Wednesday, April 28, 2004

So much for cat tacos...

Urban legends talk of cats being caught, slaughtered and sold in American restaurants. Usually a Mexican or Chinese restaurant is the innocent victim of such ugly rumors. According to snopes.com, such stories are urban legends seasoned with xenophobia and served up to credulous people.

Aside from issues of morality (and the prospect of prison), there is the small matter of cost. In most of the United States, the population of homeless cats has fallen and pet cats aren't let out on the street, so they can no longer be reliably trapped. Shelters now charge cat adoption fees, and $40 for a twelve-pound cat comes to $2.50/pound. Supermarkets sell whole roasted chickens here for $4.00, or $1.50/pound, and you don't waste money on entrails and beaks.

But, one form of meat can still be had for pennies a pound, as an enterprising tamale vendor in Morelia, Morelos, Mexico found out:

mural.com: Friend turned into tamales

By Adán García/Corresponsal

Morelia, Mexico (April 21, 2004) -- Police patrolled the streets of this City to confiscate tamale carts for fear that the tamales were made of human meat.

Yesterday, state police detained Carlos Constantino Machuca, alias "El Tamalero" (The Tamale-seller), after finding the butchered [1] body of his friend in his house.

At the house they found the victim's flesh in two steamers, cooking on the little patio's stove.

In that exact location, there were several vessels with tamale dough [2] already prepared, as well as containers filled with salsa and atole [3] and some eighty tamales prepared.

We took the tamales that were made, the dough and the tamales which had not been cooked yet, so that laboratory tests could determine (the truth)", the dismayed Director of Pretrial [4] Investigations, Josafat López Tinoco, said last night.

"The body is completely mutilated; we only found the torso and head (?). We also found two dogs; veterinary experts are analyzing them as well to see if they were given the body (to eat); it's another line of investigation", he added.

The discovery was made around 7:00 pm at Calle Fernández de Córdoba No. 122, located in the historic center [of the city].

"El Tamalero" was reported to the police by some neighbors, bothered by the fetid odor coming out of the place, as well as by the barking of the two dogs who were eating scraps of the dead.

In his initial statements "El Tamalero" confessed to having killed and butchered his victim after an alcohol-fueled argument [5], but that he wanted to throw the meat down the drain.

"Not [for the] tamales, let it be clear. I was going to feed it to the rats."

Constantino Machuca, aged 56, had sold tamales for at least five years outside the city's public hospitals together with his wife and son, who are now wanted by police.

[1] Literally "quartered", but later paragraphs state that the body was mutilated. "Butchered" fits the bill for an animal cut into pieces or a human slaughtered and mutilated.
[2] masa
[3] "atole" is pulverized grain or cornstarch mixed with flavorings and added to hot water.
[4] Literally "Previous Investigations", but these investigations are intended for use in a later trial.
[5] al calor de las copas = "to the heat of the cups [of booze]"


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Tabloids: fair, balanced...

The Globe took its potshot at Kerry a few weeks ago and tried to take another shot at Hillary Clinton in its May 3 front page ("Exposed! Hillary Lived With Lesbian"). I say "tried" because there are lots of people who would not mind if she were a lesbian.

But on the top of the May 3 issue: "Saddam's Shocking Deal With Bush: Baghdad's Butcher is Saving His Skin". The article begins "An outrageous secret deal is being hammered out to allow murderous dictator Saddam Hussien to escape punishment and live out his life as a pampered exile -- if he helps quell the terrorists in Iraq, reveal sources."

Air America in Chicago...

This evening they were playing lots of rock and roll, most of it anti-establishment rock performed by millionaires with some Bob Marley and agitprop thrown in. At the end of the song, we were told to watch the website to find out about the new Air America affiliate in Chicago. The website, sadly, had nothing to say.

Perhaps their new affiliate a better signal -- to get a clear signal now you have to live in the city of Chicago away from the tall buildings. And, maybe their experiment with reasonably popular music might encourage them to consider local, live programming

Spanish-language media: worth learning the language

People under 25 years of age in the United States may find it hard to believe that there was actually an era when disk jockeys actually took requests and made dedications. They still do on at least two Spanish-language stations in the Chicago market: 105.1 FM (La Qué Buena) and 107.9 FM (La Ley). Both stations concentrate on banda and norteño music, with occasional throwbacks to 1980s pop (all love songs, all the time!) and mariachi music.

