take 5, D
i for one will not be watching the debates tonight. i think i've had enough politics for a little while. fans of suffrage, pennies and Hummers will have to cool their jets for now.
i for one will not be watching the debates tonight. i think i've had enough politics for a little while. fans of suffrage, pennies and Hummers will have to cool their jets for now.
today's Slate has an article about the pointlessness of voting. a relevant excerpt:
For those of us who live in New York State, the situation is far worse. Last time around, about 6.5 million votes were cast for major party candidates in New York state and 63 percent of them went to Al Gore. Assuming an electorate of similar size with a similar bias, my chance of casting the deciding vote in New York is about one in 1.4 times 10 to the 200,708th power. I have a better chance of winning the Powerball jackpot 7,400 times in a row than of affecting the election's outcome. Which makes it pretty hard to see why I should vote.
hazing has a long and troubled history, and includes such watershed events as Ben Affleck chasing freshmen witha paddle, Emilio Estevez taping Larry Lester's buns together, Homer joining the StoneCutters, the new guy having to buy Wendy's for everyone during poker night and those kids who got sexually assualted with a broomstick on Long Island last year. while every year there are a few stories about fraternity and sorority rituals that end up in trips to the hospital or the morgue, much of this type of activity tends to involve the sports world. click here for a rundown of hazing incidents since 2000 from ESPN's Outside the Lines.
so does it set a bad example when a team such as the Twins makes their rookie relievers carry a Barbie backpack stocked with gum, sunflower seeds, et. al. to and from the bullpen every day? or when the Yankees veterans take their rookies' clothes and replace them with Elvis outfits that the rookies have to wear on the way to Boston? personally i think that sort of activity is all in good fun among adults, whereas forcible broom handle sodomy or smearing people with a concoction of house paint, fish guts, and human feces (as happened during a powder-puff football game in a Chicago suburb last year) are evil perpetrated by those with low self-esteem and a lack of basic compassion and supported by those who turn a blind eye to activities that can have severe emotional and physical consequences. but where to draw the line? at what point does good-natured fun become sick torture? and wasn't Abu Ghraib simply a logical extension of a culture that thinks that forcing men to play naked Twister or branding people against their will is funny or approriate? not that this problem is unique to America, but it is interesting that we maintain this air of moral superiority despite our numerous and obvious failings in this regard [ed. note: kind of like this blog!]. but i guess in a place where we can win a war that we're losing, self-delusion is just par for the course.
***UPDATE*** Cheerleader boots help protect rookie!
A Cleveland Indians pitcher was treated and released from a Kansas City hospital Thursday, a day after being shot in the right calf when a bullet pierced the team's bus and grazed another player.
Team trainers were able to remove the bullet from the calf of Kyle Denney, who was not seriously hurt, club spokesman Bart Swain said....As part of a rookie hazing ritual, Denney was wearing a Southern California cheerleader's uniform when he was shot. The outfit included high white boots.
"Our trainers said the boots may have saved Kyle from further injury," Swain said.
as the price of oil rises above $50 per barrel for the first time ever (disheartening quote of the day: "'The market is looking for a new equilibrium point and no one knows where that will be,' said Jamal Qureshi, an analyst at PFC Energy, an oil consultant based in Washington. 'We still have a way to go. I wouldn't be surprised to see $60 a barrel.'" runner up: "At the same time, demand for oil is running at a pace not seen since 1978."), i happened to come across a short article from an April Herald-Tribune that made a lot of sense:
The best way for our government to create jobs is to provide incentives -- via the profit motivation -- for people and companies to start businesses. The next economic boom will need the start of a new industry....A great possibility for the next industrial boom is in alternative-energy research....Instead of spending on Mars programs, the government should sponsor and stimulate research to develop the technology needed to make hydrogen our primary fuel.
who can i vote for to make this happen? oh right...nobody. it's almost enough to make me take a hammer to the next Hummer i see on the streets of Brooklyn. idiots. for more info on why oil is going to be contributing to world volatility for years to come, read about The Big Rollover.
i may talk more about this later, but China recently set their first fuel-economy rules that totally put any regulations in this country to shame, despite the protests of auto makers.
