Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gregorian Rant

I really like the above title for Peter Gregory's soon-to-be-silent blog suggested in the comments to Name That Blog! by a former music teacher (an allusion to Gregorian chant).

With all the good titles (4) suggested by readers, maybe Peter will reconsider and continue publishing his blog, instead of retiring it today. I think the heat may have gotten to him, because he removed someone from his list of top five SIUC administrators who should be fired and removed his reasoning for saying "John Koropchak should likely go." The next day, he announced he'd blogged his last for his current blog: "Carbondale, Illinois - Business and SIU Commentary," as someone pointed out in the comments to his announcement, with all the interesting things about to happen, he should considering keeping it open....but there's a hint in a comment to Peter's blog that he may be relocating to Oregon, and evidence that he intends to continue publishing his Art Blog, which he can write from anywhere. . . . .

So we'll see. Perhaps, he will consider contributing to a Local Group Blog -- with other local bloggers and bloggees, expressing ONLY local news or opinion. Maybe some frequent commenters would join it to. It could be called Carbondale Bytelife.

How 'bout it blogger-trippers? If you're already blogging, Carbondale Bytelife can contain a link to your "pet" blog, and you can post to the group blog when you have something to say of community interest. If you are new to blogging, but would like to join the team, then send a note, or leave a comment.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Name that blog!

Peter the Great's great local blog needs a new name. The current title: "Carbondale, Illinois - Business and SIU Commentary" could possibly be the worst title ever -- especially considering the redundant sub-title: "Comments on business development and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale by a local" Except for the "by a local" part, it's the same.

Peter's blog is challenging, informative and inspirational by turns . . . frequently amusing and very rarely flat-out wrong.

Can you think of a good name for Peter's blog? So far, I have only come up with "Great Delyte's Ghost" or "The Great Gildersblog." The first works better with the subtitle: "Comments on business development and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale by a local"

The best title will earn some lucky bloggee a ticket worth $15 (face value. Higher if scalped before the event) to the annual Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Civic Center, Nov. 14, featuring lunch by Heartland Catering and the "State of the City" speech by Mayor Brad Cole, when he announces his intention to run for re-election . . . or not.

So Name that blog! in a comment below.

CONTEST NOTES & RULES: Peter has not cleared this post, and may not want to rename his blog, or choose a winner. If so, the offer still stands: A ticket for a title.

The new title should work with the current subtitle.

If only one title is submitted, it will win by default.

Deadline Nov. 10.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Carbondale From Afar

An email message recently announced a new Carbondale-oriented blog, Carbondale From Afar, which promises to see our fair town through the rearview mirror. With a couple of posts so far, a good start, but the author claims the right to stop blogging at any time without notice (around here, that's called "doing 'a Muir'").

Well, while we're reminiscing about the olden days of Carbondale, anyone remember cartoonist PS Mueller? He's been up in Madison, Wisconsin for years, even breaking into the pages of the New Yorker. Read a recent interview of Pete here.

First-ever Local Showing

Today I emailed formal invitations to see this movie, and (of course) a glitch caused duplicate -- and triplicate -- copies to go out. If you were on the receiving end, sorry about the onslaught. If you didn't get an invitation, here it is: Come to the First-Ever Showing of 9/11 Press for Truth in Carbondale, Illinois, on Friday, Nov. 3, 8pm, at the Interfaith Center.

Of the people contacted, several have RSVP'd. Some will try to make it; some have other things to do; others have other ideas. ;-)

Recently SIUC-beat reporter Caleb Hale had other ideas for Bill O'Reilly in his Scribbles on the Ivy Wall column in the Southern Illinoisan about teaching 9/11 government conspiracy theories in the classroom -- going against O'Reilly who thinks universities should banish teachers like Kevin Barrett, the Wisconsin university instructor whose syllabus includes alternatives to the offical 19 hijackers version of 9/11 attacks.

Caleb wrote:
[P]rofessors like Kevin Barrett, the University of Wisconsin instructor currently under fire for his belief the U.S. government orchestrated the 9-11 terrorist attacks, can give college students one of the best higher learning experiences money can buy?

You won't hear that from a lot of people, mostly because on the surface it seems like a horrible thing to say. That is, until you understand it through the mode of higher education.
Although not espousing alternatives to the official 9/11 story, Caleb Hale still "gets it" -- the virtue of unfettered academic inquiry and debate. O'Reilly doesn't get it. You should hear Big Bill attacking Prof. James Fetzer (.wav 2mg) in the interview alluded to by Caleb. It starts out civilly enough. But someone is a 'nut job' alright, and it ain't Fetzer.

