Monday, February 26, 2007

"Here's a how-de-do!" (song from "The MIMkado")

Picture Credit

Picture Credit
On February 25, 2007, the Maoist MIM posted its latest paranoid and incoherent "defense" of the disgraced Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies, Ward Churchill. The MIM's latest rants are posted by the Lord High Security Minister in Hot News.
Security Minister addresses an open letter of encouragement to Ward Churchill's "legal team," threatens the University of Colorado Law School and the FBI:
"We want to make clear that we stand behind you ["legal team"] in revealing the federal government's intimidation of your supporters and its interference at the University of Colorado Law School in particular. On behalf of its agents that FBI feels have been exposed for eternity by Ward Churchill's books, FBI ran roughshod over the Bill of Rights, conducted red-baiting, threatened jobs and created a violent and embarrassing atmosphere for a member of the Law School while trying to pin most of it on MIM. This has to do partly with confusion at the Department of Homeland Security on why intelligence and domestic police work used to be separate and why undercover work on intelligence and domestic matters should not be mixed together....
We encourage you to conduct a legal investigation wherever it may lead. We at MIM are not afraid of the intimidation--the whole pedophile, rape, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and spying rap. Whatever it takes to win, you should do. If MIM identities end up exposed, we are going to take down many others with us and provoke international repercussions." [Enjoy!]
Readers might think that MIM's paranoid tirades are some kind of joke to make fun of Wardo, but that would be wrong, because the Great White Wardo has actually thanked the MIM for its "unqualified support" and for "some of the best analysis of my case and its implications yet published." [Dissident Voice October 5, 2005]
Ward Churchill said:
"I've received...unqualified support from hard-line Maoists....[T]he Maoist International Movement (MIM) have used their weekly papers to advance some of the best analysis of my case and its implications yet published. MIM has been especially consistent in putting its cadres on the street to do political education concerning my case, gathering signatures on petitions supporting me, and the like. This has led to some interesting results, to say the least.
One of the high points of my spring was when, unbeknownst to me at the time, a bunch of MIMsters cornered Rocky Mountain News reporter Charlie Brennan on the sidewalk outside the Women's Building in San Francisco -- he was there because I was speaking inside -- and told him he wasn't taking another step until he signed their petition supporting me. Man, I'd love to have seen the look on his face! They eventually cut him loose without signing, but let's just say he's stopped stalking me around the country -- he'd earlier shown up at a talk I gave at the University of Wisconsin's Whitewater campus, and a few other unlikely locations -- and I think the MIM people can take credit for his absence.
Sooooo...Thanks, comrades."
PS--I have it on good authority that Wardo is making up the part about Charlie Brennan.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

C.U. Teacher Benjamin Whitmer Wishes That "Westword" Editor Patricia Calhoun Would Be "Fucked with a Wood Rasp"!

