Archive for November, 2007

NFL 2007–Week 10 Recap

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

My plane from Las Vegas landed at 9am, and it is for situations like this that I live not too far from the airport. I made it home by 9:20am, with 40 minutes to spare before the games began. At the midpoint of the season for many teams, one thing that is becoming noticeable is how many teams have assembled good records in a very quiet fashion. Nevertheless, hiding in the NFL is only temporary.

Despite having driven my body into the ground this weekend, my fingers still work, which is enough to do this week’s NFL recap.

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers–The NFL has survived just fine without Michael Vick. The Atlanta Falcons have not. Warrick Dunn did have a 30 yard touchdown run, but Ken Lucas returned a fumble 27 yards for a score to deadlock the game at 7-7. The Panthers might be the least consistent team in the league, unless they are not. They are 4-4, and are a mystery. Carolina added a field goal before the half. A pair of field goals had the Falcons up 13-10 with 11 1/2 minutes remaining. A John Kasay field goal tied the game 13-13 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. The Falcons never got a chance to try the winning field goal attempt because Joey Harrington found Alge Crumpler with a short pass over the middle that turned into a blown assignment and a 30 yard touchdown with only 20 seconds left in front of a shocked Carolina crowd. 20-13 Falcons

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins–The Dolphins came in 0-8, but this was a winnable game. J.P. Losman filled in for an injured Trent Edwards, and Ronnie Brown had rushed for more than 100 yards in six straight games coming into this match. As awful as this game was expected to be, the first half was even uglier than that, with the Dolphins taking a 3-0 lead into the locker room. The third quarter featured a Miami touchdown, with the only scoring for Buffalo coming on a safety. With St. Louis winning, the Dolphins were the only hope to lay down with the 1976 Bucs. Yet going into the fourth, Miami led 10-2. A hard 4 yard run by Marshawn Lynch was capped with an equally rough Lynch 2 point conversion. He was smacked well short of the goal line, but bulled in Mike Alstott style for a 10-10 tie with under 10 minutes remaining. Ted Ginn returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, but the lead lasted only long enough for the referee to clarify the holding penalty that nullified it. With 46 seconds left, Rian Lindell nailed a field goal with 46 seconds left. It was hideous, but the Bills staggered to 5-4, and the Dolphins remained the perfect antithesis of their 1972 team at 0-9. 13-10 Bills

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs–The Chiefs were supposed to be horrendous this year, but they are tied for first in an awful AFC West division at 4-4. Several teams are quiet good teams, but the Broncos are the reverse. They are usually a good team, so to see them at 3-5 is surprising. The game was a defensive bonelock in the early going, when Bernard Taylor blocked a punt for a safety to put the Chiefs up 5-3. This always seems to compel announcers to make a baseball remark, and it is never funny. Jason Elam then had a 50 yard field goal attempt bounce off the crossbar and go through for a 6-5 Broncos lead. Another KC field goal had them up by a deuce at the break.

The whole game, the crowd was cheering for Damon Huard to be replaced by Brodie Croyle. A Huard interception set up a touchdown by Selvin Young. Denver just replaced running backs like spare parts, and the offensive line does the rest. On the next series, Huard was belted, and the ensuing fumble was returned by Nate Webster for a second Denver touchdown 9 seconds after the first one. Down 20-8, the crowd got their wish, and Croyle entered. A good drive was marred by the disaster known as the West Coast Offense that seems to compel routine and stifle thought. A dink and dunk pass short of the marker led to the Chiefs remaining short of the marker. A 3rd field goal cut the gap to 9 points. A missed field goal by Kansas City then led to a Jay Cutler touchdown pass that appeared to ice the game with 11 minutes left. 27-11 Broncos

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins–An exchange of touchdowns was separated by a missed extra point, with the Eagles leading 7-6. Washington scored another touchdown before the half, both being touchdown passes to James Thrash, but failed on the 2 point conversion. A field goal put Washington up by eight, and after Philly cracked the end zone on a Donovan McNabb pass to L.J. Smith, they failed on their own 2 point conversion attempt. A touchdown pass to Keenan McCardell put the Redskins up 22-13. A 45 yard touchdown bomb from McNabb cut the gap to 22-20.

Washington moved inside the Philly 5 yard line, but desperate for a stop, the Eagles defense did their job and held the Redskins to a field goal, keeping the game within 5 points with 4 minutes left. Donovan McNabb remains the only person to be criticized by Terrell Owens, Rush Limbaugh, and the Philadelphia NAACP. He tried to show why he was overrated, but instead he threw a 58 yard touchdown pass, one of four on the day. The 2 point conversion attempt was no good, but Philadelphia led by a point. On the next series the Eagles defense buried quarterback Jason Campbell, who fumbled, setting up a short touchdown run by Bryan Westbrook. The Redskins could do no more. 33-25 Eagles

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers–The Browns are one of those very quiet teams that has gotten to 5-3. They have 3 games in a row for the first time in 6 years. The Steelers throttled the Browns 34-7 in week 1, and were coming off a thrashing of a Baltimore team in a game that was over by halftime. So naturally, this was a Pittsburgh blowout. Summoning the voice of Chris Berman…That’s why they play the games. An 90 yard kickoff return by Joshua Cribbs set up one touchdown, and Cleveland raced to a 14-3 lead early on. After Braylon Edwards was ruled out of bounds in the back of the end zone, Romeo Crennel ran onto the field to challenge the call. The ruling was overturned, and Cleveland had its third touchdown. As spectacular as the touchdown catch by Edwards was, Romeo Crennel, who appears to run the 40 yard dash in 10 minutes, had some pretty nifty footwork throwing the challenge flag.

After Pittsburgh added a third field goal, Jamal Lewis fumbled, setting up a Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass to Hines Ward that cut the gap to 5 points. The Browns were playing this game like it was a playoff game, but the last time the teams played in the playoffs, Kelly Holcomb looked like a hall of famer, threw for over 400 yards, the Browns led 33-21, and they collapsed, for a 36-33 Steelers win. Today the collapse came in the form of a long run by Ben Roethlisberger, who after adding the 2 point conversion, had led Pittsburgh from a 21-6 deficit to a 24-21 lead with 11 1/2 minutes remaining.

Cribbs returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, and Pittsburgh challenged the play, as Cribbs was dangerously close to stepping out of bounds around the Pittsburgh 15 yard line. The touchdown was upheld, and the Browns were back on top 28-24. Roethlisberger took the Steelers straight down the field, and a 3 yard bullet to Heath Miller put the Steelers back in the lead. The call was challenged, but the touchdown stood. Phil Dawson came out for the tying field goal with 11 seconds left, but from 53 yards out, the kick was just short. 31-28 Steelers

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers–The Packers are good and the Vikings are not. This game was no more complicated than that. The Packers had the ball for 20 minutes in the first half, had triple the yardage, and led in plays from scrimmage 43-17. Yet the only statistic that counts is the score, and the Packers only led 13-0 at the half. A long reception set Green Bay up inside the Minnesota 1 yard line, where naturally Brett Favre through a touchdown pass for a 20-0 lead early in the third quarter. Brett Favre might be the only guy to crate highlights on incomplete passes, but he added another one to his legacy. He tripped over the center, but instead of staying down, he threw an incomplete pass from his knees to avoid the sack. Of course, had it been intercepted and returned for a touchdown, it would have been his other legacy that would have been added to instead. Nevertheless, his acrobatic incompletion set up a routine completion for an ordinary touchdown and a 27-0 Packers massacre. Favre was benched, but apparently it was not due to a poor performance. Green Bay has a backup quarterback, and I guess the coach wanted people to know his name. As for their starter, Favre reached 60,000 yards passing for his career. This was the first time ever the Packers shut out the Vikings. One play had two Minnesota defenders colliding into each other, turning a sure interception into a deflection and a touchdown for the Packers. 34-0 Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans–Hiding behind Indy, both of these teams seem to be quiet. Jacksonville at 5-3 is expected, but Tennessee has been very stealth at getting to 6-2. Jeff Fisher knows defense, and once again, after a couple year layoff due to injuries, Tennessee has the top rushing defense in the NFL. However, the Jaguars have Maurice Jones-Drew and old reliable Fred Taylor. Jacksonville ran it down the throats of the vaunted Titans defense early on for a 14-0 lead. Tennessee cracked the scoreboard with a Rob Bironas field goal on the last play of the half.

Lost in the shuffle of the Tennessee defense is the fact that Jack Del Rio and the Jaguars play a physical defense as well. On 4th ad inches in the third quarter, the Titans did get the ball past the marker. Unfortunately, nobody on the Titans possessed it. The snap was fumbled, and Jacksonville recovered. It led to no points when a fake field goal attempt by Jacksonville fooled nobody. However, a deflected pass led to an interception of Vince Young set up Jacksonville’s third touchdown. Tennessee added a field goal, and then scored their first touchdown on an acrobatic reception by Justin Gage on the first play of the fourth quarter. He caught it between 2 defenders, got nailed, hit the ground, had the ball pp back into the air, and then caught it again laying on his back. The Titans were within striking distance at 21-13. A Grant Jones touchdown with 5 minutes left iced the game for the Jaguars. Future Hall of Famer Fred Taylor passed 10,000 yard rushing for his career. 28-13 Jaguars

St. Louis Rams @ New Orleans Saints–The 0-8 Rams would have been playing an equally awful team 4 weeks ago. However, after an 0-4 start, the Saints rattled off four convincing wins to reach 4-4. The 1992 Chargers started 0-4, got to 4-4, lost their 9th game, and then ran the table to reach 11-5. The Saints looked like the first team to start 0-4 to get to 5-4, unless of course they are not. The Saints opened a 7-0 lead in what was supposed to be a lopsided laugher at home. That’s why they play the games. The Rams pulled out all the stops, including a halfback option pass for a touchdown and a 17-7 Rams lead at the break. The Rams looked like the Greatest Show no Turf with the exception of the 8 previous losses. Nevertheless, the 1976 Buccaneers lost another chance at company when the Rams went up 34-7. The Saints mounted a furious 4th quarter rally, but fell just short. The Rams failed to lose. This was the reverse of their 200 playoff game where the Saints went up 31-7 and barely survived 31-28. This time the Rams failed to blow it, as they got their first win. 37-29 Rams

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens–This was expected to be an ugly game because every game involving the Ravens is an ugly game. Seven field goals hand the Bengals up 21-0. The Ravens had six turnovers, with the Bengals adding two of their own. I watch the games, so you don’t have to. Trust me, on this one, you’re more than welcome. This would have been a tie for the NFL record, but that was broken a couple weeks ago, taking preventing meaning coming out of this game. The Bengals were in field goal range with seconds left in the game, but a very classy Marvin Lewis eschewed a chance to tie history and had Carson Palmer kneel on the ball. 21-7 Bengals

Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals–How the Lions got to 6-2, I have no idea, and neither do any of you. Yet they were playing the Cardinals, which should have meant a win, and a blowout. It did, but in the wrong direction. Kurt Warner far outplayed John Kitna, and a touchdown pass in the third quarter, Warner’s second to Leonard Pope, put the Cardinals up 24-7. The Lions had negative 16 yards rushing…yes, negative 16. The Lions led the turnover battle 5 to 3. 31-21 Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants–The battle for 1st place in the NFC East had Tony Romo throwing a 15 yard touchdown pass to Tony Curtis 4 minutes into the game. Eli Manning came back with a touchdown pass of his own to tie the game 7-7. These teams slugged it out like heavyweight fighters, and with the game tied 17-17, a 25 yard touchdown pass from Romo to Terrell Owens put Dallas in the lead. The Giants quickly retaliated, but critical penalties in the red zone forced Big Blue to settle for a field goal. Romo then went to Owens again, this time on a deep pass for 50 yards and an 11 point lead with 11 minutes remaining. It was Romo’s fourth touchdown toss on the day, to match the four he had in the 45-35 week 1 opener. 31-20 Cowboys

Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders–For more highlights on the Silver and Black, go to

The Raiders apparently wanted to forfeit the game, because they not only continued to have Josh McCown at quarterback, but Coach Lame Kiffin insisted on kicking the ball to Devon Hester.

The Bears went 3 and out on their first position, and the first offensive play for the Raiders was a fake handoff and a 34 yard McCown run. Justin Fargas added a couple runs, and a 38 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski put the Raiders up 3-0. The Bears tied the score at 3-3 before the half, and the game deserves no more elaboration than that. Robbie Gould missed a 53 yard kick for the Bears, and Seabass nailed a 53 yard kickoff with 4 minutes remaining and a 6-3 Raiders lead.

