Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Killing Flies

Everyone knows that I've been on an anti-Obama campaign ever since he became president because I didn't know to handle being on the winning side of something for once. Now, he's killed a fly in the Oval Office. PETA has condemned his act of murder.

The only thing that I can say about this act is that it was cool as shit. He just zeroed in and then WHAM! nailed that fucking fly dead in its tracks. Even us Obama-haters can't fault him for that one. This man really can bring people together. 99.99% of Americans agree, that was fucking awesome.

That brings me to PETA. They hurt their cause with crazy shit like this. I'm all for treating animals ethically, but there are limits. Goat anuses should be protected from horny farmers, but Mr. Miyagi shouldn't be persecuted for chopsticking flies. And can you really treat animals ethically if you won't do the same for the words in your own organization- "for," "the," and "of" demand the same respect as any other word in their name.

There should be a new organization PETA-WIR (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals- WithIn Reason). Speaking of flies, I've got ideas for a few more new organizations. Here's one: PAGOC (People Against Goldblum On Colbert). Another: IWGAD (I Wish Goldblum Actually Died). One final: PTJGLA (People for the Treatment of Jeff Goldblum Like an Animal).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Evil Leaders League, Week 2

These evil leaders are reminiscent of the Phantom of the Opera. Maybe they wouldn't be so mean if they weren't so ugly. Not Ahmadinejad, however. Short, bearded men are sexy. Let's get to the results. Check out the world famous Evil Leaders League site.

Chavez vs Ahmadinejad
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has participated in actions that range from thoughtful opposition to America's imperial reign to egomaniacal authoritarianism. Of late, other evil leaders have stepped up their games as ELL action heats up. Meanwhile, Chavez has lagged behind. Recalling your ambassador? Please. That's cute. Where are your bombs, indiscriminate crackdowns, or genocides? Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the lynchpin for a possible revolution in his country. That's how despised his one term in office was. Step up your game, Chavez.

To view the winner of each contest this week, check out the official Evil Leaders League site. I know you know you want to know.

Kim vs al-Bashir
North Korea's Kim Jong-Il might be close to transferring power over to his youngest son in a bid to continue his family's dynastic rule. In the meantime, Kim continues to threaten various places with his bombs, even Hawaii. Come on Kim, that's so Japanese, do you really want to follow in the footsteps of those sushi-eaters? Plus, it didn't end well for them. Omar al-Bashir, the man overseeing the Sudanese government, was indicted over the genocide in Darfur. However, he does have his supporters. The AU has called for the indictment to be suspended. Omar al-Bashir had a good laugh about the whole thing with his buddy Robert Mugabe. While the world shouldn't be afraid of Kim's threats, at least they've had to pay attention.

al-Assad vs Shwe
Bashar al-Assad, the head of Syria, is sitting pretty and it has nothing to do with the brush of dirt he calls a mustache. The U.S. has sent an ambassador to Syria for the first time in four years and claims the Arab country has a role to play in the Middle East peace process. There's a role for funding suicide bombings in a peace process? I guess Jeff Goldblum got a role on Law and Order, so anything's possible. Buying a corvette is a sure sign of insecurity over a small penis, but so is leading a military junta that runs Myanmar aka Burma. Just ask Than Shwe. The trial of democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi has strained relations with the rest of Asia. Why even have a trial? Shwe should have just kept Suu Kyi detained indefinitely like originally planned. No one would be pissed then. Lesson 5 of Evil Leading 101 is: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Obiang vs Aliyev
Teodoro Obiang heads up a little country called Equatorial Guinea. Maybe you've heard of it. No? You think I just made it up right now? No, seriously, it really is a country- headed by a tyrannical kleptocrat. Obiang's son has a mansion in Malibu. His neighbors include Mel Gibson and Britney Spears. How could he afford it? Hey, being the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry doesn't hurt. Neither does being the son of a guy who steals like Michael Jackson molested children.

Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, has threatened war with Armenia. He has been quoted saying that the Armenians stole the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the military will get it back, even though the women of that region are very ugly now that they're technically Armenians. This assertion took place in a game of the Dozens, also known as the State of the Union Address in Azerbaijan.

standings: Check out the ELL site

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The New Top Ten

Here's an updated list of my top ten favorite active boxers:
2) Roman Greenberg - HEAVYWEIGHT
4) Hasim Rahman - HEAVYWEIGHT
6) Joshua Clottey - WELTERWEIGHT
7) Lamont Peterson - JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT
8) Andre Berto - WELTERWEIGHT
9) David Haye - HEAVYWEIGHT

Formeman just recently fought to a no contest because of a unintentional headbutt. Greenberg hasn't fought since obtaining his first career loss. Salita could be lost in a deep division that features a number of novelties. All three are Jewish. Rahman is on the downside of his career, but is a local guy, and his knockout of Lewis was a moment I'll never forget. I like Juarez's determination. His rematch against Chris John was recently called off. Clottey, residing in the Bronx, was recently robbed out of a decision against Miguel Cotto. A win would have vaulted his career. Peterson was born in DC and is undefeated. I like Berto's skills. He's making his way towards a big fight. I like Haye's swagger. He recently had to pull out of a fight for the Heavyweight title. Molina is a guy who always gives it his all and never makes any excuses.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson is Dead

Michael Jackson hasn't made a good album in about two decades. Yet, after he died, all the cable news channels and 2 networks devoted their coverage to him. Much of the world wept. Or, at least, was intrigued. That's pretty astonishing.

To be honest, all the coverage might actually reflect positively on the U.S. Many countries would only show the same fervor after the death of royalty. His global popularity is also a testament to the influence of American culture and shows that our culture need not be forced down the throats of the world. They'll take what they like.

Going back to the Michael Jackson/royalty caparison, if given the option, I'd take Michael Jackson over any king. At least our child-molester can sing and dance!

