Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Evil Leaders League, Week 5

I was driving on Route 66 and passed by a Lexus with the Virginia license plate "NVMYLEX" (envy my Lexus).

I don't envy your Lexus sir, I envy your humility and secure sense of self-worth. I know eight evil leaders who might envy you too. Here are the results from Week 5 of the ELL:

al-Bashir vs Ahmadinejad
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarimbo Hari Kari Bushkie Perry Pem Do Hai Kai Pom Pom Nikki No Meeno Dom Barako seems to agree in principle with UN resolutions and then not follow through with them. It's called diplomacy. It's somehow gotten the proposed sanctions on Sudan softened in an upcoming UN resolution. Good for him, but not entirely evil. Although getting sanctions softened while a genocide persists is pretty evil. Kudos. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't even bother with agreeing to UN resolutions. He's been called a wackjob, wacko, madman, loony tunes, and a Holocaust denier, but he had the good sense to send his condolences to Bill Walsh's family upon hearing of his passing.
winner: al-Bashir (for the 2nd time against Ahmadinejad in as many contests)

Chavez vs Kim
Hugo Chavez, the man in the middle of Venezuelan politics has criticized his former oil ministers for favoring foreign oil companies and running away with the country's wealth. That's only kinda evil, but we've come to expect a lot out of Chavez, who certainly talks the evil talk. North Korea's leader is a rabid anti-smoker who has been quite nervous due to recent elections in his country. In the end Kim Jong-Il won with 117% of the vote (margin of error +/- 17%). All of his preferred candidates won by a convincing margin (all of it). Even the dogs he bet on won their fights. For all we criticize North Korean society, at least they got one thing right- dog fighting's not illegal over there.
winner: Kim (that makes 2 out of 2 against Chavez)

Putin vs Karimov
Vladimir Putin of Russia won't run for a third election in a row. That's not evil. He very well may come back in 2012. That's not really evil either, but it is arrogant and power-hungry, qualities that one needs to be evil. He's also had school textbooks rewrite history to fit Putin's vision. That's more like it. Uzbekistan, currently rated the 3rd best "stan" country in the world, is run by Islam Karimov. Islam Karimov has shut down an independent Islamic newspaper and yes, he gets the irony. Karimov has boiled people and made an upcoming election disappear, but this is a what-have-you-done-lately league. Lately, Karimov has jailed his political opponents while Putin has more subtly poisoned them.
winner: Putin

Lukashenko vs Sarkozy
Both are winless this season. Both are European dictators. But only one is French. Alexander Lukashenko is not that man, he's the president of Belarus, which is like a cross between Russia and Bella Abzug's house, I think. Lukashenko is about to dismiss Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky, because he doesn't like the shape of Sergei's neck, specifically saying, "I don't like the shape of Sergei's neck." Lukashenko generally sacks his prime minister every two to three years and after they're done playing football, Lukashenko fires them to prevent powerful political rivals. Nicolas Sarkozy is the president of the evil French Empire, hell-bent on destroying America. Sarkozy went so far as to cut taxes for the rich. He's included minority women in his cabinet including the extremely conservative Condoleezza Riz. Really, I'm gonna end this week on that inordinately awful joke?
winner: Lukashenko

Putin 4-1
al-Bash 4-1
Kim J-I 4-1
Chavez 3-2
Karimo 2-3
Ahmad 2-3
Lukash 1-4
Sarkozy 0-5

Monday, July 30, 2007

Blacks vs Jews, Baseball

This is the beginning of a new friendly competition between blacks and Jews. I'll pick a topic, then I'll choose a member of each community that fits the description, and finally I'll compare the two.

The best Jewish baseball player (forgive me Hank Greenberg and Ryan Braun in the future) of all time is Sandy Koufax. The best black baseball player of all time is Willie Mays. For today's contest we'll compare their numbers when facing each other. That will give us an objective winner.

Willie Mays batted .263 with 4 homers and 13 RBIs in 96 at bats against Sandy Koufax. That basically amounts to a tie. However, these stats are acording to Baseball-Reference.com, which hasn't accounted for the 1955 and 1956 seasons. Those were Koufax's first two seasons in the majors and he didn't fare well. He was 4-6 in 28 games and around 100 innings pitched. His ERA in 1955 was 3.02 and 4.91 in 1956. During the same period Mays hit .319 with 51 homers and 127 RBIs in 1955 and .296 with 36 homers and 84 RBIs. So Mays gets the edge there.

