sotu partay

So I come home and my roommates aren't watching. Apparently, they are concerned about becoming angry :)

First, a couple random things. In addition to needing to go to the dentist, doctor, and auto shop, I need to see an eye doctor too. My vision is changing in the wrong direction. Grrr.

But there's good news, too. We got to help Jodi make her first snowman! Good times. The big, fat flakes that are perfect for tightly packed snowmen. And snowballs. Also, two of my Clayton kiddies took first place at GSL! Take that all you other StL debaters.

So, is it just me, or did this sound like the same old thing? I know I missed the very first part, but I didn't hear anything really at all. I'm just rather apathetic right now. One thing I will add, though, is that Pelosi needs to just lean over and take a nap. The blinking was out of control.

One thing I would clarify is that Bush's claim that the country was unified going into Iraq in 2003 is pretty funny. You don't hard sell like the Administration did if you think everybody supports you. But really aside from that, I kind of felt sorry for him. What boring, redundant blathering. I know the Fox commentators are using adjectives like bold right now, but I think they're saying that because it's really anything but...

And the contrast with Webb, wow. It even makes the Fox guy remark he was strong. Webb was serious, direct, forceful. Goodness, maybe this Congress really will be different.

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this is my dad

My dad likes to send me things from time to time. This one is pretty good.

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My trusty Kingston trackball of many years finally went kapoots. Kaputs? Cahpoots?

At any rate, the Mighty Mouse is a perfectly fine stand in, so I'm not sure if I'll replace it or relearn the art of squeezing in wierd places.

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militant authoritarianism at work

(P) Unbelievable. Except, it's not; it's exactly what authoritarian conservatives want. It's official, the notion that we should further consolidate the militarization of our society was one part of the massive 2007 Defense Authorization bill. Now, I'm using authoritarian conservatism very broadly here. I mean it as the notion that we can have a better society by increasing the usage of armed employees of the government controlled by ever fewer, more centralized power sources; Republican and Democrat categories do not overlap very well with this issue of deploying military forces. In both houses of Congress, majorities of both parties voted for the bill (although, there's certainly a reason they didn't introduce this as stand alone legislation rather than sticking it in the larger defense bill). The Insurrection Act (which is the exception to the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the armed forces domestically) was amended to further militarize our society and place at the hands of the President control over the country.

In the future, governors will no longer control their own states' guard troops in an emergency. Instead, the President of the United States will now control the deployment of armed forces against American citizens. Apparently, simply deploying Blackwater forces in New Orleans wasn't enough. In case you were worried, big brother is still alive and kickin'.

Here's the letter the Governors, who obviously oppose this, sent to Congress last summer.

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very dangerous

Word of advice. Don't go shopping the day after your team decides to put on the most pathetic offensive performance in the history of the playoffs.

You're a little disorganized, and you find all these things you've been needing for six months but haven't gotten around to actually buying yet.

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don't be predictable

That's my advice to Herm as he starts off-season planning.

Seriously, what's the point of having a quarterback in the KC offense right now? Just hike it straight to the running back. Every once in a while, let a tight end in on a play.

Oh, to be in the NFC...

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i got a kick out of this

I was looking at the wild card schedule and got a kick out of the records [note that the Eagles won their last game]:

So the worst-remaining Chiefs would be tied for the second best record of teams playing in the NFC this weekend, and would have outright won the NFC West without even needing to get the easier NFC schedule. AFC's 43-21 is just a tad better than NFC's 36-28.

Ah, these stats never get old.

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going crazy

I am just losing it. I can't believe the Chiefs made the playoffs. And we have a chance to take it to Indianapolis for once. It's just too good to be true! I gave up after the San Diego loss. Everything was qualified as technically still alive and not yet mathematically eliminated.

Saturday, why aren't you here already?

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hanging by a moment

Having reached my 7th year more or less in St. Louis, an event has occurred (a Special Report at CNN) which causes me to reflect upon a rather memorable event from one of my first visits to St. Louis. Now, it is related with Iraq and Saddam Hussein and the Bush family and so forth, but this isn't a post on our current Iraq policy. That can be summed up pretty simply by stating it's an unmitigated disaster whose perpetrators should be impeached and investigated for violating several criminal statutes.

