Monday, September 28, 2009

Madden Curse

On the lighter side of blogs, I now turn to the critical question, "does the Madden Curse really exist?"  The answer to this is an unequivocal "yes".  For those who are not familiar with the curse, here is a brief explanation.  The player to be featured on the cover of Madden will suffer a drop in performance the year of the cover.  His career will usually never be the same.  To prove that it exists, let's go through the numbers of all of the Madden cover players since 2001, the first year the game featured a player rather than John Madden.

2001-Eddie George

George had his best season in terms of yards and touchdowns, but bobbled a pass in the Divisional playoffs that was then intercepted, run back for a td, and the Titans lost.  His next season began the downfall of George.

2002-Dante Culpepper

Following a good rookie season, Culpepper struggled, and suffered a knee injury, missing the last 5 games of the season.

2003-Marshall Faulk

Faulk dropped his rushing total under 1000 following four straight 1300 yard seasons.  He was plagued by an ankle injury.

2004-Michael Vick

Vick breaks his leg in the preseason, missing almost the entire season.

2005-Ray Lewis

Lewis failed to get a single interception following a season with 6.  He missed the last game with an injury, and then missed much of the rest of the next season with a hamstring injury.

2006-Donovan McNabb

McNabb said he didn't believe in the curse at the start of the season.  He suffered a sports hernia in the first game of the season, and missed the final 7 games.

2007-Shaun Alexander

Alexander broke his foot and missed 6 weeks.  He has never been the same.

2008-Vince Young

Young mostly escaped unscathed, but in the next year had a spiritual crisis that kept him from playing in 13 games.  He has not played in a regular season game since.

2009-Brett Favre

Favre retired.  The curse was so powerful that it brought him back from retirement.  Twice.  He only had a subaverage year, not the worst of his career, but not good.


Polamalu has only played in one game so far after injuring his knee.
Fitzgerald seems to be having a decent year so far, but just wait.

So, in recap, 6 out of the 11 had atrocious years, 3 had subaverage years, and 2 have the verdict still out as their season is not over.  It's real.

Source-,, and my brain.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Islamic Protest

A friend alerted me to the "Day of Islamic Unity" taking place on Capitol Hill today, so I thought I would give my two cents worth about the event. My initial reaction was to think that free exercise of religion and free speech are guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution. As such, I think that they ought to have a right to assemble peaceably.

Some Christians (primarily) and those fearful of Islam are offended by some of the statements and actions undertaken bythe organizers of the event. Hassen Abdellah is one of the organizers. Mr. Abdellah is an attorney and has defended such men as Mahmoud Abouhalima, who is charged in the bombings of the World Trade Center. This I have no problem with. Every man deserves the best legal counsel he can find, and accused terrorists (I believe) are no exception. More troubling is the statement the planners of the event released regarding the purpose of the event and their motto, "our time has come". "Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in democracy you have apartheid, you have slavery, you have homosexuality, you have lesbianism, you have gambling, you have all of the voices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy. That’s what we want."

This is troubling, and a fairly telling summary of the troubles which Europe has been facing lately. I personally have no fear that Islamists will use force (i.e. terrorist attacks) to Islamize the west. What I find troubling is that Islamists have already figured out how to use the West's democratic measures against itself in places like France and Great Britain. This more subtle threat is graver threat to the West than Islamist terrorism. Any Muslim living in America or the West who is willing to live by the rule of law is welcome to enjoy all of the privileges that come with that. Any Muslim is naturally allowed to speak his mind. But the moment that Muslims begin actively trying through the democratic process to "islamize" democracy is the moment that America needs to turn its political attention to the problem. This has already happened abroad and it can happen in America if we are not vigilant.

World Carfree Day

Did you know that Tuesday September 22nd was World Carfree Day? I had seen the posters up at the Metro station (it seemed like a bit of a shameless plug to get business on their part, but I suppose I can't criticize them for it) but had no intention of giving up the car for the day. Riding your bike 20 miles to the Metro is not my idea of a good time.

I did have high expectations for the day however. After all, fewer cars means less traffic for me. Unfortunately, everyone else took the same "think-for-yourselfer" attitude that I did. I found it more than a little ironic that I got stuck in the worst traffic of my life Tuesday.