A fairer way to determine who wins is to look at other known stats, so we don't award a win based on guessing. Mays walked 23 times and only struckout 20 times against Koufax, no small feat. That puts Mays' on base percentage against Koufax at .407, which is quite good. His OPS against was .891 which is above average even today. Keep in mind that pitchers had the advantage during the era that they played, unlike today.

So the winner is Willie Mays.
Overall record: Blacks 1 Jews 0

Join me next time when the topic will be gay communists.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm the New Petrus Alphonsi

Walking in the footsteps of Petrus Alphonsi, an 11th century astronomer and writer, I've decided to convert to Christianity and tell you the truth about Judaism. Petrus was born Moses Sephardi, but changed his name when he converted and I'm doing the same. My Christian name is Christopher Cristo.

The great thing about Christianity is that we worship a man. The Jewish version of god is too abstract for my feeble mind. Revere a hairy white guy with sandals? I can handle that.

So Jesus is god and god is also Jesus' father. Hmm, I'll just pretend they're from West Virginia; then it'll make sense. I can really get down with this. Unlike Judaism, we Christians follow a monotheist religion who worship three gods (father, son, and holy ghost), not a monotheist religion that only has one G-d (3 is better than 1). Now, I don't have to wear any funny Jew hats unless I'm a Catholic cardinal. I just won't become a cardinal then. It's that easy.

Jews control the world and it feels good to finally get that off my chest. I'm glad to be part of religion that has very little global power, Christianity. Those greedy Jews have all the money and then cheaply hoard it for themselves. What about sharing some of that wealth with us Christians. Bill Gates is hurting.

The worst part about Judaism is the gefilte fish. I'd rather eat the body and drink the blood of the lord than eat that shit. I've finally found a religion that has liberated me from the shackles of gefilte fish. I feel so free being a Christian. The first thing I'm going to do is buy a Jesus fish for my car.

Yours in Christ,
Christopher Cristo

Saturday, July 28, 2007

In Defense of Michael Vick

A group of angry white people screamed at Michael Vick as he made his way to court a couple of days ago. They yelled, "Go to Hell!" They wished death upon Michael Vick and compared him to a dog. Why were these irrational white people so angry, was Michael Vick accused of raping and killing a white woman? No. Dog fighting. That's right, this thinly veiled racism was due to alleged dog fighting on Michael Vick's property.

These angry white people didn't care about justice, they subconsciously saw a black man doing well for himself and pounced on him with no regard for one of our foundational principles: innocent until proven guilty. At least Vick was charged with a crime, unlike Adam "Pacman" Jones- the latter is suspended for a year from the NFL. Neither has been convicted. Vick was accused of hiding marijuana in a water bottle earlier this year. He turned out to be falsely accused. I guess that can't happen twice.

I can't believe people would get so upset over dog fighting anyway. I didn't even know it was a crime. When I think of dog fighting, I think of a few words: hilarious, entertaining, competitive. Not: felony.

My policy towards animals is: don't bother me and I won't bother you. That's a better policy than some of these animal rights fanatics who are convinced their dogs are just like people. I would never put a bonnet on an animal. Your animal doesn't want to wear a bonnet, it's not a person. Listen, your dog can't tell you, "I love you," it's just a stupid fucking dog! I'm not talking about your average person with a pet, I'm talking about these crazy delusional assholes, who would risk their lives so their poor dog wouldn't have to feel one ounce of pain. They're obsessive love of dogs skews their reality towards people and they don't realize their own bigotry. Remember Hitler loved animals too.

Good article by Dan Wetzel: Racial Divide

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hunter Wendelstedt Sucks

John Lannan made his major league debut for the Washington Nats Wednesday afternoon. He had trouble with control, but pitched relatively well. In the 5th, down 3-2 with an 0-2 count, a pitch got away from Lannan and he hit Chase Utley in the hand. Lannan tried to pitch the next batter Ryan Howard high and tight and hit him.

Two men on and no out, a tough proposition for a young pitcher. One that Lannan wouldn't face. Homeplate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt decided to throw Lannan out of the game. He claimed the rookie threw at Howard intentionally because their previous meeting resulted in a homerun.
Two men on and no out in a one run game in the pitcher's major league debut... there's no way Lannan threw at him intentionally! That is the horse shittiest call this side of Tim Donaghy. Maybe Wendelstedt had the under on how long the kid would last.

