Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Editorial of the day

Dennis Prager on how the Hamas landslide reveals more about the Left than about Palestinians.

In summary: "So the Palestinian vote reveals the falsity of the worldwide Left's view of the Palestinians as committed to peace. It likewise reveals the falsity of the Left's belief that Palestinian terror is supported by a small minority of the Palestinian population."

I don't deny the Israelis have been rough on the Palestinians. But I also recognize that most Palestinians hate Israel more than they love anything, including their own children.

I think it is time to take a hard line with the Palestinians. My suggestion is to give Hamas a deadline to renounce terrorism, disarm, and either accept the current peace plan or suggest a new one. If the deadline passes without Hamas performing all these actions, then the peace process will be called off, and all Palestinian lands will be returned to Israel. All Palestinians will then be forcibly removed from their lands and transferred to another location (France anyone?). End of story.

Of course, the Arab world will kick and scream the whole time. This is yet another reason to get off our dependence on foreign oil.

Quote of the day

"We come to this town and we do things we ought not to be doing in order to stay in the majority so we can do things we ought to be doing that we never get around to doing." - former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, talking about the Republicans.

This quote gets to the whole problem I have with the Republicans today.

In case you missed it yesterday, there is a good article about Armey and the Republicans over at the Wall Street Journal website.

Does Al Davis need to step back?

I was reading a good editorial by Trent Modglin over at Pro Football Weekly about Al Davis and the Raiders.

Among Trent's good points:

-"Give Davis credit for going out and making headlines in the offseason, adding weapons like WR Randy Moss and RB LaMont Jordan. He tried, at least. But the Raiders finished 21st in the league in offense, scoring more than 21 points only three times, leading to Turner’s departure. Too often, the splashy signing means more to the Raiders than a semblance of leadership or cohesiveness."

-(about hiring coaches) "...what Davis may end up with is a coach on his last legs, looking for one more day in the sun, or a young coach, hired a year or two before he should be, eager to conquer the world, chump paycheck and domineering owner be damned."

-"“We gave the coaches what they wanted,” Davis said of his most recent firing. “Actually, more than what they wanted. … Norv came in for a trademark of power running, vertical football. It wasn’t there. For whatever reason, it ­wasn’t there. You have to have a direction, a vision.”

You have to have a direction, a vision. The owner’s advice for his former coach would best be turned on himself."

I may be the last person in the world to support Al Davis, but even my patience is wearing thin. I think Al knows HOW to get it done, but the results have not shown it.

It has been 22 years since their last Super Bowl victory. If they had been in the playoffs the majority of that interim, I would gladly make excuses for them. Unfortunately, there have been too many long, dry spells during that time.

If Al Davis was also the GM of the Raiders, Al Davis the owner would have fired him by now.

Monday, January 30, 2006


I received the following in an email. I thought it was hilarious. Enjoy!


Cinderella is now 95 years old. After a fulfilling life with the now
dead prince, she happily sits upon her rocking chair, watching the world go
by from her front porch, with a cat named Bob for companionship.

One sunny afternoon out of nowhere, appeared the fairy godmother.
Cinderella said, "Fairy Godmother, what are you doing here after all these years?"

The fairy godmother replied, "Cinderella, you have lived an exemplary life
since I last saw you. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?"

Cinderella was taken aback, overjoyed, and after some thoughtful
consideration, she uttered her first wish: "The prince was wonderful,
but not much of an investor. I'm living hand to mouth on my disability
checks, and I wish I were wealthy beyond comprehension."

Instantly her rocking chair turned into solid gold. Cinderella said, "Ooh, thank you, Fairy Godmother."

The fairy godmother replied "it is the least that I can do. What do you
want for your second wish?"

Cinderella looked down at her frail body, and said, "I wish I were
young and full of the beauty and youth I once had."

At once, her wish became reality, and her beautiful young visage
returned. Cinderella felt stirrings inside of her that had been dormant for

And then the fairy godmother spoke once more: "You have one more wish;
what shall it be?"

Cinderella looks over to the frightened cat in the corner and says, "I
wish for you to transform Bob, my old cat, into a kind and handsome young

Magically, Bob suddenly underwent so fundamental a change in his
biological make-up that, when he stood before her, he was a man so beautiful the
likes of him neither she nor the world had ever seen.

The fairy godmother said, "Congratulations, Cinderella, enjoy your new

With a blazing shock of bright blue electricity, the fairy godmother
was gone as suddenly as she appeared.

For a few eerie moments, Bob and Cinderella looked into each other's eyes. Cinderella sat, breathless, gazing at the most beautiful, stunningly perfect man she had ever seen.

Then Bob walked over to Cinderella, who sat transfixed in her rocking
chair, & held her close in his young muscular arms. He leaned in close,
blowing her golden hair with his warm breath as he whispered...

"Bet you're sorry you neutered me."

Pearls before Swine

(If the font is too small to read, just click on the image for a larger view.)

If you have never read this comic strip before today, I recommend the website:
"Pearls before Swine".

Quote of the day

"The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it." -
Ayn Rand, from "Atlas Shrugged"

Important words to keep in mind in light of the current situation with Iran.


More recommended reading: An article about ethanol over at CNNMoney.com.

