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You Should Read Every Word They Write:
Monday, May 31, 2004Well, the Wolves season is over. It was a good run, but you can't get past the Lakers when the League keeps throwing their top refs on you.
Wally missed a couple of three pointers that would have made it interesting. I note that the Wolves never really made a sinlge big three coming down the stretch in any of the games -- at least while I was watching. Seems like everytime that a three would have really made a difference and swung things around, they missed it. Game Four in LA had at least three opportunities to hit a big three, but all were missed.
I note that the Lakers didn't miss theirs very often, especially not tonight.
I note as well that I still have not witnessed -- neither in person nor on TV -- Olowakandi make a shot of any type.
I saw Garnett get at least one traveling call and two offensive fouls. How many offensive fouls did they call on Shaq? Dollars to doughnuts it was Bavetta making those calls on Garnett. Offensive fouls are momentum killers. Stern can always count on Bavetta to make the subtle, yet key, game changing calls. Good grief, I have a love/hate relationship with the NBA.
I think I'll email Mark Cuban about this. He'll be interested in the refereeing stuff.
It was a good run. I'm sorry it is over.
Oh, man, oh man, oh man, do I ever hate the Lakers. They've now surpassed the Yankees as my most hated team. I hate Dick Bavetta.
The only good that would come out of a Lakers Championship is maybe two of the biggest jerks in the league, Payton and Malone, will retire. It suddenly occurred to me that they have three of propably the top five jerks in the league on their team.
The Detroit Pistons are my new favorite team. I'm not going to watch any of the Finals games unless they are games where the Lakers can be eliminated. No advertising benefits from me, unless the Lakers can lose it.
And I'm never buying Sprite ever again, even though I like that funny little dude of a doll. I refuse to do my part to support the cabal.
Take that, David Stern.
But, I'm not bitter.
This was posted with about a minute left in the first half.
I note that Danny Crawford isn't working the game tonight, but that the league brought in the really big gun -- Dick "The Fixer" Bavetta.
I wonder what the Lakers record is in the playoffs when Bavetta refs the game. I bet its close to 1.000.
If Bavetta can't do the job tonight, I figure they'll wheel in Crawford for Game 7 just to make sure.
It's tough to make predictions about the Wolves in the playoffs, since the league has clearly fixed things as best they can for the Lakers to win. Who wins depends so very much on who the league schedules to referee the games.
So my first prediction is that if Danny Crawford referees that game, then the Wolves will lose, as they always do when Crawford refs their playoff games. If Crawford refs tonight, it is just another piece of evidence that the fix is in.
If Crawford doesn't referee tonights tilt (and sadly, I predict he will be) then I believe that the Wolves have a chance. Strangely, I think against the Lakers they are better without Cassell, and I think that the Lakers are hopelessly overconfident. The pressure is on the Lakers, because I assure you that they don't want to play a Game 7 in the Target Center.
Let me add as well that I hate and despise the Lakers. I think they are smug and arrogant. I think Shaq is a jerk and a cheater, and I think he gets away with tons of fouls and travelling. It grates on my ears like finger nails across a blackboard to listen to that big, stupid, lazy whiner complain about getting fouled. I can't stand watching him hop and jump and travel all over the court. The utter lack of integrity of the league in letting him do as he pleases makes me want to puke. Garnett is ten times the man he is, and plays with ten times the skill and ten times the heart. And I hope Kobe goes to jail.
But most of all, I want to wipe that smug, cocky, arrogant smile off of Phil Jackson's face.
I am sure that I am in utter agreement with my fellow blogger Gary in offering unmitigated thanks to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation on this Memorial Day. We owe these brave men and women our eternal gratitude. We have incurred a debt to them which we can never repay. They have given us a gift -- freedom -- of which we can only hope and endeavor to be worthy.
Why is it that I always find cutting irony and scathing sarcasm so very convincing?
Friday, May 28, 2004This is probably the most staggeringly stupid column I've ever read in a major city newspaper.
Link from Jonah.
Even folks in Arizona can see that that fix is in.
And of course Mark Cuban clearly gets it.
It was tough to watch last night, wasn't it?
Well, it was a good run - best record in the West, winning a first round series, beating the Kings, MVP for KG. I know, I know there are still games remaining (game 5 is Saturday in Mpls) but we can all see the writing on the wall. It's over.
KG knows it: "The effort was there. It just seemed like we played against eight people tonight. I'm really at a loss for words right now."
You can't win when Shaq gets to knock down whomever he wants and the refs keep their whistles in their pockets.
As Nick and I said while watching the game, "It would take a miracle for the Wolves to win, and David Stern has outlawed miracles."
Oh well, I've got some yard work to do.
