Thursday, September 30, 2004

Defense of Marriage Act

There's not many times where I agree with how my Congressman votes but this is one of them. I thought the Defense of Marriage Act was a bad idea from the start. Yes I'm against activist judges but two wrongs don't make a right.

If you are interested - here's a listing on how each Congressman voted on the issue.
The Professor and Wonkette

Just saw Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) and Ann Marie Cox (Wonkette) on MSNBC. Reynold's was talking about Jacksonian Democracy and Cox was talking about drinking games. That about sums it up.

I have the hunch that Wonkette's favorite word is "Ummm.."
Just a Thought

Back in 1981 - John Carpenter came out with the movie Escape from New York. The Premise of the movie is that crime had gotten so bad in the United States that in 1997 - New York City is turned into a high security prison.

Crime was seen as epidemic in the US and the premise of the movie was seen as highly believable when the movie was released. Then Ronald Reagan began to change things in this country.

Prior to Escape from New York - there was Death Wish. All through the 70's crime in New York City was seen as a fact of life. Then came Rudy Giuliani.

Now I am not saying that crime has been eradicated in either the US or New York City but I am saying that the reality of today is greatly different than the reality of when those movies were produced. I am also saying that these changes did not happen overnight.

I mention the above because I see parallels between the pessimistic views of those two movies and how many see crime, terrorism and kidnapping in Iraq today. Sure things are bad in pockets of Iraq but pessimism doesn't help. It's easy to be pessimistic.

One year in and things are already 1,000% better in Iraq. I fully expect that another year from now there will more marked improvements. We live in a fast food - instant gratification society. I don't know where the expectation that Iraq would be as settled as Canada after just one year came from but that is somehow the expectation many harbor.

Stay the course. Let the people who have to do the heavy lifting do their jobs.

Just as a reminder. At the beginning of Reagan's term - Escape from New York may have been how people viewed NYC but by the end of his term the accepted reality had turned into Wall Street.

Debate Drinking Game

You can find a version here.

This picture had to be shared:

Carlson for President

A big debate? A candidate whose skin color suddenly is orange in preparation for the TV lights? Sounds like John Kerry and tonight's debate but it's actually in reference to the 28th episode of the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati titled "Carlson for President."

The episode is about Mr. Carlson (Gordon Jump) running for city council. The episode also included Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) explaining the fine art of answering a debate question:
LES: The secret is to appear to answer all the questions when in truth it's all mumbo-jumbo. Here, let me show you. Herb, ask me this question.
[Les hands herb a card with a question written on it.]
HERB: Surely. "Mr. Candidate, what is your energy program?"
LES: Right now, I'm devoting a great deal of time and study to that problem. And I intend to issue a position paper on that. A position that is at once simple, yet complex, flexible, and above all else, fair to every American.
Sound familiar?
Morning Links:

Trying something new here. Every morning I find some interesting things to read. Sometimes I comment on them but most time I just read and enjoy. I thought that I might try posting the links just to share. Please let me know if you guys out there like this.

- A must read letter from a soldier in Najaf

- Impromptus - always a must read

- Yikes - Cleveland Indians pitcher shot on team bus on way to KC airport

- Hugh Hewitt says the MSM is now "On Notice"

- Lileks meanwhile sorta defends the MSM

- Bill Simmons whines about not being in Boston to enjoy the Red Sox (note - nothing he says is news to any Red Sox fan)

- The Belmont Clubs talks about kidnapping/crime in Iraq. Very interesting historical viewpoint on the problem.
No Way To Run a Campaign - September Timeline - Update

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Sept. 28th - Tan in a can? Oompa-Lumpa-Gate? Issues take a backseat today while the nation describes Kerry's sudden change in appearence. Personally I think it makes him look like this.

Sept. 29th - CBS News hits bottom and digs with a story about possible re-instatement of the draft. The urban legend has been debunked many times but that doesn't keep CBS from running a very sloppy piece of journalism. It also leads to re-eximination of a John Kerry proposal for mandatory government service.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Two stories of remote places where "tribal" leaders use their power to rape powerless women and children. Practices that are rationalized on the basis of "tradition". Places where the silence of the victims is more "honorable" than bringing the guilty to justice.

The first story involves names like Mukhtaran and Bibi. It involves the rape of an innocent girl and how this victim became the guilty one because of local ideas of "tradition" and "family honor".

The second story involves people with names like Christian and Brown. The second story is noteworthy to most because of its historical connection to the Mutiny on the Bounty. Pitcairn Island, an often idealized location because of its claim as the most far-flung part of the British Empire, also turns out to be a haven of rapists.

If you read carefully the two stories are closer than you may have first thought. A man in power who uses his position to take advantage of the girls of his "village". Kinsmen are his accomplices. The girls are honorbound to remain forever silent about their despoilment.

Be honest - when reading the first story - did you feel more compassion for the girls and wish more vengeance upon the guilty men? Did you want to see the Pakistani men go to trial or just want them to meet the business end of an M-16?

In the second - were you glad that these men were finally being brought to justice? Did you want them to go to court or did you want for them to also be lined up against a wall?

My initial reaction was to believe that the men in both stories should just be lined up and shot. But then the men with the M-16's can easily replace the "tribal elders" and become just as bad as the original perpetrators (for examples of this see any French "Peacekeeping" mission in Africa). After reflection I believe what is needed in both places is the rule of law and the justice that it brings. To establish this requires mainly three things - the promise of liberty, stout men (and women) to stand a post and eternal vigilance.

Establishing and maintaining these three things is not easy and it is often not popular (it is easier and more popular to just call them savages and believe that they will never be civilized).

These two stories are examples of why we have to fight for the weak and why we have to stay vigilant. It is also an explanation of why the leaders of villages such as Mukhtaran's hate us for our spread of freedom and why local leaders like Mr. Christian wish to keep the "government" out of "local matters."

You can also boil these stories down to those who believe raping young girls is wrong and those who can rationalize such behavior. Which side of the argument do you want to be on?
Debate Music

I think it would be cool if certain songs were assigned to the different candidates just like how a song is played when a MLB player comes up to the plate or when a pro wrestler enters the ring.

I would suggest the theme to Shaft for President Bush and REM's Shiny Happy People for John Kerry.
Aaghhh - Aaghhh

When I think of Cybill Shepherd I think of this.

Not this! I see that and I want to yell at my PC - "The power of Christ compells you!"

Read the whole story here.
Bringing Back the Draft - Scare Tactic

I'm surprised that the "if Bush is re-elected the Republicans will bring back the draft" scare tactic has gotten some college age students rattled. It's patently untrue.

Nobody wants to bring back the draft except people like Charlie Rangel who wants to use it as a wedge issue. The Republicans would never vote for it, the Armed Services don't want it (the all volunteer model has worked to the point that we have the best trained military in our history - why would they want to screw that up with people who don't want to be there?), hell even 90% of Democrats would never vote for a draft.

I guess as a scare tactic it's better than "if Bush is re-elected he's going to outlaw abortion". Maybe that's the next scare tactic to be played. Maybe with the Republican's giving Pro-choice people like Rudy Giuliani and Arnold such prominent roles at the RNC - the DNC knows that won't play.

EDIT: Heh Heh - C&F say it all!
Dan Rather's Replacement

Dan Rather has become an anchor to CBS in more ways than one. His bogus documents report has severly damaged the credibility of CBS News and he has become a liability on the bottom line. This past Friday, only 108,000 people in New York tuned into his broadcast.

