February 24, 2005

The Tears Of Things Is Over

by Jerome du Bois

There is no more Tears of Things.

Good luck, everyone.

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February 20, 2005

Ward "The Cleaver" Churchill Wants To Watch You Bleed

Give me back my broken night--
My mirrored room, my secret life--
It's lonely here,
There's no one left to torture.

Give me absolute control
Over every living soul--
And lie beside me, baby:
That's an order.

--Leonard Cohen, "The Future," 1991

by Jerome du Bois

My wife, Western Woman, watching the news yesterday, said, "Show me a Ward Churchill supporter, and I'll show you an Ethnic Type with a hair up their ass, or a self-loathing white person." And lo and behold, I log on to Google News and I find:

Grant Crowell from Hawai'i, my home state (and who is neither one of those types above, but a clear-eyed reporter), documents a soul-chilling story about Ward Churchill and one of his academic friends.

No, this isn't about the time Churchill looked on as his common-law wife Marie Annett Jaimes physically attacked Carole Standing Elk, a grandmother and board member of the National American Indian Movement and Director of California AIM. Jaimes broke her wrist and lacerated her arms and face. Then Ward Churchill stepped up like the man he is and spat in her face. No, not that incident. Let Mr. Crowell tell it:

My own experience with Dr. Churchill a decade ago proved that he had no real interest in free speech for others, and would actively campaign against it for students if he thought it would suit his own self interest.

Fall 1994. I was an editorial cartoon columnist for the Ka Leo O Hawaii student newspaper at the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus in Honolulu. Like many academic environments, we had our share of "sacred cows" --issues and individuals considered to be so volatile that oftentimes they were ignored or actively avoided, lest a demonstration appear outside our newspaper building (or on some tempestuous occasions -- people storming into the building.)

At this same time, Ward Churchill was being flown in by the student senate for a paid speaking engagement on his latest book, Fantasies of the Master Race: Racism in the University.

Coincidentally, the student newspaper had just published a cartoon of mine that caused outrage among left-wing activists: I had depicted one of Ward Churchill’s close colleagues on our campus, Professor Haunani K. Trask, U.H.’s Hawaii Studies Director, reading an excerpt from her recently published poetry book, entitled "Racist White Woman," who described in lurid detail her fantasy of punching, knifing, mutilating and ultimately murdering a white colleague she despised.

Churchill arrived, as planned, and began his speech. Shortly thereafter, Churchill's speaking engagement changed from a book discussion into a public protest rally featuring Trask and Churchill both of them blaring into microphones over my "racist cartoon" and demanding my dismissal.

During Churchill’s speaking time at the event, this man -- a man who had never met me and refused to do so before and during the event -- included in his speech a reference to me as "vermin," and shared aloud a story of how an unnamed Nazi cartoonist was tried at the WWII Nuremburg trials, executed, dismembered and then cremated. Churchill’s ended this story with his own personal comment of, "Now, I’m not saying that should happen to Grant, but it would be a good thing."

To me, it's highly ironic that a man with such "extreme" opinions -- even which can easily be perceived as advocating violence toward individuals -- cannot himself be tolerant of other's opinions, whether they be extreme or even "mainstream." Instead, Churchill prefers to pull the "Hate Speech" card -- say somebody else’s speech is offensive to your (assumed) ethnicity, gender, political status, etc., and effectively shut them up. After all, if they hate it, you can’t debate it.

As a Jew with a very small part Powtawatomi Indian, I realize that the First Amendment protects all of us, even of us who fail to understand that the First Amendment is supposed to apply to everyone.

But what CU students (and others who are up in arms about Churchill's perceived persecution) should realize is that Churchill is not a man who stands for their own academic freedom, the First Amendment, free speech, or anything of the kind.

My experience has shown that he ultimately aspires to be a demagogue, where criticism on him or his cronies would ultimately be considered "genocidal hate speech" with serious repercussions.

But Churchill’s mistreatment of me, his scholarly abuse and hypocrisy, make me no less fervent a supporter of his free speech rights.

I can support the ACLU for protecting Churchill's rights the same way they protected the Nazis' rights to march in Skokie, because real free speech means being able to separate the principle from the person.

And yes, I do consider myself a real free speech advocate. Meaning, I don’t demand other’s freedom be protected if I am not willing first to stand up for the rights of people who’s opinions I strongly disagree with. I am even willing to be disparaged by my members of my own community for it.

Churchill needs to get it through his skull that it's called the "First Amendment," not the "Me-First Amendment."

Free speech is not a one-way street where Churchill can clog up the whole lane with his SUV-sized ego. If your ego is so big and intolerant that it cannot bear the expression of others you personally find offensive, then perhaps its time for people like myself to come out again, sharp minds and pens blazing. Maybe it's time for me (and others like me) to draw a few satirical cartoons, and pop the bloated academic egos.

And I won’t charge you a hundred grand salary, either.

We do need more people like Grant Crowell. Keep holding up a mirror to these pricks, man.

Meanwhile, the Academy continues to move beyond parody in its devotion to cruelty. Jeebus Anonymous, don't you love these literary types:

I had depicted one of Ward Churchill’s close colleagues on our campus, Professor Haunani K. Trask, U.H.’s Hawaii Studies Director, reading an excerpt from her recently published poetry book, entitled "Racist White Woman," who described in lurid detail her fantasy of punching, knifing, mutilating and ultimately murdering a white colleague she despised.

Those must be some pomes, woman. Followed by Ward "All-American" Churchill, licking his lips:

During Churchill’s speaking time at the event, this man -- a man who had never met me and refused to do so before and during the event -- included in his speech a reference to me as "vermin," and shared aloud a story of how an unnamed Nazi cartoonist was tried at the WWII Nuremburg trials, executed, dismembered and then cremated. Churchill’s ended this story with his own personal comment of, "Now, I’m not saying that should happen to Grant, but it would be a good thing."

When I read these two examples, I was reminded of several things:

--The other day Western Woman said, "I'll bet Ward Churchill knows every Native American torture method ever invented."

--One of Hannibal Lecter's victims was a recreation of the medieval Wound Man. Lecter lives in Churchill's heart.

--Three words: Amiri Baraka, scuzzball.

--Toward the end of Western Woman's piece on the black racist art exhibit SMoCA put on called HairStories, she points out the anti-American hatred of poet Pamela Sneed --who ignores both the Holocaust and 9/11-- and hair expert Pamela Ferrell, who said this:

"It's so interesting to hear the conversation and people talk about the Taliban controlling people in terms of their hair and not being able to cut it. And it's interesting how Americans act so concerned about people being oppressed when we know America is the world leader in oppression and discrimination . . ."[my emphasis]

--My posting about John Edgar Wideman, another racist of color like Haunani Trask, is relevant here. You can read the whole thing sometime, but for present purposes I'll just quote a snippet, about a Wideman short story:

Published on the UPENN online magazine crosscurrents, the story is called "hunters." The first, very short section, describes how two white hunters out in the woods shoot, perhaps accidentally, but certainly mortally, two black women; and then they decide to rape them before they die. (I skimmed the rest.)

--This quote from Dave Kopel in his review of media coverage of the continuing brouhaha:

In the editorial section, the [Rocky Mountain] News has informed readers about Churchill telling an audience to help Hawaiian natives by breaking the kneecaps of tourists in Hawaii.

Maybe he's already there, at the airport in Honolulu, baseball bat in hand, surrounded by his sycophants.

I've pointed out in an earlier post that Ward Churchill wants to dissolve the USA and create over 500 contiguous indigenous regions, and push people around into ethnic niches defined by him and, in Crowell's nice phrase, "his SUV-sized ego." This is regression, this is devolution, this is what I call The Rebarb, the rebarbarization of the world. His vision is The Road Warrior. His dream is The Postman, with he and crew counting coup and conducting raids and turning women and children into fodder again. He wants to be the bull goose loony in his crazy future world, and he has an alarming number of glassy-eyed young adults listening intently. Scary.

