Tag Archives: Colorado College

Early voting march merely a Dem rally

CC early voting march
COLORADO COLLEGE- Energized students held a successful march on Monday from the CC campus to a downtown early voting location. Though billed as a non-partisan EARLY VOTING MARCH, the event was purely a pro-Obama rally, and as such, was rigidly controlled.

For example, unannounced speakers included pro-war US Senator Ken Salazar and other local Dems. The marchers were dispatched ahead of schedule, to thwart other participants and sent along Cascade Avenue instead of the highly more visible Tejon Avenue a block away.

It was great to see college students activated and excited, but really they were just wound up and herded like cattle to the polls. As if the local Dems didn’t trust the students to listen their speeches and remember to go vote. The organizers provided further encouragement by bringing a grill and promising a cookout for after the students emerged. Bluegrass accompaniment too. After all, the students had missed lunch to attend the rally. I’ve heard it explained once before by student organizers. If you want participation, serve food.

The upside I suppose was that the students didi take to the street. They felt the excitement of ringing chants. Of projecting a political purpose in public.

Once when a heckler pulled alongside, to boo and display a NOBAMA sticker, the students answered back with boos, until curtailed by their handlers. The same handlers collected the various Obama signs when the group neared the polling place. Will these activist types be lending their skills when things don’t go as planned on November 4th? Will they be rallying the student to take action when elections don’t offer remedy?

Latest vote suppression from El Paso County Bob Balink should land him in jail

colorado-absentee-ballots
COLORADO SPRINGS- The Colorado Independent has reported a new salvo in El Paso County’s Clerk & Recorder Bob Balink’s usual anti-election measures. Balink is IN CHARGE of all local polling outlets, he’s partisan as GOP SHIT, he’s faced accusations before, and this latest move seems to betray what he thinks he can get away with. Though Balink’s election-year tradition of intimidating Colorado College students was this time rebuked, his comeback should land him in jail.

Every election year, Colorado College are warned by El Paso County administrators that if they try to register in the county, they might be breaking the law. When the same strategy was tried this year, the students struck back with a newspaper article dispelling the untruthful scare tactic. Bob Balink’s staff had to backpedal in public, but the CC journalists have received another salvo.

This letter was sent to CC on behalf of El Paso County, drafted by a Denver attorney. It explained that registering in El Paso County:
“can have cascading effects”
“could affect the students and their parents financially.”
have “ramifications that go far beyond where they cast their ballot.”
“could result in criminal penalties.”
“can jeopardize their parents’ ability to claim the student as a dependent”
“could end up costing the parents the $3,500 tax deduction.”
“could impact … health insurance plan or auto insurance policy.”
“could have a rough awakening”

Here is the full text of the letter:

The September 24th article [in the Colorado Springs Gazette], “Balink under fire for error on CC voter registration”, gives significant attention to whether Colorado College students are able to register to vote, yet little attention is given to the consequences of doing so.

Advocates, such as Senator John Morse, Martha Tierney, and Pat Waak, are correct in stating that there are no prohibitions on Colorado College students registering to vote. Nevertheless, out-of-state students should do so with their eyes wide open. Registering to vote in Colorado can have cascading effects that could affect the students and their parents financially.

When an individual registers to vote in Colorado, they make an affirmation that they are a resident of Colorado. The statement of residency exceeds merely being present in the state. The affirmation also includes abandoning prior residency in other states. Additionally, it makes departure from the student’s home permanent rather than temporary.

This distinction of a student living here temporarily or establishing a domicile has ramifications that go far beyond where they cast their ballot. Colorado law allows students who are here temporarily to maintain vehicle registration and drivers licenses in their home state. Once an out-of-state student registers to vote and declares Colorado as their state of residency, all the additional obligations of residency attach. These obligations include both vehicle registration and obtaining a Colorado drivers license. Failure to do either of these acts could result in criminal penalties. Are the students who are the targets of voter registration drives informed of these consequences? Are they aware of the big picture impact of signing the voter registration form?

Beyond the student’s new obligations related to Colorado state residency, there are other potential consequences to establishing residency as a student. Out-of-state students who are claimed as dependents by their parents can jeopardize their parents’ ability to claim the student as a dependent on their taxes. Establishing a new domicile outside of the parents’ home state could end up costing the parents the $3,500 tax deduction. The establishment of a new domicile could impact the student’s dependency status that is required for eligibility under the parents’ health insurance plan or auto insurance policy. Students who intend to return to a state school in their home state for graduate school could have a rough awakening when they find out that they have to pay out-of-state tuition because they have lost their previous in-state status. These are complex issues that must be addressed.

It is worth noting that an out-of-state student can still participate in the election by requesting an absentee ballot from their home state, if that is where they are registered. The voter registration drives that are targeting Colorado College students have a moral obligation to inform them of the impacts of their voter registration and to suggest that they consult with their parents prior to registering.

While groups that work to increase involvement in the electoral process should be applauded, blindly pushing students to register in Colorado, even when doing so could be to their detriment, is wrong. Registering out-of-state students in Colorado without fully disclosing the potential impacts of such registration borders on exploitation.

For further information contact:
Zakhem-Atherton LLC
303-228-1200
Mr. Erik Groves
Denver, CO

Come march in favor of elections for all

ON MONDAY OCTOBER 20th, at 12:30pm, Colorado College students will hold a PUBLIC MARCH to mark the first day of EARLY VOTING in the 2008 presidential election. Students will assemble at Worner Center, and march straight downtown to the El Paso County Registrar. This action will call attention to the need to go early to the polls, in case voters encounter challenges to their registrations. I’m more encouraged simply that students are taking to the streets because I believe, like Emma Goldman, “If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.” Would Goldman be so revered a social reformer if people didn’t recognize, deep down, the wisdom of her words?

Students at Colorado College have in years past faced regular disenfranchisement at the voting booth because local election administrators chose to muddy the qualifications for whether out-of-state students could vote in El Paso County. This year, plans to enforce a similar policy were leaked, and the county was forced to deny its intentions. As yet, student organizers do not know what to expect on November 4.

