Monday, February 28, 2005

Syrian-backed Lebanese Government Resigns

Now that's something you don't see every day.

Putin Believes Bush Fired CBS Reporters

Weird and disturbing.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Mis-Reporting Iraq
Unbalanced reporting has given Americans a false impression of how the war is going, said Austin Bay, a retired colonel in the Army Reserve who was called to active duty in Iraq last year.

"Collect relatively isolated events in a chronological list and presto: the impression of uninterrupted, widespread violence destroying Iraq," said Bay, who is also a syndicated columnist. "But that was a false impression. Every day coalition forces were moving thousands of 18-wheelers from Kuwait and Turkey into Iraq, and if the insurgents were lucky, they blew up one. However, flash the flames of that one diesel rig on CNN and 'Oh my God, America can't stop these guys' is the impression left in Boston, Boise and Beijing."

Watching Europe Implode

From a horrificly complex constitution to ignoring radical Muslims on the continent, Europe is in trouble.
Plus there's something to be said for the theory that, as the EU constitution is a disaster waiting to happen, you might as well cut down the waiting and let it happen. CIA analysts predict the collapse of the EU within 15 years. I'd say, as predictions of doom go, that's a little on the cautious side.

But either way the notion that it's a superpower in the making is preposterous. Most administration officials subscribe to one of two views: a) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater; or b) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater where the whole powder keg's about to go up.
Until the shape of the new Europe begins to emerge, there's no point picking fights with the terminally ill. The old Europe is dying, and Mr. Bush did the diplomatic equivalent of the Oscar night lifetime-achievement tribute at which the current stars salute a once glamorous old-timer whose fading aura is no threat to them. The 21st century is being built elsewhere.

Written as only Mark Steyn could. He's British btw.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Muslim Convert to Christianity Killed in Iraq

I guess this is newsworthy because this happened in Iraq. It happens even in Western countries. It is a commonly accepted belief to kill converts away from Islam.

The Jewishness Of The Nicene Creed

The Da Vinci Code people aren't going to like this.

Canadian Blogger Gives PM a Verbal Whooping Over Missle Defense

This is hilarious. The Canadian PM wants us to contact them for permission about shooting down an incoming missle over Canadian airspace.

As the blogger mentions, what will Canada do?

Friday, February 25, 2005

I Actually Have This

Drew University A Capella Groups Prevented Christian Group From Performing alma mater. Nothing quite like this little Methodist school. If there is anything more theologically liberal than the Methodist theology school, it would be the College of Liberal Arts.

A Christian group might make people feel uncomfortable. Of course it would. Many at Drew are running away from God and a mere mention of Christianity causes them to freak out. Not even most non-Christians mind you. But the loons are there. And the squeaky wheel get the grease, etc., etc.

When I was there we had problems with the Chaplain's office because we going to bring a Messianic Jew on campus. That was fun.

Why Peter Gammons Is the Best Baseball Writer
I suppose what bloggers really like about Gammons is his willingness to embrace new ideas. Too often writers fall into ruts, recycling conventional wisdom and old platitudes without subjecting them to any thought. (I've often complained that people who rest their arguments on tradition - "This is the way things are done" - lack the capacity to see the world outside of their box. They enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.) Gammons gives us a cutting edge look at the game and digs deep to give us a peek into what the managers and GMs are thinking when they make decisions.

Bill Conlin Rips Phillies Ownership

The fish rots from the head.

Hat tip: Chris.

Lew Bryson Effectively Argues to Lower the Drinking Age to 18

I only need one of his arguments. When you are 18, you are a legal adult. Period.

If you can die for your country, you should be able to buy a drink. If you want to keep the drinking age at 21, raise the age for legal adulthood.

Vermont is thinking of foregoing federal highway money and lower the age. Bravo for Vermont.

A Syrian Connection?

Iraqi TV aired a confession from a Syrian intelligence officer who claimed he helped train Iraqi insurgents.

The good news is that Syria and Iran are scared of a free Iraq. This shows that a free Iraq should effect change in those countries. The bad news is that Syria and Iran are helping the terrorists.

