Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I love this game

For the first time in about 7 years I find myself really excited about the start of an NBA season. I don't know what it is. Maybe the Raptors finally having a good young team with a lot of depth has something to do with it. Maybe it is the East finally being pretty deep. I think Boston is good....but not great. Depth is gonna be a problem for them if one of the big 3 goes down but they'll coast to the playoffs. I see them running into some problems in the playoffs because of the lack of depth on the roster. I really do believe we are going to see a new team emerge in the West this year. Year after year the Spurs coast through the regular season giving Duncan his rest. I see them not getting home court this year and possibly running into a tough first round match up. With that in mind here are my predictions for this season.

Regular Season

1) Chicago
2) Toronto
3) Boston
4) Orlando
5) Cleveland
6) Detroit
7) New Jersey
8) Washington

1) Dallas
2) Phoenix
3) Denver
4) Houston
5) San Antonio
6) Utah
7) Golden State
8) New Orleans Hornets

Playoffs

First Round:

Chicago over Washington
Orlando over Cleveland
Toronto
over New Jersey
Boston over Detroit

Dallas over New Orleans
Houston
over San Antonio
Phoenix
over Golden State
Denver over Utah

Second Round:

Chicago over Orlando
Toronto
over Boston

Houston over Dallas
Phoenix
over Denver

Conference Finals:

Toronto over Chicago

Houston over Phoenix

NBA Finals:

Houston over Toronto



What is your outlook on the 07-08 season?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Rutgers Football - Great for College Football

The year hasn't exactly gone as fans of RU football had hoped it would. The Thursday night win against Louisville last year has given a new mindset to college football fans in New Jersey. The win last night against South Florida was a much needed one. The team needed some credibility and last night provided that. As tough as losing to Maryland and Cincinnati was, last night we forgot about that. I have lived in New Jersey for 7 years and have never seen this kind of excitement for the Devils or Nets.....ever. Doesn't matter where you go in the area, New Jersey has Scarlet Fever.
A record crowd of 44,627 including among others David Wright, Michael Strahan, Jason Kidd (missed the Nets game because of an "injury") and Kevin James. ESPN at times tries too hard to make it seem like RU is New York's team. All you see on the broadcasts are the Empire State Building and the rest of the NYC skyline like it's just a couple of blocks from the stadium. The strategy is brilliant. As big as college football is one thing it has missed is a strong presence in the biggest media market of them all....New York City. Rutgers is the answer to that. Granted we need a couple more years of consistency to get to that level but this team is well on its way.
Schiano has done a good job spreading the "State of Rutgers" as he calls it. Reaching out into NYC and Philadelphia gives him another recruiting base and also builds the fanbase in those two cities. The fan base that exists already (including the bandwagon fans) has been phenomenal. The atmosphere in and out of the stadium is electric.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights #6 Red Football Jersey By Nike (L=44)Nike Rutgers Scarlet Knights Scarlet Our House Local T-Shirt (X-Large)Nike Rutgers Scarlet Knights Scarlet Classic Logo T-shirt (Large)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bush Can’t Remember Why He Blew It


Bush Can’t Remember Why He Blew It
Posted on Sep 3, 2007

The disbanding of the Iraqi army shortly after the U.S. began its occupation is widely considered one of the biggest blunders of the war. So why did the administration make such a disastrous decision? Don’t ask President Bush: He can’t remember.

Los Angeles Times:

“The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen,” Bush told biographer Robert Draper in excerpts published in Sunday’s New York Times.

Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000-strong army without pay.

“Yeah, I can’t remember; I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ “ Bush said, adding: “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all this stuff”—a reference to national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley.

Read more

Leaves you scratching your head indeed. It's amazing how even in retrospect they can't come up with a decent explanation.

Michigan/Appalachian State

Check out this video.

