November 2004 Archives

The King Is Dead. Too Bad I Didn't Kill Him.

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Based on my own experiences and tonight's show, I can say with an absolutely straight face that had I been up against Ken Jennings tonight, I would have smoked him. Period, paragraph, game in the bag by the end of Double Jeopardy, The End.

Of course, I knew tonight was going to be the night - the 6:00 news of my local Jeopardy affiliate announced as much. I thought that was a stupid idea at first, then I realized it was genius. After all, how many casual Jeopardy fans would want to miss The One Where Ken Lost?

I should have taped it so I could do a detailed breakdown (although I'll be surprised if Game Show Network doesn't syndicate it, like, tomorrow), but it seemed to me that the turning point came when he missed both Daily Doubles in the second round - that's usually where he takes so much money off the board that there literally isn't enough left to beat him.

Update: Full disclosure requires me to admit that The One Where Ken Lost is one of only two shows (of about a dozen of Ken's shows that I've seen) that I'm certain I would have won. I might have won two others; he would have cleaned my clock every other time.

Yes, It Really Is As Simple As 'Eat The Rich'

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Leftists often accuse their opponents of caricaturing them as hating rich people simply because they're rich. But they make it so easy when they write things like unreconstructed Marxist chowderhead Adam Roberts' letter to the editor of The Independent:

The capitalism that positions us as happy, healthy consumers - hallelujah - is the same one found in Marx's sophisticated exposition of the mechanisms of the capitalist process(es), the one that located the majority of people as workers, whose labour power was exploited at the point of production for the profit of the few. There remains today a clear continuity from the earlier industrial ages that cannot be denied. The difference now is the degree of sophistication that masks the exploitation and allows an obviously bright individual such as Mr Hammond [In a previous letter] to imagine himself and his fellows free from the old shackles.
Dude, it's been done. It's called The Matrix.

And anyway, we can turn a blind eye to the obscene gap between domestic rich and poor, and to the terrible price being paid around the globe for US and UK (Mr Hammond's economic "triumphs") wealth accumulation. As long as we have our share certificates in the bank, our performance bonuses and our private healthcare plans, what does it matter that others are profiting grotesquely at our expense?
So his screed boils down to 'Sure, you think you're doing OK, but that guy over there is richer and he must be punished!'

Let's cut right to the chase here: if neither you nor your teammate know how to drive a stick shift, you have NO business being on The Amazing Race. I was discussing this with a friend this morning, and he said he felt kind of sorry for them.

I don't. I feel sorry for the team that missed the final cut to be on the show, in favor of these two navigationally-challenged ladies. I bet they could drive a stick.

Escalating The Abuse

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The Michigan-aOSU rivalry is full of stories where one team came entered the game in apparent disarray at the end of a subpar year, and the other came in flying high with a lot at stake. More often than you would expect, the underdog rose up and smote the favorite (although, at least in the recent past, the roles are more likely to be reversed), which of course is what we saw Saturday.

And that's why I'm disappointed, but not too broken up, over Michigan's loss; it's also why I don't hate aOSU as much as I usually do after they beat Michigan.

Or at least I didn't hate them as much as usual in that situation, until I read this. In years past when Michigan went down to Calcutta on the Scioto, they'd just shut off the water in the hotel the team was staying at; now, it's like a scene from 24:

Calling it "disrespectful" and a "violation" of individual rights, Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr lashed Ohio State for its pregame security check of his players and coaches Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

The Wolverines, who lost 37-21 to the Buckeyes, were delayed about 10 minutes when they were surprised with a player-by-player search of bags by officers and police dogs.

That seems pretty harsh, but in this post-9/11 world, I can accept it, as long as they treat everybody - including aOSU teams and EVERY FAN WHO ENTERS THE STADIUM - the same.

Ohio State representative Steve Snapp said all visiting teams this season were inspected.

"We've had the same security for every team," Snapp said.
Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of whether aOSU players are inspected. That determination is left as an exercise for the reader. Furthermore, if you take other teams at their word, Mr. Snapp is at best misinformed and at worst lying to us:
Officials from Wisconsin, Indiana and Penn State, which visited Ohio Stadium this season, said players and bags were not searched. Police dogs were used to search the Penn State locker room, but there were no players or coaches present.

But certainly the security forces would use discretion and conduct the search in a dignified manner, yes? Well, no.

. . . the player search was conducted in the open with Ohio State fans watching. The Michigan transporter, which hauls the team uniforms, pads, helmets and equipment, also was searched by police dogs.
[Insert pun about the 'explosive Michigan offense' here]

I can't wait until next year's game in Ann Arbor. I'm thinking full body cavity searches on the State Street sidewalk...

Update: OSU continues to deny everything:

But the Buckeyes' associate athletic director for communications, Steve Snapp, told the Free Press that it simply wasn't true that other schools did not undergo the same search.

