The Hammer
Freedom is not free


Friday, September 20, 2002  

Bill Simmons reviews the new movie Unidsputed, and the Shaq pay-per-view roast. He also gives his NFL picks for the week: Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and New Orleans. He has four games, and I only have three, so I'll find another one. And last week he said he was never betting on a Chicago game for the rest of the year; What's the deal?

My other pick: Atlanta -7 at Cincinnati.

posted by The Hammer | 2:52 PM

 

Does this explain their dismal performance this year?

posted by The Hammer | 2:44 PM

 

Well, I'll give some NFL picks now.

Chicago -1 vs. New Orleans (Chicago is banged up, and the number is dropping, but I can't resist)
St. Louis -2.5 at Tampa Bay (St. Louis can't start 0-3, can they?)
Cleveland +4 at Tennessee

posted by The Hammer | 2:22 PM

 

More stupid attempts to pick the final score of the NFL games: Harmon, Sports Weekly (can't find them online), and B. Duane Cross. I assume the New York Times is doing it as well.

posted by The Hammer | 2:19 PM

 

Rick Reilly details the life of a New York Yankees' batboy.

posted by The Hammer | 2:15 PM

 

For those of you who know who Elizabeth Coblentz is, this article comes as no surprise. If you don't know who she is, maybe you should read this.

posted by The Hammer | 10:36 AM

 

Some more junk science concerning the cleanliness-asthma link.

posted by The Hammer | 10:30 AM

 

A review of cell phone studies shows that they pose no cancer risk. You think Peter Angelos et al. will now drop their lawsuits?

posted by The Hammer | 10:28 AM

 

Here's my NCAA picks for the weekend. I'll get to the NFL ones later today. I'll be out of town this weekend, so the line may move slightly.

Notre Dame +2 at Michigan State
Virginia Tech -2 at Texas A&M
Kansas State -3 vs. USC

Standard disclaimer applies.

posted by The Hammer | 10:26 AM

 

As strange as the previous incident was, the saga of Bison Dele is even stranger. His brother was recently found and arrested. Check out the links to the right of this story for the background.

posted by The Hammer | 9:11 AM

 

Now this is strange. Two fans in Chicago attacked the Royal's first base coach, Tom Gamboa. Here's one story, and here's another. Luckily, Gamboa wasn't seriously injured. Here's an audio link, where Gamboa talks to Dan Patrick.

posted by The Hammer | 9:08 AM



Thursday, September 19, 2002  

You know, it had been a long time since we had any murder-bombings in Israel. As this article points out:

However, troops lifted the curfew in the town of Jenin for several hours on Tuesday for the first time in weeks, and there was some speculation that the recent days attackers may have come from the town, a hotbed of militants.

Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.

The PA says that the attacks are "totally against the national interest," but stops short of saying that they're maybe wrong in some kind of moral world where it's not right to target civilians.

Sooner or later (I bet on the latter) the Palestinian people are going to have to take steps themselves to root out the terrorist organizations acting in their name.

posted by The Hammer | 3:13 PM

 

Clayton Cramer links to an editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle discussing a medicinal marijuana giveaway. He draws a good parallel between drugs and guns.

posted by The Hammer | 3:02 PM

 

The Volokh Conspiracy discusses the pronunciation of nuclear, with some general thoughts about the English language.

posted by The Hammer | 2:55 PM

 

Law.com has an interesting piece concerning Iraq, Bush, and negligence. Excerpt:

Well, if foreign policy is to be subjected to legal tests, here's a better question to ask: If Saddam Hussein managed to inflict a nuclear, chemical or biological attack on our population because the government failed to take pre-emptive action, would George Bush be liable to the people of the United States for negligence? Exploring that question provides a basis for predicting how the president will act.

The article details the price for not pre-empting a nuclear strike.

In May, The New York Times (a chronic critic of pre-emptive action) published an essay on the possibility of a nuclear explosion in Manhattan. Author Bill Keller asked a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council to run a computer model of a one-kiloton explosion in Times Square. One kiloton would represent an amateurish device, a fifteenth as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb. According to the model:

"The blast and searing heat would gut buildings for a block in every direction, incinerating pedestrians and crushing people at their desks ... 20,000 [would be] dead in a matter of seconds. Beyond this, to a distance of more than a quarter mile, anyone directly exposed to the fireball would die a gruesome death from radiation sickness within a day -- anyone that is, who survived the third-degree burns. This larger circle would be populated by 250,000 people on a workday. Half a mile from the explosion ... unshielded onlookers would expect a slow death from radiation."


