Friday, August 31, 2007

Amerikan Daughter: One of the Boys Part III

Click this link for all the posts in the Amerikan Daughter Gone To War series.

Oh, how our proud soljer boyz fight so hard to defend a woman's "freedom" to be ogled like a piece of rape meat, which then turns around and hates the Vietnamese for not putting out with enough servility to satisfy outraged Plantation Miss. Can Ugly Amerikans really be this dumb?
The pool is Olympic size - once exclusively for members of a private French club, now exclusively for American armed forces. The first time we came here, we were the only women among hundreds of GIs. Cowed by the odds, I sweated it out on a lounging chair covered from head to foot with a beach towel. Sandy, all five feet two of her, braved the gawkers to go for a swim.
...
I describe my frustrations with the Vietnamese - with engineers who can't even unplug a bathtube drain, pedicab drivers and coniving street urchins who rip us off every chance they get, all the useless, ungrateful gooks who don't like us, just our money.
...
But I can't get past the feeling that it's me he's leaving, not Vietnam. And I can't overcome my fear that back in the Land of Round-eyes, he'll forget about me before my remaining nine months are up.
...
"What the fuck are you doing!" They scrub harder.
"You goddamned fucking stupid little yellow-bellied bastard gooks!" They scrub faster.
"There seems to be," someone in the crowd observes, "a breakdown in communications here."

One of us fetches a Vietnamese secretary to straighten out the mess. She barks at the little men. They lower their heads. "Dumb gooks," she spits, clicking past us in spiked heels.
...
After work I write back that I'm sorry about all the demonstrators, but I've about decided that our empire must fall as all great empires fall. "Too bad," I add. "I thought we had the answer too, but the world isn't enough like us."
...
Bright overhead lights thrust the ward into sharp focus. There must be a hundred IV bottles suspended in the air, and I'm struck by how noisy it is: the hum of continuous suction machines and oxygen tanks hissing, respirators whooshing and someone coughing through his tracheostomy tube, a hopper flushing in the utility room, and cries for help. As many beds as possible have been crammed into the room - four on each side, two rows of four placed back to back down the middle, and two on the far end. Directly in front of me, closest to the nursing station, a Stryker frame for a paralyzed patient occupies one of the spaces. And every bed is filled.

The patient to my right, closest to the doorway, is staring at me. I try to smile but cannot look him in the eye. Both his legs are missing below mid-thigh, the stumps wrapped in bulky layers of Kerlix dressings. Thick tubes drain blood from his chest into a suction machine on the floor. The same machine also receives chest tubes from a patient in the next bed.
...
"Her temp's one hundred and six."
"Let her die! She was probably tossing a grenade at our boys when she got shot!"
"My God, Mott, she's just a little girl."
"She's a gook! Bust your ass to save her life, and she's likely to return the favor by blowing up another one of our guys!"

I think of the shoeshine boys in Saigon, how I hate them. Maybe he's right. I don't know. I'm too tired to think about it right now, too confused to argue.

"Whoever she is she's our patient."
"Let me tell you something," Mott warns. "This place'll fall apart if you spend your time baby-sitting."

I know he's right. I'm an Army nurse, and my first duty is to our casualties.
...
After my shift I find a notice in the mailroom. The presence of "our" nurses is requested at a party at a big brass villa. We can read between the lines, know this is a command rather than a request. Most of us detest the lecherous old men who expect us to kowtow to their field-grade braid. Even their lavish air-conditioned villas and savory meals are not worth the insinuating brushes to our breasts and pats to our bottoms, their whispered hints that it would be well worth our time to get away from the crowd. The higher rank of the leering smile, the more agreeable we're expected to be.

These ongoing, tacitly approved efforts to get us into bed really irk me - especially since any woman who "gets into trouble" is treated like a slut and threatened with a dishonorable discharge. Fortunately I'm no career officer. I pretend not to notice disapproving frowns over my refusal to perform, just as I ignore disapproving frowns for not cutting my hair. What can they do? Send me to Vietnam?
...
My job is to care for the wounded, not to ask why they exist.
...
When they make their move, our men rain fire from the top and new forces are ferried in by choppers to the bottom, trapping the enemy in the middle. The fight ends when Charlie slips away as quietly as he has come. How can he do that with our forces in way of his retreat? He's a slippery little bastard all right. Can't get him to come out and fight like a man. Does his dirty work at night and runs away at the first light of day or at the first sign of a real fight.
...
[From one of her mother's letters]: "Maybe they are their own people and should learn to live together and stew in their own fat, but unfortunately other countries have become involved and who's to say where it will ever end. It will be a while before the U.S. can pull out and leave them to themselves."
Don't it all just sound soooooo familiar?

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Amerikan Daughter: One of the Boys Part 2

Amerikan Daughter Part 1.

Here are today's excerpts from Euro-American Winnie Smith's American Daughter Gone to War: On the Front Lines With An Army Nurse In Vietnam. The author's white supremacy goes hand in glove with her homophobic, misogynist patriarchy. Colonized to adore lynch-minded white men, she's quite the plantation Miss:
Forget the tease part in a Japanese strip show. Moving to tinny phonographic music, a beautiful Eurasian dancer takes everything off. Japanese men in the audience watch sedately while American GIs go crazy. I'm caught completely off guard when the dancer unceremoniously squats and spreads her legs for the audience - to the wild cheers of Japanese men and a suddenly silent gallery of GIs.

When the lights come back on, everyone smiles and bows at us girls, clearly wondering what we thought of the show. Carolyn waves and grins as if to say "Great stuff!" Retta gives a thumbs up. I can't say or do anything.
...

In three hours I have not even seen another woman. I feel like a freak with legs sticking out from under a skirt, ready to pass out from wearing a wool jacket to hide the fact that I have breasts. And now the PFC who sends men far and wide across Vietnam can't even direct me to a ladies' room.
...
Bursting into the six-holer, I'm confronted by three women - each squatting over a hole in the Vietnamese style. I claw desperately at the unfamiliar buttons of my new fatigues and fairly fall into a hole, sitting down in the American fashion. When I open my eyes in relief, the three unsmiling faces are still gaping at me. Haven't they ever seen an American woman? And who's odd here anyway? They don't even know how to sit right in an outhouse.
...

When I step onto main street, there's a scramble of a half dozen pedicab drivers to reach me first. Then the haggling begins. Our superiors have admonished us not to pay more than a hundred piasters. The gooks will try to cheat us into paying more, but to do so would inflate the economy adversely.

