Monday, October 31, 2005
1:36 left. Down 2. You have to feel good needing AW to get 40 yards with no TO's left. If you are not the Ravens that is...
Lest we forget, he was an afterthought pickup after the Twinks didn't re-sign him, and for his first few months in Boston, so little was thought of him that he was struggling to supplant the immortal (and, it turns out, 'roided up) Jeremy Giambi. Theo himself never claimed that he saw more then a .280/25/80 guy. So he gets some credit here.
Similarly, he done good with Schilling. When you bring in a guy who says he's here to
However, even with Papi and Schill, the Sox needed lightning in a bottle after trading Nomar last year. (Just prior to that deal, the Geeze returned from Seattle disconsolate, describing them as "a bad, Beer-League team".) And of course, the MFY's had to hop on the broad yet shaky shoulders of Slappy McBluelips and blow a 3-0 lead.
So what am I saying? I dunno, but I refuse to be one of those doomsday saying folks who will bemoan the loss of St. Theo (I mean, how hard can it be, I have no problem assembling dominant teams season after season on Baseball Mogul or PureSim. WhatIfSports is a little harder, but I'm competing against other people, not just the computer there...). Plus he allowed the travesty that was Queer Eye For The Red Sox to happen.*
Plus, Paul DePodesta is available, and they're basically the same guy, right...
*It boggles my mind that Kevin Millar was never really brought to the shed over his mincing, loutish performance (could Ted Danson in blackface have been any more offensive to black people the Millar's "I am now GAY" schtick must have been to LGBT's?)
Sunday, October 30, 2005
(would you trust this guy?), and the vultures circle over the Prince Of Darkness.
In local news, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled 5-0 that rules and regulation prohibiting same-sex couples from getting spousal employment benefits are unconsitutional. The proverbial shit will hit the proverbial fan on this one, mark my words (Chief Justice Roberts, clean up on aisle 49...). This one seems to have slipped under the radar for just now, but with my bestest ConLaw professor, ever, Dale Carpenter guest blogging about same sex marriage at Volokh starting this week, it might get mentioned once or twice.
(Side note: I'm not sure why I get so worked up about the whole SSM thing. The only way it can possibly effect me is if my gay friends start getting married and then I need to buy even more wedding gifts. Which would be tough, living on a budget and all...But at the same time, who are you to tell me what to do in my own house?)
Oh yeah, the White Sox won the WS. In another one run game completely lacking in tension. Some teams you just know don't have it, and the Astros didn't. (Of course, the Marlins have won two, and the only it they seem to have is a super-annuated fanbase...)
But perhaps the most important development of the week that was is my new role as a contributor over at 6'2". Apparently, I'm supposed to add 'humor', or something with similarly great taste with less calories.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
update: oppo single by dye....HOLY CRAP...I guess I feel pretty good about
update: because after watching 1/5th of a season of 24, E-Z likes to serve up meat to Geoff Blum?
update, 9:59 AST: this might get ugly for Astacio (Uglier even then his
update, 10:07 AST: well, at least EZ's career WS ERA will be less then 100, regardless of how the magic Wandy does...
10:12: Do the Astros realise that they still have another game? Ensberg's at bat had that "when's my Tee Time On Friday" feel to it...
10:14: Brandon Backe runs to the bullpen. Either he's got to pee badly or its time to start warming up for game 4 already...
10:15: Right now, the Sox have to pick their poison. Brad Ausmus or Adam Everett. Tough Choices...
10:17: Goddamnit Uribe, I have to pack, let's get this over with. Phil Garner seems to feel the same way...
7-5 in 14...2 questions. Were the Cards this bad against the Sox last year and I just didn't care? How is a 14 inning WS game lacking both drama and excitement? But, good news, we got our first 1-77 "teams coming back from 0-3" stat screen. Eat it MFY's...
Personally, I enjoy the vitriol Simmons heaps on the Rocket, but I'm conflicted as to how I feel about him. He and Reggie Lewis were my first 'favorite' athletes, so there's always a soft spot there. His departure from the Red Sox was bitter, but that was more Duquette. However, he did mail in his last couple seasons for us, and then (re)turned into a workout demon to crush for the Blue Jays, before the giant "F You!" to Boston by engineering a move to the MFY's. (The fact that he did the same thing to Steinbrenner by 'retiring' then signing with the 'stros, well, turnabout is fair play.)
He is by most accounts, a great teammate. Wears bling when not pitching (I wish I could find a photo of him wearing about a 4-inch rope in the dugout during game 2...). Makes Andy Petitte better (like Petitte needs it...). Good guy, good father. And he's the best (sustained) right handed pitcher of the DH era. You kinda have to respect that.
Monday, October 24, 2005
The Onion was amused. "I'm surprised the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion," Scott Dikkers, editor in chief, wrote to Mr. Dixton. He suggested the money be used instead for tax breaks for satirists.Are things really so bad that they have to go after the Onion?
As much of what I've been reading concerns the Miers nomination (for a combination of professional and personal reasons. Hey, I'm a law clerk, SCOTUS is like a combination of porn and the
Basically, the Miers nomination has become a referendum on my own philosophy. How can I deride her for lacking an analyitcal framework when I lack one myself? I guess stay tuned.
