novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Settling in to watch some football before flying home tomorrow, and as if anyone cares here are my thoughts …

You all watching the Snow Bowl in Green Bay? That is some extreme precipitation. At this rate there will be five inches on the ground by the time the fourth quarter ends. Green Bay once again seems to have the weather on its side. It will be interesting to see just what Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck is made of. Personally, I wanted to see Seattle win because I think Dallas has a much better chance against them – BUT ….

Dallas, as much as I love them, will have their hands full tomorrow. Beating the same team three times in one season is not highly likely. This would apply to the absolute best team playing the absolute worst team, let alone two that are evenly matched….

And on that note, I think the Jaguars are going to be very hard for the Patriots to beat tonight. The Eagles, Ravens and Colts helped sketch the game plan to beat New England; in part, run the ball on offense and pressure Brady on defense. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio is a smart guy and will have that team ready with the right game plan.

UPDATE: My wife has posted a guessing game about where we are this week.

UPDATE II: Congrats, Packers. That was not much of a game. It begs the question of was the one team great or did the other team blow donkey. I’m not King Solomon, so don’t ask me. It’s hard not to root for Brett Favre – if the Giants win tomorrow I will have to say, “Sorry, Gints fans, but I am rooting for Green Bay.”

UPDATE III: NE vs Jacksonville, end of second quarter: 14-14 says to me, the Patriots are mortal. Be very afraid, Patriots.

UPDATE IV: If the Cowboys get their act together enough to beat the Giants tomorrow, they will win the Super Bowl. Here’s why I say this: Dallas has enough talent to beat anyone, but they have shown an inclination to play to the level of their competition. The Giants are a really good team, and at this point in the season they will be Dallas’ final test.

UPDATE V: Hey, the Jaguars look ok. At 4:04 left in the third quarter they just lost a TD on a dropped pass, but these things happen. Their quarterback, David Garrard, has to be one of the major inspirational success stories of modern sports, so how can you not root for this guy – especially against the Superman/New York Yankee/Little-Lord-Fauntleroy Tom Brady? (RE: that “roughing” penalty at 1:50 in the third).

UPDATE VI: So much for interest and romanticism – Green Bay and New England, the favorites, won. Bleh.

So all is NOT lost ….

But we must admit, there is an awful lot of voting left to be done and that Feb 5 mess is going to be a complete crap shoot. The candidates can’t give all those states anything like the quality time Iowa and New Hampshire just got, so there is going to be the real possibility that the top three Democrats (and top four or five Republicans, for that matter) each get some wins.

On the plus side, there are a lot of powerful media players who really want Hillary as the nominee, so last night’s victory will be played up as the second coming … maybe even the covers of Time and Newsweek adorning the supermarket check out displays in California, New York and Florida for a solid week. We can hope.

Of course, if John Edwards manages to win in South Carolina next week he’ll have the angry nutso wing of the party screaming his accolades right up until Feb 5 and then Hillary would be yesterday’s news … well, Edwards would probably not be a bad second choice since we’re not going to get Dennis Kucinich, right?

He was stoic in the face of adversity this year and led the team through an amazing near-turnaround in December, but Joe Gibbs has retired from football – apparently for good this time.

The stated reason is to spend more time with his family, although he does not really need a reason: The NFL is pretty tough sledding these days, a fairly unpredictable venue in which to try and achieve success no matter how much time you sink into it, and he has given enough of his life to the sport. Since his first run with the Redskins ended, his racing team has been about a million times more competitive than he was able to get the ‘Skins during the second tour.

As my wife noted, now it will be a little bit easier easy to simply hate the Redskins again. Before, you had to add that qualifier “but I DO like Joe Gibbs.”

Daytona speed week is only about a month away. I bet we will be seeing a good amount of Coach Joe at the track.


I’m not an isolationist. I’m not afraid to use the military where it’s needed. But to sit in these extended f—ing wars, draining the economy – and if we stay or we leave, the same g–d— thing happens: nothing! So let’s leave.

When you read something in the paper with which you have some familiarity, and you see what is blatantly false, you expect the source to be someone for who the information is not necessarily part of their main body of knowledge. One thing you would not expect is a statement about “assault weapons” not to be confused with machine guns (fully automatic weapons) from a police officer. Machine guns are not legal to manufacture or import. The only people that can legally buy or transfer them are the military and people that have a very tightly controlled license (collectors) from the federal government, and they may only have those that were registered prior to May 1986 (FOPA). A link to the report:

The totally inaccurate statement in reference to “assault weapons” is here:

“You just pull a trigger and 20 or 30 rounds come in a second and in those 20 rounds you’re sure to hit your intended target and some innocent bystanders, totally unlike a firearm that is just one bullet every time you pull the trigger,” Miami Police spokesman Willie Moreno said.

