Friday, October 31, 2008
Personally, I've always been against this kind of bigotry. First of all, it's cowardly. If you're going to be hateful, at least have the guts to own up to it. That's what bothers me about the anti-Semitic comments occasionally left on this blog. The anti-Semitism doesn't bother me nearly as much as the anonymous aspect of it. What's with this wimpy stuff? The Nazis never pulled this crap. Be more like the Nazis.
Secondly, it's a self-aware racism. These people know enough to realize that racism is bad. They also know that they don't want to be seen as racist. And then they go and be racist by voting against a candidate just because of the color of their skin (you would only lie to pollsters about who you're voting for if you think you're doing something wrong). It's worse if you know that what you're doing is wrong. I'm not sure ignorance is bliss, but ignorance does make for a more tolerable racist.
The bottom line is: if you are a rabid hate-filled bigot, don't lie about it. That's so weak.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Unless America is even more racist than I think or it is uncovered that Obama and bin Laden have been secret pen pals for years, McCain isn't winning. But even if he did win, he's really not that bad.
There will be a Democratic Congress in both houses. Do you remember high school government class? Congress makes the laws. Look back to Clinton's achievements with a Republican Congress; he passed a mostly conservative agenda.
There is always a backlash against executive authority after a president abuses power. After Nixon left in disgrace, the president's power was reduced until the second Bush grabbed power like it was candy on Halloween.
McCain has pledged to be more transparent than Bush. A big reason for many problems America faces is thanks to the secrecy of the Bush administration.
McCain will probably die soon. That gives us Joanne Six Pack aka Sarah Palin. Many of the reasons above apply for Palin, excluding the transparency issue. In addition, I question her political cunning to gain the same clout as Bush in order to make the same mistakes.
So, to my liberal friends, don't be as moronic as Philadelphia Phillies fans; a World Series title couldn't have to a worse bunch of losers. And if you're still planning on moving if McCain wins, let's make sure that doesn't happen this Tuesday.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Boston, Philadelphia, NEW YORK, Toronto, New Jersey.
Orlando, Atlanta, Washington, Charlotte, Miami.
Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indiana.
San Antonio, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Memphis.
Utah, Portland, Denver, Oklahoma City, Minnesota.
Lakers, Phoenix, Clippers, Golden State, Sacremento.
East playoff seedings
Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Orlando, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, NEW YORK.
West playoff seedings
Lakers, Utah, San Antonio, New Orleans, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Portland.
Cleveland vs San Antonio
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This economy is in crisis although the fundamentals of the economy are strong. This is no time to experiment with inexperienced leaders. We need experts. The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should, but my opponent doesn't seem to understand the economy. He advocates socialism. We need to nationalize the banks; we don't need socialism.
Senator Obama wants to raise your taxes and spread the wealth. Do you know that last president to raise taxes during an economic crisis? Herbert Hoover. I remember. I believe in the American Dream. I will cut your taxes and let you keep your wealth. You know who will raise your taxes? That cunt, uh, I mean, that one.
In Iraq, the surge is working. Iraq is a much safer place. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. Osama bin Laden says so. We should listen to Osama bin Laden. We need more troops in Afghanistan. Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand Islamic fundamentalism. He wants to speak to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without precondition. Should we talk to a leader who wants to destroy Israel or listen to bin Laden and continue to fight in Iraq? Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand.
Senator Obama's surrogates have said that my supporters are racist. They've said some pretty nasty things about you and you know, I couldn't agree with them more. I couldn't disagree with you more. I couldn't agree with you more. My supporters are the most patriotic, most god-loving, most patriotic part of America. Neither me, nor my supporters are racist. Congressman John Lewis, an American hero, made allegations that Sarah Palin and I were somehow associated with the worst chapter in American history, segregation, deaths of children in church bombings, George Wallace. That, to me, was so hurtful. That's why I initially opposed a holiday honoring Martin Luther King.
