Saddam Hussein, 1937-2006

Saddam Hussein has been hanged by the neck until dead. Hussein was a murderous tyrant, and it's nice to see that the new Iraq has moved on from all that. Well, at least after this one last murder. Because every peaceful government needs to start by murdering the previous regime.

One witness claimed that Hussein remained defiant to the end, arguing with guards and mocking Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr moments before he was hanged. Iraqi Judge Munir Haddad, said that Hussein appeared "totally oblivious to what was going on around him. I was very surprised. He was not afraid of death."

Another witness, Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, claimed that "He was a broken man. He was afraid. You could see fear in his face."

I have a feeling that both are true. I don't care how arrogant a man Saddam was, when facing death like that, you'd have to be an idiot not to be afraid. Death is the one thing that we are all equally helpless to fight. As death himself put it in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, you may be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you'll meet the reaper. At his execution, Saddam was simply a man being put to death, and I for one can not celebrate that.



It’s time to get the old aluminum pole dowm out of the crawlspace. That’s right, it’s Festivus!Festivus has many great traditions, the Festivus pole, the Festivus dinner, the Feats of Strength, but my favorite has always been the Airing of Grievances. I might post a podcast of this year’s audio recording later, but for now I’ll just write them here.

This is a partial list of all those who have disappointed me this past year. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Jim Doyle, you didn’t have to be on this list. I’m sure you never truly celebrated Festivus, but you at least helped to spread it. Until this year. You got so offended by Michael Richards that you won’t do the usual photo op with your Festivus pole. Like any one was ever an admirer of Richard’s character before it happened. Festivus isn’t even a Kramer tradition; it was and always will be a Costanza tradition. Jim, I didn’t have a whole lot of respect for you, now I have less.

Russ Feingold. You disappointed me by deciding not to run for President in 08. What was the problem, Russ? Afraid to run against me? Couldn’t stand the heat? I mean, yeah, it was the smart thing to do. I was clearly going to beat you. I had hoped you’d stay in it a while longer. You were one of the few who would have actually said what you believed, and I can at least respect that. I was looking forward to extending our crazy-off a little further, but no, you couldn’t bring the cheese to the table.

John McCain, you’ve sold out. I used to be able to respect you , in 2000. Since then, it’s been one example after another where you’ve stuck your head further and further up the collective rear end of the right.

All U.S. athletes.

Wisconsin voters, I expected more from you.

Badger Men’s Hockey Team. Sure, you’re the defending National Champs. But I didn’t have season tickets last year. I camped out a week for tickets for this season, where you have won a total of three home games out of ten so far. Come on guys, pick it up.

Letters in Bottles. What can I say. You were a great local blog, when it was Steve and Brad. I know Mike (and Dave) are making an effort, but you haven’t been the same. I probably just need to lower my level of expectation, but I shouldn’t have to.

Winter. I know not to expect a snow on every Christmas, but rain? That’s just sad. You had almost a week of cold, and then you gave up. I expected more.

Dave Chappelle, you had one of the funniest shows on television, you had built up a huge following, there was a ton of hype built up for season 3 of Chappelle’s Show, and then you had a breakdown and took off for Africa.


Putin on the Ritz

Russian President Vlad Putin threw a lavish party to celebrate the founding of the Soviet Secret Police. Putin, himself a former KGB spy, had this to say:

"The personnel of the security services firmly stand guard for Russia's national interests... Their best workers have always shown patriotism, competency, a high degree of personal and professional decency, and an understanding of the importance of their work for the good of their Fatherland."

Of course, for those who may have criticized Russia's national interests, who perhaps didn't show personal and professional decency, well... they weren't able to make it to the dinner.

Fantasy Bowling

In case you missed it, TCU opened up the college Bowl season with a win over NIU last night in the San Diego County Credit Union Bowl. Only 31 more games to go!

ESPN has a free Bowl fantasy competition. Join my group 'dorshorst' if you want to compete against me.

Some guaranteed picks:
Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, Louisville, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas, Texas Tech, Navy, and Central Michigan. That's all the help you get.


H to the P

It's Tuesday, and I have a final paper due tomorrow, so I must be writing another HodgePodge Tuesday post.

First up- I wanted to link to ESPN’s college basketball homepage before it changed, but I was too late. The link to the national rankings was under the headline "Badgers of Honor." Also on the same page: "There's a new No 2 seed, but this choice will likely stop us from being badgered." While I love seeing my Wisconsin team getting the recognition it deserves, all these Badger puns are going to get old really quick.

Speaking of college basketball, a ASU woman’s basketball game was called early due to rain. Yes, they decided to hold an open-air game, and yes, it got rained out. I guess no one thought to close the roof. An ASU player was quoted saying “This has never happened before. It’s cool to be a part of this.” It has never happened before because you’ve got to be retarded to do it.

