Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Clogs, tulips, and scab-knees

Hounded by the religious right and their dogged attempts to legislate away my freedom, I'm always on the lookout for another country to move to, should the good old U.S. of A. get a little too Orwellian.

Well, it appears that the religious right would have no place in the Netherlands, where they've recently launched a political party for pedophiles. Here's a few excertps from the Pedophile Platform:

  • Cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether

  • Youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves

  • Legalized sex with animals (although cruelty to animals would still be a crime)

  • Legalized public nakedness

  • Free train travel for all (now that's pure crazy-talk)

As much as I enjoy bashing my extremist right-wing countrymen, I'm always appreciative of these little reminders from Europe of what happens when the scale tips too far to the other side. Don't even get me started on Denmark excusing Muslim mercy killings as a "cultural difference."

Meanwhile, natural selection appears to be alive and well in Miami. A 31-year-old man was racing a toy remote-controlled boat, and when it stalled, he proceeded to paddle a raft into the middle of the lake to retrieve it. The funny part? He couldn't swim. So when his raft was punctured by another toy boat (an ironic twist that Hitchcock would be proud of), he quickly drowned. Amazingly, the article refers to him as a "victim".

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wither Koy?

Not that you noticed, or likely care, but the Eagles signed another QB today. A free-agent from Texas, who hardly played in college (he was Vince Young's back-up), Nordgren doesn't seem like a guy who would threaten to break into the top three spots on the depth chart.

Here's the subplot: Koy Detmer dropped to #3 last year, and did so poorly when he played, that the Eagles stuck with Mike McMahon through a dismal 2-6 finish where the offense was even worse than their record would indicate. Even though McMahon was the better option at QB, he got released while Koy remains on the team. Why? Because he's the holder for David Akers.

So this sentence in the article really jumped out at me:

As a senior, Nordgren was the holder on special teams.

Nordgren might not be the guy who replaces Koy Detmer, but this signing is a clear signal that the Eagles are actively looking for that replacement. After the draft, when they didn't select a QB, I figured Koy was safe for another year...but maybe not. Or they might stash Nordgren on the practice squad for a season and keep Koy around. But it's pretty clear now that his days in Philly are numbered.

I'm amazed that this story isn't getting any play in the Philly press at all, but the Eagles are going to have a real decision at WR in training camp. NFL teams generally carry five WRs on their active roster, and the bottom two play on special teams. Reggie Brown is the clear #1 and Jabar Gaffney should be #2. The remaining three spots will be fought over by four players: Todd Pinkston, Greg Lewis, Jason Avant, and Jeremy Bloom. Bloom was drafted as a speedy return man, something the Eagles have lacked, so he seems like a lock for #5. Avant is a fourth-round draft pick with great hands...with his cheap salary and a rookie's willingness to play special teams, he seems like a good candidate for #4. That leaves Pinkston and Lewis, #2 and #3 on the depth chart starting last year, fighting for the last roster spot. One of them will have to go, and since they have both been starters for the Eagles, it figures to be fairly big news.

So much for my stocks are getting crushed. They gave up most of their one-day gains yesterday, and gave the rest back today.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

God wants you to get cancer

I'm almost getting tired of picking on the religious right. I honestly look for other subjects to blog about. But these guys are just such easy targets.

I was delighted to read about the FDA's approval of Merck's new cervical cancer vaccine. Not because I'm at much risk for it, but cancer is an absolute scourge that attacks randomly, destroys your quality of life, and then your life itself. Anything we can do to fight it, in any form, gets two thumbs up from me. And who knows...maybe fighting one type of cancer will lead to breakthroughs against other types.

But naturally, the religious right thinks that we're better off skipping the vaccination and taking our chances with the cancer. Why, you ask? Because the virus that causes this cancer can be sexually transmitted! So logically, by vaccinating our youth against this virus, we are encouraging them to have sex!

Sex, which is nothing but a tool of Satan himself, should be as dangerous as possible. The more potential death that sex can cause, the happier Christians are. Because the important thing isn't saving your, God doesn't actually want to prevent you from contracting a withering disease...the important thing is that you keep your pants on. Because people like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson couldn't get pussy in high school, they want to make damned sure that no other teenagers get any pussy either.