The Raiders are known for a horrid offense, a stellar defense that breaks down due to exhaustion from lack of an ounce of help. Also, both Oakland cornerbacks were out due to injuries this game. With Brian Griese injured during the game, Rex Grossman threw a 59 yard bomb for a touchdown with 3 minutes left to put the Bears up 10-6. Yep, another typical game for the Raiders. The offense again went nowhere, the defense held, and the Raiders got the ball back on their own 25 with 1:49 left and one timeout left.

Oh, who gives a d@mn. McCown needed one play to make a difference. He fumbled, the third lost fumble on the day for the Raiders. The Bears recovered inside the 5, and the Raiders continue to be a worthless excuse of an organization from coaches to the stadium janitors. The final score was the exact same score as a Raiders-Bears game over 20 years ago whenh all the quarterbacks went down and Walter Payton and Marcus Allen were playing quarterback. Those were great teams. This was just the Raiders determined to be more pathetic than their bad opponent. The last time these teams played in 2003, the Raiders were coming off of a trip to the Superbowl. They led 21-3, and lost 24-21, beginning their descent into the disaster of today. Fittingly, this game ended with a Hail Mary interception. 17-6 Bears

Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers was the Sunday night game. Darren Sproles returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown 13 seconds in. The Colts are used to this, and it did not prevent them from winning the Superbowl last year. Yet between that and Sproles also returning a punt 45 yards for a touchdown, it was an ugly beginning for the Colts. Three field goals had the Chargers up 23-0, with Peyton Manning throwing four interceptions in the first half, three of them to Antonio Cromartie. The Colts did manage one interception that bounced off of several players, eventually being caught off of one player’s behind. It was run back for nearly a touchdown, but an inadvertant whistle blew the play dead after the interception itself. The Colts did score a touchdown with three minutes left in the half to cut the gap to 23-7. Out of timeouts, the Colts rushed a field goal attempt on the last play of the half, which Adam Vinatieri missed.

Manning’s nightmarish evening continued, as he threw his fifth interception. Yet San Diego’s big lead masked a team that was doing nothing on offense. When the Colts scored a touchdown and a 2 point conversion, the gap was 23-15 late in the third quarter. 30 seconds into the fourth quarter saw a disastrous play for San Diego. Philip Rivers went back to pass. A steady rain was falling, and the ball slipped out of his hand without him being touched. Rather than fall on the ball, he tried to bat it out of the back of the end zone, but did not hit it far enough. The Colts fell on it for a gift touchdown. Although Joseph Addai was stoned ice cold on the 2 point conversion attempt, the Chargers 23-0 lead was now 23-21. This was turning into the Cowboys-Bills game earlier in the year, but unlike Tony Romo, Manning had almost a whole quarter to work with.

After San Diego’s punter Scifres pinned the Colts at their own one yard line, He went back to pass on 3rd down from his own end zone. A 23 yard bullet to Reggie Wayne kept the drive going. The Chargers wasted a timeout by challenging the call, which clearly appeared to be a sensational catch. On 3rd and 4 from their own 45, Manning completed a pass into double coverage for a 10 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Chargers 47, Manning decided to go for all the marbles. The ball was perfectly thrown, and dropped at the 5 yard line. Defensive pass interference could have been called, but the ball should have been caught anyway. Nevertheless, the drive changed the field position dynamic. The Chargers took over on their own 14 with 7 1/2 minutes left.

Philip Rivers then promptly had a pass deflected and intercepted by Session, his second of the night, at the San Diego 42. With Addai running hard, on 3rd and 8 from the San Diego 25, a pass to Addai went for a first down to the 16 yard line. Addai smartly stayed in bounds, and San Diego burned their 2nd timeout with 2:43 left. On the next play San Diego called their final timeout with 2:36 left. Addai ran to the 9 yard line, where the Colts faced 3rd down and 3 at the 2 minute warning. As automatic as a field goal seemed, the elements were the wild card. Addai picked up the first down, giving the Colts the option of bleeding the clock and kicking a chip shot field goal on the last play, or trying to score a touchdown and risking a fumble, or scoring too early and leaving the Chargers time.

One school of thought would be to take a pair of kneel downs and kick on third down in case of a fumbled snap. All of this became moot when the spot of the ball was overturned, making it 4th and inches. The decision at that point was a no brainer, and Vinatieri came on for a 23 yard field goal. The Colts came out to go for it, which was an obvious attempt to draw the Chargers offsides. The danger of this scenario was a false start, which did occur. Nevertheless, a 28 yard field goal attempt after what seemed like an eternity finally took place. It was no good! It missed by inches, and would have been good had it not been for the false start pushing it back.

With 90 seconds left, the Colts still had two timeouts. Lorenzo Neal ran for 5 yards, and then Ladanian Tomlinson was caught for a two yard loss. On 3rd and 7, the Colts were out of timeouts with 1:18 left. For those who do not understand football, you run the ball. You do not even think about throwing in this situation. The Colts held, the clock dwindled, and the Colts took over at their own 33 with 22 seconds left and no timeouts. The stadium remained packed, wondering what would occur next. On the last play of the game, Mannings desperation pass became his sixth interception, a worst for him and the franchise. The one thing I learned form this game is to not turn the game off until the final gun. The Colts have dropped two straight after a 7-0 start, and the Chargers at 5-4 lead the awful AFC West. 23-21 Chargers

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. Condolences are in order to San Francisco Head Coach Mike Nolan, who just lost his father Dick Nolan. Dick Nolan coached the 49ers from 1968 to 1975, where they battled the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Title Game two years in a row, long before it was seen as one of the premier rivalries in Football history. May God look after the Nolan family.

As for the game, Seattle is just an average team, but San Francisco is a bad team. Seattle is very tough at home, and the first quarter was beyond lopsided. Seattle only led 10-0, but the 49ers showed nothing on offense. The game was shaping up to be a blowout. Seattle’s touchdown drive was 13 plays, and a 14 play drive set up a field goal, which luckily for San Francisco, was nullified by a penalty that pushed Seattle out of range. Things got so bad that after Alex Smith got belted, resulting in a fumble, a penalty flag appeared to save the 49ers. In a bizarre turn, the referee announced, “There is no foul, I threw my flag instead of my beanbag by mistake.” The 49ers had zero first downs in the first half. The only bright spot for the 49ers was that right before the half, for the second time, a field goal by Seattle was nullified by a penalty. Rather than 23-0, Seattle led 17-0 at the break. It should have been 100-0, and the only question would be if Seattle’s inability to close the door would bite them in hide by the end of the game.

It didn’t. A Seattle fumble led to nothing. A Seattle interception had the 49ers down to the Seahawks one yard line, which then led to nothing. A goal line stand led to a punt and a drive by San Francisco to the Seahawk 20, where a 4th and 2 led to…nothing. Seattle had no running game, but ran the ball because they were either bored or Matt Hasselbeck had tennis elbow from constant throwing in the first half. 24-0 Seahawks


I met her!

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I met her!

Who? Who do you think? Yes, her! I met Mary Katharine Ham!


(If Alan Greenspan heard this, he might accuse me of irrational exuberance)

I would do cartwheels but it has been a long, and incredibly happy, day.

On the overwhelmingly positive front, she is just as lovely in person as she comes across on television. She is simply a nice person, and I would describe her as a “cool chick.”

No, I did not propose, or say anything that would cause her to break out mace or pepperspray. We talked for 10 minutes.

Backtracking several hours, I started out in Los Angeles, where I was supposed to take a flight to Vegas that would arrive on Friday at just before 6pm. I noticed that Mary Katharine Ham would be speaking at a conference at 3pm. I asked my boss if I could take an earlier flight. He said yes. So I flew to Vegas early specifically in the hopes I would meet her.

Yet the reason why is not one anybody would suspect. It was not about love, sex, romance, or even friendship, although she seems like she would be a cool friend to have. It was not even about getting an interview with her for my blog, which she happily agreed to do. I wanted to look into her eyes, and find out one thing…whether or not she thinks I am an idiot.

Yep, that was my motive. As I told her, the whole “Jewish guy desiring Ham” thing started out as a tiny joke and turned into an enormous joke, a trilogy of stupidity. I am not ashamed of one word of it, but hopefully in 20 years I will be seen as more serious. I wanted to know if she had heard of my blog, the articles referring to her, and if she liked them.

I am happy…make that relieved…to say that she does not think I am an idiot. She liked the column, and thought it was funny. She clearly got the joke. Some people came up to her and said, “you have to read this,” with wide smiles. Others said to her, “Ummm, Mary, you might want to read this,” which is more ominous. I find her to be a bright young thinker, and wanted to make sure I did not offend her. She was beyond delightful.

Maybe I am guilty of way too much navel gazing, but yes, it does matter what people think up to a certain point. The comedians that lasted the longest, like Johnny Carson, did not insult people. So once I saw she was ok with what I wrote, it was less nerve wracking to talk with her.

She told me that while Michelle Malkin can sometimes be intimidating on television, she is a complete sweetheart in real life. Based on my Ann Coulter meeting, it does not surprise me that once the cameras are off, Ms. Malkin is not flaring her nostrils, but smiling and being pleasant. She said, “Michelle is sweet to everybody, unless you’re a liberal.” I replied that no, I was not a liberal, and that even though I am a nice guy, I am still a scorched Earth conservative.

I told her that I would rather be known as the guy who writes insightful columns about David Petraeus than some guy who craves Ham. I can only reiterate that my 10 minute impression of her was that she was funny, bright, and just a genuinely nice person. I did take my picture with her, but promised not to put it on the internet. I told her that part of that was because I could not understand why anybody puts pictures of themselves online, and I certainly do not. She laughed.

I wished her well, and told her that being that it was Friday night, I had to get to Temple.

I found a lovely Synagogue, and I mention my trip to Temple because when I was there, I was actually thinking about the service. I was not thinking about the stock market, the NFL, the Bloggers Choice Awards, or anything else. I was not even thinking about women, which I have been known to do inbetween prayers. Heck, I was not even thinking about Ms. Ham. I was just focused, and at peace.

I say this because while my columns can be disjointed, such as this one, my life is also that way, happily so. Yet today, my head was where it was supposed to be all day. At no time did my head and my hide swap spots. At work, I thought about work, and the same for meeting Ms. Ham, and then Temple.

Lately I have been musing aloud as to whether I want to be serious, sophomoric, or both. I still have no idea. My friend and I could have gone to the strip club, but despite this being Sin City, we are both homebodies. We hung out. We ended up watching Clerks II, which was a perfect metaphor for my thoughts. One minute the guys are involved in a bestiality scene with a donkey, next minute they are having serious discussions about what to do with their lives.

How can one movie be so filthy and then so insightful? Heck, it is a difficult balance. I know trying to balance serious republican party analyses with sexually charged drivel sprinkled in periodically is a high wire act I have yet to perfect.

All I can do is be me, and with being me, behind the bravado, is a small slice of humility. One thing I said to Ms. Ham proved prophetic. I told her, “My parents do not read my column every day. My Aunt and Uncle read it, and filter it before letting my parents know if they should look at it. When I write about General Petraeus, they love my column. When I write about desiring Ham, they tell me to stop being sophomoric.” Ms. Ham was genuinely amused by this.

She was also amused that I had to tell my parents, “No, I do not have a crush on Bea Arthur or Monique from Showtime at the Apollo. The Ham thing was for fun.” She laughed when I told her that my Rabbi saw the article, took me aside, and said, “we need to talk.”

As for other things she said, I will keep it private, not because it is “secret,” but because it was a pleasant enjoyable experience left off the internet unless she decides otherwise.

When I told my parents I met her, my mom was like, “oh yeah, the luncheon meat girl.” I cringed. My parents said they liked her on Bill O’Reilly’s program, and then my mom suggested I check my email.

I found a less than heartwarming note. My mother is a saint, but even saints can get fed up.

“I’m really bored this evening, so I read your latest blog article. It’s bad enough there were many grammatical errors (I know, you write quickly), but you don’t have to write rubbish.

‘Oh yeah, and a non-Jewish woman whose last name resembles a deli luncheon meat that my Rabbi would not approve of me eating will be there. I will not be an imbecile around her, although on the subject of deli meats, there is another woman I badly want to give the ketchup bottle treatment to when I get back.’

You’ve got to be kidding! How old are you, 12?


