Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Day for Remembering Dale Wasserman

by Kaye Fissinger

It began as any normal day with the usual morning routine. Before any other activity my four-legged people had to be fed. For all the gifts they've given over the years, it is only appropriate that their needs must first be met.

After the morning coffee is poured, the newspapers are retrieved from the front porch and the Times-Call is perused for the latest Longmont events. But Saturday was different. I stared for some time at the article at the bottom of Page B6. I knew this day would come soon. "Dale Wasserman, 94, wrote book for musical 'Man of La Mancha'." Dale was gone.

I worked with Dale in 1978 and 1979. It was the type of honor with which few people are blessed. I was his research and production assistant, sounding board and 'girl Friday' and, most of all, his friend.

I met Dale in 1976 while studying for my Masters in musical theatre. Of all the musicals ever written, none had moved me more than "Man of La Mancha." While working on a research paper, I dared to reach out to him for his insight. After some inventive investigative work on my part, it finally happened. From Los Angeles' west San Fernando Valley to Palm Springs our first contacts were, as is fitting, through writing.

Shortly thereafter Dale purchased Trident Ranch in Moorpark, northwest of Los Angeles, and soon I had the joy of being part of the work of a gifted, insightful individual who gave more to the world than he would ever realize.

The ranch was a wonderful environment. In a part of the country where it is often impossible to determine where one city ends and another begins, this was open space. It wasn't a ranch as Coloradans experience. Located in southern California it was a citrus ranch, later to enjoy new acres of young avocado trees. At the top of the hill were Dale's home and a separate studio for his work.

Often at our sides was a marvelous German shepherd named Lady, later to be joined by Banjo. I had always been leery of shepherds--until Lady. I remember times when Dale was out of town and Lady was my partner as well as my companion. I would lie on the floor with my head resting on her mid-section reflecting on the proper presentation of material I had just read, works just analyzed, I remember Dale and I laughing at Lady and Banjo enjoying the pool. I remember Lady providing a blood transfusion so that Banjo might live.

I remember our visit to San Francisco and northern California. What a treat it was to witness San Francisco through Dale's eyes, stay at the original St. Francis Hotel and experience Chinatown at one of Dale's favorite restaurants. And there was property well north of the city that Dale anticipated purchasing that took us on an entrancing drive through the Redwoods.

A new play with a double entendre title "Play with Fire" was scheduled for its world premier production at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles. Discussions were proceeding with its director who was working in San Francisco at that time.

I remember the excitement of being part of a premier production. It's an experience quite different from staging an established work. Are the words as effective as they might be? Yes? No? New pages replace old. Old pages returned. Nervous cast members who are the first to portray their characters worried that their work might not be good enough. I remember the anticipation of the previews and opening night. What will the critics think? The audience?

Now thirty years later some of those artists are no longer with us. Telly Savalas. Carrie Snodgress. And sadly, now Dale. But the work lives on. Many years later it was rewritten and re-titled "Players in the Game." Dale was never really satisfied. Every time he reread his material or prepared for a new production, he would seek to make it better, more moving, more meaningful.

I remember the front row seats at the revival of "Man of La Mancha" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A. Dale eschewed religion and was always amazed when he was told that the 'La Mancha' experience was for many religious in nature. He was often frustrated when people didn't understand that the operative word of "The Impossible Dream" was impossible. He found it necessary to remind people that this was the story of Cervantes not of Don Quixote. In my humble conclusion, it is the story of them all -- Cervantes, Don Quixote, and Dale Wasserman.

Much has been written about "Man of La Mancha" and much more will be. But after all is said and done, it's the story of a man's journey, his quest, to reach the unreachable, to right the unrightable. These arms most certainly lie peaceful and calm as he's laid to his rest. And the world is better for this man who strove with his last ounce of courage to reach that unreachable star.