Let me make one thing clear to my supporters, Barack Obama is not an Arab. No, ma'am, he's a decent family man. He is not a terrorist. He pals around with terrorists. I don’t care about a washed up terrorist.
In conclusion, I want you to know that I'm a maverick. I voted with the president over 90% of the time. I am not popular with many members of my own party. I ask for your vote this November.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Nobody's talking about them this election cycle.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This is what happens when I go on a Slurpee binge.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here now is some of the gratitude I've received from children, who I have had an impact on in their lives...
One 5 year old boy pointed at me and asked, "Is that a mustache?"
"Yes," I responded, "and I have a beard."
"You look like a monster. A goofy monster!"
I thought to myself, "I don't need this shit at 9:15 on a Saturday morning."
An 8 year old girl told me, "I went to the doctor and he said I'm not allergic to anything. But I wish I was allergic to something. I wish I was allergic to you."
I responded, "Nice to meet you too."
Another day, the same girl walked into the room, saw me, and said, "Not you again. I hate you!"
Yet another day, this same girl again said to me, "You're Mr. Meany," because I missed a couple of grammatical mistakes that I later caught.
Children have also called me ugly, they said my breath stank even though I know it didn't because I just spit out my gum two seconds before, they've called me stupid, and have noticed my diminutive height (I'm still much taller than them!).
So you see, greatness has less to do with ruling a nation and more to do with your impact on the life of a child. And if my interactions with children are any indication, I'm about as great as the fundamentals of the American economy.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Imagine eating a Mexican beef taco Hot Pocket, two tacos from Taco Bell (without lettuce), and two hot dogs from 7-11 (and try not to throw up).
For me, that's a pretty lucky Saturday.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Don't blame all women for the actions of one.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
If we take the assumption that groups of people are linked together because of a shared history, it has been a long journey for black folks in America. Along the way, certain individuals have represented or transcended the condition of black people in America. Frederick Douglas shouted the cause of freedom from slavery. W.E.B. DuBois argued for economic justice for the formerly enslaved. Marcus Garvey articulated the desire for a true home for a group of people who were taken to a new land against their will. Martin Luther King fought for social equality and Malcolm X epitomized the anger within the black community at the lack of opportunities available in their own country of birth.
There have been many others who have had an impact on our society to varying degrees. The names include A. Phillip Randolph, Nat Turner, Shirley Chisholm, Bayard Rustin, Muhammad Ali, Ella Baker, Medgar Evers, Jackie Robinson, and Mamie Till among the throngs of others. Each contributed a brick in the foundation of the black community and by extension, American society. But a black man would not have become president without Hip Hop. During the 1970s, the black youth had largely been marginalized. They were no longer asked to stand up to the establishment for their rights. The larger society did not care about the fate of these young men and women.
So, they did something about it. They gradually created a culture that would become known as Hip Hop. They rapped about their importance in society and about their dreams for a brighter future. They elaborately decorated train cars with their own names so that they could not be ignored. It was a movement by a forgotten group demanding recognition. "Look at me, I matter." It is that humble sentiment for recognition that created a culture which has spread throughout the world.
To run for the presidency, one needs that type of confidence and self-importance that otherwise would not have been available for Barack Obama to tap into without Hip Hop. But Hip Hop hasn't simply provided Obama with the attitude to run, it has allowed this country to vote for him. If Hip Hop is the CNN of the streets, it allowed the larger society to gain a greater understanding of the black community. Hip Hop began the dialogue about the divisions that this country did not want to discuss. What we've learned is that a black person has every right to lead as a white man. Without Hip Hop, that level of consciousness would have come too slowly for Obama to win in 2008.
Monday, October 20, 2008
1) Your man is either a secret or not-so-secret racist.
2) He was just pretending to care about the welfare of children to get you into bed. In reality, he likes his pick up trucks big and his assault riffles bigger... just in case one of those little snots gets in his way!
3) He's only pro-choice when it comes to his own illegitimate babies.
