Also Sprach Qohelet

Qohelet--A redneck philosopher? A mad man with a Muse? An urban legend? Just one more griper with a keyboard and an ISP? Read on and find out. Qohelet opines on politics, religion, culture, and even sports. Qohelet is a modern renaissance man.

ALSO SPRACH QOHELET

A plethora of punditry, a smorgasboard of smack.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Noose Is Out

Saddam Hussein will be in hell, maybe by Friday. Link



Adios.

Reformers? Puritans? Pragmatists? Pyromaniacs?

Because I can comment here without getting deleted and because I never got an answer to my questions over at Pyromaniacs concerning Dan's last post, and because Paul and Candy have convinced me that they are not all of them mean over there, I thought I'd post a couple of comments over here.

I never said which side of the debate I was on. I did say that I celebrate Christmas, and that I did so for many of the same reasons that Dan put in his post. However, what Dan and Frank both fail to do over there is to take into account the regulative principle. If you are not familiar with the regulative principle, then I recommend you go over to that particular link and read it. If you're like me, and don't like running all over the Internet and back before finishing one particular article, then here is a snippet from that page which I think sums up the regulative principle well:
"Simply the Regulative Principle States this: True worship is only commanded by God; false worship is anything not commanded. This was the Puritan’s view of worship."
Now, with that in mind, it is easy to see why the Puritans rejected the celebration of Christmas as a "holy day." It was not just that it smacked of Rome and that they were distancing themselves from all things Rome, although I don't dismiss the idea that this may have been at work as a psychological factor. No, they had Scripture and sound reason for their rejection of Christmas. It was the same argument, by the by, that they used to dismiss all of the Roman Catholic holy days and saint days. That reason was this: none of those holy days was commanded.

The arguments Frank and Dan make for the religious celebration of Christmas, are the very same arguments that Rome made--against the Puritans and Reformers who held to the regulative principle--for all of her holy days and saints days. They are pragmatic arguments. Ironic, isn't it? John MacArthur has for a long time spoken out against the pragmatism that drives much of evangelical enterprise, pointing out its dangers, calling the evangelical church back to principle. Yet, on Phil Johnson's blog, the one that promotes all things MacArthur, they have taken the opposite stand on this issue. They ignore biblical principle--specifically the regulative principle--and argue for Christmas based on purely pragmatic arguments. Am I wrong in my assessment? TeamPyro is arguing against the Puritans and using Rome's arguments to do so.

That's not an attempt at guilt by association, by the way, either. Not everything that Rome says or does is wrong. Rome does, for example, make eloquent arguments for the Trinity and the deity of Christ and the hypostatic union. Not everything Rome does or says is wrong, obviously. But wouldn't you agree that it is at least noteowrthy that in this particular case, those whom Boar's Head Tavern patrons refer to snidely as the "truly reformed" are taking their stand with Rome and against their Puritan forbears on this issue?

God gave us holy days, said the Puritans, fifty-two of them. It is presumptious for us to go beyond what is commanded and add to that. When we do, how are we different than the two sons of Aaron who brought strange fire into the tabernacle and offered it on the altar of incense? I'm sure they had pragmatic reasons for doing so also. The bottom line is, we don't worship God the way we want, we worship God the way He commands.

I post these thoughts here because they can't be deleted by the hyper-sensitive and because I don't think that those two sanctimonies over there have even thought this thing all the way through. I think that Dan even takes it as a personal affront if anyone even questions his assertions or conclusions. I could be wrong.

Now, please pardon me while I go take down my Christmas tree and put up decorations. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Wrath of Team Pyro--Setting the Record Straight

Dan Phillips and Frank Turk over at Pyromaniacs have tagged me as an official trouble-maker and I have incurred their wrath and reprimand. I contend that it's a misunderstanding on their part. Nevertheless, they have taken it upon themselves to censure me by partially censoring me. Because Dan made the following comments about two of my comments--after deleting them--and because I want to set the record straight, I am going to post the contents of one of those deleted posts here, and then briefly explain the other one since I had not as yet saved it when he deleted it.

