Thursday, December 21, 2006

Google Should Put C-SPAN Video Online

They should do it. Put up the advertising. Do the revenue split. Whatever. Just get it done.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jewish Nazis Brutalize Swedish Girl

Month-old story, now, but still important. We have to do something about these Jewish monsters.

A 19-year old Swedish human rights worker had her cheekbone broken by a Jewish extremist in Hebron today. Earlier the same day at least five Palestinians, including a 3-year-old child, were injured by the settler-supporting extremists, who rampaged through Tel Rumeida hurling stones and bottles at local residents. Palestinian schoolchildren on their way home were also attacked. The Israeli army, which was intensively deployed in the area, did not intervene to stop the attacks.

Tove Johansson from Stockholm walked through the Tel Rumeida checkpoint with a small group of human rights workers (HRWs) to accompany Palestinian schoolchildren to their homes. They were confronted by about 100 Jewish extremists in small groups. They started chanting in Hebrew “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you too!” — a refrain the settlers had been repeating to internationals in Tel Rumeida all day.

Crazy Jewish terrorists, man.

Monday, November 27, 2006

For Some People, Intimacy Is Toxic

Pretty interesting:

It is practically an article of faith among psychotherapists that an intimate human relationship is good for you. None other than Freud himself once famously said that health requires success in work and in love.

I’m not so sure. It seems that for some people, love and intimacy might not just be undesirable but downright toxic.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

al Jazeera English: Good Stuff

CNN American now sucks horribly. CNN International is ok, but we don't get it in Amercia. Al Jazeera English just launched, and no cable companies in the U.S. will carry it, but we can watch it online.

I just signed up for $6/mo. It's nearly impossible to sign up, and even more impossible to watch once you do register, but if you're an explorer, you might want to give it a go. It's much better than CNN American could ever aspire to be.

I signed up through Real Networks somehow, but it's somehow associated with Jump TV. Don't ask me to explain - I don't understand it at all. Real Networks sucks ass.

A .smil link for the RealPlayer is here:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fat, Lazy, Whiny Florida Cops


Stories Not In Corporate American Newspapers

How about one criticizing the war for its illegality?

Canada's own Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal leadership front-runner, tries to slough off his former enthusiastic support for the war by now saying he hadn't "anticipated how incompetent the Americans would be."

But incompetence is a side issue. The real problem is, and always has been, that it is illegal — not to mention immoral — for a country to invade another country, in other words, to wage a war of aggression.

Oh, Canada!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Freedom Earned By Activists, Not Soldiers

Most of the wars fought by the U.S. have had nothing to do with freeing the U.S. population from government oppression - in fact many of them have been for just the opposite reasons. Whenever the country's citizens were getting too uppity, the government would find another war - any war - to keep us in check with patriotic slogans and the like.

The main point of this post is that activists against the U.S. government and its various terror organizations are the people most responsible for maintaining and in some cases expanding the rights we have today. The women's rights movement, the civil rights movement, the workers rights movement, and many others.

You should know about the workers rights movement and the battle for the eight-hour work day. It was extremely violent and brutal, and occurred over decades. Men, women, and children - often U.S. citizens - were starved and beaten by the U.S. government and the large corporations that worked with the government to keep down the working class. The seminal event in the push for the either-hour work day was the Haymarket Riot, May 4, 1886.

The government manufactured a case against eight of the better-known anarchists in the crowd and sentenced seven of them to death. On November 10, the day before they were to be executed by hanging, one of them killed himself in his cell. Four others were hanged the next day. Three were eventually pardoned after serving about seven years in prison.

This is the power of mass popular movements. According to this page, some striking workers were able to gain some concessions immediately:

On 1st May, 1886 a strike was began throughout the United States in support a eight-hour day. Over the next few days over 340,000 men and women withdrew their labor. Over a quarter of these strikers were from Chicago and the employers were so shocked by this show of unity that 45,000 workers in the city were immediately granted a shorter workday.

All governments will continue to be the enemies of their own citizens.

The next time you get to go home from work after eight hours on the job - think about these activists who were killed, and the hundreds of thousands of activists brutalized and murdered before them who died so we could enjoy a slightly more civilized existence.

@see: anarchism

...updated with more explicit numbers instead of 'several'.

Lenny Bruce

There are so many people we just never hear about because the grade schools in America are set up to prevent us from learning anything useful. People who are monumental to culture and activist movements will just not be covered at all. People like Lenny Bruce.

I don't know anything about him yet, really, except that he was a comedian, he pushed the limits of free speech, the government hated him, the political police of the U.S. government - the FBI - tracked and terrorized him, and that means he was probably doing something very important and very right.

Looks like there are a lot of books out there - a lot of material about Bruce - but here is one that seems to be pretty good. And a quote about the book:

Lenny Bruce opened the doors for all the guys like me; he prefigured the free-speech movement and helped push the culture forward into the light of open and honest expression. I thought I knew his story pretty well, but I learned a great deal from this book. It is a major contribution toward understanding the threat perceived by the “powers” from simple artistic honesty.

—George Carlin

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Russian Futurists - 2 Dots on a Map

Using Songbird today I stumbled upon a couple of great songs at fluxblog. The song I want to briefly expand on is '2 Dots on a Map' by the Russian Futurists. The second song is a Russian Futurists Remix of a Cadence Weapon song called 'Sharks (The Russian Futurists Remix)'.

But '2 Dots on a Map' kind of blew me away. First, it jumps out at you like you already knew it. But then it does some funky indy rock stuff that just sounds cool as all get out, and the lyrics end up crushing you - especially if you've ever felt the feeling expressed in the song. The lyrics are here:

I'm burning and crashing, I've lost all my passion with age
I'm learning real fast that you can't leave the past on a page
But we're two dots on a map and it seems that without fail
Those inches in between us are really miles when drawn to scale
(We used to laugh, we used to cry)

I'm crashing and burning, my stomach has turned to knots
I'm asking and yearning for you to connect those dots
Because we're wasting our lives and the space between us sings
And if we knew we were dying is this how we'd leave things?
(We used to laugh, we used to cry)

And then you find out the Russian Futurists come out of Toronto, and you're like, 'of course'.

Plenty of good stuff to say about Cadence Weapon, too, but not tonight. :)

...check out the CokeMachineGlow review of the Russian Futurists album. I always find out about this stuff a year and a half late.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Google Programmer Is Blind

Well, sometimes you just like a little inspiration-slash-guilt trip to get up off your ass. Here's one.

Saturday, September 30, 2006 - A is for Anarchy

Reddit changed their logo to the V for Vendetta dude. Is it because our government just passed a bill legalizing torture and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and no habeus corpus?

This is a scary place.

The 'A is for Anarchy' is a reference to this site.

Our previous post on V for Vendetta.

And with this post, a couple of suggestions from Reddit itself:
1) an anti-tv note
2) a programmer's call to action. i've long since thought that us programmer-types were the biggest cowards on the block. good to hear someone else say it.
3) and an anti-wage slavery movie.

they all tie in nicely.

note: would Reddit put up this symbol if they were a corporation? heeeeeeeeeeeelllls no.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fancy Little Football Person (i.e. 'uppity negro')

A terrorist from the Dallas Police Terrorist Defense Committtee today got off on his hate for uppity negros. Apparently, he can't stand the fact that Terrell Owens is allowed to call a white man a liar:

"The officers reacted because they were called to this location to do this job. Now they're being put under a microscope by some fancy little football person," White said. "Give me a break. Those officers are 10 times better than this man."