Thursday, May 27, 2004Why are there so many blind clerics? Actually, to be precise, this guy's missing only one eye - and both hands. The cleric behind the first World Trade Center bombing was blind. Do they have a Clerics With Disablities Act in the Islamic religion, so they advance to the higher ranks faster? Or are they the angriest ones - and therefore attract the jihadists - because they're disabled somehow? I don't know, it's weird.
Gary -- good stuff.
I agree -- Carter's presidency probably was as big a disaster as there was in the twentieth century. Derb recently did a review of that fateful year of 1979 and commented on what an unmitigated disaster Carter was. I don't share Derb's sympathy for the guy -- I think he was so full of himself that he thought that the force of his charming personality would carry the day. I guess, in a way, he was right.
As for the DFL -- Linda Higgins is the wife of a friend of mine. I'll have to give him a hard time next time I see him. ;-)
Stephen Hayward, author of the The Real Jimmy Carter, provides some insight into the the Iranian revolution that was entirely new to me:
There was nothing inevitable about the fall of Iran into the hands of the Islamofascists. In fact, the formidable Iranian military, which we had trained (one of our instructors of their officer corps there in the 1970s was Norman Schwartzkopf), was eager to work with us to create a successor regime to the failing Shah, but Carter recoiled from the necessity of imposing martial law to do so. Our failure to do so led to the loss of morale among the Iranian officer corps, such that they stayed neutral in the power struggle that commenced when the Shah left the country. Big mistake; one of ths first things Khomenine didn upon taking power was to execute most of the officer corps. Those lucky enough to escape finished out their lives as taxi drivers in New York and Washington.Man, are you kidding me? He goes on to analyze:
In retrospect, the fall of Iran may have been the single greatest foreign policy blunder of the last 50 years, not excepting Vietnam. Had Iran not become a bastion of international terror, it is unlikely we would be where we are today. Rather than feel sorry for Carter, we should impeach him retrospectively.The legacy of the Carter presidency becomes worse and worse as time goes by. He was and is a brainless boob.
KMSP-TV is reporting that, late in the legislative session, Senate offices were the places to go to take the edge off.
The station showed trash cans full of beer, wine and liquor bottles and suggested that at least some the alcohol of might have been provided by lobbyists. Lobbyists are not allowed to give gifts to legislators.The station has hidden camera footage of a cooler being taken into the office of Senate Majority Whip Linda Higgins (DFL). Lobbyists, state workers and legislators were also seen drinking in the office of Senate President James Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul). Rep. Scott Wasiluk (DFL-Maplewood) partook from Metzen's "bar" and was later seen on the House floor acting sleepy and unable to understand the proceedings via a monitor from Metzen's office.
I'm sure they must be very proud.
Michael Moore is a big fat liar.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004Wayne Niddery has a blog. I've known Wayne for many years as part of my TeamB endeavors, and he is a very, very smart guy with an very strong knack for explaining things clearly and to the point. I'm very excited to hear that he has a blog, as the blog medium is perfect for a guy like him. I'd strongly recommend adding Wayne to your daily reading. You won't be disappointed.
Here is Wayne's Atom Feed.
Monday, May 24, 2004David Aldridge gets it exactly right. Peeler got suspended for two games for elbowing Garnett in the head, and Malone gets no games? Huh? You can even argue that Peeler was provoked, and so that mitigates his actions somewhat. Malone just went ahead and hit Martin in the head because he felt like it. Aldridge also rightly points out that Malone has elbowed many others in the head as well. I clearly remember him knocking David Robinson out cold a couple of years back. The guy is a dirty player, and when dirty players keep doing what they do, they should get escalating punishment. $7500 and no suspension? What a joke.
Who can doubt that the fix is in for LA?
Friday, May 21, 2004Here's the Timberwolves vs Kings series wrapup from 82games.com
I guess maybe I don't know how to read these, as it makes Garnet look bad, though I see that he played 91% of the minutes, and they did lose three of the games by bigger margins than they won the four games.
Interesting stuff, though.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004Mark Cuban makes note of an anomaly.
Here's the final plus/minus numbers for the Spurs/Lakers series. Very revealing. Notice that Duncan and Parker weren't really very productive (negative, in fact), and that allegedly valuable defender Bruce Bowen stunk up the place. I note that Robert Horry was the most productive, as well. He's easily one of those guys that is always in the right spot doing the little things that really make a team win. He came up short this time, but not because of a lack of trying.
You should poke around the 82games.com site. There's quite a bit of interesting stuff there; I think I mentioned this site before. Also, be sure to read the links from Dan Rosenbaum found on the main page. Fascinating look at the NBA from the eyes of a statistician with a love for the game.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004Mark Steyn, as usual, hits one out of the park. I seriously can't believe how clear thinking this guy is.
I've been slowly coming to the conclusion that the United States is no longer capable of conducting a war, because the press and the left in this country simply won't let us. They simply don't want us to ever win any war, and will do everything they can to undermine the effort. To say that this is un-American is an understatement.