The day after he died, I was watching a repeat of Gregg Rogell's stand up. He ended with a Michael Jackson joke, saying that the pop star and Mickey Mouse were very similar if you think about it. At first I thought Comedy Central dropped the ball airing that the day after. Then I realized. They probably couldn't find a comedian who hasn't done a Michael Jackson joke in their special. They just aired the least offensive.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2009 NBA Draft Review

The last few years there's been a bizarre twist to the NBA Draft. Young guys and Europeans are drafted in the first round, while graduating seniors have had to wait until the second. The result has been an increased number of first round busts and more second rounders that make it. I predict this year's draft will produce similar results.

The whole thing where a team drafts a European player and keeps him overseas for a few years has rarely worked. Yet teams keep doing it. It's a rare freshman who is ready for the NBA both physically and mentally. Yet leaving early has ruined many a career, life.

I like the Knicks picks. I'm not sure whether Jordan Hill will be a star and a terrible bust, but I'm guessing he won't be somewhere in the middle. Toney Douglas was a fine pick for the end of the first round. I don't think Minnesota's experiment of Rubio and Flynn will work well. As the draft rolled into the 20s, I was looking for teams where Eric Maynor could start. They were there, but the Jazz gobbled him up. It might help Maynor to play behind Deron Williams for a little while. He'll have a chance to prove himself without much pressure. In the second round, I like Derrick Brown to the Bobcats. I wish DaJuan Summers had stayed at Georgetown for at least another year. He didn't play particularly well last season. If he works hard, maybe he can stick somewhere.

It's an interesting time in the NBA because many teams are dumping salary for next year's free agent class, while others are stacking talent for a championship run. It'll make for an exciting second round of the playoffs on. I like Jefferson to the Spurs; if he can share the ball, it'll work great. Shaq to Cleveland is interesting. It gives the Cavs another good center (relatively speaking), but it's more of a novelty than a championship lock. I'm skeptical that Vince Carter will fit in Orlando. Iverson could not adjust to being just a part of a talented team after being the offensive focal point his entire career. I expect the same difficulties for Carter. Plus, Courtney Lee will be a good player for the Nets and Alston has value.

During the draft, Stewart Scott kept repeating the same facts that each analyst had just provided, which was quite annoying. Every analyst loved every player and thought they were a steal at whichever spot they were chosen. I know it's a dream come true for the players, so you don't want to shit on them, but the rest of us would like some honest opinions.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2009 NBA Draft Preview

I had a great idea for this year's draft preview. Of the players rumored to be going to the Wizards at #5, Mike would give me 2 players he hopes they pick and 2 he hopes they won't. I'd do the same for the Knicks at #8 and Ian would follow suit with the Bobcats at #12. It would have been a sort of: Get the fan's perspective type of thing.

Well, it fell apart. The Wizards traded away the #5 pick (I can report that Mike likes the trade). Ian is a lazy bum, who is spending his birthday weekend at Disney World. I hope the Knicks don't pick Brandon Jennings, but other than him, I like the prospects of gaining a helpful player. This year's draft is fairly weak in terms of potential superstars. There are some intriguing players- guys who have had good college careers, but aren't sure-things in the NBA. I'm interested to see where Eric Maynor goes.

With the weak Draft, and so many things going on in the world, I'd be remiss to spend too much space on the Draft. Shit's going crazy in Iran. The situation is a little like when a parent scolds a child in public; you can snicker at the display, but you shouldn't meddle. That's the course America should take. That's also the plan I've endorsed when there was talk of a possible invasion or military strike. I said that young people in Tehran were becoming fed up with the regime and just needed an event to spark their outrage.

Then you have Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who disappeared for a few days. I have to admit, when I heard he was away, I knew he was fucking something. No one goes hiking and doesn't tell anyone about it. Hiking is not a shameful activity. You say you're going hiking and then go fuck someone. That's usually the way these things work.

I like this. Saying I knew things would happen after the fact. It's the easiest way to be right.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top 10 NBA Players

Top 10 NBA Players Now
While this list consists of the top 10 players now, the past is taken to account, but it is not a list of the best players who happen to be active. In parentheses is the player's previous rank posted on January 23.

# David (PR) - Mike (Previous Rank)
1. Kobe (1) - Kobe (1)
2. LeBron (2) - LeBron (2)
3. Duncan (3) - Wade (4)
4. Billups (4) - Duncan (7)
5. Wade (8) - D. Howard (3)
6. T. Parker (5) - Paul (5)
7. Paul (6) - Garnett (6)
8. D. Howard (10) - Carmelo (NR)
9. Dirk (NR) - Billups (10)
10. Carmelo (NR) - Dirk (8)

Top 10 NBA Careers Among Active Players
This is a list of the best active players taking into account their entire careers. Eligible players must have played during the 2008-2009 season. In parentheses is the player's previous rank posted on June 23, 2008.

# David - Mike (Previous Rank)
1. Shaq (1) - Shaq (1)
2. Duncan (2) - Kobe (3)
3. Kobe (4) - Duncan (2)
4. Kidd (3) - Garnett (4)
5. Garnett (5) - Kidd (6)
6. Iverson (6) - Iverson (5)
7. Nash (7) - LeBron (NR)
8. LeBron (9) - Nash (NR)
9. Dirk (8) - Wade (9)
10. Mutumbo (NR) - Dirk (10)

Top 10 NBA Franchise Players
This list is about which players you would pick to start a franchise right now. They must have played in an NBA game. In parentheses is the player's previous rank posted on June 23, 2008.

