The Atlanta Braves have been deluged with hate mail after baseball great Hank Aaron’s recent comments about racism in America and President Obama’s critics.
According to USA Today, the Braves organization has received hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls since Aaron made his comments a week ago.
"Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” read an email from a man named Edward, according to USA Today.
Edward evidently used the racist epithet five times.
"My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur)," he wrote in closing.
One man called Aaron a “racist scumbag,” while another vowed to never attend another Braves game until Aaron is fired from the team’s front office. A man named David said he plans to burn Aaron’s autobiography.
The outrage stems from an interview Aaron gave to USA Today last week, 40 years after he broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.
Aaron said he still has the racist, threatening letters he received as he closed in on Ruth’s milestone to serve as a “reminder” that things aren’t too different from when he pursued the record.
"If you think that, you are fooling yourself," Aaron said last week. "A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed."
When he shifted his attention to Obama, Aaron seemed to compare Republicans to the KKK.
"We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated," Aaron said.
He added, “We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”
Henry Aaron has received better hate mail than that weak sauce, Edward.
Now please kill yourself, you’re a boil on the ass of humanity who must be lanced.
I’d be willing to bet there’s not a whole lot of daylight between this hate mail and the stuff Hank got back in ‘73 as he closed in on Babe Ruth’s home-run record.
So please tell me more, America, about how Obama’s election means we’ve conquered racism in this country and black people no longer have anything to complain about.
“A bill that would require craft brewers to sell their suds to a beer distributor and make them buy it back to sell at their own breweries has cleared a Senate panel.
The measure (SB 1714) has so infuriated craft brewers and beer enthusiasts that some on Twitter have christened it with the hashtag “#growlergate.” The Community Affairs committee approved the bill Tuesday.
Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, was so incensed at the idea of craft brewers having to pay someone else to sell their own product that he likened it to a mobbed-up racket. Latvala has championed the microbrewery cause.
The requirement is similar to paying “protection to ‘Vinnie’ in New York,” he said.
The bill also is favored by the Big Beer lobby, which is feeling the heat from craft beer’s competition.”—
This is a perfect example of something that struck me the other day: The Republican Party only wants you to make money as long as you already have tons of it. Real-estate mogul, beer conglomerate, investment banker? They will mow down every last obstacle in your way to making mad profits, as unencumbered by taxation or new competition as possible.
But if you’re an upstart craft brewer or blue-collar worker — or, hell, college football player? Sorry, bruh. We could intervene and make it easier for you to get a business started, we could require your employers to pay you a living wage, but that would go against the free market. It’d impede the ability of huge corporations to really by the engines that drive this economy. And lord knows the government getting involved in the economy to engineer any particular outcome is just another step on the road to socialism.
As you can see, the look of this blog has changed, and may continue to change as I try to find something that’ll work best for my mix of photos, photosets and long, profane screeds against The Man. In the meantime … deal with it, I guess?
Republicans say President Barack Obama has been too passive in responding to the crisis in Ukraine, with some even suggesting he projects a weakness in foreign affairs that emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin to advance militarily into that country… .
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN on Sunday that Obama should “stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators.” Graham added that “Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
What do they want Obama to do, send American troops storming into the Crimea to drive the Russian invaders out? Even if that weren’t a fantastically horrible idea, it’d be something the American people would have no stomach for after a decade-long misadventure in Iraq that cost us billions of dollars we couldn’t really afford to throw away.
Or is it just that he’s not talking tough enough? Sure, he could say it’s wrong for Russia to invade a sovereign country that posed no immediate security threat (because it is), but then the rest of the world turns right around and says “Oh, you mean like y’all did in Iraq?”
The fact is, Obama doesn’t have a lot of good options here — or maybe any good options, period — and that’s primarily because our credibility on foreign military intervention was utterly decimated by Gulf War Part Deux. A war that Lindsey Graham, along with every other Republican quoted in that article, voted for and lustily supported until the bitter end.
Maybe they were playing a long game all along, knowing that a Democratic president would get elected sooner or later and hoping to be able to use this to back him into a corner? If so, bravo, guys — that is truly some awe-inspiring trollery on a global level. Doesn’t do much good for us or the Ukraine, of course, but at least you’re putting that feckless black president in his place.
