Saturday, February 26, 2005

 

Anybody Want To Defend This???

CBS4 Denver attempted to interview Ward Churchill about his "original" artwork. The response was a flurry of curse words followed by Churchill swinging his newspaper at the camera man and the reporter, hitting the cameraman once. The full video is available at the link above.

Placing Churchill's work beside that of renowned artist Thomas E. Mails and the two look like mirror images. But one is a copyrighted drawing. The other is an autographed print by Churchill.

The following text is a transcription from CBS4's footage of the exchange between Chohan and Churchill on Thursday in the hallway outside his office.

"Get that camera out of my face," Churchill said.

"This is an artwork we've got called 'Winter Attack.' It looks like it was based on a Thomas Mails painting; it looks like you ripped it off. Can you tell us about that?" Chohan asked.

That prompted Churchill to take a swing at Chohan while he held a stack of papers in his hand.

The exchange continued:

Chohan: "Sir, that's assault, you can't do that. Can I ask you about this? It looks like you copied it."

Churchill: "I was just grabbed by the arm. And that (camera) gets out of my face."

Chohan: "Sir, we're allowed to take these pictures, this is a public space."

Churchill: "You're not allowed to grab be by the arm."

Chohan: "He didn't touch you sir, we've got it all on tape. Sir, this is called Winter Attack. It's a serigraph by you. It looks like it was copied from Thomas Mails artwork. Can we talk to you about that please?"

Churchill made the serigraph in question in 1981 and called it "Winter Attack." He printed 150 copies and sold one of them to Duke Prentup for about $100.

"I have enjoyed them ever since, immensely," Prentup said. "They're, obviously, up in my house."

But last month came a stunning revelation. As Prentup flipped through a book of illustrations by renowned artist Thomas E. Mails, he found an artwork of striking similarity.

"It's very obvious that the Churchill piece was taken directly from the Mails piece," Hubbell said. "There's just too many similarities between the two for it to have been coincidence."

Churchill has also been accused of plagiarizing several of his written works. Churchill appears to have stolen entire sections for his works from works of other academics and from the local newspaper. Churchill was attacked back in 1999 for one of his works which apparently has several pages of footnotes to back up his claim of the United States Government giving smallpox-infected blankets to a Native American tribe. Unfortunately for Churchill, a thorough reading of all those footnotes shows no evidence of that claim.

It should be clear to anybody now that Churchill is a fraud and a jerk. Say what you will about his insane rants calling the murdered victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns" - freedom of speech at least allows him to say those things. [Whether or not taxpayer funded Universities should financially support such speach is a topic for another day.] However, no one person in academia can defend plagiarism. Intellectualy property and original ideas are held as paramount in the academic environment and such blatant abuses should be grounds for formal dismissal from Univeristy of Colorado and, perhaps worse, complete bashiment from the circles of academia.


 

Will Israel's Two Point Plan Lead To Peace?

Charles Krauthammer thinks so. On February 20th, the Israeli government decided to pull out of Gaza. Alone, this may have looked like a cowardly backing away from the terrorist tactics of the Palestinians. However, Israel also choose to complete the wall on the West Bank - a move Krauthammer thinks will eliminate the threat of Palestinian-type terrorism (car bomb, suicide bomber, etc.)

The fence decision makes clear that the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza is only part of a larger strategy, the first serious strategic idea Israel has had since its period of utter confusion and demoralization at the beginning of the 2000 intifada. The idea is this: Israel must (unilaterally, if necessary) rationalize its defensive lines -- in order to (1) protect its citizens, (2) permanently defuse the Palestinian terror threat and thus (3) open the door to a final peace.

Once Israel leaves Gaza, and once the rest of the West Bank fence is completed, the Israeli and Palestinian populations will be almost perfectly divided in their own territories as defined by this temporary frontier. The fence approved by the Cabinet last Sunday leaves perhaps 1 percent of Israelis on the wrong (Palestinian) side of the fence and perhaps 0.3 percent of Palestinians on the wrong (Israeli) side of the fence. (These figures, calculated by Middle East expert David Makovsky, exclude polyglot Jerusalem.)

