Swine Flu: Chemtrails? Bio-Weapon?

chemtrailsBy: Billy Beerslugger

So over the weekend or sometime late last week was the first time I heard about Swine Flu (technically influenza A virus subtype H1N1). I’ll admit I was joking about it, asking my buddy if one of the symptoms was excessive flatulence since I was very gassy after a heavy night of boozing.

Now though, it’s not really a laughing matter.  The World Health Organization is saying that a pandemic is imminent.

A pandemic for those of you keeping score is described as an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide.

Swine Flu is endemic of Pigs and rarely infects humans.  It is of high probability that this virus must have mutated to be able to infect humans or been engineered that way.

I understand how it got from Mexico to Texas, that’s easy.  What I’m saying or at last what is fishy to me is how it spread so fast from Mexico to New York and now to Chicago.  I don’t think it has anything to do with flying on airplanes because most of the people reported to have acquired Swine Flu have been kids.  Spain reported the first case of Swine Flu in Europe and the person had not even been to Mexico.

So besides person to person contact, how are these virii being spread.  If the person from Spain who was not in Mexico has it, how did it get there?  How did it get from Mexico to New York with no infections in states in between?

I’ve been manning the Conspiracy theory channels and one possible cause is Chemtrails.  The chemtrail conspiracy theory suggests that some contrails (condensed water vapor trails from plane engine exhaust)  are actually chemicals or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for a purpose undisclosed to the general public.  Some say Chemtrails are used to control Weather Patterns some say they may be used to combat global warming.

Some argue that we are being conditioned to accept these trails in the skies as normal by inserting them into movies and advertisements.

However, who is to say they are not being used to deliver the Swino Virus?  It’s possible but is it probable?  What if some sort of terrorist group is perpetrating this Swino Virus as a Bio-weapon, the government is covering it up and Jack Bauer is the only one who is keeping us safe?

I don’t have any proof but if this is true you heard it here first on Beerslugger!

This Youtube series really caught my eye on Chemtrails.  A little long (27 parts) and somewhat dry, boring but worth at least seeing some of what people are reporting on.

At least some local news stations are reporting on it.

The Girlfriend Experience

By: Billy Beerslugger

Steven Soderbergh is an Academy Award Winning director of such films as Sex Lies and Videotape, Traffic, Erin Brockovich & The Oceans 11 franchise.  His latest film, The Girlfriend Experience is a film about a $2,000 an hour call who juggles a boyfriend and the demands of her profession.

The film stars Porn Actress Sasha Grey in the lead.  As far as I can tell this is the first major mainstream release of  a movie with a Porn Star as the lead, or at least a Porn Star who still works in Porn.  I don’t know if you think it’s significant but I think it definitely reflects a change in the way the mainstream now more readily accepts people in the adult industry.

While the movie does have a Porn Star as the lead it is said to have very little nudity and no sex.

In case your a porn junkie like me here’s some links to Sasha Grey’s work.


crackBy: Billy Beerslugger

So I’m reading some stuff today and come across that the president is pushing for more lenient crack cocaine laws.  Now yea I’ll agree that the law is a little scewed, putting crack cocaine offenders away longer for less amounts, I get that.

What I do not get is why we are lessening Crack Cocaine sentences and not lengthening Cocaine sentences.  Seems logical to me.  Yes I do have sympathy for the “Treatment Movement”, where instead of throwing people in jail, putting them into rehab.  I do think that some people come out of prison worse than they were before they went in.

Some statistics I’ve seen suggest a better rate of non-repeat offending after rehab as opposed to jail.  But statistics can be misleading and subjective in terms of the people doing the survey as well as the people chosen for the sample.

Federal law currently has a system in place which 5 grams of crack gets the same minimum sentence as 500 grams of coke, according to the article in the link above.  So there does need to be some reform, but I’m not sure lessening sentences is the way to go.

