Wednesday, September 3, 2003
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A few good rants -- on ESPN.com
One of the perks of having my own blog is that I can post about pretty much anything. I try to keep the ratio around 50% on world politics, 25% on domestic politics, 15% on academia, 9% on popular culture, and 1% on Salma Hayek (as opposed to Friedrich von Hayek).
Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column on ESPN.com is about 50% on football, 25% on humorous asides about current events, 20% on "megababes" (his word) and 5% on serious rants.
Unless, like me, you like football there's a chance you would miss some of the good rants. So as a public service to the blogosphere, let me put Easterbrook's rant from his column two weeks ago about Toronto mayor Mel Lastman's comments following the Northeast blackout:
Indeed. Here's another excellent rant on an issue I failed to blog about out of sheer laziness, the Ten Commandments flap in Alabama. This is what Easterbrook has to say about Alabama Chief Justice (and unofficial chief jackass) Roy Moore:
UPDATE: This Jay Drezner post reminds me why I like football so much.posted by Dan on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM
Please increase the 1% Salma Hayek blog ratio to at least 5%. I'd do it myself at P&F except that I'm afraid to incur my wife's wrath. As is, I have a hard enough time to get her to read my posts regularly!posted by: Robert Tagorda on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Well, the U.S. was by no means quick to take responsibility for the deaths of the Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, or even to acknowledge it as an event. It did eventually and under some duress-- not the behavior that one might decently expect.posted by: Jacob T. Levy on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Easterbrook also completely gets his retelling of the Somalia Affair wrong. You really saw this as a "good" column?posted by: BruceR on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Speaking of Salma, check out "Salma Hayek vs. Friedrich Hayek Scorecard."posted by: Roger Sweeny on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
I've read TMQ for the last four years (it was with Slate until last year when the column moved to ESPN) and always found it extremely enjoyable. During football season, it's the column I most highly anticipate every week.posted by: Ryan Booth on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Mel Lastman is Toronto's Marion Barry. This is a guy who said, while in office, that he didn't want to go to Africa because he was afraid of being boiled in a pot. I'm not kidding. He's a blithering idiot, and every country has their share.
Americans would be well advised to ignore Canadian politicians when forming opinions about US-Canada relations. We are led by spineless, opportunistic, self-righteous idiots. Speak to a Canadian cross-border shopper or a snowbird vacationer if you must; I'll bet you'll be received warmly. Just don't listen to our politicians.
Cheersposted by: Mark on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Gotta disagree with Mark on ignoring Canadian politicians. We are indeed led by spineless, opportunistic, self-righteous idiots up here, but they didn't elect themselves.
Easterbrook is absolutely right. Lastman is a jerk. But there have been so many Canadian politicians saying stupid things about America and Americans (remember Herb Dhaliwal - "Bush is no statesman"? Carolyn Parrish - "I hate those bastards," Francine Ducros - "Bush is a moron," and don't get me started on Yasser's pal Svend Robinson).
The big question for me is, why? Why would Canadians elect so many bozos who feel safe in expressing these despicable anti-American sentiments? My best guess is that anti-Americanism in Canada has the same inspiration as elsewhere: jealousy.posted by: Patrick Brown on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
-Dan, what's your opinion of the name "Redskins" as a racial slur? Easterbrook has been writing ad naseum on this.
-Matt Yglesias had suggested that Easterbrook should convert his column to a blog.
-I like Peter King's Monday column more than Easterbrook's, because Easterbrook spends half the column on the same things every week (blitzing is bad, bad NYT predictions, play-fake on 1st-and-goal, etc.).posted by: Hei Lun Chan on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
I think Gregg makes a good point -- note that he makes a clear distinction between the Redskins, which is derogatory, and the Chiefs and Braves, which are more laudatory.
It doesn't matter if Easterbrook blogs or not. He's just a good writer.
Sorry, I'll take Easterbrook over King in a heartbeat. The former devotes 20% of his column to megababes; King devotes 20% of his column to coffee>. No contest.posted by: Dan on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Mel Lastman is an idiot but he's a product of Ontario and to besmirch the rest of Canada due to his sins is as bad as thinking that stupidity in New York or California is all that matters in the US. I love TMQ and have read it for years but Easterbrook has treated complaints about Canada as a running joke in his columns for a while now. He's only partially right about the Somalia affair because the Canadian military had admitted more than his brief treatment of the matter conveys. As a hint, there isn't a Canadian Airborne Regiment anymore. It's fine to say that the US is more responsible than shallow critics will admit to but Easterbrook doesn't know enough about Canada to make his own charges against Canada stick. As for ascribing Canadian anti-US statements to jealousy, well you could say the same of US anti-Canadian statements.posted by: Andy on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
That's true, Patrick. Canadians did indeed elect this lot of scumbag politicians. But, without getting into a boring conversation about our flawed parliamentary system, it is particularly vulnerable to the kind of political fragmentation of the right we see today. The result is a government that received - what - 32%? 35%? of the popular vote but is supposed to speak for all Canadians.
So we end up with politicians who, while playing to base anti-Americanism, know that they are unlikely to suffer for it politically. Nonetheless, most Canadians - at least those I know - reacted to your aforementioned anti-American examples with disgust.
Plus, Don Cherry supported the Iraq war, and that's good enough for me.posted by: Mark on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Say what you want about Greg- the best name for a football team-
(football will de-intellectualize any conversation forthwith.)
Timposted by: Tman on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Mel Lastman is a right-wing idiot, people. And he isn't alone. The right-wing party in Canada considers Mandela a terrorist.
40%, with five major parties in the election. More than the PC and CA put together. The other 25% of the vote went to parties to the left of the gov't. Elected dictator my ass. Besides, Bush supporters shouldn't be mentioning the popular vote as a measure of who should be in power.
Dan, if you're reading: I encourage you to cut out the "indeed"s and "heh"s. The Instafool is no one to emulate. You're a hundred times smarter and that much more interesting. Find your own style.posted by: on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Not that I have any objection to applying the Bill of Rights to the states, but I left law school with the impression that the "incorporation" theory (the doctrine that most of the Bill of Rights became applicable to the states by way of the Fourteenth Amendment) rests on very shaky foundations. Clearly the incorporation theory is good law now, because the Supreme Court says it is, but was it in the minds of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment? I doubt it.posted by: Aaron Baker on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Sym, if you want to pretend the Liberal party is representative of Canadians, go for it; 63% of the population voted, so your Liberals credibly speak for about a quarter of us. The Liberals are a bunch of anti-American, cowardly political mercenaries who stand for nothing but winning elections. When faced with the most important geo-political issue of the last half-century, they chose, along with the French, to abandon Iraqis to slavery, rape and genocide. Thanks to Chretien, Canada, when not being ignored, is reviled by its most important economic, strategic and political partner. Quite a legacy. *golf clap*
I can't wait to see what another decade of misrule will bring.posted by: Mark on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
There is something about depending on somebody else for defense that leads countries like Canada and most of those in Western Europe into giddy irresponsibility and a farcical sense of self importance that would be entertaining if it were not so tragic.posted by: Jerry Carroll on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
Mel Lastman is an idiot.
Do you know who cares about Lastman?
Noooooooobody!posted by: Toronto tenants association on 09.03.03 at 03:00 PM [permalink]
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