In the past, El Paso County has been such a God-forsaken Republican bastion that election rigging was probably unnecessary. It’s conjectured that this year, facing a growing Democratic electorate, local officials will be so eager for the region to hold to its conservative-idiot tradition that they will justify any means to do it.

I’ve seen the Republican partisanship on display at even ordinary county meetings. The Clerk and Recorder, Bob Balink for example, wears his Republican allegiance like a soccer fan. It would be no exaggeration I’m sure to speculate that Bob Balink will bite off your left foot sooner than let progressive ideas contaminate his hillbilly heaven. He travels to the Denver legislature on a regular basis to report back about what the crazy Democrats are trying to do. Every county commission meeting begins with his scouting tips about what progressive threats his Republican colleagues face over the horizon.

Conservatism in Colorado Springs stands for cronies, imbecilic cretins and the clan. In the 1930s the Pikes Peak region was the Colorado stronghold of the Klan. I’ve no doubt a lot of these guys still have their clan robes. In fact most recently the Minutemen, the post-9/11 incarnation of the KKK, held its recruitment meetings in a Colorado Springs Police Substation community room. It included, I kid you not, a recruiting inducement lifted verbatim and without irony, from the KKK.

Maybe a daylight demonstration of public unwillingness to be represented by bigots –who continue to parade about as if their support is unanimous– will push their politics back into the stagnant backwater of their fenced no-immigrants-welcome backyards where it belongs.

The Shock Doctrine at Colorado College

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi KleinCOLORADO COLLEGE- If you catch Democracy Now on KRCC, you are already up to speed on Naomi Klein‘s SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM. Otherwise you can hear the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate at 7:30pm tonight at Armstrong Hall; an uncharacteristically critical voice among CC’s usual lineup of neoliberal panderers.

When policemen don their gas masks

COLORADO COLLEGE- A friend of mine, not without influence at CC, shared my alarm at the police security buildup at the Denver DNC.
Mass response
Ultimately however, he considered the development to be of concern chiefly to those inclined to protest. Less relevant to those disinclined.

To those already disinclined? It’s a growing number.

He’s a lawyer. What would he have to protest?

I know our sense of well being with our system of government is predicated on an atmosphere of civility, where we count on justice to prevail. If we are wronged, law will intervene. Or, we can march straight over to some municipal building, register our grievance, and initiate the mechanisms by which to achieve redress. These rights are granted us by the Bill of Rights. Citizens concede our recourse to violence, and likewise, the state agrees not to obliterate us with its disproportionate might.

But what happens when some part of those agreements are abridged? Let’s say a court rules we cannot have redress. Let’s say the court decides against the law? What then? What if we are denied access to our representatives who legislate the laws? What if the enforcers shrug us off? To where do we take our voice? So quickly, a mutual agreement to remain civil, becomes rule by brute force. You voted for who? You expected what? Says you and whose army?

Hundreds of paramilitary police lining the street to fend off handfuls of political dissidents is more than overkill. Corporate and government strongholds are already impenetrable. Offices and lobbies and parking facilities restrict public access. Legions of combat police on the sidewalk is an altogether other escalation. It says, stay at home, you have no recourse. Behind us is a dead end. You’ll just get in the way.

Masks
Helmets and batons protect the police from the people. Gas masks protect policemen from who? From their own excessive means? In warfare the use of gas is forbidden.

CC newspaper can misreport like a pro

While I’m picking on Colorado College, have a look at what passes for journalism the Catalyst:
Sarah Palin visits Springs
The McCain/Palin RNC speeches had already been exposed for lies by the time the two visited Colorado Springs. But the candidates repeat their earmarks/reform misrepresentations which reporters parrot without so much as a raised eyebrow. Even now the corporate media won’t call the GOP on their doublespeak. I guess neither will CC journalism students.

What kind of cheerleading did the students feel had been left out of the Gazette and Denver Post coverage? The reporter described the Colorado Springs streets lined on both sides with McCain supporters, without a mention of the prominent presence of the protesters. What a shame/sham.

No doubt a Communications Major now requires a class in UNETHICS. Who am I to judge students trying to qualify for jobs in today’s corporate state? Once more Colorado College students confirm their school’s common function as purveyor of Neo-liberal Arts.

I’d actually like to draw your attention to the article at the upper right of the front page, about the campus NEW ALCOHOL POLICY. While the drinking age in Colorado remains 21, Colorado College is relaxing its enforcement of underage drinking. This would be applicable to two thirds of the CC student body. Apparently being able to drink is a benefit the college would like to provide, regardless the laws of Colorado.

Colorado College has had its share of drinking fatalities, and neighborhood disturbances, but I guess having a campus conducive to partying would be too important to infringe upon. Especially as CC’s academic successes warrant their students being able to kick back.

Really, the college does have a stellar faculty, but even their assessment of the caliber of today’s students has perhaps become myopic. Unless the quality of America’s students as a whole has degraded to this untenable uneducable extreme.

Wake up CC alums, your campus is gone to the dogs. Drunken wet ignorant dogs. I can’t think of what could smell worse.

You can lead a horse to water, but can you keep him from pissing in it?

COLORADO COLLEGE, COLO- I just attended an INDY “Sustainability Movement” event at CC’s Shove Chapel featuring Reverand Richard Cizik, orchestrated to unite Evangelicals and Environmentalists along the “non-wedge” issue of eco-stewardship. The two demographics find themselves traditionally polarized, even in the face of an imminent climate cataclysm. A shared concern for health and survival would seem only rational, but isn’t rationality precisely what divides them?

First of all, kudos to the Independent for bringing the issue before a public audience. But shame on Colorado College for preventing any discourse.

To better understand the disparate perspectives, let’s narrow the comparison using a neutral control group. What’s the difference between someone concerned for the environment, and someone not, regardless of spiritual belief? Would the answer have to do with being educated about the issues? Becoming informed is certainly also limited to people who have the curiosity, and the capacity to acknowledge complexity. NASCAR minds, to pick on an example, may lack the dexterity to absorb personal responsibility in the abstract, or the fertile mind to grow in consciousness.

