Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or whatever your holiday of choice is.

May you get everything you ask for, your family be blessed with good health and that your new year is prosperous.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More on Dubya's illegal wiretapping

Check out this commentary on Dubya's illegal wiretapping policy and why Americans should be pissed off about it.

If you're not incensed about Dubya and his cronies stomping all over your civil rights, you're either stupid or ignorant.

Despite what he says, tapping phone lines without a court order is illegal. The Republican Party line is just another step towards your government moving further down the road to complete authoritarianism.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Score one for the good guys

A federal judge struck down a the Dover (PA) School Board's policy that biology teachers be required to read a statement endorsing "Intelligent Design".

Eight of the nine school board members who created this policy were then thrown out of office by landslides when they came up for re-election.

All I can say is, "Thank God!"

I find it interesting to note that the people who support this line of rubbish do so out of a desire to promote religion in public schools, but when these school board members were put under oath, they denied that their faith had anything to do with formulating this policy.

You'd think that they would want everyone to know what they're faith is about instead of denying it. Hypocritical bastards.

It almost makes me want to go buy one of these bumber stickers.

You might remember this school district. After the election in which the pro-creation idiots were deposed and replaced with a heavily anti-intelligent design crowd, Pat Robertson warned that Dover was due to feel the wrath of God. And people wonder why I have such a low opinion of fundy Christians.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I had an accident

Last Wednesday, while on the way to church, my car was struck by another car.

My stepson and I were in the car, minding our own business, when out of no where, some kid in a Chevy Cavalier came out of now where and plowed into me. It was dark, and I didn't know he was there until he hit me.

I was going maybe 30 mph; he was probably doing about 20 and it knocked me into the other lane.

Right after the accident, I looked over to see if my stepson was okay; he was. I turned the engine off and got out. The other kid's car had it's front bumper hanging off and both headlight assemblies were smashed.

He got out of his car and the first words out of his mouth were, "Are you guys okay?"

His next sentence really made me smile. "I'm sorry; I didn't even see you coming. It's my fault."

Woo-hoo! Someone else's insurance is paying for it!

The kid turned out to be a pizza delivery driver who was on the clock and returning to the store to pick up another run.

We called the police and while waiting for him to arrive, I tried to move my car out of the way because the road we were on sees a fair amount of traffic.

I started the engine and put the car in gear. It wouldn't move. I could rock the car back and forth, but it wasn't going anywhere. So I shut the car down and called Sarah and told her to come get my stepson.

She arrived at the same time as the police. He took our information, wrote up the report; when I told him my car was undriveable, he called a tow truck and sent each of us on our way.

The passenger's side front wheel was knocked back into the wheel well, the front bumper was hanging off and the passenger's side door will not open. The airbags didn't go off and everyone is okay (except my car).

I called Progressive the next day (the other kid's insurance company) and he had already filed a report. I added my information to the report and the adjustor said, "I guess we need to get you set up with a rental car."

I loved to hear those words.

On Friday, Enterprise Rent-a-Car calls me and says they've got a car for me. I went down there and they asked what kind of car I wanted. I said, "Give me the biggest car Progressive will pay for."

"How about a VW Jetta?"

"Sounds good."

I had the car towed to a body shop here in town and they still have not called me back about how long it will take to fix the car, or if they're going to total it. I can't say I'm in any real rush; the Jetta is nicer than my car and someone else is paying for it.

As I said, no one is hurt and I may be in the market for a new car. I'll let you guys know how things progress.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Impeach Dubya

I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog this past week. I had a car accident last Wednesday and haven't had time to blog much. No one was hurt, but my car is undriveable. I'll fill you guys in later.

In other news, Dubya admitted signing an executive order authorising the National Security Agency to wiretap the phones of American citizens without first getting a court order.

This is absurd.

Dubya has basically admitted violating the Constitution of the United States, specifically Amendment IV which reads in its entirety, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

That Dubya can remain in office after admitting ordering the NSA to violate the law is unbelievable.

He claims that this is being done in the name of "national security." This is absurd.

The NSA can go to court and get a wiretap at any time. They can begin surveillance on someone and get a retroactive court order in cases when there is an immenant threat. The NSA has been turned down for surveillance exactly one time.

Dubya is deliberately circumventing the law. He is stomping all over our civil rights. Regardless of his ill-conceived intentions, all Americans are entitled to the protections guaranteed by the Constitution and the guarantee against unreasonable serach and seizures is plain and in black and white, unlike the so-called "right to bear arms" that is vaguely worded in Amendment II.

Why are conservatives, who supposedly fear large government, still backing Dubya? You'd think the right=wing anti-government folks would be all over this instead of blindly following Dubya and the people pulling his strings.