Abortion-Breast Cancer Lawsuit Judgement

In a very liberal and abortion-friendly county in Oregon, a woman won a judgement against an abortion provider for not notifying her of increased risks of getting breast cancer.
Jonathan Clark, attorney for the 19-year-old plaintiff, told WorldNetDaily he believes the judgment "makes a pretty powerful statement about the science," indicating the clinic was not willing to argue against the claim that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.

Again, the noteworthy thing is that they didn't fight this award in a very pro-choice area.

Bush's Budget (and Arnold Too)

I've been hearing for quite some time how Bush is fiscally irresponsible. I've been unhappy with his spending ways as well.

Well, now, Bush has submitted a budget with real cuts. And all sorts of complaining has ensued. You can't cut !

Make up your mind people!

If I were Bush, I would not suggest any cuts. I would simply say this will be the final budget number. No new net taxes. These following programs must be supported fully. I would veto anything that didn't meet that criteria. Then, let Congress fight it out.

The way things work now. Bush submits a proposal for cuts. Everybody looks out for their own pet program or programs. The process is not conducive for cuts. The problem is that the Founding Fathers didn't expect Congress would vote money out of the treasury for purposes other than what they thought government was responsible for.

Which brings us to Gov. Shwarzenegger in California. Nurses and teachers are complaining about cuts. Let me explain one of the most important things about government budgeting. If it was projected that you were going to get a 5% increase and you get a 4% increase, that is considered a cut. This was a very popular tactic against the Republican Congress of 1994.

The Problem With Jeff Gannon

A conservative who threw softballs to the President and the Press Secretary came under intense scrutiny and resigned. How dare the President give press credentials to someone who would throw softballs? In a den of wolves (liberal press people), I would give a pass to a friendly face as well.

I think the real problem was that he raised a great point raised as a question. Let me give you the question as it was reported by NPR: How are you going to work with people [Democratic leaders] who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?

NPR conveniently leaves off the preface. Let me give you the full quote.
Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy: Harry Reid was talking about soup lines, and [Senator] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath, they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. You've said you're going to reach out to these people. How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?

Obviously, the guy is a shill for conservativism. What makes him different from the average liberal reporter? He doesn't pretend to hide his ideology. Frankly, I think that makes for better reporting. Everyone identify themselves clearly. I can then come to my own conclusions. If I know you are a conservative, I can process your information more effectively.

Ok, back to Gannon. From my perspective, what got people's gander up? Well, two things. One, he made an extraordinary amount of sense. Two, reporters shouldn't be helping the administration and be considered real reporters.

I already explained how I feel about two. It is better to be upfront about your bias then to pretend you don't have bias. By that, I don't mean that the average reporter isn't trying to be objective. But no one can be completely objective. So it is better to be upfront about your bias, which I think helps produce more objectivity in the long run. Jeff Gannon is a complete shill, and at the very least, should be upfront about that.

But he also made a lot of sense. A lot of opponents are either demagoguing or have a big case of cognotive dissonance. Is the economy horrible? If so, how can Social Security be secure? That was a good point. Now that the election is over, more liberals will probably admit that the economy is doing relatively well.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Funny Episode III Pre-Parody

Some moments are very funny. Some, not so funny. But a few are true gems. The Sphere o' Fear and Yoda saying "Nice going Kenobi" are a few of them. I believe there is a Napoleon Dynamite reference as well.

Amazing Things Are Happening in Lebanon

I think this is wonderful. Prayers for the country will be offered.

Here is my favorite quote from the article:
"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

From Finland With Funk: Sahti

This is one of the most interesting styles of beer I have ever encountered. I had a version of this beer from Heavyweight in Ocean, NJ. It is made with a type of baker's yeast instead of brewer's yeast. Instead of hops, it uses juniper for bitterness. So gin lovers should like this one.

Bush Praises Slovakia's Flat Tax

I wonder how much money, which could be put to productive use, is drained out of the economy because of our complicated tax code. I'm sure H&R Block doesn't mind, but I do.

Maureen Dowd Actually Has a Good Insight
At the dawn of feminism, there was an assumption that women would not be as severely judged on their looks in ensuing years. Phooey. It's just the opposite. Looks matter more than ever, with more and more women spending fortunes turning themselves into generic, plastic versions of what they think men want, reaching for eerily similar plumped-up faces and body shapes.

LA Times Article On Pilseners
And because the category is dominated by mass-produced, flavorless beers such as Bud and Miller, which call themselves Pilseners, many consumers have yet to discover the pleasures of the real deal.

