Wednesday, April 27, 2005
So, this is the year for Matt Millen. He’s had a lot of draft picks now, and has yet to produce a winning season. In fact, I don’t remember a winning record at any point in his tenure until our 3-0 start last year.
Now, I’m out on the west coast and have gotten to watch a lot of our draft picks in 2005 play. We picked Mike Williams in the first round. I guess that is OK – when a playmaker like that slips to you I suppose you have to take him. He’s not the fastest, but he has been working out with Cris Carter for a year now, and Cris Carter wasn’t the fastest either. Mike plus Roy plus Charlie Rogers (if he is ever healthy) should be a great receiving trio. All first rounders. Which makes you wonder why we really wanted to draft a first-round receiver again. If it means that we can’t trust Charlie, this is a bad sign. I kind of wanted Derrick Johnson in that spot, but oh well.
Our second pick was another USC guy, a DT named Cody who is damn good. That was a really good pick. But I almost fell off my chair with our third pick – Stanley Wilson of Stanford. Now this guy bites on fakes, doesn’t hit hard, and blows the occasional coverage. I know, because I watched just about every game he played this season. The only saving grace here is that Stanford got six players picked in the draft despite having an awful team. I wonder if maybe all of these players played below their potential due to bad coaching. (I was surprised by most of the Stanford players chosen, with the exception of TE Alex Smith, who was an absolute steal by the Buccaneers in Round 3).
We traded some future picks for the opportunity to grab Dan Orlovsky, UConn QB. I saw this guy play a bowl game this year, and he was alright. 3rd stringer. This would make him good future trade bait, except that I don’t know that Jeff Garcia will be much of a tutor. (I could write more about Garcia, but I’ll save that for Goldberg). And I don’t think Joey Harrington is ready to tutor anyone yet. [Uh, understatement of the year--Goldberg]
As far as I’m concerned, our best pick was Dan Swancutt of Oregon State. 6th round. He was the Pac-10 defensive player of the year! It will be interesting to see how that translates into the pros, but my guess is that he’ll be a solid pro on the D-line.
The Lions should have skill. I read the other day that only 5 players under contract were not Millen pickups via free agency or the draft. I can’t handle another losing season. Please win, Lions.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Would you support or oppose changing the Senate rules to make it easier for the Republicans to confirm Bush's judicial nominees?Very good news. However, I would bet that the numbers would be the same if the question was turned around to state: "Do you support of oppose the Democratic filibuster of Bush judges, meaning that a majority is not enought to confirm...?" Or something like that. Yeah.
Support - 26%
Oppose - 66%
And, cjb, email me and I'll post your thoughts on Detroit, or such put said thoughts in the comments.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I'm sure Germans everywhere appreciate this fine gesture of forgiveness that the Catholic church has made on behalf of the Jewish people.
On another note, it appears that back when he was "Johnny Ratz", the new Pope issued orders to keep the sex abuse investigation secret. (Via Atrios.) Perhaps some day, fifty years from now, the Catholic Church will be courageous enough to select an American Pope as a way of forgiving the United States.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
But I read an interesting quote from the article today, as excerpted at The Daily Howler:
When I spoke with her friend Miguel Estrada, an attorney and onetime White House nominee for a judgeship...he said Coulter's appeal 15 years ago, when they met, was "the same as it is today. She was lively and funny and engaging and boisterous and outrageous and a little bit of a polemicist ... Most of the time, people miss her humor and satire and take her way too literally."This shocks me. I actually thought that smart, reasonable, mainstream conservatives - if they exist - try to distance themselves from Ann Coulter - a woman who has repeatedly called for the conversion of all Muslims to Christianity and who, for the record, is an open and upapologetic bigot. Miguel Estrada was nominated by the Bush White House to be an appellate judge - that should qualify him for smart, mainstream conservative status. This is the equivalent of a Clinton nominee defending the substance of Ward Churchill's remarks.
