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All in all not a great start to the week

And Batshit remains completely Batshit and that's why we call him Batshit.


Meanwhile, the long-awaited storyline where Jon Lestah replaces Taverez in the rotation may nevah get written.


And Schilling is fried and Buehrle ain't coming.


No one said it'd be easy.


Yeah, well, at least we can rest easy knowing that bunch of geezahs in robes know what the phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" means, and that it specifically advocates illegal drug use.


Any word yet from SCOTUS on the phrase "Bong Hits 4 Batshit"?



The way things are going with SCOTUS, it don't matter much that Bush is an incompetent who reached his high watah mahk, management-wise, "running" the Tejas Rangahs. While we have been sleeping this week, those insufferable honks have been laying down more 5-4 decisions than the Sawx. Don't even get me going. Just know this: the evil bastards of the GOP right have us by the gonads, even if Bush governs with the facility of a 7th grade boy trying to unsnap a girls bra with one hand.

Since I was in deep rem sleep (something about tank tops, boa constrictors, and Crazy Glue® ), the thing fall apaht last night. Maybe Timlin should consider another line of work. Thanks for '04, bro.


Offensive explosion is right Aaron :(

Not to get too far off subject here, but this analysis makes the case that the SCOTUS ruling is actually a mild victory for drug rights.

Yeah, it could be worse.

Interestingly, if I read Alito correctly, if the banner had said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus (Who Has Glaucoma)!" it would have been protected speech.

And SCOTUS did come down on the right side IMO of the bogus McCain/Feingold crapfest.

COD, thanks for the link. I would suggest that finding hope in the opinion of the three dissenters (even if alluded to by the concurring opinion) is thin gruel.

Remember, kids, words don't hurt. Once people include or exclude certain words, however offensive, yours are next.


I'm sure things will get a lot better when we are finally living under Sharia law.

(Just to keep things in perspective.)

"Bong Hits 4 Jesus (Who Has Glaucoma)!"

Now THAT would be a damn funny banner.

Yeah, I'm almost tempted to suggest that a high-schooler try that one out, just to see what happens...

Am I a bad fan if I secretly hope that Timlin sustains a season-ending injury and is able to quietly retire? Ditto lc's comment --- thanks for '04.

Regarding Schill, at least the docs all seem to be optimistic. Evidently, his current problem bears no resemblance to more serious issues he's had in the past.

(From Edes column a few days ago):

Dr. Craig Morgan, the Delaware-based orthopedist who performed two operations on Schilling's right shoulder, including one to repair a torn labrum in 1999, spoke with the pitcher Tuesday night, but has not examined him.

Morgan said that in general, when there is no structural damage to the shoulder but an unexplained loss of velocity, like the one Schilling exhibited here against the Braves Monday night (most of his fastballs were in the mid-80s), doctors look at three things. "They check for weakness in the muscles around the scapula [shoulder blade]," Morgan said. "They look for weakness in the stride-foot hip, which for a righthanded pitcher is the left hip, and they look for any loss of internal rotation in the throwing shoulder."

Problems in any of those three areas can be addressed, he said, by strengthening or stretching, or both.

I live near Seattle, am taking my daughter to Wednesday's game, and I am getting pretty damned sick of the Red Sox sucking when they come here. I remeber Lester and Timlin getting shelled last year, and last night was fricking deja vu.

Oh, as to the SCOTUS decision, no, the court said rather that the school has the authority to use discretion to determine, in vague cases, whether the speech advocates drug use, not that it actually does. It was, quite clearly, the proper decision: do you really want to clog the courts with case after case of this crap?

Lou Clinton: shrug, you may feel caught by the gonads, but they are all correct decisions.

hb: yes, because then it would have a political character. For example, you cannot be naked in public, but if your nudity has some political expression character, then it can be protected speech.

What bothers me most is that we are moving to a more Meiklejohnnian theory of First Amendment interpretation, which I've always rejected. Frankly, I do think you check your right to free speech at the schoolhouse doors. I've always seen public school as a prison and I couldn't care less what speech they restrict there. If you don't like it, don't go.