The tears fell on Saturday. Tears of joy that I had the honor to know and love him. Tears of sadness that this earthly life will never again be shared. Tears shed for courage as I reach for my own impossible dream. And tears of expectation that one day I will see him again when "my destiny calls and I go."

December 28, 2008

TVA, EPA, UMD and the BFD

Holy crap. If you haven't heard about this collossal 'clean coal' cock-up, then you've obviously been hot-tubbing in the Bahamas. The crap's spread 25 miles downstream, is going to be a nightmare to clean up and the TVA shows no inclination to get started. Videos of the mess look like Mt. St. Helens aftermath. Ash is so thick in the river you can't paddle through it in a canoe.

The estimates of the amount of sludge have changed from 'billions of gallons' to 'millions of gallons' and now police are patrolling the edge of the river chasing off anyone trying to independently document the extent of the damage. Clearly the only 'damage control' in progress is image-related.

The TVA issued water sample test results the day of the spill but have been noticeably mum since. Environmentalists obtained water samples from the vicinity of the spill and the results are horriffic the EPA has also released theirs. If you think the South is scary now, just wait another generation. The birth defect rates are likely to skyrocket. Oh, and you can scratch fly fishing unless you intend to catch (gag violently) and release. That's assuming there's any fish left in a month... or a year...

(from The Huffington Post)

Chris Irwin, attorney for United Mountain Defense (UMD), a Knoxville-based non-profit that has been at the site since the day of the disaster writes on Jan 2:

"As I type TVA is trying to conduct their press conference - but they are having a small problem: volunteers from United Mountain Defense have handed out the latest [water] test results to all of the press there and are refusing to stop. I just got off the phone with one of our volunteers. He said at first TVA threatened to arrest him if he did not leave. He said he would not--and all the cameras turned on him."

"Gil Francis--TVA's Public relations guy apparently nearly had a heart attack. If UMD can get this data, why can't TVA?"

While some authorities are proposing dredging to remove the ash from the bottom of the Emory River, "dredging will be a nightmare," said Waterkeeper volunteer John Wathen of Alabama.
"Constantly stirring the material will cause continuous turbidity issues. Turbidity, or fine clays is where the toxins are contained. Dredging will keep this material waterborne and in transmittable form to be dealt with for miles.
"Our little piece of heaven; they just ruined it" - Gail Sewell, Harriman, TN
The locals are really pissed off and I suspect the Bush administration's pathetic failure in New Orleans won't be forgotten as the refugees from smashed houses wait for help, boil their water and wonder if the insanely-high (149x normal) arsenic levels will ever be corrected.

"Clean" coal... I don't think anyone will be selling that concept to the folks in Tennessee anytime soon.

For more information: United Mountain Defense.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Language - it always gives them away had a lovely post up today about technology and grassroots and... stuff.

This paragraph caught my eye:
For example, if the next RNC has any hope of recruiting 5 million new activists, offering new ideas that hold tight to conservative values will most definitely be demanded of them. If they are truly to recruit 435 candidates to run in each Congressional district, they must open up their minds to atypical Republican candidates with fresh ideas. If they are to morph their top heavy grassroots and fundraising infrastructure into a more bottom-up, self-organizing army, they will have to offer a platform that excites said volunteers and donors.
Dayum. Mark Foley's foot must be tappin like crazy after reading this.

Agree and Disagree

I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day... sorta.

This post at the Colorado Index suggests reducing the amount of lottery funds being spent on open space to help the general fund.

I think that's a good idea actually - within limits and with strict wording to make sure the funding comes back.

But - the last words of the last line:
"...a category that doesn't directly impact near term quality of life."
exemplify to me the bottom-line-only mentality of the right.

I think the Preamble to the Constitution states it very succinctly:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
"Posterity" is a very elegant way to refer to the future. Our descendants. Stewardship.

As in 'don't fuck up the planet so bad there's no place for the kids (and their kids and so on) to live in and enjoy'

"...directly impact..." and "...near term..." are weasel words used to cover up the complete disdain for protecting the environment.

