Da Scent

This is my first real attempt at an on-line journal. It'll be parts political, parts personal, parts other. I'll try to keep it interesting, whatever I write. Feedback is appreciated...

UPDATE: Ok, I've taken a step to avoid spammers. So anyone can post comments again, you'll just have to do a word verification first. No big deal, just a minor pain in the ass, courtesy of the fucktards.

Name:
Location: Pasadena, Maryland

Aspiring novelist (hey, write, call or e-mail if you can hook me up with a literary agent...no hurries though, I've only just started).

Thursday, March 31, 2005

TV Report

Thursday is always a good night for TV - you got a new CSI episode, and you have MXC on Spike all night. And tonight, as an added bonus, we had the NIT Final between South Carolina and St. Joe's. CSI and the basketball game were polar opposites...the CSI episode was compelling television for about 50 minutes or so, but then the end came and (as it does from time to time) totally ruined the rest of the show. Meanwhile South Carolina and St. Joe's played absoluetly rancid basketball for 39 and a half minutes, then provided one of the most dramatic finishes to a basketball game I'd ever seen. Just goes to show, I guess, that - scratch that, I have no idea what it goes to show. Don't judge a television program until it's over, I guess.

We've also got an encore presentation of Invasion Iowa, William Shatner's new reality show where he cons an entire town in Iowa into believeing that he's shooting a movie, when in fact he's shooting, well, a reality series. Not a bad concept, and Shatner is truly a funny guy, so it could work. I'm watching it as I'm typing this, and it's pretty good so far.

Alright kids...I'll let you know tommorow if it's worth watching. 'Til then, P&L...

New Favorite Website

Thanks to Whoosh for having this on his blog...this is a site where you can find your favorite music video, copy a code to your website, and it'll play whenever you open that site up. It's just too fucking cool for words. I shall be using it early and often on this site...

Video code provided by MusicVideoCodes.com

Browsing the New York Times

The major headlines on a Thursday afternoon:

First, Terri Schiavo died today. Contrary to what the Freepers would have you believe, there is no great liberal rejoicing over the death of this woman. What we feel now mostly is relief; relief that her suffering has ended, relief that this part of this ordeal has ended for her husband and family, relief that the wingnuts didn't take the advice of some Repub voices and attempt some sort of bloody insurrection, and relief that this terrible issue can finally go away. If Delay and Company will finally let this issue rest along with Mrs. Schiavo, then I will be happy to never type another word about it. The early results, however, are none too promising (thanks, DK).

Ted Koppel will be leaving Nightline after this year. He'll be joining Dan Rather & Tom Brokaw. Why all these departures at once? My contention is that these once-proud journalists are sick and tired of their profession having become little more than a mouthpiece for BushCo.

Gotta love this headline: "Report Calls U.S. Intelligence 'Dead Wrong' On Iraq Weapons".
Well, no shit. The first sentence, though, is what's really telling: "The American intelligence community was 'dead wrong' about Iraq's weapons arsenal in large part because of an outdated Cold War mentality and a vast, lumbering bureaucracy that continues to shackle dedicated and capable people, a presidential commission said today."
An outdated Cold War mentality, you say? From the same Administration that is still trying to sell us the "Star Wars" missle defense system and the one that has made a Soviet Historian Secretary of State? Get out of town!

Finally, here's a fantastic editorial on the current state of the Republican Party by former Senator and current minister and UN Ambassador John C. Danforth (R) of Missouri. I would love - LOVE - to see what my Repub friends' reactions to this are. Please read and comment...

Ok, enough out of me for now. NIT Final is tonight at 7:00. South Carolina vs. St. Joe's. I'll probably blog afterwards. 'Til then, P&L...

Minesweeper

2 Quick things, then I'm off to bed.

1 - CSI: New York wasn't particularly great. Gary Sinise and David Caruso would both do well to study how William Peterson is so wonderfully understated in his role in the original.

