Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Today's View from the Un...uh...Employment Line

Another g-g-gorgeous day in Chicago. Not a cloud in sight! Unless you count the smog. "Gorgeous" is a curious word. Never sounded like a word to describe something appealing to me...

So I took this picture from my temporary "office." Seems kind of artificial to be writing about unemployment and then posting pictures from where I work. You'll get over it. It's only temporary, after all. Posted by Hello

View towards the South Side. Can you see the mountains? Didn't think so. It's FLAT! Posted by Hello

Ouch. Criticized by the Nameless.

At the risk of making the mistake of responding to some anonymous "entity" that commented to my post on Iraq Today, I feel it necessary to do so. The gentleman/woman who posted the third comment to my short answer had this to say:

Splendidly devoid of content, or of consequence. And I don't believe for a second you actually attended law school.

First, whoever you are, you have already lost all credibility. You have no arguments, you resort to insults. By trying to belittle me you show that you cannot engage in rational debate. For this reason alone, I shouldn't continue on. But I will.

And yes, I did graduate from law school, with honors, thank you.

That you can answer one objection to the war (viz., that the failure to internationalize the war effort has made it needlessly costly, in dollars and lives, to Americans) with the _wonderful_ observation that the justification for war, this time around, was not all that compelling as compared to the '91 operation---well, it brings a tear to the eye of educators everywhere.

Perhaps you should read my post again. I was merely making the point that this time there was no obvious reason to go war. There is a difference between what is easy to perceive and what is compelling. I believe there is a compelling reason to take action in the Middle East to strike a blow at the collective psychology of both the twisted oppressors who rule those countries and the feeling of impotence of the citizenry who are held in the death grip of totalirianism, economic ruin, rancid misinformation, and a culture of death and violence. You and I could argue all day, provided you promise not to hurl personal insults at me, where and when the best time would be take action against those who enslave their own peoples. But I will not fault the President for taking the action he did. No American leader has taken the fight to this region where long-standing political instability and pathological religious zealotry has finally brought death and destruction to our own shores. Maybe you feel comfortable that 9/11 was an isolated event and that the hatred of America felt by radical Islam is confined to Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. I personally do not feel this way. Saddam was the loudest in a chorus of Middle Eastern leaders who called for and supported the deaths of Americans and Israelis. I'm glad to have him in a box rather than plotting our destruction. So I move on to your questions to try to enlighten you...whoever you are.

Let me ask you, as I'm genuinely bewildered: How is it that pro-war folks can respond to a seemingly straightforward question (was the war worth it), in endless repetitions and recombinations of the same old argument, without ever, not _once_, connecting the following four necessary elements of the answer:

1) What goals you hoped to accomplish;

Like I mentioned both in my original post and above, I hope for a change in collective psychology and culture. Perhaps you are a professor or professional student. If you are the educator I caused to cry earlier, I apologize. If you are either of these, or perhaps had been one at one time (you did use "viz." nicely), then you might also be the type of person who believes that the world's problems are our fault or perhaps legacy of the countries that once colonized depressed regions around the world. Yes, colonization has had quite adverse consequences in many parts of the world. But at what point do the people in those places take responsibility for themselves? Perhaps you are also of the mindset that Western culture is spoiling everyone else's cultures in the third world. Fine. I have heard that one too.

But there are some cultures or collective psychologies that are not compatible with the peace, freedom, and liberty that most individuals on this planet would like to enjoy. Maybe you read today's Wall Street Journal article about the brisk market for beheading DVD's in Iraq. Or you have seen the video of children wearing mock suicide vests, receiving fake grenades and machine guns as holiday gifts, or even kicking and beating the corpses of dead Americans in Fallujah. Horrific stuff! But all done with the encouragement of the culture, of the leadership, and of the warped reading of the religion of Islam by the zealots. As an example, a professor of mine in law school (yes, I did go AND graduate...with honors) visited Iran to meet with contemporaries in the Iranian legal profession. He reported to us that every day, the complimentary Iranian newspaper outside his hotel was filled with stories of the American and Israeli conspiracies to commit nearly every terrible event that occurred the previous day. Al Jazeera and the like perpetuate these same myths about Americans and Jews. And we are supposed to feel safe? That this forced feeding of virulent misinformation will not come back to bite us, say in the form of planes crashing into New York, DC, and Pennsylvania? Should we sit back and let the hatred spread? To let the mythological information become the ingrained reality? The prism through which these people are forced to view the world? That is the proverbial powder keg.

It is exactly that mindset that must be smashed. Maybe you would argue that we should educate them. Reason with them. Unfortunately, the UN, France, Germany, and Russia are not in the forefront of the movement. In fact, they participated in corruption as full partners with Saddam, and these missing "allies" were the main suppliers of his military machine. You might also remember that the majority of the 9/11 attackers were well educated by Western universities.

So to answer your question, I hope that in the long run, the collective psychology and culture can be changed, so that East and West could come together as full partners in progressing as a race of men, rather than, as warring factions, reducing each other to dust.

2) How, in terms either specific or general, the war would actually accomplish your purported goals;

Like most doubters and defeatists, you take a very short view of conflict. Perhaps you ask yourself what this war means for you personally? I don't look at it that way. I guess I take the longview. Thomas Paine said it best, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." I believe in sacrifice today for the good of all down the road. It needn't be during my own lifetime.

So in general terms, how will this war accomplish my "purported" goals? First, I believe that should we be successful, by bringing the Iraqis the freedom to choose their own destinies through representative government, the world will be one country further down the road toward those benefits for all. A free Iraq is beneficial to the United States in that it removes another unstable, terror-friendly (pardon the oxymoron) state from the map and replaces it with one that hopefully will recognize that participation in commerce and debate on the world stage is the best path to prosperity and liberty. At some point, I would hope that the word gets out that a free Iraq could also be a free Saudi Arabia, or a free Syria, or importantly, a free Iran. Leaving these countries in the hands of heavily armed dictators has not made us safer and has not benefited the people in those countries. Look at Africa, for example. It is a continent largely left alone since the colonial powers abandoned them. Show me the success story. Show me the country with a brutal, violent dictator that has seen him deposed, exiled, or otherwise removed from power and that has replaced that individual with a healthy, stable, representative government. It doesn't exist. And unfortunately, as weapons have become more powerful and tightly controlled by violent rulers, the possibility of an 18th century-style civil rebellion has declined proportionally. Today, the United States has the military might to give the oppressed people of Iraq and other countries the boost they might need to take control of their own destinies.