Open Space / Green Space is very important. I believe it needs to be prioritized, but let's make sure the priority stays on the list... which I'm certain will be the 'sticking point' for the CO GOP who will see this as an opportunity to slash it down to nothing and eliminate it permanently.

America Rebooted

Goodbye Mr. Bush

We've been waiting a long time to give you the boot.

This post from the Rude Pundit says it all.

Funny, it's the first time he's helped any economy.

Special thanks to Andrzej Gdula from Lodz, Poland for the image, courtesy of Stock.xchng

Faux News = Assholes

Friday Night Fever

Kawasaki disease sounds pretty nasty....

John Travolta's son dies in the Bahamas after a fever-induced seizure.

Poor kid.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Just Kinda Jumped Out At Me

Oh dear. Saw this at

Oh dear.

All I could think was: "Is it going to be that kind of year?"
Made me shiver.

Then I remembered seeing this too.

*makes thumbs-up gesture* Nice work folks. Real bona-fide 'iPod killer,' uh-huh. (laughs out loud)

So, it could go either way I guess. Good or bad.

It's all in the point of view.

And this post from a conservative writer undelines that they're very likely to never get it (not that they 'get it' much as is which might explain the neverending crankiness). What spectacular wankery!! Just exposes the fact that wingnut men see women as chattel or appliances that should serve when needed or be replaced. Indicative of their attitudes about human rights too.

Hunter S. Thompson Motivational Posters

Some fun motivational posters featuring Hunter S. Thompson.


Here's a sample from

Yet another bust

Damn. Bombmakers, meth labs and coke dealers.

Can't say it's been boring in Longmont this year.

Throw in the wingers and teh holy warriors and it'th a fethival!


Here's a big shout out, a wave, a smooch and a
Happy Nude Year!!!!!!!! to all my readers in Longtucky!

Thanks for keepin' it unreal kids.

YeeeeeeHAAAAW!! HERE COMES 2009!

Microsoft, makers of fine infinite loops since 1975

The problem with all the Microsoft Zunes suddenly choking and dying has been tracked to mishandling of leap years, forcing the poor lil critters to go into an infinite loop and fail.


More proof that M$ should really get out of the software business before someone gets hurt.

At least Google gets it.

Hat tip to Daring Fireball and M. Gruber!

Index of Idiocy

I must thank the folks over at the Colorado Index, they've given me hours (well, ok, minutes) of unbridled hilarity more than once.

Today's post is no exception. (btw, their url 'structure' is fascinating... self-promotion? masterful... *cough*) It's actually worth giving them a little link love (unlike other sources of humor in the area).

A few responses to their "predictions"*:

1. Hopefully someone will also notice (again) that Blago 'idolized Reagan'

2. The Gazette? What's that? Oh yeah, another one of those dying fishwrap factories.

3. Bill Ritter might not run in 2010? ooohh... cub reporter must have had an extra glass of eggnog. Head pats all around.

4. Tim Gill is more likely to put some money into efforts to clean up the horriffic mess Musgrave and her demented cronies have created in Colorado. By the way, Thank You Mr. Gill! The vicious monster Musgrave needed to be deposed and we lefties are immensely grateful!!!

5. This one made me howl with laughter - 'government mistakes' ? You mean like the gigantic socialized bailout of crooked bankers? Figure a wingnut to try and spin that around as their opponent's fault. Points for style. No score however.

6. So, finally forcing the record-profits-making oil barrons to cough up some lucre is going to 'damage the economy'? Uh huh. Likely no worse than inflating the price of gasoline artificially from $1.50 -$4.00. How many billions did that little scam take out of the economy? Wake up for Pete's sake.