You'll see your woman hanging upside down,
Her features covered by her fallen gown;
And all the lousy little poets comin' 'round
Tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson.

And the white man dancing . . .

Ward Churchill wants to dance to the death of civilization. He's a living drum of death beating a tattoo of torture for me and you. We need to keep exposing these dangerous clowns because it seems, according to their own writings, they'll kill you quick as look at you.

Academics. Who would have thought that murder could sometimes smell like sheepskin?

[I have written about Ward Churchill here, here, here and here.]

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February 16, 2005

To Ward Churchill And John Jota Leaños: You Gotta Face Your Face When The Race Fad Fades

Specialization has made mincemeat out of the great body of knowledge.
--Camille Pagila

Ethnic Studies has made mincemeat out of the great body of humanity.
--JdB

by Jerome du Bois

While we watch Ward Churchill's money burn --over $6,300 in cancelled fees so far and counting-- and his kite (and frequent flier miles) go down, let me point out four or five characteristics he shares with a local clone of similar sensibility: John Jota Leaños (hereafter JJL), Arizona State University (ASU) assistant professor of what he calls "Xican@ Studies." (I'm not kidding. More below; it's hilarious.)

I refer to, specifically, (1) their similar art backgrounds and styles, (2) their systematic corruptions of the English language, (3) their promotion of the abolition of private property by violence and the disintegration of the United States of America, including literally dissolving its borders --plus (4) a constant hatred of and contempt toward all humanity, even toward those they purport to champion. I will show specific examples of each from each of these dangerous clowns below. They also both have comfortable jobs in big, and intermittently respectable, educational institutions, scarfing up the middle-class money, and they are surrounded by crews of acolyte zombies called "students," who used to think, who used to have minds, but then gave them up to be flacks for these fascists.

Let me take these similarities in turn, beginning with --yeah I know, I left this crap behind, so I'll make it quick-- art. (But I linger on the rest, so bring a sandwich and a cup of coffee.)

According to PirateBallerina.com, a Ward Churchill clearinghouse, he was an "Instructor of studio art and art history at Black Hills State College in Spearfish, S.D., 1975-1976." Dave Kopel of The Rocky Mountain News also passes along this tidbit:

In February 1994, Westword detailed the bitter political divisions in the radical Indian community, noting that the national American Indian Movement accused Churchill of falsely claiming to be part Indian. The article observed that Churchill is "A part-time painter who lost the ability to sell his work as 'Indian art' after a 1990 federal law required Indian artists to prove their ethnic authenticity . . ." (Well, if you can't paint them, you can still talk about them: "Lecturer, American Indian studies, film studies and sociology, University of Colorado system, 1978-1990.")

That's it with the art background. Now: Check out these images at the Ethnic Studies Department where ol'Wardo works. Please, peruse them at your leisure before reading on.

Next, examine JJL's website project page. And here. Compare the style, collages and themes. These guys are taking their crayons out of the same box: dead-ass academic Marxism and boilerplate self-loathing leftism. And they love the blood and guts. JJL has just tweaked it cyber.

As to their corruption of ordinary language, it derives from both Newspeak and the Humpty-Dumpty Theory of Meaning ("A word means just what I want it to mean, no more and no less.") I won't subject the reader to the turgidness of their extended sentences, which is like watching someone knead white bread dough in slow motion --only the titles and phrases of books, articles, lectures, and course titles. Let's start with Wardo, Mr. Insideoutski, who is in love with violence:

"Pacifism as Pathology." Wherein a reasoned, principled political position is redefined as a disease.

"The Demystification of the Assault Rifle." Happiness is a warm gun, I guess.

"Indians Are Us?" Also known as "Indians 'R' Us." Wherein Indians are subjected to --horrors!-- marketing! (Q: Why should they be exempt, when nobody else is?)

"On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality." Includes the now-infamous 9/11 essay, in which the innocent are redefined as guilty, criminal murderers as gallant warriors, and so on.

"Life in Occupied America." Would that then make UC at Boulder, widely known as "The People's Republic of Boulder," a righteous rainbow enclave surrounded by mobs of beige barbarians?

"Speaking Truth in the Teeth of Power: Lectures on Globalization, Colonialism, and Native North America." In which our hero takes advantage of our country's marvelously integrated infrastructure, flying around to various venues collecting speaking fees for preaching to the converted.

"Islands In Captivity: The International Tribunal On The Rights Of Indigenous Hawaiians." At this conference Churchill is on CD saying that Native Hawaiians should kneecap tourists with baseball bats whenever they can. He doesn't specify aluminum or wood, which is odd, considering his interest in weapons.

"Confronting The Crime Of Silence: Evidence Of U.S. War Crimes In Indochina." Hey, wait, were you on Kerry's swift boat, too, Wardo? Man, you get around.

I know I've been facetious, but it seems elementary to point out that he assumes what he has to prove in his titles, in most cases. Also, note the breathless drama: The Crime of Silence, Imperial Arrogance, Islands in Captivity, Occupied America. Oh, Lordy, I'm gettin' the vapors here!

Keeping it light for a little longer, let's begin talking about JJL with his helpful redefinition of . . . well, just read:

Identifying as Xican @ --written with an "X" and with an "@" symbol as a progression of the term Chicano-- has become increasingly complicated and hybrid since the rise of cultural empowerment and nationalist movements during the 1960s and 70s. Twenty-first century diversity and hybridity of Mexican-American experiences --Mexitaliana/o, "Jewsixcana/o," Native-Chicana, Salvadoreña-Chicano, Chicana/o-queer, etc.-- have greatly expanded the terms on which we can identify as Xican @ s. What has remained a constant, though, is that Xican @ identity is steeped in social and economic justice, race, gender and sexual equality, cultural progression and decolonization under a shared, albeit diverse, Mexican-American experience, history and cultural origin. Departing from ideas of Ana Castillo, José Cuellar describes Xican @ in his entry on "Chicanismo/Xicanism@" in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures:

Xicanism @ " is a contemporary extension of the 20th century Chicanismo that is ideologically rooted in the Chicana feminist "Mexic Amerindian" consciousness that rejects machismo, exclusionary ethnocentrism and nationalism while emphasizing our prehistoric tendencies toward interdependence and cooperation that transcends gender, class, race, and geographic boundaries. ..."Xicanism@" appears more frequently as an orthographically distinctive identifier and definer of the U.S. Mexican consciousness that is at more feminist, cultural guerilla, and more Amerindio than ever."

When JJL gave a speech about his Pat Tillman poster (more below), he said the following:

"I am a Xican@ public artist, performance artist and cultural worker."

But how did he say that? Zee-cah-nat? Chee-con-at? See-con-at-sign? (Yes, I see him.)

I used to (assistant) manage a Schlotzsky's (on the ASU campus, in fact), and if I had taken this description to the kitchen staff, most of whom were from Jalisco, they would laugh in my face, and rightly so. Every day they had to face learning simple English, without any help (though I tried), and this bozo wanted to impose a panoply of mincemeat categories, just to satisfy his own anxiety and political agenda. I mean, Jeebus: Chicana/o-queer?

In Spring 2003 JJL taught a class called "Techno-Mythologia: The Webopticon, Corporate Shamanism, and The Global War Machine." When I downloaded the pdf syllabus, I found these wonderful section titles:

Magic, Metaphysics and the Messiah of the Digital Universe
The United States Global Empire
Digital Capitalism and the Engines of Globalization
The Global Economic Infrastructure: IMF, World Bank & WTO
The Webopticon: Systems of Surveillance and the Underclasses
The Webopticon: Middle-Class Privacy and the Policing of the Poor
Terrorism, the Myth of Security and the Nation State
Global Policing, the Rogue State and Carnegie Mellon University (the Corporate-Military Institution)

[JJL used to teach at CMU; now he wants to bite the hand, I guess.]