For those in the East, I would highly recommend Victory's Prima Pils. Outstanding. Very refreshing. I drink it more in the summer. Very good with a British cheddar.

I'm noticing a good trend in articles in major publications towards good beer. The NY Times had an article on farmhouse beers. The San Francisco Chronicle had a tremendous article on pairing beer and cheese. And now this. I hope the trend continues.

Another interesting tidbit from the article:
"So much status in the market is given to imported beer," says Alvarez. But often, he warns, quality is compromised in production and transportation of imports.

Most imported beers are not made using the same recipe as the beer you enjoyed in the mother country. Sometimes the recipes are changed to appeal to American taste; always the beer will be pasteurized, a process that robs a beer of some of its freshness and verve.

"We don't even do Pilseners from Eastern Europe," says Yoon of Father's Office. "We don't import lagers as a general rule because they're not built for the long haul. They don't survive the travel. The only beers we get from overseas are the big-bodied, high alcohol beers with living yeasts, which can survive the trip."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

How Does Michael Medved Relate to Christians Who Think He Will Go to Hell?

Quite well, thank you.
When asked by fellow Jews, ''How can you work with people who sincerely believe you're going straight to hell?'' his reply is simple: ''It's not a problem for me because I'm confident that they're wrong.''

And, of course, I'm confident he's wrong. But that doesn't mean we couldn't get along. People confuse acceptance with respect and tolerance.

Venezuelan House Organ Blames Zionists

Originally, I didn't like the Venezuelan government because they were anti-democratic socialists.

Eminent Domain

One of the more important cases in recent memory has come before the Supreme Court. The issue is whether confiscating private land and giving it to another private entity for redevelopment and community improvements constitutes "public use" under the Constitution.

I, for one, believe it does not. More importantly, this opens the door for all sorts of abuse. Your church/home/business is not generating enough tax revenue. Let's give it to a developer. Who knows what relationship the developer and the mayor/town council have in common?

Update: I looked up the spelling originally but my source led me astray. All is corrected now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Craft Beer Volume Grows 7% In Volume Last Year

Good news indeed.

Terri Schaivo In Trouble
Unless something changes, Michael Schiavo will remove his wife Terri's feeding tube tommorrow, after which she will begin to die a slow, agonizing death by starvation which could take several weeks.

Despite the fact that she is not in a persistent vegetative state, despite the fact that her original injury occured under very suspicious circumstances, despite the fact that she communicates with her family, despite the fact that her parents are willing to assume responsibility for her care and rehabilitation, despite the fact that some doctors believe that if she were to receive rehabilitative treatment (which her husband has denied her) she would have a chance for some significant recovery, despite the fact that she has exhibited horror when being told of her impending death, and despite the fact that the people of the state of Florida overwhelmingly passed a law in late 2003 protecting Terri's life, an unelected judge has again determined (along with her husband, who lives with another woman and has two children by that woman) that Terri must be executed.

Operation Rescue is leading the effort to save Terri's life right now, and asks that people contact Gov. Jeb Bush at 850-488-4441 or via email at They're also asking thousands to turn out in person at Woodside Hospice, 6774 102nd Ave. North in Pinellas Park, Florida, where Terri Schiavo lives. In the face of this sort of calculated injustice, it would seem that not many defensive measures could seem too extreme.

I would add that the legal reasoning for overturning Terri's Law wasn't convincing.

Parents Mellowing About Drug Use

Hat tip from Chris. The blind raising the blind. This is incredibly disturbing.
While today's parents were more likely to have used drugs than in previous generations, they see less risk in drug experimentation and are less likely to speak with their children about it, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Barry Bonds

His interview today was a tad bit interesting. An ESPN radio host had an interesting question. What would happen if he broke the home run record in Philadelphia? If you want to coddle wimpy players, Philadelphia isn't your town. If you want to (deservedly) ruin a historic moment for a player, we're the people you can depend on.

He also said he was under more scrutiny because he is black. Like Jason Giambi.

Somebody Stole Slash's Top Hat

Not cool.

Monday, February 21, 2005

More Money Doesn't Mean Better Schools

This conclusion is warrented by recent history. We haven't seen dramatically better results, even though the amount of money spent has gone through the roof in the last twenty years.