What’s the difference between Evangelicals and non? Adherents who require literal absolutes, as opposed to figurative nuance? There might also be a differential having to do with personal initiative, because by very definition, evangelicals are followers. The news offered tonight by one of their leaders, the Reverand Richard Cizik, is that Evangelicals are on board the sustainability bandwagon, awaiting to be led. If environmentalists would kindly please befriend them.

My take? Whoa Nelly! There was no mention tonight of accusations of nature-worship idolatry, or signs of the Revelations being welcomed by end-timers. Are Evangelicals setting aside those arguments out of self-interest for their own worldly preservation? I’ve no doubt that could be in their character, but I’d like to hear it from their ambassador. Instead, he stressed that environmental wrongs are now being sold to his flock as a moral issue.

On a side note, could this Evangelical outreach be something else altogether, characteristic of the church’s usual call to witness? Specifically, was this minister’s outreach really aimed at us Environmentalists, to recruit non-believers into a dialog about morality, the pretext of which appear to be on our terms?

These might have been my arguments if Colorado College had allowed public discussion. Instead CC Dean Celeste smarmly declared the presentations to have been a “full meal” and entreated the audience to repair to the much smaller Gates Common Room where private questions could be asked of the speakers. Of course he offered the audience the option of awkwardly juggling a microphone in Shove Chapel versus a convivial exchange of camaraderie over snacks. The net effect was to curtail a public discussion.

Which it can be noted has been the direction many Colorado College symposiums have been taking. The school provides a forum for unquestioned indoctrination. And the voices visiting the campus have become progressively regressive.

You might think there’s nothing to argue about “sustainability.” In fact, the tone of all the speeches was feel-good encouragement. Reverand Cizik praised people willing to go against the grain, though there was not a single dissenter in the crowd.

The program featured Cizik’s homey homily and personal witness about his conversion to Sustainability. His act followed a Jim Hightower pep talk about the positive signs that a grassroots revolution is happening around us in spite of our cynicism. Hightower was preceded by announcements from local charities, assembled under the Sustainability banner. Sustainability is the new Green. Address eco-sensibility and you’re a member.

The best news was that Richard Skorman is opening an Environmental Hardware Store which will sell eco-oriented hardware at cost.

Care N Share was represented, promoting a sustainability concept of redistributing bounty, from abundance to need. They boast a state of the art warehouse system at Powers and Constitution, that’s built according to Green standards, but I think that’s it. How sustainable is it to have affluent people purchase canned goods to fill paper bags to deliver to the warehouse, to be distributed to the poor?

Had critical voices been permitted, would those really have been my questions? No, actually. There are far easier concerns to raise about this wunder-ideal “sustainability.” It’s a new mind-set. It’s a quantum leap into an evolved consciousness. It embraces Capitalism in a warm-fuzzy Jesus way. Is that sustainable? No really?

A friend of mine might have brought up the example of Israel’s Kibutzes. Those were environmentally sustainable communes which taught higher ideals to Israeli youth, and international Jewish youth recruited to support Zionism, while in actuality providing cover for illegal Zionist settlements upon conquered lands. The self-important “sustainability” ideal was warped to turn desert land into oasis, at the cost of the water of others. The Kibutz fad is largely over, and in its place we now have unbridled Zionist Fascism, a religious state where non-Jews are second and third class citizens, and what remains of Palestine is kept under permanent occupation. So that was Zionist “sustainability.”

Before that, who did we see posing in the boots of sustainable agriculture? Why, that be the Nazis, promoting Aryan supremacy and glorifying the equilibrium of the German farmer. We found out where sustainable genetics got us. In America the movement was called Eugenics. Bad enough when it was simply Behavioral Sociology hacks. What happens when religion gets in on the act?

Both the Zionists and the Nazis had God on their side. Now the American Evangelicals want to bring morality into the cause. Reverand Cizik explained that the coming Climate Crisis “will separate the winners from the losers.” I kid you not. We’re at a turning point in history, he warned, where mankind can decide who survives and who will not.

What exactly will be Capitalism’s version of sustainability? The sustainable exploitation of underclasses sounds damn Fascist to me. Doubtless those making the pitch in Shove Chapel know it too. No questions allowed.

George Will’s vocabulary outshines him

George Will Hitler bowtieCOLORADO SPRINGS- Some people look smaller in person than they do on TV. Many of us only know George Will from newsprint, but in person he’s an organ grinder’s monkey, amusingly agile, if a little threatening, but basically smallish and tethered to somebody asking for money.

Maybe it was my perspective from the steep audience seating in the South Theater of CC’s new Cornerstone Arts Center. Maybe it was looking down at George as he walked in circles between folksy baseball anecdotes, over-simplified economics and patronizing criticism of the American culture of entitlement.

I wanted to ask how a gentleman of his obvious acuity got any pleasure from addressing audiences like they were idiots. People who applauded him, by the way, and laughed at the slightest old joke. “Half of all students are of below average intelligence.” Hahahahaha. “I’m glad you got that one.” Hahahahaha.

I remember a professor I had in an advanced math class who used to berate us undergrads for the time he had to waste with us. Tonight’s audience was filled to overflow with Colorado Springs’ better-heeled hayseeds, but George Will seemed perfectly at home.

Will’s “reflections on the 2008 election” consisted of the usual horse race stats about which states have to be won by whom in order to satisfy the probabilities of precedent. “History is consistent after all,” he was attributing this adage to someone I think, “right up until the moment it isn’t.” Hahahaha. Numbers and groups of states, etc. The next president may again win the necessary electoral votes and loose the popular vote.

As a gesture to the college age portion of tonight’s audience, Will offered that all the statistical stars were lining up for a Democratic win in November, but to his contemporaries in the theater Will later confided that he didn’t consider Obama ready to lead. He also opined that Sarah Palin would provide a refreshing change to Washington DC.

Thankfully the Pulitzer Prize rewardee soon wrapped up his election year remarks and got back on the horse he undoubtedly had been commissioned to ride. Scold Americans for their entitlement mentality and convince them to privatize Social Security. There followed a Libertarian mocking of all social responsibility, and an incredible stretching of credulity seeing the absence of ready rebuttal.