Hundreds of miles away from either school this is the reaction the Michigan/Appalachian State game got from Penn State fans. This my friends is why I love sports.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chill Yo, Islam Yo

my mission is to give people a better understanding of islam, as well as establish a need for them to visit this website, and entertain them, in a halal way, meaning permissible to islamic rules, and move people with the ideology of “chill yo islam yo”

read more | digg story


Check out the above blog....and I'm not just saying that because a cousin of mine runs it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Beckham An Inspiration To Children Who Never Get Put In Game

The Onion

Beckham An Inspiration To Children Who Never Get Put In Game

LOS ANGELES—Whether intently watching the on-field action or waving to his family in the stands, David Beckham's impressive display of...

Video Surfaces of Cheney, in 1994, Warning That An Invasion of Iraq Would Lead to 'Quagmire'

Video Surfaces of Cheney, in 1994, Warning That An Invasion of Iraq Would Lead to 'Quagmire'

By E&P Staff

Published: August 12, 2007 10:20 AM ET

NEW YORK It's not the first time that citizen "investigative journalists" have uncovered some embarrassing, or telling, nugget from the past that apparently remained buried for years. But it has happened again with the posting of a now wildly popular video on YouTube that shows Dick Cheney explaining in 1994 that trying to take over Iraq would be a "bad idea" and lead to a "quagmire."

The people who put it up come from a site called Grand Theft Country, the on-screen source appears to be the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and the date on the screen is April 15, 1994. That looks right, by the age of Cheney.

Posted on Friday, it had received over 100,000 hits by this morning, after being widely-linked around the Web. The transcript of this segment is below.

Cheney had helped direct the Gulf War for President George H.W. Bush. That effort was later criticized for not taking Baghdad and officials like Cheney had to explain why not, for years. Some have charged that this led to an overpowering desire to finish the job after Cheney became vice president in 2001.

Here is the transcript. The YouTube address is at the end.
*

Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it -- eastern Iraq -- the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.

***

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BEsZMvrq-I


Don't you just hate it when your own words come back to haunt you? Check out the Youtube link above.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Barry Bonds Home-Run Scandal Somehow Becomes Feel-Good Sports Story Of Summer

Barry Bonds Home-Run Scandal Somehow Becomes Feel-Good Sports Story Of Summer

The Onion

Barry Bonds Home-Run Scandal Somehow Becomes Feel-Good Sports Story Of Summer

SAN FRANCISCO—Although Barry Bonds remains the target of criticism over his possible—some say almost certain—use of performance-enhancing substances, the fact that Bonds has not been implicated in dogfighting, nightclub...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Heroic Man Rushes Into Movie Theater, Saves 4 Seats

The Onion

Heroic Man Rushes Into Movie Theater, Saves 4 Seats

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA—In what eyewitnesses are calling a "selfless display of true courage," moviegoer Michael N. Kincaid, 39, rushed headlong...

Demoted Cop Unsure Why Desk Job Considered Punishment

The Onion

Demoted Cop Unsure Why Desk Job Considered Punishment

CHICAGO—Noting that his new assignment is low-stress and conveniently located next to the vending machines, Chicago Police Department...

Monday, June 18, 2007

"New 7 Wonders of the World"

Everyone has heard of the "7 Wonders of the Ancient World", well now there is a global vote to announce a "New 7 Wonders of the World". Check out this link....which 7 of the 21 finalists gets your vote? There is only one of the original 7 still around today. The vote is actually harder then you might thing. In the end I came down to these 7:

Colosseum
Great Wall of China
Hagia Sophia
Machu Picchu
Stonehenge
Taj Mahal
Timbuktu

I left off the Eiffel Tower, which I think will probably end up as one of the 7 anyways.

Which 7 gets your vote?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Curiosities of Hockey History

May 23, 2007

By Damien Cox

You're going to read a lot about the history of the Ottawa Senators this week as the team prepares for the return of the Stanley Cup final to the nation's capital for the first time in 80 years.

Since the modern Senators are only 15 years old, however, it's not quite waxing nostaligic.

It's more about looking back and marvelling at how the Sens landed their franchise in the first place.

After becoming an NHL expansion team in 1990, the Ottawa Senators reached the Stanley Cup final in 2007.