Ethanol may be the way to go in getting over our dependence on foreign oil, although the article fails by suggesting we import it from Brazil. What happens if Brazil's government goes wacky on us (like Venezuela)?

Regardless, ethanol should at least be considered as an alternative fuel source.

Editorial of the day

There is a great editorial by Newt Gingrich over at the San Diego Union-Tribune website about what the Republicans need to do.

It reads a lot more like a priority list for the Republicans. One could also read it as a stump speech for a presidential candidate. At least I hope it is. A Gingrich presidency sounds good to me.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Good blog

Kudos to Myrhaf for his blog. He has some good posts that make for interesting reading.


I discovered a fascinating article by Dale Franks, "What is Neolibertarianism?". I have added a link to this article to my blog. It is that important.

As a fiscal conservative with libertarian tendencies, I find this movement or philosophy or whatever you want to call it, fascinating.

The one place I think Dale needs to define the views a little better is in foreign policy. The two principles of foreign policy are as follows:

"1. A policy of diplomacy that promotes consensual government and human rights and opposes dictatorship.
2. A policy of using US military force solely at the discretion of the US, but only in circumstances where American interests are directly affected."

Dale does state under the first principle: "As we are starting to see in the Mideast , a forthright policy of Democracy promotion can go far in bringing hope to oppressed peoples, and can encourage them to begin standing up to their tyrants."

This would seem to imply support for the Iraq War.

However, that "forthright policy" was brought about as a result of the use of U.S. military force. But were American interests "directly affected", as the second principle states? I can easily make an argument that they were indirectly affected, but NOT directly affected. At least not immediately.

I would add to the second principle: "A policy of using US military force solely at the discretion of the US, but only in circumstances where American interests are directly affected or there is a high probability and motivation for American interests to be directly affected in the foreseeable future."

Saddam Hussein's history was such that his neighbors would never be safe as long as he was in charge of Iraq. His actions, including his disregard for the U.N.'s requests, created a high probability of a threat to American interests. His rhetoric showed his motivation to create a new Persian Empire.

It may seem like I am nitpicking on Dale's wording, but the truth is I find this document to be extremely important. I hope this is the beginning of the next great political movement.

Coburn and McCain vs. Washington

Tim Chapman over at Townhall.com posted a copy of a letter from Senators Coburn and McCain to Senator Frist.

Chapman's summary:

"Pasted below is an explanation of that letter from Senate staff. This is good news."

In short, Senators McCain and Coburn announced their commitment to challenge each and every earmark on the floor of the Senate. In addition to challenging each and every pork project, Senators Coburn and McCain will also oppose the inclusion in conference reports of any earmarks that did not pass either the House or Senate.
As stated in the letter, the practice of inserting earmarks into conference reports at the last minute “stifles debate and empowers well-heeled lobbyists at the expense of those who cannot afford access to power. Decisions about how taxpayer dollars are spent should not be made in the dark, behind closed doors.”

Go get 'em boys!

How about a McCain/Coburn ticket in 2008?

Quote of the day

"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish." - Euripides

Kind of like trying to explain things to a Democrat?

Schottenheimer to be fired?

Profootballtalk.com reports a rumor that Marty Schottenheimer might be fired by the Chargers after all of the NFL head coaching vacancies are filled. They would promote Wade Phillips to replace him.

As a Raider fan, my response is "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." The Chargers with Schottenheimer are two tough games per year for the Raiders. With Phillips, they are two more in the "W" column.

As an NFL fan, my response is "What the heck are they thinking?" Schottenheimer may have shown an inability to get teams to the Super Bowl, but at least he wins games. Occasionally, he even shows some coaching genius, like he did against the Colts this year.

Wade Phillips? His four head coaching jobs were NOT memorable, and that is being kind.

If the Chargers do fire Schottenheimer after all the head coaching vacancies are filled, it will be an incredible act of spite and stupidity on their part. It will definitely prove why Archie Manning did not want Eli playing for the Chargers.

Editorial of the day

Instead of an editorial today, I am going to nominate a political position paper.

There is a group called "Set America Free", whose goal is for America to become less oil dependent. I agree with their intentions as well as the means they advocate for obtaining energy security. They have "A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security" which is only five pages long. I consider it mandatory reading for anyone who is concerned with how much money we are sending to the Middle East to pay for oil. This is a solution.

For most of my life, I have never been a "greenie". It always seemed to me that most environmental solutions created more problems than they solved.

9/11 changed my thinking.

It made me realize that as long as we pay money into the Middle East, that money has a good likelihood of ending up in a terrorist's hands. That is UNACCEPTABLE.

I decided then that my next vehicle would be fuel efficient (a hybrid if possible). While I have not bought it yet (I don't have the money), that is my intention.

If you had another option, would you knowingly patronize a store whose profits were going to the Mafia? Right now, our oil money is going to terrorists. Maybe not directly, but it finds it's way there. However, we DO have an option: We can convert to alternative energy sources. It won't be cheap, and it won't be easy. But in the long run, we will be safer for it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quote of the day

"Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at the touch, nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening."- Oliver Wendell Holmes

I have also seen this quote attributed to Mark Twain, although it sounds more like Holmes than Twain. Feel free to let me know if I am wrong on this.

