The Angry Cyclist

A fleeting grasp of civil, well reasoned discourse.
This blog will comment on topics of interest like politics, business, taxation, the War with Islam / Islamofascists, road cycling, football, and others.

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Opinion of The Angry Cyclist:

"Irrelevant...macho ravings"-
Marc Herold,
Grand Seigneur, University of New Hampshire

An idiot relative from Canada

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Saturday, September 27, 2003
NFL 2003 - 2004, Week 4

Home teams in CAPS:

Az +10.5
Atl +6
HOU +3
BUF -3
MIN Pick
Sd +7

Last week = 0-5 (ouch!)

For the year = 4-11-1.

Apologies for not posting much the past few weeks as the new place has overwhelmed me with repairs and upgrades, some major, that need immediate attention. I should be better in a few weeks. Thanks for stopping by anyways.

UPDATE - DEN is actually giving up 12 points; remove this game from consideration as noted above and avoid this site accordingly.

Saturday, September 20, 2003
NFL 2003 - 2004, Week 3

Home teams in CAPS:

Nyj +6.5
ATL +4
HOU +7.5
SEA +3
Buf +3

Last week = 2-4

For the year = 4-6-1.

Thursday, September 11, 2003
About September 11th

I don't have too much to say about this unfortunate anniversary other than to say I'm not about to get sentimental or self-pitying about it. People need to understand that this was a declaration of war on Western civilization or explain otherwise. I don't feel sorrow, or remorse, only anger. Lots of anger.

The only emotion I will ever feel towards terrorists is pity. Pity the poor souls who are foolish enough to raise their swords against our own. Pity the suicide bomber who tries to blow himself up in a crowded bus in Jerusalem. Pity the poor Taliban who continue to try to terrorize Afghani civilians and prevent their women and children from attending schools, something we take for granted.

The only thing I pray for is our own resolve.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
NFL 2003 - 2004, Week 2

Nice non-call on HOU (+14) last week, eh?

Home teams in CAPS:

NYJ +3 (again?)
Cle +3.5
Det +6.5
Hou +8.5 (back on the bandwagon)
Car +9.5
Cin +12

Last week - 2-2-1.

The Parking Nazis

They're everywhere!

Lawyers, Guns And Money

The RIAA sues and settles with a 12 year old's mother for illegally downloading music files over the Internet. Outraged individuals have created a site for Brianna LaHara.

Although I'm a capitalist at heart, I do not agree with the RIAA on a number of levels. Back in the day it was commonplace to record albums (you know, those vinyl things that you can throw around like Frisbees. Wait, maybe I'm dating myself with both of those references) onto cassettes, and we weren't hounded for it. There seems to be no serious effort to bring lawsuits against people who've copied CD's, so these lawsuits were finally issued because the culprits can now be traced. For an industry that's been nailed for payola and numerous other legal infractions, I find it impossible to sympathize with them. Brianna's situation is merely the last nail in the coffin.

Not that I'm big on sound bites, but this one's precious:

"Are you headed to junior high schools to round up the usual suspects?" Durbin asked RIAA President Cary Sherman during a Senate Judiciary hearing.

Call Me A Skeptic

...but the latest lame attempt at reducing teenage drinking by taxing the shit out of the rest of us is highly unlikely.

"More young people drink alcohol than use other drugs or smoke tobacco, and underage drinking costs the nation an estimated $53 billion annually in losses stemming from traffic fatalities, violent crime, and other behaviors that threaten the well-being of America's youth," the Institute, commissioned by Congress to write the report, said in a statement.

I tend to think that $53 billion figure was pulled out of someone's nether regions.

The report recommends concerted efforts to change the way society views drinking.

"The Motion Picture Association of America, for instance, should consider content about alcohol use when rating films, and assign mature ratings for movies that portray drinking in a favorable light," the Institute said.

And guns, sex and smoking will soon follow. Right.

"We think it is reasonable to expect the industry to do more than it is now doing," Richard Bonnie, a law professor at the University of Virginia who chaired the committee, told a news conference.

