Charter Member of the Sub-Media

July 31, 2005

Get Ready for the New Blog (UPDATED) « Blogging »

I'm switching to a new blog soon. I have a post up already. I haven't started tweaking the appearance yet, although I have begun to personalize the functionality.

If you want, stop by and leave comments, suggestions, helpful hints, etc.

It may take me awhile to get it all set up. I'm not sure when I'll start posting there full time, but it will be soon.

UPDATE: Link fixed. Thanks.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:33 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Chiefs Sign Top Pick « Kansas City Chiefs »

See? Nothing to worry about.

Well within time to solidify his grasp on the starting OLB position.

Sure, it would have been better if he'd signed 3 days earlier. It would also have been better if we'd won every single Super Bowl since the very first one. So what? You work with reality, not wishes, and we've got a pretty dang good reality in Derrick Johnson!


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Posted by Nathan at 10:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 29, 2005

Tommy Lives « Social Issues »

If you aren't familiar with the Who's rock opera Tommy, you might want to get familiar with it now.

Cuz while this video-game whiz isn't deaf or mute, he is blind.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Why The Chiefs Must Win the Superbowl This Year « Kansas City Chiefs »

Future Hall of Famers (near-lock):
Willie Roaf
Will Shields
Dante Hall
Tony Gonzales
Priest Holmes

Sure, TG and Dante probably need another record-breaking season or several more seasons of being dangerous weapons before they become a lock. Priest may have problems since he lost so many games to injury and wasn't a force until he came to the Chiefs (although I don't think there's ever been a runner so dangerous inside the 20...which is sufficient to meet Hall of Fame criteria, in my opinion).

But look at that: there are five near-lock Hall of Famers playing on the same team right now. They are all on offense, which is why are offense has been so good.

But we cannot allow future generations to ask: "If they had so many legends on one team, why couldn't they win even one Superbowl?" Heck, I'm not sure I could face my grandchildren if they can ask me: "If they had so many legends on one team, why couldn't they win even one playoff game?"

And let's face it: if KC builds a little mini-dynasty, plugging in players when the older ones drop off, like Roaf and Shields being replaced by Sampson and Black, and Holmes being replaced by Larry J, and Patrick Surtain being replaced by Alphonso Hodge, then even peope like Tony Richardson, Trent Green, Jared Allen, and a few others might have a chance to make the Hall of Fame (as many of the players associated with the Patriots of the last 4 years might). Nothing gets the "legend" accolade like winning the big one.

So that's why. We need to cement the legend status of some of these great KC players, and create some new legends at the same time.

Read More "Why The Chiefs Must Win the Superbowl This Year" »

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Posted by Nathan at 12:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 28, 2005

Heartlessness « Social Issues »

I can't believe this!

[A]uthorities said she abandoned her 4-year-old son on the Capital Beltway, then struck him with her car when he tried to get back in.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:24 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Non-Football Fans: « Kansas City Chiefs »

Hang in there. I'm on a bad work schedule right now. I've got 3-4 non-football posts stewing in my brain, and I'll start knocking them out this weekend, okay?

I'm not morphing this into a sports blog, even if it seems like it at the moment.

Oh, and SaaM is...ehhh, it's not worth it. It's no fun kicking a guy when he's down.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Question Marks « Kansas City Chiefs »

Ivan Carter read my blog! Ivan Carter read my blog! [big grin]

But when he stopped by, he left some good questions that are worth re-addressing.

I should admit that nothing is certain. The defense could still stink. The offense could finally rattle and wheeze and grind to a halt. Having a dominant team is as much luck as it is skill, but when the memories of specific plays fade, what lingers is the memory of the wins. Or the collapses, like in the Chiefs' previous two seasons.

Perhaps I should also explain again the nature of my fandom. I love the Chiefs! Heck, that's nothing special. Bunches of people do, or they wouldn't have among the best attendence numbers every year since the Derrick Thomas era started. But I see lots of people who demand of their favorite team, and so they complain when the team doesn't draft the player they want, or sign the right free agent, or let a player go, or call the wrong play, or don't fire/hire coaches according to the fans' whim. I'm not that kind of fan. I don't accept everything the team does...I didn't approve of signing Chester McGlockton. I didn't like the signing of Dan Williams after he sat out a year. I wanted Kimble Anders to get another decent crack at tailback. I wanted Gunther Cunningham to have another year. I was openly critical of the trade for Trent Green. Sometimes I've been proven correct, other times I've turned out to be horribly wrong.

The point is, I enjoy watching the games. I'm not an expert. I've never developed a game plan. I've never had to call plays with a 40-second clock running. I've never played football since junior high.

But I do understand that football is the true team sport, where one person making a minor mistake blows the play, but a team acting in concert for a whole series is unstoppable. I do understand that football is the ultimate in strategy, where you can lose badly even if you clearly have the better teams, if you call the wrong plays at the wrong times. While I love the drama, the suberb physical performances, the truly amazing moments that make you doubt your eyes, I'm smart enough to not let the drama fool me. I listen to the experts. Most of the time.

The thing is, even among experts, you have agendas. You have people trying to make a name for themselves, and the easiest way to seem smart is to criticize everything and remind people of the few times you eventually turn out correct. Aside from the personal goals affecting the process, you have people with different loyalties, different backgrounds, different pet peeves and interests. The result is that you can get multiple opinions on any topic.

The trick is knowing who to listen to, and what to listen to.

That's a good portion of what I try to do. The other portion is to try to find the silver lining, the optimistic angle, the possible positive result. It may be naive, but it's better than giving up on a game because we give up an easy touchdown in the first corner. I've seen lots of fans do that...and sadly, not a few "professional" writers.