4) You're married to Joe the plumber.
5) You don't give your man the emotional support he needs, so he spends his nights jerking off to pornographic pictures with Sarah Palin's head photoshopped onto some naked lady's body.
6) Gay people and Iraqis give him the willies for no good reason.
7) His last name is McCain.
7 1/2) Your man believes in the fundamentals of small government and an aggressive foreign policy.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wrong! Watching pundits- and not just on cable, but on "credible" network shows as well- has taught me that black people are very simple people when it comes to voting. Apparently, they were reluctant to vote for the black guy until he won a state that was majority white. Then they rushed to him. Evidently, black folks vote the way white people tell them to. I feel so foolish because I just never realized that was the case.
The other thing I've learned is that it doesn't matter that the facts don't support this theory. Black people in South Carolina supported Obama by a margin of 2 to 1 before he won Iowa (that's reluctance?). The percentage of black support rose for Obama only after the Clintons made some remarks that were deemed implicitly racist during the South Carolina primary campaign. The Clintons put down the source of the shared identity that connects black people with one another, which may help to explain the mass shift to Obama in the weeks before the South Carolina primary. Or so I thought.
Of course, I now know that even if the facts don't support the media's theories, as long as it's repeated enough, it becomes true. So, black people only voted for Obama because white people did so first.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Neverton: Welcome back to The Women's Issues Hour with your host, me, Brent Neverton. As you may know, we are a public affairs show that examines issues relating to women in society. I am rejoined by two distinguished guests, Alvin Meadows from the Daily Liberal on the left and Chad Pithington from the American Review on the right. Let's get back to our discussion of Governor Sarah Palin's qualifications for the vice presidency and her ideology.
Meadows: She's a cunt.
Pithington: I'd do her.
Neverton: Hmm, both of you raise interesting points.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
After Barack Obama, who doesn't look much better than McCain in HD, claimed that negative attacks had become the center of the McCain campaign, McCain inexplicably continued to attack Obama with ridiculous allegations before hypocritically asserting that his campaign is not about negative attacks.
McCain has a palpable contempt for Obama and it manifests in condescension. One fatal flaw (of the many) of the McCain campaign is that he claims Obama doesn't know anything about anything. The problem with it is that if Obama shows the least bit of knowledge on a subject, he disproves McCain's point.
At one point, McCain argued against "spreading the wealth." He wants the wealth to stay in the hands of the very few. It's too bad the value of your vote doesn't correlate with the amount of wealth you possess; McCain might have half a chance then. At the very least, McCain should get one vote this fall, from Joe the Plumber, but he might be the only one.
So, Obama won another debate and again, it was irrelevant, because he'll win easily, even if he had shown up to the debate in a wife beater and began by saying, "god bless Paraguay, the greatest country on the planet."
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In America, Milton Berle was cracking jokes. A particular gentile caught his act and could not help but fall on the floor laughing. After the show, the gentile went up to Berle and said, "Hey, you're funny, but you look weird. What are you?" Berle replied, "I'm a Jew." The gentile answered, "A Jew? If all Jews are as funny as you, we should liberate you people from the concentration camps over there in Europe."
Who was that gentile? General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Only the funny Jews were allowed to survive the Holocaust. There is, however, one flaw in my theory: my grandma survived. And let's just thank G-d Eisenhower didn't run into Arlen Specter instead of Milton Berle.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Mugabe has orchestrated military forays into Congo and Mozambique among other places. The result, while complex, for our purposes has resulted in plunder, leading to wealth for some Zimbabwean generals at the expense of the nation's people. Since coming to power, Mugabe challenged and exceeded Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda's role as the major player, other than South Africa, in the region. Mugabe was able to convince much of the world that he was a force for stabilization in the region. That is until his controversial plan to seize land from Zimbabwe's white population created an uproar in the West.
