Friday, September 29, 2006

NFL Week 4

So, I was 8-6 last week, not too good, but which puts me at 30-16 for the year so far which is pretty respectable.

Arizona at Atlanta - Atlanta will bounce back from the humiliating loss on Monday Night and take out their frustrations on the Cardinals.

New Orleans at Carolina - I'm very tempted to pick the Saints here, but I'm going to stick with the Panthers this week. But just barely.

Minnesota at Buffalo - I just don't like Buffalo at all, and Minnesota is better than I expected, I'll take the Vikings.

San Diego at Baltimore - I like the Ravens so far, but I think San Diego is a little better overall.

Miami at Houston - Miami looks awful, but not as awful as the Texans, I'll take the Dolphins.

Dallas at Tennessee - If TO doesn't kill himself before Sunday (well, even if he does), I like the Cowboys here.

San Francisco at Kansas City - I don't like the Chiefs much, but the 49ers suck, so I'll take KC anyway.

Indianapolis at New York Jets - As long as it's the regular season, I'll stick with the Colts until someone proves they can beat them.

Detroit at St. Louis - I think Detroit sucks, and St, Louis is mediocre, I'll take the Rams.

Jacksonville at Washington - I think the Jaguars could easily lose this game, but going on what I've seen so far out of both teams, I have to pick them to win.

New England at Cincinnati - This is where the Patriots start to fall apart a little (or a little more, I guess after last week). No matter how well your organization is run, sometimes the other team is just better. I like the Bengals.

Cleveland at Oakland - I think Oakland might be the worst team in the league, but since Cleveland isn't far behind, I'll take the Raiders in an upset.

Seattle at Chicago - I keep thinking Seattle is winning with smoke and mirrors, but they keep winning just the same. However, on the road without Alexander, I'll take the Bears, 17-14.

Green Bay at Philadelphia - When is Philadelphia going to start playing NFL teams? I'll take the Eagles, 31-13.

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US Senate passes Bush's controversial detainee bill - World - Times Online

This thing sucks so many different ways, it's hard to even get your head around it all. But one thing that struck me a particularly odd, and scary, was the fact that legislators who oppose the bill, or at least parts of it, particularly the elimination of the right of habeus corpus, seem content that the courts will strike down the legislation.

The removal of habeas corpus came under particular criticism, from both sides, with even some Republicans who voted for the bill nonetheless predicting it likely that the Supreme Court would strike down the legislation because of its scrapping of the right of prisoners to challenge their own detention.

Aside from the fact that it's a completely ridiculous idea not to vote against, and filibuster if possible, any bill that you oppose (otherwise why even show up?) , the scary part of this is that I don't see how this is going to work. Perhaps I'm missing something, but if prisoners don't have the ability to challenge their own detention, then how will a case ever get to the courts in the first place? Where can that challenge possibly come from?

It's still amazing to me that in America in 2006, we're actually having public debate about whether it's ok to torture people. No matter how many times people point out that torture doesn't work, of that it's not about sparing the terrorists from torture, it's about preserving the rights of everyone, there's still those idiots who will argue that "What if your whole family was about to be killed, and there isn't enough time to save them unless you torture this guy who has already murdered 100 people?" First off, even though in the 24 influenced minds of these morons these scenarios happen every day, in reality this is never ever going to happen. But even if this fantasy could ever take place, there's nothing preventing anyone from torturing the guy to save your family, or to save the world, or whatever. Sure, there are (or were) laws against it, but obviously those aren't as important as saving people's lives, and when you're on trial a jury will probably sympathize. The thing is, like Jack Bauer always is, you'd better be right.

There are laws against murder, but if I see Osama bin Laden walking down the street, and I beat him to death with an American flag, I'm pretty sure I could get off. I would face the consequences and probably be ok, but even if I wasn't, I would still know that I did the right thing. But that's no reason to repeal the laws against murder on the off chance that this happens, so I can walk away free when it just happens to be an old guy with a beard who looks like him.

This whole thing just makes me sick. Mostly, because it's so completely repellent to everything that I understand America to be.

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It's been a while since I've done this, because it took me forever to get through The Historian (review). Overall, it was pretty good, but really lacked action. There was never anything in the story compelling enough to keep me reading until right at the end.

Now, I'm in the middle of Blood Memory which is not bad and is going along much more quickly. After that I will probably re-read Pandora's Star so I can remember what's going on before reading Judas Unchained.

So, what is everyone else reading? Any recommendations?

