Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Red Sox Pitching Problems. Trivia Answers.

Sox Pitchers Dropping Fast

The Red Sox pitching staff is in rough shape with both David Wells AND Curt Schilling on the disabled list at the same time. Not that such a development is a total surprise. Wells, after all, turns 42 next month, and has never been a poster boy for physical fitness. Schilling is 38 and is coming off of ankle surgery.

Lefty John Halama will come out of his long relief role to replace Wells in the rotation, while Jeremi Gonzalez was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Schilling. Gonzalez spent part of last year with the Devil Rays and won zero games, lost five in eleven appearances (eight starts) with an ERA of 6.97. Not encouraging.

So for the time being, the Sox starting rotation is: Tim Wakefield, Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo, John Halama and Jeremi Gonzalez. Add to this chaos the fact that closer Keith Foulke and lefty setup man Alan Embree have been extremely hittable. Righty setup man Mike Timlin has been solid, as has lefty submariner Mike Myers. But new righty setup guy Matt Mantei, who appeared to twist an ankle in the same game in which Wells got hurt, has been wild at times with his 95 MPH heater.

There is a long way to go until October, but a lot of Sox followers are ready to throw this season away. The Orioles, who clubbed the Sox on Monday and Tuesday nights, have even more suspect pitching than do the Sox. The Yankees, who lost to the Angels tonight, are struggling, and have lost free agent pitcher Jaret Wright for what looks like about half a season. The Blue Jays are inconsistent, both at the plate and on the mound, and the Devil Rays bother nobody except Curt Schilling who called in to one of the local sports talk radio shows to put the mouth on the Rays and manager Lou Piniella. So there is plenty of time for the hurt guys to get healthy.

Trivia Answers

Since I'll be away from the keyboard for the next few days visiting family (who have no access to the Internets), and since it wouldn't be fair to make all four of my readers wait six days for my next update, I'll give the answers to the trivia questions from a few days ago.

1. Name the only player to play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

Eddie Mathews, Hall of Fame third baseman who came up to the Braves in 1952, their last year in Boston, played for the club all through the Milwaukee years (1953-1965), and ended his run with the team in 1966, their first year in Atlanta before being traded to the Astros in 1967.

2. What team had the lowest winning percentage of any league champion?

The 1973 New York Mets with 82 wins and 79 losses for a .509 winning percentage. The Mets won the NL East and defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS that year to advance to the World Series, which they lost to the Oakland A's.

3. Seven outfielders have won Gold Gloves while playing for the Red Sox. Who are they?

Jimmy Piersall - 1958
Jackie Jensen - 1959
Carl Yastrzemski - 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1977
Reggie Smith - 1968
Fred Lynn - 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980
Dwight Evans - 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985
Ellis Burks - 1990

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

No WMD? No Kidding! High Noon Law Passed. No Evolution For You!

Eyes Wide Shut

Once again, Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, has told the world that the reason President Bush invaded Iraq was pure bullshit.


WASHINGTON (April 26) - Wrapping up his investigation into Saddam Hussein's purported arsenal, the CIA's top weapons hunter in Iraq said his search for weapons of mass destruction "has been exhausted" without finding any.

Nor did he find any evidence that such weapons were shipped officially from Iraq to Syria to be hidden before the U.S. invasion, but he couldn't rule out some unofficial transfer of limited WMD-related materials. He closed his effort with words of caution about potential future threats and careful assessment of this and other unanswered questions.

The Bush administration justified its 2003 invasion of Iraq as necessary to eliminate Hussein's purported stockpile of WMD.

"As matters now stand, the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible," wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the report he issued last fall. "After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted."

Full story:

So how does Mr. Bush explain this to the families of the more than 1,500 soldiers killed trying to "secure" Iraq? And why the hell doesn't someone, ANYONE, hold his feet to the fire about this issue?

Jeb Signs High Noon Bill Into Law


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 26) - With a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association at his side, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a law Tuesday to make it clear that people have a right to meet "force with force" to defend themselves on the street.

The measure, which passed the Legislature overwhelmingly earlier this year, says that people who are under attack do not have to retreat before responding.

"To have to retreat ... defies common sense," Bush said.

Full story:

I don't think sane people have a problem with someone vigorously defending themselves if under attack. The problem I see with this is that every Travis Bickle wannabe will see this as an excuse to walk around packing heat, trying to instigate situations that can be construed by some to seem as if they were being attacked, and therefore, simply had no choice but to snuff some poor bastard who inadvertently might have jostled him in a crowded bar.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

In the continuing battle between common sense, logic and evidence versus superstition, dogma and prejudice, the Kansas State Board of Education is expected to abandon the teaching of evolution in public schools, and to replace it with the nonsense commonly referred to as "intelligent design".

For those unfamiliar with the term, intelligent design is nothing more than a euphemism for creationism. You know, the belief system that claims that the version of our planet's history is completely and accurately described in the Christian Bible.


TOPEKA, Kan. (April 26) - Students in Lisa Volland's advanced biology class examine flowers, lemons and corn under the microscope, pondering how the plants evolved over time to improve their chances of survival.

The Topeka West High School teacher does not discuss the biblical story of creation or "intelligent design," just "the big e-word," as she jokingly calls it. "I don't think you can talk about living organisms without talking about evolution," she said. "We don't talk about religion."

Classrooms like Volland's have come under scrutiny - again - in Kansas' seesawing battle between left and right over the teaching of evolution. The battle could heat up over the coming weeks, with Kansas' State Board of Education expected to revise its science standards in June.

In 1999, the board deleted most references to evolution in the standards, bringing international ridicule and wisecracks from the late-night comedians. Elections the next year made the board less conservative, resulting in the current standards describing evolution as a key concept for students to learn.

Full story:

Let's suppose that these people succeed in their effort to de-secularize the public schools in their state. What then happens when these kids graduate and try to compete for jobs with kids from other states which don't take such a dim view of science? Or better yet, since, by definition, they WON'T be able to compete, for what sorts of jobs WILL they be qualified? While you ponder those questions, I'll ask another one. Do you think it is likely that, if we concede and let creationism hold sway over evolution in science classes, that we can lobby the churches to have them equipped with telescopes, microscopes, bunsen burners and the like?

Monday, April 25, 2005

More Big Lies. Backstabbers, Inc. Blatant Hypocrisy. No Rollback Just Yet.

When The Lies Are So Big...

Today at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush pretended to care about the soaring price of oil and it's relationship to sharp price increases at the nation's gasoline pumps. Excerpt:

CRAWFORD, Texas (April 25) - President Bush on Monday pressed (begged) Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah to help curb skyrocketing oil prices that are hurting American families and businesses, and a top adviser said a Saudi plan to increase production would have an impact.

''When you increase the capacity by a significant amount, which they are talking about, that can't help but have a positive downward effect on prices,'' said Bush's national security adviser, Steve Hadley.

As Bush and Abdullah met for several hours at the president's ranch, the Saudis presented a plan - outlined last week in a speech by Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi - to increase production capacity to 12.5 million barrels per day by 2009 from the current 11 million limit. If necessary, Saudi Arabia would eventually develop a capacity of 15 million barrels per day. The kingdom now pumps about 9.5 million barrels daily.

The talks also included Middle East peace initiatives
(failures), the pace of democratic change in the desert kingdom and counterterror efforts. But the White House, with gasoline prices averaging over $2.20 a gallon nationwide and dampening the president's popularity, was eager to telegraph any results that could help ease the pain at the pump.

