Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog


Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Middle East transformation.


(via Yahoo)

Quite a day in the Middle East, as two events continue to rock that region day after day.  First, 2,000 Iraqis went to the site of yesterday's terrible explosion and demonstrated against terror.  Next, both domestic and international pressure has forced Syrian "President" Bashar al-Assad to pull troops out of Lebanon in the next few months.

When I first heard about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq back in 2002, I was quite skeptical of the objectives of neoconservatives into using Iraq as a base to spread democracy and eliminate terrorism and totalitarianism at the same time.  I still am, but the political changes that are erupting throughout the Middle East in the wake of the Iraqi elections are amazing, not just by the size of them but also how quickly they've manifested.  There have been democracy movements in the Middle East prior to the Iraqi conflict, but nothing has provided this kind of push.

Not only has Iraq's opposition to terror and Syria's pressure to leave Lebanon been significant, but Egypt's Hosni Mubarak has announced presidential elections for Egypt starting this fall.  Palestinian elections, which resulted in the election of President Abu Mazen, has resulted in a more conciliatory tone from Israel and it's prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

What's next?  Will Pakistan and Saudi Arabia follow?  It's possible, as democratic pressures are falling upon both regimes.  However, should Americans be skeptical that democracy will bring in the peace and prosperity that will resonate throughout the Arabic World, or will Islamic fundamentalists work within the system to hijack the governments?  Once the initial push for democracy wears off, only time will tell if they are willing to reject the militant organizations that work within their countries altogether.

And finally, can the Bush Administration take responsibility for the surge in democratic activity in the Middle East?  It's possible.  Once they proved terrorism would not control Iraq and will eventually fail through the execution of January's elections, it gave other movements in the Middle East motivation.  They can't take it all, but they can claim to have taken the lead in seeing it through.

Posted at 07:09 pm by Expertise
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Friday, February 25, 2005
Why can't Serena look like this all the time?



I mean, any other time she looks like crap.  If she looked like this all the time a kat would actually feen over her.

Posted at 12:34 am by Expertise
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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Chaney's goon breaks Bryant's arm.

Yesterday I talked about John Cheney's antics in the Temple/St. Joes game, in which he sent in a player to intentionally hurt players after he complained about illegal screens.

Well, this is the result of that stunt:

Hawks senior forward John Bryant could miss the rest of the season after an MRI on Thursday showed he had a broken right arm. Bryant was injured on a hard foul two days earlier by a Temple player who Chaney put in the game for the sole purpose of rough play and hard fouls.

I hope John Chaney is proud of himself.  As I stated yesterday, if I were John Bryant's parents, I would sue both the Atlantic-10 due to the incompetence of the officials and the commissioners to let Chaney get away with this, and I would sue Temple University directly for Chaney's actions.  This is utterly reprehensible.  If A-10 Commissioner Linda Bruno doesn't suspend Chaney for the rest of the season, she should be fired her damned self.

Posted at 11:53 pm by Expertise
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NBA Trading Day.

There were a LOT of transactions going on, as today is the trading deadline.

First, Celtics' guard Gary Payton goes to his fourth team in three years as he's traded to the Atlanta Hawks in a five player deal.  The Hawks gave up Antoine Walker for Payton, Tom Gugliotta, and Michael Stewart.

It's actually sad when you look at Payton's past.  Last year he moved from the only team he ever played for to the Los Angeles Lakers in the hopes of winning an NBA title.  A year and a half later, he's being shipped to the worst team in the league in a deal where he's being shipped with two other players for one. 

I really don't know what the Hawks get out of this.  Do they really think Payton will resign with them, as he will be a free agent this summer?  It's as if the Hawks really don't want to compete with the rest of the NBA and are comfortable staying in the trash heap at the bottom of the league.

As for Antoine Walker, he returns to the team where he broke out as a star in order to possibly compete with the Sixers for the Atlantic Division title.  I actually hope both teams make the playoffs.

Baron Davis finally got his wish and will move west to Golden State for Speedy Claxton and fossil Dale Davis.  Kudos to Davis getting out of that hellhole, and congrats to Shinnridge for making it easier for Stern to run you out of the league.

The New York Knicks made considerable changes to their front court as center Nazr Mohammed and guard Jamison Brewer went to the Spurs for Malik Rose and a first round pick.  Then, they traded Vin Baker and Moochie Norris to the Houston Rockets for Maurice Taylor and another first round pick.

No doubt this was the best trade in the last couple of days.  The Knicks acquired an undersized center in Malik Rose, but he works very hard, and Maurice Taylor is very underrated due to the outstanding forwards in the Western Conference.  Rose's contract will take up a lot of cap space, but the two first round picks they picked up might be able to strengthen the team if Rose and Taylor aren't able to adequately produce for the Knicks.  I like this move, and Isiah Thomas deserves his props.