Television viewers can have their news magazines served up sober (Hoy en el Mundo) or tabloid-hot (Al Rojo Vivo); the regular network news shows also seem to take their missions seriously. Unlike Fox and CNN, most of the news programming reports on what happened in the world, rather than what a panel of pundits thinks about whatever happened. Two of Chicago's Spanish-language broadcasters, channels 44 and 66, also seem to believe that reporting the local news is an important mission of a local station.

And, finally, the telenovelas. Telenovelas are 20-week soap operas that are wildly popular in what used to be the Warsaw Pact. You may like them or loathe them, but it cannot be doubted that they are major phenomena in world entertainment.

DNC Disorganized! Man Bites (Hot) Dog

The Sunday, April 25 Trib had a job opening under "Activism" -- offering people $300-$500/week for DNC fundraising. They gave a handy number to call, which connected to a tape machine (how 1992!) that said the people whose number appeared in the ad would be back on May 3.


Monday, April 26, 2004

Today at Mass...

For starters, it appears that Fr. Ameling's prayers for those who showed up on Easter Sunday but not the following week had some effect. The church was packed this morning.

We had a visiting priest, who shall go nameless. Father spoke on the necessity of being Christians for more than one hour a week, and about the anger "when the person in front of you is doing 20 in a 50 mph zone, or at that George Bush..." Not a few members of the congregation responded in shared exasperation.

But as Christians, we are to refrain from wishing that George Bush drop dead. I'd cheerily add long life with vigorous health in body and mind (even if he does not enjoy the latter today).

Mom excommunicated?!

Yesterday morning, she expressed her belief that an abortion is the woman's decision. Does this mean that she cannot go to Communion? Or are politicians to be held to a stricter standard?


Saturday, April 24, 2004

Kerry excommunicated?

Not exactly. Technically, some bishops and cardinals hold that he may not receive the Eucharist; this would be a state of mortal sin. The Anointing of the Sick would probably be available to him.

The April 24 New York Times stated that Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria has "said in a news conference in Rome yesterday that a Roman Catholic politician who supports abortion 'is not fit' to receive communion". Cardinal Arinze "presides over the Vatican office on worship and the sacraments". As of now, only Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis has come out to say that he would deny Kerry Communion.

For further background, here is the end of Section 4 of DOCTRINAL NOTE on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death. In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo. Analogously, the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted, based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, and protected in its unity and stability in the face of modern laws on divorce: in no way can other forms of cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage, nor can they receive legal recognition as such. The same is true for the freedom of parents regarding the education of their children; it is an inalienable right recognized also by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. In the same way, one must consider society’s protection of minors and freedom from modern forms of slavery (drug abuse and prostitution, for example). In addition, there is the right to religious freedom and the development of an economy that is at the service of the human person and of the common good, with respect for social justice, the principles of human solidarity and subsidiarity, according to which «the rights of all individuals, families, and organizations and their practical implementation must be acknowledged».[21] Finally, the question of peace must be mentioned. Certain pacifistic and ideological visions tend at times to secularize the value of peace, while, in other cases, there is the problem of summary ethical judgments which forget the complexity of the issues involved. Peace is always «the work of justice and the effect of charity».[22] It demands the absolute and radical rejection of violence and terrorism and requires a constant and vigilant commitment on the part of all political leaders."

The April 16 Boston Globe mentions abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage as the litmus tests, even though the CDF adds social and economic justice, religious freedom and pacifism to what Catholic politicians may not oppose. I suspect that the Bishops will be placing more emphasis on the issues in which sex is involved, whcih places them on Bush's side. The language on peace in the last four sentences is a bit conflicted: the first mentions peace, the second and third throw in some nuances and the fourth "demands the absolute and radical rejection of violence and terrorism" -- which would be an excellent definition of pacifism.

Of course, the Catholic Church has declared that only the laity may participate in political parties, which is, in general, an extremely healthy proposition. Unfortunately in the United States, the Catholic "seamless garment" enunciated by Cardinal Bernadin is woven of Democratic and Republican threads. On the Democratic side, funders and activists have had an abortion litmus test since 1980. And woe to any Republican who flirts with improved labor standards or opposes capital punishment. The prospects of a third party more in synch with Catholic teaching are not bright: the American motto tends to be "Mind your own business!" which would indicate a showing worse than that of the Libertarian Party.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

On the road to Fubaristan?