Mild-mannered manager Manny Acta argued the decision and was subsequently thrown out as well. The whole thing was just fucking terrible, compounded by the fact that the Nats' bullpen was thin thanks to a 14 inning affair the night before. Somehow the Nats battled back. Jesus Flores hit a 3-run homer off of Mike Bronco Zagurski to give the Nats a 7-5 lead. Chad Cordero closed the door in the 9th.

I used to have an umpire shitlist, but I don't know where it is. I do remember that Bob Davidson and Angel Hernandez were on there. Now I'll add Hunter Wendelstedt to that list. I guess Bruce Froemming is a rare commodity (good, fat-ass, anti-Semitic, major league umpires. Well, at least the "good" part. Watch out Ryan Braun).

Hunter Wendelstedt, major league douchebag.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos

Dear Mr. Chuck D,

We are suckas.

The goverment
p.s. We want you for our army or whatever.
Dear Government,
Chuck D

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Evil Leaders League, Week 4

The Nats just lost in 14 innings, so this is coming 5 innings late. Here are the results from Week 4 of the ELL:

Sarkozy vs Chavez
France's president Nicolas Sarkozy met with former ELL star Muammar Ghadafy, the leader of Libya, after the latter released six Bulgarian medics accused of spreading HIV to Libyan children. The medics claimed they confessed to the crime after being tortured. Libya had maintained that one contracts the virus through contact with Bulgarian medics. Sarkozy rewarded Libya's gesture. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is getting ready to expel foreign critics from his country. Limiting foreigners' free speech in combination with curtaining domestic criticism, is a nice way to gain ground in the ELL. But at least Chavez isn't French.
winner: Chavez

Ahmadinejad vs Putin
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to scream that Iran should be allowed to have a nuclear program to anyone who will listen. Unfortunately for him, people aren't listening anymore since Lindsay Lohan was accused of another DUI. Listen girlfriend, get your act together! Vladimir wants to beef up the Russian military and his floppy genitals. He wants to increase spying on the west and the length of his erect schlong. He views the US and ED as his major threats. An irritable, determined, and sexually inadequate leader has a good chance at performing evil-doings.
winner: Putin

al-Bashir vs Lukashenko
Omar al-Bashir, the loquacious leader of Sudan, visited the genocide-happy region of Darfur for the first time since the area began witnessing the world's latest holocaust. During the same time, United States presidential hopeful Chris Dodd visited Iowa 173 times. The president of Belarus is Alexander Lukashenko. Belarus missed its last gas payment to Russia, which might mean the gas might stop flowing eastward. Probably not, but embarrassing financial situations don't help with the women or in the ELL. Omar al-Bashir avenges last season's decision against Lukashenko.
winner: al-Bashir

Karimov vs Kim
Islam Karimov, the precocious president of Uzbekistan is likely to stay in power despite proposed elections scheduled for this year. Karimov could invoke several legal measures to ensure he does. Kim Jong-Il of North Korea will stay in power. To prove this, Kim has banned smoking in his country. After his favorite magician was trapped in a box by metal swords and severely injured, Kim banned metal swords, boxes, and injuries to magicians. Kim reportedly looks emaciated due to a hunger strike until the Trix rabbit gets to eat some cereal.
winner: Kim

Chavez 3-1
Kim J-I 3-1
Putin 3-1
al-Bash 3-1
Karimo 2-2
Ahmad 2-2
Lukash 0-4
Sarkozy 0-4

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Presidential Debate Fun

The debate format should be as such: Each candidate has 10 or so consecutive minutes to answers questions on the specific debate topic. I'd like a reporter to ask the questions so that they can ask direct relevant follow-up questions, but the youtube format is nice once in awhile. At the end, each candidate has a minute rebuttal/closing statement.

Hopefully that format will eliminate reliance on soundbites and allow the viewer to know what the fuck these people specifically stand for.

Hillary Clinton is great at these little soundbites and she knocked a couple of softball questions out of the park (without taking steroids). She was asked if as a woman she would be taken seriously by Muslim countries. Really? This is the shit she has to answer? That question is offensive to women and Muslims and me as a viewer. I still don't like her position on the Iraq war however.

