Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog


Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Democrats threaten to throw GOP in briar patch.

Since some of you have probably never heard Southern fables, have you ever heard the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby?

To sum it up, Brer Fox set a trap on Brer Rabbit, and once it was set, threatened to throw him in the briar patch, which is a wooded area full of thorns.  However, Fox didn't realize that rabbits are so small that they could easily slide around within the patch, and that's where they generally make their homes anyway.  Brer Rabbiit used Fox's ignorance against him, and begged Fox not to throw him in it.  Hence, Fox ended up helping Brer Rabbit escape thinking he was actually hurting him.

Now to today's big story.  The Republicans have announced that they have enough votes to implement the "nuclear option", which will pretty much kill off the filibuster in the Senate.  This means the judicial nominations held up by the Democrats will now go through the Senate by a mere majority vote.  In seeking retaliation, the Democrats threaten to stop all Senate business with the exception of national security and military issues.

Not only would this hurt the Democrats immensely by being viewed as obstructionists, but it would keep the Republicans' two major strengths in focus on the Senate floor the whole time.   The Democrats will continue to shoot themselves in the foot and continue to lose even more of their seats as long as they engage in this sort of childish behavior. 

Democrats are the minority.  Deal with it.

Posted at 03:30 pm by Expertise
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California declares two laws unconstitutional.

California Superior Court judge Richard Richard Kramer ruled that two laws, one created by the legislature and one by referendum, were unconstitutional and same-sex marriages were legal in California.  The legislation was a 1977 ruling that defined marriage as "a union between a man or a woman".  A California proposition passed by over 2/3rds of the state passed in 2000 was also thrown out.

I've read Kramer's ruling.  I'm more inclined to support rulings or opinions like these if they were based on liberty standards rather than so-called equal protection rulings and precedents, such as this one.  Especially the sex discrimination argument, which is about as laughable as anti-school voucher advocates arguing those were illegal because churches would get it and thus violate the Establishment Clause.  However, when you have activist judges - particularly based in San Francisco, no less - any rationale will be used no matter how stupid.

At The Volokh Conspiracy, the blogosphere's guide for judicial rulings and legal opinions, Eugene Volokh reminds readers that opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment warned that homosexual marriage among other things could be declared constitutional through it's passage.  ERA never passed, but both California and Massachusetts legislatures both passed their own versions, and both were used in the rationale of the courts to overturn homosexual marriages.

What both courts did - and Kramer followed Massachusetts's lead on this - is state that gender discrimination exists because both partners denied of marriage was of the same sex.  But that twists the meaning of discrimination.  Same-sex advocates weren't denied a marriage license because they were male, or because they were female.  They were denied because they were two people of the same sex.  Both courts ignored the state granting marriage licenses to both males and females under certain circumstances. 

Just because the qualifications of marriage in a state are based on sex does not mean sex discrimination exists.  By that logic, as BoiFromTroy opines, what's stopping them from declaring unisex bathrooms are unconstitutional?  And I got another one:  why don't they declare unisex sports teams unconstitutional as well?

Let me stop, because that will be next.  Continuing...

Another argument the court made, on pg 11, is that the Proposition can't stand because the "discriminatory purpose" of the Proposition "does not determine whether there is nonetheless a legitimate governmental interest" in limiting same-sex marriage.  Sorry; I find this argument quite weak, because a Proposition doesn't have to include a rationale in order to be enforced by the government.  The mere fact that it was passed by a majority (in this case, a 2/3rds supermajority) means that the courts should be compelled, in my opinion, to find their OWN rationalle in overturning the proposition.  For the judiciary to use a law created by the legislature in order to overturn a law that was passed by proposition through the SAME VOTERS WHO ELECT THE LEGISLATURE is flat wrong.

Courts could use this in the future - and probably have already - in order to justify nullifying propositions.  If a proposition is going to be treated lower than legislation, or even legal prescedents, for that matter, then what's the use of creating and passing propositions?  Lately it seems as if I never hear about any propositions being upheld in court; they're all being overturned.

