Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Discrimination, Gay Marriage and Climate Change

Some days you just get a rash of events.

In Arizona, Governor Brewer didn't wait until Friday, she vetoed the discrimination bill SB 1062 but I'm sure it won't be the last really stupid thing Conservatives try.

In the meantime a federal court judge in San Antonio has struck down Texas' ban on gay marriage. Ok, this is getting really silly. We get it, the Supreme Court rejection of DOMA is being interpreted by federal judges all over as meaning that gay marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment.

Texas gets added to the list of Utah, Oklahoma and Kentucky. Let's just go to the envelope please and see what the Supreme Court has to say.

The handwriting is on the wall. It's only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal all over. All the current Supreme Court can do is delay the inevitable and put itself on the wrong side of history. Here's hoping the court is too smart to do that.

On the Global Warming front, the experts at the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society say that, despite the hiatus in raising global temperatures, they are more certain than ever that human activity is changing the global climate even though they don't fully understand every detail of the climate system.

The two scientific societies are hoping a new report called "Climate Change: Evidence and Causes" will move the debate into the arena of deciding how to limit the impacts on society.

Two chances, slim and none. Not unless the Rapture happens and we get rid of all the Evangelicals and Republicans. But trust me, it's not going to happen so I suspect we have a ways to go on this one.

As for the hiatus, the report addresses it in a 20 part Q&A section.

Question: "Does the recent slowdown of warming mean that climate change is no longer happening?" 

Answer:  "No, blame the slowdown on interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, quiet solar activity and an increase in sunlight reflecting particles."

The Arizona Discrimination Bill

And you thought all the nuts lived in Texas, Alabama and Kansas.

It looks like there are a few in the Arizona legislature as well.

The bill, which is currently sitting on governor Jan Brewer's desk, was supposedly intended to protect people who, for religious reasons, didn't want to provide services for gay weddings. Of course gay weddings aren't legal in Arizona so one has to wonder what they were REALLY thinking.

Anyway, the bill is apparently so poorly worded that even legislators that voted for the bill are beginning to realize that it could open the door for discrimination against anyone and anything as long as a religious basis could be claimed.

Needless to say the sane parts of the country are going ape shit over this as are many businesses and individuals within Arizona. A Chicago Pizza place in Tucson has put up a sign saying they won't serve any Arizona State Legislators.

Super Bowl XVIX is supposed to be in Glendale next February and, despite the Arizona Super Bowl Committee having already protested the bill and urged the governor to veto it, the NFL is beginning to make noises about moving the Super Bowl should the bill get signed.

Aside from the fact that this piece of Conservative idiocy wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing a court challenge, this may well be the most immoral piece of legislation since the Jim Crow laws.

Even some Republicans realize that this is a stupid idea.

Hopefully governor Brewer vetoes the bill and gays have the good sense not to go out and purposely confront Christian businesses on this issue so we can all calm down and carry on.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Justina Pelletier

This is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Justina Pelletier is a 14 year old Connecticut girl that has, for all intents and purposes, been imprisoned by Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) in Massachusetts for the past 13 months.

Justina had been treated at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for mitochondrial disease, a genetic disorder that can cause a wide range of symptoms. Justina had been having severe issues with her gastro-intestinal tract and her head doctor at Tufts wanted her to be seen by the gastroenterologist who treated her for over a year but had left Tufts for BCH.

However, upon arrival at BCH, and despite her mother's insistence that Justina be examined by that doctor, the girl's case was headed by a neurologist that began to have doubts about the diagnosis of mitochondrial disease. He was especially disturbed by the number of invasive medical procedures the girl had undergone with little or no relief and the fact that two of the usual markers for the disease were missing.

The neurologist was also concerned about what he called "the black and white thinking of mom." Apparently this was the result of "mom" insisting with certainty that her daughter suffered from "mito."

"Mom" was Linda Pelletier who sounds like a lady that knows what she wants and isn't afraid to fight for it. The problem is that people, like doctors, who consider themselves as something akin to demi-gods don't like that kind of person. They don't like them because that kind of person isn't afraid to question the "ex cathedra" pronouncements that people like doctors sometimes make.