It's funny watching this go down. It's too cliche. You know this loser Glenn White wants to start dropping N-bombs, but he knows he can't be _that_ outwardly racist, even in Texas. Instead, he chooses to go the 'uppity negro' route, referring to Owens as 'some fancy little football person', and then finishing off his tirade with a 'those officers are 10 times better than this man'.

Typical racist shit. How boring.

And how awesome is it that this fool Glenn White has such a white name? Classic. Mr. White's challenge for T.O. to 'go down and file a complaint' is a common tactic amongst our nation's finest terrorists. Most terrorists around the U.S. just trash those complaints when they come in, or the terrorists just harrass, terrorize, beat, arrest, or murder the people doing the complaining. Typical terrorist tough-guy coward hiding behind his badge.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Good Samaritan Gets Screwed

No universal healthcare? Then don't go trying to save people from criminals, else you could end up a lot worse than just stabbed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Firefox Needs to Stop Sucking


The same way that Mircosoft sucked so badly for so long, Firefox is continuing to suck so badly for so long. Think about it - what we're talking about here, really, is the lesser of two evils. It's Republican (Microsoft) or Democrat (Firefox) - both suck horribly, but we're afraid that Microsoft might get the job done (end human existence) a little bit quicker - so we stick with Firefox. This shit is not right.

I used Firefox forever just to issue a big 'Fuck You' to Bill Gates and Mircosoft. I used it in spite of the fact that it could take minutes to render a page that Internet Explorer could render in two seconds. I used Firefox in spite of the fact that, when I first started using it, you couldn't even click on a 'mailto:' link and have it get to your web-based email account (matter of fuckin fact - it still can't! not without an extension). I wrote my own extension to handle it at first - how many developers can do that, much less regular browser users? 1%? Talk about anti-democratic.

How does Firefox continue to suck so badly after its been around for seemingly ever, now? We gave you a chance, Firefox, and you still suck - after all these years. And we hear that Mircosoft is going to have tabbed browsing eventually - and you know what? We. Can't. Wait. That's right. We can't wait to switch back. If the world is gonna continue to suck, then we just want to go ahead and get this thing moving along - so we choose to enter the death spiral. It's a heck of a lot better than getting dragged kicking and screaming. At least we feel like we have a choice in the manner of how we get fucked.

Yes - we do feel vindicated that Mircosoft is finally about to introduce tabbed browsing ten years after it was obvious it was needed - it's a broken Bud bottle to the eye of all the Mircosoft apologists over the years who continued to scream "but it's free, therefore it's good for the consumer!". We all had no choice but to use shitty Internet Explorer. So listen Mircosoft apologists - and Bill Gates apologists - go fuck yourselves. Corporations are evil and Bill Gates is at least an asshole. Dude is a fuckin gangster. I'm not impressed that he or any other rich gangster is trying to become a philanthropist after they savage regular working people who were only struggling to provide the most basic existence for themselves and their families. That's right Bill Gates - I know what you are.

And I'm gonna use your new browser when it comes out anyways.

Because Firefox sucks. Where's the shortcut key to get to my home page? Where? <Alt>+<Home>? Are you kiddin me with this shit? <Alt>+<Fuckin>+<Home>?? These people think I'm double-jointed or some shit?

<Ctrl>+H gives us History. Seriously. Like I really want to know where the fuck I went yesterday, or ten days ago. Jesus Christmas.

So I download the Keyconfig extension and it totally sucks. It's a brilliant idea - a major attempt at fixing a major Firefox flaw - but the extension itself is near impossible to figure out. It's got this drop down that appears to be completely meaningless. What the fuck? I finally figured it out, but not before I went over to Internet Explorer to find out that it, too, used <Ctrl>+<Fuckin>+<H> to go to its History list instead of Home.

I'd love to use a half-decent, not-overly-shitty browser like Opera. Really. But if I use it, then some other asshole will use it, and before you know it - I'm writing websites that have to comply with three shitty browser implementations. No way. Spare me the browser bukkake party - dealing with two shitty browser implementations is already more than I can handle.

Firefox extensions out the ass. I mean, when I upgrade to Firefox-whatever-the-fuck, I'm gonna need to upgrade my twenty or so shitty extensions. Don't even get me started on the shitty, Nazi-esque versioning/update/upgrade system that Firefox has put in place for extensions (sorry, 'Add-ons'. Now that Microsoft is threatening to get back in the game, the MBAs over at Firefox decided to start speaking fucking normal, down-to-earth English, again.).

What a situation. What are we to do?

How about, tell the MBAs running Firefox to pull their heads out of their aaaaaaaaaaasses and start including some decent core functionality in Firefox. How about, stop adding new, stupid shit like 'Livemarks' until you implement core functionality that should have been in the browser since Day One? How about providing a decent Firefox extension API - one that doesn't require a degree in XUL-onomics and abstract-XPCOM-shinterfaces just to create a simple extension?

Seriously - Firefox may be beyond repair. There really is something to dynasties and such. The consistent failure of Firefox to produce a decent browser over the past how many years? may just mean it's time to abandon ship. Look at the University of South Carolina football program. I don't care if they get Bill mf-OG-gangster Gates to run that shit - it is never going to be a winning program. The loser tradition there just runs too deep - too long. It takes hard work to build up that kind of tradition. Hard work over years. At some point the losing becomes ingrained in the psyche of everyone associated with the program. It's a bit like the Boston Red Sox and the Curse of the Bambino (which was really nothing more than Boston's crazy racism and them not allowing the best players they could get - black players - to be on the team). At some point, the people involved in these losing programs/projects are just waiting for their chance to give up - to fold up like a wet paper napkin. They know instinctively that they are supposed to lose - so they lose.

So, I gave one suggestion for how to fix Firefox - it went something like 'pull head from ass' - something to that effect, but let's just get rid of all pretenses - let's drop the objections for just a minute and be reasonable. How difficult would it be to design and build a new web browser from scratch that would do all of the things you wanted your web browser to do? What if someone semi-competent like Google took up the task? Could they get it done in six months?

I think they could, and I think it would be a much better browser than either Mircosoft or Firefox (who owns them? Mozilla Foundation or something?) has right now - and it would probably be better than either of the next versions from these technology lightweights. Google could open-source the browser and make it so that normal humans could write add-ons for it.

When Google buys their UNIX, I hope they get rid of that X-Windows bullshit that prevents UNIX/Linux/etc. from becoming a serious contender against Mircosoft. Building a browser from scratch would really lend credibility to Google when they finally launch their computer operating system in five years.

I know there are lots of genius-types associated with Firefox - which is part of the reason I'm so pissed-off about its lackluster implementation. Misusing talent like that is a serious crime in my book. We have to allow people the freedom to accomplish, and it's obvious that whoever is running Firefox has been crushing the creativity and genius of many of its team members for far too long. It's time for a change.

That reminds me - having some Apple UI-type influence on Google Browser would be really neato. I could almost get excited about something like that. Who cares that Google is sending my keystrokes directly to the Injustice Deparment, Department of Homeland Hilarity, and the Congress of UnAmerican Activities? Look at the interface!

...fixed many typos.