Picture credit is a dead link now.
Benjamin Whitmer, an English teacher at the University of Colorado, defends disgraced Professor Ward Churchill on his blog.
Mr. Whitmer recently struck a mock-heroic pose and opined in a C.U. student paper:
"There is a duty to speak out about [free speech] issues...The first duty is to the students, and they deserve all sides of a story. They deserve to be treated with the respect of telling them the truth. They deserve professors who engage them, who challenge the status quo, who care more about making them think than about getting them to regurgitate the same crap they learned to regurgitate in high school." [Hat tip Mr. Martin]
Actually, Whitmer is rabidly intolerant of different views, because he wrote on his blog that he wished that Patricia Calhoun, the editor of a Colorado magazine called Westword, should be "fucked with a wood rasp." [Hat tip Mr. Martin]
Whitmer also displayed his intolerance of differing perspectives when he wrote this about Vincent Carroll, the editor of the Rocky Mountain News:
"Fuck Vince Carroll...Fuck him with every ghastly medieval torture device known to humankind.... Had we our way, we'd stake his lower intestine to the ground and make the motherfucker take a half-mile walk." [Westword 1-18-07]
Ward Churchill was investigated by his peers---other scholars--- for academic misconduct. The scholars discovered that Churchill had mischaracterized and falsified what the scholars he cited actually wrote in their articles and books. In many cases, all the investigating scholars had to do was look up Churchill's footnotes.
Mr. Whitmer says that professors should show all sides of an argument, but Churchill didn't show all sides. He distorted and mischaracterized the other side.
I wrote in 2003 that Churchill had appropriated the story of the Osage Indian murders and used it as the subtext for his apocryphal account of alleged FBI-backed death squads that killed 342 Indians at Pine Ridge.
That's what Churchill does: he appropriates and distorts what others have written. Mr. Whitmer's free speech argument is specious because Churchill doesn't believe in free speech at all. He tries to re-write what others have written.
The Indian scholar and lawyer Professor John Lavelle complained about Churchill's dishonesty ten years ago, but C.U. didn't listen.
Ward Churchill's Indian sister-in-law, Rhonda Kelly, complained that Churchill wrote inaccurate information about her family and tribe, abused his late wife Leah, and tried to push Leah out of a moving car. Churchill himself has admitted that he threw her into a wall.
Professor Thomas Brown has demonstrated that Churchill mischaracterized what other scholars wrote when he claimed that the U. S. Army deliberately infected the Mandan Indians with smallpox. Brown concluded that "falsification and fabrication are habitual with Churchill."
The Rocky Mountain News did a series that exposed Ward Churchill's dishonest scholarship. The stories are indexed here.
Ward Churchill critic Mr. Paine has cataloged Churchill's history of dishonesty on Pirate Ballerina.
It is ironic to read that Ben Whitmer, of all people, chatters away about the possibility that college students might "regurgitate the same crap that they learned to regurgitate in high school" instead of the "truth" according to Churchill and Whitmer.
In my opinion, it is Benjamin Whitmer himself who laps up and regurgitates Ward Churchill's mendacious "crap."
Respected scholars have studied Churchill's writings and footnotes. They have demonstrated that it is Churchill's practice to brazenly misrepresent the very people he supposedly "quotes" in his own footnotes.
Churchill "quotes" respected scholars to give himself and his views credibility, but any researcher who checks out the footnoted sources can see that Churchill attributes to these cited scholars views that they simply don't hold.
The "scholar" Whitmer fails to rebut the specific arguments of Churchill's critics at all. Instead, he denigrates other people's sanity and intellectual abilities, labels them with red-flag epithets, or fantasizes about raping them with a stick.
Whitmer accuses the media of smearing him, but it is his own arrogant words and judgements about others that discredit him.
Whitmer demonstrates his intellectual arrogance when he suggests that American high school teachers are ignorant pedants who can't teach students to think for themselves. Many high school teachers have just as much education as Whitmer, and very few of them are as credulous.
I know lots of high school teachers who are smarter than Whitmer and Churchill. And I am quite certain that a high school teacher can nose-out transparent, puerile, plagiarisms faster than C.U. If Whitmer can't see that Churchill is a plagarist, he is unqualified to be a teacher.
According to Whitmer, high school students are parrots; and their college-educated teachers only train their students how to regurgitate "crap." Whitmer even denigrates his clients, C.U. college students, by suggesting that they are gullible morons who can't sort out the truth without mentoring from a charlatan like Churchill. Ben Whitmer is a "teacher" who wishes that he could rape people who don't share his views with a big stick.
It is Benjamin Whitmer who was duped by Churchill, but he won't admit it.
In my opinion, Whitmer is a dishonest scholar who uncritically regurgitates the hate-filled, propagandistic lies his teacher Ward Churchill feeds him. I note that Benjamin Whitmer is not a high school student, and Ward Churchill is not a high school teacher.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Charlie Brennan, Renowned Rocky Mountain News Reporter, Moving to Fox 31

Picture Credit: Keep Up the Good Work!
According to a 2-20-07 article in the Denver Post, The renowned Rocky Mountain News Reporter, Charlie Brennan, will be taking a new job. The Post reports:
"Charlie Brennan, veteran reporter for the Rocky Mountain News and JonBenet/Ward Churchill expert, has left the tabloid and will start reporting on his feet for Fox 31 on March 5 ..."
Hat tip: Mr. Paine at Pirate Ballerina on 2-21-07 Comment thread #538

Monday, February 19, 2007

Plagiarism Makes YOU the Dummy!