2 - I got a new best time in Minesweeper tonight, on the Expert Level. My Best Times are now:

Beginner: 9 Seconds
Intermediate: 61 Seconds
Expert: 233 Seconds

Not exactly record breaking times, but I'm proud of them...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

'Roid Rage

Well, our League (The Big Knockers) had its fantasy draft this evening. Of course, everyone is happy with their team after the draft - nobody drafts players who they think stink, after all - and I am no exception. I got a ton of players who I think are going to hit a ton of Home Runs for me this summer, and HRs has a way of carrying the other statistics along with it. So, without further ado, I present my team, 'Roid Rage:

Starting Line-Up

2B - Alfonso Soriano
3B - David Wright
OF - Jim Edmonds
1B - Mark Teixeira
OF - Gary Sheffield
OF - Sammy Sosa
DH - Justin Morneau
C - Mike Piazza
SS - Juan Uribe

Bench
C - Joe Mauer
SS - Alex Gonzalez
OF - Steve Finley

Pitchers
SP - Tim Hudson
SP - Carl Pavano
SP - Mark Mulder
SP - Odalis Perez
SP - Jon Lieber
SP - John Thomson
RP - Eddie Guardado
RP - Danys Baez
RP - Chad Cordero
RP - Jose Mesa

I feel pretty good about my team.

Here's a link I found via DU, and it's from right here on blogspot. It's a terrifically funny editorial run in Scientific American. I won't repost it, just link to it. Here.

Not much else to write about. Maybe I'll blog again after CSI: New York. Maybe not. We'll see.

P&L...

I'm Speechless

This one is from the NY Times, via DK.

Let me first say that I have never, ever advocated any kind of personal attack on the parents of Terri Schiavo. It has been my belief that these poor people have been deluded into believing that there is some way for their daughter to be resucitated, and that they have been used as pawns by creeps like Delay who have, on at least two occasions, admitted to being overjoyed that this case fell into their laps so they could use it for political gain.

But now they've gone and done something that is just plain disgusting. It seems they are selling the list of the people who have supported them in this fight to a right wing direct-marketing firm. Now, all of the people who sent this family money for their legal battle are going to be receiving solicitous snail and e-mails from every pro-life organization in the country.

Do we really live in a society where it is acceptable for parents to milk their suffering daughter's drawn-out death for every dollar it is worth? How much of a cut of this money - $150 to $500 a month per customer - is going to the firm? How much are they going to profit from this poor woman's death? These people see dollar signs everywhere they look, and if you don't see a problem with that, well, it's seriously time to reevaluate.

NIT Semifinal

I'm only posting because I said I would. This game was a microchasm of the Terrapins' entire season - an absolute goddam disgrace. These fuckers have all the athletic talent in the world, and they showed in the first few minutes that they could have mopped up the floor with this South Carolina team if they were mildly interested in doing so. There is no reason that a team that could beat a number 1 seed twice should even be in this tournament, let alone losing to South fucking Carolina - not North Carolina, SOUTH Carolina- unless most of the time they simply didn't give a shit. And that is on the head coach. This is the most pathetic job of coaching Gary Williams has ever done. It has been all downhill ever since their Championship, and it looks suspiciously like Gary has lost his drive. If the Terps have another embarrassing season like this one next year, maybe it's time they started looking at going in another direction.

On a more positive note, I would like to announce that I intend to nominate myself and several of my friends for the Nobel Prize. Now, we can all go on FOX News and pretend to be experts. If you would like Sean Hannity to refer to you as "Nobel Prize Nominated", let me know sometime in the next month, so I can get your letter written.

There has been some debate among liberals about how the Democrats should be reacting to the Schiavo mess (I know, I know, I said I didn't want to post about this, but I can not ignore what is by far the largest story in politics, however much I do not want it to be). Maureen Dowd wants the Dems to go on an all-out attack (it would be nice to see that, if only to know that they were capable of it). Others believe that this is an issue of which the Dems should steer clear, because it is no-win for them. As usual, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Congressional Democrats should avoid saying that the feeding tube should or should not be removed. What they should be saying, and saying loudly, is that the United States' Congress has no business getting involved in a matter that should be left up to the family and, if necessary, which it tragically is in this case, the Courts. They should be saying this for 2 reasons:

1 - It's true. Congress hasn't the least bit of jurisdiction here. Didn't anybody read the Constitution they swore to uphold?
2 - It's politically expedient. The majority of Americans favor the removal of the tube, but more importantly, the VAST majority of Americans, regardless of party line, feel that Congress has no business inserting itself in the issue. Even EVANGELICALS feel that way. Link. Every time they are asked about this issue, every Democrat should say, "It is irrelevant how I feel about this. It should not matter. Congress has no business getting involved." It will only make Delay and BushCo look more ridiculous as they continue to press this monumentally unpopular course of action. It's looking more and more like Delay's "Gift from God" Theory was not quite in line with reality...