Only those removed from feeling for his fellow man could look at the hundreds of thousands of everyday Iraqis killed under Saddam and feel that the sacrifices of our soldiers were not worth it for the sake of saving tens of thousands more Iraqi lives.

3) What costs you feared would be attendant on the war; and

What costs? Lives. Thousands of lives were predicted to be lost on the American side in the fight for Baghdad alone. Each one a tragedy. But a person can separate tragedy from honor. Nobody wants war. I am always conflicted by it. For the reasons I stated above, looking to the potential long term benefits, I believe firmly that each and every American life is worth the lives of thousands more human lives both today and in the future. The returns on the lives of each American will be exponential. Already today, thousands of Iraqis a month once destined for Saddam's mass graves, get to continue to walk the earth because of our fallen soldiers. And when Iraq holds its elections, and the people take the power back that rightfully belongs to them and move their country forward, great things can be accomplished. You, Mr. or Ms. Nameless, might not be able to fathom this optimism, since you have already conceeded defeat. Here we just agree to disagree. But I still believe in the long run, Iraqi prosperity, as a result of this war, will be accomplished.

Other costs: several hundred billion dollars in the short term, and into the trillions over the course of our participation in the years to come. But are not lives more important than dollars? Do you still have your SUVs and big screen TVs? Americans are blessed with more wealth than anyone else, the world over. More money is traded daily on the New York Stock Exchange than most countries produce in an entire year. I have been in a third world country and those memories will always be burned into my brain. It is madness to compare the relatively miniscule military costs of this war to the poverty, the horror, and the death attendant to living not just in a failed country, but one lorded over by a sadistic madman. Will I trade some of the luxuries of my American life to give life itself to a destitute and broken people? Without a moment's hesitation.

4) Whether the benefits of achieving your objectives outweighed the costs of your chosen method of pursuing them.

You, Whoever You Are, are undoubtedly familiar with the impotence of the United Nations. You are aware of the corrupt ties with Saddam that many in the UN, France, Germany, and Russia had. As a consequence of 9/11, you are aware of the consequences of limited military action combined with appeasement of broken, terror supporting states in the wake of several terror attacks on US interests over a period of more than 20 years. My objective is the reordering of a mentality and a way of governance in an historically unstable and strategically important region of the world. It is a mentality of violence, death, and hatred fueled by propaganda. It is ingrained, and the only reality that many of these people know. Combine the mindset with the ease of transport of weapons and terror devices, with the shrinking of the world through advances in transportation and the recipe for horror within our borders is set. In a perfect world, perhaps a campaign of reason and debate would accomplish my goal over the extremely long run. But this is a critical time, and we do not have the luxury to wait. 9/11 reminds us of that. Unfortuntely, the use of our overwhelming military strength is best method we have available to change minds through the aid of the liberating power of the lightning quick use of force. Certainly the proper exercise of their new freedom will be learned over time. But we have taken the sword out of the hands of a madman and continue to work to give the Iraqis their country back. The next few years may seem like an eternity, but we don't have the luxury of simply waiting one for the hatred in the radical Islamic world to subside.

Baseball is Back in DC!!!

Strike up the band! Pop the corks! Unfreeze Ted Williams! Baseball is back in DC!

I have always been a reluctant believer that we'd see baseball in the Nation's Capital during my lifetime, but I am happy to be proven wrong! No need to pad Peter Angelos' greedy pockets anymore (he extorted Major League Baseball into doing that for him). I am now a full-fledged fan of the Washington (whatevers). There's no turning back.

Full analysis can be found in the Washington Post, including columns by each of its prominent sports writers (minus Tony K....perhaps he is working on a new Bandwagon):

Thomas Boswell. Happy as a clam, no longer has to write his Opening Day article bashing Peter Angelos. But he's welcome to continue.

Michael Wilbon. A sober analysis of potential team names. I am still in favor of my suggested name for the now Washington "Wizards": the Federals. Hopefully the new ownership will be as reasonable as Wilbon.

Mike Wise. Talks to the Old-timers. Fair and balanced.

George Solomon. Revives the ghost of Shirley Povich.

Sally Jenkins. Party pooper extraordinaire. Probable Yankees fan.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

Having to spend hours in an office is taking away from good picture-taking time. Today was a crisp 65 degrees in Chicago, wind blowing in from left at Wrigley. From my 51st floor vantage point, I could see Lake Michigan throwing itself against the shore with spectacular effect down near Hyde Park. Wish I could have captured the moment for you. Instead, it is back to the archives.

For unexplained reasons, I am feeling a little patriotic today. So today's selection from my personal collection is of Michigan Ave. on July 4, 2003. God bless the USA! Posted by Hello

Is It Possible to be Overcivilized?

This is a question best asked of Old Europe. Eugene Volokh has excerpts from a thought provoking essay. Like he says, these points are good to keep in mind.

In fact, to be overcivilized is to be less civilized because genuine civilization includes a robust willingness to enforce its order and truths on anarchy, violence, murder and superstition.

Stories Worth Reading

Blackfive lists some of his greatest hits. Always a good reminder of what we have on the line, and the quality of those men and women who are fighting for us.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

I didn't have my camera with me today. Rest assured, it was another ridiculously beautiful day in Chicago.

So instead of posting a pic of what is happening today in Chicago, I reached into the archives and retrieved a picture with a different theme: something I'd rather be doing today. Enjoy! Posted by Hello

Jesus and Lawyers

It is tough to be a lawyer sometimes. Hard work, long hours, and being the punchline to millions of jokes can take a toll on even the best attorney. But I come to find out that even Jesus has some nasty words to say about us:

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, "Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too."
And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.

Sadly, that seems to describe many in the profession.

Should We Be In Iraq, Knowing What We Know Today?

