Various bits of flotsam that washed up on our computers, before we moved to a better blog system in November 2004. Now a repository for YouTube videos and testing new tools. Go to for more recent content.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Bulls vs. Grizzlies

I turned on the Chicago vs. Memphis game, which is playing on NBA Tv. Blacked out. Flipped around the dial through the usual suspects, and found the game being broadcast on Comcast. However, for some reason, the television commentary is absent. Wow! The crowd noise is still evident, as is the stadium announcer, just not the inanities of Johnny "Red" Kerr and his cronies (especially Wayne Larrivee but Tom Dore is pretty awful too). Kerr is ok, just clueless most of the time, but the other two schmoes are horrible, horrible announcers. - Pro Basketball Boxscore:

If I could pay extra to get games that had a mike in the stands, and on the court, but didn't have a play by play commentary, I would pay gladly. I already shell out for the DirecTV pass, so I'd add a couple of dollars to turn their mike off. I sometimes turn all the game sounds off and just listen to music, but that takes away the crowd noise and squeak of sneakers.

Apparently, I'm not alone in my disgust with the slack-jawed-yokel Bulls announcers.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

token Irish acknowledgement

As someone with plenty of Irish DNA intermingled in my slipstream, and plenty of Planxty tunes memorized, it is my solemn duty to explain why I've imbibed several fluid ounces of Jameson's today, with Guinness chasers. Maybe not.

Suffice it to say that vomiting on public streets is not really an Irish tradition worth emulating, nor is public pugilism honoring the great pagan St. Patrick. Those who choose to besmirch Ireland and Irishness by embarrassing themselves should not be allowed to stand for the whole of our sphere; Joyce, Yeats, Pogues, et al. If my meanings are not clear, blame that shamrock jammed in your ear.

Now, pour me another.

shameless commercialism of great Irish music, well played


Sunday, March 06, 2005

ACLU lawsuit against Rumsfeld

Letter we received from the ALCU today.

This morning, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit charging that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bears direct responsibility for the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody. The lawsuit seeks a court declaration that Secretary Rumsfeld violated the U.S. Constitution and international laws.

Officials at the highest levels of government bear the ultimate responsibility for the actions of the U.S. military. I urge you to join us in our call for accountability by viewing a two-minute Web movie and calling on the Attorney General to appoint an outside special counsel to investigate how our government's torture policies took such a misguided path.

This landmark lawsuit was filed by a coalition of human rights advocates on behalf of eight former detainees who were incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment. None of the men was ever charged with a crime.

Because I know you care about the guiding values of justice and liberty that define American life, I'm writing to ask you join us in seeking to hold our leaders accountable for the torture carried out in our name.

1. Watch our Web movie: “The New Face of America?”

2. Send a message to Attorney General Gonzales urging him to appoint a special counsel to investigate high-level violations of the War Crimes Act and other federal laws forbidding torture:

Because of the support of people like you, the ACLU was able to carry out the groundbreaking Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits that have brought to light much of what we - and the world - know about the torture practices of our government and the Bush Administration.

To preserve our country's international reputation as a beacon of freedom and to protect our own soldiers from similar mistreatment, our leaders must be held accountable.

I am never more proud to lead the ACLU than at times like these when our voices are raised together to demand justice for those who cannot demand it for themselves. Thank you for being part of that work.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU

P.S. What the ACLU lawsuit against Rumsfeld says:

* Widespread abuses did not spring from the spontaneous acts of a couple of soldiers. Secretary Rumsfeld personally authorized the military to abandon our nation's historic prohibition against torture and cruel and degrading treatment.

* Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking military officials failed to stop the torture and degrading treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo even after credible reports of abuses began to emerge in the media and in military documents.

* Although Secretary Rumsfeld knew of wrongdoing, and even ordered investigations into the torture of prisoners, he knowingly limited those investigations in a way that blocked high-ranking civilian or military officials, including himself, from being held accountable.

Get more info on the lawsuit:

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