The counterpoint is that there is a minimum amount of money that needs to be spent. Kids need books, good teachers, etc.

Also, a stable home life which includes parents who care is vitally important. And there is very little government can do about that. I just wish people would recognize that.

Democratic Congressman Blames Karl Rove For Producing Fake Documents That Took Down Rather

Let me fasten my tin foil hat.

Columnist Wants PBS To Sue Major Broadcast Networks For Funding

This gentleman is hell-bent on saving PBS by getting it more money. Alas, he realizes that the federal government won't be shovelling more money to them.

I have an idea. Ask Sesame Street and all those other shows that have made billions of dollars from being on the network to cough up some money. If people making millions off of PBS won't help it, I feel no compulsion to either.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Archeological Discovery Backs Up Rome's Founding Myth

Microsoft Warns That Next-Generation of Spyware Will Be Nearly Impossible to Detect

Maybe I should buy a Mac.

Blogging Could Help Conservatives in Britain

From his lips to God's ears.

How National Public Radio Has Changed Its Mission

Maybe There's No Deep Throat?

Speculation that Deep Throat is just a composite of several sources in order to make the book more readable.

72 Virgins?
When Osama bin Laden died, he was met at the Pearly Gates by George Washington, who slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive!"

Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed."

James Madison followed, kicked him in the groin and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"

Thomas Jefferson was next, beat Osama with a long cane and snarled, "It was evil men like you who inspired me to write the Declaration of Independence."

The beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans unleashed their anger on the terrorist leader.

As Osama lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Bin Laden wept and said, "This is not what you promised me."

The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said?"

Thanks to Powerline for the joke.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Great Article on Beer and Cheese in San Francisco Chronicle

This article is wonderful. It is not the normal "beer is a good alternative, not just for frat-parties" fluff piece. The author, who apparently is the cheese person at the San Francisco Chronicle, knows her stuff. She obviously has done her research and it shows.

Beyond the information conveyed in the article, this article is a landmark for the craft beer movement. The article's central thesis is that beer, in general, is a superior and more natural match for cheese than wine. That is a remarkable statement from a major publication. But considering that it comes from the permier newspaper in the heart of wine country, a paper which has its own wine section, this is nothing short of amazing.

The significance has nothing to do with wine vs. beer. I love wine. If I lived in California, I would drink more wine.

The significance is that this article shows that the reality of what good beer can do with food is dawning on people in gourmet circles. It is long overdue. A lot of this has to do with Garrett Oliver's magnificent work, the Brewmaster's Table.

This is the future of beer, at least craft beer. This is where beer will grow. In 10 years time I expect on going to a nice restaurant and it will serve great, overpriced wine as well as great, overpriced beer.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

U.N. Inspectors Drinking Instead of Inspecting Saddam-Era Convoys

Well, that explains why the sanctions weren't working. Vodka.

Hockey Is Gone. Who Is To Blame? Does Anyone Care?

Of the four major sports, hockey comes in third for me. I have no strong opinions about the strike-cancelled season. I don't blame the players for looking out for their interests. Nor do I blame the owners for not wanting to lose money hand over fist. So without anyone to blame, I'm left with apathy.

How the Battle for Fallujah Was a Great Success

Anglicans Actually Going to Go After Heretics

The heretics will complain, but this is long overdue.

Dali Coming to Philly

Salvador Dali

I just watched a biography on Salvador Dali. Anyone who relates something to the hibernation of mollusks is one strange individual.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Let's Just Say Chris Rock Should Make an Interesting Oscars Host

It's OK Not To Win a Championship

Somewhere during my lifetime it became a badge of shame for a player in a team game not to win a championship. I firmly believe this is a load of malarky. Now, it's Karl Malone's turn to hear this bunk.

It isn't OK not to give your best. But if you gave it your all and you performed well, did you have an unfulfilled career because you didn't win a championship? Is it Dan Marino's fault he never had a great running back? If Terrell Davis played for a different team, would Dan Elway still be one of the all-time best?

This sports-obsessed, winning-is-everything culture can get sick. The team's goal is to get a championship. But judging a player on a team, sometimes a 45 person team, on whether or not they got a championship is a pet peeve.