*previously, I blogged about poker, poker and more poker. But playing and talking only about poker made Pooh a dull (and slightly puffy) guy
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Anyway, Game 2 of the World Series was just chock full of those kind of things. Biggio drops a popfly to let in a run, NFW... More curious musical choices, NFW (ok, I dug Lou Rawls, and 12-year-old trumpet boy was better then Liz Phair. Good thing the Cubs aren't playing because then she'd be Exiled in Boystown...sorry, couldn't resist.) FOX misses Enseberg's HR to show us more Prison Break promos... WATFO?
Another blown call in a big spot, NFW. (Though how can you kill the ump for missing that one? No way he can see it with the catcher and Dye between him and the ball, and, especially with all the arm padding hitters are wearing, with glancing contact, how can he tell by sound?) Grand Slam next pitch to magnify the error? Was their anything else even remotely possible?
Which leads me into a digression. The Bosmos got murdered in the press a few years back for their 'bullpen by committee' thing. Which they should have, because all their relievers sucked. However, the underlying Jamesian point was that 9th inning closers were overrated, and in fact your best reliever should be facing the most important hitters. Hence, shouldn't Lidge have come on to face Konerko? (Well, as we now know, the 'stros needed Vaughan, Rick Vaughan, but its not like he could have faired worse then Qualls in that spot.)
That being said, Refrigerator Jenks looked distinctly mortal. As overpowered as Bags was yesterday, he finally got his due after hitting the ball hard every time tonight. I was, to put it mildly, confused, by the choice of Vizcaino with Palmeiro and Lamb on the bench (34 HR in a 17 year career? Let's send him up to try and turn around the Bubba-Ball) but of course that worked out. It looked like Podsednik might have had a play on Burke at 3rd, but send em in anyway. He beats it out. NFW. (which of course leads the Geeze to opine "rough night for Podsednik so far." Pop, I don't know how to tell you this, but you are something of a goocher at times...)
Lidge giving up a game winner. Again? Believable, if barely. To Scott Podesdnik? (Somehow Scott Fucking Podsednik doesn't have the same ring or rhythm as BFD or AFB...Of course, as Baseball Crank points out, it's not exactly unprecedented for someone to be a very unlikely walk-off hero. Go Crazy, Folks! Of course, Buck and McCarver may have had something to do with it, as for the whole at-bat they had the "Bad Taste in the Mouth" conversation going because, hey, NFW Scott Podsednik hits one right?
Saturday, October 22, 2005
(Speaking of Pujols, the best 'Good Teammate' story of the weak, as recounted by Buster Olney:
On the flight from Houston to St. Louis, after Pujols' stunning home run in Game 5, the pilot -- cued by some member of the team, in all likelihood -- announced that if you looked out the left side of the airplane you would see Pujols' home run zooming past.
I guess that's how you avoid the Dead Man Walking game. "If you look underneath the cab, you can see Mookie's grounder still rolling." Doesn't quite have the same ring...)
Final thought: Was it really neccesary for Fox to do a whole 'nother "cursed franchise" montage pregame? Maybe Shaughnessy has a Black Sox book coming out that he needs to peddle...Of course it does allow RSN to remind ourselves that we are still the champs, for another few days at least.
Aside from that, there are things about the 'burg that are beginning not to totally suck. I've actually run across a few decent local bands, last night being a good example. They were called Rebel Blues or something like that, which was odd, because in true coffee-talk style, they seemed neither Rebellious, nor did they play much Blues (for the first set at least), discuss... They were mostly a jam band that played everything from Ice Ice Baby to Friends in Low Places, except they played them all to What I Got. But the guitar player was quite good, pulling the BB King Face:
on command and ripping into some quality SRV. The highlight, for me, was when some five-nuthin, buck-nuthin girl (who I mocked for wearing sunglasses indoors), jumped up on stage and went all Koko Taylor on "Night Time Is the Right Time". So that was good times, even for an old crook like me...
Friday, October 21, 2005
And thanks to the funky libertarians over at Volokh, we get this report on her public presence:
She struck me as surprisingly unprepared and inarticulate (much like Bush himself). Indeed, she and Dubyah appear to be graduates of the same public speaking seminar . . . and that isn't a compliment. I think we are in for a lot of Supreme Court opinions with lines like "We're getting after 'em. We're smoking 'em out. We want 'em dead or alive" and "After reading the opinion below, I'm tellin' ya, the lower court did one heckuva job."Did pre-Justice Thomas look this bad at the equivalent time (even excepting Anita Hill)?
"Young black kids dress like NBA players," he said. "Unfortunately, they don't get paid like NBA players. So when they go out in the real world, what they wear is held against them.
"See, these players make $10 million to $15 million a year, so nobody cares how they dress. But regular black kids go out into the real world and how they dress is held against them.
"If a well-dressed white kid and a black kid wearing a do-rag and throwback jersey came to me in a job interview, I'd hire the white kid," he said. "That's reality. That's the No. 1 reason I support the dress code.
A very good point. Strange that David Stern didn't mention it...
*For the non-Carleton kids, there's a good story which I'm not really comfortable putting into print on a quasi-public forum
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Look, I thought Roberts was a fabulous choice. Smart, principled, dilligent. Ok so he's a little to the right of Hannibal in his personal views, but you can tell that he has a reverence for the law, and will do his best to stick to a coherent mode of judicial reasoning. Really didn't give much ammo for the left. Aside from Charles Schumer's film career.