I understand the penal system is overcrowded.  I understand it is a lot of money to have someone in jail for 5 years.  Is that the answer though to the Crack Cocaine problem, reduced sentences, more crackheads on the street?  It’s bad enough that the people selling the stuff and the people in the neighborhoods they own will not narc anyone out, now you’re just making it more of an incentive to not talk to the police.

To me it’s kind of like telling a kid “If you do XYZ you’re going to be grounded for 2 weeks instead of 5”.  Well now the kid is going to think about the situation a little more.  Maybe he should steal the case of beer from his dad, 2 weeks of being grounded isn’t that bad.

No the current laws are not fair, but boost up sentences on Cocaine and not lessen sentences on Crack.

But I could be wrong….

Samuel Dalembert: It’s time to go chief!

Sports With Bob McFlurry

I’ll admit I was excited when I first saw Sam Dalembert’s athleticism on the court early in his career.  He reminded me of Theo Ratliff a little bit they way he went after blocks.  I thought this guy could be really good, he’s raw, give him a couple of years to mature and develop and he could be a force in the middle for the Sixers.

Flash forward to 2009, I can’t stand when Dalembert is on the court.  I’m not sure why he’s starting other than the fact that he’s making 10.5 million dollars this year.  He has two years remaining on his contract which tops out at 12 million in 2010/2011.  Dude is making double digit million dollars a year to go out on a basketball court and suck (thanks Billy King).

Yes he blocks some shots, yes he does some rebounding, yes he’s one of the better defending centers in the Eastern Conference but he’s an offensive liability, refuses to learn from mistakes or what teammates tell him to do and is constantly in foul trouble.

This is a guy who got summarily dismissed from Team Canada’s Olympic Basketball team.  I couldn’t find another guy on Team Canada’s roster who I had even heard of and they booted Dalembert, one of the two NBA players who expressed interest in playing for them.

The coach of that team was quoted to say this about the Dalembert dismissal, : “Everybody who’s here now wants to be here and wants to be a part of this team. If that’s not your agenda you’re not here.”.  There really wasnt any further explanation from the coach but I’m thinking Dalembert’s head was just not in the game much like about 90% of the games he plays for the Sixers.

This season he continued to lose minutes to Theo Ratliff, Reggie Evans and rookie Marreese Speights averaging 24mpg.  It seems Sammy wants to be to involved in the offense when it’s clearly not his strong suit. Every time I see him take a 15 foot jumper I cringe. The guy should be averaging 15 boards, 8-10 trash points on accident and 3 blocks a game.  That’s what he needs to do, rebound, block shots and defend.

It’s time for this experiment to end.  We need a real center.  Unfortunately this is not Team Canada and we cannot just fire him, we’re stuck with him for two more years and his salary and play will make it hard to move him.  Can we give him 10 million to go away?

Sam Dalembert Regular Season Stats:

2001–02 Philadelphia 34 0 5.2 .440 .000 .389 2.0 .1 .2 .4 1.5
2003–04 Philadelphia 82 53 26.8 .541 .000 .644 7.6 .3 .5 2.3 8.0
2004–05 Philadelphia 72 60 24.8 .524 .000 .601 7.5 .5 .6 1.7 8.2
2005–06 Philadelphia 66 52 26.7 .531 .000 .705 8.2 .4 .5 2.4 7.3
2006–07 Philadelphia 82 82 30.9 .541 .000 .746 8.9 .8 .6 1.9 10.7
2007–08 Philadelphia 82 82 33.2 .513 .000 .707 10.4 .5 .5 2.3 10.5
2008–09 Philadelphia 82 82 24.8 .498 .000 .734 8.5 .2 .4 1.8 6.4
Career 500 411 26.4 .524 .000 .688 8.1 .4 .5 1.9 8.1

Budweiser: The Great (Un)American Lager.

By: Billy Beerslugger

I watched a shit ton of sports this weekend.  Flyers playoffs, Phillies games, NFL Draft, Sixers Playoffs.  My Sports viewing was interrupted by a lot of commercials but the Budweiser commercials really stuck with me.