Fear of prosecution is nothing new for Zimbabwe's generals. Neither is pre-election violence on behalf of Mugabe. But this year saw pre-election violence reach an extreme. Even this level of violence has precedent in Zimbabwe as government brigades massacred its own civilians in the Matebelelands in the 1980s. That forced ZAPU leader, Joshua Nkomo, to enter into an agreement with Mugabe, where Nkomo lost all discernable power.
Tsvangirai has been cautious in entering negotiations with Mugabe and firm in his demands. But Tsvangirai has been unclear as to his stance on prosecuting the generals. In the past, he has called for a Truth and Justice commission, going one step further than South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation commission, by requiring justice to be served. At another juncture, Tsvangirai wanted to leave previous indiscretions in the past. This year, he has offered differing views on whether or not the generals should be prosecuted based on the ebbs and flows of violence against his supporters. Regardless of the generals' fate, the citizens of Zimbabwe have suffered.
Mugabe's rule can now only be legitimized by Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai can only earn some of the responsibility that he rightfully deserves with the help of Mugabe. But there is a major player lurking behind the scenes. Emmerson Mnangagwa ran Mugabe's campaign of terror and was considered as a possible successor to Mugabe when it was thought Mugabe could not hold onto power over the summer. Mnangagwa not only represents the violent autocracy of the history of rule in Zimbabwe, but could pose a threat to Mugabe. Mugabe would be wise to rest his political legacy on the shoulders of his arch-enemy, Tsvangirai, and not his ally, Mnangagwa, if he wants to keep any semblance of power and be thought of as anything more than a demagogue.
(International Affairs Edition)
Monday, October 13, 2008
That will induce a call to action for these white people. They will congregate and react in drastic fashion. A mass suicide of millions of bigoted white folks will occur. And America will be a little less racist.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
As you may know, I am on the Ways and Means committee. Doesn't that sound a little like the curds and whey committee? I'm just joshing you.
Three Jewish Republicans walk into a bar. Then, they have a humorous conversation about how there aren't many Jewish Republicans. In fact, I am the only Jewish Republican in the senate. The Christian Republican senators like to tease me. They joke around by telling me things like I killed Jesus. I laugh politely and then go fetch them their coffee.
You know, I have cancer. That's not something to joke about.
What did the lion say to the mouse? Do you give up? "You should be fiscally responsible, so don't eat up all your cheese at once." Do you get it?
Sometimes, when we are discussing a highly controversial bill in the senate, I like to lighten the mood by referring to the bill as if it were a person named Bill. Senator Lindsey Graham gets a kick out of it especially. Then he makes me sing Hava Nagila for him.
Well, that's enough hilarity for one early evening. We've had a blast. But remember, there's nothing funny about voter apathy, so be sure to vote this November. Thank you for your attentive behavior and good night.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
John McCain doesn't see it that way however. It's called leadership. A leader must be optimistic, even if that requires lying to his followers. George W. Bush perfected this trait. McCain is following nicely in his footsteps. In January, McCain told the American people, "I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong and I believe they will remain strong."
In this regard, McCain is something of a savant. Every economic "expert" in existence believes the economy is either in a recession or worse. Only McCain has the insight to see differently. In fact, as late as last month, McCain reiterated, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." But the great thing about McCain is not simply that he is a genius. He is also incredibly modest.
Last year, McCain mentioned, "The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should." Oh really, Einstein? I must respectfully disagree. McCain is even more humble than he is brilliant.
You see, some men see things as they are and say 'why?' John McCain sees things that aren't and says 'The fundamentals of the economy are strong.'
Friday, October 10, 2008
Kaunda reigned over Zambia from 1964 until 1991, usually as the one man show of a one-party state. His personal philosophy of Humanism became the state's creed. He made every foreign policy decision, whether it was bucking frontline policy towards South Africa by engaging in negotiations or backing UNITA in Angola and ZAPU in Zimbabwe. In a sense, Kaunda was the state. At the very least, he is the father of the nation. Kaunda should stay of above current political squabbles and be the statesman and mediator that has marked his career. Great leaders don't come cheap and Kaunda needed to refrain from endorsing a candidate for president in order to maintain a role as an impartial father figure.