Joe Biden also performed nicely. He's the only one who can tell a joke. There's an old saying in Tennessee, I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee: You maybe probably shouldn't vote for president based on joke-telling ability. But Biden has at least made me mildly interested in what he actually stands for.

Barack "Barry" Obama doesn't thrive in the short answer section of the SATs. He answers every question with an elaborate story, which is nice, but makes it appear as if he's avoiding the question. Unlike Chris Dodd, Obama seems to be more in touch with reality though. Bill Richardson also struggles with articulating his point in short intervals, but at least he's got bigger cojones than Dodd who waffles more than an ice cream cone.

I respect John Edwards' commitment to the poor and his ability to communicate with the dead. That'll come in handy as his wife has cancer. Oh, that's a different guy? And that joke was in poor taste? Ann Coulter is my hero. I respect Denis Kucinich's consistent stance against the war in Iraq and, like Joe Biden, his leggy wife.

So this post made about as much sense as a Mike Gravel rant. I appreciate that he brings a different voice to the debates, I just wish that voice wasn't crazy. if you read this all the way through... I apologize.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fall From Grace

author's note: This is a completely fictitious story. Any similarity with actually people is completely coincidental.

In 2000, John McCain Wayne decided to run for his party's presidential nomination. Being a war hero, who was interred in a POW camp in Vietnam for five years, John McCain Wayne was regarded with great admiration. His record in the senate was respected, generally filled with compromise and bipartisanship. But John McCain Wayne had one problem, his opponent for the Republic nomination, George Pubic-Hair.

The campaign of George Pubic-Hair spouted the vilest accusations at John McCain Wayne. George Pubic-Hair and his aides exploited people's fears and hatreds for political gain. John McCain Wayne lost his bid for the party's nomination, but he came out of the campaign considered as a maverick and as a rare light in an otherwise bitterly partisan atmosphere in Congress. George Pubic-Hair went on to win the general election and become president.

But our saga doesn't end there. As president, George Pubic-Hair tried to increase his power at all costs. He started an extremely illadvised war, used sketchy tactics in making the case for the war and in the war's execution, and furthered his ideological agenda at home, regardless of its impact on his constituency.

Where was the maverick, John McCain Wayne in all of this? Supporting President Pubic-Hair. It seemed that John McCain Wayne had promised to throw his respectability and popularity behind the president in exchange for the president's support in the 2008 election. It looked like a sure-fire plan.

Time and reality proved President George Pubic-Hair and his policies to be unpopular. Furthermore, George Pubic-Hair and his advisors had gotten all they need from John McCain Wayne. They felt no obligation towards fulfilling their end of the bargain by helping John McCain Wayne's 2008 presidential bid.

In the end, John McCain Wayne was tied to unpopular presidential policies, and was left without the true support of the president. John McCain Wayne had lost his maverick appeal. He now appeared out of touch with even his own party. Aids fled his from his side and his campaign went bankrupt. John McCain Wayne had been humiliated by George Pubic-Hair once again.

Will John McCain Wayne summon the fight we all know he has? Will he admit his mistakes and return to the days of his 2000 campaign? Or will he float away like a feather trapped in Hurricane Katrina or a gun battle in Iraq? Only time will tell how John McCain Wayne's story will end.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Some Fallen Heroes

Malcolm X
Anwar Sadat
Yitzhak Rabin
Mohandas Gandhi

Why do we kill our own heroes?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nook the Crook

Nook Logan, centerfielder for the Washington Nats, should be the club's leadoff hitter for the rest of the year. Nook the Crook has stolen 10 bases in 11 tries. He's raised his average considerably over the last few weeks and plays very good defense.

The nickname Nook the Crook of course refers his base stealing capabilities, as all accounts have Nook Logan being a good guy and a law-abiding citizen.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Evil Leaders League, Week 3

Nostradamus may have predicted the rise of Hitler, but he couldn't tell you how our 8 competitors fared in Week 3 of the ELL. Let's get the results:

Karimov vs al-Bashir
Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov makes sure the trials of his former deputies are secretive and that his deputies get the ole Scooter Libby treatment. But capital punishment will be abolished in 2008. What kind of evil leader makes killing illegal? The genocide in the Darfur region of Omar al-Bashir's Sudan continues. The international community continues to try in vain to stop it. This time a conference in Tripoli is suppose to figure things out. Once Karimov starts funding genocidal militias, we'll have something of a contest between these two.
winner: al-Bashir

