Saturday, July 15, 2006

MoDo Is Such a Slut

I don't mean anything by it. I'm just taking the word back!

Maureen Dowd, NYTimes: What's Up, Slut? (TimesSelect Wall; full article at Ed Strong)

After eons of being a summary judgment that a woman is damaged goods, the word slut has shifted into more ambiguous territory. It can still be an insult, especially since there is no pejorative equivalent to suggest that a man has sullied himself with too many sexual partners. Men are players, women are sluts, just the way men are tough and women are bitchy.

A topic that is clearly near and dear to MoDo's heart; if you've ever watched any of her TV appearances you'll know what I mean.

Good Reads

Heat Wave (2005)
Steven Burnham, University of Wisconson

It's too hot to blog, so go read these:

Professor Juan Cole to follow Israel's disastrous war in the Middle East.

ThinkProgress: “The average temperatures of the first half of 2006 were the highest ever recorded for the continental United States, scientists announced today.”

The News Blog
: Read a letter from Joe Lieberman's college roommate, who wouldn't vote for him today.

On dailykos, General Wesley Clark has a little something something to say to Holy Joe.

Firedoglake links to a Youtube video of Holy Joe's new party.

Crooks & Liars has a clip from The Daily Show on 'Bush and the Pig'. Yes, he really said that as wars raged around the world.

Booman Tribune on the Bush official who killed himself and his son. on Federal Judge Royce Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, getting thrown off the Native American trust fund case -- for calling the government racist. Truth to power, see you later, Royce.

Jamie Trecker
at FoxSports with a little truth about the thankfully departing US Men's National team coach Bruce Arena and his smoke and mirrors act.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Move Over, William Shockley, There's a New Racist in Town

A hired genetics expert, Dr. Barbara A. Quinton, a black woman doctor formerly on the faculty at Howard University, will testify that a group of lead-poisoned black children are genetically inferior, not lead poisoned.

WaPo: Gene Defense in Lead Paint Case Rankles

Picture taken at the Women and Genetics in Contemporary Society Workshop Program, Muskingum Valley Conference Center, Zanesville, Ohio, May 16-19, 1996

Do you think all the civic and medical organizations Dr. Barbara Quinton has been affiliated with know that, for money, she is going into a courtroom in Mississippi and testifying that a group of poor black children are genetically inferior, not damaged by lead poisoning? The DC Public Schools had her screen kids for fetal alcohol syndrome; the American Academy of Pediatrics lists her as the DC Chapter Facilitator for allocating Community Access to Child Health funds; Neurofibromatosis, Inc. - Mid-Atlantic (slogan: "The organization with a heart serving NF Families") lists her as a local medical resource; the National Organization on Fetal Alchohol Syndrome lists her as a resource. I doubt anyone she knows professionally knew about her role in this lead paint case until this AP article was published. We see this a lot in personal injury litigation, an expert with a long resume going far out of their hometown to testify against plaintiffs for big money, with an opinion they'd be embarrassed for their colleagues to know about.

She should be kicked out of every medical organization she belongs to. The supposed 'expert' opinion she is being paid for here is reprehensible and racist. Is she so hard up for money? Lead is a documented cause of brain damage, especially in the developing brains of children. I'd love to know what the lead levels of these children were. I'd probably be even more outraged.

The Washington Post just reprinted the AP article. You'd hope a major newspaper like the Post would see that this is a local story that deserves to further reporting. Oh, that's right, journalism is dead, long live the corporate media.

WaPo: Gene Defense in Lead Paint Case Rankles

In a federal lawsuit set for trial Monday, five families who lived in the apartments say the problems in 13 of their children can be traced to poisoning from the lead paint that covered their walls.

But one of the nation's largest paint companies has another explanation - bad traits that were simply passed on in their genes.

"Their argument is ... they have a family history of poor performance. Basically, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree,"
said Michael Casano, who is representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that seeks unspecified damages.

NL Industries Inc.'s gene defense, detailed in court documents, strikes a sensitive chord in this chronically depressed part of north-central Mississippi known as the birthplace of the blues. Most of the residents are black and poor, and the region has some of the nation's highest rates of illiteracy.


Court documents show that one of NL Industries' expert witnesses, Dr. Barbara Quinton, recommended chromosomal testing for seven of the children. In her deposition, Quinton said some of the children had familial mild mental retardation.

"You have one child with it, and then there are a host of relatives with similar problems," said Quinton, former director of the Medical Genetics Clinic at Howard University.

Quinton wrote that Sherry Wragg's "family history reveals that the family has in the past required additional social support to meet their basic daily needs. Her mother was also regarded as retarded by health care providers. Her mother also had a speech defect."