At any rate, the neurologist decided to call in a psychologist.

The psychologist began to note some oddities including that Justina seemed worse whenever "mom" was around.

Within three days BCH came to the conclusion that Justina suffered from a somatoform disorder. This is a psychiatric disorder in which distress manifests itself as physical symptoms. They informed Justina's parents that they would be following a new course of treatment which would eliminate many of the medications that the girl had been taking.

Needless to say, "mom" and the rest of the Pelletier family, including "dad," were not impressed. They decided, since Justina still had not seen the gastroenterologist that they had come to see in the first place, that the time had come to leave BCH and return Justina to Tufts.

To say that the relationship between "mom" and "dad" and the BCH staff was "strained" sounds like it would be a severe understatement.

However when the Pelletiers tried to have Justina discharged, they were informed that BCH had filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) accusing them of "medical child abuse" and hospital security would not let them take their daughter.

That's when "dad" called 911. Unfortunately, the police sided with the hospital and said everything would be ironed out in court the next day.

Well, things still aren't ironed out and in the latest misfortune to befall the Pelletiers, a family court judge ruled a few days ago that Justina would go to foster care rather than be returned to her family. Upon hearing the court decision Linda Pelletier collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital (but hopefully not Boston Children's Hospital).

Ok, so much for the general background. Unfortunately there is also a considerable undertow here. It seems the parents had been marked as "difficult" by multiple medical personnel including the doctors at Tufts. One pediatrician, according to the Boston Globe, had even accused them of "doctor-shopping" or getting care from multiple physicians without co-ordination. Keep in mind that "medical child abuse" is sometimes used as a euphemism for Munchhausen's by Proxy.

Just to further muddy the waters, the lead doctor at Tufts was a expert in, you guessed it, mitochondrial disease, and the psychologist at BCH had written a journal article on, you guessed it, somatoform disorder.

One other point to consider is that an older sister of Justina had also been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and it apparently does tend to run in families.

I guess I don't really understand. I was always under the impression that, barring very unusual circumstances, a patient had the final say in his treatment. If the patient is a child then the final decision would fall to the parents or guardians.

It's that "unusual circumstances" caveat that makes this case a tad tricky I suppose. Still, considering what I think I know (which could very well be incomplete or even wrong) from reading several articles, a respected and trusted group of doctors at Tufts had made a diagnosis that the BCH staff questioned.

The usual way of working this out is to get everyone in on the same conversation to compare notes and to see if a consensus can be reached. If the disagreement persists, then one should defer to the patient or, in this case, the parents. Why this doesn't seem to have occurred in this case and why judges continue to side with the hospital baffles me.

 Here's what the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation says about a diagnosis for mitochondrial disease.

"Mitochondrial diseases are difficult to diagnose. Referral to an appropriate research center is critical. If experienced physicians are involved, however, diagnoses can be made through a combination of clinical observations, laboratory evaluation, cerebral imaging, and muscle biopsies. Despite these advances, many cases do not receive a specific diagnosis." 

These diseases are apparently very difficult to diagnose with any certainty. The diagnosis at Tufts was described by the doctor there as a "working" diagnosis according to the Boston Globe. What seems clear is the girl had multiple extreme symptoms that neither hospital could account for with any certainty. The doctor at Tufts was a mitochondrial disease expert so, not surprisingly, he went with that. The psychologist that saw the girl at BCH had written an article on somatoform disorder so, not surprisingly, she went with that.

Who was it that said when your best tool is a hammer you tend to view every problem as a nail?

What a mess.

The worst part is that, according to reports, Justina's condition hasn't improved, and may have significantly degraded, after 13 months of psychiatric treatment.

So what about Michael Sam?

In case you've been in a coma for the last few weeks, Michael Sam is the defensive end from Missouri that came out as gay. What makes this so interesting is that Sam is a potential NFL draft pick.

I say "potential" because his numbers at the NFL Combine have been at best average. If he is drafted it will probably be in one of the later rounds. His chances of making an NFL roster would be probably about 50-50 at best.

This is of course is without taking into account his coming out.

Do I think his announcement will improve his chances? I doubt it. I saw an interview with Jason Garrett, Head Coach of the Cowboys, where he was asked about Sam. Garrett simply said that they would evaluate him as they would any other football player to determine if he would help the team.

