Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jerry-rigging "Dancing with the Stars"

Jerry Rice, you're a champ at football. You are not at dancing. So what the hell are you doing on Dancing with the Stars for another week instead of Lisa Rinna?

You're trying hard? Terrific. No doubt that had you put in the same amount of time into dancing that you had put into football, you'd be a phenom. But we don't reward effort, or else "Rudy" from Notre Dame would have been a Pro Bowler too. And if we could pledge performances instead of delivering, maybe Ryan Leaf might have as many Super Bowl rings as you.

Yeah, maybe your fan base will let you win. Wonderful. Hell, it's such a terrific idea, let's settle penalties in football the same way. We'll just have a vote on ESPN to settle them, instead of using professionals.

And the Jerry Rice I remember was too classy to attack the officials. Was I wrong? Or is that panel of people who've forgotten more about dance than either of us will ever know is wrong because they don't agree with you on your performance?

Are you sending some sort of public service message? And what would that be? Work hard and you can do anything you want? Or will you be reinforcing the OJ rule - it's all about popularity, and rules and standards and even laws are for suckers?

Watching yourself after watching, say, fellow competitor Drew Lachey, don't you get a little embarrassed? How much do you have to know about dancing to tell the difference? I'll bet that your little girls can tell.

Given enough time, I'll bet that you'd do even better. But that's not going to happen before the contest ends in a couple of weeks - if the standings show otherwise, it's the kind of ripoff that gave 50's game shows a bad name.

No Jerry, you're not the only one living off the fans. P should have left on week 2 or sooner instead of dissing every dance he claimed he did, and George Hamilton should have been close behind. Then you. The producers wouldn't have been very happy with a show of 5 women and Drew Lachey, but then they'll just have to work on their recruiting.

Hey, for all I know the whole works is fixed based on the ratings. Maybe you're just reading from a script, like washed-up pro football players who become professional wrestlers. If so, how sad. About all sentient beings know that pro wresting is plotted, but this show has been represented as an actual contest.

I guess we'll find out this week. If your legendary ass isn't gone when it's over, you and/or your writers will have made a mockery of the show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Remember COSCO?

It was 1998 or so, and we had a President who was suspiciously cozy with China. It was then that I heard of a plan involving China Overseas Shipping Company (COSCO) and the port of Long Beach, CA. It was all over various right-wing outlets at the time, such as Michael Reagan's show and WorldNetDaily.

I don't recall the details, but it was hard to believe that anything could be as bad as the lurid descriptions I heard (and at the time I was willing to believe just about anything about then-President Bill Clinton). Most of it had something to do with the fact that COSCO was effectively owned by the Chinese army. But most of all what I do recall is that the right wing outlets were the only sources of the story - I never saw anything about it in the MSM.

Now it's a few years later, and there's another company associated with a foreign nation doing a deal involving our ports. The difference now is that 1) we have a Republican President for the press to sucker punch (nope, no racial profiling here!), and 2) A new Congressional race has some Republicans are seeking ways to distance themselves from President Bush - that's always hot news, and 3) like monkeys flinging their feces, the Dems are following their usual throw-anything-and-see-what-sticks attack strategy, and anytime a Dem raises an accusation it's newsworthy.

Whatever the truth is, there's no question that the Bush Administration looks maladroit here. Sorry, but this doesn't sound like a good time for foreigners - Middle Easterners no less - to have a lot of influence on our ports. It's natural to expect lots of serious honest questions, and to have well-reviewed answers ready for the faxes. (If someone thought that this could slip by just because Clinton got by with murder, well - how naive can you get?)

And we have answers from a number of respectable outlets. Short answer - it's not a big deal.

In particular, note that there was a comment period on this deal, and it has expired. So be sure to ask the loudmouths why it took them so long to start bitching. If Congressmen are reading about this stuff in the paper, what does this tell us about Congress?

OK, I'm satisfied. Next story, please...