Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Liberal Hammer

"When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." - Abraham Maslow

For liberals, that hammer is government.

Recently, I was having a discussion with a liberal about healthcare. Any solution I offered which did not involve government, specifically socialized medicine, got shot down. For him, the only healthcare solution was free healthcare provided by the government. The fact this has never worked well in Canada or England was no impediment to him. "Americans can do it better", he said (although he never makes that point in discussions about Iraq, but I digress).

For me, government is the last option in the tool box of ideas. While government can be effective, it comes with a very high price. And once you give power to government, you cannot get it back.

The greatest irony in this is that liberals claim they are the open-minded people in our society. That is like offering a wonderful buffet, but all it has is hamburgers.

Mind you, that is a generalization. There are open-minded liberals. Unfortunately for the liberals, those people tend to become conservatives when they realize there are other tools to use on problems which are not nails.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 8

Steeler fans, you may officially hang your heads in shame.

How about them Raiders? Two wins in a row! If we win the rest of the games, we will be 11-5. And Jessica Alba will be waiting for me under the Christmas tree too...

Anyway, I may tweak the rankings after tonight's Patriots-Vikings game, but for now, here they are:

BEARS: Love those orange uniforms. But, I also used to like the old Buccaneers' uniforms too, so take that compliment for what it is worth.

COLTS: A HUGE win over Denver. It is now time to give the Colts credit. they are elite. They have just enough defense to keep them in close games, and more than enough Peyton Manning to win.

BRONCOS: It is hard to watch the Broncos and not wonder: If Jay Cutler were starting...

SAINTS: The Saints are hanging here by a thread. Losing to the Ravens is not the end of the world.

CHARGERS: Just taking care of business by beating the Rams. When they lose Shawne Merriman to suspension, that will hurt.

PATRIOTS: Tonight vs. Minnesota.

SEAHAWKS: Since they were playing without Matt Hasselbeck, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. For now.

RAVENS: It is easy to see the Ravens are good, but hard to tell just how good. They beat the Saints and Chargers, but also lost to the Panthers and Broncos.

GIANTS: Spanking the Bucs is a good sign. Their game against Chicago in two weeks looms large. But the game coming up against Houston this week yells "trap game".

FALCONS: I saw "The Prestige" a week ago. Mike Vick reminds me of it. Like a magician, he tells us he will do something, and we watch sceptically as he goes out and does it. But I have to wonder what the trick is...

BENGALS: Which Bengal team will show up next week? Stay tuned...

PANTHERS: Ouch! Dominated by Dallas. This shows those losses earlier this season without Steve Smith in the lineup were not flukes.

CHIEFS: Beating the Hawks minus Matt Hasselbeck proves nothing. Also, their loss to the Steelers a couple of weeks ago hangs over them like a cloud.

EAGLES: A three game losing streak? Considering the best team they have beaten was Dallas, the Eagles are wearing the label "overrated" quite proudly.

COWBOYS: The Tony Romo era has begun. The true test comes in three weeks against Indy.

BUCCANEERS: Don't feel bad Buc fans. Better teams than yours have lost to the Giants. Like Atlanta...

VIKINGS: Tonight vs. New England.

JAGUARS: Don't read too much into their victory over Philly. The Jags could easily turn around and lose to Tennessee next week.

STEELERS: Open trap, insert Steelers. If they cannot beat the Raiders, they can only be average, at best.

RAMS: The Rams should lose to San Diego, and they did. 'Nuff said.

REDSKINS: Oh merciful bye week.

BROWNS: Poor Cleveland. When they get a weak team on their schedule, they beat them, as evidenced by their victory over the Jets. With their upcoming game in San Diego, they remind me of Kevin Bacon in "Animal House": "Please sir, may I have another?"

JETS: Losing to the Brownies proves the Jets may be the worst 4-4 team in the NFL.

BILLS: Bye week.

TITANS: Now if Vince Young could just look this good against a REAL team (not the Texans).

TEXANS: Smart move putting Sage Rosenfels in yesterday. But don't think for a second that this is the start of the Rosenfels era in Houston.

49ERS: Remember that scene from "Monty Python" where the big foot comes out of the sky and stomps somebody? That was the Bears-49ers game, with the 49ers under the foot.

RAIDERS: The Raiders rule! Hey, they beat the Super Bowl champs. Ok, so maybe the Raiders are not great, but we can at least say they are not the worst of the worst.

PACKERS: Favre got to do his first "Lambeau leap". Enjoy it Brett. You won't be playing against Arizona every week.

DOLPHINS: Bye week.

LIONS: There were a lot of bad teams with bye weeks this week. Detroit was just one of them.