Thankfully my dad, the king of blistering critiques, just apparently shook his head and probably questioned how two incredibly normal people produced this bizarre young offspring.

So what happens next regarding the saga of Mary Katharine Ham? Outside of the interview, nothing. My lust life is fabulous, but it will not get me to the next level. It is time to start writing brilliantly again. That means NFL recaps on Sundays, and hard core politics after that.

Oh, and mom and dad, I was perfectly polite, respectful and dignified with Ms. Ham. No, I did not bring up the ketchup bottle treatment. In fact, I did not even think about it in Temple.

I am not even thinking about it now…well…maybe a little bit.

Nah, I am thinking about what many guys think about after meeting a lovely woman like Ms. Ham…what many guys think about in general.

Man, this 7-11 Big Gulp tastes good…Gatorade Cherry Rain…now I need some Doritos or mini-donuts.


Vegas Bound

Friday, November 9th, 2007

The Tygrrrr Express is heading to Sin City. How incredibly appropriate.

“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got…may lord please let the dice stay hot…let me see a 7 with every shot…Viva, Las Vegas.” Thank you very much (ZZ Top version, not Elvis).

There are several events going on at this hour, so I will give them all short shrift rather than cover one of them with quality and depth.

Before getting into any of them, a quick update regarding the 2007 Bloggers Choice Awards is in order, since that is why I am going to Vegas to begin with. BlogWorld Expo ends Friday, and Postiecon is Saturday. As you know, to put it mildly, there has been some “controversy,” surrounding the awards, with your warm fuzzy tygrrrr friend being at the eye of this storm.

I had two conversations by telephone calls Wednesday night with Ted Murphy, each one of them lengthy. He requested that the substance of those conversations not be disclosed until Sunday, and based on the positive nature of the conversations I will honor his request. I can only say that if he keeps his word, and I suspect he will, not only will I be pleased, but my readers will be even more pleased. Besides, if he is not sincere, it will be scorched Earth in Vegas. Again, based on the conversations, I believe giving him the benefit of the doubt will turn out to be the right move.

Now as for other events going on, I will quickly try not to fall asleep while discussing the Bernard Kerik non-issue. For the sake of full disclosure, I am backing Rudy Giuliani for President, and I am jealous that Bernie Kerik got to sleep with Judith Regan and I didn’t.

First of all, the timing of this indictment reeks to high heaven. It is the same timing that has the Bush drunk driving scandal break four days before the 2000 election, preventing a comfortable Bush victory. It is the same timing that has Caspar Weinberger indicted 5 days before the 1992 election, slowing President Bush 41’s momentum and leading to a Clinton landslide. It is the same timing that has the “fake but accurate” memos appear days before the 2004 election. It is the same timing that has the NSA wiretapping non-scandal break the same day Iraqis voted in their 3rd successful election.

It is that same timing that has Rudy Giuliani riding high after a bombshell endorsement by Pat Robertson. I am not saying that the media and other democratic power brokers are lying, cheating, scumbags. Oh wait a minute. I am.

Giuliani will survive this because his fellow republicans, I predict, are too decent to try and use this against him in the primaries. The top four republican contenders are all fine men, and they have been very civil. They have been sparring on issues, but they have not gone after personal matters. One of Giuliani’s trusted lieutenants may have messed up very badly. If the others on the republican side get too heavy handed with this, it could boomerang. In 2004, Gephardt and Screamin’ Dean destroyed each other, and these republicans are smarter than that.

So if Giuliani wins the primary, can’t Hillary (like somebody else will be the democratic nominee…please) use this against him? No way. Giuliani is not Rick Lazio. He is also not George W. Bush, who would rather be gracious and polite than tell people who hate him where to shove it. Giuliani will deck Hillary blow for incredibly low Clintonista blow. You want to talk about Bernie Kerik? He can talk about everybody from Sandy Berger to Kathleen Willey to Terry Lenzner to Susan MacDougal to Norman Hsu to…it would be open season. SOme would argue that Hillary’s lifetime of scandal would be “old news,” but she would have learned nothing from 2004. The only reason the Swiftboat Veterans were so successful against John Kerry was because he brought the issue up to show he was a better man than his opponent. If Hillary opens the door of scandal a crack, Giuliani will take a brickbat to her like she was a squeegee girl. I hope she tries it. Bring it on Hill-Dawg.

The main charge against Kerik is tax evasion. Let’s see what happens when everything from George Soros to Hillary’s various financial scandals are unearthed again. She can swat most of them away, but we only need one. Bernie Kerik and corruption? What say you Hillary? Bernie Kerik lying on his application? Lying? Come on Hillary, the shark tank water is perfect, which just enough blood to cover your hands.

Right now Hillary is holding a focus group to determine how to handle this. Her brawler instincts will not allow her to stay silent, even though she cowers from every issue that does not involve slandering a republican or mistress of her husband.

Rudy may have a bad few days, but nothing will change the narrative of 9/11, where Giuliani and Kerik were spectacular.

In other news, Michael Mukasey was approved as attorney general 53-40. This was no surprise. The democrats had no leverage, since President Bush could have made a recess appointment. The vote is a disgrace for two reasons.

For one, 40 democrats did not care that this man is beyond qualified. What John Roberts is to the Supreme Court, David Petraeus is to Iraq, and Ronald Reagan is to freedom, Judge Mukasey is to law and order. He is that good. Qualifications no longer matter, and when the democrats get into power one day, they will wonder why all their nominees get shot down. The democrats are not honest brokers. They are instead the party of “borkers.” Their hatred for all things conservative is as pernicious as it is corroding to society. Luckily, a few number of democrats did the right thing for their own selfish wrong reasons, as a couple of them freely admitted.

Even more disgusting was the fact that four democrats running for President were too gutless to vote. This way they can claim all things to all people. How can these cowards stand up to terrorist dictators when they cannot even tell the voters what they believe? When the Pelosiraptors open her mouth, she plummets in the polls, and then takes a vow of silence. This is fabulous when one is a leftist ideologue of zero significance. It is cowardly when one is trying to be the leader of the free world.

John McCain also did not vote. I am not happy about this. Heck, Tim Johnson, a democrat from South Dakota, voted. The man almost died a few months ago, and while I vehemently disagree with his vote, I respect his ability to even make it to the Senate floor, something the demagoguic party candidates refused to do. They are lilliputians, and deserve every bit of derision that comes their way, gutless nobodies that they are.

Rosie O’Donnell…oh who cares, she is like Ted Kennedy minus the car and the girth. No wait, just minus the car. Yeah, I went there. I normally eschew cheap shots, but this human cancer is one giant cheap shot, and I will respect her when she starts respecting me. The democrats running for President refuse to have the courage to speak about anything, and this man-bear-pig (South Park reference) refuses to shut up, babbling about everything. She should just go play nose tackle for the Chicago Bears and leave the rest of us alone.

As for O.J. Simpson and Britney Spears…I’m sorry, I refuse to lower the quality of this column any further. To quote the Jim Carrey character in “Liar Liar,” when he has had enough, I want them and the rest of their entertainment industry ilk to “Stop breaking the law, @-hole!”

Lastly, there is a writer’s strike going on in Hollywood, and shockingly enough, I have survived like Gloria Gaynor. This is almost as delightful as a baseball strike. Let these leftists destroy each other. I encourage people to write the President and demand he not intervene. I would write congress, but getting the Pelosiraptor and her fellow dinosaurs to do nothing is not necessary. It is their default option.

On the subject of defaults, the stock market has gotten rocked, oil is doing the triple digit dance, and all of this is a blip on the significance scale. If it were any less significant, it would be most of this column, except for the part of the Bloggers Choice Awards.

There, a complete newscast has come full circle. News, sports, lifestyle, and politics, without having to listen to some lily white male news anchor drone on about how we need diversity except for overrated lily white male news anchors.

As for the Bloggers Choice Awards, based on my positive developments with regards to the 2007 contest, I am entering the 2008 contest. I am not going to be a perpetual campaigner, so even though people can vote for me now for best political blog, I will not solicit them for another 6-8 months.

So for those of you who want to vote for me on an unsolicited basis, all I ask is that you do NOT have more than one person vote on any one computer. Otherwise the votes will be invalidated. The BCA system is based on IP addresses, so if you work in an office, only one vote per office. Married couples must have separate IP addresses, so get divorced and move out to help me. Throw your kids out as well so they learn self reliance, and buy them their own computer to vote for me.

Ok, off to the land of booze and call girls. Just kidding. I don’t drink.

Yep, the republican party and my parents cringe at comments like that.

Oh yeah, and a non-Jewish woman whose last name resembles a deli luncheon meat that my Rabbi would not approve of me eating will be there. I will not be an imbecile around her, although on the subject of deli meats, there is another woman I badly want to give the “ketchup bottle treatment” to when I get back.

Vegas Bay-bee! Bloggers competition and other fun! Let’s get it on!


A Neutron Bomb Political Endorsement

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Political endorsements are normally worthless, but a neutron bomb of a political endorsement came in the form of Pat Robertson coming out in support of Rudy Giuliani.

This caused much controversy, and while I occasionally stop by Michelle Malkin’s blog for a comment or three, I got into a polite but heated discussion today with a social conservative that found this endorsement unacceptable and a betrayal of his conservative principals.

I have redacted the fellow’s name out of politeness, but the debate was so lively it became a column all in itself. I rarely comment on my own blog, preferring to be a moderator that usually steps in behind the scenes, if at all. However, in this case I went from reasoned overseer to guerilla warrior.

“On November 7th, 2007 at 12:50 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Endorsements are usually irrelevant, but this is a neutron bomb.

Giuliani wants terrorists dead at all costs. That sounds pretty pro-life to me. Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Thompson are all fine men, but to me Rudy is the right man.

Robertson did not do this out of altruism. He did it out of pragmatism. He knows that if Rudy wins without him (highly possible), then Robertson risks becoming irrelevant, the same way Bill Clinton marginalized Jesse Jackson compared to his predecessors.

It was a smart move by Robertson, who has seen his influence wane.

If Rudy wins, Robertson can claim it was because of his endorsement.


On November 7th, 2007 at 12:52 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Also, those on the far right that went with a fringe candidate in 1992 got Bill Clinton…80% agreement is not a 20% enemy…Any one of the top 4 candidates is better than Hillary by a country middle America mile.



aka the Tygrrrr Express”

I was not expecting hostility towards lovable me on a politically conservative site. While the majority of people that commented about what I had to say agreed with me, I will focus on those that did not.

“(name redacted) Get your facts straight. The people who left the GOP to vote for Perot were not “the far right”, they were squishy moderates like you. And Giuliani agrees with us on 20%, not 80%.”

A great quote by one person who agreed with me said, “As a California party boss once said, ‘Winning isn’t everything, but losing isn’t anything.’”

Anyway, those that agreed with me spoke in a reasonable manner while those that disagreed frothed in a rabid manner. I tried to use humor and satire, which is often lost on those that are too angry to acknowledge healthy intraparty disagreements.

“On November 7th, 2007 at 1:50 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

1) I obey Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment of not bashing other republicans. Calling me a ‘squishy moderate’ is not only insulting, but it is asinine. Anybody who has read my blog knows my conservative credentials.

2) Some social conservatives are unfairly seen as intolerant bigots. Religion is under assault, and social conservatives should be respected. HOWEVER, some people who happen to be social conservatives ARE intolerant, and they refuse to believe that many people can disagree with them and still be good people. They are the right wing version of liberals, and demand 100% purity.

People who win elections govern. Pat Robertson tried to take the entire table awhile back and lost. Now he wants a place at the table, since that beats getting nothing at all by a lot.

Social conservatives deserve a place at the table, but not the entire table.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

On November 7th, 2007 at 2:14 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Also, those that try to take the entire table often find it is a small table akin to a kiddie table while the large table contains a governing majority without them.

I respect all republicans, be they Christian Coalition, Log Cabin, Wall Street Journal, National Review, or anybody else that wants lower taxes and dead terrorists.

We can disagree about divisive social issues, but we must respect those differences without litmus tests for entry into the party.

We can be tolerant, or we can be liberals. I would rather be tolerant.



The response was as swift as it was incoherent.

“(name redacted) Reagan himself never observed the 11th commandment.

I’ve read your blog, and I’m underwhelmed by your conservative credentals. You seem to be a pro-war liberal. I don’t mean that as an insult. We need pro-war liberals.

In todays Republican party, is there ANY place for them at the table? It seems not.