Rage, Rage Against the Bush Machine

One of the weekly signs Richard Rich posts on his front lawn in Ithaca, NY

I love this guy. My friend who lives in Ithaca sent me this link:

The Sine Man Blog

Dems Finally Take Action on Voting Machines and Fraud

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Huffington Post: Whistleblower Suit Filed Against Voting Machine Company


The first of several federal whistleblower qui tam (fraud) suits have now been filed against one of America's major electronic voting machine companies, The BRAD BLOG can now report.

....the suits, which must be sealed by law for 60 days as the Attorney General decides if they will join the complaint....

The Democratic Daily: Lawsuits Filed in At Least Nine States to Block Electronic Voting

Activists in at least nine states have been filed to block electronic voting, “alleging that the machines are wide open to computer hackers and prone to temperamental fits of technology that have assigned votes to the wrong candidate.”

Manufacturers say their machines are more reliable than punch cards and other traditional voting technologies.

But they face a determined opponent in Voter Action, which has filed lawsuits in Colorado, California, Arizona and New Mexico. Similar bans have been sought by voters in Texas, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. On Thursday, a coalition of groups filed a lawsuit in Georgia.

Madness in the Middle East

Pablo Picasso, 1937

I don't know what to say about the Middle East. To me, both sides are crazy. Diplomacy has been abandoned. Of course, it doesn't help that The Decider has no commitment to world peace. At least with Clinton involved you felt there was a chance. Who from the Bush Administration is monitoring the Middle East? Condi? She's probably out shoe shopping, or dreaming of her husband. FUBAR. Here's an interesting piece from today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Read the whole thing.

Sandy Tolan, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: 'Never again' gone mad in Israel

In the name of forcing the release of a single soldier, Israel has seized members of a democratically elected government; bombed its interior ministry, the prime minister's offices and a school; threatened another sovereign state (Syria) with a menacing overflight; dropped leaflets from the air, warning of harm to the civilian population if it does not "follow all orders" of the Israel Defense Forces; loosed nocturnal "sound bombs" under orders from the Israeli prime minister to "make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza"; fired missiles into residential areas, killing children; and demolished a power station that was the sole generator of electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

Besieged Palestinian families, trapped in a locked-down Gaza, are down to one meal a day, eaten in candlelight. Yet their desperate conditions go largely ignored by a world accustomed to extreme Israeli measures in the name of security.

How Low Can Marion Jones Go?

Time magazine cover, Sept. 11, 2000

AFP: Jones linked to US cheque fraud ring
US athletics star Marion Jones has reportedly been linked to a five million-dollar cheque-counterfeiting ring, having received a 25,000-dollar cheque from a defendant.

Citing court records, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that Jones, in the middle of a comeback following a disappointing Olympic-year flop in 2004, deposited the cheque into her bank account last year.

While Jones has not been charged, other people who received cheques from the account of the same Norfolk businessman have been indicted and one of them pleaded guilty, the newspaper reported.

Among 12 people indicted in the New York-based case were her ex-boyfriend, disgraced former 100m world record-holder Tim Montgomery and her track coach, Steve Riddick. Both men attended college at Norfolk state.

This woman was a national champion basketball star with North Carolina (1994), known as the fastest woman in the world, and won five medals in the 2000 Sidney Olympics, three golds and two bronzes, the first woman ever to win five medals at one Olympics.

Now I just think of her as a cheater. Steroids and check kiting. Sheesh.

Plame & Wilson To Sue Cheney, Rove & Libby

Press Release: Valerie Plame Wilson, Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Their Counsel to Hold News Conference Announcing Lawsuit against I. Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby, Vice-President Cheney and Karl Rove

If the government won't prosecute, you have to go to the civil courts.

Man, I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Karl Rove's office right now. Big Dick in his constitutional office might wriggle out of civil depositions, but Political Director Rove won't.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To The Moon, Alice!

NYTimes: Man Uses Chip to Control Robot With Thoughts

A paralyzed man with a small sensor implanted in his brain was able to control a computer, a television and a robot using only his thoughts, scientists reported today.

I look forward to receiving my email from Mein Kos, asking me to volunteer to have the sensor implanted in my brain. If enough of The Blogofascisphere think hard enough, we can send Bush and Cheney to the moon. To the moon, Alice!

And as Hummingbird's signature on dailykos says, "After the Rapture, we get all their stuff!"

Bush and Cheney on the moon would feel pretty rapturous to me.

