LT Saves The Weekend

Fresno State lays a big turd and loses to Nevada moments after I publicly praise them, then the Chargers look like hell playing the Redskins. But wait. For once, instead of collapsing in the fourth quarter, the Chargers come back to force overtime. In overtime, LaDanian Tomlinson rips of a huge run to win the game and slavages what could have been a really shitty football weekend. Hail LT!


Um, We Went To War Why, Again?

Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Ties To Al-Queda.

Saddam abuses his own people.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Nevermind that deep down, most Americans who cite this reason could give a rat's ass about those "camel jockeys" and "towel heads".

Oh, shit.

Saddam abuses his own people.
LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Abuse of human rights in Iraq is as bad now as it was under Saddam Hussein, if not worse, former prime minister Iyad Allawi said in an interview published on Sunday.

"People are doing the same as (in) Saddam Hussein's time and worse. It is an appropriate comparison," Allawi told British newspaper The Observer.

"People are remembering the days of Saddam," said Allawi, a secular Shi'ite and former Baathist who is standing in elections scheduled for Dec. 15. "These are the precise reasons why we fought Saddam Hussein and now we are seeing the same things.

"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated," said Allawi in an apparent reference to the discovery of a bunker at the Shi'ite-run Interior Ministry where 170 men were held prisoner, beaten, half-starved and in some cases tortured.

"A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations."

College Football Rant

Okay, so last week, I spent the little money I have on a ticket to see my beloved Bulldogs of Fresno State take on the big, bad, USC Trojans, the #1 team in the nation, a team which hasn't lost a game in nearly three years. Ticket cost me $100, but it was well worth it, as my underdog Bulldogs gave USC all they could handle, almost winning the game before succombing in a 50-42 loss that no one who watched will soon forget.

While not quite on this level, the Bulldogs do this sort of thing every year. In the past five years we've beat the Big Boys: Georgia Tech, UCLA, Virgina, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Washington, Oregon State, and almost beating Oregon twice. We can hang. We are one of the big boys.


we are not in a BCS conference, so we are a perennial outsider, locked out of the big bowls and the big exposure and big payouts that come with it. I was always a little ticked about it. Now, I'm just pissed. Turns out that if South Florida or Connecticut turned out to win the Big East, they would get into a BCS bowl.

Connecticut has been playing Division I football since 2000.

South Florida has been playing football PERIOD since 1997.

Fresno State has an excellent tradition of football going back decades, with tons of players in the NFL.

It's an insult that we have no chance of a BCS bowl, yet every single year Connecticut and South Florida can harbor BCS dreams.

UPDATE: After I posted this Fresno State went on to fucking lose to Nevada. Me and my big mouth.

You Serve America, Not Republicanica

In the latest issue of The Atlantic, Paul Starobin writes about the political system in Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan, they basically have a benign dictator (officially he is "president", but the elections are a sham) who espouses a free market economic philosophy. He is a dictator, and there is a pro-democracy opposition, but the opposition isn't a popular uprising. In fact, many ordinary people support their dictator. The West supports him, too.

The dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev made a statement which made me think about our present government. About his opposition, he says, "Just get them a tasty pie and a good position, like the mayor of a city, and they will forget all about their opposition views."

They way government is currently being run is similar. The only difference is that it's not the opposition being given comfy positions, it's cronies and financial political supporters. But why? You're the president, why are you still kissing ass? When you give positions to friends with no experience in that field, are you really trying to make your nation better? The urge to entrench your political party in power for the next 50 years is an entirely autocratic and anti-democratic urge. You would think that when you get to the most powerful position in the world, increasing your wealth and your grip on power would be irrelevant. You would think that, while adherance to the party line may have gotten you to where you are, you are now responsible for a nation, a nation of Democrats, Republicans, apathetic, rich, poor, healthy, sick, smart, stupid, sane, insane, black, white, and every color in between, so you may want to honestly work for ALL of them. You are above party labels now. You have four to eight years to make your mark on history.

Presidents are just people, and most people have huge egos. You would think the the biggest ego stroke in the world would be to be remembered as someone great, who made tough choices in the face of adversity, who spoke to all Americans, who didn't get drunk on power and turn your back on American ideals, and whose main priority was to help people, not parties. When in comes to our current president and his gang of inept cronies, you would be wrong.