I believe what they tell us. Besides, the idea of being cheated irks me. Aren't our soldiers helping these people defend their freedom and democracy? Where is their gratitude?
...
No American would call this life easy, but our lives are considerably eased by our Vietnamese maids, whom we call mama-sans. They take care of our clothes as well as our rooms, and those assigned to nurses must wash, starch, and iron our whites. For this, they squat in front of two large basins, one for washing and one for rinsing. Then they spread towels on the floor for an ironing board and press our uniforms with irons filled with hot coals. In this weather, watching them is enough to make me wilt.

Captain Cruz and I share a maid, a four-foot-nine-inch old woman with wrinkled skin, graying hair, and teeth stained dark red, from chewing betel nuts - said to give a mild high. She works hard, even shops for us. We figure she supports the black market, but we don't much care; the PX is in Cholon, four miles away, which is an hour's trip on the shuttle bus. None of us wants to spend our one day off getting there, much less ride the shuttle bus behind its barred windows meant to protect us from terrorist grenades.
...
From home my mother writes: "Pres. Johnson is getting quite a greeting on his trip, altho' the ever present Vietniks are there. Our FBI Director Hoover has said they are members of the Young Communist League. I do think a way should be found to control them as well as the College Campus Reds..."
...
I remember the fantasies I began having after that trip to Korea - my visions of scrounging up food, finagling clothes and other provisions for the most innocent victims of war, the children. I came with the hope of serving them in some way, not just our soldiers. Now I pray they will leave me alone.

Chopper is different of course. He is a month-old Vietnamese baby on our ward whose tiny ribs gleam through the gaping wounds on his chest and back.
...
We were spared seeing Chopper on fire, but just imagining it makes me cringe. "How could the VC do this to their own people?" I ask, nodding for the corpsman to lift Chopper so I can rewrap the burns.

The corpsman squints. "The VC don't have napalm. We do."
...
Lisa is a nurse in our villa, a captain with hair so short it would pass for a crew cut if it weren't so curly. Her mannerisms are mannish, leading to speculation within our ranks that she's homosexual. More out of fear than loathing, I've kept a safe distance between us.
...
I'm not the only American here, albeit the only round-eye woman. Four officers leap to their feet when they see me sit at the bar, and in a flash there are four Bloody Marys sitting in front of me. The men are wearing stiff khakis, no doubt fighting this war from behind desks - what we term desk jockeys, or Saigon warriors, or rear echelon mother fuckers (REMFs). I acquired a disdain for them from my warrior buddies in Japan, but right now I welcome their company.

"I never heard of such a thing!"
"Take me there! I'll kill the yellow-bellied gooks."
"You're lucky they didn't take you for every red cent."
"Best just to forget it" is the final word.
...
How I've missed him, all the warrior buddies and our fun times. If only I could be closer to where they are - Pleiku or Qui Nhon.

"No! he says vehemently. "I rest better knowing you're in Saigon. If those yellow bastards so much as harm a hair on your head, I'll go on a killing spree that'll land me in the brig!"
...
He's still agitated, his lips pressed tightly together, shaking the ice in his glass. I want to say something, but I can't think of anything to say. What is there to say? Only that war changes warriors. Everyone knows that.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One Of The Boys: Amerikan Daughter Gone To War



For the next week or so, this site will be dedicated to posting excerpts from Winne Smith's American Daughter Gone To War: On the Front Lines with an Army Nurse in Vietnam, which is about a combat nurse who survives the war only to return to Amerika to lose her mind. As 1st Lieutenant Smith struggles to recover her sanity (and presumably her humanity), her white male supremacy goes unexamined - with predictable results. None of this will surprise or shock this site's regular readers, but the nurse's racist, woman-hating attitudes are so textbook that I thought they would make great examples of the way in which white women's unexamined, internalized patriarchy only serves to reinforce our racism.

To its credit, the book is unsparing in its graphic description of the meat-grinding wounds soldiers receive as a consequence of waging race war against the Vietnamese people.

And if there is anything that Fire Witch Rising is about, it's consequences.

Introduction through Chapter Two:

I hold my breath as I pick my way through bicycles, motorcycles, and pedicabs. When they see me, the young soldiers in the backs of the trucks whistle and cheer. I'm about fed up with all the attention an American woman attracts in this country, but I dutifully smile and wave back. Thank goodness the hospital is only a block away.

...

Many patients lean on crutches; many have arms in slings; others are variously bandaged. [Army Nurse Corps Lt. Colonel] Martha Raye nods toward her audience, says how proud she is to be here, and calls our fighting men our nation's honored heroes. Of course, we know about the antiwar demonstrators, and she speaks of them derisively. "Those people aren't good enough to lick your boots!" she exclaims, expecting applause.

Instead there is an awkward silence. Scattered through the audience are amputees, some missing both legs, who will never again wear boots. The comedian stammers through a few rehearsed lines and then abruptly stops. "Please forgive me." Her voice cracks; she turns to leave.

...

Mostly we cared for wounds to arms and legs - some so deep that bone was exposed. Those with minimal pus or dead tissue required only wet-to-dry dressings - damp gauze applied to dry out on the wound. By the next dressing change, removing the stuck-on gauze would debride - rip away - pus and dead tissue. Wounds that produced too much pus required swabbing with hydrogen peroxide. Pus that resisted swabbing was scrubbed with a bristle brush. Dead tissue that resisted scrubbing was cut out with a scalpel.

Care of infected abdominal wounds was less painful but no less disturbing. Squirting syringes of sterile solution into the cavity flushed out pus, and its sickly sweet smell permeated the room as it drained into a basin. Men with such wounds stared in stony silence as the foul secretions spilled out of them.

...

We didn't need official information to be aware of our growing involvement in Vietnam. Even if there had been no casualties, Fort Dix was an infantry training center, and many of the officers I met hoped to be going soon. They were excited by the prospect of proving their skills, their courage, their patriotism, themselves. Their greatest fear was that the war would end before they had the chance.

The closest I could get as a woman was a war zone hospital, but I was no less excited at the prospect.

...

I come from a long line of warriors, at least back to the Civil War, when my mother's great-great-grandfather served as a bugle boy for the Confederacy. My uncle Edward, a policeman deemed more valuable on the home front, always seemed to me to have regretted not having served in World War II. And my uncle Lee has kept his Army uniform hanging in his closet ever since, now going on twenty years. I used to sneak into his room to touch it, as if the pride and honor it represented might somehow rub off on me.

...

My fondness for those men carried over to off duty hours at our officers' club, where I joined patient-officer-warriors. They were here for medical care that would be completed before their tours were up - in other words, they would return to Vietnam - and viewed their time at Camp Zama [Japan] as nothing short of playtime. Most hospital officers considered them too rowdy and socialized exclusively with one another. But the warriors' air of bravado and cocky self-assurance fanned my notions about war, and their zest for fun drew me out of my natural shyness. Most of all, I was drawn to the strong kinship among them, a sense of family that eased the loneliness of being so far from home. They were my buddies.

