Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Trash

I was going to use the lyrics from the New York Dolls song, but they don't fit. So, we can open this up as some kind of "name the entry" contest. The theme is a complete disrespect for the rest of humanity. Songs are preferred.


When Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy wound up missing, no one had the right to expect a happy ending. And we didn't get one, as it turned out Dennehy was murdered by a former teammate. This seemed about as low as the story could go. But who knew what Dave Bliss was thinking?

Bliss, the Baylor basketball coach, became concerned that investigations would uncover payments he had made to players. Bliss's plan? Blame it all on Dennehy. He went to his players, and his assistant coach Abar Rouse, and tried to convince them that the best path was to accuse Dennehy of being a drug dealer, and giving some of the money to the others. The rationale for this was that Dennehy was unable to defend himself, wouldn't be harmed by the accusations, and would get Bliss off the hook.

Fortunately, Rouse taped these conversations, and turned them over to the press. Bliss is done, and the Baylor basketball problem has reached a new pinnacle of disarray. I'm not sure what will happen with Bliss, but all I keep thinking was that for Bliss to follow such a course of action, he had to be the most scared public figure since OJ took the Bronco ride. Just for paying players.

Here's hoping that the rest of the Baylor basketball program realizes that they hit an awful convergence of a terrible crisis combined with a spineless, uncaring leader at the helm, and that none of this is a reflection on them, or something they might see again in the future.
A CNN/SI Bliss Story




Ted Williams. Man, O'Man, where to begin? Days after Sports Illustrated prints a story from a disgruntled former employee of Alcor about the conditions of Ted's body at the Alcor plant, the same employee puts pictures of Ted's head on the internet. Of course, you got to pay to see them, and reports are coming out that the Williams Kids aren't paid up, and that Ted could be banished from the facility. Who knew that the Ted Williams record that might stand for all of time is "Most horrible stories associated with one person's remains"?


"I don't think he's forgotten his immigrant roots."

This is a quote from Abel Maldonado, cochair of the Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign for Governor, and I have lots of problems with it. First, there's the question of whether or not Arnold has the right to claim any connection to the immigrant experience. Pumping Iron came out when he was a young man, in 1976. Conan the Barbarian was released in 1982. Arnold became a citizen in 1983. I don't know what year Arnold first moved to America, but its safe to say that being a movie star when you become a citizen is not part of the normal immigrant experience.

Then, there's Arnold's positions in regards to major issues of concern for Hispanic voters in California. Arnold voted for Propostion 187, a 1994 proposal to cut off government benefits to illegal immigrants. You can make a good argument for that of course, but you wouldn't expect that argument from someone who remembers his "immigrant roots". There's also Arnold's 15-year association with US English Inc., which advocates making English the official language of the United States and opposes Bilingual Education. Again, they're both arguable points, bot not something that represents a traditional immigrant view.

Finally, there's the whole Nazi thing. While I am not comfortable with the fact that Arnold's Dad was a Nazi, that's not his fault, and I don't think that should be an issue in this campaign. But then there's his relationship with Kurt Waldheim, another Nazi. Schwarzenegger has always supported him in all of his political aspirations, never once mentioning the crimes Waldheim participated in. Is Arnold a Nazi? No, I would never say that. But carrying on a relationship with someone who took part in the worst treatment of a minority group in history is not something you do if you remember your "immigrant roots".

Trying to appeal to minority voters because you were born in another country, when much of what is in your past shows everything ranging from a complete disconnection with the immigrant experience to friends who were Nazis, is the worst kind of pandering. Worse really, than anything I can remember, and Arnold should be called on it.
Arnold and Kurt


Arnold, his Dad, and Kurt



Dave's Email

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