First, here is Dan's comment directed toward me after deleting my two posts:

Qohelet -- repeating the same snide insinuations and sneering snipes, however eloquently and at length, does not meet my definition of "knock it off." So it, and related posts, are gone.

Stay, go, whatever. You're free. Just like the service Pyro provides. If you won't apologize for the behavior I singled out (which had nothing to do with diverting to the propriety of Christmas celebrations), don't.

Just stop repeating it. I mean it.

Sadly, I had only saved one of those two deleted comments in my own records, but I will gladly post it here for you to judge whether or not what I had written was deserving of the railing accusations Dan made, and continues to make, against me. Here is the deleted comment, word for word:

Dearest Dan and Turk,

You guys get your dander up way too fast. Honestly and truly. I don't know any other way to put it.

Dan, I liked your post enough to link it in case any gospel-needy people wandered by my obscure corner of blogdom in search of the true meaning of Christmas. I guess trolls do that on a regular basis, don't they?

As for apologies, what exactly have I done that was offensive? Perhaps my mistake was not recognizing just how tightly wound you guys are. I have read this blog for a little while longer than you might think. When I started my own blog, this was the first blog I linked under the heading of religious blogs. I did so because I consider it relevant, substantive, and usually a lot of fun. My first comment was not meant with ill will at all, it was meant to embody what I perceive is often the spirit of the blog--one of good-natured joviality mixed with serious Bible teaching and discussion of issues relevant to evangelicalism.

I thought Frank initially took my comment that way (in a jovial way)and because he referenced me personally in his next post I responded again. At that time I mentioned more than once that I appreciated the exhortation, then attempted to communicate once again in what I (mistakenly?) perceived to be the spirit of the place--jovial. Phil chimed in about then and made some friendly and appreciative remarks.

I understand that you guys are not responsible for the commenters here, so I'm not holding you responsible for farmboy, who seems like a nice enough guy, but just doesn't get it yet that I was not, am not, and have not attacked this blog. If I had wanted to, I could have taken him and his analysis apart. Instead, I thought it would be more fun just to toy with him and not take him seriously at all. Should I apologize for that?

Then, in Phil's light-hearted holiday post he again mentioned me--in a jovial way--and his humor was again appreciated. Since I was again mentioned on the front page, I don't think anyone should construe my participation in the comments of that post to be some attempt to take over the comment thread and make it about me or my issues.

As for this particular post from Dan, I thought it was very good. That's why I linked it in my own blog. Do I have to preface any questions about any assertions in any given post by first saying how wonderful the guy is who posted it? Do you guys really need to be stroked that much?

Dan made particular assertions at the end of his blogpost, assertions which I quoted. Those assertions were intended to make the case for the celebration of Christmas. Am I right or wrong?

I celebrate Christmas. I celebrated it this year and every year. I celebrate it for many of the same reasons Dan so elequently pointed out in his post. It also happens to be the case, however, that I know something of the history of the Christmas debate and how our Puritan ancestors did not celebrate it. I also know their arguments. My only motive in posing one of those arguments to you, Dan, was to see how someone who has obviously thought about this issue more than me would respond to that argument.

It was not to attack you.
It was not to embarass you.
It was not to take over the comments thread for my own agenda.

I contend that the question was on-target, on-subject, and relevant to an assertion you made in the post. I'm not contending with you, Dan. I agree with you. I just want to know how to answer--how you would answer--those who would put forth the objection I articulated.

By the way, I wasn't even the first one on this thread to put forward that question. dyslexic fundamentalist was dismissed out of hand as well. But, again, I assert that the questions were honestly asked in response to the assertions made at the end of the post.

If all you want are high-fives, let me know. If you are honestly seeking to minister, however, then why not do that? If I am unworthy of your ministry and unwelcome, just let me know and I'll chart my course for more friendly waters.