The great thing about all this, is that scaring teens into abstinence simply doesn't work. When was the last time you heard someone say, "Suzie lifted up her skirt, and then started to unzip my fly, but I was like: Hey babe, slow down, I could be a carrier for the human papilloma virus!" Even armed with proof that their tactics do nothing to prevent sex, they still push forward with this agenda, the results of which will mean more people suffering and dying from cancer.

There is only one conclusion I can draw from these series of facts: the religious right, and their heartless fucking God, want everyone else to get cancer. It's all part of God's plan.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I told you so, again

Interesting day for stocks. The Dow was up a measly 0.14%, the NASDAQ up 0.62%. But the stocks I mentioned two days ago had a banner day.

I don't suppose that any of you took my advice and caught the 13.1% gain in Marvell today. Or the 5.32% gain in Genentech. Or even the tiny little 2.21% gain in Gilead!

It's not too late though. Broadcom should be trading along with Marvell, but it was only up 2% (and is down after-hours.) The industrials and raw material stocks aren't quite ready to buy, but you wouldn't be wrong to start with a small portion of your position right here. Banks and financials? I can't touch them yet, not with the Fed possibly going up another full 100 points. Maybe they've bottomed already, but I'm not willing to bet on it with so many other good stocks working right now.


I finished reading the Da Vinci Code. I'm avoiding a normal book review, because I frankly couldn't care less about Holy Grails and secret documents exposing the lies of the Church. That's equivalent to secret documents exposing the sexual preference of George Michael. Sometimes the truth is rather obvious.

I was absolutely intrigued by the history, however. If you've ever taken even 30 minutes to research any pre-Christian religion, you can find numerous correlations with Christianity itself. But then if you spend a little more time searching, maybe 2-3 hours, you'll find out that absolutely nothing in Christianity is original.

Mithraism is credited in the Da Vinci Code as one of the origins of Christianity. Here's a quick quote from Wikipedia, comparing the two (bear in mind that Mithraism predates Christianity by about four centuries):

"The resemblances between the two churches were so striking as to impress even the minds of antiquity" (Cumont, 193). Like Origen (an early Christian writer and in this respect a peculiarity among the other patrsitic writers), Mithraism held that all souls pre-existed in the ethereal regions with God, and inhabited a body upon birth. Similar to Pythagorean, Jewish, and Pauline theology, life then becomes the great struggle between good and evil, spirit and body, ending in judgment, with the elect being saved. "They both admitted to the existence of a heaven inhabited by beautiful ones. . .and a hell peopled by demons situate in the bowels of earth" (Cumont 191).

Both religions used the rite of baptism, and each participated in an outwardly similar type of sacrament, bread and wine. Both the birth of Mithra and the birth of Christ have been celebrated on December 25th, although nowhere does the Bible claim that Christ was born on this day. Both Mithra and Christ were supposedly visited by shepherds and Magi. Both Mithraism and Christianity considered Sunday their holy day, though for different reasons. Many have noted that the title of Pope (father) is found in Mithraic doctrine and seemingly prohibited in Christian doctrine. The words Peter (rock) and mass (sacrament) have significance in Mithraism.

Mithraism and early Christianity considered abstinence, celibacy, and self-control to be among their highest virtues, though Judaism did as well. Both had similar beliefs about the world, destiny, heaven and hell, and the immortality of the soul.

Sounds like pure coincidence, eh? But you can't trust Wikipedia alone, so get some more information from this Google search while you're at it, and do your own research.

Early Christian leaders were so distraught by the similarities between the two popular and competing religions, that they claimed Satan, with foreknowledge of Christ's appearance on Earth, founded Mithraism ahead of schedule to confuse humanity and diminish the glory of Christ. Also consider that the Vatican is actually built on top of the ruins of a Mithraic temple. Most likely it was burned down in one of the many orgies of violence and suppression that Christians are famous for.