Finally, you can expect every court that will overturn their respective gay marriage bans to mention Loving v. Virginia, the federal case that interracial marriage bans unconstitutional.  However, the only connection they can make between interracial marriage and gay marriage is the discrimination factor.  The discrimination argument doesn't hold water when you look at race as a physical and genetic factor while homosexuality is purely behavioral.   

That's why I am disgusted when I hear gay rights advocates mention the civil rights advances of the 1960's and try to connect them to their own agenda.  With homosexuality being a behavioral trait, you run the risk of setting a standard of making ordinances, whether state or local, of other behaviors unconstitutional.  If you use the Loving prescedent to justify gay marriages, I don't see how legislatures won't be forced eventually to legalize prostitution, polygamy, incest, etc.  You might think that's insulting and unrealistic, but people were saying the same things about gay marriage 30 years ago, as Volokh showed in the link above.

All I'm saying is, the ends do not justify the means.  If you are going to make a coherent argument in order to throw out gay marriage bans, then do it responsibly and use proper legal reasoning.  The sloppily written opinions of justices in the past, done mostly through good intentions, have opened up a pandora's box of bad legal opinions based on weak reasoning that has been placed upon the nation against their will.  The supposedly good decisions judges make today can be used to make very bad ones tomorrow.

Posted at 05:13 am by Expertise
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Monday, March 14, 2005
Spring Break and Contraceptives.

Instapundit linked to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article on The University of Wisconsin's health department advising college students to have emergency contraception - the morning-after pill - with them while they are on their Spring Break trips.

Then Reynolds said this:

You'd think that anti-abortion folks would approve, unless they just don't like the idea of people having sex, which certainly seems to be the issue in the article. My own criticism -- not echoed in the article -- is that they should be encouraging students to take non-emergency contraceptives with them. I mean, if you're going to be prepared, why not be properly prepared?

Here's an even better idea...why don't they stop acting like whores?

I'm not one that believes no one should have sex before marriage, but let's get real here.  Our society worries so much about contraception access and availability, but fails to encourage kids to make cogent decisions.  One of those is the idea that you don't have to sleep with every man you meet on the beach.

Just a thought. *shrugs*

Posted at 12:32 pm by Expertise
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The Contender, Episode 3: Ishe vs. Ahmed.


(Photo: Yahoo's "The Contender" Page)

Folks, you know it had to come down to this.

This is probably one of the most heated rivalries I've seen on a reality tv show, and that includes the Chris Leben/Josh Koscheck feud from the Ultimate Fighter.  And unlike that feud, this one wouldn't disappoint.

First, the show.  The show starts with how the West Coast were disappointed with Ishe's refusal to fight Ahmed last week.  Ishe still stood his ground, saying he wasn't ready for it and he'll fight Ahmed when he's ready.  He also expressed frustration over Jesse's words at the pre-fight press conference, where both had exchanged words and Ishe had to leave the event to cool off.

Later, Stallone awarded another gold boxing glove medallion to Jesse for winning the fight.  Jesse now doesn't have to fight until Episode 8, by which that time all fighters would have fought.  The West Coast's reward for winning the flag/puzzle competition was Tommy, who is one of the trainers, taking them to a top clothing outlet and buying them all a new set of clothes.

Later, Sugar Ray decides to do some "light" sparring with Ahmed, just to see what he knows and get a feel of him.  However, nobody told Ahmed that it was supposed to be "light", and he connected with some fairly heavy punches and shots to the dome.  Ray wasn't that miffed by it, but a couple of fighters that watched it said it was disrespectful.  Ahmed admitted that he wanted to show Ray what he had and gave him a little more of a taste than the usual sparring, claiming he could make Ray look bad.