And probably how they didn't deserve to. I'll never forget being there on Dec. 6, 1990 at the plush Breaker's Hotel in West Palm Beach as then NHL president John Ziegler sat at a press conference with Bruce Firestone of Ottawa on one side and Phil Esposito of the successful Tampa bidder on the other, announcing the NHL's two newest teams.

Esposito was all wisecracks and smiles, having somehow convinced the NHL board of governors to give him a team. The phlegmatic Firestone looked mostly surprised. Stunned, really, as he should have been. He knew he'd just pulled a fast one.

No one has ever proven anything, of course, but it's reasonable to assume that the undying greed of the Maple Leafs - then owned by Harold Ballard - was largely responsible for helping Ottawa get a team, an intriguing happenstance given that the Sens have now managed to supercede the Leafs as the province's top NHL team, at least in terms of on-ice achievements.

Back in August, 1990, Ottawa was one of 11 initial bidders for two NHL franchises during the final days of John Ziegler's rather unimpressive run as NHL boss. The other bidders were Hamilton, Milwaukee, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle. Milwaukee - failed suitors for Pittsburgh this year - and Phoenix - which eventually landed the Winnipeg Jets - soon dropped out.

The St. Petersburg bid was backed by Peter Karmanos, who eventually got his mitts on the Hartford Whalers and moved them to Raleigh, with Jim Rutherford set to operate the hockey team. The Miami bid was fronted by John Henry, current owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Hamilton, however, became recognized as the front runner because it was the only city that came even close to meeting all the NHL's "requirements" for a team, including an arena, a lease, 10,000 season tickets and a wealthy owner. Tim Hortons king Ron Joyce was the money man.

Ottawa brought a marching band to the final meeting in West Palm Beach, but didn't have the money or an arena. Firestone headed Terrace Investments, and the bid for an NHL team was largely a cover for a multi-million dollar real estate play in Kanata.

The biggest problem for Hamilton was that it would have to pay indemnification fees to Toronto and Buffalo, but the NHL refused to allow negotiations on a figure before the franchises were awarded.

That left Joyce in a tough spot. Without being able to budget his total costs, he suggested to the NHL board that he would pay his $50 million franchise fee in pieces - $5 million that day, $25 million the next year and the rest over the following seven years.

That gave the NHL governors their out. They instead took the two bids that agreed to pay the $50 million up front, Ottawa and Tampa Bay, even though neither had the money nor would ultimately be able to adhere to the payment schedule. The NHL wanted to be in the Sunshine State, so clearly Ottawa got the nod ahead of Hamilton.

The Leafs, on the other hand, didn't want Hamilton, just as more than a decade later they didn't want Eugene Melnyk, the current owner of the Sens, to buy Maple Leaf Gardens as a home for his St. Mike's Majors. The Leafs didn't have to formally "block" Hamilton - every other NHL team knew going in what the deal was.

On the basis of quality and meeting the league's criteria, the two winning bids should have been St. Petersburg, with Karmanos, and Hamilton. But they were denied. Screwed, really. Karmanos eventually got the Whalers, while Joyce for a time owned a piece of the Calgary Flames before getting out of the hockey business again.

Would Hamilton have been more successful than Ottawa or Tampa Bay? Certainly, Hamilton would have caused far fewer headaches for the league in the initial seven or eight years after expansion. That said, rising salaries in the late 1990s might well have driven Hamilton out of business, and it's not clear whether the city would have been able to replace Copps Coliseum over time with the top quality rinks both Ottawa and Tampa enjoy today. Maybe yes, maybe no.

That said, desperation, both financially and competitively, forced both the Senators and Lightning to eventually work out their problems and succeed. In both cases, quality ownership eventually arrived, and economic uncertainty meant both had to work a little harder at putting a good team on the ice. Sinking so low in the standings, it's also worth pointing out, allowed both teams to add good young players over time.