Sure, there could be random terror attacks. But that is true of Spain and Indonesia and much of the world today. What changes with the Gaza withdrawal and the fence is that terrorism as a reliable weapon, a constant threat, a strategic asset, ceases to exist.

And once that terror option is removed, the Palestinians will in time be forced to the collective conclusion that the world has been awaiting for 57 years -- that they cannot drive the Jews into the sea and must therefore negotiate a compromise for a permanent peace.

That day may not come immediately. The beauty of the withdrawal/fence plan is that, in the interim, it creates a stable status quo with a minimal level of violence. In that interim, Israel can live in peace and the Palestinians can develop the institutions of their state and begin to contemplate a final end to the conflict.


Will the combination plan by the Isrealis work. If Krauthammer is correct, and Israel is able to feel safe from constant terror attacks while the Palestine state is able to get their political and foreign relation house in order, the move by Israel - lead by Sharon - will go down in history as one of the great diplomatic settlements of all time. However, if the plan takes too long to come to fruition and if the terror tactics by the Palestinians continue, Sharon and his party may fall and be replaced by a much more aggressive party. Time will tell if the move to give up Gaza will be the path to peace or the path to a final great war between Israel and Palestine.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

 

Eminent Domain Explained By Professor Bainbridge and Kelo vs. City of New London

Professor Bainbridge has been following the Kelo v. City of New London case with two excellent posts here and here. This case deals with what appears to be a most egregious use of the Eminent Domain laws. The city of New London wants to condemn and take away the houses of many people so they can turn around and sell the land to a developer. From what I can tell, the developer is unnamed and possibly unknown - the city's point is that the land would generate more tax money if it were to be sold and then developed in such a way (ie a mall) that it brought in more tax revenue. The Eminent Domain statutes are slippery slope-ish enough, but the City of New London seems to start out at the bottom of this slope. As usual the Professor does and excellent job of explaining the legal problems here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 

Instawife Home Safe Albeit Several Hours Late

Glen Reynolds seems happy to have his wife home from the hospital. Glen does comment on the fact that his wife was scheduled to leave at 2pm but was not actually discharged until 8pm. He also appropriately points out that "This was a paperwork issue..." and quotes the blog at Technicalities with ""'So, paperwork takes time to fill out and you enter the world where everything seems to move like molasses (what happened to all that fast action you always see on ER? ... sue Hollywood).'" I will leave it up to Glen or Professor Bainbridge to tell us if there is a case to be made against hollywood, but I can directly comment on the paperwork issue.

Paperwork does indeed take time and can be completely overwhelming, especially with post-surgical hospital discharges and complicated patients. Wonderful new regulations such as HIPAA and those enforced by JCAHO, as well as documentary requirements by insurance companies before payouts, have lead to a gigantic paperwork nightmare. Paperwork has not been standardized and nearly every regulation has it's own form, despite the fact that it may have the same information that the last three forms you just filled out contained. The hospital bureaucracies have also required paperwork over and above that required by JCAHO (if your hospital fails a JCAHO inspection, you cant treat and get paid for Medicare patients). For example, there is a requirement that each patient who is to have surgery has a complete H&P (history and physical) which generally takes 30-60 minutes to perform and another at least 10-20 minutes to dictate. This document must have been produced within 30 days of surgery. If it has been greater than 30 days, a completely new H&P, or at least an update must be done which mentions all the critical areas and whether there has been any changes. Out of fear of JCAHO inspectors, my hospital requires all surgeons to fill out and sign an H&P update immediately before surgery - even when the patient was seen and the H&P completed the day before. As another example, the last hospital I worked at required that two forms and a dictation be done before each patient was discharged from the hospital. Both the forms and the dictation had essentially the same information. Since there was a problem with communication between hospital departments, a one-form discharge had been changed into the two-form plus dictation. Taken individually, one more form here or there does not take up a significant amount of time. Taken as a whole, paperwork is taking time away from patient care.