...

Most of the soldiers were married, and a few kept it secret. Some expressed a romantic interest, but none pressured me. It was enough just to have an American woman to talk to, a "round-eye" to remind them of home and why they were fighting a war.

From their stories I learned the fighting outfits in Vietnam and their insignia - the Horse's Head of the 1st Cavalry, the Big Red One of the 1st Division, the Lightning Bolt of the 25th Division, the Screaming Eagle of the 101st. And I learned where they were based - An Khe, Bien Hoa, Cu Chi, and Tay Ninh. I learned the different kinds of choppers - Hueys, Slicks, Cobras, and Bubbles - and the difference between grunts, Green Berets, fixed-wing and chopper pilots. It was like learning to distinguish one football team from another: their names, emblems and team colors, the cities they represent, and the kinds of players - quarterbacks, fullbacks, wide receivers, and linemen.

In less than a month these warriors felt like family to me.

...

In the parking lot we exchange warm hugs with our departing warrior buddies, acutely aware that it will be a long time before they see another round-eye woman.

Reflecting deeply colonized and racist beliefs, the author of this book clearly thinks that: only men are "warriors" worth admiring and emulating, women may go to war but only in a servile position to men, round-eyed white women are The Chosen Ones that give white soldiers comfort in a sea of indigenous women - who Winnie Smith views as foreign in their own country. War is exciting and fun like a football game. Women are cheerleaders.

Miss Smith bridles at men's ogling and leering, but instead of confronting this misogyny directly, she chooses to comfort her psychic wounds with haughty superiority vis-a-vis the Vietnamese. Violence is sent down the social hierarchy rather than up, which secures Smith's position above women and men of color but beneath white men. White male soldiers' attemps to get (and keep) the author beneath them socially and sexually is reinforced with harrassment and the threat of rape.

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Another One Bites The Dust: Gonzales Gone

Friday, August 24, 2007

Colorado AIM Call To Action: Newmont Mining Protest

From Glenn Morris:
Most of you know that Newmont Mining is the second largest mining corporation in the world, and is based in Denver. Newmont operates on every continent, except Antarctica, and almost every one of its operations has negative impacts on First Nations people. In Peru, indigenous activists have been beaten, imprisoned and killed in the course of opposing Newmont's practices. The same can be said in Ghana and Indonesia. In the U.S., Newmont, in collusion with the U.S. government, is invading the territory of the Western Shoshone Nation -- in violation of the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863. Next week, the University of Denver, Graduate School of International Studies, intends to honor Newmont in expectation of a huge corporate contribution to the school. Join us in exposing Newmont's record and D.U.'s hypocrisy. The details of the action, next Thursday, August 30, are below. Attached is an article from the most recent Mother Jones magazine that uncover some of Newmont's operations.

The protest will be joined by Carrie Dann and Julie Fishel of the Western Shoshone Defense Project. At the protest, the " Real International Bridge-Builder Human Rights Award" will be awarded to Carrie Dann, who will accept it on behalf of the Western Shoshone, other indigenous communities, and all communities who have suffered, but continue to resist, Newmont's policies and actions.

WHO: American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado, Global Response, Rocky Mtn Peace and Justice Center, Stop Newmont Coalition, CU Indigenous Support Network, and the Denver Justice and Peace Commission are all protesting an award to be given by the U of Denver to Wayne Murdy, CEO of Newmont Mining Company. Please join us!
WHAT: On Aug 30, at the black-tie Korbel Dinner, DU will be wining and dining Denver's elite. This is a top-tier fund raiser for the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), which touts its program on International Human Rights. Newmont CEO Wayne Murdy will be presented the "International Bridge Builder's Award." Former Secreatry of State Madeleine Albright will be the keynote speaker.

WHY: To educate the public about Newmont Mining Corporation's myriad human rights and environmental abuses in Indonesia, Ghana, Peru, San Luis Valley in Colorado, Western Shoshone territory ( U.S.), Australia, Romania and Mexico, and to let the University of Denver know how inappropriate it is for Newmont to be receiving this award.

WHERE: The Denver Marriot on 17th and California, downtown Denver.

WHEN: Thursday, August 30th at 6pm

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yikes! Lon Garner Acquitted

Watch your backs, Denver! Former SS Agent, Navy Seal, and Denver police officer Lon Garner will no longer be wearing a GPS monitoring device. Disgraced Judge Edward Nottingham, disgraced and former judge Grafton Biddle, and disgraced and former Rocky Mountain News reporter Charlie Brennan are all roaming freely as well.

Be on the lookout...

Lon Garner Acquitted
Christine Garner wept during most of her testimony, beginning when she whispered "my husband," when she was asked to identify Lon Robert Garner.

Christine Garner's emotional state caused her husband to wipe away tears at times as he listened to her testimony.

Although the incident occurred Jan. 4 Christine Garner said she waited 11 months to report what happened to authorities. In an affidavit, she said her husband threatened that "if anyone tried to ruin his career, he would eliminate them from a distance, when they wouldn't be expecting it."

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Race War Surgeon Dr. Dave Hnida Loses 14 Soldiers In Blackhawk Crash

CBS News 4 Denver has an embedded Doctor in Iraq who regularly files reports with the station. Dr. Dave Hnida knew all fourteen imperial soldiers who died on the blackhawk helicopter that crashed recently:

Fourteen Soldiers Dead in Copter Crash

It remains to be seen if Dave Hnida, who took a sacred vow to "first do no harm," will continue to lend his medical expertise to furthering the race war against the Iraqi people in light of the deaths of the fourteen soldiers he claims were his comrades.

Here's an excerpt from the creepy doctor's August 17th dispatch:
I admire the guys (and women) who go out day after day, knowing that the same road that was OK yesterday may have a hidden IED or three today. Everything is suspect, a pile of garbage, a dead animal carcass, some new fresh dirt or a barrier that's been moved a foot or two.

It's a stress filled way to spend a 15 month deployment, yet they go out again and again.

Something to think about the next time you Coloradans get angry over something like a traffic jam on Interstate 25 during your morning commute.

At least no one is trying to blast you all the way to Kansas.

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Lon Garner's Hero Son Testifies Against His Father

Christine Garner's son saved her life by stepping in to stop former SS Agent Lon Garner's gynocidal violence. Together they both fought the abuser and won. The son hit him in the head, the wife kicked him in the balls. Here's hoping justice continues to prevail.