Picture Credit

"[F]alsification and fabrication are habitual with Churchill"...Professor Thomas Brown

Professor Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado at Boulder has written that the smallpox epidemic that devastated the Mandan Indians in 1837 was a deliberate "genocide" caused by the American Army.

In 2006, Professor Thomas Brown of Lamar University published a magnificent analysis in "Plagiary" which demonstrated that Churchill's genocide rhetoric was fabricated and falsified.

Professor Brown observed:

"Churchill fabricated all of the central details of his [Mandan Indian] genocide story. Churchill also falsified the sources he cites in support of his genocide charges, sources which say the opposite of what Churchill attributes to them. Moreover, we must conclude that falsification and fabrication are habitual with Churchill. This essay has analyzed not much more than three cumulative pages of Churchill’s writing, drawn from across six different essays. (Since Churchill published his second version at least twice, this adds up to at least seven different publications.) Within those few pages, Churchill has committed multiple counts of research misconduct—specifically, fabrication and falsification."

In June 2005, Churchill responded to charges that he had falsely accused the U.S. Army of deliberately starting a smallpox epidemic by claiming:

"What happened at Fort Clark was far worse than I indicated. Far worse....And now I've got the documentation, the paper, to prove it. So next time I iterate it, it's going to be a much sharper finding on genocidal intent with Fort Clark."

Churchill still has not produced the evidence he claims he has, and even if he did, it would not exculpate him from charges of research misconduct for his fabricated documentation about the causes of the Mandan smallpox outbreak.

The Rocky Mountain News did a series that exposed Ward Churchill's dishonest scholarship. The stories are indexed here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Professor John LaVelle Exposes Ward Churchill's Fakery

Picture credit: Professor John P. LaVelle

An informative article by Professor John LaVelle appeared in the Winter 1996 issue of The American Indian Quarterly.

Professor LaVelle teaches Indian Law at the University of New Mexico and is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Nation. He is often hired to advise Indian organizations.

More than ten years ago, Professor LaVelle pinpointed many of the issues that are now coming to a head in the investigation of disgraced Professor Ward Churchill for research misconduct.

Professor LaVelle points out that Churchill actually is a white "wannabee" who inserts himself "into the political affairs of real Indian people" and "assaults tribal self-determination under the guise of championing Indian rights" [The American Indian Quarterly, Winter 1996, page 109].

Professor LaVelle says that Churchill's writings serve his leftist, agenda, not the rights of Indians.

Professor LaVelle writes:

"There is no escaping the conclusion that in [Ward Churchill's book] Indians Are US? Ward Churchill misrepresents the writings of both Russell Thornton and Patricia Nelson Limerick in order to create a false appearance that these acclaimed scholars corroborate and partake of Churchill's hostility toward Indian tribes...the anti-tribal posturing that Churchill cunningly assigns to Thornton and Limerick is decisively negated by both authors in those very same passages...Churchill cites!" [American Indian Quarterly, Winter 1996, page 112].

Churchill really uses his position at the University of Colorado as a platform from which to repress and discredit authentic Indian voices and to appropriate and exploit Indian issues for the extreme communist "anti-imperialist" (anti-American) left. He tries to remould Indians into his "anti-imperialist" (anti-American) sock puppets.

Churchill's cynical attempts to exploit Indian issues reminds me a lot of what Churchill's supporters at the Maoist MIM say about making a tactical united front with Indian activists:

"MIM would only see importance in ...a struggle to resuscitate [First Nations] culture if it opposed imperialism........A national struggle that advances the fight against imperialism is positive. Preserving culture for its own sake is not part of the Marxist agenda. Whatever resources the tribes can wrest away from imperialism they should take." ["Resolutions on Cross-Cultural Breeding" 2004]

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Exhibit Celebrates Mohawk Ironworkers Who Helped Build the World Trade Center

Picture credit and 2002 story about a New York exhibit that celebrated Mohawks who built the World Trade Center:

"In tribute to Mohawk skills and bravery in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the National Museum of the American Indian is presenting a photo exhibit about their precarious vocation and rich history, compiled from archives and snapshots of ironworkers on the job.

