Thursday, September 30, 2010

LTC Lakin's Lawyer Left Legless after Legal Lancing

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As we've recently reported, LTC Terry Lakin's sad but certain slide into the legal whirlpool of doom was taking its anticipated course.

The previous trip before the judge resulted in most of his lawyers' planned defense being left in tatters, but the most recent pre-trial hearing, earlier this week, has essentially turned their great white hope into a drooling and incontinent quadriplegic in a broken-down Walmart scooter.

The military judge responded by determining that the orders ... given LTC Lakin were lawful. She continued by taking judicial notice of an Army regulation regarding orders and ruling that the witnesses {Keyes et. al} ... were precluded from testifying as experts, although they could end up testifying in sentencing if the case proceeds that far. Furthermore, the military judge granted the prosecution motions to prevent the defense from raising irrelevant issues regarding President Obama's eligibility to serve as the commander-in-chief and LTC Lakin's motivation for disobeying the deployment orders during the findings phase of the trial.

In other words, as most people were saying was going to happen, LTC Lakin is not going to be able to bring any Birther theories into the court martial, either to save his butt-bacon (doubtful) or have their truth proven in a legal proceeding (even more doubtful)

The more dominant half of Lakin's defense team, Paul Rolf "Otis" Jensen, was not having it.

"Our arms were cut off last time," said Jensen. "Our legs are being cut off this time ... We have to have the opportunity to present some defense!"

Just before Lind recessed the hearing to prepare her decision, Jensen asked rhetorically whether the government intended to allow him to call any witnesses at all and thundered, "This is all we had left!"

Well, when you take nothing from nothing, you're pretty much back where you started from, aren't you?

But all is not lost! We have word that the Defense is submitting a writ of mandamus, apparently hoping to have the judge forced to allow the defense they'd planned, rather than the defense they've been left with. But, in true Otis fashion, it's for "reasons I can't get into right now."

Ooooo - SPOOKY! Fortunately, it seems unlikely the writ will do anything other than take up space on someone's desk until being consigned to the circular file along with the bad idea jeans, but you have to give Jensen and company credit for trying. At this point, they'd be better off trying to claim that Lakin was possessed by Space Beavers and had no idea what he was doing or saying until just a half hour ago, and would like a do-over on the past year of his life.

He'd better brush up on his Space Beaver-ese, though. The trial resumes in early November. Get your tickets now!

(hat tips to our friends at Oh For Goodness Sake and Obama Conspiracy Theories)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

tuesday night music 9 28 10

A funeral for a friend has left me melancholy, and a little brain fried. This song's come in and out of my life a few times lately, and stuck in my head quite a bit over the last few days. So I think I'm going to share it.

"Dreaming of the Queen" by the Pet Shop Boys, off of Very.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Islamophobia Incorporated - Pt. 2

chuck morse duh

As we’ve previously discussed, there is a distinct possibility that Pastor Terry Jones started his whole “Burn the Koran” stunt as an opportunity to sell his book, “Islam is of the Devil.” If so, he wouldn’t be the only one to take a play from the late Malcolm McClaren’s “Cash from Chaos” theory of shameless self-enrichment.

And who can blame them? It’s funny, maybe a little endearing, when someone grabs four ill-mannered kids off the dole and puts them in front of the world stage to make a Pound or two, in spite of the fact that there’s only one way the train ride’s going to come to an end – screeching into the station at 3am, filled with broken passengers, faux media outrage, and loads of dosh. Wham, Bam, Pay Cash Ma’am.

But it’s not even remotely funny when American Muslims – especially those who came here to escape crappy legal, social, and economic conditions in their home countries – are demonized, scapegoated, and viewed with undue suspicion in order to make a buck. Some of the true believers might actually think they’re doing the right thing, which is even scarier, but I hold that some of these professional islamophobes are intelligent enough to know they’re full of it, and just don’t care.

There’s just too much money to be made off of the dead.

Take the case of Chuck Morse, with whom I have been well acquainted for almost ten years, now. A talk show host from Boston, MA, he liked to call himself “the most controversial talk-show commentator in America.” He even had a book entitled “Why I Am a Right-Wing Extremist,” just to prove it!