Take for example, Big Pharma. George Will applauds Big Pharma and the obscene profits they reap. Those profits are only appropriate, he says, considering the tremendous costs the pharmaceuticals bear with R&D and the circumnavigation of regulations. Really George? Profit is the product of income minus expense. You want to count the expenses twice? One might compare profit against expense in the light of risk, but wouldn’t that be to beg the definition of “obscene” profits, considering none have reported obscene losses?

Will chastised the growth of the Agricultural Department citing the narrowing ratio of Ag employees to American Farmers, without referencing the precipitous rise of Big Agra and the eclipse of family farms.

Of course, entitlement programs were the chief evil, while no mention was made to corporate entitlements or bailouts or subsidized banking or the federal deficit, EXCEPT where Americans will obviously have to borrow from the next generations to finance Medicare and Social Security.

While George Will admonished Americans for wanting more from their government, he expressed not a single curiosity for how every other developed nation is able to care for their sick, their poor, and their elderly. In fact, Will compared West Germany to East Germany as an example of Capitalism’s proven superiority to Socialism, without observing that modern Germany’s social system is not the heartless one he advocates for here.

Will got lots of applause, and fielded no challenging questions. A last answer, defined for me, the nature of his limited mindset. Will was asked if a sales tax mightn’t be a more equitable substitute for the income tax. Never mind it being regressive, the suggestion certainly pleased the crowd. George Will explained that a sales tax would have to be in excess of 20% to provide the same monies. This would be unfeasible, Will pronounced. But he didn’t say it was because neither the poor, nor the working class, nor the middle class could afford a 20% rise in the cost of living. No, Will described how buying a $500,000 home would mean an additional $100,000 in tax. Unthinkable he said. And he accuses Obama of being elitist. Hahahahaha.

George Will, Brown Nose for Brownshirts

Syndicated columnist George WillCOLORADO SPRINGS-
George Will is in town tonight at our little local elite school for the elite kids of the elite, Colorado College. I have always hated to even look at this guy’s face, haven’t you? My dad, may he rest in peace, found George Will to be the most irritating and pedantic asshole of all the print columnists, and it made it even worse when the twit was on TV talking head shows. So out of respect for Milton the Monster (Dad!) I will be there to greet George Will, Brown Nose of the Brownshirts, and Imperial Asshole Extraordinaire to our community. Be there and be square (if you actually like the jerk or respect him???). Be there 30 minutes early and protest the war that this guy supports if you don’t.

Propagandist George Will to speak at CC

COLORADO SPRINGS- War propagandist George Will is scheduled to speak next week at Colorado College. He visits the unabashedly neo- liberal arts campus on Monday, Sept 8, and takes to the Cornerstone pulpit at 7:30PM. Will’s syndicated cynical malignance offers consistent proof that “conservative intellectual” is an oxymoron like idiot savant.

Will’s CC lecture is entitled REFLECTIONS ON THE 2008 ELECTIONS. While “reflections” sounds airy-udite, it reflects to me someone who’s opining on an image already cast. NPR’s Mara Liasson came to CC in 2004 with an identical pretext.

I’ve learned not to suppose soulless assholes stumble dumbly by their malevolence. George Will may project a perfectly brilliant charm, as would have, Tokyo Rose. With the downward trajectory America has been taking toward Fascism, we may not see the highly decorated Will brought to justice in his lifetime. I’d like to attend to assure him that some of us have his number.

Monday, September 8, 2008
REFLECTIONS ON THE 2008 ELECTIONS
Pulitzer Prize winner George F. Will discusses the 2008 presidential election as part of the Sondermann Series: Elections 2008. Will is a prolific author on subjects ranging from politics to baseball, a widely read columnist and ever-popular lecturer. His fans span the political spectrum. Additional events include a panel discussion with CC graduate and political journalist Chuck Buxton, CC graduate and political analyst Eric Sondermann, and CC political science professors Tim Fuller and Bob Loevy on Oct. 10; and a lecture by New York Times columnist Frank Rich on Oct. 26. Sponsored by Marianne Lannon Lopat Lecture Endowment, W. Lewis and Helen R. Abbott Memorial Fund and the Colorado College political science department.
7:30 p.m., South Theatre, Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave.

Liberal scholars make palatable same lie

Do you remember this ignoble sequence of events in the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq? America demanded Iraq cease their nuclear research projects, they did. We insisted they fess up about all their weapons programs, so they released a tower of documents, 75% of which we redacted before passing it on to the UN. We subjected Iraq to weapons inspectors, and called for Saddam to produce and dismantle his long range missiles. When the embargo-depleted, oft-bombarded nation complied, the way was clear for our troops to move in.

If a cowboy did that in a western, which color hat would he be wearing? Throw down your gun so I can shoot you.

Middle East scholar Steven Zunes recounted this episode in his presentation at CC on Thursday. Iraq’s early subjugation would certainly be influencing Iran’s current nuclear strategy. North Korea presented the alternate scenario. Their nuclear program moved forward undeterred, they tested long distance rockets, and they didn’t get invaded. Iran is governed by a repressive regime, but even Iran’s dissidents advocate rushing their nation’s nuclear efforts forward.

Stephen Zunes spoke about the ongoing war and The Mess Bush Leaves Behind, reminding the students of his originally dire predictions before the war started. He made the same point in his CC appearance the year before. In 2003 Zune had predicted failure in Iraq. Much as he would like to have been proven wrong, he says, we have failure. Still unchanged was the narrative that the US adventure in Iraq has been an unmitigated fiasco. The outcome is tragic, the irreversible destruction and loss of life, lamentable. But otherwise Zunes’ liberal theme is pernicious falsehood.

Bush’s history-making sure does look like a mess, but Neocon pocketbooks can only be described as messy in being flush with cash. When will analysts reframe the fiasco for what it still is, a continual mugging of the American taxpayer. Oil profits are up, the weapons industry has windfalls to rival cyclones, and private militia forces are outgrowing the democratic mechanisms to hold multinationals in check. Having a preeminent scholar characterize the GWOT developments as mistakes is to mislead Americans with criminal negligence.

