Thursday, September 28, 2006

This is America?

The New York Times editorialized on the "compromise" between President Bush and the "maverick" Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona, John Warner of Virginia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. As per usual, Republicans talk tough in their dealings with the President, but then back down in "compromise" and give him everything he wants, ala Arlen Specter. The bill, which was already approved by the House of Representatives, gives the President virtually all of the leeway he wants to imprison without charges, torture, deny legal representation and keep it all a big secret.
The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published.

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.

I ask again; Is this America?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Week 3 Recap

I have to start with my Steelers this week. Yes, they lost to the Bungles. Yes, Big Ben threw three picks. But I still have confidence in the 1-2 Steelers. They didn't get outplayed by Cincy. The defense did a great job, and so did the offensive line. It just appears the offseason surgeries have had a bigger effect on Ben than I and maybe even Bill Cowher thought. This team is going to bounce back as long as Ricardo Coclough never returns another punt.
Jacksonville's defense put in another great effort against Indianapolis. Unfortunately special teams and just a little offense in the second half was enough for Indy to win. The Jags defense is for real.
I'm still not sold on New Orleans keeping up the impressive run all season. Monday night was a great performance, their first win over a good team in Atlanta. It was great for the city.
Tampa Bay lost again, and probably lost quarterback Chris Simms for the year after his spleen ruptured. Carolina finally got in the win column. Miami looks even less like a playoff team following their first win. They barely beat the awful Titans. The Jets are 2-1, but they beat bad teams. Still better than I thought. After barely beating the bad Jets and Bills, New England played a good team and looked like a bad one themselves, following a loss to Denver.
Arizona and the New York Giants are both 1-2. Two of the favored NFC playoff contenders have offensive issues. The Cardinals can't score, mostly thanks to Kurt Warner, and the Giants can't score early. Philadelphia is 2-1, beating bad teams. The Ravens and the Bears are quietly 3-0.
Mark Brunell looked like Peyton Manning this past weekend. Unfortunately for him he won't play the Texans again. Brett Favre also looked great. He only gets one more game against the Lions. The Raiders found maybe the only way they can avoid losing this season; don't play.
Early line on coaches who could be out of a job this year; Tom Coughlin, Jeff Fisher, Art Shell and Dennis Green.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ryan Adams featuring Adam Duritz

Duritz guested on Adams' Answering Bell from his record Gold. Watch for the surprising cameo at the end.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Week 2 Recap

After two weeks of play, some questions still remain in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers dropped their game against Minnesota, and panic may set in soon for one of the NFC favorites. Despite Steve Smith's absence, there is no way they should be 0-2. The defending Super Bowl Champs didn't look so super against the Jaguars either. The Steelers managed only 153 yards on offense and were shut out. Jacksonville played fired up, and the Steelers better get used to that because they now have a big bullseye on their jerseys. The Bengals will be every bit as, if not more, fired up in week 3.
In my season preview I stated the Washington Redskins offense would go nowhere behind old man Mark Brunell. Four words come to mind with that prediction; I told you so.
The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles looked to be swapping spots from where I predicted they'd be, until that fantastical role-reversal with the Giants terrific comeback. The Eagles also lost Jevon Kearse for the season, so they get a double-whammy. This could be a big blow in spite of the very nice addition Donte Stallworth has been thus far. Miami and Tampa Bay are looking far from the playoff teams I predicted they'd be, meanwhile Phillip Rivers and the Chargers are looking much better than I thought.
The Saints are 2-0, but they played the Browns and Packers. Let's see how they fare against the Atlanta Falcons this week. Seattle is 2-0, but it's not a very impressive 2-0. The same goes for the New England Patriots. Baltimore Ravens at 2-0 haven't played a good team, but they beat the bad ones decisively. Kansas City Chiefs season is going down the drains and Larry Johnson, the first pick in most fantasy drafts, will not see the huge numbers his owners want.
Tennessee Titans should probably start letting Vince Young get all the playing time he can handle. Good God, the Oakland Raiders are awful.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Flaming Lips

Mr. Ambulance Driver from the album At War with the Mystics.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Guess Things Like This Are No Longer News

Seriously. This story is dated Aug. 2. Why am I now just reading this? This administration is so scary when it comes to the erosion of our liberties that stories like this can fly under the radar. We're just so used to it.
WASHINGTON - A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such ''commissions'' to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not al Qaeda members or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal plan.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, also allows the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.

