June 15, 2002

For those of you may have been caught up in the other RC scandal du jour, here's something that's really outrageous.

June 14, 2002

Isn't this the type of thing Stalin used to demand? Where's Solzhenitsyen when you need him?

It now appears that our government can hold a person indefinitely, without either a trial or a chance to confront one's accusers. According to this article, the Justice Department has taken the position that only the executive branch has the power to decide whether someone is a combatant or not, and since trying Mr. Padilla will "compromise" intelligence sources, it is their position that they will not declare him to be a combatant. He will be a prisoner until the "war" on terrorism is over, which will probably be sometime after the 2004 election.
Now that the first round of the World Cup is over, with the U.S. surviving a massive choke to set up a match with Mexico Sunday night, this may be as good a time as any to revisit a "classic" piece of Smythiana.
Tonight, its Germany-Paraguay (11:30 p.m.) and England-Denmark (4:30 a.m.). On paper, these matchups don't look very interesting, as neither Paraguay or Denmark have as much talent as their opponents. I believe England is on the verge of exploding offensively, having already played three teams that are superior to Denmark. That would probably set up a quarter-final game with Brazil. For US fans, the Germany game is critical, as the winner will play the US-Mexico winner. Sorry if I'm overdoing the college hoops analogy, but the Germans are starting to remind me of that North Carolina team that made the Final Four three years ago, a team that barely made the tournament (really only making it on reputation), was only seeded 8th, and then upset Stanford in the second round. After that team made the semifinals, it seemed almost inevitable that they would do so, and the weaknesses of that team were forgotten by the same people who were outraged that the Tar Heels even made the tourney. Anyways, I don't see the Germans having any problems scoring against that fat tub of lard in goal for Paraguay.
Considering that the U.S. was down 3-0 before Korea took the lead against Portugal, in the 70th minute, it is safe to say that for most of the morning I was trying to figure out the most efficient way of spiking my intake of Prozac. Once Korea scored, a team with nothing to play for tried gamely to hold on against one of the most talented teams on the planet, with some of the most dangerous strikers in the history of the sport. And would you believe it, they did !!! KOREA !!!! No more dogmeat jokes, ever !!!!

June 13, 2002

I thought I would just let this story speak for itself. By the way, I'm not ignoring your correspondence; I intend to put up your letters at the end of the week.
Has any story ever fizzled out as quickly as the pathetic case of Mr. Padilla? With ruthless efficiency, the media, having been cowed into silence for nine months, have finally begun to not simply question, but ridicule, the Administration.

You could also see this phenomenum at work over the coverage of the GAO report on the Clinton "vandalism" report, which at a cost of a cool quarter of a million dollars to the taxpayers, was able to show that there was about $19,000 worth of damage (namely, to buy new "W" keys for typewriters). When Alberto Gonzalez, the President's counsel, protested that the report didn't specify some of the dirty words written on the walls, the reaction was one of eye-rolling contempt. When the story initially broke in January 2001, the media focused on how typical it was for those Arkansas vulgarians to trash the place on the way out, totally consistent with Lewinsky and Marc Rich. By the time the story died, the focus wasn't on the vandalism that was actually discovered, but on the mendacity and pettiness of the Bush Administration in leaking and exaggerating the story. Oh, yeah, I forgot, there's a war going on.

June 12, 2002

As I predicted months ago, the Lakers breezed to the NBA title. Congrats, team, on the 3peat.

Not much to say about tonight's game. To the surprise of no one, the Nets came out on fire in the first quarter, the crowd cheered, and then the Lakers went to work. The game wasn't in doubt after half-time, a fact acknowledged by Lord Byron in the final minute, when he subbed out Kidd and Martin with his team behind by six. Surely this will be the winter of Sactown's discontent, a team that came within a misdirected tip-out by Vlade and an overtime of beating the Lakers. They will continue to whine about the officiating in Game 4 (where they have a point) and Game 6 (where they don't), and I will admit that they were the best team this year, but it will haunt the Kings forever that they had Game 7 at home, with a nine point second half lead, but couldn't hit free throws, and they couldn't strike to kill the real king.
Lena Olin ???? I see a shark about to be jumped.
True World Cup fact: the U.S. scored more goals in a 36 minute span of the first half against Portugal than Argentina and France did in six games.