Full Story:
I heard a sound bite from this tool Hadley on NPR this afternoon. He acts surprised that, as the weather improves across the country, people will want to take more trips in their cars. Shock! Dismay! Amazement! He is also probably one of the same knobs who expressed bewilderment that the demand for home heating oil in the northeast increased from November through March. We may be looking at the next Nobel Laureate in Economics...

I'll Take Backstabbing Sons Of Bitches For $200 Alex

This one literally makes me sick...

WASHINGTON (April 25) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether U.S. prisoners of war who say they were tortured during the 1991 Gulf War should collect a $959 million judgment from Iraq.

The justices let stand a lower court ruling that threw out the lawsuit by the 17 former POWs and 37 family members. That ruling, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year, said Congress never authorized such lawsuits against foreign governments.

The dispute pitted the Bush administration, which argued the money was needed to rebuild Iraq, against former service members.

Full Story:
How on earth can anyone accept this type of behavior? Is this what Dubya meant when he said "help is on the way" to audiences of military personnel? And pardon me, but didn't Congress just give Bush ANOTHER $81 billion Greenspans (on top of the previous aid packages) to help "rebuild Iraq"? And as an aside, are Tom DeLay and Bill Frist upset with THIS judicial ruling?

Predicition: Unless SOMEONE in the Democratic Party (or a sane Republican or ten) draws a line and says "NO MORE!", Jeb Bush will be pulling the same shit when soldiers sue for damages inflicted upon them from THIS war. And his response will be: "That money is needed to help rebuild Iran (or Syria, or Lebanon...)

I'll Take Blatant Hypocrisy For $200 Alex?

In yet another example of picking on certain types of "enemies" while ignoring and encouraging others, we have a story by Jerry Meldon and Robert Parry from Consortium News. Excerpt:

While the Bush administration holds dozens of suspected Muslim terrorists on secret or flimsy evidence, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists slipped into the United States via Mexico and traveled to Florida without setting off any law enforcement alarms.

Though the terrorist’s presence has been an open secret in Miami, neither President George W. Bush nor Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered a manhunt. The U.S. press corps has been largely silent as well.

The reason is that this terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, was a CIA-trained Cuban whose long personal war against Fidel Castro’s government is viewed sympathetically by the two Bush brothers and their father. When it comes to the Bush family, Posada is the epitome of the old saying that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

The Bush administration – which has imprisoned Jose Padilla and other alleged Muslim “enemy combatants” without trial – has taken a far more lenient approach toward the 77-year-old Posada, who is still wanted in Venezuela for the bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane in 1976 that killed 73 people. Posada also has admitted involvement in a deadly hotel bombing campaign in Cuba in 1997.

Full Story:
How's that for having both sides of the argument? Since Posada is one of our guys, he's okay, especially if he's not a Muslim. But he'd best not get too uppity lest he learn the same lesson another Bush family asset, Manuel Noreiga, learned the hard way -- know your place!

No State Income Tax Rollback In Bay State

In a move certain to rankle Massachusetts taxpayers, the State Legislature declined to roll the state income tax levels to a voter referrendum mandated level. Excerpt from

BOSTON -- House lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected efforts to cut the state income tax rate from 5.3 percent to 5 percent during their first day of debate Monday on a proposed $23.7 billion budget plan.

By a 135-21 vote along partisan lines, the House voted instead to ask the state Department of Revenue to study what effect the cut in revenue would have on the state and local communities. House lawmakers also rejected an effort to make charitable donations tax deductible. Republicans led the charge on both questions.

They pointed to a ballot question overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2000 to cut the income tax rate from 5.85 percent to 5 percent over three years. In 2002, as the state's economy soured, lawmakers froze the rate at 5.3 percent. As the state's economy sputters to life again, it's time to fulfill that promise, Republicans said.

"Why is it OK to raise taxes during an emergency and then never cut them again?" said Rep. Donald Humason Jr., R-Westfield.

This is a sticky situation. I remember during the first Bush recession of the early 90s. The state lost a lot of jobs, even when sweetheart deals were made with major companies (like Raytheon where I worked, and from where I was eventually laid off), so things aren't as cut and dried as they seem. Also, look at the key phrase, "as the state's economy sputters to life again". That tells you that we aren't out of the economic tall grass just yet. Besides, Representative Humason's words sound eerily like Governor Bush during Campaign 2000, and look what happened.

I'm certainly not a proponent of higher taxes, but it seems to me that if we can weather this lousy economy for a while longer, then when things really get moving, the rollback will have a much bigger impact on people's spending power.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Weekend Catch-Up. Sox Avoid Sweep But Not Controversy. Trivia Answers.

Weekend Catch-Up
In order to avoid the repetitive posting of stories that matter, I urge you go to my links list and click on This weekend was a particularly hot one at his site, and you will find stories about some of the issues I've covered in previous posts, done by the master himself.
Among these topics:
* The new pope being a perfect Bush boy.
* MORE Halliburton thievery and incompetence.
* Secretary of State Condalezza Rice and her figure-fudging about terror attacks.
* What a lying bastard Henry Hyde was and still is.
* General Wesley Clark and his importance to Campaign 2008.

Sox Avoid Sweep Amid Hit Batsmen And Ejections

The Red Sox avoided being swept by the Devil Rays with an 11-3 victory this afternoon at Tropicana Field. Starter Bronson Arroyo pitched six innings to earn the victory, but started a back-and-forth battle of hit batsmen, and near-hit batsmen that led to a LONG seventh inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, with the score 4-2 Sox, Arroyo hit Aubrey Huff (who has a .700 lifetime batting average against Arroyo) in the lower leg. Arroyo then managed to escape any futher damage. In top of the seventh, Devil Ray reliever Lance Carter threw a ball behind Manny Ramirez. The home plate ump, sensing trouble, warned both benches. Play resumed, and Manny crushed the next pitch deep into the left field stands for a homer. David Ortiz followed and was immediately dropped by a pitch near his head. He tried to get to the mound, and the benches emptied, during which time Trot Nixon, attempting to get at Carter, got into it with Dewon Brazelton instead, or at least got into it as much as two men surrounded by 50 or so other men in a giant scrum could get into it.

When order was restored, Carter, Brazleton and manager Lou Piniella were ejected, as was Nixon. Seth McClung took over on the mound for the Rays and got out of the inning with no further damage. Score 5-2 Sox.

Bottom of the seventh. Arroyo hits leadoff batter Chris Singleton. Now this was probably Arroyo's last inning, but why hit the leadoff batter in a 5-2 game? Why not try to get the first two men out, then retaliate? Anyway, Matt Mantei comes in and walked a man. Then Mike Myers came in and got a strikeout before Mike Timlin came in and surrendered a hit and a run before getting the final out of the frame. 5-3 Sox.

The top of the eigthth inning saw McClung get wild and give way to Trever Miller, and the extremely hittable Rob Bell. Bell, inheritor of a bases loaded situation, gave up a grand slam to Jay Payton, playing in place of the ejected Nixon. Two batters later, David Ortiz hit a mammoth homer, his third of the series. By the time the dust settled, it was 11-3 Sox, which is how the game ended.

Quick impressions: Edgar Renteria and Mark Bellhorn are looking smooth together as they have turned quite a few double plays. Matt Clement and David Wells look pretty good right now, and get a second crack at the Orioles who come to Fenway Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Trot Nixon has adapted well to the number two spot in the batting order. Always a patient batter, Trot walked twice today, and now has 15 walks and only 9 strikeouts. Manny and Ortiz are mashing the ball. Alan Embree has been hittable lately. I hope he gets straightened out as he is a legitimate power lefty. Matt Mantei has thrown hard, but has been wild, and must harness the heat he brings.