Meanwhile, Harriet Miers is....religious, nice (NyTimes, reg. req.), smart and dilligent. (Did I forget ethical?) Plus she's told us how she would rule on a Roe type case. Or has she? On this issue, she just might be all things to all people.
Not enough qualifications you say, (check out her current reading list, ty A3G) how 'bout that she's a pit bull from Texan. Well, how do we know that Dubya didn't just pick the first woman he saw? Well that would have been Laura, and perhaps TOO obvious cronyism.
Look, I get as much schadenfreude as the next lefty from the prospect of the right eating its own young on this one, but the J.D. in me wants, no, NEEDS someone on the court who passes at least minimal standards of qualification. In fact, I'll let yet another erstwhile Bushie, Charles Kruathammer have the final word:
It will be argued that this criticism is elitist (Pooh: Let's not forget sexist either, Laura). But this is not about the Ivy League. The issue is not the venue of Miers's constitutional scholarship, experience and engagement. The issue is their nonexistence. (full article)
Update: Ignore everything I just wrote and read this. Just in time for Halloween too.
Can I resist?
No I can't.
I am serious, and please do call him Shirley
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
4-8-15-16-23-42. (or Lost gets found)
I always dig the Sun-Jin flashbacks, though the "It's my darkest hour...hey look, its Terry O'Quinn to offer pearls of wisdom" thing might get overplayed...you heard it here first, Locke is dead in three weeks. 3 reasons for my thinking: A) Big Scary African dude is going to be the new Island Dungeon Master. B) The annoying factor just mentioned. Has he helped everyone out yet? His work here is done. C) Was it me or did he have the "I'm still going to get paid for when I come back in flashbacks, right?" look when he delivered the eminently portentious line "I'm no longer LOST. Hey, this show is called Lost..did everybody get that or have TiVo to watch it again?"
Plus, it was reasonably obvious that funny-bald Hahvahd man (I wonder if saying "I went to school in Boston" means the same other places as it does here...should I start referring to Northfield as the Boston of the Midwest?) was
Speaking of Love, we have a nice quadrangle shaping up, Sawyer/Jack/Kate/Girlfight Chick. (Unless Sawyer dies because Kate didn't get to say good bye. No, I'm sticking with my original pick...but you heard that here first also, just in case.)
No Boom before the ending "Lost" this time. Ruined my whole week.
As for the World Series, Astros in five.
1. Work - Gang Starr. I'm a sucker for hip-hop with jazz-style background.
2. The Last Time. Blind Boys From Alabama. First heard of these guys when they did the theme song for the first season of The Wire.
3. Juicy - Biggy. And it's all good baby-BAby...
4. Apache - FatBoy Slim Instrumental version. not sure why, but its there...
5. Key to the Highway (live accoustic) - Clapton. Or, as Liverpudlians call him, God...
6. Time Is On My Side - The Stones. Just watched the underrated Fallen again recently, so naturally, this one is in my head.
7. Lost At Birth - Public Enemy. Fear of A Black Planet and Apocalype '91 remain two of my top 10 favorite rap albums of all time. Amazing how some stuff (PE, early Will Smith) holds up and other stuff (DAS EFX, Mystikal) doesn't...
8. The Troglodyte Song - Jimmy Castor Bunch. Goofy funk shit like this kills me for some reason.
9. California Dreamin' - Me First and the Gimme Gimmies. As do punk covers...
10. Wait [remix] - Ying Yang Twins. At least they played good music to get stuck in my head at the crappy club we ended up at on Saturday
If that seems like a segue into a Miers rant, well it could be, but I'm saving up for that one...
David Stern has done a lot for the NBA, but over the last year I fear he's gone of the deep end. First, there was his reaction to the Pacers-Pistons Fans melee. Yes, Artest, and especially Stephen Jackson needed to get punished, but the racial element was ugly, obvious, and completely ignored by the league. White fans threw beer, popcorn, pieces of the damn stadium, and probably some unsavory epithets at the players, but its the black players who are made out to be monsters? Please. My reaction was the same as Greg Anthony and Tim Legler's intial reaction - the 'fans' were at fault, yes, Artest overreacted, but you come on the court, or throw something on the court, well TFB. (Of course the league muzzled both Legs and GA and forced them to recant their first responses. Trust me, I was watching the game, and that's what they said 10 minutes after it happened...). In Europe, the Pistons would have played there next 3 or so home games in an empty gym. That's what happened to soccer club AS Roma when one of their fans drilled the ref in the head with a coin.
Next there was the minimum age thing. Now, I tend to agree with Stern's thought that younger players are impacting quality of play, but really isn't it the fault of the teams for drafting Kwame Browns and Darius Miles instead of Shane Battiers and Shawn Marions?
Finally, there is the David's new 'business casual' dress code. Look, you don't have to be Stephen A. Smith to see this as racial. Stephen Jackson himself took shots at the policy (of course, one could easily respond to him that the policy is not aimed at young black males, its aimed at YOU, knucklehead), but then, so did Tim Duncan, hardly the stereotype of the Angry Black Male. Leaguewide reaction has been mixed, with good points being made in favor of some sort of dress code. I completely understand the coat-and-tie thing on the bench for games if one is not playing. But honestly, who gives a flying rats arse what players where into and out of the gym? Strangely, Wally-World has the best take: "I think they're coming on way too strict. Movie stars in L.A., they're not always in jackets and ties, and they're setting trends, and we're looked at in the same light." Easy there, tiger. When it comes to fashion, I think Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson, and Michael Olowokandi just like the next guy...