Another Reason To Support Kirsten Gillibrand

Rep. John Sweeney (R., NY-20) is really a moron. His office requested an ethics opinion about whether he could participate in a fundraiser. The House Committee on Standards replied, yes, but only if you get an invitation "without your involvement".

Opinion in hand, what did Sweeney do? Sent the invitation out to himself and several of his staff -- from his Congressional office.

Jeez, could the guy be any dumber?

Albany (NY) Times Union: Ethics issues raised at hearing
State official alleges Sweeney helped draw up guest list for a lobbying event in Lake Placid

ALBANY -- A state official testified Tuesday that U.S. Rep. John Sweeney played a key role in drawing up the guest list for an annual congressional winter weekend in Lake Placid, a practice deemed inappropriate by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Olympic Regional Development Authority President Ted Blazer, speaking at a state Assembly hearing, said invitations to the Congressional Winter Challenge -- an event held to highlight Lake Placid Olympic facilities in hopes of securing federal funding -- were "assembled by the Washington office of Congressman Sweeney and the United States Olympic Committee."

The event has been held annually since 1998. ORDA documents state that certain participants -- including fellow House members, past and present Sweeney staffers, members of his family and lobbyists -- were invited by the Clifton Park Republican.

Last August, Sweeney sought guidance from the House Committee on Standards. He said he planned to invite House and Senate colleagues and staffers to Lake Placid Jan. 6-8 this year for the Winter Challenge and sought an opinion "as to the propriety of members of Congress and congressional staff making the trip." He did not ask about the lobbyists.

The committee informed Sweeney he could follow up invitations made by ORDA and the USOC, but only after those entities issued the invitations "without your involvement."

You can contribute to Sweeney's Democratic opponent, Kirsten Gillibrand, here. Let's Paint New York Blue in November.

Zizou Speaks

Mail and Guardian (za): What really happened, by Zinedine Zidane

He said that while he was sorry for all that had happened, he had no regrets about retaliating against Materazzi.

"I can't say I have any regrets about what I did because that would be like admitting that he had every reason to say what he said." said Zidane.

"I can't, repeat can't say that. He had no reason to say what he said. It's always the reaction that is sanctioned and not the provoker."

Zidane said that the final had been without any major incidents between the two teams up until his dramatic clash with Materazzi when the Italian had tugged at his shirt.

"I told him to stop pulling my shirt and that he could have it if he wanted at the end of the match," he said.

"That was when words were said, very hard words and he said them several times.

"Words can sometimes be harder than actions. It all went very quickly and they were words that hurt me deep down.

"The real culprit should be sanctioned and the real culprit is him. He provoked it all.

"Do you imagine that in a World Cup final like that with just 10 minutes to go to the end of my career, I am going to do something like that because it gives me pleasure?"

News 24 (sa): Zidane: Sorry, but no regrets

Zidane denied Materazzi called him an Islamic "terrorist", as was reported by a Paris-based anti-racism group.

NPR: Zizou Speaks
"He (Materazzi) pronounced very tough words about my mother and my sister. I tried not to listen to him but he kept repeating them," Zidane said in a live interview on French television channel Canal Plus.

This Is What Happens When Government Privatizes Safety

Corporations only care about profit. That's why we must have strong governmental safety organizations. But politicians in Massachusetts avoided taking responsibility for the Big Dig, leaving oversight to the Turnpike Authority. This accident should never have happened. The ceiling of this Big Dig tunnel featured 3 ton concrete slabs suspended by steel rods attached by epoxy, and was probably installed for purely esthetic reasons, to cover up the fans above. Does that sound safe to you? And you're not even in the construction business.

In this dramatic cell phone photo captured by a passing motorist, debris tumbles from the ceiling of the I-90 connector tunnel, slamming onto the roof of a car, instantly killing passenger Milena Del Valle. (Boston Herald)

Investigators believe a single steel hanger failed, ultimately leading to the ceiling collapse. (George Rizer/ Globe Staff)

What Becomes A Torturer Most? Medal of Freedom, Lifetime Court Appointment....

William Haynes, nominated for seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, leaves the British Attorney General's Office in London, in this Aug. 12, 2003 file photo. Haynes, an architect of the Bush administration's policy toward detainee treatment, which has since been abandoned, struggled Tuesday to save his nomination to an appellate judgeship. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

He looks so banal for being so evil

Bush nominates torture advocate and Pentagon general counsel William Haynes for 4th Circuit judgeship with lifetime appointment. Will Democrats stand up and filibuster, or go along yet again? MoDo actually takes on a serious subject in today's Times:

Maureen Dowd, NYTimes: He Let the Dogs Out! (TimesSelect wall), full article at Ed Strong

As three female protesters in Abu Ghraib-style orange jumpsuits and black headscarves stood vigil in the back of the Senate Judiciary hearing room, like the supernatural chorus in “Macbeth,” William Haynes was grilled about his worthiness to ascend to the federal bench when his main claim to the promotion is complicity in letting Dick Cheney dance a jig on the Geneva Conventions.