A Negative Analysis of Arthur Miller's Career

Someone dug up a 1999 article from Slate. The author describes Miller's career as "creative paralysis brought on by early success". Ouch.

As John Rabe would say, Arthur Miller is still alive?

UPDATE: Arthur Miller is on John Rabe's Surprised-They-Are-Alive list.

Somethin Is Wrong With This

Schilling's bloody sock will be at the Hall of Fame. Take a slight detour and go to Brewery Ommegang before going to see a bloody sock.

I Realized the Grammys Are Tonight

I'm rooting for Slash and Velvet Revolver.

However, I stopped caring about the Grammys when Jethro Tull beat Metallica to win the best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album. Jethro Freaking Tull. And, no. Metallica was still good then.

Dallas Eliuk, Legendary Philadelphia Wings Goalie, Was on the Price Is Right

Ever since Happy Gilmore, I always want to say "the Price is Wrong, b*****!"

Nice Craft Beer Article on MSN

An article geared for the masses, and it is pretty good. Mentions Bierkraft in Brooklyn, which I have yet to visit. A good mention for as well.

Sick Again

Stomach viruses and blogging are not the perfect combonation. I did get good enough to take a trip to New York City.

I only bring it up to mention the following: I was in an Italian restaurant which played the Superman theme, the James Bond theme, along with Goldfinger. Ahh, classical music and Italian food.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Philadelphia Blames Jacksonville Boos on Local Radio Host

Or maybe it has something to do with the den of corruption he reigns over.

Disturbing: the Resurgence of Marxism in Latin America

At the very least, more Marxism in our hemisphere will be a drag on our economy, as it will drag down the economies of our neighbors.

FDR Expected Private Accounts To Be Set Up

A very unexpected historical find.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Last Eagles Post

What do the Eagles need? A strong running back to share the duties with Westbrook. The type of guy who powers ahead and just moves the chains. This will free up the passing game and help McNabb when he is shaky.

We also need Andy Reid to have a more balanced attack on offense and commit to the run.

The Worst Thing About the Super Bowl

I realized what the worst thing about the Super Bowl loss was. At the end of the game, there was nothing to look forward to. I don't care about basketball. Hockey isn't playing.

My Phillies aren't even going to be competitive. My thought was "Ed Wade." I just simply thought about the Phillies' GM. All hope was lost.

I'm simply looking for a playoff appearance. I'm not even thinking about the World Series. Here is my NL East projections for 2005:
The Team Formerly Known as the Expos

If the Mets and Phillies flip spots I would not be surprised. The plus-side of a Phillies flop in 2005 will be the firing of the General Manager. I also hope that the current ownership team, which tolerates mediocrity, will sell the team as well.

Boston Fans, Dare I Say It, Are Becoming Weird

I'm not exactly sure what T.O. ever did to rub Bostonians the wrong way, but they love mocking his own non-defamatory celebrations. I know of no other fans or players, besides Patriots fans, which act like this. It's mystifying to me. Not New York fans. Nor Philadelphia fans.

Honestly, at the end of defeating the Braves, I would do the Tomahawk Chop. But that would be it. It wouldn't go on for days. People wouldn't be doing it at the parade.

You would mock one or two times. That would be it. You would then begin cheering, banging pots and pans, honk the horns a few times, etc.

I think the cause of this is how long they spent being bitter about New York City success.

I hope when Philadelphia wins a championship they don't go soft in the head like Bostonians. Unless they are doing the Icky Shuffle. That's just plain fun.

The Day After

This game will be analyzed for at least a year and maybe until the Eagles finally win a Super Bowl. So I will try to go light with the football analysis.

What the heck was up with the lack of urgency at the end of the game? Which brings us to Donnovan McNabb... People noticed a lack of leadership in him at the end of the game. I'm not sure if "leadership" is the proper word, but something was missing. I remember watching Joe Montana drive down the field against the Bengals. There was a feeling that he was a man on a mission. I'm not feeling it from McNabb.

The disturbing thing was not that we lost. The Patriots are obviously the best team of this era. The disturbing thing was not that we lost by making mistakes and this game was winnable.

The disturbing thing was that McNabb was showing problems and flaws that just won't go away. Lack of accurate passing. Besides the interceptions (besides everything else how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?), McNabb was throwing behind, above and at the feet of receivers. His periodic lack of accuracy is disturbing in the extreme.

