суббота, 22 октября 2005 г.

October 22, 2005


Saturday, October 22, 2005
Speechless
There are very few things that render me incapable of speech.

This is one of those things.

(Here is a direct link to the song.)

Props to Wil Wheaton dot Net in Exile.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 3:27 PM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Anyone remember They Might Be Giants?
Bomp-ba-dee-dah, bomp-ba-dee-dah, bomp-ba-dee-dah, bomp-ba-dee-dah (repeat)

Minimum WAAAAAAAAAGE!

*whip* Yah!

In all seriousness, the minimum wage is worth less proportionally than it has been in quite some time.

And on top of it, the Davis-Bacon act, requiring workers to get paid a prevailing wage, has been suspended in the Gulf, ostensibly to "make the rebuilding process run faster." Halliburton and others promptly used this suspension to hire undocumented aliens so the corporate bigwigs could pocket MORE of the money - YOUR money.

My friends on the Right often accuse me of trying to incite "class warfare." The class warfare has been going on for quite some time - and it isn't the lower or middle classes that started it.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:01 AM |||Comments (7) | Trackback (0)
Friday, October 21, 2005
Open Thread
Busy this morning. Go nuts.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:20 AM |||Comments (5) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Hey, at least it wasn't George Mikan.
So a convicted felon wanted a LONGER sentence so the number of years he served was going to be equal to the number on Larry Bird's jersey (33).

Y'know, if I'm in that situation, I start claiming I'm a Robert Parish fan.

(See, growing up in a basketball-crazy state like Indiana occasionally pays off.)

WF


// posted by Wes @ 5:49 PM |||Comments (6) | Trackback (0)
Good stuff
Some people accuse me of being hyper-partisan. While I am a proud and committed Democrat, I am not so blind as to not recognize when a Republican does something good - and something good is what former Gov. A. Paul Cellucci has done in giving some leftover campaign funds to MASS MoCA.

In my interview with Rep. Bosley (below), he mentioned that Cellucci Weld (since Cellucci was Weld's Lt. Gov., I interposed the two; from all accounts, though, Weld and Cellucci started at the same point and came around at about the same time - WF) was unsure of the project at first, but when the local leaders (Mayor Barrett, Rep. Bosley, then-State Sen. Swift) talked to him about it, he got completely on board.

I ask you, readers - can you see Gov. Red Speck getting behind a project like MASS MoCA? Mad props to Cellucci.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:35 AM |||Comments (5) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
A dilemma (well, not for me)
MCLA and the North Adams Transcript are sponsoring a meet the candidates night on MCLA's campus in one week.

Normally, I'd go, but the MCLA Concert/Community Band is performing that night as well, and I'm the conductor.

суббота, 27 августа 2005 г.

August 27, 2005



Saturday, August 27, 2005
ID continued
Another good op-ed on "Intelligent" Design from the North Adams Transcript.

Why couldn't I have had a paper like this growing up, instead of the fishwrap that shills for fundamentalist slackjaws and the crypto-racists of the John Birch Society?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:22 AM |||Comments (8) | Trackback (0)
Friday, August 26, 2005
An anniversary of note
This week, of course, marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, enshrining in our most important document the right of women to vote.

Of course, we're perfectly willing to take that right AWAY from Iraqi women, but hey, last throes and all that.

So, to my female readers - go out and vote! Run for office! You had to fight the forces of reaction HARD to get this right - use it!

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:48 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
The Walk In Brain Book Club
I just finished a remarkable book - American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley - His Battle for Chicago and the Nation by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor.

Has anyone else read this book? If so, your thoughts?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:27 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, August 25, 2005
And the winner is...
...Hartford.

It was closer, and I'd already blown a good chunk of the day.

I'll get Montpelier soon.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:31 PM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Bernstein
Today is the birthday of Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990), arguably the most important American "classical" musician of the 20th century.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:26 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
This is too good.
Check out David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Pat Robertson.

I don't think it can be said any better, though I firmly expect the "Bush Can Do No Wrong" Brigade to get on my case for inviting a comparison between Chavez and Christ.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:10 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Open Thread
Nothing is jumping out at me today, so go nuts.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:41 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Decisions, decisions
Hartford or Montpelier?

I'm gonna hit one state capital today. I haven't visited the state of Connecticut yet, so I'm leaning towards Hartford, but I also hear that Montpelier is just stunningly beautiful and rustic.

Thoughts?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:34 AM |||Comments (6) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Another mother
While Cindy Sheehan has been doing her thing in Texas (and may HER mother recover from the stroke), a mother here in North Adams is honoring her son who was killed in the September 11 attacks by building a school in Afghanistan.

Two mothers, two activities, and both of them better PR for America (one shows how dissent works in an open society; one helps educate) than Bush's misadventure in Iraq.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:30 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Props
I don't agree with Brendan of Spacetropic on foreign policy issues much, but he's absolutely right on with his indictment of NIMBYism and our disposable consumer culture in this entry.

I've never completely understood the exurban impulse. Brendan suggests it's for wide-open spaces, yet too often the large houses are built on small lots. Plus, the exurbs are merciless if you choose not to drive (and mass transit is often completely nonexistent or geared to the senior community). The designs (cul-de-sacs and collector roads, with ample fencing and treelines) make it virtually impossible to walk to any shopping.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:42 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
RIP Robert Moog, 1934 - 2005
This desk has received word of the passing of Robert Moog, the creator of the Moog and Minimoog synthesizers.

