MrSpkr's random thoughts . . .
Friday, February 25, 2005
The Calvin and Hobbes archives
Thanks to EckerNet.Com. Of course, this is probably a pretty serious copyright infringement . . .
And he ain't an artist either.
A couple of days ago, I noted that leftist UC-Boulder "professor" Ward Churchill finally admitted he lied about being of Indian ancestry.
Now it appears he dabbles in copyright infringement. You see, back in 198, "Professor" Churchill produced and began selling copies of this piece of art:
Not my tastes, but not a bad creation.
Except it wasn't his creation. Here is a picture designed by the late Thomas Mails and initially released in 1972:
Note the similarities? It appears that "Professor" Churchill's "creation" is merely an inked mirror image of Mails' prior work. A reader at Little Green Footballs came up with this .gif to show just how similar the two works are:
Of course, "Professor" Churchill does not like to be confronted about such things, as a Denver CBS reporter learned:
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?'"
Of course, "Professor" Churchill evades the question, ultimately disappearing into his office. A few minutes later, he came out with a convenient story to explain the whole thing:
"It is an original art work by me, after Thomas Mails," Churchill said. "The fact that the purchaser was ignorant of the reality of what was perfectly publicly stated at the time the edition was printed is not my responsibility."
This story would work great except for three little problems. First, nothing on the Churchill work acknowledges that it is in fact a copy of Mails' work. Second, Churchill refused to produce any evidence that he had permission from Mr. Mails' to copy the earlier work. Third, it would appear that Mails "fiercely defended [his] copyrights," according to Mails' son.
"My father invested a great deal of himself in his work, and from that he developed a great fierceness in defending his work," Mails' son said. "I cannot imagine he would ever grant permission to anyone to copy one of his pieces."
The owner of the Churchill work discovered the apparent copyright infringement when he noticed the similarity between Churchill's work and the earlier Mails piece. He stated, "Sure, it makes me angry, it makes me very disappointed . . . I wanted some original artwork from what appeared to be a very good local artist. Now I don't know what I've got."
Imagine how "Professor" Churchill's students must feel after paying tuition and getting this bozo to "teach" them.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a great post on this and other copyright infringements "Professor" Churchill has apparently foisted onto an unsuspecting public.
Canadian logic . .
I found this paragraph particularly interesting:
"Canada's a sovereign nation and we would expect and insist on being consulted on any intrusion into our air space."
. . . after all, we need to determine what the inbound missile's intentions are; to examine the root causes of it's apparent hostility and recognize the inevitable fact that it is our own Western culture that has brought this hostility down upon us . . .
Sigh. That's fine. We won't waste a missile to defend you.
Except, of course, we will, and will receive no thanks for so doing (instead, we will be vilified, perhaps even sued or at the least officially protested for raining missile debris down upon Canada/the ocean/whatever).
And yet, knowing these things, we will defend Canada anyway. Part of what it is to be American, I suppose: you don't stand by and let your neighbor get mugged if you can do something about it.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
So Ward Churchill ain't an Indian . . .
I would guess that lying on an employment application is grounds for termination, even if one is a tenured member of academia.
He deserves no less.
Monday, February 21, 2005
The madness continues -- and is all too predictable . . .
I read that Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide today. Although I never read him much, I did feel sorry for his family (particularly his son, who found the body).
My next thought, however, was that given his hostility to the Bush administration, it was quite likely that the moonbats on the Left would attribute his death to some Republican/NeoCon/Conservative/Bush conspiracy.
So I checked my favorite loony Left website, the Democratic Underground (always good for a laugh) -- and I was right.
It started out small: A poster callinghimself "Bleachers7" stated:
It quickly went downhill from there:
BrklynLiberal fanned the flames:
That was my first question..what did he know about the BFEE? (Note: BFEE= Bush Family Evil Empire)
Sydnie, who wants to "Stop Election Fraud", according to her avatar (I wonder how she feels about Democratic ballot stuffing in Philadelphia), mused :
"He wouldn't shoot himself. If he was going to take himself out, he would have taken himself out in a way that would have been a trip. I mean, he would have just expanded his mind until he became part of the universe. I can't imagine that he would have wanted it over in a flash like that.
It just doesn't fit."
Unpossibles then repeated the question:
whistle, a long-time DU poster with over 1000 posts, then ramped things up a bit:
"I'm finding it very hard to believe this was a suicide.... shades of mysterious microbiologist slayings, a warning to all writers and journalists that free thinking and writing will not be tolerated any longer!"