In other NBA news, the Mavericks acquired Keith Van Horn from Milwaukee for Alan Henderson, Calvin Booth, and some cash (money ain't a thang for Mark Cuban).  Glen Robinson leaves the Sixers to go to the Hornets for Jamal Mashburn and a returning Rodney Rogers.  Both Robinson and Mashburn are on injured reserve and won't play for the rest of the season, so this is no big deal.

Posted at 05:19 pm by Expertise
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John Chaney's goonish tactics

Check this out:

The day before, Temple coach John Chaney fired a warning shot at St. Joseph's and the officials, claiming the Hawks free their long-range shooters, Pat Carroll and Chet Stachitas, by using illegal screens.

The Hall of Fame coach said if it happened again, he would send one of his goons on the floor to send a message.

during the game...

He railed against the officials for allowing the Hawks to get away with what he perceives as illegal screens. So with 15 minutes, 24 seconds remaining in the game and St. Joe's holding a 39-31 lead, Chaney sent in the imposing but seldom-used 6-foot-8 senior Nehemiah Ingram.

A little more than four minutes later - after he delivered a hard foul and slammed John Bryant to the floor (Bryant had to leave the game), and after he had delivered forearm shivers to the chins of Carroll and Dwayne Jones and drew a technical for the incident with Carroll - Ingram fouled out while St. Joe's was pulling away to a lead that reached 50-34.

after the game...

Afterward, Chaney made it clear he didn't put Ingram into the game for his offensive prowess. After all, Ingram has played 54 minutes this season, committed 21 fouls, and scored five points.

"I wanted him to put forth some illegal screens just like they were," the fuming Chaney said. "They were sending two guys to screen for one guy to get a shot, so I did the same thing to them. I'm sending a message, and I did what I used to do years ago and send in a goon. I'm from the old school, trying to play it right, but no more. I'm sending a message to the rest of the league."

Told that Bryant appeared injured after he was fouled by Ingram, Chaney said: "That's what happens. That's what happens. I'm a mean, ornery SOB, understand?" Chaney was true to his word. During Monday's weekly A-10 coaches teleconference, Chaney said he'd send in a goon, adding it was not his intention to make a mockery of the game. Regardless, little that occurred after Ingram entered the game resembled basketball.

"We're going to have to have better officials who are going to call illegal screens," he said Monday. He added: "I'll go back to my old style of basketball and put one of my goons in and have him run through one of those guys and chop him in the neck or something."

I'm going to say it as plain as I can:  John Chaney needs his ass whupped.  Either that, or kick him out of basketball for good.  Those are the only reasonable ways to effectively deal with him.  This man has choked coaches, challenges people to fights, threatened to kill other coaches, and god knows what else.  And the Atlantic-10 commissioners as well as the Temple brass continue to either look the other way or give him a slap on the wrist each time he pulls some crap like this.

Chaney acts like some school bully because he deals with people who won't stand up to him due to his "legend" status, his age, or for other reasons.  And this incident illustrates perfectly what's wrong with basketball today; those referees who called that game should be fired for allowing Chaney and Ingram to get away with that without any immediate repercussions.  They were too scared to do anything because it was John Chaney and they're scared to reprimand him.

You have Chaney threatening to pull this stunt THE DAY BEFORE THE GAME.  Didn't the refs hear about it, and thus should have braced for this to happen and stopped it before it started?  Even if they didn't, look at how rough the fouls were....forearm shivers, SLAMMED a player to the floor, putting him out the game?  There's no way in hell that Ingram should have made it to five fouls; he should have been ejected after two.  If I were Bryant's parents, I would seriously consider suing the Atlantic-10 and Temple University for allowing their kid to get hurt by this fiasco.

I'll be the first to admit; St. Joes' squad are better men than I.  All it would have took was ONE moment for me to realize Ingram was trying to intentionally hurt me or one of my teammates.  He'd get a warning: one more time and you'll get knocked on your ass.  And if he did it anyway, I'd make good on my promise.  Size be damned.  And afterwards I'd go after Chaney; age be damned.  Basketball players that are trying to play a clean game should not have to worry about a coach sending "goons" out on the court to possibly put them on the shelf and their careers on hold.

Now, Chaney has apologized and suspended himself for one game.  One game?  That's it?  He should be suspended for the rest of the season.  It's nothing more than a false-faced apology in order to quell the criticism of his antics.  That isn't even close to the punishment Chaney truly deserves.

Posted at 05:24 am by Expertise
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Chris Webber traded to the Sixers.