Bob Moog did two things to revolutionize electronic music - he increased the palette of sounds and he made it accessible to the average composer and listener. He (and those ideas) will be missed.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:29 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Miscellaneous, Etc.
Just a couple of random thoughts on a cool (low 50s) morning in North Adams.

(1) Don't walk up Beacon Hill in Boston with church shoes on. My right foot still feels like a cloven hoof.

(2) Some people give me grief over terms like "JEEEEEzus!" Let me set one thing straight for the record: I don't believe for a second that fundamentalists actually believe in or worship Jesus, the one called Christ, or (for The Axinar, who I know will appreciate the effort) Yeshua bar Yosef. That Jesus is all about humbling yourself, helping the less fortunate, doing good works, and loving your fellow man. Since I get very little of that in the rhetoric of fundamentalist leaders, I can only assume that they're worshipping someone else with a similar name, who apparently teaches that salvation requires you to be rich, white, and Republican, and that the only two deadly sins are abortion and homosexuality. Hence, "JEEEEEzus!" is the term I use.

Why do I wander into this minefield on an otherwise beautiful morning?

Well, as many of you know, I have a lot of ministers in my family, and we all attend a church that is very conservative theologically. I've read the Bible. Quite a lot, actually. And not once in the New Testament do I see Christ, Paul, Peter, or any of the other leaders of early Christianity calling for the assassination of a leader.

You cannot call Pat Robertson a fringe element in modern American fundamentalist "Christianity." It was his media empire that helped launch the modern fundamentalist movement. When Ward Churchill, a minor-league academic at one college, made some utterly wrong remarks about the attacks of September 11, immediately the David Horowitzes and Rush Limbaughs of the world tied his words to not only the entire academic community, but anyone to the left of Zell Miller. Now Robertson, one of three main people responsible for the upsurge in fundamentalism, a man who won several million votes in the 1988 Republican presidential primary, and a man who is seen on TV daily by millions more, is calling for some very un-Christ like behavior.

I'm waiting for the condemnations by the Right. There may be a lot of JEEEEEzus! in Robertson's message, but there's very little Jesus.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:43 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Monday, August 22, 2005
Back Home
Had a great time in Beantown - walked across the Longfellow Bridge from MIT to downtown, and went exploring in the State House.

The picture of the State House of Representatives chamber shown here doesn't begin to do it justice. It really is a stunning chapel of democracy. And perhaps this is a portend of things to come - on display was the seating chart from the House in 1923. Right down front, in the fourth seat from the furthest right edge (as you look from the galleries) was the seat for Representative Flinn. Spelled with an "i" and everything.

Thanks also to Kellie who made a great tour guide.

Did I miss anything?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:45 PM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
On the road again
Driving over to Boston.

This is an open thread.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:30 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Acquire some. Put them on SUVs.
A man from Bennington, VT (about 20 miles from here) is making peace magnets.

The point of it is to provoke discussion, Sperber said.

"Peace is patriotic," he said. "The idea that I resist and reject is that if you're not for the war you're unpatriotic. I support the troops — I want them to come home alive."

Mr. Sperber, I salute you.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:44 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
That's gold, Jerry!
Bill Shein, a local columnist, gives us Little-known Roberts memos, in honor of Chimpy McStagger's nominee for SCOTUS.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:41 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Postmodernism
I'm not sure someone gets postmodernism here. While the author is quick to castigate someone for "lazily appropriated" materials, he misses the point. Perhaps I'm in the minority of postmodernists here, but I've never viewed postmodernism as ahistorical. I view it more as panhistorical, in which everything that has happened before is given the potentiality for use as something new.

Of course, I tend to side with Ferré on such matters, with his ecosystematic model.

Your thoughts, fellow philosophizin' types?

August 27, 2005


Saturday, August 27, 2005
ID continued
Another good op-ed on "Intelligent" Design from the North Adams Transcript.

Why couldn't I have had a paper like this growing up, instead of the fishwrap that shills for fundamentalist slackjaws and the crypto-racists of the John Birch Society?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:22 AM |||Comments (8) | Trackback (0)
Friday, August 26, 2005
An anniversary of note
This week, of course, marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, enshrining in our most important document the right of women to vote.

Of course, we're perfectly willing to take that right AWAY from Iraqi women, but hey, last throes and all that.

So, to my female readers - go out and vote! Run for office! You had to fight the forces of reaction HARD to get this right - use it!

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:48 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
The Walk In Brain Book Club
I just finished a remarkable book - American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley - His Battle for Chicago and the Nation by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor.

Has anyone else read this book? If so, your thoughts?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:27 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, August 25, 2005
And the winner is...
...Hartford.

It was closer, and I'd already blown a good chunk of the day.

I'll get Montpelier soon.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:31 PM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Bernstein
Today is the birthday of Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990), arguably the most important American "classical" musician of the 20th century.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:26 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
This is too good.
Check out David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Pat Robertson.

I don't think it can be said any better, though I firmly expect the "Bush Can Do No Wrong" Brigade to get on my case for inviting a comparison between Chavez and Christ.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:10 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Open Thread
Nothing is jumping out at me today, so go nuts.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:41 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Decisions, decisions
Hartford or Montpelier?

I'm gonna hit one state capital today. I haven't visited the state of Connecticut yet, so I'm leaning towards Hartford, but I also hear that Montpelier is just stunningly beautiful and rustic.