Trivia Answers

Here are the answers to last weeks trivia questions:

1. Name the only major league player to lead his league in stolen bases and number of times having grounded into a double play in the same season. Answer: Jackie Jensen who stole an American League-leading 22 bases and grounded into a league-leading 32 double plays for the Red Sox in 1954.

2. Name the only player to lead his league in batting average and strikeouts in the same season. Answer: George Herman "Babe" Ruth who led the American League with a .378 batting average while striking out a league-leading 81 times for the Yankees in 1924.

3. Name the player with the most strikeouts in a season in which he lead his league in batting average (NOT the same as number 2). Answer: Dave Parker who led the National League with a .338 batting average while striking out 107 times in 1977 as a member of the Pirates. Greg Luzinski of the Phillies led the NL in strikeouts that season with 140.

Here are this week's baseball brain-teasers:

1. Name the only player to play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

2. What team had the lowest winning percentage of any league champion?

3. Seven outfielders have won Gold Gloves while playing for the Red Sox. Who are they?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Nomar Is Hurt Again. Judicial Malfeasance. Arrogance, Inc.

Nomar Is Hurt Again

It’s too bad that the Blogger site was down for general maintenance two nights ago because I had a killer post. Unfortunately I lost most of it before I admitted defeat and sat down to watch the Red Sox squeak by the Orioles 1-0. Then last night, I went to publish and it wouldn't accept my html, and as I was running late for my league bowling finale dinner (at which time I saw the Sox come from behind to tie the Devil Rays only to lose in the 9th on a pinch-homer by Eduardo Perez off of Alan Embree), I saved this copy and hope to get it published today.

Oh well, such is life. But I’m back now, so while we are talking baseball, it is my sad duty to report that Nomar Garciaparra has once again landed on the disabled list, this time with a torn groin muscle. I was flipping back and forth between the Red Sox – Orioles and Cubs – Cardinals games and witnessed the incident in real time. This time he is looking at the possibility of surgery and a minimum of two months of inactivity.

This sucks because I am one of the few Red Sox followers I know who genuinely like Nomar, was sorry to see him traded and wish him well with the Cubs. Unfortunately, in the wake of the Manny for A-Rod trade that never was, Nomar was pinned with a scarlet M (for malcontent) on his chest by Theo Epstein. It was only a matter of time before he was gone.

This is a typical Red Sox tactic when they want to get rid of popular, productive players. Don’t believe me? How about these examples: Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Bruce Hurst, Oil Can Boyd, John Tudor, Carlton Fisk, Luis Tiant. Need I continue? Anyway, the vultures are swooping down, ready to feed on Nomar’s bloody carcass in a sickening case of kicking a guy when he is down.

How quickly we forget that Nomar was the first right-handed hitter in the American League to win back to back batting crowns (1999 at .357 and 2000 at .372) since some guy named DiMaggio did it for one of those New York teams in 1939 and 1940. Well, I haven’t forgotten. Nomar, here’s to as speedy and effective a recovery as possible.

I’ll Take Arrogant Bastards For $200 Alex

I heard the following story on the radio yesterday, and found it in Yahoo News today. It is a warning to those who have a tendency to yawn when bored. It also reveals a potential front-runner for one of the inevitable Supreme Court Justice vacancies.

Yawning Proves Costly in Courtroom

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Boredom proved costly to a potential juror who let out a loud yawn in a Los Angeles courtroom and was promptly ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Veals found the man in contempt of court during an lengthy April 1 jury selection procedure when he waved his arms, yawned, and told the judge he was "really bored," court officials said on Wednesday. Veals imposed a $1,000 fine but slashed it to $100 when the man protested as he turned up to pay a few days later.

The man, whose identity was not revealed, was not selected to serve on a jury. Under California law, judges can fine anyone up to $1,500 to enforce order in the courtroom. But lawyers and court officials said they had never heard of such a punishment for yawning.

Can you believe this prick? So why isn’t Tom DeLay insinuating himself into this particular instance of judicial malfeasance? I’d be willing to bet he has Karl Rove’s attention after this display of arrogance.

Arrogant Bastards For $400 Alex

In yet another example of the Bush administration’s arrogance, Vice President Dick Cheney has “warned” Senate Democrats that, in the unlikely event that they show enough spine to get any vote to a deadlock, that he, as President of the Senate, will cast any tie-breaking votes. This confirms, and all but assures that there is no end in sight to the number of brutal thugs that the administration will nominate to the federal bench or other positions. Excerpt from Yahoo News AP wire:

Cheney Weighs In On Judicial Filibusters

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney warned Democrats Friday that he will cast the tie-breaking vote to ban filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominees if the Senate deadlocks on the question. Republicans are moving the Senate toward a final confrontation with Democrats over judicial nominations.

Internal GOP polling shows that most Americans don't support Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's plan to ban judicial filibusters — a tactic in which opponents can prevent a vote on a nomination with just 41 votes in the 100-member Senate.

"There is no justification for allowing the blocking of nominees who are well qualified and broadly supported," Cheney told the Republican National Lawyers Association. "The tactics of the last few years, I believe, are inexcusable." "Let me emphasize, the decision about how to proceed will be made by the Republican leadership in the Senate," Cheney said. "But if the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as president of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up or down vote."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the White House "has stepped over the line by interfering with the Senate to reduce checks and balances." "The White House has always wanted to reduce the Senate's power and the fact that Vice President Cheney is encouraging this abuse of power should strengthen the Senate's resolve to resist," Schumer said.

What else is there to say? Cheney takes his typical hard-line stance and Schumer complains that the big bully isn’t playing fair. Was Schumer ever picked on by a bully as a kid? Doesn’t he realize that the way to end the bullying is to fight back? Or does he think that the “Thank You Sir! May I Have Another?” approach is someday going to work with these monsters?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I'll Take Silly Superstitions For $200 Alex. Bush Administration Puppet Escapes Assasination.

I'll Take Silly Superstitions For $200 Alex

In the "You Ain't Gonna Believe This Shit" category, we have a Russian astrologer who is attempting to sue NASA for... oh, just read the story I cut and pasted from Russian Astrologist Sues NASA NASA has been taken to court in Russia over its plans to crack open a comet.

Marina Bai, a Russian astrologist, filed a lawsuit last month with the Presnensky district court in Moscow, demanding that the U.S. space agency call off its $311 million Deep Impact mission. As reported in, Bai is also asking for 8.7 billion rubles ($311 million) in compensation for moral damages.

“The actions of NASA infringe upon my system of spiritual and life values, in particular on the values of every element of creation, upon the unacceptability of barbarically interfering with the natural life of the universe, and the violation of the natural balance of the Universe,” Bai said in her claim.

Deep Impact, which is already in space, is scheduled to collide with Comet 9P/Tempel 1 on July 4th of this year. The spacecraft carries explosives, which will be used to dig out a crater in the comet. Scientists will then hope to learn what a typical comet is made of. The district court dismissed the Bai’s case, but the Moscow City Court took up the appeal and will rule following a hearing scheduled for May 6.

Benny Peiser, a researcher at Liverpool John Moores University who follows asteroid science and the surrounding media and public attention, said even some Russian scientists have jumped on this court case, calling the space mission an act of "vandalism that cannot be justified."