The second deleted comment was directed mostly toward someone going under the name "farmboy", with whom I was mostly trying to offer an apology and hoping for some sort of truce or reconciliation. In that comment I pointed out that my sense of humor might be warped and quoted a Proverb in my own defense. As I did so, I made the remark that I was trying to beat Dan to the punch at quoting Proverbs. I said that because in an earlier comment in that same thread Dan had made the following snide remarks directed at me:

"And you've been crying (or, strictly, raging and laughing [Proverbs 29:9]) about it ever since?"

For the record, Proverbs 29:9 reads:
If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.
In that comment, Dan directly called me a fool (and himself a "wise man," did you catch that?). I did not respond in kind. The only thing I said to farmboy after my citation of Proverbs--the Proverb that says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine"--was that I did it to beat Dan to the Proverbs punch, and that if Dan quoted Ecclesiastes I would then have to call him "Qohelet." For those of you who don't get that comment, the verse I had in mind in Ecclesiastes was this one:
Eccles. 7:6 (KJV)
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
The reason I made the remark about having to call Dan "Qohelet" if he quoted Ecclesiastes is because "Qohelet" is the Hebrew title for the author of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes--translated "the Preacher" in the KJV. I suspect Dan knew that.

After I posted those two comments, Dan came along and deleted them both, then said:
"Qohelet -- repeating the same snide insinuations and sneering snipes, however eloquently and at length, does not meet my definition of "knock it off." So it, and related posts, are gone.

Stay, go, whatever. You're free. Just like the service Pyro provides. If you won't apologize for the behavior I singled out (which had nothing to do with diverting to the propriety of Christmas celebrations), don't.

Just stop repeating it. I mean it."
Now, do you see anything in my deleted posts deserving of the libelous statements made by Dan? What am I missing? I posted nothing deserving of being characterized as "snide insinuations and sneering snipes." Yet, that assessment remains on the board over at Teampyro while my actual comments are gone. Meanwhile, he's the one who called me a fool and he's the one making direct, explicit negative remarks toward me. Anyone who happens along now will assume that his remarks about the deleted posts are true and never even have the chance to examine the evidence. That's why I've tried my best to replace the deleted comments here--to set the record straight.

I made no intentionally snide comments or sneering snipes at Teampyro, Dan, or Frank. They have misjudged me and libeled me. The thing that saddens me most, I think, is the thought that I may not be the first they have done this to, that they have misjudged and mishandled others to whom they might have had effective ministry. I'll be fine. I'm a big boy. I'll find friendlier waters and go on. But it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh well, I think I'll go read a book and come back tomorrow before re-doing the links in my sidebar. I'll probably even delete this post in a day or so and wash my hands of the whole thing.

Matthew 5:21-24 (ESV)
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' [22] But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. [23] So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, [24] leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Random thoughts on a snowy Christmas evening

Can you picture it? There's a fire on the hearth. The only lights are from the fire, the Christmas lights that are still on and visible through the front window, and the LCD screen of my laptop as I sit here in my recliner contemplating the end of a good Christmas day.



No, there isn't actually any snow outside, I made that part up. Come on, people. You know that I live in the South--we never have a white Christmas. But it was a nice thought, wasn't it? I bet there's some people in Denver that wouldn't mind switching places with me for a day or three.



So as I sit here I thought I might as well share some of my random thought processes with you. Here goes.

There's just nothing better than seeing the eyes light up on a child when he receives the perfect Christmas gift, you know, the one he's dreamed about for months. Superbly delightful.

If there is something finer than that, it would have to be the sight of a mighty fine woman dressed in holiday garb happily going about preparing the holiday meal. Is there anything I can help you with, honey? Oh yeah.

Is there a greater holiday classic than National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?

Ever notice how many Southern Baptists get all riled up every year over whether or not some privately owned business like Wal-Mart says "Merry Christmas" or not, or whether some poor soul prints "X-mas" instead of "Christmas" on something, then at the same time they won't show up for church if it falls on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? "Come on, Pastor, it's a holiday!" they say. Is this the same dude that's been preaching "Keep Christ in Christmas" for the last three or four weeks? Yeah, I hear you.