...and prepended 'In' to 'Justice Department'. (I'm not proselytizing - just tellin the truth. In the spirit of self-criticism. Just plain speech. Frank speech.) And if you know the scholar whose words I'm stealing in this final bit, then you are the shit. Not 'shit' or 'a shit' - 'the shit'. Big difference. One is a complement. The other - not so much. :)

...I checked-out the Firefox 'Add-ons' site recently and it has this slick process for uploading/updating extensions. Don't know when that happened, but it's a massive improvement. I take away everything bad I ever said about Firefox. :) Not really. But this is a huge plus. Maybe I need to contribute an api/library/facade that would actually make Firefox Extension building possible for mere mortals. They do have a couple of other new tools that do a lot of good - including this extension wizard - which seems super-cool, but I haven't actually used it yet.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Immigration, and Nicaragua Remembered

This LA Times opinion piece popped up in July, but just getting to it now. The immigration debate rush has passed, but now the attack on Iran is about to commence. We thought we should look back at the immigration debate issue before it gets forgotten completely. Let's go to the video-tape:

The most formidable leader Nicaragua ever produced was José Santos Zelaya, who ruled in the first decade of the 20th century. He was a crusading reformer who built roads and ports, challenged the power of the clerical-backed elite and dreamed of converting his country from a feudal backwater into a modern capitalist state.

Zelaya's nationalism, however, placed him in conflict with several American companies that were active in Nicaragua. They brought their complaints to Washington, and in 1909 the U.S. government engineered Zelaya's overthrow. In his place it installed the chief accountant of an American mining company. With the help of U.S. Marines, he suppressed a series of rebellions and kept Nicaragua in its backward state.

U.S. overthrows yet another government, same old story, whatever - nothing new here. But check this part out:

Through a combination of immaturity, arrogance and incompetence, however, Sandinista leaders — including Daniel Ortega, who served as president from 1985 to 1990 and who is again running for president this year — squandered their historic chance and turned most Nicaraguans against them. Their decade in power was a period of war, repression and steady impoverishment.

So, the government of Nicaragua 'squandered their historic chance'. And then somehow, magically perhaps, Nicaragua was wracked with 'war, repression and steady impoverishment'. War with or against who?

Well, you see, the writer's former employer, The New York Times, has a track record too - of supporting U.S. military interventions abroad - wherever they may be, for whatever reasons our government tells us. And now the LA Times has allowed him to hawk his wares in their paper. Color me not surprised.

Ever heard of those terrorists called the Contras? Sure you have, but the New York Times doesn't want to remind you that the U.S. government was busy terrorizing the civilian population of Nicaragua for ten years, until they finally relented and elected a U.S.-supported candidate. And they won't even deign to tell you that they were, in fact, terrorists - terrorists of the worst kind. Bill Blum's got the goods. As do many other folks - like South End Press.

It's as if the Sandinista government just decided that a war should take place against some unknown, nonexistent enemy. Hilarious. Or, not.

This is the kind of straight-up propaganda that the New York Times and other corporate newspapers like the LA Times produce every day. Most Americans are not even aware of it. The passive voice is one of the tell-tale signs of propaganda. Nobody was actually responsible for anything, things just happened.

We got sidetracked on the propaganda aspect of this story, but the point of this post was supposed to be about the fact that America destroyed the economies of Central America through massive state terror, and the destruction of those economies is what has forced so many Central American people to come to the U.S. to earn a living. If the U.S. government had never wrecked the economies of those countries in the first place, we might not be having an immigration debate at all.

How odd that, as you continue to learn the true role of the U.S. government in the world, you see how our government has been involved in massive violence around the globe for decades - many decades - hundreds of years, even! It's all a bit surreal.

There's been a massive escalation in U.S. terror since WWII, sure, but we're been doing it as long as we've been able to get away with it. And with your new knowledge of the American Empire you begin to see how U.S. terror campaigns always seem connected somehow. We installed the Shah of Iran in 1953, then American hostages are taken by pissed-off Iranians during Carter's presidency, then Reagan gives weapons to Iran to trade for the hostages, but he needed money for the arms for Iran and for his terror force, but he needed to do it without the knowledge of the U.S. people or the U.S. Congress, so he smuggled drugs into the U.S. from Central America, all the while raping, torturing, and murdering the people of Nicaragua in his eventually-successful campaign to install a pro-U.S. ruler in Nicaragua.

It's just too much. How could anyone possible be so sadistic? I think that's the question many of us ask. And it's not just one person - it's the top 1% or top one-half of 1% of Americans who are most responsible for these decisions. Power and privilege are powerful drugs, that much seems apparent.

UPDATE: Fixed typo - changed 'overthrew' to 'installed' wrt the Shah of Iran in 1953. The wiki seems somewhat knowledgeable, but I prefer to stick to the documentary record.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Google Sucks !

Google sucks! They are terrible. They are bad bad bad. They are the worst people ever. That corporation is worser than Microsoft. They are so bad it is unbelievable. Bad bad bad. Google is crappy. They are crapy. Google is the worst. Google sucks. Google is atrocious. Atrocious is Google. Worst. Company. Ever. Worst. Search. Ever. They suck. Google is shit. Google is ass. Google is piss. Google is downright terrible. Google is disgusting. Google sux. Any other search company is better than Google. The worst search company is Google. Why does Google suck so bad? Google is horrendous. Google are click fraud fraudsters. Google only knows click fraud. Click fraud is Google's best friend. Google loves click fraud. Google only makes money from click fraud.

There. Just wanted to see if dissing Google will affect the ads they serve on my blog. Will they stop serving ads altogether? Will they cancel my Blogger account? Doubt it - I don't have enough pull. But it would be interesting to note what happens when an influential person decides to savage Google - someone whose various blog properties are serving Google ads.

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Bad day?

At least you didn't get run over by one of your own tanks:

Two soldiers from the Golani Brigade were killed in an accident that occured when an IDF tank accidentally ran them over in the village of Shakif-al-Amal in the East. Two other soldiers were wounded in the accident, one seriously and the other lightly.

24 Israeli terrorists killed yesterday. Were there any Americans among them?

It's difficult to figure out the culpability of soldiers in the terrorism. Of course they're terrorists, but how much did they know? As Israelis, they have to serve. Even American soldiers don't have to serve. That said, these two soldiers who got rolled by one of their own tanks probably never dreamt - nor did their families - that they'd be meeting the same fate as American Rachel Corrie.

Monday, August 07, 2006

StumbleUpon - Just Awesome...

This is the best damn site/tool I've come across in the last three years. Holy crap this thing is good.

I'm not kidding. I'm seriously impressed with this tool. I don't know anything about the 'social networking' aspects of the tool, but I know about its ability to help me find new websites that I think are interesting - completely awesome.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

PayPal Subscriptions - Theft By Another Name

I signed up for pbwiki a while back, canceled my account - or so I thought - and then got dinged for another $5.00 from PayPal. It's the principle of it. These fuckers ganked me. It's not all or even mostly on pbwiki - maybe - but it's certainly on PayPal, who makes it damn near impossible to cancel a 'subscription'.

So, the FTC gets a complaint about PayPal/eBay:

PayPal 'subscriptions' are almost impossible to find, making it impossible to cancel a subscription and stop paying money to vendors. This resulted in at leasta $5.00 loss for me, probably more. But I'm a tech expert, and I couldn't cancel my subscription without much difficultly. This means that thousands of Americans are probably being ripped by PayPal.

I want their procedure fixed. If they make it easy for me to subscribe, they should make it equally easy to unsubscribe. As it is, their unsubscription model is like AOL's - PayPal specializes is stealing money from people who are not tech savvy.

FTC is just a bunch of terrorists, too, but at least now it's documented.

Bastards. If I'm a tech weenie and I can't figure this shit out, how are we expecting grandma and grandpa to figure this shit out?

Fuckers. PayPal is now owned by eBay.

...even dead people can't get out from AOHELL. Color me, not surprised.

