Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Threat

I have decided to release an important intelligence report to my faithful citizens. This comes in the spirit of openness that my administration has always strived to undertake. Of course, some parts of the report must be omitted for security's sake. My citizens, we must be vigilant. The world is dangerous. Put your trust in me.

The Report
On Friday September 10, a meeting was held at the [.......................................................... ]. The major figures who attended were [.......................................] and [..........................]. Their main purpose was to [.......................................................................................] for the destruction the government and thereby, the nation. This is [...] a very real threat that citizens should take seriously. [............................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................. ........................................................................................................................]. We urge the president to take action [.................................................................. ...............................].

Today's decrees
Those who threaten the national security of our nation will be severely punished.

Any and all people who attempt to subvert the benevolent government will face consequences and repercussions.

The persons named in the report will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Being a Nats Fan

As a Nats fan, I'm not upset at the franchise's failure to produce a winning season in its six year history. I'm not yet disgusted with all of the last place finishes (five) or the two straight years with baseball's worst record.

My optimism that has driven me in past seasons has waned. Hot prospects will inevitably fade, unless their name is Ryan Zimmerman. The team's best players will get injured. It's going to be a slow process to the top. I'm ok with that for now.

I view the team like as if it's a little kid. There will be a lot of glue-eating and nose-picking in the short term. I can accept that. It doesn't necessarily mean that the franchise won't eventually become the next Einstein. It obviously doesn't guarantee it will either.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Bills are 0-3

It's probably not a good sign when your team scores 30 points (nearly twice as much as they've scored for the entire season up until this point), loses by 8, and falls to 0-3, yet you feel pretty good about their last performance. I mean 30 points in New England, that's almost like a win. It's just too bad the Bills gave up 38. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the short term solution, but maybe his "spark" was wasted on a game that the Bills defense lost. Whatever the case, I reiterate my earlier statement.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jesus Fries

In America, Jesus is not like french fries. If you order a meal, you're then asked if you want fries with that, but if someone asks if you want a blessing, it will always come with a side of Jesus.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Recession is Over!

According to non-partisan (I refuse to use the term "objective") economists, the recession has been over since June 2009. In one sense, it's great news. In another sense, it begs the question, if the recession is over, why have I been eating Ramen noodles for the past year and a quarter?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where is Doug Fischer?

Respected writer for the Ring Magazine, Doug Fischer, scored last Saturday's Mosley-Mora contest 9 rounds to 3 in favor of Sergio Mora. As Fischer wrote, "[M]ost observers believed Mosley won the fight by varying scores." Personally, I agreed with Fischer's broadcast partner Dave von Tempo's scorecard of 7-5 in favor of Mora. I was fine with the ultimate result, a split draw.

People make mistakes and perhaps Fischer was too enthralled with Mora's defensive ability, which made Mosley look ordinary offensively. But just because Mosley looked ordinary, of course, doesn't mean he didn't still win rounds. Fischer may have subconsciously been upset that Mosley recently lost badly to his least favorite boxer, Floyd Mayweather.

But Fischer hasn't answered to his askew scorecard, which, honestly, has been a little disappointing. He has only put his name on one article for the Ring this week, a marked decrease from the norm. That article was a Ring ratings update posted today, hardly the arena to reference his out-of-whack scorecard. His weekly Monday Mailbag would have been that right place, but that was conspicuously absent this week.

Whether Fischer went back to the tape and saw that he was wrong or still holds that Mora won handily, I'm interested in what happened. I'm sure he received many a crude email from an uneducated hyper-emotional boxing fan, which may have soured his willingness to answer to the critics. But I'm genuinely curious about his thoughts on his scorecard when everyone else saw the fight differently.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Unnecessary Pound-for-Pound Best

Here is an updated version of my obnoxiously unnecessary list of the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers. The previous list was posted on July 3.

1) Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs), [Previous Rank: 1]
2) Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs), [PR: 2]
3) Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs), [PR: 3]
4) Paul Williams (39-1, 27 KOs), [PR: 4]
5) Vitali Klitschko (40-2, 38 KOs), [PR: 6]
6) Sergio Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs), [PR: 7]
7) Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs), [PR: 9]
8) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (76-3-1, 40 KOs), [PR: 10]
9) Fernando Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs) [PR: NR]
10) Timothy Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) [PR: NR]

Exiting the list:
Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs), [Previous Rank: 5]
Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), [Previous Rank: 8]

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leave Omri Alone

Omri Casspi, a forward for the Sacramento Kings, as seen his likeness defaced twice within the last week. Anti-Semites painted swastikas over Casspi on a Kings poster for the second time in the past week. Casspi, who is Jewish, is the first ever Israeli to play in the NBA.

There are still a large number of bigots in the U.S. who hate Jews. It's an issue that can't be ignored and must be dealt with. I mean, who hates Omri Casspi? He's a good outside shooter, not good enough for opposing fans to take notice of him, but too good for Kings fans to resent his presence.

This isn't an issue about Israel. It's about Jews being afforded the opportunity to live in the U.S. in peace, without being victimized by hate. We need to take a stand against all kinds of bigotry, whether against, Jews Muslims, blacks, Latinos, gays or any other group facing hatred.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Long Season

This is going to be a long season for the Buffalo Bills. It already has been. At least they don't play 18 games.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More on the Dude You Have No Qur'an Guy

If you don't know about the Dude you have no Qur'an guy, check out my post from yesterday in order to proceed. Today, I want to focus on the laugh the Dude you have no Qur'an guy makes immediately after saying, "Dude, you have no Qur'an."

It is a laugh the drips of bittersweetness. There is a melancholic quality to his chuckle. It is also a tad sheepish. Yet, it smacked of self-actualization.

He was clearly very proud of himself and knew he was a hero. But you can see his mind working in his eyes. The day's events had created a moment of self-reflection for him, expressed in his laughter. He saw himself and realized that, though a hero, he was also a ridiculous caricature of his ideals. He understood he needed to make some changes in his life. How much longer can he show up to protests and yank Qur'ans out of people's hands?

In the midst of that laughter, the Dude you have no Qur'an guy immediately decided to go look for his shirt and apply to law school. It was his swansong in the field of heroic tomfoolery.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dude, You Have No Qur'an

If you haven't seen the "Dude, you have no Qur'an" guy, check it out here. Check out the very pleasurable song remix here.

Have you seen it? Good. You may proceed.

First of all, this guy is a hero. Second of all, the Dude you have no Qur'an guy looks like if John Denver was a gay porn star. What's with the disgusting rat tail? And why isn't he wearing a shirt? And why did he steal my Aunt Mildred's glasses? And why doesn't Amarillo have a dentist?

He's kind of ignorant, badly mispronouncing the word Qur'an, rhyming it with saran instead of the more correct naan. And basically, all he did was walk up, yank a book out of someone's hand, and run away. He's a thief and a coward. And that makes him a hero?

He is a hero! But he's also ridiculous.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jon Stewart's Rally

Anybody else notice that the picture on Jon Stewart's new rally to restore sanity poster is from like 10 years ago? Somebody's going through a midlife confidence crisis.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Real Reality Show

Often reading about political history is far more interesting than any reality show. The personality clashes, the pettiness, the diplomatic strategy, are fascinating, especially when the stakes are so high. For example, the period leading up to cabinet crisis in Malawi in 1964 is like the Jersey Shore with the fate of a country at stake.

You have Hastings Banda, a doctor who had become thoroughly "European" in outlook and manner during his 40 years outside of Malawi (then Nyasaland). Banda was portrayed as a savior when he arrived in Nyasaland in 1958. Chiume and Chipembere created Banda's messiah persona. Chipembere, an anti-European hothead who was very popular among the people, would spend over a year in prison with Banda. Chiume avoided prison during the 1959 emergency, but soon became very close to Banda.

There was Dunduzu Chisiza, a young star who was being groomed to take over the finance ministry, if not more. And his brother, Yatuta, who was Banda's personal bodyguard for several years. Dunduzu was in prison with Banda and Chipembere, and the three planned Malawi's future from their cell. After their release, Banda became jealous of Dunduzu and believed the young man was being set up to succeed him. Meanwhile, Dunduzu and Chipembere were jealous of Chiume, who had Banda's confidence in the early 1960s, despite not serving jail time. Yatuta was jealous of all of them because he was kept in menial roles.