The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Detainees also would not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

An early draft of the new law prepared by civilian political appointees and leaked to the media last week has been modified in response to criticism from uniformed military lawyers. But the provisions allowing a future expansion of the courts to cover new crimes and more prisoners were retained, according to government officials who are familiar with the deliberations.

It has fianlly occurred to me why this adminstration has so many problems with leaks. The shit they do and think about doing is always just so scary, unconstitutional and dumb people just so often feel the need to alert the public. I'm not sure how much good it does, but at least we still have that.

Taking on Enemies of the State

US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.

And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident.

The opening scene, which shows Borat lustily kissing his sister goodbye and setting off for America in a car pulled by a horse, had audiences in stitches when it was first shown last week.

But the film, which has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has prompted a swift reaction from the Kazakhstan government, which is launching a PR blitz in the States.

Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev is to fly to the US to meet President Bush in the coming weeks and on the agenda will be his country's image.

President Nazarbayev has confirmed his government will buy "educational" TV spots and print advertisements about the "real Kazakhstan" in a bid to save the country's reputation before the film is released in the US in November.

Personally, I can't wait to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

E-Voting Problems

This fall I will be voting on an electronic machine for the first time. I've been concerned about the security of such machines for a while, and not just because Diebold's CEO personally gives me cause for concern. These machines can easily be hacked. Truth be told, everytime they are used there ends up being some problem.
Princeton University has compiled a study that concludes with some disturbing, yet unsurprising, results.
Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities — a voting-machine virus.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This Just In, Tucker Carlson Can't Dance

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Not my own, mind you, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's. Two letters in yesterday's edition stood out to me.
Sen. Santorum was very well-informed about Social Security, health care, terrorism, economics and other issues that were discussed. I was first impressed at how well he knew those subjects but even more impressed when he had the solutions to the problems that our state and country face.

Yeah, he's so well-informed he thinks WMD's were found in Iraq.

Ask yourself this one question: Why are the most disgraceful politicians of our time coming from the Democratic side of the aisle? Those who shamelessly blame our president for this war we now face instead of our enemies. Those who continually try to derail our country's efforts while stabbing her soldiers in the back as they fight for our freedom and way of life.

Democratic politicians don't give a damn about our brave soldiers in harm's way or about the future of this nation. They only want one thing: their power back.

If you really think the Democrats, whom I am no great fan of, are the sleazier group who will do anything for power, I have five words for you: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Florida Students From Sept. 11 Remember Bush

One memorable quote:
"I thought, personally, that he had to go use the bathroom."

Journalist Arrested

Greg Palast, whose book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy I've read, has been charged by the Department of Homeland Security for doing his job.
On August 22, for LinkTV and Democracy Now! we videotaped the thousands of Katrina evacuees still held behind a barbed wire in a trailer park encampment a hundred miles from New Orleans. It’s been a year since the hurricane and 73,000 POW’s (Prisoners of W) are still in this aluminum ghetto in the middle of nowhere. One resident, Pamela Lewis said, “It is a prison set-up” — except there are no home furloughs for these inmates because they no longer have homes.

To give a sense of the full flavor and smell of the place, we wanted to show that this human parking lot, with kids and elderly, is nearly adjacent to the Exxon Oil refinery, the nation’s second largest, a chemical-belching behemoth.

So we filmed it. Without Big Brother’s authorization. Uh, oh. Apparently, the broadcast of these stinking smokestacks tipped off Osama that, if his assassins pose as poor Black folk, they can get a cramped Airstream right next to a “critical infrastructure” asset.

So now Matt and I have a “criminal complaint” lodged against us with the feds.

Read all of it.