Here is a memo criticizing corruption and bad decisions made by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). It is written by a supporter of the occupation (my guess, an Iraqi Kurd) and even has nice things to say about Ahmed Chalabi.

Memo obtained by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A tour of La Raza, the newspaper

La Raza is a Spanish-language weekly published in Chicago. It is freely given away all over the city. These stories come from the April 18-24 edition.

Our first stop is at a Way of the Cross procession that went too far.

Too authentic and The participants speak out

The Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) reenactment in Waukegan, Illinois was particularly realistic last Holy Saturday. "René Sixtos was given at least 23 strokes of a whip playing the part of Jesus in a reenactment of the Via Crucis given by a youth group from Holy Family Church." There seems to have been some misunderstanding, though. The second article says "although he agrees that he received some heavy blows for which he was not apprised of an agreement between the actors, he indicated that he used a lot of makeup to simulate the blood on the stripes..."

The day before, and perhaps with less ambiguity, the church's priest, Fr. Gary Graff, "also was punished while playing the role of Jesus in the Via Crucis that took place at Holy Family Church at midday Good Friday before hundreds of people who freely entered the church's parking lot." Fr. Graff asked to be whipped "to beg pardon in the name of priests accused of pederasty..."

(Ed. note: The latter is wrong in so many ways...)

Next stop: Kerry's lunch in Chicago. Jorge Mújica visited Kerry's $1000/plate dinner at the Hotel Hyatt Regency...

In the course of the evening, between the dozens of presentations, thank-yous, flowers and speeches, not even one Latino name was mentioned, not in Chicago, nor in Illinois nor in the rest of the country, that would reflect the idea of "earning the Latino vote."

(Ed. note: Granted, the "Latino vote" may be a misleading term. It ignores diversity within the Latino community. Further, the positions of Latino voters on issues of immigration, bilingual education and everything else that makes American nativists froth at the mouth do not differ substantially from those of other Americans. Still, it is astounding that Kerry cannot find one Latino to share a crowded podium in Chicago while Bush can assemble rainbow coalitions at every stop.)

Finally: the Tomato King strikes back.

Andrés Bermúdez, an emigrant to the United States who made a fortune by inventing a tomato harvester, ran for mayor in Jerez, Zacatecas and won in 2001 on the PRD (socialist) ticket. The problem is that Bermúdez resided in the United States and the Zacatecan Constitution did not let people who resided outside Mexico be declared mayor. The Constitution amended, he's back on the ticket, this time for the PAN (center-right).

(Ed. note: this could have really interesting consequences for Mexican sovereignity.)


Saturday, April 17, 2004

Bush and Sharon chat

Sharon left the United States smiling since he says that the United States has agreed to let the wall place some West Bank Jewish settlements on Israel's side of the wall. Quite predictably, Arabs are mad and Bush's diplomacy has done little to help.

Left unsaid is that the Oslo accord allowed Israel to annex some settlements in return for ceding land on its side of the 1967 cease-fire line to the Palestinian Authority. So, either Bush has blessed the outright annexation of Arab lands deep within the West Bank, which would predictably enrage Arabs, or he has affirmed the Oslo accord in a way calculated to enrage the Arab street. The first would be a dramatic policy flip-flop, in that the Administration had consistently supported a Palestinian state roughly in the West Bank as defined by the Oslo accords plus Gaza. The second would be clumsy diplomacy.

Air America back on in Chicago...

Air America is back on the air in Chicago, but not in Los Angeles were the legal and technical issues are somewhat more complicated.

...and coming to a radio station near you...

...or at least nearer. Here's their list of current and proposed sites While the main source for list is the preceding link, the list excludes satellite networks, Los Angeles (still in the courts), and included Chapel Hill, NC from a later press release.