ESPN is reporting that Sacramento Kings forward Chris Webber is headed to the Philadelphia 76'ers in a six player deal, where Webber and reserve forwards Mike Bradley and Matt Barnes will go for the Sixers' forwards Brian Skinner, Corliss Williamson, and Kenny Thomas.

This deal is stupid for a couple of reasons. First, the Kings really get nothing out of this deal than a couple of underachieving players.  Williamson is averaging less than 11pts and less than 4 boards a game.  Thomas, who plays the four, averages just over 11 and gets about six boards a game.  All three of these guys have long term contracts that the Kings will swallow for the same price as Webber's contract.  At least with Webber you had a five-time All-Star, which gives you some sort of an excuse.  Why spend that kind of money on three nobodies?

The second problem is a personal one, as the Eagles fans now have a bandwagon to jump on and ride into the playoffs. This is probably the best news they've had since 2001, and it didn't help matters when their former coach jumped ship to Detroit last year to win an NBA Title. Nevertheless, this gives the Philly contingent something to run their mouths about.

More than likely this will put Philly over the top to win the very weak Atlantic Division.  How far they'll go into the playoffs is another question, and that depends on Webber getting motivated like Vince Carter did once he was traded to New Jersey.  All of a sudden, the Eastern Conference has become very interesting.

Over on the West, every team except the Kings should be quite happy.  The West is rich with forwards, and for the Kings to give up their premiere forward - albeit he wasn't playing up to par this year - without getting something valuable in return leaves a huge void on the Kings roster for guys like Stoudamire, Duncan, KG, and others to exploit. With the Kings fifth in the West and only seven games ahead of 9th place Minnesota, they could be in trouble if Thomas and Williamson don't step up their production.

Posted at 01:41 am by Expertise
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Moss to be traded to the Raiders.

The Associated Press is reporting that Vikings wideout Randy Moss will be headed to the Oakland Raiders in a trade on March 2nd.

This was very surprising, for a few reasons.  First, the Vikings are in the middle of selling the team, and Randy Moss makes it a more valuable franchise.  Arizona businessman Reggie Fowler has agreed to a deal to buy it, but he doesn't have controlling interest yet, and he's been marred by controversy by lying on his resume.  Second, Mike Tice has made it clear that he wanted Moss to stay, and Moss is a very big part of that offense.  Third, Moss's name puts asses in the seats. 

Thus, I didn't think Moss wouldn't leave the Vikings, or at least until Fowler or whomever bought the team from McCombs.  In fact, precisely how much input did Fowler have in this situation?  That's a question to be asked in the upcoming days leading to the free agent signing period.

For Moss, the Vikings get Raiders linebacker Napeleon Harris, the number seven pick in the draft, and a late-round pick.  That isn't bad, considering the Vikings need help on their defense.

As for Moss and Oakland?  Well, here's what his agent, Dante DiTrapano, said:

DiTrapano said Moss was "very pleased to be going to Oakland and looking forward to playing with a team that's promised they're going to throw the ball deep a whole lot to him and having a chance at winning the Super Bowl."

Oakland has a chance at winning the Super Bowl?  When was this...four years ago?

DiTrapano's been smoking that freshly brewed crack.  Moss is going to a worse team in the tougher conference in a tougher division and will have balls thrown to him by a lesser quarterback.  That's not to say that Moss won't make the team better, but Super Bowl contenders they definitely won't be.

It should be interesting to see how long Al Davis will put up with Moss's antics.

Posted at 06:05 pm by Expertise
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The Moonbats' hatchet job.

Once the conservative bloggers helped to bring down Dan Rather and Eason Jordan, you had to know the moonbats (the leftist side of the blogosphere) needed something to make themselves feel relevant.  After all; they failed to put Howard Dean on the Democratic ticket and they failed in their attempts to help put candidates over the top in Election 04.

Hence, their response? James Guckert.

Apparently Guckert worked for Talon News, a small conservative publication created by GOPUSA's Bobby Eberle, and wrote under the psuedonym Jeff Gannon.  After asking one too many questions that were considered "softballs" during White House press briefings and during Bush press conferences, the moonbats, led by Democratic Party-bought Media Matters of America, decided to do a little digging.

Once they found out his real name they immediately accused him of using false information in order to get access to the White House, of which they had no proof of and Guckert states he used his real information.  They claimed he's not a "credentialed journalist", although no one really knows what a "credentialed journalist" is and is able to establish standards for them.  They accused him of getting special access inside the White House, but they have no evidence of who supposedly gave Gannon this special access, and thus no proof that he received favortism.  They even accused him of outing CIA agent/loudmouth Valerie Plame, although he only cited information that was reported in the NYT a week prior, and not to mention Plame's interference in her husband, Joe Wilson's, mission and her appearance in Vanity Fair magazine.