Post-Humanism, the Culture of Robotics and the Politics of Gaming
Militarization of the Southern Border
Los Cybrids Performance at the Miller Gallery

That last one is about a performance art group that JJL is a major actor in. Students are required to attend the performance and write a 500- to 1000-word (don't want to tax their brains) review. Finally, the last session is entitled "Techno-Edutainment and the Digital Divide."

Hey, he wrote it, parents, to educate your young; let him explain it.

Now let's move on to the third topic, the "redefinition" of private property. You see, JJL also wants his students to break the law. That's right, come to ASU to learn to be a criminal. For example, JJL has an essay forthcoming in an anthology entitled With and Without Permission. The essay is called "The (Postcolonial) Rules of Engagement: Cultural Activism, Advertising Zones & Xican@ Digital Muralism." You can read it here. And right now JJL is co-teaching a class called Social Art Tactics in which language is turned into, as these Marxists are fond of saying, praxis: in other words, they put their money where their mouth is. Problem here is that the praxis is vandalism and worse, and those acts are illegal.

But they're going to teach these tactics anyway:

CHS 494/THP 494/598
Social Art Tactics
Spring 2005
Instructors: John J. Leaños & Ramón H. Rivera-Servera
Office: Leaños, Coor 6642, (480) 727-6113
Rivera-Servera, GHALL 219, (480) 965-0157

Course Description

Social Art Tactics is a hybrid art course co-taught by Ramon Rivera-Severa of the Department of Theater and John Jota Leaños of Chicana/o Studies. In this course, students will engage in the praxis, theory, and historical foundations of social art practice with special emphasis on Latin@ and Border art. Students will be exposed to artwork that strives for and stimulates social change and transformation in the fields of performance, theater, digital media, interventionist art, muralism and photography. The goal of the course is to develop a series of student-driven socially pertinent artworks that will be performed, displayed and installed in unexpected places.

Readers may remember last October, when JJL and his zombie crew created and distributed 250 posters slandering the memory of Pat Tillman, deceased Army Ranger and genuine American hero. (You can read JJL's self-serving gusano statement here.) I wrote about it here, and here. To quote myself in the second piece:

[JJL wrote to Greg Esser, a Phoenix public art official]: I think you must be aware of the value of doing public art both with and without permission. You are probably aware that Indigenous and Chicana/o visions of public space differ most definitely from predominant paradigms. We believe that the southern border, for instance, is a temporary expression of a failing social order. The hegemony of Private Property may be seen in the same vein. Chicana/o and Indigenous peoples have occupied this territory for many generations and have been told over and over that our concerns, ways and aesthetics do not matter. Many Chicana/o residents of the Downtown and Garfield Districts view the downtown arts community as paving the way for gentrification, a whitewashing of diverse cultural expression in order to replace it with an aseptic, "sponsored" and paid for culture. It seems that your actions are in tune with this project.

[And I added:] Ooh, meet El Presidente/a/o! Tell you what, Jota, every Chicano I've met, and I've worked side by side with many, same work, same pay, would take exception to you getting your skinny hands on their private property. And if I see you or any of your robots around my place, be ready for blood in your eyes, pendejo. [And I repeat the warning here.]

The only other point I want to make is this: none of these "interventionists" has the wherewithal to create their own compelling venue, so they steal what others have painstakingly organized --but carefully. For example:

Notice that JJL and his zombies wheat-pasted their slander in a not-so unexpected place --on the funky buildings of the downtown Phoenix First Fridays arts district, with its crucial captive crowd which was there for another reason than his, and where it's safe to say most of the viewers would sympathize with his case --and where the cops don't care.

But look: just down the street we see the Herberger Theater, and Symphony Hall, and the Opera House. Why not go down there, where the crowds waiting outside are bound to be more conservative, to get your message across? Come on, crew, slap those posters up on the polished granite, the wide sheets of glass! Why not? Answer: COPS.

JJL is a coward and a vampire. After all, he could stage his own little demonstration on campus, but who would come, who would care? That's why he needs the very infrastructure, the very vital, complex society around him, that he so longs to destroy, for his fascistic ego satisfaction. His envy has poisoned his soul, and he would rather wipe out the present social order for the sake of his prehistoric vision than build on the present, no matter who has to suffer.

Before we move on to cover Ward Churchill's own contempt for humanity, let's go back to JJL's Social Art Class for a little thought experiment. Suppose some students in his class enacted the following for their "interventionist art" project:

As for UC, last year it originally banned its College Republicans from holding an "affirmative action bake sale" on campus. As Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reported, these "sales" have been organized across the nation to satirize affirmative action by charging black and Hispanic students less for baked products than white and Asian students. Even though UC eventually permitted the sale protest to take place, the university did not stop pro-affirmative action students from (as reported in a local newspaper) forming a "mob," surrounding the sale, shoving the organizers, and tearing down their signs. As Lukianoff asks, would UC have allowed such "unlawful intimidation" at a "Free Tibet" event? "Sadly," he concludes, "while universities seem willing to abuse 'intimidation' to punish individuals they dislike, they are unwilling to apply the principle when it is warranted."

What kind of grade do you think JJL would give the cookie bakers? And what kind of grade for the shoving mob?

Now, as to Wardo . . .

Last Friday, Wretchard at The Belmont Club pointed out two instances of the casual cruelty of the Left, one by convicted lawyer Lynne Stewart, which I will ignore, and the other by the shake-n-bake shaman. The post, called "Easy To Be Hard; Easy To Be Cold," is written with Wretchard's usual pungent clarity:

Leftist professor Ward Churchill, who is under fire for describing victims of the World Trade Center attack as "little Eichmanns", said in his book On the Justice of Roosting Chickens that perhaps a few thousand would have to die for society to come around to his point of view. But they were nothing to cry over: just expendable Nazis. [Churchill quote follows.]

Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.[End of Churchill quote.]

The little Eichmann victims at the World Trade Center included fifteen Filipinos, sixteen Jamaicans, seventeen Columbians and fifteen Mexicans -- all dismissed with a wave of a hand. The Rocky Mountain News records Churchill as saying, "I'm not backing off an inch. I owe no one an apology". One of the sources of the inhuman 'strength' of the Left is its refusal to acknowledge the existence of anything smaller than a mass noun. Rhetorical service to the people, masses, workers, peasants; the poor and the downtrodden are objects worthy of the Left; but love, pity and sorrow for individuals is sentiment beneath contempt.[End of Wretchard excerpt.]

Churchill actually went further in an April 2004 interview with Satya magazine: he wants the United States as a political system "wiped off the planet."

Q: So if it takes eradication of the beast from within, how would you see that happening?

Well, first the withdrawal of consent, people imbued with consciousness to withdraw altogether from an embrace of the state.

If I defined the state as being the problem, just what happens to the state? I’ve never fashioned myself to be a revolutionary, but it’s part and parcel of what I’m talking about. You can create through consciousness a situation of flux, perhaps, in which something better can replace it. In instability there’s potential. That’s about as far as I go with revolutionary consciousness. I’m actually a de-evolutionary. I don’t want other people in charge of the apparatus of the state as the outcome of a socially transformative process that replicates oppression. I want the state gone: transform the situation to U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether.

Q: So what does that look like?

There’s no U.S. in America anymore. What’s on the map instead? Well let’s just start with territoralities often delineated in treaties of fact—territoralities of 500 indigenous nations imbued with an inalienable right to self-determination, definable territoralities which are jurisdictionally separate. Then you’ve got things like the internal diasporic population of African Americans in internal colonies that have been established by the imposition of labor patterns upon them. You’ve got Appalachian whites. Since the U.S. unilaterally violated its treaty obligations, it forfeits its rights—or presumption of rights—under international law. Basically, you’ve got a dismantlement and devolution of the U.S. territorial and jurisdictional corpus into something that would be more akin to diasporic self-governing entities and a multiplicity of geographical locations. A-ha, chew on that one for awhile.