But you are diverting from the real problem. Rudy Giuliani is not only no social conservative, he is no conservative of any sort. He is essentally a liberal running on the Republican ticket. His stance on the issues and his experience is no different from those of Michael Bloomberg. Would you try to claim that Bloomberg is any sort of conservative?”

For the sake of honesty I did not answer his question. Of course Bloomberg is not a conservative. He left the republican party entirely, and only joined it to begin with to ride Rudy’s coattails into office.

One fellow who disagreed with me was very reasonable.

“(name redacted) So then you should have no problem with Rudy or any Democrat running; all would be fine with dead terrorists. I on the other hand am not happy with dead terrorists, I need something from my candidate that sets him or her apart from the pack. So far I do not see that in any candidate, Republican or Democrat.

I read up on Pat Robertson and I think he blamed Americans for the 9/11 attacks. As a Christian I cannot support him nor Giuliani’s campaign.

Where do we go from here? (

The off the rails fellow did make a reasonable point.

“(name redacted) Great. I respect them also. But wanting dead terrorists and lower taxes does not make one either a Republican or a conservative. Who does not want these things?”

Despite his question that had many people responding about democrats and liberals, I addressed his prioir, less reasonable comments.

“On November 7th, 2007 at 3:13 pm, blacktygrrrr said:

Somebody here just called me a ‘Pro-War Liberal.’

That is the most disgusting thing I have ever been called. First a squishy moderate, now a liberal.

I can handle being called a Nazi, racist, sexist, facist pig, which I am often called by liberals because I am a conservative.

To be called a liberal…Mr. (redacted), have you no decency sir?

As for those who are acting like 5 year olds and threatening to stay home in the hopes the entire party will grovel at your feet, I say “stay home.”

It worked with Pat Buchanan, it will work with James Dobson, and it will work with anybody else that thinks they have the right to force an entire party to agree with them.

Just remember this. If some people advocate staying home, and the republicans win anyway…it will be a very cold few winters for those that stayed home.

Pat Robertson made a very pragmatic political move, and it was to keep himself and his movement relevant.

I need to get the bitter taste out of my mouth at being called a liberal. Off to eat some red meat like the alpha male I am.


eric aka the Tygrrrr Express”

The response came.

“(name redacted) If the Republicans win as a liberal party, who cares? I’m not going to help them, and I’m not remotely concerned to hear that liberals will then blackist me. How is that different from their current behavior?”

Here was a gem of a comment indicting most of the room, who according to this fellow were not conservative enough.

“(name redacted) What if the GOP nominee is a leftist also? I swear, some of you people would vote for Castro if he ran on the Republican ticket.”

Further debate would have been pointless. Plus, I have an actual job, and quick typing notwithstanding, I had work to do.


The bottom line is that there is a difference between having an ideology and being an ideologue. I have an ideology. I am a conservative. I am not an ideologue since I do not subject every single view to a litmus test. People romanticize Reagan, but I am sure if I looked really hard I might disagree with him on something, and I revere the guy.


Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy is a big deal not because millions will follow him, but because it shows that not all evangelicals are obsessed only with the abortion issue. His credentials on other issues such as the War on Terror do matter. His support for Israel appeals to evangelicals, as does his fights against pornography and anti-Christian “art.”

Many people are passionate about the abortion issue, but to assume that they are incapable of analyzing other issues reduces them to cartoon characters. They are people like anybody else, and capable of human thought, and often in a thoughtful manner.


I still believe that Pat Robertson is the right wing version of Jesse Jackson. He desperately wants to remain relevant, and backing a winner early is a smart move.


Comparing Rudy Giuliani to Hillary Clinton is lunacy. They are beyond different.


I am thankful that the fellow that lashed out at me does not represent mainstream republican or even conservative thought. Conservatism comes from Edmund Burke, John Locke, Abraham Lincoln, and Barry Goldwater. None of the first three had zero commentary on issues social conservatives hold dear, and Barry Goldwater would not fit in well with the modern Christian Coalition.


Ronald Reagan is beloved, but the social conservatives fail to understand that they agreed with him, not the other way around. Everyone agreed with him, and various factions of the republican party all wanted that wonderful man to love us as much as we loved him.


Thou shalt speak ill of no other republican. Those that violate Mr. Reagan’s 11th commandment dishonor his memory.


Every republican is invited into the big tent for the party, but nobody is allowed to question my loyalty, commitment, and membership.


I was called a liberal. I feel orally violated, and not in a Clinton-Lewinsky kind of way.


Off to give my eardrums a good scrubbing, and hoping that the dozen people forming a third party all vote themselves off of the island. I deal with enough children on the left, and have no patience for children on the right. We are adults, and had better start acting like it.


I have had my issues with Pat Robertson, but he made a grown up decision. Hillary is a liberal. I am not, and neither are any of the top tier republican presidential candidates. To imply otherwise is…there is not a word to describe it…something so…well…liberal.


Defending the Dog

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

After watching Sean Hannity interview Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, I can only say that I personally am willing to forgive the Dog. The controversy surrounding the Dog’s use of the n-word is not as ebony and ivory as it is made out to be. Before delving into complex racial issues because it’s my blog and I can, we all need to lighten up. No, I did not advocate black people going the Michael Jackson route. It’s an expression.

Is Dog just the fall guy? No, that would be a different bounty hunter played by Lee Majors in the 1980s. I bet you all now have the theme to that show stuck in your head.

“Well I’m not the kind to kiss and tell, but I’ve been seen with Farah…I’ve never been with anything less than a 9…so fine…

I’ve been on fire with Sally Field, gone fast with a girl named Bo…but somehow, they just don’t end up as mine…

It’s a death defying life I lead, I take my chances…I die for a living in the movies and tv… but the hardest thing I ever do is watch my leading ladies…kiss some other guy while I’m bandaging my knee…

I might fall from a tall building, I might roll a brand new car…’cause I’m the unknown stuntman, that made Redford such a star…

I never spent much time in school, but I taught ladies plenty…it’s true I hire my body out for pay…hey hey…

I’ve gotten burned over Cheryl Tiegs, blown up for Raquel Welch…but when I wind up in the hay it’s only hey, hey hey…

I might jump an open drawbridge, or Tarzan from a vine…’cause I’m the unknown stuntman, that makes Eastwood look so fine…

They’ll never make me President, but I’ve got the best First Ladies…some days I’ve got ’em as far as the eye can see, hoo wee…

I’ve born and died with Jackie Smith, I crash in the night with Cheryl…but in the end they never stay with me…

I might fall from a tall building, so Burt Reynold’s don’t get hurt…I might leap a mighty canyon, so he can kiss and flirt…while that smooth talker’s kissing my girl, I’m just kissing dirt…yes I’m the lonely stuntman, that made a lover out of Burt.”

Ok, enough with Colt and any other animals. Back to the Dog.

He used the n-word. This is not a joke, and it is not a laughing matter. It is a disgusting word that sears souls. When a white man directs it towards a black man, it is meant with hatred.

Yet some have argued that a black man can say it to another black man with love. Richard Pryor and Chris Rock used it frequently in their comedy routines. I vehemently disagree with this. Richard Pryor said he would stop, and Chris Rock can be hysterically funny without using it. If a comedian needs the word to be funny, then they are not funny.

So what do we make of Dog? First of all, this is not Michael Richards or Don Imus. They had public platforms, and abused their platforms by publicly attacking people. Dog Chapman had a private phone conversation recorded by his own son, who betrayed him.

Yes, Dog is a victim in this situation. He was absolutely wrong to use the word, but why are more people not condemning the fact that his own flesh and blood betrayed him with the help of a complicit media? How many finger pointers have horrible thoughts in their own private conversations? How many jokes have they told at parties that would be embarrassing if they were recorded? Dog Chapman is being pilloried for thinking bad thoughts.

First of all, why was Dog using the n-word to begin with? According to him, and I believe him, he saw it as brotherly joking with his black friends, who use it with each other. He assumed, completely incorrectly, that because he was so progressive and “down with them,” that he would be seen as black himself.

This is not crazy. Ask a random sample of black men whether Bill Clinton or Clarence Thomas is “blacker,” and most of them would say Clinton. I may think this is insane, since to me race is pigmentation, nothing more, nothing less. Yet many black men who have no problems with colorblindness truly believe that certain characteristics completely irrespective of race can shape a man’s race. This can be damaging because “acting black,” is often seen as behaving like a thug, while “acting white,” means being a successful white collar professional. “Street Cred” becomes more important than decent behavior.

Duane Chapman bought into this misguided myth. He found out the hard way that he is not one of the “homies.” So to all upper middle class white teenagers who try to “act black,” you are a uniting factor in the sense that urban blacks and mainstream whites will both agree that you look like idiots, whether it be the pants hanging low or the baseball cap on backwards.

Some say context is everything. With some words, yes. Snoop Doggy Dogg refers in his songs to women as b*tches and hos. I am actually not offended by this, and have defended him, because he is not attacking specific private individuals. He is attacking generic women that use men for their money and fame. However, Don Imus referred to specific identifiable women as hos. That crossed the line.

As for the n-word, I do not believe that there is an acceptable context. Yet while Dog may be saying it jokingly with his black friends, the context in which he laced into his son’s girlfriend goes way beyond any bounds of decency. He simply should not have called her that. There is no excuse for that.

Having said that, while Dog’s choice of words was reprehensible, his concerns about her were completely well founded. He was worried that she would try to tape record him using the n-word, and then sell it to the media to humiliate him, and make money for herself. That is exactly what ended up happening. For her to go on tv and say that she feels he is a racist, and how dare he think bad things about her, is ludicrous (not to be confused with Ludacris, who says many bad words that do not offend me). She did exactly what he thought she would do. She is contemptible, and so is the Dog’s own son for betraying his father. The only reason anyone knows who this woman is is because she dated the son of a famous man. If Snoop Doggy Dogg had called her a bad name, nobody would bat an eyelash, least of all me.

(On a side note, more proof that Mr. Chapman wants to be black is his adopting a nickname shared with black rappers such as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Nate Dogg and others. Perhaps Mr. Chapman truly believed he was a member of the Dogg Pound. He needs to stop insulting blacks, and start insulting women, especially the ones that are hos)

So what is the solution for the Dog? The answer is contrition. I saw a very contrite man. Some may say he is being contrite to save his job as head of a popular television show, but anyone watching his interview can see a man who is ashamed at what he said. He repeatedly said that he will apologize until the day he dies.

I hope he does not do this. I hope he apologizes for a finite amount of time, and then is allowed to move forward. If he is fired from his show (he is currently suspended), then that is his price. However, he has asked for forgiveness, and I believe he is sincere. He should be forgiven.

Some will say that words are not enough, and that they need to be matched with deeds.

One such deed could be some form of sensitivity training. Dog already has a spiritual adviser who happens to be black, and he clearly now sees why he cannot say the n-word. So if Dog has learned that what he did wrong, what else is there? Sure, he could make a donation to some black charity, but those who despise him will then say he is only doing it to save his reputation. In short, those who want to pillory him will never stop.

One thing Dog should absolutely not do is have repeated meetings with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They are human garbage, as racist and poisonous to society as David Duke. They are true racists, and unlike Dog, they have never apologized for some of their more hateful remarks. I am sure both of them will give full absolution to the Dog once he has made “restitution,” in the form of a generous “donation,” to the Rainbow Coalition or National Action Network.

Sorry, but the National Agitation Network has enough guilty white liberal blood money. If Dog wants to make things better, he should not be spending any time around people who benefit and thrive by making things worse.

Dog should speak to people who are not mired in corruption…people who can still be molded into positive members of society…students. He can go to junior high schools and speak to classes about his experiences, and where he and they should go from here. Think about how boring most school assemblies are. This would not be boring. It would be something most assemblies only dream of being…useful.

The Dog has done some positive things in his life. He arrests criminals who jump bail. The streets are safer because of men like him. As the expression goes, “it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.” When dealing with a violent criminal element, I can see why he would use foul language. However, it is one thing to curse. It is another to denigrate an entire race of people, even unintentionally.

Dog caused people pain. For this, he has to face some form of punishment, and his suspension and humiliation are sufficient. The pain he caused was unintentional. For this, he must be forgiven and brought back into the family of humanity. Human beings who judge him would want nothing less for themselves.


Killing children one public school at a time

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I have never been to Fallujah or been hunted by Nazis, but I did go to public school in New York. I spent many days fearing for my life, and have vowed that when I bring children into the world, I will never despise my own flesh and blood enough to send them to public school.

