Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 NBA Finals Preview

How they got here:
The Miami Heat were the most scrutinized team in the history of the NBA. It started over the summer when LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed with the team as free agents. Along with Dwyane Wade, the three pranced around and openly pondered the number of championships the trio would win together. Most fans outside of Miami were turned off. The team won 58 games, which meant they were killed 24 times in the press. The made the playoffs as the #2 seed.

The Dallas Mavericks looked like an early title contender as they got off to the hot start. Then, Dirk Nowitzki became injured and the team fell back to earth. Caron Butler suffered a season-ending injury at the start of 2011, which seemed to kill Dallas's chances. The team coasted intot he playoffs as a #3 seed.

The playoff run:
Miami cruised past an upstart 76ers squad in five games. Despite Rajon Rondo's tremendous heart, the Boston Celtics didn't put up the kind of fight that was expected from them. LeBron silenced the critics who have argued he can't finish a game. Miami won in five games. The Chicago Bulls dominated Game 1 of the Eastern Finals at home. But Miami took Game 2 and won the close games. Miami won two more games at home, giving the Heat an 8-0 home playoff record. They closed out in Game 5 for the third straight series.

Dallas was up 2-1 over the Portland Trail Blazers heading into Game 4 in Portland. Dallas glided to a huge third quarter lead, which eventually evaporated. Portland won to tie the series. But the veteran Mavs won the next two games to win the series 4-2. The former two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers posed no match for the Mavericks, who swept Kobe's team. Phil Jackson retired after the series. The young Oklahoma City Thunder managed to take a game from Dallas, but couldn't win at home. In Game 4, Dallas turned a 15-point deficit with three minutes to go into an overtime victory. Dirk was on fire as the Mavs won 4-1.

Dallas should win a hard five game series. The Heat can't guard Dirk. Bosh is a poor defender, particularly on the perimeter. Udonis Haslem can maybe hang with Dirk in spurts. LeBron has become a good defender, but gives up four inches to Dirk, who can get any shot he wants against LeBron.

Dallas's depth is another key. While Dallas is the deepest team int he league, Miami's role players have not produced much this year. Haslem is coming off of an injury that kept him out most of the season. Mike Miller has two injured thumbs. Mike Bibby is a liability in the starting lineup. Joel Anthony is a good defender and a fair rebounder, but not a scorer. Zyldraukas Ilgauskas and Erik Dampier and not as good as the Dallas big men. James Jones and Eddie House are good shooters off the bench, but neither were a factor against the Bulls.

Meanwhile, Dallas counters with Jason Terry and J.J. Barea (who everyone is determined to call Barera), two little scoring machines. Unless Miami puts Wade or James on those two, the Heat will have trouble stopping them. Peja Stojakovic has been known to knock down a three. Dallas also has a better center coming off the bench, Brendan Haywood, than Miami has on the team.

Tyson Chandler has turned Dallas into a defensive-minded team. Between Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, and DeShawn Stevenson, Dallas has good perimeter defenders, which is essential against a team with Wade and James. Unless Wade and James can explode four times, or one of Miami's reserve shooters has a career series, Dallas will win the championship.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Concessions for Peace

The condemnation of President Obama by some Jewish leaders over his stance that Israel should return to pre-1967 borders is petty and misplaced. These leaders should realize that it is Israel's role to protect the Jewish people not the other way around.

Israel was created as a homeland and a place of protection for the persecuted Jews. But, as a result of Israel's aggressive acts of retaliation, Jews continue to be despised. The best way for Israel to protect the Jewish people is not through a military show of mite. That has shown itself to be a failed strategy. Instead, Israel needs to engage in negotiations, give concessions, and reach a compromise. Agreements with Egypt and Jordan show that it's possible.

Jewish leaders have lost sight of the goal. it is not to create an all-powerful imperial Israel. The goal is to create a safe homeland for Jews. The best way to do that is by accumulating friendly neighbors. If giving up some land to achieve the larger goal is necessary, then so be it.

(more at the HQT-IE)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Those Bossy IFIs

Hello, dear citizens. Like you, I thought that receiving aid from the international financial institutions was a godsend, particularly in the wake of those heinous attacks that took place on May 6. But the IFIs have acted like bullies. They want to dictate policy. They say future aid depends on it.