There’s no overarching authority other than consensus or agreement between each of these. There has to be a collaborative and cooperative arrangement rather than something that’s centrally organized and arbitrarily imposed.

Forget thousands; let's destroy millions. They're just elements of a mass noun undergoing change. But a person, an individual, a sovereign unique human being? What's that? Who's that? Fork 'em. In fact, let's kill some:

Churchill contends groups like the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front haven't gone far enough in defending "animal rights." He claims that drawing a "line in the tactical sand" that embraces "property damage" but excludes murder is "arbitrary" – and again invokes Eichmann: "Given the opportunity to do either in, say, 1942, would it have been more effective/appropriate to have torched the office of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat whose peculiar expertise made an orderly implementation of the Final Solution possible, or to have eliminated Eichmann himself? The answer need not be rendered as an abstraction."

The answer need not be rendered as an abstraction.

Shh-chock! Is that the sound of a shotgun being racked? This is a dangerous man, who will lead you right into the ovens and light his cigarette off your burning flesh, as long as you are a white citizen of the United States. And then this lifelong bully will gloat that the victim is now the victor.

Twelve years ago Camille Paglia exposed these fools in her essay "Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf." (Also "The MIT Lecture," from the same book.) In the first essay she describes the kind of curriculum she would like to see enacted. For example:

Artifacts, monuments, and sacred sites and rituals from European, African, Far and Near Eastern, Pre-Columbian, Native American and Oceanic cultures would be closely studied. The method would be rigorously old historicist. There would be no melodramatic victimage scenarios, that drippy amateur soap opera which fuzzy academic liberals, suppressing recognition of their own innate aggression, aggressively project backwards. The human record is virtually universally one of cruelty barely overcome and restrained by civilization. Imperialism and slavery are no white male monopoly but are everywhere, from Egypt, Assyria, and Persia to India, China, and Japan.[Pp.238-9.]

This is called recognizing reality, and it is overdue in academe. One more extended paragraph:

Modernization means Westernization. The modern technological world is the product of the Greco-Roman line of mathematics, science, and analytic thought. The academic pop-politicos, pandering to students, rob them of their future. Education must simultaneously explore and explain the world's multiculturalism while preparing the young to enter the Apollonian command-system. But ethnic descendants should, as much as possible, retain their creative duality. I feel Italian but love America. Oprah Winfrey shifts wonderfully back and forth, with jazzlike improvisation, between her two voices. African-Americans must study the language and structure of Western public power while still preserving their cultural identity, which has had world impact on the arts. We must expose the absurdity of our literary ostriches who think we need the death-by-sludge French theorists to tell us about multiple "discourses." The established scholarship of comparative religion, anthropology, and art history had already prepared us with a flexible, accurate methodology for negotiating among belief-systems and identifying the inconography and symbol-schemes of different cultures and periods.

You see the generosity of spirit, the embrace of the world's complexity, and the confidence in ordinary humans? There's no squinty-eyed, astringent resentment anywhere, because Camille Pagila is a genius and a mensch who loves humanity, and Ward Churchill and John Jota Leaños are adolescent-minded twits who seethe because the world rightly gave them the go-by, and now they would rather pick gnat shit out of pepper over in the dunce's corner than join the ongoing, ever-new banquet at the common table.

I know you loathe yourselves, Wardo, JJ --I don't blame you-- but as it says in the title, You gotta face your face when the race fad fades.

[I have written about Ward Churchill here, here, and here.]

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February 09, 2005

Flying With Ward Churchill On The Astral Plane

[Readers may also be interested in my earlier pieces, The Indian Giver and Another Note On Ward Churchill Of The Hyena-Vulture Tribe)

by Jerome du Bois

That's right, last night I had the strangest flight --on the same astral plane as Ward Churchill. Sitting right next to him, in fact. At first, I made a mental note for my astral travel agent; I mean, come on, this turkey and me on the same plane? No way. I'm first class, and he . . . I mean, we couldn't be karmically konnected, could we?

But after the way it turned out, with those others who showed up during the flight, I cancelled that mental note.

I had the window seat, and he was in the aisle seat, and the middle seat was empty. It was beautiful, as usual. Multicolored ribbons of light and delight passed through the transparent plane from time to time, interesting passengers walked or floated up and down the aisles, the multitudinous stars and comets had no intention of hiding, the music of the spheres was especially entrancing tonight --but the man seemed sunk in thought; his long grey hair (which is lank, has no style, and certainly isn't in the same league as my own wavy long grey hair), hiding that Rushmore face.

It was the music, I guess, my favorite Chopin waltz, which lifted my heart, and I leaned over and whispered, "You okay? The media blitz getting you down? What about all those standing ovations you got tonight?"

He looked over --no dark glasses, washed-out pale blue eyes wary-- shrugged, and turned away again, his chin sunk on his chest.

"Russell was there. They drummed for you, skin. Everybody in the room was on your side. What's the problem?"

Another shrug. After a moment, I heard him murmur something.

I leaned closer. Even on the astral plane, he stank of cigarettes. "Excuse me?"

He murmured it again, louder: "Loudermilk."

"Loudermilk?" I chuckled involuntarily, and Churchill's head shot up.

"Yes, Loudermilk, man," he said in his typically bullying fashion. "John D. Loudermilk. He started it all, at least for me."

I was lost, even with the information available on the astral plane, which is quicker than a T1 connection. Loudermilk? . . .

Churchill took a deep breath, and sighed it out slowly --"might as well tell," he muttered at the end of it-- then began nodding his head and tapping his right foot, his fingers beginning a rhythm. I closed my eyes and tried to follow his vibe . . . Yes, this seemed familiar. What was he trying to tell me? "They took . . ." What was it? "They took . . ."

It was a tune he was humming: Dum de dum dum deedily dumm dumm . . .

Oh, man. I had it:

They took the whole Cherokee Nation,
Put us on this reservation.
Took away our ways of life,
The tomahawk and the bow and knife.

I opened my eyes and my jaw dropped: Ward Churchill was looking me in the face, his rugged features running miserably with tears. I had to bite my lip.

"Whhh . . ." I managed to urgh, stifling laughter.

Suddenly he lunged toward me, big desperate hands raised beseechingly. "Come on, man, think about it! Elmwood, Illinois --white bread city-- and here came Paul Revere and the Raiders --didn't they have great outfits? and style? Huh? They had an identity!-- and that song, written by Loudermilk . . . that was my inspiration, don't you see? I must have listened to it a thousand times!" And he burst into croaking song, banging his big hands on his knobby knees:

They took the whole Cherokee Nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife

Took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

They took the whole Indian Nation
Locked us on this reservation
Though I wear a shirt and tie
I'm still part red man deep inside

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

But maybe someday when they've learned
Cherokee Nation will return
Will return...
Will return...
Will return...
Will return..."

He trailed off, then perked up again. "I was heading for a suit and tie, then, too, don't you remember? You're my age, didn't you want to . . . be something?"

"You mean, someone other than myself?"

"Hell, yeah!"

I shrugged. "So, you . . . what, reinvented yourself?"

He looked around. Despite the singing, nobody was paying much attention to us. Then he looked me in the eye. "Yeah. I became a Cherokee. I had my handle. The rest" --waving his hand-- "has just been refinement. It was that song, man. The pride in it."

I sat back, running the lyrics through my mind again.

Churchill was repeating in a whisper, "The pride . . . the pride . . ."

And I was wrong about nobody paying attention, because a man had approached down the aisle and stopped next to Churchill's seat. I looked over. Churchill started. "Jesus!"

The man said, "A pride you have no right to."

The man was clearly a North American Indian; his bronze face glowed with health. He was dressed in a double-breasted grey silk suit with wide lapels. His tie matched the turban on his head, a swirl of red, yellow and orange. He held a long, thin curved black pipe in his right hand.

