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Monday, August 23, 2004

It's Monday, which seems to be an appropriate day for a Themed Entry. Today, let's talk about Whining.

The Springboks capped a remarkable summer by winning the Tri-Nations on Saturday. Until a couple of key players (backs Percy Montgomery - yeah, with a name like Percy you'd better be a rugby player - and Breyton Paulse) were "sinbinned" (yellow carded with an accompanying 10 minutes in rugby's penalty box), die Bokke were in control for the bulk of the match. Following the match, George Gregan, Wallaby scrumhalf (maybe after the November election I'll run a piece on rugby positions) loudly griped to the press about having a plastic soda bottle tossed at him by an unruly fan. "I just wanted to make sure we had some evidence of what was going on. I told them to hang on to the bottle. We'll be making a complaint about this," he was quoted as saying after giving the bottle to a field offical.


The South Korean Olympic Committee is protesting Paul Hamm's win, saying that a scoring error (ugh- I'm not going to even try to explain) caused their gymnasts to win silver and bronze, respectively. They argue that Hamm should lose his gold, or at the very least Yang (the sivler medal guy) should get a gold as well.


Russia gymnast (sensing a pattern here) Svetlana Khorkina, who came in second in the Women's All Around, declared yesterday that the fix was on (from "Everything was decided in advance. I had no illusions about this when the judges gave me 9.462 for the vault after conferring with one another at length. I practically did everything right, still they just set me up and fleeced me," she said in the interview published on Saturday.


Bob Dole, on John Kerry's twenty year old testimony to Congress on war crimes in Vietnam: "Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam," said Dole, whose World War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm. Dole added: "And here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out."

This doesn't merit a "Waaaaah", so much as a "Shut The Hell Up." Kerry, along with dozens of other vets, testified to Congress about atrocities that they had witnessed. Does Dole also belive that those soldiers who've testified about the Abu Ghraib prison abuses owe the Iraq war vets an apology? And Dole should know that U.S. policy at the time was that any soldier/sailor/airman who was wounded in combat 3 times, regardless of the severity (and Kerry is still carrying around a piece of shrapnel, so it would seem to me that yeah, he probably bled a little when he got hit), was sent home. Finally, if you're going to publicly smear somebody, I'd recommend not referring to them as your "good friend", especially if you want to avoid looking like a bitter, senile jackass.

And speaking of, Bush today called for "that ad" (his words) to be taken off the air. Interesting timing, as connections between the Swift Boat Vets For Creative Recollection and Bush's financiers are starting to surface. There is a bit of Whining from our bemused President, as he wants all independant 527 ads to stop; including, presumably, the truthful one that links the Bush campaign to the Swift Boat crew.

So here's my advice to all the aforementioned Whiners.

Gymnasts: Accept the fact that you are circus performers, and not athletes. You're in a "sport" whose outcome is based on subjectivity. Don't like it? Play rugby. And watch out for flying soda bottles.

Bush: Do the smart thing and tell your lackeys to pull the plug on the Swift Boat ads. Because while lies are always exposed as such, the truth can be a nasty thing, and the 527 folks on Kerry's side will undoubtedly love the chance to educate the public about your "service", not to mean the booze, coke, and whoremongering.

Dole: The Viagara ads were creepy enough. Please remain in secluded retirement, so as not to frighten any more children with your ghoulish presence.


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