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because his most recent claim to fame was unsuccessfully running against Barney Frank three times, with each time out being progressively more embarrassing. In 2004 he had to do it as an Independent because it turned out that Mr. Morse -- fire-breathing, anti-Communist, “self-described ‘politically conservative Jew,’” -- had been registered as a Democrat all along, and was therefore unsupported by the Republicans. In 2006 he was unable get enough signatures to appear on the ballot at all, so he did a write-in campaign, instead, but had to drop out when it became apparent the quest was going nowhere.

Those two runs left him clearly unelectable, over $51K in debt, and considering suing Wikipedia over his biography there. To add insult to injury, two years after that it was revealed that a fundraising firm used his name to collect obscene amounts of campaign money for the last, abortive run, and then hardly gave Morse any of it. Compared to that, his attempt to get back on the ballot for 2008 is hardly worth mentioning.

So why am I mentioning all of this? When Chuck Morse originally ran for congress in 2004, his website was completely remade, and all links to his old op-ed columns were erased. At the time I wondered if he was trying to clean up his image for the run, which would make sense given his ill-considered pillorying of Martin Luther King and Harry Potter, and attempts to rehabilitate Joe McCarthy. But then I decided he was probably encouraging people to buy the books of his writings instead, now that he had access to a much larger audience than ever before.

Unfortunately for him, Chuck put the mother of all freebies up, himself, over at the arch-conservative – and highly Islamophobic – Free Republic. Morse engaged in a number of vanity postings: putting his own articles up for all the Freepers to read and comment on them.

And they’re all still there, including some very new ones, so you can marvel at Chuck Morse unplugged on a wide plethora of intriguing subjects, most notably Islam, Muslims, the Koran, and the Prophet, about which – and whom – Chuck couldn’t seem to find anything positive to say, from what I could see. Strange and surreal information abounded, rumor and innuendo reigned, and he thought we should point nukes at Mecca at best, and “nuke ‘em now” at worst.

Needless to say, Morse’s columns were mostly a hit over there, with the notable exception of his pot-shots at poor Mr. Potter, and a few digs for his blatant self-promotion. I can only assume his site got some hits out of it, but I wonder if anyone actually bought his books if they could just get it for free? I guess you’d have to ask Chuck that one.

So why am I bringing this history up? Because Chuck Morse is back with a bullet, baby. Our good friends over at World Net Daily – notoriously Islamophobic, as well as THE home base for Birtherism – have recently found a home for Mr. Morse’s most recent writings. And they have brought him in as a commentator on things Islamic to explain why most Americans think Barack Obama is a Muslim.

The name "Hussein" doesn't just sound Muslim, says Morse. It is "reserved exclusively for Muslims." In addition, Islamic law upholds that children born to a Muslim father are automatically Muslim, says Morse. The president's stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was Muslim.

Except, of course, that anyone can name their child anything they want to (except in certain countries). And you are not a proper, capital-M Muslim until you pronounce the statement of faith (the Shahada) in front of witnesses, regardless of what your father or mother were. And that, by the time he got around to being Obama’s father, Obama Sr. was an atheist, and whatever Lolo Soetero was doesn’t factor into this discussion.

So yes, it’s been some time, but Chuck Morse is still talking out of his behind on Islam, and not giving a damn. But it gets better!

"By converting out of Islam, Obama either became an apostate, a murtadd, in Arabic, or he began engaging in an Islamic-sanctioned deception and thus remained Muslim," says Morse. "If Obama truly left Islam, and actively embraced Christianity, he could be subject to severe penalties under Islamic law including the death sentence. Islamic Shariah law calls for the execution of any Muslim who becomes a murtadd."

In other words, Obama’s critics have caught him in a classic “have you stopped beating your wife?” scenario. He can’t say he was a Muslim or he’ll be killed, or he won’t fess up because he’s hiding it so he can do icky, nasty things to America and we’ll never know.

The third option – that he was a young man searching for a spiritual home that he eventually found in Christianity – seems too ordinary for them. Or not icky and nasty enough for a man they’ve decided represents everything icky and nasty about America, and must therefore be ridden out of D.C. on a rail.