For perspective - consider the fact that same night 650,000 people tuned into watch the Yankees / Red Sox game on the YES Network. That's six-times the numbers of the CBS Evening News that same night. Now consider the fact that CBS is available to EVERYONE with a TV while the YES Network has limited reach.

Juxtaposing Dan Rather's numbers against the Yankees game led to a thought.

What CBS needs most is to be trusted again. They need to be liked. In New York arguably the most trusted and liked man among both Democrats and Republicans has to be Yankee manager Joe Torre. Since all Rather really does these days is read the news - why not hire Torre to replace him?

Of course this would never happen because the "journalists" would scream "blasphemy!" (I also have serious doubts that Torre would ever be interested.) However, I don't think you could argue the fact that Joe Torre at the anchor desk would do wonders for the ratings. The numbers for the first week alone would be huge as people tuned in just out of curiosity.

Just a thought.
Bad Political Phrases

If you hear a candidate utter any of the following phrases - then you can be pretty sure that you are listening to a loser:

- "I've written it all out in my manifesto..."

- "According to a strict interpretation of the bible..."

- Any phrase that references "Mother Earth" (or "Captain Planet" for that matter)..

- "In accordance to the prophesies..."

- "My main goal is to unleash the wonders of modern chemistry..."

- "You may know me from such movies as..."

- "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty..."
Expos to DC

The Montreal Expos will be moving to Washington, DC for next season. It occurred to me that if you asked the average man (or woman) on the street the following question, "What do you think about the Expos baseball team moving from Montreal, the capital of Canada, to Washington, the capital of the US?" - at least 75% of those asked would not catch or make comment of the fact that Montreal is not the capital of Canada.

Just an observation.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Heh Heh

Am I the only one who thinks of this

... when I see this?

No Way To Run a Campaign - September Timeline - Update

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Sept. 25th - Public backlash about biased media coverage via RatherGate, polls that show almost no hope for Kerry, disappointment in how the candidate attacked the Prime Minister of Iraq who simply came to this country to say thank you, a feeling that less than 2 months till the election nobody yet knows where the candidate stands on the issues - all these things pervade the Kerry campaign but no one new example stands out. So no link for today.

Sept. 26th - With nothing else working - Kerry blasts Bush for saying Mission Accomplished - the only problem being Bush never said Mission Accomplished. Meanwhile Joe Biden has to do a clean up in aisle Kerry over Kerry's earlier slamming of Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Sept. 27th - As Homer Simpson would say - it's funny because its true - "He [Kerry] probably could spend 90 minutes debating himself. It's been a little difficult to prepare because he keeps changing positions on the war on terror." Meanwhile the Democrats demonstrate the difference between humor and political scare tactics by sending out Ted "The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely" Kennedy

Monday, September 27, 2004

Peter Gammons

Here's 7 thoughts on Peter Gammons latest offering from

1. Gammons is right about the Mets. I am surprised that he did not mention what could be their biggest upcoming disaster - the $15 million option on Richard Hidalgo. My guess is that management is pressured into picking up this bloated contract.

2. I had forgotten that Hee Seop Choi was with the Dodgers until Gammons mentioned his name. LA has not been good for Choi - he's hitting just .158 (only slugging .228!) with ZERO HR since being traded to the Dodgers. Yuck!

3. Orlando Cabrera turned down 4-years / $30 million from the Expos (because he was sick of losing). It would be great if he signed with the Red Sox for the same amount. That would really put the icing on the cake as far as the Garciaparra trade is concerned.

4. They say that any time you stoop to call someone a Nazi - it means you have lost the argument:
Roberts is right about Cabrera, and the same thing can be said about Derek Jeter -- who the stats Nazis will insist from their garages isn't an exceptional shortstop -- and Brian Roberts. On the other hand, there are some star-type players that are not as good on a pennant contender.
I can't recall how many Yankee games I've seen where Jeter just couldn't get to a ball that Nomar certainly would have gobbled up. Jeter just doesn't have good range.

5. Classic Gammons just throwing things up on the wall to see what sticks:
Six players who are not free agents whom most would be surprised to see in the same uniform next season.

Alfonso Soriano, Phil Nevin, Jacque Jones, Mike Sweeney, Cliff Floyd and Shawn Chacon.
6. Just for the record - I picked Johnson before the season started as the Cy Young and I still think he deserves the award:
Randy Johnson complained that ESPN did not list him among three top contenders for the NL Cy Young Award.

Johnson has a legitimate beef, because he has been the best starting pitcher in the National League. But he's not going to win because of his low win total, which isn't fair and a function of pitiable support.
7. This one I find a bit bizarre:
Another option that may not get picked up is Craig Biggio's $3 million deal for 2005. He was 0-for-20 in the first five games of this current Astros road trip.
For $3 million - there is no way that Biggio is released by the Astros. NO WAY! Especially when you consider that it would cost them $1 million to buy him out.

Heh Heh

As Homer would say - it's funny because it's true!
MMQB Review

A quick review of today's edition of Monday Morning Quarterback by Peter King. Here are the Five Things I Think I Think About Today's MMQB:

1. One of King's September surprises is "Donovan McNabb morphing into Joe Montana." Sorry Peter - Joe Cool was known for winning games in January not for winning games in September.

2. I know Atlanta is 3-0 and I know their defense has been great but King has them ranked as the 5th best team in the NFL. No way Jose. King obviously doesn't have Michael Vick on his fantasy football team (-2 points this week - thank you very little).

3. Reason 1,432,820 why Peter should stick to commenting on football:
"Certainly this is not the popular view in CBS-bashing America right now, but I applaud Dan Rather for standing up and saying something we in the media don't say nearly enough: I screwed up. Blame me. This is my show, and I put on a flawed story, and the buck stops with me."
Rather has done everything BUT take responsibility for airing bogus documents in a smear job on the President. Even now Rather still doesn't admit that they are forgeries. If the buck truly stopped with Rather - he would have resigned by now.

4. Umm...Peter....that was a man baby!
Coffeenerdness: I am not even remotely exaggerating this. Last Wednesday, in the city to tape the HBO show Inside the NFL, I saw a 6-foot-8 woman in a business suit at the Starbucks at 23rd and Park, near the HBO studios. In heels. I came up to her shoulders, barely. She was Cosmo Kramer-sized, except chunky.
I guess Peter never saw The World According to Garp.

5. This is the first Peter King MMQB that I can ever recall reading that had ZERO Mary Beth non-sequitors or sports updates. Oooh-rah! I hope it is a trend not an aberration.

PS - I don't know who Tory Ranalli is but I'm pulling for you too.

Jose Guillen Suspended

The Angels have suspended Jose Guillen for the remainder of the year - including playoffs (if the Angels make it).
"We had to do something with Jose," he [Scioscia] said. "This is about the organization, not one guy. Bill wanted to be loud and clear with the message. It was an issue getting in the way of winning."
Headcase, selfish and cancer along with talented are the best words to describe Guillen. The Angels won the World Series by being a team of selfless players who did the little things to insure victory. Guillen is the antithesis of that.

It must be said that maybe this action isn't so cut and dried if Guillen wasn't so bad in September (just a .606 OPS). Guillen was maybe the MVP of the team in the first half (.301 / 15 HR / 65 RBI) but at his current level of production - he was quite simply a pain in the ass. The Angels are just one game out of first place and right now they can't afford to either babysit a headcase or tolerate distractions from a non-producing egomaniac.