This bold assertion found immediate traction with two fellow moonbats; TeeYiYi agreed Mr. Thompson was
"That's what my fiance and I were just thinking. Does anyone know if he was writing a book about Shrubco? He's done it for everyone else and this group was particularly distasteful to him if I understand things correctly."
Now remember, this is all on the basis of a story that Hunter S. Thompson was found dead after commiting suicide. There is no factual reason for these suspicions -- but that doesn't stop these party activists.
GMan, another heavy poster at the DU, didn't go quite that far. He didn't say Mr. Thompson was murdered, but instead wondered whether the suicide was the result of Bush winning reelection:
So, what's the big deal? Some people are upset over the death of a popular author. Why point out the looniest among them?
Because this reaction is not uncommon among the Leftist activists who are at the heart of the modern Democrat party. They control the money, the platform, and the public face of the party. And this is how they think.
No logic. No reason. Simply gut emotional reaction that anything negative in the world must be the fault of Bush/Republicans/Conservatives/NeoCons who manipulate everything for personal advantage.
The similarities between this line of thinking and the old anti-Semitic crap asserting that the Jews ran the world, in secret, of course, are striking.
It is also frightening that one of the two major political parties in the most powerful and advanced nation on the planet is now being run by people sympathetic to these thoughts.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
The Stalin Reaction
Stalin was famous for altering photographs and news releases to either include himself with people like Lenin or to remove pictures of people like Trotsky from pictures of Stalin. The dictator simply altered the photos and stories, and thus changed the past.
George Orwell's classic 1984 seized upon this concept with "the Memory Hole", into which old news stories were sent to be incinerated and the past thus functionally altered.
Why is this important? Well, I find it interesting when certain groups do that today.
Take, for example, this webpage regarding the "Centennial gala" of the Baylor College of Dentistry.
Note in particular this section:
BCD's centennial video, "A Legacy of Service," premiered after entertainment by Dr. Todd Calvin (BCD '89), also known as "The Singing Dentist," as well as the Meadows Chorale of Southern Methodist University. Later, guests enjoyed dancing in the Venetian Room to the music of The Project. Although the evening's events officially ended at midnight, the celebration continued as guests lingered for coffee and conversation.
and this photo:
This was the original version of the Baylor story on the Gala. The photo is of Dr. Todd Calvin a/k/a "The Singing Dentist"
Now look at the current version.
See any differences? Let me point out the revised paragraph:
BCD's centennial video, "A Legacy of Service," premiered after entertainment by the Meadows Chorale of Southern Methodist University. Later, guests enjoyed dancing in the Venetian Room to the music of The Project. Although the evening's events officially ended at midnight, the celebration continued as guests lingered for coffee and conversation.
and the new photo:
Note that Dr. Todd Calvin is no longer mentioned anywhere in the story. He has gone from prominent, featured entertainer to persona non grata. His photo is no longer even on the Baylor website (I got a copy from Google's cache and saved it to my own site). It is as though he was never there.
What offense has Dr. Calvin committed to warrant such conduct? Well, it seems he was involved in some rather vile activities:
For years, law enforcement has worked with foreign governments to crack down on pedophiles who travel the world seeking prey in the sex-tourism industry.
But federal agents also go undercover to catch them before they leave the country, as the FBI says it did Monday in San Diego by arresting a local dentist accused of planning a trip to Mexico for sex with young boys.
"It's our duty in law enforcement to protect people who can't protect themselves," said Daniel Dzwilewski, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego office, which investigated the case.
Todd Calvin, 43, is charged in federal court with interstate travel to engage in sexual activity with a minor. He's accused of planning such an overseas trip with an undercover FBI agent.
Well. It seems Dr. Calvin has some rather disgusting predilections. I certainly find those sorts of activities repugnant and morally reprehensible. I can understand why Baylor might not want to be associated with him any longer.
But I also understand that Dr. Calvin was an honored guest at this "Centennial Gala" a mere three weeks ago.
It would seem to me that the most honest course of action would be to leave things as they were, acknowledge that Dr. Calvin did perform at the Gala, and move on. It isn't as though anyone is going to reasonably believe that Baylor either knew of or in any way condoned his sexual perversions.
Apparently, his ex-wife and children are in shock at the arrest. Why would Baylor know him better than those closest to him?
But to sweep him under the rug, to virtually erase his participation in the manner Baylor has done -- that seems just as chilling in it's own way as anything Dr. Calvin may have planned.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Irony, thy name is Krugman
"Mr. Dean is squarely in the center of his party."