Chris Broussard of ESPN.com gets it about right in his blog. Some of his better (facetious) suggestions:
• Cornrows and dreadlocks must go. And on the QT (quiet tip), we're sending out private memos that strongly suggest players wear Afros. Not huge Dr. J, "Power-to-the-People" Afros, but moderate, neatly combed 'fros that are completely without Black Power connotations. (Note to Ben Wallace: Buy a pick, but not a fist pick or one of those red, black and green joints that fold up. And don't even think about getting a Rake.) White and Asian players must wear their hair like Richie Cunningham or Potsie Weber.
• Each player will be limited to one between-the-leg dribble per game and one crossover move per week. Teams must pass the ball five times before attempting a shot, and And1 sneakers are forbidden.
• Black uniforms are being eliminated, and NBA-team throwback jerseys, headbands, baseball caps and bomber jackets are being discontinued. In their place we will sell team-logo cowboy hats and matching boots. A pair of free Wrangler jeans and a Pat Boone CD will be given to the first 50 buyers at each game.
• Stuart Scott is forbidden from doing highlights of NBA action until he completes one full year in a hip-hop rehab center, preferably one in Montana or Idaho.
• Stephen A. Smith must stop yelling, take the bass out of his voice and smile more, or quite frankly, we'll fine players for appearing on his show.
And leaving the last word to the Geeze, "What did Bill Belichick have to say about it?"
Dress for success, clearly...
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Other fun stuff today: Mom is taking me to look at a condo she's thinking of buying, where (hint hint), I could (hint hint) live, should I choose to stay in the 'burg. (At least the Geeze was up front and said "I want you to stay here").
Meeting Sheavon's kid for the first time later, we're going bowling. Don't need nothing, but a good time.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Am I Writing for the West Wing and Nobody Told Me? (plus, why Rome is no Deadwood, though it may be dead wood for HBO)
I am a bit worried that the show may be going in too many directions at once. The split story thing worked for a little bit when Sam Seeborn was getting bitch-slapped by the voters of the OC while Barlett was mopping the floor with Bush...er I mean Gov. Richie (Florida, Texas, what's the difference?), but now they have to deal with both campaigns (each of which could be its own show...brilliant to have Bruno working for Vinick. Gives Lemon Lyman a worthy adversary, plus, with props to Sports Guy, HIS FATHER IS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY). As a bonus 3rd story, apparently Toby is going to jail. Like father, like son, evidently.
My other Sunday evening show, Rome is entertaining, if not engrossing in the way of HBO'ss better efforts, such as The Wire or Deadwood. The comparison between Rome and Deadwood is particularly apt, since both shows are supposedly based on a similar premise of society forming order without law. (David Milch has said as much.) Deadwood is stronger in two areas, I think. First, is familiarity. The Old West wasn't that long ago, and even though things are different, we, as a culture, are familiar with the era, so don't need exposition on that kinda stuff. So much of the stuff in Rome either needs teedious explanation, or goes unexplained, leaving a bit of the "Wha?" feeling. (Example, the whole Plebian/Nobility thing, with Pompeii being the Pleb Counsul. The dynamic is understandable if one knows that little tidbit of Roman culture, but its never explained in the series at all.)
Second, and perhaps more importantly, is characters. Vorenus doesn't suck, but doesn't bring much to the table either. Pullo is fun in a Falstaffian kind of way. Atia might be an ancient ancestor of Livia Soprano. But there is nothing approaching the sheer awesomeness that is Al Swearengen . Plus, there is Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill is a much better dead character then Pompeii Magnus. Yes, Bullock is slightly boring, but you can't mess with guys named Seth.*
Anyway, I'm willing to give Rome a few more weeks, elst I have to switch to Sunday Night Football. (Though if SNF was anything near this good every week, there would be no contest.)
* MacFarlane that is...
But even if I didn't hate ND football (which I do with a passion, almost got into a brawl with Platonic's father-in-law at her wedding over the issue over whether race played a part in the Ty Willingham firing. Of COURSE it played a part...clearly Charlie Weis is a better coach, but you're telling me George O'Leary doesn't get one more year?), have to love the way USC won it. They took several of ND's best shots (pretty good shots, I might add), and came back, with Reggie Bush looking like the Real Deal, and Matt Leinart showing why he's the most popular athelte in LA. Plus, going for it at the end instead of playing for OT...maybe stupid, but definitely ballsy. I love that kind of stuff.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
The non-sports TV shows I watch on the regular:
- The Wire: Gritty, dramatic, funny at times, well-acted, topical, massively quotable (when the new season starts, I might have to run an "Omar Line of the Week").
- Deadwood: See above, but replace "Omar" with "Swearengen".
- The West Wing: At this point, I'm just playing out the string, I've made it this far, I'm in til the bitter end, especially since rumor has it that Josh and Donna are gonna, you know, do it...