As a final note on the burden of paperwork to physicians, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery reported on a study performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2001. They found that for each hour of patient care there is at least 30 minutes of paperwork and sometimes up to one hour.

...[an]hour of emergency department care resulted in one hour of paperwork; one hour of surgery and inpatient acute care, 36 minutes of paperwork; one hour of skilled nursing care, 30 minutes of paperwork; and one hour of home health care, 48 minutes of paperwork...


So I apologize in advance to all of my patients for being discharged late, I just hope you can wait for me to fill out the appropriate forms so that I may deliver that apology.

Speediest of recoveries to the instawife.

 

More Academic Hypocrisy: Gonzaga Law School

God and Man at Gonzaga. Mike Adams addresses the newest in a long series of Academic Elitism hypocrisy, now at the Catholic Gonzaga University Law School. Similar to Harvard and Yale's refusal to allow military recruiters on campus because they believe their "don't ask, don't tell" policy is discriminatory (despite the fact that it is the federal government's policy and has been held up in court on multiple occasions), Gonzaga thinks that Christian based groups are discriminatory (despite the fact that they are a Christian University). The Law School has refused to allow two Christian organizations official recognition (and funding) by the school since these two groups require their leaders to sign a statement of Christian Faith. Apparently the school feels this is somehow discriminatory. The real kicker is that Gonzaga University requires that their President and the members of the Board of Corporations all be Jesuit priests - apparently that policy is non-discriminatory.


Recently, I received a letter from two third-year law students at Gonzaga University (GU) School of Law. The students described your law school as one that is secular and which fraudulently holds itself out to be Catholic. They also stated they had experienced first-hand the school's trampling of the rights of Christian students. Specifically, they accused GU of violating the rights of their first Christian pro-life group.

As a preliminary matter, I understand that your Catholic law school has the words of Matthew 22:35-38 emblazoned on one of its walls: One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question, Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses? Jesus replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. For example, I understand that the only two Christian clubs recently formed at the law school have been refused official recognition. In addition, members of the unofficial Christian club at your Catholic law school have reported that promotional signs have been regularly defaced, and that members have been falsely accused of honor code violations.

I am sure you are aware that, as a private university, Gonzaga is technically exempt from granting students freedom of religious expression under the First Amendment. But you must surely be aware that this exemption functions primarily as a way for religious schools to practice and promote their unique religious faith in all facets of institutional governance.

So, why then is Gonzaga using its exemption from the First Amendment to punish its religious students? These students merely seek to advance the same beliefs the school's mission statements purport to advance.

The situation of forcing your Christian law students to pay mandatory student fees, which fund secular student groups, while their own club flounders in second-class status, is simply unacceptable. How long must your Christian students sit at the back of the bus? Have you considered separate water fountains for traditional Catholics?


Once again, we face another example of political correctness and elitism run amok on college campuses. At Gonzaga, a private, Catholic University, they are afraid to support the students who most exemplify their charge as a Catholic school. The school supports both a pro-choice club and a gay and lesbian club - both of which are clearly against Catholic law but are supported based on non-discrimination. However, when it comes to supporting a pro-Christian or a pro-life club, the school becomes oblivious to it's own policies and chooses instead to stifle these groups. I wonder how the school would feel if an African-American club required it's leaders to sign a statement of support for the black community. Would that not be discriminatory based on their arguments above. Probably not, because it would not be politically correct to refuse funding and school support to a group of black students. It appears that the policy of non-discrimination can only apply to groups who (according to the liberals in charge) are either minorities or have been discriminated against in the past. It seems impossible to them that one can discriminate against Christians. It is time that the elites learn that non-discrimination needs to be a policy which pertains to everyone - including Christians, whites and males. They cannot continue to arbitrarily dole out non-discriminatory rights based on some perception of past discrimination or under-representation. As I have said before, we expect this type of behavior from social activists, but the same behavior cannot be tolerated in the academic environment where all ideas - even the most ludicrous - must be heard, debated and critically evaluated. This is the basis for rational thought and serves to cultivate young adults into thoughtful people.