Secret Service agent's wife tells of alleged choking
By Ivan Moreno, Rocky Mountain News
August 22, 2007

CASTLE ROCK - The wife of Denver's former top Secret Service agent cried Tuesday as she described her husband's eyes when she said he choked her last year.
They were "full of rage," said Christine Marie Garner, 51.

"He was crushing my airways with his thumbs. I couldn't believe it," she said in Douglas County District Court, where her husband, Lon Robert Garner, 57, is being tried on two counts of second-degree assault. Each count carries a minimum five- year sentence.

Christine Garner's testimony came on the first day of the trial. According to testimony, Lon Garner's extramarital affair led to family violence.

In his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Colin McCallin talked about Garner's training in hand-to-hand combat as he described the altercation between the couple at their Elizabeth home on Jan. 4, 2006.

"He assaulted her with deadly weapons," McCallin said. "His own hands."

Christine Garner, now estranged from her husband, had confronted him about a credit card statement she believed showed he'd sent flowers to a woman with whom he'd admitted to having an affair.

Lon Garner's attorney, Craig Truman, said his client was trying to calm his wife and that she tried to strike him several times.

The argument ended when their 21-year-old son said he saw his father choking his mother.

"I went after him as soon as I saw him," said Lon Garner Jr., a Navy petty officer. "I ran after him and punched him on the side of the head and wrestled him to the ground."

Christine Garner, who testified that she kicked her husband in the groin after his son punched him, was initially charged with third-degree assault. The charge was dismissed.

Lon Garner, who is free on $50,000 bail, was put on paid administrative leave after his arrest.

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Ricekeepers by Winona LaDuke

Ricekeepers

A struggle to protect biodiversity and a Native American way of life - by Winona LaDuke

Published in the July/August 2007 issue of Orion magazine


Photograph by Bob Sacha

AS FALL TEMPERATURES CHANGE on the White Earth Reservation and the mist lifts off the lakes, the Ojibwe take to the waters. Two people to a canoe, one poles through the thick rice beds, pushing the canoe forward, while the other, sitting toward the front of the boat, uses two long sticks to gently bend the rice and knock the seeds into the canoe. The sounds of manoominike, the wild rice harvest, are the gliding of the boat through the water and across shafts of rice, the soft swish of the rice bending, the raining of the rice into the canoe. They are soothing sounds, reminding my people of the continuity between the generations. We have been harvesting rice here for centuries.

Each year, my family and I join hundreds of other harvesters who return daily with hundreds of pounds of rice from the region’s lakes and rivers. We call it the Wild Rice Moon, Manoominike Giizis. On White Earth, Leech Lake, Nett Lake, and other Ojibwe reservations in the Great Lakes region, it is a time when people harvest a food to feed their bellies and to sell for zhooniyaash, or cash, to meet basic expenses. But it is also a time to feed the soul.

FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES AWAY, in Woodland, California, a company called Nor-Cal has received a patent on wild rice. Conceptually, it seems almost impossible—patenting something called wild rice. The Ojibwe now find themselves at the center of an international battle over who owns lifeforms, foods, and medicines that have throughout history been the collective property of indigenous peoples.

Read the rest...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pentagon To Suspend Dissident Database

Maybe they will, maybe they won't. It's what local police departments have on everyone that really counts.

Pentagon to suspend anti-terror database
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said Tuesday that it will shut down an anti-terror database that has been criticized for improperly storing information on peace activists and others whose actions posed no threat.

It will be closed on Sept. 17 and information collected subsequently on potential terror or security threats to Defense Department facilities or personnel will be sent by Pentagon officials to an FBI database known as Guardian, according to Army Col. Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman.

Keck said the Pentagon database is being shut down because "the analytical value had declined," but not because of public criticism of how it was used. Eventually the Pentagon hopes to create a new system -- not necessarily a database -- to "streamline such threat reporting," according to a brief statement issued Tuesday.

Keck said that after the TALON database is shut down in September, a copy of the data it contains will be maintained at the Pentagon for record-keeping purposes but not for further analytical use.

The decision to end the program, which had been recommended in April by the Pentagon's new intelligence chief, James R. Clapper, Jr., was approved by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, Keck said.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a chief critic of the program, applauded the Pentagon's announcement.

"It was high time for this program to be shut down," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "There should be no place in a free democratic society for the military to be accumulating secret data on peaceful demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights."

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Charlie Brennan Back In The Bar, Part 2

Struggling teetotaler and inveterate racist Charlie Brennan is back in the bar yet again with a story for Fox News about alledged racism at a local Denver bar called the Purple Martini. The general manager of the bar is said to have told a black DJ to play music that would attract more white people:

Nightclub accused of discouraging black patrons

So. Is Bigot Brennan suddenly becoming an anti-racist warrior?

Hardly. The owner of the club is black. Naturally, Charlie Brennan is all excited that a black man might be guilty of a crime overwhelmingly commited by whites, about which Quaker Chuck normally does next to zero.

For example, Bigot Brennan is nowhere to be seen on the white male Governor of Colorado's refusal to condemn the racist Columbus Day parade and call for a repeal of the haters' holiday.

Note in the video attached to the story in the link above how terribly Quaker Chuck continues to deliver his lines even after six months of practice. The clumsy clown absolutely cannot go live to save his life, let alone his sinking career.

Two words for you loser: Leland Vittert.

Vittert is the hungry new talent recently hired by Fox 31 News, and he's already working the weekend anchor desk. Half Brennan's age and twice his talent and looks, Leland Vittert never misses a fascist beat, live or Memorex.

Desperate to compete with this young, new stud on the block, Quaker Chuck (the bitter cuck) has been reduced to putting the camera between his legs while bicycling on, what else, a comfort bike through one of his weekend political wrapups:

Dirty Politicians at Democrat Convention Will Be Green

Cue the flashing career dissipation light, sports fans. Bigot Brennan is choking and flailing like a man overboard. Yeah sure, we all saw it coming, but who among us would bother to interrupt an unworthy opponent while he is making a mistake?

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Dead, Helmsley Headed To Hell. Billy Graham Soon To Follow

Sunday, August 19, 2007

SS Agent Lon Garner Heads To Court For More Kicks In The Balls

Good for the office co-worker who told Garner's wife about the scumbag's affair. Nothing like the step-up of everyday heroes!

Secret Service agent heads to trial on charges he choked his wife in fight over affair


U.S. Secret Service agent Lon Garner, seen at a pretrial hearing in Nov. 17, 2006, is accused of assaulting his wife.
By Mallory Simon
Court TV

As the lead special agent with the U.S. Secret Service in Denver, secrets are part of Lon Garner's regular workday. But when his wife found out he may have had secrets of his own, the couple got into a domestic spat that has landed the agent in court on assault charges.