I've often said to my conservative brethren that pointing out the errors in Ann Coulter's work is just fun - she says very stupid things but they are in no way representative of the way most Republicans actually think. I've had reservations about that when, for example, she speaks at prominent conservative gatherings. To see an important and, I had thought before today, intelligent conservative figure defending her just drives home the point at how far the conservative movement (and, to be fair, large portions of the American public) has morphed into something that is both very scary and very stupid.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
what bothers me is that everyone seems to be missing (or at least avoiding that very point). I don't expect the Catholic Church to 1) overturn its view on contraception, an action that would dramatically curtail the African AIDS crisis 2) recognize homosexual marriages 3)own up to sex abuse among its clergy 4) fight for equality for women, 5) change the official stance on abortion, etc. I don't care how "progressive" your Pope is, these simply aren't realistic wishes. (unless, as my girlfriend suggests, we get Howard Dean into the vatican). All i ask of rome is that they NOT pick a nazi. And you hit the nail on the head when you said that this isn't just some guy on the street in hamburg. I think Howard Stern, of all people, put it best (paraphrasing) when he suggested that ratzinger's failure to stand up in the face of evil could not be pardoned, because isn't that what the church is supposed to be about? Don't they make people saints when they are persecuted for their commitment to strangers in need. Isn't the whole basis of their religion that selfless, supposedly miraculous acts of Jesus Christ? I'm not talking about turning water into wine or even touching lepers--Ratzinger wasn't even all-city when it came to helping the Jews. That's probably why he actually spent time in an allied POW camp (documented in his official papal biography) when we (finally) got there.These aren't bad points. I'm not sure to what extent I endorse them, though. Also, I would say that his points (1), (3) and (4) actually could be taken up by the Vatican from a doctrinal standpoint (but a theologian--esp. of the Catholic variety--I am not), so I don't think those count as "too much to ask for." Just ask Andrew Sullivan.
Seriously, do you know anything about this "congregation for the doctrine of the faith" that he has been in charge of for 23 years? do you know what that is? Look it up in the encyclopedia:
It's the "new" (since 1908) name for the fucking INQUISITION.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Protesting Vietnam during war = serious business. Possible connection to Nazis = liberal bias!
(2) Apparently, Mr. Benedict or Ratzinger or whatever his name is now was one of the Catholics who said priests shouldn't give communion to pro choice politicians - specifically John Kerry. Any comment I make about this man could land me in hell, so I better stop. But this was one of the more reprehensible viewpoints I've seen taken in modern politics; I'm glad to see the Pope on board. And... I've typed several comments on this, all of them are inappropriate, and I admit I'm too chickenshit to publish them. Suffice to say, I don't like this guy.
First We Kill All the InternetsI realize Atrios doesn't really add anything, but his title is so good, I had to steal it.
Delay on Justice Kennedy:"Absolutely. We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That's just outrageous," DeLay told Fox News Radio. "And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."Heh. Indeed.
My guess is that some evil liberal clerk, some guy so liberal he voted for Bush twice and thought the Clinton impeachment was a stone groove, used those skills he learned at that training ground for the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy known as the University of Chicago Law School to corrupt Justice Kennedy by unleashing the powers of the Internets. Only at a place as liberal and diabolical and terrorist-loving as U of C would you learn that you can do legal research on...the Internets. They also probably downloaded a lot of porn. Lots of porn.
UPDATE: Ah, to live in a state with the best Senate contingent in the country. Durbin:
"Has the Internet become the devil's workshop?" said Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat. "Is it some infernal machine now that needs to be avoided by all right-thinking Americans?Haha.