The fact that the Leafs have always been terrified of competition, on the other hand, is why they've been able to live such a cushy existence and have never faced the urgency to win in order to stay alive.

That's a big part of the reason why the Leafs haven't hosted a Stanley Cup final game in 40 years, while the Lightning already have a Cup and the Sens will be the home team for Game 3 of the 2007 Stanley Cup final in 10 days.


Link

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MLB Credits Hank Aaron With 50 Lost Home Runs

MLB Credits Hank Aaron With 50 Lost Home Runs

The Onion

MLB Credits Hank Aaron With 50 Lost Home Runs

MILWAUKEE—In what Major League Baseball officials are calling a "long overdue correction of a gross oversight," Commissioner Bud Selig announced yesterday the discovery that Hall of Famer Hank Aaron had in fact accumulated 50 previously...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Phony Yankees (and their fans for that matter)

So all of a sudden all that Yankee "class" goes away? How desperate do the Yanks look right now? It will be that much sweeter to see the Yanks not win it this year with the hired gun. I like how Yankee fans are "welcoming him home". He had a 3.99 ERA here. He had 3 of his worst years here. Aside from the one 20-3....the rest of team carried him to the championships. You idiots do realize that he's pitched for the Yankees in only 4 of his 23 big league seasons right?

Did anyone hear the press conference with Clemens? I love how he dodged the questions about the travel perks.

How sweet would it be to hear Clemens' name in the whole Kirk Radomski saga? How sweet will it be if Clemens lands on the DL.

The New York Yankees Fall Classic Collector's Edition 1996-2001McFarlane MLB Series 10 Roger Clemens in Houston Astros RED Jersey Chase Figure

Friday, March 23, 2007

My views on the state of Pakistan Cricket

So this World Cup campaign went about as bad as it possibly could have. A lot of changes coming, some that were forced and some that are badly needed.

First of all most importantly hopefully the cowards involved in the Bob Woolmer murder are caught fast and dealt with. It is a major black eye for cricket and an even bigger one for Pakistan. I know I was in the minority as far as retaining Woolmer past the World Cup is concerned but he did do a lot for Pakistani cricket if you look at the big picture. Do people even remember where this team was 4 years ago? Say what you want about Woolmer and Inzi but this was a very steady time for Pakistani cricket. Despite all their criticisms you have seen the internal politics and fighting within the team disappear under their watch.

The problem with Pakistani Cricket to me is more the culture of the PCB then the players themselves. Sure Inzi's captaincy in the past 6 months took a huge step back from the strides he had made in the year and a half before that but does anyone at PCB know what they are doing? Why the constant shuffling of the lineup? Why do the same useless players keep showing up the lineup when other young promising players are shuffled in and out for no obvious reason. What does Yasir Hameed have to do to earn a spot? Why has Imran Nazir been shrugged aside for so long? What more does Asim Kamal need to do to earn a spot in the test lineup? How many more chances is Rana Naved going to get? What is Kaneria's role on the team?

So who is the next captain? The obvious front runner is Younis Khan, a man who probably should've been captain 2 years ago. Does he merit a guaranteed ODI spot at this time though? Do they go with seperate ODI and Test teams and captain? I wouldn't be surprised though if Pakistan bypasses him altogether and goes another route as far as the captaincy is concerned. Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik are 3 names you definitely will hear. These 3 will be part of whatever future the Pakistan team has. Might as well get them groomed for 2011. The 3 are still relatively young but have played long enough where experience isn't a problem. When all is said and done though you will probably see Younis Khan as the captain for now with one of the 3 as Vice Captain being groomed for 2011.

What will the Pakistani team look like when they next step onto the playing field? Does Younis Khan even make the ODI squad? I am going to go with an assumption of yes on that one for now as I don't think they will go to that extreme.