Hindrocket over at Powerline made the same point a day or two ago.
If killing 3000 Americans in one blow isn't enough to get us to conduct a real war against a real enemy, then there's no hope for us, and Osama Bin Laden is right about us. If Bush doesn't get re-elected -- a prospect I sadly find more likely each day -- then we are seriously in for it. And Steyn is right -- Bush needs to start sounding more like Rumsfeld and less like Powell. We need more talk about kiling and destroying and defeating, and less talk about apologizing and "bringing to justice".
Kicking Bush out of office will be a clear sign to the terrorists that we don't have the stomach to stand up to them. It will be a clear sign that they can decapitate innocent Americans without fear of retribution or consequence.
The terrorists must be killed. There is no other alternative. If they aren't killed, they will kill us. It is as simple as that.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Dateline: Baghdad May 9 (06:34)
Thursday, May 13, 2004I don't always agree with the Derb, but I totally agree with him today.
I especially agree with the part about Bush apologizing.
And who was the idiot that thought it would be a good idea to mix men and women in a combat zone?
Wednesday, May 12, 2004James is a friend of mine from my days in Illinois. James is one in a billion. He was a terrific leader in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer (Ship Driver, for you civilians), but for reasons that defy all good sense, he was "RIF'ed" (dropped from the Navy as part of a 'Reduction in Force'). James became a Naval Reserve Intel Officer and a civilian analyst at our former command (I am being a bit circumspect, as James is currently in Iraq, and I don't want to break Operational Security). James is as interesting, kind, thoughtful, funny, witty, and intelligent guy as you'd ever want to me. He has to be to have agreed to eat lunch with me so many times while we were together back in Illinois.
James is currently deployed in Bagdad, doing his part to rid the world of the scourge of radical islamic terrorists. He frequently writes letters of exceptional quality to those of us fortunate enough to be on his mailing list. I've urged James to put his marvelous letters in a blog, but he doesn't have the time to do that right now, so he has graciously allowed me to post his wonderful stuff here. There are few people in the world who would make a better dinner guest than James, and I hope that you can pick up his marvelous personality, and his desire to serve his country, through these letters. I'll post more as they arrive.
My only complaint in this letter was that he didn't mention the greatest line of dialogue in the history of cinema (from Master and Commander:
Capt. Jack Aubrey: You want your children to grow up singing the "La Marseillaise?"
Tuesday, May 11, 2004Check this out: A guy writes a letter to his congressman objecting to his vote on a House Resolution praising the troops and condemning the prison abuse.
Then, the congressman, Peter Stark, is stupid enough to actually call and leave a message on the guy's answering machine. And of course, we know what happens, then, right? The message gets posted on the web.
What an arrogant jerk! Good grief, you have to listen to the smarmy smuggness of this bonehead. It's stunning.
I've been reading the blog at 'a small victory'. It's quite good, and really in line to a large degree to my way of thinking, particularly about the War on Terrorism.
I read this post today and I couldn't help but thinking how right he was.
The post is about the beheading of a man named Nick Berg who's only fault, it would seem, was being American. The video in question here shows him being beheaded. The slime that does this beheads him and holds out his head on the video. Let me repeat that - they behead him and hold out his head on the video. You read that right.
Now, let's compare this to what has been going on in the prisons in Baghdad. They behead a guy, we put a guy on a leash. Yep, pretty much the same thing.
What in the world is wrong with these sick scumbags?
Or more importantly, what is wrong with the sick scumbags in this country who fail to realize that we are at war with these people and they must be killed.
I'm livid with anger over this video. I'm livid with anger over the stupid cowards who perpetrated this vicious act while hiding behind masks. (I'd use stronger words, but this is a family blog). God forgive me, but I want these people to burn in hell.
This is a defining moment. If this single vicious act doesn't gel the American people to the barbarity of the people we are dealing with, then we are lost. If people don't look at that and rise up in righteous anger, then all is lost in this country. I hope and pray that we do, but I confess that I don't know what will happen. I have no confidence that people in this country won't simply cower in fear, rather than rise up and decide to kill and defeat these murdering butchers.
Sent this email to Lee Salmem (email@example.com) today. Mr. Salem is the vice-president for print syndication at Universal Press Syndicate, the organization that syndicates the drivel that is Ted Rall. You may recall Ted Rall as the jerk who utterly denigrated the memory of Pat Tillman in his "cartoon".
Mr. Salem --
"I was just doing my job, I did the same thing every other Marine would have done, it was just a passion and love for my Marines, the experience put a lot into perspective."
That's what USMC CAPT Brian Chontosh had to say after winning the Navy Cross, the highest award for valor that the service can give without approval from Congress.