Orin Kerr over at the Volokh Conspiracy has issued a challenge to Iraq hawks in the blogosphere to answer questions on the advisability of being in Iraq and what second thoughts we might have today. His questions are three:

First, assuming that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion, do you believe today that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea? Why/why not?

Second, what reaction do you have to the not-very-upbeat news coming of Iraq these days, such as the stories I link to above?

Third, what specific criteria do you recommend that we should use over the coming months and years to measure whether the Iraq invasion has been a success?

I have been pro-Iraq war or some equivalent since the mid-90's while I was in college taking various international relations classes at the University of Maryland. Being so, I am qualified to accept Mr. Kerr's challenge and do so below.

QUESTION #1: Assuming that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion, do you believe today that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea? Why/why not?

ANSWER: Yes. The invasion of Iraq is part of a complex, calculated gamble. The gamble is a rearrangement of the politics and norms present in the Middle East as we've known it for the last several decades in order to destroy a certain political and cultural mindset. In other words, the goal is to promote peace for the purpose of securing more stable markets and governmental institutions in a key strategic region that has had a history of instability, oppression, and projection of violence. All with the added benefit of freeing millions of people from one of the most obscene dictatorships this world has ever known. The motivations for this war were valid in March 2003, and remain just as valid in September 2004. Remember, we have been in Iraq for merely a year and a half!!

So why was I in favor of the Iraq invasion at the start? Foremost in my mind will always be the Iraqi people. Set aside the WMD, oil, terrorism angle and you still have over 20 million people suffering under the cruelest of dictatorships. These are now 20 million+ people enjoying a greater freedom today than many had had in their mostly young lives. Everyone in the US knows how blessed we are, no matter how much complaining we do about largely inconsequential things. Even if you are a Democrat, you can agree that our government will not abduct you for a petty crime and send you home years later with scars and perhaps a missing limb or two. It won't happen here. But in Saddam's Iraq, it was an everyday occurrence. (You can argue that in addition to limbs, you might lose your life without ever having committed the hint of a crime in today's Iraq because of terrorist violence. To you I remind how early it is. We have only just begun.) If you live in any big American city, look around you. You may see persons of nearly every nationality in the world. Many are not here because life is good in their ancestral homeland. They, like you and I, are likely here because ourselves, parents, grandparents, or ancestors were escaping something back home, for something better in America. I ask you why these millions of transplanted individuals that comprise you, I, and our neighbors cannot enjoy the same advantages at home? Why do they leave the places of their birth for the strange shores of a country thousands of miles away? America is the beacon of hope to billions world-wide, that's why. Because of this, I think we have a moral duty to those "yearning to be free" worldwide. People around the world should be able to enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy here in the lands of their own births. I will always look at that reason first.

Secondly, the reader or two of my blog know my thoughts on open, free markets and why it is important to maintain the British/American system of international free trade. I firmly believe that markets are the key to peace and prosperity for all. War is sometimes necessary to clear the path for this freedom. Iraq obviously holds strategic reserves of oil, as do all Middle Eastern countries. Unfortunately, the oil wealth in the hands of dictators and thugs has turned the Middle East into one of the most unstable areas in the world. These miscreants plunder their nations' resources for personal wealth. And they will protect their golden egg with arms. Unfortunately, the types of leaders who would murder their own citizens at a whim are not the sort who are reasoned with. Oil is important. And it is not just for your car, but it fuels the ships and airplanes that carry goods from one destination to the other. If we were to be held hostage by a conspiracy of crooked oil producers, well, you might remember the 1970's. It is in the strategic interests of the United States and its citizens, and citizens worldwide, to protect the freedom of the air and the seas in order to promote free, cheap, and easy trade between nations. Prosperity is contagious when countries are dedicated to trading for mutual advantage.

What about WMD's? Definitely a big concern. It is a well established fact that Saddam supported terrorists abroad. He gave refuge to Abu Nidal. He had ties to al Qaeda affiliates operating in Iran. He paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He sought the assassination of George H.W. Bush in Kuwait. Had we pursued the usual course of action since 1992 and blustered on and on about what we'd do to Hussein, then backed down, the consequences may have been disastrous. The pre-war inspection regime would have collapsed and the inspectors been expelled as usual. From there, Saddam may have finally felt safe enough to move forward with his WMD programs. Who knows? We did not find any. That's a failure of international intelligence. We all thought they had them. Not just GWB.

Our "unilateral" war. I spent a lot of time in college doing simulations of international incidents with students assigned different countries. Consensus is nearly impossible in many cases. Kerry's call for UN participation in our international affairs is absurd. For instance, citing Gulf War I, Kerry says he is shocked that we went forward this time without a broader coalition. This argument is a red herring. We learned in law school never to add facts to a hypothetical. You always deal with the facts at hand, otherwise your conclusions will not be appropriate. That is exactly what is happening when Kerry uses Gulf War I to compare our coalition for two. They are entirely different circumstances. Two very good reasons why: 1) In Gulf War I, at issue was the very tangible, readily apparent violation of the borders of Kuwait by an invading Iraqi army. Iraq occupied Kuwait, claimed it as its rightful territory, and plundered it. Our coalition included the French and German militaries. We fought to return Kuwait to the Kuwaitis. 2) Gulf War II was the result of a failure of Iraq to declare its WMD program, a much less clear basis for war. We pressed this issue in response to the world created by 9/11 and the possibility of rogue state sponsorship of terror. Iraq filed a conspicuously incomplete report, failing to prove that it had destroyed its WMD programs and weapons. We invaded with a smaller coalition, not joined by France, Germany, or Russia. We crushed Hussein's army, killed his sons, and captured and imprisoned him. All without the ringers from the 1991 war. And what of them? Well, turns out the French and Russians were supplying the Iraqis with arms nearly until the start of the war. It also turns out that France, Germany, Russia and many high-ranking officials in the UN were being bought off by Iraq with dirty Oil-for-Food money (UNScam). These are the countries and officials we needed on board for a valid coalition?

In conclusion, I am not currently, and never was, under any illusions that the war would be short, and the American presence in Iraq temporary. Germany, Japan, Korea. We're still there. I think we are in Iraq there for the right reasons. Human rights, new political/social mindset, free trade. And I do not think we should leave until the job is fully and properly completed.

