August 24, 2002

Sports fans like to dream of classic match-ups that because of time or distance are impossible, ie., Ali v. Marciano, the '60's era Celtics v. the Magic Era Lakers, McEnroe v. Sampras, Tiger Woods v. Bobby Jones, etc. Political junkies have dream match-ups too, of which one example would be a hypothetical race between Jeb Bush and Gray Davis, the nation's two most odious elected officials. Davis has pulled away in his reelection battle, mainly because the GOP managed to nominate someone who combined far right politics with a business background that out-sleazes the nation's reigning Kleptocrat. To put it another way, I'm pretty liberal (err, I mean, "populist"), but if Riordan had been the Republican nominee, I would have not only voted for him, but I would have contemplated walking precincts to elect him.

Jeb Bush, though, is in a different league altogether, as his recent attempt to appoint some religious wacko to head his state's utterly incompetent Child Welfare Department indicates. His defense of the nominee, as detailed in the above link, is to claim that his opponents are motivated by "bigotry against fundamentalist Christians". To which I add, GUILTY AS CHARGED, gov'na. There have to be some standards by which we can judge certain beliefs and behaviour, and I see nothing wrong with being prejudiced against Nazis, Klansmen, bullies, pedophiles, fans of the Washington NFL team, the Taliban, wife-beaters, and nutcases who believe that "smiting children with a rod" is acceptable government policy because the Bible tells them so.

August 23, 2002

I'm starting a college football blog, and I'd like to know if there is anyone out there who would like to contribute to it, hopefully someone east of the Mississippi. What I hope to have is a number of people who contribute on a semi-regular basis, with a focus on a particular team or region.
I guess if Gary Sheffield is a "cancer" in the clubhouse, he's awfully benign.
Two questions:

1. Why was Ariel Sharon going to Florida anyway, if not to "campaign" for Jeb Bush?

2. What exactly is wrong with AIPAC, or any other politically-interested group, targeting a politician they don't like? It's not like the voters in Cynthia McKinney's district were unaware of who was financing her opponent, or what its agenda was. They knew, they considered, and they voted the lady out of office. I don't happen to be a fan of the extreme agenda of AIPAC, but I do like the First Amendment, and as long as we allow people and interest groups the power to contribute to campaigns, AIPAC has the right and the duty to get involved, just as groups more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause have a right to get involved. Involvement should be based on principal, not whether it is tactically disadvantageous in the context of Jewish-Black relations. AIPAC is no different than NCPAC was twenty years ago, or the Moral Majority; in time, their extreme agenda will taint any campaign they contribute to. In any event, the political discourse in our country is not the poorer for no longer having Ms. McKinney in Congress.
Finally, a reason to keep going...the college football season has started, with the first game on TV (Fresno St. v. Wisconsin) being broadcast tonight. Some mediocre games Saturday and Sunday, but I intend to see as many as possible. Dodgers play the Braves, Angels battle the Red Sox, and the weekend culminates with the L'Chaim for Life Telethon Sunday night...TV Guide doesn't say who's hosting this year, but I assume its going to be Fyvush Finkel...maybe the Tokens will perform; you just know Norm Crosby and international comedy star Johnny Yune will show...some suspense as to whether Angelina Jolie's dad will raise that topic in the context of the Chabad House.

August 22, 2002

Conservative clip-and-paste guru Instapundit compares MoDo to Fraulein Goebbels, in a bizarre example of moral equivalence. Let's see, a writer who occasionally makes silly statements about politics and culture in her columns is like a writer who wants to see the NY Times office building blown up, has called for the summary execution of all liberals and Arabs, and fabricates evidence in her books. I guess you can't take law profs from SEC football powers all that seriously....
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, SMYTHE-STYLE: I've been dreading this day for awhile now, but I think its finally time that I yank Kausfiles from my set of links. I used to find his views on welfare, education, and the future of the Democratic Party provocative, even if I disagreed with him most of the time. As you might observe to the left, I have no problem linking to conservatives, warbloggers and the like. I do have issues with bloggers who link to hatemongers, like Fraulein Goebbels and Lucianne Goldberg. To put it another way, if MWO were to begin posting screeds calling for the assasination of Dick Cheney on a daily basis, I would yank that site too, as well as any site that continued to link to MWO.

August 21, 2002

I notice that I'm having problems accessing my own site today, which I am attributing to the server I use for your "comments" at the end of each post, I can't get on their website, so I don't know if enetation is updating its program or what, but I'm going to give it another 24 hours before I remove their code. If there are other bloggers who use enetation who happen to be reading this, but do not have the same problem, please, let me know.

ED. Note: Screw it--Enetation is gone !! If you need to respond or retort, use e-mail.
Although I have abdicated the responsibility of using my public forum as a cut-and-paste service for liberals, I would be remiss if I didn't point out the significance of the N.Y. Times in our country. The Democrats have pretty much abandoned any efforts at being a serious opposition movement, the Greens are basically just the left wing of the GOP, so the "Gray Lady" is pretty much it right now. Particularly with respect to the pending invasion of Iraq, the Times is asking the appropriate questions, and providing the same skepticism about what may be an unnecessary war that it did last year in covering W's tax cuts for the rich. It is what used to be called, "speaking truth to power", and that is why the far right is so pissed.
Ken Starr's latest victim...Bob Barr !!!