Ok...it's midnight now, and I'm heading to bed. P&L...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Checking out the news on a Tuesday Afternoon

Hey guys...looking around the web for some interesting little tidbits, here's what I found:

Via DU:

http://www.cq.com/corp/show.do?page=crawford/20050325_homeland

So, now according to official Department of Homeland Security Policy, it's ok (apparently) to be a domestic terrorist, as long as you're a right-wing domestic terrorist, because then you're not really a terrorist at all. Never mind Oklahoma City, never mind the 1996 Olympic Bombing, never mind all of the abortion clinic bombings, never mind the KKK. The REAL threats are those environmentalist groups. Unbelievable.

Also from DU, more on Schiavo...

First up, we have Hal Harris, radio Repub. Here's the Right-to-Life movement at its finest.

"I advocate the use of force to rescue Terry Schiavo from being starved to death. I further advocate the killing of anyone who interferes with such rescue."

Who would interfere with such a noble cause, you ask? Well, police officers who are just doing their jobs. That's right folks, the right-wingers want you to kill cops.

But hold the phone...something made Harris change his mind. Change of heart? Did he realize his position was paradoxical, hypocritical even? Not exactly...

"Seeing as racial jews are the lowest form of scum on the planet ... maybe starving Terri to death isn't too bad a thing at all."

Words fail to adaquately describe that...

Words also fail to adaquately describe this rant by Tom Delay...

"One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America."

What might that be, Tom?

"This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others."

Tom Delay believes that *GOD HIMSELF* crippled & vegetated Mrs. Schiavo so that she could be used as a pawn in Republican political chess. Nice.

From the American Constitution Society Blog via The Decembrist via DailyKos:

http://www.acsblog.org/equal-protection-and-due-process-1066-guest-blogger-if-roe-falls-would-the-culture-of-life-trump-federalism-yet-again.html

I'll just go ahead and repost this in full:

by Sarah C. von der Lippe, of The Law Offices of Sarah C. von der Lippe.


Republicans acknowledged that the intervention was a departure from their usual support for states' rights. But they said their views about the sanctity life trumped their views about federalism. ("Congress Steps In on Schiavo Case, Lawmakers to Pass Bill to Resume Feeding, Allow Court Review", By Mike Allen and ManuelRoig-Franzia, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, March 20, 2005; Page A01)


This piece of reporting highlights a terribly important bit of legal hypocrisy on the part of right-wing conservatives. Everytime they call for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court who will overrule or undermine Roe v. Wade, they assert that the matter should be left to the states.
They assert that even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it won't eliminate abortion in the states in which the duly elected state representatives do not take steps to outlaw the practice. But the Schiavo case reveals the true priorities of the right: they are happy to abandon the principles of federalism if the issue is related to questions of "life." But if they are willing to cast aside federalism in the Schiavo case, won't they be willing to do the same in the context of abortion? And if they are, won't that inevitably lead to attempts to pass federal legislation banning abortion? The actions of conservatives in the context of the Terri Schiavo case should give us pause as Bush nominates new justices to the Supreme Court -- especially, given conservatives' admitted goal of denying women's constitutional right to privacy and reproductive choice.



That just about says it all.

Ok kids - Maryland vs. South Carolina @ around 9:15. I'll blog again after the game.

P&L...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite

Jeez! I saw Napoleon Dynamite finally for, like, the first time ever. It's pretty much the best movie I've seen since, well, Ong Bak.

Ok, so it was a little overhyped. But the guy who played the title character was great, and he's a pretty decent dancer, too. And besides, I'm not going to pretend that I didn't enjoy the movie. But I think some of the praise the movie received (Stephen Hunter called the character "one of the most winning movie creations in years", http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50969-2004Jun17.html) was overstating the case quite a bit. If you have to choose between Dynamite and, say, Sideways, chose the latter.

Tonight's episode of CSI: Miami was pretty decent.

