Monthly Archives: August 2005

Evan Spotted

I’m no fan of Michelle Malkin, but I will hand it to her for scaring up the whereabouts of Evan Montvel Cohen. At the bottom of this long post on the Air America scandal she relates the tale of an email she received from a reader of hers.

Then there’s this intriguing e-mail I received last night concerning the whereabouts of the elusive former AAR/Gloria Wise official, Evan Montvel Cohen. Spread the word far and wide:

Thought you should know that Evan Cohen, believe it or not, has relocated to Hawaii and had been applying for Development Director positions at local nonprofits. I was involved as a part of an interview team in which we interviewed him a couple of months ago…
…Fortunately, we did some research on him…and eliminated him from the process. I am fearful that some unsuspecting nonprofit could hire him, so have been trying to get the word out to folks. Chances are, he has already moved out of the state. If not, hopefully, your article will help!

More to come. Stay tuned…So now we know where he’s gone to ground, back in the islands, working the same schemes on a new crowd. Welcome back Evan!

King Of The Road

I couldn’t agree more: Bob Klitzkie is a dangerous driver. Auntie Charo complained about his bad driving back in June and since then, Senator Bob has personally cut me off twice; he cut me off on Camp Watkins one morning on my way into the office, and last week he cut right out in front of me as I was making a left turn off Marine (Corps) Drive to the Agaña post office. The guy was looking at me making my turn, and he just went ahead and cut me off anyway. The man’s dangerous behind a wheel.

The Word Hoosier

I think I might have mentioned this one before, but here’s a long page discussing the word hoosier:The Word Hoosier. It lays out dozens of possible origins for the word, but one in particular struck my eye.

The best evidence, however, suggests that “Hoosier” was a term of contempt and opprobrium common in the upland South and used to denote a rustic, a bumpkin, a countryman, a roughneck, a hick or an awkward, uncouth or unskilled fellow. Although the word’s derogatory meaning has faded, it can still be heard in its original sense, albeit less frequently than its cousins “Cracker” and “Redneck.”

That’s certainly the meaning of the term in St. Louis. I wonder why the page goes on to list so many other possible derivations of the word before getting to this gem:

While ‘hoosier’ may still be heard in areas of the south in its original, disparaging meaning of ‘uncouth rustic,’ the term seems to be slowly loosing currency. One important pocket of linguistic resistance, however, remains. Thomas E. Murray carefully analysed the use of ‘hoosier’ in St. Louis, where it is the favorite epithet of abuse. ‘When asked what a Hoosier is,’ Murray writes, ‘St. Louisans readily list a number of defining characteristics, among which are ‘lazy,’ ‘slow-moving,’ ‘derelict,’ and ‘irresponsible.” He continues, ‘Few epithets in St. Louis carry the pejorative connotations or the potential for eliciting negative responses that hoosier does.’ He conducted tests and interviews across lines of age and race and tabulated the results. He finds the term also often used with a modifier, as in ‘some damn Hoosier.’

In a separate section Murray speaks of the history of the word and cites Baker and Carmony (1975) and speculates on why Hoosier (in Indiana a ‘neutral or, more often, positive’ term) should remain ‘alive and well in St. Louis, occupying as it does the honored position of being the city’s number one term of derogation. A radio broadcast took up where Murray left off. During the program, Jeffrey Lunberg, a language commentator, answered questions about regional nicknames. He cited Elaine Viets, a Saint Louis Post-Dispatch columnist (also quoted by Paul Dickson), as saying that in Missouri a ‘Hoosier is a low-life redneck, somebody you can recognize because they have a car on concrete blocks in their front yard and are likely to have just shot their wife who may also be their sister.’ (‘Fresh Air’)

Gas Hits Another High

Gasoline hit $2.779 a gallon yesterday around the island. Scuttlebutt is the price will hit $3 per gallon before the end of the year. Mobil is having a hard time securing gas for the islands from Singapore, which is our usual source.

I’m planning on making September a mass transit month, securing a month pass and riding the bus to the office and back. If it isn’t too difficult, I might be riding the long bus on a permanent basis.

Evan Frenzy

So the New York Sun is beating the Evan Montvel-Cohen story into the ground like a tenacious pit bull. And since Evan is nowhere to be found, they are sinking their teeth into the most available target, Air America and Al Franken. And of course the right wing blog maniacs are just loving this chance to smear the liberal radio network. I’m sorry, but knowing Evan I can’t really fault Air America for this fiasco. Just take this passage from the New York Sun article on Al Franken speaking about the Gloria Wise mess.

Mr. Franken said his most “charitable” interpretation of the Gloria Wise transfers to Air America was that Mr. Cohen had a “dream and tried to keep it going.”