Kaunda's endorsement of Banda was implicit. His former party, UNIP, endorsed Banda for this election. UNIP is led by Kenneth Kaunda's son, Tilyenji Kaunda. There are conflicting reports as to the exact relation, but Banda is related to Kaunda's wife Betty. Also, Banda should win as there is much sympathy for the MMD in wake of Mwanawasa's death.
There was no need for Kaunda to lower himself to partisanship, but he took things one step further when he denounced the leading opposition candidate Michael Sata of the PF. He deemed Sata a capable governor and minister, but ill-suited for the presidency. Besides being an unnecessary attack, it is disingenuous. Doesn't Sata's experience as a capable government offical in high offices qualify him to be president? It is conceivable that it does not, but an illuminating explanation is required to prove that point. Kaunda has not acted like a statesman by endorsing a candidate, but has lowered himself further with his shots at Sata.
The election itself is dubious. I understand that it is probably intended to prevent a corrupt vice president from seizing office and to promote democracy. But if the candidate from the president's party is anything short of a demagogue, he will surely win thanks to sheer human sympathy. It also forces opposition parties to lie down in front of the ruling party or face near-certain defeat. It is particularly bad for Sata who is making another doomed attempt for the presidency. It begs the question of whether Sata is the head of a political party or a one-man coalition. This is where Kaunda could have argued for a smoother transition for the rise of a vice president after the death of a president, thereby implicitly supporting Banda while maintaining an aura of dignity.
(International Affairs Edition)
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
This has been a wonderful season for the Evil Leaders League. ELL fans across the land have said that this campaign gave them a number of smiling cringes. And why wouldn't it have. There is plenty of smile-worthy and cringe-worthy stuff in Season 4 of the ELL. I'd like to thank our fans, our evil leaders, but most of all, the oppressed peoples of the world, because without them, there would be no Evil Leaders League. The official ELL site is here. Check throughout the off season for updates.
The Champion - Omar al-Bashir 6-1 (2-0) [all-time: 22-6 (6-1)]
Omar al-Bashir won his third championship in the four season history of the ELL. He is the ELL version of the Houston Comets of the WNBA. Omar al-Bashir has presided over a genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan for a while now. But this season he brought something new, an indictment on charges of genocide by the ICC. A person committing a genocide and then be charged with the very same crime. How ironic! A little too ironic. In the wake of the financial crisis in the U.S., George Bush could learn a thing or two from al-Bashir about presidential leadership during a tough time. Even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, al-Bashir has the courage to dance the night away, a playful reminder to Darfuri citizens that in every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double, don't worry, be happy.
Here are some of this season's best out of context quotes:
- He will hire a Dream Team of lawyers, including F. Ali Bailey, Johnnie Muhammad Cochran, and Robert bin Shapiro, according to Sudan's minister of information, Kato Kaelin.
- Hitler couldn't hold Ahmadinejad's left nut (and that's the unclean nut).
- War to an evil leader is like ice cream to a cranky toddler.
- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told his ministers that he powders his balls. Somehow that made Musharraf even more unlikable in his country. The extremists felt that nut-powdering was unIslamic, but most just felt it was weird. And weirder that he told them.
- Hugo Chavez of Venezuela runs a socialist nation. But not the good kind of socialism. His type doesn't include hairy collegiate girls who will sleep with you.
- When your most ardent enemies want you to stay in power, you've lost your evil edge. Kim is like a porn star with ED.
- If he does face a trial, his only request is he wants a more comfortable cage than the ones provided to Saddam Hussein and Adolph Eichmann.
- But as my anal herpes prove, all double games eventually end; sometimes very painfully.
