Thursday, March 31, 2005
As an aside, on Sunday I commented on the fact that Yahoo seemed to do a better job finding this site than Google. Then I received a small flurry of Google searches, and I joked that the Google servers must be self aware and out to prove me wrong. I'm not jocular about that statement anymore. I'm pretty much positive the Google machines have become self aware. This week has seen a healthy increase in the number of people coming here via Google.
Here, freed from pain, secure from misery, lies
A child, the darling of her parents' eyes:
A gentler Lamb ne'er sported on the plain,
A fairer flower will never bloom again:
Few were the days allotted to her breath;
Now let her sleep in peace her night of death.
by Thomas Gray (1716-1771) (with slight edit)
May God bring solace to the Schindler family, and also be with the Schiavos and the Greers.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
I have a couple of thank yous to give out. The first is to Owen at Boots & Sabers. I have a lot of respect for what you're doing over at Boots & Sabers, especially your tendency to break news. I'm rather honored that you make Jiblog a regular read, and thanks for the mention and the addition to the blogroll.
The second is to SI's Josh Elliott. A few weeks ago, I wrote this post in which I disagreed with Elliott's analysis of the Packers' near term future. Today he left a comment on the post which left me taken aback by his graciousness. Josh, thanks for stopping by and reading the post, and I think that your graciousness just made me a new fan of yours, even if I disagree with your Packer analysis. :-)
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
That story brought back a memory for me. In my hometown there is a large park. Deep in that park is an old bridge that locals call the Rumbly Bidge. It has been closed to traffic for as long as I can remember, but for years young couples have been carving their initials into the paint on the railings. There are thousands of initials on this bridge. When I was in college, I had what I thought was a great idea: To photograph these initials, track down down the people who carved them, and convey their stories in a book. Alas, I never followed through (lack of time, funds, etc.), but my and Mrs. Jib's initials are on that bridge. I even proposed to her in front of them.
Now, if I can just defy the odds and became President...
Ya see, somewhere around my 16th birthday, I became a bit of junky for severe weather. I'm not total weather geek about it, but I do get out my cameras and try to get in a good spot to view it. I've had lightening strike the road near my car while I was driving. I once was waiting to pick up the lovely Mrs. Jib from work, lightning striking trees all around, when I noticed a wall cloud with rotation uncomfortably nearby (another sign I'm not a weather geek-I got scared and ran inside her place of employment for cover). In other words, I'm a damn idiot.
How does that relate to the tranquil weather here in Minnesota? Well, I head back to Wisconsin tomorrow. I probably won't get home until well after midnight. What are they forecasting for Southern Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon, before I get back? Thunderstorms, possibly severe.
I'm a weather flip flopper.
I told the lovely Mrs. Jib. If she could have slapped my head over the phone, she would have.
Time will tell. I'll let you know next week whether I was a nice guy who helped out another person in a jam, or if I'm just a dup. I'm leaning toward dup.
In a similar vein, I'm a sucker for a left of center site that blogrolls this well to the right of center web site. Tonight, I'm a sucker for The Vast Dairy State Conspiracy. It is now on my blogroll.
-From the "too much time behind the wheel" department: Why do we hear about cancers of all parts of the body, except the heart? Nobody ever dies from a case of heart cancer.
I am about to head out to start a full day of appointments, but I'll be staying in a pretty small town tonight. If I'm not exhausted, I hope to be posting this evening. Until then, check out the blogs in the side bar. A lot of them had some great stuff over the past 24 hours.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Oh yeah, and you don't need to shed a tear for Mrs. Potato Head. She left Mr. Potato Head a few years ago for Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales.
(Good night all. I know, I'm getting goofy-weird with this post. Blame it on the silliness that sometimes accompanies sleepiness. Ugh, and I can only imagine the search hits I'm going to get now.)
Sunday, March 27, 2005
And by the way, the weather looks good so far. Hopefully that bad weather jinx of mine will be broken and all of you won't have to dread me coming to your town in the future.
First, Captain's Quarters comments on the drop that his large blog has seen in search results on Google. My impression of Google is that it is not nearly as blog friendly as Yahoo is. I speak from a limited point of view, namely my own site stats, but Yahoo searches find Jiblog much, much more often than Google-unless the search is a dirty search. Then Google finds Jiblog, even though the words in the search term aren't found together on this site. I find this trend a little strange given that Google owns Blogger. Logic would say that Yahoo shouldn't be as blog friendly, and Google should be very blog friendly.