Editorial(s) of the day

Tough call today. There is nothing I would call particularly profound today, but I will give nods to Thomas Sowell's "The Real Political Corruption Part III" and Peggy Noonan's "Bush the Romantic".

Whisenhunt to the Raiders?

FoxSports.com has a report that the Raiders are allegedly waiting until after the Super Bowl to interview Ken Whisenhunt, the Steelers offensive coordinator, for their head coaching job.

Frankly, I would like Whisenhunt's hiring. While there are some question marks surrounding him, I cannot think of a head coaching candidate who doesn't have question marks. Here are what I see as the pros and cons of Whisenhunt:

PROS - The Steeler offense has looked pretty good this year when they have been healthy. Even when they weren't healthy, they weren't terrible. Of course, they're not the Colts. However, they did beat the Colts. And the Broncos. In Denver. Soundly thrashing the Broncos. I like the sound of that.

CONS - How much of the Steeler offense was coaching, and how much was talent? How much of the offensive coaching credit was due to Whisenhunt, not Cowher? Whisenhunt has no head coaching experience in the NFL. How many coordinators have found themselves unable to handle the responsibilities of a head coach (for example, Norv Turner)?

However, there are plenty of great head coaches who have ascended from the coordinator ranks: Lombardi, Landry, and Shula. Among current head coaches, there are Belichick, Cowher, Gruden, Billick, Shanahan, Dungy, and Fisher.

Regardless, I think Whisenhunt is worth taking a chance. I find myself going back to the "soundly thrashing the Broncos in the AFC Championship in Denver". That's worth a LOT of prestige in the Black Hole.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Quote of the day

Cindy Sheehan, talking about Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez:

"I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling."

FINALLY! Cindy proves she is not only anti-war, but anti-U.S.

Ironically, I discovered this quote via the Drudge Report. When I checked CNN.com, they had an article on the conference where she said this, but no mention of this quote. I guess it isn't part of the liberal agenda to say you're against the U.S., even when you are.

Can we finally agree that Sheehan is a traitor to this country?

Editorial of the day

Thomas Sowell has part two in his series on political corruption today. Sowell is always a must-read.

From Dr. Sowell:

"If we paid every member of Congress $10 million a year, that would not increase the federal budget by one percent."

This is only because our federal budget is far larger than it should be. But I will give Dr. Sowell a pass on this point, only because he continues with this point:

"One term in the Senate would bring in $60 million, which most people could live on for life, without being beholden to anybody and without having to seek a job afterwards for special interests, much less having to sell their soul to continue a political career."

The thing I worry about with this idea: What if he is wrong? We will have the same crooked Congress, only we will be paying them ridiculously large sums of money.

Don't get me wrong. I think Sowell's idea is good in theory. But let's put term limits in first. If that doesn't work, then we can talk about salaries.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


There is a good post over at Say Anything called "Predatory Sex".

For most of the existence of homo sapiens, covering about 130,000 years or more, the typical lifespan was about 20 years. During the overwhelming majority of our existence, I think it is safe to say that boys and girls had sex at, what we would consider, very young ages. It was necessary for the propagation of our species.

In roughly the last 30-40 years of our time on this planet, Western Civilization has determined that this is wrong. This was a necessary determination due to MANY factors, which I will not go into here. Suffice it to say, our culture has evolved faster than we have.

That is not to in any way excuse pedophilia. But I do think we need to differentiate between consensual and non-consensual acts for the purpose of determining appropriate punishment. Obviously, non-consensual acts should be given the harshest punishments. The involvement of a child who is too young to understand sex obviously falls into the non-consensual category, since they are incapable of understanding to what they are consenting.

Unfortunately, our society likes to draw hard lines. At age 18 (in some states 16), you are suddenly a sexually mature and functioning adult. Sorry, but that is complete bull (otherwise, why is the drinking age 21?). Some people don't become mature and functioning adults until 25, or 30 (some people never do). Other people could handle it at 13. We basically have an arbitrary line drawn which we apply to everyone only because we are unable to measure maturity.

But let's be realistic about this: When a 30 year old woman has consensual sex with a 15 year old boy, who is hurt by this? Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see the victim here. When a 15 year old boy has consensual sex with a 15 year old girl, we may frown on it, but we don't send either of them to jail.

I should define consensual sex. To me, it means both people could say no, but both people choose not to say no. In anyone's life, there is a point where they would understand WHY they would want to say yes or no. Sex prior to that point should be forbidden. There is your true age of consent.

Quote of the day

In honor of the Steelers going to Super Bowl XL, I thought I would dig up this classic quote about Terry Bradshaw:

"He couldn't spell 'cat' if you spotted him the 'c' and the 't'." - Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, prior to Super Bowl X, which Pittsburgh won 21-17.

Editorial of the day

Another fine wine from the vineyard of Thomas Sowell:

"At the heart of much government corruption is one simple thing: Re-election. It takes big bucks to run a political campaign and all that most politicians have to sell is the power of government that they control. That is what they do sell in various ways to various special interests.

Term limits try to deal with the problem of re-election but the fatal weakness of term limits is the "s" at the end of the word "limits." So long as there are multiple terms, the first term is going to be spent trying to get re-elected to a second term -- instead of devoting that time to serving the public interest.

What really needs to be done is to put a limit of one term in one office and a waiting period of several years before being elected or appointed to another office in government. In other words, make political careers impossible."