...I should say I don't think the FTC are terrorists. I think the U.S. government consists of terrorists at the top - always has. The FTC - I know nothing about them - other than the fact that they're good at spending my money and ignoring my complaints - but they're certainly not terrorists. Just wanted to clear that up in case we get some wackos down the road trying to dilute my arguments by bringing up statements that were obviously-at-least-to-me-hyperbole. As for PBWiki, I got no issues with them. Was still an overall good experience for me, and I'd still recommend them to others.

People Aggregator to Its Users - 'Fuck You!'

I just attended the 'SF New Tech Meetup' at C|Net HQ. Marc Canter, C-something-O of People Aggregator - a social networking universal ID-type web service - gave what was shaping up to be a great presentation until he told us in the audience and all his company's future users to go fuck ourselves.

I asked something to the effect, "What will you do, what is your policy when the government comes calling for my data?" This, I thought, a very pertinent question given that People Aggregator is aiming to be you - and your umpteen 'personas' on the internets. Marc ducked the question - which was supposed to be the last of the evening.

A fellow behind me, though, felt that Marc's ducking of this very important question was not good enough - so he followed up. He said something similar, but spelled it out in no uncertain terms so Marc couldn't duck it again. He said something to the effect, "What will you do when the government issues you a subpoena for our data?" To this, Marc issued his big 'Fuck You' to all of us, saying (not an exact quote, but pretty damn close - and someone was shooting video, but I don't know who the dude was):

That's not a battle I'm going to fight. No way.

There you have it folks - a major 'Fuck Off', 'Fuck You', and whatever else you can imagine from the thought leader behind People Aggregator. Give your data to us, so we can give it directly to Uncle Sam.

Marc made a joke out of the question, saying he was going to 'fight the revolution in other ways' - maybe by spending it in the lavish quarters afforded him by his new best friend, Uncle Sam.

Fuck me? Fuck me? No, People Aggregator, fuck you!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Another Israeli Terror Attack on Tyre, Lebanon

Twelve innocent men, women and children injured, many more terrorized:

Where should we hold the war crimes tribunals?

More videos here.

More evidence for the war crimes tribunals:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Boing Boing: Home to Sick Twisted Fuck, Mark Frauenfelder

I wrote to Mark Frauenfelder at BoingBoing for this anti-human post in which he links approvingly to a selection of mugshots from the Des Moines' Polk County Jail.

Subject: pics of jailed girls? regular citizens? non-public figures? shameful.

i've seen some shameful stuff on the net before, but posting humilitating mugshots of young girls? hope they don't, you know, need to get jobs when they get out of jail. they are, of course, innocent until proven guilty, but an employer doesn't care about innocent - they care about orange jumpsuits and their potential employees wearing them.

are you competing with Jill Greenberg?

unreal. it's just totally unbelievable what some people will do to get a few page views.

i can only imagine that the people who created the laws allowing agencies to post these pics, and the people who then posted them on the net, including the people who approvingly linked to the post, reproducing the pictures for some sadomasochistic fetish, have all never been arrested and/or are just sick, twisted, fucks.

Linked from one of the most, if not the most, popular blog on the entire fucking internet. Posted by a co-founder of that blog. The one girl is about in tears - probably her first time getting arrested.

Sick. Twisted. Fucks. bounced.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Watching Zidane Get Red-carded...bad.

Watching Italy go on to win the World Cup...worse.

Listening to a bunch of drunk Italians partying the night away....the worst ever.

Italy has proven that they can take better penalty kicks than France when France's best penalty-taker is off the field. After having being dominated for the better part of 120 minutes. I guess that's something to celebrate, right?

Congratulations, Italy. Congrats to diving your way into the final - with particular note to the dive against Australia that saved you from an ignominious early exit.

I thought it was particularly ironic that at least one, and possibly two, Italians were the most-often-fouled players in the tournament. In this final, they were flopping all over the place - like fish out of water. When France striker Malouda was taken down a second time inside the Italian penalty area, there was no call. And this time there was no question - it was a simple takedown that deserved a simple penalty. Most of the papers so far have failed to point out that France dominated the match - instead, choosing to go with the 'obviously Italy were brilliant' storyline, even though Italy were just doing their best to reach penalties to have a shot at winning on the cheap. And there have been no mentions as of yet of Materazzi's holding Zidane in the penalty area as the ball was played in - this was what led to Zidane's head-butt of Materazzi. The holding should have been a penalty and red card, but we'll see if we're allowed to read that in the press. And Materazzi's goal - the head ball - he pushed down on his defenders's left shoulder with his right hand/arm - this is a $2 call - it gets called 10 times a game, but our referee chose not to call this one.

Bravo Italy! You suck!

:), the truth is slowly leaking out. On top of Materazzi holding onto Zidane, we have a titty twister and the terrorist insult.

As background, I attended a Rutgers soccer camp back in the day when Rutgers seemed to be a decent soccer school. We had a few big-name players there back in the day, and my claim to fame is that one of the camp couselors, Alexi Lalas, borrowed my shampoo. In any case, one of the other camp counselors was a former Italian striker. He relayed to us stories of how we should act on the field - doing anything and everything we can to get an advantage - no matter how dirty, shameful, unsportsmanlike, cheating, etc. He told us stories of how he'd hit, kick, pull, punch players from opposing teams just to get them thrown out when they swung back at him. He told us how he'd spit in a defender's face to achieve the same effect, and how it often worked - getting the opposing player thrown out when he retaliated. I remember looking around at other players in our circle at camp - we were all around 14 or 15 at the time - and we were just stunned. He was serious. Very serious. He was demanding that we become terrorists first, and soccer players second, and only if necessary. All of us players just stared at him like he was some crazy uncle. Little did we know he was absolutely serious and abolutely telling the truth.

Our crazy Italian camp counselor must have trained Materazzi, too. Materazzi has left his stain on the World Cup. He'll forever be remembered for terrorizing the game's greatest player in that tournament, until that player had finally had enough.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ugly American comic book from 1958

Boing Boing tells us about the You Don't See These Sights on the Regular Tours travel comic book.

Florida professor Kenneth Osgood points out the extent to which psyops are meant to influence the American public, first, and only then the international audience, in his book Total Cold War. He also did C-SPAN (why is this stuff not free?). Completely interesting stuff.

Though I haven't read this book yet, Professor Osgood really makes it clear in his C-SPAN presentation, which I did catch, that George W. Bush wasn't the first president to use the government's massive resources to use propaganda against the U.S. citizens - it's been around a long, long time.

Bush's distinction, perhaps - according to me, is that he's the first President to employ the entire government to progagandize the citizenry.

In his C-SPAN presentation, Professor Osgood covers this exact type of travel pamphlet, if not this exact pamphlet linked-to, above. Watch it if you can find a bootleg copy somewhere!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Joga Bonito, Kung fu-style

I knew I'd seen Eric Cantona's face before. He's the main spokesman for Nike 'Joga Bonito' campaign/social website/etc. What I didn't remember about him was his apparently-infamous flying Kung fu-style kick of an English Premiereship fan:

Those darn Frenchies. Who knew he was French? I always thought Spanish.

Read the wiki for more fun details. Too hilarious.

Joga Bonito!

Béla Károlyi and 'Big Phil' Scolari

Béla Károlyi is the famed Romanian and U.S. women's gymnast coach. Though many of his methods (like starving his athletes) are highly controversial, he still has this reputation, aura, something - of being a father figure. Extremely demanding, but still a father figure. And his reputation precedes him. Give him something to work with, and he'll produce a champion - it's as simple as that. He famously carried an injured Kerri Strug to the medal podium in the 1996 Olympic Games, further adding to his 'father figure' and 'molder of champions' status.