# David - Mike (Previous Rank)
1. LeBron (1) - LeBron (1)
2. Kobe (2) - D. Howard (4)
3. Paul (3) - Kobe (2)
4. D. Howard (4) - Paul (3)
5. D. Rose (NA) - Wade (7)
6. Wade (NR) - Durant (6)
7. T. Parker (5) - Carmelo (8)
8. Carmelo (NR) - D. Rose (NA)
9. D. Williams (6) - Bosh (NR)
10. Roy (NR) - Granger (NR)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Evil Leaders League, Season 6

This is the sixth season of the Evil Leaders League. The league will continue to consist of 8 evil leaders. Five participants are returning from last season, two are new, and one has climbed his way back after facing relegation. This is a round-robin league, much like the English Premier League soccer, not a tournament. There will be a playoff at the end of the regular season. This season's Evil Leaders League (ELL) is dedicated to our dear friend, Omar Bongo. We hope that our percussion-themed diatribes against your abuses of power, in some small way, contributed to your passing.

Let's meet the competitors:
Kim Jong-Il - head of North Korea since 1994. Champion last season.
Omar al-Bashir - in charge of Sudan since 1989. Finished 2nd.
Bashar al-Assad - president of Syria since 2000. Finished 3rd.
Than Shwe - leader of Myanmar since 1992. Finished 4th.
Hugo Chavez - president of Venezuela since 1999. Finished 5th.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - president of Iran since 2005. Returning.
Teodoro Obiang - ruling Equatorial Guinea since 1979. New.
Ilham Aliyev - president of Azerbaijan since 2003. New.

Ahmadinejad vs Kim
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, returning to the ELL following a one-season absence, recently won a dubious election in Iran. People are pissed. In the process, Ahmadinejad has rose from plain ole evil to cartoonish super evil. He has the power to deny the Holocaust, steal an election, and make the power go out in Baltimore as I'm writing this. Now all he has to do is threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction. Speaking of which, that takes us to last season's ELL champion, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. The man who started the big sunglasses trend- that spread from Jewish grandmothers to promiscuous teenage girls- is holding the world hostage even more than Brett Favre. I've got the same advice for both of them: we all know your bombs are going to be intercepted, so just retire already.

To view the winner of each contest this week, check out the official Evil Leaders League site. It's free, no ads, no sign up, no catch, no reason not to. Except laziness and spite.

al-Bashir vs Chavez
Omar al-Bashir, the long time dictator of Sudan, is a lucky man. Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed piece for Time about his role in the Darfur genocide. Now, if she only spent as much time thinking about me as she has al-Bashir, I'd be set! Meanwhile, no one's thinking about Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Well, no one outside of his country anyway. Chavez's recent worst crime involves his ties with Iran. If guilt by association were the law of the land, then all my friends and family would be guilty of having Itchy Rectum Syndrome (IRS).

Aliyev vs al-Assad
Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, is your typical dictator of an oil-rich country, who only got to where he is because of daddy, former head of state, Heidar Aliyev. Father-son presidents and oil, I've heard this story before. Plus, Ilham Aliyev used to own the Texas Rangers and snort blow. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is in the news with his counterpart. In their first interaction since they sat at the head of the class at the Evil Mustache Academy (EMA), al-Assad asked Aliyev to release Hezbollah members suspected of plotting to blow up the Israeli embassy in Baku. At EMA, Aliyev was voted "most likely to inherit the family business," while al-Assad was voted "most likely to kill a Lebanese leader."

Shwe vs Obiang
Than Shwe, the Burmese ruler of Myanmar's military junta, has been having a great time of late. Not only was Janice Dickinson voted off of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, but his nemesis Aung San Suu Kyi languishes away in a Burmese prison. On her condition in the prison, Suu Kyi stated, "It's tough, but at least it's not as bad as watching Jeff Goldblum on the Colbert Report two shows in a row. Who's next, Rod Stewart?" You might not know Teodoro Obiang, the leader of Equatorial Guinea. If not, you're lucky. Obiang took power from his uncle, Macias Nguema, a brutal dictator. Of his uncle, Obiang said that he was the "son of lucifer," which I believe makes Obiang the grandson of lucifer. But who's counting.

standings: Check out the ELL site

Monday, June 22, 2009

Supporting the Alternative

Former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba is standing trial for stealing his country's money. In 1991, Chiluba represented hope for a democratic Zambia. As the leader of a trade union, he challenged Kenneth Kaunda, a man who had ruled Zambia for the 27 years since independence, for the presidency. When Chiluba won the election, he was championed by the West as one of the leaders of a new African wind of change.

But Chiluba's reign was marred with abuse of power from the outset. The opposition boycotted the 1996 presidential contest. Only strong opposition prevented Chiluba from defying the constitution and running for a third term. While it seems like Chiluba did steal money from his nation's treasury, at the very least, he spent tons of money on personal luxury goods. In the case of Zambia, the alternative did not provide progress. Chiluba was simply supported because he was the alternative to Kaunda's 27 year rule. Not because of his own credentials.

Now, the fear is that the West will back Mir-Hossein Mousavi in Iran against Mahmoud Ahmadienjad simply because Mousavi is the alternative to the confrontational incumbent. Ahmadinejad recently won a dubious election and Mousavi has vowed to fight the result, leading to mass protests against the election process. However, regardless of the name of the president, Ayatollah Khamenei will hold power in Iran, so a push to enter into the realm of Iran's domestic politics would be far riskier than any potential rewards for the U.S.

In Pakistan, the U.S. has entertained the idea of backing Nawaz Sharif for short-sided reasons. Sharif is an alternative to the seemingly-ineffective Asif Ali Zardari, with national appeal and ties to Islamists. Ironically, the U.S. had backed Zardari's late wife Benazir Bhutto simply because she was an alternative to Pervez Musharraf, who had duped the U.S. into giving billions of dollars of aid that went to the military and then to extremists. As you may have guessed the irony does not end there; Musharraf took power in a coup, overthrowing Sharif, and was viewed as a positive alternative to the corrupt Prime Minister.

While short-sided support of the alternative in Pakistan has resulted in a ridiculous merry-go-round of regime change, the policy has not worked much better elsewhere. There are numerous examples of the West and, specifically the U.S., supporting the lesser of two evils only to be wrong in the long run. (International Edition)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anne Frank Comes Back

You read my diary? WHAT THE FUCK! What gives you the right? Is that what you do, you go around reading people's diaries. You stupid ass!