While I have favored term limits, I always supported two terms. Sowell makes a very good point for one term. I think I may have to write my congressman and senators.

Time to bring the career politicians home.

A bad deal for tickets

From "The 10 Spot" over at SI.com:

"The unkindest cut: Tickets for the Steelers-Broncos game were so hot that a doctor in Fort Collins, Colo., was offering to trade a vasectomy for two tickets. The good (?!) doc and Broncos fan said that the surgery, including pre- and post-operation visits and lab exams, was worth $675. Wow, he must have really wanted to go to the game, as 10 Spot reader Scott of Cleveland put it, to "be willing to give somebody else's left nut.""

Monday, January 23, 2006

Quote of the day

"He can beat your'n with his'n and he can beat his'n with your'n." - Bum Phillips, talking about Don Shula.

Editorial of the day

I have to recommend the editorial about the Abramoff mess by former congressman J.C. Watts in the Las Vegas Review-Journal from yesterday.

Mr. Watts sums up the issue quite well:

"Lobbying reform is a nice concept. But common sense dictates that it doesn't matter what the law is, if people don't have ethics enough to obey rules. You can have all the laws on the books you need, and it won't change bad people from doing bad things. When arrogance and greed kick in, smarts take a holiday. The problem is not that we don't have rules, it's that we have thugs who ignore the rules because of greed."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Fantasy Football Flops

I was reading an aritcle about fantasy football flops over at FoxSports.com by some guy named John Juhasz. The article was ok, except for one VERY conspicuous absence: Daunte Culpepper.

Over at the ESPN fantasy leagues, Culpepper was drafted, on average, 9th overall. He was typically the 2nd QB taken. In my ESPN league, he finished 30th among QB's. I think that qualifies as a bigger flop than Trent Green or Brett Favre.

While I will allow that Culpepper got hurt and missed most of the season, he was not looking worthy of his draft status prior to his injury.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Quote of the day

If you want to know what is wrong with the U.S. government today, this quote sums it up nicely:

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson

Editorial of the day

Peggy Noonan rocks!

There are few conservative columnists with a better eye for the political scene than Peggy Noonan. When you get a chance to read her, I recommend you take advantage of it.

Her Wall Street Journal editorial today is about "the decline of the liberal media monopoly and the future of the GOP." Great reading.

Liberal bias on campus

There is an interesting article over at CNN.com about liberal bias on college campuses. While most of the article is fairly objective, there is a quote at the end of it which shows CNN's bias:

"Rep. Dan Surra, a member of the Pennsylvania committee who has questioned the need for the investigation, said nothing so far has swayed him. Students in his rural district complain about such issues as tuition, but not about professors' biases, the Democrat said.

"I've said it's the educational equivalent of the hunt for Bigfoot," he said."

I cannot imagine why a Democratic politician does not believe there would be liberal bias on college campuses. He probably prefers to think of it as "correct thought".

Of course, if someone were going to complain about liberal bias on a college campus, would they complain to a Democratic politician? That would be like a Jew complaining to Hitler about the conditions at the concentration camp.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

bin Laden threatens more U.S. strikes?

According to CNN.com:

"A new audiotaped message purported to be from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned Americans that plans for attacks in the United States were already under way.

"We have seen explosions in many European countries. As for similar operations taking place in America, it's only a question of time. They are under way, and you will hear about them soon," said the message, which was aired on Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera Thursday."

IF bin Laden does manage to carry out a terrorist strike in the U.S. in the near future, then this changes the face of the War on Terror. Depending on the nature of the terrorist act, that could mean the measures we have taken to this point were worthless or inadequate.

On the other hand, if bin Laden is bluffing, then the War on Terror continues as is.

I don't think bin Laden is bluffing. In poker terminology, bin Laden doesn't strike me as a bluffer. He may not win the hand, but he definitely THINKS he has a winning hand.

Quote of the day

I don't know if Newt Gingrich actually said the following quote, but kudos if he did. From Ranting Roland at dailykos.com, Newt was allegedly quoted in the Washington Post in 1994 saying the following about the Democrats:

"I clearly fascinate them... I'm much more intense, much more persistent, much more willing to take risks to get it done. Since they think it is their job to run the plantation, it shocks them that I'm actually willing to lead the slave rebellion."

This does make for an interesting contrast with Hillary Clinton's remark about the House being run like a "plantation".

Although Hillary was clearly pandering to a black audience, her point is a valid one, but I think it applies to both the House and the Senate. Just ask Senator John McCain or Representative Mike Pence. When they have questioned things the GOP has done, they have both been taken to task by the GOP leadership.

The truth is the modern Republican Party is starting to look a whole lot like the old Democrats. And it is NOT a pretty picture.

Editorial of the day

There wasn't a particularly good one today, so I went to the archives.

Conservative blogger Bob Parks had a good one in December about a homeless shelter in California, which got kicked out of it's building when the liberal landlord discovered the man running the shelter was conservative. (link here)

Remember all the old tools of bigotry? Segregation, exclusion, name-calling, etc. Have you noticed that liberals have taken up these "weapons" against conservatives?

