has become for illegal immigration, and the dangers that multiculturalism poses for our future as a nation.

My first concern is that we must understand the limits of American generosity and the need to enforce those limits through immigration laws and secure borders. We cannot simply open the doors to everyone who wants to come to America, because without limit and without a viable system of assimilation, America will cease to be America. Without secure borders, America will come to mirror the problems of poverty and corruption that afflict so much of the world from which people wish to escape. America has welcomed the refugees from the communist tyranny in Cuba, just as it welcomed refugees from the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and from the communist take over in Vietnam and Laos. Those are POLITICAL refugees, people fleeing out of fear for their lives and for religious freedom.
. . .
My second concern is for our nation’s security with open borders and a broken immigration system. We must recognize we live in a different world than the 1960s. And we must adjust our approach to immigration accordingly. In public policy, many times the appropriate solution to a problem in one era is the cause of problems in another. Today we have real enemies in the world of Islamo-fascism, enemies who are actively planning acts of terror against our cities and our monuments and our people. The FBI says Hezbollah is active in Mexico, and we know that networks used to smuggle drugs and Guatemalan workers can also be used to smuggle terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. We cannot continue our lackadaisical approach to border security in this environment.

My third concern is actually my main worry, and it goes beyond numbers or threats to our national security. When millions of people are coming to the United States each year—many of them from the same geographic area and without any desire to become Americans—how do we preserve and perpetuate the “American identity”? By the American identity I mean those qualities that make us Americans, make our country the envy of the world and the beacon of hope for freedom loving people everywhere. If we lose those qualities, if we start to look like and act like the rest of the world, where will the next generation of political refugees seek asylum? Throughout history, America has absorbed waves of immigration and preserved a shared national identity by assimilating newcomers into the great “melting pot.” But many Americans have begun to wonder whether or not the “melting pot” is still melting—or if it has been replaced by a “salad bowl.”
Quite good and lenthy. Read it all.



Mountain Time Zone An Advantage In Luring 2008 Democratic Convention

For the weary journalists on deadline, of course.


Daily Nativity 12-14-06

And now for something completely different, a hilarious nativity scene, courtesy of Mr. Bean (h/t HotAir for the reminder):