Link Wray, RIP

If you love rock’n’roll, punk, heavy metal, or anything with an aggressive guitar sound, then you should be saddened to learn that Link Wray has passed away. Who is Link Wray? Well, in a nutshell, he is generally considered to be the inventor of the power chord and just all around bad ass. The 60’s image of the rock 'n' roll rebel, decked in a leather jacket and smoking cigarettes? Link Wray. “Rumble” is his signature tune, but the vast majority of his stuff is excellent. My personal favorite is the goofy, up-tempo “Run Chicken Run” and “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby”, which shows of his raspy voice. He was 76, and still playing until earlier this year.

This isn’t a post to make you feel bad about not knowing about this guy and look how cool I am because I do. I didn’t even discover him until about ten years ago. That’s the beauty of music, it’s never too late to appreciate something. It lives on after its creators die. So if you’re not familiar with Link Wray but are interested in the history of rock’n’roll, here is where to start learning about Mr. Wray.

Big Oil Lies To Congress. Yawn

I told you. Oil industry executives were called before Congress. They were not required to take an oath before testifying. They were asked if they had taken part in the Vice President’s Energy Task Force. It’s always been suspected, but the identities of those participating have been kept secret. What is known is that there were no consumer or environmental advocates present.
The chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate “to my knowledge,” and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.
Uh-oh. It turns out that Secret Service documents this kind of thing.
The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.
So, no big surprise, they lied. It’s no wonder Republicans didn’t want them to testify under oath. I believe it’s a crime to lie to Congress whether you took an oath or not. Hopefully, there will be charges against these sleazeballs. I’m not holding my breath.

Oh, and keep in mind what has happened since this meeting between oil executives and the Vice President’s Office. Oil prices have doubled since then, and oil company profits have reached levels not seen in any industry in the history of mankind.

I’m sure it’s all coincidence.

Who Said It?

This quote is from 1993, in response to criticism for GW Bush not taking Saddam out in the first Gulf War:
“If we’d gone to Baghdad and got rid of Saddam Hussein — assuming we could have found him — we’d have had to put a lot of forces in and run him to ground someplace…Then you’ve got to put a new government in his place, and then you’re faced with the question of what kind of government are you going to establish in Iraq? Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shia government or a Sunni government?” [he] continued. “How many forces are you going to have to leave there to keep it propped up, how many casualties are you going to take through the course of this operation?”
Answer: Dick Cheney.


CSPAN: Must See TV

Shit is going OFF tonight.

Man, I don't watch C-SPAN on a regular basis, but I saw just saw the most disgusting debate I've ever seen. Here are the Republican arguments:

1. The Iraqi War is just like World War II.
2. ANY mention of withdrawing troops "emboldens the enemy".
3. Al-Jazeera is Al-Queda.
4. If you repeat "cut and run" enough times, the opposition will shut up.
5. It's "debatable" which resolution is on the floor.
6. Not having a strategy is better than having a strategy.
7. Staffers can write e-mails pretending to be a soldier.
8. Soldiers want to keep fighting in Iraq for as long as possible.

Fucking idiotic. I thought Murtha made a lot of sense, but in all honesty, I wish some time would have beed ceded to a Democratic firebrand.


Because HMO's RULE!!!

Some times the simplest concepts get lost in argument and everyone misses a major point.

Take universal health care.

If the government provides health coverage, businesses no longer have to. When you buy a GM car, $1500 goes to paying for health care of GM workers. Businesses are bogged down by these costs. God knows how the economy would take off if you took this burden off of U.S. businesses.

GM is in the car business, not the healthcare business. We should support universal health care and join the rest of the world, who pay less, and are more satisfied. Yeah, there will need to be tweaking for efficiency, but we’re Americans, we can solve those problems.

But apparantly I'm a Socialist or Communist for supporting such a wacky idea.

Women: The Government Hates You

Plan B, the “morning after pill”, is available by prescription (at least if your pharmacist decides he’ll let you have it) but was headed for approval for over-the-counter. But before that kind of approval is given, the FDA has to do a study. Well, even though the scientists who conducted the study deemed Plan B safe for over-the- counter use, the application for approval was denied. Hmmm. That’s kind of suspicious, don’t you think?