"I can only hope that this irrational technophobia is not a sign of things to come in other parts of Europe, which is already falling worryingly behind internationally in science and technology, never mind space exploration," Peiser told

Wait... this just in:

Michael Griffin, new head administrator of NASA had only one brief comment: "As a scientist, I have to say that this is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. I'd be laughing out loud, but I'm waiting for the reactions of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Oh, and the new pope might have something constructive to add as well..."

And Senate Republicans think that we have too many frivolous lawsuits. Thanks to fellow space enthusiast Em Jeigh for alerting me to this mind-numbing development.

Bush Administration Puppet Escapes Assasination

In yet another shining example of the Bush administration's success in Iraq, puppet prime minister Iyad Allawi survived an assasination attempt last night. Excerpt from Yahoo News Rueters wire:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's caretaker prime minister Iyad Allawi escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday night when a suicide bomber in a car attacked his convoy near his home, a government spokesman said.

The attack killed one policeman and wounded four, the spokesman said. Allawi was in a meeting on forming Iraq's government and then headed to his house near his party headquarters when the suicide bomber struck, said the spokesman Thaier al-Naqib. Allawi was unhurt.

Full story:

So how many more assasination attempts, car bombings, roadside ambushes and other dangers are we going to experience in the now "free" Iraq? Are the douchebags running this charade EVER going to be held accountable for their endless fuckups? How many more "caretaker" puppets are there left to act as targets for the insurgents? When Iraq's new government is finally formed, are the members of this body going to be stupid enough to let the Iraqi people know their names? Talk about painting a target on your own back.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'll Take Stoning For $200 Alex. Bolton Twists In The Wind. Why Vampires Avoid Daylight.

Inquisition Anyone?

From the "You'll Get Nothing And Like It!" department, the Catholic Church has a new leader. The Conclave of Cardinals has elected extremist Cardinal Joesph Ratzinger as the new pope. Taking the name Pope Benedict XVI, the new pontiff's selection should make knuckledraggers all over the world, and especially here in the U.S. happy with his hardline views on such topics as abortion, homosexuality and ordaning women as priests. The following AOL News story excerpt gives some idea of what we can expect from the new Holy Father:

Some have questioned whether the new pope betrayed any pro-Nazi sentiment during his teenage years in Germany during World War II. In his memoirs, Ratzinger wrote that he was enrolled in the Nazi youth movement against his will when he was 14 in 1941, when membership was compulsory. He said he was soon let out because of his studies for the priesthood. Two years later he was drafted into a Nazi anti-aircraft unit as a helper, a common taks for teenage boys too young to be soldiers. A year later he was released, only to be sent to the Austrian-Hungarian border to construct tank barriers.

Full story:
Unsurprisingly, President Bush called the new pope a ''man of great wisdom and knowledge.'' Curious words from a man with an appreciable lack of both qualitites.

Not that I care a great deal about this development, having left the Catholic Church not long after having been "confirmed". I find the faith a regressive machine that aggresively tries to curtail any level of imagination and intellectual curiosity. In a world that is as dynamic as ours is, I find such a position inexcusable and indefensible.

But don't take my word for it. Here is E.J. Dionne's take about the new pope's address to the conclave before the voting process began:

The modern world, Ratzinger insisted, has jumped "from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, up to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and on and on."

Those are fighting words. They guaranteed that Ratzinger, who was Pope John Paul II's enforcer of orthodoxy, will either set the church's course -- or offer his fellow cardinals the ideas they choose to react against. Decades from now many conservative Catholics will see the war against the "dictatorship of relativism" as their central mission. It's not a line you forget.

Gee, the new pontiff sounds like he'd be right at home in the Bush administration, doesn't he? Full Washington Post article:

Bolton's Confirmation Delayed

But the news isn't all bad...

WASHINGTON (April 19) - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador after a Republican senator said he was not prepared to vote for him on Tuesday and cast the nomination in doubt.
''I've heard enough today that I don't feel comfortable about voting for Mr. Bolton,'' Ohio Sen. George Voinovich said, stunning fellow Republicans who were set to push the contentious nomination through the committee on a party-line vote. Without Voinovich's support, Bolton's nomination faced being bottled up in the committee on a 9-9 tie vote that would not advance it to the full Senate.

Full AOL News story:
What a shame. Now another Republican is going against the grain. First it was Chuck Hagel expressing severe doubts about Bolton, and now Voinovich doesn't feel "comfortable" about the man. And let's not forget Rhode Island's Lincoln Chaffee is still undecided about this matter. Is this a sign that the Bush administration's chickens are coming home to roost?

The Man Behind The Curtain Speaks!

In a shocking display of candor, and an unconvincing attempt to play the victim, Karl Rove, Bush administation fixer extraordinaire, lashed out at the very media that, through it's unwillingness to hold President Bush and his policies to the "standards" it demanded during the Clinton years, has been complicit in aiding this President to put those same policies into practice. Excerpt time:

CHESTERTOWN, Md. (April 19) - The media have started applying the horse race style of campaign coverage to daily reporting on government, leading to adversarial reporting that can obscure the truth just to create conflict, President Bush's chief political strategist said Monday.

Speaking at a forum at Washington College, Karl Rove said the influx of media outlets and the shrinking shelf life of news in a 24-hour news cycle are to blame. ''We are substituting the shrill and rapid call of the track announcer for calm judgment, fact and substance,'' Rove told the crowd of roughly 600 students and local residents.

"Shrill and rapid call of the track announcer for calm judgment, fact and substance.'' How's that for being a hypocritical shithead? Talk about trying to have both sides of the argument. That's a perfect description of Fox News. Thank you Mr. Rove for finally getting something right! Full AOL News story:

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mount Everest Getting Taller? Darwin Award Contestant. Marathon Monday Musings. Trivia Clarification.

Mount Everest Still Growing. K2 Alleges Steroid Use.

Apparently Mount Everest is taking allegations of K2's comparable size to heart, and is reacting to the upstart by beefing up. Full story from Yahoo News below:

BEIJING, (AFP) - A team of Chinese scientists began to remeasure Mount Everest for the first time in 20 years, checking theories that it is growing one centimeter (0.4 inch) annually, state media said.

Six scientists, four mountaineers and four Sherpa guides will use radar and global positioning equipment to re-survey the peak, the world's highest, said expedition head Zhang Jiangqi. The official height of the mountain, straddling China's border with Nepal, is currently 8,848 meters (29,500 feet), but it is believed to be growing, Xinhua news agency said, citing the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

"The height and environment of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) has changed greatly in the past 30 years and the re-survey of the region will help to understand the mountain's reaction to global climate change," said Zhang.
It is China's fourth such expedition following others in 1959, 1966 and 1975.

The scientists will also conduct research on the impact of global warming on glaciers and make observations of atmospheric physics and chemistry, bio-diversity, and environmental changes in the Himalayan region, Xinhua said.

K2 reacted harshly to the news by claiming that Everest doesn't put in as many hours in the gym as it used to, and is taunting the giant peak to get tested to prove itself clean. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) says he will use his influence in a manner similar to that in which he got baseball to come up with a tough testing program. McCain will send a team of analysts to examine the runoff of Everest's glaciers to see if the mountain has been doping. However, there has been no mention of any type of punishment should tests come back positive.

Early 2005 Darwin Award Candidate

This tidbit from Reuters. The headline reads: Police advise against lying in the road. It could just as easily read: "Duh!" Apparently the motorist in this story didn't have the Canadian equivalent of AAA...

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Police in a Vancouver suburb issued an unusual warning to drivers on Monday: If you run out fuel, do not lay down on the road to get assistance.

Police were alerted to a man's body laying along the Trans Canada Highway in the predawn darkness only to discover he was "quite alive", but that his car had run out of gas and he "wanted to attract someone's attention".