June 11, 2002

Congrats to the Bush Administration, for waiting a month after arresting the "dirty bomb" suspect before publicly announcing its achievement (from Moscow, no less). Good job, boys.

That whole story is starting to smell like a damp carpet. It now appears that in spite of having nothing stronger against Mr. Padilla than the fact that he was in the initial "planning" stages, the Justice Department has no plans to set up a military tribunal or try the S.O.B. in Federal Court. I know I am going to hear that "there's a war going on", but donnez moi une break; under the Ashcroft doctrine, the state could begin detaining patrons inside a tavern, because of the potential threat that they may drive home with a buzz and kill somebody (after all, far more people were killed in D.U.I.'s last year than in suicide airplane hijackings). Yes, Lincoln did suspend habeus corpus during the Civil War (something for which neither history nor his contemporaries treated him kindly), but in that case, our national existence was in peril, a potentiality which is nowhere near close to happening now, no matter what sort of dirty bombs go off.
Au revoir, France !!! Not only do they fail to qualify for the second round, not only do they get shut out in all three games, but they finish dead last in their group, which was one of the weakest groups in the tournament. I haven't seen a choke that bad since, well, lets just say Ken Hitchcock should bone up on his French in time for World Cup 2006.
Lets visit the mailbag:

--If I were a GM in the NBA, I would refuse to trade with the Lakers UNLESS they sent Shaq or Kobe packing. Heck, no one else on the Laker team is worth the toilet paper I wipe my ass with. Any GM who'll trade for Horry or Fox is a damn fool. With my luck it would be the Cavs! GM should conspire against the Lakers and never trade with them unless they give up Shaq or Kobe.--

That is an astute observation. I am of the opinion that if the Lakers win the title this year, history should give it an asterisk, due to the unconscionably corrupt calls in Game 6 of the Sacramento series. Next time, the drinks are on me. Thanks as always for your contributions, dickhead.

June 10, 2002

One of the more bizarre rumors that's been floating about has to do with my supposedly "puking" Saturday night at Joxer's. I don't know how that one got started, but its completely untrue. I did not puke at Joxer's; I would like to think I have too much class than to throw up inside a bar. If anyone says that I threw up on the premises, they are lying.
About a week ago, I e-mailed a few of my more devoted readers, asking for your input on an idea I had to set up two new blogs: SmythesWorld Classic, which would feature "vintage" posts from the archives, republished repetitively, as well as a biographical section called "Smythe Century"; and SmythesWorld East, which would be identical to this site, except everything would be published three hours earlier. I'm still debating the merits of both sites, so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.
Interesting weekend. Of course, the three-peat is a mere formality at this stage. The Nets almost ran the Lakers off the court at the end of the 3rd quarter and the beginning of the 4th, Kidd was unstoppable, and Kenyon Martin actually contributed, by scoring some key baskets inside and playing SuperThug. And it didn't matter in the end, because Kobe nailed everything when it counted. The U.S. escaped with a draw against the hosts, and now stands on the verge of qualifying for the second round with a tie against Poland. Of course, there were some interesting events in my life as well, but you will have to wait until later today for that.

June 9, 2002

I will be M.I.A. today, due to the pending sale of my condo and move-back to my mom's basement. I guess life is just full of these "passages", where an approaching-middle aged man finally declares his dependence and flies back to the nest. Actually, I hope to sell the place quickly, make a killing, and buy something better in a few months. And of course, the Lakers (and "susan"?) tonight at 5:30, and the U.S. v. South Korea at 11:30.

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