Regardless, hb, I think we both agree on the McCain-Feingold crap.

hb, good one about us living under sharia ... you may enjoy this video I made, which is similarly about keeping things in perspective ...


Don't forget that the Bonghits 4 Jesus banner was unfurled off school grounds and NOT at an event having anything to do with the school.

So your "you check your right to free speech at the schoolhouse doors" point is moot here IMO.

hb, it actually was a school function. The event did not have anything to do with the school, but the presence of the students at the event did, and precedent clearly shows the authority of the school extends to students at such events (else we wouldn't allow the school to take our kids to them).

'For example, you cannot be naked in public, but if your nudity has some political expression character, then it can be protected speech.'
Please tell me that doesn't apply to inflatable scrotum dude- cuz that's just wrong on so many levels.
As for Timlin, maybe we can get the Veep to take him hunting...

Also, the kid more or less stated that he was not making a political statement, but rather just being an asshole.

If school weren't essentially mandatory I would agree with the sentiment that you check your rights at the doors. But the reality is very few people have the ability to opt out via private school or home education. So given that the govt basically forces the kids to be there via mandatory attendance laws, I think it becomes critically important that your rights be maintained while under the govt thumb.

Thanks for the clarification, Pudge.

I thought the event was a weekend thing that kid was at and the principal just happened to see him there, rather than a "field trip" type of thing.

Different subject: How is seeing a stupid fucking torch pass by "educational" anyway?

hb: don't ask me, I've opted out of the school system for my kids. I gave up on looking for real education there a long time ago. :-)

COD: sure, but who should have the discretion to tell if he is telling the truth, or whether his statement of intent, even if true, might be recklessly (or even intentionally) stated because of the overtly (even if joking) pro-drug theme? Should the school have any discretion here at all?

As to school being mandatory ... it just boggles my mind that people use this argument, because the government is taking away perhaps your most important right by forcing you to attend school in the first place, and then you complain about not being able to make jokes about drug use? Which is the greater offense?

In most contexts, forcing someone to be somewhere they don't want to be, unless you are a legal parent or guardian, or they've committed a crime and are being detained by the authorities, is called "kidnapping." I have a far greater problem with mandatory schooling than I do with slight speech restrictions once there.

Public K-12 education as it exists right now needs to be gutted. Saw a great feature on NBC Nightly News last night about the mostly Hispanic, inner-city Spry Community School in Chicago. Year round schooling, internships, college level classes for all seniors, small class sizes- 100% matriculation to college. Awesome:


COD: one more point. Since I am forced to be at school, too, shouldn't MY rights be protected? Maybe I don't like being subjected to certain kinds of messages. Don't you agree there should be SOME line? Maybe he should be able to advocate drug legalization, but not drug use. Maybe show nude art, but not pornography.

And that's the problem with having a government-run mandated institution, for people who have committed no crimes: everyone is forced to be there, against their will. You've taken away their right to do what and be where they want, and you've also taken away, to a significant degree, their right to association.

They are forced to associate with people they may not want to be associated with, and while it is important to allow people to express themselves, it's also important to allow others to be shielded from expression that may negatively affect them.

You can say "words don't hurt you" all you like, but who makes that decision? This is not the public square, where I can choose to be somewhere else. This is not a TV where I can change the channel. I am forced to be here alongside you, to be subjected to whatever it is you wish to say and do near me.

Just to lighten up the mood- caught this story this morning on Fark.com (holy crap, this is funny): apparently this private golf tournament in PA featured lap dance stations and threesomes. The home movie footage is priceless. It's like "White Trash Plays Nine."


WARNING: while the link above is safe for work, the video in the news story is not particularly.

"Any word yet from SCOTUS on the phrase "Bong Hits 4 Batshit"?"

Use of that phrase has been approved... but only if you carry a frying pan in the hand opposite the sign.