CARDINALS: You smell something burning? That is just the hot seat under Dennis Green. On a side note, Matt Leinart is starting to look like what he is: a rookie quarterback. 14 completions in 35 attempts against Green Bay is NOT impressive.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Liberal racism

Mary Katharine Ham over at Townhall.com has a commentary about liberal racism today. Personally, I could not agree more with her.

With their zealous hatred of all things conservative, liberals show their true colors with their "no holds barred" attacks on conservatives, making generalizations that would make a KKK member blush. If you are a black Republican, you must be an "oreo" (black on the outside, white on the inside, as though being white was somehow a bad thing). I won't even go into all the nasty things they have said about Condi "Aunt Jemima" Rice (their nickname, not mine).

God help you if you live in the South. Liberals view the South as one step up from Darfur. In their eyes, all Southerners (note the generalization) would go on an ethnic cleansing of all the blacks, if not for those glorious blue states keeping us in line (heavy sarcasm intended).

The great irony is that when I lived in the Northeast, I saw more racism than I ever did living in the South (I have lived in Georgia for the last 12 years). You know the kind of racism I mean: A group of whites sitting together and someone makes a derogatory comment or a joke about blacks, and everyone laughs. I cannot say I have ever seen that in the South, even among the most ignorant rednecks.

One of the things I have noticed about the racists I have known in my life is their lack of a positive self-image. They seem to use racism as a way to compensate for this. It is kind of sad really.

But this does explain why racism is ok for liberals. They are starting to question their own self-image because they know they cannot get a majority in this country, and subconsciously they don't like what they see. The South won't support their moonbat ideas, so there must be something wrong with the South. The South must be filled with racist troglodytes. In other words, the liberal cannot be wrong, so there must be something wrong with THEM.

This is the kind of thinking that leads to racism. When someone refuses to acknowledge flaws in their own self, then that leaves the problem as someone else.

Don't get me wrong. There are some liberals who are fair, open-minded people. Unfortunately, they are NOT the ones pushing the Democratic Party's agenda.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why to vote Republican in November

Any Democrats wish to challenge the truth of this? I'm waiting...

As mad as I am at the Republicans, the Democrats have yet to give me a single reason to vote for them. In fact, they scare me worse than any GOP arrogance.

(Hat tip to Bob Gorrell over at Townhall.com)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ranking the NFL

With the Raiders win over the Cardinals, I no longer have an "ugly" category. Of course, the Raiders are still "bad", in the literal sense.

BEARS: A bye week always helps keep you at the top of the list.

PANTHERS: Losing a close game to the Bengals is not necessarily a bad sign.

SAINTS: Bye week.

BRONCOS: No change here. They should beat Cleveland, and they did.

COLTS: Sure they are undefeated. But can they go into Denver and win this week?

BENGALS: This team may be ready for the next level after their win over the Panthers. We shall see in the next four weeks, with games against the Falcons, Ravens, Chargers, and Saints.

CHARGERS: Their loss to the Chiefs tells me more about K.C. than San Diego. However, there may be rough times ahead as they lose two of their star linebackers for awhile.

EAGLES: It would be hard to downgrade the Eagles when they lose to a decent Tampa team on a 62 yard field goal at the end.

PATRIOTS: Yawn. Buffalo roadkill.

SEAHAWKS: When they lost to Minnesota, that proved they are not anywhere near the "elite" category.

GIANTS: Beating the Cowboys in Dallas was impressive, but still not meaningful in the rankings.

RAVENS: Bye week.

FALCONS: The Falcons didn't LOOK like the Falcons in their win over the Steelers. Mike Vick looked like a quarterback instead of a running-back-playing-quarterback. But can he keep it up? Highly doubtful.

STEELERS: The Steelers ought to be ashamed for making Mike Vick look like Dan Marino.

CHIEFS: The Chiefs proved they are better than I gave them credit for with their win over the Bolts.

BUCCANEERS: Even though the Bucs are coming off a win over the Eagles, and they have had a tough schedule, it takes more than a 2-4 record to be considered "good".

VIKINGS: Beating the Seahawks proves they are good. Their loss to the Bills proves they are bad. That leaves them squarely in "average".

COWBOYS: The NFC East is a tough division to be average.

JAGUARS: I should have paid more attention to that Redskins loss several weeks ago. Losing to Houston proves the Jags are merely average.

JETS: They lose to good teams (Pats, Colts, and Jags) and beat bad teams (Titans, Bills, Dolphins, and Lions). They are still the definition of average.

RAMS: Bye week.

REDSKINS: They SHOULD lose to the Colts. And probably a lot of other teams too.

BROWNS: Their loss to the Broncos only reinforces the fact they have the most brutal schedule in the NFL.

BILLS: Being roadkill for the Patriots only further proves this is a good spot for them.

TEXANS: Beating the Jags soundly only proved the Jags were over-rated. But it does prove the Texans are getting better.