First of all I’m not a fan of Budweiser, I’m on the toilet for most of the day after drinking that stuff.  In my opinion it really doesn’t taste good either.

Budweiser has always had pretty good PR/Advertising .  The Was’ Up guys, The Frogs & Lizards and Clydesdale Horse and Real American Heroes commercials and radio spots you are probably familiar with.

I have two problems with Budweisers new tagline, “Budweiser: The Great American Lager”.

  1. Technically Budweiser is a pilsner.
  2. Anheuser-Busch is owned by Belgian Based Company InBev.

To elaborate, a pilsner is characterized as a “pale lager”.  So Budweiser is a lager but more specifically it is an “American-style pilsner“.  I’d feel a lot better if the had made their advertising campaign say, “The Great American Pilsner”.  It’s giving the beer drinking public the wrong impression about lager.  While lagers vary greatly in flavor, color and composition, I’d like to think of a lager as a little darker and a little heavier than Budweiser.

The more egregious oversight is saying Budweiser is the “Great American Lager” and the company that owns it is not even an American company.  That’s like if Coca Cola said it was America’s soda and it being owned by some company in Germany or Ford saying it’s America’s great truck but being owned by the Japanese.

Budweiser is brewed in the United States at least so I cannot go all “Buy American” on you even though it’s not owned by an American Company.  However, if you’re planning a cookout or at a bar go for the Real Great American lager, Yuengling.

Yuengling, based in Pottsville PA, is Americas oldest brewery established in 1829.  If you live in Eastern Pennsylvania you just call it Lager for short.  It is a wholly owned American company and is very close to being the largest American-owned brewer.

Pirate Bay, The Pirate Party & The Court Case you don’t know about.

the_pirate_bay_logoBy: Billy Beerslugger

Bit Torrent is a peer to peer file sharing protocol.  Think of it as a way more accurate, efficient, and reliable Napster or LimeWire.  Bit Torrent traffic, by some estimates, makes up about 35% of all internet traffic.  It is by far the most popular protocol for large file sharing.

A Bit Torrent Client is essentially a program which manages downloads and uploads. There are many Bit Torrent Clients out there and apparently LimeWire supports to a limited extent Bit Torrents.  One of the more popular Bit Torrent Clients is uTorrent, very lightweight.

A Torrent (of the Genus and Species Bit) is really whatever you want it to be.  It can hold Mp3’s, movies, datasets, computer programs, Tv Shows… if it’s in a digital form you can probably put it in a Torrent.

A Bit Torrent Tracker is a web based interface which provides search functionality (much like Google) for Bit Torrents.

The Pirate Bay is a bit torrent tracker.  It is the most popular bit torrent tracker, ranked as the 106th most popular website by Alexa Internet and is the defendant (or at least the operaters are) of a major laswsuit.

On April 17, 2009 Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were found guilty of assistance to copyright infringement and sentenced to one year in prison and payment of a fine of app. 3,620,000 USD after a 9 day trial.  The defendants are appealing the verdict, seeking a re-trial and recent news has come out that the judge presiding over the case was a member of Pro-Copyright groups.  The Website is still in operation.

In a scenario similar to others regarding prosecuting file sharing sites/companies, membership to The Pirate Bay surged following the verdict.  The more media coverage of the site and what it does, the more it’s members continue to grow.

In Sweden, which is the headquarters of The Pirate Bay, supporters of the site have formed their own political party.  It is currently the 4th largest political party in terms of members in Sweden.  It’s ranks grew by about 20% in the hours following the verdict and increases by the minute.  The number of young members in the party put it at number one in that demographic.

The Pirate Bay and Bit Torrent in general have been the subject of much debate in the United States and Internationally.  Not only for the issue of copyright infringement but from throttling bit torrent traffic, packet sniffing and other ways Internet Service Providers have tried to limit access to Bit Torrents.