Anyway, if you've made it this far into my rant, your reward is a quote I found poking around tonight that made me lol:

Have you ever thought about how bizarre the crucifixion story is? Imagine the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe sitting on his magnificent throne in heaven. He looks down onto earth and says to himself:

Those evil humans down on earth. I hate what they are doing. All this sin...
Since I am all-knowing I know exactly what the humans are doing and I understand exactly why they commit each sin. Since I created the humans in my own image and personally programmed human nature into their brains, I am the direct author of all of this sin. The instant I created them I knew exactly what would happen with every single human being right down to the nanosecond level for all eternity. If I didn't like how it was going to turn out, I could have simply changed them when I created them. And since I am perfect, I know exactly what I am doing. But ignore all that. I hate all these people doing exactly what I perfectly designed them to do and knew they would do from the moment I created them...

So here's what I am going to do. I will artificially inseminate a virgin. She will give birth to an incarnated version of me. The humans will eventually crucify and kill the incarnated me. That will, finally, make me happy. Yes, sending myself down and having the humans crucify me -- that will satisfy me. I feel much better now.

Credit for that quote goes to the wonderful site: Why does God hate amputees? I strongly suggest you follow that link, but only when you've got a lot of time to kill. The Bible-bashing is hilarious and addictive, and it'll be tough to rip yourself away and go back to work.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bye bye Billy

Blogging means putting your opinion in black-and-white for everyone to see. Sometimes those opinions are proven wrong over time, so there's some risk that I'll be exposed for the posturing fool that I am.

This risk, however, is balanced by the chance, however remote, that I'll occasionally be right. So I'm going to take full advantage when these chances present themselves, and gloat over my success.

Billy McMullen was traded today to the Minnesota Vikings for undrafted free-agent Hank Baskett. As I'm sure my loyal readers recall, I said this after the Eagles' draft:

With the Eagles drafting two receivers, it seems likely that Billy McMullen and Greg Lewis have seen their last game in green and silver

Sad that a former third-round pick couldn't stick with a team in dire need of WR help. And now McMullen isn't worth even a 7th-round draft pick. I highly doubt the Eagles are in love with Hank Baskett, whoever he is, since they passed on him both in the draft and in the days after the draft as a free agent. Baskett has almost no chance of making the active roster. If they could have traded McMullen for a draft pick, they surely would have. But at least by trading for a rookie, they can designate him to the practice squad without clearing waivers.

McMullen isn't likely to stick with the Vikings either, since he doesn't contribute on special teams, and doesn't figure to be one of their top three WRs. But he does have value for new head coach Brad Childress, because he's spent several years in Brad's offense. Now the new coach has a WR who is experienced with his offense help teach the other WRs their responsibilities during training camp. Unless he suddenly shows some aptitude returning kicks, expect him to be in the final cuts before the season starts.


Yesterday was a brutal day in the stock market, as the Dow got crushed by 214 points on a higher-than-expected inflation number. European and Japanese markets followed the US lead with record declines.

This is not the beginning of a financial apocalypse though, it's classic overreaction by momentum players and hedge funds. Today and yesterday will prove to be historic buying opportunities like the 1987 crash. Sadly I can't put my money where my mouth is, as I'm already 100% invested in the market and have no cash to double down.

Oil service stocks are going to climb back up, led by King Hal and Slob. Biotech is forming a bottom, and you'll soon be wishing you owned more Genetech and Gilead. Tech will bounce back, especially good names like Qualcomm and Marvell. And finally, we have a dip in Ceradyne that is definitely worth an investment. Don't expect any of these stocks to go straight up from's a good day to buy half of the position you want, and then if the stocks go down a little bit you can add the second half. But all these stocks will be significantly higher in 3-6 months.

United Health is absolutely killing me...I rode it from 48 to 62 and now back down to 45. Today they are being sued by OmniCare, on top of their existing legal problems with executive compensation. If these guys can just get through the legal issues, they will make tons of money on this Medicare drug plan. At least Sears is up over 10%!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Book Review: Freakonomics

That didn't take long.

I've started to read while I play poker...if I don't do something to occupy myself during the game, I get incredibly bored and start playing shit hands.

The authors apply tools of economics to other problems, and the results are eye-opening. The idea that legalized abortion can reduce the crime rate isn't something that I would have imagined on my own...but it makes perfect sense when you follow the data through. Mathematically proving that sumo wrestlers fix fights...another application of economic tools that I'd never think up.