49ERS: Bye week.

PACKERS: So they are better than Miami. They still suck.

DOLPHINS: You know you have problems when you lose to Green Bay. In Miami.

LIONS: A loss to the Jets was to be expected.

TITANS: Thank God for bye weeks!

RAIDERS: Thank you Arizona for proving there IS a worse team than the Raiders.

CARDINALS: They only beat the 49ers, and lost to the Raiders. Forget the Bears game: THIS is the worst team in the NFL.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quote of the day

"The gavel of the Speaker of the House is in the hands of special interests, and now it will be in the hands of America's children." - Nancy Pelosi

I guess that is one way to describe the Democratic Party.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A conversation with my daughter

A conversation with my 9 year old daughter Kestra:
KESTRA: Do you know Miss Lee Anne, the school nurse?
ME: Not personally.
[Kestra gives a sigh of exasperation, then continues.]
KESTRA: Well, you know we have a school nurse?
ME: I always hoped you did.

I always knew I would love having kids. I just never realized what great straightmen they made.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pick the NFL winners redux

Even though I got beaten like a drum, we had fun with our "pick the NFL winners" last week, so let's do it again. (I am surprised Bill Barker hasn't used his bragging rights yet.)

Put your picks in the comments before 1 pm Sunday and I will announce the winner next week. No money, just bragging rights.

Anyway, here are my picks for this week (my pick is in red):

Carolina at Cincinnati: Will the Bengals bounce back after last week's surprise loss to the Bucs? This game is a must-win for both of these teams. I will take the Panthers by a hair.

Detroit at N.Y. Jets: Can the Jets get up for this game after their squeaker over Miami? I say yes, but just barely.

Green Bay at Miami: Don Shula. Vince Lombardi. Larry Csonka. Bart Starr. Dan Marino. Brett Favre. Normally, I would say one out of six ain't bad, but in Favre's case, I will make an exception. Take Miami at home.

Jacksonville at Houston: This one smells like a "trap" game, but I just cannot pick Houston against a better team.

New England at Buffalo: Pats win here by one score.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay: A must-win for the Bucs. Only a nice-to-have win for the Eagles. Take the Bucs in their second upset win.

Pittsburgh at Atlanta: This is the game I have been waiting to see for weeks. I want to see how a good 3-4 defense handles Atlanta's option offense. I think Pittsburgh can.

San Diego at Kansas City: I think K.C. was looking past Pittsburgh last week to this game. Unfortunately, it won't do them any good. Take the Bolts.

Denver at Cleveland: The Brownies have had two weeks to prepare for the Broncos. It ain't enough.

Arizona at Oakland: According to the news, this is one of the alleged target sites for a terrorist bombing this weekend. With these two teams, I would call it more of a mercy killing. Regardless, I think Arizona will take out their frustrations from Monday night on the hapless (or is that hopeless?) Raiders.

Minnesota at Seattle: The Sea Birdies should beat almost anyone at home. The Vikes are no exception.

Washington at Indianapolis: A bad secondary vs. Peyton Manning. You do the math.

N.Y. Giants at Dallas: Heads Dallas wins, tails Giants win. It's heads.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blacks don't get bad service at restaurants?

NEWSFLASH: Chris Rock's mother gets bad service at restaurant! Details at 11!

Seriously, when I read the following story on CNN.com, I was floored:
"Rose Rock, the mother of comedian Chris Rock, claims she was racially discriminated against when she was seated but ignored for a half hour at a Cracker Barrel restaurant along the South Carolina coast.

Rock said Tuesday she planned to sue the Lebanon, Tennessee-based company. A Cracker Barrel spokeswoman said the restaurant chain was investigating and taking the complaint "very seriously."

Cracker Barrel has in the past faced numerous lawsuits and a federal inquiry over complaints of refusing to serve black customers, discriminating against minority workers and firing gay employees. The company has taken steps to rebuild its folksy image and reach out to minorities.

Rock, who is from Georgetown, said she and her 21-year-old daughter were the only blacks at the chain's Murrells Inlet restaurant in April. She said when she asked the manager about the delay she was told they could have a free meal.

"He never called over the waitresses and asked, 'Why did these people sit here for a half hour without service?' " she said. "The only thing he said was we could have a free meal and neither of us wanted to eat."

I will grant it is possible this situation occurred because of discrimination. But I do not see the proof in this story. Did the non-black customers get their food in a timely manner?

Add in the fact that I, as a white man, have been through this same kind of thing at restaurants more times than I care to recall, and the discrimination charge seems pretty frivolous.

