Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"Jaybirdwocky" or "An Ode to Jay"

`Twas ought-five, and the Laxpower fans
Did cheer and grumble on the Net.
All gloomy was the Swami,
And the NC-two-A wouldn't allow a bet.

"Beware the Cavaliers, my son!
The Wards that bite, the Kips that catch!
Beware the Blue Devil team, and shun
The frumious Matt Zash!"

They took their off-set heads in hand:
Long time the ACC foes they sought --
So rested in the PJ's Pub,
And drank a beer in thought.

And, as in uffish thought they stood,
The Blue Devil team, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the Lincoln Field,
And burbled as they came!

One, two! (We want more!) And through and through
The off-set heads went snicker-snack!
They left them dead, and with their heads
They went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Blue Devil team?
Come to my arms, my beamish boys!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Kyle-lay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Twas ought-five, and the Laxpower fans
Did cheer and grumble on the Net.
All gloomy was the Swami
and the NC-two-A wouldn't allow a bet.

(with apologies to Lewis Carroll (il miglior fabbro))



O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

There is joy in Mudville. the Johns Hopkins Bluejays win their first NCAA Lacrosse Tournament in 18 years of trying!

Monday, May 30, 2005




"PHILADELPHIA, PA - On a team full of seniors who carried the top-seeded Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team to a 15-0 record entering Monday's NCAA Division I Championship game against second-ranked Duke, it was a pair of sophomores who helped provide the difference as the Blue Jays capped a 16-0 season with a dramatic, 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the Blue Devils to secure the program's first national championship since 1987. The Blue Jays are just the third team since 1971 (when the NCAA began sponsoring the men's lacrosse national championship) to post a perfect 16-0 record.

Sophomore goalie Jesse Schwarztman helped shut down the nation's top scoring team in the second half as he posted seven of his 12 saves and allowed just one goal in the final 30 minutes and classmate Jake Byrne scored the unassisted game-winner with 13:35 remaining as Hopkins won its eighth NCAA title in front of a NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship-game record 44,920.

'I am so proud of these guys right now,' head coach Dave Pietramala noted in the post-game press conference. 'When we lost a year ago, people told us that we quit. They just kept working. When we got back to campus they made a commitment that we were just going to take it one day at a time and we were going to play to the best of our ability. I'm just so proud of these kids, our fans and our administration.'

Byrne's goal capped a stunning second half that could not have been more different than the first. The Devils carried a 7-6 lead into the second half and pushed the lead to 8-6 with a transition goal just 2:17 into the third quarter. Duke's Nick O'Hara stripped Kyle Harrison of the ball in his defensive zone, came up with the loose ball and jump-started a fast break that was finished by Matt Danowski off a feed from Zack Greer. Amazingly, that would be the last goal the Blue Devils would score on the day.

Freshman Paul Rabil started the Blue Jays' rally with his second unassisted goal of the game with 5:56 remaining in the third quarter. Rabil drove down the left side and beat Duke goalie Aaron Fenton with a left-handed shot between the legs.

The Blue Jays, who had led 1-0 early only to fall behind by two on three different occasions, then forced the fourth and final tie of the game with just under one minute remaining in the third. Junior Greg Peyser dropped down with a right-handed laser from 15 yards out that sailed between Fenton and the far post. That set the stage for Byrne's game-winner.
Byrne, who netted the goal against Virginia with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation that forced overtime in the semifinals, did himself one better this time as he took a pass seven yards in front of the goal to Fenton's left, ducked inside and bounced a shot into the far corner. For the thousands of Hopkins fans in the stands, the remaining 13:35 seemed to take an eternity.
Both teams had chances down the stretch, but both defenses were up to the task. Schwartzman came up with three big saves in the final 12 minutes, including one on Danowski with 3:49 remaining, while Fenton stuffed a Harrison shot and the Devils forced a pair of Blue Jay turnovers, including one with less than three minutes to play, but couldn't solve the Hopkins defense and could only chase as the Blue Jays ran out the final 2:32.

