Friday, September 08, 2006

A forgettable week

So my wife sneezes on Monday and has back spasms so severe that there is no option except to take her directly to a hospital. Not exactly a great kickoff for the week. She's more or less fine, still getting physical therapy daily, but slowing getting back to normal.

But if that wasn't enough, somehow I contract tonsilitis acompanied by a 102 degree fever and aches and pains like I've never felt before. A sharp shot in the ass and two days of strong antibiotics later and I'm starting to get back to normal. Still exhausted most of the time, but at least I was able to go to Spanish class today. I'll get back to work on Monday.

Of course, now it seems like my lovely wife has caught it too. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round...

Anyway, my stunning logic from the other day in reference to Al Queda ignored a very simple possibility. Video "warnings" could indeed signal new terrorism afoot, but not necessarily. The point of terrorism is to instill fear (to achieve political gain). You do that with violence. Now, with Al Queda's reputation as it is, perhaps these warnings are meant more to scare the beejeebees out of people than anything else. I don't know. But it's another option.


Not sure if anyone's been following this story about the ABC documentary on 9/11 that is supposed to air this Sunday and Monday, but I wanted to make a small comment. The basic story here is that a right-wing buddy of Rush Limbaugh wrote a screenplay on 9/11, sold it to ABC as a "documentary", made the movie for $40 million, and now is passing it off as "based on the 9/11 Commission report". What it is really is a partisan attack on the Clinton administration specifically and Democrats generally.

Essentially, the "mockumentary" puts all the blame on Clinton, arguing that he was distracted by the Lewinsky scandal and was afraid to take out Bin Laden. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Clinton specifically authorized the CIA to "use all means necessary" to find and eliminate Bin Laden. However, this movie has scenes involving Sandy Berger, for example, stating that the President hadn't given authority.

It's bad enough to capitalize on 9/11, but it's even worse to intentionally distort the facts behind one of the worst tragedies in US history. But, that wasn't sufficient for ABC. They went as far as to send letters to 100,000 school teachers urging them to show the "documentary" to their students. Even with the disclaimer that it is a fictionalized version of 9/11, the company is trying to pass it off as historical fact.

This is a terrible thing. And ABC is paying a price for this blunder as we speak. There has been a lot of press about the issue, the Democrats are mobilized, and important people (like famed historian Arthur Schlessinger) have chimed in with opposition. The latest reports indicate ABC is on the verge of caving.

You can do your part. Go to this link and fill out the petition. They've already collected over 100,000 and they want as many as they can get. This is an example of how an informed public can stop harmful right-wing propaganda before it invades the conscious of the unsuspecting. Do your part.


Ok, so the NFL season kicked off last night and in my fever induced delirium, I watched about half of the Steelers-Dolphins Spanish. And while I know my football comments bore some people, I can't resists making a few observations.

1. Miami is a very solid football team. They're not in the upper echelon in terms of talent, but they do things that a lot of teams don't. The don't have stupid penalties, they don't miss tackles, they're well coached and, excepting Culpepper's desperate attempt at a comeback, they aren't going to make too many mistakes. I like this team. In the first half last night I saw one missed tackle by the defense and that was more due to Willie Parker than anything else.

Ultimately, I can see Miami making the playoffs this year, but I can't see them winning any games once there. They just don't have enough athleticism. There were several times where the defense couldn't catch up with Parker and he turned would be losses into big gains. But also, on the offensive side, they just don't have any stars at wide receiver. Chris Chambers, the top guy on the team, is rather pedestrian and I can't even name any of their other WRs. Nor can I name their tight end.

I like the pickup of Culpepper. I love the defense. Ronnie Brown is decent. But absent a seriously talented TE or WR, I just can't see Miami making the leap. No matter, definitely a fun team to watch.

2. Pittsburgh, shockingly, is continuing in its role as the least impressive Super Bowl champs since the Baltimore Ravens. And they're good too. I like what they do. They know they have a great defense, that their offense isn't exactly spectacular (really - what is the difference between Batch and Rothlesberger?), but they make just enough plays to win games. It's a good formula in today's NFL. It doesn't always make for the most exciting football, but it does win games.

However, I'm a bit concerned with Pittsburgh this year. They have a lot of young players that they are depending on. For example, in the first half, rookie wide receiver Santonio Holmes made a variety of errors that cost the Steelers field position and stunted drives. The wide receiver position is troubling for the Steelers because they lost Randle-El to the Redskins, and while he wasn't ever particularly dominant, he added a twist to their offense that they have yet to replace.

In the end, I'm not expecting the Steelers to repeat as Champs. There's too much youth, too much upheaval, and too many negative karma factors. Plus, they can be just damn boring to watch, even if that Willie Parker is a stick of lit dynamite.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

read the whole story before placing blame... "The ABC network has rejected criticism, saying the film was not a documentary..."

3:28 PM  

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