Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Backwards and Forwards

Today, I'm trying an experiment. It's the last day of November, so I thought it might be fun to do a review of the past month and a peek forward to the next month. Let’s see how this works out.

Looking Back:
Life in General: November was a good month. Any month that features a trip to see the Steelers play, 2 separate turkey dinners, 2 free days off and a bonus day of football has got to be a good month. And it was. The only weird part was when Chris and Katie’s nephew Ollie came over to see my Star Wars Lego collection. It was abundantly clear that he was super excited to see the collection and I was probably, in his mind, the most accessible, if not coolest, adult he had ever met. I’m not sure how I felt about this. How will my kids feel about this when they’re 13-16. Not good times, I’m sure.

Sports: Steelers lost 2 games. Not good times there. Those same weekends, I lost my fantasy games in my money league. OUCH!!! Just painful all around. And since one of those losses came as recently as Monday, I’m just going to move on.

Movies: The best movie I saw this past month was Shopgirl. Just a wonderful wonderful movie. If you haven’t read the book (by Steve Martin), I highly recommend it. The movie’s just fine on its own, however.

And speaking of book movies, I also saw the Harry Potter movie. Eh. It was good. Not as good as the last one, but certainly better than the 1st 2. I was originally going to do a review, but I was under-whelmed. Rent it.

And I also saw Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash movie. If you saw Ray and liked it, this one is just as good. If you saw Ray and hated it, this one is just as bad. If you were indifferent to seeing Ray, then you’d most likely be indifferent to this one as well. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot different between the 2 movies, really.

Politics: W is still President and still an Idiot. More people recognize the fact that he’s an idiot than a year ago. But that doesn’t help the state of the country any.

Looking Forward:
Life in General: December holds a trip to San Fran (this weekend), a possible trip to SoCal including Disneyland (in 2 weeks), 2 more free days off, and another turkey dinner. Oh, and did I mention presents? Yeah, it should be a good month.

Sports: I am seriously concerned about the Steelers making the playoffs. They have to go 4-1 for the rest f the season to be guaranteed a spot. If they go 3-2, those 2 losses HAVE to be against 2 of the 3 NFC teams left on the schedule due to tie-breakers. Basically, if they don’t beat Cincy this weekend, they’re going to have to win out. Yikes!

On the Fantasy side, I need to get 1 more win to make the playoffs there. Not too tough, but what a crappy turn of events for the team with the most total points. I’ve just been real unlucky with my match-up.

As long as we’re here I’ll give you my NFL playoff predictions: AFC Division Winners – New England, Pittsburgh, Indy, Denver (only one is actually a race at this point); AFC Wild Card – Cincy and Jacksonville; NFC Division Winners – New York, Chicago, Carolina, Seattle; NFC Wild Card – Atlanta and Tampa.

Movies: KONG! I’m psyched about this movie and I’m the only one that I know that is. It’s just going to be great, me thinks. I have no problems with remakes like this when they are done well. Narnia looks like it’ll be good but nothing amazing. I’ll want to see it in the theater, though. Other theater flicks: The Producers, Munich, Syriana, Ice Harvest, Good Night and Good Luck. One that I bet I’ll miss but I wish I could see is Capote.

Politics: What can you say about the Village Idiot? You know he will manage to continue to marvel with his sheer stupidity.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


This torture thing doesn’t seem to be going away. No, I’m not talking about the prospect of Tommy Maddox starting another game this weekend (Big Ben will play, that’s my gut talking). I’m talking about the embarrassing treatment of individuals in the custody of the US government. And here’s the worst part about it: of all the shitty things this administration’s done, I’m probably least concerned about this particular issue.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in the “Torture is Bad, M’kay” corner. I would just like to think that people are equally worried about all the other things the Village Idiot has lied about.

Let’s assume that maybe 20% of the people in Gitmo are actually terrorists and know something. That’s probably a super high number, but you have to keep in mind that the sun shines on a monkey’s ass from time to time. I do believe that we should do whatever we can to get information out of those 20%. In those instances, I’m pro-torture. The problem is, there’s 80% of the time that these dumb asses are torturing people that have no idea what’s going on. I have absolutely no confidence in anybody involved in this regime recognizing the difference between those that know and those that don’t. Therefore, I have to be completely anti-torture. Breaking more eggs than necessary to make the omelet just makes for a shitty tasting omelet.