Second, there has been some talk around the blogosphere about Google's corporate politics showing through. This has generally revolved around who Google does and does not allow as a source in Google News, but it also shows itself in the fact that Google has chosen not to recognize Easter today with one of their stylized logos at the top of their search page, but they did choose to recognize World Water Day earlier this week. Google has every right to recognize whatever special day they choose, but I have one word of advice for them. As a business, they have a mass market. When you have a mass market, don't wear your corporate politics on your sleave. Only companies with niche markets can get away with that without losing customers. I'm sure Google feels invincible right now, but I've already started to turn away from Google a bit and back to Yahoo. It is possible that many others are as well.
Well there have been a couple of interesting developments on point one. First, Captain's Quarters had been yanked from Google's listings because a sponsor of his site was link farming (See here for more if you host ads). As for Jiblog, there have been a flurry of Google search hits since I originally posted this. Which leads me to only one possible conclusion-Google's machines are self aware and out to make me look like a fool. :-).
Wisconsin is tied with NC! And I'm smoking a cigar. Probably prematurely.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
As for *61, I've always been a heavy Maris sympathizer, going back to my pre-teen, baseball card collecting years. The movie is a wee bit more painful to watch now given the emotional role Mark McGwire plays in it. Especially considering that I was a McGwire fan, too.
There is some talk going around about whether McGwire and Bonds deserve Hall of Fame enshrinement. I believe the latest polls had people in favor of it for Bonds, and not in favor of it for McGwire. Right now, I support enshrinement for both, although I reserve the right to change my mind. Both were Hall of Fame caliber players without the steroids; McGwire hit 49 homers as a skinny little rookie, and Bonds was an elite player as a skinny little outfielder. In fact, I'd be willing to say that McGwire's career numbers were stunted due to steroid related injuries, and that he cut his career short because he saw the steroid writing on the wall and wanted to avoid the spotlight of a chase of Hank Aaron. After this week's news from Bonds, we may see him hang it up before he gets to 755 in order to avoid the glare as well.
Their numbers will forever be tainted, and I think that is punishment enough given that steroids were technically legal in baseball. This entire controversy is baseball's fault (players and owners) for not having the backbone to outlaw the damn things and test for them. Baseball has to live with the tarnish. And that includes having these guys in their Hall of Fame.
"We are seeing freedom bloom across the world this year, and the American people stand by all freedom loving people. This includes those who live in Krug...Krik...Krukzis..."
"Krygyzstan, Mr. President."
"...Yeah, what she said. Anyway, in our initial aid package, we are sending an a, an i, and an e to Kri-well, what the Secretay of State said."
Opposition groups immediately decried the aid package, saying the message was sponsored by a, e, and i, which are actually subsidiaries of Haliburton. They demanded that Bush send two of the more independent u's and respect the sometime vowel y more.
(Just a little silly satire)
This is the first edition of what will hopefully be an annual event. The rules are simple. Survival of the fittest is nature's way. On April 2, we Social Darwinists, who are society's smartest and fitest, will help streamline the human race by thining the herd of the weakest humans, furthing human kind. Don't like guns? Don't worry, you don't need one! Once you get your hunting permit, you will be free to encourage women to hate the little humans in their wombs for what the 'fetuses' have done to their lives. You can also fill your tag by getting medical treatment withheld from those incapcitated persons who never legally made their end of life desires known.
There are regulations on this hunt. You cannot harm any individual who is or may become a voter who supports social darwinism. Well, actually, that's the only regulation. If they can't speak for themselves, they're fair game.
Check your zone when registering for your permit. In some zones we are holding an "earn the infirm" hunt. To fill your tag for the one of society's weakest and most vulnerable, you must first bag a voter who believes that all life has dignity and that it should be given every chance and any benefit of the doubt. These individuals are weak and need to be thinned out as well.
(The above is rather mean spirited satire. Sorry, but I'm disappointed in our society right now. It had to come out. Please note that I did not choose to make this a partisan piece. I don't think this is a partisan issue.)
We've reached the point where not much else can be done for Terri. This story will quickly fade into the background. I dare say it won't even produce much in the way of precedence for future cases. It won't lead to a schism of the Republican party. If anything, it will subtly affect the sides of the continuing pro-life v. pro-ending life debate, a debate which is not really right vs. left except in the case of abortion. If you want to make a diference going forward, you have to work to make sure that your state's end of life laws are just and that they side with life when there is legal doubt.
May God bless Terri and her family. May he also be with Michael and his.
Friday, March 25, 2005
A growing stream of voices are asking Florida Governor Jeb Bush to take custody of Terri Schiavo forcibly with either law enforcement or National Guardsmen. This piece in National Review even advocates it as his duty if he believes "Terri's Law" to be constitutional. Those who are asking this of Bush are asking him to commit political suicide for something that probably won't even save Terri's life.