If liberals could lynch all the conservatives, does anyone doubt they would?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Payton to the Aints

As is being reported nearly everywhere (although no official announcement has been made YET), Dallas Cowboys QB coach Sean Payton will be named head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Payton spurned Al Davis' offer to become head coach of the Raiders two years ago, thereby forcing Raider fans to endure the nightmare which was Norv Turner.

Now, he's going to that organization which is the definition of dysfunctional. For some reason, the phrase "divine justice" keeps going thru my head.

Sean, just to show there's no sour grapes, I just wanted to wish you well in New Orleans/San Antonio/Baton Rouge/Los Angeles, or wherever the Saints end up. SUCKER!

Editorial of the day

If you can only read one editorial today, I recommend John Stossel's editorial about the myth of public schools needing more money. (link here)

Too often, we equate the value of the service offered with the amount of wages which should be paid. The problem with this thinking is what it creates: People who pursue the profession just to make money. Education is far too important to be allowing these kinds of people to make a living.

While we should pay teachers enough to live on, I think it should not be enough to live too well. Teachers should want the job more than the money.

I also think the NEA (the teacher's union) MUST GO! How much more damage do they have to do before we realize they are ruining our educational system?

Quote of the day

"Democrats couldn't care less if people in Indiana hate them. But if Europeans curl their lips, liberals can't look at themselves in the mirror." - Ann Coulter

While I don't care for Ann Coulter's style (it is a bit too acidic for my tastes), she is a fairly bright person who can be profound.

In this case, all you have to do is observe liberal behavior to see the truth in Ann's statement. They tend to mirror whatever the Europeans happen to believe. When Europeans change directions, American liberals seem to follow suit.

For example, when the Europeans decided America should not be using force in Iraq, the American liberals followed along like loyal puppies. Unfortunately for the liberals, they had already voted for it before they could vote against it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Raiders Head Coach Update

There is an interesting rumor on profootballtalk.com regarding Rod Marinelli, the Bucs defensive line coach:

"Marinelli is emerging as a leading candidate for the head coaching job in Oakland, eclipsing Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders."

The only reason I would discount this rumor is that Al Davis doesn't hire defensive coaches as head coaches.

However, if Marinelli were to get the job, I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Norv Turner was a proven loser. Marinelli isn't a proven anything.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Some NFL Playoff Thoughts

Just some thoughts on this past weekend's playoff games:

PATRIOTS: Don't cry for the Pats. They had a good run, but Denver is a tough place to win anytime.

As long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are there, they will be competitive.

REDSKINS: The Skins were pretty inconsistent all year. They'd blow out teams where they weren't expected to win, and lose games to teams (i.e. Raiders) they had no business losing.

The future looks bright for the Skins IF they can find a QB other than Mark Brunell, who is just a little too long in the tooth.

BEARS: Ironically, I expected their defense to carry them to the NFC Championship. Instead, their defense was what lost the game to Carolina.

Their offense played it's best. To expect more than 21 points from an offense featuring Rex Grossman at QB is EXTREMELY optimistic.

Only one other time this season did the Bears give up 29 or more points to an opponent: They gave up 34 to the Vikings in a meaningless game the last week of the season. When the Bears played the Panthers earlier this season, they only gave up 3 points.

I hang this "L" solidly on the Bears defense.

COLTS: Cough CHOKE cough...

Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning couldn't win a playoff game against the Texans if the Texans spotted them 4 touchdowns.

Maybe that's a bit much, but the truth is both Dungy and Manning have a loooooong history of choking in big games.

Hey Dungy, is your seat feeling a bit warmer today? Remember when you were in Tampa, and you kept choking in the playoffs? It's called "the hot seat". Normally, it is reserved for losing coaches, but sometimes coaches who choke consistently in the playoffs get it too.

Prediction: Indy has to make it to AT LEAST the AFC Championship next year, or Dungy's gone. Indy also has to make it to the Super Bowl within the next two years, or Dungy's gone.

By the way, time to bring back all those Scott Norwood jokes. Just replace "Norwood" with "Vanderjagt".

STEELERS: Considering Jerome Bettis will probably retire after this year, I am sooooo glad his fumble wasn't the end of his career. He deserves better than that mistake tacked on at the end of his legacy.

The Steelers followed the "beat Colts" gameplan (written by Marty Schottenheimer) to perfection.

Unfortunately, now they have to go to Denver. As a Raider fan, I can vouch for how tough it is to play there. For the Raiders, beating the Broncos in Denver is ALMOST better than winning the Super Bowl.

I'll be rooting for the Steelers, but I won't be betting on them.

BRONCOS: The Pats learned how hard it is to win in Denver.

Short of a meltdown by the Broncos, they should have their ticket stamped to Detroit by now.

Did I mention I hate the Broncos?

PANTHERS: The Panthers have a well-balanced team, but I'm not sure they have enough strength in any one area to really shine against the Seahawks.

Losing Deshaun Foster really hurts them. Nick Goings is ok, but he's a lot easier to stop. If I was the Seahawks defensive coordinator, I'm stopping Jake Delhomme to Steve Smith and forcing the Panthers to beat me with Nick Goings.

I don't have anything against the Panthers. I just don't see them winning next week.

SEAHAWKS: Based on the lame way the Skins beat the Bucs last week, I had a feeling the Hawks might roll them. They did.

Shaun Alexander is one of the class acts of the NFL, so I am rooting for him.