As far as I know, NO ONE has ever said that President Bush (peace be upon him) orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. That strains credulity, to say the least. But why did he take 400-plus days to empower a commission to investigate what really did happen, then set it up to ensure a whitewash?

That's the point of 9/11 Press for Truth -- not about the many anomalies of -- but on events leading up to -- and after -- the attack, that were suppressed by the Commission. It features questions from the four New Jersey widows of the attacks, substantiated by Paul Thompson's 9/11 Timeline.

I saw the producers on CSPAN this year on the 5th anniversary of 9/11 (part of my all day 9/11 coverage viewing). After viewing the movie on Google video, I purchased a copy and signed up with Brave New Theaters for promotional aid. BNT has offer film offerings, including current most popular Iraq for Sale.

If you can't attend the free screening of 9/11 Press for Truth at the Interfaith Center next Friday, but want to see the documentary. It can be downloaded and watched for free from Google Video at this link.

Now on with the show.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rumor had it

Peter the Great's breezy post about the Chancellor stepping down stirred quite a flap behind the scenes in the local media yesterday, even flapping to this blog and back to his. But when the rumor was squelched Peter was undaunted. Is the School of Journalism getting this? The DE did:

From an article by Andrea Zimmermann, Plagiarism report to be released next week:
"Meanwhile, a report surfaced on a local blog Tuesday afternoon claiming a 'good source' said Wendler had resigned. The blog, which is maintained by local entrepreneur Peter Gregory, follows Carbondale and university news, and often contains comments and opinions of Gregory's that are largely against Wendler and his plans.

The post created a small stir. and both Wendler and Poshard denounced the claim as a rumor. Wendler would not speculate about the rumor's source.

"I have not resigned my position from the university," Wendler said Wednesday. "And that is it. There is nothing else to say."

Gregory could not be reached for comment about the blog posting."
Naturally, he comments in his blog about his notice in the DE, with a small correction and some advice.

He doesn't say who his source was. Should he have confirmed it before publishing? As a member of Bloggers Responsible for Change, that's what I would have done, but I'm a word writer, not a software engineer.

Meanwhile, a wag of the finger (guess which one) to SIUC News Service Director Sue Davis (the index) for failing to reply to my query. Sometimes I agree with Peter more than at other times.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Job Opening?

Word on the blog vine is Chancellor Walter Wendler has resigned. Probably the report to President Poshard by the committee investigating plagiarism in Southern@150 contained bad news for Walter since Poshard hasn't commented -- more than a week after the report was submitted.

Peter the Great broke the news yesterday.

But wait! Not so fast. Nothing has been announced yet, and Walter came to work this morning, according to the young lady who answered the phone at the Chancellor's office. His secretary was away from her desk. SIUC News Service chief, Sue Davis, was also unavailable. She may be working on a press release for the official announcement.

* * *
UPDATE 6pm: A reliable source tells me that Sue Davis insists that the Chancellor has not resigned, and a comment to this posts explains the resignation process going through the Board of Trustees.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

After Pat's Birthday

Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin was discharged in 2005.

Two days ago, he issued a powerful public statement (in memory of his dead brother) that includes a rhetorical list of incredible "Somehows" like "Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country." Tillman concludes
In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.
Pat Tillman's birthday is Nov. 6 . . . The election is the following day.

You know what to do, Bloggee.

Peter the Wack

Peter the Great thinks Congress is 'whacked'. That's so wack, I was taken abhack. Nevertheless, the great one has made me eat my (and his own) words about nothing more to say -- which itself generated 13 comments. He's back.

But he may be moving back West, according to the bean vine and a hint in Peter's blog.

I hope he sticks around. The day he moves away will be a wack day in Humidtown.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blogger meister

Someone should check to see if 'Mr. Right', Jim Muir, is still alive, since his blog still hasn't heard that the Greens have heard. This isn't the first time, Jim has taken a powder, only to come back with a lame 'whip me with a noodle' apology. I think he may be ducking the futile task of defending President G.W. Bush's woeful job performance.

Two new local blogs have come to my attention. One conservative and one liberal. Longbranch stalwart and armchair philosopher Chuck Jines sent me a link to his new blog Conservative View, which has possibilities, but only one post so far.

At the gallery the other day, I met another blogger, a recent transplant from Philadelphia, whose wife specializes in Mass Communications. Mikal in Philly may want to change the name of his blog to "mikal in carbondale." He says he likes the relaxed pace of life in southernmost Illinois.