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

NFL Week 3

Ok, so I know I forgot to do this last week, but you'll just have to trust me when I tell you I got 11 of 16 correct, just like in week 1. Even though my picks aren't going too badly, my predictions for the season as a whole aren't looking all that great so far. Anyway, here are this weeks picks.

Chicago at Minnesota - I should probably take Chicago, but Minnesota is one of those teams that has really been a surprise to me so far, and the Bears are one of those teams that I never like indoors, so I'll go out on a limb and take the Vikings.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - I think these teams are pretty even about now, so I'll give the edge to the Steelers at home, especially with the additional motivation of trying to erase that shutout from Monday Night.

New York Jets at Buffalo - I don't think either of these teams is very good, but the Jets have shown me that they're not quite as bad as I thought, so I'll take them.

Carolina at Tampa Bay - These are the two teams that my predictions really missed on so far. I liked them both to make the playoffs and Carolina to be one of the elite teams in the conference. So far, they both look awful. I still think the Panthers are better, and since I hear that Steve Smith is finally supposed to return, I'll take them.

Green Bay at Detroit - They both suck, but Green Bay has at least demonstrated an ability to score a few points, so I'll go with them even though they're another one of those teams that I usually hate indoors, hopefully they'll leave the roof open.

Washington at Houston - Both look awful, but this is just the game the Redskins need to get their season on track, I look for them to win big.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis - Jacksonville has really surprised me so far, but I still don't like them enough to take them over the Colts on the road, but if they win this week, I'll be picking them a lot more in future weeks.

Tennessee at Miami - I think Miami has a good game in there somewhere, I don't think the Titans do, I'll take the Dolphins.

Baltimore at Cleveland - The Ravens look much improved, Cleveland sucks, give me Baltimore.

St. Louis at Arizona - I expected the Rams to be mediocre and it looks like they are. Arizona has some good players, and I expect them to win these kinds of games, I'll take the Cards.

Philadelphia at San Francisco - What better way to erase the memory of a stunning loss than getting to play the 49ers, I like the Eagles.

New York Giants at Seattle - I still think the Seahawks are doing it with mirrors. I also think the Giants are pretty good, I'll take New York.

Denver at New England - Denver hasn't looked too good so far, and New England always finds a way, so I'll take the Patriots at home, 27 - 21.

Atlanta at New Orleans - An impressive start for the Saints, and as great a story as it would be if they could win their return to the Superdome, I just don't think they have it in them. I look for the Falcons 24-13.

There you have it, feel free to use these picks in your office pool, just make sure to send me a cut of the winnings.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006 - Michigan legislation would require girls to get HPV vaccine

As long as the vaccine's been proven safe, I think this is a good idea. Of course the Family Research Council disagrees -

"We don't feel using school attendance as a form of coercion to get parents to vaccinate their child is appropriate, simply because this disease is not transmitted through casual contact the way other diseases are that are subject to school mandates," said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

Peter Sprigg should say what he really means - If a girl has sex prior to marriage, and contracts cancer due to an
HPV infection, then she deserves it, because she shouldn't have had sex in the first place. Who cares if the sluts die, right? Since the vaccine is most effective if given prior to the start of sexual activity, I suppose Pete would like it to be given before a woman gets married, which is when she ought to lose her virginity anyway? Self-righteousness does not make good public health policy.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Revenge theory in stingray attacks

I'd like to use my official position as Prime Minister of Australia* to condemn the killing of innocent stingrays to avenge Steve Irwin's death. First of all, the guy was clearly an animal lover, and probably wouldn't be too keen on this nonesense anyway (though I suppose he may have had a change of heart between the time the barb hit him and his death). But more importantly, are people really that stupid? Are they trying to send a message to the stingrays? Don't kill anymore TV personalities! I doubt the senseless killing of Steve Irwin was some kind of coordinated attack by the stingray population as a whole. I doubt the guilty stingray even consulted any other stingrays. Killing innocent stingrays to avenge Irwin's death makes about as much sense as attacking Iraq in retaliation for September 11th. Another point I'd like to make is that, while I watch way, way too much TV, I can't imagine any TV star whose death would affect me so much that I would be prompted to take action, even if there was some reasonable action to take, much less this crap. Maybe there are just too many stupid people in the world. Perhaps we should unleash the stingrays on them, though I'd be worried I might become an innocent victim in the human-stingray war. I like how the stingrays weren't just killed, but mutilated as well. That'll show them!

Once again, as Prime Minister of Australia*, I demand that the senseless killing of innocent stingrays stop.