I will watch the games. But I haven't lived within several hundred miles of the KC or River Falls areas in nearly 30 years, so I can't see what's happening on the practice field. So feel free to disregard my opinions. But I've got some viewpoints worth noting, so I hope everyone who loves or hates the Chiefs will come back and talk to me about it. Just be civil, okay? And try to use the proper names for our opponents. I won't ban you or anything if you don't...I just like to try to take the high road.

So. Down to business. Mr. Carter said:

Love what they have done on D but man, those corners still scare me especially in light of the fact that the Chiefs still don't have a scary pass rushing DE ala DT or Neil Smith. Better get through those first four games until Warfield is back. Should be an interesting season.

I'm kind of wondering about the plural on "corners". Is Surtain possibly a liability? I've heard no indications that anyone has doubts. Of course, the guy who plays opposite him is absolutely undetermined for the first four games, at least.

I think that's not our biggest area of concern, actually. Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that Surtain is still a legitimate #1 corner, who can shut down a #1 receiver. That's why I'm not so certain that people should be that worried because we face Laveranues Coles, Randy Moss, Ashley Lelie, and (maybe) Terrel Owens in the first four weeks. Simply put, our #2 corner isn't going to be the one defending those guys much. Our #2 corner is supposed to cover/shut down the #2 receiver. Now, if you want to start talking about difficulties in covering Jerry Porter, Rod Smith, and Wayne Chrebet, you might get more traction with me...

But McLeon struggled as the front seven struggled. If our front seven are good to go, he should be more than adequate, as well. CBs often look good or bad depending on how long they have to cover someone...and if they are distracted by having to worry about a runner breaking into the secondary, which we did in every game Maslowski didn't play at full speed. I think our front seven is vastly improved no matter how you slice it; as a result, I think our #2 CB will not lose games for us, whether it is Warfield or McLeon. And if either Hodge or Perkins can build on an impressive OTA performance to take the starting job away from McLeon, we'll be even better off. Sure, unheralded rookie CBs rarely pick things up rapidly enough to start the season...but if anyone can, it's probably Hodge. I've never heard anyone knock his cover skills; everything I've read is that he wasn't the total package in college. But I've also heard he is coachable and learns fast. And if the front 7 do their job, cover skills may be all he needs.

Okay, so we lack a Neil Smith or Derrick Thomas on the DL. Well, Neil Smith without DT was really Neil Smith. He had a sub-par rookie season, and while he was a solid contributer at Denver, he hardly was a "force". DT made Neil Smith, I think.

So what does KC have? Eric Hicks is adequate. Ryan Sims is mediocre. John Browning is average. Lionel Dalton played well. Junior Siavii could break out this year. Carlos Hall has a decent rush. If Ryan Sims plays to his potential, we could have a darn good DL as his drawing of doubleteams would free up other DL players. But where I think our best potential is, is in Jared Allen. He was 1 sack away from tying DT's rookie record...and had two (?) sacks called back for penalties by teammates in the final game. Now, despite having rookie numbers similar to DTs, it would be ridiculous to predict he could ever be a force like DT. He's never going to get 7 sacks in one game, I don't think. He's never going to force opposing teams to game plan to try and slow him down. But he should improve on last year's totals, because he'll have a full season, and he'll be coming off of a full off-season in the Chiefs' strength and conditioning program. I expect him to be bigger, stronger, and faster.

But if we have a DT on our defense, it's probably going to be Derrick Johnson. As long as we get him signed early enough to get some good training in during camp. And instead of being an amazing pass rusher, he's probably going to be an amazing tackler, an amazing pass defender, and a decent pass rusher.

And then he's going to be paired with Sammy Knight, a guy who creates mad amounts of turnovers. Not to mention that the MLB who wins between Kawika Mitchell, Mike Maslowski, Rich Scanlon, and Boomer Grigsby is going to be no slouch on hitting and taking over the middle.

In fact, the guy that worries me the most is the LB I haven't mentioned yet: Kendrell Bell.

He can be very, very good. If his injury troubles are behind him. And that's a significant if. With him healthy and at the top of the game, we have a scary-good weapon. If he's hobbled, well, we wasted his contract.

But at the end of last season, would you have considered a season-ending injury by Julian Battle to be a cause for alarm? Of course not. Three months ago, who would you have bet would have been more likely to have a season-ending injury? Injury-prone Bell or young Battle? No one expected to lose Kris Wilson and Mark Boerigter for the entire year to injuries last pre-season. No one expected that a RB not name Priest Holmes could nearly salvage our season. No one expected that the leading TD-catching TE in the league would not be TG. The unexpected is what makes the game interesting, so I'm not going to write Bell off as a liability until he actually is out due to injury. And even if he does, it sounds like Keyaron Fox is hitting his stride this year, and becoming the better-than-mere-starter-quality LB we hoped he could become when he was drafted.

Bottom line: with the end of a disappointing season staring us in the face, the Chiefs went out and got some of the best possible people to shore up the defense. We have clear upgrades at most positions, and the three weakest positions (#2 CB, MLB, and Safety) should see pretty strong competition that should ensure whoever gets the job will be more than adequate. if we can just have guys step it up at DT...!

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Posted by Nathan at 12:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 26, 2005

Arrowhead Stadium: Move 'Em Out! (UPDATED) « Kansas City Chiefs »

I've never been to see a game at Arrowhead Stadium; that probably affects my viewpoint.

