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July 25, 2007

Ward Churchill - Going, Going, Gone

Ward Churchill, the tenured University of Colorado professor who was accused of falsifying his ancestry in order to obtain his position as professor of American Indian Studies in the Center for Studies in Ethnicity and Race in America (CSERA) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was terminated by the University of Colorado's governing board on Tuesday by an 8-1 vote, finally ending the 2 year investigation and controversy.You can read the full Report of the Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct at the University of Colorado at Boulder concerning Allegations of Academic Misconduct against Professor Ward Churchill here.

Churchill claimed he was part American Indian although both of his parents are Caucasian. You can read all about Churchill's claims and the facts in a Rocky Mountains News article written by Kevin Flynn, June 9, 2005, here.

He was also accused of plagiarism and had been under fire for his comments likening some of the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann.

Below are two works of art. The first, by the late artist Thomas E. Mails, was published in a 1972 book called The Mystic Warriors of the Plains. The second, titled “Winter Attack,” was “drawn" and signed by the now terminated University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill.

                                               Photos courtesy of CBS 4 Denver

There is a statement from Ward Churchill clarifying his "little Eichmans" remark here.

Churchill, who had vowed to sue if the Board of Regents took action against him, said immediately after the 8-1 vote was announced: "New game, new game."

I would like to know who the brilliant mind was behind the dissenting vote. Perhaps the University should look at his record next.

Posted by Rick | July 25, 2007 12:12 AM | Social Studies

July 14, 2007

Stick A Fork In McCain, He's Done!

With virtually no money left in his campaign coffers, and no support from the right, John McCain is now trying to revive his campaign today by pandering to the left and the moderates, promising he would close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, and guaranteeing that the United States would never torture anyone else if we would only elect him President.

In all honesty, the detention center lovingly referred to as Gitmo, where they house the illegal combatants, is little more than a country club. Special meals are actually flown in from Las Vegas at a cost of over $12 per day per prisoner, which is more than four times the cost of feeding prisoners in our federal prison system.

Remember the pranks they pulled at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq that had every bleeding heart liberal screaming bloody murder? That wasn't torture. That was fraternity hazing at best, and, I must say, not all that imaginative.

McCain believes torture doesn't work. I say, tomatoes. If John McCain believes he was tortured while he was a prisoner-of-war, again I say, tomatoes. Relatively speaking, the North Vietnamese treated him with kid gloves because he was the son of an admiral in the U.S. Navy - an admiral who happened to command the U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam war. The North Vietnamese were going to make sure that he left the Hanoi Hilton in one piece, and he did.

The good senator must not watch any movies, because all you have to do is watch a couple good gangster movies to know that with a little imagination and the right tools (hammers, nails, vice-grips, a couple scalpels, a high-speed drill, and a kitchen-type blow torch) you could have someone begging to tell you everything, yes, everything he knew about anything you asked, and sooner rather than later.

You don't believe me?

Let's play make believe.

It's 8 A.M. and we believe you know where a dirty bomb has been hidden. We also believe the bomb will go off at 1 P.M.. This is a dirty bomb that, if it explodes, will make a ghost town out of downtown Manhattan and will certainly kill thousands of Americans slowly, and painfully.

John McCain and I will be your interrogators and we want to know exactly where the dirty bomb has been hidden.

Senator McCain gets first crack at you, the scum bag Muslim jhadist.

Tough guy McCain wants to know where the bomb is and in his ever so forceful voice asks you politely to tell him where the bomb is. You're a tough guy too and you forcefully, yet politely, decline to answer.

McCain implores you to please tell him where the bomb is. He knows you are a reasonable Muslim jhadist and, because of his good looks and engaging personality, is sure you will gladly tell him where the bomb has been hidden. You admit to him that he was very convincing but you just can't bring yourself to tell him where the bomb is.

You can hear the frustration in McCain's tough guy voice as he screams at you, "Tell me where the bomb is, or else." (He knows that when his mother said "or else" she really meant business and it always worked on him.) He is beginning to wear you down, but you manage to say nothing.

McCain is getting serious now. He pounds on the desk and threatens to put you in jail forever. You admit to yourself that McCain was pretty persuasive in his argument and he almost got you to talk. Fortunately, you were able to bite your tongue.

With nothing left to say to you, the almost persuasive John McCain went to lunch, leaving you alone to reflect on the impending destruction.

Fortunately for you, the tight lipped jhadist, but unfortunately for Americans, you believe that your plan will now succeed. Presidential wanna-be McCain is willing to let the bomb go off since he couldn't convince you in a humane, civilized and politically correct way that it is better for everyone if you tell him where the bomb is. He believes we are too honorable to mistreat anyone, for any reason, and by the way, doesn't want us to forget the Geneva Conventions.

As they say on the internet...roflmao (roll on floor laughing my ass off).