Garrett Reppenhagen Winter Soldier

COLORADO COLLEGE- Iraq Veterans Against the War held a mini- Wintersoldier hearing this evening at the Max Kade Theatre in Armstrong Hall. They screened the original 1970 documentary, originally unseen in this country and unavailable until just recently on DVD. Afterwards four soldiers told of their experiences in Iraq. IVAW chairman Garrett Reppenhagen told an interesting story:

Have you ever seen pictures of fighter planes which bore tiny icons beneath the cockpit indicating how many planes they’d downed? Well some US soldiers in Iraq were putting little “car” stickers on their windshield to show how many cars they’d bumped off the road or totaled. Military vehicles are instructed to stop for nothing, so cars moving too slowly or stopped by traffic are simply hit and pushed out of the way. Commanders eventually had to forbid the stickers when the drivers’ views were being impaired by too many stickers. You could earn half stickers for dogs, or bikes or people.

Garrett was at the 50mm gun in a convoy when the humvee ahead swerved to hit an Iraqi child. The vehicle did not come close enough so the driver swung open his door to extend his reach. Garrett explained that armored doors are so heavy that they require two soldiers to lift them on or off their hinges. He’s certain the Iraqi boy was killed on impact.

When they returned to their FOP, Garrett was relieved to see an officer approach the guilty driver and scold him loudly for his actions. Later the very disgruntled soldier revealed that he was not reprimanded for striking the boy, but rather for having opened his door, exposing his fellow soldiers to the risk of gunfire.

KRCC is mum about Amy Goodman visit

Democracy Now! heroine Amy Goodman will be visiting the Springs on Sunday April 20th, but you wouldn’t know from listening to DN!’s own local radio affiliate KRCC. Today, in the segue for the 7pm slot, “Coming up next, Democracy Now,” instead of mentioning Goodman’s upcoming appearance, the DJ added “if Amy Goodman is not your bag, check out KRCC’s HD2 on which you can hear The Thomas Jefferson Hour.”
Can you imagine KRCC introducing Fresh Air with Terri Gross like that?

On her last appearances, Amy Goodman filled the 900-seat Shove Chapel. Where do you suppose KRCC gets off thinking they can ignore her local following? It’s insulting enough that they gave DN! a mediocre time-slot, they’re trying to sabotage Goodman’s opportunity to speak to their listeners in person? No mention either on their calendar. Search their website for “Amy Goodman” and you get nothing!

Over the last few months, KRCC has promoted appearances by all sorts of Neocon conservative global-warming deniers and war profiteers. As recently as yesterday KRCC had uncritical promotion of ex-Interior Secretary and crook Gale Norton. What’s happening to Colorado College? What’s happened to KRCC?

Anti-environmentalist Gale Norton visits

Gale Norton resigned from George W.’s cabinet in the midst of the Jack Abramoff scandal, with good reason, and has been hired by Shell Oil to go after Colorado’s shale. During her five years as Secretary of the Interior, as frinktank put it, “she exposed government land in the west to oil and gas drilling, sent loggers into our nation’s forests, reintroduced snowmobiles to Yellowstone National Park, exhibited rampant disregard for the Endangered Species Act, desperately tried to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the oil industry.” Gale Norton and George W. Bush
(They missed the “Clean Skies Initiative” and erosion of the Clean Water Act.)
Gale Norton co-founded the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA) with Grover Norquist, described by the NRDC as “a group sponsored by mining, chemical and chlorine industries.” The REP called CREA a “green scam.”
 
On Monday April 7, Norton will be the keynote speaker at the Colorado College State of the Rockies conference. WTF? She speaks at 7:30pm at Armstrong Hall. Do CC students serve pie?

Test your candidate on civil liberties

Tonight, instead of hearing a Wal-mart exec explain how Saving People Money Helps Everyone On Earth Live Better TM, stop by another CC venue to see the ACLU Winter Forum. The event in Slocum Commons is scheduled to be a candidate forum where regional representatives of the presidential candidates will respond to ACLU concerns about the abuse of power by the office of the executive. A good idea, on paper.

THE ISSUES BEING: Congressional Suspension of Habeas Corpus for Detainees, Indefinite Detention Without Arrest, Trial, Legal Representation or Judicial Forum, Surveillance of Domestic U.S. Citizens, Rendition, Torture, Abuse of Executive Power, i.e. Separation of Powers, Signing Statements, etc, The Patriot Act, and more.

I’m not sure whether the representatives would be able to get beyond how they think their bosses would respond. It’s hard to imagine each will not agree that all American Civil Liberties must be protected, keeping our security in mind, yada yada yada; as opposed to salivating openly at the chance to get into power and abuse every executive advantage like your predecessors.

The only hope I see for a discussion is for a Green Party spokesman for Cynthia McKinney to clarify what the corporate candidates have already revealed about themselves based on their actions and affiliations.

And now of course with Ralph Nader stepping in to mix things up, there’s the chance to hear what an independent might lend by way of outrage. Have the McKinney and Nader camps been invited?

Living better at the expense of others

SURVIVAL OF THE FATTEST by Jens GalschiotPerhaps you thought it couldn’t get worse. Colorado College hosts speakers who deny global warming, or dismiss the “one or two degrees.” They have speakers who champion imperialism by debt. Coming up, on February 26th at Packard Hall, CC has asked Wal-mart VP of public relations Ray Bracy to address economic development. I kid you not, his address is: “Saving People Money So They Can Live Better: A Global Perspective.”
 
Do you almost want to hear this pitch? Materialism to live better. Exploitation the means to an end. A global picture of happiness? Now that’s going to take balls.
 
In the meantime, consider the bronze statue Survival of the Fattest, and this WTO lament, for Art In Defense Of Humanism:
I’m sitting on the back of a man
He is sinking under the burden
I would do anything to help him
Except stepping down from his back.

Not your mother’s Peace Corps

Teaching abstinence to the AIDS afflicted.Did you hear in Ghana today President Bush is having lunch with US Peace Corps workers? Wherever did his handlers find even one Peace Corps volunteer who would feign tolerance to our callous mini-tyrant? In indifference-ravaged Africa no less! Is the Peace Corps not what it used to be, or not what we thought it was?