Well guess what? The decision to deny it was made before the study was even completed.
FDA officials…told us that they were told by high-level management that the Plan B OTC switch application would be denied months before staff had completed their reviews of the application. The Director and Deputy Director of the Office of New Drugs told us that they were told by the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Operations43 and the Acting Director of CDER, after the Plan B public meeting in December 2003, that the decision on the Plan B application would be not-approvable. They informed us that they were also told that the direction for this decision came from the Office of the Commissioner. … Both office reviews were not completed until April 2004.

Just The Facts

Nice little pissing match we got going on.

Democrats complain the Administration led us into a war based on half-truths, cherry picked information, and outright lies. The evidence clearly leans this way.

But now the Administration is saying Democrats are twisting the facts of how the war began. They’re claiming everyone had the same information. Other countries felt the same way, blah, blah, blah (This argument gets demolished here.)

But it got me thinking. Let’s settle this. How about instead of citing vague “intelligence reports” and third hand assessements of the original “intelligence”, we take a look at the actual intelligence? Names. Places. When aerial photographs were taken of “chemical weapon labs”, what was that based on? Who made the assessment? Did we have spies or moles on the ground? Were we just guessing? At the U.N., Colin Powell was pretty goddamn confident. Let’s see the ACTUAL intelligence that made him feel that confident. We already went to war and scoured the country, so I fail to see how releasing this detail, first hand, intelligence could be harmful now.

Let’s put all the cards on the table and see whose fault this is and make sure it never happens again.


Did Osama Win?

Republicans hate Democrats. Democrats hate Republicans. Red States hate Blue States and Blue States hate Red States. The U.S. hates everybody. Everybody hates the U.S. We invade a country and make more people hate us. We torture people and even more people hate us. You’re either with us or you’re against us.

Think about it for a second. Did Osama win? Isn’t this exactly how he would want it?

Domestically, there’s nothing that can be done. I will never agree with a religious fundamentalist and they will never agree with me. Someone who is adamantly against universal health care and me will never see eye to eye. It’s always been that way. But something’s changed. Disagreements are vicious in their intensity now. It reminds me of Needful Things.

I can’t help but think Osama may be our Leland Gaunt.

Asshola-palooza: Bill O’Reilly and Pat Robertson

I report, you decide: Who’s the bigger asshole?

In this corner, Bill “The Patri-idiot” O’Reilly (responding to the voters of San Francisco approving a measure restricting military recruitment in public schools):
If you want to ban military recruiting [in public schools], fine. But I’m not going to give you another nickel of federal money. If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.
Reread that last sentence.
You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.
Wow. Guess Bill forgot that Coit Tower is a tribute to the firefighters who fought the fires which followed the 1906 earthquake.

Okay, our other contestant is none other that Pat “I’m Not Insane, I Swear” Robertson (speaking to responding to Dover, Pennsylvania, a town which voted out all members of the school board who wanted to include “intelligent design” in the curriculum):
I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city….And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there.
My vote is for O’Reilly. Robertson is pretty much a joke. I mean, who takes him seriously? O’Reilly should be a joke, but unfortunately, many take the idiot seriously.


All You Need To Know About Republicans And Gas Prices

Okay, so oil executives were called before Congress to testify about recording record profits while gas prices went through the roof. But check this little nugget out:
The hearing opened with Republicans refusing a request by Democrats that the five executives take an oath before testifying.
The Republicans refused to make them tell the truth? WHAT THE FUCK? If they’re allowed, hell practically encouraged to lie, what’s the point of the hearings anyways?

And am I the only one who assumed that anyone testifying before Congress HAD to take an oath?

Proving Bush Lies = Shooting Fish In A Barrel

President Bush on Monday defended U.S. interrogation practices and called the treatment of terrorism suspects lawful. “We do not torture,” Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.
I only need one example to prove that Bush is a liar, but if you’re not satisfied, I can produce many, many more.