Meanwhile, Ishe, tired from all the stress caused in the last episode, went home to his wife and kids.  There he broke down in front of her, saying he was tired of everything that had been going on and he had been training really hard.  She helped snap him back into focus, and get his head right.  It was just in time too, because the next day when the West Coast was ready to give him an ultimatum about his antics, Ishe changed a bit and told them if he was going to fight anyone, it would be Ahmed.

That set up this week's mission:  dodgeball.  Similar to the movie, the two teams were placed on two sides of a tennis court, with the balls lined up by the net.  They had to run from the fence to get the ball, and then hit the opposing team with it.  Last surviving member wins for his team.  Jesse and Alfonso were out of the mission to make it even.

This wasn't much of a challenge, as the West pretty much took down the East team.  At the end, it was only a three-on-one, with Ahmed left.  He hung in there for a while, but eventually got hit, and the West won again.

When it was time for the team meeting, the West simply went to Ishe and asked was he ready.  Ishe simply replied, "You know what I'm going to do." and that was pretty much the end of it. 

When it came time to lay down the challenge, Ishe added a little twist.  He called Brent out.  The West was shocked, and most initially thought he had chickened out.  Brent came out, and Ishe whispered in his ear to pray for what he's about to do.  Stallone demanded to know what was going down, and Ishe told Brent to walk back.  Ishe then called out Ahmed, and they stared each other down.  It got so intense that Stallone had to threaten them with disqualification if they threw a punch, and they eventually had to be separated by the rest of the fighters.

So the fight was Ishe Smith vs. Ahmed Khaddour.  Coming into this fight, both guys were undefeated.  Ishe, from Las Vegas, was 14-0 with 7 KO's, and Ahmed, born in Lebanon, raised in Denmark, and now resides in Hollywood, was 15-0 with 9 KO's, hence someone was going to taste defeat for the first time.  That was about the only thing they had in common, as Ishe was a family man with a wife and a son that and solidly Christian, while Ahmed was a pretty boy with a fiancee', no kids and loved the extravagant life.  It was like two magnetic poles retracting from each other.

The press conference was suprisingly calm and organized.  That was probably because the two who were causing the most problems were finally in front of the podium.  Ishe remained calm and surprising modest, mainly saying he just wanted to get this over with, while Ahmed talked about how he was going to knock Ishe out and run him off.  Ahmed also took some digs at Ishe for going home to his wife when he was having problems.

This was no doubt the most aggressive fight of the three that aired.  It wasn't about combinations or speed; just power, and both launched it at will.  As soon as the bell rang Ahmed charged out and started throwing hooks to the head and the body.  Ishe shook it off and started throwing his own, and unfortunately for Ahmed, Ishe connected more. 

It seemed as if Ahmed's only goal was to knock Ishe out, while Ishe had a semblance of a game plan; stay calm, absorb Ahmed's punches, and then come back with your own.  Huge shots rocked both guys; in fact, there was one in the third round where I thought Ishe might go down from.  But he absorbed it and kept coming with his own.

Ahmed on occasion got uber-aggressive, and it resulted in some dirty tactics, like holding Ishe's head down, and not breaking clean once the ref requested it.  It got some boos out of the crowd, and the Ishe chants started.  Ahmed also clowned around too much, making faces and taunting.  During one incident where he pulled Ishe by the head and Ishe went to his knees, Ishe's wife was yelling from the crowd about his behavior.  Ahmed responded with a disrespectful gesture.

But Ishe through all of that wasn't flustered too much.  Ahmed probably won the first and fourth rounds, but the others were definitely won by Ishe.  Ishe was simply better prepared, and had the fight thought out.  It went the distance, and Ishe Smith won the unaminous decision.

After the fight, Ahmed didn't start anything, and just went back into the locker room.  His ego wasn't hurt too bad, as he was talking about how Ishe didn't hurt him and he didn't get a scratch.  He wants a rematch with Ishe, and says his boxing days aren't over.  Whether you like Ahmed or not, he put on an entertaining fight, and he's tough as nails.  This was one of those fights where you would like to see continue and maybe go 10 rounds instead of five.

