A Sunny Place for Shady PeoplePithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.
Friday, February 28, 2003
Monday, March 03, 2003
Theodosius I, Emperor of Rome in A.D. 394, after concluding that the Olympics were rife with corruption and bribery, had the good sense to ban them.
Thankfully, they stayed banned for about 1,500 years, until they were revived in the 19th century as a surrogate battlefield for warring city-states in Europe.
Where is Theodosius now when we need him?
The Olympics, in all of its event-judged (subjective evaluation) contests, are either rigged or blatantly open to bribery and extortion.
And even in so-called objective matches there looms the nasty business of anabolic steroids.
The recent skating scandals were just like a mole on top of a huge hump of oozing Augean Fix.
Why are we even surprised?
The Olympians just imitate the pros of sports scams: football, basketball, hockey, and baseball --- many of them arguably "fixed."
We won't even dwell on the bribery of top IOC officials (with helicopter rides and plastic surgery!) by various cities snarling at each other in order to profit by "hosting" this nonsense.
Perhaps the only solution is to judge Olympic sports by objective measures only.
Or simply stop pretending these are amateur events and recognize them as professionally and officially corrupt.
Or, better still, get rid of these political games entirely.
And what is this business of a "Gay Olympics?"
The good old regular Olympics is so gay that the thin lipped potentates who run this allegedly non-profit outfit have even been known to blush ever so coyly when the "Games" are at their gayest.
Where are you, Theodosius?
Unrelated Must Read: Timothy Garton Ash, "Anti-Europeanism in America," The New York Review of Books, Feb. 13, 2003.
(In whimsical order)
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Thursday, February 27, 2003
We discovered an authoritatively fascinating article (and commend it to you), by the insightful Whoopee Sue Feinstein, on the stereotypes attorneys exploit in jury selection in their unparalleled greedy zeal to prevail at trial --- at the cost of justice thwarted, perverted, and denied.
These generalizations sweeten the wallets of litigators who abuse them in achieving their only goal --- winning.
Justice has nothing to do with it --- or them.
The foundation for these generally acknowledged "truths" among the savvy shysters who employ them is social class, race, and ethnicity.
The DEFENSE prefers these types:
* The heavy, slow moving and round-faced (tolerant, lacking in self-control).
* "Emotional" Latins.
* The easily swayed, the confused, the ignorant.
* Jews --- sentimental and "liberal."
* Women --- "victim sensitive."
* Salesmen, actors, artists and writers --- those who have "suffered" from their exposure to life's seamier venues.
* Blacks --- sympathetic to criminals.
* The Old --- enough to finally understand human frailties.
PROSECUTORS demand these types:
* Conventional, white homeowners with steady jobs.
* The thin, underweight, and delicate.
* Orientals --- conservative.
* Bankers (and all their ilk) for their flinthearted reserve.
* Men --- cold blooded.
* Bureaucrats --- conformists.
* Engineers and mathematicians --- logical.
* Irish-Americans --- cozily comfortable with "law and order."
* Yuppies --- terrified of criminals, in love with themselves and their property, and indifferent to suffering.
These conflicting choices sometimes cancel out each other in the heat of voir dire challenges by opposing counsel. It's a crap shoot.
And jury selection consultants -- for those who can afford their pricey aroma -- are hired to study prospective jurors' backgrounds, appearance, and body language.
In short, as the old lawyer joke goes: "In England, the trial begins after the jury is selected. In the U.S., the trial is over after the jury is selected."
The rant appears on Mondays and Thursdays.