May 11, 2002

My predictions haven't been too accurate lately, but I will go out on a limb and state that the second half of Game 3 last night was a turning point in the Lakers playoff run. If anything, the Spurs played even better in the first half than they did in Game 2; in particular, Tony Parker was making the Lakers look old trying to guard him, scoring twenty in the first half, and Duncan was dominant, as always. The Lakers still led at halftime by one. Obviously, the Lakers figured out a way to stop Parker in the second half, since he scored only four points thereafter, and only one basket (perhaps that's the key; just have Rick Fox "guard" your star in the first half, allow him to run up and down the court getting easy lay-ups, and wait until he dies of exhaustion in the second half). They stayed close for awhile, and even led with 7 1/2 minutes left. But 15 for 43 shooting will usually kill a team, unless they're playing in the Eastern Conoference, and the Spurs had no game at all in the final five minutes.

May 10, 2002

Or then there's this trenchant analysis of the Middle East situation, given to us by a guest on Hardball with Chris Matthews last week:

"I would ask you, looking at the Israeli/Palestinian question and say this, how many Palestinians were on those airplanes on September 9th? None."

---Dan Quayle
It comes out in another week, but for those who are interested in obtaining a bootleg copy of the Star Wars sequel, check this out.

In the meantime, I'm getting e-mail (one, that is) concerning my position on Middle East politics. Considering the US of A is in the middle of fighting a war there, against a threat that has already proven it can strike directly at the mainland, and seems to be spoiling now for a fight with Iraq, one would hope that this would be a much more fiercely debated subject. My view on the current Israeli-Palestinian struggle is simple: Israeli occupation and settlements are indefensible, both politically and morally; Gen. Sharon is a fascist war criminal; Arafat is a terrorist; and Palestinian suicide bombings are an abomination, reflecting more a generalized hatred of Jews than a political protest against apartheid. Any policy that doesn't acknowledge those truths will fail. For an even more cogent analysis of the above, check out this broadside.

May 07, 2002

Looks like Gen. Sharon really took care of that terrorist doesn't take a PhD to realize that the assorted West Bank raids of the past few weeks had less to do with "defending Isreal" than they did with crushing any semblance of civic life among Palestinians. One way to keep perspective as to what's going on there is that more Palestinians under the age of eighteen have been killed by Sharon's army as Israeli civilians have been murdered by Palestinian wack-jobs in the past twelve months.

Sad to say, as I watch the lads finally sink back into a double-digit deficit against San Antone, that my prediction about the Lakers not repeating is coming true. It looks like Shaq is gone back to his bad habits at the line. Obviously, they are going to have to split in Texas to have a realistic chance.

By the way, check this story out, and remember whose friend is now in the White House the next time you pay an electrical bill.

May 05, 2002

On another date-related subject, after a day spent working at my old office and watching hockey, I decided to check out a movie at 3rd Street Promenade. On impulse, I decided to spend $8.50 to see The Scorpion King, a worthless piece of drivel that served the positive purpose of keeping me from getting behind the wheel of a car for two hours. I mean, I wasn't expecting an EM Forster-based character study about life in ancient Egypt ("this isn't Forster", to quote the John Hurt character in Love and Death on Long Island), but still, I was hoping to see a movie in which I could have remembered the ending twelve hours after the fact. By the way, M.C., "Memnon" will not be cracking the fifty greatest screen villain list....