QUESTION #2: What reaction do you have to the not-very-upbeat news coming of Iraq these days?

ANSWER: I believe there is some truth to them. But I also believe there is more to the story. Some parts of Iraq are horrific. Bombs, bullets, casualties. But other parts of Iraq appear to be quite peaceful and prospering. The question is: what is the difference between the two Iraqs? Answer: Islamic/Baathist dead-enders. American troops and civilian contractors can be found throughout the country, supported and advised by coalition partners. The only regions where the Iraqi people are left in dismal circumstances are where their own violent elements and trouble-makers from abroad are condemning them to live in dire circumstances.

Newspapers, TV shows, and magazines are out to make a buck. They show people what they want to see. They are also out to elect candidates with similar views and will use words and images to attempt to accomplish that aim. There will always be factions in journalism as anywhere else. You just have to know your source. Whether it is right or left wing. Know your source. The reality is likely in the middle somewhere. The solution is to read widely, and get divergent views. Process the information you receive and judge accordingly.

QUESTION #3: What specific criteria do you recommend that we should use over the coming months and years to measure whether the Iraq invasion has been a success?

ANSWER: History is the best judge. Europe, Japan, and Korea were not won and reorganized overnight. I do not like to use statistics when talking about fallen military men, but 55,000 dead in Vietnam over 15 years is not the same as 1,000 dead in Iraq in 1.5. Other wars the United States has won with spectacular result were looking far more grim a year and a half in: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War. Every war has periods of set-backs. This one is no exception.

Beyond the war aspect, the most important measure of success is the level at which Iraqis choose to control their own destinies. Will they accept a representative government? Will they descend into civil war? Will Iraqis choose to be the example of proper governance that the Middle East has historically lacked, or will the people let the few wolves achieve dominion over the sheep once again? America can only take this fight so far. Everyday Iraqis must rise to the challenge and take their country back. Success ultimately will be measured by what the Iraqis do with their freedom when the Americans leave. The American revolution was won only when the merchants, farmers, and frontiersmen took the independence they gained and held fast. They sought something better, fought for it, and did what it took to turn an idea in to the America we know. Hopefully there are some extraordinary Iraqis who will do the same and lead their people into future prosperity. The key to success is whether the Iraqi people use their newfound circumstances to create a stable representative government and free economy, or stagger into the future as just another faltering Middle Eastern state.

Dear Valued Reader(s)...

I have a confession to make. For the next couple of weeks I will be doing quite a bit of an office...for pay. I know, I do not mean to mislead you. Technically, I am still unemployed. It is only a temporary job. But posting will be light, and the blog will seem somewhat, I don't know, diminished since I am once again toiling during the day. Fear not, dear reader(s). I will blog as I can and continue to post exciting pictures of life in Chicagoland. You will not be disappointed.

PS: Can we arrange a game between 4-0 Navy and 4-0 West Virginia to put an end to this Mountaineers charade in the Top 10?? (Ah. That feels better.)

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Is This the Best We Have?

Terps routed Duke University's high school football team today 55-21. Maryland QB Joe Statham threw for 366 yds and 4 TD's. Great turn around from last week, huh?

Not so fast:

For the second consecutive game, Statham was intercepted three times, and he also was charged with three fumbles. That gives him seven interceptions and eight fumbles in four games for the Terrapins (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bounced back from an overtime loss to West Virginia last week.

The three other QB's Maryland put in the game were 3-3 passing. I know that is not exactly a valid scientific sample, but I think Statham might have dropped the ball once or twice in the same stretch. Is this the best we have? Three picks and three fumbles will not get the Terps within sniffing distance of beating FSU. And after seeing him shake like a leaf during the WVU game, wait 'til he sees what the Seminoles can bring on the pass rush. Could be a long season, folks.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Today's History Lesson

Please read this article by Max Boot, text at the Volokh Conspiracy. For those who think Iraq is out of control, and we are losing the war, it's a good historical perspective. Two excellent books that explain what Lincoln went through in Civil War, and how close we were to losing it, can be found here and here.

Criticism of what's been done so far is a necessary part of democracy. But let's not lose perspective.

You Have Got to be Kidding Me!

Recent speculation about Michael Jordan returning to the NBA for a third time seems to have taken a life of its own -- to the point where Jordan himself felt the need to set the record straight.

Maybe they should just freeze him like Ted Williams so we can have this argument 30 years from now.

I Don't Get It

I think Boswell's article today on DC baseball has the worst ending to an article I've ever read:

Sherlock Holmes once solved the mystery of "the dog that didn't bark." Baseball now presents us with the case of the Orioles owner who didn't bite. The solution to the problem is elementary: The Expos are coming to Washington.


Maintaining the International Structure

Australia does not share only a community of values with the United States. It understands that its safety rests ultimately on a stable international structure that, in turn, rests not on parchment treaties but on the power and credibility of the United States. Which is why Australia is with us today in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Maintenance of the current international structure includes both protecting our stature as the world's sole superpower, but more importantly, keeping in place the economic structure that allows countries to develop and prosper. Militant Islam appears to be attempting through violence to coerce countries allied with us to abandon ties with the U.S. at the cost of blood and treasure. Why? They recognize that we are the glue that keeps the economic structure of international trade and finance in place. We are a threat to their primitive ways. And they seek to isolate the U.S., which would in turn weaken the system that has brought prosperity to much of the world. France, Germany, and Russia are socialist states that don't believe in our form of economic freedom. We cannot rely on them to be friendly. But like Charles Krauthammer says, we can't lose the friends who share common economic goals and values.

UPDATE: This shouldn't be surprising.

Remember, Kerry may need to work with this so-called "puppet" in the future. Regardless, this is astonishingly irresponsible campaign rhetoric from a key member of the challenger's campaign team. To malign the serving PM of Iraq as appearing a "puppet" plays right into the handbook of insurgents operating in Iraq. I'm truly shocked Kerry would ostensibly authorize such an inflammatory statement (ie., not in the Casablanca 'shocked, shocked' kinda way).