Thoughts?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:34 AM |||Comments (6) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Another mother
While Cindy Sheehan has been doing her thing in Texas (and may HER mother recover from the stroke), a mother here in North Adams is honoring her son who was killed in the September 11 attacks by building a school in Afghanistan.

Two mothers, two activities, and both of them better PR for America (one shows how dissent works in an open society; one helps educate) than Bush's misadventure in Iraq.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:30 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Props
I don't agree with Brendan of Spacetropic on foreign policy issues much, but he's absolutely right on with his indictment of NIMBYism and our disposable consumer culture in this entry.

I've never completely understood the exurban impulse. Brendan suggests it's for wide-open spaces, yet too often the large houses are built on small lots. Plus, the exurbs are merciless if you choose not to drive (and mass transit is often completely nonexistent or geared to the senior community). The designs (cul-de-sacs and collector roads, with ample fencing and treelines) make it virtually impossible to walk to any shopping.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:42 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
RIP Robert Moog, 1934 - 2005
This desk has received word of the passing of Robert Moog, the creator of the Moog and Minimoog synthesizers.

Bob Moog did two things to revolutionize electronic music - he increased the palette of sounds and he made it accessible to the average composer and listener. He (and those ideas) will be missed.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:29 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Miscellaneous, Etc.
Just a couple of random thoughts on a cool (low 50s) morning in North Adams.

(1) Don't walk up Beacon Hill in Boston with church shoes on. My right foot still feels like a cloven hoof.

(2) Some people give me grief over terms like "JEEEEEzus!" Let me set one thing straight for the record: I don't believe for a second that fundamentalists actually believe in or worship Jesus, the one called Christ, or (for The Axinar, who I know will appreciate the effort) Yeshua bar Yosef. That Jesus is all about humbling yourself, helping the less fortunate, doing good works, and loving your fellow man. Since I get very little of that in the rhetoric of fundamentalist leaders, I can only assume that they're worshipping someone else with a similar name, who apparently teaches that salvation requires you to be rich, white, and Republican, and that the only two deadly sins are abortion and homosexuality. Hence, "JEEEEEzus!" is the term I use.

Why do I wander into this minefield on an otherwise beautiful morning?

Well, as many of you know, I have a lot of ministers in my family, and we all attend a church that is very conservative theologically. I've read the Bible. Quite a lot, actually. And not once in the New Testament do I see Christ, Paul, Peter, or any of the other leaders of early Christianity calling for the assassination of a leader.

You cannot call Pat Robertson a fringe element in modern American fundamentalist "Christianity." It was his media empire that helped launch the modern fundamentalist movement. When Ward Churchill, a minor-league academic at one college, made some utterly wrong remarks about the attacks of September 11, immediately the David Horowitzes and Rush Limbaughs of the world tied his words to not only the entire academic community, but anyone to the left of Zell Miller. Now Robertson, one of three main people responsible for the upsurge in fundamentalism, a man who won several million votes in the 1988 Republican presidential primary, and a man who is seen on TV daily by millions more, is calling for some very un-Christ like behavior.

I'm waiting for the condemnations by the Right. There may be a lot of JEEEEEzus! in Robertson's message, but there's very little Jesus.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:43 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Monday, August 22, 2005
Back Home
Had a great time in Beantown - walked across the Longfellow Bridge from MIT to downtown, and went exploring in the State House.

The picture of the State House of Representatives chamber shown here doesn't begin to do it justice. It really is a stunning chapel of democracy. And perhaps this is a portend of things to come - on display was the seating chart from the House in 1923. Right down front, in the fourth seat from the furthest right edge (as you look from the galleries) was the seat for Representative Flinn. Spelled with an "i" and everything.

Thanks also to Kellie who made a great tour guide.

Did I miss anything?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:45 PM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
On the road again
Driving over to Boston.

This is an open thread.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:30 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Acquire some. Put them on SUVs.
A man from Bennington, VT (about 20 miles from here) is making peace magnets.

The point of it is to provoke discussion, Sperber said.

"Peace is patriotic," he said. "The idea that I resist and reject is that if you're not for the war you're unpatriotic. I support the troops — I want them to come home alive."

Mr. Sperber, I salute you.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:44 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
That's gold, Jerry!
Bill Shein, a local columnist, gives us Little-known Roberts memos, in honor of Chimpy McStagger's nominee for SCOTUS.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:41 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Postmodernism
I'm not sure someone gets postmodernism here. While the author is quick to castigate someone for "lazily appropriated" materials, he misses the point. Perhaps I'm in the minority of postmodernists here, but I've never viewed postmodernism as ahistorical. I view it more as panhistorical, in which everything that has happened before is given the potentiality for use as something new.

Of course, I tend to side with Ferré on such matters, with his ecosystematic model.

Your thoughts, fellow philosophizin' types?

суббота, 30 июля 2005 г.

July 30, 2005


Saturday, July 30, 2005
Safe
Jawa Girl and I have unpacked the car. The cat is exploring the new digs.

Since the apartment is not air conditioned and we're hot and tired, we're at the Holiday Inn for the night.

Tomorrow I put Jawa Girl on a plane back to Columbus (family is picking her up there) and begin the process of making sense of things. I'll post whenever I can get to wi-fi (until the internet is set up at the new place).

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:14 PM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
And we're off
The car is packed. The cat is soon to be loaded. Next stop, Massachusetts.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:11 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Friday, July 29, 2005
The next time they call us elitists...
Jean Schmidt's money is coming from herself and from major Washington and Cincinnati donors.