- The Shield: Hyperkenetic, largely amoral and perhaps immoral lead character, but he gets you to go with it. The fact that the series opens with a cold-blooded murder of a colleague by the protoganist, and you're still with him is unsettling.
- Lost: Definite growing pains in this, the second season.
- Daily Show/Colbert Report/Bill Maher.
Posts by Show
- Battlestar Galactica 2.0
- Boondocks, The
- Colbert Report, The:
- How Full of Crap is Colbert?
- Illinois Gov. not in on the Joke
- Colbert Goes to Whitehouse
- Cohen Doesn't Get Jokes - Still
- CSI, all 3.
- Inside the Actors Studio:
- Real Time With Bill Maher
- Skewering Victor Davis Hanson
- Shield, The
- West Wing, The:
Friday, October 14, 2005
Relatedly, I think Entertainment Weekly has the best Lost coverage, including TV Watch, sort of a bloggy comment on the show. Also, Stephen King tells it like it is to the show's creators.
Anyway, here's hoping they can strike the balance between keeping the show mysterious, while providing some answers...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I could not express my thoughts on the subject any better then Sen. McCain did in support of his proposed amendment to the next military appropriations bill:
Mr. President, war is an awful business. I know that. I don't think I'm naïve about how severe are the wages of war, and how terrible are the things that must be done to wage it successfully. It is a grim, dark business, and no matter how noble the cause for which it is fought, no matter how valiant the service, many veterans spend much of their subsequent lives trying to forget not only what was done to them and their comrades, but some of what had to be done by their hand to prevail.
I don't mourn the loss of any terrorist's life nor do I care if in the course of serving their ignoble cause they suffer great harm. They have pledged their lives to the intentional destruction of innocent lives, and they have earned their terrible punishment in this life and the next.
What I do regret, what I do mourn, and what I do care very much about is what we lose, what we -- the American serviceman and woman and the great nation they defend at the risk of their lives - what we lose when by official policy or by official negligence - we allow, confuse or encourage our soldiers to forget that best sense of ourselves, our greatest strength - that we are different and better than our enemies; that we fight for an idea - not a tribe, not a land, not a king, not a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion - but for an idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights.
I have been asked before where did the brave men I was privileged to serve with in Vietnam draw the strength to resist to the best of their ability the cruelties inflicted on them by our enemies. Well, we drew strength from our faith in each other, from our faith in God, and from our faith in our country. Our enemies didn't adhere to the Geneva Convention. Many of my comrades were subjected to very cruel, very inhumane and degrading treatment, a few of them even unto death. But everyone of us knew, every single one of us knew and took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies, that we were better than them, that we, if the
roles were reversed, would not disgrace ourselves by committing or countenancing such mistreatment of them. That faith was indispensable not only to our survival, but to our attempts to return home with honor. Many of the men I served with would have preferred death to such dishonor.
The enemies we fight today hold such liberal notions in contempt, as they hold the international conventions that enshrine them such as the Geneva Conventions and the treaty on torture in contempt. I know that. But we're better than them, and we are the stronger for our faith. And we will prevail. I submit to my colleagues that it is indispensable to our success in this war that our servicemen and women know that in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to their country they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of
how nations should govern their own affairs and their relations with others - even our enemies.
Those who return to us and those who give their lives for us are entitled to that honor. And those of us who have given them this onerous duty are obliged by our history, and by the sacrifices - the many terrible sacrifices -- that have been made in our defense - we are obliged to make clear to them that they need not risk their or their country's honor to prevail; that they are always, always - through the violence, chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss - they are always, always Americans, and different, better, and stronger than those who
would destroy us.
God bless them as he has blessed us with their service.
(perhaps with the deity references omitted...)
And for extra bonus points, here is the letter from Captain Ian Fishback to
McCain concerning the whole mess:
Dear Senator McCain:
I am a graduate of West Point currently serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry. I have served two combat tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, one each in Afghanistan and Iraq. While I served in the Global War on Terror, the actions and statements of my leadership led me to believe that United States policy did not require application of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan or Iraq. On 7 May 2004, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's testimony that the United States followed the Geneva Conventions in Iraq and the "spirit" of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan prompted me to begin an approach for clarification. For 17 months, I tried to
determine what specific standards governed the treatment of detainees by consulting my chain of command through battalion commander, multiple JAG lawyers, multiple Democrat and Republican Congressmen and their aides, the Ft. Bragg Inspector General's office, multiple government reports, the Secretary of the Army and multiple general officers, a professional interrogator at Guantanamo Bay, the deputy head of the department at West Point responsible for teaching Just War Theory and Law of Land Warfare, and numerous peers who I regard as honorable and intelligent men.
Instead of resolving my concerns, the approach for clarification process leaves me deeply troubled. Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees. I am certain that this confusion contributed to a wide range of abuses including death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment. I and troops under my command witnessed some of these abuses in
both Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is a tragedy. I can remember, as a cadet at West Point, resolving to ensure that my men would never commit a dishonorable act; that I would protect them from that type of burden. It absolutely breaks my heart that I have failed some of them in this regard.
That is in the past and there is nothing we can do about it now. But, we can learn from our mistakes and ensure that this does not happen again. Take a major step in that direction; eliminate the confusion. My approach for clarification provides clear evidence that confusion over standards was a major contributor to the prisoner abuse. We owe our soldiers better than this. Give them a clear standard that is in accordance with the bedrock principles of our nation.