"Playing right into the hands of the insurgents." Why should that be surprising to anyone who has read about Kerry's past? He did it in the context of the Viet Cong through his activities with the VVAW. He did it with the Soviets during the Cold War by voting against the deployment of nukes in Europe and nearly every weapons system that promoted the economic collapse of the Soviet Union. I'm not surprised at all. It's par for the course.

Stumbling Block(head)

As expected, evil trial lawyer Peter Angelos is trying to block the Expos move to DC. The credit that Angelos is due is that it really is his job as majority owner of the team to protect the interests of himself and the minority owners. He's a lawyer, we all understand this. I hate to admit it.

So what will Angelos do? Today's Baltimore Sun article makes some good points about how limited his options are. If he sues baseball over the anti-trust exemption, he would still lose. The exemption, with Supreme Court approval, has allowed baseball to maintain a curious monopoly. Apparently, there we several baseball fans on the Court when the decision was handed down decades ago. This monopoly gives owners the power to control the movement of franchises. You might wonder why the Expos have not moved during the last 5-10 years to more financially friendly environs? It is because of the anti-trust exemption. No team can move without the approval of the other owners.

If Angelos wins a lawsuit and brings down the anti-trust exemption with it, the result would be that franchises could move at their whim, rather than with approval of the other owners. In other words, should the Expos or Twins or Royals decide to pull a Baltimore Colts and bring in a bunch of moving trucks in the middle of a snowy night and relocate to another city by the next day, they darn well could do it. In effect, the Expos problem would be solved. They could move to DC if they wanted to, regardless of what Peter Angelos or any other owner wanted.

So what are Angelos' options? He could pull that old lawyer's trick and file suit for some petty grievance and just crush baseball with a massive discovery burden (ie, file an extremely expensive lawsuit to put pressure on the owners). In order to avoid hemorrhaging cash, baseball could settle with him by moving the Expos elsewhere. This Angelos' strength as a mega-rich, win-at-all-costs lawyer. He once sued the state of Maryland because they wouldn't give him $4 billion in legal fees as part of the tobacco litigation. $4 billion!!!

Another plus in Angelos' corner is that the owners don't like dissent, and they don't like black sheep. Consensus is Bud Selig's middle name. They will seek to placate Angelos in some manner in order to keep him closer to the fold on issues down the road. Nobody wants an owner bent on revenge who could let his passions get in the way of good business. Sounds a lot like the Peter Angelos I've read about. He's a failed politician-wannabe who knows how to play dirty. And the owners and Selig know this.

So it remains to be seen. What to do with Angelos? He had better not blow this for DC. If he does, I think you can expect to see Orioles attendance drop dramatically and stay that way for a long time.

UPDATE: Thomas Boswell is very optimistic.

According to one source, D.C. officials may receive the confirmation that they desperately want to hear this morning, not long after you read this column. Never has a "we haven't decided yet" from baseball been received with such near euphoria by those on the other end of the drama.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Outsourcing the Presidency

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards gave a speech in South Carolina where he proposed outsourcing our current President:

He drew his biggest response when he criticized Bush administration officials for suggesting that outsourcing American jobs is good for the economy.
The audience responded with boos, but they suddenly turned to cheers at Edwards’ next words.
“Here’s what would be good for the American economy — to outsource George W. Bush.”

Clever. Only it doesn't make any sense. "Outsourcing" doesn't apply to specific individuals. Unless he wishes that we could lend our President to another country. Perhaps France? Outsourcing is typically the moving of a company's service sector jobs that can be performed remotely and sending them overseas to be manned by individuals who can do the work for lower pay. It's not the sending of an individual overseas to do a task. That would amount to nothing more than a standard relocation.

A more apt use of Edwards' outsourcing gag would be to apply it to Kerry's proposed foreign policy plan. He appears to desire outsourcing the foreign policy and CINC roles to the United Nations or some other multilateral body. By farming out responsibilities that have traditionally been held by the president, he would be outsourcing those roles to other nations, allowing him to pursue his presidency on the cheap at the expense of our economic and military power.

Boycott the O's

If greedy trial lawyer and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos blocks the move of the Expos to DC, it will be time boycott the O's until Angelos sells the team or is reunited with his evil master in the earth's fiery core. In fact, I am officially on O's strike until the president throws out the first pitch in DC for the new Washington Senators. Just to be clear, Northern Virginia is not DC. Angelos will not get another penny from me or another ratings point for my TV viewership until this issue is resolved in favor of the Nation's Capital.

In today's Post there is a Q&A about the possible relocation timeline as it relates to today's ownership committee meeting. Here are the two most important paragraphs to remember:

Q. Will the District get a team today?
A. It's very unlikely. If owners settle on the District, baseball observers expect long, difficult negotiations with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos, who opposes the move.

Q. What about Northern Virginia?
A. With its hopes fading, Loudoun County's best bet is to become the only way for the league to placate Angelos, but questions remain about stadium financing.

MORE: Thomas Boswell sums up the Angelos problem and how Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf are prepared to handle his whining.

Angelos has spent the last two years deluding himself that Selig and Reinsdorf were assiduously protecting his interests. Instead, Bud and Jerry have been doing what they always do: shopping for the best deal for baseball. Which is what they should be doing. If matters also had worked out well for Angelos, then they'd have said, "See how we took care of you, Peter."

Michael Wilbon talks about the wisdom of building a new stadium next to the Navy Yard. Believe me, I know what it's like down there, and it's been downright scary at times. A stadium combined with surrounding related development would do wonders for that area. He also makes the case for abandoning the Loudon option:

And that, in today's culture of sports as entertainment, is done downtown, not 20 miles from the central city, which is why Capital Centre became obsolete and why FedEx Field, which never should have been built there in the first place, sits alone and is now the single most resented building in the entire region. Getting there is dreadful, getting out is dreadful.

It's also why a new stadium in Loudoun is less an unacceptable option, unless the new ballclub plans to attract folks only from the western suburbs in Northern Virginia. I lived in Fairfax County for nine years and loved every minute of it. But ask anybody who heads north on the GW Parkway, or west on Route 50, I-66 or the Dulles Toll Road how early you'd have to leave downtown D.C. to arrive at a ballpark in Loudoun County by 7:30 on a weeknight. On a good night? 6 p.m., and on a bad night? 5:30.