I, on the other hand, am not willing to put the life, limb, or politically correct feelings of a scum bag terrorist like you ahead of the life or well-being of a single American and am bound and determined to get the information. I believe that we won't have a civilization if we are not prepared to do whatever is necessary to defend and protect our country. Unfortunately for you, the scum bag jhadist, I will do anything, and everything, in my power to find out where you put that bomb.

Let's get down to some serious questioning. Please tell me where that bomb is I politely ask? You reply that you don't want to hurt my feelings but my interrogation tactics just won't work on you. You have already been interrogated by the most convincing person you can imagine. You are a really tough guy and you are just not willing to tell me anything about the bomb.

Now I am more determined than ever to find out where that bomb is. Maybe I can convince you.

Let's start by pulling out your fingernails and your toenails without benefit of anesthesia, of course. (No good interrogator would ever use anesthesia.) You politely tell me that torture won't work on you and this "run-of-the-mill torture" certainly won't make you spill your guts?

With frustration beginning to show in my voice, I politely ask you where the bomb is as I drill your teeth. After all 28 teeth were drilled (your wisdom teeth were extracted as a child you tell me), you admit the pain was excruciating but still give no indication that you are prepared to tell me the location of that darn bomb.

What is an interrogator to do? I pull out your teeth, but some are unfortunately broken off before they can be extracted. Again, although you have a little difficulty speaking, you very politely decline to answer my questions about the bomb. You truly are a tough guy.

I am getting serious now. Let's see if crushing your fingers and toes one at a time with a sledge hammer will motivate you to talk. Mum's the word? Now "Don't worry," I say. You don't look too good, can't hold anything and probably don't feel like standing up, but you're still alive. I have to admit you are one tough jhadist.

Perhaps having your knee caps and elbows broken with a ball peen hammer will loosen you tongue. Bush (no pun intended) league torture you say. OK. That's no problem, because I'm just getting warmed up and I haven't felt a thing.

As I clean off my pall peen hammer, I wonder aloud if ten-penny nails driven into the bottom of your feet will loosen your tongue. "Loose lips sink ships," you mumble to me through your broken teeth. Wow! You're a better man than me.

Let's try crushing your testicles with a vice-grip. Cat still got your tongue? "You're a pretty tough cookie," I mutter to myself. "That jhadist training is amazing,"

I'm ready for lunch and I am down to my last couple of tricks. Creme brule anyone? Let's see if melting your eyeballs with a blowtorch will induce you to tell me what I want to know. Haven't spilled your guts yet? HOLY PROPHET! That eyeball thing usually gets them every time.

I have one last trick up my sleeve...

I politely threaten to kill you and bury you in the belly of a pig. Oh My God! I knew that would get you. You tell me where the bomb is and even tell me where I can find your first born child.

After I rush off and defuse the bomb, I'm hungry and a little tired so I go to lunch. At lunch I see John McCain getting ready to begin his new career as a public servant. (He is taking out the garbage - a job for which he is truly suited.)

To recap: That is what I call torture, and it will get us the information we need to save American lives and the American way of life.

Would you like to bet your life on it? If you want to make that bet, go ahead - donate to, and vote for, John McCain for President. In the end, it won't matter. The American people have seen and heard enough of John McCain.

Stick a fork in him, he's done!

Posted by Rick | July 14, 2007 11:05 PM | Political Science

July 2, 2007

Bush Wimps Out Again

Today President Bush completed another job half-heartedly half way. Unfortunately, instead of pardoning I. Lewis 'Scotter' Libby, Vice-president Cheney's former chief-of-staff who was convicted of lying about a non-crime, Bush decided he would commute Libby's 30 month jail term, but left standing 2 years of probation and a $250,000 fine. Here is the news release as posted on the White House website:

Statement by the President On Executive Clemency for Lewis Libby

White House News

Grant of Executive Clemency

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Lewis Libby's request to remain free on bail while pursuing his appeals for the serious convictions of perjury and obstruction of justice. As a result, Mr. Libby will be required to turn himself over to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.

I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby's appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision.

From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame's name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.

After the investigation was under way, the Justice Department appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald as a Special Counsel in charge of the case. Mr. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified, professional prosecutor who carried out his responsibilities as charged.

This case has generated significant commentary and debate. Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.

Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.

Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.

Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.

I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.

The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby's case is an appropriate exercise of this power.

When is Bush going to stand up against this crap served up by the left? My guess is NEVER.

Posted by Rick | July 2, 2007 09:21 PM | Political Science

Freedom Of Speech As Long As It's From The Left

This morning, July 2, 2007, I watched an unbelievable interview of Paul Krugman, New York Times op-ed columnist, by Darby Dunn on CNBC. I took the time to transcribe it because I found Mr. Krugman, a well paid member of the left wing press, so hypocritical in his approach to freedom of the press. Apparently Mr. Krugman believes that the only good press is a leftist press, and in his interview he is shown to be a typical leftist who would like to suppress the speech of someone who doesn’t agree with him and his communist friends. Next week he will be leading the charge to bring back 'The Fairness Doctrine" along side Senators Kerry, Boxer and Durbin.

