Wednesday, December 29, 2004

What's good for the goose.....

So here in Washington state, there has been a razor-thin margin in the governor's race. Republican Dino Rossi won at first count by 261 votes, later changed to 42 after a mandatory machine recount. Now, Democrat Christine Gregoire has won after a hand recount by 129 votes. And the Republicans are now crying foul and considering challenging the whole election.

These are the same Republicans who were calling for Democrats to just accept the election results a few weeks ago, when their guy had appeared to have won. You know, "move on, you're damaging the process, you're sore losers, you're trying to manipulate the election, etc." Now that the tables have turned, it's apparently in the interests of democracy and justice that we have more recounts, or toss out the entire election.

Not that it's any surprise. The Republican Party is the party of hypocrisy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Football whining

I'm just pissed after last night's Monday Night Football game- the Rams played against the Eagles, but with a playoff first-round-bye, and homefield advantage clinched, the Eagles had nothing to play for and held most of their starters off the field. Don't they know my Seahawks needed them to beat the Rams for us to clinch the division? Selfish bastards.

Meanwhile, I heard on ESPN's pregame show that the Falcons, who are basically in the same boat as the Eagles, are planning to start Michael Vick against the 'Hawks next Sunday. So the Rams get to play 2nd-stringers in their must-win game, but the Seahawks are going to have to face the best athlete in the NFL for our possible division-clinching game. That just sucks....

The only upside is that the Rams have to play a Jets team who is fighting for their playoff lives in the AFC next week, so maybe the Seahawks will have the division wrapped up before their game even start. Then it's the playoffs baby!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christians vs..... well, nobody really

Jullian Sanchez at Reason magazine has a wonderful deconstruction of the Christmas-under-attack, Christians-are-being-persecuted crowd. Money quote-

"So are we really seeing an unprecedented wave of hostility toward either Christmas or Christianity? Or is it, rather, that the waning of the cultural hegemony to which some Christians have come to feel entitled is perceived as an attack? Many of the most loudly trumpeted complaints in this vein are, after all, complaints about the absence of special treatment: no special spot for the Ten Commandments in the courthouse rotunda; no pride of place for Christmas among those happy winter holidays; no exceptions for the Christian charity.
Since "special rights" has been a term of aspersion among conservatives for decades, would-be theocrats have at least the decency to be too ashamed to demand them explicitly. Instead, they've learned the power of the victim narrative, of framing the debate to cast themselves as underdogs."


"The stratagem is so perverse as to be almost admirable: Take a holiday associated with sentiments like peace and goodwill, mix in some well-intentioned attempts to acknowledge it in an inclusive way suited to a pluralistic society, and then use the combination to generate fear, divisiveness, and high ratings.... [W]e can all breathe a little easier knowing that the anti-Christmas "jihad" is no more real (sorry kids) than Santa Claus. Happy holidays."

To me, the problem in all the Christ-back-in-Christmas battles is the simple fact that government not putting the Baby Jesus on the town square is NOT a banning of religion, and not a precursor towards throwing Christians to the lions. It is simply keeping government OUT of religion. I think that is a good thing, not just because I resent religion having a strong voice in law-making, but because I think it soils religion to get down into the dirty world of politics.

Who's Drugs are Safer?

Ok, so the Bush administration won't allow us to go up to Canada to purchase affordable prescription drugs. The reason Bush gives is that it is up to the American government to vouch for the safety of the drugs it allows its citizens to take. So, with the recent cases of Vioxx, Celebrex and Alieve, just how good a job is the FDA doing? For that matter, how much worse a job does Canada do than us at screening drugs for their citizens?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Everything is catasrophically good

Doesn't the Bush administration remind you of that Saddam spokesman who was on the air during the Iraq invasion? You know, the guy who would say that the infidel Americans were being defeated by the Republican Gaurd, while you could see US tanks rolling into Baghdad behind him? Regarding Rumsfeld, Bush said today "...memembers of the Senate and the House will recognize what a good job he's doing" in response to the growing criticisms of the SoD. I know it's been written to death, but when are people going to become sick of hearing this blindly-push-on, everything-is-rosy rhetoric and demand some accountability?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Sports Blogging