When I accepted the aid, I thought it was a charitable gesture to help an impoverished nation overcome a recent tragedy. Instead, it was a mechanism to manipulate us. In fact, these IFI jerk-offs are so nefarious, one institutional head even raped one of our chambermaids in a local hotel. Hey buster, that's my job!

Today's decrees
I will now institute a policy of pretending to adhere to the IFIs' wishes while really just doing whatever the hell I want. You know, the status quo.

I have assumed a new official title: The Raper of Virgins.

Tomorrow will be Memorial Day, to honor the victims of the attacks of May 6. Tuesday will be Genital Warts Treatment Day. Half price antibiotics for all!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Face of Love

There was a study recently conducted that said women are less likely to be attracted to a man who is smiling. Think about that for a second.

A smile tends to represent happiness, positivity, fun, compassion. Women are not into that. The author of the study theorized that women felt smiling was too feminine. Take another second to think about that.

That might be the most illogical thing I've ever heard. What kind of psychopath would be less attracted to someone smiling? And how am I suppose to relate to a group of people who feel that way? Happiness, positivity, fun, compassion, these seem like great qualities to have in a partner, right? Apparently, not for women.

I've always given women the benefit of the doubt. Many are logical and thoughtful. I've excused their propensity for tall men, which is probably as illogical as this smiling thing (listen, tall men are wussies. Short men are tough; they've had to be. If you want someone tough who will "protect you" you should be with a short man. Trust me). But this smiling thing is too much. It just makes no sense. Plus, the worst part, I rarely smile and no one finds me attractive.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Arc of NBA Stars

The perception of NBA stars in recent years seems to take a predictable arc. When they first come into the league, they are praised up to the sky. They can do no wrong. Then, at some random moment, they are panned; their weaknesses are highlighted. Their strengths simply evaporate. Later, they become heroes again. They are placed in the pantheon of legendary performers. They are considered in the top 10 of all time.

This tired narrative keep resurfacing. It happened with Kobe Bryant. It happened with LeBron. it happened with Wade and Pierce and Garnett. It's happening with Dirk. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are going through it now. The latter two are asking themselves the same think virtually every NBA star of the past ten years has asked himself, "I'm the same player I've always been. If anything, I'm better than I've ever been. Why is everyone criticizing me now?"

The truth is that most NBA stars gradually improve. The flaws in their game are their from the beginning and slowly erode. This is true of Durant and Westbrook, who are both better this year than they were last. Fans and experts should not lose sight of this. Instead, the strengths and weaknesses of players should be fairly pointed out from the beginning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Were They Short Men?

On behalf of The Society for Differently Heighted Americans, I wish to express my sadness and sympathies for the woman who was tased and robbed in Rockville early this morning by two men of diminutive stature. But NBC Washington did not have to describe these two men as "short."

The movement has come along way over many years, but we still have a long way to go. Smaller heroes such as James Madison, Muggsy Bogues, and Hitler (ok, maybe not Hitler) have achieved greatness in order to gain equality for men of all heights.

If these men accused of the crime were like 4'4" I could see them being described as "short." But they're listed at 5'4". That's just about the world average for an adult male. I mean, c'mon!

The Society for Differently Heighted Americans
We don't have less height, we have more unheight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Charles Oakley List

This is a top 10 list of the best Charles Oakley-like players. It consists of hustle guys, defenders, and glue guys. Last year's ranking were posted on May 19, 2010. (H stands for Honorable Mention last year.)

# David (PR) - Mike (Previous Rank)
1. Battier (1) - Noah (3)
2. T. Chandler (NR) - T. Chandler (NR)
3. Okafor (NR) - Ibaka (NR)
4. T. Allen (NR) - T. Allen (NR)
5. Ibaka (NR) - Okafor (NR)
6. Noah (2) - C. Hayes (NR)
7. N. Collison (NR) - Gr. Hill (7)
8. Sefolosha (H) - Battier (H)
9. T. Young (NR) - J. Anthony (NR)
10. R. Brewer (NR) - Kirilenko (5)

Honorable mentions:
David - Fields (NR), Artest (NR), C. Hayes (7), Stevenson (NR).
Mike - T. Gibson (H), R. Brewer (NR), Artest (NR), N. Collison (NR).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joakim Noah's Anti-Gay Slur

At around the halfway point of the first quarter of Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, Joakim Noah picked up his second foul. He went to the bench in frustration. Someone off camera, perhaps a Miami Heat fan, earned Noah's ire.