DD: What if you could not trust a news outlet to give you the whole truth? Should you then allow the person controlling that company to buy another media outlet? That is the question raised by Paul Krugman in his New York Times column “The Murdoch Factor.”

Mr. Krugman joins us now.

Paul, the Murdock in question, of course, is Rupert Murdoch. The news outlet he’s trying to buy is Dow Jones which publishes the Wall Street Journal. So you’re saying you think he should not be allowed to buy that newspaper , and if so, why?

PK: Well, you know there’s no, legally he had the right. So the question is really whether pressure can be brought, moral pressure mostly, on the Bancroft family. You know there’s a lot of discussion about, speculation about how Murcoch would run the Wall Street Journal if he gets it. Amazingly, there’s very little discussion of how he actually runs his most distinctive news outlet, which is Fox News, and it is, you know, worse than you can imagine. We have hard evidence that Fox has been a, both a biased and a cheapened news outlet, and there is every reason to think that he would bring at least some of that to the Wall Street Journal, which although it is a competitor to my employer, is in fact is one of America’s handful of really great national newspapers.

DD: And don’t you think that he recognizes that? That that is one of the nation’s great newspapers, and so that he would be reticent to change it into something of a, like a tabloid.

PK: Well, there’s some hope on that but, you know, do you really want to trust in that, and the fact of the matter is, look, he may believe that, that cheapened inaccurate news sells, he may even be right about that. It’s a problem. Also he has given pretty clear signals that he intends to change the Journal in ways that will make it worse, I mean, from my point of view certainly. He said, you know, that he thinks that the non-business news reporting is too liberal, so he has already made it clear that he intends to move the reporting in a partisan direction. And let’s not forget, you of all people should be aware that Murdoch is planning a Fox business channel because he believes CNBC is insufficiently pro business. So you’ve got a, you know, is this the person you really want taking over one of America’s two great national newspapers and its premier business news source

DD: You raised a question in your column of possibly congressional hearings; some kind of public outcry. But we haven’t heard anything like that. Why not?
PK: You know if you were a politician... First of all, it’s moving kind of fast . It’s... I have to admit, there isn’t a whole lot of time. The other thing, if you’re a politician, there’s always the problem of dealing with the media. You’ve got to worry that you yourself are going to get unfavorable coverage. One of the problems that Democrats have certainly had is trying to get their own members to say look, Fox is not a legitimate news outlet, which it’s not. But those same members are hoping for face time on Fox TV.

DD: Now they are trying to hammer out some kind of agreement on editorial direction for the paper, the Bancroft family, before they actually go ahead and favor a sale of Dow Jones, So I would assume you're of the mind that Murdoch’s not going to honor any kind of agreement like that?

PK: Well, there’s been back and forth about what the agreement actually entails, but it sure sounds as if it’s not going to be enough. As if, you know, there might be some, some residual power to block appointments, but in the end, and this is from Murdoch’s track record, in the end he will be a position to very much shape the paper. It’s one of those things that would almost certainly be nothing but a paper protection, a hypothetical protection that won’t actually prevent it from doing exactly what he wants to do.

DD: Paul, in your column you highlight some interesting statistics about readers and viewers and whether they’re misinformed on certain things. Can you share some of the highlights from the statistics.

PK: Sure. I mean that was the really stunning thing. This is in the fall of 2003, after we had failed to find WMD in Iraq; after basically the rationale for the war had turned out to be wrong. 80 per cent of Fox news viewers, people who got their news primarily from Fox, believed one of three completely wrong things about the war; that we found WMD, actually found them; that we found clear evidence that Sadam and Al Quaeda had been in cahoots; or that world opinion supported the US invasion of Iraq. You know those were totally false things, but 80% of Fox news viewers believed at least one of those things compared with only a little over 20% of people who got their news from National Public Radio. That, you know that, I like statistics like that because we can go back and forth, he said, she said, about whether Fox news is actually biased, but if you can show that people who get their news there have got a seriously warped version of the news, that kind of settles the question. My other favorite thing, just you know, Fox has basically ramped down coverage of Iraq as things have failed to go the way they wanted, They can no longer pretend that’s its just liberal media reporting, failing to report the good news. So there is this wonderful statistic that in the first quarter of this year, Fox News daytime, which is the most distinctive, Fox News daytime spent almost three times as much time covering Anna Nicole Smith as it did covering the Iraq war and all the debates around the war.

DD: That Anna Nicole Smith story did get a lot of coverage by all of the networks I must say. We’re out of time though Paul. Thank you very much for coming in. Paul Krugman, New York Times op-ed columnist.

Posted by Rick | July 2, 2007 09:14 PM | Political Science

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