Have you noticed how many people "believe" this time of year? They believe. Yes, sir. I was watching a network game show earlier. Yes, I'm ashamed to admit, but I was. Not that I think there's anything wrong, per se, with game shows, I'm just embarrassed for you to think that I might actually find them worth my time. But, since I was at someone else's house, and it was on, and they were watching it, and I was intrigued, there it was. I dis-remember what the show was called, but there was this bald-headed California dude, a bunch of young women holding metal suit cases, a sinister banker behind the scenes, and contestants trying to make deals for money. Both these dudes, these contestants, had something in common, besides their ability to make themselves look dumb on television. That was this--they believed. I watched nearly two hours of this show, and I'm telling you these dudes had strong faith. They were definitely believers. I'm still not sure, though, what it was they actually believed or who it was they believed in. But, their faith was so strong it was contagious, because some of those babes holding the boxes were, by the end of the show, expressing their faith, too. Yes, sir. Everyone is a believer on Christmas day. One guy kept saying, "If you believe, you'll achieve." He won less money than the other dude did. Meanwhile, I kept thinking to myself, Believe in what?

I guess it doesn't matter to some people what they believe in, as long as they believe. It just blesses your innards, don't it? We live in a culture of faith. (Either that or we live in a society full of idiots, but I'll leave that judgment up to you readers. I hate to say something that mean on Christmas day.)

Okay, I'll just say it. We live in a society full of idiots. If your faith is not grounded in something solid, it is foolishness. In fact, when there is something solid out there to anchor your faith in, and instead you put it in vain, empty things, that's just stupidity. Worse than that, when you consider that the truth is out there, is knowable, and you are commanded to believe it, but don't, instead believing in something silly, that's just downright rebellious and sinful. There's nothing warm and fuzzy about it.

Oh, well. Thank God there is something solid, something substantive we can wrap our minds and hearts around to believe in, something that will get us through dry seasons and the rainy days and the stormy months and (have I used all the weather metaphors up yet?) That something is what the season was originally about when it was adopted by the medieval Christians and that something is what Dan over at Pyromaniacs took the time to write about and post today. God bless the gospel and the beautiful feet of those who proclaim it. You can read Dan's post here.

The gospel, now there's something worth believing in. That other faith those game-show contestants had on display ain't worth the time it would take to sand-blast it and slap a "For Sale" sign on it.

Speaking of TeamPyro. Do those guys live in a war zone or something? Seems to me they're just a little bit hyper-sensitive to some commenters--a bit jumpy or eager to be offended, like somebody's been shootin' at 'em a bunch. Lighten up, guys. Not everyone's out to get you. Can we ask questions without getting the business? Can we be tongue-in-cheek without being misjudged as malcontents with malicious hearts?

Here, in the spirit of the season let me offer you a Christmas gift from Also Sprach. Take two of these and call me in the morning:



Now, feel better? Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This is not a Christian blog

Yes, you read that right. Also Sprach Qohelet is not a Christian blog. It is simply a blog run by a guy who happens to be a Christian.

The modern evengelical community, in many ways, has chosen to isolate itself into its own sub-culture. It has its own books, music, movies, news-sources, blogosphere, yada, yada, yada. Impatient for Christ's return, they have gone ahead and pre-emptively "raptured" themselves out of this world and await Christ now in their own separate ghettos.

Count me out. I refuse to divide my life into two categories--the secular and the sacred. For the Christian, all things are sacred and all things are to be done for God's glory.

Titus 1:15 (ESV)
To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

So on this blog you will find my rantings, musings, philosophizing, and humor to be across the board. I love poking fun at Southern culture because it is mine and I'm well-qualified to do so. I also love critiquing evangelicalism for the same reason I love lampooning leftist ideology because they are both such easy targets. However, while I number myself among the former, I definitely do not number myself among the latter.

I am a student of history, a southern Baptist, and somewhat of a libertarian. I happen to think it's a shame that most people shelter themselves from all opposing viewpoints whether it comes to theology or ideology. After all, if your truth claim is the real deal, then it should be unassailable, should it not? What then are you afraid of? I love the blogosphere because it is the modern townhall where people gather together and match wits in the arena of ideas. Just lay it all out and may truth win the day, I say.