Guillen is owed $3 million for 2005. It will be interesting to see what happens next (my guess is that he's all done in Anaheim).
Red Sox / Yankees

Some miscellaneous thoughts now that the Red Sox / Yankees season series are done:

- Yankee fans probably hate seeing Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon or Jason Varitek come up to bat in key situations. For Red Sox fans - it is always Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter who seem to come up big.

- The Red Sox don't fear Mariona Rivera anymore. This takes away a key advantage for the Yankees.

- I really don't like (and I think most Sox fans would agree) either Kevin Brown or Kenny Lofton. Not sure if the Yankee fans have any Red Sox players they really don't like - maybe Pedro and Kevin Millar?

- With both teams making the playoffs - I'm not sure which is more important: the Yankees winning the AL East or the Red Sox winning the season series 11-8.

Clancy Brown - That Guy Hall of Famer

Bill Simmons (the artist previously known as the Boston Sportsguy) came up with the idea of "that guy" - you know the actor you would see on TV or in a movie and you would know some of his roles but not his name. Well Clancy Brown is a "That Guy" Hall of Famer.

Be honest - did you ever hear of Clancy Brown? Some of you may have said yes but I bet the vast majority said "Clancy who?" Take a look at some of his roles and I'd bet that even if you don't know his name (ergo the "that guy" appellation) you can picture him in your head.

- Viking Lofgren - Bad Boys
- The Kurgan - Highlander
- Captain Byron Hadley - The Shawshank Redemption
- the voice of Mr. Krab - SpongeBob SquarePants

Clancy's had many more roles but I think you can see my point. Clancy Brown - That Guy Hall of Famer.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Reinforcing my impression that nobody in the Kerry Campaign understands what a doofus he looks like.

On defense Kerry is ineffective

On offense - he drops the ball

On the economy - he wants to pass the bill to the working man

High Noon

Dan over at Dislogue wrote and essay on the parallels between the movie High Noon and what the US is doing today in Iraq.
I don't think I need to draw the parallels to our current situation too closely. I suggest you watch again, if you have seen it, with the current issues facing our country (and indeed the world) in mind. If you haven't seen it, you must.

Do we want to live in a "town" where decent women can't walk the streets in daylight, like in areas of France with high populations of Muslims, or in towns where it isn't safe to bring up kids, like in Beslan?

Watch it, then think about who would make the better Marshall, and who is playing the ambitious, but not dutiful, deputy.
Victor Davis Hanson also used the High Noon metaphor over a year ago. Hanson focused on the fact that the US may decide to walk away from the ingrates at some point. Why should the US turn again to the UN when like the townsfolk in the saloon they only mock us?

I agree with both essays but the main theme that makes the movie timeless is a theme of courage and being true to yourself. Supposedly the movie has been screened at the White House by various administrations more than any other movie. It is obvious that some Presidents understood the message of the movie more than others.

Just to highlight the timeliness of the movie - it was originally meant as a metaphor about those in Hollywood with the courage to stand up to HUAC and blacklisting. I guess it just goes to show that tyranny can come in many forms but courage always seems to take the same shape.

Just a Thought

CBS could quadruple their ratings if they dumped Dan Rather and replaced him with Strong Bad. Their credibility would surge as well.

The Presidential Election - the Lesser Candidates

It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that John Kerry will lose in his bid to become President (to quote the Kurgan - "there can be only one"). Kerry/Edwards may be the big loser in the election but there are also plenty of other lesser candidates who will also lose. Let's take a look at some of them.

Of course getting the most press is Ralph Nader who is running as the Reform Party Candidate with Ralph Camejo as his running mate.

Maybe even more famous than Ralph Nader is the VP candidate for the Personal Choice Party. Here's her biographical info:
Adult movie star Marilyn Chambers -- a former Ivory Soap model before she turned to porn in the mid-1970s -- is the Personal Choice candidate for Vice President. She made her name starring in such X-rated 1970s and 1980s classics as Behind the Green Door and Insatiable. In the late 1990s, Chambers made a successful return to porn, and she continues to appear in porn flicks today (making her one of the oldest stars to regularly appear these days in mainstream porn). During the period in which she left porn (before her return to the industry), Chambers owned and operated a gun shop. This 2004 VP run is Chambers' first foray into politics. Marilyn Chambers Taylor is her married name.
Guns and porn? And the Democrats are afraid of losing votes to Nader? Wait it gets better. The Presidential Candidate for the Personal Choice Party is Charles Jay of Indiana whose big qualification as President so far is the fact that he publishes Total Action a gambling website. Porn, guns and gambling? If word gets out then Bush and Cheney may be in trouble (seriously if the Personal Choice Party is on the Massachusetts ballot - I may take a while deciding my vote).

With porn, guns and gambling taken up by the Personal Choice Party that leaves little else for the Libertarians (just kidding - hell hath no fury as a Libertarian scorned). On the top of the ticket for the Libertarians is Michael Badnarik with Richard Campagna on the undercard.

Also sure to get some votes is the Green Party. On the top of the ticket for the Green Party is David Cobb. After seeing David Cobb's bio and picture something hit me. Cobb, Nader, Badnarik and Jay are all single. Could it be that these guys are running for President just to meet chicks?

What's kinda scary to me is the number of people running on the platform of Prohibition (yes - as in take away the booze!) You have Gene Amondson and Earl F. Dodge (the official candidate of the Prohibition Party). Yeah Prohibition worked so well the first time bringing it back is sure to be a good idea . [sarcasm off]

To be blunt - probably the ugliest pair running for President has to be Leonard Peltier and Janice Jordan of the Peace and Freedom Party. Peltier's chances of winning are slightly hindered by the fact that he's in jail for the murder of two FBI men. You can't make this stuff up.

There are also the usual Socialists and Communists in the pack-o-whacko's.

Stand-out write-in's include:

- Jack Grimes (or Grimey as he liked to be called) is the "Leader and Director of the United Fascist Union". Grimey wants to return us to the governmental style of Imperial Rome (bring back the vomitoriums!).

- Maudin (yup just one name). His campaign slogan is "One People, One Planet, One Awareness" (I guess "The Spice is the Life" was taken - sorry but with a name like Maudin you have to expect at least a token Dune reference).

- Ronald Gascon aka John Galt Jr. (yep he took his "new" name from Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged)

There are many other interesting "characters" running for President - here's hoping that all the single guy candidates get at least one date for their efforts.
Miscellaneous Thoughts

I’m surprised that nobody has come up with a cartoon character named Cock-eyed the Sailor Man. The name kinda reminds you of Popeye. The character could have been from Butte, Montana, only have one eye and been a pirate. Yep – Cock-eyed the Sailor a one-eyed Butte pirate.... I still say that Lew Ford is the AL ROY... Now they tell me!... Last year after 3 games - Curtis Martin only had 133 yards on 40 carries. This year Martin already has 315 yards on 61 carries... An oldie but a goodie... If you are a Dodgers fan - losing Brad Penny can't feel good. If healthy - Penny could have been the ace of that staff. If the Dodgers have a weakness it's the fact that they have no ace. They have a bunch of number 3 guys (Weaver, Perez, Ishii)... Who knew? In the AL the guy you want up at bat for your team with the bases loaded is Ross Gload who is hitting .727 this year (8 for 11) with the sacks full... In 1971 the Baltimore Orioles had four 20-game winners (Cueller, Dobson, Palmer and McNally). This year there may only be two or three teams with just one 20-game winner... Happy 45th birthday to two-time all-star and Worcester's own Rich Gedman (fellow SPM alum)...

