Sunday, September 30, 2007

just gimme some truth

Austin and I finally got internet at our new house this past week. We are getting settled into the new place slowly but surely. It's crazy how much furniture we still need to make the place look like a normal house. I've been working a lot lately, which is what I'll blame my laziness towards getting completely unpacked on. But I'm making progress.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

i'm a lot like you are

Pitchfork Media reports that Neil Young will be launching a fall tour in support of his new album Chrome Dreams II. Ohio got the short end of the stick, but he'll be a mere 4 and 1/2 hours away when he hits Detroit on November 10th (a Saturday) and Chicago on November 12 & 13 (Monday and Tuesday). Chicago tickets go on sale this Saturday. No announcement for Detroit yet.

...It looks like the starting price for tickets is $57. That probably kills that idea. :(

edit: Looks like Bob Dylan will be at the Taft Theater on October 15. Tickets also start at $57 for that.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

big money on the line

UFC 75 turned into a disgrace last night. Never has the sport's blatant favoritism towards certain fighters been more obvious than the sham of a match that the Bisping vs. Hamill bout turned into last night. Held in London, one of the main event's featured the UFC's UK pretty-boy Michael Bisping getting dismantled by Cincinnatian Matt Hamill for three rounds in front of Bisping's home crowd, only to have two out of the three judges give the fight to Bisping at the end. One judge was absolutely correct in giving all three rounds to Hamill, and somehow the other two judges (the incredibly incompetent Cecil Peoples and Jeff Mullen) scored the match 29-28 for Bisping. This all comes after mounting criticism from fans over preferential treatment from referees for UFC's high-profile fighters (including some questionable officiating in Bisping's favor during his previous fight against Elvis Sinosec) and just plain bad decisions from judges (as seen in UFC 74, when judge Adalaide Byrd scored the one-sided fight in favor of the loser, Marcus Aurelio). The judges were so blatantly wrong that there were a noticeable number of boos from the British fans during Bisping's post-fight interview.

The whole thing was made worse by Bisping continuing his cocky Brit act in the post-fight interviews. His comment after getting dominated for three rounds on his feet was that Hamill should go "back to wrestling". The man has instantly jumped to the top of my list of fighters I want to see get destroyed. Hamill, meanwhile, was nothing but gracious in defeat. I cannot wait for Bisping to get pitted against some real competition like Chuck Liddell or even the up-an-coming Houston Alexander and see him get completely destroyed, both to spite the UFC and to put him back in his place. Or better yet, give us Bisping-Hamill II, but put it in Cincinnati this time.

I don't know whether to attribute last night's travesty to the incompetence of the judges, or if something more sinister is at work, with the heads of Zuffa--the owners of UFC--doing everything they can to make sure their hyped-up, big name moneymaker fighters don't suffer any setbacks in their rise to the top. It's obvious already that they build up guys like Bisping and Roger Huerta by spoon-feeding them easy opponents; considering questionable actions from referees and judges in the past, culminating in that debacle last night. For the first time, I find myself questioning the integrity of the UFC. I know one thing: I won't be buying any Pay-Per-View events for awhile, and I'll be contacting the UFC to let them know what I thought of that garbage last night. I'm sure it won't do any good... although since money seems to be the only thing that matters to the UFC now, and with all the outraged fans, who knows...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

my weariness amazes me

"Surrender Should NOT be an Option" by Ron Paul

Surrender Should Not Be an Option

Faced with dwindling support of the Iraq War, the warhawks are redoubling their efforts. They imply we are in Iraq attacking those who attacked us, and yet this is not the case. As we know, Saddam Hussein, though not a particularly savory character, had nothing to do with 9/11. The neo-cons claim surrender should not be an option. In the same breath they claim we were attacked because of our freedoms. Why then, are they so anxious to surrender our freedoms with legislation like the Patriot Act, a repeal of our 4th amendment rights, executive orders, and presidential signing statements? With politicians like these, who needs terrorists? Do they think if we destroy our freedoms for the terrorists they will no longer have a reason to attack us? This seems the epitome of cowardice coming from those who claim a monopoly on patriotic courage.

In any case, we have achieved the goals specified in the initial authorization. Saddam Hussein has been removed. An elected government is now in place in Iraq that meets with US approval. The only weapon of mass destruction in Iraq is our military presence. Why are we still over there? Conventional wisdom would dictate that when the "mission is accomplished", the victor goes home, and that is not considered a retreat.

They claim progress is being made and we are fighting a winnable war, but this is not a view connected with reality. We can't be sure when we kill someone over there if they were truly an insurgent or an innocent Iraqi civilian. There are as many as 650,000 deaths since the war began. The anger we incite by killing innocents creates more new insurgents than our bullets can keep up with. There are no measurable goals to be achieved at this point.

The best congressional leadership can come up with is the concept of strategic redeployment, or moving our troops around, possibly into Saudi Arabia or even, alarmingly enough, into Iran. Rather than ending this war, we could be starting another one.

The American people voted for a humble foreign policy in 2000. They voted for an end to the war in 2006. Instead of recognizing the wisdom and desire of the voters, they are chided as cowards, unwilling to defend themselves. Americans are fiercely willing to defend themselves. However, we have no stomach for indiscriminate bombing in foreign lands when our actual attackers either killed themselves on 9/11 or are still at large somewhere in a country that is neither Iraq nor Iran. Defense of our homeland is one thing. Offensive tactics overseas are quite another. Worse yet, when our newly minted enemies find their way over here, where will our troops be to defend us?

The American people have NOT gotten the government they deserve. They asked for a stronger America and peace through nonintervention, yet we have a government of deceit, inaction and one that puts us in grave danger on the international front. The American People deserve much better than this. They deserve foreign and domestic policy that doesn't require they surrender their liberties.

the ones that can help themselves

A lot has been happening lately. Complications arose that have prevented Austin from closing on the house yet, so I'm currently staying at my parents house with nearly all of my things relatively inaccessible while they're stored in Austin's parents' garage. I have the next couple days off of work, so hopefully I can do some hunting for a better job.

As you can see, I've made another change to the layout of my blog. I wasn't satisfied with the new theme, but I'm not sure how I feel about this one either. Feel free to comment.