Someone needs to give Rose Rock a copy of the story, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ranking the NFL

The foggy NFL picture is becoming clearer, so it is time to look at where the teams rank:

BEARS: With their schedule, this team could go 16-0. The only tough matchups the rest of the way are at the Giants, at the Patriots, and at the Rams. The way they beat up on the Seahawks three weeks ago (37-6) shows they can play with the big boys. The way they beat the Cardinals last night shows they can find ways to win (and a little luck never hurts).

SEAHAWKS: Even without Shaun Alexander, they manage to win, with their only loss coming to "da Bears".

PANTHERS: This ranking is based strictly on the presence of Steve Smith. With him, they are 4-0, including wins over the Saints and Ravens. Without him, they are 0-2, losing to the Falcons and Vikings.

SAINTS: Aside from a squeaker they lost to the Panthers in Carolina, this Saints team has been dominant. Winning against the Eagles showed they can win the big ones.

BRONCOS: After their week 1 loss to the Rams, the Broncos have rolled through their schedule, including consecutive wins over the Patriots and the Ravens.

COLTS: Until they lose, the Colts have to be considered up there. However, their only decisive victory came against the hapless Texans. In their favor, the Colts did manage to beat the Jaguars in a close game; however, their defense is weak, and their running game is questionable. But as long as Peyton Manning is there, they have a chance.

CHARGERS: San Diego is a borderline "almost elite" team. Their loss to the Ravens almost drops them a notch, but the Chargers take care of the bad teams with ease.

EAGLES: Another borderline "almost elite" team. Losses to the Saints and Giants are holding them down, but they MUST be respected.

PATRIOTS: This team is still hard to peg. They lost to the Broncos, but they also beat the Bengals.

GIANTS: Why aren't the G-Men rated higher? Because they can't beat the "almost elite", having lost to the Colts and Seahawks. Add in some really sloppy play, and this rating may be generous.

RAVENS: Their win against the Chargers showed how good they can be. The last two losses to the Broncos and Panthers showed they are not quite ready for the "almost elite".

JAGUARS: Another hard team to peg, but they are good. I just can't rank them higher after that loss to the Redskins two weeks ago.

FALCONS: A borderline "good" team. With their only losses to the Saints and the Giants, and some dominant wins over lesser teams, it is hard to be certain which Falcon team is real.

BENGALS: Their loss to the Buccaneers was a head-scratcher. However, they may drop to average, or rise to "almost elite", in the next five weeks, with games against the Panthers, Falcons, Ravens, Chargers, and Saints. That is a brutal schedule.

STEELERS: How can a 2-3 team be called "good"? They lost to the Jags, Bengals, and Chargers. With Pittsburgh seemingly coming out of their funk against K.C., this rating may actually be a little low.

BUCCANEERS: Only one win? But it was against the Bengals. Their losses to the Ravens, Falcons, Panthers, and Saints, tell me they are NOT a one-win team. They might even be good.

COWBOYS: Losses to the Eagles and Jags leave the Cowboys here.

JETS: They lose to good teams (Pats, Colts, and Jags) and beat bad teams (Titans, Bills, and Dolphins). I would call that the definition of average.

RAMS: If you consider the Rams week 1 victory over the Broncos a fluke, then they have to be ranked here. They lost to the 49ers!

VIKINGS: Ignoring the OT win over the "Steve Smith"-less Panthers, the Vikes have beaten the Redskins and Lions. Nothing to get excited about here.

REDSKINS: How do they beat the Jags and lose to the Titans? Parity is a cruel mistress.

CHIEFS: When your only wins are against the 49ers and Cardinals, calling you "average" is kind.

BROWNS: I know. Only one win, and that was against the Raiders. But look who they lost to: Saints, Bengals, Ravens, and Panthers. They may have the most brutal schedule in the NFL.

BILLS: Almost average. Beating the Vikes was a good sign. Losing to the Lions was not.

TEXANS: They have played poorly, but they have had some tough games: Eagles, Colts, Redskins, and Cowboys.

CARDINALS: They almost beat the elite team, and they might even be better than this. But only beating the 49ers doesn't put you high up in the rankings.

49ERS: They are getting better. At least the 49ers are fun to watch now.

DOLPHINS: If Culpepper ever gets healthy, this is a better team. Until then...

PACKERS: Time to retire Brett. Sure they have lost to some good teams. But the way they looked, I am not sure it would have made a difference.

LIONS: If the Lions resurrected Vince Lombardi as their head coach...they would still lose.

TITANS: The Redskins game was a fluke. They are REALLY this bad. However, with a few more wins, they might move up to average.

RAIDERS: Sorry Raider fans. But if you look at this team, you know it is true. I just hope they can sneak in a win somewhere.

Early results from last week's "Pick the NFL winners"

Time for me to eat a little crow after my awful NFL picks from last week. Whose brain-dead idea was it to start this thing?

Oh yeah, I guess it was me. Never mind.