“The State Department characterizes the use of dogs as an interrogation aid as torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment,’’ Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said to the Pentagon general counsel. “We publicly condemned the countries of Libya and Burma for using dogs in interrogation. In November of 2002, you recommended that Secretary Rumsfeld approve the use of dogs to intimidate detainees at Guantánamo.

“The Department of Defense’s own investigation concluded that this technique migrated from Guantánamo to Iraq and Abu Ghraib. At least two members of the armed forces have now been convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for using dogs to frighten detainees. It is striking that as these soldiers were prosecuted, you were being promoted. What message are we sending our troops? And what message are we sending the world, in light of your role in promulgating abusive interrogation techniques, like the use of dogs, stress positions and forced nudity. What message are we sending if we promote you to the second highest court in the land?”....."Well, we’re going to dispatch a few privates, a few corporals, a sergeant, maybe it will get to a lieutenant, but it’ll never get upstairs. ... Apparently, upstairs there’s a promotion party. Downstairs people are being sent to prison.’’

Mr. Haynes, 48, lamely resorted to the argument that Abu Ghraib was simply a few bad apples, “the work of the night shift, without any authority whatsoever.”....


A group of 20 retired military officers sent a letter to Senator Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, expressing “profound concern” about Mr. Haynes and arguing that he promoted policies that “compromised military values, ignored federal and international law, and damaged America’s reputation and world leadership.’’

They asserted that the policies “fostered animosity toward the United States, undermined rather than enhanced our intelligence-gathering efforts, and added significantly to the risks facing our troops serving around the world.’’

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who is a military lawyer, a member of the Armed Services Committee and is close to the JAG Corps lawyers, is reported to oppose Mr. Haynes behind the scenes. Speaking to reporters in the hallway, he echoed Senator Durbin’s fear that soldiers should not take the fall for superiors’ decisions: “We just need to make sure that what we do in terms of promotion, of a civilian, who was part of policies that have led to military members being prosecuted and having their careers ruined, needs to be thoughtfully considered.”

WaPo: Bush judicial nominee struggles to win Senate OK

We Call It Soccer* News

Zizou to give his side of the story in live televised interview in France: Times (uk)

Sepp Blatter says Zidane could be stripped of Golden Ball award for headbutt: CNN

Racial incidents in Italy during World Cup celebrations: NYTimes

FIFA officials discussing possible emergency move of 2010 World Cup from South Africa to USA: Guardian

Klinsmann quits as Germany coach: USAToady

DC United takes on Celtic at RFK tonight: WaPo

Kenya wins Street Football World Cup: Expatica

How long before Klinsmann announced as US National Team coach? Not long, I hope.

We Call It Soccer, a phrase I steal from the blog of the same name.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's Football, Stupid, Not Title IX

John Tierney gets it wrong, as usual.

John Tierney, NYTimes: Let the Guys Win One (TimesSelect wall)

His thesis:

When Title IX was enacted in 1972, women were a minority on college campuses, and it sounded reasonable to fight any discrimination against them. But now men are the underachieving minority on campus, as a series by The Times has been documenting. So why is it so important to cling to the myth behind Title IX: that women need sports as much as men do?

Yes, some women are dedicated athletes, and they should be encouraged with every opportunity. But a lot of others have better things to do, like study or work on other extracurricular activities that will be more useful to their careers. For decades, athletic directors have been creating women’s sports teams and dangling scholarships and hoping to match the men’s numbers, but they’ve learned that not even the Department of Education can eradicate gender differences.

At the University of Maryland, the women’s lacrosse team won national championships year after year but still had a hard time getting 40 players to turn out for the team. The men’s team had no such trouble, because guys were more than willing to warm the bench even if they weren’t getting a scholarship, but the coach had to cut the extra ones to maintain the gender balance. The school satisfied Title IX, but to no one’s benefit.

On or off campus, men play more team sports and watch more team sports.

The facts:

The foundation of Title IX is not the 'myth' that women need sports as much as men do. Title IX is an amendment to a federal education bill; its central thesis is that women, who pay the same tuition and taxes as men, should receive the same opportunities to participate in sports programs. It only applies to institutions that choose to receive federal funds. Any private school that doesn't want to treat men and women equally in sports can do so: just forgo federal funds. It's called equality, John Tierney, as much as you disdain it. Or maybe you're just an originalist, believing "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal..." really only applies to men.