Paul Hackett's money is coming from you and I and thousands like us.

Just remember that.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:52 AM |||Comments (8) | Trackback (0)
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
So this is it - my last full day in the Queen City.

Sometime next week, after I have unpacked, gotten the necessary internet connections, and settled in, I'll have my Last Cincinnati Will and Testament.

I'll probably have another post or two today as well.

This thread is open.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:46 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Gee, imagine that.
Keith Fangman is endorsing the Republican because he's upset the Democrat did his job.

Mr. Fangman, for someone charged with upholding the law, you seem to forget why the law exists and why we have due process. A claim was made. A suit was filed, and during the investigation, the claim was dismissed. The system WORKED.

But that's not good enough for you. In your world, no police officer should ever be questioned.

Mr. Fangman, the hard-working men and women of the CPD deserve better than you. In your relentless quest to make sure police can shoot at will, you've besmirched their reputation.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:47 AM |||Comments (6) | Trackback (0)
Back
For a couple more days, anyway.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 8:42 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Monday, July 25, 2005
Open Thread
At Jawa Girl's, using her computer while mine is in a box.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:04 AM |||Comments (7) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Radio Silence
My computer is about to be disassembled. Posting is gonna be sporadic for a while. I hope to be back on a regular schedule by Thursday. If the motels where Dad and I are staying have wi-fi, I'll do what I can.

Be safe and be well.

суббота, 11 июня 2005 г.

June 11, 2005


Saturday, June 11, 2005
Well, this is interesting
Please, Russ Jackson, run as an independent Republican.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:42 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Friday, June 10, 2005
Es ist genug
A composition by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) was discovered this week. It's a strophic aria in honor of the birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, a patron of Bach's.

This is, to my knowledge, the only strophic aria (a strophic aria has the same music for multiple verses of a poem or text) that J. S. Bach wrote. So even though the piece is not all that important in Bach's output, it's still a major find.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:47 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
An alternate viewpoint
Mr. Frank J. Labmeier of Green Township proposes an alternative to lifetime appointments for federal judges.

Here's how I see it:

PROS:
Even the most odious jurist would only have eight years on the bench;
The removal of lifetime status would break much of the logjam surrounding federal judicial appointments.

CONS:
Every time the majority on a judicial panel switched ideologies, you'd see spates of cases being filed and the possible overturning of case law every decade (think Plessy flipped by Brown and vice versa every decade or so);
There's still the desire for promotion to higher courts, so the ideological judges would still be playing to push their viewpoint (in the hopes that they will be rewarded with a higher office).

I do hope Mr. Labmeier meant "appointed" instead of "elected" in his penultimate paragraph. State and local judicial elections are painful enough - I cannot imagine the fights that would break out over federal judgeships.

What do you think?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:26 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Arrrgh
So I get here early today and figure I'll have plenty of blogging time before class.

The computer has been achingly slow (think Commodore 64) all morning.

I haven't even read the paper yet. I first tried to post this 20 minutes ago.

This is an open thread.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:25 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Coingate
It just keeps getting bigger and bigger...

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:24 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
I don't know this man
I don't know Arnie Engel, but from all accounts he's committed to destroying public education wherever it may be.

Sad. Public schools predate the Constitution (check out the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, for example), and this person has taken it upon himself to wipe them from the planet.

Somehow I doubt he's doing it alone. Who is funding Mr. Arnie Engel of Fairfield in his quest to oppose all school levies everywhere?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:22 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
Quick thoughts on ads
I have not seen any ads for the Democratic candidates yet, so I cannot comment on them.

I've spoken below about the single McEwen ad I've seen - nice to know that, when there is a 10% unemployment rate in parts of the 2nd District, Bob McEwen will have the right priority - the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pat DeWine seems to have built a cottage industry on going after McEwen. Does being a "Ronald Reagan conservative" mean you like jellybeans and/or are dead?

Eric Minamyer, who has been kind enough to comment here, seems a decent sort, but his ads are not well-produced. That might turn off some people, though to me the bigger turn-off is the presence of Simon Leis as his campaign chair. Ouch.

The Club for Growth (motto: "No taxes EVER!") has been attacking Jean Schmidt on behalf of Tom Brinkman. Is there some internal win-place-show jockeying I don't know about?

The tamest ads belong to Jean Schmidt. They play down her ties to the social conservative movement.

What are your thoughts on the ads?

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:14 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Less than a week
Post your thoughts on the two primaries for the OH-2 open seat here. I have to go teach.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:26 AM |||Comments (13) | Trackback (0)
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Slow News Day
Oh, sure, there are some Cleti among the letters, and there's corruption in Kentucky state government, but this isn't a change from the status quo.

I gotta teach in 10 minutes anyway.

This is an open thread.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:16 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Monday, June 06, 2005
June 6, 1944
It's been sixty-one years since the Allies stormed the beaches at Normandy. Those brave soldiers marked the turning point in the war in Europe.

If you know anyone who was there, thank that person today.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:17 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Hmm...
Based on what they told the Enquirer, the two best Republican candidates (admittedly, my priorities are way different than the GOP's) are Eric Minamyer (though I'm not thrilled with his reflexive tax-cutting) and Doug Mink (the only one to talk about telecommunications issues). Jean Schmidt seems harmless enough, but friends of mine who worked with her in Miami Township and State Government say her discussion of jobs, etc., is a smokescreen to moderates so she can do nothing but anti-abortion and anti-gay work.