I think the Hawks have enough balance. When added to the tremendous running of Alexander, they look like the NFC Champs.

SUPER BOWL PREDICTION: Broncos vs. Seahawks. Either team could win, so I will have to go with a heartfelt pick: Broncos LOSE!

However, I will be rooting for the Steelers if they get there. Gotta love Jerome Bettis.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Alito vs. Kennedy

The Wiretapping Solution

Say what you will about Michael Kinsley, he does present some very well-reasoned arguments sometimes. Case in point: His article today at slate.com about the NSA wiretapping issue.

Kinsley quickly eliminates the liberal argument against it quickly:

"The notion that freedom is indivisible—if you lose a little, you have lost it all; if one person is deprived of liberty, then we all are—is sweet, and useful for indoctrinating children. But it just isn't true."

But then he goes on to make a perfect point:

"Robert Bork, who is admired and reviled as the king of stinting literalism in constitutional interpretation, always uses wiretapping as his one great example of legitimate reasoning by analogy. The authors of the document didn't know about wiretapping, but if they did, they would regard it as a "search and seizure" just like a police raid, and therefore restricted by the Fourth Amendment. The administration doesn't deny this directly, but its logic leaves citizens little or no protection against government wiretapping as a practical matter.

The Fourth Amendment is typical of laws protecting civil liberties in that it doesn't forbid the government to invade people's privacy or lock them up or take their property. Rather, it requires the government to be "reasonable" and to explain its reasons to someone else. In short, it requires a reality test. It recognizes that even freedom exists in a world of trade-offs. But it does not trust the government in power necessarily to make those trade-offs correctly."

Kinsley is 100% correct. If the NSA is going to wiretap Americans without a court order, then we at least need a system in place to independently review these wiretaps after the fact.

Newt vs. the lobbyists

There is a great article by Newt Gingrich about lobbyists and Congress over at ajc.com.

I am not sure if there is a better Republican candidate for President in 2008 than Newt.

There are plenty of good ideas this article, but one line stands out: "We Republicans aren't supposed to be the party of pork; we are the party of the people who actually pay for the pork."

Amen Newt. Amen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Thomas Sowell on poverty in China and the Left

Another great column by Thomas Sowell today. Check it out: Thomas Sowell

Vince Young

Vince Young, the junior quarterback for the national champion Texas Longhorns, announced Sunday that he is leaving college to enter the NFL this year. In all the press coverage of this, one thing has really annoyed me: The constant harping about his mechanics.

I admit the only time I saw him play was in the Rose Bowl. But I didn't see a problem with his passing mechanics. What I saw was the quickest delivery I've seen from a quarterback since Dan Marino, maybe even faster. Playing against Vince Young, defenses don't have the luxury of knowing when a pass is coming before the ball leaves his hand. That is a huge advantage in the NFL.

Throw in the fact that Young's passes are accurate, easy-to-catch balls, and you have a monster quarterback prospect. Let's not forget the intangibles like:

-Won a national championship
-Strong work ethic
-His teammates love him

What's Young's downside? The same one all rookie quarterbacks have: He has to learn to read NFL defenses. I have no idea whether he can do this, although I certainly hope he can. He would be fun to watch.

Should the Houston Texans take Young with the first pick in the draft? No. They have David Carr, who in my opinion has shown that he can be a successful quarterback IF HE HAS TIME TO THROW THE BALL (read: they need pass blocking).

The Texans need Reggie Bush (the running back from USC). Dominick Davis, their current running back, has shown a propensity to get hurt. I like Davis, but the Texans need someone for 16 games/year.

After the Texans, the Saints have the next pick. They would be fools to pass on Young. Aaron Brooks has proven to be one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL, when he's not downright awful.

That being said, the Saints have proven to be one of the most inept franchises in the NFL, so I could easily see them taking Matt Leinart instead. Which would leave Young going to the Titans, which would be a perfect fit for him. From what I hear, Young has a good relationship with Steve McNair, who has already stated a willingness to mentor Young.

Regardless of where Young ends up, I am looking forward to watching him in the coming years.

Friday, January 06, 2006

China and Nonviolent Resistance

"I often remind myself that Ghandi and Martin Luther King would be anonymous martyrs, unsuccessful at affecting social change had they lived in China, Viet Nam, North Korea, Iran, or Cuba." - fightr4right, in a townhall.com soapbox post.

Would they have been unsuccessful? Let's look at one recent protest in China, and the results:

-12/11/2005:"DONGZHOU, China - The commander of forces that shot and killed people protesting land seizures in a southern village has been detained, the Chinese government said Sunday, as police in riot gear patrolled the community and appealed for order...But the detention of such an official is almost unprecedented for the communist government and suggested Chinese leaders were trying to mollify angry villagers by announcing it...The government said the protests centered on land taken for use in building a power plant using wind turbines, though villagers said the dispute was over a different, coal-fired power plant...The official Xinhua News Agency said the province has formed a group to investigate complaints by Dongzhou villagers about land requisition and demands for more compensation." (from MSNBC)

At least in this one protest, it sounds like the Chinese government is bending a little to the people's will.

The same article also pointed out, "By the government’s count, China had more than 70,000 cases of rural unrest last year. Protests are growing more violent, with injuries on both sides."