...Mohawk Ironworkers build New York refers to the transient lifestyle of these Native Americans, who travel from their reservations in upstate New York and southern Quebec to do structural steel work on skyscrapers, power plants, stadiums, arenas and bridges in New York and elsewhere.

Starting in 1916, when they built the Hell's Gate Bridge on the East River, Mohawks have worked on every major building project in New York City, including the George Washington and Verrazano Narrows bridges, the Empire State Building, United Nations and Madison Square Garden.

Mohawks are pictured in hard hats at the World Trade Center guiding steel beams into place and using rivets and bolts to assemble the frame. Hundreds of them worked on that project in 1966-74.

A younger generation was toiling at building sites in Lower Manhattan when two hijacked airliners sliced into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11. In one photo, Herby Kirby faces the camera while, over his shoulder, smoke pours from the North Tower minutes after the first plane struck.

Among Mohawks who built the 1,360-foot towers, their destruction and the deaths of more than 2,800 people evoke sadness and bewilderment.

David Rice, 52, who got his start there as an ironworker apprentice in 1969, said he averted his gaze from the smoky void on the skyline after the attack.

I didn't even want to look, he said. I still don't like to think about it.

Rice has an arresting photo of himself standing atop the South Tower in September 1971--exactly 30 years before the disaster. He is balanced on a 10-inch girder at the 110th floor, empty space all around him.

Rice's own snapshot of the last girder being hoisted on a cable up the face of the World Trade Center is in the exhibit. The girder was signed by the Mohawks in an old ironworker tradition."

I posted an earlier article about Indian reactions to 9-11 here.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Snowbird Friday!

Snowbird Watching!

Flock of Canadian Snowbirds spot food


Flock of Canadian Snowbirds
Canadian Snowbird
Here is a good article on the Canadian Snowbirds.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

British Charity Runs "Adopt a Primate" Program: Pick Your Poison!

#1 King Kong

#2 Batman

#3 "If I get caught, I won't graduate."
Picture credit: homeless primate up for adoption. Any takers? Bueller? Bueller?
A British charity called Monkey World rescues homeless primates, lets members of the public adopt them, and assigns the primates to groups.
Homeless primates with the requisite skill-sets can still apply for a paid position at Casa Bonita.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Here is a video of Audrey Hepburn singing Henry Mancini's wistful ballad "Moon River" in Blake Edwards' bittersweet romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany's. The 1961 film was loosely based on Truman Capote's novella of the same title.
"Moon River, wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style some day. Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you're going I'm going your way. Two drifters off to see the world. There's such a lot of world to see. We're after the same rainbow's end-- waiting 'round the bend, my huckleberry friend, Moon River and me." [Link to lyrics and audio file]

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ward Churchill Advocates Kneecapping Tourists Who Visit Hawaii!

Picture credit
Chutch at Bat

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.

And, somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout,

But there is no joy in MIMville—mighty Churchill has struck out.

Professor Thomas Brown of Lamar University wrote an excellent article called "Is Ward Churchill the New Michael Bellesiles."

[Information about Professor Brown's unmasking of Ward Churchill's dishonest research about the "genocide" of the Mandan can be found here and here.]

"Is Ward Churchill the New Michael Bellesiles" is very informative and details Churchill's advocacy of assault and murder:

"In 1998, Churchill published Pacifism as Pathology, a manifesto justifying the use of political violence. Churchill claims to have taught bomb-making to the Weather Underground. Churchill called for breaking the kneecaps of tourists headed for Hawaii, as a political statement in support of Hawaiian nationalism. He repeatedly called for the destruction of the United States. Churchill gave speeches in which he offered justifications and explicit strategies for successful terrorist actions against the US.

