Caps Fire Sale Continues

Washington CapitalsAs the NHL trade deadline approaches on March 9th, the Washington Capitals seem determined to unload players. So far, six Caps have been traded away:

  • Steve Konowalchuk (D) to the Colorado Avalanche
  • Jaromir Jagr (W) to the New York Rangers
  • Peter Bondra (W) to the Ottawa Senators
  • Robert Lang © the Detroit Red Wings
  • Sergei Gonchar (D) to the Boston Bruins
  • Michael Nylander © to the Boston Bruins

The destruction of the team has really left me distressed and bewildered. The team is now but a shadow of its former self, not that it was exactly having a marquee season. The author of the SI article writes, “It seems the Capitals, who have dealt three of the four guys on the cover of their media guide (Bondra, Jagr, Gonchar; Kolzig is the fourth), won’t be done trading until they’ve unloaded their logo from center ice.” That is right on the money, and rumors were circulating that the Rangers were looking to pick up goalie Olaf Kolzig as well.

I can understand teams wanting to watch their bottom line and undertake a “rebuilding” approach, especially with the upcoming collective bargaining agreement looming. Still, with the exception of Kolzig, the Capitals are not retaining any core franchise players, and at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded away in the next week. The article tries to portray general manager George McPhee as a kindler, gentler GM, but the alarming rate at which the team is deteriorating really bothers me. The article points out that after each trade he has taken great pains to express to the media how hard it was to trade away his players, but that is starting to ring hollow to me after this wholesale gutting. He did make one statement that could well be true, though: “One of our guys is going to win the Stanley Cup.” We’ll see…

W, “Flat-Earther”

As a follow-up to my previous post about W’s administration covering up a recent climatological study, I came upon an article in The Nation that serves as an even more disturbing reminder of the current administration’s self-serving, archaic environmental policies. The article, entitled “The Junk Science of George W. Bush,” provides many startling examples of corruption, cover-ups, and outright lies, summarized nicely by this quote: “The Bush Administration’s first instinct when it comes to science has been to suppress, discredit or alter facts it doesn’t like.” Not exactly an enlightened view, but then again, no one ever accused W of being a Renaissance man. I can’t do the article justice, so you should really read through it for yourself. Although the many examples detailed in the article are bad enough, I think the worst effect of this administration’s track record of influencing government agencies to its own ends will be to discredit them for years to come:

The Bush Administration has so violated and corrupted the institutional culture of government agencies charged with scientific research that it could take a generation for them to recover their integrity even if Bush is defeated this fall. Says Princeton University scientist Michael Oppenheimer, “If you believe in a rational universe, in enlightenment, in knowledge and in a search for the truth, this White House is an absolute disaster.”

Thanks, W.

McDonald’s To Eliminate “Super Size” Menu

Fox News reports that “as part of an effort to simplify its menu and give customers choices that support a balanced lifestyle,” McDonald’s is phasing out its “Super Size” French fries and drinks. I’ll come right out and say that I’m pretty annoyed that I will only be able to buy six-ounce “Large” fries instead of the accustomed seven-ounce “Super Size” from now on. I may go into withdrawal… 😉

The article surmises out that this move is in part a reaction to the negative publicity generated from the documentary film Super Size Me, although McDonald’s denies that it has anything to do with their decision. In the movie, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald’s food for thirty days straight, and in the process he obviously came down with a host of health problems. While I commend McDonald’s efforts to make their menu healthier, I don’t think that they should necessarily have to take this step. People should be responsible enough to decide on their eating habits for themselves rather than blaming others for their bad choices. Offering other, healthier menu items is definitely a good thing, because it does give people other options. However, in this specific case it’s not as if that’s the only size French fries on the menu. I know, I’m stuck on those damn French fries. I wonder where I’m going to lunch today? 😉

It really irked me when I heard about people suing McDonald’s because they became “obese” from eating there too often. Well, duh! Thankfully, the case was recognized to be spurious, and it was thrown out by the court. However, if McDonald’s is taking this step to avoid being sued then it’s a sad commentary on the overly litigious nature of people these days…