Check out the next episode which is Sunday at 8PM EST on NBC.  It'll be interesting to see how everyone reacts to this fight, and to see what the East team can do in order to finally get a victory in either the missions or the fights, so they won't lose another member.

My Other Contender Posts:

1.  The Contender Quarterfinals:  Ishe vs. Sergio
2.  The Contender, Episode Eight:  Jimmy vs. Joey
3.  The Contender Episode Seven:  Juan vs. Tarick
4.  The Contender Episode Six:  Anthony vs. Brent
5.  The Contender Episode Three:  Ishe vs. Ahmed

Posted at 04:38 am by Expertise
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Sunday, March 13, 2005
Looking at the NCAA Tourney Field.

I don't like it.

The actual bids are alright (I have problems with a couple, as you will see later), but the seeding and location of a number of teams is absolutely horrible.  You can tell the selection committee went into the proceedings with no kind of standard and simply placed teams whereever they wanted.

For a number of them, they did think it was cute to pit a number of teams in the first round, namely some intrastate matchups.  However, they did it at the expense of a long travel for some of those teams.

Illinois is in Chicago, UNC goes to Syracuse, and Duke goes to Austin.  That's not surprising.  The surprising one is Washington getting the #1 seed in the Albequerque Region.  Thus, you can not tell me that the selection committee does not listen to the analysts on CBS and ESPN along with the network sports websites, because no one even talked about Washington grabbing a possible #1 seed until Kentucky went down in flames today in the SEC tournament. 

So Wake Forest not only got a #2 seed, but they also was sent out west to Albequerque.  How in the world did they fall so low by simply losing to NC State?  I don't agree with that seeding whatsoever, and I'm sure there's heat on Chris Paul for getting suspended right now.

But at least Wake got a #2 seed.  Definitely the team that caught the worst seed placement by far was Louisville.  Louisville was the Conference USA champion and was ranked 6th in the nation.  How did they end up as a 4 seed having to go to Albequerque?  That's crazy.  Meanwhile, UConn - who was defeated by Syracuse in the Big East semis - got a #2 seed...in Syracuse.  Syracuse, who was ranked pretty equally with UConn throughout the year, got a #4 seed in Austin.  Florida didn't get a good deal, as they won the SEC Championship as well and ended up with a #4 seed.

I did support them giving UAB and Iowa State a bid into the championship, as both of them had great records and fought tough competition throughout the year.  However, Northern Iowa had no business getting a bid to the tournament. 

It's real simple; a mediocre team from a power conference gets dibs over a mediocre team from a mediocre conference.  I find it hard to believe that the Missouri Valley Conference got three bids (Southern Illinois, Creighton, Northern Illinois) without any of them beating a ranked team.  Meanwhile, Notre Dame will go to the NIT despite roughly having the same record yet beating UConn, Villanova, and Syracuse and playing nine games against a ranked team.  That should tell you that the RPI polling system should be trashed.  Not fixed, trashed. 

But, it is what it is.  Let's try to enjoy March Madness while it lasts.  It should be fun.

Posted at 09:08 pm by Expertise
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Here's my picks for the NCAA Tournament.

There are only six conference championship games left, and all of them will be decided by tomorrow.  However, all of the finalists of the major conferences are pretty much locked, and the remaining two's losers won't go to the Dance, so I'll give you 63 teams.

This is based on what who I "think" the tournament will grant bids to, not necessarily who I feel should get them.  In the cases of teams like Holy Cross and Davidson, I will leave them off the list. I think because of their outstanding conference records and winning streak during the season, they should have gotten a bid, but the committee won't see it my way.  Nevertheless, I hope they prove me wrong.