King Kaufman does a great job criticizing the Redskins for their mismanagement of their timeouts in the second half that left them unable to stop the clock after they got into field goal range and could have the tied the game. so i'll let that drop. but i do want to focus on a series of events at thge end of the 1st half that very well may have cost the team game (and which TMQ may have touched on already- i haven't read his column yet).
having been held in check almost the entire first half, the 'Skins march over 90 yards to the Dallas 1 with 1:12 left in the half. on the first play the try to sneak Mark Brunell in, which is just idiotic when you have Clinton Portis who has scored 14 and 15 rushing touchdowns the past 2 years. he gets stuffed. timeout is called and the next play, Portis gets a short gain. after wasting some time, the Redskins call their final timeout with :16 left. now everyone in the stadium, watching at home and on Mars knows the next play will be a pass because they can't risk getting stuffed again and not having enough time to get the field goal unit on. Brunell play fakes, and immediately has someone in his face, batted down, incomplete, field goal, momentum gone. first off, why not have two plays ready after calling timeout on 2nd down just in case you don't make it? that way you can just line back up maybe before the defense can fully set up. secondly, why not just attack with Portis again? from the 1-yard line, running is a surer bet than throwing (just ask Trent Green). hell, i would even consider running it again on 4th down. if they stop you, so be it, but if you can't get 1 yard on the ground in 4 chances against a defense that allows 120+ yards rushing per game, then you don't deserve to win. and lo, they did not win. Coach Gibbs was completely unimpressive the past 2 games and he needs to turn things around fast before the fans sour on him. sadly Tom Coughlin is predictably being blown by the news media for winning two in a row. ugh.
one less thing to hector me about: my voter registration info showed up in the mail over the weekend, and i may now participate in electing a wealthy white man to the highest office our country has. but with Kerry a shoo-in to win New York, do i swap my vote to a Nader supporter in another state in exchange for them voting for Kerry? i think i just might.
so NBC is going to announce that Conan O'Brien will replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show during tonight's show. and as much as i'd love to laud them for making a great choice, i think that in reality this is about as bad of a choice as they could have made. don't get me wrong, Leno is an unwatchable, sycophantic, ingratiating mess who never should have gotten the job in the first place. but Conan just isn't Tonight Show material and his own show has become quite stale in the years since i watched his 5th Anniversary special over and over again. the show still misses Andy and Conan's quirky and self-deprecating routine doesn't keep you coming back. nor are his interviewing skills anywhere near absorbing. i can't remember the last time i heard someone talking about anything they saw on Conan, and given the choice, i'd rather watch an old Letterman rerun on Trio - they're still funny 20 years (or more) later. surely the next 5 years might bring a few new candidates, or at least give NBC a chance to hedge its bets a bit. ah well, call it reason #594 that network TV is destined for obsolescence.
i don't how i've gone all these months without knowing that Travis Hafner's nickname is "Pronk" and that it's short for half project, half donkey. this is so bizarre that it increases my enthusiasm for the Indians (which will please the wife) but this probably does little to ease the pain of Cleveland having been named the U.S.'s "poorest big city".
and in response to an inquiry from the other night, Oliver Perez is not the first major leaguer with the first name "Oliver", though he is close. one Oliver Hill had 2 at bats for the 1939 Boston Braves, collecting a double and a run scored. there is also Oliver Brown who came to the plate 25 times for the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1872 and 1875. of course that was just before the founding of the National League in 1876, and can thus be easily removed from consideration. it seems like such a common name to have such little representation in major league annals - there are 10 Jamies after all.
having never come across this particular mangling of phrase before, today i see it twice. both the transcript of Jon Stewart's appearance on the O'Reilly factor and Eric Neel's Page 2 All-Star team use the phrase "je ne sai qua". unfortunately, running it through a translator does not produce anything humorous, so i'll just have to settle for marveling at the coincidence.
amusing and odd team names from the second round qualifying for the FA Cup:
Ramsbottom United, Frickley Athletic, Clitheroe, Cammell Laird, Liversedge, Workington, Shepshed Dynamo, Belper Town, Coalville Town, Stone Dominoes, Dorking, Folkestone Invicta, Leatherhead, Merthyr Tydfill, Bognor Regis Town, Weston Super Mare.