If Gov. Bush were to move in and take custody of Terri Schiavo by force, he would almost certainly face impeachment. After that, he'd also likely be removed from power. Why? Because public sentiment in
I want to see Terri Schiavo's life spared as much as anyone. Don't ask Jeb Bush to make a sacrifice that ultimately won't change Terri's fate, though.
If Gov. Bush were to move in and take custody of Terri Schiavo by force, he would almost certainly face impeachment. After that, he'd also likely be removed from power. Why? Because public sentiment in Florida would bolster the Florida legislature's attempts at impeachment and removal. Too many people do not know this case very well. At the first site of National Guardsmen or police officials swooping in and taking Terri, many people would start yelling about Bush abusing his power. Even people marginally sympathetic to Terri's plight would have this opinion. Bush's efforts would save Terri's life long enough for him to be removed as Governor of Florida. After that, she'll be right back in the position she is now-in a managed care facility, dehydrating and starving to death-because the next Governor of Florida probably wouldn't stick his or her neck out on the chopping block.
I want to see Terri Schiavo's life spared as much as anyone. Don't ask Jeb Bush to make a sacrifice that ultimately won't change Terri's fate, though.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
If you are a true, ardent, in all cases Federalist, you may disregard this. But there are very few “in all cases” Federalists out there.
I've decided to soften this (without prompting, I might add). It is possible to have Federalist objections here. My problem is that far too many people on the right really are hiding behind that when it is clear that their main motivation is that they agree with the decision to pull Schiavo's tube.
I’m not a lawyer, so my recommendations for what to look for are somewhat vague. I welcome input from those who are better versed in law than I. We can all help make a difference for future Terri’s by taking a look at and changing (if necessary) our own state’s laws on end of life issues. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much for Terri right now.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Many lawyer run blogs have been discouraging to read so far this week. If you'd like a small breath of fresh air from a lawyerly blog, head over to The Hedgehog Blog. The Schiavo entries are limited, but it has been one of a few small highlights around the web for me today.
I ask you, of the three, which one of those things is not like the others?
That's right, scuttling voter ID. I'm not really sure why they felt they needed to bring voter ID into this editorial. Their argument is this: Felons voted, and that is bad. With better inelligible voter lists and more poll workers, we can end this problem. Oh yeah, and since these people voted under their real names, voter ID's wouldn't have stopped it, so we should just scrap the idea of voter ID's.
That would be like airport security at General Mitchell International Airport saying, "Well, we really need to protect against plastic explosives being smuggled on board airplanes. So we need bomb sniffing dogs and explosives detecting machinery. But since metal detectors won't solve out plastic explosives problem, let's just scrap 'em."
The Journal Sentinel editorial board finds itself in a poor position on election safeguards. They want a partially effective system that only protects against some sources of voter fraud, but not all. Their system of safeguards shuts the door on felons voting, but it leaves it wide open to those who may wish to misidentify either themselves or where they live in order to vote multiple times. To bring the analogy back up, they want elections that are like airports without metal detectors-secure against one or two things, but as a whole, utterly unsecure.
Simple words have a powerful place in politics, and most people don't even realize it. There is nothing progressive about that which was liberal just 12 months ago, and the use of 'progressive' helps liberals mask that fact. In fact, it helps them re-brand the Democratic party as a party of vibrance and forward motion, when in fact it is the opposite. Republicans, please stop using that word!
The Democrats should campaign in 2006 with this slogan: The Democratic Party! Brand new Progressive packaging! Same old crummy ideas!
Monday, March 21, 2005
"To make comments that Terri would want to live, how do they know?" Schiavo said of the members of Congress who want to keep his wife alive.
"Have they ever met her?" Schiavo said. "What color are her eyes? What's her middle name? What's her favorite color? They don't have any clue who Terri is. They should all be ashamed of themselves."
Well, let's turn that one around. How do we know that she wanted to die, Michael? You and your family are the only ones who have ever heard her say so. There is also quite a bit of benefit for you if she does die. You can finally marry the woman you've been sleeping with for years. There is also that little matter of money that you may inherit. There is no reason any logical person should believe you without at least a little doubt (but more likely a lot of doubt).
Schiavo also challenges Jeb Bush and President Bush to come down and visit his wife. I know they won't-the vocal liberals out there would charge that it was all political, and neither Bush would want to make a difficult situation worse. I think if either did visit Terri, it would be one of the greatest moments of their term of office, though. But that's just me.