So if you're the type who feels insecure when straying away from your own little circle of safe, Christian sites, you'll probably feel a little bit nervous here. As I said, this is not a Christian blog. This is just Qohelet's blog, and Qohelet is a Christian not afraid to get his lilly white robes sullied by rubbing elbows with the sinners from time to time.

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

This is just WRONG


Somebody sent me this photo in an email and I'm only sharing it with you because it is an illustration of just how terrible some people can be. Can we not just leave Bubba alone? Come on!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Naked Christmas

Being a renaissance man, as you might imagine, keeps me plenty busy. Besides all that heavy reading I do (you did notice Qohelet's reading list I just added to the sidebar didn't you?), I have a regular job, a few pet projects, a family, and my sports to keep up with.

So the other day I was watching a basketball game on the NBA channel. One of the annoying things about watching a game on the NBA channel is that they don't have very many sponsors, so you wind up watching the same five commercials on every commercial break. Anyway, one of those commercials got me to thinking and I decided I needed to carry my thoughts to you good people and let you know what they were. Those thoughts were concerning one of the ads played during the game.

Some of you may be more degenerate than me, I don't know, but I've never seen any of the American Pie movies. They have nothing to do with pie, which I happen to like, and they represent a part of American culture which I think is destructive to America. Anyway, apparently these movies have become so popular that they have (de)generated their own series of spin-offs and the latest is American Pie: the Naked Mile. You don't have to watch the movie to know what it's about, all you have to do is see the television spot which I saw about two dozen times during that ball game.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to go all fundamentalist on you. Believe me, I've seen my share of movies. I've probably seen my share of movies that I would have been better off not seeing too, so I'm not trying to be self-righteous here. But this movie is about one thing: sexual lust--(im)pure and simple. It is aimed right at young people and the only motive for going to see it would be nudity, lust, and illicit sex.

Did I say "going to see it"? Yes, I did. My bad. I meant to say "buying it" because this movie is not even being released to theaters. It is going straight to DVD where it has been released in an Unrated version which tells every young person (and you old perverts too) who sees it that if it were to be rated it would probably get an NC-17. You do know that's the whole reason to sell it that way, don't you, as "unrated"? That one word is put there on the box for the express purpose of making young men's hormones jump out of their skin in the hopes they'll be seeing lots of it when they pop it in the DVD player. That's right, it has been released straight to DVD and just in time for Christmas--that's why they were pushing it so hard the other night during that game. I've also seen it on other stations (probably ESPN but I can't remember for certain).

Now let's look at that from a business standpoint. If you had a movie and you were going to release it to DVD then you would want to do so in time for Christmas, would you not? And if you were going to do that, and you wanted to sell a lot of them during the annual holiday shopping Saturnalias, then you would advertise them hard during that peak shopping time, would you not? Of course, you would. And that's exactly what the makers of American Pie are doing. They are hoping to sell as many copies of this as they can during this time of year.

Whoa.

Just ponder that little tidbit for a moment now, would you? These people have produced a product that appeals solely to the baser side of human nature and they are hoping that you will be enticed enough to buy that product and give it to someone you love or care about as a part of your celebration of the birth of Jesus.

You know, Jesus. The guy from Nazareth. The one who said that anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent is guilty of adultery. The man whose apostles made it clear that adulterers would not inherit the kingdom of God. The guy who told the woman taken in adultery, "Go and sin no more." Yeah, that guy.

So what these American Pie people are hoping is that there are enough debauched fools out there with no sense whatsoever that they will actually go out and buy this flick and give it to someone and call it a "Christmas gift"--part of the celebration of the birth of a man who stood as a polar opposite to everything that flick promotes. What's even sadder as that there are probably plenty of profligate sops out there who will do just that.

Can you imagine wrapping that up and putting it under the tree?

Now I'm not stupid enough to think that everyone out there celebrating Christmas is a Christian or holds to biblical standards of sexual behavior, but you would hope it would at least cross people's minds. How tacky can you get? Are you really going to buy this and then add insult to injury by calling it a Christmas gift?