I definitely recommend this's a must for math geeks, but also a good book for just about anyone who is willing to question conventional wisdom.

Now, I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I'm starting on The Da Vinci Code. Normally I steer clear of anything that wildly popular, but I'm finally giving in and checking it out. Anything that pisses off the Catholic church is worth a look.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Book review: Cryptonomicon

I've been reading this book forever.

Part of the reason was the 900+ page length, but more important was the fact that I had no drive to pick it up and read it.

Not that Cryptonomicon is a total loss...there are plenty of good qualities about it. To start, it's very interesting. If you are a math geek or a history buff (I'm both), this book contains fascinating and detailed information about cryptanalysis and WWII. Even more importantly, that information is mostly accurate! The author is believeable writing about zeta functions, perl scripts, or the jungle fighting of New Guinea. It's fiction, of course, so the battle to retake Corregidor has been altered drastically to provide a heroic role for one of the main characters, but he weaves together characters and events that actually occurred.

Additionally, it's very funny. When Alan Turing propositions the naive main character at the beginning of the book, his description of the offer made me laugh out loud. The chuckles continue right up to the end.

But the geekiness and the humor just weren't enough to carry me through 900 pages. There's not a single developed character and no real plot to speak of. It's basically a 'slice-of-life' piece with three main characters...interesting slices of life, to be sure, but there's no impending climax driving the reader to turn the next page. There's no connection to any of the characters. I felt nothing as some succeeded wildly and others died heroically.

Cryptonomicon was the best written and funniest history book I've ever read. As a novel, though, I wouldn't recommend it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Republicans: the Anti-Intellectuals

It isn't enough that Republicans are pushing a medically inaccurate curriculum to a school near you. It's not enough that they own the surpreme court, are outlawing gay marriage everywhere, on their way to making abortion illegal again, and inhibiting scientific research into stem they are politicizing the agenda of a scientific conference for...scientists.

If you voted Republican because lower taxes are more important to you than human rights, at least I can see where you are coming from. But it has to stop now. One thing I cannot accept is blatant anti-intellectualism. Intentionally lying about scientists, no order to further their agenda of hatred.

If you claim to have any intelligence, if you have any pride in the fact that you are a more dynamic life form than a chimp, if you have ever considered yourself more worthy of existence than a pig, then you have no choice but to stand up to these anti-intellectual thugs. Vote them out of every office they hold in November, for the sake of our species.

Now, if there was only a better option than the Democrats...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Who would have guessed

I realize you might find this difficult to believe, but...a new Harvard study suggests that...I hope you are sitting down...teenagers like sex, teenagers lie about sex, and that abstinence pledges don't actually prevent teens from having sex. Thank God that someone is researching this stuff.

One interesting note is that teens who are born-again Christians are more likely to lie about sex than non-Christians. Someone help me pick my jaw up off the floor, please.

The implications are staggering. Here I was, secure in the belief that teens were, for the first time in history, exercising iron-fisted control over their dirty little desires. But alas, instead of living in a world of beautiful self-denial and excessive masturbation, I realize I'm back in the same old hell where teenagers have sex.

For some seriously thought-provoking rebuttal to this study, I recommend reading the response from the Concerned Women For America. Here are a few highlights for the lazy:

“This new ‘finding’ by Harvard is misleading and deceptive."
The Harvard study draws no conclusions - in fact they go out of their way to remind the reader that they aren't drawing any conclusions. So are you saying the answers given by the teens themselves (the results were self-reported) were misleading and deceptive?

And then, there's this gem:

"The Harvard report is wrong. I know numerous couples who have saved sex for their wedding night."
Ooooohh...anecdotal evidence. Not just one, but numerous couples. Please excuse me while I wash out my eyes, so I can forget ever reading about this study. If she knows numerous couples, then this survey is clearly bunk.

Look...surveys are done all the time that have skewed results, thanks to biased questions or non-representative sample populations. If you were an intelligent person, you'd research the methodology of the survey and probably come up with some legitimate complaints. Of course, if you were an intelligent person, you probably wouldn't be spending your days writing rebuttals to scientific research on a religious right website.