To me, he looks much like Luiz 'Big Phil' Scolari, the former Brazilian soccer coach, and now coach of the overachieving Portuguese. Scolari took Brazil to World Cup success in 2002, and he's pushing Portugal through wins, now, in 2006. Sometimes Portugal even looks convincing - like real contenders for the championship. I like the way his players play for him - it's the same way Hiddink's players played for Hiddink, the same way Károlyi's gymnasts performed for Károlyi. A true indicator of the level of quality of a coach, sometimes, when other indicators are not so readily available - are the players giving it their all? Are they, in a word, playing for the coach? Or are they playing for some other cause, maybe none at all? Portugal's players may be playing for more than one 'cause', but one of them certainly is their coach, Scolari.

The father-figure-type persona that Scolari has as head of Portugal is like Károlyi had coaching all his champion athletes. I'm not sure what that 'father figure' quality dynamic is that makes champions, but there it is. Give Scolari something to work with (he has that in Portugal/Figo/Ronaldo/Deco), and he'll produce a champion.

Odd that both their names end in the Italian-sounding 'i'.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo of Brazil - Shameful

Rooney, pathetic as always on the pitch, the most overrated player in the history of the game, personification of the spoiled brats that are most England internationals (certainly not Gerrard, who's always been classy, at least what little we've seen of him) - did the unspeakable today. He actually stomped on an opposing player's groin area - penis, testicles, etc. That's your Rooney for you. That dude should be banned from competitive soccer for life.

Our second despicable act of the day goes to Ronaldo of Brazil. He took a dive at the top of the French box as the clock was ticking down. The ref - the same as the U.S./Italy refs - calls everything, every dive, everything - gave the kick to Ronaldo even though nobody touched him. The Brazil free kick went over the crossbar, and the end result of the game was not changed, but Ronaldo shamed himself, his team, his country, this Cup, and the sport of soccer. May that dive forever disgrace his name, his record, and overshadow anything he's every accomplished on the pitch - especially having the most goals ever in the World Cup. Good riddance to Brazil and the Brazilian Ronaldo.

As to England's exit - bravo! Think of all the pathetic hooligans across the globe who are turning cars upside down and terrorizing innocent people as we speak - just because their side once again proved to be a bunch of whiny-ass-titty-babies. Beautiful. Losers. Feel bad for some of the players, who seem to be decent people, but the sense of entitlement the players seem to have, but especially the fans - it's outrageous. And the hooliganism/terrorism needs to stop. England should be banned from all future World Cups until they fix the problem. On that note, Spain should be banned from all future cups until they fix their racism problem.

On the English team and racism, after watching France take care of racist Spain, I started to think, "Where is Shaun Wright-Phillips?" Wright-Phillips, of course, is black, and the last time I remember seeing him play, he was alongside my man Claudio Reyna, and Wright-Phillips was awesome - which is why he got called up to Chelsea. Now, why was Shaun Wright-Phillips not selected to the England team? Most of France are black. Most of racist Spain were white. Most of England were white. An incredible black English player is not selected to the national team for the World Cup? Why not? I wondered if Eriksson might not be comfortable with black people, considering how he grew up, presumably, in Sweden. Is it possible? It wouldn't be a crime to be uncomfortable around a person of a different race, but to not select them to the national team because you don't feel comfortable around them? That would be a crime - a moral crime.

Supposedly Wright-Phillips has been warming the bench for Chelsea this season, having scored no goals in several apperances coming off the bench. I can't argue with that. It just seems to me that the more opportunity there is for black players to show their class on the pitch, the more they continue to dominate. Ghana were the latest example, taking the attack to Brazil, even though they ended up losing 3-0. Lennon, a black player for England, finally got another chance today, in place of Beckham, I believe, but Beckham only left the game because of injury. Does one have to be white, or at least light-skinned (Fernando), to be called up to the England national team? Is England really that devoid of black athletes? I know France has a close history with African countries and all that, but why is the England roster filled with perfectly ordinary players like Beckham, who wouldn't impress on an American college side, never mind an international side? Who are the rest of the boring white players in the England squad? I have no idea. I can't remember any names. Almost none made a name for themselves. The only white player to show up today for England was Hargreaves, who's never played in the Premiereship. And maybe that's another key to England's continued international failure - their players are, by and large, spoiled brats. They play in the Premiereship, tell themselves that it's the toughest, most competitive league in the world, and then they're shite when they get on the pitch with real players.

To reiterate this post:
* Rooney: Pathetic. Shameful. Should be banned from competitive soccer forever.
* Brazilian Ronaldo: Pathetic, shameful dive. Go eat some Twinkies.
* England: Spoiled, entitled players and hooligan fans. Shameful all the way around.

p.s. Cheers for France in all their multicultural glory for dropping the Brazilians from the tournament. To hear the shock in some people's voices after the game ("What?! Brazil lost?!"), you'd think Brazil just had to show up to collect the Cup. And the American announcers - whew. JP Dellacamera - heard near halftime - "Well, you'd have to say that France are holding their own." Ummmm....JP, buddy, France has controlled the game since after the 60-second mark. They've had more possession, more shots on goal, more creativity, they're controlling the flow of the game, they've committed fewer fouls, etc. Nobody was 'holding their own' - Brazil was looking beaten, and in the end, that's what happened.

In fairness, I actually thought Henry or someone else might have been offsides on the cross that Henry scored from. But, a deserved win. Just puttin it out there.

Be interesting to see if England can get Hiddink to coach them before the next Cup. Hiddink is scary coaching any team, must less a team with some World Cup history. I hope he doesn't do it.

...p.s. As to Rooney, I thought I heard one American announcer, on watching a repeat clip or review of the England/Portugal game, I _thought_ I heard the announcer describe Rooney's groin-stomping action as a 'mistake' - something to be overlooked. They said stuff about Rooney being 'young' and 'inexperienced' and all that. This, to me, is the ultimate in passive racism. If Rooney were a black player who'd done this, _all_ the papers in Europe tomorrow would be digitally lynching his ass for being any number of horrible things - and most of those descriptions would be correct, but for Rooney, who is white, you will see very little if any condemnation, and lots of defenses of the 'young' and 'inexperienced' lad.

Let's address how 'young' that fool is. He's 20. Sure, that's pretty young, but he's not a baby. He's an adult who's been doing adult things around the world for year. Exactly how 'experienced' is he? Well, let's see - his first international for England was in February 2003, when he was 17 years old. So, that's three full years of international experience, with the Euro 2004 tournament his coming out party where he played several full internationals. He went through world cup qualifying with England. For several years he's played for Manchester United, either the first or second most popular soccer club in the world. Does all of this experience qualify as what certain commentator's would described as 'inexperienced' - i.e. a general lack of experience? I would only say that if Rooney was still inexperienced by the beginning of this Cup, then I would like to know what, if anything, would actually qualify a player to be 'experienced', besides a World Cup experience itself.

To sum up, with Rooney's play in the 2004 Euro Championships, his coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, compared his impact with England to that of Pelé with Brazil. When asked to compare Rooney and Pelé, Portugal's current coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, said, "One is black and one is white."

Scolari may have been more insightful than he realized.

...on the offsides comment, I saw the goal again, and it was taken from a free kick on the left-hand side of the field - Zidane. Can't be offsides on a free kick. So, it looked like about three French players were goalside of the English players who were supposed to be marking them - one of them was Henry, and no English players bothered to pick him up at all. That's pathetic. But, that said, a lot of the in-the-box marking in this Cup has been atrocious - starting with the Americans. Blah.