Let's be careful about making general, sweeping, negative statements about public education. Attending school as a kid does not make one an expert on how they work from an adult point of view. There are many schools with many caring, hard-working teachers. Like any other stereotype, you can find examples to bolster your argument, but to condemn the entire pulic education system as consistently and horribly ineffective is wrong. It's like being a Yankee fan, it's just far too easy. I've been to a hospital but that doesn't make me an expert on the "medical system". I could offer an opinion, but it would be, at best, uninformed.

vermonter- I never suggested all of public education was bad and certainly would NEVER suggest that there are not hard-working, caring teachers. To the contrary- I think there are many who are straight jacketed by large class sizes, outdated materials, the necessity of teaching to the test, I could go on. I truly believe that, at its core, the way public education is currently structured (the school day, the school year, the types of skills taught, the manner in which kids are taught (lecture not experience-based, most often) etc.) is antiquated and needs to be rethought. But that's just my opinion...

And as an aside, I would never imagine to call myself an expert, but I did have a parent who was a high school teacher, a grandparent who was a kindergarten teacher and myself have my Masters degree in Education (focused on technology in education and education reform). For what it's worth... with $1 it could get me a fountain diet Coke. :)

People have a right to be an asshole, even at school.

Respectfully, I think the effort to find a justification to quell the asshole's assholic tshirt is simply a rationalization to impose one's sensibiliities on those of an asshole.

Your mileage, however, may vary. I am not a constitutional scholar (shocking admission, I know), not do I play one on TV. But, if you want nine (mostly) white (mostly) guys empowering others even less equipped to make judgments of what is and is not inapppropriate, then this era is just right for you. I am old enough to be dead soon, and I am discouraged by what will be left of this pus of a society once the insidious freaks of the Republican Right get done gnawing on our bones.

Of course the decision is the right result, because the shirt is just fuckin stupid on many levels. (Jesus favors the crank). But don't allow the "right result" to obscure the fact that we are being treated as children by people who are demonstrably capable of abusing their power.


I knew I shouldn't have done today's strip.

Funny how we've established our own "speech codes" here without even trying.

The worst part of the decision is that it gives Principals the discretion to determine what is joke, what is assholic, and what is political speech.

I worked in schools for 10 years - definitely not an expert - but my anecdotal evidence leads me to conclude that the peeps running many schools couldn't even find the humor in Clemens working out of the pen.

Let the kids decide, let them run the asylum!!!

Kind of like Schill telling off Theo - "you put on a uniform"

Offensive explosion is right Aaron :(

That was just a butt-ugly game all around. Once we let Weaver off the hook (84 pitches in four innings, but only two runs?) I knew things were going downhill.

Frankly, they looked like they weren't even really trying out there most of the night. The capper was Lowell's rocket off the left field wall that turned into a single because he thought he had a homer and was practically jogging to first base. We already have one Manny, thanks. We don't need Lowell being Manny too.

The crowd was surprisingly surly, as well. Apparently, being outnumbered by RSN in their own stadium has started to grate on the M's fanbase, because they were downright obnoxious last night, and that's way out of character for them. As the score got more and more out of hand, the taunts and catcalls got nastier. I thought I was in Bizarro Seattle.

I have a confession: I think I might be the Sox' bad luck charm in Seattle. They've now lost six straight at Safeco, and I've been in attendance at every single one of those games. Wicked sorry about that. I don't have tickets for tonight, so they should win.

RIP, Timlin. He was a warrior, but I never want to see him pitch in a game where the outcome is still in doubt ever, ever again.

Natalie-thanks for the clarification. See, this is part of what gets to me: "gutted" carries a much different connotation than your more lengthy explanation. It is a much bigger issue than a couple of sentences can capture. Part of my reaction is that it has become so easy for those who don't know what they are talking about, politicians are at the top of the list, to make these sweeping comments that have a hook with the general public. The fact that so many 1st amendment issues (for instance)come to a head at schools is emblamatic of the problems public educators face.

You and I hold similar credentials regarding our own education and family work history. I'm sure we'd agree more than disagree.

make that emblematic.

Yeah, in rereading I can see what you heard when I said gutted. But I stand by that word, which to me evokes keeping the basic framework and foundation, but changing everything else. If I thought public education was truly beyond repair, I'd have said razed. :) But I am such a semantics queen! Sorry for the perceived hyperbole. I just get a charge out of this topic...

Psyched to see what Gabbard can do tonight... if I can stay awake.

"I just get a charge out of this topic..."

Ummm...me too.

Go Sox!