Read about my favorite commercials on TV. There have been numerous complaints that these spots are...too violent. VW has responded by saying that they mainly show them after 9pm. I'm not sure how my child is going to be harmed by seeing what a car accident looks like, and be reminded of how important it is to buckle up...but at least it's not teens having sex.

Also read why you should keep six months of food and water in your house for the inevitable pandemic of bird flu. Or is it car accidents? (Deaths from traffic accidents worldwide since 2003: 4 million...deaths from bird flu: 113). Enjoy my blog now, because the Internet could go down within 48 hours of the bird flu pandemic. Really, someone paid a lot of money for Booz-Allen to produce that report.

Movie Review: MI:3


I'm a big fan of popcorn movies...I enjoy mindless action as much as the next guy, but this movie never grabbed me, not even for a single scene.

Of course I didn't care about any of the characters...of course the plot was tired and predictable...none of this stuff bothers me, because it's what I expect from an action flick. But MI:3 wasn't cool, witty, clever, or intense. Infared cameras, remote-controlled guns, lifelike masks and voice duplicators...yawn. There wasn't a single trick I haven't seen a million times before.

In one climactic scene, our hero has two minutes to steal an incredibly dangerous biohazardous material from a locked-down building, complete with armed guards and cutting edge surveillance systems ("a thief's worst nightmare"). Here's how he does it:

He enters the building from the roof.
He jumps out a window with the prize.

Yes, that's right, the movie doesn't show you, or tell you, or even allude to the method by which he procured the...oh yeah, they never explain what it is he's stealing, either. But it says "Biohazard" on it, so it must be dangerous.

This was one seriously weak script. Don't waste your time.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Inflicting piety

Great quote from William Saletan:'s easy to wage moral crusades when the only freedoms in the way are those of children. Americans have long been driven by two deep longings. The first is to be left alone. The second is to tell other people what to do. On most moral issues—abortion, porn, video games, alcohol, tobacco, guns—the easiest way out is to inflict our piety on minors. All the righteous satisfaction, none of the libertarian backlash. Great taste, less filling.

The full article is here. I don't really recommend reading the whole thing, though. You've already seen the best part. It degenerates into bitter Clinton-bashing. I wouldn't trust Clinton alone with my daughter, but let's be honest...he's been the best president in my lifetime. When your competition is Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bush I, and Bush don't exactly have to light the world on fire to be #1.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Luck, be a lady tonight

I'm Mean_bcp.

PokerStars Game #4825804465: Tournament #24149704, $5.00+$0.50 Hold'em No Limit - Level IX (300/600) - 2006/05/03 - 22:24:11 (ET)
Table '24149704 1' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 4: PostalLoser (19605 in chips)
Seat 5: geturaceup (2995 in chips)
Seat 7: Pex67 (11780 in chips)
Seat 9: Mean_bcp (6120 in chips)
PostalLoser: posts the ante 50
geturaceup: posts the ante 50
Pex67: posts the ante 50
Mean_bcp: posts the ante 50
Mean_bcp: posts small blind 300
PostalLoser: posts big blind 600
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mean_bcp [9s 9h]
geturaceup: raises 600 to 1200

Pex67: folds
Mean_bcp: raises 4870 to 6070 and is all-in
PostalLoser: folds
geturaceup: calls 1745 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [9c 2c 9d]

geturaceup said, "gg"
*** TURN *** [9c 2c 9d] [Qc]
Mean_bcp said, "wow"
Pex67 said, "nh"
*** RIVER *** [9c 2c 9d Qc] [Ad]
PostalLoser said, "wow"
PostalLoser said, "nh"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Mean_bcp: shows [9s 9h] (four of a kind, Nines)
geturaceup: shows [Qd Qs] (a full house, Queens full of Nines)
Mean_bcp said, "gg"
Mean_bcp collected 6690 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6690 | Rake 0
Board [9c 2c 9d Qc Ad]
Seat 4: PostalLoser (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: geturaceup showed [Qd Qs] and lost with a full house, Queens full of Nines
Seat 7: Pex67 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: Mean_bcp (small blind) showed [9s 9h] and won (6690) with four of a kind, Nines

Draft grades

Remember, C is average. C means you got average value for your drafting position, made solid but unspectacular picks, and improved your team as much as the average team in the draft.

