Friday, December 28, 2007

Goes to show what I know about South African politics. Of course, per my previous post on the subject, I could've stretched it and extended the analogy and compared Zuma to Alexander Hamilton and his oft accused designs on an imperial presidency, but I'd be disingenuous in doing so.

Besides, there are a lot more pertinent subjects. Like what the fuck is going on in Pakistan, and shouldn't we be worried? One can only hope they don't have any ICBMs. Probably not.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007: Great year for my family and me, tough year for democracy. When Putin's Person of the Year and Bhutto is killed by a suicide attack, probably by Musharraf's men, as elections (sham ones at that) approach, a year that began somewhat promising with the return of some form of balance of power here in the States, the destabilizing effect of 9/11 and six years of the Bush administration's militaristic response to it, are taking root everywhere you look. This trend, coupled with the continuing sub-prime mess, does not bode well for 2008. Whomever wins the election next November (and I pray it is Obama) will have quite a mess to clean up in 2009. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2007

When I read this article about the state of the ANC in South Africa, I can't help but draw parallels to the United States and the 1800 election. Mandela would be the George Washington of the ANC, although GW didn't survive to see the fraying into partisanship in its actual implementation, though he certainly foresaw it. I'm guessing the reminder was also triggered by my morning reading of the latest NY Times Book Review, which included the new book about the 1800 elections, A Magnificent Catastrophe. So the question is: Is the current state of the ANC a part of the natural evolution of democracy, or is it something else entirely? Depends on your definition of "is?"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Whatever ends up coming out in the Mitchell Report on baseball and steroid use, the underlying thing is this: The lax enforcement over steroid use in Major League Baseball is, in many different forms, a direct offshoot of the bad labor/ownership relations in the 80s and 90s. One part of this is the players union's steadfast refusal, at times, to agree to more stringent testing. Another part was a tacit willingness by management and others to look the other way as the home run derby got going between McGwire and Sosa in 1998. One might suppose the reason for the latter is because baseball needed some kind of event to bring some of the fans back after the 1994 strike debacle. There was no man behind the curtain in all of this, many are to blame, including, perhaps, ourselves. But I've long felt you can't put an asterisk on Bonds alone, because there were, common sense would dictate, plenty of pitchers using the stuff as well. I'm guessing when a bit of time passes, that this period WILL be looked upon as the "juiced" era in the same way we look at the "dead ball" era now.