Bottom line: The Chiefs are very good for Kansas City. They get tons of free advertising every week in every game. The least the county could do is keep their stadium up to the minimum standards.

Had they invested a little extra money, KC could have hosted at least one Superbowl in the last 10 years...maybe two.

The Chiefs should move, but stay in the area. If the New York Jets and Giants can both play in New Jersey, the Kansas City Chiefs can play in the Kansas side of the Kansas City Metroplex. I have no problem with that.

UPDATE: From the comments:

First, the tax-payers always have a choice. See: Cleveland Browns. They also have to deal with the consequences. See: Baltimore Ravens winning a Superbowl with a team that used to belong to Cleveland.

Second, sports franchises tend to bring in lots of revenue, making it a bargain for the tax-payers. "Why should the tax-payers pay?" is just a variation of leftist class warfare, expecting that The People should get stuff for free. That's not how the world works. Because, leading right into the next point,

Third, taxpayers should pay simply due to the simple law of Supply and Demand. Enough taxpayers want a sports franchise in their area that there naturally develops a cost to retain it. If nobody cared that much about sports, the demand would evaporate and there would be no need for taxpayers to fund it.

Fourth, "why can't a franchise that can afford to pay millions of dollars to its players fund its own needs?" is an illusion. There is a minimum cost to remain competitive, and a maximum price that can be put on the entertainment. Thus, every dollar the Chiefs pay to renovate the stadium is one less dollar that can be dedicated toward being competitive.
Understand this: the franchise is going to make its money. Fans can pay for it through taxes, or pay for it through having ticket/parking/concession prices so high that only the ultra-rich can afford it, and pay-per-view TV so the average can't watch it at home. How does that serve anyone.

Fifth, how is this different than a state/city paying to help build a state-of-the-art facility to entice, say, GM to build a factory in the area? If all things are equal, why should a big-money business choose a worse deal? ...which goes back to supply and demand.

Sixth, one might as well ask why taxpayers should pay for Light Rail or Bus Services or half a million other programs that satisfy ever-smaller percentages of constituents.

Seventh, the taxpayers (through their duly elected leaders) promised to keep the Chiefs in a state-of-the-art facility. They aren't keeping that promise. If they continue to not live up to their promises, the Chiefs should go elsewhere.

Pragmatically speaking, unless a political system is a Political Machine of corruption that ignores popular will (like the US Tammany Hall era or modern Taiwan), the people tend to get what they want, or they vote the bums out of office. If the Jackson County voters don't want to pay for the KC Chiefs to stay there, they won't. And the Chiefs should be, and are, free to move to a different venue.

Cross-posted at Sportsblog.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:56 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)
» SportsBlog links with: Arrowhead Stadium: Move 'Em Out
3 Picks Signed; 5 Total; Not Derrick Johnson « Kansas City Chiefs »

I'm not all that concerned about Derrick Johnson not being signed yet.

Now, I'm not exactly excited that he's not signed. He's fast, even on NFL terms. He's a playmaker, even on NFL terms. He's a significant addition, even on NFL terms. He's the one guy who could come in and make the starting squad on pure athletic ability alone, and win a few games for us.

But couldn't he still do that missing part of camp? Because it's based on his pure ability, not how well he learns all the schemes. Tony Gonzales missed part of camp and still made a difference. Derrick Johnson may be more skilled than TG.

From my thinking, we signed the the two guys it was most important to have under contract when training camp opens: Boomer Grigsby and Alphonso Hodge, because these are two guys who could use every single possible snap to help them be ready to contribute this season...and maybe even start...and maybe even open the season in a starting position. It's a long-shot for either, sure, which is why it is vital for them to be in training camp from day one.

Boomer has the attitude to be an amazing MLB, he hits and tackles like a madman, and he seems to get underestimated alot. That might not be enough. Hodge was a pretty decent shut-down corner in college. His weaknesses were tackling and interceptions. But if McLeon and Ambrose have both lost too many steps, we may need someone who can just do a credible job against a #2 receiver, with Surtain on the other side taking the #1, and having Knight, Bell, and Surtain getting the INTs.

One other thing about Derrick Johnson. As long as he gets at least half of training camp, he can start the season as a situation/role player, splitting time with, say, Keyaron Fox. From everything I've heard, Key Fox would have been a credible, perhaps even solid starter at one of the OLB positions had Johnson not fallen into our lap. We literally may have gone from having three sub-par starters at LB last year to 5 legitimate starters in just one off-season. That's nearly an embarassment of riches.

So, sure, I'd love to have Derrick Johnson sign today and in camp tomorrow. But we've got some time, and our season doesn't hinge upon his signing.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 25, 2005

The Bear Flag League Version of the Prisoner's Dilemma « Link O' Admiration »

And a Kevin is involved, naturally.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
China: Free-Market Heaven? « China/Taiwan »

An interesting anecdote.

I wonder how that fits into the typical meme that China is this oppressive, Stalinist nation that stifles any expression of individuality?

The situation described in the above linked article has existed since 1998 at least (the first time I saw it happen), but has probably been going on since the mid-80s, if not earlier. But make sure you read quietly; we wouldn't want to disturb the people who need an Evil Empire to replace the Soviet Union...

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Posted by Nathan at 06:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2005

Derrick Alexander Signs With Cheifs « Kansas City Chiefs »

Which qualifies as the "WTF?" headline of the month for me. If not the year.

But the real story behind it is: Derrick Alexander retires as a Chief.

Which still qualifies as "WTF?", just not quite as much. My first thought when I read the headline was: "Derrick Alexander was in the league last year?"