Arizona Cardnals - A
Picked up the best QB in the draft, three other starters, and a LB that will contribute immediately on special teams.

Atlanta Falcons - C+
Good value for their first-round pick (John Abraham) and second-round pick (Jimmy Williams).

Baltimore Ravens - B+
Love Ngata for this defense, and Demetrius Williams in the fourth round is excellent value. Chris Chester should be a solid player for several years.

Buffalo Bills - C-
I really tore up the Bills on my blog during the first day of the draft. Whitner was a reach at #8, but he is a good football player who fills a need on their defense. Trading up to grab John McCargo was a terrible decision. Staying put and drafting Bunkley and Bullocks would have been a much more formidable combo than Whitner and McCargo, and wouldn't have cost them anything to move up. Strangely enough, Buffalo nearly made up for this mistake with great picks in rounds 3 and 4. Yobouty and Ko Simpson can help out immediately in nickel/dime packages and are starters in 2007. Overall, the draft produced several quality players in areas of need.

Carolina Panthers - B-
A solid draft. DeAngelo Williams is a quality RB, and both Richard Marshall and Rashad Butler should develop into starters. An average draft that gets a small bump for their extra third round pick.

Chicago Bears - D
Didn't draft any immediate help. Manning was a reach and Hester is developmental. Both look like special-teamers in year one, though Manning figures to be the nickel corner. The only pick that has excellent value is Mark Anderson in the fifth - I was hoping the Eagles would snag him on day 2.

Cincinnati Bengals - C-
Stayed put in the first round and drafted what some consider the top CB in the draft. Reached often after round one, however...picks like Whitworth, Rucker, and Nicholson all have huge question marks. I like McNeal in round six.

Cleveland Browns - B-
Another solid but unspectacular draft. I don't like Travis Wilson in round three, there were better WRs on the board at the time. He's very similar to Jason Avant, who was a fourth-round pick. Babatunde Oshinowo is a solid sixth-round pick who has a chance to be a productive NFL starter for many years in a 3-4 defense.

Dallas Cowboys - C
This draft was too rich in DBs to let their first pick at safety slide to the fifth round. Bobby Carpenter is a very good player. Fasano will help the running game, and gives the Cowboys the ability to line up in the two TE set that Parcells likes so much. Jason Hatcher is an nice pick-up in the third round, and should be a solid starter as a 3-4 DE.

Denver Broncos - A
Trading up to get Cutler was a fantastic move. He'll carry the clipboard for one season, and then he's going to make Denver forget all about The Jake Plummer Years. Javon Walker as their second-round pick is another coup. Get ready to watch a lot of TD passes from Cutler to Walker on ESPN starting in 2007. Filled a need for a pass-catching TE in round two, drafted Brandon Marshall to take over starting duties next to Walker next season. Greg Eslinger in round six was an absolute steal.

Detroit Lions - C
Sims should be a playmaker at LB, but I'm not sure that he was good enough to be drafted at #9. I've got a feeling that Huff and Whitner were 1 and 2 on their wish list, and they were a bit shocked to see both off the board when they picked. Bullocks is a nice pick-up in round two, and Brian Calhoun will improve the RB depth behind Kevin Jones.

Green Bay Packers - A
Traded their way into 12 picks over the seven round draft. Their top seven picks should either start or see significant playing time immediately. Hawk, Colledge, Jennings, Hodge, Spitz - of them, only Jennings won't be a starter by the middle of the season. My favorite selection is Will Blackmon in round four - he's going to be a solid NFL CB, and it's amazing that he lasted that long.

Houston Texans - B
Selected four players who will step in and start right away. Williams and Ryans should anchor that defense for years. Winston in round three is a steal.

Indianapolis Colts - D
Addai is a nice fit, but they reached a bit to draft short, speedy defenders in rounds two and three. Not an awful draft, but definitely below average.

Jacksonville Jaguars - D
Lewis is a perfect fit for them and was a nice selection in round one. I was a bit suprised at the selection of Drew in round two, but if he becomes an every-down back in the NFL, it will obviously turn out to be a wise move. Traded away their fourth round pick to move up in the third round for no good reason. If Drew develops into their starting RB, then this draft was a successful one. But for now, it's looking below-average in quantity and quality.