Chavez vs Putin
Venezuela has a leader by the name of Hugo Chavez. Mr. Chavez has been accused of silencing dissent and practicing the politics of fear and division. I'm not sure how he's practicing the politics of division by silencing dissent and forcing everyone to unify behind his ideology. Simply put, Chavez is his generation's Ho Chi Minh, except more of a dick. And instead of the warm persona of Uncle Ho, Chavez is the fiery Latin lover, interested in corralling not only power, but the hearts of women everywhere. Vladimir Putin of Russia is all about diplomacy. Sure, he's made things difficult for President Bush, but he's no match for Chavez's suave boisterous anti-Americanism. Being a tough negotiator doesn't correlate with wins in this league.
winner: Chavez

Ahmadinejad vs Sarkozy
On the one hand, Mahmood Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, is struggling. Iranian economists believe he gets his inspiration from Ken Lay's Guide to "Running" a "Business". However, Mahmy is determined to keep enriching uranium, like it's his job. That's pretty evil. France's Nicolas Sarkozy wants the president of France to have increased clearly-defined power. What a coincidence, he's the president! He also called for solid checks and balances of that power. Jocking the US Constitution is a sure way to fail in the ELL. But never forget, he's a wine-drinking Frenchman; they're inherently evil.
winner: Ahmadinejad

Kim vs Lukashenko
North Korea has halted their nuclear program in exchange for oil. The country's leader Kim Jong-Il isn't as crazy this week as usual. But this is not the Crazy Leader's League, and evil shrewdness is rewarded. Kim needs to make concessions every now and again to retain power. Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus accused President Bush of supporting the opposition. This comes after Bush strengthened sanctions on "Europe's last dictator." Unfortunately for Lukashenko, his hissy fit hasn't accomplished much. Kim's clever compromise evens their all time head to head tally.
winner: Kim

Chavez 2-1
Kim J-I 2-1
Putin 2-1
Ahmad 2-1
al-Bash 2-1
Karimo 2-1
Lukash 0-3
Sarkozy 0-3

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A New Love

I'm in love with Miri Ben-Ari, a Hip Hop violinist born in Israel. A Jewish woman who enjoys Jazz and Hip Hop and advocates for civil rights- what more can a guy ask for?
But that made me think- what can I offer her?
She was in the army and can probably kill me two times to Tuesday, so I might not be able to play the "protector" role. She's a world renown musician; I've bought some CDs from around the world. She's very beautiful; I'm a diminutive hirsute man. She is a genius at her craft; everything I touch fails miserably (I'm like a bizarro King Midas).
Hmm, perhaps not much.
As far as I can see, I have only one thing going for me. Unlike disgraced Israeli president Moshe Katsav, I've never raped anybody.

Forget Kerri Strug, Miri Ben-Ari is where it's at!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Very High Expectations

LeBron James had one of the greatest rookie years in recent memory during the 2003-04 season. In just his fourth season, James led his club, filled with role players, to the NBA Finals. His accomplishments have simply been amazing thus far, but- of course- he still has room for improvement.

Not even LeBron James has lived up to the hype surrounding him before he stepped onto an NBA court. As good as his rookie year was, it didn't come close to what was expected of him. Those same expectations now haunt Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.

I like both of their public personas. I wish them well. I fear that if one of them doesn't live up to expectations immediately, he may lose confidence and never fulfill his potential. I would really like to see them both succeed. Durant, from the DC area, won't average 25 points a night his rookie year. Oden won't be Tim Duncan as a rookie. The San Antonio Spurs were the worst team when Duncan joined them and the next year they made the playoffs. But remember, David Robinson missed almost all of that first year and was healthy for Duncan's rookie season. Oden won't have one of the greatest centers of all time playing next to him his first year.

So tlet's lay off of them and just watch. Let's marvel at what they do when they do it, not at what they could do. Let's ignore their summer league games. Summer league is as important as the Iraq war; it's just the precursor to the real campaign.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Barry Bonds

I believe that Barry Bonds took steroids. I know, I'm going out on a limb there. But he gets way too much shit from reporters and fans.