Now, I’ve never been one to accuse Mr. Farah or his cronies at World Net Daily for giving two tugs of a dead dog’s phallus about the truth, so long as it suits their agenda (see above). But why on earth would they take someone like Chuck Morse under their wing, when it’s fairly clear that he is to the factual, responsible journalism they pretend to practice what slasher movies are to pre-teen sex in the woods?

If I had to take an educated guess, I would say it’s because amongst Mr. Morse’s many books was one that hit all of WND’s bells and whistles. A well-researched and, strangely enough, factually accurate – though its conclusions are questionable – book that linked elements of Middle Eastern Islam with the original Nazi Party, and was able to bring the influence forward to the modern day, however questionably.

The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism, originally printed in 2003, was republished by World Net Daily earlier this year. Since then they’ve been pimping the hell out of it, as is their in-house style. And I’m sure Chuck is appreciating that, as I am also sure he is now getting his word out to a much larger audience than running against Barney Frank ever got him. After all, this time he is in no danger of losing his shirt, and is now almost guaranteed of fame, notoriety, and money.

All he has to do is play the game he already plays so well: write about Muslims, add in just enough platitudes so he doesn’t sound like an outright bigot, but constantly harp the notion that “real” Islam is a series of kill orders from on high, and “real” Muslims are either following those orders, or allowed to lie about what they say, or what they’re doing.

In Chuck Morse’s view, trust becomes distrust, acceptance becomes wary, and tolerance becomes suicide. You’d think a member of a religious minority that was often lied about and scapegoated itself would know better. Apparently not.

Who else is playing the game but should know better? Pamela Geller. And we’ll talk more about her next time. In the meantime, here’s tonight’s musical interlude. The band is called Combichrist. The song is “Sent to Destroy.”

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Disingenous Dinesh Rides Again

dinesh dsouza raps

A couple years back, I wrote about conservative "intellectual" pundit Dinesh D'souza's controversial book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. You may remember that the book received a drubbing not only from the aforementioned "cultural left," but also numerous persons on the right -- many of whom he took to task for their unhelpful Islamophobia -- and other persons who, irrespective of their political sides, shredded it as a poorly realized book.

I ruminated, then, as to whether Mr. D'Souza intentionally wrote a flawed book:

It almost seems like the book was disingenuously designed to draw ire from both sides of the fence. The Left hates it for obvious reasons, but the Islam-hating Right is equally incensed at being called out for their behavior. That, coupled with shoddy research, poor basis of argument and questionable conclusions, makes for a book that even the saner Right can't really defend, either.

But everyone will talk about it. And isn't that really what makes books fly off the shelves?

Well, Mr. D'Souza has gotten back in the saddle. After publishing a less controversial tract arguing for the existence of life after death -- perhaps inspired by his continual relevance after "The Enemy at Home" -- he has a new book on the horizon, entitled The Roots of Obama's Rage. And a teaser for it was the cover story of the most recent issue of Forbes, "How Obama Thinks."

So how does Obama think? According to Mr. D'Souza, he doesn't. Instead, he lets his deceased father do the thinking for him, after a fashion.

Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.

OOOOOO! Spooky. Also highly feculent, according to the Columbia Journalism Review -- amongst others -- who aptly described it as a "gross piece of innuendo -- a fact-twisting, error-laden piece of paranoia. This is the worst kind of smear journalism -- a singularly disgusting work." Their follow-up, inspired by D'Souza's snarky rebuttal, took even fewer prisoners.

But let's look at what D'Souza said in that rebuttal, shall we?

The story is adapted from my new book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Let me just say that if the Forbes article so upset these guys, wait until the book comes out. It may prove extremely difficult for the Obamorons to digest; perhaps it will have to be administered as a suppository.


So why did the article previewing the book so enrage the White House and the Obamorons? Because it provides a belated but desperately-needed explanatory framework for Obama. Finally we have a key that actually opens the lock. No, Obama is not a Muslim. No, Obama is not a socialist. The truth is far worse.