As bad as McEwen and Brinkman are, and as patently overly ambitious as Pat DeWine is, any of them would be better than Jeff Morgan of Peebles, who says his first priority is the Federal Marriage Amendment. I guess we should be glad he's up-front about it, and that he's not hiding it like others (though Brinkman says it's his SECOND priority).

You'd like to think someone like Jeff Morgan would be too extreme for even the 2nd District, and indeed his chances are slim; however, he'll get some votes.

I'll put in some thoughts on the Democrats next week.

пятница, 13 мая 2005 г.

May 13, 2005


Friday, May 13, 2005
Go east, young man.
I've alluded to this in earlier posts, but I'm now ready to tell why I was out of town.

I was in North Adams, Massachusetts for an interview. As of 10:30 this morning, I can report with 99.44% certainty that it was successful, and my life is about to change in a most dramatic and exciting way.

Come this fall, I will be Assistant Professor of Music - a tenure-track position - in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.

This will, of course, require me to leave Cincinnati. And while I will miss the many wonderful people and places here in the Queen City, this represents a career move that I cannot turn down. I am looking forward to the possibilities.

Feel free to visit - I'm gonna try to have a spare bedroom, and the foliage in the Berkshires is simply amazing.

UPDATE (3:30pm)- it's now 100% official. The VP just called and made the official offer, which I accepted.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:48 AM |||Comments (27) | Trackback (0)
Bolton
Though I disagree with one premise in the Enquirer op-ed on John Bolton, I agree wholeheartedly with the other.

I agree that we can produce a better UN ambassador than John Bolton. This is not a "Nixon Goes To China" moment; Nixon was at least sincere in his desire to see China opened up to the West. Bolton has no other mission than to undercut what influence the UN has left as the last step of establishing US hegemony. Bolton is a member of the neo-con cabal known as the Project for a New American Century, which is determined to establish a 21st-century version of the Roman Empire. To appoint John Bolton to the position of UN Ambassador, EVEN IF you don't care for the UN, says to the rest of the world that we simply view you as opposition and/or consumers.

I disagree with the statement that this should have gone to the full Senate; I do wish Sen. Voinovich had refused to send it to the floor. Having said that, I'm glad Sen. Voinovich said what he did, though.

суббота, 7 мая 2005 г.

May 07, 2005


Saturday, May 07, 2005
Big Time College Sports
As both my readers know, I teach at Northern Kentucky University. The faculty, staff, and students have been surveyed quite a bit on the possibility of becoming a Division I athletic program.

I'm against it.

Not that I don't like college sports - I grew up in Indiana in the '70s and '80s, fer cryin' out loud - but that there's no gain in the level of education. If anything, the move would suck money out of academics and into athletics.

NKU has a way to go before it could make such a move. Even as a Division II school, it's about $1.5 million a year short of what it needs to have adequate personnel and facilities, Votruba said.

The university has 14,000 students, according to its fall 2003 statistics.

Historically, NKU has received the least state funding for its size of any public university in Kentucky. Tuition and student fees at the university provide 62 percent of NKU's operating budget, which is the highest percentage in the commonwealth, Votruba said.

"What's obvious is our athletic department has performed miracles, given the support it has received," he said.

Moving to Division I would require not only a tuition increase of about 1 percent to 2 percent over each of the next two years, but also increased support from private donors, he said[emphasis added].

Tuition is already skyrocketing at NKU - we don't need to add more burden on a student population that is quite overtaxed as it is all to keep some alumni happy. I hope President Votruba, a truly classy guy, fights the urge to do this. We are and can continue to be a Division II powerhouse.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:22 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Another voice
The Enquirer (rightly so) takes Summit Country Day to task for disinviting Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kansas), arguably its most honored alumna.

The late Pope John Paul II was strenuously opposed to the war in Iraq, as is Pope Benedict XVI. The stance of "pro-life" means also complete and total opposition to the death penalty. I wonder if Summit would disinvite someone who was in favor of the war or in favor of the death penalty. Somehow I doubt it.

Sadly, for too many people, "Pro-Life" means "Pro-Birth" and nothing more.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 9:13 AM |||Comments (9) | Trackback (0)
Friday, May 06, 2005
Because, you know, no one should ever be exposed to a differing opinion.
I somehow doubt that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius was going to Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati to encourage kids to have abortions.

But of course, that won't stop people from pressuring the school to cancel her appearance.

Look, they're a private school (though they are NOT a diocesan school), and they can do as they wish.

We can point out what they're doing as well, of course. Here you have an alumna who is successful beyond compare, and because of one viewpoint (you all do realize that there's more to Catholicism than the choice thing, right?) they're disinviting her.

I feel bad for Gov. Sebelius. She's trying to do what's right by the people of the Great State of Kansas, but (a) her hometown is disinviting her and (b) some people in her state are get rid of science education.

On a somewhat-related note, members of a Baptist church in East Waynesville were excommunicated for supporting the Demcratic Party. See the story here - click on "Religion and Politics Clash."

Is this what we're coming to - the complete stifling of debate? When you consider that hard-right types of "faith" now claim to be the only true "Christians" (nowhere in my King James Bible does it say "thou shalt vote Republican") and that any disagreement with any issue is now grounds for a complete negation of everything a person says, as in the case of Gov. Sebelius, it begins to look scary.