Right now, the administration has to deal with the fact that they’re caught on tape frying civilians in Falluja with white phosphorous. Not good times. They are obviously claiming that they used the stuff merely as a burning agent: clear our buildings and weed the bad guy out of the fox hole. Obviously, this is bull shit. They’re covered in a mountain of bullshit. And for whatever reason, this torture thing is what people keep latching on to. It’s probably because they actually do think that Americans are indeed better than everyone else – the age old reason why foreigners rightfully hate us. Part of being better than other people is WE DON’T TORTURE THE WRONG PEOPLE!!!

This is the 4th or 5th separate torture episode since the start of the Iraq war. It’s also possible people are latching onto the “We don’t torture” lie because evidence to the contrary continue to pop up every few months. There’s really only so many times that you can sell a lie as the truth.

The lie that I’m REALLY hoping people catch on to, because this is the one with some serious consequences, is the entire rationale behind the War in Iraq and the false pretenses that were sold to the Congressfolk that approved use of force. While this one’s not really sticking yet, we’re in the middle of the 2nd round on it. Round 1 was the Downing Street memo. Round 2 is this whole idea of Bush’s that war critics are trying to “Rewrite history” when Democratic Senators actually grow backbones and ask for a hearing on the subject. Actually, the critics are just asserting that you rewrote the intelligence.

My point is, while torture is bad, it’s probably not the worst thing this administration’s done nor is it the biggest lie they’ve told. The problem, from the stand point of someone who thinks the Village Idiot should be brought up on criminal charges, is that there really aren’t any repercussions if we ARE torturing people. We’ve already said that we are above the Geneva Contention. Other than a drop in poll numbers, there’s not a whole heck of a lot that will come of this. But it could be a seed of light that exposes all the other contemptuous crap he’s pulled.

I really hope the torturing stops because it’s wrong. But I hope the ire it has caused is just enough to spread like a wild fire.

>>An interesting side thought that I had after I finished this and re-read it with the title: the worst long term consequence of the Spanish Inquisition was that Spain drove out it’s middle class and it is only just now recovering from the ramifications of those actions, but the average person remembers it as a terrible time when torture was used on innocent people. Bush right now is killing the middle class with an abundance of domestic policies to protect the rich as teh expense of the middle class. Is it possible, 100 years from now, Americans will look back at the Village Idiot’s Presidency and chastise it for his torturing of innocent people while wondering where the middle class has gone?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


This past weekend, while watching the Steelers demolish, dominate, degrade, devour and decongest the Brownies of the mistake-on-the-lake, I had a dilemma. In my money league, one of my Wide Receivers is the Brown’s starter (and former Pitt player) Antonio Bryant. He’s my 2nd best WR, so not starting him wasn’t really an option. And worse yet, going into the game, I had a very slight lead and he had 3 guys going on Monday night.

Prior to the start of the game I predicted that the Steelers would be up by 20 in the 4th quarter and that my guy, Bryant (Pitt alum) would score a meaningless TD. Sure enough, it worked out exactly that way. I was subsequently chastised by my fellow football watchers for rooting for the hated Browns (and I probably did over-do my celebration quite a bit). This raises the unavoidable issue that all fans of football who also are fantasy nuts must face: how can you root for a guy playing against YOUR team. I am here to provide you with the answer.

Firstly, it is obviously ideal to avoid such dilemmas whenever possible. I will never start an opposing defense against my Steelers. It would be absolute heresy to root for Big Ben to throw an INT so I can get 2 more points. It’s usually a bad idea to start the QB going against YOUR team, so you try to pick up a replacement. Sometimes there isn’t a viable replacement, in which case, you hope you’re team’s up by 21 in the final quarter and your QB throws the meaningless TD at the end. You should never have to start the RB against YOUR team because if you know anything about fantasy football, you should have 2 other starters that you can plug into the line up.

