Thursday, July 19, 2007

MLS All-Star Game Tonight

Juan Toja goes airborne

As I've written before, I've become a soccer fan, especially of Major League Soccer (MLS) here in the states. Tonight marks roughly the halfway point through the 2007 MLS season. Partly because there are still so few teams, and partly to attract the interest of international fans, the MLS All-Star game pits the best in the MLS against a famous foreign team. This year that team is Scotland's Celtic FC. The game is on at 9:00 Eastern on ESPN2 and Galavision (I'll be watching the latter, muchas gracias).

Hopefully they'll start FC Dallas' new star and only representative to this year's All-Star team: Juan Toja. He's usually a lot of fun to watch, despite the complete inability of any announcers to mention him without talking about his hair, especially in relation to Led Zeppelin or Spinal Tap. Just this week, Toja was named the MLS Player of the Week, for his two-goal contribution to Dallas' biggest ever comeback (they were down 3 to 0 at DC United, but came back to tie).

If nothing else, even if you don't plan to watch the game tonight, at least watch this short (1 minute) highlight clip of Toja's two goals against DC United last week. The first goal is a nice, solid one, but it's the second goal, a header, that's really good. That's the goal the picture above is of (from the fine FC Dallas fan site, 3rd Degree).

P.S. No, Beckham won't be in this game, but he's expected to play this weekend in an "international friendly" exhibition match between LA Galaxy and Chelsea FC of the English Premiership (if his ankle's okay). It seems that the foreign press is really scoffing at Beckham's move, MLS in general and LA Galaxy in particular (e.g., "Galaxy dismissed as pub team by media"). Granted Galaxy has been pretty crummy so far this year, but it will be interesting to compare what people are saying next year at this time. Hopefully it will be a very different story, and in a good way...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Let's Not Attack Iran

First, the funny:
This Modern World

This week's This Modern World comic: Our Umpteen Millionth Look at How the News Works.

Next, the not-so-funny: via the This Modern World blog, an excellent essay on the "Once Upon A Time..." blog, on the difference in effectiveness and organization of the right vs. the left in modern America: Still Another Call to Activism: Prove Me Wrong, I Beg You.

This past week, the United States Senate passed unanimously -- 97 to 0 -- what amounted to a declaration of war against Iran. A few weeks ago, the House passed a resolution -- 411 to 2 -- that similarly provided an alleged rationale for war against Iran. In this manner, Congress, nominally controlled by the opposition party, has granted the Bush administration advance approval for the commencement of hostilities against Iran.

...The conclusion is stark and infinitely bleak: an attack on Iran would wipe every other issue and concern out of existence for the foreseeable future, probably for years to come if not much longer. Forget debates about global warming; nuclear clouds might be spreading across the globe. Never mind reforming our health care system; millions of people around the world, and possibly here at home, will be worried about survival of the most primitive kind. Nothing else will matter in the least.

...My point is the strategic one: [conservatives] didn't want the [recent immigration] bill passed, they mobilized massive, large-scale opposition, and their tactics worked.

I also listen to a number of liberal talk shows. Over the last few years, I have never heard anything similar on the liberal shows. Never. Not about the Military Commissions Act..., not about the Roberts, Alito or Gonzales nominations, not about ending the immoral and criminal occupation of Iraq -- and not about preventing an attack on Iran.

Not on any of these issues. Never.

Updated with links to free WorkingForChange comics, instead of Salon's.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sheer Testicular Fortitude

Via A Tiny Revolution, interesting post about the "exploit" being used by Bush & Co.: L33T Justice*:
The exploit is shame.

Our representatives -- and to a great degree we as a culture -- are completely buffaloed by shamelessness. You reveal a man's corrupt, or lying, or incompetent, and what does he do? He resigns. He attempts to escape attention, often to aid in his escape of legal pursuit. Public shame has up to now been the silver bullet of American political life. But people who are willing to just do the wrong thing and wait you out, to be publicly guilty ... dammmnnnn.

We are faced with utterly shameless men. Cheney and the rest are looking our representatives right in the eye and saying "You don't have the balls to take down a government. You don't have the sheer testicular fortitude to call us lying sonuvabitches when we lie, to stop us from kicking the rule of law and the Constitution in the ass. You just don't. What's beyond that abyss -- what that would do to our government and our identity as a nation -- terrifies you too much. So get the fuck out of our way."

* If necessary, see Wikipedia for definition of "l33t".

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Libby's Commutation

As they say, President Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence wasn't unexpected, but that doesn't make it any less heinous.

Here's some good info from Josh Marshall to keep in mind while enduring the media's "coverage" (emphasis added):

what you will hear universally today from the right -- namely, that just as Scooter Libby was charged with perjury and not the underlying crime of burning an American spy, the deeper underlying offense, the lie about uranium from Africa, didn't even exist -- that at the end of the day it was revealed that Wilson's claims, which started the whole train down the tracks, were discredited as lies.

You'll even hear softer versions of this claim from mainstream media outlets not normally considered part of the rump of American conservatism.

There aren't many subjects on which I claim expertise. But this is one of them...

And with that knowledge, I have to say that the claim that Wilson's charges have been discredited, disproved or even meaningfully challenged are simply false. What he said on day one is all true. It's really as simple as that.

...From day one this story has been about official lies -- corrupt power buttressed by fraud. Along the way it became a story about the president's hireling commentators who lost their honor by becoming part of the fraud. What Wilson said was true. His attackers are all parties to the same lie. Don't forget that.