Garrett is a straight up sort of guy (even if he is a Cowboy) and I believe that he was being completely honest.

Will everyone have that sort of attitude? I really have no idea but the NFL is such a huge business that I find it very hard to believe a team would pass up a player they thought could help them win just because he's gay.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Damn it's Been Cold

I spent a week in the Florida Keys and missed the last big snowstorm of about 14 inches. Every place I look there are mounds of snow. The inch or two dusting we got the other day put a nice pretty white covering on the piles underneath.

I freaking hate snow, really I do. That's one of the reasons I ignore the Winter Olympics. That plus I find just about all of the events kind of boring.

So, where's Global Warming when you need it?

Apparently it's on vacation as well. The latest NASA reports on average temperature continue to show what looks like a pause in the planet's warming trend. In fact, temperatures have been pretty much flat for the last 10 to 15 years. But the increase in greenhouse gases has continued.

So what exactly does this mean? Are the doubters correct? Perhaps, but on the other hand maybe not.

Climatologists have a number of ideas as to why we may have hit a temporary pause including the El Nino Southern Oscillation in the Pacific, a cyclic decrease in solar activity and, something I found sort of hard to understand, China using more coal.

I always thought burning coal contributed to Global Warming but apparently not. Coal burning produces sulfur particles which I'm being told tends to cool the climate and could cancel out the warming trend from the greenhouse gases.

OK,  then why not just use lots of coal? Well, it seems the pollution is harmful to human health for other reasons.

If this all sounds to you a little, or a lot, like rationalizing, welcome to the club. This is going to make getting anyone to do anything more than a little difficult.

Facts are facts and the facts say that the models were wrong and for at least the last decade there has been no measurable warming trend. Time will tell whether the explanations being put forth are correct or an attempt to save face.

To be honest it would be nice if the whole Global Warming thing did turn out to be a fantasy because the models being relied upon are wrong or too unsophisticated because it's going to get ugly if it is really happening.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Lesbian denied Communion

I'm not sure how I got on the mailing list of "Faithful America" but today I got an e-mail from them asking me to sign a petition, to a Catholic Bishop of all people, complaining about a lesbian being denied communion as follows:

"Carol Parker and her mother were long-time congregants at St. Columban Catholic Church, so when her mother died, it was only natural that her funeral would be held there. Carol never guessed that she’d be denied communion at her mother’s funeral Mass simply because she's a lesbian." 

Are you insane? Carol's not much of a Catholic if she hasn't figured that out. In order to receive communion you must receive absolution during the sacrament of Penance or Confession.

A key part of Penance is the Act of Contrition in which the promise is made to "amend my life." The Catholic Church considers homosexual acts (but not homosexual orientation) a mortal sin so unless Carol promised to cease lesbian acts, and it doesn't sound like she made any such promise, the priest cannot, according to canon law, grant absolution. If she wasn't granted absolution, she can't receive communion.

I support gay rights and gay marriage but this is wrong. The Catholic Church, along with any other religion, is entitled to set its own rules. This is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. This is the sort of thing that gives fuel to the Religious Right's claim that gay rights and religious freedom are incompatible.

If you don't like the Catholic Church's rules, don't be a Catholic.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Roy Moore Wants a Constitutional Convention

Judge Roy Moore wants a Constitutional Convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same sex marriage.

The idea is based upon Article V of the Constitution which states:

"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments..."

Moore is the idiot that the idiots in Alabama voted in as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. They voted for him despite his having been previously removed from office for refusing to follow a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building.

Moore has sent letters to all 50 governors urging them to get their legislature to call a "Convention for proposing Amendments" with the express aim of outlawing Gay Marriage.

This is another example of Conservatives not being in touch with reality (I discount this as a play for political support within the Alabama electorate for another run by Moore at governor but I guess it's possible that's all this is).

Conservatives seem to actually believe that the majority of Americans agree with them and somehow this majority view is being stifled by the courts or Congress or the president or the media or some nefarious conspiracy.

Moore would need 34 states to call for a convention. Fourteen states already recognize gay marriage and five others, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, are unlikely to be sympathetic.

