Sunday, June 08, 2008

Kneegate to be solved

After nearly 72 hours, we will finally get to find out definitively whether Paul Pierce (or as Tommy Heinsohn calls him Paul Piss) was really badly injured in Game 1 or whether it was a calculated motivational tool. There have been no shortage of opinions on each side of the argument. But now it will be settled.

Bottom line: if Pierce either does not play or is severely impaired, limping and labored as he tries to make his way around the court, the whole thing was on the level. If he plays and is able to move relatively freely, we will know that they whole being carried off and put on a wheelchair thing was for dramatic effect. Adrenaline could have legitimately gotten him through the rest of that game, but not one starting anew.

At least it will put an end to the speculation, which has been pretty nasty at times on either side.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Coolest eBay item ever!

In case you missed it, Topps issued a single Allen and Ginter (a nineteenth century tobacco company that produced sports cards) replica card of Fidel Castro, complete with an authentic cut autograph of the mass murdering tyrant. Why Topps would do something so despicable is unclear, but what has happened to the card in question is glorious.

I first heard about it from Jay Nordlinger's column last week. Here's Jay:

I have a friend who’s a young Wall Streeter and a freedom-lover. A hobby of his is to collect baseball cards. And this is not just a hobby, but also a form of investing. [...]

[L]ast year, my friend noticed that Topps put out a Fidel Castro card. It shows him in a baseball cap, and is all cute and cuddly. My friend was disgusted at this sweetheart treatment of a murderous dictator. So what did he do? He bought the card. He didn’t want it in anyone else’s possession.

Then the question was, “What do I do with this card? Do I have some kind of ceremonial burning?” My friend decided against this — too much like book burning, and you can’t burn an idea. So he decided to deface the card and auction it — giving the proceeds to the anti-Castro, pro-freedom cause. [...]

My friend has noted on the Castro card that the man is a dictator, murderer, and tyrant. He has even noted that Oscar Elías Biscet, the imprisoned dissident, won the Presidential Medal of Freedom (from GWB, of course).

I hope that this card fetches a lot of money: drawing attention to Cubans’ suffering, shaming admirers of Castro, and helping out the Center for a Free Cuba.

Here are the pictures of the card from the eBay listing (which will expire on June 6):

Finally, here is the note accompanying the item from the auction page:

Please note that ALL proceeds for this auction are to be paid as a contribution to the Center for a Free Cuba, whose address I list below. (This portion of the auction is in compliance with eBay policy given that I have obtained written consent on this charity's letterhead, and included a scanned copy of that letter in this listing.)

As described on its website, "The Center for a Free Cuba (CFC) is an independent, non-partisan institution dedicated to promoting human rights and a transition to democracy and the rule of law on the island. Established in November 1997, the Center gathers and disseminates information about Cuba and Cubans to the media, NGOs, and the international community. The Center also assists the people of Cuba through its information outreach and humanitarian programs on the island. The Center has received a 501(c)(3) exemption from the Internal Revenue Service. Contributions to the Center are tax deductible."

To learn more about the Center for a Free Cuba, please check out their website at:

or write to them at:

Center for a Free Cuba
1320 19th Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

ALL folks interested in bidding on this item should be FULLY aware that this item -- which contains an authentic cut signature of Fidel Castro -- has been substantially modified since it was manufactured by The Topps Company. Allow me to explain.

Since card manufacturers began including cut-signature items in their offerings, some people in the hobby have speculated as to whether or not any card company would ever cross the line of good taste by offering an inappropriate -- offensive -- product (for example, a cut-signature card bearing Adolf Hitler's signature). Although Topps in general should be commended for doing a good job with regard to most of the cut-signature cards it has created the last several years, Topps has clearly vaulted over the line of common decency by creating a cut-signature card of Communist dictator Fidel Castro, one of the most notorious mass murderers in the history of the Western hemisphere.

The card is clearly an attempt to portray Fidel in a positive light -- note, for example, the baseball cap that Castro is pictured wearing on the front of the card. What is the message Topps is attempting to send? That being a mass murderer is somehow "OK" and "acceptable" so long as that person is also a... baseball fan???

To more accurate reflect the true Castro legacy, the card has been altered so that it now includes numerous words and phrases pertaining to Fidel on both the front and back of the card. For example, phrases on the front of the card now include:

* mass murderer
* Communist
* El Manbu concentration camp
* Free Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Oscar Biscet!

And, phrases on the back of the card now include:

* firing squads
* author of the Camilo-Cienfuegos forced labor plan
* violator of peaceful journalists' free-speech rights
* Remember Pedro Luis Boitel!

Also, all bidders must be aware that the corners of this card have been damaged by whacking each corner against a rather hard table several times (these damaged corners represent the damage to Cuba done by Fidel). In addition, all bidders must be aware that the sides of this card have several small cuts in them made with a knife (these cuts represent the torture -- and worse -- suffered by thousands of political prisoners during Fidel's regime).

Please note that this auction is in full compliance with eBay's Offensive Material Policy, as this auction does NOT glorify hatred, violence, racial or religious intolerance, or items that promote organizations with such views.

In fact, this auction serves as a reminder that -- despite what the lamestream media, nitwit "celebrities," and ivory-tower university ostriches would have us believe -- it was Fidel who made a career out of glorifying hatred, using violence, and stoking racial and religious intolerance.

There is NO shipping/handling fee for this auction.

Show YOUR support for the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that every human being enjoys by bidding on this item today!


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The Machine!

From Paul S on the Lakers Usenet group comes this bit of gold (his syntax):



int main(void)
select phase
when (Offense)
if get(basketball) = 1 then do
if Kobe(demandsball) then pass
else if distance > 22 then shoot
when (Defense)
if Defender(nearby) then wackball
else if Defender(drives) then flop
otherwise bench
return 0

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

What's the matter with Massachusetts?

TaxProf crunches the numbers on Obama's proposed social security tax hike and shows that the biggest losers are voters in blue states and the smallest losers (because, after all, there are no winners with a tax hike) are voters in red states.

Time for a Thomas Frank sequel:

What's the Matter With Massachusetts?: How Liberals Won the Coasts of America

in which Frank would argue that the left has used clever propaganda to trick gullible voters in the Northeast and the West Coast into ignoring their own interests and voting Democrat.

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So let me get this straight

Slaves before the Civil War counted as 3/5 of a person.

Florida and Michigan Democrats in 2008 count as 1/2 of a person.

They don't call themselves progressives for nothing! Irony is something, after all.

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