(If you don't click on the link, it appears that Ratzinger was involved in Nazi youth activities for a short time, but left to study for the priesthood. At the very end of the war, when he was 18, he joined the German army, but never got past basic training. But you know what? An 18 year old - especially an educated one -probably should have known what was happening in Germany at the time, what with the slaughter of whole races of people going on. Again, is every German who was a teenager at the time and did nothing somehow a bad person? I don't think so - that's probably just an unfair burden to place on children. Are they disqualified from becoming the voice of God on earth? In my mind, yes. But then, I also think women are capable of giving speeches in Latin and blessing water and shit. So I guess me and the Catholic Church don't see eye to eye on a lot of things.)
UPDATE: On The Corner, there is some linkage that seems to suggest that Ratzinger actually deserted the German army - a move that could have resulted in execution. I think the argument still kind of stands, but obviously this should be taken into account. It is nice to see that KJL seems to think this is sort of a joke, with the title of the post being "Nazi!!". I leave it to our reader to decide the truth.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Re-reading that Corner post, it quotes a Wall Street Journal news e-mail that says: "[Ratzinger] claims to have opposed Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany, but said resistance would have been hopeless." Now, in fairness, that isn't a direct Ratzinger quote, but if he said anything like that, then I wouldn't let him teach Sunday school, let alone be Pope. Resisting the Nazis was "hopeless"? What in the fuck does that even mean? And who cares? And wasn't there an active resistance movement in Germany at this time? And if you are a Christian, isn't it better to be killed than to do something that is evil? Again, I'm not talking about standards for judging every day people, I'm talking about standards for judging the most important religious leader in the world. I truly hope for the sake of the world that he didn't say anything remotely like that.
UPDATE BY GOLDBERG: Via Kevin Drum, an excerpt from a Washington Post profile that makes me think that the new Pope indeed still harbors some, if not racist, then racialist, sentiments.
He publicly cautioned Europe against admitting Turkey to the European Union and wrote a letter to bishops around the world justifying that stand on the grounds that the continent is essentially Christian in nature.There's also some talk in that profile about his opposition to "liberation theology," but I don't know what that is. Does anyone?
The big news is that, starting in 2006, Monday Night Football will move to ESPN, and Sunday Night Football will move to NBC. As King Kaufman points out:
the increase over the previous deal is $1.135 billion a year, 44 percent, with three-quarters of that gain -- $850 million of it -- coming from ESPN and DirectTV, both of which provide the league with far fewer eyeballs than the alternatives, broadcast networks and a non-exclusive satellite deal.I'm assuming DirecTV will up the price on Sunday Ticket, but, well, my demand curve for that particular product is extremely inelastic (just ask Stringer Bell), so I don't really care.
What does that mean? It means that the big money comes not from bigger audiences, but from smaller, more carefully selected ones. The NFL still has an eight-game package of Thursday- and Saturday-night games unsold. It will end up either on a new all-sports network or on the league's own cable NFL Network.
However, there are two things surrounding all this that I do care about. One, as noted, the NFL is getting $1.135 billion more a year. That's great. However, due to the salary cap and general pathetic state of the NFL player's union, most of this money will be funneled to the owners' pockets, a demographic already getting fat by extorting massive wealth transfers from the general public in order to finance stadiums. And, of course, NFL players will still be grossly underpaid and fans will still be grossly overcharged for tickets. See King Kaufman from yesterday to learn a bit about player contracts. Now, this whole NFL financing arrangement may be the area, of all issues concerning the public weal, that Guthrie and I disagree the most. So, don't be surprised if he takes me to task over this (if, indeed, he still exists).
Secondly, and, actually, more importantly with respect to my everyday enjoyment of the NFL product, these new deals clearly have announcing-team implications. Most people who know me know that my favorite announcing team is the current ESPN team of Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann and Paul McGuire. Obviously, not everyone agrees with me, but, for my money, if you want to talk about a good announcing team, if you want to talk about guys who can analyze football...well, you get the idea. I can only hope that these three will jump to NBC in order to keep broadcasting the Sunday night games. This may not be so easy a deal to strike, however, because Mike Patrick must make a good portion of his income doing college basketball for ESPN. And Joe Theismann does a lot of other NFL-related commentary and features for ESPN, too. So, I guess we'll see what happens on that front. As for the current MNF team, Michaels and Madden, I imagine they will simply move to Disney brother ESPN and still to MNF. But that's not a given.