August 20, 2002

A couple of weeks ago, I marveled at an LA Times review, by a "critic" named Andrew Malcolm, puffing Fraulein Goebbels' discredited opus, Slander. Today, Bob Somerby picks up the trail as to who Andrew Malcolm is: a former campaign advisor to George W. Bush !! I kinda wish the Times had told us that at the time it published the review.
No wonder he loves Ann Coulter so much, and believes that Media Whores Online and Al Qaeda are linked...Mickey Kaus writes last night that "cultural populism", of the type historically practiced by Richard Nixon, Joe McCarthy, Theodore Bilbo, and George Wallace, is preferable to the "economic populism" that characterizes 20th century liberalism (see below). A good rule of blog: if it's worth writing, it's worth writing at a time other than 1:30 a.m.

August 19, 2002

As a word, liberalism can't seem to catch a break. In the '80's, and particularly after the Dukakis debacle in 1988, the right was able to transform the term that had once been embraced by FDR, Harry Truman, and Hubert Humphrey into something derogatory. Those of us who were to the left of center hastened to either embrace the term "progressive" to describe our politics, or would react with outrage that any sort of label was being used. After a wildly successful two-term Presidency, by someone who was generally (but clearly not always) a political southpaw, and a campaign where the combined left of center(Gore + Nader) vote constituted a clear majority, my compatriots now identify themselves as "populists". The distinction between the two terms, as they are used now in common parlance, is barely worth mentioning; historically, of course, "populism" has generally been a politics of demagoguery, often focused on the sort of bigotry and intolerance that liberalism opposes. At least until the next time we get our asses kicked in an election, liberals don't have to remain in the closet, cloaking our identity before a public that has been willing in recent elections to elect our candidates.
Terrell Davis will make a token appearance, then retire, during Denver's pre-season game tonight with the 49'ers. It's best to remember that before he came into the league, football experts thought that John Elway was an overrated stiff who always choked in the "big game". Sad to say, opinions similar to this writer's will probably prevail concerning his Hall of Fame chances. Counter-balanced against the two Super Bowls the Broncos won while Davis was their M.V.P., his 2000-yard season, and his dominating performances in the four seasons he was healthy, is the argument that Davis' career was too short (which is a fair argument), and the claim that Davis compares unfavorably to players who are in the H.O.F. but had even shorter careers, such as Gale Sayers and Ernie Nevers. It is a prime example of a sportswriter not being able to justify his opinions according to any objective criteria, so he makes subjective arguments that he will abandon when it comes time to argue in favor of some other player.

Sayers was indeed spectacular, but arguing, as that writer does, that he should therefore be in the H.O.F. ahead of Davis would be like a baseball writer arguing that Frank Howard should be in the Hall over Kirby Puckett, because his home runs traveled further (or more to the point, that Lynn Swann should be in the Hall over Steve Largent, b/c Largent had no highlight reel grabs). It wasn't Gale Sayers' fault that the teams he played for were lousy, but one can only speculate how he would have done in a game that really mattered; of course, there is no need to do so for Terrell Davis. Sayers is in the HOF for three reasons: 1) he was exciting to watch; 2) he was a famous player in Chicago; and 3) Brian's Song. If Billy Sims had played for the Bears, and had befriended a tragic white teammate, he would have been elected to Canton ten years ago. And the notion that any running back from the Jim Crow era in NFL history, such as Ernie Nevers or Cliff Battles, should rank ahead of any modern-day player is absolutely nuts. None of the players referenced in that article had quite the impact on a team or a season that Terrell Davis did, or more importantly, did as much to help his team win. And that, not whether he looks great in the highlight film, is the only relevant criteria to use in determining a player's qualifications for the Hall of Fame.
A belated happy b-day to my beloved sister, Cat, who turned...a year older yesterday. She will soon be moving to the Berkeley Hills with her hubby. It means I will have yet another place to crash when I visit the Bay Area.

August 18, 2002

According to the broadcast of their game last night, the expansion Houston Texans make their home debut this Saturday at the brand-spanking-new Reliant Stadium. I don't know what kind of business "Reliant" does, but that company could do me a huge favor if it files it's Chapter 11 petition in the Central District of California.
As you might have noticed, I have published less and less over the past two weeks. I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the direction my blog is taking, towards becoming little more than a clipping service for liberals, and away from something that actually reflects a sense of who I am. There's nothing wrong with websites acting as "clipping services", mind you; it would be great to see a southpaw version of Instapundit develop, especially for small websites like this one. I will still visit blogs that attempt to perform that role, and will not discourage visitors to this site from so doing. I assume, however, that most of the visitors to this site know how to find the most recent Krugman column in the NY Times without my having to link to it. I don't want to do that for you anymore, and the political sites that I will link to in the future, will, regardless of politics, be of a more analytical bent, like MaxSpeak and Rittenhouse Review, rather than sites that simply link to other bloggers and to newspaper columns that the blogger finds interesting; in other words, less linking, more thinking. And of course, anyone who links to me gets linked back, because I'm a narcissistic whore who's grateful for the attention.