First, the 25 Conference Champions, which get automatic bids:

Pennsylvania Eastern Kentucky Central Florida Winthrop Chattanooga
Niagara Old Dominion Creighton  Gonzaga  Oakland 
Louisiana-Lafayette  Wisc-Milwaukee  Fairleigh Dickerson  Montana  Bucknell 
Vermont  Louisville  Delaware State  Washington  Ohio 
George Washington  Syracuse  Texas-El Paso  New Mexico  Utah State 


Now, the remaining 38, which are receiving at-large bids or their conference title tomorrow:

North Carolina Duke  Wake Forest  Georgia Tech  NC State 
Boston College  Connecticut  West Virginia  Pittsburgh  Villanova 
Illinois  Michigan State  Wisconsin  Minnesota  Iowa 
Kansas  Oklahoma  Oklahoma State  Texas Tech  Pacific 
Cincinnatti  Charlotte  Utah  Arizona  Stanford 
UCLA  Kentucky  Florida  Alabama  LSU 
St. Mary's  Nevada  St. Joseph's  Iowa State  UAB
Southern Illinois  Notre Dame  Texas     


















So there it is.  That should be 63 teams.  The last two spots are reserved for the SWAC champion, as Alabama State matches up against Alabama A&M (Isn't it funny that two Alabama teams are playing for the SouthWestern Championship?), and the Southland Champion, as Southeastern Louisiana faces Northwestern State.

I say again:  NCAA Selection Committee PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG, but if you're going to do it, do it with teams that are actually worthy of getting in.

Posted at 06:11 am by Expertise
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Saturday, March 12, 2005
Championship Week Saturday.

Nothing serious bubble-wise, as a good number of these teams will make it to the Dance.  Memphis tried to start their Cinderella push to get them there, but they fell short to Louisville by a free throw at the Conference USA title game. 

Darius Washington was fouled on a three point shot at the buzzer and down by two, but could only convert one of those three free throws.  That's a tough way to get left out, but maybe they can use that momentum to make a run in the NIT.

If Georgia Tech was a bubble team coming into Saturday's game against North Carolina, they aren't any longer.  Tech beat my Tarheels by three.  Sloppy officiating along with UNC allowing another flavor of the day to go wild, as Will Bynum put up 35 pts.  For some reason, Carolina has started a nasty habit of allowing one guy that's usually not the leader of the team to step up to look like a star.  They usually are able to step up and make a run at the end to close the game, but they weren't able to today. 

Even with all of that happening, McCants had a chance to cut the lead into single digits when he was fouled on a three point play, but only hit one of those three (Sound familiar, Memphis?).  They got the rebound off the third ft and McCants hit the three on the wing and made it a one point game.  But they foul Bynum on the other end, he hits his two, and McCants misses the buzzer beating three that could have sent the game into OT.

Games to watch tonight:  George Washington vs. St. Joseph's (the losing team could be left out of the Dance), Buffalo vs. Ohio (same situation there), Utah St. vs. Pacific, New Mexico vs. Utah, UTEP vs. Boise State.




Posted at 06:21 pm by Expertise
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Nichols is caught.

Alive, somehow.

We found out that he had jacked another car and took the female owner in it hostage, drove to her apartment in Gwinnett, and spent the night there.  Somehow, she left that morning (no one knows whether she escaped or he let her go) and she called Gwinnett police and they got him at her apartment.  Hence, it was a eerie end to a sad weekend in Metro Atlanta.

Oh yeah; CNN this morning caught security film of him walking down a flight of stairs right after he had jacked O'Briant's car, so it was a COMPLETE diversion.   O'Briant's car never left the parking garage.

Now that they have him, let's see some resignations.

I can go back to watching basketball for the rest of the weekend.  Carolina vs. Georgia Tech is on the tube right now.

Also:  Michael "Da" King has the breakdown of everything from the last 36 hours or so on his site.

Think about this too....The SEC Tournament was in Atlanta, about a block from where all of this went down.  Imagine what would have happened if one of the people Nichols had jacked was an SEC attendant.  How much more heat you think Atlanta and Fulton County would have had on their hands?

Heh.

UPDATE:  Well, we find out what he did after he carjacked O'Briant.