Jason Whitlock's article provides some clue as to why this happened: he wants to promote his KC-based business. And yeah: he's apparently been out of the NFL for two seasons. Or at least hasn't made anyone's regular season roster in that time.

I thought retirement should be something that big-name people do. Players who have been to multiple pro-bowls, or got some MVPs for the Super Bowl or something. You don't see a Linebacker Coach's retirement announcement making any news, and they don't try to "retire with a specific team" or anything.

There's a reason for that. It's not that they don't's just that the activities of role players aren't really that worthy of note. As much as I love Jason Dunn as a Chief, I don't expect him to "announce" his retirement. I don't know if I care that much, and I'm certain most other people don't.

Let me put it another way: Retirement announcements should be news only when it is still within the players' choice to keep playing. Barry Sanders retirement was worthy of an announcement. As strange as it may sound, Jerry Rice is pushing it. It would be tragic if the greatester receiver to ever play the game ends his career because he gets cut by 3 successive teams. And if that happens, I don't think he really deserves a "retirement" press conference, yanno? I'm sure that's probably controversial, but that's the way I feel.

Which brings us to Derrick Alexander. I can understand why he wants to have a retirement announcement, and I can even understand why he wants to retire as a Chief.

...but why would Carl Peterson agree to this? I can't think of any reason, really. Maybe loyalty? What did Alexander do to deserve that? I guess it doesn't hurt anyone for this to happen, so why not? But still...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Fire At Will « Aphorisms »
In politics, merit is rewarded by the possessor being raised, like a target, to a position to be fired at.

-- Christian Nevell Bovee

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Posted by Nathan at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 23, 2005

Ain't That the Truth? « Aphorisms »
The problem with political jokes is they get elected.
-- Henry Cate

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Posted by Nathan at 08:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 22, 2005

Do Me A Favor « Media Distortions »

Read this article and tell me if you think there's a teensy bit of leftward bias there.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Chief Justice Rehnquist « Politics As Usual »

Here I go, breaking another intention. See, I wasn't going to try to do news/commentary/opinion.

But I have to.

Rehnquist is holding on for one reason: to let John Roberts break the trail for Rehnquist's replacement.

The compromise to avoid the nuclear option was widely reviled by people on both sides, after all was said and done. But it did get several people confirmed...and the Senate can always revisit the others later.

But trends matter, sometimes. Inertia can be hard to overcome. The breaking of the filibuster logjam made it harder, I think, to start it up again for Roberts. Despite his fairly innocuous history, if the filibuster had still been in place for the Circuit Court nominees, it would have been far easier to shift it right over to Roberts.

Now, however, the people of the United States are going to see a fairly smooth confirmation process, I think. And every single objection by liberals and/or Democrats is going to be noted, remembered, and addressed in the next nomination. As in, Edith Clements might have faced some resistance, but getting Roberts confirmed will make it harder for someone who called for a "female nominee" to object to Judge Clements. Or even Priscilla Owen or Janice Brown...although, I think those two might be saved for a third possible nomination. Because there are hints that Stevens might go if Rehnquist goes...and several of the Justices are old enough that they could easily weaken enough within the next two years to not want to continue serving.

Looking ahead (and getting into extremely uncertain musings), while the 2006 Senate elections are still up in the air, I do think there is a very good chance Republicans will pick up a 3rd and possibly even a 4th vacancy on the Supreme Court after 2006 could be extremely interesting. Not to mention, if Republicans win the 2008 Presidential election and maintain a majority in the Senate, there are several justices almost certain to not last another 6 years before retiring.

I'd love to see a few of the seats currently held by more liberal justices go to strict Constitutionalists, and have Democrats be unable to do anything but bleat and whine. But that's probably a pipe dream, alas.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 21, 2005

Musings « Humor »
Some people look at the way things are, and say, "Why?" Some people look at the way things could be and say, "Why not?" I look at things and say, "How can I use this to get me 1) rich, or 2) laid?"

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Posted by Nathan at 01:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The Coming Changes « Blogging »

I've been thinking about it all lots...I've made a few false starts already.

The last abortive (pun intended) post showed me something, and kind of put the final nail in the coffin.

I'm not going to quit blogging. But I'm a little sick of "Brain Fertilizer". It's my brand, and so I can't really share it...but I don't really like the direction it's gone.

I don't like fights anymore. I find myself avoiding them more and more. I still have the same conclusions that led to fights...but I don't think people are interested in my conclusions.

One of the changes in the blogosphere lately is the "professionalization" (if you will) of the news/event commentary. I don't have the time to do that anymore, and don't have the inclination to compete against those who do. Call them "Semi-pros". I'm not one.

But people like my writing about the Chiefs. Cool. More of that coming up, yo. If I can write this much in the off-season, I should have plenty to write about during training camp, and even more during the season. I'm going to try to do a post a day once the season starts...'cept that I'll be out of the country until the middle of September.

One thing I can still do, though, is observe humanity, consider/think, and share with you what I learn. There are lots of anecdotes, ideas, interesting points. I've got kids growing up that will provide good stories. I can talk well about faith, leadership, parenting, love, friendship, I'm going to spend more time talking about stuff like that.

But I also want to have my own domain. Part of that is to get away from the restrictions (whether real or imagined) of "Brain Fertilizer". I've promised before that Brain Fertilizer will never have a tip jar, and now I want to change that. I want to have my own console, and be totally in charge of every aspect, for good or ill. I want to change the format, the appearance, everything.