Having gone to Catholic schools my entire life (St. Mary's Grammar School, St. Joseph High School, Loyola Marymount University), I'm not equipped to comment on the free speech subject. Well, LMU allowed a little, but that's Jesuit, which is kind of the LSD/Peyote wing of Catholicism. Mmmm, LSD/peyote...

Let's see:

The US spends by far the most per student on average vs. the rest of the world, and has done so for 3 decades.

...has massively declining standardized test scores vs. the rest of the world

...Math and Science? Pathetic.

...Inner city children en masse receiving shitty educations.

...Unions completely opposed to any type of educational reform, other than increased spending, which has proven to to be a demonstrable failure. Vouchers, charter schools, teacher testing, you name it, the NEA et al is against it.

Gutted is about right.

Pudge: My kids are 8th and 6th grade by age - yet neither have spent a day in a classroom. I'm speaking purely philosophically, as I have never had to deal with the issue in a school setting. However, there is no govt protected right to not be offended. I don't think mere speech that is lacking in threats or something like that rises to the level of offense that it should be controlled beyond the "yelling fire in a theater" level. There are already plenty of laws on the books for obscenity, profanity, threats, etc. Inventing a right to not be offended by somebody else's opinion of drug laws oversteps, IMHO.

Hey, just by chance, anybody going to see Wilco at Bank of America Pavilion on Thursday night? I'm gonna be there, and plan on having a few beers and some seafood at the Barking Crab beforehand.

We can discuss free speech in public schools. Oh yeah, and the Red Sox.


Maybe for some it is a rationalization; for me, it is not. I was editor-in-chief of my student newspaper in both high school and college (en route to my degree in journalism), so it's not like I think about this issue in shallow terms.

In neither place did I presume the newspaper had an unfettered right to free speech, because in both cases, the school was footing the bill. Not that this directly pertains, since this kid was speaking on his own, but the point is that I've never been an absolutist on this, even when I was in a position where most people are (I've rarely met school paper editors who, like me, thought censorship was acceptable; I didn't think it was GOOD, but it certainly was their right).

Similarly, I've for many years now been against the mandatory schooling system, and in favor of tearing it down; but while it exists, been in favor of making sure that the rights of ALL people forced to be there are respected. You say, "People have a right to be an asshole, even at school": perhaps, but much less of one, simply because I am forced to be subjected to their assholeness.

If you don't like it, fine: join me in calling for the abolition of school requirements.

I do not look at the result, I look at the process, I look at the law, I look at liberty. If I were to look only at the result, then I would be against this ruling, because that sign was kinda funny and certainly hurt no one. But I am standing up for the right of the duly elected and appointed representatives of the local school district to make that decision.

(Sonoma Sox: sure many of the people in charge are often poor judges of such things; so what? Elect and appoint different people then. The point is that they represent the public, so if the public doesn't like it, they can fix it at the local level. Would you rather have Bush/Clinton/Scalia/Ginsburg making the decisions?)

But then again, I am a an "insidous freak," according to you. ;-) I am an elected official of the GOP, and most would call me on the "religious right" (I want to outlaw abortion, although I am for civil unions and abolishing the civil institution of marriage, so maybe I am on the religious half-right).


Good. Homeschooling is the best, ain't it? As to a gov't right to not be offended, there is also no right of gov't to force my kids to go to school. As I said to louclinton: join me in calling for an end to the mandate, and I'll go along. Until then, if someone is forced to be at school, and have their right to association (which necessarily presupposes a right to NOT associate) taken from them, then yes, I do believe the school has an extra obligation to compensate for that theft of rights by mitigating the rights of others.

It's not just about drugs. It's about the fact that I am forced by the government to associate with you, against the First Amendment, and therefore the government must find a line to balance between your right to express and my right to not be near you. As a result, both rights are lessened beyond what they should be. The solution, again, is to make school optional.


Eh, I think we're having a good discussion here. :-) No foul language, no personal attacks, no heated tempers. Good stuff!

The fact that this minor issue had to go to the Supreme freakin court is a sign of the end of times. You have to be kiddin' me. A while back a 3rd grader I believe was suspended for 6-weeks for carrying a bottle opener and now this. Back in my day which wasn't too long ago, this would have been handled by the school and the kids parents.