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Elephant Man vs. the Donkey Man

John Merrick : People are frightened by what they don't understand

Theresa Kerry: You would have to be an idiot not to like this healthcare proposal.

John Merrick : There's something I've been meaning to ask you for some time now.
Dr. Frederick Treves : What's that?
John Merrick : Can you cure me?
Dr. Frederick Treves : No. We can care for you, but we can't cure you

John Kerry: There's something I've been meaning to ask you for some time now.
James Carville: What's that?
Kerry: Can you get me elected?
Carville: No. We can care for you, but we can't get you elected.

John Merrick : I am not an animal. I am a human being. I am a man.

John Kerry: I am a war criminal.
Grosse Point Blank

Recently I fired up the soundtrack to the movie Grosse Point Blank. It reminded me that after I saw this movie I immediately went out and bought the soundtrack and the VHS as soon as it was available because the movie was just that good.

The movie tells the story of Martin Blank who comes home in time for his 10th year high school reunion. Martin is tired of the rat race of his chosen profession and is looking for a fresh start. Oh yeah - Martin is a professional hitman.

The movie stars John Cusack and Minnie Driver with strong supporting performances by Joan Cusack, Dan Arkroyd and Mitch Ryan (General McAllister from Lethal Weapon). The real co-stars of the movie, however, are the soundtrack and the lively dialog. If you are an 80's music fan this movie gives you choice cuts from the Violent Femmes, the Clash, Faith No More and the English Beat among others.

If you like dark comedy, good scriptwriting and 80' music - this is a guaranteed hit for you. Add it to your Netflix list, rent it from Blockbuster or buy it from Amazon and you won't be disappointed.

Presidential Odds

Last Saturday the odds changed to -$225 on President Bush and +$175 on John Kerry. This means that you would have had to risk $225 to win $100 on Bush but just risk $100 to win $175 on Kerry.

I'm not sure when the line changed but the new odds are Bush -$250 and Kerry +$200. This means that you would have had to risk $250 to win $100 on Bush but just risk $100 to win $200 on Kerry.

I think that if the debates weren't coming up then the bookies would have taken this bet off the board (because it is turning into a sure thing - even at the long odds).
No Way To Run a Campaign - September Timeline - Update

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Sept. 23rd - The Kerry campaign calls Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi a liar and a puppet. People keep waiting for today's version of Joseph Welch to ask him, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Instead we get "Oh who cares!"

Sept. 24th - John Kerry praises the UN and criticizes the US and our allies. Foreign policy and building bridges was supposed to be a Kerry strength. I've been doing a daily timeline of the Kerry campaign and I'm having trouble deciding when it passed from a joke to a disgrace.

Lima Time!

Jose Lima (13-5 4.06) takes to the mounds today against the Giants and I thought it was about time I posted this picture again.

Miscellaneous Baseball Thoughts

First up my public whippin'. Yes Luggie I didn't think much of Jaret Wright and yes you correctly called for him to win 15 games this year (15-8 with a 3.33 ERA right now). Hidalgo vs. Sheffield? Completely wrong on that one too (almost as bad as me picking the Royals to win the AL Central). I will, however, also remind you of who was steadfast in his comments about the Braves this year. Preseason - not many people were picking them to win the East (but I did). Early in the season when they faltered and everyone was jumping off the bandwagon - I was still picking them to win the East (unlike some people - as Chris looks in Luggies direction)... Also in yesterday's comments - Glen mentioned that the Rangers turnaround was almost as impressive as the Padres. That's true but I think the success of Rangers has gotten more exposure than the success of the Padres. I kept thinking that the Rangers would fade but they keep hanging around (only 3 games back of the A's in the West - In my head I have Teddy KGB's voice saying, "Hangin' around, always hangin' around"). Now I'm starting to think that the Rangers may be able to win the West because there's no pressure but there is opportunity. The Rangers finish up with 5 games against Seattle and four against the Angels. Meanwhile the A's finish with five against the Angels and four against Seattle. It could happen.... Manny Ramirez's HR last night gives him 389 for his career which ties him with Johnny Bench. One more HR and Manny ties Craig Nettles for 43rd place all-time.... Barry Bonds needs 3 more RBI to pass Captain Carl Yastrzmeski and move into 11th place all-time... I would have to guess that Roberto Alomar is all done. He's hit just .180 for the White Sox since being traded by Arizona. I'm still on the fence about whether he's a Hall of Famer...

Friday, September 24, 2004

VDH Friday

Victor Davis Hanson looks at the fall of Rather. My favorite line, "No wonder CBS has gone from being controversial to annoying, and soon irrelevant — the ultimate sin given the corporate bottom line." Hanson takes on CBS, college professors and the UN before coming back to CBS with the observation, "In the meantime, as this unclean tale slowly reaches it end — and it will — CBS soon may have to decide between having Dan Rather and having an audience."

Miscellaneous Baseball Thoughts

As the baseball season winds down - people pay attention to the obvious playoff races like the NL West and the NL Wildcard but there are also less obvious things at stake like the race for last in the AL East. Before the season started Lou Pinella guaranteed that Tampa Bay would not finish last this year. Yet with only a handfull of games left they are only a 1/2 game up on Toronto (who equally would like to avoid finishing last).... With a record of 75-78 - Cleveland is battling to make it to .500 for the season... Manny Ramirez has an OBP of .399. That's good for 5th best in the AL this year but if Manny finishes with an OBP of less than .400 - that would snap a streak of five straight seasons over .400 OBP (2004 would make it six straight). Six straight seasons would be impressive but just for historical purposes consider that Ted Williams started off his career with 17-straight seasons of an OBP over .400 (and that was before they really even knew about OBP!)... I don't think San Diego will win the NL Wildcard (4.5 back of the Cubs right now) but their turn-around from their disastrous 2003 season has been one of the stories of the year and a story that has mainly been overlooked. Right now San Diego is 11 games over .500. In 2003 they finished 34 games under .500. The Padres are definitely the team to watch in 2005... In 1920 George Sisler had 257 hits to set the record that Ichiro is trying to break. However, Sisler also had 399 total bases (only 171 singles) and a batting average of .407 (his OPS+ for 1920 was 181). Ichiro is 10 hits shy of Sisler's record but he already has 211 singles and "only" 304 total bases. I'm not trying to take anything away from Ichiro because breaking the record is a great accomplishment. I just wanted to point out the totally different type ways the record was reached.... Happy 33rd birthday to Kevin Millar!
No Way To Run a Campaign - September Timeline - Update

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Sept. 18th - John Kerry thinks that President Bush is reaching into the Richard Nixon playbook of secret plans to end the war. This time Kerry alleges that Bush will call up even more National Guardsmen after the election. Meanwhile Kerry's sister chips in with her $.02 - telling Australians that siding with the US has only served to make them targets.

Sept. 19th - Football Fans for truth come out against Kerry. The 2004 campaign for President in a nutshell - Dick Cheney visits Green Bay and campaigns with Packer legend Bart Starr meanwhile Kerry campaigns in Green Bay and calls Lambeau Field "Lambert Field." The Kerry campaign drops the ball yet again.