Wow. Just wow. Who could do such a thing? Way to take advantage of my victimhood. Bravo. I guess people get their jollies from exploiting Holocaust victims. Little girls writing in their diary no less.

Seriously, do you know what a diary is? It's supposed to be private, fucknuts! And you put out entries from my awkward phase. What teenage girl wants their diary fucking broadcast to the whole world? That's such horseshit!

THERE'S A MOVIE? Fuck that. Wait, who played me? It better be like Natalie Portman or they'll be hell to pay.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dwight "The Goaltender" Howard

I've discussed Dwight Howard's talents and flaws at length on this blog. I also bring it up to 7-11 clerks, gas station attendants, and anyone else who isn't able to get out of a conversation with me. Howard's an interesting player because he is top 3 in the league in several categories (shot-blocking, offensive rebounding, finishing with a dunk) and just awful in others (defensive positioning, moves in the post, passing, free throws). The result is a difficult player to gage.

He gets a lot of respect for his shot blocking ability, but I noticed he goaltends an inordinate amount. I kept track of it during the Finals. He actually cut back a bit. In five games, he was called for goaltending 3 times by my count. He probably should have been called two more times. In Game 2, he very clearly stuck his fingers through the rim in order to deflect Pau Gasol's attempt. In Game 3, Lamar Odom shot as he was being fouled. Howard jumped up and caught the ball on its descent.

So, Howard committed about one goaltend a game. No one is going to tell him to stop trying to block shots because of that, but it is a lot of goaltending. I did not count another goaltend the entire rest of the series from anyone else. In fact, only Gasol's shaking of the rim at the end of regulation in Game 2 was even a debatable no-call.

So we're left with the same confusing information. Howard is an excellent shot blocker. But he alone accounted for all the goaltending in a series that saw several games come down to the wire. The bottom line is that he has a world of talent, but let's not anoint him just yet.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jeff Goldblum on the Colbert Report

I've had the feeling that someone at the Colbert Report is one of the ten people who read the blog. This Colbert Report staffer then proceeds to mock me on the show. The latest piece of evidence? Jeff Goldblum's appearance on the Colbert Report last night.

My last two posts were about my disdain for Jeff Goldblum. It's not like I rail against Jeff Goldblum constantly. I may have said something negative about him one other time in the last five years on the blog. Two days ago in So Much Hate, a post about how Holocaust museum shooter James von Brunn missed the point of life by focusing all of his hate only on Jews and blacks, I mentioned that "I hate Jeff Goldblum," one of many things I despise. Yesterday, in Hell, the nebbishy arrogant actor from Jurassic Park (a movie I refuse to ever watch) was a part of my worst nightmares, appearing in a fictitious movie with Nicolos Cage.

I must admit this is less explicit than- after I wrote a report on Obama's potential VP nominees in which I incorrectly spelled the Democratic senator from Indiana Evan Bayd- when Chris Matthews said on air, "Evan Bayh, B-A-Y-H."

So who's going to be on the Colbert Report next week just to mock me? Nicolas Cage? Rod Stewart and/or Bryan Adams (who contributed to the soundtrack of the said fictitious movie). At least we know it won't be Donald Rumsfeld (who was my only human interaction in my version of Hell).

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This will be the fifth Thursday in a row that I've gone to the dentist. This is the closest to hell I've ever come. Only a few more conditions are required for it to actually be my own personal Hell.

It's always Thursday. Before and after my dental appointments, I'm forced to watch a movie starring Jeff Goldblum and Nicolas Cage. The soundtrack is exclusively sung by Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams. It's a flick where Jeff Goldblum and Nicolas Cage are after the same woman, but you never see the woman. Instead, the movie merely traces the two characters as they go about their lives, complete with voiceovers of what each is thinking about the mysterious woman at that specific moment. Next to me on the couch is Donald Rumsfeld, constantly asking himself, and then answering, questions about the movie.

To eat, there are only vegetables. No butter. No cheddar cheese. Rumsfeld, next to me in his underwear, asks, "Should I eat this carrot? It's very possible; we'll have to find out." To drink, only banana slurpees.

When it's time to sleep, I'm alone. But Donald, separated from me by only a thin wall, is banging a different woman from my past every night to a blaring duet by Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams. "Yeah, you like that? Your noises indicate that you do."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So Much Hate

There are a few things that I really hate. I really hate when people put their own interests in front of those of the wider world. I really hate when someone I love dies. I really hate arrogance. I really hate bigots and bigotry. And I really Dan Marino and Alonzo Mourning.

But I would never devote so much hate to any single thing. None of those hatreds are all-consuming. They tend not to affect my relationships to any great degree. I haven't spent the last sixty or seventy years of my life mumbling about these hatreds. That separates me from the Holocaust museum shooter, James von Brunn.

But there is so much to hate. How can anyone just focus all of their attention on only one hatred? That's a little obsessive.

I hate making small talk. I hate tomatoes. I hate when bank tellers and waiters try to pronounce my last name. I hate how everyone says that their dog is the sweetest in the world. There can only be one sweetest dog in the world! I hate how cars try to cut the line onto 270 on exit 6. You know the lane disappears onto the highway, what makes your time more valuable than mine? Wait in the line like the rest of us. I hate men who put that dab of gel in the front on their hair. My brother did that once and I made damn sure that'd never happen again. I hate neo-conservatism. I hate news-related talk shows where guests only spew their own talking points instead of engaging in a true dialogue. I hate commercials. I hate American imperialism and Americans' apathy towards it. I hate the bailout of the banks. I hate the dentist. I hate making phone calls to people I don't know. I hate the isolation that we are all forced to live with because we will never truly know anyone else. And I hate Jeff Goldblum.

