Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Passion

If there's one thing I hate more than pop culture, it's Christian pop culture. And if there's one thing I hate more than overblown drama and violence, it's drama and violence used to manipulate and produce emotions, especially emotions of a religious inclination. Even though most of the Christian community would buy stock in Gibson's new film if they could, I thought I discerned the faint smell of gory Christian pop culture and I didn't really want anything to do with it. Nevertheless, I somehow ended up in the theater Saturday morning and was definitely surprised. One thing the world needs little is another "The Passion of the Christ" movie review, so I'll try to keep it condensed. In a nutshell I was thoroughly enriched by the film, both on an artistic and spiritual level. Of course the film has its flaws, but overall I left with an (unexpected) heightened appreciation for the story of the Passion narrative. Details I've long overlooked, parallels I've never noticed, even (dare I use the word?) emotions I've lost - somehow the film, in its mature, responsible, and thoughtful telling of an old tired story, gave me a new appreciation for what I often approach frivolously and thoughtlessly. That is definitely a good thing.

Quote of the Day 2/29/04

In honor of the Academy awards, today's quote comes from one of my favorite actors.

"When people tell you how young you look, they are also telling you how old you are." Cary Grant

Banshee Blog Best Picture

The results are in, and Banshee Blog readers overwhelmingly chose Lord of the Rings: Return of the King for Best Picture. In about six hours, the Academy will announce their choice. We'll see if the Academy has as good of taste as Banshee readers. Although I preferred Master and Commander, I will not be a bit surprised if the Academy chooses Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/26/04

"It’s pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious." Kin Hubbard

On the Road Again ....

I'm heading out for a road trip, so it's possible that my blogging will be a little light over the next couple of days. I want to apologize ahead of time to those of you who depend on this blog as your main source of joy in life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/25/04

"If you can’t say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Online Quizzes

You just never know what topic might pop up next here at Banshee Blog. We cover all the days' important events, ranging from reality TV to baseball to gay marriage. Next up: Online quizzes.

I know that we have a variety of age groups that read this blog. So, the world of online quizzes may be novel to some of you and old hat to others. As I mentioned over the weekend, for those of us who attended college during the ethernet era (a phrase I coined and hope catches on), online quizzing was as intregal a part of our higher education as such other staples as Chem 101 or soft-serve ice cream in the cafeteria.

So, what's the basic idea? Well, someone with access to a computer writes a series of hypothetical questions and corresponding answers. For example:

Which article of clothing best decribes you?
a. faded jeans
b. warm and fuzzy jammies
c. smelly gym socks

Each of these answers is scored through some system. Then when you have answered all the questions, the quiz devines such things as "What Character from Greek Mythology Are You?" or "What Is Your Inner Rock Star?" Priceless info that no one between the ages of 15 and 25 can do without.

One of the most detailed quiz sites is Emode. Another quiz warehouse for more amateur quizzes is Quizilla. Wild Banshee has even entered the world of online quizzing. The What's Your Temperature? quiz was actually born in MAP South in 2001, but it made it's online debut last night. 70 random strangers actually took this quiz within the first 15 hours of posting. This quiz is just another testament to: If you post it, they will come.

A Little More Marriage Talk

I don't want to turn this blog into a site dedicated exclusively to the sanctity of marriage, but Edward Veith had a post on the World Mag Blog that caught my eye. Recently, I have been thinking about the relationship between civil and religious marriages. Are they one and the same? Are there different roles for each? Is civil marriage even relevant? Veith addresses this question. Here is an excerpt from Veith's post:

President Bush succinctly summarized the issue in his announcement that he was supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman. [Bush said], "Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society."

Marriage is the institution in which religion, nature, and culture all come together. The state does indeed have the obligation to regulate marriage, which Protestant theology affirms as precisely a civil ordinance. But if the state allows a form of marriage that goes against nature and against religion (ignoring nature's design for the procreation of children and religion's concern for the moral ordering of sexuality), the three realms will fly apart.

Mr. Veith may be right, but the statement "the state does indeed have the obligation to regulate marriage" is a bit conclusory. Why does the state have that obligation? And what does Christian theology actually say on the matter of civil marriage? Hopefully, I will have some more developed thoughts on this issue to post in the future.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/24/04

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

A Few More Thoughts on Gay Marriage

In response to statements made by Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, Marvin Olasky at the World Mag Blog recently posed the question about whether Iowans and Michiganders really do care about the gay marriage issue. Here are the comments that I posted at the World Mag Blog:

I am not from Iowa or Michigan, but I do have a comment to make on this issue. Those Democratic governors are probably right. Average Americans probably are not talking about gay marriage with their co-workers at the water cooler. But this does not mean that they are not thinking about gay marriage or that they do not care.

I believe people are not spending more time talking about it because they are embarassed. I believe that most people feel ill-equipped to participate in this debate in public because it requires a discussion of such topics as the Natural Law and the fundamental theories behind crafting a legal system. I think that most people have a gut feeling that this radical change sweeping through America is wrong and immoral. Yet, they feel unable to adequately articulate why they feel it is wrong and why their moral judgements should be codified into law. In addition, people are hesitant to offer their views on such topics because they ivolve such intregal aspects of their worldview that the pain of possible rejection is too scary to bear.

It is imperative that individuals who are blessed with the tools to formulate and articulate a godly position on this topic speak out so that others will be emboldened to follow their lead.

Marriage Amendment

This morning, President Bush reiterated his support of a marriage amendment to the Constitution. From what I gather, the basic idea of the amendment would be to define marriage as an institution that involve one man and one woman. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave recently introduced such an amendment in the House, and Sen. Wayne Allard introduced one in the Senate. Thus far, the President has not endorsed any specific proposal.

I personally have mixed feelings about such an amendment. First of all, I think that amending the Constitution is the appropriate method of changing things that are truly Constitutional issues. I think it is entirely inappropriate when judges "interpret" the Constitution by reading it to say what they believe the Founders should have written. However, amending the Constitution is a big deal, and amendments that stand the test of time are difficult to draft.