Garner, 57, is scheduled to go on trial Tuesday to face accusations that he choked his wife and threatened her after she confronted him about an unexplained flower purchase.

The couple's dispute allegedly began when one of Lon Garner's co-workers told his wife that he had been having an affair, according to court documents. As a result, in December 2005, they began marriage counseling.

But in early January 2006 Christine Garner found a credit card purchase for flowers, according to court documents.

Garner, 51, told police that on Jan. 4 she confronted her husband about the order. An argument ensued, and she kicked him in the groin. Garner said her husband choked her until her ears began to ring and her peripheral version became dark, according to a probable cause affidavit.

She told a sheriff's deputy she was in fear for her life and could not breathe and described the "rage in Agent Garner's eyes" as well as his clenched jaw, according to the arrest warrant.

Christine Garner didn't go to police until almost a year after the spat, however, and three months after she was arrested for allegedly stalking her husband's girlfriend.

According to court records, Christine Garner was arrested Aug. 21, 2006, after she called the woman she believed was having an affair with her husband and said she would "ruin and destroy" her.

Christine Garner filed a complaint Nov. 9 relating to the fight with her husband 10 months earlier. She told police she hadn't come forward earlier because her husband had threatened her.

Christine Garner told police her husband said, "If anyone tried to ruin his career, he would eliminate them from a distance, when they wouldn't be expecting it."

On Nov 15., six days after the complaint was filed, the agent was arrested. He posted $50,000 bond and was placed on administrative leave.

Lon Garner is charged with two felony counts of second-degree assault. He faces 5 to 16 years in jail on each count if convicted.

His attorney, Craig Truman, declined to comment on the case. A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office did not immediately return calls for comment.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ammunition Shortage? Meet Purple Heart Shortage.

"That's unacceptable. 'Out of stock'? That's like saying, 'We're out of ammo.' That's like saying 'The Marines are going to close tomorrow.' It just seems a bit weird," DeLaRosa said. "There have been a lot of guys wounded, but not to the point that we're out of medals."

Ya sure there, hon?

Short of Purple Hearts, Navy tells vet to buy own
By ANNE MARIE KILDAY

Aug. 17, 2007, 6:59PM
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

PEARLAND — Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, opened an envelope last week to learn a Purple Heart had been approved for injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952.

But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was "out of stock."

"I can imagine, of course, with what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, there's a big shortage," Reed said. "At least, I would imagine so."

The form letter from the Navy Personnel Command told Reed he could wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal.

After waiting 55 years, however, Reed decided to pay $42 for his own Purple Heart and accompanying ribbon — plus state sales taxes — at a military surplus store.

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Ammunition Shortage Squeezes Police

The copper and lead that goes into bullets in also in short supply. Police states are very, very expensive and ultimately unsustainable.

"We've got to teach the officers how to use the weapon, and they've got to be able to go to the range and qualify with the weapon and show proficiency," said department spokesman Capt. Steve McCool. "And you can't do that unless you have the rounds."

Imagine that. Unqualified officers.

Ammunition Shortage Squeezes Police

Aug 17, 2:33 PM (ET)

By ESTES THOMPSON

Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol.

An Associated Press review of dozens of police and sheriff's departments found that many are struggling with delays of as long as a year for both handgun and rifle ammunition. And the shortages are resulting in prices as much as double what departments were paying just a year ago.

"There were warehouses full of it. Now, that isn't the case," said Al Aden, police chief in Pierre, S.D.

Departments in all parts of the country reported delays or reductions in training and, in at least one case, a proposal to use paint-ball guns in firing drills as a way to conserve real ammo.

Forgoing proper, repetitive weapons training comes with a price on the streets, police say, in diminished accuracy, quickness on the draw and basic decision-making skills.

Read the rest...

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Friday, August 17, 2007

A Run On Countrywide's Banks: " I Just Want It Out"

Another capitalist dream of something for nothing goes up in smoke. Say, if you have no capital, are you still a capitalist? Does mere ideological belief count?

Run on banks in LA amid crisis; Wal-Mart CEO says customers are 'running out of money'

Anxious customers of Countrywide Bank jammed its phone lines, branches and website after the nation's largest mortgage lender -- which owns the bank -- announced it was facing problems from a credit meltdown.

"Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest home-loan company in the nation, sought Thursday to assure depositors and the financial industry that both it and its bank were fiscally stable," wrote the LA Times Friday. "And federal regulators said they weren't alarmed by the volume of withdrawals from the bank."

"The rush to withdraw money -- by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company -- came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown," the paper continued.

"At Countrywide Bank offices, in a scene rare since the U.S. savings-and-loan crisis ended in the early '90s, so many people showed up to take out some or all of their money that in some cases they had to leave their names," the Times added. "Bill Ashmore drove his Porsche Cayenne to Countrywide's Laguna Niguel office and waited half an hour to cash out $500,000, which he then wired to an account at Bank of America."

"It's because of the fear of the bankruptcy," Ashmore, president of Irvine's Impac Mortgage Holdings, which escaped bankruptcy itself recently by shutting down virtually all its lending and laying off hundreds of employees told the paper. "It's got my wife totally freaked out. I just don't want to deal with it. I don't care about losing 90 days' interest, I don't care if it's FDIC-insured -- I just want it out."

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Internet use could kill off local newspapers, study finds

Take a bow, Dear Blog Readers and Writers. The destruction of local newspapers' business model could not have happened to a more deserving bunch of used-car-selling liars. Price tags should never have been attached to the stories of our communities and families in the first place. Only a culture which wants to kill off real community and family would ever have done such a thing.

Internet use could kill off local newspapers, study finds

Aug 16 05:14 PM US/Eastern

News audiences are ditching television and newspapers and using the Internet as their main source of information, in a trend that could eventually see the demise of local papers, according to a new study Wednesday.

"As online use has increased, the audiences of older media have declined," Harvard University professor Thomas Patterson said in a report on the year-long study issued by Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

"In the past year alone... newspaper circulation has fallen by three percent, broadcast news has lost a million viewers," said the study, entitled "Creative Destruction: An Exploratory Look and News on the Internet."

Meanwhile, the numbers of people using the Internet as a news source have increased -- exponentially, in some cases.

Traffic to websites that post news produced by a third source, including search engines and service providers, aggregators, such as topix.net or digg.com, which use software to monitor and post web content; and blogs -- increased across the board between April 2006 and the same month in 2007.

Monthly visitors to Digg.com, an aggregator which lets users decide on site content, skyrocketed in the 12 months to April 2007, from two million to more than 15 million.

Other online news sources grew more modestly, with user rates growing by 14 percent for community websites and six percent for blogs.