In 1962, Dunduzu died in a mysterious car accident. Most respected scholars seem to think it was an unfortunate accident where Dunduzu fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the road. But the truth will never be known. Dunduzu was in a position of power and was replaced by Banda stalwarts John Tembo and Aleke Banda, who would later benefit from Hastings Banda's nepotism. By the time of the country's independence, these men had become ministers in Prime Minister Banda's cabinet.

Meanwhile, Banda managed to foster divisions within his cabinet, utilizing the divide and rule method to consolidate his power. Chiume was put in his place for overstepping his bounds. Banda began to run his cabinet's ministries behind their backs. He privileged white civil servants over his ministers. At this point, in August of 1964, his ministers began to unite against their treatment and Banda's foreign policy, which maintained close alliances with white-ruled countries in Africa.

Banda sort of threatened to resign, but this put the ministers in an awkward situation. Chiume couldn't replace Banda because he was very unpopular. Chipembere was popular, but was out of the country on official business. the others were not qualified. Instead, the ministers asked only that Banda revise his policies.

Banda took the opportunity to engage in some nookie with Snooki and forced his ministers to play ookie cookie. His ministers resigned and Banda ruled Malawi in an autocratic fashion for the next 30 years. (The HQT-IE)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An American Story

This is a story that is quintessentially American. A guy complains to authorities that people are driving too fast in front of his house. He effectively advocates for a speed hump (which is also the name of my favorite sex move [uh-uh-done-sorry]).

Another guy, David Patton (not the former NFL wide receiver), takes umbrage with the speed hump and assaults him. A couple of months later, with the pending assault case approaching, Patton comes back, breaks in, and (allegedly) murders the speed hump advocate in his house.

This story has everything that is American: narcissistic advocacy, incredibly irrational murderous rage, guns, sex(?), and zip ties... And that is why I stand during the National Anthem.

Monday, September 13, 2010

USA Basketball World Champions

The USA team that went to the 2010 FIBA World Championships had no returning members from the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning squad. But some players were quite impressive.

Kevin Durant was the story. He shouldered the team's scoring load. We knew that, if left to score while others handled the other aspects of the game, Durant can produce. He is still far from a complete player, but he showed that he could put on a points-producing show for a winning team, which is something new.

Lamar Odom was superb in a supporting role. He shouldn't be the first or second option on a team, but he is at his best when he's allowed to be unheralded. He's a supremely skilled garbage man, not a superstar. He was so good in this tournament.

Chauncey Billups's leadership was invaluable. You could see the younger players always looking over to him when they weren't sure of something, including (and especially) Durant. He still takes some ill-advised shots and is starting to struggle to stay in front of quicker guards, but he's stronger than most guards and always comes up with a big play.

I was thoroughly impressed with Kevin Love and Eric Gordon. Love did so many little things right. Playing for Minnesota and relegated to the bench during last season, it's hard to appreciate what an unsung player he can be. Gordon was a shot maker, which I didn't know. But he didn't over-shoot (like Stephan Curry).

Rudy Gay's poise, particularly when a call went against him, was surprising. Russell Westbrook is extremely athletic, but is a long way from figuring things out. He's not good at running an offense and gambles too much on defense.

All in all, it was a pleasure to watch this team through the tournament.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lonely Vigil

I decided to switch things up yesterday. I held a Mohammed Atta Rememberance Vigil. I was so disappointed that no one showed. Listen, we're all G-d's children.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, OK

There's been a lot of discussion about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy of the American military recently. I think it's a great policy. Every organization should institute the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

It's a great policy not because it is discriminatory against gays (which is hateful and disgusting) but as a way to avoid small talk.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mosque/Gap Offensive

It is disrespectful that white people are allowed to roam around the Oklahoma City Federal Building after a terrorist, who was a white man, blew it up 15 years ago. There should be no (white) churches nearby, no Waffle Houses, no Gaps, no Cracker Barrels, no places in which white people frequent so close to such an awful tragedy that was their responsibility.