My grandfather was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ, a denomination that is, to put it mildly, very conservative theologically. Not only was he a member, he was also a minister and elder. And to his dying day, he was a Democrat through and through (one of his brothers who died in infancy was named for William Jennings Bryan). His younger sister, my beloved Aunt Ginny, was also a devout member of this church AND also a fiercely partisan Democrat. Why? Because they believed in the common man, and also didn't want their faith - this faith which informed every single thing they did in this life - used as a political football.

(She suffered a stroke in 2000, but lived on through the shenangians of that election. She lived in Palm Beach County, Florida at the time, so I called her about a week after the election. Even though the words were slurred and slow, the fire was still there - "I don't know anyone who voted for that sorry so-and-so Bush, and if I meet anyone, I'll give 'em a piece of my mind!" - and it didn't abate. She passed in May 2001, but not before asking me to keep fighting for the liberal side. I miss her terribly, and hope I'm that feisty when I'm 82. Of course, I just hope to make it to 82. Or even 42 at this rate.)

I am tired of faith (or what passes for it amongst the right-wing) being commandeered for exclusionary and divisive means.

пятница, 11 февраля 2005 г.

February 11, 2005


Friday, February 11, 2005
Out Of The Office
Heading up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend. Back Sunday.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:41 PM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
One in the fray
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann (R-Hyde Park) is running for Secretary of State of Ohio.

He says he won't accept a public role in any political campaign if he wins, unlike Ken Blackwell (who was the Bush Re-Elect chair in Ohio). He shouldn't accept any private role either.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 2:59 PM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Music's important role in the enrichment of the human spirit
It's good to see articles like this one about Peter Kamnitzer, a violinist in the world-famous LaSalle Quartet.

Folks, when music programs in the schools are cut, programs like the Corryville Suzuki Project attempt to fill the gap. They do lots of good work, but it's a shame they have to fill that gap instead of add to the experience.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:42 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
All Politics Is Local
Our "friends" in the GOP wing of the Hamilton County Commission have hired a $70-per-hour "super-consultant." The savior in question is Mr. Ron Roberts, a former head of the Cincinnati Business Committee and a noted supporter of conservative causes and people (like the anti-repeal folks from the last election).

This is nothing more than an attempt to dismantle county government, just as Heimlich and DeWine's ideological partners are attempting to do to state and federal government. They loathe anything that helps non-rich and non-white folk, and are determined to destroy any community that isn't based around a gathering of CEOs or a conservative megachurch.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:35 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, February 10, 2005
'Bout time.
The Enquirer FINALLY prints a story on Senate Bill 24, aka "The Assault On Academic Freedom Act of 2005."

The student profiled in the opening, Charis Bridgman, is originally from Lakota East (if Google is to be believed), so there's a local connection. What jumped out at ME is this quote:

College sophomore Charis Bridgman tends to keep quiet in class if she thinks her professor might disagree with her Christian-influenced ideas[emphasis added].

The 19-year-old says schools such as her Otterbein College in suburban Columbus should be a place for open discussion, but she thinks some professors make students afraid to speak up.

"They might chastise me, or not even listen to my opinion or give me a chance to explain," she said.

Compare that to what the bill's sponsor, Sen. Larry Mumper (R-Marion), has to say about the bill:

"I see students coming out having gone in without any ideological leanings one way or another[emphasis added], coming out with an indoctrination of a lot of left-wing issues," said bill sponsor Sen. Larry Mumper, a former high school teacher whose Republican party controls the legislature.


So which is it? No ideological leanings, or "Christian-influenced ideas?" The two are mutually exclusive.

NOTE: I'm not saying that Christians cannot be liberals. Far from it - I think those who actually heed the words of Jesus (and not JEEEEEzus!) tend to be progressives. What I'm saying is that to say the students have no "ideological leanings" when a student flat-out admits to having them is disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst. If your ideas are influenced by something, those are "ideological leanings." Sen. Mumper and his ilk don't want honest, open discussion. They want indoctrination from THEIR side.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:39 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Busy Morning
I'll be blogging after about 11am. In the meantime, try not to kill each other.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:48 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Churchill redux
Via Covington Jim, someone who groks and groks well, we find this piece by Swarthmore College professor Tim Burke. It's worth reading.

If Prof. Churchill's scholarship isn't "up to code," then I have a problem with him being a tenured professor. We have to make sure we maintain our own standards. There are conflicting accounts as to his current scholarship, but apparently his earlier work was quite solid.

Prof. Burke says something quite potent in his next blog entry:

Tenure is a system that recognizes people for what they have done and offers them blanket protection on that basis for what they will do. The best career trajectories in academia, in my view, are those where a scholar does something after tenure, with its protections, that is fundamentally unlike his or her pre-tenure work. Better, richer, more daring or provocative, less constricted or constrained.

So in the best-case scenario, what are you really looking for in the tenure process? If you don’t want a guarantee that what someone has already written, they will write again and again, you are looking for quality of intellect and for some sort of evidence of a lifelong commitment to the academic ideal. That ideal is not a mirror image of what the larger public sphere should or does look like. Churchill’s defenders have observed that his books have sold many more copies than all of the books and writings of his various critics. Indeed so. Ward Churchill is an important and legitimate figure in the wider democratic public sphere. He speaks to and for his audience. There ought to be Ward Churchills as long as there are audiences who seek out what he has to say, or even audiences which might learn something from the intensity of his polemical response to American history and society.