The Google, Yahoo, AOL and MSN websites between them have about 100 million monthly visitors, far outpacing user numbers on websites of major television networks, which averaged 7.4 million visitors a month.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mother Earthquake Liberation Front Frees 600 Prisoners in Peru

2 Prisons Collapse in Ica, Peru after 7.9 Degree Earthquake
(LIP-ir) -- The earthquake that hit Peru last night, a 7.9 on the Richter scale, toppled many house and buildings in the areas of Pisco, about 160 miles (258 kilometers) south of Lima, Cañete and Ica.

Unfortunately one of the buildings that was destroyed was the Tambo de Mora Penitentiary in Chincha, Ica, Peru.

Vice president of Peru's Penitentiary Institute (INPE), Manuel Aguilar, has confirmed that 600 prisoners escaped from the prison when its walls collapsed during the earthquake last night.

Aguilar reported that up until now, of the 600 escaped, 29 have been captured and transferred to a prison in Cañete to ensure citizen safety.

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Meat Tags: "They Do This To Feel Something"



Patriarchal goonbats forever stuck trying to prove their "manhood" get their gang affiliations tattooed on their bodies:

Forever marked by war
Some come in laughing, Stone says, anticipating their first combat deployment and, in a dramatic show of machismo, ask for meat tags.

"They say, 'It's so my body can be ID'd,"' he explains. "But they really want it put there to show that they're not afraid, they're nonchalant about being blown up.

"But let's face it: Nobody wants to go over there and die."

At Top Notch Tattoos, a storefront about one click down B Street from the Fort Carson gates, JonBoy Elliott's business rises and falls with the rhythm of the military deployments.

"I've been noticing some military guys getting portraits of their kids," he says. "I've done a lot of yellow ribbons with American flags in them, some memorial tattoos, a lot of Bible verses, before they go over - or if they've gone and come back."

But those who come back often request something darker than the designs inked before their deployment. Elliott has done a grim reaper toting an M-16. One soldier requested a tattoo with a skull to represent the soul of each enemy soldier he'd killed.
Read the rest...

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rent A Rape: In Iraq, Sex is Traded For Survival

Just because money exchanges hands does not mean that what has been done to a woman forced to sell her body is not rape. When a woman's choices are confined by male domination, consent cannot be said to have been given freely.

Sex traded for survival = RAPE.

In Occupied Amerika and everywhere men dominate women.

In Iraq, sex is traded for survival
Afif Sarhan, Aljazeera.net

Baghdad, August 13, 2007

When Rana Jalil, 38, lost her husband in an explosion in Baghdad last year, she could never have imagined becoming a prostitute in order to feed her children.

A mother of four, Jalil sought out employment, but job opportunities for women had decreased since the US invasion.

She begged shop owners, office workers and companies to hire her but was treated with what she calls chauvinistic discrimination.

Within weeks of her husband's death, a doctor diagnosed her children with malnutrition.

Fighting tears, she recalled the desperation which led her to the oldest profession: "In the beginning these were the worst days in my life. My husband was the first man I met and slept with, but I didn't have another option … my children were starving."

She left the house in a daze, she recalled, and walked to the nearest market to find someone who would pay her for sex.

She said: "I'm a nice-looking woman and it wasn't difficult to find a client. When we got to the bed I tried to run away … I just couldn't do it, but he hit and raped me. When he paid me afterwards, it was finished for me.

"When I came home with some food I had bought from that money and saw my children screaming of happiness, I discovered that honour is insignificant compared to the hunger of my children."

Iraqi widows desperate

Prior to the US invasion, Iraqi widows, particularly those who lost husbands during the Iran-Iraq war, were provided with compensation and free education for their children. In some cases, they were provided with free homes.

However, no such safety nets currently exist and widows have few resources at their disposal.
Read the rest...

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FBI Tells Judge Nottingham's Wife to Shut Up

I guess the FBI doesn't want all of Judge Nottingham's kangaroo court cases reopened because the judge was playing pocket pool under the table while imagining the degradation of women.



Judge's ex-wife told not to talk
FBI wants silence on his alleged visits to site with porn links

By Fernando Quintero, Rocky Mountain News
August 14, 2007

VAIL - The ex-wife of the federal judge who presided over the high-profile trial of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio said Monday the FBI told her to no longer comment about his possible use of his federal computer to access a Web site with links to porn.
The allegation against U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham came just days after the judge's visits to a Denver strip club were made public when a local TV station reported it had obtained transcripts of his divorce proceedings.

Marcie Jaeger, who divorced Nottingham in July, denied that she turned her divorce files over to the station, as reported. She also denied ever talking with Denver police about Nottingham, as was also reported Sunday.

"I didn't talk to them. I didn't turn anything over to them," said Jaeger as she was leaving her large mountainside home near Vail to play golf and celebrate her birthday.

9News reported Thursday that divorce transcripts showed Nottingham had spent $3,000 at the Diamond Cabaret, a topless club. He issued a statement Friday that the allegations were "private and personal matters involving human frailties and foibles."

The station quoted from transcripts of the divorce proceedings, in which Nottingham said he was "ashamed and mortified" to admit the expenditures at the strip club and said he couldn't remember details of his two visits because he had had too much to drink.

9News reported that Nottingham admitted spending $150 on what he called an "Internet dating site." The station identified the Web site as -ipayfriendfinder.com, which offers links to pornography, dating and other services.

"When I asked about the dating service, he turned around in his chambers and he hit his computer and he told me all about the dating service. It was a porn site," Jaeger said in court, according to the station's report.

She gave a similar account in an interview with 9News broadcast Friday.

The station reported that the FBI had questioned Jaeger about the possible improper use of his work computer. The FBI has declined to comment.
Read the rest...

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fatigue Cripples US Army In Iraq

Think we oughta wake 'em up with a nice loud round of USA! USA! USA!? That race-war- rousing cheer was so popular in football stadiums a few years ago.

Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq
Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis

Peter Beaumont in Baghdad
Sunday August 12, 2007
The Observer


US marines asleep at their base in Falluja, Iraq. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty images

Lieutenant Clay Hanna looks sick and white. Like his colleagues he does not seem to sleep. Hanna says he catches up by napping on a cot between operations in the command centre, amid the noise of radio. He is up at 6am and tries to go to sleep by 2am or 3am. But there are operations to go on, planning to be done and after-action reports that need to be written. And war interposes its own deadly agenda that requires his attention and wakes him up.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

War Castrates





Genital Injuries, Prosthetic Devices and the War on Terror

War castrates. Not women. War.

Yep, it's a man's world alright:
Dr. Imbascini said he amputated the genitals of one or two men every day.