ODIs
1) Salman Butt
2) Imran Nazir
3) Yasir Hameed
4) Shoaib Malik
5) Younis Khan (Captain)
6) Shahid Afridi (Vice Captain)
7) Abdul Razzaq
8)Kamran Akmal/Zulqarnain Haider (WK)
9)Shoaib Akhtar
10) Umar Gul
11) Mohammed Asif

There are other guys who will be on the fringe. Mohammad Sami isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Yasir Arafat will see some playing time. Imran Farhat will be around as an opening option but is there room for all 3 of Farhat, Butt and Nazir in the lineup? I really don't see room for Mohammad Yousuf in the ODI squad anymore. Sure he still has a few good years left in him....but is he a factor for 2011?

Tests
1) Salman Butt
2) Imran Farhat
3) Yasir Hameed/Mohammad Yousuf
4) Younis Khan (Captain)
5) Shoaib Malik
6) Shahid Afridi (Vice Captain)
7) Kamran Akmal/Zulqarnain Haiderr (WK)
8) Abdul Razzaq/Danish Kaneria
9)Shoaib Akhtar
10) Umar Gul
11) Mohammed Asif

We've had a good U-19 team the last few years....and I'd expect a few of those guys to make the transition to the team soon enough. There is definitely no lack of talent in Pakistan. The problem is harnessing that talent. Domestic cricket, while it has improved in the past couple of years still needs a lot of fixing.

Who's going to coach this team? Rameez Raja laid out an intriguing plan today on Cricinfo.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

White's rock quarry could net pitcher billions


Wednesday, February 28, 2007
White's rock quarry could net pitcher billions
Associated Press

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Matt White, a journeyman pitcher trying to make the Los Angeles Dodgers, could become baseball's first billionaire player.

"It sounds bogus even saying those numbers. I'm just a small town guy trying to get to the big leagues. It's beyond comprehension."
-- Matt White

It has nothing to do with his arm. He owns a rock quarry in western Massachusetts.

White, who has appeared in seven big league games in nine professional seasons, paid $50,000 three years ago to buy 50 acres of land from an elderly aunt who needed the money to pay for a nursing home.

While clearing out a couple acres to build a home, he discovered stone ledges in the ground, prompting him to have the property surveyed.

A geologist estimated there were 24 million tons of the stone on his land. The stone is being sold for upward of $100 per ton, meaning there's well over $2 billion worth of material used for sidewalks, patios and the like.

Of course, that doesn't factor in the expenses involved in processing the stone and transporting it for sale.

"It sounds bogus even saying those numbers," White said. "I'm just a small town guy trying to get to the big leagues. It's beyond comprehension."

The news has prompted some of White's teammates to refer to him as "The Billionaire," but the 29-year-old left-hander isn't counting his money just yet.

"There are a lot of questions," he said. "It takes time, it takes money, it takes machines. There are professionals who handle that stuff."

White's father has been involved in selling the stone, but it's presently a small-time operation.

"I guess you could say the property is for sale," White said with a chuckle. "We'll have to see how things turn out. I don't even know where to start. I'm in the process now of getting in touch with business-savvy guys, finding out how much to ask."

White said he doesn't feel like he's wealthy, which he isn't quite yet.

"Not at all. I don't live like a rich man," he said. "I'm a minor league guy who's played winter ball to make ends meet."

Dr. Peter Pannish, an adjunct professor in the department of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, surveyed the property several months ago. He said he believes the stone was formed about 400 million years ago.

"It's basically a slabby rock that can be used for sidewalks, building faces and stone walls," Pannish said from his Amherst, Mass., office. "You can use it for a lot of other things, like flagstone on a patio. There are some sidewalks right here on campus that are made of that same rock."

Pannish said he believes White could sell his property for several million dollars, or more.

"As far as hundreds of millions, I doubt if that's possible because of all the expenses that would have to be considered," Pannish said. "But it could be quite a bit of money. He probably needs a mining engineer or an economic geologist to come up with a good evaluation."

White has received inquiries about making national television appearances, and has even been contacted about a possible movie. He is represented by Herbie Zucker of Zucker Sports Management in Chicago.

But for now, White is concentrating on his day job. And that's no surprise, considering pitching in the big leagues has been a lifelong dream.