He will soon pass Hank Aaron and become the all time leader in career homeruns in Major League baseball. Many people think Bonds' record is tainted, because of steroids. But keep in mind that Barry Bonds was a phenomenal player while his muscles were still scrawny. Steroids took Barry Bonds from the greatest player of his generation to the greatest player of all time (numerically). Steroids took Sammy Sosa from a fairly garbage player to one with Hall of Fame statistics. Sosa would hit his share of homeruns and compile several players' share of strikeouts. His rightfield rivaled that of Austin Kerns for futility.

The outrage over Sammy Sosa's career has never come close to that over Bonds'. I guess the occasional smile and statement: "Baseball has been bery bery good to me," makes all the difference.

Barry Bonds is deeply rooted in the history of baseball. He respects that history. Bobby Bonds is his father. Willie Mays is his godfather. He never gets credit for that. In 1998, everyone loved how Mark McGwire revered Roger Maris and his homerun record. Unfortunately, McGwire was a total phony. That April I saw a report that said McGwire didn't even know who held the record or even what it was. It's amazing how a few months and a couple of newly hired PR personel can do for a person's respect for the history of baseball.

Barry Bonds isn't Hank Aaron. He never will be. But he is a great player, one of the greatest of all time. He should be treated as such.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All Star Game Changes

The winner of the All Star Game should not determine home field advantage in the World Series. That is simply the stupidest, most illogical, nonsensical thing ever. I'll leave it at that.

There should only be 25 players per roster. Teams can only carry 25 players for most of the season, there shouldn't be more players on each team for one stinking game.

The DH should be in every All Star Game and nowhere else in baseball.

Bring back league spirit: get rid of inter-league play, hire presidents for each league (might be hard for Bud Selig to give up any power), and reinstate AL and NL specific umpires.

The introductions should not take 53 minutes. Just say the starters names and cut the offensively over-dramatic music. Play "Whoop There It Is" while introducing the home league's starters and "Who Are You" for the visiting league's. The fans should boo the visiting league, because that league sucks.

If you want to honor Willie Mays, say his name and let him raise his cap in the front row and let's get on with it. (Although his ceremonial first pitch was better than the Nats' 1st round pick, Ross Detwiler's.)

Either manage the game to win or treat it as an exhibition, can't do both. I'd say manage and play it like a real game. You play 162, you can play one more considering it's the All Star Game.

The Homerun Derby should be two rounds and only the top 2 from Round 1 advance.

More Reggaeton.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Evil Leaders League, Week 2

Let's get the results from Week 2 of the ELL's second season:

Putin vs al-Bashir
Russia's Vladimir Putin sacked the secretary of the security council Igor Ivanov, because of political reasons according to investigative reports. However, officially Ivanov was fired because of everything from shady financial dealings in the 1970s, pro-Georgian sentiment, anal herpes, and a "ridiculously stereotypical Russian name." While the newcomer Putin is doing a great job of silencing his political opponents, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan had a quiet week. The only evil thing al-Bashir has done lately was to restart his X-box in the 3rd quarter of Madden 07 during an ass-whipping at the hands of the newly appointed governor of South Darfur, Ali Mahmoud.
winner: Putin

Chavez vs Lukashenko
An interesting matchup that features two leaders attempting to forge ties with Iran. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has more imperialist ambitions than does Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko. That might be ironic considering Chavez considers himself the champion of the anti-American imperialism movement, but hypocrisy helps in the ELL. Chavez is also more dickish than Lukashenko (according to their mistresses).
winner: Chavez

Sarkozy vs Kim
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, wants the EU members to figure out the issue of illegal immigration together. Sarkozy wants Hezbollah to cease terrorist acts and traveled to north Africa to sell the idea of a potential Mediterranean Union. None of that sounds very evil, but I'm sure he's fairly rude; after all, he's French. North Korea's supreme leader reportedly pulls many overnighters and looks ill. Hey, scooping out the brains of dissidents deep into the night is strenuous work. So is threatening the world with nuclear weapons.
winner: Kim

Ahmadinejad vs Karimov
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is willing to continue talks with the United States about stabilizing Iraq according to the Jerusalem Post. What a fucking monster! Islam Karimov is the leader of Uzbekistan. There's suppose to be an election coming up in the "U," but no one's sure if it's still on. Karimov might be campaigning now or maybe there won't be an election. The Uzbek press is allowed to cover the election that may or may not be happening as long as they cover Karimov's campaign, that might exist, favorably. Got that? Doesn't matter, the point is...
winner: Karimov