When you start seeing the same problems over and over again come back to bite you in the butt you start to worry about the future. When McNabb faces a tough defense are we always going to see the bad McNabb? If so, what's the point of keeping him around?

Why the heck didn't he run just to keep the Pats honest?

On the plus-side, I love Terrell Owens. He is a hard-worker who wants to win. Philly is a good place for him to flourish professionally. We understand him.

I told John Rabe when the Cardinals lost that it was good in one regard. It would toughen up his boy. I'm tired of being toughened up.

Every time the Patriots did something good they did the Bird-flapping thing T.O. does. I found it infuriating. I understand since T.O. did the Ray Lewis dance this year that I'm being a little hypocritical. But I do get the sense that the Patriots were being jerks, while the Ray Lewis thing (not the Dallas star incident) was more of a fun thing.

The Patriots winning the Super Bowl is like America winning the World Cup. A few people really care about the win. The majority think its nice, as they are wondering about the Red Sox.

If there is anything that upset me about New Englanders was all the whining about the Red Sox, when they had two recent Super Bowl championships to celebrate. That is like Cubs fans complaining after 6 NBA championships. You may love your Sox, and I felt badly for your pain, but I just didn't want to hear it.

We'd be fine with any championship.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl, Baby!!!!

For all bad things you have heard about Philadelphia fans, know this. They have taken Jacksonville over, but most importantly they have taken the Super Bowl back as something that belongs to the fans.

I don't have the Patriots nor New England as a region. I firmly believe the Patriots deserve to be the favorites. However, I cannot stand the media. Bill Belichek did not create football. Take away the tuck rule, no dynasty. I've had it.

Lord willing, my next post will be after the Super Bowl.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Converts From Islam Fear For Lives In Britain

The Biggest Super Bowl Sunday Question

Will American Dad be funny? The linked article discusses Family Guy, which the author enjoys. In the article, the author says American Dad suffers from Seth MacFarlane's political ideology.

Injecting politics into comedy is very tricky, and not because you end up alienating a third or more of your audience. Johnny Carson was able to pull it off because he based his jokes out of neutrality. He was an equal-opportunity jokster.

When you start joking about the other side, it can then turn into mocking. Instead of making funny jokes, you end up with barbs that can be made lazily and aren't actually funny. "Bush is dumb. Michael Moore is fat." Not very funny.

I think the Simpsons does the best job of joking in a politically neutral manner.

Article From Trenton Writer Who Understands Philly

We like illogical fun.

Another Wing Bowl Article, From Australia

Another good and accurate article. There is a picture of the winning Miss Wing Bowl. It is not for children.

For the record, I would not have voted for her.

The article also mentions people picking up unused beer off the ground and drinking them. I saw that and was disgusted as well.

I'm telling you, Philly is the new Rome in many respects. Not at most sporting events, but it can definitely get to that point.

NY Times Has a Wing Bowl Article

Pretty good summation of the events of Wing Bowl 13. You get the general feeling that the writer doesn't like the debauchary and some other aspects of the event. The writer doesn't hide their pre-conceived notions of Philly. Granted, the Wing Bowl doesn't dispel any of those notions.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Spectacle That Was Wing Bowl 13

Unless one is from Philadelphia, one rarely ponders what the Roman Collusium was like in its heyday. I, on the other hand, was thinking about that frequently today.

I was at Wing Bowl 13, which is the premier eating competition in the country. It must also be the largest radio promotion in the country as well. It is a promotion for WIP AM, the local sports-talk station. Wing Bowl is also the closest thing to Rome.

While eating is the main event, I'm not sure it is the main attraction. The main attraction are the people themselves. Thousands of people show up for an eating competition, incredibly early in the morning (admission is free). The lower ring of the Wachovia Center was filled by 3:30 AM this morning. More on that later. People tailgate and drink once beer is served at the Wachovia Center. Contestants parade in like wrestlers from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. A beauty pageant (Ms. Wing Bowl) occurs after the eating. Normal guys get praise, at least for one day, for consuming copious amounts of chicken wings.

Today was my first Wing Bowl. Last year, I drove by at 5:45 AM and said to myself "I am going next year." I met someone who knows the lawyer for El Wingador, 5-time and current champion. With a floor pass and a "Team Wingador" t-shirt, we followed El Wingador's limo. Then, insanity.