Overlooking D'Souza's seeming Islamophobia in that remark (Worse than a Muslim?) we have to marvel at his braggadocio. There are any number of books out there on the market, right now, that are warning us about Obama's dirty sekrit socialist agenda for America, and how we can fight back -- by giving the author your money and/or votes, of course -- but oh no, MC Dinesh has got that fake rapper all figured out. He wasn't raised in America, and his dad was a socialist and an anti-colonialist, and therefore Obama's a punk-ass foo who wants to depower America! WORD!

Except that his father was NOT a socialist. And Obama's time spent abroad, with his American-born mother, should not in any way detract from his understanding of his home country, or make it impossible for him to understand what America is truly all about. If the latter were true, then we might as well rubbish all immigrants at the door -- after all, they wouldn't "get it," either.

(Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer make a similar claim in their book, The Post-American Presidency. I guess Mr. Spencer and he won't be exchanging hate mail over this one, this time?)

So far arch-bomb thrower Newt Gingrich seems the only conservative luminary willing to go to bat for the cover story, though I suppose many Obama haters will probably be singing its praises. If, as D'Souza claims, his appearance on the Glenn Beck show drove the book's pre-release sales up to #5 on Amazon, he'll probably have a lot of love on October 5th.

But what happens then?

I have not read D'Souza's new book. I have not seen any reviews of it, yet, either. But if the article in Forbes was adapted from it, and we should all just wait until it comes out, then I think we're going to have an eerie repeat of The Enemy at Home, only maybe with less frothing from the Islamophobic right -- after all, he's not out to crap all over them, this time.

D'Souza's careless dissection of Obama's life and actions as President is the sort of "journalism" one associates with third-tier partisan bloggers who, thinking they got a scoop, gleefully smear their unique insights all over the blogosphere... only later to realize that they might have gotten just a few facts wrong, and their witty analysis suffers a great deal as a result. And that's damn sad, to say the least. Given that Mr. D'Souza brags about being the President of Kings College, I have to wonder what grade his professors would hand out for this ill-reasoned turd of an article.

Will any reasonable conservative reviewer actually hail the new book as a worthy read? Or will they trash it as a colossal waste of time and effort -- yet another "truly wretched stew"? If the article is an encapsulation of the book's central argument, I fear the latter.

But it will sell. It will sell a lot. MC D'Souza will get the money, G, whether the book's really worth reading or not. And in the end, that's all that really matters.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Islamophobia Incorporated - Pt. 1

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Dateline: Gainsville, Florida, where Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Church is wiping egg off his face after threatening, then calling off, then calling on, and finally missing the deadline for a 9/11 Koran barbeque.

The on-again, off-again Protest was cheered by few and condemned by many, many of whom had a great deal of Governmental clout. Apparently stunned by the official attention, Pastor Jones seesawed back and forth on whether he was going to do it or not, with the final straw supposedly being a phone conversation with Robert Gates, and a promise – communicated from one Imam to another – that the controversial Park51 project (the “Ground Zero Mosque”) would be moved from its proposed location.

Of course, the “promise” was never made in the first place. Pastor Jones is claiming he was lied to, which is, in Islamophobic circles, the ultimate defense. After all, Muslims are supposedly allowed, nay mandated, to lie to non-believers by the Koran, in order to better disguise their true motives. So even if no such promise was ever made, and the Imams protest the contrary until they’re blue in the face, Jones’ amen corner will most likely back his story, in spite of recent, increasingly-suspicious revelations about his past in Germany.

So Jones called off the protest, claiming that he would not, and never would, burn the Koran. He went to New York for a meeting with the Imam of Park51 that never happened, and a spot on the Today show that did. And he is “enjoying” the sort of negative media attention usually reserved for racist celebrities and people who steal the mike from VMA winners.

(Except that Mel Gibson and Kanye West never got people killed in violent anti-American protests in places that are notorious for having them. Yet.)

On the surface, this looks like yet another case of someone biting off waaaay more than they can chew, and falling all over themselves to get the hell out of the spotlights. That could explain the almost comic, Schrödinger's nature of the protest, the rapid movement of the goal posts, what was most likely an outright and outrageous lie about the “promise” from Park51, the claims that they proved the point they set out to make, etc. etc. etc.