Since I have not seen the text of any proposed amendment, I cannot offer any specific comments or criticisms. I would leave readers with this reminder, however. While changing the Constitution is a big and intimidating thing to do, it is important to remember that adding this definition to the text will not represent any change at all in national policy on marriage. The definition of marriage in our nation has long been recognized as an institution that involves one man and one woman. Just because it has not previously been written down in this form does not mean that it is not so. Furthermore, this is not the first time that the definition of marriage has been examined. A very similar issue involving polygamy was discussed in our country when Utah was admitted to the Union. While I am not fully prepared to get on the amendment bandwagon just yet, I want to remind readers that those seeking a radical change in our nation are the individuals who oppose the President's definition of marriage and not those who are proposing to amend the Constitution.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/23/04

"Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know." Andre Maurois

So far so good

My bold prediction that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will be the flag-to-flag Nextel Cup winner is still looking good after the second week of the season. Junior finished fifth this weekend, his best ever finish at Rockingham, and held on to the first place in the Cup standings.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/22/04

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's." Jean Paul Richter

Product of the Video Era

After my struggles with the book quiz below, I concluded that I may just be too much a product of the video age to be properly labeled by any book. So, one of my friends helped me discover a more appropriate quiz. Now this is a result that I can relate to.

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Gauntlet Adventurer.I am a Gauntlet Adventurer.

I strive to improve my living conditions by hoarding gold, food, and sometimes keys and potions. I love adventure, fighting, and particularly winning - especially when there's a prize at stake. I occasionally get lost inside buildings and can't find the exit. I need food badly. What Video Game Character Are You?

I certainly never read Augustine's Confessions, but I did spend a fair amount of time as the Warrior with Elven Katy by my side.

What Book are You?

For those of us who attended college in the ethernet age, online quizzes are an important self-discovery tool. The "What Book are You?" quiz was quite the rage in my law clinic this week. Depending on what answers you give, you get different questions. Then the quiz tells you what book best defines you. I have to say that I came up with a variety of different results before I finally came up with something I found satisfactory. Here's the result that I got:

You're Confessions!

by St. Augustine

You're a sinner, you're a saint, you do not feel ashamed. Well, you
might feel a little ashamed of your past, but it did such a good job of teaching you
what not to do. Now you've become a devout Christian and have spent more time
ruminating on the world to come rather than worldly pleasures. Your realizations and
ability to change will bring reverence upon you despite your hedonistic transgressions.
Florida will honor you most in the end.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Take the quiz and see what book best defines you.


The results from Banshee Blog's innaugural poll are in. 75% of respondents approved of the blog's new look. 16% didn't like the change. 8% didn't notice.

This week's poll allows Banshee Blog readers to voice their vote for what movie should win the Academy Award for Best Picture next Sunday night. We'll see if the Academy has as good of taste as our voters.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/21/04

"I would rather make my name than inherit it." W.M. Thackeray

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray, has been generating a lot of buzz. So much so, that it has been nominated by the Academy for Best Picture. So, I decided to see what all the hub-bub was about.

In this movie, Bill Murray plays a washed-up actor who travels to Tokyo to shoot a whisky ad. While he's there, he meets a young American woman who is killing time in the city while her husband does a photo shoot in another part of Japan. The rest of the movie is about the week that the two Americans spend together and the friendship they develop.

I can honestly say that I don't have an opinion on this movie. Nothing really happens, but it isn't boring. None of the actors are particularly attractive, but it is visually interesting to watch. It's not particularly funny. It's not particularly moving. It's not particularly anything. But, a lot of people were intrigued by this film about friendship, so I am not prepared to write it off completely after a single, late-night viewing. Still, I will be disappointed if Lost in Translation wins Best Picture on February 29.

Pryor finally on the bench

On Friday, President Bush used the recess appointment power to put Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush first nominated Pryor for the appellate court position in April of 2003. Between now and then, Pryor's confirmation has not even come up for a vote in the United States Senate. This is due to the unprecedented tactics that a minority of Democratic senators have used in filibustering the President's nominees for the federal judiciary. There is a legitimate argument that filibustering judicial nominees is actually a failure by the Senate to fulfill its constiutional duties.

But, part of the blame must go to the Republicans as well. Republican senators have not taken a strong position in attempting to force a vote on judicial nominees. Nor have they done an adequate job in putting this important constitutional debate before the American public. Hopefully, the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees will be an important topic in the November election since the Democratic nominee will almost certainly be a member of the Senate.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/20/04

This quote is selected in honor of the Toughest Athletes discussion.

"A lot of people look up to Billy Martin. That’s because he just knocked them down." Jim Bouton

Deja Vu?

Though an official announcement is not expected till Sunday, it looks as though Ralph Nader may be making another run at the Oval Office. This cannot be good news for Democrats. Kerry or Edwards will have enough trouble trying to get the moderate vote. They certainly do not need any serious challenge on the left. I believe this is far worse for Democrats than a rogue run by Judge Moore would be for President Bush.

USA Today: Politically Correct Sports

Today the USA Today unveiled its Ten Toughest Athletes list. Drum roll please ...

10: Jockey Julie Krone
9: NBA's Shaquille O'Neal
8: Golfer Tiger Woods
7: Golfer Annika Sorenstam
6: NHL's Scott Stevens
5: NFL's Ray Lewis
4: Cycling's Lance Armstrong
3: NFL's Steve McNair
2: NBA's Allen Iverson
1: NFL's Brett Favre

This list is one of the most absurd things I have ever seen in my life. First, let me point out that there are no boxers and only one hockey player on this list. Meanwhile, USA Today gives us Tiger Woods and two ladies. I seriously doubt that Tiger Woods, let alone a female jockey, would like to find himself alone in a dark alley with Lennox Lewis or Roy Jones, Jr. I suppose that I can only speak for myself, but if I needed a tough presence around, I'd opt for linebackers Brian Urlacher or Lavar Arrington before I'd call for Annika Sorenstam. Heck, I'd rather have Josh the Newfoundland than Annika.