I guess so long as Brian Baldinger doesn't start doing nationally televised games I'll deal with whatever happens.
So, draft predictions, anyone?
Second, a Boston-based band headed by The Goat called The Franklin Kite. I was under the impression that the band was to be named "The Franklin Kite Experiment" after, well, Ben Franklin's kite experiment. I guess they decided to shorten it. Anyway, the songs are good and, well, The Franklin Kite is a way better name than The Changes. But check both bands out. And, The Franklin Kite will quickly become the best band you know that is fronted by an astrophysicist.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Your Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
20% Upper Midwestern
Friday, April 15, 2005
I feel this may be another all-over-the-place post, but what the hell. First, a little blegging: I've been trying to find an easy way to trade files with friends. Frequent commenter cjb suggested to me that I try eDonkey, which apparently was created or is owned (or something) by a friend of his. Well, I downloaded it, and I don't know if my wireless router puts up a firewall or what, but it didn't seem to work, and it was certainly anything but easy for my friend to find my files. So, does anyone know of any easy program for this? I just want to be able to find all the files my friends have, and vice versa. In 2005, what with our modern ideas...and products, this should not be difficult. I was just sending files via gmail, but there's a 10MB limit on file transfers, and a lot of my music is in Apple Lossless, where each song is about 30MB. So, I can convert those songs to AAC or MP3 and send them, but that is annoying as hell.
Secondly, I've decided to post the most first 10 songs my ipod played on shuffle mode at work this morning. It seems to be all the rage, so here's my list. Of course, you can't argue with the Gods Of Random Play Mode, so if some of these songs suck, it's not my fault (Although I have said, in the past, that I stand behind each and every song on my ipod. I'm not sure if that's true anymore.)
- Rambling Gambling Man--Bob Seger
- There's a Heartache Following Me--Pete Townshend
- No Lonesome Tune--Townes Van Zandt
- Honky Tonkin'--Townes Van Zandt (how the hell do you get two songs from the same album in a row when you're on shuffle mode?)
- Werewolves of London--Grateful Dead cover of the Zevon classic (it's only ok)
- I Was Born--The Magnetic Fields (not one of their best, but the opening line: "I was born/I hate this part/Being someone new" is pretty great)
- Black Messiah (Single Remix)--the Kinks (from their later "arena rock" period, but this is a great song)
- Young and Beautiful--Martin Sexton (no, this song wasn't written about me, as I'm sure you were thinking)
- Fidelio--Beethoven--Act I: O War Ich Schon Mit Der Vereint (little change of pace here, I guess. This is a pretty damn great aria, though. Oh, and also, opera kind of suffers more than rock when compressed to AAC--I really should get this in a lossless format, or better yet, an SACD format for my home stereo. But I digress)
- Atlantic City--Bruce Springsteen (what a way to round out the ten!)
Third, what's going on politically? Well, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois are having a pissing match over CTA funds. There is a $55 million shortfall, and the city says it will have to severely cut service in July without an infusion of state money. The Blagorgeous One wants to pay for the shortfall with a dedicated software tax (or something like that), but the General Assembly is balking . I'm not sure what where the solution lies, outside of getting funds from the feds (which, I think, ain't gonna happen). Hopefully someone will blink before July 17.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
DeLay's Wu RoomClick the link to see the picture of DeLay with his new major-domo.
Praise the Lord. Tom DeLay is putting together a war room to fight the demonic forces who are trying to destroy him. It's going to be a formidable operation. The Hammer recruited some of the most vicious political operators around to run it. Chief among them is Mr. Wu, former boss of Deadwood's Celestial District, who DeLay tapped to run his shop.