Misinformation coming from a police spokesperson about something they should know (and I have to believe do know … it is incredulous that a police officer would not know that fully automatic weapons, machine guns, are not the cause of increases in murders). They know better. Even though the average police officer might not know the rate of fire for a fully automatic weapon (even at 600 rounds per minute, that only is 10 per second) and even the military no longer issues fully automatic M16s. Even the MAC-10 only has a 1000 rounds per minute, or 16.7 rounds per second, not even at the lower end of the range of “20 – 30 round a second” — and again, they are neither manufactured or imported, they cannot be bought new or even replaced if they break.

There is no excuse for this. I cannot believe it is just a mistake. The best I can hope is the person making the report took the statement completely out of context. The next best thing to hope is that the police spokesperson is grossly incompetent. The alternative of the Miami police department purposely lying about what they know to be true would put in doubt the concept that any police officer anywhere could be trusted to tell the truth — even in court.

Those willing to give up liberty to obtain security deserve neither and will lose both. (B.F.)

My main man Kevin turned us onto The Wire recently and the wife and I proceeded to tear through the first four seasons in fairly short order. I can’t say enough good things about this TV show because it is several levels above anything else on television. It is not just “good art” but it is serious history – the five seasons will comprise a document that will be studied by students of Western civilization for generations.

As a newbie to the medium, I might not have much authority to speak at this point. I think maybe I need to watch the first season, at least, again. But it is in the final phases: The first show of season five is On Demand now, and there are only nine after it. Maybe this would be something to discuss in the coming weeks?

Here’s a good story by the local paper of record on the current season. Soon I plan to start compiling additional commentary.

If you don’t have HBO – well, don’t bother getting it now because the show uniquely makes absolutely no sense unless you have watched every single previous episode carefully from the beginning. If you are interested, start buying and watching the first four seasons on DVD, and then catch up to the current (final) one at whatever stage you can.

Do yourself a favor right now and go to Amazon or wherever and buy season one and just start watching it. You will not regret it, and you will likely tell all your friends then keep coming back to this blog for all of the other great ideas I will pass along in the future. Win-win.

Again, there is nothing else like The Wire. I think the downfall, or one of the downfalls, is that it is too intelligent or too demanding in requiring absolute fealty from the viewers: You are not ALLOWED to miss a single episode across the years or you WILL lose the thread of the narrative. It’s a novel idea for TV, and for those of us who have become completely jaded to the possibility of any semblance of quality from TV it’s an absolute brainstorm.

If you are one of those idealistic sorts who has abandoned television, The Wire is reason enough to go out to the trash heap and see if that baby still functions. Or just go buy a new one: You will not regret it.

As the temperature dips below freezing tonight in New Orleans, the Georgia Bulldogs are in the process of demonstrating why undefeated teams from lesser conferences should get zero sympathy for being left out of the national championship picture.

This is not just a massive Sugar Bowl defeat for Hawaii: This is one team playing football and the other prepared to play tag. And not the hard-hitting tag of my youth, but modern tag where no one is ever “it” and everyone wins in the end.

Hawaii belongs in the Sugar Bowl tonight like I should be contending for one of the nine heavyweight boxing belts…except in my case, I would at least have a shot.

Prior to tonight I honestly thought the Sugar Bowl would be the most interesting game of the godforsaken BCS college football championship fiasco. Everyone acknowledges the rash of losses at the end of the regular season resulted in a “championship” game between LSU and Ohio State which would be suspect at best. What better way to poke a stick in the eye of the BCS majordomos than have Hawaii – the only undefeated team in the whole bunch – come in and win, thus casting a huge shadow over the entire, playoff-lacking joke of a championship.

Well, it looks like that did not quite happen, and any future controversies about undefeated teams with weak schedules not being invited to the big dance have been, I think, precluded tonight.

UPDATE: Man, upon further review, I wonder if I may have UNDERSTATED what is happening tonight. This is the sort of cataclysmic horror out of which new metaphors are born, such as: “The red hot knife sliced the stick of butter like Georgia tore through Hawaii in 2008.”