That's what makes this world so great. There's so much to hate. That's the real tragedy of James von Brunn. Well, that, and the whole murdering someone in the Holocaust museum thing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran with a Beard

I'm very torn right now. There is a short man with a beard. I want to root for him. I want to cast my hopes and dreams with him. For he is a reflection of me. We all long to identify with others on some plane or another. But this man is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I think I'd rather his not-as-short bearded rival take the Iranian election. I hope that doesn't make me a tool of Western imperialism, but instead, a champion of the Iranian people's cause.

As it stands, Ahmadinejad won the election, possibly by dubious means. Mir-Hossein Mousavi's supporters have been flooding the streets in protest. Bush, the would-be leader of the "free" world, steals an election and we throw eggs at his limo; an election of limited importance is in question in Iran and they riot. Do the Iranians know that Ayatollah Khamenei's going to be in charge regardless of the name of the president?

But the election does have significance. It isn't the battle of potential-good vs. definite-evil that the West portrays it as. Iranians are not protesting over Ahmadinejad's rants about Israel. The election is about something different. There's a Farsi expression, which I will now translate: It's the economy, fucktard. There's also a cultural debate, but it isn't McDonald's vs. burkhas. It's more subtle than that.

But that isn't why this election's outcome is so essential. There is one spot open for Season 6 of the Evil Leaders League. If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can retain his title, he'll return to the ELL after missing last season. If Mir-Hossein Mousavi triumphs, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will take the last spot. The Iranians in the street are willing to risk life and limb because they think there should be more European representation in the Evil Leaders League. As Mousavi’s external spokesperson (and famous film director) Mohsen Makhmalbaf said, "Oh, you have to be brown to be evil. C’mon ELL, step up." Chants of "Evil has no color" could be heard in the streets of Tehran early Tuesday morning.

The head of the Evil Leaders League could not be reached for comment.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Game 5 - No More Monkeys

For the first time in his NBA career, Kobe Bryant has led a team to the championship. It was his fourth title overall. The Los Angeles Lakers captured the franchise's 15th trophy and Phil Jackson won a record tenth title as a Head Coach.

The Orando Magic got off to a quick start. But their lead was cut to two by the end of the first quarter. A large second quarter run by L.A. effectively ended the competitive phase of Game 5 of the 2009 NBA Finals. Each Magic starter scored in double figures. Each took around as many field goals as points scored- never a good sign.

But the story of the night and the season was the play of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant had 30 points and won his first Finals MVP. Lamar Odom scored 17 and boarded 10 shots. Pau Gasol put in 14 and grabbed 15 misses while blocking 4 attempts. Trevor Ariza and Derek Fisher, who won his fourth title, are the glue that holds the Lakers' stars together. Both continued to play effectively. Two key reserves from last season, Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic, saw limited action throughout the Finals, an indication of the Lakers improved depth this season.

Kobe Bryant was the best player in the NBA last season. He was even better in this one. His determination was evident, displayed on his continuously curled lips and cringed face. And while many may downplay the impact of this championship on his legacy, I believe it cannot be understated. This validates him as an all time great and I don't come by those words easily.

Final thought: The NBA is in transition at the moment. The star players who entered the league in the mid 1990s are slowly aging and they are gradually passing from the stage. Bryant, Duncan, Garnett, Kidd, Iverson, Nowitzki, Nash, and Shaq are reaching and, perhaps for a few them, passing their prime. That leaves the door open for a new generation, one that has been entering the league since 2003 and is younger than their NBA experience indicates. Whether that leaves a vacuum of greatness or an era of young true champions, we'll just have to wait and watch.

2009 NBA Finals
MVP - LAL Kobe Bryant
Unsung Hero Award - LAL Derek Fisher
Gutcheck Award - LAL Kobe Bryant

2008-2009 All NBA H-duk Team
C Dwight Howard Orl (2nd)
F Dirk Nowitzki Dal (3rd)
F LeBron James Cle (4th) * MVP
G Kobe Bryant LAL (4th)
G Chauncey Billups Den (1st)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kasten is Perplexed

The Nats are contemplating firing manager Manny Acta for not turning a steaming pile of dung into anything more. He's a baseball manager, not a magician. The Nats president Stan Kasten said, "I can't tell you how perplexed I am by this season and this team and the things that are going on." Perplexed? The players wearing Nationals uniforms (no "Natinals" crack here) are not good. It makes you wonder if Stan Kasten is the type of guy who stands there flicking a light switch on and off, mouth agape in awe. "Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Wow!"

Perplexed? Really, Stan Kasten? The Nats have much improved bats. But no one on the team knows how to catch a baseball coming their way. Throwing the ball is also a challenge. Apparently no one in the front office realized that defense was an important part of baseball. Perplexed? And then there's the pitching. Four rookie starters and that's the good news! Perplexed?

That Obama is filling Afghanistan with more U.S. soldiers even though no foreign power has occupied that area for thousands of years; that is perplexing. That we continue to keep troops in Iraq even though there is no long term plan; that is perplexing. All these teachers fucking their students; that's perplexing. That a judge could score the Cotto-Clottey fight 116-111 for Cotto; that is perplexing. That my brother received all the good genes and I am an accumulation of my parents' faults; that is perplexing (and a little sad). That a person could hate a group of people so much that he opens fire in a memorial to commemorate their fallen; that is perplexing. There is nothing perplexing about the Nats’ record.

The general manager, Jim Bowden, was correctly fired. That is an admission that he did not put together a good team. So how can it be perplexing when that shitty group of players fails to win? It isn't. Give Manny a chance. If he has pitchers and players who can catch and throw next season and still struggles, then we'll talk.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Open Letter to Shepard Smith

Dear Shepard Smith,

If you are not with us, then you're against us. You said my email was scary. What is scary is the direction Barack Hussein Obama is taking this country! He is not even eligible to be this great nation's president because he wasn't born here. If he was, where is his birth certificate? What a surprise, it's missing!