...this article contains a great quote about Rooney:

His frustration, a product of his impotence in an unfamiliar role, resulted in the stamp on Ricardo Carvalho.

The 'stamp' on balls wasn't something that Rooney did, proactively - it was just the 'result of frustration' - i.e. it couldn't be helped - i.e. he's just a young lad - i.e. he's white, it's really no big deal.

...'Jeu Admirablement'? 'Play beautifully', or 'joga bonito' in French? si? oui?

...violence in France after the win. Pathetic. Where does the blame go? Sucks.

...England keeper Paul Robinson is listed at 6'3" or 6'4". And I'm Pelé. It's not the end of the world to see a player stretch his actual height by 6 or so inches. A little bit ridiculous? Sure - I mean, 6 inches? That's more than most NBA point guards stretch their heights, but whatever. In World Cup penalty shootouts, however, height can make a difference. I dunno - I'm just not crazy about short goalkeepers, and listing Robinson as 6'3" or whatever is just a bit absurd. My guess is that he's pushing 5' 11", on a good day, after waking up, after a night on the stretching board. He didn't do anything to help England in the shoot-out. Why am I all over this guy? I dunno - probably just because I hate England, and their drunken, violent, hooligans. And their violent players - a la Rooney. other thing. If you plan on crying for 15 minutes after you lose in a shoot-out, please make sure you leave everything on the field during regulation and overtime. Is that too much to ask in return for some compassion? To me, it looked as if England were coasting, willingly, towards the shootout. Why? I mean, you _know_ someone is going home crying - why not do what you can to prevent the shootout. It's just difficult to have compassion for a bunch of players who were dogging it through most of the match. Sorry. Some players weren't dogging it - Owen Hargreaves - but most were. And the coach is included in that, too, of course. He, above anyone, has the most control over the situation - whether or not a team decides to attack, or if a team decides to make it to the shoot-out and pray for a miracle.

...parish priest calls Rooney a thug.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Racist Spain Lose Again to France

No country is perfect, but then again, not every country has a head coach who can call a black player 'black shit' and get away with it - even receive not-so-thinly-veiled approval for it. Spain is that country, with their leading man being Aragones.

We told you about Aragones, here. Though we'd like to believe this game of France vs. Spain was a match of good vs. evil, modernity vs. barbarity, multiculturalism vs. racism - it was more just a good soccer match. There were racial overtones, of course, with most/all of the Spanish players being white-ish, and most of the French players being black, but if anything it turned into a moral lesson for all who watched - what goes around comes around.

About midway through the first half, a French defender made contact with a Spanish offensive player in the French penalty area - the Spaniard dove to the ground, as could be expected of any national team without honor. The Spaniards scored the penalty and probably felt confident. The French managed to equalize on a brilliant goal before half, and the stage was set for the moral lesson to play out for all of us in the second half.

The picture is of the racist Spanish coach, Aragones, as he argues with the referee - possibly about a call where Henry did a little playacting to get a call of his own - late in the game, and not in the penalty area. He may have been fouled, as the Spanish player may have been fouled, but what is certain is that he did some playacting, as did his Spanish predecessor. Henry decided to show the Spaniards that 'what comes around goes around'. France were awarded a free kick about 35 yards out, which Zidane took, and within a few more touches was in the back of the Spanish net.

We like to think that Aragones' racism and the Spanish players', fans', and federation's seeming approval of that racism is what offered the French some karma with which to work.

The moral of the story? If you want to reach the World Cup quarterfinals and not exit the tournament early to face violence in the streets from fellow racists, don't be a racist in the first place.

This World Cup thus far has been a disaster for Team USA and for decency and honor and the game of soccer, in general, but this result was the right one. All is now well in the world. Good thing the referee wasn't black, else we could have *really* had fireworks from the racist Spaniards.

UPDATE: ESPN exposé on Euro racism, including Aragones:

UPDATE: Racists taunted French before match.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Red Bull New York - What a Joke

I don't care about how bad the team is, but to name a professional sports team after a soft/speed drink? I thought I must've misunderstood something I'd heard. Apparently not. Apparently, the MLS really does have a team named the 'Red Bulls'. I kid you not.

What's next? The Atlanta Cokes? The Purchase (NY) Pepsis? Hilarious. Outrageous. No wonder we were laughed out of the World Cup.

At least the team is named 'Bulls' as opposed to the more typically ridiculous MLS soccer team names like the 'gizmos' or the 'daisies' or whatever.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Italy Cheats Again in The Diving Game

First, it was Holland in The Crying Game, now we have Italy in The Diving Game. Against the US, Italy were on the ground more than they were on their feet, but that was to be expected, and the ref gave them every single call for every single dive, but that was against the lowly Americans - against Australia we expected the Italians to be treated a little less favorably, or Australia to be treated a little more favorably than were the Americans - it didn't happen.

Italy dove their way into the quarterfinals today, with a last-seconds dive in the penalty box of Australia. Shameful, but it's what the world expects from Italy, so nobody is too surprised. We can only hope that they all go to jail in the match-fixing scandal back in their home country. Maybe the ref is part of that match-fixing scandal, too? Just asking.

This article sums it up pretty well:

90 minutes in 90 words

The Aussies control possession with little joy while the Azzuri play route one football. The complexion of the match is defaced when Materazzi is sent off Dirty Harry style in 51st for lunging into Bresciano. Chipperfield hits an excellent shot on the turn in the 59th but the Aussies can't find the net. In the 93rd Grosso waltzes past one challenge before Neill falls at his feet letting the Italian dive spectacularly for the penalty. With the last kick of the game, Francesco Totti sends the Aussies back down under.


Grosso for maintaining the cliché about Italian players with his swan’s dive in the box.


Totti for then ensuring injustice was done by stroking the penalty home.

What have we learned?

That the old Italian rule of comedy football, if in doubt fall over, can still be made to work.

Another loss for this World Cup, for soccer, for sportsmanship, in general, for the noble idea that honor and decency means something, and being good and moral will get one ahead in this world.

UPDATE: San Jose Mercury News says 'Diving is Cheating and Diminishes Sport'. But that's not the best part - check out this insanely funny, top-secret training video of the Italian national team (well, it might as well be):

There are other montages that are hysterical. Those set to that final song in Platoon where what's his name is getting chased and gunned down by the Viet Cong. Another set to Chumbawumba's "I get knocked down". Too frickin funny.

Netherlands Cry Way Through Loss - Joga Bonito? No.

It was a pathetic sight. If I see one more Dutchman cry I'm going to be ill. What you won't find in the picture galleries of today's Portugal vs. Crybabies/Holland match is all of the whining and crying that Dutch players entertained us with whenever they didn't get their way on the pitch - which was often. You won't see them grimacing and dissenting and crying and whining and stomping their feet and tugging and pulling and complaining and breaking almost every rule of the game. This was certainly a travesty today, and it was the players who were most responsible, followed by the coaches, followed by Sepp Blatter, followed by the fans, and finally, finishing with the referees - in that order.

Amid some bad officiating in this game and the tournament, in general, the Dutch squad continued to cry for the entire 90 minute match - never once stopping their crying to try and win their game based on their skills or fitness - and, perhaps, that should have been obvious. They were incapable of doing so, and as such, went to their backup plan - the Crying Game.

Fortunately, the Crying Game didn't work, and the Dutch have gone home - once again failing to show up for a World Cup match. Good riddance.

Now that the Dutch are done crying on the field, they're crying off the field, just like every other team that failed to produce results in this Cup. The USA springs to mind. The list is long and ever-growing. Expect more post-elimination crying to come.

