Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Archive for June 9th, 2008

Missing the point of Celtics-Lakers Game 2

Posted by sanityinjection on June 9, 2008

Reading the various sports columns today analyzing the Boston Celtics’ Game 2 win over the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals, it strikes me that most of them are missing the point. So far the columns I’ve read fall into one of the following categories: 1) Paul Pierce had a great game, 2) The heartwarming story of Leon Powe, 3) Rajon Rondo had a great game, 4) The Lakers really poured it on at the end and nearly pulled off the win.

Without denying any of the above, what is missing from all this genius analysis is something that should have been obvious to anyone who actually watched the game or even listened to the TV commentators covering it. The main point of Game 2 was this: The Lakers’ total, inexplicable failure to play anything resembling defense. For most of the game, the Celtics were practically scoring at will. On drive after drive, the Lakers made no attempt to obstruct the Celtics’ shots, and when they did, it was usually with a clumsy foul. The Celtics, on the other hand, played very good defense for three quarters, then went to sleep early.

Given how close the game was at the very end, the conclusion is clear: Had the Lakers played even marginally better defense, by just attempting to contest shots, they would have won this game on the road and the series would be tied 1-1 heading back to LA. Somebody needs to point this out to Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson, who is whining that the officials wouldn’t call fouls on the Celtics. Phil, your team didn’t need to hit more foul shots to win the game (both teams scored over 100 points in the game, considered high scoring in the playoffs.) They just needed to do what high school and college teams are taught to do every day – defend the hoop. The Lakers have no one to blame for this loss except themselves – and the Celtics should consider themselves lucky to have escaped with a win.

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Did Bush really lie to the country about Iraq?

Posted by sanityinjection on June 9, 2008

Fred Hiatt, the editorial director of the Washington Post has a great piece up on this very question:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/08/AR2008060801687.html

Hiatt points out that, contrary to the popular “Bush Lied” bumper stickers, even the Democrats’ investigation showed that in virtually every area, President Bush’s statements arguing the need to go to war with Iraq were “substantiated by intelligence information”.

Now, you can legitimately argue that a lot of that intelligence turned out to be crap. You can also argue that influential individuals within the Bush Administration may have cherry-picked from the available intelligence to find what they wanted to hear. But that’s very different from stating that the President deliberately lied to Congress and the American people to trick them into approving the war with Iraq. This slander has become all too common. Kudos to the Post for once again demonstrating that it is the best major newspaper in America, because it is willing to print the truth even when it is “An Inconvenient Truth” for the paper’s general left-wing leanings.

Of course, the idea of the President lying to the country is easy to swallow given how common it’s been among Bush’s predecessors (LBJ, Nixon, Clinton.) But to those sporting “Bush Lied” bumper stickers, let’s not tarnish the current President with this label unfairly – there remain plenty of legitimate areas in which to criticize Bush and his Administration without resorting to the intellectual equivalent of “Bush Is a Doodie-Head.”

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In response to gas prices…

Posted by sanityinjection on June 9, 2008

Judging from a few hours of highway driving this weekend, I can definitely tell that in response to $4/gallon gas, some people are taking to heart the advice of drving 55mph to improve fuel efficiency. Which is all well and good. But in the name of all that is holy, WHY do these people feel the need to drive 55 in the middle lanes of a multi-lane highway? Are they trying to make some sort of statement – “Look at me, I’m saving money and saving the environment!” or just generally clueless? Do they think they are going to inspire other drivers to follow their example by clogging up the entire road?

This is not a question of right and wrong, it’s a simple question of safety. If you want to drive 55, do so in the right lane. Driving that speed in the middle lanes when everyone else around you is going at least 10 mph faster forces other drivers to either slow down unexpectedly, or pass you on the right. Both can create unsafe situations. It also creates traffic bottlenecks that inconvenience others for no valid reason.

The extra miles per gallon you are getting will probably be of little comfort if you are in a full body cast in the hospital because two people passing you at the same time on either side both tried to shift into your lane at once right in front of you. 

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