Category Archives: Sport

Dennis Rodman Infinitely Better Qualified To Negotiate With North Korea Than Neocons In Trump Admin

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Sport

A few days back, I updated an old post from 09.09.13, about Dennis Rodman’s goodwill trips to North Korea. It didn’t occur to me that the update, secreted in the post, “Dennis Rodman (& Russia) Promoting Global Peace,” would become relevant anytime soon, given Trump’s abysmally disappointing foreign policy direction. “Update (6/7/2017)” was just another thought to file away.

UPDATE (6/7/2017): President Trump will get more from North Korea and its patriotic people, who prefer their own dictator to American-imposed democracy, if he sends as an emissary a man who endeavored to open up that closed and cloistered society to outside influence through positive, voluntary exchanges and interactions, not threats; a man who opted for slow, laborious efforts that preclude lobbing bombs at North Korea or depriving its poor, long-suffering people of contact with the world. That man is Dennis Rodman.

We libertarians are not being cynical when we advocate peaceful diplomacy with nations rather than intervening in conflicts we don’t grasp and dropping Daisy Cutters on them because we can.

Well, “Rodman is making a return trip to North Korea,” reports Fox News. While Trump is not quite confessing to initiating the move, “a senior Trump administration official seems to know about the trip and has confirmed [the story] to Fox News.”

Maybe the penny has dropped and Trump has begun to understand that if he takes this country to war, he’s toast.

UPDATED: Rotten Journalism On Fox News About Ugly Americans Abroad

America, Crime, Ethics, Etiquette, Journalism, Sport

The TV had been on for an hour, and Fox News journalist Martha McCullum had yet to recount the “The Five Ws” of journalism vis-a-vis the case of “American swimmer Ryan Lochte being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.”

What happened?
Who did that?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did that happen?

Then McCullum, (still infinitely superior to the put-upon Gretchen Carlson) and her Fox New friends, proceeded to make light of the alleged behavior engaged in by US athletes while representing their country abroad, at the Olympic games in Rio.

Boys will be boys was the angle. At 32, Lochte is considered a boy.

How libertine.

The alleged facts via the AP:

A Brazilian police official told The Associated Press that American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.

The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, spoke on the condition of anonymity Thursday because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing probe.

He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located. One of the swimmers tried but failed to open the door of an outside bathroom.

A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.

The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.

According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. After a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount of money and then left.

The official says that swimmers Conger and Bentz, who were pulled off a plane going back to the United States late Wednesday, told police that the robbery story had been fabricated.

Lochte first lied about the robbery to his mother, Ileana Lochte, who spoke with reporters, the police official said. That led to news coverage of the incident and prompted police attention. …

UPDATE (8/18): The New York Post catches up with me:

Ryan Lochte open his mouth. And when you hear what comes tumbling out, it all makes perfect sense. … That’s the worst part of what Lochte and his stable of stumble-bumbling swimmer pals have done the past few days, now that it’s apparent that whatever might have happened to them late one night — actually, early one morning — in Rio, it wasn’t exactly the way Lochte described it the first time around. In fact, it seems apparent that Lochte and his cohorts in chaos — Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, all swimmers representing the US in a decidedly different way than Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps did — were using the old “robbed-at-gunpoint” chestnut as cover for what was apparently a gas station encounter with a security guard and, quite hilariously, a bathroom door. …

Blind, Self-Absorbed Media Lose Out In The NYC Marathon

Human Accomplishment, Pop-Culture, Reason, Sport, The Zeitgeist

In the context of the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon, whose “story” ought to be more compelling to a rational individual?

The story of Kenyans Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany who won the race, or the quirky story of some blind Frenchman, who resides in the US, seems to have access to all the resources in the world, and decided on a whim to recruit friends to assist him in running a marathon (the result of which would be guaranteed face-time on the American mass media, which is forever searching out freaky stories, or ways to shape their viewers’ notion of heroism).

The correct answer—yes, I’d argue there is such a thing—is the two Kenyans. You can be sure that the two gifted, heroic runners acquired their endurance and speed by running barefoot to school and back, each day. Barefoot not because it’s the latest (Western) trend in running, but by necessity.

Wow! Can you believe that the barefoot line was written above before I looked up the story, “What Makes Kenya’s Marathon Runners The World’s Best”?

In addition, most kids usually run to school barefoot, which I think has some effect because it means they grow up being excellent runners …

In fact, the “ran to school every day” thought was first floated on Barely a Blog in 2012, on 07.26.12 @ 3:01 pm, to be precise.

In any event, our heroes are: Anyone who runs a marathon, in general. And the incredible Kenyan champions who run against all odds.

In sum, sentimentality clouds judgment and leads to misplaced sympathy and, consequently, to the blind self-absorption and solipsism on display in the blind man Fox News segment.

Gunning For Tom Brady

Race, Racism, Sport, The Zeitgeist

I don’t give a tinker’s toss about the “Ow My Balls!” episode in which the New England Patriots are embroiled. (The satire “Idiocracy” predicted that in 2505, the age of the idiot, America would be enthralled by one of two seconds-long “films.” The first is “Ow my Balls!”) Worth pondering, however, is the hatred directed toward Tom Brady.

On MSNBC, the other day, a character from The Nation, Dave Zirin is his name, alluded to Brady’s own decaying Dorian Gray portrait stashed away in his attic.

In “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde told the riveting story of “a man who never ages while his portrait turns decrepit” because of his own “moral and spiritual putrefaction.” (The New Yorker.)

Nice comparison!

The Zirin bloke also protested the presence of a white man (Tom Brady) in a predominantly black sports league.

Brady’s a Dorian Gray (beautiful but evil) and he’s white (privileged but evil): If you ask me, these racists are gunning for the guy.