That leaves 31 states that might be willing to go along with Moore but I'm betting just about all governors will toss his letter in the garbage can.

Even if by some miracle Moore got 34 states. Any proposed amendment would need to be ratified by 38 states in order to be added to the Constitution.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Bryan Fischer: Defeating Darwin in Four Easy Steps

The title come from a blog written by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. There are so many things wrong in that blog that it's difficult to know where to begin. If I were to address all of the factual errors, misunderstandings and quote mines in the blog, I'd have to write 10 times the amount of the original blog.

This is called a "Gish Gallop." The fact is the Creationist can make far more absurd assertions than anyone can explain in the same timeframe. But I'm going to address at least some of them.

First let's start with some preliminary assertions.

#1 - The Assertion that Bill Nye, in his debate with Ken Ham, didn't have answers for the most important questions about evolution. 

The questions were identified as:

(1) Where did the atoms that made up the big bang come from?

First of all this has nothing to do with evolution. This is the province of the Science of Cosmology. But let's answer it anyway. Atoms weren't what "made up" the Big Bang. The idea is it all started with an energy plasma that was infinitely dense and infinitely hot. The plasma then began to expand.

How long the plasma existed and why it began to expand are unanswerable questions. Maybe a god created the plasma and willed it to expand? It's as good an idea as any.

A few seconds after the start of expansion the first elementary sub-atomic particles began to form and these would later be part of the formation of the first atoms.

How do we "know" all this? We don't. But, it's the best explanation we have given the evidence. What evidence you ask? There are four independent lines known as the "Four Pillars of the Big Bang Theory."

Line #1 - Almost all galaxies are moving away from us and are millions of light years away. This suggests that billions of years ago everything was concentrated in a single point.

Line #2 - The abundance and amount of elements that we see around us. Amazingly enough, the ratio of elements appears to exactly match what you would expect to find if the universe was once a really big star.

Line #3 - The background cosmic microwave radiation. During the Big Bang there would have been an enormous release of radiation. Now, billions of years later, it would be moving away from us so fast as to have shifted into a microwave wavelength.

Line #4 - The large scale structure, such as galaxies, that we see in the universe.

(2) Where did man's consciousness come from?

No one knows the answer to this question but so what? We know that it did form.

The basis is probably electrical. All complex life forms appear to have some sort of consciousness so it doesn't seem to be much of a big deal.

(3) How can matter produce life? 

Again, this has nothing to do with evolution but belongs to the science of Abiogenesis.

Maybe God created the first cell? But once the first cell exists, evolution takes over.

#2 - On several occasions Fischer asserts that something is a "scientific law" and not a "theory" with the obvious implication that somehow a "scientific law" outranks a "theory." 

That's not how it works. A "scientific law" is simply a description, often mathematical, of an observation. For instance, the Law of Gravity simply describes, mathematically, how the mass of the earth affects a nearby untethered object.

Theories provide explanations for observations. "Scientific laws" are a part of theories. The "Law of Gravity" is a part of the Theory of Gravity.

Now for the "Four Easy Steps."

Step #1- The First Law of Thermodynamics - Matter and Energy can neither be created or destroyed therefore science cannot address the question of why there is something rather than nothing.

Once again, evolution doesn't care. By the time evolution becomes a factor there are a whole lot of things including molecules, amino acids, stars, planets, water and at least one living cell.

If one goes back to the idea of infinitely hot plasma, that's energy. The universe began as all energy.

Where did the energy come from? Maybe a god created it? Maybe it was a god that annihilated itself in order to form the matter in the universe?

One wild speculation is as good as another.

Step #2 - The Second Law of Thermodynamics - Increasing entropy must lead to more disorder while evolution requires greater order or as Fischer put it " every chemical or heat reaction, there is a loss of energy which is never again available for another heat reaction."

Well at least this is actually related to evolution. For the 26,432nd time. This is true in A "CLOSED SYSTEM."

A "closed system" cannot import energy from an outside source. The Earth's biosphere is NOT a "closed system;" it is constantly importing energy from the sun and cosmic radiation.