Week One Recap

The first week of NFL play resulted in some surprises. First off, it's looking like I was correct in my statement that the AFC North would be the toughest division. The Steelers, Bengals and Ravens all got big wins. The top teams in the NFC looked none too impressive. The Panthers got rolled at home by the Falcons. I understand Steve Smith didn't play, but if this team is that good, they still should have been able to win that game, or at least make it competitive. The Seahawks kick three field goals to the Lions' two, and that's the game. Not good. The Cowboys got beaten by the Jaguars and the Giants got beaten by the Colts. The last was the most excusable. Also, the Eagles shouldn't get too excited just cause they beat the Texans. Boy, are the Packers awful.
In the AFC, a safety on J.P. Losman was the difference between the Patriots and the Bills. Meanwhile the Broncos lost to the Rams. Two of the AFC's elite have to get better. I'm also not sure what to draw from the Titans losing at home to the Jets. Are the Jets a bit better than I thought or Titans worse?
I caught a glimpse of the Fox pregame show and all their hosts (Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long and Joe Buck) picked NFC teams to win the Super Bowl. It looks like they were far off. But, it's only the first week, so we can't draw that many conclusions.
I'm worried about my prediction of Nick Saban winning Coach of the Year after his boneheaded attempt to challenge Heath Miller's touchdown. He waited forever and then lightly tossed tossed the flag where no one could see it. He's got ground to make up if I'm to be correct.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years. Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world -- no tips from informants, no snippets from electronic intercepts, no points on any satellite image -- has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.

"The handful of assets we have have given us nothing close to real-time intelligence" that could have led to his capture, said one counterterrorism official, who said the trail, despite the most extensive manhunt in U.S. history, has gone "stone cold."

What do you expect? The president doesn't even really think about bin Laden anymore. Not important. Old news.
On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.

That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.

"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."

Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2002.

When You Have Nothing Else on which to Run...

Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

There's really nothing else to add, is there?

Dick Cheney is a Crazy Person: Vol. II

Normally I wouldn't neccesarily single Cheney out for this post. But given his ridiculous "turning point" statement in the previous story, I figured I would.
The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

Devlin reports that there are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province's most significant political force, said the Army officer, who has read the report. Another person familiar with the report said it describes Anbar as beyond repair; a third said it concludes that the United States has lost in Anbar.

Devlin offers a series of reasons for the situation, including a lack of U.S. and Iraqi troops, a problem that has dogged commanders since the fall of Baghdad more than three years ago, said people who have read it. These people said he reported that not only are military operations facing a stalemate, unable to extend and sustain security beyond the perimeters of their bases, but also local governments in the province have collapsed and the weak central government has almost no presence.

So we cannot win one-third of the country because of this administration's fuckups, but hey, don't point that out cause we'll embolden the enemy. Umm, Mr. Cheney, don't you think knowing they've won that section of the country provides al-Qaeda a tad more comfort than anything Michael Moore might say? What do you think?

Oh, and go fuck yourself.

Dick Cheney is a Crazy Person

Vice President Cheney offered a veiled attack yesterday on critics of the administration's Iraq policy, saying the domestic debate over the war is emboldening adversaries who believe they can undermine the resolve of the American people.

"They can't beat us in a stand-up fight -- they never have -- but they're absolutely convinced they can break our will, [that] the American people don't have the stomach for the fight," Cheney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The vice president said U.S. allies in Afghanistan and Iraq "have doubts" the United States will finish the job there. "And those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we've had in the United States," he said. "Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists."

It constantly drives Republicans crazy when you refer to the tactics of this administration as McCarthyism. But really, it is the most apt description. The man condemns the debate. Pointing out his own incompetence is tantamount to treason in his eyes. Debating his decisions puts us at risk. We're at risk because of his decisions, not because of our criticisms of them. When wingnut pundits like Ann Coulter call critics traitors it's disturbing and mildly amusing seeing such craziness. It's at least a little scary when the person making the charge, ya know, runs the country.

Go fuck yourself Cheney.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Football Preview Post

I'm going to give you my predictions for the upcoming season. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say once again I am a Steelers fan. I am also one of the biggest homers you will see. That being said, when I predict them to do well, is it really that much of a stretch?

NFC West:
One of the easiest divisions to handicap. It's Seattle. They got back Shaun Alexander and brought in Nate Burleson and Julian Peterson. They may even still bring in Deion Branch.
1: Seattle Seahawks. I think I just spelled it out.
2: Arizona Cardinals. Sure, this team is loaded at the skill positions. Larry Fitzgerald is already a top wide receiver, and he's getting better. Anquan Boldin is terrific and Edgerrin James can still run the ball. The negatives are Kurt Warner has looked old his past three seasons, and most importantly, they are still the Cardinals. No matter in Chicago, St. Louis or Arizona/Phoenix, this is the worst franchise in the NFL.
3: St. Louis Rams. Hard to believe how much the offense has changed from the Greatest Show on Turf. Warner is gone. Mike Martz is gone. Marshall Faulk is gone for at least now. Isaac Bruce has gone way downhill. They still have Torry Holt and now have Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson which could make for a good offense. But the defense is still pretty bad, no matter how much they try.
4: San Francisco 49ers. Is this team getting better? I can't tell. Alex Smith needs to make a big leap, but they lose Peterson, Brandon Lloyd and Kevan Barlow. I see no progress.