But the most striking part of his costume was on his chest: hanging from a chain around his neck was a silver filigree breastplate which covered his lapels and reached to his waist. It was composed entirely of rows of strange symbols cast in silver and linked together. It glittered in the starlight.

"Who . . ." Churchill whispered.

"Guess," I said. The Indian looked over at me and smiled, lifting the pipe. I inclined my head: "Sogwali," I said.

Churchill looked over at me. "I don't want to guess. This guy seems familiar. . ."

"Guess," I repeated. "George Guess. That's what the white people called him; also Sequoyah, the clubfoot. He invented the Cherokee alphabet and syllabary you see there on his chest. He was also a silversmith. His Cherokee name is Sogwali." I turned to the handsome Indian. "Honored to make your acquaintance."

Sogwali nodded, then looked at Churchill. "I'm not surprised you don't recognize me. You've got your head stuck in imaginary CIA documents and conspiracy theories. Maybe you've spent too many years trying to prove America's evil all over the world, and you neglected an important life lesson in your . . . adopted past, so to speak.

"Me.

"You bray about pride. Well, I was too proud to stay illiterate, and I invented a new thing, a way to move forward in the world. Were the Cherokee doomed to stay in the past, when any fool can see that the world only spins forward? That silly song says, 'They took away our native tongue / And taught their English to our young.' No. I made sure they didn't take away our --not your-- native tongue." He patted the breastplate.

"Oh, I know you're an inventor, too. Besides your past, you invented a sneaky smallpox massacre with infected blankets, for example. . . " He took a long puff on his pipe. "I could go on, but Sarah needs to talk to you about another one of your inventions."

Churchill's brow wrinkled. "Sarah--?" But Sogwali held up a silencing finger. "Just one more thing: why did you have to pick the Cherokee to shame?" He snapped his fingers. "Oh, wait, I know--"

"That song," Churchill groaned. Sogwali shook his head --"that song"-- and drifted, limping, down the aisle, trailing sweet tobacco smoke. In his wake came a single piece of paper, ragged and wilted, wafting and drifting through the air, until it came to rest on the seat between us. I picked it up and read it aloud.

”...there is ambiguity in the record as to whether the total physical annihilation of European Jewry itself was actually a fixed policy objective. What is revealed instead is a rather erratic and contradictory hodgepodge of anti-Jewish policies which, as late as mid-1944, included an apparently genuine offer by the SS to trade a million Jews to the Western allies in exchange for 10,000 trucks to be used in Germany’s war against the Soviets. Contrary to [Yehuda] Bauer’s irrational contention of a ‘cosmic’ and unparalleled total extermination, approximately two-thirds of the global Jewish population survived the Holocaust, as did about a third of the Jews of Europe.” [A Little Matter of Genocide, pp. 34-5]

I was looking up and about to say "One of yours?" but I saw the young woman standing in the aisle where Sogwali had been. So did Churchill, who groaned again --"Man, am I on the wrong plane!"-- when he saw her.

She was a plain, dark-haired young woman wearing a simple pale grey cotton shift. She had her arms crossed over her chest, and she regarded Churchill in a contemplative way.

"Sarah?" I asked, but she just kept staring at Churchill, until he himself said, "Sarah?"

She nodded.

"Sarah who?"

"All of them. They renamed us all Sarah, you see," she said, and unfolded her arms, holding them out and down, palms forward, so we could see the rows and rows of numbers tattooed from wrist to armpit, serial numbers neatly printed one atop the other, both arms, dozens of numbers. "It wasn't erratic," she said in accented English. "It wasn't a hah-hodgepodge," having trouble with the word. "It was very well organized."

As we examined her tattoos, each one began to glow, red as an electric coil, as if each was a brand. The woman leaned back slightly, and escaping souls slipped from each brand like golden handkerchiefs, fluttered around her for a moment like a flock of birds, completely enveloping her in a golden whirl, then flew away with her out through the transparent hull of the astral plane.

Churchill was shaking his head. "I'm on the wrong plane."

"Apparently." I looked at the paper again. "So it would take a hundred Jews for just one truck? Hmm. How many Jews do you think you're worth?"

Churchill glared and made his horseshoe smug-mouth. "Who the hell are you, anyway, to ask me anything?"

"Well, as you said tonight --or is it last night, by now?-- what you put out there is going to blow back at you. Also, as you're fond of saying, First Amendment, freedom of expression --and even dreams, maybe especially astral dreams, cannot escape the truth."

He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, as if testing bonds. "This is no good, I'm on the wrong plane, I'm supposed to be with Russell and them. Russell!" he shouted, stretching his turtle neck, looking through the crowd. "Russ--!"

He broke off as he saw the couple holding hands approach. I didn't know their names --I don't know if anybody does-- but billions around the world knew who they were on September 11, 2001. Here they were now, made whole again, and still holding hands. I couldn't help but smile, but they glared down at Ward Churchill.

The woman spoke. "I was just working. I'm nobody's pawn, and I wasn't collateral damage. I was murdered by evil men who hated life and the good and beautiful even more than you do, you heartless man."

Churchill puffed up his chest and glared back. "How do you know who you work for? You ever heard of COINTELPRO? They could have--"

The man interrupted. "You're right, you are on the wrong plane," and he reached out, grabbed Ward Churchill by his lank grey hair, and whipped him out of that plane quick as you please, as if discarding a dirty rag. We could hear him yelling as he fell and fell, his voice growing hoarse and faint as the plane flew on.

"That'll scare the hell out of him, but he'll be all right," said the man. He smiled and quoted the song --"'He will return, will return, will return'-- It's just a dream; not like what happened to us. But he may need to change his bedding when he wakes up." He chuckled.

I held out my hand. "I'd be honored if you'd sit with me. I seem to have two empty seats all of a sudden."

They smiled. "Our pleasure." So we passed a pleasant evening, and we spoke only about beautiful things.

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Continual updates on the Ward Churchill brouhaha can be found at PirateBallerina.com. Hat tip to LGF, as usual.

Posted by Jerome at 05:40 PM | TrackBack

February 08, 2005

More On Muslims Loving Knives

[I sense several more posts coming on today, so I'll get the ugliest out of the way first.]

by Jerome du Bois

In my earlier piece Theo van Gogh Calls on Mohammed Bouyeri, published on January 31st, I had the ghost of Mr. van Gogh wondering aloud before his murderer:

"Some down here in this vale of tears want to know: what is it with you Muslims and the ritual slaughter with knives?" He lifted the Blackberry. "So many recent cases. There's no answers, and don't expect to say much tonight, little man, but we need to push the questions: Why do you love the knife so much? Why must you carve them up, just as the psychosexual crazies do? You see --hell, you, you worthless bastard, you ought to know-- using the knife is a crime of passion; it's up close and personal, love turned to hate. But I didn't even know you, and I wouldn't give you a second glance in life, and yet look at what you did!"

And he shows him.

On Sunday, Charles Johnson posted A Clockwork Green, an excerpt of an article by David Cohen in This Is London online: The Rise of the Muslim Boys. Here's the whole excerpt he quoted:

Winston emerges menacingly from the kitchen, a meat cleaver in one hand and a kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade in the other. “I love knives,” he says, his eyes gleaming as he begins to slash the air inches from my face.

“Guns make a f***ing noise, but knives go in,” he pauses, “ silentlike, easy.” He begins stabbing the wall and hacking the plaster, and then, just as suddenly, stops, seemingly sated, like an addict who has had his fix.

He holds up his blades to inspect them. “F***ing quality,” he says, and deposits them unceremoniously his trousers. Winston, 21, black and from south London, licks his teeth as he paces around the stripped-bare flat on a Peckham estate that serves as one of his gang’s many secret hideouts. He speaks in his gang’s uniquely coded lingo.