Kansas City Chiefs - D+
Hali and Pollard were both reaches, but both are solid football players who should contribute right away. Brodie Croyle in round three is good value, and he has a chance to excell in this offense. Didn't address their most glaring need (CB) in one of the richest CB drafts in history until round five. Slightly below average.

Miami Dolphins - B
Daunte Culpepper as a second-round pick makes this draft class a winner. Derek Hagan was good value in the third, Joe Toledo is good value in the fourth, and Rodrique Wright has tremendous upside for a seventh-rounder. Jason Allen may be a bit of crapshoot with his injured hip, but if he stays healthy, he'll be a very productive CB.

Minnesota Vikings - C+
Greenway's a solid pick at 17. I like the second-round haul of Griffin, Cook, and Jackson...although Jackson would have probably been there in round three if they just waited. With three probable starters and a developmental QB coming out of this draft, it's slightly above average.

New England Patriots - C-
I'm not going to give New England a free pass on every draft choice they make because they lucked out once by picking Tom Brady in the 6th round (if you had any idea he was going to be a multiple Super Bowl winner, why wait six rounds to draft him?) Maroney is an ok pick...they needed a RB to replace Corey Dillon, but I've seen Maroney get shut down in college way too often against good defenses to make me think he's a top-flight back. Chad Jackson was excellent value in the second round. But drafting two TEs, and then a kicker, when your defense was in shambles last year and desperately needs an infusion of young talent...that's a mistake. They did a nice job filling out depth in the 5th and 6th rounds, but unless they uncover another rare hidden gem, it's going to be a below-average draft.

New Orleans Saints - C+
Difficult draft to grade, because if Reggie Bush is the superstar that most have predicted he'll become, then the rest of the picks are basically irrelevant. Any time you get the best player in the draft, it's a huge help to your football team. Roman Harper is a bit of a strange pick in the second, and the rest of the draft is unremarkable at best.

New York Giants - C
Trading down seven slots for a third- and a fourth-round pick was a shrewd move. But Kiwanuka had fallen into the second round on most draft boards, and didn't fill a need. I'm not as high on Moss as some, but he's a solid second-round choice. They did their best work in the fourth round, with Barry Cofield and Guy Wimper, both which should develop into starters. The Giants didn't gain an edge or fall behind the average with this draft.

New York Jets - A
This is how you build a football team. They got the top two offensive linemen in the draft, an elite QB prospect, and a total of 10 picks through seven rounds. I would have liked to see them draft a pass-rushing DE to replace Abraham, but this team has so many needs, they could not have possibly addressed them all in one draft.

Oakland Raiders - B-
Very solid. The top four will step right in and start. Michael Huff is one of the best football players in the draft, and Darnell Bing was good value in round four. They might regret passing on Leinart and Cutler, but not because Huff will disappoint. The Raiders helped themselves a lot, and avoided the typical draft-day reaches that have become commonplace under Al Davis.

Philadelphia Eagles - A
I've blogged extensively about this already. Other than Arizona, the Eagles had the best draft in the NFL. They certainly did the most with the position they had. Since I blasted the Gocong selection in the third round, I've found out quite a bit more about him. Apparently the Eagles are projecting him as a strong side LB, which alleviates my concern about his lack of bulk as a DE (the witty comparison to N.D. Kalu was unwarranted, apparently.) I've no idea how he projects to a backer, but the Eagles weren't the only team who were impressed by his talents. The Jets would have taken him if the Eagles hadn't moved up in the third round. I'll withhold my judgement til I see him play. If he ends up as a serviceable starting LB, this draft will be even better.

Pittsburgh Steelers - B-
It's amazing to me that the Super Bowl champions could get the best player at their position of greatest need. Other than Santonio Holmes, there wasn't a player in this draft that they could have taken who would have started on their team. It's a testament to their competence that they moved up and grabbed him. Yes, the cost of a third- and a fourth-round draft pick was too high...but it was a rare opportunity and I can't blame them for seizing it. Harris and Jacobs represent good value in the fourth and fifth round, and they finished with a total of nine draft choices. Don't be surprised if Cedric Humes makes the team and has success running the ball, even as a seventh-round pick.