President Kennedy started the Peace Corps as a means for America to put a better face forward than the one the world saw in our exploitive capitalists. Though our politicians spoke of democracy and human rights, our soldiers usually demonstrated our industrial sense of entitlement to third world resources and labor. The Peace Corps was a deliberate counter to the suspicion that our usual diplomats, consultants and NGOs were riddled with CIA. In fact the Peace Corps was recruiting ground for the CIA.

Colorado College president Richard Celeste, himself a former Peace Corps director, likes to tell the story about volunteers working in Asia who knew the whereabouts of an insurgent, if only they’d known the CIA was after him. This is offered as proof of the firewall between US intelligence and the Corps. Of late, as we come to understand Black Ops and CIA ulterior motives, the anecdote comes to suggest the opposite. Revelations like Confessions of a Economic Hit Man indict the Peace Corps fully.

Since Celeste’s tenure, Colorado College boasts of being a leading contributor of students into the Peace Corps. With their advocacy of abstinence, are these civil NGOs distinguishable from missionaries?

Paul Theroux, 2007:

Poor Africa, the happy hunting ground of the mythomaniac, the rock star buffing up his or her image, the missionary with a faith to sell, the child buyer, the retailer of dirty drugs or toxic cigarettes, the editor in search of a scoop, the empire builder, the aid worker, the tycoon wishing to rid himself of his millions, the school builder with a bucket of patronage, the experimenting economist, the diamond merchant, the oil executive, the explorer, the slave trader, the eco-tourist, the adventure traveler, the bird watcher, the travel writer, the escapee, the colonial and his crapulosities, the banker, the busybody, the Mandela-sniffer, the political fantasist, the buccaneer and your cousin the Peace Corps Volunteer.

Nobel Prize impostor to speak at CC

Thomas Schelling to speak at Colorado CollegeColorado College, our evolving Neo-Liberal Arts school, has been inviting a slew of globalization advocates to intone on patriarchal economics. The latest, game theory “Cold Warrior” Thomas Schelling, will speak on Thursday, Feb. 21st. Schelling is being lauded as a “Nobel Laureate of Economics.” Except there is no such thing as a Nobel prize for economics.

The “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel” is to the Nobel prize, what air hockey is to hockey. If air hockey was played by chiseling cardsharps.

The would-be Nobel ruse is exposed with regularity, but without traction in the mainstream press. Every year the impostor recipients steadfastly don the stripes and hit the lecture circuit as “laureates.”

The current issue of Adbusters revisits the scheme, and this time even recommends rescinding a number of the fraudulent awards. The most egregious it suggests, which have harmed mankind by encouraging wrong-headed laissez-fair policy, went to Milton Friedman in 1976, Robert Solow in 1987, and Gary Becker in 1992. “Further recalls may be necessary.”

We can only hope Thomas Schelling and his “junk economics,” lobbying as he has against the Kyoto Treaty and for the Copenhagen Consensus, will be next.

Presumably to make amends for inventing dynamite, Alfred Nobel endowed a peace prize in 1907 to be awarded each year in the areas of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace, where such work contributed to the well being of mankind. Nobel made zero provisions for offering an award to economists.

In the late sixties, a cabal of economists contrived to make their own prize, through the Bank of Sweden, “in honor of Alfred Nobel,” presuming to correct Nobel’s shortsightedness, in defiance of his apparent farsightedness. And indeed the only economists which they have honored have been the malevolent World Bank booster variety.

Greg Mortenson’s own cup of tea

In his own words, Greg Mortenson is quite a bit more revealing about his motives in Pakistan. Pax Americana is definitely a subtlety lost on him.
 
Central Asian regions where CAI has financed constructionThis map is from the Central Asia Institute‘s own brochure. It shows the parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan where Greg Mortenson’s CAI has helped finance community building projects. I thought the shaded area formed an interesting buffer zone along the border to… CHINA! Is that region of greater interest peacewise than the war-torn borders facing Afghanistan or India?!

The current Independent features a cover story on Mortensen, to promote his Jan 15 Colorado College appearance. It turns out he’s as inarticulate as his dictation of Three Cups of Tea suggests. Here’s how Mortenson regards his unwitting Islamic accomplices:

…we bring in mullahs who support girls’ education. We have two ex-Taliban who are now teaching in our girls’ schools and have become some of our biggest proponents. It’s somewhat similar to an ex-smoker or an alcoholic who has changed and becomes very against smoking or drinking.

Here Mortenson describes how his schools convince Muslim communities to enroll their girls:

We even use good old-fashioned Western capitalism. We go and tell a mullah: If I want to marry a girl in your village, how many goats do I owe you? He might say five goats. If she has a fifth-grade education, how many goats would I then have to pay you? And the answer would probably be 15 to 20 goats. A goat is usually $30 to $40 each.

And then we tell the mullah: If all the girls are educated, just think of how much more wealth you’d have. Then you can see his eyes get bigger.

At least Mortenson is up front about the Capitalist invasion for which he plays scout. Evidently the untapped region’s girls are for sale, and once educated they’ll have value-added for mercantilism.

American society tends to glorify education for its own sake. What “education” is CAI providing to the Muslims exactly? Do CAI’s texts teach that secular culture is intent on the eradication of spiritual culture? Is the CAI curriculum simply favoring western indoctrination over an Islamist counterpart? I’ll let Mortenson show his hand:

perhaps the most controversial, is our Islamic studies for about two or three hours every week. It’s very tempered, and we include in that learning the differences between Sunni and Shia. We’ve also added what you might call religion studies, or learning about different faiths or religion.

In a monotheistic society you need that like emperor penguins need tap dancing lessons. Imagine the uproar if we tried to teach New Life Church kids that the faith of their parents was only one extreme of many! A good idea no doubt, but unlikely to provoke a peaceful reaction.

