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December 11th, 2004:

“I am not a number! I am a free man!”

For the record, none of the teachers that I had at this famous understanding and caring high school referred to his students by number instead of by name. Maybe things changed when they moved to the new building, I don’t know, but I was always a name.

By the way, counting her and Julia and apparently this guy, that’s at least four bloggers who are also Stuyvesant graduates that I (now) know of. Not that there’s a competition for this sort of thing. Yet.

(Via Yglesias.)

Hutchison calls for stem cell research

Here’s another log for the still-not-yet-set Hutchison-for-Governor fire: KBH calls for stem cell research in Texas universities.

“There are embryos in place today that are going to be thrown out,” she said. “I don’t want to see something in place be destroyed that could be used for a useful purpose.”

Hutchison noted that California voters recently approved a $3 billion bond package to fund stem-cell research.

Gov. Rick Perry’s spokesman Robert Black said the governor supports the position of President Bush, whose policy bans federal funding of research on human embryos destroyed after Aug. 9, 2001.

Black said Perry has other ideas for bolstering Texas universities’ research.

“The governor is going to unveil an aggressive technology-research initiative that will put the state in a favorable position,” Black said without elaborating.

Hutchison said that there should be ethical restrictions on research but that the governor and Legislature should talk about permitting this type of research in Texas.

She discussed it in the context of boosting the research and status of Texas’ universities and medical schools. She noted that Texas is already far behind California, where some campuses have more Nobel laureates than all Texas schools.

“California, quite frankly, they are a leader,” she said. “That’s the model I’ve been trying to use.”

Texas has 236 members in the prestigious national academies of science, engineering and medicine, far fewer than California. Hutchison praised an initiative to get Texas’ scientists, engineers and doctors to work together.

Bidness versus “moral values”. I can’t tell you how much I’d enjoy watching a GOP primary based on that schism. Bring it on, Kay Bailey.

A John Waters Christmas

Tired of the same old Christmas songs every year? Looking for something new and unusual? John Waters has the CD for you.

“I’ve always loved Christmas albums. I collect them,” Waters said during a phone interview from his home in Baltimore. “Really, this was just an excuse to find some of the Christmas songs I love the most. And these are songs that are completely out of print and hard to find, legally even.”

Take, for instance, Santa Claus Is a Black Man. Waters hunted high and low for a copy of the funky song, credited to “Akim & the Teddy Van Production Company.” Waters’ staff had to hunt down the writer and the publisher of the track, as well as a usable recording of it.

“I ended up bidding on a 45 of Santa Claus Is a Black Man on eBay,” said Waters. “At times, it was like a snipe hunt. We literally found some of these people in retirement communities.”

Intrigued? John Nova Lomax has more on the A John Waters Christmas CD and a couple of other offerings to check out.

What’s your favorite Christmas CD? My four standards are A Christmas Spanking by (who else?) the Asylum Street Spankers, Christmas Caravan by the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all by Asleep At The Wheel, and the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Unindicted co-conspirators

The list of Enron unindicted co-conspirators can be made public. Well, sort of.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake originally accepted the list from the government under seal but defense attorneys asked that it be made public. One hundred and fourteen is an unusually long list of unindicted co-conspirators, a label which identifies people the government says helped commit the crime but who the government has so far decided not to charge in this case.

Since the Houston Chronicle revealed December 3 that the list had been filed under seal, lawyers for various ex-Enron executives have been trying to learn whether their clients are listed.

Lake ordered that the defense lawyers, who have the government’s list, may make public the names of people who have already been convicted and people who have already been disclosed as co-conspirators in publically-filed documents in Enron prosecutions.


Lake also ordered that the defense lawyers could not publicly reveal any one of the 114 who has not been convicted or named in public documents as conspirators.

The judge did say that if there is a co-conspirator on the list who has been told by the government that they are a target or has entered into an agreement with the government, then defense attorney can tell those people individually that they are on the list.

But otherwise, some on the list cannot even be informed that they are on the list.

“Nothing in this order prohibits either the defendants from seeking to speak to individuals on the list . . . or individuals from refusing to speak to the defendants,” Lake wrote.

I wonder if we’ll ever find out who they all are. Tom has some more on this from when the list first came to light.