The Federal Building was blown up because this man, Tim McVeigh, had a corrupt and radical view of what it means to be white. Then we are going to allow other white people to pray near where this horror took place? It just seems offensive.

For the above reasons, I also believe that putting a mosque four blocks away from the former sight of the Twin Towers is offensive. Some may argue that white people were also victimized in the Oklahoma City bombing, so it's wrong to deprive them of the right to pray near the building. Well, Muslims were also victimized in the attacks of September 11, but you don't hear anyone making that point.

Some may argue that the white people now near the Oklahoma City Bombing sight had nothing to do with Tim McVeigh. They don't espouse McVeigh's neo-nazi outlook, so why should they be punished? But the same could be said for Muslims near the where the World Trade Center stood with regards to al Qaeda, so it's not a valid point.

As you can see, I totally respect the victims of both tragedies. To honor them, I say no mosque near the World Trade Center and no white people near the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

NFL 2010 Predictions

East - Dal, Was, NYG, Phi
North - GB, Min, Chi, Det
South - NO, Atl, Car, TB
West - SF, Ari, Sea, Stl

Wildcard round - Min vs Dal, Was vs SF
Divisional round - Min vs GB, Was vs NO
NFC Championship - NO vs GB

East - NYJ, NE, BUF, Mia
North - Bal, Pit, Cin, Cle
South - Ind, Hou, Ten, Jax
West - SD, Den, KC, Oak

Wildcard round - NE vs Bal, Pit vs NYJ
Divisional round - Pit vs Ind, NE vs SD
AFC Championship - NE vs Ind

Super Bowl XLV - Ind 27-17 GB

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Qu'ran Burning

I fully support the upcoming Qur'an burning to be held in Florida on September 11 by Christian fundamentalists. But not because I am in favor of defiling the holy books of others. I find that bigotry reprehensible. I just happen to be a pyromaniac.

I've been going to therapy for my pyromania for years, but there's something about a good ole fashion hateful book burning that sparks my urge to start fires again (pun intended!). So, if you're a disgusting bigot and heading down to the Qur'an burning this Saturday, look for me. I'll be the one with the upside-down fu manchu and matches.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Jewish Children's Book Series #6

Mamala, Why Does the Teacher Whisper when She Says "Jew"?
A HarazQuack Publication

"Because, Shlomo," said Mamala, "She probably thinks being Jewish is a disease."
"But it's not a disease Mamala!"
"You know that and I know that, but there a lot of people who don't know any better. They think being Jewish is something to be ashamed of."
"Why do they think that, Mamala?"
"Because they are so insecure that there is no room for others in their world. Tell me Shlomo, is your teacher a Christian fanatic?"
"Yes, I think she is."
"Well, either her Christian fanaticism is influencing her thoughts on Jews or she's not getting any cannoli at home."
"Mamala, what's cannoli."
"Never mind, Shlomo. Go to sleep, my precious child."

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Heavyweight Picture

We can muster something out of this heavyweight mess yet. I was reading about how low the heavyweight division had fallen 15 years ago. Oh, if they could see things now, they would appreciate what they had.

Alexander Povetkin, David Haye, and Tomasz Adamek are probably the three most skillful big men without the surname of Klitschko right now. I would love to see them fight in some kind of round robin fashion. In boxing, you only get better by facing tough competition. Each of these guys needs more seasoning before being able to challenge a Klitschko.

At some point, Wlad should join the round robin contest. The four of these guys should fight each other until other talented opponents can enter the picture. Let Vitali beat up on the Chris Arreolas of the world until he retires.

Initially, the losers would fear that they've blown their chance at facing Wladimir Klitschko, but, as we've learned from the Super Six, one loss isn't the end and, often, can make the loser better. If the best keep fighting the best, they'll continue to get better. Fans will be turned on. Each fighter will make more money. Enough of this one shot and done garbage. We can salvage this yet.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Memories of 7/11

Last July 11- like every July 11- was Free Slurpee Day. I was amped. I went to one of my local 7-11s and they didn't offer the free Slurpee cups. So I walked out. I went to the other 7-11, a 30 second drive away from the first.