"Here you go, bud. In honor of the Savior's birth I give you this movie that promotes sexual hedonism and entices you to thoughts which that same Savior said would lead you to hell if you gave yourself over to them. Merry Christmas."

All of this reminds me of what my Sunday School teacher was teaching about last Sunday, but that's for another post. In the meantime, try to remember what Christmas is really about and please, please, celebrate it fully clothed.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Religion and Politics in one fell swoop

Qohelet is a renaissance man. When you come here, there's no telling what will be on the front page. And since no one is actually coming here to read yet, that probably doesn't matter. But one day there will be readers here I'm sure, so in case you guys are doing some backreading, this is for you. Also Sprach Qohelet is my sounding board for whatever interests me at the moment, which could be just about anything at all when you're an idiot savante paranoid schyzophrenic like me. So for today let me briefly hit on politics and religion in one short blurb. Lengthier comments to follow.

This morning I was scanning Little Green Footballs and came across this little gem from yesterday: Islamophobia
Put this one down as another in the long list of items demonstrating how Europeans just don't get it (and I'm afraid there are a lot of Americans who don't get it either).

Gee, I hope I haven't offended any of the followers of the peace-loving Mohammed by being insensitive.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Since I'm on the sports kick today

Since I'm on the sports kick today, Jay at blue-gray sky posted an excellent rant last week about the Irish season and all the Notre Dame haters out there. (You know who you are.) Now, if you're an Irish fan like me, you'll find great satisfaction in reading his slam dunk post entitled Season of Backlash. Enjoy.

Isiah Rap

Mouthing and street ball go hand in hand. Mouthing has always been pretty popular in the street-wise NBA as well. But, somehow, you expect more maturity coming from the coach of the team. Enter Isiah Thomas.

Isiah Thomas, former NBA star with the Pistons and current head coach of the Knicks, has further sullied his misspelled name.

Let's be honest, things have not looked good for Isiah in recent times. Shall we run down the list of failures and foibles? Well, without doing any research--just off the top of my head . . .

There was the failure as a GM in Toronto . . .
The lackluster stint as the Pacers' head coach (wasn't he fired by Bird?). . .
The scandals as GM of the Knicks having something to do with escort services . . .
The debacle of the Larry Brown firing that required commissioner David Stern to mediate . . .
His failure to put together a team there in spite of shelling out mucho dinero to do so . . .
His having to step in as head coach after the departure of said Brown and not doing any better with the team than Brown did . . .
And, now, the brawl, which looks like it was instigated by Isiah's mouth.

It looks like the bad boys of the late 80's can't seem to grow up, even when they put on coach's garb.

By now you've seen the footage on ESPN. The Nuggets are up by 17. There's less than two minutes in the game. J. R. Smith of the Nuggets goes up for a lay-up and gets clothes-lined by Knicks rookie Mardy Collins. There’s some scuffling, a punch or two thrown, then when everything seems to be getting back under control, Denver Nugget star and NBA-leading scorer Carmelo Anthony comes back in and throws a sucker punch at Collins. The Association is expected to hand down suspensions and heavy fines sometime today, yada, yada, yada. If you’re an ESPN junkie like I am, it’s all you will be hearing about for the next few days.

What is only now beginning to come to light is this--Isiah Thomas may have instigated the whole thing. There the Knicks are, losing by nearly twenty near the end of the game, what’s unusual about that? Isiah starts crying about poor sportsmanship because the Nuggets’ stars are still on the floor. It’s as if Isiah doesn’t have enough trouble coaching his own team, now he’s trying to coach the Nuggets too. So he says something to Carmelo Anthony, who is on the floor, about how he’d better not try to take it to the basket.

Before we go any further, let me make this point. Isiah is a grown man. Carmelo is just a kid. I know he makes millions and is legally an adult and all that, but he’s only about twenty-two, people. He’s just a kid. You expect a kid to lose his cool in an emotional situation. You don’t excuse it, but you’re not surprised by it. What you don’t expect is for an adult, a head coach, to instigate it.