Between this and Dubya's flip-flopping over the CIA leak investigation (first it was "anyone who is involved in this will be fired" but now it's "anyone who is convicted will be fired"), I don't see how Republicans can look themselves in the mirror and not see themselves for the hypocrites they are.

When Bill Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office and tried to cover it up, the right-wingers went absolutely bananas. You'd have thought the Prez getting some action on the side would lead directly to the fall of the empire.

We're not talking about a guy taking advantage of a moderately-attractive, overweight intern with self-esteem issues here, we're talking about the most powerful person int he world deliberately circumventing the Constitution he is sworn to protect.

He and his cronies have stopped serving our country. They are undermining the very foundations that it was founded upon.

Dubya needs to be removed from office. His administration needs to be purged. His cronies need to be jailed along with him.

I hope everyone who voted for this yokel understands what he has done to them and how he has destroyed the public trust.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Thoughts

The Chronicles of Narnia

It seems odd to me that the fundy Christians have been eagarly awaiting The Chronicles of Narnia movie(s) because of their supposed christian allegories while condemning the Harry Potter books.


Both deal with magic and fantasical creatures. I must first confess that I have not read anything Harry Potter or Narnia, but it seems from the track record of fundy Christians and science fiction/fantasy that they should be down on Narnia as well. After all, they condemn Dungeons & Dragons for its use of "pagan" deities, magic and sorcery.

They also don't like science fiction that depicts life on other worlds because it means that if the Earth isn't the only planet with life on it, then humans aren't the center of all creation.

So why do people like James Dobson want their kids to read Narnia but not The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

Football highlights

I was watching NFL Prime Time on ESPN tonight and saw one of the funniest things that's been on TV in a long time. Tennessee's Adam "Pacman" Jones intercepted a pass and was running it back for a TD. During the highlights, Tom Jackson was making the "wok-wok-wok-wok-wok-wok-wok-wok" sound that the Pac-Man video game used to make when he was eating pelletts.

It was very, very funny. Maybe you had to be there.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The state of college football

Several years ago, I swore (in writing) that I would never complain about football again if two things happened: instant replay and a college football playoff.

The world is halfway there, but it looks like they want me bitching and moaning for some time because it doesn't look like the beancounters who run the NCAA want to put a legitimate Division I-A national champion forward, instead relying on an archaic bowl system, supposedly built on tradition, that keeps money in the hands of six conferences and Notre Dame but doesn't really advance the cause of student-athlets anywhere.

Why isn't there a college football playoff? Seriously. Why not?

If you have been watching ESPN2 or FSN lately, you've seen all sorts of college football featuring teams with strange helmets and weird names. The Mount Union Purple Raiders?

All of the arguments to keep Divison I-A football from having a playoff fall flat. The only reason for the current bowl system is money. It's not about tradition. It's not about helping student-athletes get to class (after all almost half of the bowl-bound Division I-A schools failed to meet the NCAA's new academic standards) and it's not about overworking the kids who would have to play 15 games under a playoff system.

Why is it okay for the kids from St. John's (Minnesota) or Northern Iowa to play 15 games a year but not for the overpaid "student"-athletes at Florida State or Michigan not to?

The college presidents and athletic directors around the country should at least have the cajones to admit it's all about about money and expose themselves as the greedy bastards they are instead of hiding behind a bowl system that has already been rendered irrelevant by the BCS "title" game.

Florida State

How 'bout them Noles?

After being given up for dead, Florida State came back from the grave and stomped Marcus Vick and the Hokies, leaving Bobby Bowden 7-0 against Frank Beamer and doing near-irreperable damage to his program.

Instead of coasting into their inevitable bowl game with an unprecedented four consecutive losses, Florida State managed to give Bobby and excuse to keep his kid Jeff on the staff.

I hate to say I was hoping they lost because four straight losses (and the very real possibility of a fifth in the bowl game) would have had the media, boosters and fans screaming for Jeff's head on a stick. If not his outright firing, his removal as offensive coordinator.

Instead, we're stuck with him for another year, maybe two or three.

Why doesn't Bobby see how incompetent his kid is? Why doesn't Mickey Andrews go into Bobby's office and tell him what's going on? Why don't the boosters who are funding Bobby's annuity step up and tell him to get rid of his kid or they'll send their checks to another department?

You know things are getting bad when you call your father in the middle of the game and ask, "What the hell kind of play did Jeff just call?"

Now, not only are FSU fans saddled with more Jeff Bowden, the 8-4 Seminoles are going to a BCS bowl ahead of 10-2 Virginia Tech, 10-1 TCU, and 10-1 Oregon.

And that's not right.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Shouldn't your kids be in school?

My wife and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe today. We went to the 1:00 show thinking that we would avoid the rush of kids going to the show.