Members of the Gloria Wise executive committee described to the Sun transfers from the club to Mr. Cohen and to Air America that totaled $875,000. They said Sunday that one reason Mr. Cohen cited when asking for personal loans was that he needed money for chemotherapy because he suffered from brain cancer.

Mr. Franken said he did not know whether his former colleague had the disease, but he recalled that Mr. Cohen, a native of Guam who is 39, referred repeatedly to it. For example, Mr. Franken said, he’d complain to Mr. Cohen that studio equipment wasn’t working, “and he’d say, ‘You know, I have brain cancer.'”

“Brain cancer,” Mr. Franken said, “seemed to be his answer to everything.”

Shuttle To The Dustbin

Discovery photographed from the ISS moments before docking
The space shuttle Discovery is gearing up for a return to earth on Monday morning amid concerns about the safety of reentry, the future of the shuttle program, and the future of NASA’s manned space program. The mission to the International Space Station was marked by an unprecedent mission outside the spacecraft to repair the heat tiles near the nose cone of the orbiter. After two years of testing and redesign, NASA still couldn’t keep large chunks of foam from striking the shuttle during liftoff. The problem appears unsolvable, and NASA ordered the grounding fo the entire fleet pending further investigation of this fatal problem.

Shuttle Launch at SunsetFor a look at the an incredible piece of writing from Idle Words about the pointless risks and incredible costs of NASA’s shuttle program. Maciej Ceglowski wrote an excellent examination of the shuttle program, looking at the design compromises that make the shuttle exceedingly complex and dangerous to use, and the seemingly ridiculous ‘science’ that astronauts engage in while in orbit. While they take their temperature and blood pressure, eat special foods and chit chat with grade school students, any serious science experiments done on shuttle missions are accomplished by simply switching a button and collecting the data back on earth. It seems like most of what the astronauts do in orbit is prove we can put people in orbit for outrageous sums of money.

 Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi makes paper cranes and plays games in orbit
Why do we need to take insane risks to accomplish what is essentially remote control science that could be deployed on a satellite? Oh that’s right, because we need the shuttle to go to the International Space Station. But what’s the purpose of the ISS? Oh right, to give the space shuttle something to visit. Man, that just makes my head spin. Following the Columbia accident NASA cancelled all shuttle missions that did not head to the ISS for safety concerns. This killed one mission that was absolutely vital for science, a planned upgrade and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope to extend the working life of a priceless scientific research tool. Now our only extraterrestrial optical telescope, which has produced far more science than all the shuttle missions combined, is going to die a slow death as its gyroscopes fail and it tumbles out of orbit. But at least the space station is still up there, keeping Russia’s space program afloat with massive U.S. subsidies.

It’s time to mothball the shuttle program and reinvest that money into a cheaper orbital vehicle. Designs already exist that split the crew and payload functions of the shuttle into two seperate vehicles. Both are traditional rocket launch stacks, with the crew compartment or payload above the dangerous rocket engines and solid fuel boosters that caused the two shuttle disasters. In addition the crew lift vehicle would include an emergency escape rocket, similar to the early NASA launches, that could propel the crew away from the rocket in the event of an explosion. This is a level of safety that the shuttle has never had.

But don’t look to NASA for these judgement calls. The entire agency seems fixated on keeping the shuttle fleet flying in spite of the risks and astronomical costs associated with maintenance and launch. And don’t expect the Federal government to make the decision either. Those billions of dollars spent on the shuttle program sustain the economies of several states, numerous military-industrial complex companies, thousands of employees, and thousands of private contractors. It’s a great big pork barrel flying into the sky.

Photo of Discovery's cargo bay taken from the ISS

Evan Montvel-Cohen In The News Again

So I just heard about this swirl around the blogosphere about Evan Cohen bilking a children’s charity for hundreds of thousands of dollar during his tenure at Air America radio. Most of the chatter surrounding this story is coming from the right wing weblogs, crowing about the imminent demise of liberal talk radio and how those crazy bleeding heart liberals were taking money from needy children and the elderly to pay for Al Franken’s high falutin’ lifestyle.

Seems Evan Montvel Cohen loaned himself and Air America more than $800,000 from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, where he served as development director of the charity. Cohen personally received a $400,000 wire transfer without the knowledge or authorization of the community center’s executive director. The city of New York suspended contracts and grants to the non-profit in June because of ‘inappropriate transactions and falsified documents’ submitted to city agencies.

Those on the right can blame the radio network all they want, but this isn’t something to be laid on the doorstep of Air America. This is a classic Evan Montvel Cohen scam. I especially like the bit about how he told the charity he needed the money to pay for his chemotherapy and medical treatment for his ill father. Uh, I know for a fact Evan’s father is deceased, and I think most people on Guam have their doubts about his cancer and miraculous recovery once he burned his bridges and left the island. He just went from scamming people on Guam to scamming people in New York City.