As detailed here my sneaking suspicion is that environmentalism is the great religion that we as a society genuflect towards when called upon, and yet when it comes to making personal sacrifices and living the green life, we flee as fast as we can. We are squirming in the pews of the church of environmentalism on Sunday and living our wicked lives in the consuming world the rest of the week. Why don't we just be honest with ourselves and admit that we don't care?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The most frequent questions I get about the Moorenado are:

1) How do you pronounce Moorenado?


2) What does it mean?


1) It is pronounced like tornado, only with Moore substituted for "tor".
2) It means that the Moorenado, like a tornado, touches down randomly, tearing up everything in its path. There is really no rhyme or reason to where it goes, but wherever it goes, it is sure to cause havoc. Of course, I am mostly joking, but every time you pull up the Moorenado, you never can tell what I'm going to write about.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Does Jesus Like Welfare?

Jesus is quite clear about his concern for the poor in the Gospels. He even goes so far as to assert that what you do for the least of mankind is what you do for him. Proponents of the Social Gospel take Christ's concern for the poor and attack conservative Christians who reject social programs for the poor. This seems like a fair attack. But is it?

I would assert that it is not. First, there is a question to ask about the nature and role of government. Is government's role to force altruism on its citizens? I would say no. Christ clearly commands people to help the poor. What he does not command is for us to take the money of others and give it to the poor. If I came with a gun, and demanded that you give me all of the money in your wallet for a wonderful charity such as the Salvation Army or Convoy of Hope, would I be in the wrong? Absolutely. Why is it any different to send an IRS agent to your house on behalf of the poor? Further, does government have the right to force a non-Christian to conform to the morality of a Christian? Does an atheist need to feel any compulsion to give to the poor? Should we force him to? No. He is wrong not to give, but he has the right to dispense his property as he sees fit.

Second, I would assert that welfare is actually harmful to the poor. A basic principle of economics is that anytime you make the cost of an action more beneficial (0r less harmful) to the individual, more people will choose to take that action. So, when government pressures lending houses to make low interest loans to poor people to buy a house they cannot afford at any interest rate, and offers massive tax deductions for homeownership, it is understandable that many poor people decide to buy homes. Or when a store puts an item on sale, they sell more of those items. The same principle applies to welfare. Subsidizing the act of not working makes it more likely that people will engage in that action. This is not to say that everyone who is on welfare is a lazy bum. But some of them are. And all of them are enjoying the fruits of another man's labor. Government should not encourage unemployment, whether voluntary or involuntary.

I think that the two biggest causes of poverty are absentee fatherhood and working few hours. This Heritage Foundation shows data which supports this conclusion:
People are poor for any number of reasons. But many poor people just happen to share the two conditions of a single parent home, where the parent works low hours. Why enact a system which encourages people to work lower hours by subsidizing idleness?


Today I had the distinct pleasure of joining over 1 million people (according to ABC news, the number may have been 2 million) march down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. The march was dedicated to the cause of limited government, lower taxes, and greater individual liberty. The attendance figure which I had heard mentioned on 9/11 by people decidedly in the know was over 100,000 people, which was impressive. However, when I read after returning from the march that the police estimate of attendance was 1.2 million, with estimates ranging up to 2 million people, I was astounded. As someone who was actually there, I can say that there were people literally farther than the eye can see.

It was a truly humbling experience to be a small part of the events today. I know that many organizations, including Freedomworks, the Heritage Foundation, and countless others, played a huge role in organizing it. But most of the credit has to go to the people who came from the farthest reaches of America (including Hawaii and Alaska) to protest the behavior in Washington.

It makes no sense to blame the politicians for the mess which we are in (trillions of dollars in debt, high taxes, onerous regulations, and out of control spending). The responsibility lies with us. As I have blogged before, the Constitution which limits the Congress to its enumerated powers does not actually limit the Congress in any way. Laws are binding because they have enforcement measures attached to them. Imagine if a state legislature said that going over 55 miles per hour was a crime, but there would be no punishment for violating this law. Why would anyone obey it?

Who exists to enforce the Constitution? We do. There are no formal powers given to any body to limit Congress to its enumerated powers. Our only recourse is to "vote the bums out" and give our votes to real, principled individuals who are willing to follow the Constitution.

I suppose if they want to, States can enact little Europeanized social democracies. Anyone who really wants to live with Big Brother constantly in your wallet and looking over your shoulder should be free to move into one of these states. But the Feds should definitely not be involved in turning all of America into a Europeanized country. And apparently at least 1 million people believe that passionately enough to come to D.C. from all over the country to let their voices be heard. Bravo.