Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Black Head Coach

After the Bears victory in the NFC Championship game, reporters asked Lovie Smith about a hundred times how he felt to be the first black coach to lead a team into the Super Bowl. Of course he said he was proud to be the first and indeed his staff and his team and his fans, myself included, are proud of him. But really, isn't the fact that it's taken until 2007 for a black man to coach a Super Bowl team more a reason to be pissed off than anything else? No one can say so, because then they're labeled "angry" and "controversial" but it's taken a long long time for owners to wise up to the fact that blacks coach just as well as whites. Why, when faced with the tangible evidence of this, should we be all swelling with pride?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lessons in Cause and Effect

Blaming the media for the overwhelming world-wide anti-war mood is sort of like blaming the pile of vomit for the fact that someone feels sick.

Go Bears!

Hell yeah!!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Believe it

Sometimes, after a particularly pointed rant about the US government, I find myself having to defend my love for this our wonderful country. My explanation is always the same: we only bitch about what we love. I like to bash the Catholic Church, too, on everything from their outlook on gays to their curious devotion to all things European, but only because I love the tradition I was raised in and want desperately to see it become the force of good I know it can be. As a Cub fan, I don't care about how the LA Dodgers spend their money. Sure I may laugh hysterically for hours on end that they paid Juan Pierre $45 million over 5 years, but do I care? Not at all. I will, however, find time to complain about almost every misappropriated dollar that the Cubs spend. Same thing with the USA. Our country is more than a plot of land circumscribed by borders. The USA is an idea, an ideal. It's a notion of something better, a committment to freedom, and the proof that such places can exist. This is the role of the USA, not just for its own citizens, but for all people of the world. We are the place that they dream about in their jail cells, when the ethnic cleansing begins, when the police can no longer be trusted. We are the hope that keeps them going. At the very least, we have the ability be all these things. I know that this country can be all these things. No one can convince me otherwise. And to see its legacy betrayed by shortsighted and stupid men infuriates me beyond all report. So that's why I add my voice to the chorus of disapproval. Because I love this country more deeply than any war-cheerleader could possibly imagine.


When the history of our present times is written, I believe that there's a fair chance that, not the struggle against Islamist terror, but Russia's re-emergence as a pariah state will be the central narrative. Bush's stunning incompetence in continuing to silently countenance Putin's power grab may very well overshadow an unstable Middle East. I really believe that for all its bluster, the Islamist threat is primary a regional issue. Iran might talk a big game, but it is Russia who is, in fact, right now projecting and expanding its power. Who knows what this chapter will bring, but a thuggish Russia redrawing the Iron Curtain seems a lot more likely than it did 6 years ago.

Fears that Russia is using energy supplies as a political weapon increased last night after Moscow forced Georgia to accept a doubling of gas prices.

The deal came within hours of a threat by Gazprom, Russia's statecontrolled energy giant, to cut off supplies to the former Soviet republic from January 1.


While Gazprom insists its motives are commercial, critics say it often acts as a political instrument for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

This is not good. I'd hate to see an emboldened Russia using the various Middle Eastern interests as attack dogs. I could be way off, but to me the big story here is how easily any campaign against terrorism could morph into a Cold War redux.

All the more reason to research alternate energy sources. Spend the money, research the technology, and distribute it to vulnerable countries. The main goal should be to put these guys out of business and cripple their ability to strong-arm their former vassals.

Sorry for the three week old link, but that's when I can get around to these things. Deal with it. All five of you.

Boxer vs. Rice

Sen. Barbara Boxer should apologize to Condi Rice. The apology should be short, sincere, unconditional, thankfully free of the phrase "if you were offended by," and arriving sometime within the next 24 hours.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Question: Why does a clear Hall of Famer like Mark McGuire, who was never once in his career caught using banned substances, have to endure the mud-dragging of his name by a bunch of sneering hacks, while Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers, who was busted for using steroids THIS SEASON, gets to pout and complain to sympathetic writers that his 4-game suspension this year FOR USING STEROIDS cost him the Defensive Player of the Year award?

And it's baseball that has the "serious problem" with steroids? How does this make any sense???

CNN isn't news

I realize that Atrios and others often become frustrated that the people on the TEE-VEE don't know what they're talking about. And I further realize why Atrios would say something like this about CNN's employment policies:

Please hire people who know that people from Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States of America if you wish to be an actual news show instead of a hideous joke.
You figure there's a lot of people out there who have half a brain and aren't ignorant bigoted assholes like Glenn Beck, why not give one of those people a job and have a intelligent discussion for once? There's a problem here, though. This sentiment only makes sense if you assume that, its own name notwithstanding, CNN actually wishes to be an actual news network. The thing is, they don't. And what's more, they never will. They are entertainment network and nothing more. They exist to sell broadcast time to advertisers. As a publicly held corporation, they have no social responsibility save generating returns to their investors. The idea that a CNN program director would be disappointed with the paltry amount of news content in a talking head show is, frankly, laughable.

The answer, of course, is to never again watch CNN or Fox or MSNBC or any other TEE-VEE news show for the rest of your life.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I'm getting really depressed about the state of our world. I can't believe it, but it looks like Bush and Cheney really do want to attack Iran and Syria. I just don't know what to say anymore.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I saw her standing there...

I was reading Harry Reid's and Nancy Pelosi's open letter to George W. Bush, quite pleased about the content and cheered that the Democratic leadership seems to understand that to continue the war in Iraq is the wish of only the right-wing fringe.

Until I got to the last sentence...

We appreciate you taking these views into consideration.
Umm, Nancy, Harry? The subject of a gerund takes the possessive case. That should be "We appreciate your taking these views..." Geez.

Public Education

The property tax has always struck me as an odd source from which to fund public schools. Here in Illinois, of course, this is exactly how we do it. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but it seems to me that unless you're pooling the property taxes statewide, the natural result is wild inequality in the quality of public school districts.

People tell me it's their right to have a relatively better local public school district, because they're the ones paying the higher taxes, but I don't buy that for a second. Either you support a public school system, or you don't. Either you're OK with subsidizing the education of the community at large, or you're not. If a rich dude wants to send his kid to school with only other rich kids, there are plenty of private schools in this country. If he's going to say, "so why should I then pay taxes to fund public schools?" it's a fair question, but once he agrees to do it, he can't ALSO insist that those funds only go to his neighborhood school. In other words, if you don't want to fund public education, as opposed to free-for-the-people-lucky-enough-to-live-in-my-neighborhood education, kindly have the balls to say so.

Joe Klein

Time Magazine is going to be laying off a bunch of people. Looks like CEO Ann Moore is targeting about 150 employees.

Just one question: is she taking requests?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

In the spirit of Noz's fun poll comparison the other day, I offer you this gem from a recent AP poll of Americans' expectations for 2007.

- 29% of Americans expect the USA to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

- 25% of Americans expect the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Let me hazard to guess that these two similarly sized slices of the American pie contain exactly zero common members.

This blog is based on a true story.