"Guess it worked, but police don't really recommend this method," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Burnaby, British Columbia, said in a press release. The man's car was towed, but no charges were filed.

How about charging him with extreme stupidity?

Marathon Monday. Sox Pound Blue Jays. George Steinbrenner Is Not Happy.

In this year's Boston Marathon, Ethiopia's Hailu Negussie covered the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Back Bay in 2:11:45 for the men's title. Kenyans had won 13 of the previous 14 men's races. Catherine Ndereba of Kenya won the women's title with a time of 2:25:13. Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa won his fifth consecutive wheelchair race, finishing in 1:24:11.

The Red Sox pounded the Blue Jays 12-7 in a sloppy game that saw Manny Ramirez lose two fly balls in the sun, but also lose two balls into the seats for home runs (one of which was a controversial call that was originally ruled a double, and which earned Blue Jays manager John Gibbon an ejection) as Curt Schilling won his first game of 2005.

But the best news of the day came in the form of George Steinbrenner's latest outburst after the Yankees got swept by the Orioles in a weekend series. Excerpt from the ESPN story:

The New York Yankees have stumbled to a 4-8 start, drawing the ire of owner George Steinbrenner. Meanwhile, the rival Boston Red Sox are hitting their stride. Steinbrenner lashed out at his $200 million team Sunday, moments after Baltimore beat the Yankees 8-4 at Camden Yards to complete a three-game sweep. New York has dropped four straight and eight of 10 overall.

"Enough is enough. I am bitterly disappointed, as I'm sure all Yankee fans are, by the lack of performance by our team," Steinbrenner said in a statement issued immediately after the game.
"It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk. They are not playing like true Yankees. They have the talent to win and they are not winning. I expect Joe Torre, his complete coaching staff and the team to turn this around."

You've gotta love this. Especially the part about "not playing like true Yankees". Christ, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera were part of the Yankee clubs that won four World Series Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, but now that they, and the rest of the team, are off to a bad start they are no longer "true Yankees". I am a Yankee hater, but even I have to say that this rant is pure bullshit, even from a man known for spewing this type of fertilizer. Full story:

Trivia Clarification

Thanks to ken kanniff of connecticut, I see that I should clarify two of yesterday's trivia questions. Here they are again, with some notes to clear up a couple if issues:

1. Name the only major league player to lead his league in stolen bases and number of times having grounded into a double play in the same season. This one is fine...

2. Name the only player to lead his league in batting average and strikeouts in the same season.

3. Name the player with the most strikeouts in a season in which he lead his league in batting average (NOT the same as number 2).

Notes: What differentiates questions 2 and 3 is that the player who is the answer to question 2, while having led his league in striking out during the same season in which he won a batting title, did NOT compile the highest strikeout total ever for a player who won a batting title in the same season.

The player who is the answer to question 3 actually struck out more often during the season in which he won his batting title than the player in question 2 did during his season, but he did NOT lead his league in strikeouts that season. So, to sum up, I am looking for two different players here. I apologize for the confusion, and hope this helps.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Republican Obstructionism Against A Republican? Sox Weekend Sweep. Baseball Trivia.

Not So Fast Mr. Bolton...

In an AP story I found on Yahoo, it appears that UN Ambassador hopeful John Bolton (R-My Way or the Highway) is having difficulty convincing a key Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he should be confirmed for the position. Apparently Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Diebold) of Nebraska has reservations about confirming this arrogant shit to such an important post. Some of Hagel's reasons can be found in the following excerpt:

WASHINGTON - A top Senate Republican raised the possibility Sunday that he might vote against President Bush's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations if more accusations surface about John Bolton's alleged harassment of analysts who disagreed with his views. With a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote expected Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was asked whether he would endorse Bolton.

"At this point, I will ... but I have been troubled with more and more allegations, revelations, coming about his style, his method of operation," said Hagel, the committee's No. 2 Republican. "We need a uniter," he told CNN's "Late Edition." "We need a builder. We need someone who will reach out to our friends and our allies at the United Nations."

Full story:
Why the hell is it that this kind of resistance isn't coming from the Senate Democrats? But, dig the irony of the phrase "we need a uniter". If the Dems were awake and on the job they could have beaten Hagel to the punch on this. But maybe it's better this way. It's got to be a major bite in the ass for the White House to have one of Campaign 2000's slickest sound bites used against it's nominee to undermine the UN. Dubya, Cheney, Rove and the rest of the gargoyles have got to be extremely unhappy about this, and right now that's good enough for me.

Red Sox Sweep Devil Rays

The Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3-1 this afternoon behind the solid pitching of starter Tim Wakefield, a home run by Edgar Renteria, and a two-run single by Jay Payton. The win gave the Sox a three game sweep over the Devil Rays, and their fourth straight win overall on the young season.

The Devil Rays didn't show much offense in this series, having lost the first two games by 10-0 and 6-2 scores. This team does have some promising young players. Aubrey Huff is a .300, 30 home run bat wherever he plays (he came up as a third baseman, has played first base, left field and right field). Left fielder Carl Crawford has the American League in stolen bases each of the last two seasons. Injured center fielder Rocco Baldelli has star written all over him. They have a solid, but not spectacular shortstop in Julio Lugo. Travis Lee is a decent first baseman. Second baseman Jorge Cantu looks like he can be a good major league player, and knocking on the door is minor-league shortstop B.J. Upton, so there is some talent here.

But pitching is the key to a good team, and the starting pitching in this series was terrible, featuring lots of walks, which had to have been driving manager Lou Piniella crazy. Veteran Hideo Nomo was awful on Friday. Promising youngster Dewon Brazelton wasn't any better last night, and equally promising youngster Scott Kazmir was lucky the Sox only managed three runs off of him today. But Piniella should take some encouragement from the performances of his long releivers. In each of the three games, the second man to the mound was able to keep the Sox bats silent. Friday night it was former Sox lefty Casey Fossum. Saturday night it was Lance Carter. This afternoon it was Doug Waechter. I wonder if Lou is thinking of shuffling his starting rotation around?

Tomorrow morning, Patriots Day, otherwise known as Marathon Monday, features the earliest starting time in the major leagues as the Red Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays for an 11:00 AM start. Curt Schilling takes the mound for the Red Sox.

Baseball Trivia - Odd Combination Edition

Welcome to baseball trivia - odd combination edition. In what I hope I can make a recurring feature here, I'll start off with three odd combo questions.

1. Name the only major league player to lead his league in stolen bases and number of times having grounded into a double play in the same season.

2. Name the only player to lead his league in batting average and strikeouts in the same season.

3. Name the player with the most strikeouts in a season in which he lead his league in batting average (NOT the same as number 2).