Putin 2-0
Karimo 2-0
al-Bash 1-1
Ahmad 1-1
Kim J-I 1-1
Chavez 1-1
Lukash 0-2
Sarkozy 0-2

Monday, July 09, 2007

Nats at the Break

I'm an eternal optimist, but things are not good. The Nats have about the same record at the All Star break as the team did last year with the unmentionable player. They're 36-52 so far this season and primed for a better second half. The Nats have had some pleasant surprises. Dmitri Young is batting .339, Ronnie Belliard is hovering around .300, and Christian Guzman has his average at .329. Two young pitchers having great seasons are Shawn Hill, who has a 2.70 ERA, and Justin Bergmann, 3.47.
Young and Belliard will surely be traded, hopefully for a few future major leaguers. Shawn Hill has been injured and Bergmann's record is 1-5. Guzman is out for the year.
The story for the Nats during the first part of the 2007 season is the lack of development of the young stars. Ryan Zimmerman has 14 homers and 45 RBIs, which is great for a 2nd year 3B until you realize that he leads the team in both. Z's only hitting .253. Felipe Lopez has raised his average of late to .242. Austin Kerns is batting .250 with just 5 meager homeruns and there's always the miserable rightfield he plays. Ryan Church has only mustered a .259 aveage thus far.
Matt Chico has shown signs of being good in the coming years and Micah Bowie isn't fucking terrible. I believe the Nats have used 20 starters to this point in the season. They've had to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The bullpen is a bit of a bright spot with a few guys of trade value. Perhaps some of the veteran pinch hitters may also find new work addresses by the end of July.
Even winning the 2 games before the break doesn't make things look good for the rest of this year. The Nats will do better in the second half than they did in the first though. Nook Logan or Ryan Langerhans will figure things out at the plate or Brandon Watson will be recalled and they'll no longer have an automatic out at the top of the order. It may be an exciting time in the coming months; a window into the future. Or it could be a replay of 1st round pick Ross Detwiler's first (ceremonial) pitch for the Nats... a bouncer that never had a chance.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My 7 Wonders of the World

1. Great Wall of China - Beijing China. The combination of scenic beauty and lengthy history (albeit a history of division) made it an emotional experience.

2. Yankee Stadium - Bronx, New York, USA. "Wow, Babe Ruth played right there. Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio played over there. Lou Gehrig was right over here. Yogi Berra squated right there." I could see them. I was fortunate enough to go to Yankee Stadium with my grandpa and my brother on several occasions, but I'll never forget the first time I went. Beofre the Nats, I was an avid braves afan and Greg Maddox beat Doc Gooden 2-0. Ryan Klesko hammered a 2-run homer.

3. Steps of the Philadelphia art museum - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The steps Rocky ran up.

4. Auschwitz-Birkenau - Oswiecim, Poland. The first three wonders moved me in a similar way. Birkenau elicited strong emotions from me in a profound way, but they were obviously very different feelings than the previous three.

5. Lotus Mahal - Hampi, India. A beautiful symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity located in the royla center of the former Vijayanagara Empire.

6. Banya Bashi Mosque and Central Sofia Syangogue - They're located across the street from each other and represent tolerance between Muslims and Jews.

7. My dingaling - right now, Maryland, USA

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ian's 7 Wonders of the World

Ian has never left the US. He has chosen to define "wonder" as the worst places that he's been to. He only left me his list before he went camping, so this post is subject to change and further explanation.

1. Rumpkie Hill - Vandalia, Ohio
2. Bourbon Street - New Orleans, Louisiana
3. (Races and slots) - Charles Town, West Virginia
4. The entire city - Mobile, Alabama
5. Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green University - Bowling Green, Ohio
6. Rest Stops on the Jersey Turnpike (Joyce Kilmer specifically) - East Brunswick, New Jersey
I'll add as 7. Ian's room - Maryland

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mom's 7 Wonders of the World

Leading up to 7/7/07, here are some personal 7 Wonders of the World lists. "Wonder" can be defined in anyway, but they must have been/seen/experienced by the person.
Mom's List

1. Lake Louise - Alberta, Canada
2. Glacier - Jasper, Alberta, Canada
3. Western Wall - Jerusalem, Israel
4. Grand Canyon - Arizona, United States
5. Ancient ruins - Masada, Israel
6. Great Falls, Potomac River - Potomac, Maryland, United States
7. Volcano - Volcano, Hawaii, United States