And yet, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I don't really want to leave, for probably obvious reasons. I don't want to leave this location, because bunches of people have linked me here. I'll have to talk to Pixy Misa about what is possible. But I gotta tell you, the changes I want are profound, and if Pixy Misa is unable to accomodate my hopes, I will move on. Not because isn't awesome, not because Pixy Misa isn't flexible and helpful (he is, and amazingly so, and patient and generous as well), but because I to re-energize my enthusiasm for blogging, and this is a case where it may be all or nothing. I want to be excited again, and having a place totally my own may be the necessary step...

More soon.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 20, 2005

Two Related Items of Interest « Social Issues »

First: Good!*

The rest was DELETED after thinking about it a little bit. Feel free to hold on to your Google cache, if you will. And it is still seared (seared!) into your memories, I'm sure.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:38 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

July 19, 2005

So how do you know when it's really love?

They* say you'll know it when you feel it...but if you've never actually felt a true love**, don't you often fool yourself that the infatuation you are feeling is truly love?

Is the difference truly qualitative? Every "true love checklist" I've seen is filled with subjective there one with objective criteria anywhere?

The closest I've come to the objective criteria is:
1) Character matters. You can change lots of things about yourself, but character is nearly impossible to make any substantive changes.
2) Anyone can be nice for a few weeks, or even a few months. Date for the long haul, and don't do anything (i.e., have sex) that might make a necessary parting more difficult (or impossible) to effect
3) If anything about the person you feel you love makes you feel uncomfortable, resolve it ASAP...or break up. No, you probably cannot change them later. And as harsh as it may sound, it is better to go through life alone than to settle for anything less than the right person for you.

Anyone else?

Read More "Love" »

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Posted by Nathan at 01:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2005

Perhaps I Was Too Vague « Kansas City Chiefs »

Someone get me a job writing about the Kansas City Chiefs!!!

A few days after I assert that the Chiefs don't need Ty Law, a professional says the same thing.

He cites a few reasons different from mine. The one I'm particularly intrigued by is an analysis of the opposing WRs we face in those first four games. I think that analysis could have been far more in-depth, so I may steal that idea...but to tell the truth, I'm not fully convinced the reasoning is correct. I'll expand on that idea when I actually write the article later this week.

The point is, how do I get or the KC Star to notice what I'm doing? What's the best way to lobby for a job as a Voice of the Fan writing position if they don't even announce possible openings?

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Posted by Nathan at 03:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Military Issues « Link O' Admiration »

Good stuff here and here.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Three-Year-Old Language « Kidblogging »

When I take kids to the bathroom, they've gotten in the habit of standing back from the wastebasket and throwing their towel in, like a basketball.

If they make it in, they excitedly claim a "score".

The other day, we finished and came out from the bathroom, then went to eat. And my daughter told me: "I scored in the bathroom!"

Man, you cannot react to stuff like that.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Hollywood Doesn't Get It...Again « Social Issues »

See, nothing I've seen in the previews for Willy Wonka makes me think they improved anything over the original other than maybe (...maybe) the special effects.

Same thing for The Bad News Bears.

In fact, it seems like the main thing they are pushing in Willy Wonka is "Johnny Depp acting like a little kid." And this version of The Bad News Bears seems like Billy Bob Thornton is channeling Nicholas Cage from Leaving Las Vegas.

Does Billy Bob not understand that "drunken woodenness" does not do Walter Mathau's crotchety grumpiness any justice?!?!??

Luckily (and this is where Hollywood doesn't get it), the magic of Netflix, Blockbuster, and/or various cable company's Movies on Demand means that if I want to see The Bad News Bears or Willy Wonka, I am not dependent on spending $5-10 per person to see their sub-par crap in the movie theather.

Heck, I'd even say, if I want to see a decent movie, the catalog of the above-mentioned movie services dwarfs any of the garbage coming out of Hollywood these days.

Changes are a-comin', people. Technology will make it possible for people to make good movies, and make money from it, by bypassing Hollywood.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2005

Mickey Kaus Rocks « Politics As Usual »

Other than a slight mis-characterization of "SCI", I think Hugh Hewitt and Mickey Kaus got it all pretty much correct.

Good stuff there.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The Player I Most Want to Make the Team? « Kansas City Chiefs »

I'm glad you asked.

Chris Horn.

He'll never make the Hall of Fame, no. But he plays his heart out, and the Chiefs will be better with him than without him.

Read More "The Player I Most Want to Make the Team?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 15, 2005

Once Upon a Time... « Blogging »

...I was often included in little round-ups like these. (scroll down to the end of the post)

But like the sable avian creature said, "Nevermore".*

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Why Is Mickey Kaus One of the Few Liberals With Sense? « Politics As Usual »
Isn't this an obvious point that hasn't been made about Joseph Wilson and the Rove/Plame controversy: If you accept an assignment to investigate possible WMD-related activity in Niger on behalf of the CIA, and your wife works at the CIA, shouldn't you think before you make your CIA mission the subject of a high-profile New York Times op-ed piece that there might be the eensiest weensiest chance that in the course of the ensuing controversy your wife's CIA connection might come out in public?


Maybe I've missed something, but as far as I can see the New York Times still hasn't gotten around to giving its readers any taste, in its news pages, of the actual content of Matt Cooper's email in the Rove/Plame case. Isn't that odd? The LAT's done it. WaPo's done it. But if you search for the words "double super secret background" in the NYT, you won't find them. This is four days after Newsweek disclosed the content of the email. ... I know NYT readers live in a cocoon. But I can't quite figure out why Times news editors would want to deny them this juicy information. ... ...According to NEXIS, when it comes to MSM newspaper news stories, the actual, semi-exculpatory text of the email has only been printed in right-of-center outlets (e.g., Washington Times). This is pretty solid evidence of print-MSM balkanization, it seems to me. Here's a puny little email, which could easily be reprinted in its entirety. Everybody's writing about the controversy it generated--but only conservative news editors actually publish one of the key bits of evidence. ...