these teams come from the British equivalent of Podunk and are all vying to the right to play the role of chum to the sharks of the Premiership (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United) in the later ("proper") rounds. but you have to love any tournament that gives 661 different teams a chance to take home the crown, even when it means that Goliath stomps David, as happened to Millwall in last year's final. "win-or-go-home" tournaments provide the most drama, the most excitement and the best storylines. and best of all they settle the game on the field and not in polls. NCAA football hierarchy take note.
coming in a bit < 3 weeks we have the return of Open House New York (bearing the t.s.o.a. stamp of approval - available for your product/organization/event for a mere $150). this 2-day event - October 9-10 - opens up venues from around the City to everyday schlubs like you and me, letting us see parts of the city that might otherwise be inaccessible. last year i managed to get on the roof of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, see the catacombs of Green-wood Cemetery, and walk around the abandoned smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island. all 3 of those places are open again this year and recommended, and i'm currently trying to decide what else i want to make a trip to see. there's a lot of design-oriented stuff that doesn't do much for me, but on the short list are the High Line, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House (oldest house in New York), the Grand Lodge of Masons, the High Bridge Water Tower, the Little Red Lighthouse, the Hidden Harbor Tour, Governors Island, JFK Terminal Five, Socrates Sculpture Park and HSBC Bank building. if anyone else is interested in hitting Governors Island, talk to me as there are only 6 tours limited to 135 people each.
i always love the redesign of currency (though i will continue to fight for the eradication of the penny). perhaps it's not as exciting as coins minted with silver recovered from the World Trade Center, but the US Mint today unveiled it's new nickel re-designs for 2005. there's a new, more detailed mug shot of Jefferson on the front that takes up the enitre left side, pushing the motto to the right, while a script "Liberty" appears to be wafting from his lips. there a two versions of the back, one a pretty standard buffalo shot, the other a "depiction of the western waters as first viewed by the Corps of Discovery in November, 1805".
all in all i think it looks pretty good and i look forward to them rattling around my pockets for years to come. but why did they put the "Ocean in view! O! The joy!" line on there? it seems superfluous, quite a bit dated, and has far too many exclamation points for legal tender. i can only assume that it's a quote from Lewis & Clark's diary or somesuch, which is all well and good but how about a cool slogan like "54*40' or Fight!"? now that would look good on a coin. come to think of it, so would James K. Polk.
despite the name of this blog (and the resulting nicknames it has earned me), i was unable to provide a correct answer to the question "name the three species commonly known as the 'Great Apes'" during this month's Dr. Fact's Night of 50 Questions. the answer is gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees. we left off the chimps in favor of bonobos. and after reading this description of them, can you blame us?
The species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations--and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination (although such contact among close family members may be suppressed). And sexual interactions occur more often among bonobos than among other primates. Despite the frequency of sex, the bonobo's rate of reproduction in the wild is about the same as that of the chimpanzee. A female gives birth to a single infant at intervals of between five and six years. So bonobos share at least one very important characteristic with our own species, namely, a partial separation between sex and reproduction.
sounds pretty Great to me!
the morning news linked to an mp3 of John Cage's 4'33", which consists of 273 seconds of silence. this reminded me of a funny story that's worth re-telling. a couple years ago, a group of us are sitting around in O'Connors some afternoon. the subject of this piece comes up and eventually we begin to wonder whether we could all sit there in silence for that long. the bar is virtually empty except for us meaning the lack of noise will be noticeable so we decide to give it a shot. the only problem is that none of us knew the exact length of the piece. we somehow decided that it was 14 minutes long instead of 4.5. that extra 10 minutes makes a big difference when you're sitting there staring at each other trying desperately not to laugh or make any other noise in the pursuit of performance art. about halfway through, a friend arrived food in hand. noticing that no one is talking, he simply sat down and began to eat. then with two minutes left another friend joined the fray. she was less patient, immedaitely demanding to know what was going on and declaring our exercise "stupid". as we all took turns stifling giggles and arching eyebrows the time expired and we all marveled at how anyone could take a vow of silence when those were the longest 14 minutes ever. of course, the official brother of t.s.o.a. (holding a B.A. in music) was able to set the record straight when we next talked, rendering us all a bit sheepish and wondering what conversational gems an extra 10 minutes of bar banter may have produced.
a cautionary tale for those rooting for NYC to get the Olympics in 2012, from Tuesday's Globe and Mail:
While Greek politicians had optimistically promised a tourism-driven economic boom and an improved standard of living in the wake of the Games, the opposite seems to be taking place. The International Monetary Fund predicted a period of contraction: "Underlying fundamentals suggest the economy may slow materially in 2005."
