Is Asia the Europe of World War I?

Political matters are certainly tense these days in Asia, what with China’s squabbles with Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines among others. But is it fair to compare the region to Europe pre-WWI?

Despite no one wanting to see conflict in Asia, the ranks of doomsayers and worrywarts seem to grow by the day. The specter haunting the continent is that of China’s geo-political rise. Governments near and far are watching warily as the budding nondemocratic superpower asserts itself on the international stage, tacitly challenging a Pax Americana that has existed since 1945. Some countries are already locked in combustible disputes with Beijing: the region’s waters have been roiled in recent years by standoffs over barren islands to China’s south and east; Chinese relations with Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines all soured as a result.

The climate of tensions is thick enough to have drawn comparisons to a perilous moment a century ago. In separateopinion pieces this week, two former Asian foreign ministers likened Asia now to pre–World War I Europe, then strung together by a tangle of imperial enmities and alliances. The South China Sea — a pivotal, strategic body of water that China considers its “internal lake,” much to the ire of its neighbors — is, like the Balkans a hundred years ago, the supposed tinderbox that could spark a larger regional conflagration, if not a full-fledged war.

Local militaries are not just standing by. Look at what Manilla is doing:

Military officials looking at a model of a FA-50 fighter jet. Manila will soon finalise a US$443 million deal to buy 12 of the jets.

Military officials looking at a model of a FA-50 fighter jet. Manila will soon finalise a US$443 million deal to buy 12 of the jets.

And the article states the Philippines may soon acquire F-16s as well.

Tim Tebow and Sandwiches

Denver BroncosDenver Broncos

Let’s talk Denver Broncos, more specifically, their quarterback, Tim Tebow. Are you familiar with him? Are you a fan? Do you not know who he is?

His story is quite a compelling one whether or not you root for his success. He is the fifth son of a pair of Christian Baptist missionaries and was born in the Philippines.

The circumstances surrounding his birth were challenging and it was suggested by the doctor that the Tebows consider an abortion:

Doctors later told Pam (Tim’s mother) that her placenta had detached from the uterine wall, a condition known as placental abruption, which can deprive the fetus of oxygen and nutrients.

Tim Tebow Heisman Winner

Doctors expected a stillbirth, Pam said, and they encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.

“They thought I should have an abortion to save my life from the beginning all the way through the seventh month,” she recalled.

Of course, she did not abort and Tim grew up to be one of the most celebrated of college quarterbacks, winner of various awards and championships, including the Heisman. He did not avoid controversy in college at the University of Florida, but it was not of the usual type:

In 2010, a new rule for the next NCAA football season, dubbed ”The Tebow Rule” by media because it would have affected him, banned messages on eye paint.

Tim Tebow John 3-16

During his college football career, Tebow frequently wore biblical verses on his eye black.

In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye paint, and as a result, 92 million people searched “John 3:16″ on Google during or shortly after the game.

Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of “Tim Tebow” and “Proverbs 3:5-6″ together.

Tebow stated of the searches “It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida.”

Tebowing- Praying During a Game

His final, collegiate numbers are truly staggering: he passed for over 9000 yards and rushed for almost 3000. Turning pro, he was drafted 25th in the first round of 2010 National Football League Draft by the Denver Broncos.

On December 19, 2010, he started his first game and set an NFL record for his 40 yard scamper into the endzone for a touchdown. It remains the longest touchdown run for a quarterback in Denver Broncos’ history and the longest NFL touchdown run by a quarterback during his first professional start.

Tim Tebow, Friar Tuck and Run

So this last Sunday, Tim played in the place of the sputtering Kyle Orton.

From wikipedia: When Coach John Fox announced hat Tebow would start against the Miami Dolphins, 75,000 tickets were sold in one day. In that game, Tebow and the Broncos rallied from a 15-0 deficit in the last 4 minutes to win the game 18-15 in overtime.

By all accounts, the game was ugly:

For 3 1/2 quarters, the Dolphins throttled Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who completed just 4 of 14 passes for 40 yards before his team got the ball trailing 15-0 with 5:23 left.

Then Tebow led them to an overtime victory that was described by one ESPN analyst as “magical.” Go to the above link to read it all.

Still, there are many valid criticisms of Tebow. He is an inaccurate passer with a strange delivery. As for me, I don’t have an NFL team. But I am a Tim Tebow fan. He is a good guy and I want him to succeed. I can’t help it.

I did not like him when I first heard him speak. He enunciates his words as if his tongue is too large for his mouth. I can’t explain it and surely this is petty, but this remains my first impression. But it changed after I learned more. . .

As for the sandwiches in the title above, Eagles Defensive End Brandon Graham is the guilty party. He packed on twenty pounds during an 8 week period:

Sandwich Man Brandon Graham, Eagle Eater

Apparently the Eagles defensive end has been on the offensive end of some of Philly’s finest food.

The 2010 first-round draft pick tore his ACL last December and spent two months on crutches. His weight jumped from 270 to 290 during his recovery. He has a culprit, though.

“You know what got me real big? The Philly cheesesteaks,” Graham told the appropriately named Philly.com. “Jim’s. That’s all I eat.”

Thas’ a lot of samiches. . .