Read it all to get the parts I left out, and the links Mr. Kaus includes.

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July 14, 2005

Sick of Politics « Politics As Usual »

I'm getting pretty irritated with politics lately.

Well, not so much politics as the way politics is being covered. I used to be frustrated with politics because I had little opportunity to voice my views, or see my views being given any respect in the left-leaning news media. So, yeah, I was heartened by the rise of Fox News...but even more so by blogging, and being able to share my thoughts.

But lately it seems like bloggers like me are being squeezed out of the debate. And so when someone attacks Sen. Santorum with half-truths and innuendo, and the mainstream news media piles on, and the liberal part of the blogosphere joins in, I'm not all that bothered. Until bunches of moderate conservative bloggers hasten to distance themselves from a conservative...why? Afraid of supporting a Christian? Attempting to burnish "moderate" credentials?

I've been fuming in frustration, wondering if I even have the heart to continue blogging under these circumstances... I think you can imagine my relief to see Ms. Lopez saying what needs to be said:

I just read [the column] quickly, but it doesn’t seem to warrant the outrage Ted Kennedy has belatedly taken to the Senate floor with. If you read liberalism as relativism, as Santorum clearly means it in the piece, what he says makes some sense...

So why is Teddy making such a big deal out of it? Ms. Lopez nails that point, too:

Ted Kennedy had to go back to 2002 to find something? ...I think it's just an indicator of how the Left is going to throw everything at [Sen. Santorum]...

Shouldn't other people have realized this, too? Or is everyone just trying to be like McCain these days?

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Posted by Nathan at 05:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Yoo-Hoo! « Blogging »

Any Oahu Bloggers out there who want to get together for drinks, or a BBQ at a park, or something?

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Stupid Is As Stupid Does « Politics As Usual »

Is anyone stupid enough to take Wilson's announcement at face value?

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Someone Give Me A Job!!! « Kansas City Chiefs »

Tell me: is there anything in this that I didn't already say here two days earlier? Did Rand say it better? Was his article organized better?

Maybe I'm just stuffed with my own ego, but I don't think so.

Bottom line: we don't need Law. What we've got is good enough for four games, especially considering an improved front 7 that should help protect. Law may not be 100% for those first 4 games anyway. But it never hurts to improve depth if you can get it at a good price.

Maybe that's obvious. But I said it 48 hours before the professional did.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 13, 2005

Kii-yaa! « China/Taiwan »

There will probably never again be a massacre in China on the scale of the Tian An Men Square incident on June 4, 1989. This is because China took steps to develop a para-military force trained and equipped to handle riots and control crowds.

Well, now they've also developed an anti-terrorism force. The terrorists better watch out if they tend to...

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China's Social Strata « China/Taiwan »

This is interesting:

On the forum, experts pointed out that nowadays the stratum structure composed of ten social strata has formed in China.

The ten social strata include: national and social management, management level, owners of privately-owned enterprises, technical professionals, office workers, self-employed industrial and commercial households, workers of commercial services, industrial workers, agricultural workers, and jobless, unemployed and semi-unemployed persons in cities and towns.

I'm not sure of the significance, but it's interesting.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Furthermore... « Snarky Self-Deprecation »

I'm a little lazy, and even tend to be passive at times.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 12, 2005

Warfield Suspended for Four Games « Kansas City Chiefs »

Here's the story.

But I'm not all that concerned. 2 games, 4 games...what's the difference? You don't throw away two games at the beginning of the season any more than you throw away four, so why do people get so excited about the two additional suspended games?

We don't need Ty Law. We don't. With his injury, in fact, he would be a hindrance early in the season...those exact same four games.

Either Ambrose was good enough for the four full games, or we shouldn't have signed him. We did, so I think he's probably good to go for those four games.

First, Justin Perkins and Alphonso Hodge are doing better than anyone expected. Why couldn't rookies start and win games for us? I don't know personally know anything about Perkins, but from what I understand of Hodge, his skills at coverage were never in question...and he's improved significantly even from his college skills under the tutelage of KC's coaches.

Second, Benny Sapp might just surprise everyone by playing like a quality starter. He surprised people by making the team last year as an undrafted RFA. He suprised people by making it on the active roster during the season. He surprised people by playing decently, breaking up some passes and pressuring the QB. He now has the benefit of an entire off-season with KC's secondary and conditioning/strength/speed coaches. Who knows how much he might have improved?

Third, KC has vastly improved its front seven, particularly the linebackers. The biggest problem with our secondary over the last season and a half was being exposed for too long, and having to move safeties up to help with run support. Getting the half-second quicker pressure on the QB (from fleet-footed Johnson and Bell, not to mention the addition of Carlos Hall and a hopefully-further improved Jared Allen) will mean more rushed passes, more jarring hits to make QBs jittery, more sacks. Having more runs stuffed within three yards of the line of scrimmage (by a stronger Allen, a hopefully-reinspired Sims, and a hopefully-improved/uninjured Siavii, not to mention having Mitchell or Fox actually playing up to their talents, as well as the aforementioned fleet-footed Johnson and Bell) should mean being able to leave safeties in coverage more, which helps protect both the inexperienced (like Hodge) and the older and slower CB (like McLeon or Ambrose). And if it looks like you need it, Bartee should make an excellent nickel corner...