- Don't be fooled by E.T., these aliens are not cute nor harmless. They are job-stealing, taco-consuming, salsa-dancing monsters.
- He is seriously considering changing the name of his nation to Socialzuela. Just recently, he nationalized a Mexican cement company and the tip of his own penis.
- He's nationalized the fuel industry, the pornography industry, puppies, head lice, your grandmother, Wednesdays, foot odor, and genital warts but not anal warts because Mitt Romney has a pretty good hold on that industry.
Than Shwe 7-0 (1-1) - The Burmese and Myanmar military junta leader made his subjects suffer, which incidentally, happens to be his fetish.
Hugo Chavez 4-3 (0-1) [17-11 (1-3)] - The Venezuelan president is the Lindsey Lohan of being addicted to nationalizing things.
Kim Jong-Il 5-2 (0-1) [18-10 (3-3)] - Who knows if the North Korean leader is alive or not, but he sure is evil.
Nursultan Nazarbayev 3-4 - You'd think having so many letters in his name would've got him relegated, but his hatred of democracy keeps him in the league for another season.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2-5 [15-13 (1-2)] - It's always sad to see a long time favorite leave, but the second most powerful man of a poor- though boisterous- nation can only stay in the ELL for so long.
Pervez Musharraf 1-6 [6-8 (0-1)] - Resigning from the presidency of Pakistan doesn't help one's evil clout.
Felipe Calderon 0-7 - The conservative pro-U.S. president of Mexico is about as evil as an ambitious immigrant, but he is more of an elitist.
Some Facts and Figures:
Uses of the word during the fourth ELL season - some variation of the word "evil" 45 times; "ass" 3 times; "fuck" or "shit" amazingly zero times; "pimp" 1 time; "anal" 3 times; "democracy" 6 times.
5 genocides in Game 1 of the ELL Finals
4 times Hitler came up either explicitly or implicitly
3 references to either anal herpes or anal warts
2 inexplicable mentions of tacos
1 dump each on the Jewish parody rapper formerly known as 50 Shekel, Gaylord Perry's rookie card, and Frank Stallone.
Join us next season for more Evil Leaders League action.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I did learn a few things from both candidates however. Did you know that America is a great country? Apparently, it is. American workers are great too. Evidently, both candidates will fight for me, even though they've never met me and they don't know me from Adam.
I was disappointed in Obama's performance on the whole. He is leading and should win this election fairly comfortably. He should have been more ambitious and more concrete in what he expects from us and what we can expect from him. I was upset that he allowed McCain to drag him into several political tussles instead of staying above the fray.
John McCain came across as indignant. He seemed to totter on the edge of fury. At one point, he referred to Obama as "that one." It was as if he was inches away from calling Obama the n-word. Another occasion saw McCain inexplicably walk near Obama and glare at him as if McCain thought he was still in a POW camp. Then there was McCain's stalking of the questioners. By the end, McCain was tired. His earlier plan of ignoring the chair in order to stand had failed. Near the end, McCain became so tired that he even forgot to hold the microphone to his mouth.
I like Tom Brokaw a lot, but his incessant scolding of the candidates made me almost as uncomfortable as watching McCain. The line of the night belonged to Tom Brokaw who told the two candidates, "Now you're blocking my script." An apt end to a trite debate.
Monday, October 06, 2008
U.S. policy towards Afghanistan has been utterly haphazard; the U.S. has managed to consistently do the wrong thing in Afghanistan. In addition, prominent members of the administration were so eager to deem Afghanistan a success despite evidence to the contrary and were so anxious to go to war with Iraq. Even now, Republican presidential nominee John McCain explicitly contends that Iraq is the central front of the war on terror.
In the wake of recent news that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has attempted to negotiate with Taliban leaders, it is important to discuss the failures of U.S. policy in this regard. The leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, was still mulling over whether or not to hand over bin Laden when the U.S. attacked during the Fall of 2001. The Taliban were a nihilistic group, not hell-bent on bin Laden's plans for a global jihad. Omar needed time to decide what was best for his own future, even if it was at the expense of bin Laden, who was an important financial backer of the Taliban.