Sept. 20th - Will future historians blame Dan Rather for killing the Kerry Campaign? Will future historians decide that the Kerry Campaign was an active participant in the fraud? Real reporters don't have the opportunity to ask Kerry about any connections because Kerry only does softball shows like The Daily Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Sept. 21st - It's gotten so bad that even Michael Moore is basically calling Kerry a loser.

Sept. 22nd - Kerry tries to pass off the idea that if Bush is re-elected then Bush will bring back the draft. Kerry also faces some reality and concedes Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana and the birthplace of Harry Truman - Missouri. The Kerry campaign concedes those states by pulling all their advertising. Wisconsin may be next on the list. Lambert Field indeed!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hey - Where did you go?

Sorry for no posts the last 36 hours or so. I went to New York City and was rather occupied. I'll be posting about that as well as posting an update on my No Way To Run a Campaign - September Timeline.

If I have time - I also have a ton of baseball stuff to get off my chest.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Response to Michael Moore's Open Letter

Yesterday Michael Moore posed an open letter on his website - today I'm posting a response to that letter on mine.

Dear Friends,
First off I'm not your friend, I'm not your pal, I'm not your bud. You are nothing but but a parasite to me. Bloated on the misfortunes of others - whether that be people losing their jobs at an auto plant, children being murdered at their school or 3,000 Americans dying on a single day.
Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies.

"Nervous ninnies"? "Come down there and personally calm you?" You mean enable a state of relaxed being? Maybe you can hold people's hands and think happy thoughts?
Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.
Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.
Unlike Mr. Moore who needs 12 hours of sleep per day because of his "metabolism".
They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up.
God - I admire you! What sort of name is Poon?
Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority?
Maybe because they have put actual electable candidates up for office and they have allowed the voters to choose?
It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.
The new Republican slogan "We eat shits like Michael Moore for Breakfast!" (Cue Happy Gilmore - "You eat shit for breakfast?")
Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming!
Here's the required not so veiled reference to Bush / Hitler. Personally I think the more apt Nazi metaphor to describe the Left of Michael Moore would have been Munich. "Peace in our time" sound familiar there Mr. Chamberlain - I mean Mr. Moore?
Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing.
I think where they actually caught Kerry was in Cambodia or more specifically not in Cambodia.
Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it.
The Republicans didn't find anything here. It was the fake memos that found their way to CBS and the DNC. Of course the DNC and CBS would have nothing to do with fraudulent memos so of course this story went nowhere. What? You're kidding! Boy they really are stupid aren't they!
Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"
At this point of composing the open letter - Mike Moore thought - "sky is falling = chicken little" - "chicken little = marshmallow peeps". Mr. Moore then interrupted his typing to get a dozen yellow peeps and a dozen pink peeps which were promptly washed down with a Diet Coke.
No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win...
John Kerry is a lousy candidate and he can't win!
Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake!
Democrats like Harry Truman weren't lousy candidates.
That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win!
Oh I get it - selected not elected - right? Yeesh.
What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.
Actually Bruce has been known to run and to lift weights. Kerry sometimes runs, sometimes skis and sometimes rides his bike. You however don't run and don't exercise. The least you could do is mix in a salad once and a while.
Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign.
At this point - I think this goes without saying. Seriously - Michael Jackson has better polling numbers.
Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down.
I would give every dollar I own to have to have you locked in a room with any random member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have.
What do you have? What does Kerry stand for? Seriously.
Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.
I can see him taking a swipe at Oprah because she successfully diets but why the swipe at Pontiac?
My friends, it is time for a reality check.
What would you know about reality?
1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.
First off "all over the map like diarrhea?" I don't even want to think about what caused him to think of that. Second Mike Moore must believe that you CAN fool some of the people ALL of the time.
2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.
The A-Team? I pity the fool!
3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).
First off Mike Moore doesn't note that the country he's been traveling around in is actually France and secondly - yeah be sure to get all your news from Jon Stewart. Oh - also be sure to call the person interviewing you for that job "Biach". They love it when you do that.
4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.
Yeah yeah - Quagmire. How about if we let the citizen soldiers who have served in Iraq decide the election? Would that be OK with you?
So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."
Mike that sick pain in your stomach is from those 12 tacos. Mix in a salad already!
Yes...Yes...Yesssss....He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...
Opps - there's that "metabolism" again.
WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?
Wait - didn't you just tell everyone not to believe in polls just a second ago? Because if we are going to believe in polls - I'd like to go back to that poll that has Bush up by 13 points.
Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?
Yeah - "Vote for the inner kid" - there's a winner of a slogan for you.

Michael Moore
Up yours Mike - Chris Lynch - A Large Regular
Outside the Lines - the Curse of Regis

Hello, I’m Bob Lee and welcome to Outside the Lines. Tonight we will investigate if there is any truth to the story that the failure of Notre Dame to win a National Championship in football since 1988 is due to Regis Philbin.

Joining us in studio tonight are Regis Philbin, Dan Shaughnessy who is the author of the book – The Curse of the Bambino and Satan.

First – Regis what do you say about the talk that the failure of Notre Dame to win a National Championship is somehow connected to you?

Regis: Hey Bob. Glad to be here but let’s get one thing straight - nobody loves Notre Dame more than me. Nobody. I think in this business people say things out of petty jealousy and this is just an example of that petty jealousy at work.

In studio we have an expert on curses, Dan Shaughnessy – who of course wrote the book – The Curse of the Bambino. Dan what do you think about this supposed curse?

Dan Shaughnessy: I don’t like it Bob. No I don’t like it one little bit. When I wrote The Curse of the Bambino I never expected that was all I would ever be known for. Whenever I’m introduced it’s always as the author of The Curse of the Bambino. I had planned to do a whole series of “Curse” books – kinda like those Chicken Soup books. Now people are stealing my shtick with the Curse of the Goat and now the Curse of Regis? No I don’t like it one little bit.

Well …….OK. One of our more frequent guests has been Satan. Curses would seem to be a subject you would be expert on. Satan – what do you think of the Curse of Regis?

Satan: Thanks for having me on again Bob – always a pleasure. I know for a fact that the Curse of Regis is real because I arranged it. The first thing you have to understand is that fame is a zero sum proposition. When somebody is up – somebody has to be down. Regis was a little down when Notre Dame last won the National Championship and it was eating at Démon d'énorme moi. He came to me and asked for this deal.

Regis: This is crazy talk.

I’m sorry Satan – please continue. What was the deal and why do you refer to Regis as Démon d'énorme moi? That almost sounds French.

Satan: That is French. The official language of Hell is French. Démon d'énorme moi is Regis’ name in hell – it means the Demon of Enormous Ego. He was a demon in hell long before he was an actor or celebrity – come to think of it – that’s true of most TV stars and celebrities. Well anyway – Regis came to me and said he wanted to be very famous but I told him the cost of his fame would be the success of Notre Dame’s football program. Remember it’s a zero sum – if Regis is up somebody had to be down and that somebody in this case was the Fighting Irish football. Regis agreed to the deal in seconds.

Well it does make sense in that 1988 was the last National Championship and in 1989 Regis got famous with his morning show with Kathy Lee.

Regis: Purely coincidence Bob. I love Notre Dame. Everyone knows I love Notre Dame.

Dan Shaughnessy: I’m an excellent driver.

Satan: Oh and I guess it’s just another coincidence that when you got ultra famous with Who Wants to Be a Millionare – your co-host Kathy Lee just faded off into the distance. Bob – remember what I said about zero sum? This time the little demon asked for more fame at the expense of Frank Gifford’s wife. I actually had no problem with that trade-off.