Some do not see the need for this work. Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Others argue that clear standards will limit the President's ability to wage the War on Terror. Since clear standards only limit interrogation techniques, it is reasonable for me to assume that supporters of this argument desire to use coercion to acquire information from detainees. This is morally inconsistent with the Constitution and justice in war. It is unacceptable.
Both of these arguments stem from the larger question, the most important question that this generation will answer. Do we sacrifice our ideals in order to preserve security? Terrorism inspires fear and suppresses ideals like freedom and individual rights. Overcoming the fear posed by terrorist threats is a tremendous test of our courage. Will we confront danger and adversity in order to preserve our ideals, or will our courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice? My response is simple. If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would
rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is "America."
Once again, I strongly urge you to do justice to your men and women in uniform. Give them clear standards of conduct that reflect the ideals they risk their lives for.
With the Utmost Respect,
-- Capt. Ian Fishback
504th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
82nd Airborne Division,
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Well said sirs. (Send notes of support to Captain Fishback here. Kudos to Andrew Sullivan for being out in front on this one.)
Yet, somehow, W. (along with a few Senatorial toadies, Alaska's own uncle Ted chief among them) views an enactment specifically outlawing torture as a bad thing?
At what point do we as Americans recognize that this regime cares about nothing but its own preservation? And with the Miers fiasco, it appears to be borderline incompetent in those terms as well. Have they no decency?
Monday, October 10, 2005
We should have lost about 12 different times (in fact, I think MadHaus had the disc on our goalline with game point at least twelve times) but we somehow managed to pull it out. Florida in late October is nice. Of course this year is slightly different then my 2 previous co-ed Nationals (flash needed), as top six qualify for Worlds in Perth, Australia. As I've never been to Ozzieland, this is something I'd like to see happen...
Sunday, October 09, 2005
- Robert Johnson - Yes, I know, how Greil Marcus of me, but the fact that pretty much every band I like that uses guitars plays some RJ (or so it seems) has to mean something. Plus, nothing validates your hipness faster then tuning an axe into open D and busting out "Walking Blues" with the handle of a butter knife.
- Led Zeppelin - Best. Band. Ever. Better musically than the Beattles, for my money. Harder than anybody this side of Motorhead when it suited them. Plus, pretty much invented "Partying Like a Rockstar".
- Green Day - Snotty, yet sweet. I never really cared about punk "street-cred", as street-cred always seemed to be synonomous with "can't play a lick". 'American Idiot' is both great music, and fairly unique in that a mainstream band rarely takes a political stand in their music. "Don't want your Redneck agenda", I wonder who that's referring to...
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Punk covery goodness of some of the worst songs ever. '500 Miles' even sounds good: "And when I haver/ Whatever the Fuck that means/ I'm gonna be the man that's haverin to you".
- U2 - I'll be honest, HTDAAB was disappointing. But what wouldn't be after All That You Can't Leave Behind. It's one of the failings of my life that I have yet to see them live. Even my staunch, skeptical,
atheistpseudo-Deist with Buddhist-ic tendencies friends describe their concerts as "religious experiences". Good enough for me.
- Fugees - I wonder were progressive hip-hop would be if they hadn't broken up after 'the Score'. Suddenly, every rock song has a girl singing, from Ashanti on everyone's hits to the BeP and ScaryBotoxFergie. But Lauryn could rap too. As could Wyclef. And as long as Pras didn;t have to write any rhymes, his delivery and flow are what the kids might describe as 'Tight'.
- Public Enemy - First rap act that was actually talking about something, not just bitches and hos. Plus, the modern day equivalent to the "wall of sound" production. "Fear of A Black Planet" and "Apocalype '91" are probably 2 of my 15 favorite albums to this day.
Other Music Posts:
- PoohsDay Blues
- 1/31/06 - Electric Blues
- 2/7/06 - Raw & Accoustic
- 2/14/06 - Valentines Day Blue
- 2/21/06 - Rockin
- 2/28/06 - Big Boys of Blues
- 3/7/06 - Jukejoint Blues
- 4/4/06 - Straight Bangin' Hip Hop
- 4/18/06 - Clearing Cobwebs
- 5/2/06: The Muddy Altar
- Wednesday Gospel?
- Big Music Fridays:
- 2/10/06 - Pick Up Music
- 2/17/06 - Dead-Eye Dick's Playlist
- 2/24/06 - Themeless
- 3/3/06 - Action pooh
- 3/10/06 - NSA vs. The Clash
- 3/31/06 - The Return
- 4/7/06 - Whatup G-Dawg?
- 4/14/06 - Not Random
- 4/21/06 - Soundtrack Tracks
- 4/28/06: A Duel
- 5/5/06: Without Comment
- 5/12/06: Off the Leash
- Gnarls Barkley
- "Fargo Rock City"
- 1 Year to Live, Songs to Live By
- Top 20 Mash-ups of 2005
- Pooh vs. the RIAA, Sony, et al:
- Virgin gets in on the 'fun'.