Saddam doesn't pose a threat to us?

posted by The Hammer | 10:27 AM

 

Here's a mini-biography of Lawrence Lessig. Good reading if you're interested in him or his issues. [link via Slashdot]

posted by The Hammer | 10:17 AM



Wednesday, September 18, 2002  

Yesterday Ari Fleischer finally spoke those famous blogosphere words:

Some people, to be sure, will believe anything--for example, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who hailed the offer as a great victory. And the Russians, who say Saddam's word means the Security Council needn't draw up a new resolution after all. And naturally the French, who want not just one new U.N. resolution but two, drawing things out long enough to let Saddam delay any action past the best invasion time of winter. Sophisticates call all of this a "chess game."

The White House had another, more accurate name for it--"rope-a-dope with the world," spokesman Ari Fleischer put it yesterday. And Mr. Bush urged that "you can't be fooled again." Saddam, he added, "is a man who has delayed, denied, deceived the world. For the sake of liberty and justice for all, the United Nations Security Council must act."
[emphasis added]

Nice to hear the administration say what many of us have been saying all along.

Has anyone heard them say this before? I haven't, but I don't catch most of the press conferences or press releases.

posted by The Hammer | 1:42 PM

 

Some news on North Korean refugees, China, and the UN, from OpinionJournal.

posted by The Hammer | 1:33 PM

 

OpinionJournal today links to some past essays by Michael McConnell, whose nomination for the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Topic include Roe v. Wade, free speech, and Bush v. Gore. I haven't read them all yet, but the ones I have read are worth the time.

posted by The Hammer | 1:32 PM



Tuesday, September 17, 2002  

Words from the Prof about the moon. Just read it.

posted by The Hammer | 8:48 PM

 

Bon Jovi is trying a new approach to combat piracy. It may work or it may not, but it's good to see them try to add a little bit of extra value to an expensive CD. [link via slashdot]

posted by The Hammer | 8:35 PM

 

Slashdot is soliciting questions for an interview with one of the DrinkOrDie software pirates who was recently convicted (they participated in large Warez rings). If I remember, I'll post a link to the questions and answers when they are submitted. This could bring up some interesting copyright issues.

posted by The Hammer | 3:53 PM

 

Here's a neat story from Washington, D.C. As some of you may know, Anthony Williams, the mayor of D.C., had some trouble with signatures required to get his name on the primary ballot (do a search on the Washington Post to get the details). So it was left off. He ran a write-in candidacy, and won the nomination. However, there are nine other Anthony Williams listed in the D.C. phone book, all of whom could claim victory. Read the story here on Slate, and continue on to the various parts. A Washington Post article started it all.

UPDATE: Here are the three parts to the story, in case Slate's links aren't working properly.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Enjoy.

posted by The Hammer | 3:33 PM

 

As for the NFL running stats I'm keeping, last week was a big week for the underdogs again. They went 11-5 against the spread, and 11-5 straight up. Every favorite that won also covered the spread. Underdogs are now 22-10 on the year against the spread, and 18-14 straight up. That's the same number of wins I have in my weekly pool, so I would be just as well off had I picked all underdogs. Home and away teams against the spread are pretty well split, 15 home wins and 17 away wins. Road 'dogs went 9-3, to climb to 14-7 on the year. Home 'dogs went 2-2, to go to 8-3 on the year. The over/under was 6-9-1 last week (18-13-1 on the year).

The AFC East has only lost one game outside of their division.
The AFC North has only one win, and only because Cleveland and Cincinnati played each other.
The AFC West only has one loss (KC to Jacksonville, although KC should probably be 0-2).
The NFC West only has two wins, and one was an intra-divisional game (AZ over SEA).