It's not reasonable, it's ridiculous.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving praised the report,

"Underage drinking is our nation's No. 1 youth drug problem," MADD president Wendy Hamilton said in a statement.

She said drinking killed 6.5 times more children and teens than all illicit drugs combined. "Only $71 million of the federal fiscal year 2000 budget was spent on underage drinking prevention. This mere pittance pales in comparison to the $18 billion spent on the war on drugs," she added.

Actually, that's an interesting point. Must ponder that over another Bass Ale.

But the Beer Institute said calls for tax increases were misguided. "Experience has shown that the only clear results from increasing beer excise taxes are higher unemployment and higher prices for responsible adults -- such measures do nothing to lower teen drinking," Jeff Becker, President of Beer Institute, said in a statement.

Friday, September 05, 2003
Darwin Award Nominee

When lighting a firecracker, remember to remove it from your ass first:

Man's horror firecracker injuries


September 3, 2003

AN horrific firecracker accident which left an Illawarra man incontinent and unable to have sex has prompted warnings from police and health authorities.

The 26-year-old man suffered a fractured pelvis and severe burns to his genital area after a firecracker exploded between the cheeks of his buttocks.

Try lighting farts instead. Trust me, the risk factor's much lower...

An ambulance was called to Dapto's Reed Park about 2.30am on August 10 after reports that the man was haemorrhaging from the buttocks. He was transported to Wollongong Hospital in a serious but stable condition, and he is expected to remain in hospital for several months.

The man suffered extensive injuries from the explosion and required emergency surgery. He now has a colostomy and a catheter, and is sexually dysfunctional.

He will be assessed by a colorectal surgeon to determine whether his injuries can be corrected.

The cranial-rectal inversion, however, appears to have yielded permanent damage from birth.

Illawarra Health emergency surgeon Dr Robert McCurdie, who operated on the man when he was taken to Wollongong Hospital, likened the man's condition to "a war injury".

Dr McCurdie said he believed the man had stumbled while the firecracker was in his buttocks, and fell down on it.

"By virtue of the fact that the explosion was confined in an upward direction, it went up into his pelvis, blasted a great hole in the pelvis, ruptured the urethra, injured muscles in the floor of the pelvis which rendered him incontinent.

"His pelvis was also fractured," Dr McCurdie said.

He said he had never seen a similar injury to the genital area before.

"I have seen instances ... where people have tried to remove items from their rectum and rupture the sphincter muscles, but not anything like this," he said.

A new medical specialty. Beautiful.

It is not known whether the man had been imitating the cult prankster film Jackass, a hit in Ohio Florida the United States.

In the low-budget film, the men place firecrackers in their buttocks and they shoot into the air.

Trained professionals. I guess Mr. Colon Blow wasn't properly instructed in the fine art of firecracker flatulence.

They also stick toy cars up their buttocks, snort wasabi and apply electrical muscle stimulators to their genitals.

Snorting wasabi? These guys are fucked, no doubt about it.

Uh, you guys wanna come over for Buffalo wings next week?

The movie carries a warning not to imitate the actions.

Apparently ignored.

Dr McCurdie said young people were particularly susceptible to imitating movies like Jackass.

"I think films like that can influence people, particularly dumb younger people," he said.

"Firecrackers really are quite dangerous. In years gone by, firecrackers were in common usage and people were always warned about how to use them. Now the authorities have taken over and public displays are common."

Acting Senior Sergeant John Klepczarek said police received reports every year about injuries caused by firecrackers, which are illegal in NSW.

While some injuries were minor, he said in some cases people received severe burns and fingers had been lost.

"The warnings are out there for a reason. People still have the mentality it won't happen to them, but it does," he said.

The danger with movies like Jackass, he said, was that some people were tempted to try the stunts at home.

"They're putting themselves at risk, and other people.

"We do caution people strongly against following these acts," he said.

Bob Dole once said "You cannot pass laws preventing people from acting stupid", and it was probably the only time Katie Couric could not respond with something reflexively leftist.

Tis Better To Be Feared

...than to be loved. We now know that Hillary Clinton does not fall into the latter category.