If "greater order" could not "evolve" in our biosphere then seeds couldn't grow into plants, a fetus couldn't become a baby and a baby couldn't become an adult. These are all examples of "open systems" importing energy and becoming more complex.

The universe as a whole may well be a "closed system" which is why some scientists speculate that it is destined for a "heat death" billions, upon billions upon billions of years in the future. I suspect that's not something for us to worry about right now.

Step #3 - Fossils - There are no "transitional forms."

Here's where we get the quote mining. Ok, simply put, the assertion that there are "no transitional fossils" is just flat out not true. There are hundreds, if not thousands by now, of transitional fossils and, despite fossilization being very rare, more are being discovered every year.

But, we have to address the "quotes" in this section as well as the nonsense statements about the Cambrian Explosion (which Fischer calls the "Pre-Cambrian explosion) and Punctuated Equilibrium.

Quote #1 -Yale University's Carl Dunbar - "Fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms."

Dunbar got his doctorate in 1917 (YES, 1917!) and taught at Yale from 1920 to 1959. In other words he made this statement long before we had any significant understanding of DNA.

Quote #2 - Harvard's Stephen Jay Gould - "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology." 

I'm very familiar with this quote. This is Gould arguing that "Punctuated Equilibrium" explains the fossil record better than "Phyletic Gradualism." Gould is talking about transitional fossils at the species level and arguing that they are so rare because speciation happens relatively rapidly in short spurts.

That, by the way, is the actual definition of "Punctuated Equilibrium." RELATIVELY rapid bursts rather than consistent change as hypothesized in "Phyletic Gradualism." But we're still talking millions of years just less millions of years sometimes.

As for transitional fossils, Gould clarifies in "Evolution as Fact and Theory," "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups." 

Quote #3 - The British Museum's Colin Patterson - "...there are no transitional fossils" not even a single one "for which one could make a watertight argument."

The quote comes from a letter from Patterson to Creationist Luther Sunderland. Sunderland had asked why there were no examples of transitions between species in Patterson's latest book. Patterson is responding that the fossil record does not indicate which particular species gave rise to another particular species. 

Let's put the quote in context shall we:

"I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. . .I will lay it on the line, There is not one such fossil for which one might make a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record." 

The Cambrian Explosion - Fischer makes it sound like the "Cambrian Explosion" was instantaneous. The fact is we're talking about something like 70 or 80 million years during which most major animal phyla seem to appear in the fossil record. Note I said PHYLA and not SPECIES as some cretins sometimes quote. A Phylum is five levels above Species in the hierarchy of biological classifications.

Step #4 - Genes and Genetic Mutation - Naturally occurring genetic mutations are inherently harmful.

Nope, they're not. If they were we wouldn't have diverse races which are the result of genetic mutations, we wouldn't have black furred rock mice thriving on the cooled lava flows in the New Mexico Desert and we wouldn't have bacteria that can digest nylon.

We get some quotes here as well.

Quote #1 - The University of Chicago's James Shapiro "There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular systems, only a variety of wishful speculations."

I'm not sure where this quote is from (and Fischer doesn't help by not providing ANY citations) but I'm guessing it's from Shapiro's book "Evolution: A View from the 21st Century."

Shapiro challenges the basic notion that evolution occurs through small changes. His book starts by saying "Innovation, not selection, is the critical issue in evolutionary change." 

Shapiro believes that what he calls "natural genetic engineering" rather than Darwin's "natural selection" is more of the driving force in evolution.

"Natural genetic engineering" would allow a form of natural hybridization that would greatly speed up evolutionary speciation.

So this isn't an argument against evolution, rather it's a hypothesis that there is a more efficient process driving it. I don't see how this helps Fischer's case.

Quote #2 - Bristol University's Alan Linton - "Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another" and "if it's never been observed in the simplest of organisms, it shouldn't come as a surprise that its never been observed with more complex forms. There is no evidence for evolution throughout the whole array of multicellular organisms."

Alan Linton is a Professor Emeritus of Bacteriology at the University of Bristol and the quotes here are accurate and mean what they appear to mean.

Linton is also a devout Christian, a Young Earth Creationist that believes the earth was created 6,000 years ago and has written a book called "Israel in History and Prophecy."