Speaking of banners my Father's senior prank back in 1961 was to hang a sign on the school one night for everyone to see in the morning that read "Booze is the Answer" Where was the national outrage then?

But Scott, booze IS the answer, so there's nothing to be outraged about.

Yankees Suck!

I guess we can agree to disagree.

I realize I am an absolutist on this thing. I trust myself before I trust others, esp., well you know, those people.

Thank Yahweh that Bob can always bring us on tour of every bar East of Pittsburgh.

yur pal,


ps: hb. Today was a perfect time to drop the SCOTUS bomb.
a. last night's game was in the middle of the night.
b. last night's game was a mess.
c. I am sick of Schill dropping the hammer on Theo, or even just speaking, so who needs more of that?

"Jesuits..are the LSD/Peyote wing of Catholicism". So true. Im having visions. I LOVED the Jesuits.(high school)

I also had the Dominicans in college. The Hashish/Weed sect of Catholicism.

Bob enjoy Wilco. Best band in America at the moment. I'll be there tonight for Morrissey.

Ok Jason, I'll bite.

The fact that you think standardized test scores measure the effectiveness of a school shows what we're dealing with here. See, this is the rhetoric that works with the general public. All those test scores show is how well schools teach to the tests.

Math and science is pathetic based on what? What are you comparing? Are you talking about turning kids onto to it at the primary grades, exciting them at the middle level, refining in high school and college? It's so much more of a discussion than "pathetic".

And, oh yeah, the problems of the inner city kids is the fault of the schools. Wow. Guns, drugs, no Fathers, drop-out rates, poverty, all because the NEA stands up for adequate compensation for teachers.

Lastly, I can't wait to hear your solutions. I'm sure they are specific, research-based, and not at all filled with rhetoric.

So, go ahead...gut our public education system and then what?...

Yankees suck.

louclinton: if you trust yourself more than others, then you agree that you should not be forced to go to school, or send your kids there, right? :-)

Man, I hope the Sox win tonight, so I don't have to stress about a sweep at tomorrow's game when I'm there.

My senior class had $250 left over in the class fund. The principal told us he could sign it over to a parent for "class party" purposes and no questions would be asked. My dad bought 26 cases of beer with that money - one for each person in the class. Thanks dad :) This was 1985 not exactly the dark ages - and it was at a DoD school. Can't imagine that happening today.

Pudge - I think we agree more than we disagree. I just want that limit on speech left a little looser than you do!

I'd venture that our friend Bob knows a few bars WEST of Pittsburgh, too...
just a hunch

Red Lion, Barney's Beanery...

Pop Quiz, Bob:


Evansville, Indiana


[The Marriott at the Airport doesn't count]


That's made me nostalgic...here's some pics of my college hangouts. The first one is Barney's Beanery:


This is the Red Lion:


LC, there's Fat Cats.

Tower Pizza

Then booze from Albertson's to take back to campus.

That Albertson's is now a Bristol Farms.

I was in the Ralph's just down the street Saturday night about 10:00. There was me and some woman each getting a few groceries and so many LMU students buying booze that they had to open another register.

"Tower Pizza"

I was in there just a few weeks ago - my son-in-law, Jimmy Larkin, hangs out there all the time.

Hmmm. Do you have a Sox game jersey with "SoCalSoxFan" on the back? If so, I was standing in back of you Sunday afternoon.

Now that's the Soxahoix I know and love :)

Crap I dropped an L (I have been poundin' today :) )

Great comics you have here! Amazing! By the way, when you write new blog posts, go over to BeTheRef.com and post a link to your story, and hopefully get a little extra traffic for your blog.

COD: I do not want the limit on speech to be tightened, I want the discretion to be granted to the local authorities, who are directly answerable to the voters (unlike Congress and the Supreme Court), to decide what the limits should be, within certain limits.

Time to watch the game ...

Comeback once, shame on you. Come back twice...

Where am I? Is it morning? Night? I'm filing a class action lawsuit against west coast road trips. Who's in?

I believe when in doubt, freedom is best. Ban violent speech not offensive speech.

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