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Music Review: Glenn Hughes - Soul Mover

Soul Mover is the latest CD from Glenn Hughes, the master of funky rock with a heavy, classic feel. Hughes, for those not familiar with his career, is the former bassist/vocalist for the bands Trapeze and Deep Purple. Soul Mover is his most recent solo release.
Hughes and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith lead things off on the title track with a heavy funk groove for guest star Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) to lay down a slick guitar solo.
She Moves Ghostly is an up-tempo track that features some nice multi-tracked vocals from the man himself. Longtime guitarist JJ Marsh (who has been with Hughes since Glenn's 1996 Addiction CD) throws down a tight guitar solo over the Smith's energetic percussion.
High Road is a solid piece of heavy funk with Hughes digging a deep groove on the bass over which Smith provides some nice fills. Marsh throws in an oriental-tinged solo while keyboardist Ed Roth gives the track a spacey feel.
Orion is a pumping, but lryically silly slice of funk that features some interesting interplay between Marsh and Roth.
Change Yourself is a mid-tempo song that contains some of Hughes' most heartfelt singing as he touches on the theme of self-improvement. As if on cue, the next track, Let It Go, seems to symbolize some of Glenn's own experience with the aforementioned subject by way of self-examination. The track has a dark feel in the slower parts, but the mood picks up with more of Hughes' emotional vocals that lead into a spirited guitar solo by Marsh. Smith holds the beat down while Roth provides a gloomy feel.
Dark Star is a chunk of funk in which Hughes and Smith form a foundation for Marsh and Roth to throw some slinky fills around. In addition, Marsh also fires off a tight wah-wah laced solo to keep things pumping.
Isolation begins with some soft percussion, steady bass and subtle keyboard work as Glenn's multi-tracked voice fills with emotion as the track picks up in intensity before slowing down again. Marsh fires off a quick solo as the song slows down once again, and Hughes soulful voice blends with Roth's quiet keyboards to end the track.
Land Of The Livin' (Wonderland) is an up-tempo song that is only slightly less silly lyrically than Orion. Smith hammers the drum kit for all he is worth while Marsh gets busy on the wah-wah once again. Roth throws in some nice fills around the Hughes-Smith backbeat.
Miss Little Insane is a heavy rocker with Hughes pounding bass lines and Smith's sharp fills. Marsh and Roth combine in the solo spot to make some chaotic sounds.
Last Mistake is a slow, melodic song in which the entire band comes together nicely. Marsh's and Smith's fills are short and understated. Marsh's main guitar solo flourishes over Roth's organ playing.
Don't Let Me Bleed goes from ballad-like verses to heavy choruses. Marsh takes a long, meandering solo that doesn't stray far from the main melody. Smith's drumming goes from a light touch to a heavy stomp over and over. Roth again provides some nice lines toward the end of the song as he joins Marsh as they play some tight harmonies.

My overall impression is that this is the most cohesive collection of songs Glenn has put together since his 2000 release, Return Of Crystal Karma. Over the years, Hughes has performed at such a high level that it seems absurd to suggest that anything new he does is his best effort, whether it is his bass playing, singing or writing/arranging. The Smith and Navarro contributions were brilliant, and one wonders if they will be included in future Hughes recordings. Fans of Glenn's previous work should like this new effort just fine.

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Fitting Tribute. French Or Thousand Island?

Bush, Cheney, Rummy "Honored". Slime-Mold Beetles Not Amused.

In a fitting tribute, a pair of entomologists have named three species of slime-mold beetles to honor President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Thanks to Em Jeigh for forwarding this CNN story. Of course, by now, every other blogger in the aether has taken their shots at this story, so I'll just show an excerpt:

ITHACA, New York (AP) -- Not just anybody can say he has a slime-mold beetle named in his honor. But George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld can.

Entomologists Quentin Wheeler and Kelly B. Miller, who recently had the task of naming 65 newly discovered species of slime-mold beetles, named three species after the president, vice president and defense secretary. The monikers: Agathidium bushi Miller and Wheeler, Agathidium cheneyi Miller and Wheeler, and Agathidium rumsfeldi Miller and Wheeler.

Naming the beetles after Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld was intended to pay homage to them, said Wheeler, who taught at Cornell University for 24 years and now is with the Natural History Museum in London. "We admire these leaders as fellow citizens who have the courage of their convictions and are willing to do the very difficult and unpopular work of living up to principles of freedom and democracy rather than accepting the expedient or popular," he said. Wheeler and Miller, who was at Cornell and now is a postdoctoral fellow at Brigham Young University, published the names in the March 24 issue of the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.

I will assume that these guys are playing it straight with this homage that reads like an Onion piece. Full story here:
I guess this kind of thing is one way to ensure that your grant money continues to roll in. Still, you've gotta love that line about not "accepting the expedient or popular". So what are the Vegas odds that these guys end up with a reality TV show by the end of the summer? Cameras could follow them as part of a group of research scientists 24 X 7 as they go through their routines. Eliminations could take place when one of them commits an act of eggregious butt-kissing as they try to mold theories about potential new discoveries, or twist established theories, to fit the Bush administration's view of life.

For example, if H. Rodney McKenzie-Guthwaite of Trenchmouth College announces that, from his research into the potential for slowing the spread of AIDS through use of vampire bats, he has found a particular type of bat whose bite renders the recipient immune to the disease. He might then be inclined to name the bat after someone like, oh, Paul Wolfowitz, the new head of the World Bank. At this point, the other scientists could vote him out of the lab for such a blatantly stereotypical tribute. Or if Randall F. Mantramocker of Miskatonic University announced that, through his years of observations using the 8.3 mile-diameter Unbelievably Friggin HUGE Telescope, that the alleged Face on Mars is not only an artificial relic, but is in fact the face of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, then the other scientists could boot his ass when he suggests that the Face be re-named for the former Top Cop. To protect this potentially hot intellectual property, this post serves as a legally binding form of communication in the event that any greedy network hacks try to jump my claim...

I Wonder If It Was French Dressing?

A few words are in order about the recent spate of attacks on conservatives. Okay, maybe just two words: RIGHT ON!!! Ann Coulter, William Kristol and Pat Buchanan have been attacked by people who threw pies and salad dressing at them during their speaking engagements. Buchanan's incident here:

Strangely, I had mixed feelings when I heard about the Buchanan incident. Even though I think he's nuts, he has never been shy about admitting that he is an unfeeling, uncaring, unapologetic xenophobe/homophobe. That is an endearing quality in a way because Buchanan, unlike Coulter and her "Liberals Are Responsible For Everything Bad That Has Ever Happened Since The Fall Of The Roman Empire, Which, By The Way, They Helped To Usher In", is actually well-read and articulate. You may disagree with his positions, but you cannot doubt that he has put in some serious time and effort into researching the subjects he addresses (I just wish he'd use his powers for good, not evil). Coulter, by contrast, has been exposed as a fraud and a liar due to the sloppy research that makes up the bulk of her shitty books.

My conservative friends, of course, wailed long and loud about the "pettiness" of these attacks by liberals against conservatives. They tried to pin my position down to see if I condoned such "lawless behavior". I paraphrased Bartcop as part of my response.
A. It was the conservatives who asked for this treatment by promising to "change the tone" of the discourse in DC. So as part of this change, they quickly jumped into the gutter by defaming war heroes like Max Cleland and dropping f-bombs on Patrick Leahy. So if you find your guys getting pied, I'm not going to cry for them because...
B. These attacks employed the use of pies and salad dressing. Your side employs the use of bullets and disables small airplanes. The difference should be obvious.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Red Sox 8, Yankees 5

The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the rubber match of their three-game series by a score of 8-5 at Fenway Park tonight. This game featured just about everything. The Sox hit three homers off of Yankee starter Randy Johnson. Jay Payton and Edgar Renteria each hit two-run shots, and Jason Varitek added a solo blast, the 100th of his career. Sox starter Bronson Arroyo was not sharp and gave up a 4-1 lead with some wildness, and at least one questionable call by home plate umpire Greg Gibson, who had an inconsistent night. Sox manager Terry Francona and hitting coach Ron Jackson were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

The game was tied in the eighth inning when the Sox put together a three-run rally that began with a Johnny Damon single to lead off the frame. Edgar Renteria followed with a hit-and-run gapper to the wall in left center for a double that scored Damon. After manny Ramirez flew out to left field, David Ortiz was walked intentionally. Kevin Millar popped out, then Jason Varitek hit a triple down the right field line to score Renteria and Ortiz. However, this play turned ugly as Gary Sheffield, in pursuit of the ball as it hugged the curved part of the wall, appeared to have been struck by a fan. He lunged at the fan as he picked the ball up, then went back to confront the man after he threw the ball back to the infield. Security quickly intervened and order was eventually restored after several tense minutes.