Regis: Just a coincidence. I love Kathy Lee.

Well I find that hard to believe. It’s common knowledge that you hate Kathy Lee.

Dan Shaughnessy: I hate the Red Sox.

Satan: Bob you should ask him about those promotional commercials that Regis did for Notre Dame. You know the ones that air during their televised football games? It’s all about Regis – not Notre Dame. Not a single shot of the campus or the football team – just Regis talking to a camera. You talk about your enormous ego – could anything be plainer? That’s his idea of a joke because he knows that he is responsible for them being down. The first step for Notre Dame making it back to the big time would be to get rid of those commercials.

Regis: Never! You will all wear my clothing fashions in hell. Holy Blood!

Dan Shaughnessy: Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Well I guess that clears this question up. Join us tomorrow night when Outside the Lines examines the question of whether throwing a hot dog down a hallway should be an Olympic event.

Hemingway's Top 5 Books

1. The Old Man and the Sea
2. A Moveable Feast
3. The Sun Also Rises
4. By Lines (Journalism for the Toronto Star)
5. To Have and Have Not

Monday, September 20, 2004

Andrew Sullivan

A while back I took Andrew Sullivan off my blogroll. I did it because I stopped reading him - he had become boring. A two trick pony.

The first meta-theme Sullivan carps on is all things that have to do with gay marriage. Now I have no problem with gay marriage. I think that two people willing to commit to each other for life is a great thing. Realistically I also know that the first thing gay marriage will lead to is gay divorce. Either way it doesn't effect my love for my wife or my marriage. Ke sera sera.

It's just that I don't go out of my way to read about gay marriage. So I stopped going out of my way to click on

The second meta-theme Sullivan has let creep into his writings is a "Bush is bad" (because he proposed a defense of marriage ammendment) and "Kerry is better than he looks" theme. Sullivan has in fact become the anti-Christopher Hitchens.

Hitchens saw the world on 9/12 with new eyes and came to believed that fighting terrorism was the A number 1 priority for Western Civilization. One of the first to welcome this change in attitude from Christopher Hitchens was Andrew Sullivan. Now that Sullivan has been blinded by the issue of gay marriage - he has closed his eyes to the threat of terrorism and has joined the chorus of "quagmire" in Iraq.

It's not just that Sullivan has become myopic as far as subject matter - it is also a case of him becoming more shrill and less objective. When Sullivan was supporting Bush - he didn't hesitate to point out areas where he differed with the President or areas where he thought the President was wrong in policy or deed. Now he may as well rename his blog "John Kerry - You Go Girl!" for all the cheerleading he does. Take today for example:
Here's John Kerry's newest attempt to get a handle on the Iraq debate. It's a big improvement. Money quote:

The administration told us we'd be greeted as liberators. They were wrong. They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq's Infrastructure. They were wrong. They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong. They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong. They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong. In Iraq, this administration has consistently over-promised and under-performed. This policy has been plagued by a lack of planning, an absence of candor, arrogance and outright incompetence. And the President has held no one accountable, including himself. In fact, the only officials who lost their jobs over Iraq were the ones who told the truth.

Ouch. I agree with everything but the first statement. We were greeted as liberators. Then we blew it.
First off - who is this "they"? Because those quotes certainly did not come from the President. Sullivan allows himself to be taken in with ad hominem attacks like this because he wants to believe. The President has always said that we have a hard row to hoe in bringing Democracy to Iraq. Show me quotes that prove otherwise.

I also had a problem with his "then we blew it." It's not just that Sullivan should avoid talking about blowing anything that bothers me. It's the royal "we". Every guy I know that has come back from Iraq or Afghanistan all say that we are doing a good job and that we should stay the course - meanwhile Andrew "Summers Off" Sullivan tells us that we are blowing it?

It is as if Sullivan needs Iraq to be a quagmire to pay Bush back for the defense of marriage act. That's sick thinking and people who think that way don't stay on my blogroll.

Leno to Attack Kerry?

Jay Leno is a pretty staunch Democrat but this is business. This is personal.

So far Leno has been pretty hands-off on John Kerry even though the Kerry campaign provides joke fodder every day of the week. Tonight John Kerry will appear on David Letterman's show and that appearance shoud kill Leno's ratings for the night. I think Leno takes off the gloves on Kerry to retaliate.

Maybe not tonight (why remind people that Kerry is on the other station) but soon and for keeps.

I think the new slogan for the Democratic party should be "What Would Harry Truman Do?" The party is supposed to be the party of the working family but it has let itself be taken over by narrow minded special interest groups. Asking "WWHTD?" on all issues would help bring the party back to it's moral center.

For example look at this from Sunday's New York Times (via Just One Minute):
For Many in Missouri, Picking a President Is More a Matter of Values Than Policy

ST. CHARLES, Mo. - Tom Ampleman, a blue-collar union member who lives near this suburb just outside St. Louis, says he voted for Bill Clinton twice and then Al Gore, but he is now grappling with deep religious misgivings about the Democratic Party.

"I haven't declared myself a Republican, but if I had to go in there and vote right now I probably would vote for the Republicans," Mr. Ampleman said recently, sitting in his pickup truck at a public park here.

"I'm not happy with the moral issues at all with the Democrats," continued Mr. Ampleman, who works as a welder at an aerospace company. "The Republicans will hurt me in the long run in providing for my family, but it's probably more important to watch out for the unborn and that kind of stuff."
The Democratic party has made abortion their litmus test and that is just crazy. You cannot be a major player in the party if you are not pro-choice. In effect the Democrats have said to Catholics - "you can be a good Catholic or a good Democrat but you can't be both." That's crazy.

The Republicans don't require a lock-step position on abortion - just look at Arnold and Rudy. They treat the issue as a matter of personal conscience not a matter of party platform and that is the exact same way the Democrats should treat it. If they don't they will just succeed in driving away more people like Mr. Ampleman. How many blue-collar union guys can the party afford to drive away before the Democrats go the way of the Whigs?

You're Tired!

New Ads

You may have noticed that I have some new ads at the top of my blog. I have added ads from Google's Adsense and also some individual item ads from

The revenue (if you want to call it that) from these ads is miniscule but it's better than the nothing I was getting before. So far I've made about $2 from the ads. My goal is just to make enough to help agument my Christmas shopping budget (I've got 4 kids)

I get paid if you just click the Google ads but you do have to buy something from Amazon for me to get paid. So if you like this site and you want to help me out - click an ad or buy a book.

As Frank Bartles would say, "And I thank you for your support."
Miscellaneous Thoughts

If they made a movie about the Kerry Campaign - I think Andy Dick should be chosen to play Kerry... You know the Yankees really could have used John Burkett this year... I'm stealing these two slogans because they are so good and I can't identify who first came up with them - Kerry slogan 1: I have just three words for George Bush - Bring it on! Kerry slogan 2: I have just five words for George Bush - Call off your on-bringers!... Curtis Martin is the #1 rated fantasy football player. What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time people were asking if he was all-washed up as a player... Heh heh - read the comments...
The Ryan Fitzpatrick Heisman Watch

This year there are no clear favorites for the Heisman Trophy. That means that we could have a Gordie Lockbaum / Joe Dudek type push for a non-1A player with a good story. I'm putting forth QB Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard as this darkhorse candidate.

