Today's contestant #1 is actually a group, or groups, as well as an individual: Our good friend Julian Ass ange and his obedient wiki-zombies. Let's take a look at some of today's hijinks:
The U.N.'s top human rights official raised the alarm over officials' and corporations' moves to cut off WikiLeaks' funding and starve it of server space -- something she described as a "potentially violating WikiLeaks' right to freedom of expression."
As if the wiki-zombie attack had anything to do with free speech. These "misguided zealots" (in quotations to indicate my efforts at politeness) have no problems with shutting down other people rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They are like all hackers, a mass of self glorifying nitwits, wrapping themselves in a banner of nobility that just doesn't fit. And as if to underscore their complete uselessness, the UN is going to stand up for them. I wonder what would happen if Visa, AmEx, Paypal et al decided to break links with them as well.
Navi Pillay also expressed surprise at the scale of the online attacks that have targeted major American financial players -- in some cases denying access to their websites for hours at a time."It's truly what media would call a cyber-war. It's just astonishing what is happening," Pillay told reporters in Geneva.
Of course she's astonished. I'm sure anyone stupid enough to confuse cyberterrorism with free speech would be astonished at almost anything.
Meanwhile the flow of online support has also sparked some solidarity on the streets. A protest in Australia -- the first of a series planned there and in Britain -- sent about 250 demonstrators into the streets of Brisbane, while in the central Pakistani city of Multan, dozens of people took to the streets to burn U.S. and British flags to protest Assange's detention.
That's our Islamic allies for ya, ready to burn Old Glory anytime someone sneezes (ah... AHHH... AAAAALLAH-CHOOO!!!).
The hackers launched "Operation Payback” Tuesday -- a series of denial of service attacks (DDoS), after various groups blocked funding to the WikiLeaks site.
So our great defenders of free speech's logical response to the situation is to deny others (who may or may not have anything to do with the situation) their free speech rights.
The Swedish government's website was shut down for several hours overnight during a cyber attack, while a website bearing Justice Minister Beatrice Ask's name was set up and visitors were redirected to the WikiLeaks site, Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper reported.
But what would we expect from a group who thinks that the best way to express their dislike of this nation's ideals is to hang thousands of soldiers (who are fighting-really fighting- for their free speech) out to dry.
Contestant #2 is a trifecta- Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth, his agent, and the man who paid him all that money to be an idiot.
First, behold the man.
Simmering all year, the antagonism between Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan finally reached the boiling point Tuesday when the two-time All-Pro defensive lineman was suspended by the Washington Redskins coach without pay for the rest of the season.
Citing a litany of acts that essentially add up to season-long insubordination, the Redskins suspended Haynesworth for ''conduct detrimental to the club'' and told him he's not welcome for the team's final four games - and making it extremely unlikely he will play for the club again.
''Despite the club's numerous attempts to persuade Albert Haynesworth to abide by the terms of his contract, he has repeatedly refused to cooperate with our coaching staff in a variety of ways over an extended period of time,'' Shanahan said in statement released by the team. ''Among other things, he has consistently indicated to our defensive coaches that he refuses to play in our base defense or on first-down or second-down nickel situations. He has also refused to follow the instructions of our coaches both during weekly practices and during actual games as well.
''Yesterday, when Albert was at Redskin Park, he told our general manager Bruce Allen that he (Haynesworth) would no longer speak with me. Although suspending any player is not a decision that a head coach enters into lightly, I believe the situation has reached the point where the club clearly has no alternative.''
Won't follow instructions, won't talk to the boss. How does that play at your job?
On to subcontestant #2:
Allen informed Haynesworth of the suspension, the maximum permitted under the league's collective bargaining agreement. Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck, said his client will appeal. Speck chided the Redskins for not giving any prior formal notice that Haynesworth's behavior was in question.
How much "formal notice" is needed when something as public as Haynesworth's 2-year long mutiny is at question. Really?
Haynesworth skipped offseason workouts because he didn't want to play nose tackle in the 3-4 defense the new coaches were installing, preferring instead to play in a scheme that would showcase his talent and help achieve his goal of becoming ''the best defense tackle to ever play this game.'' Shanahan told Haynesworth to go find another team, contingent upon giving up a $21 million contract bonus due on April 1.
Haynesworth didn't want to give up that much money, so he stayed on the roster and remained disgruntled. He boycotted a mandatory minicamp, drawing a $10,000 fine and searing comments about being ''selfish'' from defensive captain London Fletcher. He became a league-wide punch line when he needed 10 days to pass a conditioning test at the start of training camp.
Which makes me wonder, Chad, to whose benefit Do you work? Your client's happiness or your own big fat commission?
Haynesworth's agent, however, said his client wants to play more and cited several statistics to argue that the Redskins defense has played better when Haynesworth is in the game.
''Albert has repeatedly asked for a bigger role in the defense,'' Speck said. ''He simply wants to play and maximize his contribution to the team. It is unfortunate that he has not been utilized more.''
Which he wouldn't be having a problem with if he was doing what the coaches asked of him. Funny how that works. Finally let's take a brief look at the third leaf of this luckless clover:
The suspension will cost him about $847,000 in salary, a mere trifle amid the $41 million guaranteed in the seven-year contract he signed with the Redskins as a free agent last year after seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
The player who infamously said ''You're not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust'' on the day he signed the deal stands to become the biggest bust in Dan Snyder's 11 years as Redskins owner, quite an achievement considering the money overspent on underachievers such as Deion Sanders and Adam Archuleta.
By suspending Haynesworth instead of releasing him, the Redskins keep him from getting what he might have coveted - a chance to play for a contender late in the season. However, it seems almost certain that the Redskins will have to try to trade Haynesworth in the offseason, although his trade value will have plummeted because other teams know Shanahan won't want him back.
Yeah, good job that, Dan. Not to mention that greatest of all hiring decisions, the 2-year reign of unfortunate former coach Jim Zorn.
So, there you have it. I think, though, by the spirit of the game, the Haynesworth Combine win for me; outside of Ms. Pillay at the UN, the first group, to me, are more evil than dumb.