“Knives is f***-all. Later, my bruvs will be back from their robberies with our skengelengs [guns] and cream [money]. Later there be MACinside-10s [sub-machine guns] all over the floor, laid wall to wall. And moolah! We count it - 10 grand, 20 grand. Then, after midnight,” he adds, matter-of-factly, “me and my bruvs go to mosque to pray.”

Winston’s casual depiction of a lifestyle of crime tightly bound up with religious observance would normally be regarded as paradoxical, but in his case it is what defines him. For Winston is a member of the Muslim Boys, a gang, the black community says, unlike any that has operated before in south London.

The whole article is chilling. Here's how it ends:

Winston is now agitated again and he begins playing with his knives, laying them in patterns at his feet. "You lucky the other bruvs not here yet," he says. "They pick you up and throw you straight off the f***ing balcony."

One final question, I say. Where does your money go? "To the f***ing laundry, innit," he says, licking his teeth. Is there any connection between your gang and al Qaeda? He glares at me. "That's a deep piece of info. I support Bin Laden. I wouldn't ask that question, bruv - it's rude, it's dangerous, it's ..."

Time to leave. There are moments when words do not come easily to Winston, when he prefers to let his hands do the talking, and right now, they are being frighteningly expressive.

It's ugly inside Winston's head (and his stinky world: "My life is the grime."). But I'm still not any closer to answering Theo van Gogh's questions.

Posted by Jerome at 10:50 AM | TrackBack

The Ghosts Didn't Go Anywhere

dec25.jpg

Ghosts on the trees,
There's ghosts on the wires--
Asking questions and showing signs;
Shivering with truth, they're lighting fires,
Lighting fires all down the line.
--John Hiatt, 2000.

by Jerome du Bois

Nobody wanna talk about the ghosts, okay.
Don't matter, they gonna they haunt you anyway.

The unmanipulated, point-and-click digital photograph above was taken by Catherine King in the front yard of our house in Phoenix, Arizona, at around 8:25 PM on Christmas Day, December 25, 2004, as we went out for our evening walk. (Tell me about the camera glitches, George. The insect-eye reflections. The CMOS-cell failures. Riiight.)

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, it was 8:25 AM, December 26, 2004. And the Earth shifted, and Hell rose as swelling walls of water, and the Angel of Death began to reap 280,000 human lives, turning flesh and body into soul.

While the Earth kept turning over the astounded dead.

Today, I was listening to John Hiatt's album Crossing Muddy Waters (tell us about it!). I listened to the last song over and over, and wept bitter tears at how people can be so thick. We really wanted to show, through our complex installation of ghost photo art called "American Gothic" at Bentley Projects, fragile immortality.

The ghosts haven't gone anywhere.

"Before I Go" is the album's last song:

I've been sleeping for some hours;
Just woke up and you were there:
Like the morning, like the flower,
Sunlight whispering in my ears.
Red tail hawk shooting down the canyon--
Put me on that wind he rides,
I will be your true companion,
When we reach the other side.

I will try, I will stumble--
But I will fly, he told me so.
Proud and high or low and humble,
Many miles before I go--
Many miles before I go.

Can't decide which way to travel,
On the ground or in the sky.
All my schemes have come unraveled,
All that's left is you and I.

And I will try, but I will stumble--
And I will fly, he told me so.
Proud and high or low and humble,
Many miles before I go--
Many miles before I go.

Ghosts on the trees,
There's ghosts on the wires--
Asking questions and showing signs;
Shivering with truth, they're lighting fires,
Lighting fires all down the line.

And I will try, and I will stumble--
But I will fly, he told me so.
Proud and high or low and humble,
Many miles before I go--
Many miles before I go.

Here I go!

Here I am. Here they are.
I don't argue about it anymore.

When the truth makes you shiver, you light the fire, you light the fire all down the line, and all you can do is you lay it out for the hearts and eyes of others.

I'm a pretty hardheaded Darwinian, but I've been dealing with these kinds of things --ghosts, orbs, the dead tugging my sleeve --I'm here! I'm here!-- off and on, for over twenty years. I don't know what to do with them except point to them and respect their persistence. What, if anything, will you do with them, dear reader?

After all, they're only the dead. How can they affect you?

Posted by Jerome at 07:47 AM | TrackBack

February 06, 2005

Another Note On Ward Churchill Of The Hyena-Vulture Tribe

by Jerome du Bois

Like many, I was struck by the alacrity with which Ward Churchill whipped up his infamous 9/11 essay --one day. He seemed to have it readymade, right there in his head.

Today, I came across two articles from the Rocky Mountain News which throw even more light on how this man's mind works. The first is by Paul Campos, a UC law professor; I excerpt his description of parallels between Churchill's profile and fascism. The second is a vivid description by a former student of a certain day in the classroom: April 19, 1995.

Here is Paul Campos in yesterday's Rocky Mountain News:

As a political inclination and an aesthetic style, fascism is marked by, among other things, the following characteristics:

• The worship of violence as a purifying social force. This often manifests itself as an aggressive and romanticized militarism, that produces a kind of cult of the warrior, and that advocates violent action as a mechanism for social change, and an appropriate way of crushing dissent.

• A hyper-nationalistic ideology, that casts history into a drama featuring an inevitably violent struggle between Good and Evil, and that obsesses on questions of racial and ethnic identity.

• The dehumanization and scapegoating of opponents, who are characterized by turns as demonically clever conspirators plotting to undermine the possibility of a virtuous society, and soulless automatons mindlessly carrying out the orders of a vast and evil bureaucracy. This dehumanization often leads to demands that the evil in our midst be eradicated "by any means necessary," up to and including the mass extermination of entire nations and peoples.

• The treatment of moral responsibility as a fundamentally collective matter. The supposed virtues and sins of a nation or people are ascribed to all of its individual members, so that, for example, one speaks of "the Jew" (meaning all Jews collectively and each Jewish person individually) being responsible for the decadence of modern culture.

Anyone who reads widely in the collected works of professor Churchill, and especially anyone who listens to his speeches, will, if they are not blinded by certain ideological commitments, recognize the essentially fascist tendency of his work. If a white American were to speak of any foreign people or nation in anything like the way Churchill discusses America and Americans, the fascist character of his work would be obvious to everyone.

Now read Kimberly Hickel's account, from an article by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, also from yesterday's Rocky Mountain News (hat tip: The American Thinker):

Kimberly Hickel is a former student of Churchill's who says she was in his class on April 19, 1995, when the Oklahoma City bombing took place.

"He actually stood in front of our class and said how the FBI got what they deserved. It was awful," said Hickel, who graduated from CU in 1997.

Some of the students tried to argue with Churchill, saying the innocent children killed in the day-care center didn't deserve to die. But he refused to allow them to speak their minds.

After that, Hickel boycotted his class and wrote a letter to Churchill, attacking his point of view. He, in turn, gave her a D- for the class. She complained to his superiors, but said they did nothing.

"The whole school is afraid of him," she said. "He is hiding behind free speech. But he doesn't allow students to stand up for free speech," Hickel said.

Now an interior architect and designer in Edwards, Hickel said she was especially offended by Churchill's latest writings because she lived in New York at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks and witnessed the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

She saw people jumping to their deaths to try to escape the towers.

"I hope he gets fired," Hickel said. "He's an evil, evil person. Do you think an evil person should be a professor at CU?"

Before the sun went down on that very day the heart was blown out of Oklahoma City, with everything still smoking and people screaming and weeping, this strutting vulture, this leering hyena, tears at the torn flesh with glee.

(Readers may also be interested in my earlier piece, "The Indian Giver.")

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Update: More from Joe Gandelman at Dean's World.

Posted by Jerome at 11:33 AM | TrackBack

Recipe: Breakfast Polenta With Chorizo and Queso Fresco

Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, December 2004.