New York: WLIB 1190 AM
Chicago: WNTD 950 AM
Portland, OR: KPOJ 620 AM
Inland Empire, CA: KCAA 1050 AM
Minneapolis/St. Paul: WMNN 1330 AM
KVT0 1400 AM and KVVN 1430 AM in the San Francisco Bay Area
KSQR 1240 AM in Sacramento, CA
WMTW 870 AM in Portland, ME
KBZC 1300 AM in Colorado Springs, CO
WJNO 1290 AM in West Palm Beach, FL
WTWK 1070 AM in Plattsburg, NY & Burlington, VT
WKIZ 1500 AM in Key West, FL.
KCAA 1050 AM in Loma, CA (Inland Empire)
WCHL 1360 AM in Chapel Hill, NC


Thursday, April 15, 2004

Air America off the air in Chicago, Los Angeles

I turned on Air America at 7:30 CST and the announcers were speaking one of the Chinese dialects on AM 950. According to station identification, the broadcast originated in New York City. Air America was down.

Air America and Arthur Liu, the owner of Multicultural Broadcasting which owns the Chicago and Los Angeles Air America stations, are locked in battle. Liu claims Air America wrote him a million-dollar rubber check. Air America says that Liu sold time to both their network and a third party at the Los Angeles station and that they would not pay for the time that Liu sold to the third party.

The matter's now in the courts and Air America is angrier than usual, trashing Liu in the four markets they have remaining. They hope to be back up tomorrow.

Miami Herald reprint of Chicago Tribune article

Air America rant


Monday, April 12, 2004

On the road to Fubaristan? Two links, two views

Unrest continues in Iraq 80 days before the handover of power to Iraqis (presumably chosen by the United States or the Coalition). This is also Arba'il, a holiday when Shi'a mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, most by figuratively beating their breasts, others by scourging themselves bloody. Currently the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala are under the control of Muqtada Al-Sadr's army, as well as other cities and towns in the south. Fallujah is still at war and combat continues in the streeets of Baghdad.

Today, two more links have been added to the lair: Healing Iraq and The Mesopotamian. Zayed and Alaa, the blogmasters, were featured by pro-war blogs as supporters of the US occupation of Iraq when they debuted on the blogosphere. As of April 11, Zeyad (of Healing Iraq) is not at all happy about the current chaos in Iraq. From a different view, Alaa says:

You know, contrary to the generally prevalent mood, I think that the latest developments are rather encouraging...I can see a way, a method and a possible strategy to reach some more decisive objectives. The battle lines are better drawn and the adversaries have more or less been brought out in the open and their capabilities and true nature are better exposed...

Alaa plans to post his ideas on how the Coalition should handle the war that we are fighting now. I don't know if anybody close to decision-making circles frequents the Lair, but every bit helps.

Alaa and some of his commenters are wondering whether the US military and the CPA encouraged this rebellion as a way to flush out Sadr and Ba'athist forces while helping the Governing Council gain a measure of legitimacy. I'm not so sure, because such attempts have a way of going horribly wrong.

Yet another new link

RealClearPolitics is a conservative site recommended by, of all people, Kos of Daily Kos. I read it, and while it is conservative, it's not Instapundit.

It quotes a Badger State poll which has Bush leading Kerry by six points in Wisconsin at the end of March. That seemed a bit surprising, especially because Wisconsin has a liberal reputation, no death penalty and perhaps more than the average fondness for large government. But the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel gives Bush a four-point advantage, which is the statistical margin of error.

It should be fun to link to Kos and RealClearPolitics complaints about the "liberal media" or the "BushCo corporate media".

Saturday, April 10, 2004

New link

Daily Kos is a liberal blog that has run into some controversy. When the four employees of a private military corporation were murdered, burned and hung in Fallujah, Kos expressed considerably less sympathy for them than he normally does for soldiers slain in combat. Then conservative activists relayed these comments to Congressional candidates advertising on his blog, which encouraged some of the candidates to take their ads off the blog. This, in turn, has attracted even more advertising from candidates and others who want to boast to this angry nest of Democrats that they won't take Republican bullying.

People, there's a lesson here. If you go after something as traitorous, unpatriotic, racist, anti-Semitic or whatever in today's United States, the hate and bigotry better be obvious, badly-written and permanently available to casual users. First Cedric the Entertainer unwittingly hired Jesse Jackson as his publicist, Mel Gibson hired the Anti-Defamation League and now Kos has Little Green Footballs to thank for the improved fortunes of his blog.

If you haven't guessed, Kos is definitely a blog of the Left, even if Kos himself and the Democratic National Committee are making goo-goo eyes at each other. It takes over The Nation's role as "a meeting-place for liberals and radicals" since that magazine and Chris Hitchens parted ways after 9/11 and the magazine moved leftward. It also makes no bones about being an echo chamber for liberals.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Welcome, Sgt. Stryker readers!