"The security check for Michigan was absolutely no different than any other school this year," Snapp said.

Snapp said the order for the check was not handed down by the athletic department, but rather by university police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also said Ohio State players and coaches were subjected to the same inspection -- something the school has been doing for two years.

And others continue to contradict them:

Carr said a police officer escorting him to the field told him the search order didn't come from security supervisors, but rather from the Ohio State athletic department.

Dude Needs To Have A Talk With Maurice Clarett

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As much as it pains me to do it, I gotta give props where props is due.

Ted Ginn

Ted Ginn, babyface killa.

A Mouth Making Promises Its Ass Can't Keep

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Hey, Howard Stern! Remember when you said you'd get John Kerry elected? How'd that work out, anyway?

Indeed, shockjock Howard Stern vowed to bring his audience to Kerry: according to Franklog.com, in nearly every state where Stern’s radio show is heard, Bush gained votes since the 2000 election.

As an aside, and just to clear things up, if you still think 'Rock The Vote' was a non-partisan effort, you're fooling yourself:

"We squandered record amounts of money," said Dan Adler, board member of Rock the Vote, the outreach effort that uses music stars to rally the youth vote. "Smart and good people, not just from Hollywood, jumped in with great ideas and great resources. People went into battleground states. We squandered a unity of purpose. We have nothing to show for it."

Back to Howard. Apparently he's out pimping for his new bosses:

Stern personally handed out a free Sirius boom box to the first 500 fans, while he had another 20,000 redeemable certificates for free radios. The equipment allows listeners, for $12.95 a month, to receive 120 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, entertainment and traffic.
Of course, if you get the free radio, you have to sign up for a year of service... which means you're committed until just before Howard's Great Satellite Gig starts up. And you wouldn't dump Sirius just as it started airing the King of All Media, woud you?

For A Sufficiently Broad Definition Of 'Man'

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So Judy Law is People's Sexiest Man Alive? I always thought Law was Leanora DiCaprio's older sister.

I have got to start paying more attention to entertainment news.

Prioritize Your Delusions

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About this whole Monday Night Football intro thing with Terrell Owens and Nicollete Sheridan, and the latter attempting to seduce the former into skipping the game 'for her' (and when she said 'for her,' it's pretty clear that she meant 'for the purposes of banging her'). I don't see what everybody's getting all worked up about, because, y'know, that was television. Now if that had been real life, I'd have been mad.

Because Owens is the #1 receiver on my fantasy football team.

Proposal Work Sucks...

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... but it's better than the alternative. Anyway, that's why I haven't blogged much lately; moreover, the situation is likely to continue until at least Thanksgiving. At least we get paid overtime. And free ice cream.

Is it normal to have your forty hours for the week in by Wednesday noon?

You may have heard about this train crash in England over the weekend where seven people died. I'm pretty sure that was the exact same line I rode when I took this trip a year ago September. Chills, man, chills.

Honor Their Sacrifice

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Today is Veterans' Day, and I found myself thinking about how I can begin to repay the debt I owe those who keep us free. I can't think of a better way to honor those who served, and paid the cost of keeping us free with the sacrifice of their own lives, than to donate to a memorial fund for the family of an area service member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

If you live in Fort Wayne, I suggest the Trevor Penisten Educational Fund for the son of SPC Brian Penisten (KIA 2 NOV 03). You can donate at any BankOne branch.

[Hellishly busy at work and elsewhere lately; this'll have to be brief and even less polished than usual.]

John Perry Barlow, always worth reading even if you don't agree with him (perhaps especially if you don't agree with him), seems to be kinda sorta recovering from an acute case of Bush Derangement Syndrome:

Perhaps it's just the bargaining phase of grief, but I can see that one of the things I must do to feel less a stranger in my own land is to have more conversations like the one I had with Dale [a conservative friend of Barlow's]. Indeed, as I've said repeatedly before, we must do our collective best to shatter the fetters of intolerance and live more in the necessary amnesty of interdependence. We need to quit scaring each other. Both sides are convinced that the other is trying to impose his culture on us, whether by law or by Internet. Fear of the Other, whether Bush or bin Laden, whether terror without or terror within, has been murdering reason and civility in America. We need to look one another in the eyes and see the human being behind the enemy. If we're not going to start shooting each other over the next 4 years, we will need to do that a lot.

At the very least, I need to take the other side seriously. Dismissing them as a bunch of homophobic, racist, Bible-waving, know-nothing troglodytes, however true that may be of a few, only authorizes them to return the favor. I don't want somebody calling me a dope-smoking, fag-loving, one-worlder weirdo, however true that might be. We are all masks that God wears, whatever God that is. We might try to treat one another with according reverence. At least we might try to listen as though the other side might have a point.I truly think we all owe one another an apology.