Joakim Noah yelled, "Fuck you, faggot!" at the person off camera. Noah should receive at least the punishment given to Kobe Bryant for using the same slur at an official towards the end of the regular season. If anything, Noah's punishment should be more severe because this is an issue that was recently dealt with by the NBA. Noah then made the same exact mistake.

Anti-gay slurs have no business being spouted by professional athletes. Athletes are role models and spewing this type of bigotry reinforces to young kids hoping to emulate these athletes that it is acceptable. The NBA should not only punish Noah, but, more importantly, get him help in confronting his prejudices.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Judgment Day that Wasn't

I knew that yesterday wasn't going to be Judgment Day. Not only because it was merely a couple of nutjobs who had predicted the end of the world. But mostly because they based their prophesy on the Bible. To me, all holy books are human interpretations of divinity. In my mind, they were not written by a divine hand.

But I did get nervous towards the end of last week. The entire week had gone well for me, one of the sure signs of the apocalypse. At one point, if things were going to continue to go well, I almost wished the world would end; I can't deal with that kind of fortune, it would make me a completely different person. Thankfully, yesterday started poorly and kept on going, which meant that I- and the world- was safe.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Jon Huntsman Press Release

The pundits and paid opinionists had ruled out his campaign for the highest crown in the world. They whispered bittersweet nothings, "He has no experience," "No one knows who he is," "He has no chance." But they failed to account for his fighting spirit. How could they have missed the signals for it is right there in this noble steed's surname? One day, the winds of history will whisper his name in the same gust as Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson. Who is this man bold enough to ignore the naysayers and run this country? Huntsman.

Wait, who?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Playing Politics with Tragedy

Writing about the tragic history of violent ethnic division in Burundi is a political enterprise for many foreign scholars. Some take a Tutsi extremist stance while others take a Hutu extremist one. It is a sad case of historical manipulation that has led to justifications for massacres.

Rene Lemarchand and Peter Uvin are two scholars that acknowledge the massacres committed by all sides. Lemarchand's analysis in his 1994 book on Burundi is especially poignant. He notes that Hutu extremists refuse to acknowledge the massacres of Tutsi , which was committed by Hutu militants, that preceded the Tutsi army's massacres of Hutu in 1972, 1988, 1991, and 1993. Tutsi extremists fail to mention that the Tutsi-controlled governments that practiced discrimination against the Hutu created the anger within the Hutu community to spark militant action.

Both Lemarchand and Uvin note the complicated role that Pierre Buyoya has had in Burundi's history. Buyoya, during his non-consecutive terms as president, nominally worked to ease the tension between Tutsi and Hutu. But his reasons are not entirely pure. The two authors also note the divisions and rivalries within the Tutsi community. By explaining the context of the massacres and laying blame at the feet of those who committed the massacres, Hutu and Tutsi alike, they are working towards building a more peaceful Burundi.

The worst case of revisionist history with regards to Burundi I've read is a book by U.S. Ambassador Robert Krueger. Krueger sides with Hutu extremists. Reading Krueger's book, you would think the Tutsi-controlled army, which slaughtered educated Hutu in what was a genocide, did so without any provocation. He doesn't explain that the Tutsi, who are the numerical minority in Burundi and tend to have a fear of extinction should the Hutu majority ever gain power, were massacred by Hutu militants first. That is not a justification for the army's actions, but it is an important fact.

Krueger describes President Melchoir Ndadaye, a Hutu, as Martin Luther King. He describes President Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, as Adolph Hitler. This type of hyperbole is not productive. To claim that one ethnicity is Good and the other Evil, is to provoke and justify further massacres. Krueger, who presents his book as unbiased, is disingenuous. He does not put the numerous tragedies that have taken place in Burundi into context.
(more at The HQT-IE)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Jewish Mob

I sometimes wish there was still an active Jewish mob. Violence is never the answer, but in a world that hates Jews, it's nice to have a little protection. These men were not admirable people, but at least they scared the gentiles.

In 2009, Jews were the second largest group victimized by hate crimes. Blacks were the largest, but have at least five times the population of Jews in the United States. With a Jewish mob walking the streets, those numbers would surely decrease. A Jewish mob would also have not allowed Bernie Madoff to rip off the Jewish community so thoroughly.