Hence, the only way they could bring Guckert down is through a hatchet job.  Guckert had a dark past, as he appeared in several gay websites.  Those were brought into the open, and thus Guckert resigned from Talon News out of disgrace.

You see, with the left the ends always justify the means.  They simply wanted a trophy and didn't care how they got it.  However, the whole blogosphere was stained by this "scandal" instead of just the moonbats.  They were the ones who are rightly characterized as a lynch mob when all of this went down, and none of them are willing to apologize for their actions in this ordeal.  In fact, they are still bewildered why the mainstream media aren't paying them any attention like they did Rathergate.

When the conservative bloggers started paying attention to the story, and proved there wasn't anything to it, they decided to flood their sites and harrass them.  Take Powerline for example.  John Hinderacker received countless vulgar emails, the secretary at his law office was cursed at on the phone, among other things.  All of it got to him, and thus he lashed out at one of them.  The recipient was a blogger, and he posted the email on his website.  Even after Hinderacker apologized - something he didn't have to do - there were moonbats that wanted to send the email to the Minnesota bar in order to place it on his record.

Welcome to the future of left-wing politics, folks.

Posted at 03:11 am by Expertise
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Thursday, February 17, 2005
Baseball's steroid problem.

With more and more stories coming out about baseball's dirty little steroid secrets coming out - the latest one being a FBI Special Agent that said he told MLB's security chief that several players were using steroids 10 years ago - it's a wonder that this scandal is coming out now rather than earlier.

After all; it's not hard to see the symptoms: weight gain, acne, roid rage, muscle tears, etc.  Even without this Special Agent, Jose Canseco, or Kimberley Bell, Major League Baseball knew about the problem.  The owners knew.  The managers knew (in fact, former Oakland A's manager Tony LaRussa admitted he knew Canseco was on them at the time).  The Players' Association knew.  Yet because of the money their roided monsters were making for them, they decided to keep it on the hush.

Professional Wrestling went through the same phase (actually, it still is going through it), and public measures weren't addressed until Vince McMahon was charged by federal prosecutors with roid trafficking.  He beat the rap (and he should have) but that should have been baseball's hint to do something about their problem before it escalated into what we see now.  Too bad most people deride pro wrestling as a circus act, or baseball would realize that they were actually taking a look into their future.

Thus, Major League Baseball is wallowing in a problem that they've allowed to ferment for several years.  It took the outing of the monsters, who have broken records while on the juice, to do it.

Thus, it doesn't matter whether Canseco (who Nykol called a snitch.  Ha.), Bell, or the FBI Agent is telling the truth, because baseball fans know there's fire where there's smoke.  The sad thing is that for most of them we won't know for certain whether they were on it until their health deteriorates - and their addictions strengthens - much like Ken Caminiti's did.

But every time we hear about a torn quad, or a baseball player that went apeshit in public, or a baseball player who's checking into rehab, someone should always remind MLB that they could have done something to prevent that from happening.

Posted at 06:05 am by Expertise
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005
blog notes.

   - I went to the library today.  After paying off a late fee that's about, say, 20 years old (hey; it was only four bucks), I decided to grab a couple of books:  one political, one sports.

The political book is Thomas Sowell's Affirmative Action Around the World.  Sowell is one of the biggest reasons why I am a conservative, as my mindset changed after reading the astonishing Race and Culture: A World View.  Although I'm sure he relied on Race and Culture to help him with this book, I am still looking forward to it.

My sports book is ESPN:  The Uncensored History by Michael Freeman.  I was browsing the shelves and it just happened to catch my eye.  Freeman takes a candid look into the personalities and management at ESPN and how it became a juggernaut and a disaster almost at the same time.  From the antics and offensive nature of Keith Olbermann to the sexist and raunchy practical jokes on the female members of ESPN, it's all in this book.  I'm going to find some reviews for this book, if possible.

These books will serve as entertainment while I'm visiting the family later this week.  If there are any other books I should look out for, let me know.

   -  Last night, I was going to add a scoreboard frame from CBS Sportsline.com onto the side panel of this blog.  However, as many times as I've trashed CBS News for the CYA Scandal, I didn't think it was a good idea.   Yahoo Sports's scoreboard isn't framed.  ESPN.com doesn't have a frame.  Neither does CNNSI.com, FoxSports, NBC Sports, etc.

Ugh.  I hate conflicts of interests.  Can't I seperate CBS Sports from CBS News?  Can't I have my cake and eat it too?  Being opinionated bites.

   - I'm adding the 850TheBuzz blog onto my links list.  Believe me; if you are a sports fan, you need to read this blog.  I live just inside of their listening area, and they have a great radio station.

Posted at 05:50 pm by Expertise
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