Buffalo at Detroit: I was wrong. Detroit is every bit as mediocre as Buffalo.

Carolina at Baltimore: Wrong again, but is it my fault Steve McNair got hurt early?

Cincinnati at Tampa Bay: This was a shocker.

Houston at Dallas: No surprises here.

N.Y. Giants at Atlanta: Amazingly, the Giants not only did NOT stop Atlanta's running game, the G-Men put on a running clinic of their own.

Philadelphia at New Orleans: I'm a believer now. The Saints are for real.

Seattle at St. Louis: Seattle proves me wrong in a squeaker.

Tennessee at Washington: Huh? What the heck happened here? Gibbs, time to go back to NASCAR.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh has not looked like the Super Bowl champs all season. Until this game.

Miami at N.Y. Jets: Hey! I got one! (barely, but I'll take it)

San Diego at San Francisco: Note to Robert George: Was I right, or was I right?

Oakland at Denver: Sorry Raider fans. On the bright side, just think of that high draft pick we'll get next year...

Chicago at Arizona: TBD tonight.

In total, I got 4 right. If you need me, I'll be hiding under my desk for the rest of the day.

How all of you did (with your Chicago-Arizona pick):
Bill Barker: 8 (Bears)
RAGS: 7 (Cards)
J. Mark English: 7 (Cards)

UPDATE: After the Bears amazing come-from-behind victory last night, Bill Barker seals the win with an impressive 9 correct. Kudos Mr. Barker!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Why the Chargers over the 49ers is a no-brainer

Based on my NFL predictions this week, Robert George asked:
"San Diego at San Francisco. Ed, how can YOU ask that? SF is much improved while the Chargers (or Philip Rivers) have forgotten that they have a Pro-Bowl tight end. Marty Schottenheimer is bringing his bad mojo to yet another team. And LT ain't LT no more."

Robert, while San Francisco has improved, they still have a LONG way to go. Even though I won't say it is impossible to the 49ers to beat the Chargers ("any given Sunday"), it would be a monster upset if they did.

Consider the following stats (Chargers shown first):

RECORD: 3-1 vs. 2-3
RUSHING YARDS/GAME: 176.0 vs. 122.2
PASSING YARDS/GAME: 174.8 vs. 205.8

Let's look at who the teams have won and lost against.

The Chargers only loss came to a very solid Baltimore Ravens team in a close game (16-13), while they beat Oakland, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh.

The 49ers beat St. Louis and Oakland and lost to Arizona, Philadelphia, and Kansas City. At first glance, you might say St. Louis is not a bad team to have a victory against. They are 4-1. But when you consider that two of the 49ers four wins last year came against the Rams, that victory is a little less impressive.

But back to Robert's points. It is quite true the Chargers have not been utilizing Antonio Gates as much as they have in the past. But according to Phil Rivers, a lot of that is due to Gates being double-teamed much of the time.

As for LT not being LT, he is now LT and Michael Turner. The Chargers are second in the NFL (behind only Atlanta) with 176 rushing yards per game. I would call that an effective running game, wouldn't you?

The only prayer the 49ers have against the Chargers will be the "Hail Mary"!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pick the NFL winners!

Let's see who can pick the winners in this weeks NFL games. Just for fun. No money. Plenty of bragging rights.

This will be cross-posted on three blogs (Politics and Pigskins, Ragged Thots, and American Legends), so I will report the results from all three.

The only requirement is your post must be time-stamped before 1 pm EST on Sunday.

Here are my picks (in red):

Buffalo at Detroit: Buffalo is bad, but Detroit is worse. I'll take Buffalo to squeak by in this one.

Carolina at Baltimore: Pity the Panthers. Having to face the Baltimore defense coming off their Monday night loss to Denver.

Cincinnati at Tampa Bay: Cincy has had two weeks to prepare. This could be ugly too.

Houston at Dallas: Dallas should be sufficiently "T.O.'d" after their loss to the Eagles.

N.Y. Giants at Atlanta: This is the game of the week. Can the Giants run defense stop Atlanta's league best running game? Hard to say, but I'm taking the Falcons.

Philadelphia at New Orleans: Are the Saints for real? If they pull off this win, then I'm a believer. Until then, take the Eagles.

Seattle at St. Louis: I'm leaning towards St. Louis in a game which will go a long way towards determining the NFC West champ.

Tennessee at Washington: Skins. If you have to ask why, you haven't seen the Titans this year.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh: Until Pittsburgh gets on the right track, they are going to have a hard time with even mediocre competition like K.C.

Miami at N.Y. Jets: J-E-T-S! Jets Jets Jets!

San Diego at San Francisco: Do you even have to ask?

Oakland at Denver: Allow me to repeat: Do you even have to ask?