I'm sure that Julie Krone has accomplished great things in her sport. And, I have immense respect for Annika Sorenstam. But let's not get carried away here. Annika and Julie aren't even the toughest female athletes around. If we absolutely must include women on a list like this, at least let's include women who take some physical punishment in their sports. Women like Mia Hamm, Diana Taurasi or Laila Ali. Even still, I'd shudder to see any of these very tough women try to catch a pass going across the middle in an NFL game.

Comparing women to men by forcing them onto lists like USA Today's trivializes the legitimately great accomplishments of female athletes. Let women be women and let tough guys be just that -- guys.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Culture War Victims: America's Teens (Guest contribution by Jason Kline)

When it comes to gay marriage I tell you, its simple. We are talking about what is easily defined as cultural and traditional norms. When societies embrace what is called "alternative lifestyles" and makes them mainstream, they collapse.

The real slippery slope is evident on any form of media directed at teenagers: girls kissing each other, shows about gay men living lavish lifestyles, documentaries about how hard it is to be gay in America...

Its no wonder when I asked a class of 27 high school juniors "what is your thought on this issue?" not one remarked that they thought gay marriage to be wrong. Only after I coaxed the kids who believed otherwise to express themsleves did one kid speak up...and barely. She was so embarassed that she found something wrong with it...I felt horrible for her.

The gay lifestyle is a revolutionary lifestyle. It is designed to be contrary to normal society. Once we make gay marriage legal (which is unstoppable without a constitutional amendment), we then open up the next step on their agenda...that all people experiment with their sexuality.

These are dangerous times. I am amazed with how fast this happened: I remember when I was in elementary school reading about how homosexual people wanted to be on TV but the networks did not allow it. That was in the mid 1980s.

I promise that my children will never be exposed to this garbage.

Quote of the Day 2/19/04

"Any philosophy that can be put into a nutshell belongs there." Branch Rickey

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Slippery Slope Revisited

While being interviewed today by Neil Cavuto on Fox News a recently “married” homosexual male responded.

(Not an exact quote) “Don’t talk to me about the sanctity of marriage and the slippery slope when over 40% of all heterosexual marriages end in divorce and when someone can get married on a drunken binge in Las Vegas and have it annulled fifty hours later. We didn't start the slippery slope.”

For those of you who have not read or commented on my earlier posting I have posted it again below.

Confessions of a Slippery Slope Slider

I first heard the term “slippery slope” many years ago when I became involved in the pro-life movement. At that time it made perfect sense to me. If our society embraced abortion, infanticide and euthanasia would follow as surely as night follows day. This danger was so apparent to me that I was not even tempted to consider rape and incest as mediating circumstances. A life conceived was a life worth protecting.

So how come I didn’t see the slippery path I am currently trying to extricate myself from? I stepped on this path harmlessly enough when I began to believe that marriage was all about two people finding love and happiness together. Okay, so I knew it had social and sacred components but they were secondary and not nearly as important. I slid further when I heard myself say, “He’s unhappy and they have no children. Why shouldn’t they get divorced and just start over?” And then, after a particularly ugly episode, I found myself thinking that perhaps certain children really would be better off if they lived with just their Dad and not in a home with a mom who is “difficult.” I didn’t even know I was sliding, and then one day . . .

A college student asked me, “Why can’t homosexuals marry? Shouldn’t it be between the two of them?” Hmm . . .

“Don’t they have a right to love and happiness?” Well . . .

“And don’t children do well if they are in a loving environment even if it doesn’t include both a Mom and a Dad?” Uh, oh!

And so, I am sliding. I know I don’t want to end up at the bottom of this path. I could try to scramble back up with social theories and personal antidotes but I’m afraid they won’t hold. It’s become clear that the only way to stop sliding is to grab hold of the Rock.

So I’m going to start at the beginning with His words, “Haven't you read that the Creator made them male and female in the beginning and that he said, 'That's why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one'? So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don't let anyone separate what God has joined together." (Matthew 19:4-6)

It will be great to get back on the narrow path instead of the slippery slope. Want to join me?

Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood

Recently, the Girls Scouts council has named Pam Smallwood, chief executive for Planned Parenthood of Waco, a "Woman of Distinction." In addition, Waco area Girl Scouts have helped sponsor Planned Parenthood's "Nobody's Fool" event, an event which is aimed at sexual education of minors. According to reports, part of the literature of this event portrays abortion as a thoroughly acceptable birth control practice.

All of this has prompted outrage from pro-life groups in the Waco area. And well it should. But, the outrage should not be restricted to just pro-life groups. Regardless of your moral stance on abortion, it is almost impossible to argue that abortion has actually turned out to be good for American women. And yet, the Girl Scouts, a group that is supposedly geared towards empowering American girls, have chosen to honor and align themselves with an organization that financially profits from the spread of something that has physically and psychologically damaged so many women.

Imagine if the Girl Scouts were aligning themselves in a similar way with the tobacco industry. Just imagine if the Girl Scouts decided to host a tobacco education day sponsored by Phillip Morris. And at that day, Phillip Morris execs discussed the history of tobacco use in our nation and some current forms of tobacco use. And in all the literature at the event, there would be pictures showing attractive, young adults smoking cigarettes and portraying smoking as a totally mainstream, adult activity. People would be outraged. Why? Because an industry that profits from a harmful product would be given access to an impressionable audience.

The Girl Scouts aligning themselves with Planned Parenthood is far worse than an alignment with big tobacco could ever be, and yet there has been very little attention paid to this unholy union.

Kerry Wins ... Edwards Finishes Strong

As expected, Senator Kerry won Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. Perhaps less expected was John Edwards' strong showing. Senator Kerry garnered 40% of the vote, and Senator Edwards got 34% of the vote. But winning the nomination is about winning delegates. Tuesday's results gave Kerry 32 of Wisconsin's delegates and gave Edwards 26 delegates. This was a strong showing for Senator Edwards.

In contrast, Howard Dean had yet another very poor showing. Supposedly, that poor finish will prompt Dean to drop out of the race on Wednesday. The Dean departure should finally give Edwards exactly what he has been hoping for -- a two man race. There have been conflicting reports about whether Dr. Dean will officially throw his indorsement to any of the remaining candidates. Rumor has it that Dean personally prefers Edwards but does not not wish to get involved in the Kerry-Edwards race.