I hope you enjoy your stay in the Lair.

And thank you, Sgt. Stryker, for directing them here!

Prison for two Moroccans detained in Ceuta and Madrid for their links to 11-M

From El Mundo, April 7, 2004



* DNA tests confirm that there were seven people in the Leganés apartments
* Amir el Aziz was one of the 'brains' of 11-M, according to 'The Wall Street Journal'
* The 11-M conspiracy

>>> Previous news

* Police defend operation in Leganés
* The ex-boss of 'El Tunecino' confirms that the police were on his property 'immediately' after 11-M

MADRID. The judge of the Audiencia Nacional, Juan del Olmo, ordered the confinement to prison without bail [1] of the two latest arrestees in relation to the 11-M attacks. They are Abdelilah el Fuad, detained last Friday in Ceuta, and Rashid Adli, arrested on Tuesday in Madrid.

Both detainees are charged with membership in or collaboration with an armed group, for their alleged links to the massacre, according to judicial sources.

With them, there are now 17 detainees sent to prison by Judge Del Olmo after taking a statement from them. The other nine remain free.

The consulted sources indicated that El Fuad, who works for himself in the purchase and sale of vehicles, bought a car from the Ahmidan family in February, that is, the family of Jamal Ahmidan, 'the Chinese' or 'Mowgli', whose body is one of the four identified among the terrorists who blew themselves up on Saturday in an apartment in Leganés.

This vehicle was used in the days before the attacks and might be the one that the terrorists used to travel to Asturias to get the explosive that they used in the 11-M attacks.

El Fuad was also in Tajuña

Abdelilah el Fuad, who left the judge's office crying, was also in the house at Morata de Tajuña rented by Jamal Ahmidan with the help of Serhane Ben Abdeljmajlib, 'the Tunisian', whose body was also identified in Leganés. That is why our sources indicated that they knew the people detained for the 11-M attacks who are now in prison, and, particularly, the people who were at the farm in Morata where the explosives were prepared.

Rachid Ali dealt with the miner and Zuher

For his part, Rachid Adli, detained in Madrid on Tuesday, the only arrestee who had been brought before the judge within the five days of detention allowed by the antiterrorist legislation, admitted before the judge that he had friendly and occasionally business relations with many of the people detained in prison. Among them, he said that he knew Jamal Ahmdian and Jamal Zougam, imprisoned after the first police raid [2] for 190 murders and 1400 attempted murders, as well as four crimes of destruction and vehicle theft.

Furthermore, he said that he saw the ex-miner José Emilio Suárez Trashorras, who is suspected of providing the Goma 2 ECO used in the attacks, next to Rafa Zuher in a meeting they had in Madrid. Zuher spent three months in prison with Antonio Toro Castro, a brother-in-law of Suárez Trashorras. Toro admitted before the judge that upon leaving jail he introduced him to his friends, but denied knowing anything about the explosives.

While Toro remained free after giving a statement before the judge, Suárez Trashorras is in prison for belonging to a terrorist organization, 190 murders and 1430 attempted murders, four crimes of destruction and the robbery of explosive substances. Rafa Zuehr was jailed for collaborating with an armed gang.

Translator's Notes

1. Prisión incondicional. Literally, prison without conditions. I do not know if this refers to Guantánamo-style detention with no fixed end date, or simply the denial of bail or any form of conditional liberty.

2. Literally "police operation". In everyday American English, the taking of multiple suspects in a coordinated police action would be considered a police raid.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Returning from Chicago

After class, I turned north on Lake Shore Drive instead of south. It was 11:00 p.m. and the skyscrapers were in their full glory. Heading back south from Fullerton, the skyscraper lights danced on the Lincoln Park Lagoon. At North Avenue the dark of Lincoln Avenue gave way to the bright lights of the Gold Coast on the right and the midnight lake to the left. Then came Grant Park, the Field Museum, Soldier Field and McCormick Center. On to I-55 then south on the Dan Ryan.

Heading south, IIT rises to the left. When built, its architecture combined the "Less is More" of the Mies van der Rohe school of architecture with the "Where is mine?" school of Chicago politics and razed a large chunk of Bronzetown to boot. On the right is Comiskey Park, even if it is named after some soulless corporation these days.