Now, none of that means he's wrong, but it doesn't make him a very convincing source either.

So Fischer's "Four Easy Steps" are pretty much a load of crap.

Now that would be OK if this was the first time he's published these "Four Easy Steps." But it's not. He's published them before and I'm sure he's been told before that pretty much all of what he is saying is either inaccurate, a misunderstanding or just flat out not true. Yet, he continues to publish it.

Where I come from that's called LYING. Christians are dishonest. Here's another example of how dishonest they are.


I watched the documentary "Mitt" about Mitt Romney and his runs for the presidency. His first failure in 2008 when he lost the Republican nomination to John McCain and his second in 2012 when he lost the general election to Barack Obama.

Obviously the documentary paints Romney as a sympathetic figure but it convinced me that I did the right thing by not voting for him and contributing what I could afford to insure his defeat.

First there was the scenes of him "praying" with his family. This guy really believes that crap. Then there was his mention of the guy that started Papa John. You know, the guy that said he would cut people's hours in order not to offer health care to his employees because it would raise the price of a pizza by 25 cents? Like I said before, here's your stinking quarter.

People like Mitt Romney just don't get it.

Yes, I agree with his assessment of the financial situation in the United States. I just think his "solution" not only isn't going to solve it, it's going to make things worse.

Paying employees substandard wages while people so rich they don't know what to do with all the wealth get richer strikes me as idiotic.

I'd build four or five new tax brackets on top of what we have with the last one tapping out at around 75% for incomes that exceed about $10 million. I'm not looking to find more money for the government but rather to make uncontrolled greed less profitable.

Even if I ignore my lack of faith in Romney's economic "solution," how can I vote for the candidate of a party that (1) rejects evolution, (2) rejects the science of climate change, (3) wants gays to be second class citizens and go back into the closet, (4) wants to restrict access to contraception, (5) wants to restrict access to abortion (except of course for those that can afford it) and (6) would like to establish Christianity as having special privileges.

I'm almost the perfect Republican demographic in everything except education and religiosity. I'm an older, white, male of reasonable financial means. But I'm better educated and less (a WHOLE lot less) religious than the average Republican.

Maybe Mitt should ask me why I wouldn't vote for him. He might learn something.

Monday, February 03, 2014

No Evidence for Evolution?

Evolution was developed based upon the evidence that we have. To say there is "no evidence" for evolution when evolution emerged from the evidence that exists is by definition wrong.

If you have a better explanation for the evidence that we have, then please feel free to present it. The trail starts with morphology, continues through the fossil record and the geographic distribution of species, then into genetics and DNA along with the various genome studies that have been performed.

The acid test of a theory is can it make accurate predictions? Two successful predictions that Evolution has made that I'm aware of are (1) that a human chromosome was fused (turns out to be chromosome #2) and (2) the existence and almost precise depth of the "fishopod" Tiktaalik.

Then there is the track record of the scientific method which has taken us from the dark ages to the doorstep of space. Science feeds us, gives us clean water to drink and protects us from pestilence. Two of those three are helped along by the science of evolution and that's the best evidence. EVOLUTION WORKS. Just like physics, chemistry and quantum mechanics work.

Now that I'm retired and the Superbowl.

Now that I'm retired, and have been for almost a year, I no longer seem to spend much time on the old blog.

That's partly because I now have lots of other options and partly because I'm just sick and tired of going over the same old ground over and over again.

I didn't even bother making a fool of myself in predicting the NFL playoffs. if you MUST know, I would have picked Denver over Seattle primarily because Peyton Manning was playing for Denver and I don't like Pete Carroll.

I still think Carroll owes a better explanation for the mess he left at USC a few years back. Basically USC appears to have been cheating by extending financial benefits to players with the full knowledge and support of Carroll. I've also watched the Seahawks defensive secondary and, personally, I think they're getting away with a lot of holding down field. I guess that's Carroll coming up with another way to cheat.

Still, they did play the game, they did win it and the refs didn't throw any yellow laundry so "I must be wrong," *cough, cough*.

Oh yeah, I also don't like the Seahawks fans. I've never met such a bunch of assholes. Even Eagles and Cowboys fans are better.