Quote of the Day 2/18/04

"I have always said that having A-Rod playing in Arlington would be like having the Mona Lisa hanging in a garage." Michael Kay on ESPN when asked whether the trade sending Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees was good for baseball.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Winning isn't everything ...

... it's the only thing.

Unlike the Boston Red Sox, this is something that the New York Yankees understand. For those of you who don't know what I'm referring to, today the New York Yankees added the league's reigning MVP to their already star-studded roster. But the interesting part of this story is that a deal sending A-Rod to the Red Sox seemed all but done in December. Then things fell apart. And over what? Over a mere $16 million dollars. After paying over $660 million for the team, Red Sox ownership allowed $16 million to come between them and the signing of baseball's greatest player. This is something that the Yankees would never have allowed to happen.

But, the Boston Red Sox are not the only participants in this saga that seem to be late in learning the importance of winning. Rodriguez himself learned this lesson the hard way. Three years ago, at the age of 25, the star shortstop left the Seattle Mariners (admittedly a small market team) to explore the free agent market. At that time, A-Rod turned down an opportunity to play under the bright lights of the Big Apple -- not with the Yankees but with the Mets. That year, the Mets played in a World Series. Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez earned a few more dollars down in the Lone Star State but his Rangers finished last in each of his three seasons there. Now, Rodriguez has seen the light.

I know what some of your are thinking, "Yeah, but A-Rod isn't giving up any of his salary to make this move." True. But Mr. Rodriguez is making some serious sacrifices. First, he is giving up his number. A-Rod's familiar #3 has long been retired in honor of the founder of the Yankee dynasty, Babe Ruth. But more importantly, the game's most dominant shortstop is switching positions. A-Rod will have to learn how to play third base because there is already a shortstop in the Bronx. He is the team captain, and his name is Derek Jeter.

It will be interesting to see how this season unfolds. Yankees fans have a whole new enthusiasm. And Yankees haters have a whole new reason for the venom. Thank goodness spring training finally getting under way.

Quote of the Day 2/17/04

"The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts." John Locke

Wisonsin Primary

Wisconsin is holding its primary today. Rumors are swirling that Dr. Dean may be dropping out of the race after tonight if he does not at least muster a second place showing. I have not yet actually heard Dean make such an announcement, but the gradual loss of key campaign officials certainly lends credence to that story.

God and Ronald Reagan, a book by Dr. Paul Kengor

Part of the joy of having your own blog is that you get to pay tribute to or promote pretty much anyone's work that you want to see succeed. Today, I am promoting a book entitled God and Ronald Reagan. This book is written by Dr. Paul Kengor, one of Grove City College's most beloved and enthusiastic professors. I have not yet purchased or read this book, but I am certain that it will be an entertaining read. Dr. Kengor has a great love of the Great Communicator and is a wonderful story-teller.

Monday, February 16, 2004


Banshee Blog recently acquired polling capability. It is my intent to have a new poll each week. Each Monday, I plan to report the past week's results and post the new poll. So, vote this week and stay tuned.

Quote of the Day 2/16/04

"I was just as surprised as the Yankee fans and the Boston Red Sox fans when I opened up my paper. It obviously, is a big deal. A-Rod's a great player and the Yanks are going to be a heck of a team with him in the infield." President Bush at the Daytona 500, commenting on the Yankee's acquisition of Alex Rodriguez

Movie Review: Gangs of New York

I realize that Gangs of New York is old news, but I just saw it for the first time over the weekend. There were four main reasons why I rented this movie. First, I love epic spectacles. I am tempted by almost any movie that approaches the 3 hour mark in length. Second, it was nominated for something like 11 Academy awards last year. Third, there were several actors in this film whose work is almost always worth seeing, namely Liam Neeson, John C. Reilly and Daniel Day Lewis. Lastly, all the Martin Scorcese films that I have seen have been artistically interesting.

I was not disappointed in any of these categories by Gangs of New York. It was certainly long. It was visually spectacular. The acting was quite good, and the film was creatively executed. However, I cannot give this movie an indorsement. There is quite a lot of nudity in one particular scene, but this is not the main reason that I withold my recommendation. The main reason is the gratuitous violence. This is perhaps the most gratuitously violent movie that I have ever scene.

I know what some of you are thinking: Aren't you the girl who lists We Were Soldiers as one of her favorite movies? The answer to that question is "yes." However, in my criticisms of Gangs of New York, the emphasis needs to be on the word "gratuitous." The violence in this movie was sustained, brutal and graphic. And, unlike films such as the aforementioned We Were Soldiers, Saving Private Ryan or even Braveheart, this movie was not depicting an actual, historical event where the emotions of the real moment needed to be captured.

I don't know. Maybe that is an arbitrary distinction. But I really did think that the violence of this movie went too far. That being said, if you do start watching this movie, it is worth finishing because the closing scene is very cool.


Banshee Blog got a few new additions this weekend. One important addition is the Guestbook. It is located on the right side of the screen. Please take a moment to sign up. It will be very helpful to me to know who actually visits. Is it just family? Are there some friends mixed in? Are strangers passing through? You get the picture. So, please sign the Guestbook.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

This Bud's for you, Dale!

Dale Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team did it. They won the Daytona 500. Junior was strong all day long. He led about the first 27 laps then lurked in the top five until he passed Tony Stewart with 19 laps to go. It was not the most exciting Daytona 500 that I've ever watched, but it was exciting to see Junior win his first Daytona 500.

In other news, rookie Scott Wimmer finished third in his Cat Dodge. Nice work by Scott and his crew.

Now time for another prediction: Just like Dale Jr. was a flag-to-flag winner in today's Daytona 500, I predict that Junior will be the flag-to-flag winner of the Nextel Cup.

Quote of the Day 2/15/04 Daytona 500

"Gentleman, start your engines." President George W. Bush before the 2004 Daytona 500.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/14/04 Valentine's Day

I don't know how many of you are aware, but February has been turned into Violence Against Women Awareness Month. In addition, many feminists have begun referring to Valentine's Day as V-Day and have taken the opportunity to put on performances of the Vagina Monlogues on college campuses all across the nation. Where has the romance gone?