According to data published by the Social Security Administration, the name Hillary is the most severely poisoned baby name in history. Hillary had been steadily climbing the baby name charts since the 1960s, when it first graced the Top 1000, becoming the 136th most common name for baby girls in 1992. But the name sharply reversed course in 1993, smashing several longstanding records for name contamination in its plunge from the Top 1000 girl names last year.

The title for the most rapid case of name contamination had been held by Ebenezer and then Adolph, names that were shunned by parents after they became associated with Dickens's miserly banker and the Nazi dictator Hitler. But while Ebenezer and Adolph each took over 30 years to fall from the Top 1000 after they were negatively associated with their prominent name sakes, Hillary dropped off the charts in just 10 years, upsetting the prior records in less than 30% of the time. Besides this achievement, Hillary also set records for largest drop in a single year (295 places in 1994), two years (420 places in 1993-1994) and ten years (>864 from 1993 to 2002). These titles taken together constitute the grand slam of name poisoning.

Rankings of Hillary and names of comparable popularity in 1992

The table linked above shows the rankings for the 20 girl names that sandwiched Hillary in 1992. Over the subsequent ten years, some of the names increased in popularity, some declined, and others remained stable. Krystal, the runner-up to Hillary, dropped 231 places to 359, only 26% of Hillary's incredible 864+ plunge. (Please note that the SSA database only lists the top 1000 names, so we don't know Hillary's 2002 rank, only that it wasn't in the top 1000).

Only one other name that was in the Top 200 in 1992 ranked lower than 500 in 2002 (Colleen, which tumbled from 192 to 540). This 348 point drop wasn't even within 500 places of Hillary's untouchable 864+ freefall. The worst that any name ranked among those in the Top 250 in 1992, excepting Hillary, was Barbara, which landed at 560, a drop of 325 places. But unlike Hillary, which had been growing in popularity for the 30 years prior to 1992, the trajectories of Colleen and Barbara had been pointed southward since their heydays in the 1950s and 60s.

By contrast, the largest one-year drop of another tarnished name from the same period, Monica, was 53 places in 1999; the two-year drop was 73 (1998 - 1999). Monica's dip was short-lived as well, ending with an uptick in popularity in 2002. (Comparison of Monica and Hillary).

Against the formidable competition of Ebenezer and Adolph, two poisoned names that had stood the test of time, Hillary fell so quickly as to defy attempts to find parallels. It as if a sprinter clocked the 100 meter dash in 4 seconds, or a golfer completed a round 35 strokes below par. No matter how fantastic those comparisons might sound, they match the blistering speed with which Hillary won the opprobrium of American parents.

It is beyond the scope of this study to speculate as to the factors that propelled Hillary to this astonishing feat. It is hoped that sociologists will research this unprecedented case of name poisoning.

Run, Hillary, run. Please... Time to make some money.

Standing Headline

UMass hit on parking revenue

By Marcella Bombardieri, Globe Staff, 9/5/2003

As students at the University of Massachusetts at Boston faced growing fees to park in a garage whose floor was about to collapse in disrepair, campus officials were improperly diverting more than $200,000 of their parking fees to pay for landscaping, mailroom staff, and other expenses, according to a report released yesterday by State Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci.

The garage has been a sore point among students for years -- the only source of parking at the commuter school of 13,300 students is rife with potholes and falling debris. Parking fees, which have climbed steadily since 2001, are supposed to go into a trust fund to be used on garage maintenance and a campus shuttle.

But in fiscal year 2002, DeNucci said, campus officials used part of that money to pay salaries and overtime for student interns and staff members in other departments, in violation of trust fund regulations. The report also said money was improperly spent on architectural and landscaping fees, and that about $57,000 in electricity charges could not be accounted for.

UMass officials acknowledged the improper spending, and said the mistakes have been rectified. The misspent money amounted to less than 10 percent of that year's parking revenue.

"We take our fiscal responsibilities very seriously and we are now committed to making sure the funds are spent specifically on maintenance and operations of the parking garage," said UMass-Boston spokeswoman Annmarie Lewis-Kerwin, who attributed the misappropriations to an oversight.