You would think that if there ever were a case that feminists would be worked up over, it would be the Terri Schiavo case. After all, here we have a disabled woman whose cheating husband is trying to put her to death, despite evidence that she is far from being brain dead. They aren’t worked up over it, though. Why? Fear that there may be repercussions for abortion if they stand in the way of medically killing anyone? Sacrificing the one in order to sacrifice the many? Who knows. I guess we’ll have to ask one of them ourselves.
So Tammy Baldwin. Why aren’t you in Terri Schiavo’s corner? (Scroll down to the nays).
“I believe that Terri Schiavo's wishes should be respected. And I believe the Florida courts have done a thorough job of determining what those wishes are. Congress has no business inserting itself in the middle of this family tragedy.Though I'm choosing not to go into the "why" in this particular post, I can actually see the reasons why this might be a consistent position for Baldwin. That still doesn't mean that I think it is right. <>>
Now every American family has cause to fear that their most private decisions might be reviewed or reversed by Congress. Terri and her entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.”
Sunday, March 20, 2005
If Pearl and his UWM Panthers do receive a hostile reception on Thursday, I'll feel terribly for them, but I would expect nothing less of Illinois fans. It will make it all the sweeter when the Panthers send the Illini home for the school year and advance to the Elite 8, though.
It's going to be a wild week of accusations (See also comment from Underscorebleach below).
In the name of fairness, Drudge is leaving the authenticity of this tape open for listeners to decide. I've been very tentative to endorse the reports that Terri tried to say "I want to live," and I'm hoping Drudge puts this audio up at his site so more people can decide because if legit, I'm willing to believe those reports now.
My opinion is becoming more and more solidified. Florida is perverting "right to die" in this case. Badly. Very badly.
My View of the World, reliable as always, has the audio. Go listen. Now.
KING: You're not -- it didn't cost you anything. This is not something where you're looking to save money?Well, actually, there is a money issue here, and it may play a pretty significant role in Michael Schiavo's decision. Unfortunately, there has been little or no investigative reporting that I've seen on how the money from Terri's medical malpractice suit has been spent and how much remains. Clearly, if there still is money remaining, it would become Michael's upon her death. It would not be his if she died or recovered. Additionally, if there is no money remaining, that also could play a part in Michael Schiavo's efforts.
M. SCHIAVO: No. There's no money involved. We need to move on from that question. That question has been asked me 50 million times. There is no money!
If anyone knows of any investigative reporting on this, please send it to me. This ($$$) seems to me to be the keystone in this entire issue.
The slogan of of the Straight Dope, which is a column in the Chicago Reader by Cecil Adams, is "Fighting Ignorance Since 1973." Unfortunately for Cecil, the SDMB "Great Debates" board does more to propagatee further ignorance than it does to fight. While not nearly as far out there as places like the Democratic Undergound, I'm sure the two share something of a common audience.
"It just seems to me they can't be trusted...What do we need to do? It seems to me that we ought to seriously consider ... a law that says all professional sports have a minimum level of performance-enhancing drug testing.''McCain may or may not be correct, and that's not what I'm here to debate. My problem is that he seems to view himself as America's self proclaimed judge of who is worthy of trust. Add into that his overly healthy ego, and you have a Republican that I don't trust myself.
So far this year, work and blogging have backed me up on my reading. Since this has been a somewhat quiet weekend, I'd like to share my book backlog with all of you. If you've read any of them, I'd love to hear your comments.
- Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day, Joe Scarborough
- Because He Could, Dick Morris
- "When is Daddy Coming Home?": An American Family during World War II, Richard Haney
- Blog, Hugh Hewitt
- Reagan's Revolution, Craig Shirley
- We Blog, Paul Bausch
- Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader, (cut me some slack, they're entertaining!)
- Life and Times on the Mighty Santeur, Clara Anderson. (No link, published by a small Northern Wisconsin press after the author's death)
Saturday, March 19, 2005
It seems that during a routine traffic stop in
Holy crap! When posts get lost, they really do continue to exist! This post is obviously over a week old. It got hung up in Blogger the morning that West Allis police first announced they thought they had cracked the Lefow case, and it just kicked out tonight. Wow. Blogger must have re-opened email posts.
Here's my issue. I am not a big music fan. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy music. Every karaoke bar that's ever heard me belt out Piano Man knows that much. I just don't seek out music, or make the time to listen to it. Because of this, this whole iPod craze is making me feel very left out. I believe that I am a member of the minority group of musically disinclined Americans. Because of this, I cringe at all of the iPod discussion that I see and hear. I feel that my civil right to be "part of the in crowd" is being violated by all of this iPod talk. Will you help out an oppressed minority by banning the iPod, or maybe just outlaw any discussion of iPods (they are sold by fat cat corporate America, after all). And hey, ACLU? Message me. Let's talk lawsuit. Trial lawyers, you too. I see a big class action, punitive damages award that you can collect 70% of. After all, iPod is clearly taking advantage of our young. They are put out by Apple, for cripessake! Kids love apples! If you can score on tobacco, alcohol, and fast food, I know you all can score on iPods.