I can't top that.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
The tragedy of drugs
This DA should be locked up.
And dealers should face capital punishment. If they cooperate, we'll consider life without the possibility of parole.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
This case highlights the tension between a lawyer zealously representing her client and crossing the line into aiding and abetting terrorism
The New York Times > National > Civil Rights Lawyer Is Convicted of Aiding Terrorists
Lynne Stewart is, by all accounts, a leftist radical. Sher is a member of the National Lawyer's Guild, a communist organization, and has taken very controversial stances throughout her career.
Today, she was convicted of aiding terrorists by couriering messages from her imprisoned clients to terrorist groups domestically and abroad.
She claims she was doing her job. The government claims she was aiding the furtherance of a terrorist plot.
This will be appealed, and will probably go all the way.
A small favor to ask . . .
Steve Dillard's excellent "Southern Appeal" has been nominated for best political blog and best social commentary blog in the 2005 Catholic Blog Awards. I would ask that you cast a vote his direction as a personal favor to me. Southern Appeal is one of my favorite blogs, and one of my daily "must read" sites. The two categories are towards the bottom of the list.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Friday, February 04, 2005
The reasonable person standard flies out the window
In tort law, one of the foundations for recovery is what is called the "reasonable man" standard. This is the standard against which a Defendant's conduct will be measured to determine whether he will be held liable for damages. It holds that a Defendant will be liable for damages caused by his or her negligent acts if a reasonable man in similar circumstances would or should know of the potential for the sort of harm caused to the Plaintiff. For example, if P is driving down a neighborhood street at a high rate of speed and D backs out of a driveway and is hit, P can be held liable because a reasonable person in D's circumstances (i.e., driving too fast in a neighborhood) should have known that the type of damages he caused the Plaintiff was a foreseeable result of D's negligence (driving too fast for the circumstances).
This case, however, has turned the "reasonable person" standard on it's head. How is it foreseeable that simply knocking on someone's door at night might cause them so much anxiety that they would check themselves into the hospital the next day? How is delivering cookies to someone evidence of reckless disregard for the well being of another?
Sorry, but the Plaintiff here appears to be a nutjob, and this kind of case is evidence of how out of control our litigious society has become.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Political Correctness comes to War
So a Marine General says something we've known in the South for a long time (that some people just need shootin'), and gets reprimanded for it.
Heck, were I an officer, I'd buy the general a beer. He's right, forthright, and blunt. Those are qualities I appreciate in leadership positions.
Too bad some people are more worried about being offended than about whether the Marines are doing their jobs.
I guess this means double-secret probation is over . . .
Hat tip, Southern Appeal.
Dean Wormer is dead. Long live Dean Wormer.
Now, where's the booze?
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Now the Dems are CONVINCED there will be a draft . . .
I stop by the Democratic Underground from time to time. It's a playland for my amusement. Take the worst stereotypes of leftism you can imagine, triple them, and you would still find they pale in comparison to some folks over there.
Unfortunately, these guys have become the face of the modern Democratic party. Great men like David Boren, "Scoop" Jackson, Harry Truman, Zell Miller and others would not be welcome today.
These guys saw the movie "Toy Story" and thought . . .
"Wow, what an incredible documentary!"
This puts the lie to Ted Kennedy's claims that Iraq is a failure. Following the success in Sunday's elections (and nobody is credibly claiming that the elections were anything other than a success), the insurgents needed a media coup to rebound and regain their momentum and credibility as a force with which to be reckoned.
One would have thought that they would blow up a bomb outside an election place. They failed.
Maybe they could ambush a convoy carrying ballots from pollling places to provincial headquarters to be counted? Nope, they failed at that, too.
Perhaps they could pop off an IED and kill a few Americans for the camera? Nope, not spectacular enough. Roadside bombings are becomming passe in the media.
Maybe they could capture a foreigner and behead him/her for the cameras (an oldie but reliable goodie)? Nope, they couldn't even manage that.
Instead, they managed to kidnap G.I. Joe. Barbie is reported to be distraught.
In all seriousness, however, this is a good sign. The terrorists are living in an evnironment that is becoming increasingly suffocating. They have lost the support of the majority of Iraqis (based upon the polling numbers), and are not even adept enough to carry out a "routine" kidnapping.
When fear turns to farce, freedom is winning. The terrorists cannot succeed if they cannot inspire terror, and they cannot inspire terror if they appear inept.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
The French surrender AGAIN!
I don't watch this show (I find it's precept abhorrent), but thought it amusing that of all the guys on the show to quit early, it would be a Frenchman.