In response to all this feminist angst, I put forth today's quote of the day:

"Women and men, far from viewing each other as class enemies, continue to fall in love and write each other poetry." Thor Halvorssen of FIRE

A sports update

MLB: For those of you out there who are Yankee haters, now is the time to scroll down to a different blog posting. With third baseman Aaron Boone out for the season with a knee injury and heir apparent, Drew Henson, switching his focus to football, there were those out there who smelled a Yankee demise. But to quote Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend." Newsday is reporting that none other than Alex Rodriguez may be playing the hot corner in the Bronx next season. Reportedly, there is a trade in the works that would send A-Rod to New York in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a minor league pitcher. Jayson Stark at ESPN says that there are still issues to be worked out in this deal, but I am confident that the deal will happen. Unlike the perennial runners-up to the north, the Yankees will pay whatever it takes to get the deal done. If it goes through, this deal will create a hole for New York at second base. But I say that with the amount of offense the Yanks will bring to the plate in '04, they could maybe go without putting a fielder in that spot at all.

NASCAR: Just a reminder, tomorrow is the Great American Race. And no, I'm not talking about anything run in Indianapolis. I'm talking about the Daytona 500. Due to a win in the first of Thursday's Twin 125's and engine trouble for Greg Biffle, Dale Jr. and his Budweiser Chevrolet will be starting on the pole. Put this blogger down as predicting a flag to flag victory for Junior.

Two more wins for Kerry

In case anyone out there is actually depending on this blog for news updates, I felt the need to report that Senator Kerry won the Nevada and DC caucuses on Saturday.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/13/04

"There’s nothing more delightful than feuding neighbors – they make lots and lots of work for lawyers!" Professor Brion

Too rash?

Perhaps I was a bit too rash in mentioning the Kerry's name with a possible adultery scandal. Despite the fact that Marvin Olasky pasted Matt Drudge's column onto the World Mag blog, to this point the rumor is fairly unsubstantiated. Last night Bill O'Reilly refused to discuss any "internet rumors" surrounding the Senator because he wants to raise the level of discourse surrounding this year's campaign. I applaud that sentiment. In his post this morning, Olasky, too, seemed to be having some misgivings about jumping so quickly onto the smear-Kerry-bandwagon. So, my apologies for being a rumor monger. But along with my apology, I would also like to remind everyone that Drudge rumors about an intern in the Oval Office did turn out to be true as true could be.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/12/04 Lincoln's Birthday

"I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know who his grandson will be." Abraham Lincoln

Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln!

Abraham Lincoln would be 195 today. Our nation was truly blessed to have a man such as this in the White House during the Civil War. In recent years, many people have tried to cast aspersions on his character, claiming that he was an evil racist or that he only used slavery for political gains. I will admit that there are actions and quotations that can support these claims when taken out of context. However, I think that Mr. Lincoln was a man who grew in wisdom and in his Christian faith as he moved through adulthood.

Lincoln's Second Innuagural Address is an excellent example of President Lincoln's true feelings on slavery, the Civil War and Divine Providence. Please, please, please follow the link and read this speech. It is short, but it's eloquence is only magnified by its brevity. And as you read, keep in mind that this speech was delivered more than a month before the surrender at Appomatox Court House took place. Knowing that historical context adds to the reader's appreciation of Lincoln's feelings of tenderness and mercy towards his brothers in the South.

For those of you who will inevitably not follow the link, here is an excerpt:

The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

Trouble for Kerry?

What is it with Democrats and marital infidelity? I am certainly not implying that Democrats have the market cornered on adultery, but it is certainly not rare in the last two decades for the Democratic front-runner to be mired in rumors of extra-marital escapades. According to the Drudge Report, Senator John Kerry may be the next to carry on the tradition.

I can't say that I'm exactly glad to hear this. I'm not sure that I want Kerry's campaign to be derailed. A little damage, sure. But I do not think that it would be good news for Republicans if the Democrats turn to the pretty senator from North Carolina, John Edwards.

Women in combat

I think this is a good discussion of the problem of sexual assault in the military. It's from the ladies at the Independent Women's Forum (for those of you who don't know, IWF is a conservative women's group comprised of members such at Laura Ingraham, Linda Chavez and Christina Hoff Summers).

Of course, I do not condone sexual assault in any context. However, there is something to be said for recognizing the circumstances that lead to such acts and eliminating those circumstances. Although ladies do not belong barefoot and pregnant in front of the stove, they do not belong in combat boots in front of the enemy, either.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/11/04

"Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen." George Savile

Take Heart Republicans!

If you are a Republican and are feeling a bit uneasy about the November election as you watch 24-hour news coverage of Senator Kerry, follow this link. I found #6 on this list to be the most interesting. W's boys are so much more savvy than his father's people.

Kerry Keeps Rolling

Senator Kerry continued his winning ways yesterday, taking home victories in two southern primaries. Kerry took home 41% of the vote in Tennessee while Senator Edwards managed only 26%. Virginia was an even more thorough thrashing. In the open primary, Kerry garnered 52% of the votes to Edwards' mere 27%. Clark finished a disappointing third both primaries, prompting the retired general to drop out of the race. Clark's official announcement will come at 3 o'clock this afternoon.

Senator Edwards will likely remain on the ballot throughout all the primaries, but it will not be too much longer before he is no longer an actual contender. I look forward to that time. Once the Democratic candidate is clearly chosen, the media will probably discontinue coverage of the horse race and start paying some attention to Senator Kerry's suspect voting record in the Senate -- particularly in the areas of defense and foreign policy.

WKC Best in Show

Josh, the Newfoundland, took Best in Show last night at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The announcers seemed very excited that there was at last a champion who was "big enough to drink out of the silver cup instead of sitting in it." I'm sure that Josh is a worthy champion, but I was quite disappointed that Co-Co, the Norfolk Terrier, did not even seem to get a serious look from the judge in the final competition. Apparently Mr. Burton J. Yamada, judge for Best in Show, has not been reading this blog. If he had, Mr. Yamada would have known that Co-Co is the cutest thing on four legs (no offense to you, Buffy). In other news, Doodlebug, the wirehaired dachsund, did not place in the Hound group.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Day One at Westminster

For those of you who want serious discussion on topics such as gay marriage, there is plenty of that below. In the meantime, back to the Dog Show.