(This post is written with tongue so firmly in cheek that Jib may not be able to speak for a week.)
This is a time for ambition. Victory in Ukraine and the reshaping of the Middle East are only the latest symbols of how democracy is dominant in the world today economically, militarily, and morally. We must leverage this ascendancy to set a global agenda and end the era of complacency and concession that is embodied by the United Nations. In politics as in chess, or in the military or in business, when you have the advantage you must press it quickly--or lose it. For the first time in history, we are in a position to checkmate tyranny. Momentum is largely on the side of democracy.
This is not yet the case, alas, in my home. Russia is in a moment of crisis and every decent person must stand up and resist the rise of the Putin dictatorship. Russia boasts too many generals and colonels in politics and too few thinkers. (Even Russia's chess players are in decline, a symptom of the larger malady.) I hope my vision and ability to think strategically can be of help to my native land. We must act now to unite and to create real democratic opposition to the Putin regime. I can now offer not only my name and my advice, but my active participation.
I hope that Kasparov is as deft a political tactician as he is at chess, because Vlad Putin plays KGB style.
Friday, March 18, 2005
You won't see them. Those who loathe their own nation have trouble seeing beyond that to some of the bigger problems in the world. It is unfortunate that some old hippies never grew up like most of their friends did. That's why their rhetoric sounds like it was written by a 15 year old.
More than 2,000 Shiites marched Friday through Baghdad, with some breaking into the Jordanian Embassy and raising the Iraqi flag atop it, to protest the alleged involvement of a Jordanian in Iraq's single deadliest suicide bombing — a Feb. 28 attack south of Baghdad that killed 125 people.The breaking into the embassy is disappointing, but the fact that Iraqi's are identifying foreign suicide bombers as a big part of their problem, and making their voices heard by the governments ruling the nations those bombers come from can only be a good thing for the Middle East. It puts pressure on the governments of the region to stop their subtle support for the terrorist groups that back these misguided suicide bombers.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Sorry posting has been light the last two days. Life has intervened on blogging. I'd like to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day by offering you a green beer, on me. If it looks crooked, it's because you've already had one too many. I'm hoping to be back en force later Thursday. Earlier if this little rumor of a coup in Syria turns out to be true (HT Brainpost)
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Our Senators, doing less, getting into our business less.
What's the downside here? Give 'em hell, Harry!
(For the record, I know the downsides. A guy can fantasize, though, can't he?)
If you see me start pumping a new blog that reviews books, I beg, nay, plead, go there in spades!!!
Monday, March 14, 2005
First, I'd like to thank MSNBC for one final time for the attention. As a stat watcher, I'm still kind of mesmerized by the bell shaped curve created by an MSNBC link. It went up on Wednesday. It didn't peak until Friday. If we treat 50 visitors per day as a Jiblog average, then MSNBC contributed to approximately 1000 hits to Jiblog. No small feat, and better than the early returns predicted. Just the same, it is interesting to note that a MSM entity venturing into the world of blogs has a smaller impact than a big blog like Instapundit or HughHewitt.com would.
I had invented a word, mesmeric, on accident. Spelling is now correct. The only reason I note this is because "mesmeric" makes me giggle, so I'm preserving it.
The hearings would come after the horse has left the barn and the barn door has already been closed behind it, since the steroids scandal had been building for years and now has finally been dealt with by baseball in the form of a stricter testing policy.
You're a day late and a dollar short on this one, kids. Give it up before you make fools of yourselves.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
By the way, if you haven't done so already, head over to the Online Coalition and sign the letter.
My View of the World has audio of this morning's Brookfield press conference as well as a synapsis of Sunday Insight.
For those of you who enjoy NCAA pools, check out the Dummocrats pool.
The World According to Nick has two good posts on a James Sensenbrenner town hall meeting in Wauwatosa, and the conversation he had with Sensenbrener afterwards.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Notice the lack of distinguishing features. This is an androgynous, culturally bland, boring stickperson. It cannot even offend the Amish (no face) or people with disabilities (does it have one leg or two?). And it is at the peak of my drawing abilities, so Ikea, for a consulting contract, I'll update all of you manuals.
I've been sent a cease and desist letter by the National Association of Green Stickpeople (NAGS). Apparently, this illustration may be found offensive by their members. Sorry Ikea.
