Monday, February 02, 2004

I’ll never be mistaken for Sam Rothstein

Super Bowl XXXVIII will probably go down as one of the greatest games of all time. And boy, was I off on the score. Well, I was close to the Pats part, but who’d have thought Jake Delhomme would channel Brett Favre? Must be something in the Cajun water. But all’s well that ends well, I wisely didn’t place a bet on the spread, and now the Pats have a set of shiny bookends for the trophy case.

It’s not just the language, old bean

Churchill once said that the US and UK were “separated by a common language.” Well, in the sports arena we were treated to another way in which we differ. In an English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Aston Villa, a fan ran onto the pitch to berate Leicester goalkeeper Ian Walker. Walker understandably was upset by this and repeatedly shoved the fan away until security and the officials could arrive. And while the fan was rightfully banned for life from the stadium, Walker actually had to sweat out the possibility that HE would get in trouble. Thankfully, the governing body for the Premier League decided not to punish him.

Contrast this with the Super Bowl last night. As the second half was about to begin, a man dressed in a referee’s uniform stripped down to a g-string and proceeded to run around the field. Until Patriot linebacker Matt Chatham dropped him like a wet sack of noodles. Did he have to sweat a fine or suspension? Heck no! In the US we understand that if a fan is stupid enough to run onto the field, he gets what he deserves. Personal responsibility and all that.

But we don’t mind the corpses

Showing that he has nothing better to do with his time, Michael Powell, Chairman of the FCC, sent out a statement calling the Janet Jackson breast-baring incident "deplorable", and that a full investigation is forthcoming.

What a waste of time. First of all, she had a pastie on. So it wasn’t a naked breast. But the bigger issue is this. On all the networks, you can find shows that give us killings (CSI), bloody corpses( Law and Order), scenes of torture (Line of Fire, 24), and other similar scenarios. All of which, if you believe, like Michael “Charles Coughlin ” Powell, that “Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better”, are much more shocking and damaging to children. And he has nothing to say about any of that. I am not advocating censorship of any sort here. I am a firm believer in the ultimate censor being personal choice and a remote for the TV. I’m just try to show the utter foolishness of Powell’s decision. It’s a breast. Get over it.

Defending the indefensible

While I am a strong supporter of our efforts in Iraq, I am continuously dismayed and disappointed over Bush’s refusal to acknowledge that both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are the kind of friends you can do without. The latest revelation is that the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, acknowledged he transferred nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. To do something like this in a nation where the military is so entrenched in the government means that some official, somewhere, approved of this. This “ally” of ours is the source of some of the most rabid Wahabi followers in the world, and now acknowledges this. And do we demand a rectification of the situation? No. We just smile, say they are trying to help, and pretend they aren’t knifing us in the back. Which just encourages this type of behavior. So we trumpet our successes in Libya, and rightfully so. But if we don’t rectify these problems we are having with out “allies”, then our successes will be for naught. BTW, anyone care to bet that bin Laden (remember him?) is hiding somewhere in Pakistan?

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