NFC South:
This is a more competitive division, but as the NFC still struggles to compete with the AFC, it's still going to be hard to tell how good these teams actually are.
1: Carolina Panthers. I really don't see a better team in the NFC. They just about have it everywhere. They have a solid defense with Julius Peppers, and the offense gets better. DeAngelo Williams will help DeShaun Foster and the running game. Keyshawn Johnson can obviously help Steve Smith get open even more. And yes, Jake Delhomme is a winner at quarterback.
2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I see a solid season here, with nice pieces at lots of positions. Cadillac Williams is the real deal at runningback. However, is Chris Simms good? Joey Galloway is getting pretty old, as is a lot of that once great defense.
3: Atlanta Falcons. Michael Vick has never progressed beyond the flashes of brilliance he displayed in 2002. He's also never been helped with a good group of receivers. They still aren't good. Warrick Dunn is getting no younger either.
4: New Orleans Saints. It's not a matter of how many games they win, it's what they see out of their players. This team is bad, it's just answering questions. Is Reggie Bush as good as advertised? Can Drew Brees rebound and re-establish himself as a top quarterback? Is Deuce McAllister healthy? Hell, they even have questions about the health of their stadium.

NFC East:
Conventional wisdom says this is the most competitive division in the league. Any of the four teams could win it. I don't believe that though. I think it's actually a two horse race.
1: Dallas Cowboys. Terrel Owens, Terry Glenn, Julius Jones and Drew Bledsoe are a nice core of skill players on offense. They also have really good young defensive players in Marcus Spears and Demarcus Ware. Offensive line and kicker problems aside, could be the best team Parcells has had in Dallas.
2: New York Giants. Eli Manning should settle into his role in New York better this year. But he doesn't have the weapons Bledsoe has, especially if he and Plaxico Burress get further apart. Tiki Barber is 31 and could start to slow. Defense is really good though, especially adding Lavar Arrington.
3: Philadelphia Eagles. Once again Donovan McNabb finds himself armed with help beneath his talent. Mediocre wide receivers even after bringing in Donte Stallworth will hold him back. I also doubt Brian Westbrook's ability to carry as much as they need. They better hope the defense plays better this year.
4: Washington Redskins. Poised to take a giant step back this year. Mark Brunell will prove Joe Gibbs faith in him was unfounded. The offense will go nowhere with him and their overpaid, over-rated wide receivers. Defense will be really good, but the offense will be so bad.

NFC North:
God, this division is bad. So, so bad.
1: Minnesota Vikings. The only team that will be able to score any points gets the edge here. Defense isn't that good, but has a couple pieces. Don't look for them to make any noise in the playoffs though. The Vikings are actually the only team here good enough to be called mediocre on both sides of the ball.
2: Chicago Bears. Yeah, they have a good defense, which will be a real benefit in the North come December, but their offense is awful. Two good runningbacks and one good receiver will get you nowhere. Teams will score a few points on them. Will they score back?
3: Detroit Lions. They have a few good players like Roy Williams and Kevin Jones, so they get third. Jon Kitna could do well here too, especially with Mike Martz running the offense.
4: Green Bay Packers. If Brett Favre decided he didn't want to play another season like last year, I have a hard time figuring out what brought him back to this team. They're just awful. Try to find one potential Pro-Bowler on their team. Just try.

AFC West.
Once again, the Raiders have a new coach and quarterback. Some things never change.
1: Denver Broncos. What do you know, Mike Shanahan's Browncos defensive line worked pretty well. I guess it was just Cleveland holding them back. Patience is wearing out with Jake Plummer, hence the Jay Cutler draft pick, but with Javon Walker and the running game, they should do well enough to win the division.
2: Kansas City Chiefs. Same story as before, they still have the offense, but the defense is still struggling. Herm Edwards can't change that in one year, so they better hope Trent Green, Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez are as good as ever.
3: San Diego Chargers. May have the best player in footbal in LaDainian Tomlinson, along with the most dangerous tight end in Antonio Gates. But, still short at the receiver position, and short on experience with Phillip Rivers now the quarterback. Defense still has Shawn Merriman and Quentin Jammer, but now no Steve Foley.
4: Oakland Raiders. The script never changes, only the names, and sometimes they don't either. Art Shell is back with the Raiders, but Jeff George is not. Can he finally convince Al Davis to not sign every over-rated player to a fat contract, cough cough, Warren Sapp, cough cough? The plusses for this team; Randy Moss and Lamont Jordan. The minusses; Aaron Brooks and everyone else.