"They say lefties bloom later than righties. I keep telling myself that," he said. "I'm here to make the big-league team. I feel confident about that, absolutely. I've had some pretty good years in Triple-A.

"I plan to play baseball until I can't play anymore. My goal is to play in the big leagues, regardless of what happens with the rock quarry."

White signed a minor league contract last December with the Dodgers -- his eighth organization. He has appeared in 254 minor league games, 136 of them starts.

White pitched in three games each for Boston and Seattle in 2003, and one for Washington in 2005, going 0-2 and allowing 18 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings.

The Boston manager in 2003 was current Dodgers skipper Grady Little.

"The kid has a genuine love for the game," Little said. "He's quite a competitor, he's always striving to get better. It's not about money for him. He's prepared himself well coming into camp and he'll be going after somebody's job. He'll be given an opportunity.

"It's a tough hill to climb. We have 28 pitchers in camp, we'll leave spring training with 11 or 12. Before it's over, we might need 20. He's in there trying to get a job."

With that, Little smiled and said: "Along the way, if anybody needs landscaping stone, we know where to find it."


Link

Pretty good return on investment.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Report: President Isiah Thomas Has No Exit Strategy For Knicks

Report: President Isiah Thomas Has No Exit Strategy For Knicks

The Onion

Report: President Isiah Thomas Has No Exit Strategy For Knicks

NEW YORK—According to several sources in the coaching and management structures of the New York Knicks basketball team, Knicks President Isiah Thomas has "no coherent plan or strategy of any kind" to remove the Knicks from the long series...

Rumsfeld Leaves Most Recent Job Off Resumé

Rumsfeld Leaves Most Recent Job Off Resumé

The Onion

Rumsfeld Leaves Most Recent Job Off Resumé

ST. MICHAELS, MD—After including his four terms in Congress, a two-year stint in banking, and volunteer work, Rumsfeld said he "ran out of room" for the high-ranking cabinet post.

Bears Lead Rex Grossman To Super Bowl

Bears Lead Rex Grossman To Super Bowl

The Onion

Bears Lead Rex Grossman To Super Bowl

CHICAGO—While coming up big in a 39-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints Sunday, the Chicago Bears single-handedly shouldered the burden...

Bears Inspire A City Still Reeling From Great Chicago Fire Of 1871

Bears Inspire A City Still Reeling From Great Chicago Fire Of 1871

The Onion

Bears Inspire A City Still Reeling From Great Chicago Fire Of 1871

CHICAGO—As Brian Urlacher triumphantly hoisted the George Halas Trophy Sunday, it was a symbol of more than just the Bears' 39-14 victory over New Orleans—it was a symbol of hope to the thousands of Chicagoans who are still struggling...

The Onion

NHL Admits Slam-Dunk-Contest Portion Of All-Star Skills Competition A Mistake

DALLAS-Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters Tuesday night that the addition of the first-ever slam-dunk contest to the NHL All-Star skills...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Olbermann: Special comment about 'sacrifice'

Olbermann: Special comment about 'sacrifice'
BBC reports Bush will reveal troop surge plan in sacrifice-themed speech
SPECIAL COMMENT
By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, 'Countdown'
Updated: 9:57 p.m. ET Jan 2, 2007

If in your presence an individual tried to sacrifice an American serviceman or woman, would you intervene?

Would you at least protest?

What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them?

What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them — and was then to announce his intention to sacrifice hundreds, maybe thousands, more?

This is where we stand tonight with the BBC report of President Bush’s “new Iraq strategy,” and his impending speech to the nation, which, according to a quoted senior American official, will be about troop increases and “sacrifice.”

The president has delayed, dawdled and deferred for the month since the release of the Iraq Study Group.

He has seemingly heard out everybody, and listened to none of them.

If the BBC is right — and we can only pray it is not — he has settled on the only solution all the true experts agree cannot possibly work: more American personnel in Iraq, not as trainers for Iraqi troops, but as part of some flabby plan for “sacrifice.”

Sacrifice!