7. The parenthetical says it all and should be in the site's masthead.

Thanks again kids, you and John Andrews give me renewed hope that we'll be seeing more Democrats in office in coming years. Don't change - ever (not that you know how).
* If by "predictions" you mean "incoherent barking and yipping interspersed with random body noises"

Let's Bust Wall Street bank robbers

by Jim Hightower

On Sept. 19, Ryan Mueller was sentenced in Sheboygan, Wis., to six years in prison for stealing $20 from a toddler’s piggy bank.

Think how much better things would have gone for him had his name been Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns, or any of the other monikers of the high-flying Wall Street investment banks. These institutional street thugs have robbed the piggy banks of millions of American homeowners. Yet, only two days after Ryan Mueller’s conviction, Treasury secretary Henry Paulson went running after the Wall Street Gang — not to arrest them, but to cover their wrongdoing with a $700-billion bailout.

That’s more than $2,000 for every man, woman, and child in our land — victims being forced to pay the perpetrators of a legalized theft that has wrecked the housing market, eliminated thousands of jobs, and sent our economy into a deep tailspin.

Paulson (formerly a Wall Street Banking honcho, himself) wanted what he called “a clean” bailout bill. In other words, an 11-or-12-figure transfer of wealth from us to them, with no strings attached — no punishment for the scofflaws who were in charge, no help for homeowners who got robbed, no protection for taxpayers, and no re-regulation to keep the kleptocrats from repeating their grand larceny.

Bush & Company has had to choke down a huge serving of ideological crow here. He and his laizzes-faire wrecking crew forced this jerry-rigged system of “Yee-Haw!” capitalism on America, and now they want socialism to clean up their disaster.

The Bushites tell us we have no choice, for these giants are “too big to fail.” Well — hello — if that’s so, it’s time to break them up, not make them even bigger and fewer. Let’s put a little competition in the system, so America does not remain at the mercy of a handful of financial greedheads and boneheads.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Look Ma - No Radar!

Have been hearing about this light plane crash recently and after reading about how parts of the area the crash occurred in have 'poor radar coverage' I did some research and found this article:

Look, Ma - No Radar! Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control

and this section jumped out at me:

We can do better

GPS makes a whole new approach to air traffic control possible -- the notion of networking GPS units together into one large network.

What if each airborne GPS receiver could report its location and altitude, unasked, every second? Then controllers on the ground would know exactly where every airplane was, more often and accurately than they could by relying on a radar sweep every six or 12 seconds.

Let’s not stop there. What if other aircraft could read each other’s locations, opening the way to a new generation of independent collision avoidance equipment? Even without controllers to call traffic or any human intervention, every aircraft so equipped would have the means to avoid a collision.

Take it one last step. How about equipping each airborne unit with a datalink receiver to receive traffic and weather information and other data such as airspace restrictions without having to talk on the radio?

and later in the article this:

ADS-B has been tested successfully in one of the world’s harshest aviation environments -- Alaska1. The seven-year Capstone program proved that ADS-B could track both weather and traffic when bundled with a GPS receiver and a moving map.

The ADS-B system offers radar-quality aircraft separation services, possible decreases in travel time and better air traffic and aircraft fleet management. All could save airlines and travelers time and money, and reduce pollution, too.

and the money shot is here:

Can ADS-B co-exist with radar?

In the long term, no. The cost to maintain both would be astronomical and redundant. The cost to maintain the aging radar network is about $150 million a year, and it would cost about $2.5 billion to upgrade to ADS-B capabilities.

By contrast, the entire ADS-B system, including ground-based transceivers at about $200,000 each, is being built for about $1.8 billon, and will cost about $30 million a year to operate and maintain.

For this we will get coverage from high altitude right down to the ground, and ADS-B can be used for on-airport surveillance as well.

As for when ADS-B will be introduced throughout the United States, implementation has already begun. It is now available along the east coast from Florida to New Jersey. In August 2007 FAA awarded ITT Corporation a $1.8 billion contract to build and maintain the ADS-B infrastructure nationally. Uniquely, ITT will own and operate the system, and will be paid to supply ADS-B data to the FAA. The full system will be online by 2020.