Churchill’s personal life echoed this theme of violence. Churchill claims to vandalize or destroy state property as revenge for every traffic ticket he receives. A number of people had accused Churchill of assault or threats of assault. Joanne Arnold, an administrator on Churchill’s home campus, reported that Churchill had threatened in a phone call that she would “get hurt” if she didn’t back off her position in a dispute over naming a dormitory. Carole Standing Elk, an Indian activist, complained that Churchill had spit on her during an argument. David Bradley, a New Mexico artist, complained to his local police that Churchill had threatened to kill him." [Full text]

Professor Brown notes that Churchill and his supporters have argued that he is the victim of a right wing attack on academia, but says this is because the University of Colorado failed to address charges of academic misconduct against Churchill that were more than ten years old:

"Had CU only followed the normal vetting procedures for hiring and tenuring faculty, this particular scandal may never have occurred. The CU administration had a second chance to address the problem when Professor LaVelle brought Churchill’s habit of plagiarism and fabrication to light nearly ten years ago. Instead, CU dithered and failed to act, thus allowing the media and the political class to drive the issue." [Full text]

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Nest That Hatched the Egg

Picture credit: The spirit Ariel takes the form of a harpy and confronts conspirators in Shakespeare's Tempest (See Ariel's speech here)

Picture credit and information about the Lincoln assassination conspiracy trial.
The people who conspired in the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln were tried by a military commission.
Attorney General James Speed gave his opinion that an attack on the commander-in-chief prior to the complete end of of the rebellion was an act of war against the United States, so the War Department should control the trial.This interesting site describes the trial and includes the document that set up this military commission:
"WHEREAS, the Attorney-General of the United States hath given his opinion:
That the persons implicated in the murder of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, and the attempted assassination of the Honorable William H. Seward, Secretary of State, and in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate other officers of the Federal Government at Washington City, and their aiders and abettors, are subject to the jurisdiction of, and lawfully triable before, a Military Commission..."[full text]
A woman who owned a boardinghouse, Mary Surratt, was tried and executed for conspiring with the assassin John Wilkes Booth. Her boarding house was the center of the conspiracy. President Andrew Johnson said that Surratt "kept the nest that hatched the egg."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Columbus Day (October 12) and Terrorism.

Picture credit 10-12-02 Bombing of Bali nightclubs and information about that event

Picture credit and link to Library of Congress information about Christopher Columbus and about the history of America's Columbus Day
"Let the whole world know that we shall never accept that the tragedy of Andalusia be repeated in Palestine," Osama bin Laden said in his taped cave-side address. "We cannot accept that Palestine will become Jewish."--Osama Bin Laden
As I noted earlier, Osama Bin Laden is allergic to Columbus Day because it is a symbol of the decline of Islam and the rise of the West.
Bin Laden is still nursing a historical grudge because Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain captured the Alhambra in 1492.
According to Reuven Koret, the seizure of the Alhambra "was a turning point in the drive to expel the Moors from the European continent." 1492 is also the date of the European discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
These events are what Bin Laden means by the "tragedy of Andalusia," the Muslim name for Spain. Koret writes:
[For Bin Laden] and his followers, [October 12] is considered a holy day of revolution, when the weak communicate through terror to the strong, when the tribes strive to overturn the colonial powers.
Some Americans like Ward Churchill, Glenn Morris, and the late Eqbal Ahmad, share Bin Laden's perspective. Reuven Koret observes:
[O]n October 12, 1998, the late Eqbal Ahmad, a follower of bin Laden and a Professor at Hampshire College, gave a presentation at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He said: "History unfortunately recognizes and accords visibility to power and not to weakness. Therefore, visibility has been accorded historically to dominant groups. In our time, the time that began with this day, Columbus Day."
Professor Ahmad explained: "The time that begins with Columbus Day is a time of extraordinary unrecorded holocausts. Great civilizations have been wiped out. The Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, the American Indians, the Canadian Indians were all wiped out. Their voices have not been heard, even to this day fully. Now they are beginning to be heard, but not fully. They are heard, yes, but only when the dominant power suffers, only when resistance has a semblance of costing, of exacting a price. When a Custer is killed… that's when you know that there were Indians fighting."
Koret pointed out in his October 12, 2001 article that for Bin Laden, Columbus Day is a symbolic day for terrorist attacks.
10/12/2000---Terrorists bombed the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen.
10/12/2001---"A car-bomb exploded in an underground parking lot in Madrid's Plaza Colon, named for Christopher Columbus and the site of a monument in his honor. The car had been towed to the lot after being illegally parked near the crowded site where the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos, appeared earlier in the day." [Reuven Koret note--Basque separatists claimed responsibility for this bombing]
10/12/2002---Terrorists bombed nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia.

