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Hootie Blows

Posted by Unf
on 03.01.03

Ogged asks what's up with Augusta National. All I know is that the greens behave like they've been treated with bikini wax.

As far as the law goes, there isn't anything (I think) that would make Augusta National open its doors to women. For that matter, nothing in the law (I think) compels Augusta National to open its doors to anyone other than rich white men. I would imagine that are no laws on the books in the State of Georgia that compel a private club to open its doors to anyone other than the people it chooses. Likewise at the federal level. The Civil Rights Act (and I am getting a bit out of my depth here) only prevents discrimination in public accomodations - that is, those establishments in interestate commerce (another question entirely) that open themselves up to the public. So Augusta has nothing to fear from the statute books. Furthermore, it is unclear that the Constitution would even allow a law that forced Augusta to open its doors to anyone. The First Amendment protects private associations in choosing their membership, to the extent that the private association has some expressive purpose in keeping its doors closed to some segment of the general public. This is why you aren't likely to find any openly gay Boy Scouts in this day and age. Now a private club like Augusta probably couldn't be thought to have any expressive purpose behind its exclusion of women. But its a hard question to answer. One that, I should emphasize, need not be answered given that no law compels Augusta to accept all comers.

Should our laws require private associations with no expressive purpose (i.e., possibly places like Augusta) to open up? That's for you, Ogged.

That all being said, just because its legal doesn't mean its right. I think Augusta ought to admit women members, though I'd gladly cave on that point if they offered me a free membership. So this Augusta thing isn't about the law, just about public pressure. Since Augusta has the KKK and a man named Hootie defending it, its hard to see that they're going to win this thing.


 

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There are people in Iraq?

Posted by Ogged
on 02.28.03

Those in favor of an invasion of Iraq have, with some justification, accused those opposed to war of betraying the very people they claim to defend. And while this story makes much the same point, the more interesting subtext is that no one in the US much cares about whether the post-Saddam Iraqi government is a representative one. While liberation may be a consequence of the war (and the reason you'd have to call me a playa-hata) it certainly isn't the motivation.


 

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But what's his position on abortion?

Posted by Ogged
on 02.28.03

And who would have thought a trucker could run 200 meters?


 

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KKK Loves Golf

Posted by Ogged
on 02.28.03

The KKK plans to demonstrate in support of Augusta National's club membership rules (which exclude women). Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, which is pressuring Augusta National to admit women, had this to say

"(Augusta National) should not be shocked by the KKK's endorsement. They have behaved in a manner that attracts this type of support.

It's hard not to sound reactionary when you defend an exclusionary policy (particularly when that policy is implemented by rich southern white men) but as a matter of law (help me out here Unf) just what is the purpose of a club if it can't exclude whomever it wants to exclude? Let me ask it another way. What is the difference between a club and a dinner party?

Or is it not a matter of law at all? Is it that Augusta National has become so prominent that someone can use public pressure to try to change its rules?


 

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OpenOffice

Posted by Ogged
on 02.28.03

Do people know about OpenOffice? Why doesn't everyone use it? It's a free download and I've been able to open all the MS Office XP documents I've tested with it and it's done a great job of rendering tracked comments, tables, and pictures. It even has a very cool bibliographic database feature that I haven't found in Word. And it runs on Mac, Solaris, Windows and Linux.


 

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War Parties

Posted by Ogged
on 02.28.03

What, your knowledge of the properties of sand at the 33rd parallel tells you just how the war will play out? Wait, you've divined the real reason for war in the relationship between Missouri politics and the price of Iraqi tangerines?Please. Pick a team and start yelling.

Bill Clinton bad. George Bush not Bill Clinton...Yes! War! (The Right.)

Listen, it's very simple: if we kill everyone who disagrees with us, we can have democracy everywhere. War. (The Neo-Cons.)

Joe Millionaire's over. Survivor's stale. What the hell, war. (The Americans.)

Even a broken clock is right twice a...damn, is it that time again? War. (The Playa-Hatas.)

If you're white, but act Arab, dude, you're worse than Arab. No war. (The Left.)

The exploitation of the brown people will proceed in the manner of our choosing. No war. (The French.)

If you only knew what the Israelis plan to do with Iraqi tangerines in Missouri. The war never stops, lapdog. (The Chomskyites.)


 

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Work Stinks

Posted by Unf
on 02.28.03

Isn't it always the case that the week your blog goes live, work decides to kick you in the ass?