Dilawar arrived as a prisoner at the Bagram prison in Afghanistan on December 5, 2002, and was declared dead on December 10, 2002. He was a 22-year-old Afghan taxi driver and farmer who weighed 122 pounds and was 5’9”. He left behind a 3 year old daughter, Bibi Rashida. Leaked internal US Army documentation has ruled that his death is due to a direct result of assaults and attacks sustained by interrogators of the 519th Battalion of the US Army during his stay at Bagram.

The various accounts of abuse have been detailed as follows:

-A black hood pulled over his head limiting his ability to breathe
-Knee strikes to the abdomen
-Over 100 peroneal strikes
-Shoved against a wall
-Pulled by his beard
-His bare feet stepped on
-Kicks to the groin
-Chained to the ceiling for extended hours depriving him of sleep
- Slammed his chest into a table front

The findings of Mr. Dilawar’s autopsy were succinct. A death certificate for Dilawar, aged 22, from Yakubi in eastern Afghanistan, and signed by Major Elizabeth Rouse, pathologist with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, states that the cause of death was “blunt-force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease”.[2]

The military had publicly claimed that Dilawar had died from natural causes.
If you want to call me soft for giving a fuck, well, then fuck you. This guy (read the article) was completely innocent. If that doesn’t matter to you, you’re simply a racist dick. And even if he wasn’t, the bottom line is that this is not about them, it’s about us and what we stand for. But if the point is not getting across, just pretend that Diliwar is your father, and was an innocent killed by a foreign army. You would be pissed, and rightly so. But when they say, “but you do this, too”, what’s your simplistic, "patriotic", macho answer then, tough guy?

T.O. Gets A Time Out

T.O. Gets A Time Out

This is old news by now, but I only blog once in a while, so deal with it.

If you follow sports you know all about Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Terrell Owens. He is immensely talented on the field, a crybaby and egomaniacal jerk off the field. Well, after Owens’s recent run of childish behavior, criticizing players, owners, and fighting with a revered former Eagle, the Eagles decided they had enough and suspended him for the year. Since they are going to trade or release him, he’s basically fired. Good for them.

Most people seem to agree with the decision. But there are still those who put winning above anything and everything. If you’re good, goes the reasoning, anything short of criminal behavior can be overlooked. I’m sure used car dealers and telemarketers feel this way.

If you’re being treated like a chump at your job, in your relationship, or as a consumer, there’s only so much you can take, because you have this little thing called ‘self-respect’. Well, an organization, even an NFL one, has to have some self respect, too. This will hurt the Eagles in the short run, but will unify the team and benefit them in the long run. For T.O., it’s just more publicity and more bridges burned. Some idiotic team will sign him. And that’s sad. It would be nice if the NFL as a whole could show the self respect that the Eagles have shown.

The perfect ending to this saga would for TO to start dating the scandalous (former) Carolina Panthers cheerleaders.

Vegas, Baby, Vegas

Slate reports things in Vegas are cooling off. They blame a slowing economy, Indian casinos, blah blah fricken blah.

Here’s my theory:

The sleaze and cheese of Las Vegas has been replaced by an upscale atmosphere The average American can fake being upscale once in a blue moon, but he or she isn’t going to be able to do it on a regular basis.

Vegas went through its glamour period, its cheesy period, its family period, and now seems to be trying to get back to its glamour period. I say: Bring back the cheese and sleaze!

I liked the sleaze and cheese. I liked looking for the best $5.99 buffet. I liked getting a hotel room for $25. But now, Vegas has turned into some sort of cross between Maxim and Playboy. I don’t have $200 for a room and $30.00 for every meal. And I don’t have the looks or money to hook up with the supermodels now frequenting Vegas. Where have my four-tooth-havin’, truck driving women gone?

Plus, last time I left Vegas, going from my hotel to the airport, I mysteriously morphed into a goddamn ATM. I tipped the bellboy. I tipped the guy who opens the door for the cab. I tipped the cabbie. I tipped the skycap. What the fuck is that all about? I should have just pretended I was from Europe and not tipped anyone. It would also excuse why I stink. Two birds with one stone.

I Was Wrong. And I Am Glad.

Oh, um, about my election prediction...pretend that never happened. Thanks.


Election Day Prediction

I’m calling my shot.