Day One is in the books at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Last night, Best in Group was awarded in the Working, Terrier, Toy and Non-Sporting groups. The first highlight of the evening was when Josh the Newfoundland defeated the powerful Doberman, Raisin, in the in the Working group. The next highlight of the night was when the crowd favorite Co-Co, an indominable Norfolk Terrier, won the always competitive Terrier group.

Day Two should be even more thrilling. Tonight, Best in Group will be awarded for the Sporting, Hound and Herding groups. The Hound group is always entertaining because it features the gigantic Irish Wolfhound and the not-so-gigantic dachsund. The 13-inch and 15-inch beagles are also in this group. I can't pretend to be indifferent about the Hound group results. I'm pulling for Doodlebug the wirehaired dachsund.

After all the groups are finished tonight, the judges will award the prestigious Best in Show. Who will it be? Tune in to USA from 8 till 11 tonight to find out.

Quote of the Day 2/10/04

"There is more credit in being abused by fools than praised by rogues." F.E. Smith

Mimi and the Comments

Please give Mimi's latest post on the Slippery Slope a careful read. And please check out the comments that follow the post and respond if you have any thoughts at all. Just click where it says "Comments." You can read others' comments and make your own. I think this is an important discussion, and I think it is important that each of us have a clear idea about how to articulate our thoughts as the Presidential election nears. Furthermore, I think this blog brings together people from a variety of different age groups, marital statuses, education levels and social circles. We could all benefit from the insights gained on this topic from the differing life experiences of this blog's readers and writers.

Confessions of a Slippery Slope Slider

I first heard the term “slippery slope” many years ago when I became involved in the pro-life movement. At that time it made perfect sense to me. If our society embraced abortion, infanticide and euthanasia would follow as surely as night follows day. This danger was so apparent to me that I was not even tempted to consider rape and incest as mediating circumstances. A life conceived was a life worth protecting.

So how come I didn’t see the slippery path I am currently trying to extricate myself from? I stepped on this path harmlessly enough when I began to believe that marriage was all about two people finding love and happiness together. Okay, so I knew it had social and sacred components but they were secondary and not nearly as important. I slid further when I heard myself say, “He’s unhappy and they have no children. Why shouldn’t they get divorced and just start over?” And then, after a particularly ugly episode, I found myself thinking that perhaps certain children really would be better off if they lived with just their Dad and not in a home with a mom who is “difficult.” I didn’t even know I was sliding, until one day . . .

A college student asked me, “Why can’t homosexuals marry? Shouldn’t it be between the two of them?” Hmm . . .

“Don’t they have a right to love and happiness?” Well . . .

“And don’t children do well if they are in a loving environment even if it doesn’t include both a Mom and a Dad?” Uh, oh!

And so, I am sliding. I know I don’t want to end up at the bottom of this path. I could try to scramble back up with social theories and personal antidotes but I’m afraid they won’t hold. It’s become clear that the only way to stop sliding is to grab hold of the Rock.

So I’m going to start at the beginning with His words, “Haven't you read that the Creator made them male and female in the beginning and that he said, 'That's why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one'? So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don't let anyone separate what God has joined together." (Matthew 19:4-6)

It will be great to get back on the narrow path instead of the slippery slope. Want to join me?

To Vote or Not To Vote

Today Virginia holds its open primary. That means that even tried and true, die-hard Republicans like me have the opportunity to voice our opinions as to who the Democrats should choose as their Presidential candidate. I have a great temptation to drive out to the middle school and flip the lever for Al Sharpton -- not because I believe in his positions but because I would love to say that I had once voted for the Reverend. Also, I have a hard time waiting all the way until November for a chance to vote against the increasingly angry Senator Kerry. However, both of these impulses will most likely be overcome by my driving desire to watch late afternoon television. If only Fighting Joe were still in the race .... But, I digress.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/9/04

"Greatness never needs self-promotion." Jack Hamm

Follow the leader

It seems that Al Gore is following the lead of the man he endorsed for President. Gore's speech on Sunday rivaled the now infamous Dean Scream. I saw the video of this, and the former Veep was quite wild-eyed.

Warning: do not follow the above link if you are prone to excessive anger due to Democratic hyperbole.

They're ba-ack

Apparently, the 10 Commandments have reappeared in the rotunda of the Alabama Judiciary Building. This time, however, the Commandments are just one part of a larger display that honors the origins of the Western legal tradition.

Richard Cohen, president of one of the three organizations that sued over Judge Moore's original monument seems to think this new monument comports with the Constitution. Cohen had this to say, "Unlike Moore's monument, it does not appear to have the purpose or effect of promoting religion."

No word yet on possible suits by other organizations.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

And I thought weird stuff happened in Rockbridge County courts

What a bizarre story! Obviously Judge Cope has some problems that probably necessitated him leaving the bench. But what a way to exit!

Here's an excerpted paragraph from the St. Petersburg Times that sums things up: "[In the middle of a routine divorce trial], [a]bout 11 a.m., looking rushed, [Judge] Cope announced another 15-minute break, saying he needed to leave .... Cope never returned."

Thanks to Heather DeJesus for suplying this tidbit.

Quote of the Day 2/8/04

"We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking." Mark Twain

Westminster Dog Show

Monday night is the beginning of the 128th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. USA will air the dog show live from Madison Square Garden on both Monday and Tuesday nights from 8 till 11 pm. Six hours of Dog Show may seem excessive, but it should be entertaining. The commentary from the announcers is both informative and absurd -- an entertaining combination. And the dogs are oh so cute. I've never seen anything more adorable than Coco, the Norwich Terrier that recently won the American Kennel Club's national championship.

Let's go Dachsunds!

Kerry forging ahead

Yesterday, Kerry garnered two more victories. He won the Washington and Michigan caucuses. And, no one came within 19 points of him in either race. Interestingly enough, it was Howard Dean who came in second in both of these races. Unfortunately for Dean, second place in Washington is not particularly good news, considering the amount of time he spent in that state. Edwards was not expected to finish too well in either of Saturday's races. But, the North Carolina Senator needs to start doing well in the very near future if this is going to remain a race at all.