None of the local political candidates have blogs. Despite her internet savvy, candidate Jessica Davis doesn't have blog. Neither does candidate Sheila Simon. (Nor does unannounced candidate, Mayor Brad Cole, although I occasionally add items to The Cole Train, a blog a started on my own, as a repository for Cole-related news, much as I've done with Wendler's Golden Shovelings blog. Not much to it, but 'better than nothing'.)

Cole will reveal if he is going to seek re-election in his upcoming "State of the City" address on Tuesday, November 14 at the annual Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Here's a link to the official invitation.

Will Brad run? Does he deserve another term? Councilwoman Simon thinks not. She states her reasons for running "up front" in this interview with WJPF's Rick Gregg on the day she announced her candidacy.

Sheila used to have a blog, using it mostly as a listening post for comments on controversial issues. But because she is running for office, she stopped doing it. Go figure.

Candidate Davis ought to have time for a blog, and she appears to have decent computer skills, since she created her own website.

Candidates who doubt the value of a campaign blog should take a look at Saline County States Attorney, David Nelson's blog.

So here's the deal: on November 15 -- the day after the Mayor's State of the City Speech -- this blog will 'give the nod' to the candidates with the best campaign blogs.

I agree with the following statement (since I just wrote it): "If a candidate for Mayor can't write a blog, or have a volunteer(s) write it, or pay someone to do it, then that candidate does not deserve to be mayor."

Burger meister

Can you imagine Peter the Great with Nothing more to say?: He asks, "Anyone got anything juicy they to get out in the open?" . . . How about the best hamburger in town? That's pretty juicy. Excluding Hardee's "Thickburger" and the other food chains, I don't know. Since Murphy's morphed into the Italian Village clone Spinoni's, there is no good burger spot, except maybe Midlands Inn.

We should have a burger taste-off sometime, somewhere.

A beer taste test would be fun also. Maybe the Beer Philosopher, Peter the Great and I can launch a blog-driven Beer and Burger Bash, with burgers by all the local burger joints.... Oh, that's right, there aren't any good places to get a burger.

Although Peter dismisses fast food chains, anyone who remembers Zipp's (where Sambucca Joe's is now) will testify to the superior quality of their 1/3 lb. burger for 1.29. And the Honey Vanilla Shake, and those seasoned french fries . . . mmmmm. Zipp me.

It looks like Sambucca Joe's is under new management. Someone should suggest they specialize in making a great burger and shake.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Coming Soon

So far, only the Interfaith Center has been definitely booked to show 9/11 Press for Truth -- on Friday, November 3 at 8 p.m. in the Dave Columbo Memorial Library.

People should not expect a documentary about explosives being used to bring down the World Trade Center buildings. Nor does it delve into the hole in the Pentagon. It focuses instead on published facts and information available globally, but ignored by the 9/11 Commission. The film's purpose is to establish a new commission, one free of control by the Bush administration.

Given the fact that more than $40 million was spent on Starr's pursuit of Clinton, and only $14 million to investigate the 9/11 catastrophe, people wonder: What is the administration hiding? The latest revelation in Woodward's new book, about Condoleezza Rice's brushing off the July terror briefing by CIA director Tenet, makes the "let it happen on purpose" (LIHOP) scenario more plausible. The only real debate within the "9/11 Truth" camp is if the evil-doers LIHOP or MIHOP (Made it happen on purpose.) Viewing 9/11 Press for Truth will make you wonder. A new investigation will answer many questions.

Another possible venue is Big Boys Q'n, which has a Big Screen, beer and food, and WiFi. The guy who runs the place is skeptical about the crowd for such an event at a bar, but willing to put out a nice spread for folks. Some Wednesday night. Maybe have a band too. Make it a fundraiser for the Truthy Salukis.

The lady at Student Programming Council (SPC) was helpful. The best way to show a film at the Student Center is for a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) to sponsor the event. Will any student group be interested in doing so? There's a long list of RSO's, but only a few possible sponsor groups on the list.

Confirmed venues for future showings of 9/11 Press for Truth will be announced in this blog.

Paducah-Carbondale Corridor?

Song writer Randy Newman was interviewed by Stephen Colbert on last night's Colbert Report. The subject of Randy's connection to Middle America came up, and Colbert coined a new geo-economic term, about which Newman is a specialist. Here's the sound byte.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pressing On

The DVD 911: Press for Truth arrived last week -- to show at local venues in coming weeks and months . . . at places like Big Muddy Independent Media Center, the Interfaith Center, the Unitarian Fellowship, and other churches; at the Public Library, perhaps, and the Student Center, or the Civic Center.