Whether or not you personally support the prosecution of The Pirate Bay, file sharing is not going away.  Movie Studios and Record Labels need to find a way to a way to distribute their content and sustain profit off of it.   Old ways of doing this like Cd’s and Dvd’s are not going to cut it in our computer/gadget centric society.  Optimally the solution they come up with does not impede upon how you use the Internet or Net Neutrality.

Wiggers… Life Imitating Art… Imitating Thuglife

By: Billy Beerslugger

As I am transitioning from the suburbs back to Philadelphia after almost a year, one thing I’m not going to miss is the fake ass Wiggers that have popped up in the neighborhood i grew up in.  It’s like the student body of  my old high school (and apparently 90% of the bar crowd), who are Caucasian mind you, dress in Sean John, Fubu, hoodies, hat’s tilted to the side with a straight brim and solid color or airbrushed t-shirt that’s 3 sizes too big.

wigger-42888So take these guys above for instance.  Flashing signs of some sort, maybe trying to convey they are from the West Coast, maybe Westmont High School, maybe W was the letter of the day on Sesame Street, I don’t know.  What I do know is that these are the types of harmless hooligans I see on the streets of the neighborhoods I patrol at night while working as a freelance vigilante. They’re up on the “urban” dialect that they hear in movies and the latest song featuring T-Pain.  Spouting out words and phrases such as “crunk”, “bling” and “supaman dat hoe”.  Listening to Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter 14 in the car their mom and dad got them for their 17th birthday.  For this car they got fake rims and a speaker system that makes the trunk rattle like when you rip a fart on a leather couch.

Quick to talk shit and challenge someone to a fight while their boys are there but ultimately back down and end up talking shit from behind their biggest friend.  Because they’re “Gangsta”, “I’m a Thug”. They’re in the “game” cause they sell weed to their friends and know a guy who can get Percocets.  Probably got a karaoke machine in the basement they’re making a demo tape on with some recycled beats thinking they’re gonna be tha next Eminem.

What I’d really like to do is scoop up all these wannabees I can find, put them on a bus, take their cell phones and wallets and drop them off in the middle of North Philly.  We’ll see how gangster you are then.  Shit done changed then, walking out of North Philly with no shirt on cause a group of real thugs approached you and said they didn’t have a Ed Hardy shirt from Macy’s but wanted one real bad.

It makes me laugh.  Acting like a thug while being raised and currently residing in the suburbs is oxymoronic.  You get ZERO street cred for that.  Have one of your friends shoot you in the leg and say it was over a drug deal.  Then maybe people will take you seriously.

Free Radio – The TV Show

I catch this show sometimes while I’m flipping through channels and I gotta say it’s hilarious.  The premise of the show is that some shock-jock leaves the fictional KBOM radio station in Los Angeles and is temporarily replaced by an intern.  This intern (Lance) is completely inept but somehow ratings continue to climb and he is tabbed as the official on air talent of “Moron in The Morning”.

The funniest part of the show (and basically the show itself) is that they interview real celebrities as if it was an actual radio show.  The exchanges between Lance, co host Anna and the guests are usually priceless.  Pretty much the only thing I would consider watching on VH1 unless they decided to bring back music videos.

You can watch the latest episode at 11pm every Thurday or here at VH1.com

Session Beer… Yeah Sure I’ll have one of those?

The Merry Drinker by Frans Hals.
The Merry Drinker by Frans Hals.

By: Billy Beerslugger

I’ve been done graduated from the Light beers and cheap beers (although i occasionally dabble) for a while now.  On BeerSlugger.com I try to profile beers I think that you will appreciate not only for the buzz it gives you but the taste and enjoyability.

Last month I profiled the Grog Ale at Nodding Head Brewery in Center City.  The description on the menu and website listed it as a, “ … great dark session beer“.  I’ve seen this term “Session Beer” thrown around a little bit in my time but guess I never cared to actually learn what it meant.  So I did some research and here’s what I found out.

