Now Glenn Beck hates FIFA…

Hertzberg’s column in this week’s New Yorker caught my attention, if only for the idiotic ramblings of Glenn Beck and company:

Today’s conservative soccer scolds are not so good-natured. Their complaints are variations on the theme of un-Americanness. “I hate it so much, probably because the rest of the world likes it so much,” Glenn Beck, the Fox News star, proclaimed. (Also, “Barack Obama’s policies are the World Cup.”) What really bugs “silly leftist critics,” the Washington Times editorialized, is that “the most popular sports in America—football, baseball, and basketball—originated here in the Land of the Free.” At the Web site of the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, formerly a speechwriter for George W. Bush, wrote, “Soccer is a socialist sport.” Also, “Soccer is collectivist.” Also, “Perhaps in the age of President Obama, soccer will finally catch on in America. But I suspect that socializing Americans’ taste in sports may be a tougher task than socializing our healthcare system.” And then there’s G. Gordon Liddy. Soccer, Liddy informed his radio listeners, comes from Latin America, and first we have to get into this term, the Hispanics. That would indicate Spanish language, and yes, these people in Latin America speak Spanish. That is because conquistadores who came over from Spain—you know, tall Caucasians, not very many of them—conquered the Indians, and the Indians adopted the language of their conquerors. But what we call Hispanics now really are South American Indians. And this game, I think, originated with the South American Indians, and instead of a ball they used to use the head, the decapitated head, of an enemy warrior. Liddy’s guest, a conservative “media critic” named Dan Gainor, responded cautiously (“soccer is such a basic game, you can probably trace its origins back a couple of different ways”), while allowing that “the whole Hispanic issue” is among the reasons “the left” is “pushing it in schools around the country.”

Read the whole article  here


Howard Dean!

I met the man once, he was in his socks (cowboy boots offered to him as a present were too tight) in the backyard of the house giving an impromptu speech at a BBQ. Yes, I have photographic proof – in any case, I found Dean’s recent characterization of the “health care reform” as “hocus pocus reform” to be quite precise:

Howard Dean proved long ago that he marches to the beat of his own conscience. Neither personal attacks nor appeals to party — nor mockery voiced by Washington’s media establishment — will move him when he thinks he is right. So despite a barrage of harsh reaction from the mainstream press, liberal politicians and interest groups and the White House itself, the former DNC chairman remains unswerving in his opposition to the Senate Democrats’ healthcare bill.

Tough Shit Justice, or Changing the World

Marx’s famous pronunciation, 11th thesis on Feuerbach – Die Philosophen haben die Welt nur verschieden interpretiert; es kommt aber darauf an, sie zu verändern[Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it] – makes me wonder (and always did) whether philosophers should be trying to change the world as philosophers or if they should abandon their futile efforts to explain the world (or leave it to scientists) and do something else (that else hopefully would be directed at changing the world). Continue reading

Yale UP: Scared of Annoying People

This annoys me-how can you have a book about the cartoon controversy without printing the actual cartoons?  Idiocy!?   From the NY Times: “Yale Press Bans Images of Mohammed in New Book”

It’s not all that surprising that Yale University Press would be wary of reprinting notoriously controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a forthcoming book. After all, when the 12 caricatures were first published by a Danish newspaper a few years ago and reprinted by other European publications, Muslims all over the world angrily protested, calling the images — which included one in which Muhammad wore a turban in the shape of a bomb — blasphemous. In the Middle East and Africa some rioted, burning and vandalizing embassies; others demanded a boycott of Danish goods; a few nations recalled their ambassadors from Denmark. In the end at least 200 people were killed.  Continue reading

The New Stupid

Scott E. Kaufman (aka Acephalous) writes about The New Stupid who, surprisingly, show up to comment on his post almost immediately thus proving his point (whatever that point might be, they haven’t read it).  I have thought about it along the same lines of conservative impotence and how much it must suck (especially when “proposing” things and getting a cold “you were in power for 8 years, why were you not doing anything about it then?”) – but clearly SEK is able to present the matter in a much clearer way.

Disorderly Conduct: Don’t Be Hating.

Although I am sure that the charge of “disorderly conduct” has a long and glorious history, only with the arrest of Robert Louis Gates, a Harvard professor, the public finally realized that police is only there to serve and protect you if you are a well-behaved and respectful citizen (preferably, of course, white and middle class). Overly expressive fellow was arrested in DC the other day for loudly stating his distaste for the police (arguably a stupid stunt only a white DC lawyer would attempt).  ACLU responded with a fine description of the situation: “Current D.C. law on disorderly conduct (section 22-1307 & 1321) is confusing, overbroad, frequently used by police to harass disfavored individuals and violates constitutional rights of free speech, assembly and petition.”  Really? Police harassing people they don’t like? Get right out of town!   Continue reading