Fitzpatrick started off the year with a pedestrian 7-15 performance for 79 yards against Holy Cross but his numbers are mitigated by the fact that Harvard won the game 35-0.

Fitzpatrick is the real deal. He's got an NFL arm, NFL size, he can run and he's smart (duh - he goes to Harvard). I would look for Harvard to go undefeated this year and that means some exposure for Fitzpatrick.

Now I'm not saying that he'll win the Heisman but I do want him to get some votes. I also want you to remember where you first heard of Ryan Fitzpatrick years from now when he's playing on Sunday.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


OK - so I do some blogger roulette and I wind up at a site written in Portuguese that apparently has some very positive things to say about Marilyn Manson. I am struck by the title of one post called "Fragmentos".

If you translate the post - it almost seems to be something a stalker would write. I half expected to see final lines of "Se eu não puder o ter então ninguém pode tê-lo. Eu serei com você sempre no afterlife." My mind is also churning based on the title of "Fragmentos".

Now there are no commercials I hate more than the Mentos commercials (those DiTech commercials come close). I also hate the fact that when I hear or read the word Mentos I now immediately think "The fresh maker". (As an aside "the fresh maker" sounds like something out of Dune - "Paul Maudib we need more water of life - shall I bring you a fresh maker?") Anyway - when I see the work "frag" I immediately think of a fragmentation grenade and combining the word "frag" with "mentos" makes me think of exploding mints.

So now I'm picturing a Kevin Spacey-like character filling the centers of Mentos with nitro and causing explosions in the mouths of young Swedish-looking punks. Explosions that blow off their lower jaws and leave them horribly disfigured for life. Actually Hollywood might buy something like that.

Screw Flanders!
Hooching with Hemingway

I'm a big Hemingway aficionado and I too have nothing against a stiff drink now and again. So I was pleased to find this article (actually Part 1) by Frank Rich (not that Frank Rich) on the pages of Modern Drunkard Magazine.

Pat Tillman

Here are some thoughts I posted recently on Pat Tillman, 9/11 and Band of Brothers. With Pat being honored prior to today's Patriots / Cardinals game - I thought I would post it again.

EDIT: here is a link to a discussion that was held on the day it was announced that Pat Tillman died in action. I thought it fitting to recall the emotions we had on the day we first heard the news.

Below is the only biography I've come across on Pat Tillman (please note that I haven't read it yet).

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Today is the official Talk Like A Pirate Day. So in honor of TLAPD - take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the points.

John Kerry and Sports

John Kerry should just stay away from sports... he should stay away from football... he should stay away from soccer... he should stay away from baseball... did I mention he should stay away from football?... Oh and if he's going to let things like "Lambert Field" and "Manny Ortiz" slip from his mouth - then he shouldn't talk about sports either...

Here's the update for the AL MVP race.

1. Manny Ramirez
2. Gary Sheffield
3. Vlade Guererro
4. Johan Santana
5. Ichiro Suzuki


I thought it was time to update where I see the NL MVP race.

1. Barry Bonds
2. Scott Rolen
3. Jim Edmonds
4. Adrian Beltre
5. Albert Pujols

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Blogger Roulette

Admit it. If you have been to a Blogger site then you have played Blogger roulette.

You have seen that new enticing toolbar at the top where on the very right hand side it asks you about checking the "next blog". Admit it. You have clicked on that "next blog".

Sometimes it is interesting. Like entering a foreign land (sometimes literally). Sometimes it is so pedantic (Oh I'm making a blog because I'm so bored with 7th grade). Sometimes it just pisses you off (why do people think that they need theme music to go along with their blogs? And what the fuck makes them think you will want to download special software just to listen to it?).

I don't mind playing Blogger Roulette every once and a while but I do think that Blogger would be much better served if it only linked "safe" sites that weren't asking you to download any software.
P.J. O'Rourke

PJ O'Rourke is always worth reading. This essay speaks of the US foreign policy. I loved the following passage:
Massachusetts's thinner, more sober senator, John Kerry, said that he voted for threatening to use force on Saddam Hussein, but that actually using force was wrong. This is what's known, in the language of diplomacy, as bullshit.
The essay can be distilled to the idea which any US kid can relate, "Oh yeah - you and what army?"

The US is a force for good. What we determine to do - we do. The question becomes - what is our resolve? If we weaken our resolve (hello and John "phoniest thing" Kerry) then we weaken our chance of success. If we strengthen our resolve - then nothing on Earth can stop us (and I do mean that literally).

To be fair - I also think that O'Rourke was unduly harsh on Lieberman and Gephardt. It would be difficult to find major disagreements between what their ideas are on the war on terror and what President Bush represents.
Presidential Odds

The bookmakers continue to increase the odds against a Kerry victory in November. Today the odds moved to -$225 for Bush and +$175 for Kerry. This means that you would have to have to bet $225 to win $100 on Bush and just $100 to win $155 on Kerry.

Kerry is toast.

Good God - this is a scary looking picture.

How long before he starts doing Celebrity Boxing?

Player Comparison

During the off-season the Yankees traded Jeff Weaver for Kevin Brown. Let's see how that's working out.

Brown - 10-4 / 20 starts / 126.1 IP
Weaver - 12-11 / 31 starts / 202.2 IP

Brown: 14 HR / 3.99 ERA / 1.25 WHIP
Weaver: 16 HR / 3.77 ERA / 1.25 WHIP

Brown: 39 years old - paid $15 million this year and $15 million in 2005
Weaver: 28 years old - paid $6.25 million this year and $9.25 in 2005

Jeff Weaver has given the Dodgers 200+ innings and may just be their Game One starter for the playoffs. Kevin Brown is out because he broke his hand acting like a spoiled jackass. I know that Weaver supposedly had a problem with the pressure of Yankee Stadium but consider this - if you backed out Brown's 4 starts against early season punching bag Tampa Bay - then his ERA is 4.61 with the Yankees.


Call me a cynic but do you think that at this point CBS is holding off on Dan Rather's apology and admission of guilt until a ratings sweeps week? I can think of no other reason that makes any sense.
No Way To Run a Campaign - September Timeline - Update

Full September Timeline

Full August Timeline

Sept. 16th - Possibly the low point for the Kerry campaign. I must say that the tenor of the campaign is set at the top and with Kerry on the attack, attack, attack with no substance - this particular attack may come to symolize the campaign without dignity. I'm just glad that the Union leadership acted in an adult fashion. The Kerry Campaign suffers collateral damage as comes out with an ad showing a defeated American soldier in Iraq. The ad is immediately attacked by people like Bob Dole who calls for John Kerry to condemn the ad. Does really think they are aiding John Kerry's chances with ads like this?

Sept. 17th - CBS's new poll shows Bush ahead by 9 points - but people are now taking anything from CBS with a grain of salt.

Red Sox vs. Yankees

When the Red Sox came back to score two runs off Mariano Rivera last night I was already asleep but I would agree with the statement that the "better team" won. Just for fun - let's compare these two teams position by position:

1st - the edge has to go to Boston's trio of Mientkiewicz, Millar and Ortiz over Tony Clark and John Olerud (with the potentially disruptive return of Jason Giambi thrown in for good measure)

2nd - again the edge has to go to Boston with Mark Bellhorn and Pokey Reese over Miguel Cairo and Enrique Wilson

SS - I'll be generous and call this a draw even though Jeter has a slight offensive edge over Orlando Cabrera and Cabrera has a huge defensive advantage over Jeter.