Chicago at Arizona: Da Bears in Da Desert. Ob la Da...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Left's Fascist Agenda on Global Warming

I was all ready to do my weekly fluffy fantasy football post, when I read something disturbing at the U.S. Senate Committee Environment & Public Works website:
"A U.S. based environmental magazine that both former Vice President Al Gore (http://gristmill.grist.org/print/2006/9/19/11408/1106?show_comments=no"
In defense of David Roberts, here is the entire post he made (from the link above):
"Check out this startling excerpt from George Monbiot's new book Heat.

It's about the climate-change "denial industry," which most of you are probably familiar with. What you may not know about is the peculiar role of the tobacco industry in the whole mess. I've read about this stuff for years and even I was surprised by some of the details.

When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.

In order to give Mr. Roberts a fair hearing, I go to the link to George Monbiot's book excerpt, which allegedly links the tobacco industry to the "global warming deniers". It was the usual conspiratorial garbage until I got to this part:
"The website it has financed - JunkScience.com - has been the main entrepot for almost every kind of climate-change denial that has found its way into the mainstream press. It equates environmentalists with Nazis, communists and terrorists."

I read everything JunkScience.com had to say about global warming, and I missed the name-calling of which the website is accused. If anything, I found their articles on global warming to be objective, without the partisan venom displayed by George Monbiot and David Roberts. In fact, JunkScience.com explicitly does NOT deny that global warming is happening, or that human emissions are having an impact. It merely puts the human factor within the context of other environmental factors which have a greater impact. In other words, we could reduce human emissions to zero and still not prevent global warming if the other factors are going to cause it anyway.

Speaking of Roberts, let us return to his idea about Nuremberg trials for global warming deniers. I wonder if he would be willing to have himself put on trial if either (1) global warming never comes to pass, or (2) it is definitively proven that human emissions have NOT caused it.

What worries me about even suggesting such trials is it displays the contempt the environmental movement shows for those opposed to it. Given the power and oppurtunity, I can easily imagine them running such trials even in the absence of global warming. How dare anyone challenge their enlightened views!

And maybe JunkScience.com SHOULD equate "environmentalists with Nazis, communists and terrorists."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Foley and Illegal Immigration

For me, the two big issues in the upcoming midterm election are:

1. The Foley scandal. The questions for me are: What did the Republican leadership know, when did they know it, and why did they fail to act on it? If the Republican leadership did fail in this scandal, why are they still being supported by MY representative?

2. Illegal immigration. I still want to know why Congress passed a bill giving Homeland Security funding to build a wall on the Mexican border, but NOT requiring DHS to build it? And why only 700 miles when the border is nearly three times that?

The first issue shows me that Republicans are more concerned about retaining power than they are, per the second issue, resolving problems. If I want a power hungry party that won't solve problems, I can vote Democrat.

If I vote for a representative at all, it will be third party.

That said, in local political offices, I will still consider voting Republican. The state of Georgia is one of the better run states in which I have lived.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Random Thoughts on the NFL in Week 5

MINNESOTA 26, DETROIT 17: Who was the moron who thought Jon Kitna (3 interceptions) would be a good starting quarterback? Hello, Matt Millen. Or is that goodbye Matt Millen?

While the rest of the world was watching the T.O. vs. his old team, I watched this.

Oakland may not win a game this year. If they do, it's a fluke. This team is AWFUL! Even Randy Moss is dogging it.

I don't know if they could find three worse quarterbacks in the NFL. I include Aaron Brooks, even though he did not play. I have seen enough of Brooks this year to know he is not any better than he was with New Orleans. The best part: Oakland passed on Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler for these three bums.

Their defense? Well, San Fran put up 27 points on them (7 points came from an ugly fumble return). There is no defense in Oakland. Or FOR Oakland.

As for the 49ers, it is hard to praise them when the Raiders looked so bad.

Running back Frank Gore looks like the real deal. He runs hard and fast. He doesn't lose anything late in the game either (one of my concerns about him was that he would be like Charlie Garner). When the 49ers actually block for him, Gore is scary good.

Quarterback Alex Smith has me curious though. When he plays against bad defenses, he makes them pay dearly. Now I want to see him put together a good game against a good defense. Then we will know he has arrived.

INDIANAPOLIS 14, TENNESSEE 13: This game never should have been this close. Indy mailed this one in. Of course, they can do that against Tennessee.

By the way, did anyone notice Indy is undefeated going into their bye week, and they have already swept all their division foes?

JACKSONVILLE 41, N.Y. JETS 0: The Jets didn't look bad. Jacksonville looked dominant. I think the Jags were a little ticked after their overtime loss to the Redskins last week.

ST. LOUIS 23, GREEN BAY 20: I was watching the end of this game with my dad. When Green Bay got the ball at the end and started driving, I told him, "The only question is whether Favre will give the game away before the Packers score."