Staff and students reacted angrily to the news yesterday.

"To think they spent this money so horribly," said Linda McManus, an administrative assistant. McManus just returned from almost six months on disability leave after she injured her back and hip when she fell into a pothole in the garage in April. "They could have done the right thing and they didn't."

Union officials called for a state audit almost two years ago. "Do you really think that the students, staff, and faculty driving to school and work should be paying for salaries and overtime of employees in departments unrelated to parking and transportation?" union officials asked Chancellor Jo Ann M. Gora in an open letter in December 2001.

Students and the staff have complained about the rising cost of parking, which jumped from $3.50 per day to $4 in January 2001 and then to $5 in January 2003. Next year, the fee is slated to increase to $6 per day. UMass said the fees are needed to help pay for a new $40 million garage with 1,500 spaces, which will be largely funded by a bond issue.

Compared to $2 max at most MBTA garages, and I used to pay $1 at UMB back in the early 90's.

The school also plans extensive repairs to the old garage, but can't undertake many of them until there's another place for people to park during construction, Lewis-Kerwin said.

I tried finding my earlier post on this, to no avail. Hosed by Blogger.

While DeNucci's office was conducting the audit, part of the garage's floor collapsed, leaving a 2-by-4-foot hole. After that, 131 parking spaces were roped off and can no longer be used because the floor is considered too unsound.

I pointed out in that post that this stuff was noticeable during my tenure, eleven years earlier.

Employees and students complain that the holes and falling chunks of concrete are a serious hazard in the dingy, cramped garage.

Stating the obvious, but the hacks don't care.

"I don't think this in itself is a sign of corruption or anything," said union representative Tom Goodkind, a research machinist. "But people are always wondering if the money raised by fees is going where it's supposed to, and these things raise suspicions."

It's not corruption, but laziness and lack of accountability. The result is the same.

Marcella Bombardieri can be reached at

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

Thursday, September 04, 2003
NFL 2003 - 2004 Week 1

Picks courtesy of The System, home team in CAPS:

Nyj +3
NYG Pick
Atl +2.5
Chi +7
Oak +3

Hou (+14) was left off the board this week, and maybe for the year, because they were not very good against the number last year (I've misplaced last year's paperwork, will find it by Week 4 and research it so I can post the actual results later). I'm not sure how to apply the expansion team rule because teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars won playoff games two years into their existence. But I do know Houston still sucks.

Last year = 50-38-3.

Always Something Breaking Us In Two

Lance and Kristin Armstrong are separating for the second time this year, most likely for good this time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

...and dumber.

Heh, Heh, He Said Mount

Maybe I've been missing out on the composition of Robert Kuttner's articles. This one looks like a Cliche Daquiri - throw a bunch of shit into a blender and pour it onto the editorial page. You'd think an 'economist' of his stature could do better than that...

Bush's reelection liabilities mount

By Robert Kuttner, 9/3/2003

WITH LABOR DAY 2003, the race to November 2004 is on. Seemingly, President Bush will be seriously on the defensive on the issues, but with a big advantage on the politics. However, voters are likely to be energized in 2004 as they have rarely been in recent years.

Uh, haven't we used such a phrase in every election?

And voter mobilization will ultimately determine whether Bush gets a second term.

That's brilliant, Bob. Knowing how close the popular vote was in 2000, maybe if all those Nader votes were mobilized to vote for Gore instead, you'd be singing a different tune?

First, the issues. Bush's foreign policy is a shambles. The architects of the Iraq war have been proven wrong on every contention they made -- the imminent threat of weapons of mass destruction, the alleged Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, the supposed ease of occupation and reconstruction. Thumbing America's nose at "old Europe" proved a major blunder. Bush now needs the United Nations to clean up his mess, but he is insisting on US control. France and Germany, not to mention Russia and China, aren't exactly lining up to donate money and troops to bail Bush out. The administration line -- that the Iraq mess proves that the place is a magnet for terrorism -- just isn't selling. This is a hornets' nest that Bush's policy stirred up. GIs are still getting killed for a war that the American public is turning against.