Oh yeah, forgot something.
The Journal Sentinel editorial board on Friday ran this editorial in which they assert that government needs to do more to protect judges from those who "menace" the system. The two solutions they offer? The Federal Government paying for security systems at the homes of judges and security improvement at court houses. I agree with government being responsible for better security at court houses, although that would not have prevented what happened in Atlanta today. I disagree with the Feds paying for security at the homes of judges, as a security system is a cost that judges should be able to sustain on their own with their salaries. The Journal Sentinel misses the obvious third solution, though. Legalize concealed carry. And not just for judges, a thought that Charlie Sykes raised on his show Friday. Legalize concealed carry for all who meet the legal requirements.
Mrs. Jib believes that this would make police work more dangerous, and one of the last things she wants is to worry about her officers more than she already does. Her concern falls through a crack in logic, though. The person who jumps through all of the government hoops to legally carry a concealed weapon is not going to be flippant about it and risk losing their ability to do so. The people that police would need to worry about are the ones they already have to worry about-those who illegally carry guns. At least with concealed carry, law abiding citizens, including judges and their families, have a chance to protect themselves at the time they are assaulted instead of becoming a part of a police murder investigation later.
The most unfortunate thing about the Journal Sentinel's suggestions and mine is that none of them would have likely prevented the murder of Judge Lefkow's family or the murders in Atlanta. Both were exceptional events. Even a security system would not have prevented Bart Ross from gaining access to Judge Lefkow's home; it would have only given her husband and mother a few moments of warning, and unless they had guns in their home, both would still have been vulnerable to an armed intruder. In Atlanta, the suspect took the gun off of a deputy, and the only solution to that is compromising courtroom safety by taking guns away from those responsible for protecting those in the courtroom, making everyone vulnerable to the individual who can sneak a firearm into a court.
Blogger Beer has more on concealed carry in Wisconsin.
And as I shudder at the thought of the collective fury of Wisconsin's Internet-savvy citizenry, I bid you farewell until next Thursday...Shudder you should, Josh.
For those of you who aren't big link clickers, I'll summarize. Elliott pushes the panic button on the Packers while taking a look at Brett Favre's decision to play another season. I calmly read Elliott's column until the next to last sentence of the article:
Because the fact remains: Favre last led the Pack to the Super Bowl in 1997, and there's increasingly little to suggest that he'll ever take them back there again.Frankly, Josh, I'm not sure that I'm confident of your NFL analysis skills.
Now, before Jiblog readers get their hackles up, I will say this-no diehard Packer fan believes next year will be an easy season. This team has problems that can be directly attributed to Mike Sherman's decisions as GM. But I still think Elliot is wrong, at least for next year. So I will now take up my soapbox and refute what I see as the weaknesses in Elliott's thought process.
Elliott focuses on two major points-that the loss of Rivera and Wahle on the line will further erode Ahman Green's effectiveness, and that the loss of Darren Sharper will render the defense impotent. Let's look at what he has to say about Green and the line first.
Indeed, Green took a major step backward last year (1,163 rushing yards, 4.5 yards per carry, 10 total TDs) from his '03 star turn (1,883 yds./5.3 ypc/20 TDs), despite running behind one of football's three best offensive lines. Having lost starting guards Mike Wahle (Carolina) and Marco Rivera (Dallas) and center Grey Ruegamer (who started 11 games a year ago) to free agency, it's folly to think Green's numbers will improve.There is no question that no team would want to lose guards of the quality of Wahle and Rivera. It is a bit of a stretch to think that there is not enough talent left on the line to get Green back over the 1200 yard mark, though. Back in the days when I was a kid wondering if I'd ever see a Packer run for 1,000 yards in a season, 1,183 was an impressive number. These days, it's almost pedestrian. A big part of the running game's problem last year was injuries to the running backs. I don't think Green was full speed for much of the year, and Najeh Davenport was never 100% all season. With a healthier Green and (hopefully) his heir apparent Davenport back and healthy, this offensive line can still produce a healthy running game. What we are looking at is replacing one guy on that line. The Packers have two good centers in Mike Flanagan and Scott Wells. Flanagan can probably move back out to tackle if Clifton or Tauscher can move inside to guard. Kevin Barry can pick up the slack at the other guard position, leaving the team looking for a passable right tackle. While you want every guy on your line to be an all pro when they are protecting Brett Favre, this is still a very manageable situation. As long as Green stays healthy, his productivity should improve this year, meaning that there will not be a collapse in the running game that Elliott uses to predict dangerous Favre risk taking.