No, the hanging of Saddam Hussein actually brings back a rather fun, almost jovial feeling of a long-lasting discussion that my old debate partner and I started on a trip to St. Louis in high school the first time we qualified to nationals.

You see, Brian made some offhand claim about how Bush won the Gulf War, and me, largely just being smart, said not so fast, he really didn't win anything. We having nothing but a car ride ahead of us (like my school would fly us anywhere we could drive to), and Brian having already read the Cosmo quizzes from Mrs. Hale's magazines, fleshed this out a bit over the next hour or so, and as is the tendency, one starts to grow an affection for the merits of a position sustained for so long.

On the surface obviously, Saddam lost. His military was destroyed, sovereignty overran by years of US fighter jet sorties, and crippling sanctions enacted (well, crippling for poor Iraqis, at least). But scratch that surface, and look what happened. Bush lost the presidency. A generation of operatives ready for complete conservative dominance of governance was swept aside. Meanwhile, Hussein, while having lost offensive military capabilities, gained other forms of respect and power in the Arab world. His became the country that suffered at the hands of US-led sanctions. He became an important wedge between countries that wanted trade, like France and Russia, and those that wanted regime change, like the United States. And, absent massive disenfranchisement of huge numbers of black people, very shady post-election maneuvering in a state controlled by a Bush, and a remarkable, coincidental party-line vote, he would have seen the thwarting of the next generation of Bushies.

With another Bush in the White House, and lots of Reagan/Bush personnel in key positions, Saddam was due for another obvious setback. It's hard to argue that being executed is kind of the ultimate loss. And yet, scratch that surface, and Bush managed to end Hussein in a way that just about elevated his legacy as high as possible considering that he was, in fact, a hated dictator and perpetrator of war crimes. My goodness, Saddam is going to be remembered not for looking hollow and defeated in a legitimate court of law for his most serious crimes against humanity, but rather for valiantly fighting for his country against a hated invasion force. He wasn't kept from a trial because he got old and decrepit and developed serious health problems. He was denied justice under the law in a state able to not only claim injustices against him but even press his case in the very moments before his execution. And of course, it's all caught on camera. The grainy, cell-phone variety that adds that bit of legitimacy you just don't get on the fancy expensive equipment.

Meanwhile, he has ensured that the Bush legacy, at best, will be a remarkable combination of hubris and ignorance, and more likely, one of the worst presidencies in the history of the republic. He quite possibly has prevented Jeb from getting a nomination any time soon, if ever. Even if the opinion doesn't gain widespread adoption, certainly a significant minority of Americans will view the Bush/Cheney Administration as the greatest traitors to the Constitution and war criminals in recent US history, perhaps ever. Conservative governance has been completely discredited, to the point that even massive vote tampering, fraud, and shady tactics couldn't stop a landslide Democratic victory in 2006. In the Arab world, meanwhile (and much of Europe and Asia, for that matter), Saddam Hussein has managed to make himself look like the victim here. He will be martyred and glorified by a not insignificant number of Arabs. How does a man responsible for tremendous human rights abuses and (at least) two strategically challenged military engagements pull that off, particularly when he was so close with the Reagan/Bush "infidels" in the first place?

Just throw in a little Bush. The family helped create an evil dictator (or two or three). And then they replaced him with a hero. Bravo, our fearless replace-the-Kennedys family. Bravo.

And Brian, you still think Bush won the Gulf War?

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happy 2007

happy new year! [that's from julie]

gooey rolls and turkey and kriegers and glazed ham and kearney truck stop and christmas presents and perkin's and car work and the plaza and new friends and old friends and lots of family and putting off things and football miracles and starbucks and new board games and fixing oatmeal for people and ipod nanos and lots of laundry and greasy food with no exercise and books by teachers.

And did I mention the Chiefs? How did that happen!

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