San Diego Chargers - C
Comartie and McNeil fill needs, while Whitehurst is an intriguing prospect/insurance policy behind Phillip Rivers. Solid and unremarkable.

San Francisco 49ers - C
Picked up two top-flight talents in Vernon Davis and Manny Lawson, and both filled big needs. But Brandon Williams and Michael Robinson were picked too high. Parys Haralson was good value in the fifth round.

Seattle Seahawks - C
Didn't have many picks to work with, but did a nice job with what they had. Jennings and Tapp are both players who will be productive with the Seahawks.

St. Louis Rams - B
Nabbed four starters in five picks, and Victor Adeyanju should see action as a situational pass rusher right away. Traded down in the first round and still got the man they were looking for in Tye Hill. Jon Alston is excellent value in round three, and Claude Wroten is high risk/reward (which is ok when you have three picks in the third round.) The only Rams draft I can remember since the beginning of the Vermeil era where I wasn't left scratching my head in confusion at one (or more) of the picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - C
Both Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood were taken too high, but both will be productive NFL starters and fill a need for the Bucs. Stovall, Zemaitis, Jenkins, and Gradkowski represent good value in rounds 3-6.

Tennessee Titans - D
For a team picking #3, I expect to see impact players. They drafted a very raw, mechanically poor QB, a fat RB, and beyond that, not much. Lowry is a limited player with good football instincts. Jesse Mahelona will be a serviceable part of the DT rotation right away. How you could pass on Matt Leinart, especially with Norm Chow as your offensive coach, is beyond me. They will be regretting that move for years. If Vince Young and LenDale White turn out to be stars, then obviously this grade should be much higher. But a team with as many needs as the Titans, drafting in such a good position, shouldn't take wild risks on players that won't be contributing for years.

Washington Redskins - F
Draft, what draft? Consider that their first-round pick this year was worth 1/2 of Jason Campbell, and their third-round draft is Brandon Lloyd. It's still a terrible draft. And then they trade up, throwing away yet another pick, to grab Rocky McIntosh when there were numerous quality weakside LBs still on the board. Dan Snyder sticks to his plan of overpaying mediocre veterans and whiffing completely on draft day. The Redskins may have grabbed headlines in March, but they took two steps backwards compared to the other teams in their division in April.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

No illegals, no burritos

In my previous post, I discuss the May Day immigrant walkout. I briefly touch on the economic and political ramifications of the walkout, and really the whole illegal immigrant issue in general. Basically, I don't have a strong opinion one way or another. I just don't feel like I have a stake in it.

That is, until now. Demonstrator Lubian Piedras hits me right in the gut with this sign.

Please, come to my country by the hundreds of thousands. Please be a burden on social services that I pay taxes for but you don't. Just don't take away my Taco Bell.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I am so smart, S-M-R-T

You know that silly Alanis Morrissette song about irony, where none of the examples she gives are actually ironic? Well she could take a lesson from these crazy kids.

See if you can find the irony yourself (hints in bold.)

Immigrants, who have illegally come to the U.S. because they need jobs are protesting today by skipping work. Their protest will cause businesses that hire immigrants and fight for immigrants' rights to shut down and lose money. They are lined up in city streets, waving Latin American flags while chanting We are Americans!

I don't have a strong opinion on the immigration topic one way or another. Cheap labor keeps the cost of goods and services down. I don't feel culturally or professionally threatened by immigrants, and I'd just as soon have them as citizens so we can tax their wages.

I do have some confusion over the whole protest came to America illegally, you have a job and place to live than is far better than what you could get at home, and now you deserve citizenship? If I reduce this to a syllogism, it works out to: I stole A and B, now give me C or I'll stop taking A. Huh?

Here's a word of advice: pissing everyone off, especially those who have fought the hardest for you, is not the best way to gain friends and support for your cause. These rallies do nothing but further polarize the nation on the topic, and force people who might otherwise be sympathetic to your plight to sit in massive traffic jams or miss work. And maybe threaten something else other than the very thing your opponents are asking for (no illegal immigrants working in the U.S.), because you just never know when you might get what you wish for.