Sticking with sports, an Indian runner at the Asian Games was stripped of a second place medal after she failed a gender test. Now, she probably has never had a penis, but she does have some Y chromosomes mixed in with the XXs, and I think that’s a valid case for disqualification. Extra male hormones are definitely a performance booster.

Astronomers might have seen the first stars of the universe. The objects, more than 1000 times the size of our sun, were more than 13 billion light-years away, meaning they were formed within a billion years of the Big Bang. I know no one else cares, but I thought it was interesting.

Miss USA Tara Conners will get to keep her title. Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization, decided that the publicity from this is worth him not actually doing anything.

The FDA has issued a warning that warning labels on over-the-counter painkillers are indeed true.

Hamas and Fatah officials have agreed to end their current round of violence. This would warrant its own post and some real discussion if I actually believed them.


It's about Time

As I've said before, Time magazine has been intentionally snubbing me for some time now. But with this week's issue, it appears that they have finally decided to accept the facts. That's right. Time's 2006 Man of the Year is Me.

Here's some exerts from the article.

"The "Great Man" theory of history is usually attributed to the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, who wrote that "the history of the world is but the biography of great men." He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species...

"...for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is [Stephen Dorshorst]."

If you read the whole article yourself, be aware that it was written specifically for me, with me being the only intended reader. Don't get confused and think that when it says "you" that it is referring to yourself. I thought it was rather appropriate that Time chose to write it in second-person, addressing me personally, and ignoring every other person who might also read it.

I certainly do not need this, as I have never doubted my importance, but it is kind of nice to have this recognition that this blog is making the difference that I had hoped it would, and it's one more thing to add to my resume. While I have to admit that I clearly deserve this award, I still feel I should give some credit to Time for finally having the rocks to acknowledge my greatness. Time magazine, you are no longer on my enemies list. Oh, and I also want to thank them for the offer of a free clock/radio with a new subscription they mailed to me as a bonus. Everyone knows that the PDA they offer the rest of you common folk for signing up is a piece of crap.


Holocaust or Hologram?

Iran is hosting a conference to discuss whether the Holocaust took place. You know, Ahmadinejad, if this is what you had in mind when you proposed starting a discussion, I have a feeling we aren’t going to be able to work much out diplomatically.

But since the topic has been raised…

Was the Holocaust real? Discuss. Leave a comment whether you think it took place or not. I’ll tally the votes after a week to see how you all feel on this.


Nigga, Please

Last week, Andy Dick went on a comedy stage and tried to make fun of the Michael Richards incident, yelling “You’re all a bunch of niggers!” at the audience. I was not surprised that some people thought Andy Dick wasn't funny. I was surprised when he apologized for the incident the next day. I don’t quite get it. Did he have to apologize because people were upset that he was making fun of Richards? Does the act of calling someone a nigger need to be protected because ridicule of it is offensive to some people?

Now, I’ll admit it. I have used the word nigger before, on this blog even. And I’ll continue to use whatever words I want to. Nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger. I don’t have a problem with the word. So why should anyone else?

Stop getting offended by a simple word. Now, I know, all of you are going to say, “But Steve, it’s not just a simple word.” But it is still just a word. A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, and a nigger by any other name would be just as dark-skinned.

Before you say anything, reread that last sentence and think about whether the statement was accurate or not. Does changing the name you call someone change the color of their skin? That’s all I said.

African-Americans need to stop getting offended by everything. I don’t think anyone should be upset over being called a nigger any more than I think someone (gay or straight) should be upset over being called a fag, or someone being called a liberal. A derogatory word is only derogatory if the person receiving it believes it to be. Calling someone fat is only considered offensive if they are fat and they are ashamed of it. Calling someone a gomeral is only taken offensively if they understand what they were called.

The potential to be offended relies solely on the outlook of the person receiving the comment. The problem exists only in the mind of the person hearing the word, and so it is their responsibility to deal with it.

When you get offended by the use of a word, you validate the use of the word for the person who used it. Saying “the n-word should never be used because it is offensive to African-Americans” is really saying “if you really want to insult or degrade an African-American, just call them a nigger.” To quote Lenny Bruce, "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness."

I think the real issue here is that African-Americans still see themselves as victims. And they need to stop. Stop thinking you need to be protected. Stop thinking you need to be given special favors to compete equally. Stop hiding behind the color of your skin as an excuse for low education rates, high poverty rates, and high incarceration rates. The worst result of racism is when individuals on the receiving end believe that they can not rise above the stereotype. I would love to expand on this topic here, and include many more groups, but I won’t here, because this post is about the reaction to the word nigger.

I’ll just say one more thing to end this. Do not tell me that I just don’t understand this problem because I am white. Besides that being a racist statement, it is an attempt to avoid having to back up your opinion. Whether you agree with me or not, and I have a feeling there are a few people who won’t, I have attempted to discuss this issue in an objective matter, and all I ask is that you do the same. Feel free to send as much hate mail as you like. You will only allow me to demonstrate my point. I do ask that you try to be a bit creative with it.