Sounds good, and I think he actually means it. Dean Esmay is, um, a bit more skeptical:

Well Mr. Barlow, you said you wanted to try to understand. You spent a lot of time in your missive confessing to your anger and your hatred. Well now I'm telling you: Yup, a whole lot of us saw that. We saw it real well, and heard it loud and clear. We aren't stupid you know. You guys treated not just the President but all of us who agreed with his decisions with absolute contempt, and when we tried to call you out on it you just got nastier.

Meanwhile we were, many of us, talking to the boys and girls doing their work over there in Iraq. While some had their doubts, most were proud of the war effort and cared about the Iraqi people and made friends with them. (You do know that Bush got more than 70% of the vote from the National Guadsmen who are supposedly trapped in Bush's "back door draft," don't you? And that most of the soldiers interviewed in Michael Moore's movie hate his guts for the way he twisted their words and quoted them out of context? Did you know about the families of the fallen that he abused and betrayed just to tell his twisted story?)

Hellfire, a year and a half ago I played a role in helping to found an organization to ship toys and medical supplies for soldiers to distribute to kids over in Iraq. (You can donate to it right here by the way). Do you know how many lefties we were able to get to help us with that? Almost none. You guys were too busy shrieking about the evil BushCo-McRove Machine to actually do something to help those soldiers and those Iraqis you guys claim to care so much about.

That, to a lot of us, is the greatest irony you know. All the war supporters I know--all of them--read and listen to the anti-Bush and anti-war invective. We're most bemused when we hear your plaintive wails that we are closed-minded and fearful and zombified and that if only you'd try harder and be more passionate maybe we'd finally understand you. Meantime we're listening and we're watching and we're reading and we're thinking, "Yeah we understand you perfectly. We just think you're wrong. Why aren't you listening to what we're saying?"

A commenter on Dean's response:

I am a proud San Francisco liberal, but I have tried to understand the viewpoints of Bush supporters. I really don't think you understand your own viewpoint unless you can listen to and at least attempt to sympathize with those you disagree with. I started reading this blog and contributing to it because there are a lot of things I could understand about the points of view of the posters here.

And I realized that I was getting warped view of Bush supporters by just reading Free Republic and Little Green Footballs.

. . .

I don't like Bush much and I like the War in Iraq even less, but I respect the fact that these are just my opinions and that we live in a democracy and that the people have spoken.

So I will just bite my tounge and do my best to support him in his efforts.

And I know that I am not really the kind of person your comments are directed at.

But don't put us all in the same box.
It seemed self-evident to me that that Dean wasn't putting everybody who voted Kerry 'in the same box;' anyone reading his post would know who his target audience was and think 'OK, he doesn't mean me.'

Unfortunately, his target audience by and large also appears to be thinking 'OK, he doesn't mean me.' Like this chowerhead (who calls herself 'Living In 2 Worlds,' which I think refers to both Bizarro and Planet Liberal) in a comment on Barlow's post:

I showed up with my 4-month-old baby to watch my 10-year-old nephew get baptized in a Christian Coalition Church-- something my nephew had been asking about for months. It was important to him. While I was there I figured out why Bush won this election, and sadly it is something I have known for a long time. Only my husband had heard me rant about this, but now I'll share it here and see if you think I am just nuts.

Bush won this election because we Democrats did not speak to the lowliest people, we only spoke amongst ourselves. We have become more enlightened, more highly educated, more economically successful, and detached. We would rather donate money to the campaign and hire people to go door-to-door, than speak with our own passion to others of opposing views about our ideas.

. . .

So I looked around this room and I saw losers. I saw people who had little money, who probably would not make it in a rigorous work environment, who had limited educations. And I thought to myself, I don’t think we can say that the Democratic Party is embracing all the outsiders. These people were outsiders, but they got roped into this environment because no one else would talk to them. Ever hang out in a nursing home for a while? All the elderly people want is someone to talk to. I think it is the same with this group. Then in the process, they get brainwashed with these extreme views, but they could change to other views as easily.
The other interesting thing about that comment thread is that the vast majority of early commenters were similarly elitist. You can definitely tell where the Instalanche hits, as the majority of late comments understand Barlow's message better (even if, as Esmay, they don't fully buy into it).

Empty Gestures From An Empty Suit

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You'll forgive me if I'm less than impressed with Kerry's concession; it's not like he's disqualified himself in the event that his minions' provisional- and absentee- ballot stuffing suceeded (unlikely, but possible).

Really, conceding at this stage, with Florida in the Bush column by more than the margin of lawyer, was the only thing he could do without looking like Al Gore. Minus the beard. And slightly less deranged.

As of this writing, Michael Moore's website hasn't been updated since about 5PM ET yesterday. I wonder why that is...

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