This leaves WRs. They’re a tricky bunch. There are very few pure STUDS and because of that they are un-benchable. Bryant (Pitt guy) is far from a stud, but my philosophy at WR is not to carry many. One of my guys was hurt and I didn’t feel there was someone on the waiver wire of equal value for that week which constituted dropping my hurt guy. So I was stuck rooting for a late TD.

I admit that I got lucky. But the key to remember, and the second main point about rationalizing your fantasy team vs YOUR team, is that you’re rooting for an individual player. I was not rooting for the BROWNS TD. I was rooting for Bryant’s TD (Belitnikoff winner while at Pitt, by the way). There is a difference, and while it may not appear outwardly so, in my heart, I knew what I was excited about.

Obviously, had that TD cut the lead to less than 8, I would have been just as disconcerted and mad as the next Steelers fan. And because I’m rooting for such weird and random circumstances, I can understand why people would think I’m crazy or “dirty” for cheering a Brownies TD (when in fact as I just said, I was cheering a Bryant TD). I don’t blame people for giving me a hard time. But just remember I have 2 teams I’m rooting for every week and the one that is most important to me wears Black and Gold. I would never betray that.

Friday, November 11, 2005

A year too soon

It's a shame that this is not an election year. Right now, the Village Idiot is floundering in the vat of bile, fear and lies that he created. The American people are FINALLY waking up and realizeing that the boogy man does not live in our closet. The boogy man, in fact, does not live in (or at least didn't before March 2003) Iraq. As any child of 10 will tell you: the boogy man does not exist, and saying he does does not make it so. Eventually, people figure this out.

Unfortunately for the United States, the general public is figuring this out either a year too late, if you consider we could have voted out the Village Idiot 12 months ago, or a year too soon, if you consider that the controling party of the government would have been susceptible to losing one of the chambers of Congress were we in an even numbered year. People have officially tired of being affraid and lied to. People also have very short memories, and I fear that 12 months might give the liars and criminals that run the White House and the Republican Party in general just enough time to find something else new and flashy to distract our attention.

There's hope now, though, and that's a good thing. A year ago today, I would have wondered if people would have ever woken up and recognized the monumental snow job the White House was giving them. Has there ever been a more fitting presidency to be run out of the White House: an administration that White Washes every thing to the point that they haven't said anything of substance since shortly after our initial foray into Afghanistan? But the people don't want that any more. They're starting to want the truth. And it's because the Village Idiot and his handlers have lied about soooo many other things, the people are starting to wonder just how far they'd go - how many lies they'd tell - to push their agenda of greed and wealth for a select few.

Finally, folks are taking a moment's break from shoveling down the daily dose of Fear and Loathing that the White House continually shoves down their throats to realizes they should be doing a lot more loathing and their fear may be misdirected. Don't get me wrong: there are bad people out there that would like nothing more than to do a major US city a whole lotta harm. But there are just as many people - white "Christian" people - here in our borders that can do just as much harm to the entire country. And they're running it. One of my favorite Village Idiot quotes came out this week. On the subject of torture he said something along the lines of, "We're detaining people that have knowledge of known terrorist attacks and we will do whatever we can to get that information out of them. And whatever we do, it is not torture." Essentially, he is saying that the United States military and Intelligence sets the moral agenda and definition of torture. Rape room = torture. Rape room, but with broom handles = not torture. Held captive in a small room with a pillowcase over your head in bullet riddled building in the Middle East by Muslims = torture. Held captive in a small room with a pillowcase over your head while forming naked man pyramids in the Middle East by Christians = not torture. You get the idea.

If the Village Idiot's controllers are dumb enough to think they will be able to get away with continuing to double talk and lie to teh people of the United States for the next 12 months, then there just may be a chance that Democrats can force out some of the rubber-stamp Bushbots in Congress. Unfortunately, they managed to dress up the pig once before and got him re-elected. If people were blinded by the flashiness of "Global War on Terror" and "Christian Values" once before, I fear they might be able to be similarly distracted once again. Today, no. But in 12 months, we can only hope not.