More American servicemen and women will have their lives risked.

More American servicemen and women will have their lives ended.

More American families will have to bear the unbearable and rationalize the unforgivable —“sacrifice” — sacrifice now, sacrifice tomorrow, sacrifice forever.

And more Americans — more even than the two-thirds who already believe we need fewer troops in Iraq, not more — will have to conclude the president does not have any idea what he’s doing — and that other Americans will have to die for that reason.

It must now be branded as propaganda — for even the president cannot truly feel that very many people still believe him to be competent in this area, let alone “the decider.”

But from our impeccable reporter at the Pentagon, Jim Miklaszewski, tonight comes confirmation of something called “surge and accelerate” — as many as 20,000 additional troops —f or “political purposes” ...

This, in line with what we had previously heard, that this will be proclaimed a short-term measure, for the stated purpose of increasing security in and around Baghdad, and giving an Iraqi government a chance to establish some kind of order.

This is palpable nonsense, Mr. Bush.

If this is your intention — if the centerpiece of your announcement next week will be “sacrifice” — sacrifice your intention, not more American lives!

As Sen. Joseph Biden has pointed out, the new troops might improve the ratio our forces face relative to those living in Baghdad (friend and foe), from 200 to 1, to just 100 to 1.

“Sacrifice?”

No.

A drop in the bucket.

The additional men and women you have sentenced to go there, sir, will serve only as targets.

They will not be there “short-term,” Mr. Bush; for many it will mean a year or more in death’s shadow.

This is not temporary, Mr. Bush.

For the Americans who will die because of you, it will be as permanent as it gets.

The various rationales for what Mr. Bush will reportedly re-christen “sacrifice” constitute a very thin gruel, indeed.

The former labor secretary, Robert Reich, says Sen. John McCain told him that the “surge” would help the “morale” of the troops already in Iraq.

If Mr. McCain truly said that, and truly believes it, he has either forgotten completely his own experience in Vietnam ... or he is unaware of the recent Military Times poll indicating only 38 percent of our active military want to see more troops sent ... or Mr. McCain has departed from reality.

Then there is the argument that to take any steps toward reducing troop numbers would show weakness to the enemy in Iraq, or to the terrorists around the world.

This simplistic logic ignores the inescapable fact that we have indeed already showed weakness to the enemy, and to the terrorists.

We have shown them that we will let our own people be killed for no good reason.

We have now shown them that we will continue to do so.

We have shown them our stupidity.

Mr. Bush, your judgment about Iraq — and now about “sacrifice” — is at variance with your people’s, to the point of delusion.

Your most respected generals see no value in a “surge” — they could not possibly see it in this madness of “sacrifice.”

The Iraq Study Group told you it would be a mistake.

Perhaps dozens more have told you it would be a mistake.

And you threw their wisdom back, until you finally heard what you wanted to hear, like some child drawing straws and then saying “best two out of three … best three out of five … hundredth one counts.”

Your citizens, the people for whom you work, have told you they do not want this, and moreover, they do not want you to do this.

Yet once again, sir, you have ignored all of us.

Mr. Bush, you do not own this country!

To those Republicans who have not broken free from the slavery of partisanship — those bonded still, to this president and this administration, and now bonded to this “sacrifice” —proceed at your own peril.

John McCain may still hear the applause of small crowds — he has somehow inured himself to the hypocrisy, and the tragedy, of a man who considers himself the ultimate realist, courting the votes of those who support the government telling visitors to the Grand Canyon that it was caused by the Great Flood.

That Mr. McCain is selling himself off to the irrational right, parcel by parcel, like some great landowner facing bankruptcy, seems to be obvious to everybody but himself.

Or, maybe it is obvious to him and he simply no longer cares.

But to the rest of you in the Republican Party:

We need you to speak up, right now, in defense of your country’s most precious assets — the lives of its citizens who are in harm’s way.

If you do not, you are not serving this nation’s interests — nor your own.

November should have told you this.

The opening of the new Congress on Wednesday and Thursday should tell you this.