Peter Angelos would love that, but it's not a viable option for a team planning to call metropolitan D.C. its home.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

Seriously, when was the last time we had a cloudy day in Chicago? Posted by Hello

Potentially the Biggest News in DC Since the Return of Joe Gibbs

According to numerous sources, the District will find out whether it gets the Expos by Oct. 1, though the earlier part of next week is more likely. "That's the right timeline," said a highly placed baseball source.

I've told most people who have asked me whether the Expos would end up in DC that the longer this process takes, the less likely the Montreal/Monterrey/San Juan Expos or any other team will end up in our Nation's Capital. Why? Well, most people know how I feel about Orioles owner Peter Angelos, greedy trial lawyer extraordinaire (guess I won't be getting a job at the Angelos law firm). But it's close. Real close.

Unfortunately, I still won't believe it 'til I see. Come on, I'm a Maryland basketball fan. I've seen 10 points in 56 seconds. I typically expect the rug to be pulled out from under my teams. I'll be first in line for a DC Expos (Senators) jersey...once I'm employed. But again, I won't get excited until I see former used car salesman Bud Selig's smarmy face making the official announcement, DC Mayor Anthony Williams at his side, that the Expos are in face moving to Washington, DC (not Northern Virginia or some other undeserving area). At present, as far as I'm concerned, even San Juan has a better chance of getting the team than DC. Besides, who knows what sort of trick Angelos will pull to sabotage the affair?

Back to Boswell's article. We have Joe Gibbs back. Lord, can we please have the Squire back?

Also, things seemed pretty serious the day the late Jack Kent Cooke told his secretary to get the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates on the phone. "So, how much do you want for that team?" bellowed Cooke as I listened.

RIP, Jack.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

How convenient. A call for an incident next door to Murphy's. Wonder how the boys calmed their nerves after this call? I'd be more suspicious if the Cubs were playing a day game. Posted by Hello

Seven Turnovers

Take it away, Tony K.!

On a lighter note, one of Ramsey's passes was intercepted by a "Gibril Wilson," and I am checking to see if Gibril is any relation to Don Zimmer. And on the same wavelength, one of Portis's fumbles was recovered by an "Osi Umenyiora." And when I asked my editor, Cindy, where he's from, I was told, "Troy State." Ah.

UPDATE: I didn't notice it when I wrote it, so I sincerely apologize for the unintended pun in the first line. I regret any knee slapping it may have caused.

Kerry: If You Can't Do a Job Right, Leave It to Someone Else

David Brooks has a must-read article in today's New York Times regarding Senator Kerry's newest stance on Iraq. He now believes going to war was a blunder from the start and that we should get out ASAP by internationalizing both the military and political components of our Iraq strategy. With a heavy emphasis on U.N. cooperation, Kerry believes we can get our troops out beginning next summer.

Brooks is spot on:

Substantively, of course, Kerry's speech is completely irresponsible. In the first place, there is a 99 percent chance that other nations will not contribute enough troops to significantly decrease the U.S. burden in Iraq. In that case, John Kerry has no Iraq policy. The promise to bring some troops home by summer will be exposed as a Disneyesque fantasy.

More to the point, Kerry is trying to use multilateralism as a gloss for retreat. If "the world" is going to be responsible for defeating Moktada al-Sadr and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then no one will be responsible for defeating them. The consequences for the people of Iraq and the region will be horrific.

Finally, if the whole war is a mistake, shouldn't we stop fighting tomorrow? What do you say to the last man to die for a "profound diversion"?

Good luck to you, Senator Kerry, implementing this plan. Who will commit troops? How long will it take the U.N. bureacracy to approve any of his plans, much less commit troops or inspectors to Iraq? In fact, the U.N. turned tail in Iraq over a year ago, and we're supposed to expect them to have the will to see this project through?

"Irresponsible" is an understatement. "Dangerous" is more apt.

Illinois Capitol Shooting

Yesterday a gunman shot a guard at the Illinois Capitol Building, killing him and spawning a massive manhunt. The shooter is now in custody, so let the paranoid reactions begin. It's obvious that two things will happen:

1. An unnecessary increase in security at the Capitol Building at taxpayer expense both in dollars spent to install security devices, and in time and access to their legislators. One random shooting of a security guard does not justify turning the Capitol into an impenetrable fortress. Up until yesterday, the guards at the building had no guns and there were no metal detectors. The number of deaths at the Capitol prior to yesterday? Zero. Now they will install metal detectors and issue weapons to security because of one shooting incident in the building's entire history. Welcome to Fortress America.

2. A shrill and likely irrational debate between uncompromising pro- and anti-gun advocates. The suspect allegedly had walked into a gun shop earlier in the day with a shotgun and demanded that the owner give him an assault rifle. This is where the story gets scary. You have to wonder whether this man intended to walk into the Capitol with the assualt weapon and really cause some damage. Luckily, the gun shop owner was not intimidated:

Police said the shooting appeared to be linked to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. Someone matching the description of the Capitol shooter and carrying a 12-gauge shotgun went into a nearby military surplus store, Birds N Brooks, at about 12:25 p.m. and demanded a high-powered rifle.The would-be robber fled, police said, and the shop owner locked himself in his office and began shooting through the door, injuring his son in the arm.

So gun control activists will point to this incident and say, "Aha! This is why they should not have let the assault weapons ban expire!" First, the gun owner did not sell the gun to the suspect, nor was he frightened into giving one to the shotgun toting felon. Instead, he politely asked the man to leave his store in a hail of searing lead. So the pro-gun lobby will point to this and say, "Aha! This is why people should be allowed to carry weapons, with a permit."

The solution to the gun problem is likely somewhere in between. Here, our suspect appears to have desired to spray the Capitol with bullets from an assault rifle, but was instead limited to firing a handgun. He had one victim rather than several. You can't keep evil people from committing evil deeds. They will find a way. But this incident is a good example of a situation where the assault weapons ban may have had a positive impact. It would have limited the tragedy. Luckily, even with the assault weapons ban lifted, the shooter was not able to procure one. Kudos, perhaps, to the gun purchase safeguards in place.