Somewhere out there are positive contributions to society by today’s public schools. Then again, somewhere out there in San Francisco are republicans. This is what society refers to as aberrations. Public schools have destroyed my religious community, and they will not rest until every child has committed suicide or been murdered. Of course “No child is left behind,” is code for “screw the children, let ’em die.” America is killing our children one public school at a time.

Harsh? Only if one ignores that the greatest evils in society are found in public schools.

My friend works at “Ignite Learning,” but all the software in the world will only work if the people operating the software actually can ignite learning. Give parents the software, and who knows what brilliance could flourish?

As for the evils in public schools, kids do not get hooked on drugs at home. They get drugs at school. Why don’t schools simply ban drug dealers from being on school grounds? For the same reason we can’t simply ban terrorists from blowing up buildings. Bad people do not listen, even if you ask really nicely and say pretty please. The solution to drug dealers is to treat them like the terrorists they are and just kill them.

Unfortunately, students and criminals (often redundant) are the only people allowed to have guns in school. Technically they are not allowed, but laws without enforcement are meaningless. So unarmed teachers are held hostage by students with violent tendencies.

My parents were teachers for 30 years in inner city neighborhoods. My father even won a teacher of the year award. To show their appreciation, one student pulled a knife on my father. My dad disarmed the kid, kept him at bay, and made sure he did not kill anyone. As a reward, my dad was brought in to be questioned by school authorities due to concern that the boy with the knife may have been hurt. If my dad had a gun, he could have immediately had the kid get on the ground, and waited for the police to arrive. Even better would have been if the kid would have continued with the knife, at which point my dad could have shot him in self defense and spared the world a future adult criminal. Harsh? Tell that to the people with fathers unlucky enough to defend themselves as ably as my dad. They are in the morgue.

In addition to drugs and guns, schools are integrated. This a tragedy. They should be segregated immediately. No, not by race…by intellect. Let’s not be politically correct. Forcing the smart kids to go to school with dumb kids does nothing but torture the smart kids. When I say “dumb,” I am not referring to kids with legitimate learning disabilities. I am referring to students that simply go to school for the purpose of not learning. The dumb kids should just be put in a steel cage. When Michael Vick engaged in dogfighting, he received a prison sentence. Had he used dumb kids instead of dogs, many people would be recommending he run for President. My father told me that when I got to college I would be around kids as bright as me, if not brighter. I remarked that first I had to live long enough to get to college.

If drugs and guns do not get the students, then the child molesters known as teachers can finish them off. How do these people get hired? Do applications for teachers require anything besides a commitment to atheism and a love for all things recyclable? No, not all teachers are child molesters. My parents were not. However, the inability of schools to weed these people out in a timely manner is a disgrace.

Assuming the kids do not get shot, stabbed, drugged out, or raped, there is always the torture to be received at the hands of bullies. Folks, getting a “tittie-twister” or a “wet willie” will not kill children. However, getting beaten to a bloody pulp will. In addition, most school principals are qualified to be either gutter rats or State Department employees. At this point I should apologize to the gutter rats. Principals see everything in terms of moral equivalence. I can picture a fistfight between a Palestinian homicide bomber and a Jewish student trying to defend himself. He succeeds in taking away the bomb, and then both students are suspended for fighting. In public schools, on the rare occasions a student being attacked actually fights back, both the defender and the bully are suspended. Children are actually taught that if they are abused by a bully, they should inform a teacher or principal. Has this ever worked? Does anyone understand why students have no faith that the system can protect them? Public schools are prisons, and the way to survive is for the potential victims to get in good with the toughs, at any price.

Assuming the children live through the day, their brains are turned to mush by the curriculum. As vital as it is to learn whether or not “Heather has two mommies,” perhaps more time should be spent on multiplication tables. Some would say we can do both, but this is just not happening. American children rank near the bottom of most categories. Schools experiment with nonsense such as “Outcome-Based Education,” “Ebonics,” and “Self-esteem” sessions. God forbid…oh wait, we cannot say that in schools, even though we forbid God…we actually stop the liberal activism and just stick with English (a language similar to Spanish except that it isn’t), spelling and mathematics.

There have been good teachers, and they were punished for being good. James Escalante is the legend that the movie “Stand and Deliver” was based on. He was criticized for teaching advanced calculus to inner city junior high school Hispanic kids. Guess what? He taught it anyway, and they learned it. They ended up smarter than those around them. Joe Clark, lionized in the Morgan Freeman movie “Lean on Me,” brought a baseball bat to school. He turned East Side High in New Jersey around. He was fired because the powers that be were more concerned about lawsuits from parents of children that were bustouts from the day they entered the world.

Good teachers are also punished by being given the worst students, because they can handle them. Bad teachers, who cannot be fired short of publicly financing Al Queda (and even then the unions would argue that union dues protect teachers for this exact reason), get rewarded with the best students, who they then drive into the ground.

Even good teachers are handicapped because they have no say over the curriculum. Creativity is not to be tolerated, and lesson plans must conform to the statist mommy and daddy state that run the system. Some kids actually start out by wanting to learn more, but the system will not allow for this.

So what is the solution to the problem of the public schools? The answer is to give up. Get the Federal Government out of the education business. The system is a colossal failure, and like a condemned building in the Bronx, needs to be imploded.

Forcing students to go to school prolongs the inevitable. Rather than having bullies stealing lunch boxes, by letting them come and go as they please, perhaps they will try and steal a lunch box from an adult on the street, and face the consequences. Some will say this is just a way of letting people die. No, it is forcing parents to know where their children are, and let them discipline their own children as necessary. Schools should not be a place for parents to drop their problems off. As for parents who abuse their kids, that should not be the problem of the other kids.

One solution is religious schools. Parochial schools simply produce better results on every level. Yes, they have problems, but those problems are the exception, not the rule. Atheists may complain (what a surprise) that this is discriminatory. No, discriminatory is forcing God fearing students to go to public schools. In the same way “White flight” from neighborhoods is not racism, religious students fleeing public schools is not bigotry. If atheists believe that God has no place in public schools, give them the d@mn public schools. Just do not force the religious students to be stuck learning atheism. Atheists may claim that this “separate but equal” approach is biased because religious students will get a better education. If anything, that proves the very point of how awful public schools are!

Another solution is home schooling. In today’s world of internet commerce, more and more people are working from their home. Conferences can be done without air travel. People conduct deals in their pajamas. Yes, the results from home schooling are solid. Some would say that home schooling deprives students from the “school experience,” as if guns, drugs and beatings build character.

How many Kip Kinkel’s or Columbines need to occur before people realize that every aspect of public education is broken? No, I am not blaming society for what these deranged, and yes evil, kids did. I am saying that there was no way to protect the other students who went to school assuming they would learn, and live.

Without revealing too much, I pretended to “snap” in 12th grade. I pulled a Hamlet and pretended to be crazy. I had had enough, and was again, not sure I would live to see college. I had it easy compared to kids today, and thankfully I was never overweight or speech-impaired. Those kids get treated in a manner that would make the ACLU shut up about waterboarding. Come to think of it, it would be nice if the ACLU spent less time defending terrorists and more time saving young kids from the education system.

Anyway, after getting suspended for fighting (I can identify with the dogs Michael Vick had, I was that glazed and crazed), I still had to take my classes. The teachers came to my home. They were in shock. They were expecting a thug. I mean, how often does an honors student get suspended? They found a bright young kid eager to learn. My dad cooked up steaks for the professors and me, and I devoured the material. I learned about “The Iliad,” which is still my favorite book to this day. I got to stay up late and discovered the joy of David Letterman, who I still watch 17 years later. I even did my homework, which I never did in school.

My closest friends stuck by me, and tried to convince the principal to reinstate me. I am still friends with those guys today. The only problem was I did not want to go back. Nevertheless, when I returned, nobody messed with me anymore. Some kids even said, “that guy’s crazy, just leave him alone. He might kill you.” Is this what it takes for a powerless person to get power? Why should it get to that point? Can’t principals or teachers do something?

No. They can’t. I did what I had to do to survive.

My father once apologized for my experience. He told me that if he had known how awful my school days were, he would have home schooled me. I do not blame my parents. They honestly did not know. Why did I not tell them? I don’t know. Some blame parents for missing signs, but I was secretive. There was no way they could have known. My friends knew, and we were all in it together. Our friendship got us through the tough times.

My desire to eliminate the public schools is not based on vengeance. It is based on saving the lives of future children from a personal hell that dwarfs anything I had to deal with.

Politicians cannot fix the problem. Prosecutors that stare down the mob fear teachers’ unions. Union dues are used for political purposes, which is code for enacting a left wing curriculum that is politically correct but academically inept. Corrupt union thugs allow bad teachers to have lifetime job security, while principals claim the wonders of diversity and multiculturalism as the screams of students begging not to die go unheard. In a cruel irony, military recruiters are banned from many schools. I can see why schools would not want to have soldiers on campus giving students a chance to learn how to defend America and themselves. I mean, who wants to have a kid end up in a war zone in Iraq when they can be perfectly safe in a war zone in a New York school. At least in Iraq the soldiers are attempting to improve the quality of life. Oh yeah, and the attempts are more successful.

Shut down all public schools. We have lost. Liberals are willing to surrender in Iraq and give up on the war on drugs. The one thing worth giving up, they keep fighting for. Why?

I refuse to believe liberals wake up and plot ways to destroy children. I just cannot fathom that they actually could feel this way. Assuming they don’t, they need to accept that the destruction is occurring, and it must be stopped. The Constitution gives us life and liberty. Forget the pursuit of happiness, let’s start with life and liberty.

Waiting for liberals to understand this is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time and annoys the pig. Conservative republicans need to do their part, especially those that claim to be pro-life. Save lives, remove your kids from public schools, and reduce the population in these kiddie jails by half. That way the children of conservatives will grow up to be smarter, happier, God fearing…heck, they will be alive.

I pray for decent students everywhere. I hear your cries for help. Unlike the people running the public education system, I actually understand, and care.


Are the Greeniacs Wrong?

Monday, November 5th, 2007

One of my main criticisms of liberalism is that it demonizes anybody that dares to disagree with the conclusions that liberals theorize. Either one is a liberal, or they are an imbecile, evil, or in rare cases such as George W. Bush, both. Feelings trump facts, emotions trump evidence, and loud screaming displaces logical reasoning.

When Timothy McVeigh committed the Oklahoma City bombings, Senator Dianne Feinstein claimed that we needed more gun control, even though guns had nothing to do with this atrocity.

When Bill Clinton received illegal campaign contributions from Asian donors who skipped town (a pattern his wife is now repeating), the left claimed that we needed more campaign finance reform.

What the left either willingly or inadvertantly refuses to concede is that more solutions in the form of laws do not work if the underlying premise for enacting the laws is flawed.

Unfortunately, the pattern is continuing on the left today in the form of the environmental movement. Senator Barbara Boxer is blaming global warming for causing everything from the San Diego wildfires to  a supposed decline in polar bears.

I am not an expert on environmental matters. I freely admit my knowledge base on the subject is paper thin, with apologies to those who hate paper because it comes from dead trees. What bothers me is that when I question aspects of those who consider themselves environmentalists, I am treated as a dunce. If I am so wrong, why get angry with me? Why not answer my questions in a sincere manner? Why not allow debate from those who know more than me and disagree with the conclusions of some environmentalists?

Like many republicans, I am not anti-environment. I am just not willing to destroy all human and animal life to save the environment. Trees matter, but so do people. It is nto that the right hates nature. It is that the left is so hades bent on saving nature that they often disregard any human consequences.

Simply put, the Greeniacs do not allow for debate. The issue is open and shut, especially on global warming. The problem is, it is not. Stifling debate is not the same as consensus. Shouting people down or insulting them is not the same as being right.

In the spirit of Socrates, I have several questions.

First of all, does global warming exist? I have no idea. I am not a scientist. Some scientists say yes, and some say no. Some say that the scientists saying no are not “serious” scientists. The question is then, who gets to decide what makes some scientists more serious than others? Are the ones saying that global warming does not exist all quacks? Do they not have college diplomas, much less advanced studying of this subject? I am not educated enough on this issue to be definitive, but I am educated enough to know that trying to invalidate those that disagree with others is a sign of a lack of confidence in one’s own argument. I suspect reasonable and educated people dispute this issue. It is not beyond dispute at all, far from it.