A harsh period of fiscal austerity and reduced ambitions was predicted yesterday, with both the IMF and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development declaring that Greece will have to slash wages and social spending if it is to remain competitive enough to earn its way back into prosperity.
Greece has now joined a large club of governments that have been economically crippled by playing host to the Olympic Games. The most famous member is Montreal, whose municipal bill for the 1976 Olympics is not expected to be fully paid until 2006.
[Prime Minister] Karamanlis acknowledged that repaying the Olympic debt would entail sharp cuts to public services -- an awkward move, as the Games were sold to the Greek public as an economy-building event that would raise their standard of living. The Prime Minister tried to describe the cuts in optimistic terms.
i was originally for New York getting the Games because it seemed like it would be cool to have them here and the infrastructural improvements would provide lasting benefit to those who live here. but now it would only make sense if they figure out a way to reduce the costs that hosting the Games entails, because they just don't bring in as much money as everyone assumes (and as we saw with the RNC, locals head for the hills during events like this, taking their spending $$$ elsewhere, so the whole thing is more or less a wash economically). the same can be said of the stadiums that the city is trying to get built on the West side and in Brooklyn. the economic benefits of these type of things are always overstated. but i do believe that sports arenas should be in downtown areas (and if they can fill vacant space above rail yards, all the better), near public transportation and population centers. they do spur other development to a degree, and it's nice to have them blend into the city rather than sit out in suburbia surrounded by parking lots. in the case of the Jets it would also help end the ridiculous charade whereby "New York" is in New Jersey as far as the NFL is concerned. but getting the public to foot the bill for these buildings is corporate welfare and extortion disguised as public benefit, especially considering the sweetheart deals the teams often get on rent and stadium revenues like parking. Major League Baseball has been extremely adept at pulling this off in cities across the country, despite the growing evidence that it's a losing proposition for taxpayers and that a (mostly) privately financed stadium can work just fine, as they proved in San Francisco. and say what you will about Steinbrenner, but he is at least willing to put up his own money for a new stadium though the specifics of his plan still require some debate in terms of land use and public access.
wow, who knew that Supermarket Sweep was still on the air? i guess i just assumed it had gone the way of Bumper Stumpers or Baby Races. doesn't it look like David Ruprecht has had a lot of "work" done? i suppose i could be indignant that Hollywood's culture of fake youth and attractiveness has trickled down to the 4th (5th?) tier of celebrity, but if the highlights of my career were playing Joyce DeWitt's boyfriend, writing five episodes of Small Wonder, and hosting a show where crazed midwestern housewives careen around with shopping carts full of glazed hams and laundry detergent, i'd probably want to boost my self-esteem too. it's not like the producers are sitting around saying "Gee, Dave's jowls are getting a little droopy, maybe it's time to replace him. Hey, what's Screech up to these days?"
Ruprecht, original and new extra-crispy
"Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is?"
"…the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you’re in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party…. For a while it’s great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown…. but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it’s 3:00 a.m. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody’s thrown up in the umbrella stand and we’re wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders’ patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We’re kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we’re uneasy about the fact that we wish they’d come back…. Is there something about authorities and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually realizing that parents in fact aren’t ever coming back — which means we’re going to have to be the parents."
we're only 1 week into the NFL season, and already i'm looking at the Patriots schedule to see how long they can ride this unbeaten streak (the AFC North is very beatable, as is the NFC West and outside of the Jets, the AFC East should be a cakewalk). but in the NFL, as in most sports, it's always more fun when you have something to hate. fortunately, there's no shortage of people/places/things worthy of ire:
the Cowboys: the loathsome Bill Parcells is reason enough to root against "America's (gag) Team". but now their fans show themselves to be complete assholes, booing an Islamic couple who were shown on screen during Sunday's game. this depsite the fact that the gentleman was wearing a Cowboys jersey (featuring the number of Dat Nguyen, the "Tet Defensive" - credit to Chris Mooney for the nickname), and the woman was wearing a rida that is imprinted with blue and white stars and says "Cowboys" on it. let's hear it for George Bush's Amurica! (via CSTB)
the Giants: Tom Coughlin has wasted no time putting his foot in the ass of this team (because, you know, fiery, tightly woound taskmasters have such a wonderful history of success with multi-millionaire athletes). first, he was found to have violated union rules during spring practice - keeping players longer than allowed and forcing attendance at "voluntary" workouts. then he continued pushing his theory "that very few players that miss time actually need to do so" even using a coach's colon cancer surgery to call out his players' lack of "toughness". now he's fining his players when they show up early for meetings - because they aren't getting there early enough. could you imagine working for a guy like this? "'Players ought to be there on time, period,' Coughlin said. 'If they're on time, they're on time. Meetings start five minutes early.'" i'd rather walk around Iraq wearing a Cowboys jersey than play for him. fortunately, i can just watch on TV and boo myself hoarse.