He parked the car in the garage, went to the MARTA station (Check the map), got on the train at Dome/Phillps station and went to Five Points, transferred and went to Buckhead (Atlanta's party and entertainment district) by Lennox Station, robbed two people that WERE SEC tourists, went to the home of a federal immigration official, killed him and took his money and ID.  I guess the money wasn't enough, because he then grabbed the Gwinnett woman, probably around Lennox too.

Ain't that some shit?  If this guy really wanted to he could have been on the loose for days at a time and probably wouldn't have gotten caught inside Metro Atlanta.  Remember:  the only reason why he was caught was because the woman got away and called them up, not because of the cops.

Thank god I left that city.

Posted at 01:46 pm by Expertise
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Heads should roll.

There's no doubt about it.

I'm setting aside time away from Championship Week to talk about the Atlanta court murders on Friday.

Here's the story...an accused rapist, Brian Nichols, was being guarded by a female deputy while he was changing from his jail jumpsuit to casual attire for his trial hearing, in which he was facing life in prison if convicted.  He had beaten her so badly that, according to emergency officials, they couldn't tell if she was beaten or shot. The female deputy was 51 years old and only five feet tall.  That's it.  He took her gun, and went straight for Judge Rowland Barnes's chambers, which is in the next building, through the skywalk.

At Barnes's chambers, Nichols demands to know where he is.  An assistant of Barnes hits the emergency button, and when a deputy responds he knocks the deputy out and takes his gun, which makes two guns he's taken from two different deputies.  Now he goes into the Barnes's courtroom, shot and killed Barnes, killed the court reporter, Julie Brandau, and runs out of the courtroom.

Nichols is able to run down eight flights of stairs with deputies chasing him and through an emergency exit door.  He runs across MLK Boulevard and into the Underground Atlanta parking garage.  In there, he kills a deputy and carjacks a SUV.  He gets out of the garage, gets on Peachtree Street, jacks a tow truck at gunpoint, goes down a one-way street.  He gets out of the tow truck at another parking garage, jacks another car that belonged to a female AJC computer programmer, and gets out.  He drives just about a block or two and he sees another guy parking his car in a garage.  He beats him up (it was AJC writer Don O'Briant, who tried to play cowboy and is lucky he isn't dead too) and takes his car, and that's the last anyone saw of him.  Oh; and they found the car in the same garage he carjacked O'Briant at later that night.

Georgia Governor Sonny "Ralphus" Perdue said, "It is a sad day for our country."  Our country?  Don't put the country into this; it's a sad day for YOUR STATE.  Frankly, I'm surprised this hasn't happened several times over.

Atlanta PD and Fulton County's Sheriff Department is so incompetent that this was bound to happen.  How in the world do you have a 51 year old grandma that's only five foot nothing standing guard over a former football player that weighed approx 210 pounds, and with no backup.  I guarantee you that happens quite often.

You would have thought as busy as that courthouse is (and it is quite busy) and the number of sheriff deputies there had to be in those buildings they would have been able to capture him in the building.  Not only was he able to damn near kill the guard, but was able to go into the next building, go into Judge Barnes's chambers and disarm another deputy, go into the courtroom and shoot that up before anyone realized what was going on.  Even then he still had enough of a head start that he was able to run down 8 flights to get out of the courthouse?

I'm going to say something real insensitive here:  I'd bet you this wouldn't happen in a rural area.  He might have gotten out of the courthouse, but he would have been found by now, probably in a car chase.  This wouldn't have happened in New York, because for one thing I'd imagine they'd know better than to have such loose security for someone accused of a violent crime.  Even if they did, I'd bet he couldn't get out of that building.   No, you see, Atlanta presented all the tools necessary to allow this to happen; weak security, incompetent justice system, incompetent PD and Sheriff's Department, and just enough people downtown in order to the precise amount of mass confusion and panic so he could slip right out of the city and out of sight.