Finally, Time did a poll of Americans and asked them how they felt about the Schiavo business. The responses:

Question 1: Was it right for Congress to intervene in this matter?
Yes: 20%
No: 75%
Don't Know: 5%

Question 2: Was it right for President Bush to intervene in this matter?
Yes: 24%
No: 70%
Don't Know: 6%

Question 3 (from the You Can Fool Some Of The People All Of The Time... Dept.): Do you think that Congress's and the President's intervention had more to do with their values and principles or more to do with politics?
Morals & Values: 25%
Politics: 65%

Question 4: If your member of Congress voted to move the Schiavo case to the federal courts, would this make you more likely to vote for or against him or her?
For: 21%
Against: 54%
Doesn't Matter: 18%

Let's hope the people keep their word...


and thanks to DailyKos...


One last thing, then it's off to bed. Just a quick reminder that Maryland's NIT semifinal against South Carolina is tommorow night sometime between 9 and 9:30, the exact tip time depending on the other semifinal, between Memphis and St. Joesph's, which starts at 7:00. Both games will be on ESPN.

Ok, night all. P&L...

Final Four

Ok, this post is going to be pretty much completely college hoops, although I'll use the first paragraph to talk about my day...

Woke up about 10:30 or so, came down here and posted on the Schiavo business. Didn't accomplish much else until about 12:30, when Kate, Duncan, & I went over to the Rodgers for an all too uncommon visit. The dog is a complete attention whore, and so he loved being somewhere where he had four people fawning all over him. Then Kate's friend Sean came over - he's a pretty cool guy from Trinidad. He ate *EASTER* dinner with us (lamb - delicious, as lamb always is when dad cooks it), and we all watched the ball games (more on that later). He also explained a lot to me about cricket - the terminology, anyway. We played a few rounds of Texas Hold 'Em, and Kate pulled a straight flush to the 6, the best hand I've ever personally seen in that game. Then I went over to Jeff's house to play some more poker, and ended up winning 3 bucks, which I promptly blew at Taco Bell. So thanks Mike & Jeff (the big donators) for that grande soft taco & medium Cherry Pepsi (I love Value Menus).

Ok, now onto hoops. The Final Four was set today, as we all know. We got Illinois vs. Louisville in one semifinal, and North Carolina vs. Michigan State in the other. At this point, I don't see how you can not pick Illinois. They are now 36-1 on the season. We were told that the Big 10 was a weak conference, but they had 3 teams in the Sweet 16, matched only by the ACC, 3 teams in the Elite 8, matched by nobody, and now 2 teams in the Final Four - again, matched by nobody. They certainly played better competition than Louisville (33-4), whose toughest opponent in Conference USA was Cincinnati, who didn't even make the Sweet 16. North Carolina (31-4) has to deal with Roy Williams' perennial March failures (they've already lost one Tournament this March - the ACC Tournament), and Michigan State (26-6) has already lost to Illinois twice. Nobody wants to pick Illinois though - I guess they're too obvious - so here's what you're gonna see. For the next 5 days we'll hear from all the experts how Louisville is going to beat Illinois, and then for the next two after that we'll hear about Carolina is going to beat Illinois, and then after the Final all the pundits will be wondering why nobody was picking the team with one loss that waltzed through the NCAA Tournament as easily as they did the regular season and Big 10 Tournament.

Quick note on the NIT, which I am only interested in because Maryland is playing in it. It looks like the Terps have to be considered the favorites to win this thing, especially after Georgetown bowed out in their bracket's final. They've been playing some really good ball so far in the tourney, albeit at home and against less than stellar competition. One more win (against South Carolina, 7:00 on Tuesday @ MSG) would put them at 20 for the season, and place them in the NIT Final, against probably Memphis, who they already trounced earlier this year. One cannot help but notice that they are playing this way without John Gilchrest, although it is not fair to forget Gilchrest's achievements last season, especially in the ACC Tourney. Also, once again, the Terps have been doing it against Oral Roberts, Davidson, & TCU. These are games they should win with 2 starters in, let alone 4.

One final bit, then I'm off to bed - my dad's alma matter, the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota, have reached their 15th Frozen Four. The Sioux will be after their 8th National Championship. Their Semifinal will be on April 7th against either Minnesota or Cornell on ESPN2. So, if you're suffering from hockey withdrawl, turn on the game and cheer on the Sioux for my dad.