The vast majority of colleges and universities are not in compliance with Title IX; they spend more money on their smaller percentage of male undergraduates than they do on their larger percentage of female undergraduates.

Title IX has never been enforced by the federal government. No university has ever lost federal funds for Title IX violations.

So what's the real problem here? Why are administrators creating teams that women aren't interested in? It's a two-fold problem, and it all comes back to football.

Football is the Achilles heel of college sports programs. It is the ultimate sacred cow. Colleges routinely carry football squads at the Division I-A limit of 85 players. (The maximum number of players who can actually suit up for a game is 40.) A large proportion of most college sports programs funding goes to football. So, colleges need to balance out football.

I am unaware of any school that actually spends its athletic funds equally on men and women. That would be the simple way to comply with Title IX. But that ain't gonna happen, not while the most athletic directors are male and most college leadership is male. So how else can a school comply? The government still relies on guidelines passed over 30 years ago to give colleges ways to comply with Title IX without actually providing equal money or opportunities. (Or as we say here in the reality-based community, ways to get around the law.) The so-called 'three-prong' test gives schools three ways to comply: (1) TRY; {a good-faith effort to accommodate women's interests), (2) SUCCESSFUL TRY (show that women's interests are completely accommodated, even if you're not equal), and (3) CLOSE ENOUGH FOR THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS, (proportionality, that your playing opportunities for men and women are roughly proportional to their numbers in the student body).

Well, it's a little late for the first two prongs to be relevant (how can you show a history when you've been out of compliance for 30 years?) so most schools try to show proportionality.

So schools are trying to balance out those 85 football spots. There may be a million guys out there who want to wrestle, or play lacrosse, or cycle. But schools prefer to give men scholarships to back up the football bench rather than reduce football squads.

Therefore, schools need to create women's sports to make their numbers proportional. But because schools spend so much of their sports money on football, schools want to push cheap women's sports. That's why schools all over the country have cut their very popular women's gymnastics programs. Expensive, between the equipment and the insurance. Instead, they've added sports teams that are big and require little equipment. Wonder why crew and rowing are all over US college campuses? Colleges report squads of 70, 80, 90 female crew members. They count 'em the day they sign up, not after a month or two when most of the novices (there aren't many crew or rowing programs in high schools) drop out. There was no nationwide cry for rowing by female athletes. Lacrosse, also a big new women's sport, not because women are that interested in it, but because you can report a squad of 40 easily. Women who want to play sports that have smaller squads have been rebuffed. See Mansourian v. UC Davis, a female wrestler who was denied the opportunity to participate, as an example. Mansourian's male coach was fired from UC Davis for supporting her; his case has just been allowed to go to trial.

The real problem is the way college athletic programs have decided to allocate money and participation opportunities. Women's sports haven't caused smaller men's sports to lose spots. It's the insistence that football programs have 85 athletes, although many of those 'athletes' will never set foot on the field as college athletes.

Don't blame women for dumb allocation of athletic dollars. Blame the administrators. Blame football and its bloated squads. Don't blame women, John Tierney.

Mariah Burton Nelson deconstructed this same bogus argument four years ago: And Now They Tell Us Women Don’t Really Like Sports?

And no article on Title IX should ever be written without a big thank you Patsy Mink, foremother behind Title IX (along with Birch Bayh), who fought for equality. Great article by Mechelle Voepel.

Materazzi Called Zidane 'Son of a Terrorist Whore'; What Will FIFA Do?

Anything? Or is the anti-racism message just words on a piece of paper?

Sun (uk): Sick taunt that riled ZZ

Sydney Morning Herald: Lip reader's take on Materazzi insult

Birmingham (uk) Post: Materazzi: I did insult Zidane

Belfast Telegraph: Graeme le Saux: an insiders' guide to the taunting that taints top-class football
How common is the verbal abuse endured by Zinedine Zidane? Very common, writes someone who should certainly know

Monday, July 10, 2006

Time Magazine Cover Says Bush Is All Hat, No Cattle

George Bush revealed: All hat, no cattle

Kos, I mean He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Ruler of the Blogofascisphere, has ordered me to return to political blogging.

I'm just sticking my toe in here. From the fabulous website All Hat, No Cattle:

What does All Hat, No Cattle mean?

Texans have a phrase "All Hat and no cattle." This phrase applies to pretend cowboys that dress and talk the part, but are pretending to be what they aren't.

I once heard Ann Richards describe her opponent in the Texas Governor's race as All Hat No Cattle. Her opponent was George W. Bush. When I needed a name for this website, that phrase immediately came to mind.