When Karzai came into power in 2002, he believed bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table was essential to bringing about peace in Afghanistan. He needed to legitimize the Taliban in order to marginalize them. If the Taliban had a stake in the Afghan government, they would not fight against it. But U.S. officials have always exerted a lack of courage and this instance was no different. Instead of worrying about the future of Afghanistan, they worried about their own political fortunes, and rejected Karzai's plan for the Taliban. Instead, the U.S. followed the destructive strategy of backing the warlords. The warlords' livelihoods were dependent on the continuation of the fighting. A chance was missed. Peace would not come to Afghanistan.
Today, the Taliban insurgency is holding its own. They have thus far rejected Karzai's attempts to negotiate. There's no impetus to compromise with Karzai, the insurgency is succeeding and continues to receive funds from Pakistan. The Taliban now profits from the continued fighting. Osama bin Laden has not been captured. The Taliban movement has spread into Pakistan. The Karzai government is weak. These circumstances are as a direct result of the failed policies of the United States towards Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
(International Affairs Edition)
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Ryan Zimmerman was hurt this season, but had his customary last season surge to raise his average to .283 (with 14 HRs and 51 RBIs). Both new young guns, Lastings Milledge (.268 14 HRs 61 RBIs 24 SBs) and Elijiah Dukes (.264 13 HRs 44 RBIs 13 SBs) missed part of the season due to injury, but both showed a lot of positives when they were on the field. They're both years before their prime. Dukes put up his numbers in far fewer at bats. Jesus Flores is another young player who showed a lot of promise. He calls a good game from behind the plate and mustered some decent offensive numbers (.256 8 HRs 59 RBIs).
Cristian Guzman was the club's best hitter this year. He hit .316 with 9 HRs and 55 RBIs, usually in the number 1 or 2 hole. The other veteran Nats either rarely saw the field or struggled when they did. Ronnie Belliard (.287 11 HRs 46 RBIs) was having another good year until he went down with a season-ending injury. An indication of all the injuries comes in the fact that Willie Harris (.251 13 HRs 43 RBIs 13 SBs), a career utility infielder and outfielder, was fourth on the team in at bats. Harris became a bit of a fan favorite because of his work ethic and no nonsense approach to the game. Austin Kearns, Aaron Boone, Wily Mo Pena, and Nick Johnson all hit under .250 this season.
Of the starting pitchers, John Lannan (9-15 3.91 ERA) was the lone bright spot. No one else who started a game had an ERA under 4. Chad Cordero went down early and John Rauch was traded at the deadline. Joel Hanrahan took over the closer role and put up 9 saves with a 3.95 ERA and a 6-3 record. Saul Rivera (5-6 3.96 ERA) was the only other relief pitcher with at least 40 appearances and an ERA under 4.
Young players often struggle numerically before they flourish. A few of these guys should blossom into valuable players. The organization needs to keep stock piling pitchers, try to avoid the injury bug for once, and allow the young players to gain confidence at the plate. Despite the poor record, Manny Acta has done a good job with a limited roster. The franchise should stick with him for the long haul. Continuity is how champions are made.
Friday, October 03, 2008
What I expect at the VP debate tonight
What if Sarah Palin really isn't that stupid? Maybe she's just playing us all in order to lower expectations of her performance. Either way, the expectations are low. Politics are all about expectations.
I expect Palin to look just stupid enough to continue to frighten every liberal at the prospect of her attaining the presidency, yet to just exceed expectations enough to receive praise from much of the media.
I don't expect Joe Biden to win the debate easily and he will lose it in terms of expectations. He'll either come across as a bully, say a few stupid things, or (most likely) both. I've got the over/under on stupid things Joe Biden will say in the debate at 4. Biden has always been regarded as somewhat dim, only slightly more intelligent that a mentally challenged chimpanzee and with none of the cuteness.