Ok, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll have something interesting to report tommorow evening. Till then - Peace & Love...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Addendum

Couple things to add, now that it's a more reasonable time of day and I'm not falling asleep at my computer.

First, I saw a terrifically interesting documentary last night called Control Room about Al Jazeera, the Arabic news network. It is definately worth a rental, especially if all you know about Al Jazeera is what BushCo wants you to know (which is probably the case - it definately was the case with me). I'm not saying that the documentary isn't biased or slanted in any way; we have to come to grips with the fact that any way we get our information is going to be biased or slanted - news does not happen in a vacuum, and reporters do not live in one. This can be a good thing, however, provided we do not rely on one source or point of view for all of our information. This documentary provides us with another point of view, and it's one that you really ought to have if you want to be able to form well-grounded meaningful opinions on the Middle East region in general and especially on Al Jazeera in particular.

Secondly, and I really don't want to do this, since I think the story is terribly overplayed as it is already, I'm going to go ahead and comment on the Schiavo affair. How these Right-To-Lifers look themselves in the mirror when they get up in the morning is quite beyond me. They plug their heads in the sand, ostrich-like, whenever any evidence comes up showing that we're executing innocent people in this country, and they rail against the Supreme Court when it rules that we should not be the only civilized country on the planet still executing children, but when it comes to euthanzing somebody who is stretching the definiton of "living" to a include a state of limbo from which the patient will never emerge, all of a sudden life becomes sacrosanct. Executing people who were convicted of crimes they did not do = good, removing the feeding tube of somebody who's life is effectively over = bad. It's absolutely crazy, and it's also damn scary. What if you were Ms. Schiavo, or her husband? How wold you like to be married to the woman you loved, then see her through this entire tragedy, make the agonizing decision to end her "life", and then have Congressional leaders call you barbaric.

Which brings me to Mr. DeLay. In 1988, Tom DeLay's father was removed from medical assistance keeping him alive. His father had no living will. He was in a vegetative state. It was, basically, the Schiavo case before there was a Schiavo case - except without the intervention of Congress & the Courts & the Protestors & Everyone Else Making Mr. Schiavo Even More Miserable Than He Already Was. This time, Tom DeLay actually had a reason to have a part in the decision whther or not to keep the patient alive - and he chose not to. If it's his father, let the patient die. If it's your wife, letting the patient die is an act of barbarism. Tom DeLay is a piece of shit. I know this isn't news, but the extent to which he is one grows more and more remarkable by the day. If this is the party of *JESUS*, then I am proud to consider myself not a Christian, as that word has been savagely twisted to mean.

The First Entry

Ok kids...SubProfile is dead & gone...good riddance...more trouble than it was worth...

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, I present you with Da Scent. This is a real, honest to *GOD* blog, with room for user feedback and everything. I'll even put my picture up here some day, when I get around to it...

So what is this gonna be? Venting space, look for responses to posts in other blogs, clever links I spot during my web Adventures; and, oh yeah, I'll definately keep you guys informed on how My Novel is coming.

WTF? Novel?

Yeah, I've decided to write something (other than this, obviously...). Tenatively, I'm titling it Rewired. I'd post more about it but I'd rather not. If you're interested, please e-mail (gday81@aol.com). First update: I've just started the damn thing.

In other news, it's *EASTER* tommorow, but more importantly (?) we'll finally be down to the Final Four in the NCAA Hoops Tourney. Illinois, the team I picked to win, still looks good. I'd say more, but if you care, you already know, and if you don't, you don't want to.

Oh...my Spring Break Trip. Went to Louisiana for a week w/The Family, including Duncan (the dog) but not including Kate (the sister) who had Spring Break last week, because her school is run by boobs. And I apologize for offending any boobs. Great time, great food, great weather. Oh, there was that bit about my mom going to the hospital with asthmatic bronchitis, but we don't like the details to get in the way of our fun. Duncan showed glimpses of what a chick magnet he can be with application. I plan on taking him to the park as soon as the weather is as nice up here as it was down there (seriously, you should see this guy in action...I could train him for 5 years and not get any better results than what he does naturally...I'd rent him out if he was mine to rent out).

Ok, done writing for now. Expect regular postings. I'll write again tommorow if I get the opportunity.