We See Through You, Wardo!

Picture credit
Once there was a plagiarist
who wouldn’t say his prayers,
And ghost wrote under “hats” at night
away up stairs,
‘Till the MIM all heard him holler
and the Black Bloc heard him bawl,
But when they turned the ‘puter on,
he wasn’t there at all!
They searched him in the chat rooms,
on-line, and in the press,
(And even down in Gitmo, the Drudge
Report suggests).
But all they ever found of him was
just his pants and round-abouts...
COINTELPRO will get ya
if ya don’t watch out!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Symposium of Russian Experts Discusses Litvinenko Murder

Front Page Magazine held a January 19, 2207 symposium with scholars, journalists, former Soviet dissidents, a former head of the CIA, and KGB defectors to discuss the Litvinenko murder.
The participants were Oleg Kalugin, Richard Pipes, Vladimir Bukovsky, Jim Woolsey, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, David Satter, Yuri Yarim-Agaev, and Andrei Piontkovsky.
According to the former KGB officer Oleg Kalugin, "Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated by the Russian security service, and president Putin bears full responsibility for this crime, irrespective of whether he ordered the execution or simply let his subordinate thugs to do the job."
Former dissident Vladimir Bukovsky observed that "in July of this year, the Russian Duma passed a law authorizing the Russian President to use secret services as "death squads" in order to eliminate "extremists" -- even on the foreign territory (Federal Law of 27 July 2006 N 153-F3).
At the same time, the Duma amended another law, expanding the definition of "extremism" to include anyone "libellously" critical of the current Russian regime (Federal Law of 27 July 2006 N 148-F3)."
Harvard professor Dr. Richard Pipes observed that "[t]he affair is very murky but all indications are that Moscow ordered the murder of Litvinenko as it did that of Politkovskaya. They fit a pattern. If it were true, as Moscow claims, that the murder was committed by its enemies in order to discredit Russia, we would have seen far more activity on Russia's part to discover the culprit or culprits."
David Satter, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute is "convinced that Litvinenko was murdered by the Russian intelligence service. No one else had both the motive and the means. Litvinenko was not only murdered. He was tortured to death. This is a message to his colleagues in the FSB about the cost of defecting."
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service said, "Nikita Khrushchev condemned Stalin for aiming the cutting edge of his political police against his own people, and he shifted the killing abroad. The “Western bourgeoisie” and “our own traitors” became the Kremlin’s main enemies. Khrushchev ordered the KGB to develop a new generation of weapons that would kill without leaving detectable traces in the victim’s body, and he created units for assassination abroad in all Eastern European foreign intelligence services. I was present when Khrushchev told Romania’s dictator, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, that killings abroad should be approved only by the country’s ruler, that they should be kept forever a secret, and that after each assassination abroad “we” should surreptitiously spread “evidence” accusing the CIA or other convenient “enemies” of having done the deed, thereby killing two birds with one stone."
Former head of the CIA James Woolsey said, "I'm afraid I have to make it unanimous. Although if this were an isolated case, given the complex facts, it would be imaginable that it was the result of some feud between people in the Russian government and one or more oligarchs and Putin was not involved -- but that seems most unlikely in the current context.
The murder of Politkovskaya, the attack on Gaidar, the imprisonment of Khordokovsy, the proliferation of former intelligence officers in positions of power, the several other killings -- all point toward a Russian state that has regressed to the days of Nicholas I or worse.
I think the most damning fact is that Litvinenko had taken a position on the apartment bombings that were used to justify the second Chechen War. The FSB was extremely clumsy, as David Satter has very effectively chronicled, and the type of explosive used, the one plot that was uncovered (the FSB said it was for "training") and a number of other facts point toward those attacks having been an FSB provocation."
Former Russian dissident and member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Yuri Yarim-Agaev, said, "Let us describe what happened. British investigative journalist (not spy) and Putin critic Alexander Litvineko was killed in London by (most probably) Russian terrorists. The case is very similar to the Anna Politkovskaya murder, only now it is a British citizen on British territory."
Hudson Institute Visiting Fellow and PEN-club member Andrei Piontkovsky observed, "[w]ithin Russia and beyond her frontiers, assassinations and attempted assassinations are taking place of “enemies of the people”, lists of whom are to found on all of our country’s quasi-fascist websites. It is only going to be possible to continue blaming these murders on the CIA, or the oligarchs Boris Berezovsky (in Great Britain) or Leonid Nevzlin (in Israel), for a few more days, until the British, as seems likely, publicly and officially produce compelling evidence showing that the tracks of Alexander Litvinenko’s murderers lead straight back to Moscow."

Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man: No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity! (Richard III Act I, Scene ii)

Picture credit: Shakespeare's psychopathic villain, Richard III. Psychopaths show "a callous disregard for the rights of others and a propensity for predatory and violent behaviors. Without remorse, psychopaths charm and exploit others for their own gain. They lack empathy and a sense of responsibility, and they manipulate, lie and con others with no regard for anyone's feelings." [Dr. Robert Hare]

Picture credit: The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower, 1483 by Sir John Everett Millais, 1878
Picture Credit: The Princes in the Tower by James Northcote
Mr. William Shakespeare on the Internet has well-maintained Shakespeare links.
No Fear Shakespeare has Richard III on-line with a modern translation on the right. Sparknotes has analysis of Richard III.
The murder of the two princes is described by the murderer Tyrrel in Act IV scene iii:
The tyrannous and bloody act is done,

The most arch deed of piteous massacre

That ever yet this land was guilty of.

Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn

To do this piece of ruthless butchery,

Albeit they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs,

Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,

Wept like two children in their deaths' sad story.

“O thus” quoth Dighton, “lay those gentle babes.”

“Thus, thus,” quoth Forrest, “girdling one another

Within their alabaster innocent arms.

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,

And in their summer beauty kissed each other.

A book of prayers on their pillow lay,

Which once,” quoth Forrest, “almost changed my mind,

But O, the devil—”There the villain stopped;

When Dighton thus told on: “We smotherèd

The most replenishèd sweet work of nature

That from the prime creation e'er she framed.”

Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse;

They could not speak; and so I left them both

To bear this tidings to the bloody king. [Richard III]

Friday, February 02, 2007

Weird Bird Friday!

Picture Credit and Shakespeare illustrations site: The spirit Ariel disguised as a harpy in Shakespeare's The Tempest. More illustrations at Shakespeare's World.

Picture credit: King Phineas of Thrace tormented by harpies

Here is a Greek vase that depicts the mythological harpies. The harpies ("snatchers," literally "whirlwinds") were winged spirits who stole all the food from King Phineas of Thrace.

King Phineas, who had prophetic powers, was punished by Zeus for revealing the gods' secrets. Zeus put Phineas on an island with a buffet of food, but the harpies snatched his food away every time he tried to eat. In some versions of the legend, the harpies eat Phineas' liver every day.

In Act III scene iii of Shakespeare's play The Tempest, the spirit Ariel plays the role of a harpy in order to drive several noblemen who have been shipwrecked on an island mad and awaken guilt in their consciences. The Elizabethans believed that mental illness was the result of a guilty conscience.

Like Zeus, Ariel sets a banquet before the shipwrecked men and then snatches it away. Calling himself an agent of fate, Ariel confronts the men, who had tried to drown the rightful Duke of Milan and his young daughter Mirada, with a terrifying vision of an unforgiving, merciless, pagan damnation:

You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,

That hath to instrument this lower world

And what is in 't, the never-surfeited sea

Hath caused to belch up you—and on this island

Where man doth not inhabit, you 'mongst men

Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad,

And even with suchlike valor men hang and drown

Their proper selves. (some of the courtiers draw their swords)

You fools, I and my fellows

Are ministers of fate. The elements

Of whom your swords are tempered may as well

Wound the loud winds or with bemocked-at stabs

Kill the still-closing waters as diminish

One dowl that's in my plume. My fellow ministers

Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt,

Your swords are now too massy for your strengths

And will not be uplifted. But remember—

For that's my business to you—that you three

From Milan did supplant good Prospero,

Exposed unto the sea, which hath requit it,

Him and his innocent child. For which foul deed

The powers—delaying, not forgetting—have

Incensed the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures,

Against your peace...[Full text]