A look ahead .... Sunday is the Maine primary. On Tuesday, Virginia and Tennessee will hold their primaries. Early on, Edwards was looking to these states for key wins. But, Edwards is now talking more about strong second-place finishes rather than victories in these southern states. Not a good sign for the Edwards camp.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/7/04

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Unknown. Supplied by Mamie Wetzel

So true.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mr. Reagan

Today, February 6, is Ronald Reagan's 93rd birthday. I would ask each of you to take a moment on this day to say a small prayer of thanks that the Lord allowed our nation to have a man such as this lead us to victory in the Cold War.

Thank you, Mr. Reagan. You are a great man.

For more insight on President Reagan and the strength and wisdom with which he approaches the close of his life, please read this article by Dr. Paul Kengor.

Quote of the Day 2/6/04

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. June 12, 1987.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Deaniacs have gone crazy

This is from a Seattle Times report on a recent Dean rally:

"Dean received one of his biggest ovations after a heckler asked what he'd do to reduce the abortion rate. He suggested universal health care for children, sex education that isn't just abstinence-based, and finally, 'We're going to tell all those white boys who run the Republican Party to stay out of our bedrooms.'"

Hmmm .... Leave it to a Democrat to make sex into a racial issue.

Oscars on delay

ABC is considering a slight tape delay for their broadcast of the Academy Awards on February 29th. Apparently ABC was considering this before the Super Bowl debacle, and at this point they are only considering the 5 second delay. Until now, the Oscars were not subject to any sort of delay, so this is kind of a big step.

In response to the possible delay, Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy had this to say, "We would be very concerned about a delay that would raise possibility of a network representative deciding that remarks like Michael Moore's last year would be inappropriate. We don't want that kind of censorship [emphasis added]. The ability to edit out a single word or a body part is different; that's not the same kind of concern, although some would see it as the camel's nose moving into our tent."

Once again, this is an improper use of the dreaded word "censorship" by a member of the entertainment industry. ABC's refusal to broadcast certain speech is simply not censorship. Real censorship would be a government actor mandating that speakers at the Academy could not say and do certain things. In contrast, no length of delay or editing by ABC would amount to true censorship. Moore and others would be free to do almost anything they please. They have that right. Those speakers do not, however, have the right to demand that ABC aid them in spreading a message that ABC does not want to spread.

Quote of the Day 1/5/04

"Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites." Edmund Burke

Tape Delay for the Grammy's

Just one week after the controversial, Super Bowl halftime show, CBS will air the 46th annual Grammy Awards. Janet Jackson is still slated to present an award and Justin Timberlake is still scheduled to perform. However, CBS is taking some precautions to avoid another embarassment this week. Fearing that some rock and roller or hip hop star will try to top the Super Bowl shenanigans, CBS has instituted an enhanced tape delay for the broadcast. It is not uncommon for networks to delay certain live broadcasts by 5 seconds so that they will be able to edit out foul language. However, this enhanced delay for the Grammy's will also allow CBS to edit out visuals that run afoul of the FCC. The exact length of the enhanced delay has yet to be determined, but I have heard that it could be as long as five minutes (in an aside: Conan O'Brien quipped that five minutes would allow CBS to edit out all objectionable content -- including any Clay Aiken song).

This enhanced delay may well be an effective tool for shielding American homes from obscenity, nudity and the like. However, I am disappointed that this is even necessary. I am not disappointed that people in the entertainment industry would consider such publicity stunts. Instead, I am disappointed that our culture is such that artists do not pay a financial price for attacks on public decency. Perhaps I live in the wrong decade, but I wish that market forces would come alive to punish those who offend American families rather than having those families just wait to have their eyes shielded by the media or the FCC.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

A Fond Farewell to Fighting Joe

After a disappointing showing in Delaware, Senator Joseph Lieberman officially dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President. I, for one, am sorry to see him go. Granted, I would not have voted for Senator Lieberman in November, but I admired his candidacy. Lieberman was the only candidate amongst the Democrats who focused on what he would do as President rather than on what evils Republicans have done or are currently plotting to do. Lieberman's message was about continuing forward in this great nation and not about how horrible the United States supposedly treats the rest of the world and its working class citizens. And, of the three senators in the race, Lieberman is the only one who took an intellectually honest stance on the war in Iraq. While Kerry and Edwards have alternated between supporting the war with their votes and then snearing at President's decision to send in the troops, Lieberman has remained steadfast in his position.

In short, Lieberman's campaign was upbeat and positive. It was about the good that Lieberman could do rather than rhetoric about the evils that Bush will perpetrate. It is a shame that such a message had little appeal with Democratic voters.

Super Tuesday I

Tuesday was another big day for Democrats. Kerry established himself as a candidate with national appeal, winning in the Heartland, the mid-Atlantic and the West. Edwards and Clark stayed relevant with wins in South Carolina and Oklahoma, respectively. Howard Dean, on the other hand, took a bit of a beating. However, based on his own comments and the fact that he was already concentrating on Washington state, Dean was obviously expecting the poor results on Tuesday. But, the most disappointed candidate of the evening was Senator Lieberman. After getting trounced in Delaware, Senator Lieberman dropped out of the race. So, that's the update on the Democratic horse race.

Judge Moore for President?

It seems that John Fund at the WSJ is reporting that Judge Roy Moore from Alabama Ten Commandments fame is considering a third party run at the White house. The World Mag Blog took note of Fund's reporting this morning. My brief thoughts on the matter are posted here in the comments. If Moore really does make a run, I will certainly have much more to say about his candidacy. In the meantime, let me say this: If anyone from that controversy must run for President, let it be Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, and let it be in 2008 -- not before.