Bottom line: Law is damaged goods who won't be back to top form until mid-season, if ever. Why should we pay so much money for someone who would need the same protection as Ambrose, McLeon, Perkins, Hodge, or Sapp would need anyway? Particularly someone with an inflated sense of self-importance?

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Posted by Nathan at 07:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Why DC Comics is Lame « Social Issues »

1) The name. "DC Comics", but the "DC" stands for "Detective Comics", so they are calling themselves "Detective Comics Comics" on their own official website.

2) Superman being so superpowerful that only kryptonite and red suns can hurt him.

3) Superman's lame "no one can recognize me if I put on my glasses" secret identity.

4) Aquaman.

5) Anytime they hit upon a semi-popular hero, they run it into the ground with minor variations: Superman, Superboy (A younger the future???), Supergirl, SuperDog???!?; Batman, Batgirl, Robin (an obvious "Batboy"); Hawkman, Hawkgirl; Aquaman, Aqualad.

6) Nearly every superhero has a significant villain that is nothing more than an "opposite but equal", including the amazingly lame "Bizarro" treatment.

7) Why would it matter if Superman can leap over a tall building in a single bound if he can fly?

8) If Lex Luther (or whomever) can make our sun red so as to inconvenience Superman, everyone on earth would be burned to a crisp and life on earth would end. Somehow, that never seems to be an issue with DC

9) The Teen Titans may have had a short stretch of decency when they hired away Marvel writers, but for the most part, this was their best "supergroup", and it was still pretty lame for most of its existence. DC has nothing even half so cool as the Fantastic Four, much less the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., the X-Men, the Defenders...

10) Compare "rich, gadget-men": DC has Batman: weenie who suffers his parents' death, and so broods and beats up on villains; he comes up with gadgets only for himself. As if no one else has had his parents die tragically. Marvel has Tony Stark: an alcoholic with a bad heart, and comes up with Iron Man as a possible weapon for the defense industry. Which is more interesting, more relevant, more inspiring, cooler? If you say "DC's", there's no help for you.

There's more, but there's no reason to go any further. DC never figured out how to consistently incorporate real-life elements like the Thing's problems with his appearance, Spiderman's realization that his moment of selfish detachment indirectly caused his beloved uncle's death, Doc Ock's friendship with Aunt May, Dr. Doom's kindness to children, etc. Which is why DC isn't worth reading. I'll throw you DC fans a bone by admitting that for short stretches, specific comic lines/threads might have been worth following. But by and large, DC is far inferior to Marvel.

Oh, John Byrne was the worst artist, but he worked for both sides at various times. I hated his minimalist style. His facial proportions were often wrong, his lines were too thick and eliminated subtle shading, and strong heroes usually just looked like skinny stick figures. I have no idea how he ever got to be considered top talent.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:13 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)
» ResurrectionSong links with: I Link Because I Have To...

July 11, 2005

Listen Up « Aphorisms »
All humans are hypocrites; the biggest hypocrite of all is the one who claims to detest hypocrisy.
-- Peter Wastholm

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Posted by Nathan at 07:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Freedom II: Purpose « Social Issues »

Freedom should have a purpose. It should bring peace and happiness to the largest number of people possible. Meaning, Freedom shouldn't be enjoyed on the backs of the non-Free, however, there are people who will not be happy or at peace regardless of the level of Freedom attained. Furthermore, I do think that the intersection of Freedom and Happiness/Peace is at the center of two poles. Meaning, too little Freedom causes great unhappiness. But too much Freedom often (usually? invariably?) has the same result.


Consider just a few of the court's accomplishments: The justices have weakened the authority of other institutions, public and private, such as schools, businesses and churches; assisted in sapping the vitality of religion through a transparently false interpretation of the establishment clause; denigrated marriage and family; destroyed taboos about vile language in public; protected as free speech the basest pornography, including computer-simulated child pornography; weakened political parties and permitted prior restraints on political speech, violating the core of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech; created a right to abortion virtually on demand, invalidating the laws of all 50 states; whittled down capital punishment, on the path, apparently, to abolishing it entirely; mounted a campaign to normalize homosexuality, culminating soon, it seems obvious, in a right to homosexual marriage; permitted discrimination on the basis of race and sex at the expense of white males; and made the criminal justice system needlessly slow and complex, tipping the balance in favor of criminals.


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Glory Be! « Stuff Important to Me »

Blockbuster just notified me that they are sending out the complete first season of Reno: 9/11.

I can't wait!

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July 09, 2005

Some Questions « Social Issues »


...for Freedom's sake alone? If so, to what extent?

Or does Freedom have a utility? If so, what should the desired outcome of Freedom be?

I have my thoughts on this, but I'd rather hear some of your thoughts first.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 08, 2005

He She May Be On To Something « GWOT »

One suggestion on how to win the war on terror.

Update: Pronoun gender fixed. My apologies, er, Dawn?

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Pooh the Wall Ornament « Aphorisms »
"How long does getting thin take?" Pooh asked anxiously.
-- A. A. Milne: Winnie-the-Pooh

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Posted by Nathan at 07:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Decisions Have Been Made « Blogging »

And there will be big changes around here. Soon. Maybe not very soon. But certainly not non-soon. Because it's not non-soon season, yanno. Heh.

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July 07, 2005

This Is Interesting « GWOT »

Flash animation showing deaths in Iraq, indexed by time vs location.