i've been so busy sampling all the yummy drugs being hawked in the comments section of this site that i haven't been clear-headed enough to post anything. if only i had a Sidekick, i could compose a masterpiece or two during the inevitable rain-delayed commute coming tomorrow morning. but check back soon, as i'm sure something poignant will happen before long. and if not, there's a new project that's a few days away from unveiling. details to come.
moving on to a different kind of diamond, let's spend a little time looking at Ichiro!. after last night's 3-for-5 effort (his 5th straight mutli-hit game) he now has 217 hits, leaving him 40 short of the major league record for hits in a season with 29 games to play. as of April 30 he was hitting just .255, and this was coming on the heels of a terrible finish to last season. but since then he has hit exactly .400, raising his average to .374 and giving Mariners fans at least one reason to keep watching. i'm not going to get into a whole debate here about his value as a player. yes he doesn't walk much, meaning his OBP is very dependent on his BAve, he doesn't hit for much power, and he didn't deserve that MVP award in 2001. but changing his approach at the plate could be disastrous. let's just say he's very good and a lot of fun to watch and look at the big questions for the rest of the season:
can he break the hit record? well, in the 132 games he's played this year (missing only July 10) he has averaged 1.64 hits per game. if he kept that average over the final 29 games and played every day, he would amass more 48 hits and break the record with a few days to spare. put another way, if he continues his average of 4.39 ABs per game he would get 127 more ABs for the year (putting him at 707, which would also be a record). giving him credit as a .374 hitter, he has a 93% chance of breaking the record in the course of 127 ABs. using his lifetime major league average of .338, he still has about a 74% chance to make history. if he could average 5 ABs per game the rest of the season (which is doubtful given the rest of the Mariners offense), he becomes a virtual lock, with a 99.5% or 95.4% chance of getting it depending on which batting average you use as the baseline.
can he hit .400? time is running out on this one. to hit .400 with 707 ABs, he would need to finish with 283 hits, meaning he would have to hit 66-for-127 (.520) the rest of the way. that seems pretty damned impossible, and the probability bears out that assumption. if we assume that Ichiro! is a .374 hitter (meaning that in each at-bat over time there is a 37.4% chance that he will get a hit), the odds that he would get 66 hits in any random set of 127 at-bats are 0.00058 or 0.058%. if we go by his career average of .338, those odds get even slimmer. if we were to consider him a .400 hitter he still only checks in with a 0.4% chance to hit .400 for the season. even stretching him out to 5 ABs per game does little to help him. only if we gave him credit for being a .463 hitter (his average for August) would we start getting into the realm of real possibility: about an 11.7% chance he could do it. too bad, but i'm still rooting for him to get the hit record.
while every wedding i've been to in recent years has been just unbelievably fun, there's a part of me that gets bothered at times about the exorbitant amounts of money that are often spent on them. now i know a lot of this has to do with tradition, family expectations and the desires of the bride and (to a lesser extent) groom, so i don't begrudge people for that. what really gets to me, though, is the ridiculous inflation that the wedding industry gets away with. and it's everywhere from the catering to the facilities to the flowers to the dresses. i can't tell you how many times i've heard in recent years someone say "this place charges $X to be rented out for a wedding, but they only charge half that for other events" or things in a similar vein. and that's just preposterous, devious and shameful. but nowhere is this practice more prominent than in the diamond industry, which is supplied with a constant stream of customers who have been told that a diamond is a required purchase and they have to spend several paychecks on one. meanwhile, the whole market is being artificailly manipulated to keep demand high and supply low. i was reminded of this by today's edition of The Straight Dope, the inimitable column written by Cecil Adams for decades now and the original purveyor of answers to challenging questions and debunker of urban legends. below are some excerpts from today's column:
Diamonds are a con, pure and simple. The topic is vast, so we won't discuss worker exploitation or for that matter "blood diamonds" used to finance African wars. Instead I'll focus on whether diamonds are worth the exorbitant sums charged for them. Answer: Of course not. Prices are kept high by a cynical cartel that preys on vanity and stupidity.