Meanwhile in the local blogosphere Peter the Great continues to tear SIUC 'a new one' in his C'dale Business & SIUC blog. His saga of involvement with the Electrical Engineering Department is worth reading because it reveals Peter's bull-by-the-horns style for making use of time. But his latest post this morning rags on Chancellor Walter V. Wendler's plans and performance once again, so it seems like the news service should exercise its PR function and post corrections to Peter's errors, where appropriate.

I haven't heard from Chancellor Wendler about Peter's challenge to me. So, it's doubtful he will answer the blogosphere on that subject (a personnel matter). Would you? The person WVW allegedly wronged should speak to him one-on-one (not publicly, thru a blog). The aggrieved faculty member should go through the three-step process: one-on-one, small group; then public. An extension of the 'golden rule' says Wendler. (Sidenote: Walter signed Green Party candidate Richard Whitney's petition to run for governor, and President Poshard got called on it by the Blagojeviches. Good for Walter!)

Walter also inked a deal with the Saluki Club of America to promote the breed over the weekend, before the football game vs. Western Illinois at McAndrew Stadium.

I wonder if Walter will sign a petition for a new investigation into the events leading up to 9/11 -- which is the ultimate goal of the documentary 9/11 Press for Truth.

Speaking of investigations, the three-panel committee should have completed its investigation of the Chancellor's alleged plagiarism by now. I fear they found some other boilerplate language borrowed by him from a source that he himself did not compose. But since the document was the joint effort of 258 people, it shouldn't matter. It was only vindictiveness that made it public in the first place.

I wonder if the market deal between SIUC and the Saluki Club of America prohibits the use of that name for political purposes, as in "The Truthy Salukis."

The next post to this blog will tell the time and place where the documentary 9/11 Press for Truth will be shown.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Peter Principle

Back from Portland, visiting family, now I can deal with the recent challenge from Peter the Great for me to record Chancellor Wendler's answer to a specific question about his part in denying tenure to deserving profs. (I'm a little concerned about bothering him with it because Peter has the cost of his desk so wrong: he says $24k, but it really cost only $1800. If he can be so wrong on that, then what else? But I assume that PG was using rhetorical exaggeration. So I will take a chance and ask the question anyway.)

There could be something to what Peter is saying, though (about Walter being a bad manager) if the classic "Peter Principle" applies. Most readers of this blog are too young to know about Laurence Peter's book The Peter Principle (Why things always go wrong) which has the premise "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

In his blog, Peter was belatedly responding to a comment I made a week or so ago, to a post of his:
. . . When I spoke with him on Friday, Chancellor Wendler had not actually read your blog, but he was informed of some of what you said by someone else (not me). He thinks you're a smart guy, entitled to your opinion. But he's probably wondering why you don't follow the Golden Rule (which Walter explains in a brief sound clip in my blog.

Following that lead, you could schedule an appointment with the Chancellor and attempt to set him straight. Maybe bring two or three people with you (from outside academe). It would take you an hour, and he will either "get it" or not. If not, at least you tried. Maybe you will learn some things yourself?

Call me a facilitator, but I wish you would try to communicate to HIM in a direct and helpful manner. Make an appointment with his secretary to meet in his office, or go out to lunch with him. He is most likely unfamiliar with your ideas, and I think he deserves the benefit of your advice.
Perhaps I should have been more clear that WVW was speaking at length with WJPF's Tom Miller about the allegation of plagiarism by his accusers -- and not about Carbondale's Business and SIU pundit. The sound byte I posted to Peter is from that longer conversation with Miller on the subject of "the p-word," and Walter was referring either to Prof. Joan Friedenberg, or to President Glenn Poshard, the two main players behind the scenes in that drama. Poshard appointed a committee to look into it, after Friedenberg published the charges in the Higher Education Chronicles.

Well, campus politics is fascinating, but currently I'm more interested in tomorrow's World Can't Wait demonstrations.

In Portland, some dude handed me a crude flyer and a CD called 911 Eyewitness, which I haven't viewed yet. But I did receive a lengthy email message from a local hero, who dismisses evidence of collusion in favor of "comic book stupidity" by the U.S. defense forces.

In other words (sez he) the events of 9/11 were caused by the Peter Principle.