There are many isolated weapons incidents of this sort, emphasis on isolated. But a major tragedy may have been averted yesterday by a law-abiding gun owner, while at the same time a lesson may have been learned about the desirability of allowing assault weapons on the streets.

Update: I originally missed this quote in the attached article:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not in Springfield at the time but returned later to talk about the shooting, expressing sympathy to the victim's family and calling for tighter security.``We will not allow cold-blooded killers to keep our people away from their government,'' the governor said.

If you've read #1 above, it will be obvious to you that, yes, the cold-blooded killer will keep people away from their government as it becomes ever more annoying to get into any public installation as a result of paranoid security measures.

Ah, the City

Today I woke up at 8am to the sweet sounds of a trash truck repeatedly banging a dumpster over and over and over again. Reminded me of college when I had the dumpsters right under my window and received that BANG BANG BANG wake-up call at 6am twice a week. Now there is some sort of industrial tool being used across the alley on a renovated condo that pretty much drowns out my thoughts. I don't even know how I was able to write this post. To some people this is music to their ears, but to me, combined with all the traffic in this city, I am ready to leave. My sister sent me a text message offering to host me in the Philippines until I find a job. That sounds better and better every day.

There's No Liberal Bias in the Media

The Boston Globe ran a top of the page online poll today that asks this question:

The Red Sox or the republic?
Globe columnist Alex Beam asks: If you could choose only one, would you rather see John Kerry win the White House, or the Red Sox win the World Series? (Reuters Photos)
your view: So, which is it?

And please spare me the "God" is a "she" stuff that the PC crowd tries to foist on us. It was annoying enough in college and law school. It makes me immediately gag and whoever the writer is gets instant credibility loss.

Suppose She came to me: How would I like my prayers to be answered? Well, I certainly have my beefs with the current occupant of the White House. But I am not an Anybody-But-Bush person. To paraphrase a famous quote by boxer Joe Louis ("There may be a whole lot wrong with America, but there's nothing that Hitler can fix"), there is a great deal wrong with the republic, but I am far from confident that John Kerry & Co. are the solution to our woes.

If you can get past the initial impulse to lose your breakfast with the "She" reference, notice how the writer says he's not part of the ABB crowd, but then he goes straight to the Bush/Hitler comparison. He could have used any number of metaphors to describe Bush, but he chooses the Joe Louis quote that speaks of the genocidal madman. It's no wonder that as the election nears OUR PRESIDENT (yes, even yours if you're an American citizen and in the ABB crowd) is getting credible death threats. Watch what you wish for.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Letter from Iraq

This is a must-read before you pull that lever on Election Day.

Fighting the War on Terrorism

There is plenty to think about here both in terms of what it takes to win a war on terrorism, and what can be done to improve current tactics. Once again, consider the differences in approach advocated by the two U.S. presidential candidates and cast your vote accordingly.

I Won't Back Down

A weekend of absolute futility in football. All I am going to post about the Terps game is this:

5 Turnovers, 3 point loss in OT.

Statham 9-20-3-108.
Fumbles-Lost 3-2

But I will repeat: WVU is NOT the #6 (now) team in the country. A team that takes away 5 times at home should not need OT to win and score TD's only on drives of 35 and <10 yards. You heard it here first: WVU will lose a game to a Big East opponent this year. Mark my words!

I may also have to start a Mike Mardesich-memorial Joe Statham Wall of Shame. That kid could not compete with the pressure and single handedly lost the game for the Terps. Don't get on Nick Novak's case. We would have won that game by two to three TD's with a competent QB.

On to the Redskins.

7 Turnovers, 6 point loss.

I didn't see the game, but take it away Mike Wilbon!

Here is the interesting stat between these two games: 12 TO's, losses by a total of 9 points. In other words, the wins were given away. In seasons of 11 and 16 games, you can't give away wins. And let me close with this: of the 12 turnovers, 10 were by the QB's. That seems typical of these two programs who have had such luminary QB's as Scott Milanovich, Brian Cummings, Ken Mastreole, Heath Shuler, Gus Frerotte, John Friez, Shane Matthews, Jeff George, and on and on.

In happier news, your Naval Academy Midshipmen are 3-0! Give 'em a vote!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

Not much to report today. Just another lazy, but beautiful, Friday in the unemployment line. Posted by Hello

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Whoops. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

My wonderful fiance bought me an external CD burner drive for my birthday. Today I decided to set it up. Problem is, my desk is a mess and I had no space left to set the thing up. What started out as the simple installation of a computer accessory soon involved a rearranging of my entire apartment and a trip to the wilds of the urban mall scene.

Being completely unorganized I spent the majority of my time in the Container Store. There were lots of cheap, plastic containers to choose from. Being unemployed, I couldn't afford the good stuff made of wood or less cheap plastic. I made a couple purchases and hoped my space and organization problems were behind me. Naturally, I fell far short of this goal. Then I spent the rest of the day trying to get my stupid new drive to work.

The drive now works, but the apartment is still a mess. One of these days I'll finally get myself all organized and caught up. Right. Posted by Hello


Fascinating picture.

Casualties in Iraq

This analysis of casualties in Iraq over the course of the last several months shows a couple of things: 1) that the sky is not falling throughout Iraq, and 2) the resistance is much better trained and organized than it had been. What does all this mean? Probably that casualties will rise in the short term as we engage in more traditional, better structured skirmishes. It also likely means that the people we are fighting are either professional troops of the former Iraqi military, or are being trained by professionals from other countries such as Iran and/or Syria. My guess would be that it's a combination of the two. Neighboring hostile countries have an interest in seeing Iraq fail both in terms of their own regional security (no US on the doorstep) and as a means to influence the resulting political structure of a failed Iraq or to make land/oil grabs after the coalition abandons the project.

A major issue for any voter in November's election must be whether they want a president resolved to complete the Iraq project or one who has a promised timetable to bring all our troops home. Which vision of the Middle East would best suit the American people as a result: one in which stability and security amongst oil producing nations is achievable or one in which the wolves are left to fight it out amongst themselves as contemptable governments struggle for regional domination? Finally, wonder how long must the United States military yo-yo in and out of Middle East conflicts? Will leaving in four years mean we'll back in four more? Or will staying the course and ensuring the job is completed prevent the constant redeployment and retreat that Middle Eastern instability has thus far required? Do we finish the job (Germany/Japan) or cut and run (Vietnam/Somalia)? Ask yourself which of the countries listed in the previous sentence you'd like to visit on your next vacation.