So let’s get this straight. Isiah is whining because his team is getting blown off the floor and coach Karl of the Nuggets hasn’t pulled his starters. "We had surrendered," Thomas said. "Those guys shouldn't have been in the game at that point in time." So he mouths to a player on the opposing team that he had better not take it to the hoop. "Don't go to the hole," he says to Anthony. If you watch him mouthing the words on ESPN it is clear that this is stated as a warning.

What is that?

If I were a player (and I’ve never been much of one) and an opposing coach made an implied threat like that to me, I would be going straight to the hole the next time I got the ball. News flash for Isiah, Carmelo Anthony is not your player. He answers to his coach, not you. Maybe if you put more effort into coaching your own players, and less into trying to direct the other team’s players, the Knicks could win more games.

Well, maybe not.

Now the Knicks homers are out in force defending Thomas. Their argument? It’s coach Karl’s fault for leaving his players in. Coach Karl was running up the score because coach Karl is tight with Larry Brown and wants to make a statement about Isiah’s firing of Brown.

So?

What if all that is true? The bottom line is, if you don’t want to be blown out, play better. Look at Isiah’s statement again: “We had surrendered.” Hey Isiah, the game is over when the clock reads 0:00, not before. Besides, there were scrubs at the scorer’s table ready to check in when Isiah ordered the hit. Coach Karl was calling off the dogs.

So let me get this straight. Because Isiah thought Karl should have called it off sooner, and because in Isiah’s opinion the Nuggets were breaking some unwritten code of basketball etiquette, and because Isiah is tired of losing and frustrated, he is now resorting to intimidating opposing players and ordering hits on them.

Well, I guess that justifies it.

Isiah Thomas will be fired at the end of the season, if not before. I can’t wait. He was a great player, but his record in the front office and on the coach’s bench has been disgraceful. The sooner he is out of the NBA the better.

By the way, Alan Hahn at Newsday reports the following in his article here.

After Steve Francis suffered an ankle sprain when he took a jump shot and landed on the foot of the Spurs' Bruce Bowen, who had extended his foot under Francis, Thomas was asked what he would do if a player did that to him. "I'd beat the -- -- out of somebody," Thomas said Nov. 10.

The next night, the Knicks played the Spurs in San Antonio, and when Bowen got his foot under Jamal Crawford during a jump shot, Thomas started screaming, "Next time he does that, break his -- -- foot!"

Thomas then got into a verbal altercation with Bowen, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich -- another good friend of Brown's, by the way -- charged to midcourt, yelling at Thomas, "Don't talk to my players!"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Low-Riders

There I am at the drive-up window of the local donut shop. No, it's not a Krispy Creme. We don't allow yankee donuts down here in redneck-land. This is a Southern Maid shop and there's not a finer thing to look at at 6 am than a Southern Maid. Anyway, I place my order with the nice Asian lady at the window and as I'm ordering I glance past her shoulder and there standing behind her is this kid with his pants pulled down. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. He's standing there with his back to me sliding some hot, fresh glazed off of a pan onto a shelf and the back of his boxer shorts are staring at me. Just as I'm about to say, "Hey, kid, your britches are riding way, way low," it dawns on me.

He's wearing them that way on purpose.



Now this kid would probably think I'm old, but honestly, I'm not that old. I'm not some old codger that just woke up grumpy and has a gripe at everything "these young people" are doing these days. It's not like that at all. But, come on. What is this kid thinking? That he looks cool with his pants down? Can't I buy a donut without having to get mooned by the neighborhood kid? There was no need to ask the famous "boxers or briefs" question, because the answer was way too obvious. Aren't there laws against this?

So, tell me, is this supposed to be sexy? Cool? What? Ever heard the phrase "not enough sense to come in out of the rain?" Well, how about, "not enough sense to keep your britches pulled up"? Please. Come on, people. If I ever catch my son running around with his drawers hanging down it'll be all she wrote. Anyway . . .

Rant over.