The mob certainly represents some of the more nefarious aspects of life, but, when it comes to protecting the community, it is the best answer until people stop being so anti-Semitic.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thoughts of the 2012 Election

Newt Gingrich is in. Unless the Republican primary voters desperately want an intellectual as their candidate at all costs, certainly a possibility, he has little chance. He is not an ideological conservative, which should make him a better candidate, but it doesn't. We've entered an era where Republicans demand strict conservatism. Any position outside of strict conservatism is seen as a liability within the Republican primary. Gingrich's personal life, the constant adultery, won't sit well with conservative voters.

Mitt Romney would be the choice for the nomination except for two damaging points. The fact that he is a Mormon will continue to be denigrated by many evangelical Christians. His support for universal healthcare while governor of Massachusetts, though it helped the citizens of his state and is his greatest political achievement, will kill his chances.

Tim Pawlenty has a chance to steal the nomination. He's moved to the right, which could end up causing the issue of flip flopping. He probably should have kept his stance in favor of cap and trade, which made him seem like a man of conviction instead of ideology on an issue that wouldn't hurt him to any great degree.

I've always thought that Sarah Palin's best chance was to have a big lead based on name recognition and try to hold on. But she doesn't have a lead at all. Her name recognition and her folksy appeal were her major assets. I don't see her pulling a rabbit out of hat and attracting any new voters.

Donald Trump had no chance and wisely backed out.

I'm surprised Mike Huckabee didn't enter the race. I think he had a real shot to win the nomination. He had no chance of winning the general election though.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A New Beginning

My fellow citizens, I've (finally) got good news. I've worked out a deal with President Obama, the World Bank, and the IMF and our great nation will receive a ton of aid in an effort to repair our stricken land. The attacks of May 6 will go down in our history as a tragic moment. But there can be triumph out of tragedy my beloved citizens.

Today's decrees
We thank the international donors for their generosity in our hour of need. We will enact the good governance measures they have prescribed... if they're good for the nation.

Our citizens will benefit from the money we will be donated. Some more than others.

The national anthem will be changed to "We're in the Money!"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Job Rejection Letter

Dear Me,

We appreciate your interest in al Qaeda. We have reviewed your application. We like you and believe that you are qualified for the position. Unfortunately, it seems your core values differ somewhat from those of the organization and thus we will be going in a different direction. Best of luck in your job search.

Al Qaeda's Human Resources Department

Friday, May 13, 2011

Application for the Position of Head of Al Qaeda

To Whom It May Concern,

I am interested in applying for the position of al Qaeda's chief. I believe I am eminently qualified. I have a Master's Degree from an American university. I have spent much of my professional career as a mentor to the young people. I have the ability to reach these young people and help them to achieve their goals.

Because of my experience in charge of young people, including those who misbehave, I believe I am right for this position. It is important for a leader to take the initiative and, as head of al Qaeda, I would do just that. I would look to mold the organization in my own image. To begin with, I am Jewish, so anti-Semitism will no longer be part of the al Qaeda program. I am also not a fan of killing others. Instead, under my leadership, the mission of al Qaeda would make an ever-so-slight shift towards encouraging kids to help old ladies cross the street safely. Beyond that, it would be the same organization it has always been. If it ain't broke don't fix it, I always say.

I look forward to scheduling an interview with you. I am willing to provide any additional information that you may require. I appreciate your time and your consideration of my application.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pacquiao's Potential Opponents

Manny Pacquiao humiliated Shane Mosley last Saturday night. The only question that remains was: In which fight was Mosley more humiliated, against Mayweather or against Pacquiao? Who knows, but both fights should tarnish his otherwise stellar career.

People are getting tired of one-sided fights featuring Pacquiao. The Ring has a list of possible opponents for Pacquiao to fight in November. it includes the likes of Victor Ortiz, Timothy Bradley, Zab Judah, and Juan Manuel Marquez. Except for the latter (with conditions) they all would be the same one-sided garbage that we've seen from Pacquiao recently.

Here's a list of opponents that, at least on paper, would be competitive.

Of course, Floyd Mayweather.

Sergio Martinez at 154 pounds. Pacquiao fans understandably would prefer this fight to be at a lower catchweight, but the likelihood of this fight happening even at 154 is slim. Martinez, the middleweight champ, last fought at 154 in 2008. He hasn't fought below 154 in over five years. If this fight were to take place at 154, I think Martinez would win by knockout in the middle rounds.