Somewhere in the south fifties, my heart began to sink as the Skyway exit approached. It was not so much the projects that used to line the east side of the Ryan, it was more the reminder that an invisible north-south line drawn in the early 1800s divides metro Chicago so effectively.

Commuters from Chicago to Northwest Indiana have two choices as they cross the state line: the Borman (I-80/94) and the Chicago Skyway. The Borman is free, while the Skyway costs $2.00; Indiana dings you another 50 cents just after welcoming you to the state. However, the Borman is the northernmost freeway around Lake Michigan and any merchandise crossing the northern half of the United States by truck takes the Borman.

(Incidentally, Commonwealth Edison runs a generating plant on the Indiana side of the line and pumps every watt produced into Illinois. It's sort of like that controversial plant built in Mexico to provide California with energy and Baja California and Imperial County with birth defects.)

If the national government had any sense, it would purchase the Skyway from whoever owns it, even if it were the city of Chicago and rip out the tollbooth. Instead of 3-4 freeway lanes crossing the county, we would have 5-6. Instead, the Borman will be under construction until 2007.

Local boosters, meanwhile, want to build a new Interstate highway that would run east-west from I-65 to I-57 about 18 miles south of the Borman to give us an additional two lanes each way. The project would cost billions. It is unlikely that travellers between Chicago and the Southeast would want to zigzag southwest then east. The millions of trucks that cross Lake County on the Borman will not travel 40 miles out of their way; even the Skyway tolls would be less costly than that. Not coincidentally, most of these boosters have property near the proposed expressway route.

The other cause of my depression: Chicago has reserved its lakefront for the people of the city. In Lake County, heavy industry spared a few tens of yards of lakefront here and there west of Marquette Park. At times I feel that if Gary used its casino money to raze U.S. Steel, the city would benefit greatly from the miles of lakefront property and the net effect on the area's economy would be positive. Of course, Mayor King is kept in U.S. Steel's pockets with $10,000 donations from its PAC and no sane man gambles with 20,000...19,000...18,000...jobs these days.

$10,000 goes very far in Indiana. If you give Gary Mayor King's campaign $10,000, perhaps he'll throw a few million at a stadium you want to build. $10,000 for the Pastrick campaign gets you a $16 million contract for nth-rate concrete; if there's any left over, just pave people's yards. Downstate politicians and second-tier officials can be had for $1,000 to $4,000. Of course, there's the little matter of jail time should you get too blatant...one councilman honestly wondered what was wrong with applying fee-for-service policies to city government after the verdict.

Oh, and if you're a cop who wants to be chief, consider switching to the Merrillville Police Department. It's not the hardest beat, even if the town is about as PC as this region gets. They go through chiefs every 1-3 years, so you have an excellent shot at it over a 20-year career. You don't even have to live in town!

In Schererville, the Republican running for town council reminded us that since the Republicans had a good chance of winning the Council in 2003, we better vote for him lest the council divert money from our ward to theirs.

You know, when I started this blog, I was hoping to talk about national issues. I hoped to write paragraphs of purple prose on the mendacity, incompetence and bloodymindedness of the Bush Administration, but you'll have to go to Daily Kos for that this week.

By the way, Kerry's an unknown quantity to me so far. I had a hard time believing that he'd do nothing after a 9/11 redux, as Bushies would have me believe. But he has done almost nothing to respond to Bush's ads since he went on vacation. One would hope that he would respond to terrorist attacks more readily than he responds to Bush.


Thursday, April 01, 2004

Pink Update

Dr. Lux had a letter distributed to students in the Merrillville School System to be given to their parents. There is no ban on wearing pink. Several students standing together were all wearing something pink, were reminded of the rule against wearing clothing that "sets you off", complied and then others were told of it. From their it got conflated into "Pink Banned in Merrillville Schools" and that was dutifully reported here.

Unfortunately, the superintendent did not do a very good job of communicating the "pink is okay" message to the middle school. The poor guy thought that the pink was indeed forbidden, and proceeded to enforce the rule. The students of Pierce Middle School got an unexpected lesson in civil disobedience when dozens, maybe a hundred of them wore pink in defiance of the rules...civil disobedience works because it gums up the machinery of whatever you're protesting. It took four hours to bring the students to the office and have them change clothes (happily, a bunch of shirts that did not sell well were available).


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