But what if this was the plan all along? What if, instead of the boy crying “wolf,” we have an anti-Islamic zealot, or, worse, cynical huckster, crying “buy my book?”

As was reported on Op Ed News, not long ago, Terry Jones’s book – a model of even-handed interfaith dialogue deftly entitled “Islam is of the Devil” – has since sold out on Amazon. In fact, the book was put into print on August 3rd – less than a month after Pastor Jones announced his plan to light up the Muslim holy book.

What interesting timing.

And now, now that the book’s sold out, now that his name is a household word for all the wrong reasons, Jones is slowly slipping back into the poisoned and anonymous ground from whence he came. Maybe he'll be content to going back to calling Gainville's Mayor a "homo" and leave it at that?

At least until he’s got another book to sell, doubtless about what he “learned” from this whole experience.

Or when he wants to put himself on the ever-lucrative talk circuit, or get a potentially-lucrative talk show.

Or write a column for someone’s web site column, or a website of his own where he can hawk his own products to his readers.

Or join a “think tank” or “advocacy group,” or even start one by his lonesome, which not only gives opportunities for the preceding media venues, but also comes with a steady paycheck, bankrolled by moneyed dupes or super-rich sugardaddies.

No, I’m not jerking your chain. This is how the game works. You call attention to yourself, get enough people good and mad at you that the media inflates your story into something far larger than is deserved, and get just enough people on your side to subscribe to your fine, informative newsletter. Then come the offers to join this, that, or the other thing, or speak at our rally, or what have you.

Then it’s easy money, at least as long as the horse you’re riding has legs underneath it. And the “class of civilizations” horse, given several burrs under its saddle since 9/11, has a lot of legs. In fact that particular ride looks like someone crossed Mr. Ed with a nasty, giant centipede – the kind you see eating small children in the zoo – jacked it up on rabid hate, believable lies, and bad speed, and told it the million dollar finish line was over that-away, just to the left of Armageddon.

And. It. Didn’t. Care.

Who else doesn’t care? What blighted and cancerous stars is Pastor Jones setting his course by? We’ll get into that next time. Expect familiar faces you’d rather weren’t so familiar.

In the meantime, it’s Tuesday, so I will leave you with some musical musings by the Dead Kennedys, off the unfortunately-infamous "Frankenchrist" album – A Growing Boy Needs his Lunch.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Anti-Muslim Mania - Come on Babe, Don't Light that Fire

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So some dumb ass Preacher wants to light up copies of the Koran in Florida, right around the same time Ramadan is ending, on the anniversary of 9/11. Sounds like an all-American way to remember our nation's loss: praise Jesus and pass the matches.

I wonder what brain trust talked this preacher man into that one. Probably the same one that told Newt Gingrich it'd be a good idea to get involved in the so-called Ground Zero mosque thing and use the N-word.

Or maybe the preacher man's under alien orders? Maybe some weird alien insect machine-thing is whispering into his ear at night, giving him all kinds of bad ideas that a nice tin foil hat would normally take care of.

Maybe next week the preacher man will announce a "poop in your pants" month so we'll all be grateful for zippers, clean undies, and indoor plumbing. I'm sure Jesus would want that, too.

And ultimately, that's what this preacher-man is doing: crapping all over an already-bad situation. Doesn't he know the adage about what not to throw gasoline on?

I also guess he doesn't know what a dumb ass he's being, based on his poor show on CNN the other day. Sometimes it pays to let someone else do the talking if all you're going to do shoot yourself in the foot while it's down your mouth and out your butt.

Of course, he's got the right to do this. The First Amendment means you have speech you like and speech you don't, and they both get equal protection, and equal opportunity to make more speech of your own if you don't like what the other person's saying.

Some have said that there's no real difference between Park 51 being put two blocks from Ground Zero and the Koran cook-off. After all, they're both highly unpopular, yet protected!

I beg to differ, of course. For one thing, at least something positive might come out of Park 51 being built and used to as its creators have intended.