Paul Williams at 147 after a tune-up fight or two. The 6'2" southpaw hasn't fought since being brutally knocked out by Martinez last November. He has always claimed that he can make 147 and, as an enormously tall welterweight, a southpaw, and a guy who throws a hundred punches a round, he poses a unique threat to Pacquiao. It would be interesting to see Pacquaio face a guy about 9 inches taller. I think Pacquiao would win a unanimous decision in the neighborhood of 8-4.

Juan Manuel Marquez at a weight lower than 140. Marquez looked terrible when he weighed 142 against Mayweather. That was the only time Marquez fought above 135. Even at 140, Pacquiao would likely wipe the floor with Marquez. However, if the fight was even a few pounds lighter, at a catchweight in the high 130s, I'd give Marquez a better shot. Still, at this point, I think Pacquiao will win a unanimous decision, the higher the weight, the wider the margin.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Inescapable Truth

Perhaps the most tragic aspect of life is being trapped inside our own heads. I will never truly know what another person is thinking. Never know what another person is feeling. We are all isolated. I wish I could be inside another person just for a moment. I'm sure it would change my life forever. It would open up an entire set of contexts, of different opinions, expressions, or modes of thinking and feeling. I would be able to relate to the world in more than one way. But, alas, I'm trapped.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Letters of Condolensces

Dear Dear and Fearless Leader,

The United States of America wishes to express its deepest sorrow to you and your nation in the wake of the terrorist attacks that took place last Friday. As you know, our nation has also experienced tragedy at the hands of terrorists. We must show a determined vigilance in the face of terror. We can only overcome those who wish us harm through democracy and freedom. The United States is filled with good-hearted people who are with you in your hour of need. We wish to send you aid to help repair not only the buildings and roads that were destroyed last week, but in hopes of restoring your society to some semblance of the way it was before these hellacious acts. May God bless you, your country, and the United States of America.

President Barack Obama

Dear Dear and Fearless Leader,

On behalf of the German nation, I would like to express our grief at the lives lost as a result of the attacks of this past Friday. Let us put aside the titty fucking incident and, in the wake of this tragedy, move together as nations hand in hand (metaphorically speaking).

Chancellor Angela Merkel

Hola Senor Leader de Dear y Fearless,

Yo quero Taco Bell.

Mexican Presidente Felipe Calderon

Dear Dear and Fearless Leader,

An official expression of condolences to you and your people. We Canadians wish peace for the entire world.

Prime Minister What's His Face

Dear Dear and Fearless Leader,

Hey buddy, what's going on. Italy just wants to say, you know, that shit about the attacks, that sucks man. We're here for you. C'mon, forget about it. Let's go for some pasta primavera at some point. But I heard everyone in your country got gential warts, so, you know, no bunga bunga parties in your neck of the woods. Forget about it. Anyway, take care.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Remarkable Rondo

I am so impressed with Rajon Rondo's toughness. His left elbow was bent back in the wrong direction, it was later diagnosed as a dislocated elbow, and he came back into the game. When I saw the injury, I spouted, "The Celtics just lost the series."

Someone in the bar where I was watching the game yelled out, "Rondo's back in the game!" I figured that guy was a jerk who just wanted attention. Turns out he was right. Another guy said, "Rondo's back in the game. They must've given him a new arm." I felt that was a reasonable deduction considering what had happened to Rondo's elbow.

It was a coincidence that the three least tough players in the NBA were at the arena when Rondo made his triumphant return, his unusable left arm hanging at his side. Paul Pierce was once put in a wheelchair in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals after tweaking his ankle. He ran back onto the court a few minutes later, which is what most people do after tweaking an ankle. Dwyane Wade once left a game, also via a wheelchair, after suffering a serious shoulder injury. And Big Baby Davis writhes around on the floor so often, even Paul Pierce roles his eyes when Davis goes down.

Rondo's courageous performance reminds me of other such instances in sports during my lifetime. As a young boy, I always heard about Ronnie Lott having the tip of his pinky cut off so he could play. It is reminiscent of Phillip Rivers play with a torn ACL in the NFL playoffs a couple of years ago. Yuri Foreman continued to fight last year with a torn ACL as his junior middleweight belt was on the line. Rondo joins these tough guys.