Sox closer Keith Foulke, starting his second inning of worked, faced Sheffield leading off the ninth. Sheff hit a double. Hideki Matsui walked. Alex Rodriguez flew out to deep left. Jorge Posada popped out to short left. Jason Giambi then walked to load the bases. Ruben Sierra ended things with a foul pop-up that Jason Varitek handled for the final out.

Lou Piniella's Tampa Bay Devil Rays come to Fenway for a weekend series that starts tomorrow night.

Piling It On Rush.

Below is an excerpt from Rush Limbaugh's radio show that has people talking. What they are talking about is what a loud gasbag he is. The excerpt appears on Atrios' Eschaton site.

LIMBAUGH: When does he start up this stupid little network? August? Yip yip yip yahoo. You know what Gore said about this? It's going to be liberal. It's going to reflect the point of view of young people. What the hell is that, Al? What the hell is the point of view of young people? Blow jobs, that's what they're doing out there. They're out there getting oral sex all day long, that's what they're talking about. Al made sure that's become the number one sport in high school today. So, I guess you're going to have a BJ network out there, Al, is that what you're going to do? You're going to call your network the oral sex channel out there, start competing with MTV?

This is some crazy shit, even for a man renowned for screaming crazy shit. It would be easy enough to blame this outburst on his hillbilly heroin addiction, but I think TBogg has it right when he speculates that Daryn isn't giving his porcine ass any action.
TBogg's take:

The Red Sox are about to take on Randy Johnson, so I'll blog atcha later...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Wanted: Supreme Court Justices With Bad Posture. Scraped Knuckles A Must...

So Much For An Independent Judiciary

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer -- and perhaps a few more bodyguards.
Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.

So begins a Washington Post story about mean old Justice Kennedy who seems to have reservations concerning the way the extremist wing of the Republican party wants to disperse "justice". Phyllis Schlafly, longtime right-wing harridan, was among the critics who seem to think that Justice Kennedy is a little too sane for thier way of thinking. Another, attorney Edwin Vieira, compared Kennedy to Josef Stalin as he joined the rest of the knuckledraggers gathered at a conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith". The last sentence of the cut-and-paste job scares me. Just what does "or worse" mean?

These fools want Kennedy impeached. Typically, this is a case of these right-wing morons trying to have both sides of the "judicial discretion" issue. On one hand, they will complain if a jurist looks past the concrete facts of a case to see if there are ways to decide a fair outcome. But on the other hand, when the same jurist simply follows the letter of the law, as in the Terri Schaivo case, they scream bloody murder. There's just no pleasing some folks. And since Justice Kenndy was a Ronald Reagan appointee, it seems hard to see how Saint Reagan could have made such an error in judgement as to appoint such a dunce to the Supreme Court in the first place.
Full story here:

Yankees 5, Red Sox 2

Yankee starter Jaret Wright wriggled out of early trouble to pitch five innings of two-run ball as the Yankees beat the Red Sox at Fenway tonight 5-2. Wright battled early wildness, and the Sox bats couldn't capitalize for Curt Schilling, who was making his 2005 debut.

Schilling pitched into the sixth inning where he was touched for a two-run homer by Jason Giambi, and a solo shot by Bernie Williams. Unfortunately, Sox manager Terry Francona must not have been paying attention to Schilling's growing pitch count, which was nearing 100 as the inning began.

The two teams meet again tomorrow night in the rubber match of the three-game series. Randy Johnson takes the mound for the Pinstripes while Bronson Arroyo goes for the Sox.
So Much For An Independent Judiciary

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer -- and perhaps a few more bodyguards.
Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.

So begins a Washington Post story about mean old Justice Kennedy who seems to have reservations concerning the way the extremist wing of the Republican party wants to disperse "justice". Phyllis Schlafly, longtime right-wing harridan, was among the critics who seem to think that Justice Kennedy is a little too sane for thier way of thinking. Another, attorney Edwin Vieira, compared Kennedy to Josef Stalin as he joined the rest of the knuckledraggers gathered at a conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith".

These fools want Kennedy impeached. Typically, this is a case of these right-wing morons trying to have both sides of the "judicial discretion" issue. On one hand, they will complain if a jurist looks past the concrete facts of a case to see if there are ways to decide a fair outcome. But on the other hand, when the same jurist simply follows the letter of the law, as in the Terri Schaivo case, they scream bloody murder. There's just no pleasing some folks. And since Justice Kenndy was a Ronald Reagan appointee, it seems hard to see how Saint Reagan could have made such an error in judgement as to appoint such a dunce to the Supreme Court in the first place.
Full story here:

Yankees 5, Red Sox 2

Yankee starter Jaret Wright wriggled out of early trouble to pitch five innings of two-run ball as the Yankees beat the Red Sox at Fenway tonight 5-2. Wright battled early wildness, and the Sox bats couldn't capitalize for Curt Schilling, who was making his 2005 debut.

Schilling pitched into the sixth inning where he was touched for a two-run homer by Jason Giambi, and a solo shot by Bernie Williams. Unfortunately, Sox manager Terry Francona must not have been paying attention to Schilling's growing pitch count, which was nearing 100 as the inning began.

The two teams meet again tomorrow night in the rubber match of the three-game series. Randy Johnson takes the mound for the Pinstripes while Bronson Arroyo goes for the Sox.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Security Goons For Halliburton. Novak's Knuckedragging. NASA's Nosedive Continues. Loud Vengeance.

Security?!? We'll Show You Security!!!

In a story I found on, Ronald Chavez, a security coordinator for a subsidiary of Halliburton was severely beaten last week by a group of fellow employees reportedly called the "Redneck Mafia."

Apparently Mr. Chavez made the mistake of voicing concerns about security at Baghdad Airport while within hearing distance of these thugs, so they let him have a dose of "compassionate conservatism". I can add nothing but my disgust with this behavior. Bastards. Full sad story here:

Novak's Latest Knuckledragging Episode

Below is an exceprt of yesterday's Crossfire transcript. I had to read it to believe what I had been watching...

BEGALA: -- Well at the heart of the Catholic Church's clergy abuse scandal, were not just the priests who raped children also the bishops who knew about the abuse and failed to stop it. Perhaps the worst of these moral monsters was Cardinal Bernard Law. Law reassigned Father John Geoghan from parish to parish even though Geoghan had been accused of child abuse. There's also evidence that under Cardinal Law there was a pattern of covering up allegations of abuse and shuffling child molesters from parish to parish. Today Law received one of the highest honors of the church, giving one of just nine eulogies for Pope John Paul II. For such a holy man to be eulogized by someone who abetted such evil is a tragedy and an outrage. Law is a disgrace to the Holy Mother Church. He ought to be cleaning bedpans for the poor in Haiti, not being honored in Rome.

NOVAK: I'm just Catholic convert, Paul, so I don't know that much, but I do know that I don't think Archbishop Law -- Cardinal Law, is a monster. I think he's a sinner, just as you and I are sinners. I think we have to have a little redemption. He has had his Archdiocese of Boston taken away from him. The reason he presided over this Mass was that he's been assigned to that church and they were having the Mass at that church. So I think a little forgiveness for a man who obviously has sinned, I think that's being a Christian.