"Our defense, Chris Watson, Tom Garvey and Matt Pinto, just did a tremendous job of forcing their shooters away and buckling down in the second half," Schwartzman stated after the game. "To have two seniors and Matt playing in front of me like that helps make my job a little easier."
A back-and-forth first half saw the teams combine for 13 goals with the Blue Devils clinging to the 7-6 lead at halftime. A Rabil goal for the Blue Jays just 33 seconds into the game opened the scoring, but Duke answered with three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Kyle Dowd got the Devils on the board with an unassisted goal 80 seconds after Rabil's tally and Danowski gave Duke its first lead four minutes later when he backed his defender in from the side and spun to the middle before beating Schwartzman with a low shot inside the far post. The first of Dan Flannery's two first-half goals just over a minute later capped the three-goal run for Duke and neither team scored again in the opening quarter.
After over five scoreless minutes to open the second quarter pushed the scoring drought to over 18 minutes, the Blue Jays got back-to-back goals in a span of just 48 seconds to draw even. Peyser dodged in from the top and got inside his defender before bouncing a shot past Fenton. Schwarztman then came up with a big save and quickly found senior Benson Erwin streaking up the field. Erwin carried into the offensive zone and found freshman Kevin Huntley, who side-stepped a defender and fired a shot past Fenton.

The Devils scored three of the next four goals to extend the lead to 6-4. Flannery's second goal of the game off an assist from Danowski with 8:14 remaining was quickly answered by a goal from Harrison. Flannery came from behind the goal and Danowski hit him in stride and Flannery beat Schwarztman from the doorstep, while Harrison grabbed the ground ball on the ensuing faceoff and beat Fenton with a left-handed shot just over his stick.

An extra-man goal by Zash and an even-strength goal by Bret Thompson push the lead to 6-4 for Duke, but the Blue Jays again answered quickly. Harrison beat Fenton with the same running jump shot - this time from the right side - with 3:48 remaining in the second quarter and Huntley added his second goal seven seconds later off an assist from Jake Byrne to make it 6-6. Another extra-man goal by Zash with 1:33 remaining in the second quarter closed the first half scoring and set the stage for the defensive effort and rally that landed the Blue Jays the championship they had been so close to grabbing in each of the last three years.

"We were criticized for quitting last year and I don't think we quit," Harrison stated in the post-game press conference. "I don't think we played our best, but I don't think we quit. I think this team, this year showed a never quit attitude and came out on top.""

Sunday, May 29, 2005



Presenting your 2005 Linganore Lancers U-9 Lacrosse Team! (CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE)

Friday, May 13, 2005


After all who cares about Western Civilization?

Perhaps apocryphally, Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western Civilization. He allegedly replied, "It would be a good idea".

Evidently Our Beloved Leader and Patrick J. Buchanan have a similar dim view of the value of Western Civilization. World War II and the Allied agreements during the war helped to insure the death of Nazism and Fascism, probably the greatest threats to Western Civilization since Atilla the Hun. These guys think it was a bad idea.

First, Our Beloved Leader opined that, due to the "sell-out" at Yalta, World War II (The Big One) was evidently fought in vain:

"As we mark a victory of six days ago -- six decades ago, we are mindful of a paradox. For much of Germany, defeat led to freedom. For much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire. V-E Day marked the end of fascism, but it did not end oppression. The agreement at Yalta followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable. Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable. The captivity of millions in Central and Eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of history."

Second, Republican/Isolationist/Notable Loon, Patrick J. Buchanan in has in two recent columns questioned the value of even taking on Herr Hitler:

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44177: Bush, Putin and the Hitler-Stalin pact:

"As a result of this war, Hitler's 1,000-Year Reich lasted 12 years and Germany was destroyed as no other nation save Japan. Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden and Berlin were reduced to rubble. Between 13 million and 15 million Germans were ethnically cleansed from the Baltic region, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Two million, mostly women and children, perished in an orgy of murder, rape and massacre that attended that greatest forced exodus in European history.
As a result of the Great Patriotic War, Finland had its Karelian Peninsula torn away by Stalin and 10 Christian countries – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Yugoslavia – endured Stalinist persecution and tyranny for half a century.
Again, what, exactly, is Bush celebrating in Moscow?"