But this is not what we claim to be doing with academic standards. If the point of academia was to mirror the wider American public sphere precisely, then the conservative critique of the leftward tilt of academic life becomes devastatingly on-target. The academic humanities and social sciences, whatever they are and should be, bear little resemblance to the distribution of opinion and argument in American public culture.

It's my conjecture that the point of academia is NOT to mirror the public sphere, but to provide a place for discussion.

But hey, that's me, your mileage may vary, and I don't even know how long I'll be in academia.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:08 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
State of the State
Right now, Gov. Bob Taft (R-Cincinnati) is giving his State of the State address. I'm listening to it on WVXU. If anything big is said, I'll let you know. (Hint: probably won't happen.)

WF


// posted by Wes @ 1:02 PM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
I hope he gets it together.
If Mr. Robert Boomershine can get all the paperwork right, he'll get his Gay-Straight Alliance, and people like Ms. Rhonda York will see that different does not equal bad.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:36 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
In other news, water is wet.
Normally, I would leave the Bronson-bashing to Brian Griffin, but Pete just does not get it. Senate Bill 24 *IS* McCarthyism, pure and simple. It would not change things; if anything, it would make things worse for people like Bronson, for what would happen if the State Legislature, which is charged with defining what is "controversial" (according to the tenets of the bill), were to become suddenly of opposite viewpoints than Bronson and stifle HIS viewpoints? According to this bill, they'd have that right. Peter, don't be stupid. Don't open Pandora's box here.

I'd like to get the perspective of someone who was actually AT the event at Miami where Churchill spoke, and not someone like Mr. Steve Szaronos, who serves on some committees at Miami (don't know his affiliation, but I'm wagering he got on there with his connections to the College Republicans) or Prof. Ben Voth, who is extremely active in groups like University Faculty For Life. Once again, Bronson uses extremely one-sided sources in an attempt to stir up trouble. (Google is an amazing thing, ne c'est pas?)

Folks, let's make one thing clear: I find what Prof. Churchill said to be abhorrent. I'm thinking Prof. Voth wasn't there to ask an honest question, though. This looks like the standard conservative trick of "being controversial" and trying to make trouble, then claiming "Freedom of Speech! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" I'm not buyin' it.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:24 AM |||Comments (9) | Trackback (0)
Amen and amen
Timothy Leonard explains why we need music in schools.

Full Disclosure: I've worked with Paulette Meier, helping her with transcriptions of her music. What Mr. Leonard says about her is true.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:18 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Monday, February 07, 2005
Updates
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, some changes are en route. I'm still nailing down details.

Also, hopefully within a couple of weeks I'll have a draft of a chapter of my dissertation on my personal website for your perusal.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:22 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Someone gets it again
Specifically, Ms. Sally Miller of Finneytown (first letter). In the matter of Postcards from Buster and WCET's refusal to air the episode on Vermont, she has this to say:

Why should I support a channel that feels no obligation to offer programs that might, possibly, offend their more conservative viewers? Are these the same viewers who let their children watch the sleaze that the networks offer daily and nightly? I thought the P in PBS stood for public. There's more to the public than the conservative right.

Keith Olbermann said it earlier: the right-wing isn't looking upset that there's a pro-homosexual agenda (there is none) - they're upset there's NOT an ANTI-homosexual agenda.

February 11, 2005


Friday, February 11, 2005
Out Of The Office
Heading up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend. Back Sunday.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:41 PM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
One in the fray
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann (R-Hyde Park) is running for Secretary of State of Ohio.

He says he won't accept a public role in any political campaign if he wins, unlike Ken Blackwell (who was the Bush Re-Elect chair in Ohio). He shouldn't accept any private role either.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 2:59 PM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Music's important role in the enrichment of the human spirit
It's good to see articles like this one about Peter Kamnitzer, a violinist in the world-famous LaSalle Quartet.

Folks, when music programs in the schools are cut, programs like the Corryville Suzuki Project attempt to fill the gap. They do lots of good work, but it's a shame they have to fill that gap instead of add to the experience.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:42 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
All Politics Is Local
Our "friends" in the GOP wing of the Hamilton County Commission have hired a $70-per-hour "super-consultant." The savior in question is Mr. Ron Roberts, a former head of the Cincinnati Business Committee and a noted supporter of conservative causes and people (like the anti-repeal folks from the last election).

This is nothing more than an attempt to dismantle county government, just as Heimlich and DeWine's ideological partners are attempting to do to state and federal government. They loathe anything that helps non-rich and non-white folk, and are determined to destroy any community that isn't based around a gathering of CEOs or a conservative megachurch.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:35 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, February 10, 2005
'Bout time.
The Enquirer FINALLY prints a story on Senate Bill 24, aka "The Assault On Academic Freedom Act of 2005."

The student profiled in the opening, Charis Bridgman, is originally from Lakota East (if Google is to be believed), so there's a local connection. What jumped out at ME is this quote:

College sophomore Charis Bridgman tends to keep quiet in class if she thinks her professor might disagree with her Christian-influenced ideas[emphasis added].

The 19-year-old says schools such as her Otterbein College in suburban Columbus should be a place for open discussion, but she thinks some professors make students afraid to speak up.

"They might chastise me, or not even listen to my opinion or give me a chance to explain," she said.

Compare that to what the bill's sponsor, Sen. Larry Mumper (R-Marion), has to say about the bill:

"I see students coming out having gone in without any ideological leanings one way or another[emphasis added], coming out with an indoctrination of a lot of left-wing issues," said bill sponsor Sen. Larry Mumper, a former high school teacher whose Republican party controls the legislature.