BEGALA: I think taking the lord's name in vain is a sin. Abetting child molestation is a lot worse a sin, he should not have this honor. But we will just respectfully disagree.

Respectfully disagree my ass. Begala let Novak off easy. Cardinal Law is a goddamned criminal. To paraphrase the late, great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, there is a special place in the low rent section of hell for this brute. As my friend Bartcop has asked on his site: Who is responsible for having molested more children, Michael Jackson or Cardinal Law?

So where was this sense of forgiveness when Bill Clinton was having fun with Monica? Novak is a troll. Of course he sees nothing wrong with Cardinal Law's actions. And since he is a "converted Catholic", that means he is in lock-step with the religiously insane monsters running the White House. One would think that after having leaked the name of a CIA asset that his credibility would have instantly vanished, but rather than having been fired, or even investigated for his part in that debacle, the SOB still has a forum in which to drag his knuckles. Shame on CNN for keeping this shabby little hack on their payroll.

Senate Panel Ready To Give Up Space Exploration Entirely

WASHINGTON - A Senate committee on Tuesday hailed President Bush's choice to be the next NASA administrator while giving rocket scientist Michael Griffin a daunting list of tasks, including saving the Hubble telescope and speeding the delivery of a new manned space vehicle.

Thus begins a seemingly innocuous story I found on Yahoo about the changing of the guard at NASA, but if you read between the lines you'll sense that America's continued disinterest in space exploration and space science in general is as ingrained as it has ever been. A clue can be found in this paragraph:

A scheduled vote Tuesday was put off when Sen. George Allen, R-Va., sought information from Griffin on such issues as administration plans to cut NASA's budget for aeronautics research. Some 1,000 jobs at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia could be lost under President Bush's proposed budget.

Full story here:

Remember when President Bush claimed to want a manned mission to Mars, and to re-establish voyages to the Moon for the purpose of establishing a permanent manned presence there? I knew he was full of old shoes when he said these things, but what was revealed in the above passage all but proves that he doesn't give a damn about space exploration.

I was seven years old when Apollo 11 landed the first astronauts on the Moon. I've been a space enthusiast ever since that day. With the help of an uncle who was an amatuer astronomer, I began to learn about this exquisite science, and in my young mind I envisioned a world in which I'd be able to travel to the Moon or to Mars as I entered adulthood.

Little did I realize that political hacks like Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin would help to doom our space program and cause it to horribly regress throughout the 1970s and 80s. He "awarded" a Golden Fleece prize to the federal programs that he claimed were a waste of taxpayer money. The NASA budget was one of his favorite targets. Oddly enough, he had no problem raking in millions of Greenspans in dairy subsidy money for his state.

It is thanks to people like Proxmire that NASA had to cut back on programs. These cuts caused the horrible space shuttle Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003) accidents. We don't need another NASA administrator to simply bend over saying "Thank you sir may I have another!" as we lose valuable opportunities to expand the scope of our knowledge of the universe.

I suppose it is a miracle of sorts that we have had any success at all with our recent unmanned missions to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But just imagine how much more effective these missions would have been, or how much earlier they could have been carried out if it weren't for the cowardly leadership to which we seem to have grown accustomed. Then again, what else can we expect from the anti-science, anti-logic party these days?

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

And in keeping with the spirit of ending things on a lighter note, I submit for your examination an AP Strange News story from Japan in which blasted music at her neighbor for over two years:

TOKYO - Japanese police arrested a 58-year-old woman for triggering insomnia and headaches in her next door neighbor by blasting rock music at her almost continuously for over two years.

Miyoko Kawahara was arrested on suspicion of inflicting injury on the 64-year-old woman by playing loud, fast-paced dance music almost 24 hours a day on a portable stereo she had pointed at her neighbor's house 20 feet away.

Police launched their investigation after doctors diagnosed the neighbor with insomnia and headaches they attributed to the noise, a local police spokesman said on condition of anonymity. The police said Kawahara started blasting the sounds in November 2002. The police haven't pinpointed a motive for the alleged prolonged harassment, but the spokesman said the two women had spats over minor issues he declined to identify.

Under Japanese law, those convicted of inflicting injury on another person face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $2,800.

There is no mention of the artists Ms. Kawahara favored, which is a shame. I'm a heavy-metal hammerhead from back when hairspray and lipstick were NOT considered part of the scene. From my own music collection I can imagine continuous loops of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and a lot of other loud bands. I'm quite certain that none of these acts were featured in Ms. Kawahara's broadcasts, because if they had been then I'm just as certain that it wouldn't have taken the authorities 29 months to notice and act.

That's all for now. It is snowing here in the wilds of north-central Massatucky as I type this. Curt Schilling makes his 2005 debut tomorrow night as the Red Sox take on the Yankees.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Sox Get Bling, Outlaw Gets Bang!

Outlaw Laid Low By Short Fuse

So began a story I found in the Yahoo "Oddly Enough" section. I got tired of reading about sleazeballs like Tom DeLay and Cardinal Law, and since there are other bloggers out there skewering them but good, I figured why not look for something else? Boy did I find it. Check this out:

TIRANA (Reuters) - Albania's most wanted man fought off special police and eluded capture for years only to blow himself up while fishing with dynamite, police and newspapers said Friday.

Dubbed the "Last Cowboy" in northern Albania because of his gunfights with the law, Riza Malaj, 34, failed to accurately gauge the length of the fuse as he tried to blow up trout.

Doctors at the Bajram Curri hospital said he had lost both hands, badly hurt his eyes and suffered serious wounds all over his body. His family rejected offers to have him flown to a Tirana hospital where he would have been arrested immediately.

Malaj was taken to a hospital in nearby U.N.-governed Kosovo.
He was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail on charges of leading an attack on the Bajram Curri police station last year. Since 2000, warrants have been issued for Malaj's arrest on charges of willful murder, armed robbery, armed assault and battery of the education directress of the town.

I've never heard of this Malaj character, but one of the guys with whom I work claims that Malaj is "The Eric Rudolph of Eastern Europe". Maybe, but this story doesn't indicate the type of activities Rudolph carried out, and Rudolph sure as hell didn't blow himself up trying to catch some fish like this dumbass did.

Red Sox Win Home Opener With New Bling

The Red Sox beat the New York Yankees today 8-1 in their home opener. Before the game, tons of bling, in the form of the 2004 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP rings was passed out to the team that "beat the curse".

Tim Wakefield, the senior Sox player, fluttered his knuckler through seven strong innings. The Sox took an early lead on a two-run homer by Doug Mirabelli and never looked back. The Sox bats pounded Yankee starter Mike Mussina for seven runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings.

In a nice gesture, the Red Sox let former shortstop Johnny Pesky, who first joined the team in 1942, and who played on the 1946 AL Champion Red Sox team that lost that World Series to Stan Musial's Cardinals, help raise the World Series banner to half-staff along with Red Sox Hall of Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski, a member of the 1967 and 1975 AL Champion Red Sox teams.
Between these two players the Red Sox had chances to at least get to the World Series six additional times. In 1948 (Indians) and 1949 (Yankees) they lost pennants by one game each year. In 1950, they finished third, but were only four games behind the Yankees. In 1972 they lost the AL East by 1/2 game to the Tigers. In 1977 they finished tied for second with the Orioles to finish 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees. In 1978, we had the Bucky Bleeping Dent game, so these two men definitely symbolize the heartache generations of Red Sox followers have experienced. It was nice to see them included in this celebration.