....[D]iamonds have little inherent value; their perennially high price is solely a function of clever promotion and ruthless manipulation of the market. You ask: Isn't that true of any high-value product? Nope.
....[T]he world diamond market is largely controlled by a single private enterprise, the South Africa-based De Beers cartel. The geniuses behind De Beers recognized early on that a stable, profitable diamond industry depended on controlling both supply and demand....It sets prices arbitrarily and cuts off supplies to dealers who buy through unauthorized channels. On the marketing side, De Beers hired advertising firms, starting with N.W. Ayer in the late 1930s, to render axiomatic the idea that diamonds = true love....The campaign worked--U.S. wholesale diamond sales increased from $23 million in 1939 to $2.1 billion in 1979. The J. Walter Thompson agency performed a similar miracle in Japan in the 1960s, essentially creating a tradition of diamond engagement rings out of thin air.
bonus link: some really terrible lyrics from a song called "Coal to Diamonds"
to my face you're precious as gold
but i turn my back and you're just like coal
even through the tears, oh i see
what you really think if me
it's always a bit strange when a parent calls you at work. sort of a "worlds colliding", "how am i supposed to act in this situation" deal. so when i hear my father on the other end of the line this morning, i'm immediately wondering who died. but his voice is much too jovial for that. he wants to know what the mood is down here (my parents live in New Hampshire) and i assume he means the mood surrounding the convention. wrong again - he knows better than to talk politics with me. he's talking about the Yankees and how they're reacting to their weeks long slide (culminating in that wonderful 22-0 drubbing at the hands of Cleveland) that's has put the Red Sox back in the hunt for the AL East. being cable-less i'm moderately out of the loop, so i don't have much to offer other than what i read in the Times this morning. then he drops this doozy:
"so they're saying the curse is broken. [incredulous reply] yeah, last night Manny hits one into the right field stands and the ball hits this 16-year old kid in the face and knocks out his two front teeth. turns out that the kid lives in the house that Babe Ruth lived in when he played for the Red Sox."
and the occasionally torturous ridiculousness of Red Sox fandom becomes fun once again. now if we could just find that piano....
***UPDATE*** another call reveals more curse-reversing fun facts: the past two games, the Red Sox linescore has started 410 (4 runs in the 1st inning, 1 in the 2nd, 0 in the 3rd). 410 is the area code for Baltimore, where Babe Ruth was born. and the current Red Sox streak in which they've won 14 of 15 games began on August 16th, which was the anniversary of Babe Ruth's death. developing....
***UPDATE/CORRECTION*** turns out the teeth removing foul ball incident happened on Tuesday night, not last night. this article has the skinny on the kid, his family and the house.
i like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, and this film presents a good one (the upshot for you low-bandwidth, non-click-thru types: whatever happened at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, there's no way that whatever hit the building was an extremely heavy 757 jumbo jet carrying 5300 gallons of fuel. many witnesses described seeing a smaller commuter-style plane and hearing what sounded like "a missile", while the FBI confiscated surveillance videos from nearby businesses and has not released them, etc.). but what are they saying actually happened? that it was the missle that did the damage? that a bomb went off at the moment of impact? that the whole thing was set-up by the government? the film is pretty vague and therefore ultimately rings hollow, even though there are aspects of it that seem plausible. if we're taking this administration down, we need evidence and conclusions. speaking of which, why haven't we been able to unearth some guy Georgie used to do lines with back in the day? wouldn't that pretty much seal it? if John Kerry had so much as once contemplated buying a hempen hawaiian shirt, wouldn't Rove & Co. be splashing that all over the news?
at any rate, seeing this made me think that Radosh.net was right on yesterday with this line: "even if you don't buy the conspiracy, the poll proves that that the 9/11 commission, widely lauded as a complete success in explaining what went wrong, actually failed dismally."