- Round 7: Revisionist Rulemaking
- Round 8(?): CD Swapping - All my CD's are belong to RIAA
- Thumbs down to apple, thumbs up to indie record labels
- Hip Hop in the Age of Bling
- Exploring Anchorage Music
- Mid-October Playlist
Top Ten Favorite Movies (no particular order)(aside from alphabetical)
- A Bronx Tale - Honestly, the only thing I don't like about this movie is that teenage Collogero has the worst run of any protagonist in any movie. Ever. The basement crap-game scene is still funny to this day.
- Big Lebowski - The dude abides. The Jesus might be Turturro's best work. Even though I find Julianne Moore monstrously creepy (in this, and in everything else), she adds something to the overall acid-trippy ambience.
- Fight Club - OK, so the last third might or might not be a train wreck. But everything up to that point is so good, and so on point that it works. Plus, how else could it end?
- GodFather, Part II - DeNiro. Pacino. Height of their early games. Check Please.
- Heat - See above. The bank robbery scene is about as good as you can do action, and it completely served the plot.
- Lone Star - I'm something of a sucker for detailed, multi-layered storytelling. Chris Cooper is better in this than he was in Adaptation, for which he won for Best Supporting.
- Miller's Crossing - The best gangester movie ever made. And it's not even a gangster movie.
- Rear Window - Its amazing how some of the best movies are those which explicitly limit the freedom that the film medium gives them. The forced P.O.V. of this one is a wicked commentary on our own voyeurism. Hitchcock hinted at this with the weird inversion in Psycho when Tony Hopkins is sinking Janet Leigh's car, and builds a whole movie around it here.
- Third Man - The first film course I ever took, watching and commenting on this movie was the final. Most fun I've ever had in a test. A perfect movie for reviewing the first half-century of the medium, since it has homages to pretty much every genre. Despite the dark surroudings of post-war Vienna, the predessescor of the modern "Happy Caper" type movie. The zither theme lets you know that nothing really bad will happen, as tense as it might get at times.
- Tombstone - Most. Quotable. Ever. Honestly, if Mrs. Fletch didn't completely suck the life out of Mrs. Earp, might be the perfect Western not named "Unforgiven"
- The Rock - Kickass action. All-time who's-who of "That Guy" supporting characters, and James Bond dropping Leo McGarry off a balcony. So what if the whole thing is utterly ludicrous. It's a live action comic book.
- Varsity Blues - Me - "In my 30 years of coaching...and with your love and support of this years great team, we're gonna win number 23. Go PACK! Go Pack! [Two-handed Hilterian silencing gesture]. Now, I want to bring up our quarterback and inspiration. Captain Lance Harbour." Josh - "I was layin' in beyd last night (SCREAMS), and I had a dream..." Because that's how we rolled, pregame style...
- Glory Road
- Good Night and Good Luck
- A History of Violence & The Aristocrats
- Hustle & Flow
- A Kong Question
- The Squid and the Whale
- Syrianna, I can't even spell the title right...
- Oscars Blogging 2005
- Movie Lists
- Ejectable Offenses
- "American" Movies - a list
- Movies of 2005: Best I Saw and those I wish I saw.
- Movie List Links
- Snakes on a Plane
One thing I wish more blogs had was a succint way of learning just where the author(s) are coming from. More than a few times, I've gotten a link, read the post and thought: "Hey, this guy/girl is alright," and then I realise, that like a stopped clock being right twice each day, I've stumbled upon there infrequent lunatic ravings which actually make sense. So, in that vein, I feel it appropriate to stake out my thoughts on various matters.
Party - vote Dem., but think they can all go to hell. Alternatively, lets get term limits so that elected officials have less incentive to Porkify everything.
War in Iraq - Saddam was a bad dude. Don't cry for him Argentina. Or France. However, the fact that we didn't have much beyond "Shock and Awe" is sad, since neocons are supposed to know their shit. Since they got their war, the least they could do is pull it off.
As to the "Bush Lied" bit, no, he didn't. At most he misstated, and was slightly disengenous in conflating Saddam with OBL. However, he was wrong, there weren't any WMD's. Which isn't terrible, because pretty much everyone thought there were. And, post 9/11, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. All he really had to say is "oops, but better safe than sorry, and Saddam had to go anyway." Instead we get smears, outing of CIA agents and Bill O'Reilly threatening to blow up San Francisco.
Abortion - Strongly pro-choice, but that doesn't neccesarily mean I think Roe v. Wade is a good thing. First of all, the opinion is terrible. There isn't really much disagreement from rationale folks on that front. The reasoning is, well, specious, and the holding is, dare I say it, legislative (from the bench! GOOD GOD...). If you are going to carve out reproductive rights, I think equal protection is a much better framework, both because there is in fact an "equal protection clause", while 'substantive due process' is slightly oxymoronic.
Secondly, I'm for a woman's right to choose, because, who the hell am I to tell you what to do? But your husband/significant other should be in the conversation as well, so I'm for a man's right to choose, or at least his right to influence your choice, as well.
Third, while its true that Bad Things would happen to some women in Red
Gun Control - We have reasonable restrictions on free speech. You can't yell fire in a crowded theatre. I'm not sure why a ban on civilians carrying military grade assualt weapons is any less reasonable.
Death Penalty - In theory, some people just have to go. In practice, the money spent on administration and the lenghty appeals process is much better speant in other areas. Nothing wrong with throwing the bad man in the slammer and swallowing the key.