So, the new system is coming in any event and will cost a third as much to maintain - which means radar-based air traffic control will likely be playing a faint second fiddle by 2010. Something tells me when folks see how much better it works the government will get in the game and hustle ITT to finish the system ahead of schedule.

But this article about the folks that perished in the crash had this insightful if somewhat harsh comment:
Flying is not inherently risky as some have implied here. Having said that, any risk must be managed properly. Many properly trained light aircraft pilots fly every day safely. Unfortunately, like some have alluded to, there are plenty of light aircraft owners who don't obey the rules or have the training, responsibility or experience required to make the right choices.

That's why statistically, you are about 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash flying in a light aircraft than traveling in a car.

It's not the fault of the regulations or the design of aircraft. It's the result of too many morons with too much money owning airplanes.
Ouch. I wouldn't say the pilot in this case was a 'moron' - far from it in fact:
Maureau, a geophysicist, was appointed the executive director of the Oil and Gas Development Partnership at Memorial University in St. John's in 2003, where he helped develop a master's program. He worked for Shell and Petro-Canada, and founded his own company, MaurOil International Inc. He was also the past president of the Canadian Petroleum Institute.
How sad. Clearly a brilliant man - his wife was no slouch either - an accomplished physician.

Maybe incidents like this will help the FAA realize it's past time to modernize and get behind the ADS-B program. Decreasing risk is one of the good things government does for us (FDA, EPA, etc). Personally, I'd like to see more money spent on prevention than playing jigsaw with mangled airplane bits in an empty hangar.
1. McCain, Palin and Bush endorsed it, but let's not hold that against it - however, the lack of standards is a concern and needs to be addressed.

Time for the GOP to grow the hell up

From the Oxdown Gazette at firedoglake

The GOP Must Renounce Limbaugh, The Rest of Us Should Boycott Clear Channel
By: Casey Gane-McCalla Tuesday December 30, 2008 2:28 pm

With the recent scandal involving Chip Saltsman, a candidate to run the RNC, and his distribution of Rush Limbaugh’s CD, which contained Barack the Magic Negro, it is high time for the Republican Party and the USA as a whole to reject and denounce Rush Limbaugh.

Barack the Magic Negro is hardly the most offensive thing that Rush Limbaugh has said and is hardly the strongest tie that Limbaugh has had to the Republican party.

Limbaugh is a bigot, a sexist, a hypocrite and a xenophobe. He stirs up fear and hate in his listeners. He preys on the disenfranchised and uneducated and turns their resentment against blacks, feminists, immigrants, and liberals. If you are interested in Limbaugh’s most racist quotes against blacks click here. Limbaugh has also managed to offend Latinos, saying LA’s Mayor reminded him of a shoe shine boy and also saying in reference to Hugo Chavez “A Chavez is a Chavez. We’ve always had problems with them.”

Limbaugh’s prejudice does not only extend to minorities. He also has discriminated against women, who happen to be the majority of this country. He said “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society” and also “We’re not sexists, we’re chauvinists — we’re male chauvinist pigs, and we’re happy to be because we think that’s what men were destined to be. We think that’s what women want.”

Rush Limbaugh has acted as de facto spokesman for the Republican party, the self appointed voice of conservative broadcast, saying what they mean to say butt won’t say for fear of being deemed politically incorrect. Still the GOP has given him their approval. George Bush has appeared on Limbaugh’s show several times as has his brother Jeb. GOP Uncle Toms, Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas have also appeared on his show as have Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has not only appeared on Limbaugh’s show, but has been a replacement host for Limbaugh as has Matt Drudge.

Its amazing how few Republicans have come forth to criticize Limbaugh. When rapper, Ludacris, referred to Hillary Clinton as a bitch, Fox News criticized him for a whole news cycle, yet when Limbaugh repeatedly referred to Clinton as a B I itch, Fox News kept quiet. It is amazing that John McCain asked Obama to publicly condemn John Lewis for rightfully comparing the McCain/Palin hate rallies to those of George Wallace, but never condemned Rush Limbaugh for comparing Obama to Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein, democrats to Al Qaeda and feminists to Nazi’s.