The second issue I have with Elliott's article is the importance he places on the departure of Darren Sharper:
Meanwhile, Sharper's departure only sinks an already-bad Green Bay D further into the muck; last year, the Pack had the NFL's 25th-ranked defense in total yards allowed and against the pass, and gave up 23.8 points a game (up from 19.2 ppg allowed in '03). Their pass rush is terrible, their linebacking corps is middling, and their secondary is in tatters.It pains me to criticize Sharper because I liked the guy, but losing him is not going to be the end of the world. Sharper was at his best when he was in the defensive backfield with a likely future hall of famer, Leroy Butler. After Butler retired, Sharper became the default leader on that defense. Problem is, I never saw him lead. The quality of his play steadily declined after Butler's retirement, and his tackling got worse and worse. Last year was a good preview of what this defense would look like without Sharper. Elliott makes the mistake of looking at Sharper as the two time Pro Bowler. That isn't the Sharper the Packers lost. The Sharper the Packers lost was an injury prone guy with a tackling problem who was at best an average safety. He's a hole to plug and nothing more. The Packers now have a defensive coordinator who is a known, quality talent. While this defense won't scare anyone in 2005, I actually think it will be marginally better than it was in 2004.
Now, if we assume that my analysis is correct, then the Packers are a team that will have maintained the status quo from 2004 to 2005. Normally, that'll get you killed in the NFL. The Packers have the luxury of playing in the NFC, though. Last year they were the number 3 team in the conference. With the departure of Randy Moss from the Vikings, they will probably remain the number 3 team in the conference. In today's NFL, if a number 3 team in a conference catches fire late in the season, they become a serious threat to win the whole thing. If Elliott wants to run this article back out before the 2006 season, I might not disagree with him. As for 2005, he's flat out wrong as long as this team stays reasonably healthy.
Friday, March 11, 2005
I know I've said this before, but the real scandal about Churchill being invited to campuses to speak is that if the students at these universities academically conducted themselves as Churchill does, they'd get tossed out of school. Churchill's speech certainly is hateful, but the actions of schools like UWW are irresponsible.
If (and this is a big if) we see a Hillary-Condi matchup, we could be in for a redefination of politics not seen since the 1960's. Can you imagine the possibility of Hillary giving lip service to the religous right on abortion and Condi going after the feminist vote with some mild pro-choice rhetoric? I'm not sure if the reshuffling of the political spectrum would be permanent, but it would make for a wild election.
If Drudge is correct on this, Condi's "mildly pro-choice" stance will either torpedo her chances of making it through the primaries, or we are watching these two women playing politics at a very high level at a frighteningly early stage in the presidential election cycle.
Here is the Washington Times article that Drudge's flash referred to. In the article, she defines her view on abortion as libertarian. I'd say "Federalist" might be equally appropriate. Libertarian probably scores her more political punch, though.
I stand by the fact that an MSNBC broadcast and link do not lead to a lot of traffic. I'm sure that there is a wide variety of reasons for this, including MSNBC's lower viewership, the disconnect that still exists between television and the web, etc, etc, so it would be unfair of me to expect this to be equivilant to an Instapundit link. I am noticing an odd pattern, though. Usually with a link from one of the major blogs, you see an immediate spike of traffic. The first day is always the biggest, and by the 4th or 5th day, you are almost back down to your normal traffic level. This MSNBC link has behaved differently. Since the Connected Coast to Coast site acts like a blog, with content sliding down the page as new content is added, you'd expect a similar pattern. Instead, on the first night when the link to 'Lullabye' was timely and pertinent, traffic was disappointingly slow. Yesterday traffic picked up, which could be considered normal given that the original link was placed on Wednesday evening. Today the traffic should have begun to slow again, but it is actually a little heavier than it was at this time yesterday.
MSNBC, you have me baffled.
Heh. Looks like I'm not the only one who is riled up. Although I think Paul does 'riled' better than I do.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
"Due to the recent Ward Churchill speech, I will not be donating to the University for the foreseeable future."
At the mention of Ward Churchill, she could not get off the phone fast enough, even stumbling over "Thank you." I'd have to speculate that she's gotten an earful multiple times about him.
I have mixed feelings about saying no. She was specifically asking me to donate to the funding of the new College of Business building as well as to scholarships. Since I'm a grad of that college, I'm happy that future students will not have to attend classes at Carlson. Just the same, I did not see anyone from the Business College standing up and saying, "Why are we hosting a man who is trying to legitimize the killing of 3,000 people who are just like the kids we are trying to educate?" Given that, saying no was my little way of expressing my displeasure with my alma matter.