So which is it? No ideological leanings, or "Christian-influenced ideas?" The two are mutually exclusive.

NOTE: I'm not saying that Christians cannot be liberals. Far from it - I think those who actually heed the words of Jesus (and not JEEEEEzus!) tend to be progressives. What I'm saying is that to say the students have no "ideological leanings" when a student flat-out admits to having them is disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst. If your ideas are influenced by something, those are "ideological leanings." Sen. Mumper and his ilk don't want honest, open discussion. They want indoctrination from THEIR side.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:39 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Busy Morning
I'll be blogging after about 11am. In the meantime, try not to kill each other.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 7:48 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Churchill redux
Via Covington Jim, someone who groks and groks well, we find this piece by Swarthmore College professor Tim Burke. It's worth reading.

If Prof. Churchill's scholarship isn't "up to code," then I have a problem with him being a tenured professor. We have to make sure we maintain our own standards. There are conflicting accounts as to his current scholarship, but apparently his earlier work was quite solid.

Prof. Burke says something quite potent in his next blog entry:

Tenure is a system that recognizes people for what they have done and offers them blanket protection on that basis for what they will do. The best career trajectories in academia, in my view, are those where a scholar does something after tenure, with its protections, that is fundamentally unlike his or her pre-tenure work. Better, richer, more daring or provocative, less constricted or constrained.

So in the best-case scenario, what are you really looking for in the tenure process? If you don’t want a guarantee that what someone has already written, they will write again and again, you are looking for quality of intellect and for some sort of evidence of a lifelong commitment to the academic ideal. That ideal is not a mirror image of what the larger public sphere should or does look like. Churchill’s defenders have observed that his books have sold many more copies than all of the books and writings of his various critics. Indeed so. Ward Churchill is an important and legitimate figure in the wider democratic public sphere. He speaks to and for his audience. There ought to be Ward Churchills as long as there are audiences who seek out what he has to say, or even audiences which might learn something from the intensity of his polemical response to American history and society.

But this is not what we claim to be doing with academic standards. If the point of academia was to mirror the wider American public sphere precisely, then the conservative critique of the leftward tilt of academic life becomes devastatingly on-target. The academic humanities and social sciences, whatever they are and should be, bear little resemblance to the distribution of opinion and argument in American public culture.

It's my conjecture that the point of academia is NOT to mirror the public sphere, but to provide a place for discussion.

But hey, that's me, your mileage may vary, and I don't even know how long I'll be in academia.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 11:08 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
State of the State
Right now, Gov. Bob Taft (R-Cincinnati) is giving his State of the State address. I'm listening to it on WVXU. If anything big is said, I'll let you know. (Hint: probably won't happen.)

WF


// posted by Wes @ 1:02 PM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
I hope he gets it together.
If Mr. Robert Boomershine can get all the paperwork right, he'll get his Gay-Straight Alliance, and people like Ms. Rhonda York will see that different does not equal bad.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:36 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
In other news, water is wet.
Normally, I would leave the Bronson-bashing to Brian Griffin, but Pete just does not get it. Senate Bill 24 *IS* McCarthyism, pure and simple. It would not change things; if anything, it would make things worse for people like Bronson, for what would happen if the State Legislature, which is charged with defining what is "controversial" (according to the tenets of the bill), were to become suddenly of opposite viewpoints than Bronson and stifle HIS viewpoints? According to this bill, they'd have that right. Peter, don't be stupid. Don't open Pandora's box here.

I'd like to get the perspective of someone who was actually AT the event at Miami where Churchill spoke, and not someone like Mr. Steve Szaronos, who serves on some committees at Miami (don't know his affiliation, but I'm wagering he got on there with his connections to the College Republicans) or Prof. Ben Voth, who is extremely active in groups like University Faculty For Life. Once again, Bronson uses extremely one-sided sources in an attempt to stir up trouble. (Google is an amazing thing, ne c'est pas?)

Folks, let's make one thing clear: I find what Prof. Churchill said to be abhorrent. I'm thinking Prof. Voth wasn't there to ask an honest question, though. This looks like the standard conservative trick of "being controversial" and trying to make trouble, then claiming "Freedom of Speech! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" I'm not buyin' it.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:24 AM |||Comments (9) | Trackback (0)
Amen and amen
Timothy Leonard explains why we need music in schools.

Full Disclosure: I've worked with Paulette Meier, helping her with transcriptions of her music. What Mr. Leonard says about her is true.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 6:18 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Monday, February 07, 2005
Updates
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, some changes are en route. I'm still nailing down details.

Also, hopefully within a couple of weeks I'll have a draft of a chapter of my dissertation on my personal website for your perusal.

WF


// posted by Wes @ 10:22 AM |||Comment (0) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Someone gets it again
Specifically, Ms. Sally Miller of Finneytown (first letter). In the matter of Postcards from Buster and WCET's refusal to air the episode on Vermont, she has this to say:

Why should I support a channel that feels no obligation to offer programs that might, possibly, offend their more conservative viewers? Are these the same viewers who let their children watch the sleaze that the networks offer daily and nightly? I thought the P in PBS stood for public. There's more to the public than the conservative right.

Keith Olbermann said it earlier: the right-wing isn't looking upset that there's a pro-homosexual agenda (there is none) - they're upset there's NOT an ANTI-homosexual agenda.