Times (uk) Lipreader Concurs

Times (uk): Read my lips: the taunt that made Zidane snap

...The Times enlisted the help of an expert lip reader, Jessica Rees, to determine the precise nature of the dialogue that caused Zidane to react in such a manner.

After an exhaustive study of the match video, and with the help of an Italian translator, Rees claimed that Materazzi called Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore” before adding “so just f*** off” for good measure, supporting the natural assumption that the Frenchman must have been grievously insulted.


When asked about the allegations on his return to Rome, Materazzi issued a vehement denial, while sources close to the player emphasised that he had not been accused of racism before, pointing to his close friendship with Obafemi Martins, the Nigeria and Inter Milan striker.

“It is absolutely not true,” Materazzi said. “I did not call him a terrorist. I’m ignorant. I don’t even know what the word means. The whole world saw what happened on live TV.”

So, is Materazzi employing the "some of my best friends are the sons of terrorist whores" defense?

'So Just Fuck Off' Was The Nicest Thing Materazzi Said

The Daily Mirror hired a lip reader. Will Materazzi plead ignorance again?

Daily Mirror (uk): Revealed: The disgusting abuse that sparked Zidane's fury

It is the question on every football fan's lips. What did the Italian footballer say to prompt Zinedine Zidane's shocking headbutt in the closing moments of Sunday's World Cup final?

The answer, it has emerged, was a vile stream of racial and personal abuse.

First Marco Matterazzi called the French star the Italian equivalent of 'n*****', and then insulted both his mother and his Muslim background by saying he is the 'son of a terrorist whore.


With the help of an expert lip reader the Daily Mail was able to decipher what led to the violent outburst.

First defender Marco Materazzi spoke in Italian - a language understood by Zidane who once played for Italian side Juventus - grabbed his opponent and told him 'hold on, wait, that one's not for a n***** like you.'

It is not clear whether the Italian was referring to the ball heading their way or his own groping of Zidane.

The expert, who can lip read foreign languages phonetically and translate with the aid of an Italian interpreter, was unable to see what Zidane said in reply.

But she saw that as the players walked forward Materazzi said: 'We all know you are the son of a terrorist whore.'

Then, just before the headbutt, he was seen saying,: 'So just f*** off.'

Best Video Evidence: Any Lipreaders Out There?

From BlogVermelho (via Bigsoccer) the best video I've seen of the confrontation between Materazzi and Zidane: O Touro Zidane

The YouTube video at the top of the post is shot looking straight on at Materazzi and Zidane as they trot down the field, Materazzi jawing at Zidane before Zidane turns to deliver the head.

Do you speak Italian? French? Lipreaders, we need your assistance!


iPlot: A Zineastic Moment

According to lip readers hired by the Brazilian sports publication Globo, Materazzi called Zidane’s sister a prostitute and Zidane himself a terrorist. Materazzi denies this.

Materazzi: "I'm Ignorant"

French President Jacques Chirac bids farewell to Zinedine Zidane at the Elysee palace in Paris. Chirac told Zidane, "What I want to say to you at the most intense, perhaps the hardest moment of your career, is the admiration and affection of an entire nation, and also its respects."(AFP/Patrick Kovarik)

Reuters: Zidane apparently called "dirty terrorist"

PARIS, July 10 (Reuters) - France captain Zinedine Zidane was apparently called a "dirty terrorist" by Marco Materazzi before he head-butted the Italy defender in Sunday's World Cup final, the anti-racism group SOS Racism said on Monday.

"According to several very well informed sources from the world of football, it would seem that the Italian player Marco Materazzi called Zinedine Zidane a 'dirty terrorist'," SOS Racism said in a statement.

Reuters: Materazzi denies calling Zidane "terrorist"

ROME (Reuters) - Italy defender Marco Materazzi on Monday denied a report that he had called Zinedine Zidane a "dirty terrorist" seconds before the French captain head-butted him in Sunday's World Cup final.

"It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means," the Italian news agency Ansa quoted Materazzi as saying after the Italian team returned to Rome.

"The whole world saw what happened on live TV," he added.

Another cynical Italian ploy.

You can use this animation to give Materazzi a few more headbutts.

Tom Reilly Is Too Dumb To Be Governor

Boston Globe: Reilly won't sue over lead paint

In 1999, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly turned down pleas to join a Rhode Island lawsuit that resulted in a historic jury verdict earlier this year that could require paint companies to spend an estimated $1 billion or more to rid about 300,000 Ocean State homes of lead contamination.