Most of the spreads for next week are large, and I find those the toughest to pick. I'll look them over and try to come up with something.

posted by The Hammer | 3:19 PM

 

Tuesday Morning Quarterback mentions the 0-16 week the New York Times had trying to pick the final score of an NFL game. He doesn't mention the numerous other publications that do the same thing each week, which I referred to earlier. I also emailed him, but got no response. In case anyone still cares, the Harmon Forecast missed every game, as did USA Today Sports Weekly, and B. Duane Cross of cnnsi.com. I'll try to get the links to each of these guys next week, although I have to be out of town over the weekend and the picks may not be posted in time.

posted by The Hammer | 3:08 PM

 

Observations from Bill Simmons on Week 2 of the NFL. He finally shows Chicago some respect.

posted by The Hammer | 2:47 PM

 

I received this email from a colleague, contemplating Rep. Coble's replacement as chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property:

JUDICIARY
Lamar Smith Has Edge In Jockeying For Judiciary Spot
Two House Republicans have been jockeying to replace retiring Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., as chairman of the House Judiciary Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee - and committee watchers say that Texas Rep. Lamar Smith currently has the edge over Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte. High-tech lobbyists told National Journal's Technology Daily that the ascension of either Smith or Goodlatte to the chairmanship - assuming the Republicans retain control of the House in November - would be positive for the industry, and have declined to lobby for one or the other. Smith, first elected in 1986, is currently chairman of the Judiciary Crime Subcommittee. In redistricting, his seat was altered to include more high-tech companies in the Austin region, such as Dell Computer. Industry lobbyists said he also has demonstrated a strong interest in Internet issues over the past year - such as urging the Justice Department to more strongly enforce laws against piracy and cyber terrorism.
Still, Smith has supported some measures that make the high-tech sector uneasy - such as his backing for a bill that would exempt copyright holders from anti-hacking laws when they use technologies designed to halt the illegal distribution of their copyrighted works on peer-to-peer computer networks.' addition, when Smith previously chaired the Judiciary Immigration and Claims Subcommittee, he expressed strong concerns about the expansion of the H-1B visa program for skilled workers from other countries. High-tech employers have used the program heavily.
Goodlatte's record is more consistently supportive of the high-tech industry. He is co-chairman of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and successfully led the drive to pressure the Clinton administration to curtail restrictions on exports of encryption software. He has less seniority than Smith - he was first elected in 1992 - but has strong relationships with the House GOP leadership. Both Smith and Goodlatte declined to comment for this article, except to say that ultimately House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner will choose which lawmaker would chair the subcommittee. If Republicans lose control of the House - they now hold a slim six-seat majority - Rep. Howard Berman, D- Calif., would be in line for the subcommittee chairmanship. Berman, who represents a Los Angeles area district, is currently the subcommittee's ranking member. However, committee sources said Berman also has his eye on the chairmanship of the International Relations Committee, where he is currently the second most senior Democrat behind International Relations ranking member Tom Lantos, D-Calif. Should Berman pass on the Judiciary subpanel, Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., would be in line to chair it. Boucher currently co-chairs the Internet Caucus with fellow Virginian Goodlatte. - by Bara Vaida


I think either Smith or Goodlatte would be OK choices to chair the Subcommittee. I don't like the P2P hacking bill, and I'm unsure about H-1Bs. Berman, however, is a different story. I've seen him at committee hearings and read his comments, and the guy has absolutely no idea about technology. I doubt he uses a computer, and I know damn well he doesn't understand the first thing about the technology. I watched him at a DRM hearing on June 5, 2002 (full report here). He was completely unable to comprehend why movies stolen before they are released in theaters could not be encrypted to prevent copying. As one of the witnesses kept saying, "If they fall off the back of a truck, there isn't much we can do about digitally protecting the content." Unfortunately, I can't find transcripts or audio of the hearing. You could actually hear for yourself how stupid he sounds. And then he comes out with his insane P2P hacking bill.