"I walk into the operating room and the general surgeons are doing their work and there is the body of this Navy SEAL, which is a physical specimen to behold." He added: "And his abdomen is open, they're exploring both intestines. He's missing both legs below the knee, one arm is blown off, he's got incisions on his thighs to relieve the pressure on the parts of the legs that are hopefully gonna survive and there's genital injuries, and you just want to cry." [Glantz, ipsnews.net]

...

For men reared under the tyranny of patriarchal masculinity, nothing is so shameful as the loss or severe injury to one's genital, to a man's ability to sexually perform. Many men experience it as castration. The loss of an eye, hand, leg or other body part doesn't make a man any less of a man; each organ can be replaced, thus sometime even strengthening, empowering the man. However, the lose of the ability to sexually perform, to fuck, is for (some?, few?, many?, most?) men in America experienced as a lose of masculinity, a challenge to self-hood.

The "war on terror" has been accompanied with many dubious expressions of masculinity. It opens with "shock and awe" pulverizing a weakened adversary. It grew with a pathetic president parading on an aircraft carrier in an Air Force flight suit declaring "Mission Accomplished". It reached its nightmare apex with the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib, eroticized with dog leashes and collars around naked Iraqi men's necks along with fetishistically-garbed U.S. servicemen and women inflicting S&M punishment while smiling into the camera.

Today, the bravado of masculinity, of patriotism, is deflating with the growing number of military casualties.

America culture is horribly patriarchal and militaristic. It glorifies war, promising young men (and an increasing number of women) a path to individual self-realization through patriotic struggle. The unstated premise is that glory, honor, sacrifice and heroism (self-hood itself!) can be realized through military barbarism. And that these values are somehow inexorably bound to a man's genitals, his dick.

Under the tyranny of America's particular version of patriarchal masculinity, it is nearly impossible to envision an alternative vision of masculinity (let alone femininity). While many can debate the meaning of "masculinity" in terms of traditional virtues such as "courage," "strength," "honor" and "sacrifice," such values have nothing to do with a man's genitals, his sexual ability. Overcoming this contradiction can come only with the end of patriarchy.

David Rosen can be reached at drosen@ix.netcom.com

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Popular Army Nurse Is the First Killed in Combat Since Vietnam

Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam, July 18, 2007

A Fallen Soldier memorial for Capt. Maria I. Ortiz, clinical head nurse at Kirk Army Health Clinic at Aberdeen Proving Ground, was on display for a service held in her honor. Ortiz volunteered to be deployed with the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq as the head nurse for the intermediate care ward. She was killed in Baghdad July 10.
When nurses in the Green Zone are killed by mortars, you know the situation is REALLY deteriorating for the Occupation.

Captain Ortiz grew up in Occupied Puerto Rico.

Popular Army Nurse Is the First Killed in Combat Since Vietnam
Ortiz, 40, was killed last week by a mortar attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad. The Edgewood, Md., resident is the first Army nurse killed in combat since the Vietnam War, Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army's acting surgeon general, said in an interview yesterday.

"Having one of the family go down is very, very hard," said Pollock, who also is a nurse. "You feel like a piece of your heart is gone."

Ortiz was returning from physical training July 10 when she was caught outside by a barrage of mortar shells. She was killed by shrapnel.

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Sexist Pig Judge Edward Nottingham Attended Strip Clubs

This is the same Judge Nottingham that deported former IRA freedom fighter Ciaran Ferry from the US, although the Good Friday Agreement had granted him amnesty and cleared his record. Ferry spent two years in a Colorado jail fighting the deportation so that he could stay in the country with his American wife and child. His forced return to Belfast put his life at risk for assassination by the Occupation Ulster Defense Forces (UDF).

Judge Nottingham is a misogynist, racist bigot who has ruined lives. Good to see him getting exposed for the hater he is. He consumed the degradation of women through Internet porn; let him get consumed by a media storm of bad publicity.

Just as in the case with disgraced Judge Grafton Biddle, whose wife Gail Liles outed him for his sexist predations with prosecuting attorney Laurie Steinman, Nottingham's brave wife kicks him in the balls with divorce proceedings that revealed the man's misogyny for all to see.

Good work, ladies. Nothing like a quick phone call to the local media with the dirt on the bigots, aye?

Mrs. Brennan, are you taking notes? Operators are standing by.

Strip club outing revealed in divorce

By Sara Burnett, Rocky Mountain News
August 10, 2007

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham issued a statement today saying his visits to a Denver strip club, made public late Thursday, are "private and personal matters involving human frailties and foibles."
He said he will not discuss them publicly.

Nottingham also said the issues had become public because of "protracted, bitter divorce proceedings."

"Judge Nottingham has attempted to deal with the issues privately, and he will continue to do so," the statement reads.

9News reported on its 10 p.m. broadcast Thursday that Nottingham, who recently presided over the trial of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio, spent $3,000 at the Diamond Cabaret, a topless club.

The information is contained in transcripts of the divorce proceedings of Nottingham and Marcie Jaeger in Eagle County last month, 9News reported.

The station also quoted from transcripts of a divorce proceeding, in which Nottingham said he was "ashamed and mortified" to admit to the expenditures.

9News also reported that Nottingham admitted spending $150 on what he called an "Internet dating site." His ex-wife described the site as "a porn site." The site is Ipayfriendfinder.com, according to 9News.

Federal judges are appointed to serve for life. They may be removed only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

They also are expected to follow a judicial code of conduct, which reads in part:

"Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct by judges. A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety ... The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances that a reasonable inquiry would disclose, a perception that the judge's ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality, and competence is impaired."

Nottingham, 59, is known as a strict judge with little patience for unprepared attorneys or unnecessary delays. Years ago, he was notorious for requiring attorneys he was unhappy with to appear before him at 6:30 a.m.

He assumed the position of chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Colorado earlier this year, a position based on seniority among active judges age 64 or younger.

Nottingham was appointed to the federal bench in October 1989 by President George H.W. Bush. The U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment one month later.
A graduate of Grand Junction High School, he earned a bachelor's degree at Cornell University and his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.

He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and in private practice in Denver and Grand Junction before becoming a federal judge..

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Friday Song: Garbage #1 Crush

Obssession can be such fun!

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Churchill Case Cost CU $352K

"Little Eichmanns." Two very expensive words.

Churchill case cost CU $352K

By Brittany Anas, Daily Camera
August 10, 2007

The academic-misconduct case against former professor Ward Churchill has cost the University of Colorado $352,000, according to information released by the school Thursday.

That figure — which includes legal fees, university hearings, investigations and security over a 2½-year period — could balloon as the school defends itself in a First Amendment lawsuit filed by Churchill. He alleges he lost his tenured professorship because of a right-wing attack on academic freedom.