The Wachovia Center was sealed due to capacity limits around 5 AM. A little before 6AM, we finally found parking in a local park. We get to the Wachovia Center, home of the Flyers and 76ers, only to find that it has been shut down. "We are with El Wingador and we have floor passes." The security is sympathetic but can't do anything about it. The police have been in riot mode and are clearing about 15,000 people out of the area.

You read that right. They are trying to clear 15,000 people out of the area. While we were driving around, they were trying to clear out the cars. The shutdown parking lots didn't help us.

A river (OK, a brook) of beer awaits us when we approach the arena. On the way out, a beer-lover friend and I see one lonely bottle of Magic Hat #9. 500,000 macrobeers and one bottle of Magic Hat. Either micro-lovers dispose of their bottles properly or we are seriously outnumbered. Maybe a little of both.

While we are stuck outside, I'm seriously pushing to leave. I lost feelings in my toes and I don't think the fire marshall is going to change his mind. Some college boys start picking up some dirty Natty Light cans and begin to drink. Lovely. I want to go to a diner for breakfast.

Then, magically, the VIP entrance starts letting people in with tickets. Since we have tickets, and eventually, we are on the floor.

I can't and won't describe all the craziness. El Wingador was dethroned last year by the black-widow Sonya Thomas, a 99-pound lady. This year she was pelted by debris and seemed pretty shaken by that. I would be too. They had to have an overtime between El Wingador and Sonya Thomas, with El Wingador prevailing by one wing. He was truly emotional about his win.

You can tell it means a lot to him. At first, it seems silly, but it isn't. He won a $20,000+ car. That would make me emotional. But it's obviously more than that. How often can an average guy receive the adulation from 20,000 people and media attention for eating? I assume he is also competitive, so just on that level it would mean a lot. On top of that, he wins it back. But more importantly, his wife and daughters seem very proud. When you see that, you feel great for El Wingador. Seeing a little girl thrilled that her daddy won is something to behold.

I learn later that the police initially turned away the radio hosts. Someone on the radio also mentions that a police officer was punched in the mouth. I'm sure a large portion of the crowd was irate after waiting in the cold for the event, only to be denied entry. After El Wingador wins, a person from the Game Show Network congratulates me because of my "Team Wingador" shirt. Our guy won, but it had nothing to do with me. But I did accomplish something today. I got into Wing Bowl 13.

As we are leaving I tell a few police officers that this, Lord willing, is a warmup for the parade. They roll their eyes when they realize the bedlum that will await the city if the Eagles win the Super Bowl. Again, Lord willing.

Did Going to the U.N. Give the Iraqi Insurgents Time to Organize?

Article is a very good analysis of many things, but this is one point that is worth pondering.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

CNN Reporting That State Department Knew, Condoned Iraqi Oil Smuggling

This happened in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Apparently, they felt it helped Turkey and Jordan which, in turn, helped them contain Saddam.

A few thoughts: This would help explain why the Bush administration has not been harder on the U.N. I don't think these actions happned under aegis of the U.N. Most money diverted was under thos auspices as far as I know. Lastly, if Bush knew sanctions were working, he probably knew war was the only feasible option. What's he going to say though? "A lot of you are on the take and that's why you are against the war."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Crazy Like a Fox News Viewer

The head of CNN has spread an allegation at the Davos world forums. What allegation? The U.S. military is targetting and killing journalists in Iraq.

This would be ammusing except for one thing. Europeans and Arabs actually believe this sort of crap.

One major thing that is overlooked in the "why does everyone hate America" is the fact that the world has gone nuts and labors under the burden of crappy, leftist propaganda.

Liberal congressman Barney Franks came to the soldiers defense. Kudos to him.

Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, etc. all have coverage.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Why Did the Baltimore Orioles Obtain Sammy Sosa?

It appears they were trying to compete with the new team in Washington, D.C., formerly the Expos. That is not a good justification and it reminds me of bad decisions the Mets make in order to get noticed over and against the Yankees.

Anti-War Liberal Having Second Thoughts After Election

Not convinced yet, but the author understands how important the elections were. It takes a lot of guts to re-examine beliefs about anything, so the author should be commended.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?