Even a government the size of China cannot ignore that many protests.

In another article from Reuters, a Chinese rights activist by the name of Guo Feixiong had this to say: "If China is going to avoid increased bloodshed and instability, we must directly study Gandhi's methods of non-violent, active protest."

We may yet see whether Gandhi's methods would work in a country like China.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Abramoff Scandal

According to USAToday yesterday (USAToday link), there have been 240 members of Congress who have received donations from Abramoff or his associates. They even listed the top ten members of each party to receive donations.

To anyone who wants to use this scandal to play one-upmanship with their party of choice (unless they are Libertarian), I say "sit down and shut up". BOTH the Republicans AND Democrats are crooked. Frankly, both sides of the political spectrum should take a serious look at their respective parties. Your politicians have SOLD YOU OUT!

NOW can we have a serious conversation about term limits?

Steamroller Government

I did a soapbox over at townhall.com. Feel free to check it out.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Next Raiders Coach?

To my previous "Black Monday" blog, you can add Jim Haslett and Norv Turner.

With Norv's long overdue firing comes the question: Who will be the next Raiders coach? The current rumored prospects include:

Steve Mariucci: I like Mooch, but I can't say he will be great. However, I would give him the benefit of the doubt. The 49ers front office was messed up when he was there. The Lions had Matt Millen ('nuff said). GRADE: B

Rick Neuheisel: A HUGE question mark. He's never been a pro head coach, and his college results are mixed. That said, not much was known about Jon Gruden's potential when he was hired. GRADE: Unknown

Jim Fassel: On the bright side, Fassel has taken a team to the Super Bowl. On the down side, he lost. And lost. And lost. GRADE: C

Herman Edwards: The lead contender in the Herm Edwards race is currently the Chiefs. So why mention him as a candidate for the Raiders job? Al Davis is just spiteful that way. However, if Al Davis does insert himself into a bidding war with the Chiefs, I doubt he would make more than one offer to the Jets for their coach. Edwards is not a bad candidate, but Davis would never seriously pursue him otherwise. Davis only hires offensive coaches as head coaches. GRADE: B+

Art Shell: Art's name always pops up when the Raiders have a head coaching vacancy because Al Davis said years ago he regretted firing Shell. The truth is Shell's offense was about as vanilla as possible. The one positive about Shell was he usually got the team psyched for the game. GRADE: B

I would love to see the Raiders go after Ron Rivera, the defensive coordinator of the Bears, but I know that won't happen.

Bridge to Scandal: Part 6

The only Don Young news today comes from columnist Robert Novak:

" Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress who is now serving his 12th term from upstate New York, might not seek re-election in 2006 if he is shut out from committee chairmanships.

Boehlert is serving his last year as Science Committee chairman thanks to term limits. Although he is next in line to head the Transportation Committee (a principal dispenser of pork), current Chairman Don Young of Alaska is expected to block Boehlert's ascension. Boehlert's lifetime support record by the American Conservative Union is only 40 percent.

A footnote: Rep. Tom Petri of Wisconsin is next in line at Transportation after Boehlert, but he may be stopped because of his support for a gas tax increase. That choice chairmanship could fall to Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee."

It is nice to know that Young will not be Transportation Committee chairman after this year. If he had a lifetime appointment, he might pave over all of Alaska.

On a side note, I have been reading a lot about the Jack Abramoff scandal. While I have not heard any connections to Don Young, it would not surprise me.

The Hypocrisy of the Christian Peacemakers Team

The Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) is a good example of the axiom, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

For those of you not familiar with them, CPT was the group which had four "human rights workers" kidnapped in Iraq. Why were they there? According to their website:

"CPT initiated a long-term presence in Iraq in October 2002, six months before the beginning of the U.S. led invasion in March of 2003. The primary focus of the team for eighteen months following the invasion was documenting and focusing attention on the issue of detainee abuses and basic legal and human rights being denied them. Issues related to detainees remain but the current focus of the team has expanded to include efforts to end occupation and militarization of the country and to foster nonviolent and just alternatives for a free and independent Iraq."

The key thing I noticed there was no CPT presence in Iraq prior to the threat of military action by the U.S. Why weren't they there to focus "attention on the issue of detainee abuses and basic legal and human rights being denied" to the Iraqi people prior to U.S. involvement? Or was it too inconvenient (or dangerous) to try to go against Saddam's government?

Why aren't they in Cuba? Or China? Or any other country where "basic legal and human rights" are being denied?

I will give them credit for not being idiots. Nonviolent resistance in countries like China or Cuba will get you imprisoned at best, dead at worst.

There is an interesting quote from Ron Sider on the CPT website:

"Nonviolent resistance to tyrants, oppressors and brutal invaders is not for fools or cowards. It demands courage and daring of the highest order. It requires discipline, training and a willingness to face death. Are there tough, brave volunteers for that kind of costly, demanding battle?"

I'm afraid the answer to Ron's question is "no". CPT is NOT interested in "nonviolent resistance to tyrants, oppressors and brutal invaders...". They ARE interested in resistance to democratic governments which will provide them security for their activities. In other words, they are taking the easy way out and biting the hand that feeds them.