And, of course, today is the 41st anniversary of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals where Willis Reed came hobbling onto the Garden's floor and gave his team an emotional lift which propelled the Knicks to victory.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

More Information about the Attack

My fellow citizens, we have found out new information about yesterday's attacks that killed thousands and left countless others afflicted with genital warts. The lead suspect is a man named Taylor Jonathan Thomas (also known as TJT), the head of a shadowy organization called al Bore-Land.

TJT and al Bore-Land purportedly hate us because of our dearth of nightclubs and scantily clad women gallivanting about in our locally-produced sitcoms. They hate us because there's simply not that much to do in our land on a Friday night. Until our society is transformed to their liking, al Bore-Land has vowed to continue the, some would say senseless, killing of our citizens.

Beyond that, we know very little. It is assumed that TJT and his network of global terrorists work in the mountains of, you guessed it, Tajikistan.

Today's decrees
We will hunt down Thomas and his organization and bring them to justice.

We will not distinguish between the perpetrators, those who harbor them, and innocent civilians who happen to live in the area.

Tajikistan is going back on the Douchebag Countries who Sponsor Terrorism list along with Moldova, where a hat was stolen from me last week while I was at the S8 conference. Every year I seem to get things stolen at these Shitty 8 conferences. Maybe that's part of the reason why these countries are so shitty.

It might sound a little insensitive, but thank the lord for this attack. It really takes the heat off me for Gategate and my generally unpopular rule that has spawned continuous protests for several months. Whew, I dodged a bullet.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Attack

My fellow citizens, it is in this darkest hour that I most appreciate being your Dear and Fearless Leader. As you are no doubt well aware, a series of dirty bombs exploded in several of our major cities earlier this evening. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of our co-nationalists have lost their lives due to this horrific tragedy. The dirty bomb has also set off a biological disaster as it is being reported that virtually the entire country- men, women, and children alike- has been afflicted with genital warts, including your leader.

It is in these moments that we must put aside our petty political divisions and unify as one people. There are moments when peace allows for protest, but we are no longer fortunate enough to focus on what divides us.

It is natural to feel sad. But we must not be consumed with sadness. We must go on. Our lost loved ones would want us to move forward. We must honor them by making this the greatest country possible. I accept the challenge of leading us through this difficult time and towards greatness. Won't you please join me?

Today's decrees
We, as a nation, vow to retaliate. We will search high and low for the culprits and bring them to justice.

We are a strong nation and will not back down from the challenges put forth by our enemies.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Was Osama bin Laden Innocent?

I argue that it is always wrong to kill another human being (unless they request it). Some would argue that killing Osama bin Laden is not only acceptable, but worthy of celebration because he is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent civilians.

Who determines a person's innocence? Bin Laden did not think those people he is responsible for killing were innocent. Many Americans don't believe bin Laden is innocent. Were the people who died with bin Laden innocent? Is collateral damage an acceptable consequence of killing a person who isn't innocent?

The fact is that no one thinks the people they are killing are innocent. The bad guy never thinks he's the bad guy. We must be careful when we try to justify murder. Bin Laden can use the same justifications against the United States that we make against him. Who is right? We believe we are. He believed he was. We must move away from binary interpretations of good and bad. Just because there is a bad guy, doesn't mean there must be a good guy.

Killing another human against their will is always wrong. To cease justifying murder is the only path to a more peaceful world. The United States is far and away the most powerful entity on the planet. Thus, the U.S. must begin the cycle of peace. This comes from recognizing that all murder is wrong, regardless of the circumstance.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bin Laden in Hell?

A recent CNN poll claims that 61% of Americans think that Osama bin Laden is currently in Hell, which is a frighteningly high percentage until you realize it's likely that a substantial portion of the people who saw the poll thought it was the stupidest fucking question they've ever seen and thus decided not to participate.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Talib Kweli and Osama Bin Laden

"The country breathes a sigh of relief. Goodness prevails over evil it seems. Somehow with him gone, we feel safer... little do we know." - In this quote from the song The Proud, Talib Kweli links Americans' false sense of security at the execution of the man responsible for the most deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil to that point, Tim McVeigh, with the attacks of September 11, 2001, which shattered that naive perception of invincibility.

The killing of Osama bin Laden is another episode in a continuous cycle of violence. It is not the end. It is not justice. There is no reason to celebrate. Violence begets violence. Peace begets peace.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Has Been Killed

The death of Osama bin Laden won't bring back the lives of the many who have been victimized by his terror. I find it difficult to celebrate the death of any person, no matter how much blood is on his hands. I hope and pray for peace.