Just a few thoughts-


Being a huge hockey fan, this just kills me. Just as hockey was becoming more popular, and making inroads in the south with Tampa winning Lord Stanley's Cup, the CBA expired, and the NHLPA and owners have refused to come to a new agreement, costing us fans a season. Now, I usually side with players in labor disputes in professional sports; they're the ones who put their bodies on the line, they're the ones who bring in the fans and revenue, they should get the dough. But in this case, they players need to realize the reality- NHL teams are losing money, and cancelling a season only hurts the popularity of the sport. Hockey is already the least popular of the 4 major sports in the U.S.A. When the NHL is as popular and profitable as the NBA, then the players can have some bargaining power, but right now, they should suck it up, take the owners proposal, and keep the sport itself growing.


They've given me fit this season, but they are in good position to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, with no run defense or pass rush, I think we'll have an early exit from the playoffs, but oh well. But here is a optimistically delusional scenario, courtesy of my Dad-
Philly finishes 15-1 BYE in 1st round
SEAHAWKS win out and finish 10-6 - win the division BYE in 1st round
ATL loses out against CARL/SEA/NO and wins division at 10-6 (Hawks have tie breaker)
MINN wins out against DET/G.B./WA and wins division at 10-6 (Hawks have tie breaker)
G.B. finishes 9-5 JAX-W/MINN-L/CHI-W - Wild Card
CARL wins out and finish 8-8 (ATL/TB/NO) - Wild Card
NFC 1st round CARL @ MINN? MINN wins
G.B. @ ATL ? G.B. wins
NFC 2ND roundG.B. @ Philly G.B wins (Philly is ready for a fall)
MINN @ SEA SEA wins (Hawks are finally hungry)
Championship GameG.B. @ SEA Hawks in the Superbowl as Holmgren delivers

Never say die!


They are playing really fun ball. Friday's game against Phoenix should be great. They are playing like a unit, playing good defense and making their shots. They seem to be having fun together, and assuming they stay healthy, could be the team to beat in the West. We'll see if they're still rolling in February, but for now, I'm enjoying the ride.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

More "zero tolerance" nonsense

Zero tolerance has been taken to retarded ends since it started, and here is just the latest example- An 8-year-old was caught and suspended for bringing what appeared to be jello shots to school. The mother is a bartender who makes jello shots at home to sell at the bar, and gave her daughter the jello to sell at school. They don't know if there was alcohol in them or not, but the zero tolerance policy includes a "lookalike" rule-

"The girl was suspended for violating school rules against possessing or trying to distribute a "lookalike," or something that appears to contain drugs or alcohol.
Under the lookalike rule, the girl's suspension will stand no matter what the sheriff's department finds.
"The school system's position is, it doesn't matter if it had alcohol in it or not," Nowakowski said."

So, this little girl can be suspended for bringing Jello to school. Ridiculous.

In addition, the school is requiring the girl to get a hair follicle test to check for drug use. I know there is a huge epidemic of 8-year-old crackheads out there, and we must get tough. But really, shouldn't there only be a punishment if the girl did, in fact, bring alcohol to school?

Sex ed and faith

So, the AMA has shown that abstinence-only sex ed does not work, and have stated that public monies should be used on programs that are "evidence-based". Shouldn't that be common sense in a country that has separation of church and state? Of course, this puts the AMA at odds with the Bush administration, and the Christian right, who want to continue to fund failing programs, just because those programs teach their morality. Screw facts or effectiveness, we need to indoctrinate these kids with our distaste and hang-ups about sex. Who cares if the information in these abstinence programs is wrong, or if along with abstinence, they promote social arrangements and sexist stereotypes? As long as kids know that sex is wrong, deadly, and will ruin your life (unless done in a marriage, missionary-style, for procreation), who cares about facts.

This reminds me of the case of the girl who tried to have her birth control prescription refilled, and was refused by the pharmacist because she wasn't married. If you want to moralize, become a preacher, not a fucking pharmacist! I wonder if said pharmacist would refuse to fill a prescription for herpes medicine? You know, if the herpes victim hadn't been screwing around, they wouldn't have gotten herpes, they should suffer.

As a society, we really need to draw lines between faith, science and education.