1. A couple years ago, when pro-LGBT forces declared a boycott of Chick-fil-A in response to CEO Dan Cathy’s homophobic statements, they were called "Christophobic" (?) and "un-American." But now, when right-wing business owners in Arizona want the right to refuse service to anyone they don’t like, it’s all about “religious freedom.”
So it’s proper and American to exercise your religious/moral beliefs as a business owner, but not as a consumer. How do you like that, man — not only are corporations people, their religious/moral convictions officially supersede those of individuals. Sounds awesome. I wish I was a corporation.
2. I’m flying out to Vegas this week for a freelance gig, and not only am I flying America’s Aeroflot to get there, they’re making me change planes in Phoenix both ways. Now, even though it’s 2014, there’s still a not-insignificant segment of the evangelical right who still believe the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon. What if I’m sitting around in Sky Harbor on Thursday and the waitress at Chili’s Too doesn’t want to serve me because she thinks I worship the Virgin Mary? Can she do that?
3. I don’t plan on spending any money in Phoenix, of course, but that may well require some prior planning on my part, i.e. buying a drink or a sandwich in the Atlanta or Vegas airport and smuggling it on board to enjoy during my layover in PHX. Both Georgia and Nevada have so far resisted what I’m sure is a burning temptation to pass a law similar to Arizona’s.
And it occurred to me the other day: Why haven’t they passed, or even brought up, laws like Arizona’s homosexual Jim Crow bill? Nevada, obviously, has a tourism industry to worry about. Georgia’s got tourism and convention money to consider too, plus they have a burgeoning film industry that would surely think twice about doing any work here if gay actors, directors and production members had reason to believe they couldn’t even get a second glance at a Waffle House.
Arizona, evidently, has none of those things, or they wouldn’t feel free to crap on entire demographic groups like this. I mean, sure, they’ve got the Grand Canyon, but that’s a national park and the feds aren’t ever gonna conform to discrimination like this. So congratulations, Arizona, Kansas, Idaho and any other state that proposes anti-gay bills like these: You’re basically telling the world, “Our state sucks and nobody would ever want to come here.” Hope it was worth it.
Edited:Well, shit. So much for Georgia managing to avoid the temptation to leap on board the discrimination train. Never let it be said that there’s nothing another state can pass that’s so stupid our own lawmakers won’t try to top it. Our legislature is basically composed of good ol’ boys standing around the campfire going “NAWWW, MAN, WATCH ‘IS.”
doug has mundane details of modern life explained to him (first in a series)
ME (glancing through Victoria’s Secret swimwear catalogue) Why have these scrunch-butt bathing suits become so common all of a sudden? All it does is make you look like you have a wedgie all the time.
PATIENT FIANCÉE Ruching is good for skinny girls because it hugs the body in certain places and creates the impression of shape — like, it gives them curves in places where they wouldn’t otherwise have them.
ME But if you’ve got a flat ass, why would you want to call attention to it?
PATIENT FIANCÉE That’s the point — it makes your ass look curvier than it is.
ME I mean, if you want to call attention to your ass that badly, just wear a thong.
PATIENT FIANCÉE (witheringly) Yeah, that’s what everybody should do.
Josh Harvey-Clemons, all you other young’uns out there, sit your asses down for a minute. Uncle Doug’s gonna let you in on a little something, a bit of inside information that apparently is only known to old folks (and not even necessarily to all of them). This is the only place you’re gonna get it, so here goes.
You ready? You ready for this? OK, here it is: Marijuana’s not actually THAT great.
I know, I know, based on what you see in music videos and movies and whatnot, it kind of looks like pot is this magical thing, something that not only makes you blissfully happy but also establishes you as a carefree establishment-defier and/or a supreme badass. But I’ve smoked a lot of pot — like, a lot — in my hrrmmfrrzzsomething years on this planet, and I think I have enough experience to declare it “just OK.”