AFC South: The second no-brainer division.
1: Indianapolis Colts. Even after losing James, this is easily the best team. The offense will still be as explosive as any. The defense continues to get better with Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders as good as anyone at their positions. Can Peyton Manning finally deliver the postseason success? Probably not. But they'll have fun getting there.
2: Jacksonville Jaguars. This team is basically just like their quarterback, Byron Leftwich: Pretty solid, but nothing spectacular. They lucked into the playoffs last year, even though other teams were better. They'll need to actually play better to get back. I don't see it.
3: Tennessee Titans. Not really getting any better this year, except maybe at runningback. Kerry Collins should take over at quarterback, but that doesn't impress. Defense is not really good either.
4: Houston Texans. Back to the drawing board for the youngest franchise. First they pass on Bush, now Domanick Davis goes on injured reserve. Who could run behind that offensive line anyway? Just pray David Carr doesn't get killed on the field.

AFC East:
The final no-brainer.
1: New England Patriots. They're not getting any better, but they don't have to to stay atop this division. With Tom Brady, Bill Bellicheck and most of their defense in tact, they will rule, and they just know how to win games. Please, stop bitching about Adam Vinatieri.
2: Miami Dolphins. In Daunte Culpepper may finally have the quarterback worthy of being a starter, something they haven't had since their Hall-of-Famer retired. Chris Chambers, Ronnie Brown and Randy McMichael, he's got help. I smell wild card.
3: Buffalo Bills. Please Buffalo, for the love of God, just play J.P. Losman. Kelly Holcomb is not them guy. Just let Losman get his experience. Otherwise, don't blame anyone else if in the future your team is decent, but held back by a bad quarterback.
4: New York Jets. I still like Chad Pennington actually. But there ain't much of anything else to like here. They were bad last year when they still had Curtis Martin, John Abraham and Ty Law. This is going to get ugly.

AFC North:
This is probably the best division in the league. Three good teams could compete for the crown.
1: Pittsburgh Steelers. Even after an off-season filled with a lot of drama, the defending Super Bowl champs should get one crown that eluded them last year, division champs. I don't see the motorcycle accident or appendectomy as significant setbacks to Ben Roethlisberger. They didn't lose much, or at least much they'll struggle to replace. Still have the most fearsome components on defense in Joey Porter, Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton. Can Willie Parker carry all the load without Jerome Bettis?
2: Cincinnati Bengals. The Bungles no more, at least for now. Carson Palmer is back and as good as ever. He's scary good. But, will he prove to be a Manning and fizzle under the pressure, or Brady and thrive in it? Defense is still not good, as they spend more time in court than opponents' backfield.
3: Baltimore Ravens. Could they finally have a quarterback? That's the big question. They're excited about Steve McNair, but this guy is beaten up. Hell, he thought about retiring two years ago. It all hinges on him.
4: Cleveland Browns. This is the year Romeo Crennel lets his young players work together and, hopefully, progress. Charlie Frye, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr. could be a really good offense in two or three years. Still working on getting that defense together.

NFC Wildcards: New York and Tampa Bay
AFC Wildcards: Cincinnati and Miami
NFC Champions: Carolina Panthers
AFC Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl XLI Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers
Coach of the Year: Nick Saban
MYP: Tom Brady
Defensive Player of the Year: Troy Polamalu
Offensive Player of the Year: Larry Johnson
Comeback Player of the Year: Duante Culpepper
Defensive Rookie: Bobby Carpenter
Offensive Rookie: Joseph Addai

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Chestless Men and Armchair Warriors

Glenn Greenwald's blog, Unclaimed Territory, is one I don't read enough. When I do, there is always something interesting. Glenn doesn't seem as blatantly partisan as Kos and Atrios, which is nice. But, he hits as hard as anyone.

He reveals more asininity from the pro-war tough guys.