But many people are missing the point. Elections in America have never been about who is smarter, they're about who is more popular. The history of the American presidency is filled with men who were semi-literate, right up until today.
I'd like to see a robust exchange of ideas about the various crises we face, but that's about as likely as chess supplanting NASCAR as the most popular sport in the South. In any event, it should be entertaining.
I would change two things. Instead of stupid comments from Joe Biden, I would change that to off-putting comments. Also, I didn't expect Joe Biden to utilize the goofy and inappropriate smile throughout.
I've come to the conclusion that Sarah Palin is probably a robot- albeit an adorable one. Press the button and you get several catchphrases: "John McCain has stared evil right in the face" "I am a maverick" "Gosh darn." Joe Biden's manner of speech is like a snowball of rage.
In the end, Biden was more substantive (it would've been hard not to), Palin exceeded expectations (also would've been hard not to). But there was a loser tonight, the American people.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Kaunda's claim as a moralist began as the leading voice in Southern Africa for majority rule. As he held a white handkerchief in his left hand, he frequently quoted Biblical verses and espoused the importance of love when explaining the cause. He promoted dialogue and negotiation as a foundation for his foreign policy; this in a region plagued by oppressive and violent white rule, which sometimes subsequently resulted in civil war. Many Zambians viewed Kaunda as the beloved father of their country and foreign dignities saw him as a respected statesman. That is not to ignore his numerous detractors, but to emphasize that his claim as a moralist is legitimate.
Towards the end of the 1980s, Kaunda's act began to wear thin, especially in the face of an economic decline. In 1990 he succumbed to a movement towards democracy. The next year he lost the presidential election to the MMD's candidate Frederick Chiluba. At the time, the West heralded the election as a wonderful achievement for Zambia. But the flowers of democracy never truly blossomed. Chiluba stood accused of stealing an inordinate amount of money while in power and was forced to pay it back. He attempted to defy the Constitution by running for a third term, an effort that his own party finally put down. Chiluba's election shows that there are not intrinsic benefits in the system of democracy.
Chiluba left office in 2001, but the MMD has held presidential power since it was originally ushered in by the first multi-party elections in Zambia in 1991. Levy Mwanawasa took over in 2001 without anywhere near a majority of the votes, because of a fractured opposition. Mwanawasa died last month and Zambia will see another presidential election on October 30 as a result. The MMD is running the acting president, Rupiah Banda. Michael Sata, the leader of PF, was a former member of MMD, but left when Chiluba did not tap Sata as his successor. Godfrey Miyanda, the leader of HP, formed his party after he was expelled from MMD. The other presidential candidate is Hakainde Hichilema, the UPND leader, who heads a party that has been criticized for fanning the flames of ethnic division. Two of the three opposition candidates are former MMD members, whose opposition is based on personal grudges.
Democracy can often be an effective form of government, but it is not a moral issue. The 1991 election, which brought democracy to Zambia, also increased the level of graft among the leadership. The 2001 election brought in a weak leader, a man who received about 30% of the vote, because of a fractured opposition. The 2008 election is only nominally democratic, because the opposition leaders are former members of the ruling party and only left because of personal grudges.
(International Affairs Edition)
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Then I caught the vehicle speeding towards me from one lane over. I didn't think much of it because people tend to drive illogically. The SUV then slowed considerably because there was a cop. I maintained my speed because the cop was pointed the other way and I wasn't going that fast.
A little bit later, the same white SUV sped up behind me in the left lane. I figured this guy is crazy, so I moved over to the right.
As he passed, he held out a digital camera and this hillbilly motherfucker took a picture of me like I'm some fucking animal in a zoo! I don't know, maybe he's never seen a Jew before. I was so pissed, I really wanted to go after him, but if he has the audacity to shoot me with a camera, he probably has no problem shooting me with a gun. Fucking redneck.