Now Reilly is rejecting entreaties that he follow Rhode Island's victory with a similar suit against the paint industry, which sold lead pigment until the 1970s despite allegedly knowing for decades it was toxic, according to four advocates interviewed by the Globe who have met with Reilly's deputies to urge them to sue.


Reilly's rationale: Massachusetts law makes such a suit difficult, and he feels stung by the outcome of the 1998 tobacco industry settlement that won the state $8.3 billion, but embroiled him in an ugly battle with several law firms over their legal fees, people who attended the meetings said.

Reilly's top aides said the attorney general is reluctant to work with private law firms again, the advocates said. And since his office does not have the resources to take on the paint industry alone, he will not pursue litigation on his own, these people said.


Reilly's unwillingness to sue, according to Torres, Lawrence, Rabin, and Andelman, stems in part from the divisive court battle that resulted when the Boston law firm Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels and a San Francisco firm sued for an additional $1.3 billion in legal fees for their work on the state's landmark tobacco settlement. Reilly's predecessor, Scott Harshbarger, had agreed to pay the firms a 25 percent contingency fee for handling the case.

But after the tobacco industry paid the 50 states $246 billion to settle the lawsuit, an arbitration panel voted to award Massachusetts lawyers $775 million, or 9.3 percent of the state's $8.3 billion share. Claiming breach of contract, Brown Rudnick sued, spurring heated public debate .

Even though the law firms ultimately lost their fight, ``the AG's office has basically sworn off ever using private counsel again," Lawrence said....

Tom Reilly is an idiot. The firms who sued the state for more money for the tobacco settlement were (1) an out-of-state firm from San Francisco; and (2) Brown, Rudnick, a Boston DEFENSE firm that the state hired (as well as several plaintiff's firms), probably because of all its political connections. The real plaintiff's law firms who represented the state, experienced in mass tort litigation, didn't sue the state afterwards. The smart reaction of a smart politician would be to vow never again to hire a defense firm to do plaintiff work.

The state got $8.3 billion out of the tobacco lawsuit, and Reilly's nose is so out-of-joint about Brown, Rudnick's lawsuit (that Reilly WON) that he won't even try to put more money from guilty corporations back into state coffers. Nice call, genius. No wonder he's in danger of finishing third in the Democratic race for the nomination for governor.

Football Takes A Dive

Enraged : French midfielder Zinedine Zidane (L) gestures after head butting Italian defender Marco Materazzi during the World Cup 2006 final football match between Italy and France at BerlinÂ’s Olympic Stadium. Italy won the 2006 World Cup defeating France 5-3 on penalties. (AFP/John MacDougall)

The Italian Diving Team hoisted the World Cup trophy last night, after Zinedine Zidane was sent off in overtime for headbutting the Italian defender Materazzi. I cannot help but believe that Materazzi said something racially offensive to Zidane, a Frenchman of Algerian heritage who had read FIFA's empty anti-racism message before every knockout round match. (But see the BBC article that says Materazzi insulted Zidane's mother. Yo Momma!) A painful ending for all of us who love the Beautiful Game, to have the most cynical team in the tournament the last one standing. Let's close the book on the 2006 World Cup with a Best and Worst list.

BEST COACH: Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany). Though he got outcoached in the semifinal against Italy, he wins the award for making Germans believe in more than just the German team.

WORST COACH: As an American, I have to give Bruce Arena (USA) the worst coach award. At least Sven Moron Erickson (England) and Jose Pekerman (Argentina) won a few games. And they didn't have press conferences excoriating their players by name after losses. Bruce must go. Klinsi, come home to San Diego, only 20 minutes away from the USA training center!

BEST PLAYER: The journalists who award the Golden Ball gave it to Zidane in a close vote over Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro (2,012 to 1,977), and I can't disagree with that. If Cannavaro hadn't knocked Thierry Henry out in the first minute of the game, I would have given it to him, but he did and I won't. Zidane was magnificent in the knockout round. His game against Brazil was one for the ages.

BEST GOAL: Maxi Rodriguez's chest trap, blast volley goal against Mexico in overtime, hands down. Brilliant goal, and the gamewinner. Second place for me was Beckham's free kick goal, because it was a great goal and it won the game.

WORST PLAYER: Daniele DeRossi of Italy, the guy who elbowed Brian McBride in the face.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Brazil and Ronaldhino. He was hamstrung by the coach's formation, but I expected more from the World Player of the Year. Second place, the Americans and Bruce Arena's decision to make Eddie Pope the Jeff Agoos of 2006. Last October I predicted this:

Eddie Pope? I think Bruce sees his past more than he sees his present. I love and adore Eddie Pope, but he's done at the international level. Once you lose that step as a defender, it's over. Can you see him going head to head with Wayne Rooney? Kaka? Eto'o? Shevchenko? Nope. We tried this last World Cup (Jeff Agoos) with disastrous results.
And there was Eddie Pope, waving his hand for an offsides call as Alberto Gilardino, the Italian he was failing to mark, scored a header past Kasey Keller. If only Arena had started Conrad from the get-go. We coulda been a contender!