Hussein Obama is a socialist, plain and simple. Unlike most people, I'll give you proof. He nationalized the banks. He wants to steal our money and control every aspect of our lives. Craig T. Nelson is right, we don't need help from the government. But you know the biggest reason why Hussein is a socialist? He has a five-year plan to build up the nation's heavy industry because "we are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us."

Obama is bringing America ever-closer to fascism. Watch to Obama's speech on Islam. He is in bed with Islamic fascist extremist fundamentalists. He hates Israel. We are all going to be forced to submit to our Taliban overlords if we don't do something about it. Women will all have to wear burkhas and men will have to don beards. It's all your fault Shepard Smith. Save us, Jesus!

The American People

Friday, June 12, 2009

Game 4 - Fishing for Threes

The Lakers' three best men- Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum- found foul trouble in the first quarter. That forced little-used players, Josh Powell and D.J. Mbenga, to spend minutes inside the lines, enabling the Magic to jump out to a substantial lead. By halftime, the Magic led by 12.

The lead would have been bigger but for the number of Orlando turnovers. By the end, the Magic committed 10 more than did the Lakers. That sloppy play allowed Los Angeles to come back into the contest. L.A. won the third quarter 30-14, thanks largely to Trevor Ariza, who finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

The Magic, who retook the lead as the fourth quarter, saw it whittle down late. Hedo Turkoglu, who ended with 25, scored 5 consecutive points seemingly sealing the result. But the Lakers didn't give up. After one forced shot, Kobe Bryant adjusted, finding his teammates.

Up 3, Dwight Howard stepped to the charity stripe. He missed both. Throwing the ball up the floor, Derek Fisher received it. Jameer Nelson sagged off the veteran champion. Fisher rose up and stroked a left-handed trey to tie the game. On the other end of the floor, Mickael Pietrus tossed up a wild three that failed to go in. Pietrus had 15 points and played good defense on Bryant, but rushed an illadvised shot, sending the game into overtime.

In the extra session, the two teams were tied at 91. The Magic would not score again. Derek Fisher, who ended with 12, hit a huge three. Bryant faced a double team and when he turned, Nelson caught an elbow to the jaw. From there Kobe- who had 32 points 8 assists, and 7 rebounds- found an open Fisher. After a hurried Turkoglu three with plenty of time left, Rashard Lewis, who really struggled, knocked the ball out attempting to get another possession out of the deflection. Instead, Pau Gasol (16 pts 10 rebs) had an easy dunk on the other end.

For the Magic, Turkoglu, Pietrus, and Dwight Howard played especially well. Howard still struggled offensively with 16 points on 12 field goal attempts and 14 from the line, but he had 21 rebounds and 9 blocks. However, 7 of the team's 17 turnovers belonged to him. Alston scored 11 points, but shot poorly and didn't play when it counted. Orlando needs another player or two to step up to win. The Lakers are now one win away from another championship.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Game 3 - The First One's Always the Hardest

In the franchise's seventh attempt at caressing an NBA Finals victory, the Orlando Magic finally finished on top. It wasn't easy though. Kobe Bryant got off in the first quarter. After initially deferring to teammates, he left the net drenched, scoring 17 of his 31 in the opening period. The Lakers led most of the first half, despite the Magic shooting an unthinkable percentage, over 75%. In the waning moments of the half, Orlando snuck past L.A. to take a slim 5 point lead.

The Magic utilized a balanced scoring attack. Dwight Howard had 21 (5-6 from the field, 11-16 from the line). Rashard Lewis had another outstanding performance with 21 (8-14 from the field). Hedo Turkoglu scored 18 (7-11 on FGs) and Rafer Alston finally woke up, adding 20 points on 8-12 shooting. Along with Alston, another key role player to step up at home was Mickael Pietrus, who scored 18 off the bench, going 7-11 from the field and playing solid second half defense on Bryant.

Bryant wasn't himself in the closing moments of the contest. Overall, he shot 5-10 from the line, including key fourth quarter misses. Instead of trusting his teammates, as he's learn to do, he forced the issue. Pau Gasol had 23 points, Trevor Ariza threw in 13, Jordan Farmar added 11, and Derek Fisher tallied 9. But all were silent late with time running out. With under a minute to go, Kobe entered into his drive with a crossover. Howard stuck his hand in and knocked the ball loose. Pietrus then ripped the prize away from Gasol and sunk two free throws to essentially win the game. Howard's deflection was astounding, but Kobe was also uncharacteristically pressing.

While the play of Alston and Pietrus put Orlando over the top, Lamar Odom struggled for the Lakers, who are tough to beat when he plays well. The Magic are not back in the series yet, but they're not going away either.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Spencer and Heidi Meet Nelson Mandela

Reality stars Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag were recently afforded a meeting with the legendary freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Let's listen in to that conversation, already in progress:

Heidi: School gets in the way of everything. I’m like ready to finish already.
Nelson: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Heidi: I like to read a couple books at once. I was reading the Princess Diana book. I’m reading a book about Chicago and the mob. Right now I’m also reading the Bible, beginning to end. I’m very religious. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.
Nelson: Religion is one of the most important forces in the world. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew, or a Hindu, religion is a great force, and it can help one have command of one's own morality, one's own behavior, and one's own attitude.
Heidi: I have been the most religious person since I was 2 years old. I always felt this crazy connection to God.
Nelson: Extremists on all sides thrive, fed by the blood lust of centuries gone by.
Heidi: Jesus was persecuted, and I’m going to get persecuted, ya know?
Nelson: There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
Spencer: It’s my favorite show. I love it. The Hills season 10 is what I’m going for. My hustle is just too crazy. I'm trying to take over the world!
Nelson: The ego lies in the fact that I share it with men and women, some of whom are more capable than me. That is my ego.
Heidi: I used to be so strong, I used to be able to do whatever I want, and then I feel like I've been broken down little by little.
Nelson: One of the most difficult things is not to change society - but to change yourself.
Spencer: I'm trying to live a more positive, holy life, but it takes work. It's hard not sinning, you know?
Nelson: I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying. That was one of the things that worried me - to be raised to the position of a semi-god - because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but nevertheless, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations.
Spencer: Word. I want my face on a lunchbox, too!

