Friday, October 26, 2007

Within you, without us

Just a brief update to link to this article by an Iranian journalist formerly imprisoned as a dissident. I like it because it makes a point that I have come to realize more and more as the war in Iraq has spiraled out of control: successful democratic reform must come from within, not from without. The democratic governments that remain successful today began by gradually developed dissent among the national populace that boiled over into revolution. In the United States, we have something of an (admittedly understandable) arrogance in believing that we can bring about change in countries controlled by autocracy, coupled with the desire to do so. (Of course, as a paragraph in the article points out, our desire to have governments be pro-American often trumps our desire to have their people be free.) But ultimately, what we probably need to do is just be patient.

If that sounds isolationist, it isn't intended to. Once the revolution has begun, we can of course involve ourselves in a diminished capacity. After all, would our Revolution have succeeded without the French? And also, raging against human rights violations all the while wouldn't be such a bad idea either.

Song lyric of the day (what else would it be?):
"We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth
Then it’s far too late"
- the Beatles, Within You Without You

Monday, October 22, 2007

Norris Hearts Huckabee

Enjoy the remainder of the 2008 Presidential campaign, y'all, for my decision has just been made for me: if Mike Huckabee is good enough for Walker, Texas Ranger, then he's good enough for me.

No word yet on who Jack Bauer is voting for.

Song lyric of the day:
"Who am I, this breath of fading mist?
Where do I stand on this speck of heaven's dust?
Suspended on a sunbeam
Where no one's really listening"
- Wilderness of Tekoa, Sunbeam

Saturday, October 20, 2007

17-6; or, eff Steve Spurrier


Doo-doo doo DOO doo DOO
Doo-doo doo doo doo VANDERBILT!
Doo-doo doo doo doo doo
...yada yada...

Thank you.

Man, not even the Trojans could have covered the Cocks that well. (Rimshot) (Cue Banecker: "Stop saying rimshot.") And the fact that SoCar's coach is the reviled Steve Spurrier just makes it that much better. This is truly a glorious day.

Now off to the beer festival to celebrate.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Proof of irrelevance

Does anyone else think that the mere fact that the President of the United States has to point out his relevance just goes to prove the exact opposite?

I'll admit the Democrats have indeed accomplished remarkably little during their first year in Congress. But can the same not be said of the Republican Congress that preceded them? Really, beyond the gross expansion of executive powers, I can't really recall Congress having done much of anything useful in the last 6 years. The Supreme Court, on the other hand... (not that I expect this one to last with a conservative court, but still, it's something).

On an unrelated note, I finally have a presidential candidate I can get behind. Now I just have to move to South Carolina...

Song lyric of the day:
"Raised in Carolina, she says I'm not like that
Trying to remind her when we go back
I say the right things but act the wrong way
I try but you see, it's hard to explain"
- the Strokes, Hard to Explain

Friday, October 12, 2007

Vanderbilt == World's Most Peaceful University?

Apparently so. Because now, for two straight years, a Vanderbilt alumnus has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Last year, it was economist Mohammed Yunus, who developed the concept of microloans. This year, it's former Vice President, President-half-elect, sort of Academy Award winner Al Gore.

Maybe this is why we haven't had an above-500 football team for 25 years: we're just too peaceful. Well, Dores, I think we've made our point about peace. Now let's sic them Bulldogs tomorrow!

Song lyric of the day:
"I try not to wonder or tell you that I'm not willing to wait
'Cause deep in my heart I'm willing, heart's still willing
Brain's impatient, my heart's still willing to wait"
- Yo La Tengo, Did I Tell You

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Offering up my services

Notice to Major League Baseball teams: I am offering up my services to predict your team to lose.

Why? Because apparently every prediction I ever make goes completely horribly awry.

The D-Backs will take one of two before getting swept in Chicago? Hmmm, D-Backs win in three. Phillies in four? Hell, I'm not even sure the Phils showed up. "I'd like the Indians to beat the Yankees but it ain't gonna happen"? Indians are up two and the Yankees have looked downright pathetic.

So now, to all teams still in the playoffs, I suggest that it may behoove you to hire me to predict you to lose. My fees are small; I'm willing to accept as little as $10,000 for the LCS only, plus $20,000 for the World Series. This is a limited time offer. Call now.

"But Mike, your Red Sox prediction, while the least definitive among your guesses, has shown to be largely accurate so far."

Well, yeah, okay, but who didn't see that one coming?

Song lyric of the day:
"You've got it all wrong
You can't get it right"
- Archers of Loaf, Wrong

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On homicidal psycho jungle cats (by request)

They, like most other cats, would probably turn me into a wheezing, sneezing, boogery, watery mess. Which makes them a bad thing. Unless of course the HPJC is merely a stuffed animal that comes to life only in the mind of a ridiculously precocious 6-year-old boy. In which case they're fine.

Not sure what else my fellow Calvin and Hobbes fan wanted me to say about that.

Song lyric of the day:
"And I always thought this would be the land of milk and honey
Oh but I came to find out that it's all hate and money"
- Blind Melon, Tones of Home

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

MLB Roundup and Predictions

Now that Major League Baseball has finished a spectacular regular season, I feel inclined to offer a few thoughts and predictions.

First, there honestly needs to be no further discussion in the matter: Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday was the MVP of the National League this year. Even if we ignore that he drove and scored the tying and winning runs in last night's one game playoff, purely statistically he was the best all-around player in the N.L. If anyone other than Holliday earns MVP honors this year, well, I won't really know what to say. (Begrudgingly, I have to admit that A-Rod is pretty much a slam dunk on the A.L. side.)

Of course, now the Rockies get to go on and lose to the Phillies, largely because they're so damn tired after last night. They'll drop the first two then pick up the first one at home before the Phillies close it out. The Phils will go on to play the Cubs; though the D-Backs will give Jeff an early birthday present by taking one of the first two in Arizona, the Cubs will sweep in Chicago, then go on to beat the Phillies in an NLCS that will likely go down to the wire. Regardless, the Mets aren't going anywhere, and that makes me smile.

On the A.L. side, the more interesting Division Series is the one between the Red Sox and the Angels. I'm predicting the Sox due to the home field advantage, but really this one could go either way. I'd like the Indians to beat the Yankees (indeed, a World Series between the Indians, who haven't been champions since 1954, and the Cubs, whose drought has been worse than anything the Sahara has ever seen, would be fantastic) but it ain't gonna happen. The Yankees will be looking for payback in the ALCS from their 2004 humiliation against the Sox, but I predict the Sox will take this one in six.

The Cubs-Red Sox World Series I predicted in 2003 will finally come to fruition this year, but it won't last long - the Cubs just don't quite have it this year. The Red Sox should take them down in four games, though the Cubs might take the first one in Wrigley. All in all, I expect most of the postseason excitement to come from the League Championship Series. But that will be more than enough, methinks.

And, since I know a fair chunk of my readership could care less about baseball, I here offer them the opportunity to suggest the subject of my next post, though anything they could possibly come up with will be of less import.

Song lyric of the day:
"If man is five, then the devil is six
And if the devil is six, then God is seven"
- Pixies, Monkey Gone to Heaven