I have yet to see something positive ever come from taking something that someone reveres and torching it to get a rise. Except maybe the sight of the torchers running for their lives as the reverent decide it's okay to take the low road in this case.

Just kidding on that one - no advocating of violence or censorship from me! I'm totally allergic to such things, just ask Tipper Gore.

I just thought it would be funny to see how quickly the books would wind up on the barbecue if enough Floridians showed up to counter-protest. But maybe these folks are as fearless as they are dumb when they've got Jesus on their side.

But in all seriousness, I don't know whether it's a good thing that "an American majority" both don't want Park 51 going in the old Burlington Coat Factory, two blocks from Ground Zero, and don't want the church to burn the Koran. Is it only okay to hate, hurt, fear, and be ignorant if you don't burn someone's revered objects on top of it, too?

Maybe if we all took a deep breath and tried to walk a few miles in each others' shoes, we'd all be a lot better off. We'd probably also have more blisters and jammed toes, too, though - sometimes understanding makes us bleed.

At any rate, it's tuesday, so in the hopes of people not taking the Lizard King's advice, here's a classic by The Doors. Remember they tried to censor him, too, and failed.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

LTC Lakin's Defense Ripped Apart in Steel Cage Death Match

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Yet again, it is our sad - but schadenfreude-laden - duty to report that LTC. Terry Lakin's anticipated defense has, put mildly, gone down in legal flames.

A more apt comparison has a spastic 90 pound weakling going up against a testosterone-junky half-man, half-bear on steroids, speed, and lizard boom sticks that eats live, angry bees for breakfast and totally ignores the honey, in a no-holds barred ancient astronaut Texas steel cage death match. With noodles.

(No, I don't watch wrestling. why?)

According to Phil Cave, who attended the hearing today:

Basically what we have been saying has come to pass.


The military judge DENIED all of the discovery requests and witness requests related to the birth controversy. This was not unexpected. But what was unexpected was the breadth and detail of the rulings, because of the obvious impact on the lawfulness motion. ... At the end of the military judge’s reading of her findings, Jensen appeared beaten down. He seemed so affected that for some time he failed to stand when talking with the military judge on the record. LTC Lakin remained impassive as always.


The military judge twice said that a court-martial is not “a vehicle to challenge political decisions.”

(Humble blogger stands up and applauds until his hands fall off. Then grabs folding chair.)

The defense conceded that with the military judge’s rulings, the orders were otherwise lawful.

(Humble blogger goes "YES!" and does victory dance. Crowd goes wild.)

With that this case is back to the standard case one sees where a Soldier has missed movement and disobeyed orders. There was discussion of whether an additional session was necessary based on the lack of “wiggle room” given to the defense as it affected the discovery, witnesses, and lawfulness issues.

Mr. Cave apparently left before they could iron out whether Alan Keyes would be allowed to come speak on LTC Lakin's behalf. Part of me hopes that they let him attend, if only to find out how deep of a hole he digs for poor Terry's defense. Every squared circle needs a rodeo clown.

(Speaking OF the defense, there is an excellent article here that wonders exactly what Paul Rolf "Otis" Jensen has been telling Lakin. I vote for "guano crazy," myself.)

In closing, from Cave:

At this point it seems LTC Lakin will be left to wriggle while his fate is decided in the normal course of business. No doubt there will be some who will try to continue the political aspects of the case but for all intents and purposes LTC Lakin is dead meat. The real question will be sentencing.

Here's hoping they cut him some kind of deal that allows him to barter his freedom in exchange for detailed information on how a certain organization recruited him for this windmill-tilt, and what exactly they are up to. I doubt LTC Lakin is the only partridge in their cage, and it would be good to know if other Military Birther Martyrs are being lined up for the cause.

But, as was often said on professional wrestling shows, "This is a fiasco!" And LTC Lakin only has himself to blame, along with however many other goobers in Birtherland that have been fronting for this horrifying spectacle from the get-go. If they had any sense of decency, they would start calling him to tell him to just take a damn deal.

I doubt he'll get any calls, though. He will soon be another nameless nobody left smeared outside the ring so some masked weirdo can pretend to be an athlete. And that is the real tragedy, here.