POSTSCRIPT
Our junior high student came home yesterday with three promotional pieces about Three Cups of Tea in advance of Mortenson making an appearance at her school. Do you wonder how he’s getting such press? One of the pamphlets instructs the children about how they can “Help Three Cups of Tea (3CT) surge:” (My emphasis, their slip of the forked tongue)

1. Recommend 3CT to at least one person or place: family, friend, colleague, book club, professor and teacher, student, and places of worship. It also makes a great gift! (You’ve got to be kidding me! 3CT practically screams you’re illiterate.)

2. Visit 3CT website…

3. Recommend 3CT for ‘One Book – One Read’ at www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/one-book.html (please don’t).

4. Recommend 3CT as a University or college-wide… read www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/articles/070607/7summer.htm (YGTBFKM)

5. Ask bookstores without 3CT to stock the book, especially airport bookstores. (?)

6. Send 3CT with a personal note to your Senators and/or Representatives (US legislators, why?)

7. Write a ‘letter editor’ [sic] to suggest 3CT and to support education and literacy… to promote peace, economic development and prosperity. (Emphasis mine. Co-opting Muslim girls for Capitalism promotes peace how?)

8. Ask magazines, newspapers, or radio station [sic] to review 3CT (they suggest sending a copy)

9. Learn about the power of girls’ education… in What Works in Girls Education (by Neocon think tank author Barbara Hertz)

10. Learn about grassroots book promotion…

11. Suggest 3CT to Oprah: www.oprah.com/email/reach/email_showideas.jhtml

12. Suggest 3CT to C-Span 202-737-0580.

13. Write a book review on Amazon.com, bn.com… (No need, it’s getting slammed! Too bad my Junior High principle isn’t getting a clue. Are our teachers illiterate too?)

14. Start Pennies For Peace in your school, library, or place of worship… www.penniesforpeace.org

Billions for war, but apparently we need only pennies for peace.

Hopefully 3CT’s proceeds are going toward peace. (Marie reports their financials say it’s “up to 7%,” so hey, they do mean single-cent figures!) Perhaps Mortenson can earmark some of the Coins for Cultural Sensitivity.

POST-POSTSCRIPT
The Amazon reviews are uproarious! But 3CT trolls are loading the funniest with bad marks where it asks Do you find this review helpful, so you’ll have to look fast. I’ll reprint a couple below.

By the way, Three Cups of Tea, One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… was originally released as Three Cups of Tea, One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations. It wasn’t selling the mission?

I’ll work up my own slipcover for Mortenson’s speaking engagement, with help from the comments below. Hopefully he’ll be good-natured enough to sign it:
Three Cups of Tedium: One Man’s Mission to be a Dhimmi
-A Condescending Westerner who attempt to “educate” Muslims.

(This is part 2 of 3 pieces: a review of the 3CT book, the promotion around the book tour, and Mortenson’s public appearance.)

Colorado Springs Mack the Knife

The Gazette reported this weekend that Alexander Pring-Wilson, now of Court TV fame, has won a second reprieve against accusations of knifing an Hispanic Boston teen in 2003. Pring-Wilson’s legal team has twice successfully confused juries by defaming the victim’s poor man’s past, detracting from Pring-Wilson’s drunken, unprovoked pounce with a knife.
The Jackknife is not named after Jack the Ripper, who was never caught. Is Jackie back in town?
In the fawning article about the family’s blue blood Wood Avenue heritage, the Gazette oddly shrunk Pring-Wilson’s 4-inch-blade Spyderco military jackknife to a “penknife!” We’re informed the CC grad will be spending the holidays in Colorado. And will the ex-rugby captain be drinking?
 
I say, won’t somebody visit the CSPD and ask if the Colorado College campus hasn’t any unsolved closing-time stabbing deaths among its cold cases?

Maybe Pring-Wilson can stop by the Police Department and volunteer the DNA sample he refused to give them from Boston. The CSPD were alerted in 2003 about the similarity of the Boston stabbing to the fatal assault on Jocelyn Sandburg in 2002, and have yet to be given evidence to preclude him as a suspect. But Pring-Wilson’s mother was a long time Colorado Springs prosecutor and, as the Gazette article reminds us, is from a very influential family.

In Boston, Pring-Wilson was stumbling home from a Reggae bar after closing time. He came upon a car parked next to a pizza joint, with two Hispanic teens who he thought were laughing at his drunken state. Pring-Wilson approached the car, opened the passenger door and began stabbing one teen as the other ran from around the other side to pull Pring-Wilson off. The driver had not realized that the pummeling he was witnessing involved a knife. Pring-Wilson claims self-defense, prosecutors are suspicious of Pring’s having begun at the onset with his knife unpocketed, blade open.

Before Pring-Wilson moved to Harvard, he attended Colorado College. The year after graduation he still returned to Colorado Springs regularly to visit his former-teammates, parents and girlfriend. Might one of his visits have coincided with Jocelyn’s murder, a weekend night in 2002, a little after 2am?

Jocelyn and passenger were just a block from home when someone threw an object at their car. Jocelyn stepped out to address the young pedestrian, he suddenly threw what looked like a punch but oddly Jocelyn fell face forward to the pavement. She got up to chase him further into the CC campus where her body was found later with multiple stab wounds.

If you trace a direct route between the bars of Tejon Street and Pring-Wilson’s house, as a drunk might navigate, you cross Jocelyn Sandberg’s car right in the middle. It happened at an hour when Jocelyn was returning from a concert in Boulder, and when a drunk would be turned out from a bar at closing time. And what an unusual scenario for an altercation: knife-wielding pedestrian versus car.

Torturing the universities, future feminine possibilities for Colorado College

Pity the universities these days. They have become wildlife havens for America’s torturers. Southern Methodist University in Dallas is to house the papers of the head torturer advocate of them all, George W. Bush, in his ‘presidential library’. Stanford gets Donald Rumsfield. And now the University of Florida took it upon itself to take up the media rehabilitation program of Alberto Gonzalez. Whoopee, Students!

Here at home the local rag, The Gazette, today continued in its campaign to pretend that Global Warming is nothing to be concerned about, health care for all is too expensive to be implemented in the US, and YES, that water boarding is ‘uncomfortable, not torture’. So what, since at least local students have the ‘liberal’ Colorado College to find refuge in, right?