It reveals much to those able to understand exactly what trends are being shown.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Chinese Freedom of the Press « China/Taiwan »

Oh, yes, it does exist. Sort of. For a limited time. Only through ingenuity and commitment.

And here, we worry about a few months spent and a minimum-security Club-Fed. In China, they are often fed the club.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 06, 2005

And Then, When It's Darkest... « Link O' Admiration »

...I find myself on someone new's list of "Favorite Blogs". And I think of a new way to make fun of a fellow blogger (coming soon).

How can I feel the doldroms with inspiring moments like these??!?

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Proof of Life « Aphorisms »
If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.
-- Elbert Hubbard Read More "Proof of Life" »

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Episode Seven: In Which I Tell You Too Much About My Mood, Again (UPDATED) « Stuff Important to Me »

Folks, I'm mired in the doldrums. I haven't done a decent pun post in quite a while. I don't even get satisfaction making cheap shots at easy/deserving targets anymore.

I may recover soon, or I may not.

I do know that every other time I "quit", I ended up blogging again relatively soon, so I'm not going to make that mistake again. The longest absence resulted in email rants (that often crossed lines of politeness and/or good taste) to one friends, and spamming ZB with silly top-10 lists.

A few months ago I was quite excited about the blogosphere, and my place in it. After all, with all the others who have quit, I'm one of the older bloggers out there, closing in on my 3rd anniversary. I have name recognition. I'm positioned!*

But since then, I'm falling farther behind. The boosted interaction and traffic increases I hoped would arise from networking at RMBB never really materialized. I've also noticed how the people who are really doing the best at blogging are, more and more, people who already coming with journalistic experience.

Maybe part of my problem is I'm a Mil-blogger who rarely blogs about military experiences. I'm a pun-blogger who hasn't punned in weeks. I'm a gun-blogger who hasn't fired a firearm in over year (and left my guns on the mainland).

I used to fancy myself intelligent and capable. But I'm still blogging at 2002/3 levels of talent and ability, and it's obvious that the State of the Art has passed me by. I still have ideas and viewpoints worth sharing, and I will continue to do so. But it can be frustrating that I seem to be getting less and less attention from the Bigger Bloggers.

I know I'm not vapid, dull, or insipid...but yeah, the lack of attention sometimes causes me to feel that way.

In some ways, I think this angst is just me going through the process of realizing I'm probably not going to achieve another dream. I had to go through it as I realized I was never going to get around to trying to walk on to the college football (or minor football league) team as a running back or tight end. I had to face the fact that I was probably never going to be famous singer, songwriter, bassist, or guitarist...or even a non-famous professional. Now it seems like I just don't have the right combination of skill and drive to become a professional writer (i.e. paid to write anything). It's okay, I can live with that...but I don't have to enjoy that realization.

So I'm going to keep blogging, worry not (or worry more, perhaps). But there will be some changes around here. I may move off of I'm planning on asking someone to help me redesign my blog...which may necessitate a new blogging tool, which may encourage me to move off on my own. Anyway, I've got to find some way to refresh my enjoyment. I gotta blog, that's no doubt. I just want to make it a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.**

UPDATE: Looks like I'm not the only one. Luckily, I have a following for my KC Chiefs pieces to fall back on. I will be writing more about the Chiefs starting this weekend, when my time frees up again.

Bonus point: I think part of the problem is that lots of blogs have become "group blogs", so I'm not competing against just a single individual (to which my often-prodigious output looks semi-impressive), but against multiple people blogging on the same site...with a resultant broader range of perspective, experience, and an ability for each to blog less, with higher quality, and yet still have just as much new content on their site as I have to try to match alone. It exhausts one, I tell you. But in another few months, I'm sure I'll be back to my normal 5-6 decently-long posts per day. After I get past these doldrums, I mean.

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July 05, 2005

This Just In... « Snarky Self-Deprecation »

I have no idea what I'm doing.

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July 04, 2005

Pro-Choice, Anti- Roe v. Wade Advocates Are Correct « Social Issues »

Mickey Kaus puts together a strong Pro-Choice argument for the reversal of Roe v. Wade. He's said it before, I've said it before, other people have said it before. It still strikes me as good sense:

... Would it really be so terrible if Roe goes? Abortion would become a legislative decision again. Pro-choice forces would mainly win, with Democrats who wanted to preserve the option of abortion clobbering Republicans (and maybe retaking legislatures) all across the country. But Americans who oppose abortion would win a few points, and become part of the democratic dialogue--instead of being left to nurture resentment at the judges who exclude them and tell them there's nothing they can do about it. Good for democracy, good for Democrats, good for the rule of law--and OK for "choice." Would someone "engaged with real-world facts" have such a big problem with that outcome? Even if it meant they'd be accused of having a coherent judicial philosophy.

The people who get it will continue to get it. The people who don't get it will continue to not get it. Sometimes I wonder why anyone bothers.

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Happy 4th of July! « Social Issues »

Happy 4th of July!

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July 01, 2005

I Got Nothing « Politics As Usual »

So, Nancy Pelosi sticks her foot in her mouth, and Sandra O'Conner retires, and I've got nothing to say about either of them.

Heck, I don't even have links.

It sucks being out of the news cycle here in Hawaii. Oh, well, I guess I'll just go to the beach.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
I Got Nothing « Politics As Usual »

So, Nancy Pelosi sticks her foot in her mouth, and Sandra O'Conner retires, and I've got nothing to say about either of them.

Heck, I don't even have links.

It sucks being out of the news cycle here in Hawaii. Oh, well, I guess I'll just go to the beach.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)