If all of this is too depressing to think about, at least put a smile back on your face and the face of an Iraqi child by giving an Iraqi kid a toy!

Maryland vs. West Virginia I

So this Saturday the Terps roll into West Virginia to take on the alleged #7 team in the country, the WVU Mountaineers. This article does a pretty good job of both making Terp fans look good, and highlighting what a pathetic conference the Big East has become.

First, read about their fans.

Shay said he believes the reputation of the fans is tied to the image of the state."I don't really notice it being asinine," said Shay, a West Virginia native who lives in Crownsville and is married to a 1988 graduate. "I think we catch a lot of guff because the people from around here think the people from West Virginia are hillbillies."

That's about right. I mean the part about their fans being hillbillies. Not many states in this country have the same astronomical percentage of adulterous relationships with sheep as would be found in Virginia's ugly cousin. Speaking of cousins...oh, nevermind.

Second, read about what a powerhouse conference the Big East is.

"This will be a wild and woolly place. ... They're looking for that Maryland team," said Don Nehlen, who coached West Virginia for 21 years before retiring after the 2000 season. "Since Miami and Virginia Tech left the league [the Big East] ... that's about all anybody's talking about is the Maryland game."

"It's all anybody asked about in the offseason," said fourth-year coach Rich Rodriguez, a former Mountaineer player. "'How are you going to do against Maryland? Will you be able to beat Maryland?'"

The answer of course is no. And furthermore, what kind of conference doesn't even look forward to its own games? And further furthermore, what kind of conference's best team is only looking forward to playing a non-conference team that beat them twice last season by a combined score of 75-14?

The Big Least, that's who.

WVU won't beat Maryland this weekend. That's a cold, hard fact.

UPDATE: Here's another good one. How about this for confidence:

[WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez] even acknowledged that if West Virginia does not win, he at least hopes to make the game close for once. Later asked if the community would be satisfied with a close loss to a border rival it hasn't beaten since 2000, Rodriguez said, "No."

And how about this lie:

"You always look for another shot," West Virginia quarterback Rasheed Marshall said. "But it's not one of those games that I put a big 'X' on my calendar for."

So where is his 'X'? On the UConn game? Rutgers? Syracuse?

This article even speaks of WVU playing for the national championship. Yikes. I don't think they'd get within 50 points of Oklahoma or USC.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

My Birthday

A lot of people have asked what I did to celebrate my birthday. I had a excellent pre-birthday celebration on Saturday with my future wife. She set the bar pretty high, so I'm going to have my work cut out for me in a few months. On my actual birthday day, I hit that Marlins/Expos game, in keeping with Chicago tradition. Last year I went to the Cubs game, treating myself to a third row seat and a 2-0 Cubs loss.

Maybe it was the crowd at the Cell on Monday, but I still didn't felt like I had really "celebrated" the day. So this afternoon, I grabbed a book, an amazing cigar, a Jim Beam & Coke, turned on my radio and took to the porch to catch the end of the Cubs game. There's nothing like hearing the 7th Inning Stretch from your own backyard, then listening to the crowd go wild as a Sammy Sosa grandslam clears the fence. It was truly the best way to wrap up the birthday week.

Posting Lull

Once again, I have been MIA. I was employed for a couple days a local law firm, working some long hours. It's really no fun, nor is it really in keeping with the theme, to write a blog on the unemployed life when work keeps interfering.

Of course, the blog doesn't pay for the bills so I'm not really complaining.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Today's View from the Unemployment Line

With all the recent hurricane activity in Florida, the Marlins and the Expos moved their two game from South Florida to Chicago for the next to day. Not able to resist the novelty, and given the opportunity to donate $5 to hurricane relief, I headed to the New Comiskey on the South Side to watch today's misplaced match-up.

The Marlins were the home team, and the game was produced as if we were in South Florida, complete with Billy the Marlin in the stands, and all the between innings Marlins hype. It was definitely a low budget version of the real thing, but being so, it still beat the hockey arena atmosphere that most Sox games produce in the same venue.

Attendance was pretty low. The official figure was 4,003 and that sounds about right. From the pictures below, you'll get a nice feel. The crowd was so small, I could clearly hear fans behind the third base dugout yelling at the third base coach while I sat behind the right field foul pole! It was not a good day to be the "visiting" team and commit three errors that contributed to 6 game-breaking runs. Attendees appeared to be mainly college students, riff-raff, and the seriously unemployed (myself included).

The Expos looked like winners until they transformed into the Bad News Bears in the bottom of the 8th, committing the three errors that doomed them to the L column. Armando Benitez appeared for the Marlins in the 9th, and promptly gave up a monster homer to Tony Bautista. Looked like the Benitez I remember from the O's. He recovered (unlike with Bmore) and went on to shut down any potential rally. The fans filed slowly to the El, and for many, it was on to the nightcap at Wrigley.

Probably the best part of the game was the between innings tribute to Steve Bartman on the JumboTron. Even though Chicago was gracious enough to host the game, Florida couldn't resist the chance to rub it in. Somehow, I don't think White Sox disapproved.

Just another nice view from the unemployment line, Chicago- (or is that Miami-?) style. Posted by Hello

No, that's not a typo. We are in Chicago and it is a Marlins/Expos game. Posted by Hello

Wow. I didn't know David Koresh was a former all-star in addition to the second coming of Christ. Posted by Hello

If only my next job will allow the area under my desk to look like this everyday... Posted by Hello

Although it couldn't have been a better day to catch a game, some people forewent the opportunity to sit in the lazy, afternoon sun to work. Cubs fans work when there is isn't a day game to attend. Other baseball fans occasionally skip work for a game. Obviously, the Cubs were not on the field today. Posted by Hello

Yes, the game was in full swing at the moment this picture was taken. Posted by Hello

With general admission seats, one could sit in any unoccupied seat in the stadium. I took them up on the offer several times. Posted by Hello

Looks like a typical Montreal Expos crowd. Posted by Hello