Not only was this guy able to get the best of Atlanta and Fulton County's finest, but he left a pretty big FUCK YOU to go along with it...taking the time to go kill the judge presiding over his case, instead of simply leaving the courthouse after beating up the guard, and after they had been looking for him all day, left the car he jacked from O'Briant right in the same spot he got it.  None of these Deputy Dog-like cops can tell you how long the car has been there.  For all they know, he could have brought it back as soon as the EMT's left from picking up O'Briant.

So the way I see it, as soon as they find this guy - if they ever do - the following people need to step down:

- Fulton County Sheriff Myron Freeman

- Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard

- Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington

Add to that any immediate supervisors in charge of assigning inmate security.  People have been complaining about security measures at the courthouse and at Fulton County Jail for years.  Freeman should have addressed that immediately when he was elected last year.  Obviously, no such luck.  Howard has been Fulton's DA for a number of years, including running the show at the horribly botched Ray Lewis trial after the Super Bowl in 2000.  I would have thought the voters would have kicked him out on his ear then.  He never bothered to speak up or do anything about security either.  And any time a fugitive is able to move from the courthouse to Peachtree Street to Marietta Street without one cop actually finding him in the middle of the day, the blame lies upon Atlanta PD.  As many cops as I've seen day after day downtown farting around and playing grabass you would have thought they would have caught a guy in broad daylight who did three carjackings in an hour's time.

Of course, this won't happen, because the media wouldn't dare call for the heads of public officials in Atlanta short of murder, because they all happen to be black.  Besides, incompetence is a staple of Atlanta's public infrastructure.  I wouldn't be surprised if this happened again.

Posted at 06:51 am by Expertise
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Friday, March 11, 2005
Championship Week Friday

A lot of bubbles have burst over the course of the day today.

One of the bigger bubbles, Indiana, has a date with the NIT as they fell to Minnesota.  As I said before; 13 losses is simply too many for an at-large team to have in the Dance.  Minnesota stamped their ticket.  Virginia Tech never had a chance against Georgia Tech, which locks GT in firmly to the Dance and locks the Hokies firmly into the NIT.

UAB's bubble is looking pretty fragile after falling to Louisville.  It was a close game, but UAB needed that quality win in order to have a convincing case.  Now Conference USA's fate lays with the selection committee on whether they have only three teams or as many as five, as UAB beat bubble-team Depaul yesterday.

Texas Tech might have stamped their ticket today by beating Iowa State.  Iowa State, on the other hand, is going to have to have some luck, but I and others think they might slide in.  Miami (OH) is done after falling to Ohio tonight.  They had to at least get to the Mid-American Final, if not outright win it.

Also, I don't think anyone had Iowa upsetting Michigan State tonight 71-69, which all of a sudden gives them a compelling argument.  It gives them that quality win they needed, as they had yet to beat a ranked team.   If Iowa beats Minnesota tomorrow - and that's quite possible, considering both teams split games over the regular season - that would lock Iowa in and make the selection committee's job even harder.  In fact, that probably doesn't bode well for a team that fell this week but are still on the bubble.

Holy Cross's loss to Bucknell in the Patriot League final will probably have them left out of the Dance.  If it does, it's a crying shame, as most people have said the same thing about Davidson losing in their conference tourney last week to UNC-Greensboro.  I don't think you can tell any team in any conference that they can have only five losses overall (Holy Cross in the regular season), and win 16 games in a row going undefeated in conference play (Davidson went undefeated, HC only lost one game) and tell them that's not enough. 

If the selection committee does, I don't think that's right, particularly when you have so many mediocre teams trying to get in from the major conferences this year.  In fact, I think you have to give them dibs over other mid-majors like UTEP and St. Mary's, teams who have records that I'm not impressed by.  I'm probably wasting my breath, but still.

Tonight's games to keep an eye on is Temple vs. George Washington, Oregon State vs. Arizona, Buffalo vs. Western Michigan, Stanford vs. Washington, UTEP vs. Rice, and New Mexico vs. San Diego State.

Posted at 09:44 pm by Expertise
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