Even if global warming exists, which I cannot concede, what causes it, man or nature? Again, I have no idea. What I do know is that those on the left insist that humans are killing the planet, and those who question this are relegated to the back of the little yellow bus reserved for “special” children. Can a 14 year old girl spraying mousse in her hair really be raping the planet? Isn’t that a little extreme?

In the 1970s it was global cooling. We were headed towards an ice age. The Greeniacs maintain that the technology we have now allows us to be more accurate. I can accept that on many subjects, we know more now than we do then. That is reasonable. However, absolute truth does not exist with regards to this question. Maybe nothing any human being is doing is causing this problem. Plenty of things that harm this planet on some level are completely not preventable. Earthquakes are not caused by human beings. As of now, there is nothing any living person can do to prevent an Earthquake. Yes, we can take actions to minimize the damage, but the Earthquake itself cannot be stopped. What if global warming fits into this category? Is a person an uneducated baboon for even pondering this as a reasonable question? I would say that this is not the case.

The third question exists if and only if the answers to the first two disputed questions are accepted with a ringing affirmative declaration. Can human beings do anything to stop global warming? The third question actually contains a fourth question…should we care?

Now this line of thinking makes liberals go apoplectic. How can we not care? What kind of horrible people do not care about global warming? How can we not do something? We have to do something. We cannot just sit idly by and do nothing.

Actually, yes we can. Possibly, and I stress possibly, yes we should.

Liberals love to take swift action on many issues because it feels good to say that one are “doing things.” On many issues, reasonable people believe that doing nothing is a perfect solution. On economics, many respected economists believe governments should do absolutely nothing, and let the economy do what needs to be done. Keynesians believe in activist intervention, with higher taxes. Supply Siders such as myself favor lower taxes. Yet some economists favor just taking a nap and leaving everything alone. These economists are not imbeciles.

Some people believe in doing nothing with various global conflicts. We are doing nothing with regards to conflicts between India and Pakistan. In fact, America made things worse when an ancient San Francisco dinosaur known as the Pelosiraptor decided to inject herself into a conflict between Turk and Armenians. Rather than minding our own business with regards to a conflict that…like global warming…may have occurred (there is much argument on this subject) almost a century ago, we chose to “do something,” and exacerbated conflict in the Turkish region of the world.

Although liberals are often hostile towards business, decisions need to be made in a cold, businesslike fashion, removing human emotion as a calculation component. If we decide that global warming exists and is caused by humans, can combatting it be done without humanity paying too high a price? Destroying the global economy is too high a price. Since America is the leader of that economy, destroying America is tantamount to destroying the world. That may not lways be the case, but it is now. Enacting the Kyoto Treaty, and other treaties where China and India are exempt, forces America to unilaterally destroy itself financially. It seems that liberals love unilateral action except when it is positive for America, such as removing bloodthirsty tyrants like Saddam Hussein.

Should Americans recklessly try to destroy the environment? Of course not. No rational person favors ruining the Earth. However, liberals actually characterize conservatives as people who enjoy raping the environment, which is almost as insulting to conservatives as it is to rape victims. I wonder why liberal feminists never condemn this language.

What I do know is that Hollywood celebrities that spout off are not any more informed than I am. If the scientists do not agree, anybody can line up behind any scientist. Al Gore may turn out to be right. For those who have just had their jaws drop, I am not saying he is right. I am saying he very well one day could be. However, his winning an Academy Award contributes nothing to the debate. The Academy are not scientists. They are artists. His winning a Nobel Peace Prize is even less relevant. It was not a science award.

I have often said that those giving out Oscars and Nobels are simply liberals rewarding liberals. It would be like me giving an award to somebody for reinforcing my opinions. These awards are given by people who do not even try to hide their ideological biases. Science is only effective if it is unbiased. Otherwise it is tainted. It is one thing to show bias in terms of who to give a film award to, regardless of quality or facts. It is another to let medical or scientific studies be flawed. That is how people die, and drug companies spend millions on studies, with true “double blind” studies having the most credibility. Science can produce clear unambiguous results, but while the results do not need to be neutral, the methods used to get to the conclusions must be neutral.

Neutrality is only valid if it is honest neutrality, which brings us to the concept of being carbon neutral, in the form of carbon “offsets.” The way it works is this. Al Gore flies around on private jets. This is supposedly bad for the environment. He is a “Lear Jet Liberal.” To avoid this label, he pays other people to be more environmentally friendly in their own lives, therefore negating, or offsetting, his negative contribution.

This is ludicrous. If I pay 10 people to not kill anybody, can I go then kill 10 people and claim neutrality? Of course not. How can killing the Earth, if that is what people are doing, be any better? Some would argue that Al Gore’s message is so important, and his stature so high, that he needs to break the rules to educate people on how to obey them. How is that leading by example? It isn’t. It is hypocrisy. Gore could be environmentally positive by encouraging others to obey the rules and obeying them himself. Of course, this assumes that the problem exists, people caused it, and we could and should attack it.

What separates normal people from crusaders/zealots/activists is the idea that disagreement is heresy. I do not condemn people for being vegans. If they believe it is healthier, more power to them. All I ask is that they not yell “meat is murder,” when I am trying to eat a burger.

Many conservatives do not hate liberals. We just want them to shut up and sit down. We want them to leave us alone and let us live our lives. Most importantly, we want the right to engage in legitimate socratic debate without being pilloried.

At no time in this column have I definitely stated that the Greeniacs are wrong. They could be. I am simply openminded.

Being closeminded is sometimes acceptable. Questioning that 2 + 2 = 4 is beyond debate. Questioning that terrorists crashed into the Towers on 9/11 is fact. The sun does rise in the East and set in the West. There have been tests, retests, and finally accepted conclusions. It is permissible, and logical, to be closeminded on issues that truly are beyond dispute.

Global warming and other environmental issues could be in that category one day. Not to frighten the liberals, but the conclusions could be the opposite of what they now suspect, in the same way that they were wrong about global cooling. Technology is constantly evolving, and who knows what is beyond the horizon?

The world has a finite amount of some resources, including money. It is one thing to spend money to wage a war against an enemy that wants to destroy the world. Preserving all of humanity from Armageddon is a reasonable expenditure. Reasonable minds can disagree on the approach, but not whether preserving civilization matters. Yet spending enough money to cripple the global economy through treaties and other anti-business methods for a possible situation is what separates rational people from screaming Deaniacs…in this case Greeniacs.

Intelligence involves developing an argument so strong it cannot refuted. The null hypothesis is rejected, and the alternative hypothesis reigns supreme. Rather than declare the debate over, the left should have the courage of their convictions (shouting and screaming is not courage) to be willing to test those convictions. No scientist wants to find their life’s beliefs invalidated, but that is the price to pay for having more accurate scientific results. The science has to supersede the scientists. This is anathema to liberals, because liberalism is about the people, not the ideas. Right versus wrong is meaningless, because the ideological agenda is what matters, not the consequences.

Liberals need to unclench their teeth long enough to have spirited but honest debate.

The truth, with a very small “t,” is that the Greeniacs, like most liberals, do not want to accept the real truth…that their theories…everything that they believe in…could…very…well…mean…that…the…Greeniacs…could…possibly…be…wrong.


NFL 2007–Week 9 Recap

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Before getting to the Week 9 NFL Recap, I am sad to announce that after some brief glory in my coed touch football league, my performance yesterday was not up to my standards, which are admittedly low. I did catch a couple passes, but after putting on a gorgeous move on a deep pattern, I dropped a perfectly thrown bomb that would have been a touchdown. Also, on a short pattern, the ball bounced before getting to me, but that one was not on me.

Nevertheless, those missed opportunities proved key. My team fell behind 33-0, and a furious rally fell short 39-21. On more than one occasion we got in goal line situations and fell short. As crushed as I am by the loss, I did not let it affect the many games today that I did not play in. Below is the recap.

Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–A badly thrown Jeff Garcia pass into double coverage was somehow stolen from the land of interceptions by Joey Galloway, whose gorgeous touchdown reception had the Buccaneers up 10-3 at the half. The second half was equally uneventful, as a Buccaneers touchdown was enough to hold on. Arizona added a touchdown as well. Buc Ball lives, and those who believe there are no ugly wins loved this beauty. The Bucs had a 19 play, 12 minute drive into the 4th quarter that produced a missed field goal. This game could not end fast enough. 17-10 Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers @ Tennessee Titans–Vince Young ran for one touchdown, Rob Bironas added a couple field goals, and the Tennessee defense throttled te Carolina offense, putting The Titans up 13-0 at the half. The Titans clamped down in the second half for a solid win. 20-7 Titans

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills–This game meant something in 1981 and 1988. With J.P. Losman returning and replacing the promising Trent Edwards, the game was low scoring in the first half. Particularly frustrating for Bills fans was a first and goal at the one yard line becoming a four yard loss followed by a field goal. This put the Bills up 10-7, a lead they held for about 15 seconds. Glenn Holt returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to give the Bengals a 14-10 lead. Buffalo again got down to the goal line as the first half was expiring, and again they had to settle for a field goal and a one point halftime deficit. Cincinnati added another touchdown, but all Buffalo did was kick field goals, as the Bengals led 21-19 early in the fourth quarter. A halfback option pass by Marshawn Lynch fooled the Bengals, as the 15 yard touchdown pass put Buffalo up 26-21 with six minutes left. Marshawn Lynch iced the game by breaking through three pathetic attempts at tackling to turn a stuffed play into a 60 yard run. 33-21 Bills

Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions–The first half had reliable Jason Hanson kicking three field goals and Jon Kitna throwing a touchdown pass to an adorable critter named Mike Furrey. Detroit scored on their first four possessions. Of concern to Denver was Jay Cutler being injured after taking an accidental blow to his leg. Already down 16-0 in the third quarter, backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey was sacked near his own goal line. He fumbled, and Dwayne White staggered two yards for a touchdown and a 23-0 Lion lead. To compound the misery, Matt Lepsis was injured on the play. The Broncos did managed to get to the Detroit four yard line, but a fourth and goal at the four went nowhere, and Denver turned it over on downs.

While it is way too early to proclaim the Lions a good team, even at 6-2, this is not your father’s pathetic Lions team. Rod Marinelli has the defense playing solid, and Mike Martz is an offensive wizard. Martz’z “go for thr throat” mentality was on display in this game. After the goal line stand, two deep passes covered 96 yards and a 30-0 Detroit lead. Denver did manage to score, but fell short. There should be big concerns in Denver given that this the second time this year they have blown out. 44-7 Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints–The last time these teams played four years ago, it was one of the most exciting finishes in NFL history. Down 20-13, with one play left, the Saints did the Cal-Stanford impersonation minus the marching band. Several laterals later the Saints were in the end zone in front of a shocked Jacksonville crowd. As the teams prepared for overtime, an even bigger shocker prevented that when John Carney missed the extra point. There was no pressure, he just pushed it wide, and the Jaguars won a thriller 20-19. This game may not have been as legendary, but it was exciting.