The General received a GOP Team Leader email from Mr. Wu, today. It outlines his strategy for dealing with DeLay's Enemies:Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2005 13:21:04 -0700posted by Gen. JC Christian, Patriot | 12:37 AM
From: Mr. Wu
To: GOP Team Leaders
Subject: Lefty Cocksucka!
Hamma, Hamma... Lefty cocksucka! Shays cocksucka! Hamma... Shays cocksuka. Senator Dogman Pennsylvania cocksucka! Cocksucka Dogman... Hamma... Pennsylvania cocksucka!
Judges cocksucka... Culture Life... judge cocksucka! Hamma, Hamma, judicial branch cocksucka!
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Mr. Goldberg-Here is the Goldberg post I was responding to.
I don't think Catherine MacKinnon needs me to defend her, but I think your remark that her most famous campaign was a failure is inaccurate. You focus your post on date rape and pornography and compare the success of those two efforts. But you ignore MacKinnon's most successful (and arguably most famous) campaign, which was against sexual harassment. Before MacKinnon, sexual harassment was not a term that most people had any familiarity with, let alone the basis for a civil or criminal prosecution. In large part thanks to her efforts, the term is now a part of every American's life and, for better or for worse, has drastically changed the way men and women interact in and out of the work place. (In fact, she has probably had more of an effect on American's lives than any almost any other lawyer in history.)
On one hand, you are right because she herself may be more widely noticed for her work on pornography. On the other hand, I think her efforts against sexual harassment are more famous (although fewer people may associate those efforts with her - if that makes sense) and are more important and worthwhile. She would probably disagree with me on that last part and say that pornography and sexual harassment are equal wrongs, although I won't put words into her mouth.
Full disclosure, MacKinnon was a law school professor of mine. Although I did not interact with her very much, I found her to be a very nice person. I also agree with her on many things, although I am too much of a radical on free speech issues to support her positions on pornography.
(Additionally, she allowed you to choose your own exam question from a list of about 20 that was given to you in advance, and one of those questions in essence allowed you to write your own question. Awesome.)
Thanks, I enjoy your posts.
Good thing it is largely anonymous (except, now, to readers of this blog), because some of those sentences really seem like they were written by a five year old. Of course, so do most of my posts on this blog and most of the written product I am paid to produce.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Of course, the rest of this week I will be at the "printer" for work--the bane of any junior associate's existence, so I won't have much internet access. Of course, I hardly post even when I do have internet access, so the difference you all will see will be negligible.
That said, how about giving ourselves a round of applause for the bona fide troll we got in that comments section to my Pope post? As RD said, it must mean we've arrived.
UPDATE: Here's some info from Rollingstone.com that I found on Bruce Springsteen's website:
The tour - which hits venues as large as 5,000-seaters - will focus on the new album, along with material from Joad and 1982's Nebraska, and stripped-down takes on songs from The Rising. "It's not about acoustic versions of my hits - that's what's not going to happen," says Springsteen, who will also perform on an April 23rd episode of VH1's Storytellers. "I want to forewarn potential ticket buyers: I'm not going to be playing an acoustic version of 'Thunder Road.'"Hmm...should be interesting. I'd like him to throw in a "The Promised Land" here or a "For You" there, but it should still be good. I better familiarize myself with Tom Joad before the concert, though.
Friday, April 08, 2005
It bugs me! Standing up and saying how this guy was a great man and stood for freedom and all that! Bullshit!I very much disagree with him on the idea that there's something unseemly about Presidents and ex-Presidents going to the Pope's funeral. I have no problem with that whatsoever. In fact, I think they should go to the funeral. However, on this reader's substantive points, I have to say I agree with him. The Church, under John Paul II, didn't merely campaign against condom use based on theology or the Augustine view of sexuality or for mere moral reasons. It actually put out disinformation about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of AIDS. I think it's bad enough the church is against condom use in Africa and other high-HIV areas when it's based on religion. To pretend it is backed up by actual science is unconscionable.