In 2000 John McCain bravely stood up to the ‘agents of intolerance’ on the Right in Pat Robertson and Gerry Fallwell. However by 2008 he had turned into a yellow bellied coward. Despite the fact that Limbaugh criticized him heavily through out the primaries, John McCain has never openly criticized Limbaugh. When Limbaugh, who avoided the Vietnam draf,t because he “did not want to go” called soldiers who volunteered to fight for their country and came back to criticize the war when they saw the death and carnage, “phony soldiers,” Harry Reid called on his fellow Senators to condemn the remarks. McCain said “I did issue a statement saying that I thought it was inappropriate, and perhaps Mr. Limbaugh didn’t mean it but he should not have said it,” hardly a condemnation.

McCain had another chance to condemn Limbaugh’s statements when the Obama campaign ran an ad using Limbaugh’s quote “Mexicans are stupid and unqualified” and “Shut your mouth or get out,” referring to Limbaugh as one of McCain’s Republican friends. McCain could’ve issued a statement saying that Limbaugh was not one of his friends and that his views did not represent the McCain camp or the Republican party, but instead stayed quiet for fear of pissing off the dittoheads.

McCain had one last chance to distance himself from Limbaugh on Meet The Press, when Tom Brokaw played a clip of Limbaugh saying the Powell’s endorsement of Obama was all about race and asked him if he agreed. McCain could have said, ‘I know Colin Powell and have been friends with him for many years, while I disagree with his endorsement, it is ludicrous to insinuate that a man who has given so much service to his country would endorse a Presidential candidate based on his skin color.’ By refusing to criticize Limbaugh McCain has shown that he either shares Limbaugh’s bigoted views or is to cowardly to criticize them.

One of the most disturbing things to know about Rush Limbaugh is that he is featured on Armed Services Radio. Given the fact that the army is 24% Latino and 12% black, Limbaugh is offending more than a third of the enlisted soldiers. Is Limbaugh really the voice of America we want represented to our military? Do we really want someone who said Abu Ghraib was just a fraternity prank talking to our enlisted soldiers?

Many of Limbaugh’s supporters have defended him by saying his statements were made in a humorous context. When someone like Borat makes a racist, sexist or anti-semetic comments it falls in the category of humor because we know that Sasha Baron Cohen doesn’t mean it and is using the character to show how stupid racism, sexism and are. However with Limbaugh, it is quite clear that he stands by his statements and it is the minorities and women who are the butt of his jokes, not his racism and sexism

If the GOP is to truly move on into the 21st century they must cut all ties to bigots like Limbaugh and Coulter. When the President, Vice President, Vice Presidential candidates, Governors, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense Senators and Supreme court justices appear on the show of a hate spewing racist, sexist pig, it does not reflect well on their political party or country.

While Limbaugh might have a large base, it is not as large as the base he offends. By attacking blacks, Hispanics, feminists and liberals he is pissing off more than half of the country. Not only blacks and Hispanics but every white person who has an African American or Latino relative, loved one, hero or friend.

Do we really want our soldiers listening to someone who called the Abu Ghraib scandal a fraternity prank talking to our soldiers every day? Do they need to hear a draft dodger who compares our brave soldiers who use their freedom of speech to criticize the war to suicide bombers?

Through out the campaign, Obama was repeatedly asked to denounce people he associated with for their statements. Whether it was Ludacris, Reverend Wright, Louis Farrakhan or John Lewis. Obama denounced all but Lewis. Now it is the Republicans turn to denounce.

Pleases write to you Senators, Congressman and Governors and ask them to publicly denounce Limbaugh for his, racism, sexism, xenophobia and disrespect and cancel his contract with Armed Services Radio. It is ridiculous that our tax money goes to this rich, mean spirited bigot.. and ridiculous that our brave soldiers are forced to listen to him.