When CPT decides to listen to the words of Ron Sider and take on some of the true tyrants and oppressors of the world, I will gladly give them credit.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Black Monday: NFL Coaches out of work

As I write this, there are five NFL coaches out of work.

Dick Vermeil (Chiefs): Vermeil has retired (again). This saddens me, because I consider him one of the finest coaches of all time, plus a great person too. I have known a few people who have worked with him or knew him personally, and all of them had the highest opinions of him. I hope he gets selected for the NFL Hall of Fame. He has earned it.

Mike Tice (Vikings): Most experts saw this one coming months ago. After the "Love Boat" scandal, which came after Tice's ticket scalping scandal, it was obvious that Tice had lost control of the team.

Don't read too much into the team's recent resurgence. Brad Johnson is a much better quarterback than most teams have given him credit.

Dom Capers (Texans): I always thought it was kind of curious for the Texans to hire Capers as their first coach. Granted, he had taken the expansion Panthers to the playoffs within two years of their first game. However, the way the Panthers flamed out after that should have been a lesson to anyone.

Of course, when the Texans hired former NFL coach Dan Reeves as a "consultant" a few weeks ago, the writing was on the wall for Capers.

Mike Martz (Rams): Rumors have been swirling about problems between Martz and the Rams' front office for some time. When the team decided Martz could not return to the team after his heart problems, it was an obvious prelude to a job termination.

I am sure Martz will find another job soon. However, I still have not decided whether he is a good coach. Considering he took the Rams to the Super Bowl, that at least shows he is a capable coach.

Mike Sherman (Packers): I must admit Sherman lasted longer than I thought he would. A couple of years ago, after the game with the Buccaneers, when Sherman had a nasty confrontation with Warren Sapp after Sapp had hurt one of the Packers, I thought to myself Sherman cannot last. That was just so incredibly stupid.

Don't get me wrong: What Sapp did was wrong. But Sherman is NOT a big guy. Sapp is huge. Plus Sapp didn't play for Sherman. Most head coaches can go up to the defensive linemen who play for them and chew them a new one. But you don't go up to opposing defensive linemen like that. That's just dumb.

Anyone that dumb should NOT be an NFL coach. Period.

COACH WHO IS BURNING UP THE HOT SEAT (i.e. about to be fired): Norv Turner (Raiders).

OTHER COACHES STILL ON THE HOT SEAT: Dick Jauron (Lions), Mike Mularkey (Bills), Jim Haslett (Saints), and Dennis Green (Cardinals).

The only one I would disagree with firing is Dennis Green. Even though the Cardinals only won five games, I think they looked a lot better than many Cardinal teams going back for a lot of years. There is definite improvement there, and I think Green deserves at least one more year to try and make it work.

COACHES WHO MIGHT RETIRE: Bill Parcells (Cowboys) and Joe Gibbs (Redskins).

I don't think either of them should retire. I also think Gibbs might not retire only because the Redskins made the playoffs.

As for Parcells, he is always a threat to retire. The fact the Cowboys didn't make the playoffs may push him into retirement. Frankly, I'd like to see Parcells go back into tv/radio like he was before. I have always found his football analysis to be top-notch.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Military and Political Views

Recently, I have noticed a lot of soldiers from Iraq writing articles, editorials, blogging, and posting on message boards. A lot of their comments were in response to comments from former soldiers like John Murtha and John Kerry. Maybe I missed some, but all of them seem to disparage the former soldiers' views. Of course, there are other former soldiers, such as Oliver North and John McCain, who are supportive of our current soldiers' efforts in Iraq, and the war effort in general.

Why do we place so much credence on what our soldiers have to say? By their service in the military, do they somehow achieve superhuman status? Or superhuman wisdom?

Of course they don't.

"Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience." - James Boswell

A man can go through Hell, but that does NOT mean he understands Hell, or even why he was there.

On the other hand, they have earned the right to be heard, more so than the average citizen. We owe them that much.

However, we also are NOT required to agree with them. Much like regular citizens, some in the military are smarter than others. For those of us outside the military, we need to look at these comments and judge by our own experience. Also important is to look at who is saying it, and whether they deserve our respect. The consideration of military service should be tossed aside when we recognize them to be fools.

Thus ends the common sense part of this editorial.

In my opinion, the most important point made in this discussion came from several of the soldiers currently serving in Iraq. Their point was: If we leave Iraq without finishing the job, we will have to go back in a few years to finish it anyway.

That is a point not addressed by the Murthas and Kerrys of the world. They seem to either think Iraq will be fine if we pull out now, or it doesn't matter because our soldiers are in harm's way. The first view is in contradiction to the views of the people there. The second view is irrelevant because a soldier's life is inherently dangerous.

While we want our soldiers to be as safe as possible, we have to weigh that against the risks involved. Our soldiers are aware of the risks. Yet they want to finish the job in spite of the risks.

At this point in time, I am of the view we need to let our boys finish the job. But that leaves a further quandary: What to think of Murtha and Kerry?

I decided during the last election Kerry is a fool. When I read his Senate testimony from the 70's, it was clear his allegations against his fellow soldiers were absurd. Nothing he has done since then has altered my opinion.

"I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." - John Kerry

As for Murtha, his views are representative of two possibilities: One, he is a fool like Kerry; or two, he is using the pacifist position for political purposes. Whichever is true, I have no use for Murtha.