Tomorrow’s vote on various propositions in California will be a major victory for Arnold Schwarzenegger (who I just found out is in Microsoft Word’s spell-check dictionary).

I base this on three highly scientific reasons.

First, people are stupid. The proposals are by and large anti-worker and anti-union. Simply, they are against you and for your dickhead pig boss. Unions are the only ones who stand up for and protect the rights of workers, yet a lot of working class people are anti-union because they are Fox News watching morons. Apparently they want to make less money and work more hours in more dangerous conditions. And tomorrow they will vote to do so.

Secondly, Democrats are waaaaay too confident that the propositions will NOT pass. That’s usually a good sign they will.

Finally, I am against most of the propositions (except the redistricting proposal). That means they won’t pass. I have spent a lifetime rooting for the San Digo Padres and the San Diego Chargers. Between the two are exactly ZERO championships. Things just don’t go my way.

So, congratulations, Arnold, you magnificent bastard.

The Pope Supports Darwin, Does Pat Robertson?

Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin’s theory of evolution were “perfectly compatible” if the Bible were read correctly.

His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US, who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive.

Calvin & Hobbes: Ten Years Later

Slate has a great slide show essay on Calvin & Hobbes. Man I can’t believe it’s been ten years since the last one.

It calls Calvin & Hobbes the last great comic strip. That is absolutely true. It had a philosophical and sometimes punk attutidude that the retards who put “pissing Calvin” stickers on their pick ‘em up trucks will never understand.

There’s also a HUGE book (23 pounds!!!!) which contains every Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. Someone rich please buy it for me.


The Fetus and The Soldier

It seems to me that once extreme right wing Republicans have politically exploited certain issues and people their attitude turns to “fuck ‘em”. The two best examples of this tactic are the fetus and the soldier.

The abortion issue is a very decisive one, and I understand the feelings on both sides of the issue. But what I don’t get are those people who fight so hard for the rights of the unborn, but then fight against the rights of babies and children. I mean, I know universal health care causes all sorts of controversy, but shouldn’t it be a no-brainer that at least every CHILD should be guaranteed access to health care? Nope, programs that try and do just that are voted against by right wingers. They cut Head Start programs. They cut after school programs. They cut breakfast programs. Pretty much, if a program helps out a child born into poverty, the extreme right wing is against it. But they want to guarantee that child has to be born into poverty. It’s just sickening.

The same thing occurs when the military is concerned. They’ll pay lip service to them. They’ll wave their flags. They’ll criticize any dissent as being unpatriotic. But when the time comes to put their money where their mouths are, suddenly it’s “fuck em”. Veterans benefits = cut. Mental Health programs for returning soldiers = nonexistent. Hell, look how long it took just to get soldiers proper armor for themselves and their vehicles.

When the extreme right speaks on these issues, it’s all just diarrhea of the mouth. They’re fighting a political war, not a moral one. So the next time you hear a politician rail against abortion, look up where they stand on issues of childhood poverty and healthcare. When they talk about the military, look how they voted on Veteran’s benefits.

And remember that shit on election day.

My Review Of The Entire Dropkick Murphys Catalog

I’m not from Boston, and I’m not Irish, so I don't care.

Give 'Em Hell, Harry

I love how the “experts” fail to see the forest for the trees.

Earlier this week, Minority Leader Harry Reid used a Senate rule that allowed him to call a closed session of the Senate. The public, cameras, and those without the proper security clearances had to get out. In a nutshell, here's why he called for the closed session: Democrats have been asking for an investigation into how faulty and fraudulent intelligence has beed used by the Bush administration to make the case for the war in Iraq. Republicans have been stalling and dragging their feet in getting such an investigation going. So Reid basically did some behind closed doors ass chewing, demanding answers.

So how has this been reported?

That Reid “shut down” the Senate and Democrats are being “obstructionists”.

Uh, what?

The exact OPPOSITE happened! Reid got the Senate to do its fucking job! You know how in a movie, when someone isn’t focused, someone else slaps the shit out of them? THAT’S what happened. And it worked.

Using the phrase "shut down" in this case is just stupid, and I see Democrats using it just as much as Republicans. It relays the wrong message to Joe Average about what really happened.

So cut it out.