The roll call, please...

'threat of' WMD?


'alleged Saddam-al Qaeda connection'?


'supposed ease of occupation and reconstruction'?


The first phase, US-led military rule, would last between six and 18 months after the war. It would be policed by armies from the 'coalition of the willing', including a big British contingent.

Check again next year, Bob. By the way, what makes you think Bush doesn't have something up his sleeve if and / or when this UN 'request' is actually made? I wouldn't call that bluff, would you, Bob?

Bush's vaunted Israel-Palestine "road map" is a path to nowhere thrown away by the Palestinians, who just tossed their last chance out the window. Colin Powell, the prudent internationalist in the nest of reckless hawks, has been reduced to a pathetic token. Barring some improbable breakthrough, photo ops of Bush in a flak jacket won't divert the spotlight from the real damage.

Then there's the economy. Most economists believe that the recovery will continue to be jobless right through next year.

But a recovery nonetheless...

Corporations are in such a profit squeeze that they are cutting jobs faster than they are accumulating orders.

Is that a fact, Bob?

Even more seriously, the Bush program of serial tax cuts plus militarism has pushed the deficit into the half-trillion range for the foreseeable future. Not only does that kind of deficit force cuts in public outlays that voters actually value; at some point, it starts pushing up interest rates.

That's not what the Congressional Budget Office says about the reason for the federal deficit, and you're wrong for the second time in a month on the 'deficits cause interest rates' argument.

Mortgage rates have already risen more than a point since a thirty year last spring's lows. The Federal Reserve is largely powerless to set long-term rates, which reflect the market's expectations about future inflation.

That's because the Federal Funds Rates are short-term rates, Bob. That's not their job, or do you want it to be their job?

We have become complacent about living in an inflationless economy, but the spike in gas prices and health insurance costs is a reminder that inflation can suddenly break out. Rising interest rates could snuff out the stock market's tentative return to health.

Or they could not. Bob tries to create doubt when the facts won't do it for him.

An ordinary president would be reeling from these setbacks.

"Look, up in the sky!"

"It's a bird!"

"It's a plane!"

"No, It's Super Bush!"

But while Bush's stratospheric popularity ratings have returned to the normal range, he is no ordinary president.

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I don't want any U.S. President to be 'ordinary', especially when fighting global terrorism. Or has Bob forgotten about that already?

For starters, he will have almost limitless amounts of money and will massively outspend his opposition thanks to unprecedented business investment in Republican politics and a half-baked campaign finance "reform" that backfired. He also has an incomparable team of political strategists, speechwriters, and spinners. And the press is still cutting him a lot of slack.

Yep, he sure gets a lot of slack cut from the likes of Bob Kuttner, Maureen Dowd, Daniel Gross, Paul Krugman, Helen Thomas, Molly Ivins, Dana Milbank, Ted Rall, and dozens of others I could mention. The only 'slack' here is Bob's slacking to report the truth.

Second, the administration retains the capacity to time another "war of choice," as it did with the Iraq war drums on the eve of the 2002 midterm election. Another terrorist attack on American prevented thus far soil would rally patriotic support that Bush could willingly exploit. (At the same time, terrorist attacks overseas do not stir the same outrage and seem to demonstrate the overextension of Bush's policy.) Third, it remains to be seen whether Democrats will have a strong candidate.

Why would Bush want to 'exploit' another terrorist attack? Didn't he say his job was to prevent further terrorist attacks on our soil? Isn't that his job, Bob? Are you indifferent to additional terrorist attacks?

Yet this election will rouse the base constituencies of both parties like no election in recent memory. Democrats are in a state of rage about the alleged stolen election of 2000, the gutting of public services, the assault of liberties, the economic damage, the environmental pillaging, and the foreign policy calamity. Republican conservatives, meanwhile, view Bush as Reagan redux, only better.

I need a paragraph to recover from that 'assault by cliche'...