Monday, February 21, 2005

 

Idaho Taking a Page From Protect Arizona Now

Idaho lawmaker to form immigrant cost-watching group Robert Vasquez is a county commissioner from Caldwell, Idaho. He is proposing a private group which will try to keep track of all the costs associated with illegal immigration. Protect Arizona Now has been watch dogging this issue in Arizona for several years. They proposed and backed the recently overwhelmingly passed proposal to require proof of citizenship to receive certain public benefits. Also, a provision of the bill actually requires government workers to report undocumented workers. Up until now, most of the government services sector has ignored - and even discouraged - reporting illegals.

I think this is a great idea by the commissioner. My impression is that most people do not appreciate the real dollar burden that illegals impart on states like Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. The two most commonly discussed, and possibly the largest areas, are the cost of law enforcement/incarceration and the cost of health care. In 2000, the immigration and naturalization service estimated there to be 283,000 illegals in Arizona. That quarter of a million people has certainly grown since 2000. That same year, the state population was approximately 5 million. So how could the cost of just 5% of the population so greatly affect our economy? We are only paying for emergency medical care and for the INS to throw these guys out of the country right? WRONG.

Here is a list I compiled off the top of my head. These are things we all pay for - usually through taxes, which the illegal population does not contribute to at all but does utilize.

1. Roads. Having another quarter million on Arizona's roads surely has a significant wear effect. The roads don't fix themselves. In addition, road widening and improvement is determined by use, which does not discriminate based on your residency status. The number of traffic police and highway patrol officers are also determined by the number of automobiles - so the need increases due to our illegal friends without them contributing to the tax base.

2. Public Transportation. Ever been on a bus in Phoenix or Tucson? The majority of people on these buses are speaking Spanish. I think we can infer -at least - that many illegals utilize the affordable public transportation. Don't think for a second that the 25 cents they pay for the ride covers the cost of upkeep. Phoenix wants to build a light rail system. Currently I live in Houston where the light rail system was put in for the Super Bowl last year. I live close to a stop and have occasionally taken the train. Guess what? Just like the AZ busses, getting on the Houston light rail is like stepping into a Mexican town. Not only that but I frequently get looks like "what are you doing here?" Our last, and last, trip on the train we were treated to some Hispanic teenager girls shouting "white bitch" at my fiancée. But I digress. Public transportation is 100% public funded and a group who utilizes this public service heavily does not contribute at all to its cost.

3. Public School. No child is denied access to our education system. In fact, at most schools they go out of their way to not ask anything about citizenship. Why? Each school is funded based on the number of students who attend each day. Refusing access or reporting illegal alien students would be biting the hand that feeds each school. In addition, most schools now have to offer some sort of ESL classes or their Mexican born and born to (illegal) Mexican parents students will fail miserably. This is not tolerated in AZ or TX because the teachers get a monetary bonus when their students do well on standardized tests. In fact, this incentive is so great that teachers in Houston were helping kids pass the state standardized test and were fired. Again, the schools are funded by various taxes, to which the illegals do not contribute.

4. Public Land. Both Arizona and Texas have vast areas of Federal, State and City public lands. For the most part, these are open to anyone for use. State and city parks are especially popular for weekend activities. Use of these parks requires thousands of employees to manage the environment of the park, keep the park clean and dispose of the refuse produced by the users of the land. Again, expenses paid by the taxpayer - not the illegal.

I could go on but I think the great number of public services which we take for granted and do not question how they are funded are killing the state budgets. I hope that watchdog groups will help illuminate the unfunded public service usage by the illegal immigrants. This will help put a point on the financial crisis that boarder states are facing. One which could be helped greatly by serious immigration reform.




Gridlocked in Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam

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