I was sad to see that Mr. Rogers passed away. However, the only thing I can think to write about is Christopher Walken. In particular, I saw this ad for a new movie he's in - it can only be described as a dimwitted remake of The Color of Money. What was interesting was that the ad said Walken had won an Oscar. For what? The only thing I could think of was The Deer Hunter. Or maybe Joe Dirt.

Furthermore, I just don't tend to think of Christopher Walken as the kind of actor who wins Oscars. He's just so darn wierd.


 

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Mister Rogers

Posted by Ogged
on 02.27.03

Mister Rogers passed away last night and even amid the heartfelt sadness of people who either grew up with him or had children who did, there is, I suspect, a feeling held in reserve that he was a bit ridiculous and the forthcoming encomiums will be mawkish. But, to this bewildered immigrant kid, Mister Rogers was the ambassador of the patient, gentle, and safe America and he was enough for hope.


 

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Swollen Tongues

Posted by Ogged
on 02.27.03

Benjamin Netanyahu was in the news again today and I remembered how much he makes me think of one of the great lines from Oedipus at Colonus where Oedipus says to Creon (in the blogger translation) "yeah, you're pretty smart, but I don't know any decent man who's always so articulate." Netanyahu is so unhesitatingly loquacious that I could never quite believe that he believed what he was saying. That's an impression borne out, I think, by the fact that Netanyahu is more strident, but also more pliant, than Sharon. Of course, the unavoidable name in this context is Bill Clinton; but he is, as ever, a special case: someone who lies with his heart.


 

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It Lives!

Posted by Unf
on 02.26.03

Ogged is not much for ceremony, but I can't resist the opportunity to mark the occasion. Our blog lives! In what is sure to be a trend on this blog, all of the kudos go to Ogged.

I figure we need to attract some readers to this blog, so I thought I'd make my first entry a slanderous attack on the New York Times. Others seem to have had some success with this tactic. In particular, I thought this article was utterly ridiculous. All of the weighty issues facing our country these days, and the New York Times publishes an entire article on how Harvard is paying too much for office supplies? I like the New York Times and I even like most of the people I've met who've gone to Harvard. But this counts as news? As my Dad says, everytime someone at Harvard farts, the New York Times puts it on the front page.

I got really busy at work today, so this was the best I could do. I promise better for the future.


 

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Broadly Speaking

Posted by Ogged
on 02.25.03

It may be fair to say Ralph Peters is given to generalization, but this interview is full of nuggets which, at the very least, call for intelligent discussion (e.g., whether "Muslims never turn it around; they never have their reformation that breaks down the one true path." A statement with which Edward Said would likely disagree). But there are also bits that strike me as spot-on.

"There are certainly times when we desire stability in international politics, but in the underdeveloped world an obsession with stability means preserving failure and worse. Overvaluing stability is a heritage of the Cold War, over the course of which we rationalized our support of some very cruel regimes and we deposed elected governments we didn't like. You could justify it in terms of the greater struggle. But you can't justify it now.
What I wrote was that the shah always falls in the end, Saddam always turns on you, and the Saudis always betray you. If we support evil, the long-term price is almost always too high. And now we don't have to. Since 1989, or '91, depending on how you want to date it, we've been the only superpower. We haven't thought about what we've been doing."

And ideas that haven't been adequately discussed...

"The solution is targeting Saddam and his clique. Again, you have the limits of inherited language. Assassination is a loaded word, and we don't have a better one. What we're starting to have is the technology to leap over intervening armies and go after the sponsors. Wouldn't that be far more moral than plowing our way through the conscripts who don't want to be there in the first place?"

All in all, a cogent articulation of the confluence of Wilsonian and neo-conservative interventionism.


 

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Repression vs. Expression

Posted by Ogged
on 02.25.03

This story in the NY Times is useful insofar as it acknowledges that talking isn't always therapeutic, but, as Eugene Gendlin has shown, the important choice isn't repression vs. expression, but unfocused vs. focused expression. Here's a thoroughly Freudian simile: therapy is like searching for a water hose in mud. If you find the hose, you get clean; if not, you're just covered in mud.


 

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We can neither confirm nor deny

Posted by Ogged
on 02.25.03

David Talbot is defiant in the face of reports of Salon's demise. And I'm glad he's enjoying the hate mail (why are the angry people having so much fun?) but at the end of his piece we read "If every one of our 53,000 subscribers brings in just ONE additional subscription, Salon will finally break even this year." On one hand, ~100,000 subscribers to break even is lower than I would have expected, on the other, isn't that a 100% percent increase?


 

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