Per the Beer Advocate:

Session Beer: Any beer that contains no higher than 5 percent ABV, featuring a balance between malt and hop characters (ingredients) and, typically, a clean finish – a combination of which creates a beer with high drinkability. The purpose of a session beer is to allow a beer drinker to have multiple beers, within a reasonable time period or session, without overwhelming the senses or reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication.

So in reality, I have been sampling a great variety of Session Beers.  In fact every one of the beers that I have profiled on BeerSlugger.com (save Molson XXX) I have found to have been extremely drinkable while not making you fall off your bar stool.  For me it is simple, I like beers I can drink 8-15 at a time which taste good,do not upset my stomach, do not give me heartburn or make me throw up.  That’s a Session Beer.

Session Beers I’m guessing vary upon the person.  I’m not a guy who likes really “hoppy” beers though I have a friend who will drink 10 of them with no problem.  I couldn’t do that just like he wouldn’t down 10 stoudts.  In general though,  such as times when we receive the beer of the month club case in the mail, there’s a couple of beers we would both really like and consider very drinkable.  One of these was, Casco Bay Riptide Red Ale.

I’d love to hear some of the readers favorite Session Beers. (note: Miller Lite and Coors Light are not Session Beers)

Internet Service Providers Raising Prices?

By: Billy Beerslugger

So I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now.  I believe this is the beginning of the end of “Unlimited Bandwidth” through Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) in the United States.

Like a lot of my generation, I get a good portion of my news online.  Actually, I get pretty much all my news online.  It’s much more convenient, I can read it when I want to and I can read what I want to as opposed to Network TV news who are at the mercy of Advertisers and their own networks shows (i really don’t need to know who got kicked off of American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Survivor, Amazing Race or Big Brother).  I recently read an extremely interesting article from the NY Times.  It makes some really good points including the issue over Bandwidth Consumption, Internet Prices and Government regulation.

First, the article states that most ISP’s in the U.S. want to end the unlimited bandwidth option from their subscription services.  As long as I’ve been using Cable internet it has been browse as much as you want, download as much as you want.  Now they want to measure usage and bill accordingly just like the electric or water company.  On the surface this may seem fair to you, especially if you don’t watch movies and television online or don’t do a lot of downloading or youtube viewing.  If someone else is using the Internet more than you maybe they should pay more and you should pay less.

However, just because a person uses more bandwidth than someone else doesn’t effect the ISP’s profits or the availability/speed of the internet.  The ISP makes just as much money when no one uses the internet as when everyone is glued to the internet checking out the latest Brittany Spears upskirt shot.  Think of Internet use the same way you would think of Cable TV usage (Both use the same technology and have about the same costs).  Does the person who is at work all day and not watching TV pay the same as the person who is at home watching TV all day? Yes, they do.  Each pay for a service and can use as much or as little as they want for a flat fee.

The main costs in running the ISP are investment in network equipment and expanding the networks but just like everything else computer related, costs continue to fall as technology advances.  Most if not all of the Major ISP’s profit margins are stable.  So why change to a consumption based business model?  I’d say to make more money.  ISP’s like Comcast, Time Warner etc pretty much have a monopoly on providing Internet service.  Much like before the phone companies prices were regulated by the U.S. government, ISP’s can charge pretty much whatever they want because there’s not that much else out there.

As some ISP’s are beginning to offer higher Megabits per second than are currently offered, they are also raising prices disproportionately than countries like Japan who offer this higher MBit/s for about $5 more than their regular plan.  In the U.S. prices for this service would increase your bill sometimes twofold and more.  There is a lot more competition in Japan in terms of ISP’s.

There’s other theories out there that suggest Cable Company’s that also supply Internet want to increase prices to Internet Service because online video etc is eating a hole in their Cable TV revenue.  This could also be a reason.

Overall, I would say don’t let an ISP, government or whomever else limit your access to the Internet.  It is essential to free speech and will continue to play a more integral part in our daily lives as the years progress.  As computers, cell phones and Televisions seemingly stay on a path to converge continue to look for ways of how the Corporations that control access to these services may try to screw you and speak out and fight against it.