The regents voted 8-1 last month to fire Churchill on grounds that he fabricated history to fit his own theories and plagiarized passages from other scholars in the American-Indian studies field.

School officials said the investigation was "costly to the university."

Read the rest...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Take That, Tom Tancredo! Anglos Now Minority In Denver

A numerical minority, that is. Whites are still the majority in power, making their continued rule in Denver an apartheid condition.

Anglos no longer majority in Denver
Denver's white population has slipped below 50 percent for the first time, making it the largest county in the nation to experience that change in the past year, census figures released today show.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Perfume: A Werewolf Film


The werewolf in chains.

Perfume is the story of an orphaned boy with an extraordinary sense of smell whose desire to love and be loved fails as his humanity becomes twisted with gynocide. Using his heightened olfactory sense to stalk and prey on women like a werewolf, the film's central character embodies all the hallmarks of psychological necrophilia (a love of dead things over the living), as well as a woman-hater's longing to turn living women into dead objects in order to possess them. The parallels to pornography are striking, though I doubt this was the filmmaker's intent.

The movie is available now on DVD, and I strongly recommend it as one of the most sophisticated werewolf films made in a long time. There are no silver bullet cliches to be had here; this beast gets his comeuppance with a stark rendition of pack justice.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

10th Mountain Division Pin Up Boys

Photo by Roy O. Bingham



Say, if I fight the nazis, can I get these 10th Mountain Division boys' sweet asses silkscreened on to my anti-fascist hoodie? I wanna objectify non-females in the name of ridding the world of evil.

Nose art from Gulf War I:



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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fools Rush In: The FDNY's Maltese Cross



Crusading Euro-fools that is:
"One of my favorite stories told in the firehouse illustrates the significance of the FDNY's symbol, the Maltese Cross - you can find it on the cover of this book - but also speaks to our values of brotherhood and sacrifice. The story dates all the way back to the Crusades. The Knights of Saint John, one of the groups of Crusaders who invaded the Holy Land, had laid siege to a Saracen city. Unbeknownest to the knights, the Saracens had developed a new weapon: an inflammable liquid they called naptha. Placing the naptha in glass containers, the Saracens bombarded the knights with it until they were soaked with it, and then hurled torches at them. Hundreds of knights were instantly consumed in a furious blaze, while hundreds more - history's first firefighters - rushed into the burning chaos to save them. The knights later settled on the island of Malta and their emblem became known as the Maltese Cross. For us, both the symbol and the story it tells are ever-present reminders of our missions."
- John Salka, First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons From the New York Fire Department

Sounds like the Saracens invented the first prototype Molotov cocktail, if you ask me.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Baghdad: 6 million people, 117 Degrees and No Water


Iraqi children drink water from a broken pipe in a Baghdad dumpsite, July 31.

Baghdad: 6 million people, 117 degrees and no water
Richard Becker, Party for Socialism and Liberation
August 3, 2007

Horrific war crime committed by U.S. occupiers

For the past 24 hours, Baghdad has had virtually no running water.

Major parts of the city of six million people have lacked running water for six days, while daily high temperatures have

ranged from 115 to 120 degrees. The tiny amount of water dripping through the pipes is causing many of those who must drink it to suffer acute intestinal illness.

According to reports, not enough electricity is available to run Baghdad’s water pumps. This in a country with vast energy resources.

Corporate media outlets—to the extent they have reported this horrific and mind-boggling story at all—have treated it as a failure on the part of Iraqis.

In reality, it is an appalling war crime committed by the occupying power, the U.S. military. It threatens the lives of tens of thousands of people in the short term and unthinkable numbers of people unless it is rectified immediately.

According to Article 55 of Geneva Conventions (1949) to which the U.S. government is a signatory: "To the fullest extent of the means available to it the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate."

Article 59 states: "If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal."

To say that a huge city deprived of running water is "inadequately supplied" would rank as one of the great understatements of human history.

Of course, the shortage of water—the most vital of all necessities—does not extend to the U.S. personnel and mercenaries occupying Iraq.

The U.S. government tries to relieve itself of its obligations by pretending that Iraq’s "sovereignty" was restored in June 2004. But that is just another hoax.

Since its illegal invasion and conquest of Iraq in the spring of 2003, the real state power in the country has been the U.S. military.

This latest catastrophe to afflict the Iraqi people is another poisonous fruit of imperialist occupation. Not even in the worst times during the U.S. blockade of Iraq from 1990-2003, did such a disaster occur.

The U.S. regime in Iraq must provide the people of Baghdad with relief in the short-term to avert unprecedented disaster. And then they must be forced to get out.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

A Trillion To Go for Race War, Billions Needed for Bridge Repair


Bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Water and steel make rust.

Colorado has 100 "structurally deficient" bridges in need of repair or replacement at a cost of $700 million. Overall the US has 70,000 crumbling bridges with a repair cost of $188 billion. And this is just bridges. Billions more are needed for aging dams, levees, roads, sewer lines, water treatment plants, and the electricity grid. War on nature is very expensive, as she relentlessly reclaims everything stolen from her.

Meanwhile, the Amerikan Empire wants to spend a trillion dollars over the long haul for the race war on Iraqis:

Iraq bleeds US Treasury, enriches contractors

By Eli Clifton

WASHINGTON - In a report to US lawmakers this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the war in Iraq could cost US taxpayers more than a trillion dollars when the long-term costs of caring for soldiers wounded in action, military and economic aid for the Iraqi government, and ongoing costs associated with the 190,000 troops stationed in Iraq are totaled up.

White House Office of Management and Budget director Mitch Daniels' 2003 estimate that the war in Iraq could cost US$50 billion to $60 billion stands in stark contrast to the $500 billion already allocated to the conflict in Iraq and reconstruction projects.
High cost
Engineers estimate that repairing the more than 70,000 bridges with structural deficiencies would take years and cost more than $188bn.

The American Society of Civil Engineers said that works out to at least $9.4bn annually over 20 years.

In a separate cost estimate prepared five years ago, the Federal Highway Administration said it would take at least $55bn to address the backlog of required bridge repairs.

Gregory Cohen, president of the American Highway Users Alliance, an advocacy group representing motorists, said: "We're not doing what the engineers are saying we need to be doing."

He added that engineers have estimated $75bn a year just to keep highways and bridges from further deterioration, but only about $60bn a year is being provided.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pile of Low Bids Collapses in Minneapolis


Scott Olson © Getty Images

Is it any wonder that the bridge in Minneapolis collapsed? Almost everything we move on, in, or over was built by the lowest bidder.

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