And I suppose he is right. It is the job of every Marine to kill the enemy. But CAPT Chontosh did it in a "ferocious" and "audacious" way. (You can read about what CAPT Chontosh did here). I get all choked up reading stuff like that. Marines know how to kill the enemy.The Marines represent all that is good and strong and right with our country. They embody duty, honor, courage, and a ferocious desire to defend America and kill its enemies. I love that. I just love that.
I should have joined the Corps instead of the Navy, and I would have gotten to hang around with guys like CAPT Chontosh. God bless him.
Sunday, May 09, 2004And people complain about Barry Bonds taking steroids.
Thursday, May 06, 2004Cal Thomas comments on the pictures of the treatment of some Iraqi prisoners at the hands of some American guards. He makes two great points in this paragraph - 1) those who hate us and want to kill us will feel the same whether we treat them well or ill, and 2) see sentence in bold:
This is one of the great fallacies in dealing with such people: that what the West does influences how they think and their course of action. It is a self-seduction when we in the West believe that acts of kindness, generosity and "evenhandedness" will change people who believe we are infidels, bound for hell and deserving of that final destination (and some think they have been divinely appointed to send us and the Israelis there). We should be kind, generous and humane because that is who we are. But we should not labor under false assumptions that such values alone will change minds and hearts poisoned by years of political and theological propaganda.And, we do not humiliate them, they humiliate themselves.
Some Arab commentators are repeating the myth that the West has, once again, humiliated Muslims. If there has been humiliation, it isn't the fault of the West. It is Muslims' fault. They took trillions of dollars in oil money, and instead of building a culture dedicated to elevating their people, including women, they have squandered it on agendas and adventures that had the opposite result. Like communism, which blamed the West for its failure to produce a better life for people forced to live under that system, Arab dictatorships must have an external enemy to keep people from blaming their leaders for the misery they have created.The greatest cost of these pictures will be here at home, the measure of that cost will be seen at the polls in November.
This item in John McCaslin's Inside The Beltway in the Washington Times cracked me up.
Actress Drew Barrymore is filming a documentary aimed at persuading young people to vote. She recently happened upon members of the D.C. chapter of FreeRepublic.com, the conservative grass-roots network, as they conducted a Washington protest.
I'm a big Ben Stein fan. He's funny, smart, successful, and conservative. He has a new book out, "How to Ruin Your Financial Life", so Smart Money magazine interviewed him about the book and other things. Did you know he's written 16 books? Here's some of the advice he gives on how to ruin your financial life:
Wednesday, May 05, 2004This is an April Fools Joke, right? I mean it seems so bizarre.
George Bush may have his faults, but poor leadership, a lack of loyalty, a lack of character, and a lack of respect for those who make large sacrifices for us are not among them.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004Here's another look at the NBA player stats issue that has Garnett head and shoulders above everyone else. (Scroll down about 3/4's of the way on the page....)
This site totally rocks for basketball stats. It has some amazing statistics, including all sort of interesting things about the Wolves.
For instance, Minnesota has four of the top twenty "Clutch Performers", including Trenton Hassell(!). In addition, the tandems of both Garnett/Cassell and Garnett/Sprewell are two of the best five pairs in the league. (Note that Reggie Miller compromises half of the other three....)
Here's the Timberwolves Page. Note that only Garnett and Casell cause the Timberwolves to get worse when they sit down. Everyone else causes the Wolves to get better when they aren't playing. I note that Olowakandi's overall value is higher than I would have guessed -- he's slightly more valuable than Sprewell. Szczerbiak is actually better than I would have guessed, and my man Erv Johnson lower. N Ote th
Erv is redeemed when you look at this page, where "Five man units" are evaluated. Give Saunders some credit for having the best group of five starting every game.
Other things to note: Give a look at the Spurs page, and see that Duncan isn't even the most useful player on the team! Garnett is well ahead of him in on court and off-court value, though I suppose that that speaks volumes about Duncan's teammates. But who the heck is Matt Carroll? Clearly he should be playing more.
Anyway, what a cool site. I'm definitely going to be pouring over it over the playoffs.
Marginal Revolution, written mainly by a guy named Tyler Cowan, is easily one of the best blogs out there. Almost every post has an interesting, economic take on things that you'd never think about in economic terms. For instance, here's an economic look at dieting. I heartily recommend adding this to your daily reading.
My family and I wrote a letter and sent a "care package" to 1LT Dan in Iraq, the friend of a friend. Here's the letter that I sent a long, judiciously edited to remove some of the more personal details:
You don't know me, but we have a mutual friend in Jay <lastname>. Jay is interning at our church while he goes to Seminary to become an Army Chaplain. He gave me your name so that my wife, my three children, and I could write you and let you know that we are thinking of you and praying for you. Jay is a fine man and is still constantly thinking of you all in his former unit.
I hope he likes the candy and appreciates the sentiment, which is quite heartfelt.
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