3rd - A-Rod

Catcher - this is a draw.

Left field - Manny Ramirez has an edge. Manny may be the league MVP but I think that Matsui is the Yankee's team MVP.

Center - Johnny Damon gives the Red Sox the edge over an aging Bernie Williams.

Right - If the MVP doesn't go to Manny - then it probably will go to Gary Sheffield. Advantage Yankees

Starting Pitching - big edge to the Red Sox who have two guys in the hunt for the Cy Young award while the Yankees have a bunch of guys who hope that their season ERA's remain under 5.00.

Bullpen - on paper the edge goes to the Yankees but in reality I think the Yankee bullpen has been so overused that fatigue and wear and tear negates any edge. Push.

Closer - People can't romanticize what Mariano Rivera was. They have to understand what he is today. In the past he was the best closer in history. Today he does not give the Yankees and edge over Keith Foulke.

Mean Girls

I took my girls to see Mean Girls last night and I was surprised by how much I liked the movie.

First off we saw the movie over at Holy Cross - which means a college crowd. Secondly, for this movie the audience was 90% female. I'm still trying to figure out if this factored into my favorable rating for this movie.

The movie seemed to be an offshoot of Saturday Night Live. It had 4 former or current cast members (Tim Meadows, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Ana Gasteyer) and was produced by Lorne Michaels.

It was a very funny movie and credit for that has to go to Tina Fey who wrote the screenplay. After seeing this movie - I'd be hard pressed to name a more talented woman in showbusiness than Tina Fey.

I liked the movie so much I am thinking about picking up the book by Rosalind Wiseman.

Friday, September 17, 2004


If you are new to reading this blog - you may think I am some kind of firebrand Republican. The fact is - I'm a reluctant Independent. Will I be voting for President Bush? Absolutely.

Please understand - I am a first generation Irish Catholic from Massachusetts. My parents both had union jobs and I grew up with pictures of JFK and the Pope in our living room. By all rights I should be a Democrat. I can't bring myself to vote Democrat for the big offices because the Democratic Party just doesn't get "it".

The prime example is John Kerry. Take this small bit from a speech he gave today in New Mexico:
"With all due respect to the president, has he turned on the evening news lately? Does he read the newspapers?" Kerry said. "Does he really know what's happening? Is he talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?"
With all due respect? The only thing John Kerry respects is his wife's bank account. Did he respect the medals he won in Vietnam? Did he respect the sacrifice nations like England, Australia, Italy and Japan have made in joining us in Iraq? He called the coalition there "the phoniest thing". At last count - 131 non-US soldiers from the coalition have died in Iraq.

Kerry asks if Bush has "turned on the evening news lately". For what? To see Dan Rather carping about phony documents?

Kerry asks if Bush reads the newspapers? For what? Articles like this from the AP? Please notice that the article has allegations from Terry McAuliffe and discredited Kitty Kelly rumors about cocaine use but there is no mention of the fact that John Kerry hasn't released his military records - AND KERRY'S THE GUY RUNNING ON HIS MILITARY RECORD!

The quote ends with Kerry asking if Bush is "talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?" No Bush is talking about the War on Terror. Kerry and the DNC are talking about (and spending advertising money on) the Vietnam War.

They just don't get it.

I know many other people who are in my shoes and are upset that the Democratic Party has become the home of the loony left. I think the Party needs to get back to basics and I have just the slogan to help them do it.

"What would Harry Truman do?"

The Democrats should ask that question on every issue and they would put themselves right back where they need to be. This is a theme I'll be coming back to on a regular basis.
Return of the Diddler!

It's official - nobody is running this campaign and nobody is keeping Kerry from making an ass of himself - the Diddler indeed!
Though Kerry scored three goals to help Yale University's soccer team defeat Harvard in 1966, his Scottish soccer coach once told him not to "diddle with the ball," a scolding that led to the nickname "the Diddler."

The Tell-Tale Memos

TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old network and had no grievance with the son. They had never wronged me. They had never given me insult. For their gold I had no desire. I think it was the eye! Yes, it was this! The One Eye of CBS resembled that of a vulture -- a black and grey eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to be myself a vulture and take the life of the network or the reputation of the President and thus rid myself of the eye for ever by securing my history or retirement.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! I was never kinder to the network than during the whole week before I killed it. And every night about 6:30 I turned on the charm. The serious news anchor was I. Not a smile or a grin escaped my chiseled countenance even when I slipped in a bit of bias. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this?

Upon the eighth night of September I was more than usually cautious in opening the show. A stop watch's minute hand was my metronome. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was about to bring down either a President or a network, and neither George nor Sumner even dreamt of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, was that caught on camera? I was disappointed that some of my experts didn't buy into my plan and they raised concerns. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. I had my documents and my story, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my story in, and was about to open a beer, when I was alerted to people in their pajamas crying out, "Is that Word?"

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime ones and zeros sped through the either without sound. The pajamamen were still sitting at their computers, investigating; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal error. It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well for it came from me. It welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the errors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew that in my hubris I had made errors and my errors were being laid bare. I had been trying to fancy my fears causeless, but could not. I had been saying to myself, "These bloggers are like the wind in the chimney, they are like mice crossing the floor," or, "Buckhead is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes I has been trying to comfort myself with these suppositions; but I had found all in vain. ALL IN VAIN, because Truth in approaching me had stalked with his black shadow before me and enveloped my story.

When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing the mainstream media question, I resolved to open a little -- a very, very little crevice in the story. So I used words like "possibly" and spoke of "as far as we know" -- you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily I wiggled -- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice I had opened and fell upon the vulture eye. The single dim moonbeam of "higher truth." The memos were fake but accurate. My story was flammable but edible.

The truth was open, wide, wide open, and I grew amazed as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else but my own hubris, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot.

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the tick, tick, ticking of a stop watch. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held to my memos motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the story upon the higher truth. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the tick, tick, ticking increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. Not even the gales of hurricanes could silence it! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! -- do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of this old network, so strange and yet familiar a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the ticking grew louder, louder! I thought the story cycle must pass. And now a new anxiety seized me -- footballs, green in color and smallish in size! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the microphone and shrieked once -- once only. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of my biased madness. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.

I found an 86-year old woman and I then replaced the story line so cleverly so cunningly, that no mainstream media eye -- not even Bill O'Reilly -- could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blue-dress whatever. I had been too wary for that. The memos were fake but accurate. The 86-year old woman confirmed that.

When I had made an end of these labours, it wasn't till after having to do a second memos show. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the studio door. I went down to open it with a light heart, -- for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as representatives of the Post, the Times and of ABC. The shrieks of the pajamamen had been heard by the main stream media; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged all over the Internet, and they (the main stream media representatives) had been deputed to investigate the story.

I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shrieks of the pajamamen, I said, were nothing compared to my own careful vetting of the story. The memos, I mentioned, were from a source and sources must be protected. I took my visitors though the story and highlighted the higher truth. No friends of Bush were they so I bade them search -- search well. I led them, at length, to the memos. I explained about the 86-year old woman. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the studio, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat behind the very anchor desk from which I launched this calamity.

The representatives were satisfied. My MANNER had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I gasped for breath, and yet the representatives heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why WOULD they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what COULD I do? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the studio floor, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my errors! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- the memos are a fraud! -- here, here! -- it is the end of open bias of the media!"