Even Portugal is crying off the field, complaining at 'unfairly' losing Deco for his outrageous behavior. You can't make this stuff up.

It is rare to see a defense of the officiating, but I found it. Most of the criticism leveled after a game where the players make a mockery of themselves and the game consists of bashing the referees for not being omniscent and omnipotent, as are the spectators and media.

Rarely do we ever hear the unsportsmanlike conduct of the players being criticized. It's all "what will the world do without Deco?" - nothing like "what in the world was that hack Deco doing by holding the ball away from the opponent in a crass display of unsportsmanlike conduct, after he'd been warned by FIFA, the referees, coaches, and millions upon millions of fans around the world, repeatedly, since Day 1 of the Cup?". It's atrocious this hero-worship of a bunch of soccer hacks. There are some honorable players on the pitch, still, but their names don't start with 'Deco'.

The following video is Eric Cantona's call to all players of the world, including Deco, to stop the cheating, and instead, 'play beautiful'. It is part of the Joga Bonito ad campaign being produced by Nike:

Here is the text of the ad:

This is Eric Cantona, interrupting your transmissions, broadcasting live from the heart of Germany. Mes a mi, footballers - for too long we let liars and cheaters make a fool of our game.

[video clips of horrendous fouls, time-wasting tactics, etc.]


I am here to remind the world that this game is about skills, heart, honor, joy, team spirit.

[video clips of soccer skills, teamwork, etc.]

Mes a mi, I need your help, your heart, and your feet. Together, me and you, we can make it beatiful again.


So, step forward, my brothers in football, and join us.

Play beautiful.

The beginning of this article seems to sum up what the players were up to on the field this evening:

An evening of mayhem and spite, sometimes synchronised cheating and complaining...

That pretty much covers what we saw out there. Players cheating left and right, Netherlands players crying non-stop, and American sports announcers also crying non-stop. Rarely if ever were we treated to criticism of the players for their unsportsmanlike conduct.

On the issue of a referee 'losing control', I've been involved in many matches where the referee lost control, and I've witnessed and watched countless others. I don't ever recall a referee being able to 'regain control' of a match. If the players on the field decide that they're going to be big burly men by attempting to hack and fight one another on the field where they know there is virtually no chance that they'll actually have to face an opposing player man-to-man and 'fight like a man', there is nothing the referee can do to stop it. That's where the fans come in. If the fans choose to treat their players like prima-donnas and allow them to make a mockery of the game and the fans, then they will do so - and they did so this afternoon. The only chance that a referee has to get control of a game is to start sending players off by showing cards - early and often. And that's what this referee did, and he has been harshly criticized for it. It's outrageous that he is being criticized before the players and the coaches and Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA.

Sepp Blatter threw his Russian officials under the bus. That's shameful. It was his decision to call the games tighter and he should take the blame for the tighter officiating. Instead, he has pulled a Bruce Arena, and threw his 'players' under the bus. Pathetic and shameful - just like the players on the pitch who refused to 'joga bonito'.

UPDATE: Unbelievable. AP Sports writer calls Deco out for his 'childish timewasting'.

UPDATE: One final note, Ronaldo, the Portuguese one, was off the field after getting injured by another nasty Dutch foul. The earlier-referenced 'defense of officiating' article alludes to this injury prevention being one of the primary goals of stricter officiating - talking about how Pele was unable to play his trade effectively because dirty teams would just take him out. Today, the Netherlands just took out Ronaldo. Why any self-proclaimed soccer fan would defend the behavior of these hooligans on the pitch today is beyond me.

UPDATE: I'd like to be one of the first to call for Blatter to apologize and then resign as head of FIFA. His public denunciation of his officials was sickening. If he will not resign, he should be forced out. The officiating of any one particular match must fall with Blatter, as he is the one who decided to have his referees call the games radically differently than in the past. His referees were only doing what he told them to do. Blatter should resign immediately, even before the Cup finishes. Right now. Tonight (this morning). Immediately.

p.s. On an unrelated note, when will South American and other teams from relatively short-statured nations start employing taller keepers? The loss today by Ecuador on the set play by Beckham was disturbing. Surely a country is able to produce one human being that is 6' 2" or taller, yes? Keller would have gotten to that ball on the worst day of his career. But, Ecuador gave up after the goal, so they deserved to lose.

UPDATE: FIFA gets letters!

Subject: Sepp Blatter must resign immediately, or be fired.

His comments about his referees today were wholly unacceptable. He should apologize, resign immediately, and then go get his officiating license so he can become the target of abuse by players and fans and officials for carrying-out politicies that the FIFA president has set.

Thank you.

Just sayin. Blatter resigning is the only the honorable thing left to do, short of Hari-Kari.

UPDATE: Wow - I totally forgot about that. A true outright shocker - and not the good kind.

This blog points out something that I didn't quite catch during the game, but which the announcers caught and many of the fans caught, too. When a player is injured, the team possessing the ball will play it out of bounds to make it easy for the ref to stop the game and check on the injured player. It's good sportsmanship. When play resumes, the team who has possession returns possession to the team who, as a show of good sportsmanship, played it out of bounds in the first place. No advantage was gained, it's the honorable thing to do, happens all the time, etc.

But today, the Netherlands refused to give possession back to Portugal. I don't know the details - I can't even confirm it happened as I didn't see it, but if true it would be a horrible blight on the Netherlands' record. I've never actually heard of this happening before, ever. Maybe there could have been a mixup, maybe the Netherlands thought the Portugal player was only play-acting, etc. - there could be a thousand+ excuses, but as I've said, I've _never_ seen this happen before, even if a player was play-acting, which is about the only constant in international soccer - happens _all_ the time.

If true, and all the reports coming out suggest it is true, it would be, for me, the most shameful episode of this World Cup. This World Cup won't be about anything that has happened yet or anything that will happen in the runup to the end of the Cup - this World Cup, the 2006 in Germany, will be about how the Netherlands refused to play the ball back to Portugal after Portugal played it out of bounds due to an injury.

In the international football arena, this type of 'crime' is about the worst thing that could be committed. If there is anything worse, I cannot think of it. Maybe allowing your fans to physically attack the opposing team? Maybe having your whole team physically assault the opposing team? Something like that. The problem is that even when a very hard, shameful foul is committed by one player against another, it is only committed by one player - but in this case, it appears the whole Dutch team was in on it. Incredible. It would be a shame upon the entire Dutch nation unless they dealt with the matter seriously and swiftly. And even then could it ever be erased from the annals of shameful play?

Again, this just underscored the outrageousness of Blatter's criticism of the referees. The Netherlands, it seems, have committed one of the most egregeous 'crimes' attributable to any soccer-playing nation, and Blatter criticizes the referees instead - his referees who were enforcing his policies.

Methinks this is developing into a much bigger debacle than Blatter could have imagined. Maybe he thought putting his referees at the mercy of the mobs was a classy move. Time will tell.

Also, the Dutch coach, Marco van Basten, who was an awesome striker back in the day, refused to play his star goal-scorer, Ruud van Nistelrooy. In my recollection, Rud was never a model of sportsmanship, but one has to wonder why he didn't play today, and if his absense had something to do with total lack of class and sportsmanship in the Dutch side. This, too, will be something that van Basten will have to answer for.

This requires more attention. Developing...

UPDATE: More details on the Dutch Deviousness:

Poor sportsmanship marked this match, with the most flagrant example being Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder's decision not to play the ball back to Portugal after an injury stoppage. Sneijder took the ball on the run and was cut down on a hard foul by Deco, and several Portugal players raced over to berate the Dutch player.