This dish is very rich. Though it allows for substitutions, it works best with queso fresco, Basque chorizo, and polenta. It will probably taste better in the summer, too, when garden-fresh tomatoes and corn are more readily available.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes; Total Time: 40 minutes

4 Servings

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups crumbled queso fresco (or feta) cheese, about 6 ounces

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 1/4 cups water

1 cup polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal) or regular cornmeal

8 oz. fresh corn kernels (or frozen corn, thawed)

8 oz. canned creamed corn

1 pound Spanish Basque chorizo sausage, casings removed and pieces cut into the size of corn kernels

1 pound cherry tomatoes, about 3 1/2 cups

Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper

Procedure

Toss cheese and cilantro in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix 3 1/4 cups water, polenta, corn kernels and creamed corn in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and stir the mixture to blend well. Bake until the water is absorbed and the polenta is tender, stirring once, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté the chorizo in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the tomatoes soften, about 6 minutes.

Uncover and crush some of the tomatoes with a fork. Simmer until the tomatoes release their juices and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Plating

Spoon the polenta onto plates. Top with the chorizo mixture, then the cheese mixture.

Admire it for a moment.

Then --this is the key-- stir it up good before you eat. Enjoy!

Posted by Jerome at 01:31 AM | TrackBack

February 05, 2005

The National Flag Offends Muslims

I dreamed I saw Theodore van Gogh
Alive as you or me
Tearing through these quarters
In the utmost misery
With a blanket underneath his arm
And a coat of solid gold
Searching for the very souls
Whom already have been sold.

"Arise, arise", he cried so loud
With a voice without restraint
"Come out ye gifted kings and queens
And hear my sad complaint
No martyr is among ye now
Whom you can call your own
So go on your way accordingly
But know you're not alone".

I dreamed I saw Theodore van Gogh
Alive with fiery breath
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones
That put him out to death
Oh, I awoke in anger
So alone and terrified
I put my fingers against the glass
And bowed my head and cried.

--adapted from Bob Dylan

by Jerome du Bois

In a stunning late-Friday decision sure to stir nationwide debate, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals banned the display of the Stars and Stripes in any public school in its purview, because the flag offends Muslims. In a Dream News exclusive, let's go to reporter Bin Baz . . .

Wait . . .Whoa . . . wake up. It was just a horrible nightmare. No, of course, it can't happen here.

But it can happen, and it has. From Robert Spencer at Dhimmi Watch:

The Dutch have banned their flag, but I'm sure they'll be quite happy to wear the zunnar. (The zunnar, folks, was a cloth belt worn by dhimmis, to signify their inferior status.) From Rayra at LGF comes this:

In the Netherlands the national flag is now banned on most schools. If a student wears the national flag of his own country he will be suspended or expelled from school. The reason for this is that this provokes the immigrants (the muslims) and therefore it is considered discrimination if you wear your country's flag in your own country. Even people who have an bumpersticker whit the flag on their car are harassed and called a facist by the Muslims. Most schools also ban certain clothing like the Lonsdale brand and combat boots with white or red laces. This is also concidered a sign of racism. There are of course no restrictions for the immigrants on clothing.

Poor Theo. Did you die for nothing? Did Fortuyn? Have your fellow countrymen and countrywomen sold their souls for the peace of dhimmitude?

As for my fellow Americans, they would do well to read this latest Freedom House report about the pervasive Saudi / Wahhabi teachings flooding American mosques. They are here and they are being taught to hate us.

So let's keep awake, and keep Old Glory flying high, wide, and handsome, right in their faces.

Posted by Jerome at 08:24 AM | TrackBack

February 04, 2005

FLOWERTOWER V

FLOWERTOWERV.jpg

Flower Arrangement and Photography by Catherine King.

Posted by Jerome at 04:49 PM | TrackBack

The President Has A Question For CNN's John King

by Jerome du Bois

I'm jumping on the accelerating Eason Jordan Fables story by approaching it from a different angle. But first, of course, I acknowledge those who did the real work on this important media exposé, beginning with Rony Abovitz and Rebecca MacKinnon, who both have eyewitness accounts of Jordan's latest spate of poisonous spittle. Hugh Hewitt,
Ed Morrissey
, and The Baron are all over it. As are others.

In fact, it just exploded. See PowerLine's new post, with Hugh Hewitt's email with Rony. Rony's new post is a must-read. As is Ms. MacKinnon's email correspondence with Jordan himself.

As for the MSM, as of today, only the Washington Times has taken note. (Will even Fox News Watch ignore it tomorrow?)

[Update: LaShawn Barber has the best roundup so far.]

[Update 2/6: There is now an entire blog devoted to Easongate, hosted by Bill Roggio, Blackfive, Brian Scott, Chester, and Charles Goggin.

Let me add to the long tail buzz by going back in time.

On January 26, 2005, one day before Jordan made his most recent incendiary remarks at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the President of the United States held his first post-election press conference.

At one point, he called on John King from CNN.

John.

Q Mr. President, I want to try another way to ask you about Iraq. When you made the decision to go to war in Iraq, you clearly had majority support in the country. A string of recent polls have shown a clear majority of the American people now believe it was a mistake to go to war in Iraq. You've asked for $80 billion in more money on top of the billions already spent. The Army says it will probably have 100,000 or more troops in Iraq for at least another year. What would you say to the American people, including a significant number who supported you at the beginning of the war, who now say this is not what we were led to believe would happen? [My emphasis.]

I'm going to post the President's answer below, and then I'll take over the press conference for a few fantasy minutes as the President turns the tables.

PRESIDENT BUSH: A couple of things, John. I'd say the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. A world with Saddam Hussein in power would have been a more dangerous world today. Secondly, that we're making progress in helping Iraq develop a democracy, and in the long term, our children and grandchildren will benefit from a free Iraq.

In terms of troop levels, obviously we're going to have the troop levels necessary to complete the mission, and that mission is to enable Iraq to defend herself from terrorists, homegrown or terrorists that come in from outside of the country.

And so our mission is focused on not only an increase in the number of Iraqis in uniform, whether it be army or National Guard or border patrol or police, but to make sure the quality of their ability to fight is enhanced. And so over the next year we'll be advancing our plan to make sure the Iraqis are better prepared to defend themselves and to fight. There have been some really fine units that have been stood up so far, and obviously we want to make sure there are more units that are capable of fighting.

Listen, this problem will eventually be solved when the Iraqis take the initiative. And the Iraqi people see Iraqi soldiers willing to defend them. And so -- and the American people, when they see the Iraqis step up and begin to fight, will see progress being made toward an objective which will make this world a better place.

I don't want to rehash a --something that I'm sure you got tired of hearing me talk about on the campaign trail, but it is-- the decisions we make today can affect how people live 30, 40 or 50 years from now. And I bring up once again my example about working with Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan. And it wasn't all that long ago that Japan was a bitter enemy. And today, because Japan is a democracy and a free country, the Japanese are strong allies with the United States of America, and we're better off for it.

The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people. [Thirty-one killed in helicopter crash.] I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life. But it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom. Otherwise the Middle East will continue to be a cauldron of resentment and hate, a recruiting ground for those who have this vision of the world that is the exact opposite of ours.

[Babble of voices . . . the scene switches to fantasy; the President holds up a silencing hand.]

PRESIDENT BUSH: Just a minute, before we go on, John. I have a question for you. Let me introduce it this way. You used a phrase in your question a minute ago: this is not what we were led to believe would happen.

It's that one phrase which concerns me: what we were led to believe.

[President Bush reaches into his jacket pocket and extracts a folded set of papers. Straightening them out, he spreads several printed sheets out on the podium.]

You work for CNN. One of your bosses is Eason Jordan. On at least one occasion over the last two years, Mr. Jordan has claimed the US military was deliberately killing --torturing, actually-- US journalists --your colleagues, John; my fellow citizens. He made these statements abroad, to mostly foreign audiences, leading them to believe they were true. They are not.