Points came often in the first quarter of this game. On the last play of the first quarter Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass to Reggie Bush for a 17-10 Saints lead. The first play of the second quarter had Maurice Jones-Drew return the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and a 17-17 tie. Drew Brees had nearly 350 yards passing in the first half alone, with the Saints up 24-17 at the intermission. Brees continud to fire away in the second half as the Saints broke the game open. Brees finished 35 of 49 for 445 yards and 3 touchdown passes. After an 0-4 start, the Saints are 4-4 at the break. 41-24 Saints

San Diego Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings–The first 29 minutes and 55 seconds were not worth covering, as the teams were tied 7-7. The last play of the first half was a field goal attempt by Minnesota. It was just short, and all Antonio Cromartie did was return it 109 yards for a touchdown. He was inches from the back of the end zone, making it almost 110 yards. A disgusted home crowd booed the Vikings as they slinked to the locker room down 14-7. Dan Dierdorf, not normally one for commentary that adds anything positive to a football game, had a great line. He said, “You could fry an egg on Brad Childress’s head.” Many teams would fold after that, but many teams do not have Adrian Peterson, who broke off a 64 yard run for a touchdown and a 14-14 tie early in the third quarter. San Diego then fumbled deep in their own territory, but Minnesota returned the favor by fumbling it right back near the goal line. On 3rd and 11 from their own 5 yard line, Philip Rivers went back to pass from his own end zone. He did not pick up the first down yardage wise, but a 15 yard face mask penalty kept the drive alive. It led to nothing. A touchdown pass by Brooks Bollinger to Sidney Rice went for 40 yards and put Minnesota up 21-14 after three quarters. One minute into the fourth quarter, San Diego kicked a field goal to cut the gap to four points. Minnesota then drove deep into San Diego territory before fumbling the ball away again. Adrian Peterson then broke off a 50 yard run to put the game out of reach with eight minutes remaining. Philip Rivers threw an interception on the ensuing possession to snuff out any hopes. With Adrian Peterson on the bench and 2 yards shy of the single game rushing record held by Jamal Lewis, he was brought back in the game, ran for three yards, and finished with 296 rushing yards on the day. 35-17 Vikings

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs–A pair of field goals put Green Bay up 6-0, and Brett Favre continued to add to one of his records. Unfortunately, it was his interceptions records, as he threw two in the first half. With seconds left in the first half, a defensive pass interference penalty allowed Kansas City to score a one yard touchdown run for a 7-6 lead at the break. The third quarter made the first half look exciting, with the action consisting of a missed Green Bay field goal with three minutes left in the quarter. In the fourth quarter the offenses heated up. Granted that did not say much, but it did get very interesting. AFter Green Bay took a 13-7 lead, only to have Larry Johnson break off a 37 yard run for his second touchdown of the day. Green Bay’s third field goal put the Packers up by a deuce. Kansas City scored a touchdown and a two point conversion to take a six point lead with five minutes remaining. Brett Favre needed several seconds to lead a one play drive. His second touchdown pass of the day put the Packers back on top. The Packers added a field goal to lead by four with two minutes remaining. Damon Huard threw a touchdown pass to Charles Woodson with one remaining, but unfortunately for the Chiefs, Woodson plays defense for the Packers. The Cheeseheads are 7-1, and this Favre guy is still pretty good, adding another 360 yards to his passing total. 33-22 Packers

Washington Redskins @ New York Jets–Leon Washington returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and Kelly Clemes threw a touchdown pass as Chad Pennington sat on the bench due to a demotion. The Jets entered the game at 1-7, and Pennington took the fall. The Jets led 17-9 at the half, but in a season where neither team has tried to win much, the Jets tried less, as the Redskins went up 20-17. The Jets tied the game with 10 seconds left, making it fitting that a game nobody wanted to watch went into overtime. The Redskins won on a field goal, the Jets fell to 1-8, and somewhere a tree fell in the forest. 23-20 Redskins, OT

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons–This game meant a lot in 1998, as the Dirty Birds defeated the 49ers 20-18 in Steve Young’s last playoff game. A decade later, there was less at stake, although the Falcons had twice as many rushing touchdowns in the first half for a 14-7 lead. The rest of the game was field goals, as Atlanta held on. 20-16 Falcons

Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns–The “other” late game started with an exchange of touchdowns, with the difference being Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson missing an extra point. After Seattle added another touchdown, the game began to get one sided when Natue Burleson had a 94 yard return for a touchdown and a 21-6 Seahawks lead. Cleveland added a third field goal before the half. While Jamal Lewis did have his rushing single game touchdown record broken on this day, he ran for three touchdowns, with the third one cutting a 24-9 deficit to 24-22. The missed extra point loomed large as the 2 point conversion attempt failed. A field goal put Seattle up by 5, but with 2:17 left a touchdown pass and successful 2 point conversion put the Browns up by 3 points. The Seahawks drove to the Cleveland 5 yard line, where Kris Brown barely made a 22 yard kick to tie the game at 30-30 at the end of regulation. A Hasselbeck scramble on 3rd and 7 barely made the first down, but on further review was short, setting up 4th and inches. The Cleveland defense stoned Seattle up the middle, and the ball was turned over on downs. Mike Holmgren was an angry Walrus, and Romeo Crennel was a happy Walrus. A black man can be a Walrus, it is weight and mustache based, not race based. The spot was reviewed, unchanged, and Holmgren continued to take the lord’s name in vain. His disgust magnified as the Seattle collapse became complete when Phil Dawson atoned for his missed extra point by nailing a 24 yard field goal for the win. 33-30 Browns, OT

New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts–Super Bowl 41 1/2. Marvin Harrison was out, as was the Colts left tackle. No excuses. This is a man’s game. Joseph Addai broke off a long gain on Indy’s first drive, but Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal, after a controversial noncall of defensive pass interference. The Patriots started out with Tom Brady getting sacked for a 10 yard loss, followed by a punt. The game was officially too boring to watch. Just kidding. On Indy’s second drive Joseph Addai continued to break off large gains on the ground, but a short pass on 3rd and goal was ruled incomplete after initially being seen as a touchdown. Vinatieri was good on his second attempt, and the Colts led 3-0. It was set up by a defensive pass interference call. For some reason, the Patriots did not panic. Tom Brady came back and through a short fade route to Randy Moss, who simply outjumped the defender for a 7-3 New England lead.

Another defensive pass interference call on New England, this time on Ellis Hobbs guarding Reggie Wayne, set up the Colts again. Again, they had to settle for a field goal. It was clear the Colts wanted to grind it out rather than engage in a shootout, and for the most part their long drives kept the Patriots offense off the field. However, their inability to execute in the red zone had them trailing by a point. New England moved the ball well, but at the 2 minute warning from the Indy 23, a leg whip penalty pushed New England back 15 yards. Brady went for the bomb to Randy Moss, usually an automatic otuchdown. However, Antoine Bethea intercepted the ball at the one yard line. The Patriots defense had been stout all half, yet suffered a shocking breakdown just before halftime, as Joseph Addai took a short swing pass, faked out several usually disciplined New England defenders, and raced for a 73 yard touchdown and a 13-7 Colts lead at the break.

Despite the low scoring the two teams combined for only one punt in the first half. The rest was either turnovers or time consuming drives. On the Patriots first drive of the second half, they went three and out after a running play was blown up in the backfield and a third and short pass was beautifully broken up. Peyton Manning then had a pass intercepted by Rodney Harrison, but Robert Mathis then had his second sack of Tom Brady, again for a 10 yard loss. Yet upon gaining possession again, tis time the Colts running game ran backwards, and New England got the ball deep in their own territory after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the punt return.

From his own 8 yard line, Tom Brady threw a high pass to Randy Moss, who made a leaping one handed catch for a 17 yard gain. It is tough to defend against Meadowlark Lemon. On 3rd and 7, Tom Brady scrambled for 19 yards, with 5 yards tacked on for defensive holding. Another long pass to Randy Moss was knocked way. On 3rd and one from the 15 yard line, the Pats ran off tackle, and Bob Sanders blew up the play in the backfield for a two yard loss. A 34 yard field goal cut the Colts lead to 13-10. Manning threw a beutiful deep ball to Reggie Wayne, who dropped it. New England returned the punt to their own 45 yard line. Tom Brady then became the victim of a leaping, juggling, and bobbling interception by Brackett.

Manning faced a 3rd and 15 on the next series, and threw a gorgeous sideline strike into coverage for a first down. So many Patriots-Colts wars had drama at the one yard line, and htis game was no exception. With 10 minutes left, Manning plunged over himself on a quarterback sneak and a 20-10 lead. It was the longest run of Manning’s career. No, not really.

Unfortunately for Indy, Randy Moss exists. A bomb from Brady to Moss into double coverage was caught inside the 5 yard line. However, on the next play, Moss was flagged for offensive pass interference. At that point the Patriots had 141 penalty yards, a franchise record. On 3rd and goal from the 5, a confused Colts defense called a timeout. It did not matter, as a quick strike to Wesley Welker cut the gap to 20-17 with 8 minutes left. The Colts next drive stalled, and a good punt return by Welker had the Patriots a yard short of midfield with 4 minutes left. The game had lived up to its billing. A bomb to Dante Stallworth went for 33 yards, and one play later a pass to Kevin Faulk went for a touchdown and a 24-20 Patriots lead with 3:15 left. The drive lasted 43 seconds.

the Colts started from their own 24 yard line, and after an incomplete pass, the Patriots inexplicably called their first timeout. A pass from Manning to Wayne got the ball to the Indy 48. On 3rd and 9, about to be sacked, Manning fumbled, and Roosevelt Colvin plucked it out of the air with 2:25 left. Brady, on 3rd and 6, completed a sideline pass for a first down, and then kneeled on the ball three times to run out the clock. Manning did not get another chance, and the AFC Title Game, barring any surprises, will be in New England. The Patriots now will have their 4th Super Bowl title in 7 years. Who will stop them? Not the Colts.
24-20 Patriots

With Superbowl 41 1/2 in the books, fans of both teams will be salivating for the rematch in Late January.

Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders–The game of the day may have been the last chance this year for the Raiders to get another win. Somehow the Silver and Black, despite coming off a 2-14 season, drew a rock hard schedule, especially the second half of the year. For more coverage,

The Raiders started Josh McCown instead of Daunte Culpepper, indicating they wished to surrender the game. After going three and out, the only bright spot on offense is Shane Lechler punting. The Texans went up 7-0 on their first drive, which seemed too insurmountable at the time for the Raiders to overcome. McCown did his part by then throwing an interception. Thankfully, Sage Rosenfels returned the favor by throwing into double coverage, and being intercepted. The Raiders started on their own 4. While other teams go 96 yards in 2 plays, Mike Martz is not in Oakland. I was hoping the team would not give up a safety and allow Lechler to do his job. Ahh yes, lowered expectations. I remember when “typical Raider fashion” did not mean impending disaster. Nevertheless, after moving the ball, in typical Raider fashion, back to back penalties set up a typical 3rd and 20, where the obvious call was a running play. Lechler did his job, unlike anybody on the Oakland offense.

On Oakland’s next possession, McCown threw his second interception, and the Texans started at the Oakland 15. Ron Dayne, perhaps the slowest running back in NFL history, sped through the Raiders for a touchdown and a 14-0 Texans lead. McCown was still allowed to play, at which point he rewarded his fans for his not being benched by throwing his third interception. The best play by the Raiders came from the refs, who ruled the pass incomplete, reducing McCown back to only two interceptions.

On 4th and 9 from the Texans 46, the Raiders decided to have Sebastian Janikowski attempt a 64 yard field goal. As awful as the season has been, NFL immortality would be nice. However, this call only makes sense on the last play of the half. There was still 1:15 to go, and a miss would be devastating from a field position standpoint. The kick from a distance standpoint would have been good from 70 yards. It hit the upright and bounced away, no good. Ever so close to football history, instead the Raiders trailed 17-0 at the half.

The Raiders continued to play like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, as Ron Dayne turned into Jesse Owens, rumbling for a 39 yard gain on the first Texans drive of the second half. However, the Tin Man did find a heart, at lest temporarily, as the Texans had a field goal attempt blocked. For most teams, this would have provided an emotional lift. For the lifeless offense of the Raiders, it actually did spark a drive. Needing every possible break under the sun, a helmet to helmet unnecessary roughness personal foul gave the Raiders first and goal from the eight yard line. Seabas had his second fileld goal attempt be only 1/3 the length of his first one, and the 22 yarder cut the gap to 17-3.

The Texans continued to run well, but on 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 45, the Texans suffered a delay of game penalty. They had to punt. Josh McCown at this stage had a passer rating of 14.2, so it was with some relief that he started handing the ball off. A short swing to pass Jerry Porter went for a 30 yard gain. A deep pass to Madsen was dropped in the end zone, but a defensive holding penalty set up first down. Another deep pass to the end zone by McCown was overthrown. He was then wrapped up on 3rd and 7, but a defensive facemask penalty created an automatic first down. From the 12 yard line, the Raiders again went nowhere, and again the Texans committed a defensive penalty for a first down. No, this does not make up for 40 years of bad calls against the team, but the refs must have felt sorry for the Raiders. Justin Fargas plunged over from the one foot line. The Raiders played atrociously on offense, yet only trailed 17-10 with 11 1/2 minutes left. A 42 yard bomb from Rosenfels to Andre Davis iced the game. McCown did again try to throw his 3rd interceptiona deflected pass to Lamont Jordan. However, it was ruled incomplete. On 4th and 7, McCown shocked the world, meaning the few people still watching this game, by running 8 yards for a first down. McCown then finally succeeded in throwing his 3rd interception after several near misses.