Nelson: For all people who have found themselves in the position of being in jail and trying to transform society, forgiveness is natural because you have no time to be retaliative.
Spencer: If you are hanging out with my enemy that makes you my enemy. Do you not see how that works?
Nelson: If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
Spencer: You're a lot like LC over here.
Heidi: Spencer!

Nelson: There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Heidi: I plan to win an Oscar. I’m very ambitious.
Spencer: I'm trying to be a billionaire before 30. I definitely want to go into politics later in my life. I plan to be governor, at least, and president if possible.
Nelson: In my country we go to prison first and then become President. It always seems impossible until it's done.

Nelson: We charge you with the responsibility to lead our peoples and Continent into the new world of the next century.

After meeting the legendary Nelson Mandela:
Spencer: Just so you know, when I met him, I was like, this is who I would've voted for the president of the United States.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Catching a Cold

Chazz sneezed. "Bless you," replied a gorgeous woman. "Thanks," Chazz slyly smiled. The gorgeous woman, Sky, twirled her artificially curly hair. Chazz's polished teeth stared at Sky, but his eyes wandered, searching for greener fields. Sky danced in an effort to keep the attention of Chazz's smile, ignoring his pupils. Sky's shifting body and Chazz's contorted lips engaged in an anticipatory tango. They knowingly sensed the coming gift of sweat they would soon exchange.

At the same moment, Joe entered into a coughing panic. "Shut the fuck up already," muttered a cute woman. Joe shot an agitated glare filled with helplessness. The cute woman, Sandra, threw her recently straightened hair in disgust. Joe's lungs were unrelenting. He exaggerated his wheezing in protest of the woman's actions as if acting in a college play. Sandra turned from the situation as her eyes rolled like marbles. Joe's mouth stayed open, his throat continued to gyrate, but his eyes were wounded. Sandra danced away from the situation, her hips swerving with a sense of ownership.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Game 2 - Almost

88-88. Everyone knows the ball is going to Kobe Bryant. He's going to either shoot or make a play that will give the Lakers a 2-0 series lead. He drives to the left. J.J. Redick runs off his man in circles. Kobe blows by Hedo Turkoglu. Dwight Howard steps up. Howard, one of the best shot-blockers in the NBA, is the only thing in the way Kobe's glory. The shot goes up and takes an awkward trajectory, flying straight up. Turkoglu has come from behind and saved the game. In the process, he catches the ball and calls timeout.

Turkoglu now has the ball on the sideline. Everyone anticipates either a Rashard Lewis three or a lob to Dwight Howard. Instead a pick is set for rookie Courtney Lee. The Lakers defense is confused. Turkoglu throws an on-point floater to the cutting Lee, who catches the ball while jumping in the air, and tosses it to the hoop over the rotating Pau Gasol. It touches the backboard and callously rolls off the rim. 88-88.

The Lakers took a rather uneventful overtime to keep the home court advantage. The first quarter set the Finals record for fewest points combined. Rashard Lewis scored 18 of his 20 first half points in the second quarter. He had more than half of the Magic's first half points in the second quarter alone! Lewis finished with 34. The Lakers held a slight 5-point halftime lead.

The third quarter witnessed spurts by Turkoglu, who ended with 22, and Bryant, who had 29. Bryant scored only 6 points in the first half realizing he needed to be a facilitator. There is no better player at realizing what his team needs from him at any given moment. He finished with 8 assists for the second straight game.

Lamar Odom stepped up in the 4th. He wound up with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Gasol (24 pts 10 rebs) and Howard (17 pts 16 rebs 4 blks) also put up notable numbers. While Howard's statistics are impressive and he clearly played better in this game, he does not usually leave his imprint on a game. At one point in the second quarter, Orlando was scrambling back in transition defense. 4 Magic players stuck to their man. Howard patrolled the middle, as lonely as a hermit, while Trevor Ariza nailed an open three-pointer. For all Howard's talent, the Magic will need to rely on Turkoglu, Lewis, and another teammate to leave those prints if they hope to get back in the series.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Why Stay in Iraq?

Some have argued that if U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq, violent chaos will ensue. The reasons for this belief are valid. This leads some to then contend that the United States must keep troops in Iraq for possibly several decades.

However, it is not clear how the situation in Iraq will be different in 10, 20, or 50 years. The U.S. has maintained a short-term strategy, which desperately attempts to curtail sectarian and anti-American violence and fight al Qaeda. But sustained stability will not come with the present strategy. As a result, unless something drastically changes, violent chaos will follow America's withdrawal no matter when that happens to be.

Even the most optimistic American general does not believe a political breakthrough is imminent. The government is largely filled with Shia nationalists. The Iraqi National Police force sometimes poses as a death squad. The military is majority Shia. The insurgency is typically Sunni. As of now, Iraqis identify with their sect and tribe above their nationality. The U.S. has funded and empowered both sides. Perhaps the major group which has benefited the most from the U.S. occupation in Iraq is the Kurds.

Some are concerned that if the U.S. leaves Iraq, Iran might exert its influence in Iraq. It has already happened. Whenever the U.S. withdraws, Iranian influence in Iraq will rise, whether that's now or in 50 years. The key is to engage the Iranians diplomatically. Only a Sunni or Kurdish dictator will curtail Iran's impact in Iraq and that could result in another war between the two neighbors.

A struggle for power in Iraq will occur as soon as the Americans leave, unless a new political strategy immerges. It will result in even more devastation for the Iraqi people. The war up until now and the war to come must be blamed on the U.S. invasion. That the U.S. will be able to ever find a political or military settlement in Iraq is highly dubious, not least because the U.S. was the invading and occupying force that caused the current predicament.