All better now. Andrew Sullivan exposes this assertion that Bush is a conservative, vis a vis federal spending, or lack of restraint thereof. Compassionate conservatism costs.

Recent conventional political wisdom has it that elections are won by appealing to swing voters. But in the great defining elections of American history -- 1932, 1964, 1980 -- the winner rallied his base and then persuaded independent voters that he could be trusted to do the right thing for the country. The 2004 contest, I suspect, will be one of those elections. And here is Bush's greatest potential liability. His actual administration has been so unlike his moderate, conciliatory campaign of 2000 that even with the best campaign machinery, independent voters will be skeptical.

But didn't you say in the second paragraph, Bob, that voter mobilization would 'ultimately determine' the 2004 elections, and now you're saying you 'suspect' it? Which is it, Bob? Doing the 'John Kerry Fence Straddle'TM, are we?

After years of declining turnout and passivity, 2004 will very likely see a reenergized electorate. Ultimately, the election will be a test of democracy itself: mobilized voters debating real substance versus imagery and organized money.

Now Bob thinks these voters 'will very likely' be energized. With decisiveness like that, who needs columnists?

Robert Kuttner's is co-editor of The American Prospect. His column appears regularly in the Globe.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Captain Hairdo Commentary

From Jonah Goldberg:

While I'm certainly no fan, I almost feel sorry for John Kerry. He's been planning on running for President for pretty much his entire life. He's honed his strategy and molded his biography for decades. And now some obnoxious New England transplant from Park Avenue is cleaning his clock. But one of the things that drives me nuts about Kerry is when he says -- as he did on Meet The Press last Sunday -- that he's running for President because he's angry about this or that Bush policy. Garbage. Bush could be doing everything perfectly and Kerry would still be running because that's his life ambition.

You Can't Handle The Truth!

The Boston Globe's James Carrol is proof positive that no editorial is too lame for them to publish as long as you get in enough swipes at the Bush administration.

Facing the truth about Iraq

By James Carroll, 9/2/2003


What the fuck?

By most measures of what the Bush administration forecast for its adventure in Iraq, it is already a failure. The war was going to make the Middle East a more peaceful place. It was going to undercut terrorism. It was going to show the evil dictators of the world that American power is not to be resisted. It was going to improve the lives of ordinary Iraqis. It was going to stabilize oil markets. The American army was going to be greeted with flowers. None of that happened. The most radical elements of various fascist movements in the Arab world have been energized by the invasion of Iraq. The American occupation is a rallying point for terrorists. Instead of undermining extremism, Washington has sponsored its next phase, and now moderates in every Arab society are more on the defensive than ever.

It seems Syria has changed its tune a bit, and the situation in Iraq might improve if Saudi Arabia would cooperate with these efforts.

Before the war, the threat of America's overwhelming military dominance could intimidate, but now such force has been shown to be extremely limited in what it can actually accomplish. For the sake of "regime change," the United States brought a sledge hammer down on Iraq, only to profess surprise that, even as Saddam Hussein remains at large, the structures of the nation's civil society are in ruins. The humanitarian agencies necessary to the rebuilding of those structures are fleeing Iraq.

Carrol implies that we bombed Iraq back into the Stone Age. Precision munitions were designed to do just the opposite, such that our troops can paint military targets instead. Humanitarian agencies are leaving because of the al-Queda and Saddam loyalist remnants are targeting them and refusing our protection. All other blame about the 'lack of infrastructure' should be blamed squarely on Saddam, who was too busy building gold palaces and not doing anything to update it.

The question for Americans is, Now what? Democrats and Republicans alike want to send in more US soldiers. Some voices are raised in the hope that the occupation can be more fully "internationalized," which remains unlikely while Washington retains absolute control. But those who would rush belligerent reinforcements to Iraq are making the age-old mistake.

Oh, yeah, just rush the UN troops in instead. That's worked rather well in the past, hasn't it?

When brutal force generates resistance, the first impulse is to increase force levels. But, as the history of conflicts like this shows, that will result only in increased resistance. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has rejected the option of more troops for now, but, in the name of force-protection, the pressures for escalation will build as US casualties mount. The present heartbreak of one or two GI deaths a day will seem benign when suicide bombers, mortar shells, or even heavier missile fire find their ways into barracks and mess halls.