Now, I used a phrase a minute ago I'd like to re-emphasize:

Otherwise the Middle East will continue to be a cauldron of resentment and hate, a recruiting ground for those who have this vision of the world that is the exact opposite of ours.

Your boss's remarks make me wonder --this isn't my question-- what vision of the world does he, and you, have?

[Shuffling the papers]

JOHN KING: Sir, if I may --

[The President looks up sharply. King shuts up without further prompting.]

On April 12,2003, Eason Jordan published a famous op-ed essay in the New York Times. I'm sure you remember it, John. In it, he admits that CNN covered up many atrocities just so CNN could broadcast from Baghdad, leading people to believe what they saw with their own eyes. But it wasn't the true story.

[Looking down, reading]

Five days later, Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute wrote:

Here's a journalism ethics case that will go in the books. It's an example of moral complexity with multiple dilemmas that defy simple answers. CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan is at the center of a controversy triggered by his revelation that CNN did not report some stories about atrocities in Iraq over the past dozen years. Jordan says reporting them would have risked getting innocent people killed.

Later, Hugh Hewitt had this response:

A victim of Saddam during the period of Saddam's brutality and CNN's complicity might look at all MSM and conclude it could not be trusted --ever. That victim, or his or her family or friends, might not think of CNN's complicity in Saddam's evil as an "example of moral complexity with multiple dilemmas." They would conclude that it was toadyism. And they would be right. [Blog,p.98.]

[Almost aside] You know, we've got some big bufos in Texas, but they're nothing like the size of the ones in this city.

[Continuing] As you know, John, there are so many victims who could bring this charge, but, as it happens, Eason Jordan himself provides us with one, in his famous confessional piece:

Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for ''crimes,'' one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home.

[Bows head] Let us have a moment of silence for Asrar Qabandi, who would have been 44 years old this month. . . .

I wonder, John --this isn't my question, either-- have you ever given this woman a single thought? --I know you've read this confession-- or were you led to believe the company's shareholders were more important?

JOHN KING: Sir, I think I have the right--

PRESIDENT BUSH: Right. Now we get to it. Your right to this, your right to that. Especially your right to access --access to Saddam's palaces, and access to this room. Your rights. God knows I'm not a perfect man, nor is anyone in this room. But hopefully we stand for something, we have standards, we stand beside the good. We share that in this room, or we should. So, given that CNN, for money, let all the horror happen, for a dozen years --while we tried to discourage it from the sky-- and helped create the conditions that made war necessary, my question is this:

As a representative of CNN, what makes you think I should treat you differently than a representative of Al-Jazeera?

[Long silence, after which JOHN KING turns and marches out without a word.]

PRESIDENT BUSH: [Putting papers away] Now, let's welcome Carl Cameron, shall we?

[Appendix: Here is a copy of Eason Jordan's 2003 confession.

Eason Jordan, April 12, 2003, NYT Op-Ed page.($)

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard -- awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers.

We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan's monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman's rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed.

I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed. One Foreign Ministry officer told me of a colleague who, finding out his brother had been executed by the regime, was forced, as a test of loyalty, to write a letter of congratulations on the act to Saddam Hussein. An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us.

Last December, when I told Information Minister Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf that we intended to send reporters to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, he warned me they would ''suffer the severest possible consequences.'' CNN went ahead, and in March, Kurdish officials presented us with evidence that they had thwarted an armed attack on our quarters in Erbil. This included videotaped confessions of two men identifying themselves as Iraqi intelligence agents who said their bosses in Baghdad told them the hotel actually housed C.I.A. and Israeli agents. The Kurds offered to let us interview the suspects on camera, but we refused, for fear of endangering our staff in Baghdad.

Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for ''crimes,'' one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family's home.

I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.]

Posted by Jerome at 12:00 PM | TrackBack

February 03, 2005

The Indian Giver

You gotta face your face when the race fad fades. And besides, we are all Africans. --JdB

by Jerome du Bois

On the Ward Churchill story, I knew this was going to happen.

Today, From Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters:

Now CQ reader Jim Walker notes a press release from the American Indian Movement and signed by well-known activist Dennis Banks that outs Churchill as a fraud:

The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council representing the National and International leadership of the American Indian Movement once again is vehemently and emphatically repudiating and condemning the outrageous statements made by academic literary and Indian fraud, Ward Churchill in relationship to the 9-11 tragedy in New York City that claimed thousands of innocent people’s lives.

Churchill’s statement that these people deserved what happened to them, and calling them little Eichmanns, comparing them to Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who implemented Adolf Hitler’s plan to exterminate European Jews and others, should be condemned by all.

The sorry part of this is Ward Churchill has fraudulently represented himself as an Indian, and a member of the American Indian Movement, a situation that has lifted him into the position of a lecturer on Indian activism. He has used the American Indian Movement’s chapter in Denver to attack the leadership of the official American Indian Movement with his misinformation and propaganda campaigns.

Ward Churchill has been masquerading as an Indian for years behind his dark glasses and beaded headband. He waves around an honorary membership card that at one time was issued to anyone by the Keetoowah Tribe of Oklahoma. Former President Bill Clinton and many others received these cards, but these cards do not qualify the holder a member of any tribe. He has deceitfully and treacherously fooled innocent and naïve Indian community members in Denver, Colorado, as well as many other people worldwide. Churchill does not represent, nor does he speak on behalf of the American Indian Movement.

I studied Native American medicine ways for awhile, lived on the Navajo Reservation for a year, and travelled around to several tribes in the North Midwest. Every Indian I met could see this guy coming a mile away; they were everywhere, vamping on the vanishing redman romance. Only overeducated academic liberals got snowed by people like this five-sided comedian. (For a local version, see my pieces on ASU teacher John Jota Leanos, here and here.)

Captain Ed points out that if Churchill received tenure (for Ethnic Studies) partly based on the understanding that he was Native American, then the regents would have just cause to dump the guy. Good point, but the regents folded like a camp tent, and now Churchill can crow --for a little while, anyway, until word gets around that he's not even a belasana --Navajo for "apple" --red on the outside, white on the inside. This guy's white on the outside, white on the inside, and all squishy.

Sorry, I don't know the Navajo word for maggot.

Update: I love the Internet. After writing the above, I checked in with Instapundit to see if I spelled Morrissey's name correctly. Check this out, from Glenn Reynolds:

UPDATE: Indian Country Today has much more:

Suzan Shown Harjo, a columnist for ICT who has tracked Churchill's career, said that aside from the in-laws of his late Indian wife, he has not been able to produce any relatives from any Indian tribe.

Beyond the question of his personal identity is the question of his standing to represent Indian opinion, not only on 9/11 but also in his other published works. Mohawk ironworkers helped build the World Trade Center and other monuments of the New York City skyline, and one crew was actually at work in the flight path of the plane that struck the second tower. St. Regis Mohawk Chief James Ransom noted that they joined rescue teams at great personal risk.

Churchill's other writings repudiate not only the U.S. but also most Indian tribal institutions. In one 1994 essay, he described tribal self government as a ''cruel hoax'' carried out by ''puppets'' of ''an advanced colonial setting.'' He equated the status of Indian tribes in the U.S. to that of European colonies in Asia and Africa. His analysis reflected an extreme version of European left-wing ideology.

[Glenn adds] But wait, there's more:

Far from suffering for his views, Churchill appears to have been sought out by many in the universities as a representative of American Indian thinking. But to many Native intellectuals, he is traveling under false pretenses, both in his ideology and his personal identity.

The crows are coming home to roost at CU.

Update 2/4: Gerard van der Leun at American Digest has lots more about this fraud. (Via Instapundit, who has the link to a Volokh piece on resume fraud, too.)

Update 2/4 #2: And here's a nice summary, and a challenge to Churchill, from Indian Country.

Update 2/4 #3: Colorado blogger has an email from the University President which seems to indicate Churchill is going down.

So, does this mean he won't be owning the University?

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Posted by Jerome at 09:16 PM | TrackBack