* If I have to have the same name as this idiot, I'm going to take advantage of it.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

The Path to 09/11

With all the hype around this stupid thing, I meant to watch more of it, but with the NFL season starting and my team in town, I was focused on other things. So, I've only watched this last part, and didn't get to see all the made up stuff that's been talked about all week. But I have to say that if this is represenative of the rest of the thing, then it shouldn't have been pulled off the air for being inaccurate, it should have been pulled for being cheesy and bad. Harvey Keitel just looked up and heard a large groan as the building began to fall, and if I had turned it on at just that second, not knowing what it was, I would have expected a dinosaur to have jumped out and ate him.

Not too long ago, I watched this horrible cheesy made for TV movie about the Challenger disaster. From the way this thing ended, you would have thought the astronauts wanted to get blown up. This thing tonight reminded me of that. And I imagine if I see it again in 15 years, it will look just as bad as the Challenger movie.

The sad part about the part I watched, was that since it was the conclusion, it used a lot of real stuff from 09/11, which was by far the best part. Since the other parts would have lacked that, I can only imagine that they were even worse.

All in all, I'm glad the day is over, beacause I'm about September 11th'd out. I'm all for remembering what happened and honoring the memories of the people who died, but it often seems like everyone is trying to out tribute each other, and it gets a little old.

I do have thoughts on the NFL weekend, but the stench of the Cowboys' miserable performance is still a little too fresh for me to express them very well, so I'll save them for later.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Name that Movie

1, Who's the wild man, now?
2. I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is.
3. Gentlemen, the hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter again in your life as much as you do right now.
4. You better watch it, Dr. Death! I'm pretty damn fast for a Caucasian.
5. Welcome to Billy Bob's. The only bar with its own indoor bull ridin' arena.
6. Ernest Hemingway once said "Every true story ends in death." Well, this is a true story.
7. U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi ! You ugly! Yeah, Yeah ! You Ugly! Yo momma said you ugly, HEY!
8. You're not god, Nickerson. You're just a typing teacher.
9. Okay, what would Joe do at a time like this? He'd kill everybody and smoke some cigarettes.
10. I look like I just jacked off an elephant.

* There is no prize

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

NFL Week 1

Since I never seem to have anything to post about lately, I decided that I'll post my NFL picks each week. Feel free to use them in your own office pool, just make sure to send me a portion or your winnings. And if you lose, it's your own fault for trusting something you read on the internets. I'll probably do this on Friday normally, but since there's a game tonight, I should get it out of the way.

Miami at Pittsburgh - I'll take Pittsburgh. Miami will certainly be better this season, but I don't think they can be Pittsburgh on the road, Rothlisberger or not.

Baltimore at Tampa Bay - I think Baltimore will be better this season, with a real QB finally. But I think Tampa will get it done at home.

New Orleans at Cleveland - I should probably pick the home team just to be safe in this stinker, but I really don't like Cleveland, and I think the addition of Drew Brees does a lot for the Saints, so I'll take them here.

Atlanta at Carolina - I think Carolina is one of the top teams in the league, and I'll take them to beat Atlanta.

Seattle at Detroit - I don't think that Seattle will be as good as they were last season, but I don't think they'll have a problem with Detroit.

Philadelphia at Houston - Houston sucks, I'll take the Eagles.

New York Jets at Tennessee - I'll take the Jets, just because two of my readers are Jets fans.

Cincinnati at Kansas City - Cincinnati is a much better team, so I'll take them, even on the road.

Denver at St. Louis - I woory about Denver in the dome, but not enough to pick St. Louis to beat them.

Buffalo at New England - Sorry Chemist, but the Bills suck, give me the Patriots.

Dallas at Jacksonville - I'll be at this game, so it better not disappoint me. I'm clearly biased, but I just don't see any way that the Jaguars win this game. They are outmatched at every position except the defensive front, and they don't have a single proven receiver. I think Dallas wins easily.

Chicago at Green Bay - Green Bay sucks, Favre will throw three picks and one will be returned for a TD. The Bears can then cruise to victory. It'll be a long year in Titletown.

San Francisco at Arizona - I think Arizona made a lot of nice moves, and I don't think the 49ers did much of anything, so I think the Cardinals get it done in that fancy new stadium.

Indianapolis at New York Giants - The Manning bowl. Peyton is better, his team is better, he will win.

Minnesota at Washington - Minnesota might be the worst team in the league this season, I'll take the Redskins at home, 20-3.

San Diego at Oakland - I like San Diego, but I think they should have kept Drew Brees. Oakland will hit some big plays, but I don't see Brooks doing anything consistently. I'll take the Chargers 21-20.

UPDATE: 1-0. Only 15 more to go.

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