He was a decent guy but resisted the opportunity to really stand for freedom and equality. He could have helped prevent the spread of AIDS among some of the world's 1 billion Catholics by advocating the use of birth control (this would not require promoting premarital sex, imho). And I'll bet the thousands who have been molested by priests are pretty psyched that the flag is flying at half staff right now.
I read the other day that the Pope brought the Wall down. What? And that he took a noble stand against communism. But of course -- communism as conceived by Marx was fundamentally anti-religion, right?
Now, it wouldn't be fair for me to expect flawlessness. But then, this dude is supposed to be closer to God than the rest of us! And while our nation may be one "under God", I don't think it is one "under the Pope," which is how I'm feeling these days.
In addition, there is the Church's shameful handling of the rape scandals. Steve Gilliard points our attention to the fact that the disgraced archbishop of Boston, Bernard Cardinal Law, not only was invited to the Pope's funeral, but was actually given an official role to lead one of the mourning sessions. Steve puts it best:
This man fled Boston one step ahead of a Suffolk County indictment for conspiracy. He was a constant roadblock in resolving this. And this is how the church rewards him. Instead of defrocking his ass for his criminal mismanagement of child rape, he's getting a nice bright spotlight. They just don't care. People should be outraged about this, it should lead the news. Instead of the treacle about the Pope. This was his greatest failure and the person directly responsible for said failure is being rewarded.The fact is the Church still hasn't learned that punishing rapists and those who protect rapists is more important than protecting their own. Pathetic.
All that said, he still was the Pope, and if I were President, I'd have gone to his funeral.
More wise words on the pope from Billmon here and here, and Fafblog here. Oh, and for the truly sacrilegious take, read the Rude Pundit, who ones again lives up to the name.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Later in the day, I saw another documentary about the Pope. As you know, the Pope was shot and almost killed. Many people speculate that the KGB was involved, although nobody ever admitted this. A short time after the assassination attempt, the Pope visited his would-be assassin in prison. He said a prayer with him and forgave him.
A man who was either crazy or hired by the USSR shot the Pope and almost killed him. The Pope sought an audience with him and forgave him. A woman made a remark about the fact that half of earth's is deemed unworthy by the church to minister and possibly caused the Pope embarrassment or discomfort. She was not extended the courtesy of a visit when she traveled to Rome and requested one. The world is more fucked up than most people's simple minds - including my own - will ever be able to comprehend.
Maybe posting this will force me to think of something to write.
Also, well, I feel bad for Illinois fans. But, as I said when I used to play NBA Jam on Sega Genesis--if you live by the three, you die by the three.
But that's not my point. I don't really care for basketball, at least relative to other sports, but I don't hate it or anything. As such, I don't really think my opinions really matter, and, in fact, I rarely have opinions re basketball other than "eh, I don't like it that much."
But, and here's my point: There should not be a 3-point shot in college basketball, at least not as close as the line is now. It's just too close and too easy. Means that a team can score too much too fast, and, more importantly, makes the inside game less important (and yes, I realize UNC is winning this game so far b/c of it's inside game--the fact Illinois came within two early in the second half actually proves my point in that regard).
ok, game's back on. later.
Other interesting opening day news is that Dmitri Young of the Tigers is on pace to hit 486 home runs. I wish him well in his journey.
I also don't understand why the White Sox didn't let Beuhrle finish the game against the Tribe. I understand why you want to make sure you don't over-extend starters, esp at the beginning of the season, but I would think an opening day complete game shutout would be worth it.
So, anyone else have any opening day-related thoughts?
*in my defense, I think what happened here is that I was already thinking about the dependent clause that was going to follow that comma concerning "one of your two bloggers," and that's why the word "one" was typed by my fingers (if I may be supremely passive here). But still, pretty freaking bad for a guy who has two degrees from supposedly elite schools.