I saw the holy free Slurpee cup stand and went to town. I took three cups, filled them up, drank some of the Slurpee from each, and filled them up again. As I was walked out, the clerk, a pleasant African man who I was on friendly terms with, stops me. "You can't take three!" I told him that I come every day and buy a Slurpee, which should entitle me to three. He seemed to accept that point (amazingly; it's admittedly a pretty poor point), but argued back that if I took three, everyone would want to take three.

At this point I fired back, "So do you want me to throw these out? What's the difference now?" He gave me a sheepish smile coupled with an epic eye roll; I thanked him and walked out, cups in hand.

I knew I'd have to abide by a self-imposed exile from that 7-11 for a while until the heat simmered down. I decided that yesterday, September 4, was enough time that, even if the clerk were present, he would've forgotten all about it. I walked in and sure enough I spotted the clerk. He saw me and a knowing smile swept across his face. He walked over to me and offered an over-dramatic, "Hello."

I greeted him back and walked to the Slurpee machine with my tail between my legs. I couldn't believe he remembered me. The only thing I can think of is that I possess an extremely memorable kind of handsomeness.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Yesterday's Mistakes

Last night, I probably should have shaved before downing a bunch of NyQuil. But the worse mistake I made last night was eating chili in a can with a bunch of funky smelling cheddar cheese mixed in and then downing an Activia yogurt immediately after. My stomach was making noises all night and I swear I heard it say in English, "Hey! What the fuck?!"

On the positive side, it's given me the opportunity to perfect my impression of Andrew Dice Clay On The Toilet, which basically involves a lot of OH!s and fist pumps.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Dibble's Out

Rob Dibble was recently fired as Nats broadcaster. He was fired because he said that Stephen Strasburg was being wimpy and should continue to pitch (Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery today).

It was a stupid thing to say and Dibble was wrong, but he shouldn't have been fired for that. He should have been fired for being a rather poor baseball analyst. First of all, he thinks every pitcher should have the mentality of an 8th inning reliever who throws a 95 mph fastball. For the past year and a half, he has implored the Nats pitchers to pretty much exclusively throw the fastball. I'm glad Livan Hernandez didn't follow that advice.

Dibble would often go off on uninteresting tangents that had very little to do with the game, the conversation in the booth, or anything really. Occasionally, he would have a mental breakdown on air and just make noises or yell out random words.

Sure, he had passion for the Nats. But that's not the analyst's job. I show enough passion in my living room for the both of us. I want the analyst to put my passion into perspective. I want to learn about the game from the analyst. Like I do from Ray Knight; it's just too bad he's so arrogantly unlikeable. But at least Bob Carpenter salvages the broadcast.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Nyjer Morgan Was Right

The Marlins threw behind Nyjer Morgan because he stole two bases. With the Nats down 11 runs, Morgan was hit by Marlins starting pitcher Chris Volstad in the 4th. Morgan then stole second and third.

Morgan's next at bat, Volstad threw behind him. Morgan took umbrage with being thrown at for the second time in two at bats, chucked his bat, ran after Volstad, and threw a jumping left hook at the pitcher. Gabby Sanchez came in and clotheslined Morgan (and should be suspended for it). Third base coach Pat Listach, ran in, knocked down, and then pinned Volstad. The benches cleared and not much happened afterwards.

Apparently, there is an argument that Morgan's two stolen bases in the fourth were reason enough for Volstad to throw at him again. I don't buy it. If there is an unwritten rule that you don't try to win if you're 11 runs down in the fourth inning, they should just call the game right there and then.

I hate this over-politeness in baseball. If you're losing, you should try to win anyway possible. Morgan manufactured a run, which helped his team. How is that showing up the other team? Honestly, even if it was the Marlins baserunners stealing bases when up 11 runs in the fourth, I wouldn't have a problem with it. There's no clock in baseball. No lead is ever truly safe.

Morgan had injured the Marlin catcher last night and was paid back when Volstad hit him in the fourth. All was even. Morgan then tried to give his team the best chance at making a comeback. Volstad was completely in the wrong for throwing at Nyjer a second time and the plucky little centerfield was justified in charging the behemoth hurler, who had used a baseball as a weapon against him twice.