The question becomes: Why stay in Iraq for another day, let alone 50 years if a withdrawal will cause the same result regardless of when it takes place? Why lose American lives and resources if nothing will fundamentally change? The answer is not: In the hopes that the U.S. might steer Iraq into the least bad political settlement, because the first six years of the war have shown the U.S. is not even capable of that. (International Edition)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Game 1 - All Kobe

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is seeking his fourth NBA championship and his first as the team's focal point. In Game One of the 2009 NBA Finals, Bryant scored more points than minutes played. Pouring in 40, he also added 8 assists and 8 rebounds. More than his impressive statistics, his real contribution was his all-encompassing impact on the game. He scored 18 points and passed for 6 assists in the first half, which led the Lakers to a 10-point lead. In the third quarter, Kobe focused more on scoring himself, matching his first half output in that quarter. As a result, the Lakers broke the game open in the third, outscoring the Orlando Magic by 14 to take a 24-point lead.

Orlando is a jump-shooting team and the shots weren't falling in Game One. The team shot under 30% from the field. Dwight Howard was corralled in the paint. As is customary with the Magic, when they struggle, the bottom falls out. By the fourth quarter, the Magic could hardly even complete a pass. But the good news for the Magic is the reverse is true. When they're rolling, there's no stopping them. Their one bright spot on the evening was the return of their all star point guard, Jameer Nelson, who had missed the last 4 months with a shoulder injury. He played well in a reserve role. But the Magic will need their big guns to perform if they want to get back into the series.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Petraeus' First Meeting with Congress

In his book The Gamble, Thomas Ricks portrays David Petraeus' first meeting with Congress as a huge success for the general, because, Ricks argues, Petraeus played it exactly right. I saw things a little differently.

Basically, Petraeus' masterful argument was that the surge was working. It hadn't achieved its true purpose of enabling political progress and probably never would. But the surge was somehow working. He had no idea how long the surge would take. But he asked to keep the troops in Iraq indefinitely. He couldn't answer as to the goal of the surge, only that it was working and he needed to keep the troops in Iraq.

So keeping troops in Iraq for an indeterminate amount of time and no particular reason was Petraeus' argument for continuing the surge, despite the fact that it didn't achieve it's intended goal. Wow!

Imagine using that line of reasoning with a woman. "I have to go. I don't know for how long. I don't know why. But I have to go. And if you think that should affect our relationship, you clearly don't understand the nature of our relationship."

Or imagine using that argument at work. "The project is a success. I don't know how long it will take to finish and I have no real goal, but it's a success. Let me keep working on it."

The surge "worked" in a very narrow sense. The number of deaths went from an unspeakable amount down to an intolerable amount. That's not a bad thing. But proponents of the surge tend to be dishonest on even this point. They'll tell you, yes, violence in all forms went down if you take the period just preceding the surge to when the surge was at its height. But they won't tell you that the violence in Iraq simply reverted back to before that 2006 spike, to a point when the violence was still unacceptable (Ricks does). You see, everything's relative.

The worst part of Ricks' argument comes in the form of sappy manipulative drivel involving a story about how physically painful the proceedings were for Petraeus because of a recreational skydiving accident. Oh, go cry me a river. If it was a military injury that's one thing, but it was an injury that was Petraeus' own fault for jumping out of plane. Why stick that into the argument but to attempt to create sympathy for poor Petraeus while demonizing anti-war Democrats at the same time? Come on Thomas Ricks, you're better than that.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Nats and the Iraq War

An unmitigated disaster. Poorly planned from top to bottom. A loser.

Yes, that describes both the 2009 Nats and the Iraq war. But you could have guessed that based on the title of this post. I must say, I'd rather have Manny Acta as my manager than George Bush as my president.

The Nats, at least, can hit the ball. This is a new development. Washington actual has a major league offense! Pitching coach Randy St. Claire was recently released of his duties (which is the new "fired"). St. Claire had turned awful pitching staffs into mediocre ones throughout his tenure. But the organization never stuck with the young pitchers they brought up once the hurlers ran into any sort of trouble. This season, the Nats pitching staff, particularly the bullpen, has been more sickening than a George Bush smirk and a Dick Cheney snarl put together.

One way war is better than baseball is when things are going terribly in war, you can (theoretically) withdraw. In baseball, you have to stick it out to the end. Unfortunately, America's foreign policy makers apparently tend to be avid fans of bad baseball teams.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sotomayor is a Racist

Conservatives have argued that nominated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a racist because she will favor Latinos over white men in future court decisions. I hate to say this, but they're right.

For the moment, let's ignore the impeccable logic suggesting that since Judge Sotomayor is Latina, she would be unable to fairly determine cases involving Latinos because she would obviously privilege them in her decisions. The fact is that this kind of racial and religious privilege has been a characteristic of the court for years.

In the case of Streisand V. To Suck Dick, the two Jewish justices, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, sided with Barbra Streisand, while the gentiles chose To Suck Dick.

It gets worse. Clarence Thomas, the inherited leader of the civil rights movement, has always sided with black interests in the stead of white ones. He is in favor of affirmative action, reparations, and even enslaving white people (as retribution for 400 years of slavery). It's a good thing conservatives brought up these valid points when Thomas was nominated.

And let us not forget the 200 plus years of Supreme Court Justices who happen to be white men ruling in the interest of white men who happened to be white men. That's why conservatives are correct in arguing that future Justice Sotomayor, and for that matter all minority hopefuls, should be disqualified from sitting on the Supreme Court.

Monday, June 01, 2009


One of my favorite games to play is Yarmulke\Baldspot. It's a very easy and fun game. Here's how:

Look at a man from far away. Then try to guess if he's wearing a yarmulke or has a baldspot.

At first, I usually get very excited, "Yarmulke! Yarmulke!" But after looking a little closer, it's almost always a baldspot.