A minute later, Favre fumbles and the Rams recovered. Do I know Brett Favre or what?

KANSAS CITY 23, ARIZONA 20: If Arizona had an offensive line, they might have won this game.

CHICAGO 40, BUFFALO 7: Rex Grossman. Respect him or pay the price. He doesn't put up huge numbers like a Peyton Manning. Just watch him win games.

PHILADELPHIA 38, DALLAS 24: Forget Terrell Owens. Donovan McNabb rocks!

By the way, Rush Limbaugh was wrong. I like Rush on politics. But on football, his knowledge has the quality of a matchbook cover.

CAROLINA 20, CLEVELAND 12: Yawn. Who cares?

NEW ORLEANS 24, TAMPA BAY 21: Even though I thought New Orleans would win, I must say I was surprised by Bucs QB Bruce Gradkowski. He looked real good.

Before everyone in Tampa starts thinking "quarterback controversy", consider that Cadillac Williams had his best game of the season so far. That was sorely lacking when Chris Simms was starting.

N.Y. GIANTS 19, WASHINGTON 3: I will take my lumps on this one now. I thought it would be a good offensive shootout. It wasn't even close to that. What a yawner!

Note to Tom Coughlin: You still haven't fixed your offensive problems, although the defense looked a lot better.

Note to Joe Gibbs: This is the kind of game your teams needs to win. They didn't. Time to retire.

Joey Harrington loses to Tom Brady. Any surprises here? I thought not.

SAN DIEGO 23, PITTSBURGH 13: Amazing! Phil Rivers CAN win games! And Ben Roethlisberger CAN lose games!

Maybe that second part is not too big a surprise, since that is all Roethlisberger has done this year. But Roethlisberger better get his act together soon or the Steelers will be on the outside looking in come January.

As for Phil Rivers, I almost wonder if this Chargers team will be the one that puts Marty Schottenheimer into the Super Bowl? Nah...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Week 5 Fantasy Football Predictions

Time to get out the fantasy crystal football, which is clearly broken when it comes to kickers. But we will see what it says anyway.

I will also say the game of the week should be the Giants-Redskins. For you defensive purists out there, maybe not so much.

QB: Mark Brunell has been hot lately. Expect this to continue against the Giants, who seem a little "short" on defense lately.

On the flip side, expect Eli Manning to also have a good game against the Redskins, who are still missing Shawn Springs in the secondary.

RB: For my no-brainer of the week, go with Larry Johnson against Arizona. Matt Leinart may never see the field.

If "Fragile" Fred Taylor can stay healthy, he should have a big day against the Jets.

WR: Look for Troy Williamson to put it in the end zone against the pussycats from Detroit. He should also rack up some good yardage too.

Santana Moss. 'Nuff said.

Also, let the Torry Holt/Isaac Bruce tandem ride this week against the Packers "Cheese Whiz" defense.

TE: If you have either Jeremy Shockey or Chris Cooley, feel good about this week.

K: I will take George Blanda and Jan Stenerud. They should do as well as anyone I would pick.

Seriously, Lawrence Tynes looks like a good pick against Arizona's aerobics defense (bend and keep bending).

Gotta love Ryan Longwell against the Detroit "Pussycats". If Minnesota's offense fails to convert a third down at any point, it will undoubtedly already be within field goal range.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: The Chiefs look sweet against Arizona's red-faced birds. Dante Hall might even put one in the end zone for them.

Take the Colts against the rebuilding Titans. Welcome to the NFL, Vince Young.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Week 4 Fantasy Football Review

It was kind of a mixed week for my fantasy football predictions. Where I was good, I was outstanding.

Unfortunately, I still can't predict a kicker to save my life.

QB Marc Bulger: 328 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, -1 yard rushing
QB Donovan McNabb: 288 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 47 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
RB Julius Jones: 23 carries, 122 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
WR Torry Holt: 6 catches, 102 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
WR Isaac Bruce: 7 catches, 100 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Bears DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: 2 interceptions, 5 sacks, 6 points allowed

RB Ronnie Brown: 12 carries, 49 rushing yards, 8 catches, 62 receiving yards
WR Chris Chambers: 3 catches, 28 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 1 carry, 14 rushing yards
TE Tony Gonzalez: 5 catches, 59 receiving yards
Rams DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 2 sacks, 34 points allowed

WR Donte' Stallworth: 1 catch, 26 receiving yards
TE L.J. Smith: 2 catches, 38 receiving yards
K Rian Lindell: 1 field goal, 2 extra points
K David Akers: 1 field goal, 4 extra points

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lose one game? Fire the coach!

You are undefeated going into the third game of the season. Your opponent is also undefeated, and looking very tough. You lose in their stadium by 3 points. What happens next? Naturally, the fans, the team, and Media call for the coach's head!