The 'pitbull with patience'? Or, perhaps, just 'the classless Chihuahua'?

UPDATE: Disgraceful. Too bad Blatter hasn't yet been shown the red.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Another Timing Coincidence?


State of emergency declared in Baghdad - Yahoo! News: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Friday after insurgents set up roadblocks in central Baghdad and fired on U.S. and Iraqi troops outside the heavily fortified Green Zone."

And look at that - at the same exact time - the U.S. government just happens to charge 7 Muslims for 'talking about attacks' or some other nonsense:

MIAMI (Reuters) - Seven people arrested in Miami discussed attacks on the landmark Sears Tower in Chicago, the FBI building in Miami and other government buildings in a mission "just as good or greater" than September 11, U.S. officials said on Friday.

This is simply a way to distract the media from reporting exclusively on the Iraq bloodbath.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fire Coach Arena

If a coach performs this badly in the World Cup, he gets fired - period. Coach Arena is the longest-serving coach in this World Cup - and it shows. He's complacent and rules his players with an iron fist, which can be good, but with nobody to keep the all-powerful Arena in check, he is unable to hear criticism. He needs to go.

The Costa Ricans lost all of their games, and they're being heckled for it, and rightly so. They gave up in their very first game - they deserve all the shame they're facing now. The U.S. was worse. They never gave up, but it's difficult to give up when your coach never asks you to try in the first place. And the Costa Ricans had no expectations except to make a decent showing. The U.S. were ranked #5 in the world, and not undeservedly.

Coach Arena failed in every imaginable way in this tournament, though. He never played to win. In this game he waited until 60 minutes to throw in a striker. He never asked his players for anything, and they never delivered. The players' fitness was sorely lacking, despite what U.S. sportscasters, especially Balboa, wanted us to believe. Can anyone imagine the U.S. playing against any single one of the teams that has shown heart so far in this tournament? Ivory Coast? South Korea? Impossible. We'd get wiped off the field.

Instead of blaming himself for the opening loss, which was mostly his fault, Arena blamed his players. His classless move in calling out the 'manliness' of Damarcus Beasley can only be considered outdone if we are to believe the pre-game reports of the players being made to sit through some war propaganda of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq. I've heard some outrageous things in my days, but using the tragedy and war crimes of Iraq as some sort of twisted and sick motivational force for U.S. soccer players for their World Cup campaign ranks up their with the most grotesque tactics I've ever heard of.

All in all, a miserable failure of a tournament. U.S. soccer has just been set back 4 years. Only 4 years because we can have a new coach soon, and a redemption 4 years from now in South Africa.

On the coaching front, let's get an international. There are plenty of great, proven coaches. Take a Brazilian. Take a Dutchman. Pay whatever it takes to get Hiddink to coach America, though I can't imagine any sane person wanting to coach American soccer - just because of the gaudiness and boorishness of our culture and the horrific violence and poverty that we regularly sow around the world. But, it's worth a shot. Get Hiddink. Get Zico. Get someone. Get someone who will at least make it appear as though his team has an interest in winning. Bruce had a good run, but now, it's over. Maybe we'll give him another shot after the next campaign, but right now, he's got to go.

p.s. Klinsmann now lives in LA full-time.

U.S. Soccer Dreadful

I don't feel like issuing the book-length ripping that Team USA deserves, so we'll get right to the point and be as brief as possible.

#1) Bruce Arena deserves 90% of the blame for the atrocious performance thus far in the tournament. If your team walks on the pitch asleep, as the U.S. did for their first game against Czech Republic, it's the coach's fault, period - even after the coach blames the players (no class on the part of the coach).

#2) Another classless move by Coach Arena - calling out the 'manliness' of Beasley. That's just outrageous. Beasley's play was horrendous, no doubt, but that has nothing to do with a coach publicly challenging the manhood of one of his players - unless that coach wants to get his ass publicly beat by said player whose manliness he doubts.

#3) If your team's strikers are so fearful of the opposing team's goal that they regularly turn around at the sight of it (thus giving your team 1 shots on goal, total, for two entire matches - let's repeat that - 1 shots on goal, total, for two entire matches - combined, together, both games), the coach should think about, you know, coaching - and telling his strikers to take it to the hole or keep the bench warm for the entirety of the rest of their lives - their choice. If there are ten defenders in between you and the goal? That's an easy choice - take it to the hole. Go to goal. For the love of World Cup-watching Monks, take. it. to. the. hole.

#4) I've never seen a more intimidated team in my life. Not all the players, but most. If they don't soil themselves before they step onto the pitch vs. Ghana, I'll be amazed. Confidence is king.

#5) The match vs. Italy - when we held on for a 1-1 when we needed a win to advance - so what? I expected us to beat Italy, but instead coach Arena allowed the already-yellow-carded-once Eddie Pope stay in the game when it was obvious he was eventually going to get carded for his sloppy/tugging play against the ever-diving Italians. 'Horrible' + 'Brave' != 'Decent'. It equals horrific, devastatingly stupid, shameful. Mastroeni with two cleats up in the offensive half? Somebody tell me I'm just having a nightmare - this isn't real.

#6) Many of the players - only Donovan comes to mind at the present - should have been yanked from the first game. Exactly how long does it take to warm up? If you didn't want to play you should have stayed home and let some other kids play.

#7) Beasley was right for ripping on coach Arena for not telling the players what the expected lineup was going to be until hours or minutes before the match. That's horrific. How do you expect a player to get ready mentally and emotionally if they think they're going to be sitting on the bench instead of playing? It's outrageous.

#8) Coach Arena should have done more to solidify a starting squad earlier in the tournament. Yes, injuries hurt, of course, but every other team had to deal with injuries, too. In our first game we were completely lost, and we were at full strength.

#9) What is this stuff about players hanging out with their families and all that in-between games? Is that normal? I prefer the no-sex rules and all that. I don't know anything about marriage and families and being a professional sportsman, but I do wonder where these guys are at mentally. We're talking about 1 month away time, here, tops. If that's a sacrifice they have to make to play for the national team in the World Cup, then I'm prepared for them to make it. I have no idea if that would be beneficial or not, but it's something I'm very interested in.

For anyone who thinks my comments are too harsh, I apologize for not expecting the U.S. team to act like a bunch of amateurs out there. Their play has been disgraceful, as has their coaching. I expect more. I demand more.

Good luck to them tomorrow against Ghana. Hopefully, Team USA decides to play. Ghana is brimming with confidence, it seems, but we don't know if it's for real or not. One thing I'm still certain of is this - the U.S. team can be one of the best teams in this tournament. Individually we're not lacking, and team-wise we're not lacking. If we decide to show up tomorrow, Ghana is going to get the shock of a lifetime, as will the rest of the tournament.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Google Down Again

I searched for 'php' and some other stuff - nothing. Then 'php' and less 'other stuff' - nothing. Then, just 'php' - nothing. Then the results came back. Then they left again.

Maybe their servers were busy shuffling all of my personal data over to Uncle Sam?

Am I doing something stupid here? Doesn't seem like it. I'm not that tired.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Reality of War

As per usual, we have to go to the foreign press to get a snapshot of what's really going on in Iraq. Heading over to, we were able to catch this snapshot:

The caption reads as follows:

A man tries to help a victim from the blaze moment after a car bomb attack in Baghdad. The violence rolls on

Photo credit: Ceerwan Aziz

Photo from the Irish Independent, 15 June, 2006.

Amy Goodman said it best: (paraphrasing) If the American people could see war for what it actually is for just one week, a single week, this war would be over.