Is there any Republican brave enough who to criticize or acknowledge the racism and bigotry of Limbaugh or has the party traded in fiscal conservatism and family values for hatred and bigotry?

I also urge all leaders in the African American, Latino Community as well as leaders of the woman’s movement to protest Limbaugh. When we went after Imus, we went after the wrong bigot, Limbaugh makes Imus look like he works for Air America.

I’m also calling for a boycott of all Clear Channel stations. Clear Channel is the parent company of Limbaugh’s show. Their president, Mark P. Mays, recently defended Limbaugh for his phony soldiers comment. Please email him with you questions and concerns about Limbaugh at You can also call Clear Channel with your concerns at 1-210-822-2828. Also please call the local stations in your area that carry Limbaugh’s show.

HP Board Wake Up Call

I guess when the only god you worship is profit and the only law you obey is greed, selling your product illegally in another country is fine.

Problem is, it AIN'T.

Add this on top of their idiotic spying in 2006 and one begins to think the problems didn't go away with the exit of CEO Dunn. Even though Dunn managed to dodge felony charges, I think it's pretty obvious she was in the know.

My question is: Does the HP board have a clue what's going on?

It's sad that the rank-and-file employees that have given so much to the company have been butt-raped steadily over the years while unethical chicanery was going on in the Executive Suite.

To me it just shows that higher salary does not equal higher standards - in some cases the exact opposite.

Clean it up HP, you're making the tech sector smell bad.

Monday, December 29, 2008



It's something we all do when we try to swallow something that either doesn't fit down our gullet or is so disgusting that our body rebels - and usually rightly so.

The brain works the same way. Instead of gagging however, there's an involuntary exclamation of What.The.F--K?

I had that reaction when I read this piece1 by Sara Dogan at the ironically-titled 'Students for Academic Freedom'.

"Big Dog" Dogan jumps right up on the bull and stun-sticks it firmly in the nads with this opening paragraph:
A recent report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) revealed the shocking statistic that 74% of colleges and universities examined in a national survey were found to have policies that violate the First Amendment protection to freedom of speech.
This is true GOP-fired irony at its absolute best.

A quick check of FIRE's background barfs up this lovely tidbit from Wikipedia:
It has represented the causes of individuals with varied political viewpoints, ranging from conservative and religious student groups to other activists such as members of PETA and Professor Ward Churchill.
Right there is where my vocal apparatus horked out an involuntary WTF??!

Ward Churchill? You mean the professor-cum-pinata for the reich-wing screamers? You have to kidding me. The spittle-spewing screamers of the right villify Churchill for speaking his mind and now this popinjay uses the organization that defends him to shore up an argument that conservative speech is being repressed?

I think the righties in Colorado have found a field of magic mushrooms and held a culinary festival in it.

In clinical terms I believe this is called 'disassociation' - the wingnuts in Colorado want to pillory anyone that speaks out against their party or their President, to the point of driving a professor out of his job - then, turn around and use that as proof that their side is being 'silenced'.

Please. Take something. Quick.

While you're at it, do a quick survey of how many GOP-owned Colorado businesses that will allow you to even say you're a Democrat while at work or support your taking time off to campaign for someone. Oh, that's right, it's their business, the law doesn't apply inside their doors. To that lovely big brother sentiment I say 'kiss my ass - freedom everywhere or nowhere.'

I'd be all supportive of Ms. Dogan's premise that conservative speech is being surpressed and that something must be done - as long as it includes protections for workers that express their political opinions at work. We'll see that happen soon. Oh sure.

Till then I suggest she take advantage of the student discount on meds.
1. If by 'piece' you mean 'semi-literate gibberish created by thrashing wildly at a keyboard with both hands after wolfing down a handful of roofies and a pint of Thunderbird.'