Affirmative Action - I'm all for redressing past wrongs, but its about money, stupid. Race is a reasonable proxy for 'oppressedness', but surely we can find a better one.
And if these words don't tell you enough, there's the always popular Internet Quiz Short version...
| You are a |
You are best described as a:
Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test
- Abortion/War on Sexuality
- Law & The Constitution
- Sam Alito
- Yoo's Pretzel Logic
- Publius On Executive Overreach
- More Signing Statement
- Glenn Greenwald's Book
- Dem's Spineless on Censure
- Rockefeller is a Jellyfish
- Pat Roberts is a Shill
- Judicial Symposium
- Boiling Frogs and the 1st Amendment
- Drug Smuggling Puppies :(
- Corey Maye
- Legal Humor
- Moussaoui Gets Life
- Unseriousness. Again
- Iraqi FUBAR. What Now?
- The Dentist Theory: It's Good For You
- The Generals Revolt
- The Economy
- Science & Technology
- Religion & Politics
- Angry But Not Wrong
- RS on GWB: WPE
- Hotness and your GOP
- Me a Closeted Conservative?
- Total Blogwar
- A Pledge to Intellectual Honesty
- Congressional Wiki Abuse
- Opposing Echo Chambers
- Bad Punditry
- MLB: Red Sox (Baseball Blogging)
- NBA: T-Wolves (Basketblogging)
- NFL: Vikings, but recovering now that I've moved. (Footblogging)
- Soccer: Manchester United/England (Soccer Blogging)
- NHL: Ambivalently pro-shootout
- College Hoops: Duke, though I am a devotee of the 'Stache
- College Football: Meh
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Texas Blunder by Not Electing Bush
Selling Vince Young's NFL Prospects
- Not Throwing at the Combine?
- I Ain't the Only One
Texans: Early Lead in Reggie Bush Derby
Brett Favre: Asshole of the Week
Prodigal. Much Rejoicing. So On
2005-06 NFL Playoffs
Joey Porter: Asshole of the Week
Pats vs. Broncos: Refs Suck
Colts vs. Steelers: Refs Still Suck
2005 Bowl Season
Nat'l Championship Prediction
I hate meaningless Bowl Games
'72 Dolphins Pop Champaigne
Congress vs. BCS
Anthony Wright, Superstar?
U.S.C. vs. Notre Dame
Great Hoops Names
AHW: Best. Prank. Ever
Mike Davis Resigns
Glory Road: Review
Texas Crushed by Tennessee
2006 March Madness
Gators Shining Moment
'Have Polemic, Will Travel'
Final 4 Set
UCONN Loses. Suck It Calhoun
LSU, UCLA Advance
Sucky Refs Suck
Duke Loses, I Expect Mockery
Working While Duke Is Losing
More Duke Hate
Weekend 1 Thoughts
Losing In All Pools: Day 2 Thoughts
Phoning it In
My Eyes Hurt
Day 1 Preview
Hating On Billy Packer
2005-2006 Dukie Hoops
End of the Line: Laying an Egg
Coach K Eats Babies
Crushed by Carolina
AHW: Fletcher Spoils My TiVo (FSU)
Simmons Steals My Material. Pooh Still loves Redick
Duke over Maryland. Pooh loves Redick
Paulus Loves A-Rod
Duke 87 - Carolina 83
JJ For the NBA
Duke loses, Paulus sucks
Duke is Vulnerable
Duke Wins at Buzzer. Yawn.
2005-2006 Gonzaga Hoops - Church of The Stache:
Gonzaga vs. Memphis
Duke, Gonzaga, Throwbacks
Liveblogging The 'Stache
Gifted by the Refs
Stache and Dickie V., sitting in a tree
37 Point Half
Pepperdine is Terrible
Nice Run, Time for Tears
'Nique to the HOF
All-'I Don't Know Why' Team
Gone Darko Gone
Dwyane Wade is good at basketball
WATFO: J.R. Rider Arrested
Szcerbiak - Davis Trade
Vince Carter Bitch-Slapped
VC's big Dunk
Ruben Patterson: Jackass
Cuban vs. Chuck & Kenny
Basketball SABRmatics: the Evidence is In
Isaiah Thomas is bad at his job:
Simmons vs. Isaiah
Isaiah Makes Stupid Trade. Water is Wet.
Knicks Should Trade for Artest, Why Not?
Isiah Signs Headcase. Earth is Round
Isiah's Knicks's = Fantasy-Based Initiative
The Old John Thomas Gets A Chance
AHW: Cuban Fined For...Blogging?
Tim Thomas's 'Window' - Book Blogging: 'The 6th Man'
Suns Lakers Game 5: Kobe is Growing on Me
Reggie Evans - Donkeypuncher
Suns-Lakers Game 4: Kobe Is a Bit Special
Bucks Take 1 From Pistons, Mavs Steal One From Griz
Suns-Lakers Game 2: Grudging Respect
Cavs-Wizards Game 1: King James
Dwyane Wade: The Gambler
Antonio Davis's Wife is Crazy
Antonio Davis, David Stern is on Line 1
A Slightly Different Tale
Kendra Davis Arrested? WATFO
NBA Dress Code:
I Hate It
Kobe's For It? I Really Hate It.
Chuck On Board