Quote of the Day 2/4/04

"Every society has to deal with the problem of how to deal with those who are unable to pay their debts. …. On one end of the spectrum you have being tied to a corpse in a debtors’ prison. On the other end of the spectrum you have bankruptcy where – poof! – your debts are relieved." Prof. Sam Calhoun in Commercial Transactions class on 1/5/04

The Janet Jackson Controversy

After two days of research and thought, I have reached a conclusion on the flash seen round the world. I believe everyone is telling the truth. I believe that CBS and MTV did not know that bare breasts would be involved. I also believe Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake when they say that a costume malfunction was the reason for the controversy.

I never really had much of an opinion about what CBS or MTV knew ahead of time, but at first I found it hard to believe that Jackson and Timberlake did not know what they were going to do. After all, JT ended the song with the words, "I'll have you naked by the end of this song," and took a swipe at Jackson’s breast. Furthermore, why would Jackson be wearing a pasty if she was not intending to show it? I don’t know many women who wear pasties under their clothing.

However, I first thought that maybe there was actually a costume malfunction when I saw a closer view of Janet Jackson’s face. She does look truly shocked. But, I really came around to believe JT and Jackson when much closer inspection revealed that there was no pasty involved. Rather, there was a nipple clamp. I still don’t know many women who wear these, but I do know that even L'il Kim doesn’t generally consider these to be outer wear.

So here is my conclusion: JT meant to tear the black, outer portion of Jackson’s samurai outfit. There was supposed to be a red bra that remained intact. The red bra would have been racy enough to reveal the nipple clamp but not so racy as to reveal anything that violates FCC rules. So, pushing the envelope was not an accident but baring all the contents of that envelope probably was.

But there is a lesson to be learned here by CBS and the NFL. Even if they did not know exactly what was going to happen, they did know who MTV was when they invited them to produce the extravaganza. I can’t feel too bad for CBS officials who were surprised by the flash. Rather, I would remind them of the old Indian adage, "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/3/04

"Between friends, differences in taste or opinion are annoying in direct proportion to their triviality." W.H. Auden

Liberal censorship

I think this article is an interesting example of how liberals are terrified of honest debate in the market place of ideas. While liberals are the first to cry "censorship" when conservatives try to use market forces like boycotts to lessen the impact of messages mainstream America finds offensive, it is the liberals who resort to actual censorship by punishing dissenting views and removing them from the debate. This is particularly true at America's universities.

This particular story comes from Oklahoma University. It is of particular interest to the Banshee Blog because it mentions OU President David Boren (see "Mock Con: Session One in the Books" from January 30).

I found this story on Clay Whittaker's blog which, by the way, is generally worth checking out. If you go there, make sure you read his About Me section.

Super Bowl

Due to the fact that the Super Bowl was sandwiched in between such momentous events as Mock Con and Groundhog's Day, the big game did not get the treatment that it deserved on Banshee Blog. I'm sure that any of you who really cared about the game either watched it or read a detailed account of it by now. Therefore, I will not commence with a play-by-play. So, here's some commentary on various aspects of the game.

Monday Morning coaching: I normally hate this sort of thing, but I simply cannot resist a little critiquing of the Panthers' coach John Fox. Why, oh why, did the Panthers go for a two-point conversion with 7:30+ left in the game? I know that they were trailing by 5 at the time, but there was so much ball left to be played. Both teams scored again several times before the game finally concluded.

Here's how it went down. The Panthers failed on their first two-point attempt, and the score remained 21-16 in favor of the Pats. Then the Panthers scored another TD to take a 22-21 lead. Due to their first failure, the Panthers were forced to go for two again. They failed again. Instead of kicking two PATs to make the score a natural 24-21, the Panthers now only had a 1-point advantage. The weird score spread created by the Cats led the Patriots to successfully try a two-pointer after their next TD. That made the score 29-22 in favor of the Patriots. The Panthers next TD and PAT tied the game at 29. We all know what happened next -- another heroic Vinatieri FG to give the Patriots a 3-point victory.

I know that was a little convaluded, so here's the summary for those of you who skimmed over the last paragraph. If the Panthers had not commenced with the two-point conversion attempts with almost one half of a quarter remaining in the game, they would almost certainly have had 2 more total points. The Patriots would in all likelihood have had one less point because the scoring sequence would have remained normal. Therefore, the Panthers would have been leading 31-28 when Vinatieri kicked his last-second field goal. Then all of America would have been blessed with the first overtime game in Super Bowl history.

Kickers: The play by the kickers in this game was bizarre. First of all, Adam Vinatieri, one of the game's all-time greatest clutch kickers, continued his Reliance Stadium struggles and missed two field goals in the first half. Then Vinatieri's squib kick (probably not his call) at the end of the first half led to a gift FG for the Panthers. But, Vinatieri's mishaps will all be forgotten since he split the uprights with 4 seconds to go.

But the kicker I really want to talk about is the Panthers' John Kasay. Kicking the ball out of bounds with 1:30 to go is just abominable. It's inexcuseable. Kasay is a kicker for a living. His job in life is to kick a football. And yet, he couldn't even get it onto the 50-yard wide field when it counted. I doubt Kasay could have kicked it into the Pacific from the beach with that effort.

MVP: I'm certainly not going to quibble with the selection of Tom Brady for MVP. Brady played very well in this game. Well enough to earn the MVP honor. But, I'd like to make a pitch for Patriots' linebacker Mike Vrabel. Vrabel caused the fumble that set up the Pats' first TD. Vrabel also had a couple of sacks in the game. And to cap it all off, Vrabel caught -- yes, that's right -- caught a TD pass to give the Patriots a 29-22 lead with 2:51 remaining in the game.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/2/04 Groundhog Day

"You want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life." Phil Conners (played by Bill Murray) in Groundhog Day.

Take That!

Just how deep does the support for President Bush go? Apparently very deep. Punxsutawney Phil, the famous Pennsylvania weather predicting groundhog was awakened early this morning. When his handler said, "I bring greetings from President Bush" Phil replied . . .

"I'm glad I live in this luxurious burrow on the Knob
and not in a dirty, smelly spider hole like a slob.
When I come out I don't want to negotiate;
But to just do my job and prognosticate.

Unfortunately, Phil predicted we will be slogging through six more weeks of winter.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Quote of the Day 2/1/04 Super Sunday

This quote is in honor of Super Sunday.

"Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." Vince Lombardi