Coming from the crowd that predicted tens of thousands of dead soldiers and a half a million dead Iraqi citizens, I think the ball's in Carrol's court to show us why he might be right this time.

Either reinforcements will be sent to the occupation, or present forces will loosen the restraints with which they reply to provocation. Both responses will generate more bloodshed and only postpone the day when the United States must face the truth of its situation.

The old 'cycle of violence' theory. How do we break it?

The Bush administration's hubristic foreign policy has been efficiently exposed as based on nothing more than hallucination. High-tech weaponry can kill unwilling human beings, but it cannot force them to embrace an unwanted idea. As rekindled North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs prove, Washington's rhetoric of "evil" is as self-defeating as it is self-delusional. No one could have predicted a year ago that the fall from the Bush high horse of American Empire would come so hard and so quickly. Where are the comparisons with Rome now? The rise and fall of imperial Washington took not hundreds of years, but a few hundred days.

Washington fell? I can only describe this writer as 'seriously unhinged'.

Sooner or later, the United States must admit that it has made a terrible mistake in Iraq, and it must move quickly to undo it. That means the United States must yield not only command of the occupation force, but participation in it. The United States must renounce any claim to power or even influence over Iraq, including Iraqi oil. The United States must accept the humiliation that would surely accompany its being replaced in Iraq by the very nations it denigrated in the build-up to the war.

So four months after enforcing 17 UN resolutions and removing a sadistical dictator, Iraq hasn't developed into Sweden. Therefore James Carrol asserts that we lost miserably and should completely abandon further efforts in Iraq and pull our troops out. No wonder the Democrats have zero credibility on matters of defense.

With the United States thus removed from the Iraqi crucible, those who have rallied to oppose the great Satan will loose their raison d'etre, and the Iraqi people themselves can take responsibility for rebuilding their wrecked nation.

God, how fucking naive is this guy? That the US would again turn tail and run is precisely what they want. Didn't he listen at all to Osama bin Laden, who exhorted his members to wage jihad, saying that in Somalia and other conflicts, we turn tail and run?

All of this might seem terribly unlikely today, but something like it is inevitable.

As soon as we elect Dennis "Department of Peace" Kucinich...

The only question is whether it happens over the short term, as the result of responsible decision-making by politicians in Washington, or over the long term, as the result of a bloody and unending horror.

Nice little smear there, that Republicans aren't capable of 'responsible decision-making'. It worked well during Carter's administration, right?

The so-called "lessons" of Vietnam are often invoked by hawks and doves alike, but here is one that applies across the political spectrum.

Yeah - when you fight a war, don't lose and be ready for a long-term committment.

The American people saw that that war was lost in January 1968, even as the Tet Offensive was heralded as a victory by the Pentagon and the White House. But for five more years, Washington refused to face the truth of its situation, until at last it had no choice.

Because American leaders could not admit the nation's mistake, and move to undo it, hundreds of thousands of people died, or was it millions?

I saw 55,000 mentioned in the local commuter paper this morning. No distortion too small for this dimwit to use to make his heavily biased point.

The war in Iraq is lost. What will it take to face that truth this time?

You might start by telling the truth yourself, James...

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

NFL 2003 - 2004 Preview

I'll be doing the point spread posting thing again this year for you football junkies. Don Banks gives us his take on the upcoming season (and no, his citing the Patriots winning the Super Bowl this year was not the reason I'm mentioning it).

In other football news, Greg Garber at discusses the implications of last year's finishes on this year's schedules, the Patriots release Lawyer Milloy to save on some cap room (note to Ty Law - you're next in the crosshairs), but the Buffalo Bills might scoop him up in time for Sunday's Patriots game at Buffalo, and Brian Griese just can't get a break (sorry, bad pun there).

Monday, September 01, 2003
Hero Down

Charles Bronson is dead.

UPDATE - The Washington Post has an appreciation on Bronson.