Say what?

That seems to be what is happening with the San Diego Chargers. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
"No one is happy.

Only Keenan McCardell is really saying so publicly, which should endear him to the thousands of Chargers fans who are beside themselves over Sunday's 16-13 loss in Baltimore and too many like it under Marty Schottenheimer.

But be certain about this: Not a soul at Chargers Park is pleased.

Many players, including McCardell, pointed out there are 13 games to play, which might be precisely the point.

Acee's article goes on to quote Charger management that nothing surrounding the coaching will be reviewed until after the season.

To be fair, the article does point to some bad coaching decisions by Schottenheimer.

Dealing with first year starting QB Phil Rivers:
"Asked yesterday whether [Schottenheimer] lacked confidence in Rivers, Schottenheimer balked.

“I have complete trust in him,” said the coach, who approved a sequence of play calls that had Rivers throw just once in the third quarter Sunday.

However, Schottenheimer was asked later if Drew Brees were still the quarterback would Sunday's play-calling have been different and would he have been willing to take more risks?

“I think that is a fair assessment,” he replied. “We're not asking Philip to do all the things we asked a five-year veteran to do.”

...After the game, Ravens linebacker Bart Scott said this to the Baltimore Sun: “I'm glad (Schottenheimer) stuck with his game plan, because that Rivers kid could play.”

...[Phil Rivers] played it cool when told of Schottenheimer's comments about how things would have been different if a veteran QB had been under center. But he was clearly crestfallen and then a little angry.

“My hope is there isn't a lack of confidence or trust,” he said.


In case you had not noticed, Schottenheimer does not deal well with young quarterbacks. He has a bad case of "George Allen syndrome" (and I am not talking about racism!).

While Schottenheimer did develop Bernie Kosar with the Browns, he did it VERY slowly. Consider that in Kosar's first year, 1985, the Browns had two one-thousand yard rushers (Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack). In 12 games, Kosar threw the ball 248 times, roughly 20 times a game.

Yet, Charger fans and Media expect Marty to air it out with a first time starter? Get real.

The Chargers run the ball too much, and at bad times:
"...the Chargers ran five of the nine times they had third-and-4 or longer. Schottenheimer attributed most of the play-calling decisions to poor field position.

But field position did not explain the time the Chargers ran on third-and-6 from the Ravens' 24. It also did not explain the time they started at their 40 and ran three straight plays before punting. Running three straight times after having first-and-20 at the 20 was a little curious as well. So, too, was there reason to question the fourth-quarter decisions to run from the Ravens' 41 on first down and again from the 35 on second-and-20.

Apparently, the people in San Diego are shocked by this. I have no clue why. This IS Marty Schottenheimer football. He did this in Cleveland, Kansas City, and Washington. Schottenheimer has always run the ball at obscenely stupid times, usually with some success, because he forces defenses to account for the run at all times.

Did the Chargers think when Schottenheimer arrived in San Diego he would be possessed by the spirits of Sid Gillman or Don Coryell?

In Marty's defense, he does have arguably the best running back in the game with LaDainian Tomlinson. Also, they only lost by 3 points to the Ravens, who are looking about as good as they did in their Super Bowl season.

No matter what you think of Schottenheimer's style, it is effective...to a point. That point usually happens in the playoffs, where Marty has never taken a team beyond the conference championship. And he never will.

But to lose one game to an excellent team and then call for the coach's head is the very definition of insanity. Add in the fact that the Chargers and their fans knew what they were getting when they hired Schottenheimer, and I am reminded of Albert Einstein's saying about insanity:
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I hate techies!

Sorry I did not post yesterday, but having a rough day at work. I will have more of the same today. The reason? Network techies. (I apologize for the technical nature of this post, but I need to vent)

I do a lot of work with databases. So whenever there is a network issue, it affects me.

While I appreciate the network techies are understaffed and overpaid, every time they do something to the network at work, I end up with a new unexpected project. It can be as simple as having to remap my co-workers desktop shortcuts. Or it can be as hard as changing links in the code I have in ALL of my databases.

This past weekend, they migrated a server. It would have been no big deal, but they changed the address. Ironically, the email they sent Friday said the migration would be "transparent". One of my co-workers put it best: "Transparent? Yeah, I can't see shit!"

Before you ask, "Why didn't they change the network mapping?", here is the problem: They change the network mapping ALL THE TIME! If my G: drive points to address "A" today, it will point to address "B" tomorrow. In order to avoid this constant problem, I have had to use "my network places" to map addresses on every pc, as well as in the code and various links I use.

Did I mention the mapped network drives are different on a lot of pc's? I am so glad they set up this networking for consistency across all pc's.

Did I mention I hate network techies?