No, this local institution has graduated Dick Cheney’s wife and both his daughters, too (Lynn, Elizabeth, and Mary). And the college’s board of directors has Suzanne Woolsey , wife of super neo con advocate of fighting a continual, decades long ‘world war’ against the Muslim World, exCIA Head James Woolsey, sitting in as Vice Chair of the Colorado College Board of Trustees, emphasis on VICE.

These women folk ‘belonging to’ such noted torturers and torture advocates, Dick Cheney and James Woolsey, make it just right, that Colorado College and its Department of Political Science should house a proposed ‘Library of Women That Love Torturers’. There, we could see the love letters between these prominent ladies and their torturer husbands, dads, and lovers!

It would be a credit for the local military community’s institutions, too! Visit the Air Force Academy, then step over to Colorado College to see the more feminine side of US militarism, and women who love the torturers behind it. Other cities have their water parks, but Colorado Springs could have their waterboarding park!

Maybe our mayor, Lionel Rivera, and the entire city council will get behind this idea? We can only propose… but Colorado College should not let itself fall behind in the academic love affair with noted American torturers! Now can it? Maybe it could open up by next Halloween?

Darfur

Darfur AID not sanctionsYesterday’s Colorado College rally (October 29) by the interventionist group, ‘Save Darfur’, was quite an educational event. There, we got to see a train load of comfortable American speakers demand that we begin an economic war against a Fourth World country, Sudan, to be carried out by US corporations and the US government.

How could anybody be against that, their puzzled faces questioned those few of us that were there with signs against the increasing US military presence in Africa? Don’t you want to help the people of Darfur? As a matter of fact, we do, and that is precisely why we oppose groups like ‘Save Darfur’. They do not advocate economic assistance to Africans, but rather they advocate ‘policing’ them and dominating them from Washington D.C.

Not a word was said about opposing AFICICOM, the new Pentagon intervenionist command center designed to terrorize Africa. Not a word was said about the US use of Ethiopian troops to invade Somalia and overthrow the government there. The Eritrean government is predicting an attack on their country backed by the US government since they opposed, and continue to oppose, US actions against the people of Somalia. Not a word was said against US military aggression in Africa at the rally.

The mention of the US genocide against the Iraqi people met a shout from the crowd to ‘stay on focus’ about Darfur. Nobody talked about the need to end the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq by the Pentagon. Nobody talked about the genocide of the Palestinians by the combined US and Israeli governments’ aggression. Not a word was said against the what is being done in Gaza and Lebanon, Pakistan and Iran by current US foreign policy. Not a word was said in opposition to the so called ‘War on Terror’, a made-in-the-US war that breeds terror, and celebrates terror and torture everywhere. Not a word was said against US government torture and rendition of POWs to be tortured by other countries.

Instead, we were exhorted by the speakers to begin a campaign to blame China for African bloodshed! This campaign is to be brought to bear on the Sudanese government and China from the countries that have terrorized Africans for centuries! Nobody in the pro interventionist rally crowd seemed to see anything much wrong with this? Instead they acted as if their actions were some how saintly and divine.

They talked about genocide a lot, though even Jimmy Carter has just declared most recently that the killings in Sudan do not meet the defintion of being a genocide. We agree. See the Christiian Science Monitor report ‘Elders’ criticize West’s response to situation in Darfur…Brahimi says West ‘pampered’ rebels, while Carter calls US’s use of term ‘genocide’ to describe violence ‘unhelpful.’ We too want to see the civil war and bloodshed in Sudan to come to an end, but do not agree with the activities of the group ‘Save Darfur’.

The US has spent at least $2.5 trillion in tearing apart Iraq and Afghanistan. We call on the US to spend that sort of money to end poverty, war, and disease in Africa. Why isn’t ‘Save Darfur’ doing the same? Instead they are calling for troops to be sent in, economic war to be begun against an impoverished country, and blame to be cast on the developing country of China. We find this to be shameful, and say that the Peace Movement should not put its stamp of approval on this campaign by the misnamed ‘Save Darfur’.

Peace Now. Spend the war budget on human needs. End the bloodshed by holding our own government responsible, instead of calling for it to increase its intervention into other countries’ affairs. We demand that the US start an economic aid package, without strings attached, that gives billions of dollars of reparations for the crimes that our government has done to Africans over several centuries. Forgive all of Africa’s foreign debt now. That’s how you help the people of Darfur, not by urging US power plays to control African resources.

Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission must demand no more US intervention into the affairs of other nations.

The Blame China pro US interventionists come to town today

The group Save Darfur comes to town with their Blame China pro-US interventionist campaign today at Colorado College. This campaign is heavily backed by the Democratic Party and is designed to take the heat off the Democrats for backing Bush’s genocide against the Iraqi people. Many people unfortunately seem to be falling for the con.

It is disgraceful that the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission is also slipping this antiChinese campaign onto its list of events to promote. Why? The Chinese are about the last nation to be blaming for all the bloodshed that European colonialism backed up by US imperialism has brought to the African continent. Instead of concentrating on the misdeeds of our own American government, some in the PPJPC seem intent on promoting US interventionism into Africa instead.

Sure, the liberal interventionists take great pains to hide their true program. They say they are trying to save lives, not trying to push US military interventionism in Sudan. But that that is not so is clear by their entire lack of any campaign to get the US out of Africa. Instead, they play the US government blame game and encourage its campaign against China.

Shame on you Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission! If there was any sort of democratic discussion and decision making inside this organization, maybe a stop could be put to this local push for US interventionism? But the organization seems totally undemocratic in structure, and little is being done to change that despite so many promises to do so.

It is time for this organization decide whether they will continue to encourage doing pro intervention work in favor of greater US involvement into African affairs, or not. It is one thing if individual members on their own bring in their signs and banners For US Intervention, but quite another when the organization as a whole encourages participation as a whole in these pro US interventionist campaigns.

US Out of Africa Now! It’s time to reign in the US military and not to call for yet more aggression against foreign countries. It’s time for the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission to stop playing dumb on the issue of US interventionism into other countries’ affairs, even when the media says it is all for a good cause.