Next time, those missing Republicans will be you.

And to the Democrats now yoked to the helm of this sinking ship, you proceed at your own peril, as well.

President Bush may not be very good at reality, but he and Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rove are still gifted at letting American troops be killed, and then turning their deaths to their own political advantage.

The equation is simple. This country does not want more troops in Iraq.

It wants fewer.

Go and make it happen, or go and look for other work.

Yet you Democrats must assume that even if you take the most obvious of courses, and cut off funding for the war, Mr. Bush will ignore you as long as possible, or will find the money elsewhere, or will spend the money meant to protect the troops, and re-purpose it to keep as many troops there as long as he can keep them there.

Because that’s what this is all about, is it not, Mr. Bush?

That is what this “sacrifice” has been for.

To continue this senseless, endless war.

You have dressed it up in the clothing, first of a hunt for weapons of mass destruction, then of liberation ... then of regional imperative ... then of oil prices ... and now in these new terms of “sacrifice” — it’s like a damned game of Colorforms, isn’t it, sir?

This senseless, endless war.

But — it has not been senseless in two ways.

It has succeeded, Mr. Bush, in enabling you to deaden the collective mind of this country to the pointlessness of endless war, against the wrong people, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

It has gotten many of us used to the idea — the virtual “white noise” — of conflict far away, of the deaths of young Americans, of vague “sacrifice” for some fluid cause, too complicated to be interpreted except in terms of the very important-sounding but ultimately meaningless phrase “the war on terror.”

And the war’s second accomplishment — your second accomplishment, sir — is to have taken money out of the pockets of every American, even out of the pockets of the dead soldiers on the battlefield, and their families, and to have given that money to the war profiteers.

Because if you sell the Army a thousand Humvees, you can’t sell them any more until the first thousand have been destroyed.

The service men and women are ancillary to the equation.

This is about the planned obsolescence of ordnance, isn’t, Mr. Bush? And the building of detention centers? And the design of a $125 million courtroom complex at Gitmo, complete with restaurants.

At least the war profiteers have made their money, sir.

And we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.

You have insisted, Mr. Bush, that we must not lose in Iraq, that if we don’t fight them there we will fight them here — as if the corollary were somehow true, that if by fighting them there we will not have to fight them here.

And yet you have re-made our country, and not re-made it for the better, on the premise that we need to be ready to “fight them here,” anyway, and always.

In point of fact even if the civil war in Iraq somehow ended tomorrow, and the risk to Americans there ended with it, we would have already suffered a defeat — not fatal, not world-changing, not, but for the lives lost, of enduring consequence.

But this country has already lost in Iraq, sir.

Your policy in Iraq has already had its crushing impact on our safety here.

You have already fomented new terrorism and new terrorists.

You have already stoked paranoia.

You have already pitted Americans, one against the other.

We ... will have to live with it.

We ... will have to live with what — of the fabric of our nation — you have already “sacrificed.”

The only object still admissible in this debate is the quickest and safest exit for our people there.

But you — and soon, Mr. Bush, it will be you and you alone — still insist otherwise.

And our sons and daughters and fathers and mothers will be sacrificed there tonight, sir, so that you can say you did not “lose in Iraq.”

Our policy in Iraq has been criticized for being indescribable, for being inscrutable, for being ineffable.

But it is all too easily understood now.

First we sent Americans to their deaths for your lie, Mr. Bush.

Now we are sending them to their deaths for your ego.

If what is reported is true — if your decision is made and the “sacrifice” is ordered — take a page instead from the man at whose funeral you so eloquently spoke this morning — Gerald Ford:

Put pragmatism and the healing of a nation ahead of some kind of misguided vision.

Atone.

Sacrifice, Mr. Bush?

No, sir, this is not “sacrifice.” This has now become “human sacrifice.”

And it must stop.

And you can stop it.

Next week, make us all look wrong.

Our meaningless sacrifice in Iraq must stop.

And you must stop it.


I'll post up the video when I find it.

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