That's okay, though, because it was cool to get a mention on a cable news network. It is interesting to note that an Instalanche or a Hughicane or Sykesclone (sorry, that's the best nickname I could think of for a Sykes link) all result in a bigger traffic bounce than a mention and link from the nation's number 3 cable news network.
Good luck catching up to CNN and Fox, guys. Meanwhile, I'll be sitting over here in a corner trying to get over my John McEnroe complex.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Goodnight, Dan Rather
Time to leave your desk
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been getting at
I doubt you know what we've been trying to say
I promised I would never watch you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
Blogs never will be far away
Goodnight, Dan Rather
Now it's time to quit
And still so many things you want to say
Remember all the lies you spun at us
When we were choosing our next president
And like a dog who’s gotten rabies
They’re putting you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside the ancient book
Lies’ll always be a part of hist’ry
Goodnight, Dan Rather
Now it's time to leave
And dream how you’ve damaged your legacy
Someday your eyes may cry
And if you sing this lullabye
Then in your heart
There will always be a part of me
Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabyes go on and on...
They never die
That's how your
Welcome Connected Coast to Coast viewers. I'm keeping this post at the top of the site tonight for all of you, but feel free to look around.
Much thanks to Jeff Jarvis and Connected: Coast to Coast for mentioning Lullabye (Goodnight Dan Rather). I guess it pays to have a song stuck in your head. And to have the annoying habit of making up new lyrics to songs. But one thing, guys. It's Jib-log. Short i. Heh. Jibelog. Mrs. "Jibe" got a kick out of that.
To see the video, head on over to Jackson's Junction.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Last night the lovely Mrs. Jib hosted a little gathering here at the homestead. She's a fine hostess, which is good because I was itching to play with my new service. The spread she made and the bevy of hoppy goodness took the edge off. I'm back now to discuss the topics you all come here to read about. Like duck necrophilia. If you have the courage to click that link, make sure read all the way down to the squirrel necrophilia, and try to not envision it. And try not to laugh.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Ann Althouse wrote twice in the past two days about Mitch McConnell's failure to answer Tim Russert's question, "What does private personal accounts do to fix the solvency problem?" She notes that no one has a short answer. Well, I'm going to take a crack at it.
Private personal accounts don't fix the solvency problem. They are a preperation for the invariable insolvency of Social Security. That is the 800 pound elephant in the closet that no one wants to talk about.
It seems clear that there are two ways to keep the pay as you go social security system solvent. Jack up social security taxes and/or raise the retirement age so you have to pay fewer people. The private account plan assumes that doing so would be a difficult burden on seniors, on the economy, etc. So what do you do? You plan for the day when social security isn't there anymore by getting people to save/invest. By starting private accounts now, you allow for a healthy tansition period before there is an actual crisis. During this transition period, you allow people to build the alternate means of their retirement.
Now, why will Republicans not flat out say this? Because Democrats can use it as a massive scare tactic. They'd be screaming in the streets, "The Republicans want to destroy social security and take away your retirement!" Those who would be most frightened would be those that will be long gone by the time Social Security reaches insolvency, though.
Given that, why won't Democrats go on the offensive? Because they fear the plan may actually make sense, especially to younger voters. They can't use the facts as a stick to bludgeon the Republicans. They need Republicans to present the 800 pound elephant to the public so they can bludgeon them with rhetoric.
Okay fair readers, give me your criticism.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
It seems a hunter in Lacrosse wants the state to have an open hunting season on domestic cats:
The 48-year-old firefighter from La Crosse has proposed that hunters in Wisconsin make free-roaming domestic cats an "unprotected species" that could be shot at will by anyone with a small-game license.
Now I'm no cat fan, despite being a cat owner. I'm also a supporter of hunters. But this is just a bad idea. I know that it isn't uncommon for hunters to take a shot at a feral cat when small game hunting, but opening small game hunting up to domestic cats is going to create an all new set of problems as people sue hunters over the destruction of their animals, or the first time some little girl watches a hunter obliterate her beloved pet and her dad gets in an altercation with the armed hunter.
I so beat The Corner on this story
Just the same, you have to admit the Yankees are a threat to win it all every year. As Bill "Spaceman" Lee said: "You take a team with 25 assholes, and I'll show you a pennant. I'll show you the New York Yankees."
Okay, scrap all of that. Per My View of the World, the image of the vehicle isn't really the image of the vehicle.
Okay, I need something of value added to this post. The Christian Science Monitor looks at military checkpoints in Iraq from both sides.
If you need help trying figure out what a Jib looks like, add one part Topher Grace, one part Kevin Bacon, and one part Tom Glavine. Mix, strain, and serve on the rocks. Or so says Mrs. Jib.
Lowry on Iraq (from The Corner).