Boucher would actually be my personal choice to chair the Subcommittee, but that would mean the Dems gain control of the House, a frightening thought indeed.

posted by The Hammer | 2:26 PM



Monday, September 16, 2002  

Self-reflection from the American left. Read it all. [link via Instapundit]

posted by The Hammer | 11:28 PM

 

This piece on Jean Chretien by Mark Steyn is a must-read. [link via Instapundit]

posted by The Hammer | 11:23 PM

 

PETA tax-exempt status at risk: a few groups are taking them on for their sponsorshop of the Earth Liberation Front. The ELF gets a pass from big media most of the time, and their funding does as well. I don't know how much attention the FBI pays to them, but it apparently isn't enough, because they still operate. The ELF's terrorist tactics are probably not going to be ignored anymore, and the American public will no doubt condemn them if they try any more stunts. Looks like they're going to have to alter their mission statememt in the wake of 9/11.

posted by The Hammer | 11:14 PM

 

Looks like Iraq will allow weapons inspectors, unconditionally. I think Saddam is going to try his own rope-a-dope, but I doubt it works on us. Of course, he has most of Europe and the American left on his side. Here is the White House response, and some words from Kofi Annan.

posted by The Hammer | 11:09 PM

 

It was another big weekend for the underdogs in the NFL. I'll have stats and a report tomorrow.

posted by The Hammer | 11:06 PM

 

Here's a good laundry list of the Clinton-Gore years.

posted by The Hammer | 11:50 AM

 

More Second Amendment debate, from Dave Kopel in today's National Review. He takes on unfair reviews of Joyce Malcom's book, Guns and Violence; The English Experience.

posted by The Hammer | 11:49 AM

 

I don't want to touch this with a 10-foot pole. (Was that a bad metaphor?) [link via Instapundit]

posted by The Hammer | 11:10 AM

 

USA Today is running an article describing the split between some big-name artists and the RIAA. A good read for anyone interested in music and copyright. [link via slashdot]

posted by The Hammer | 10:56 AM

 

Mark Helprin has some criticism for President Bush in today's OpinionJournal. Excerpt:

U.S. intelligence learned six years ago that Saddam had at least four nuclear implosion devices lacking only fissile material to make them operational. In light of Iraq's multi-billion-dollar bankroll, its accomplished intelligence services, its longstanding relationships with the former KGB and Soviet military, the multiple and recurring traces of fissile-material smuggling, the fact that almost everything in Russia has at one time been for sale, and the successful clandestine transfer to Iraq of SSN-18 guidance systems, how likely is it that six or more years after Saddam got his implosion devices he would not have their cores? And in light of Saddam's history and the destructive potential of nuclear weapons, should not the burden of proof rest upon those who assume his innocence of such potential?

And:

We fought for a year to save Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein. Why will Saudi Arabia, if it is not an enemy, not allow us the same bases from which we protected it, to protect ourselves? What relationship with them, exactly, do we wish to preserve? They are used to buying whatever they need, and over many years they have bought us in many ways. Immediately after Sept. 11, they dropped oil prices. This was more than anti-invasion insurance, it was blood money, and there is only one decent way to return blood money. Ask the widows, widowers, grieving parents, and orphans of Sept. 11. Ask them how grateful they are for the five-month $6 reduction of the price of a barrel of $24 OPEC oil. Ask them if they want to preserve the status quo and stable relations with the country of Osama bin Laden and 15 of his hijackers. And when you have their answer, which you already know, ask the president. Ask him whether he has run a war or built a mountain of paper. Ask why he stopped short after Afghanistan. And ask why, a year after Sept. 11, he is a president more of word than deed.

posted by The Hammer | 10:54 AM

 

I went 2-1 on my NFL picks yesterday. Bill Simmons went 1-2, so I gained a game on him. I think I'm one behind right now. I'll run some statistics later, but it looks like underdogs won about 11 games, and covered that many as well. I should have stayed away from that Dallas/Tennesse game, with a spread like that it was probably a false line. And the bookies probably nailed it.

posted by The Hammer | 10:53 AM



Sunday, September 15, 2002  

Aimee Deep has some exclusives, concerning OBL and Michael Eisner.

posted by The Hammer | 10:46 AM

 

As promised, here are my NFL picks for today. I'm going with:

Chicago +3 over Atlanta
Tennessee -3 over Dallas
Tampa Bay -3.5 over Baltimore

I went 2-4 on my NCAA picks yesterday. Maybe I should keep track of how much money I'm not losing by not betting on these games.

posted by The Hammer | 10:38 AM

 

OpinionJournal today provides part of a speech Ted Olson gave to the Federalist Society concerning 9/11. The link to the full speech is here. Read it.

posted by The Hammer | 10:31 AM

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