BEST YOUNG PLAYER: I'm not using a rigid age limit. For me this category is a tie between Franck Ribery of France, the man who ran so France's old folks could conserve their energy, and Philip Lahm of Germany, the best tiny defender since Ashley Cole.

BEST OLD PLAYER: Keeper Shaka Hislop of Trinidad & Tobago (age 37) was called into the T&T game against Sweden at the last minute as regular keeper Kelvin Jack was injured in warm-ups. Hislop stoned the Swedes with a number of spectacular saves to make the game the BEST 0-0 TIE of the tournament.

BIGGEST VILLAIN: Must be Sepp Blatter for giving us this hideous refereeing with his edict telling referees cards must fly. Ruined the tournament. If only he had announced that diving must be curtailed. No way would be Italy be holding the trophy today if that were so.

WORST ANNOUNCER: Dave O'Brien (Dumb) by a whisker over his boothmate, Marcelo Balboa (Dumber). OK, they were both horrible, but O'Brien seems to think he's earned the job. Listening him to talk about Italy having gone from a man marking defense to more of a zone yesterday -- a man who knows nothing about soccer, nothing, it was just pathetic. Please god, let ESPN fire both their sorry asses and start over. Can we steal Martin Tyler from Australia, anyone?

WORST PERFORMANCE BY A TELEVISION NETWORK: And the envelope goes to ESPN. Where to start? Let's hire a lead announcer who doesn't know anything about the world's most popular sport! Let's lower the crowd noise so everyone can hear every stupid word out of our stupid announcers' mouths! Let's use huge graphics that obscure the screen! Let's skip the national anthems of US opponents! Let's skip national anthems altogether if the US isn't playing! Let's show the lineups in groups, on top of the action after the game has started! Let's hire one of the most hated announcers in sports to anchor the booth (Musberger). Let's cut away immediately after matches!

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A TELEVISION NETWORK: Univision. I couldn't understand much more than pelota, but I could follow the game better than with Dumb and Dumber pissing me off.

PERSONAL HIGH POINT: Arriving at the stadium in Gelsenkirchen for the US-Czech Republic game to find that my Row 1 tickets that I assumed would be in the upper deck were in the actual front row, right behind the tent through which the players entered the field. Unfortunately my PERSONAL LOW POINT was that 3-0 trouncing by the Czechs. Ouch.

Great tournament though and kudos to the German people who were great hosts.

WaPo: The Golden Boot

WaPo: France's Zidane Sees Red, Ends Fabled Career With an Ejection

Jere Longman, NYTimes: A Star Falters, France Fades, Italy Rejoices

BBC: Zidane blamed Materazzi comment

BBC: European press review: World Cup

Guardian (uk): Italy strike gold as Zidane sees red


Mark Lawrenson (Lawro), Mirror (uk): GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD


Times (uk): Materazzi mystery hangs over the party in Rome

BBC: World Cup Final photos

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italian Diving Team In World Cup Final

Totti begins his diving sequence. The Russian judge gives him a 9.9

I'm just disgusted that the cynical Italy squad, which has flopped on fields all over Germany for the last month, has reached the World Cup finals. Vive le France, alles les bleus, please, Zizou, stamp out this Italian nonsense. The diving has been out of control; FIFA must do something to stop it. It ruins the game to watch someone drop, roll, writhe, fake injury, be stretchered off, then hop up on the sidelines after being administered the magic water bottle cure. And how do I know it's fake? Watch a high-level women's game. Women don't do this. After a challenge or a collision, women hop and go about their business. Women would be embarrassed to look like such wimps.

Speaking of embarrassment, when you search 'world cup flop' on yahoo photos, you get four pictures of the US Men's National Team. Ouch.

Indepdendent (uk): Stan Hey: Welcome to the world diving awards night, sponsored by Louganis

WaPo: On Biggest Stage, a Diving Platform
Flopping Has Defined World Cup -- and Could Decide Final

Craven Herald (uk): Conmen have wrecked World Cup, says Wetherall

Portsmouth News (uk): Ban those who have shamed the game

Toronto Sun: And the World Cup Oscar goes to ...

New Zealand Herald: Paul Lewis: Cheats thrive as World Cup takes a dive