WorldNetDaily: Was World War II worth it?:
"When one considers the losses suffered by Britain and France--hundreds of thousands dead, destitution, bankruptcy, the end of the empires-- was World War II worth it, considering that Poland and all the other nations east of the Elbe were lost anyway?
If the objective of the West was the destruction of Nazi Germany, it was a 'smashing' success. But why destroy Hitler? If to liberate Germans, it was not worth it. After all, the Germans voted Hitler in.
If it was to keep Hitler out of Western Europe, why declare war on him and draw him into Western Europe? If it was to keep Hitler out of Central and Eastern Europe, then, inevitably, Stalin would inherit Central and Eastern Europe.
Was that worth fighting a world war--with 50 million dead?
The war Britain and France declared to defend Polish freedom ended up making Poland and all of Eastern and Central Europe safe for Stalinism. And at the festivities in Moscow, Americans and Russians were front and center, smiling-- not British and French. Understandably."

I think both these notable intellectuals have forgotten just a couple of points:

First, Pat, Hitler declared war on the U. S. of A. After his buddies, (our traditional friends and lovers of baseball), the Japanese managed to pull off a little stunt called the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. FDR with the almost unanimous consent of Congress (damn that Jeanette Rankin http://www.rankinfoundation.org/story.htm) declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. On December 11, 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the U. S. of A. We responded that same day. http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/germwar.html
We didn't go to war to liberate Western Europe. We went to war out of self-defense. And guess what? The evil Stalin was also attacked by the Hitler who was according to Pat "voted in".

Second, Pat, Hitler was not "voted in" by the Germans (or the French or the Poles, for that matter). In the March 1932 election for president of Germany, Hitler got 30.1% of the vote, Hindenburg got 49.6%, Thaelamann 13.2%, and Duesterberg 6.8%. Since Hindenburg didn't get an absolute majority a run-off election was held in April 1932. Hindenburg got 53%, Hitler got 36.8%, and Thaelmann got 10.2% of the vote. At no time did Hitler ever get a majority of the German vote (kind of like Our Beloved Leader). Though the Nazi party was the largest party in the Reichstag in the July 1932 election, it was never elected as the majority party. Hitler never was "voted in" by anyone. He was appointed Chancellor through a backroom deal (No, he wasn't appointed by the Supreme Court). He eventually seized power through a series of "emergency decrees". If you want to learn more check out: http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0403a.asp

Third, Beloved Leader, the Yalta Agreement didn't decide that the freedom of small nations was expendable.

In fact, it specifically stated that:

"The establishment of order in Europe and the rebuilding of national economic life must be achieved by processes which will enable the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of Nazism and fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own choice. This is a principle of the Atlantic Charter - the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live - the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who have been forcibly deprived to them by the aggressor nations.
To foster the conditions in which the liberated people may exercise these rights, the three governments will jointly assist the people in any European liberated state or former Axis state in Europe where, in their judgment conditions require,
(a) to establish conditions of internal peace;
(b) to carry out emergency relief measures for the relief of distressed peoples;
(c) to form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of Governments responsive to the will of the people; and
(d) to facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections."


This was part of the agreement entitled "The Declaration of Liberated Europe". Our Beloved Leader is correct in that the agreement didn't specifically mention Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. It also didn't mention India, Ghana, Puerto Rico, Alaska, or Hawaii, all areas containing peoples governed, at that time, without the consent of the governed. There were bigger fish to fry at Yalta: the creation of the United Nations, the re-creation of Poland, the declaration of war by the Soviet Union against Japan, and the trial of the German war criminals. This was not "one of greatest wrongs in history", but an attempt to deal with the endgame of one of the most successful crusades in history.

Ever since Joe McCarthy and the red scare of the '50's there has been a persistent strain of thought among Republicans that a tired, sick FDR was bamboozled at Yalta by a conniving Joseph Stalin. There is an even older strain of isolationist thought currently embodied by Pat Buchanan that World War II was a tragic mistake, and that a wily FDR influenced by the wilier Winston Churchill tricked (or allowed) Japan into attacking us (somehow knowing that Germany would then stupidly declare war on us) in order to either (pick one) fight a war to save the Christ-killing Jews or shield the evil communists of Russia from that staunch anti-communist and closet Republican Herr Hitler. This is garbage. Both of these arguments are ridiculous and should not be allowed to be uttered without challenge. World War II was the "last (and maybe the only) good war".

I can't wait to hear these two revisionist historians, Bush and Buchanan, give their views on the Civil War. Perhaps, that Idiot/Machiavellian (choose one) Lincoln tricked the South into seceding in order to push "Negro" equality and "affirmative action" down our throats.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Shouldn't the parents of the children be charged with child abuse?