Unfortunately, there were several dozen kids ranging in age from about 4 to 12 at the theater. Since we had some freezing rain last night, there was a two hour delay in the schools and some of the kids may have been kept home by their folks. Others were from one of the fundy Christian schools who were taking a class to see the movie.

There were several other adults there who had also thought to avoid the throngs of kiddies, but were foiled.

I have not read the books, and I don't know much about C. S. Lewis. I tried to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was in middle school, but I thought it was too slow, so I picked it up and never finished it.

Like the book, the movie started slow. The effects were first rate as they should be. The people in charge were from the Weta shop, the same folks who did "The Lord of the Rings" movies.

I thought the story was a little convoluted and a lot of the backstory was left out, but overall it was pretty good.

If I had a five or six year old, I don't think I'd take them to see the movie. There are some creepy looking monsters and an intense battle scene at the end, but nothing as gory or violent as "The Lord of the Rings".

I won't comment on the supposed Christian allegories in the movie, because I've read that Lewis himself said he wasn't writing books with religious overtones; he just wanted to write a good story.

If this movie makes enough money, there wil probably be a sequel, but I'd give it a B or B-. It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad either.

I don't think I'd pay to see it at the full price, and probably wouldn't pay to see it a second time, but I don't feel like my money was wasted.

Football picks, week 14

  • Chicago at Pittsburgh
    No offense for the Bear means big trouble in Pittsburgh

  • Cleveland at Cincinnati
    The Bengals are no long the fifth best football team in Ohio; that would be the Browns now.

  • Houston at Tennessee
    Who wants Reggie Bush more?

  • Indianapolis at Jacksonville
    I really hate to be making this pick, but since almost losing to the Jaguars back in week 2, the Colts have become a complete team. I'd also like to see them go 16-0 into the playoffs, even if it means having to go through Jacksonville to do it. I also don't mind making this pick because the Jaguars have all but wrapped up the 5th seed of the playoffs.

  • New England at Buffalo
    Will their 4th quarter implosion last week carry over to the Bills this week?

  • Oakland at N.Y. Jets
    Home team on this one, too.

  • St. Louis at Minnesota
    Minnesota is playing very well right now. I'm going with the team with the better back up QB.

  • Tampa Bay at Carolina
    I also struggled with this pick, but in division games in December, I've got to go with the home teams and against the Bucs when it may be cold.

  • N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia
    The Eagles are also imploding and the Giants need a win to stay in the playoff hunt.

  • San Francisco at Seattle
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .

  • Washington at Arizona
    Even the Redskins can't blow this one, can they?

  • Baltimore at Denver
    I think Brian Billick is getting his resume together.

  • Kansas City at Dallas
    The Chiefs beat a good Denver team at home last week. They should be able to take care of a mediocre Dallas team on the road.

  • Miami at San Diego
    The Chargers need this one more. The only thing the Dolphins can play for is to be spoilers. I'm not picking against LaDanian Tomlinson at hom.

  • Detroit at Green Bay
    Coin flip. Click here

  • New Orleans at Atlanta
    The Saints play like they've given up. And frankly, I can't blame them.

Cheerleader of the Week

I'd like you all to meet Aimee of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This is her second year with the squad. When she's not cheering for the Bucs, she is a student at the University of South Florida where she studies public relations and communication.

She was on her high school dance team and has a cat.

You can watch Aimee's video here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Football picks, week 13

Atlanta at Carolina
Buffalo at Miami
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Dallas at N.Y. Giants
Green Bay at Chicago
Houston at Baltimore
Jacksonville at Cleveland
Minnesota at Detroit
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Tennessee at Indianapolis
Arizona at San Francisco
Washington at St. Louis
Denver at Kansas City
N.Y. Jets at New England
Oakland at San Diego
Seattle at Philadelphia

I know Favre has owned the Bears over the past few years, but this year his team just isn't good enough, especially on the road.

Houston, Dallas, New Orleans have officially moved into "implosion" mode, and I'm not sure the Eagles aren't on their way there, too.

St. Louis is better with Mike Martz locked out of the building.

There are lots of important division games with playoff implications (DAL/NYG, CIN/PIT, ATL/CAR, DEN/KC) and I'm going with the home teams in all the ones that matter.

Cheerleader of the Week

We go to the Philadelphia Eagles this week; when you click on their cheerleaders link you get a warning that the content is "age appropriate", so enjoy!

This is Janette, who is in her second year with the squad. When she's not cheering on the Iggles, she is a gymnastics instructor and nursing student at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Janette's guilty pleasures are chocolate and "The O.C." (I wonder if she celebrates Chrismukkah?). Her hobbies include traveling, coaching gymnastics, painting and drawing, crafts and going to the beach.

She provides extra incentive to go see the Eagles play because apparently her top slipped down once and she didn't notice.