The few remaining fans hopefully left to beat the traffic and catch the Indy-New England game on tv. The Raiders fell to 2-6, and a second straight 2-14 season is well within reach. A touchdown pass to Tim Dwight was followed by a failed onsides kick. 24-17 Texans

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles was the Sunday night game. McNabb fumbled on Philly’s first possession, and Dallas quickly scored on a Julius Jones run for a 7-0 lead less than 4 minutes into the game. McNabb responded with a long catch and run to Reggie Brown that set up a touchdown run by Westbrook to tie the game 7-7. Several plays to Barber set up a short lob from Tony Romo to Tony Curtis for a 14-7 Dallas lead. The pace of the game slowed down considerably in the second quarter, and a Dallas drive at the 2 minute warning was snuffed out when Romo was intercepted by Lito Shepherd deep in Philly territory. However, McNabb threw an interception right back to Ken Hamlin, allowing Dallas to start at the Philly 14. Marion Barber punched it in from 5 yards out to put the Cowboys up 21-7 at the half. 2 Minutes into the second half, the defensive breakdown by the Eagles somehow left Terrell Owens, and he raced for an easy touchdown. At 28-7, the route was on. 38-17 Cowboys

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers was the Monday night game. A game in 1940 had Chicago defeating Washington 73-0. This game was less lopsided, but not by much. Willis McGahee had a 33 yard touchdown run for the Ravens that would have been cause for celebration had the Ravens not trailed by 35 points at that moment.

Ben Roethlisberger had 5 touchdown passes, the Ravens had 4 turnovers, and James Harrison forced three fumbles and an interception for the Steelers, who raced to a 35-0 lead. This was in the first half alone. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, McGahee’s touchdown sapped their momentum, preventing them from threatening the 1940 points record.

The only thing uglier than the weather, a driving rainstorm, was the play of the Ravens. Outside of Western Pennsylvania, the only positive thing to say about this game is the yellow throwback helmets the Steelers wore looked fabulous on my big screen television in hi-def. 38-7 Steelers


Super Bowl 41 1/2

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007


In 1990, The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers were both 10-0, with a showdown two weeks away. They both got their clocks cleaned in week 11, but a pair of 10-1 teams still played one of the greatest games ever played. Several weeks later in the NFC Title game, they played a game even better than the first one.

In 1994, after several epic battles, The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers played in the NFC Title game. Pat Summerall coolly stated, “Two weeks from now we play the Super Bowl. Three weeks from now we play the Pro Bowl. Today, we play both.” The game lived up to its billing.

In 2007, we play a game that could be better than all of them combined.

The 8-0 New England Patriots are playing the 7-0 Indianapolis Colts. As Terrell Owens would say, “Get your popcorn ready.”

Forget David vs Goliath. This is Goliath vs Goliath. This is a collision course at top speed.

Tom Brady is on pace to shatter all NFL quarterback records in a single year. Peyton Manning is on pace to shatter all NFL quarterback records for all time.

Coach Bill Bellichick is a cool, calm, stoic chess master. Coach Tony Dungy is an even keeled, thoughtful, disciplined master of calm.

Over the last several years, these two teams have dominated the NFL, and have taken turns dominating each other.

From 2001-2004, the Patriots racked up three Super Bowl rings, often after tough, hard fought, and occasionally lucky victories over the Colts. A 6-3 battle of field goals turned into a 20-3 Patriots win in the snow. A 4 interception game by Peyton Manning led to a 24-14 playoff win for the Patriots. A season opener had Edgerrin James fumbling at the one yard line and Mike Vanderjagt missing a field goal on the last play of a game the Patriots won 27-24. The best of the bunch might have been a 31-10 Patriots lead that turned into a furious Colts rally, where four Indianapolis tries from the one yard line turned an aerial show into a goal line stand and a 38-34 Patriots win.

Then in 2005 the tide turned, and it was the Colts who racked up the wins. They went into New England on Monday Night Football and thrashed them 40-27. Another night game had them winning 27-20, again on the road.

the 2006 season brought the greatest battle of them all, the AFC Title Game. That game will be a classic 100 years from now. A Peyton Manning interception for a touchdown had the Patriots up 21-3 in Indianapolis, on the way to their 4th Super Bowl and another year of crushing questions for Dungy and Manning.

Then the Colts came back, not by Manning throwing, but by running the ball. The last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half had the New England defense on the field a long time. The Patriots led 21-13, but the defense was exhausted. The Colts defense continued to give up yards to the Patriots as well. The game was tied at 21, 28 and 31. The Patriots led 34-31 late in the game.

With Dominic Rhodes and Jooseph Addai ramming the ball down the throats of the gassed New England defense, the Colts took the lead 38-34 with one minute left. Tom Brady, whose career has many controversial miracles, had his luck run out that day. It was he who threw the interception that sent the Patriots home, and the Colts on the way to their first Super Bowl championship.

Both of these teams have chips on their shoulders. The Patriots have been caught in a cheating scandal, and want to prove their victories were earned honestly. They also want their crown back. The Colts are angry at being seen as underdogs on their home field, even though they are 7-0 for the 3rd straight year.

The Patriots have wide receiver Randy Moss, who could be the last piece of the puzzle. The Colts have hard hitting defender Bob Sanders, who the Colts would not have won a Super Bowl without.

The argument for the Colts is that they play in a real division. They have beaten quality teams such as the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road, and soundly in some cases. The Patriots play in a pathetic division where the 1-7 New York Jets are not even bad enough for last place thanks to the 0-8 Miami Dolphins.

The argument for the Patriots is that while they are beating bad teams, they are still thrashing them. They are winning games by 30 points, and won their most recent game by 45 points. Both teams have high octane offenses, but the Patriots may have the better defense.

Both coaches are defensive gurus, yet this game is expected to be a pinball machine not seen since the Greatest Show on Turf Rams played pinball from 1999 through 2001.

Whoever wins this game will most likely host the AFC Title Game for the 2007 season. After one of them wins the Super Bowl, they can open the 2008 season with another classic against the other team.

My prediction: New England Patriots 41, Indianapolis Colts 31.

This game is not a Super Bowl or a Pro Bowl. It is both.

Are you ready for some football!!!!!

Super Bowl 41 1/2…Let’s get it on!!!


The Rabbi and the Firefighters

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Camp offers shelter, peace amid fire chaos

Refusing to leave his retreat, rabbi devotes himself to serving crews battling the Slide blaze.

By Ashley Powers
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 29, 2007

The pairing of the rabbi and the firefighters was a natural one.

He had beds. They had been sleeping on asphalt. He had food and showers. They were grateful.

Rabbi Yosef Brod should have rushed down the mountain a week ago, when the Slide fire was burning toward Camp Gan Israel, the 75-acre Jewish camp he runs in the San Bernardino Mountains. The fire charred nearly 13,000 acres and wiped out 201 homes as it spread.

But Brod, a rabbi with the Chasidic Lubovitch, or Chabad, sect, stayed. “Have a nice day,” he told his employees as they evacuated. “Drive carefully.”

Over the weekend, about a dozen fire engines were parked by the giant Hanukkah candelabra at the camp. One firefighter chatted on a cellphone while another shivered in his boxers. A third asked Brod what the symbols on the cabin doors meant — they were prayer scrolls called mezuzot that are meant to keep their occupants safe.

State prison officials also came by, looking to house inmate mop-up crews in the camp’s bunks.

Brod says he kept the camp open because he believed that God would shelter the pine-shaded site, which the Chabad organization bought for summer and winter camps and weekend retreats. So Brod called his wife after the evacuations were ordered last Monday and said he wouldn’t be driving home to West Hollywood.

“She knew I’m so devoted to this place I wouldn’t leave,” he said. One of his employees stayed, too, and told Brod that, if need be, he would carry the camp director down the mountain.

By midweek, flames were licking the camp’s northern edge, and a firefighting helicopter tapped the camp’s pool for water. Brod ran a hose from a fire hydrant to the pool to keep it full.

He already prays three times a day, but that afternoon, “We prayed with a little more intensity,” Brod said.

The blaze halted about 100 yards from the camp’s wood-shingle main lodge and spared the property’s cellphone towers, basketball court and 16 other buildings.

The blaze had pushed a clutch of soot-dusted firefighters onto the narrow road that curves into the camp. Brod fed them. He offered mattresses and soap.

Down the road from the camp, firefighters had been dozing in pop-up tents, on cots and huddled between engines in a parking lot of the Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs, where the command center had been set up.

The news of better digs spread quickly.

So many firefighters streamed into Camp Gan Israel that Brod called other rabbis for help.

He found one fire crew sleeping on the grass just outside of camp, and offered them real beds.

“That’s kind of a big deal, to have a bunch of sweaty firemen stomping through your place,” said Ontario Fire Capt. Art Andres. “And this is a place where people pay good money to find rest or peace or something.”

A compact man with black-rimmed glasses, a salt-and-pepper beard and a black yarmulke, Brod held a prayer service for a Jewish firefighter.

On Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, Brod couldn’t work until after sunset. So firefighters signed themselves in, writing on a yellow legal pad that they had come from departments in Chino, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Tuolumne and other places. They ate a traditional stew that had been prepared before sunset the night before, when the Sabbath began.

As the men and women ate each night, Brod shared his interpretation of the week’s events. “One match destroys a thousand homes just like that,” he told firefighters. “If we have the power to destroy the world, we have the power to make it better.”

The firefighters sat in quiet with their thoughts.

Brod slouched on a folding chair in the camp’s restaurant-size kitchen as he recounted the week’s events. A button had popped open on his shirt, but he didn’t notice.

His two cellphones interrupted. A friend in Maryland was checking to see if he was OK. The other caller offered to bring oranges and coffee. Meanwhile, firefighters played billiards and table tennis.

After dinner, Brod went outside and climbed into his white Ford Expedition to check on his guests. He darted past cabins with nearly all the windows lighted, and slowed only to chat with firefighters. Their eyes were weary and their voices hoarse.

“So you own this whole place?” croaked one firefighter.

“God owns the world,” the rabbi replied.

One of the reasons I published that column in its entirety is because 1000 years from now, it will be relevant.

The Rabbi could have easily fled, and nobody would have had a right to criticize him for doing so. Yet he had an opportunity to help people who desperately needed help.

Firefighters are like doctors and nurses. They do double shifts, going hours and hours without sleep. When they do sleep it is often uncomfortable. This time was different. The firefighters had beds to sleep in. This was not a couple firefighters putting out a fire in a home, which is daunting enough. This was an army of firefighters putting out a blaze that was engulfing major swaths of cities across the entire Southern California region. Thanks to this Rabbi, they were given shelter.

In return, the Rabbi kept his property safe. He had hundreds of firefighters protecting him around the clock.

So much good came out of this unique pairing up. The few firefighters that were Jewish did not know that there was an even a Rabbi in this area of Southern California. They now have a spiritual adviser. On a deeper level, some of the firefighters had never met anybody Jewish before. Their first impression of Jewish culture was overwhelmingly positive.

Some would say that this is a story of a kind man doing a good thing, and that his religion is irrelevant. This is false. Would a devoutly religious man of another faith have done the same thing? Absolutely. However, this Rabbi is a representative of Jewish values. These firefighters saw what Judaism is about. Hopefully they will associate “Jews,” and “kindness,” as one and the same.

The building that the Rabbi was defending was a place used for summer and winter camp for young Jewish children. Yet this “camp” is not just about playing. It involves serious learning. Jewish children are taught from Jewish texts, and they are taught Jewish values. The children are taught “Mitzvos,” which is Hebrew for, “good deeds.” The greatest Mitzvah in Judiasm is “Tzedakaha,” which means “charity.”

So yes, a Rabbi engaged in a charitable act so he could defend a place that is primarily designed to teach children about charity.

Problems can spread through communities like wildfire itself. Drugs, crime, and gangs can turn beautiful neighborhoods into havens of despair and hatred.

So can love and peace. They have to be able to be spread. If this is not possible, we should all just give up and let the worst in life win.

Buildings can burn, but souls cannot be left to be incinerated. We are all dust one day, but it does not have to be today.

Yes, this one Rabbi had his home saved because hundreds of firefighters were there to protect him. Yet those firefighters had their job made more than slightly easier thanks to this one Rabbi.

The last several days has seen the worst in humanity. It is saddening and maddening that much of the devastation was the result of arson. It is beneath the layers of these black smoke clouds that silver linings are found. The best in humanity does exist.

Yes it is nice that some people become rock stars, athletes, poets, and investment bankers. They all contribute to the world in their own special way. However, in a world often thought to be fueled by wealth and power, it is a relief to know that some people still care about more than what lines their pockets. They become police officers, firefighters and doctors, to keep their fellow creatures of God healthy and safe. They also become Priests, Reverends, Imams and Rabbis, helping connect people to God, and spreading a message more powerful than any fire…the power of human goodness.