Another Counter-Coulter Bust - May 4, 2005: "Lewd heckler arrested at conservative's Texas college lecture
MAY 5--Months after members of 'Al Pieda' marred a campus speech by Ann Coulter, another appearance by the controversial conservative commentator has been disrupted by a protester. During a speech last night at the University of Texas in Austin, a 19-year-old UT student was busted after asking Coulter a lewd question, which he followed up with equally inappropriate hand gestures, according to the below police affidavit. The student, Ajai Raj, was arrested by campus police and hit with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The police affidavit notes that Coulter's lecture was attended by 'several children under the age of ten,' which probably made them particularly sensitive when Raj queried Coulter about the sexual proclivities of certain right-leaning men.

Imagine taking young children to see Ann Coulter... Next Texans will be taking kids to University of Texas Football games and watching the cheerleaders.


If you don't know the facts, shovel a LOT of BS!

In so many words: "In so many words
Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times
May 4, 2005 SAT0504
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- In March, Les Perelman attended a national college writing conference and sat in on a panel on the new SAT writing test. Perelman is one of the directors of undergraduate writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He did doctoral work on testing and develops writing assessments for entering MIT freshmen. He fears that the 25-minute SAT essay test that started in March -- and will be given for the second time on Saturday -- is teaching terrible writing habits.

"It appeared to me that regardless of what a student wrote, the longer the essay, the higher the score," Perelman said. A man on the panel from the College Board disagreed. "He told me I was jumping to conclusions," Perelman said. "Because MIT is a place where everything is backed by data, I went to my hotel room, counted the words in those essays and put them in an Excel spreadsheet on my laptop."

Perelman studied every graded sample SAT essay that the College Board made public. He looked at the 15 samples in the ScoreWrite book that the College Board distributed to schools nationwide to prepare students for the essay. He reviewed the 23 graded essays on the College Board website meant as a guide for students and the 16 writing "anchor" samples the College Board used to train graders to properly mark essays.

He was stunned by how complete the correlation was between length and score. "I have never found a quantifiable predictor in 25 years of grading that was anywhere near as strong as this one," he said. The shortest essays, typically 100 words, got the lowest grade of one. The longest, about 400 words, got the top grade of six. In between, there was virtually a direct match between length and grade.

He was also struck by all the factual errors in even the top essays. An essay on the Civil War, given a perfect six, describes the nation being changed forever by the "firing of two shots at Fort Sumter in late 1862." (Actually, it was in early 1861, and, according to "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James M. McPherson, it was "33 hours of bombardment by 4,000 shot and shells.")

Perelman contacted the College Board and was surprised to learn that on the new SAT essay, students are not penalized for incorrect facts. The official guide for scorers explains: "Writers may make errors in facts or information that do not affect the quality of their essays. For example, a writer may state "The American Revolution began in 1842" or " 'Anna Karenina,' a play by the French author Joseph Conrad, was a very upbeat literary work." (Actually, that's 1775; a novel by the Russian Leo Tolstoy, and poor Anna hurls herself under a train.) No matter. "You are scoring the writing, and not the correctness of facts."

How to prepare for such an essay? "I would advise writing as long as possible," Perelman said, "and include lots of facts, even if they're made up." This, of course, is not what he teaches his MIT students.

SAT graders are told to read an essay just once and spend two to three minutes per essay, and Perelman is now adept at rapid-fire SAT grading. This reporter held up a sample essay far enough away so it could not be read, and he guessed the correct grade by its bulk and shape. "That's a 4," he said. "It looks like a 4."

A report released this week by the National Council of Teachers of English mirrors Perelman's criticism. It said a single, 25-minute writing test ignores the most basic lesson of writing -- that good writing is rewriting. It warns that the SAT is pushing schools toward "formulaic" writing instruction


How the mighty have fallen! Once they filled stadia, now they play minor league ballparks!

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Dylan and Country Legend Willie Nelson will share the concert stage in a memorable night of classics on Tuesday, June 14th at 6:30 pm, when the two musical legends perform live at Prince George’s Stadium! Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, April 30th at 10 a.m. at the box office at Prince George’s Stadium or charge-by- phone at 1-877-639-3728. Tickets can also be ordered online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. For more information on this historic concert, please click here.

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