"Well, if it’s not that great, why have you smoked so much of it?" Well, for one thing, most of that was in college or my first few years out. These days I only come across it maybe once every few months, if that. And I’ll admit, in social situations it can be fun to be part of someone’s duchie-passing circle, everyone getting buzzed together. But let me make a couple observations about that: First, I have never been ragged on for turning down a bong rip or a puff on a jay. Probably because I’ve only ever smoked up around good friends, which is really the only time it’s fun to do anyway. I think the "Just Say No" forces in the ’80s did themselves a real disservice by portraying the refusal of drugs as something that requires a superhuman level of courage; making that big a deal out of it only makes people more likely to go along and not make waves. Nine times out of 10, nobody’s gonna give a shit whether you accepted or refused (and if they’re doing pot, they’re probably not gonna remember, either).
My second observation is this: There’s nothing so transcendent about the marijuana experience, even in a social setting, that it wouldn’t be just as enjoyable and endorphine-releasin’ to have a cocktail, eat a piece of pie or play Mario Kart. Enough with the hippie bullshit about how weed expands your mind and gives you all sorts of fantastic ideas; what it actually does is make you not want to do anything, and even if you do stumble ass-backward into an earth-shattering revelation while you’re tripping, you’ll forget it by the time you sober up.
Now, there is something to be said for that relaxation element, but there’s plenty of other ways you can get that — ways that won’t involve you getting kicked off a damn football team and potentially putting your future NFL career on a razor’s edge. (A positive drug test dropped Justin Houston from the first round of the 2011 draft to the third and probably cost him millions — and he was a first-team All-American who had 10 sacks the previous season. You think you’re gonna get treated any kinder as a sophomore who hasn’t actually accomplished anything yet?)
I think our nation’s drug laws — particularly as they pertain to marijuana — are as dumb as it gets, and I absolutely think there’s no reason for pot possession or usage to be a criminal offense. But I also think I should drive a Tesla and have a TV show where I play Christina Hendricks’ husband, so. The fact of the matter is that there are still a lot of places in this country — most of them, in fact — where having pot in your system will give people an excuse to cause you lots of problems. And if you’re going to put yourself at risk for those problems, I’d hope it’d be over something a lot more important (and satisfying) than a joint. I mean, if a joint actually could double your IQ and open your mind to that higher plane of consciousness where the secrets of our existence and the meaning of life become clear, I’d say light that motherfucker up and to hell with your parents, your coaches or the law. But oh, lordy, are you gonna be disappointed if you think it’s actually gonna do any of those things. Best-case scenario is that whatever lame-ass movie you’re watching on the USA Network at three in the afternoon is gonna seem a lot funnier to you. That’s it.
So there’s your bit of secret knowledge for the day. You can hold your heads up high knowing that you are now just a little bit wiser than everyone else out there. Go with God, and get off my lawn.
When Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced publicly over the weekend that he’s gay, the negative responses predictably broke down into two groups: the proud, unrepentant homophobes who called him an abomination and a faggot, and the folks who insisted they weren’t homophobic but just wondered why Sam had to be all up in their faces about his sexual orientation.
The second group would like you to believe there’s plenty of daylight between themselves and the first. Do not let them get away with this. What these folks call “throwing it in people’s faces,” we straights just call “living normal lives.” Don’t we? I mean, I can post pictures of hot redheads on my blog, read (heh, “read”) the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue on the bus to work, and introduce my fiancée around to everyone I know without any repercussions for these overt displays of heterosexuality. Yet all Michael Sam does is say he’s gay and all of a sudden he’s this flamboyant attention-seeker. Can we really not see the double-standard here?
The alternative to Michael Sam coming out and “throwing it in people’s faces,” of course, would be to stay in the closet, hide the truth about whom he loves … and basically act straight. In other words, do exactly the things that gay people had to do for centuries before we entered a slightly more enlightened time in which gay people aren’t automatically condemned as evil perverts. Is that what the “throwing it in my face” crowd would prefer? Apparently, even having to acknowledge the existence of something they don’t agree with or aren’t comfortable with is too much for some people’s delicate sensibilities to handle. You can call that a lot of things, but you can’t call it “tolerance.”
Keep a very close eye out for these people if you’re a sports fan inclined to participate in comment threads or message boards. You’ll hear a lot of them profess tolerance and declare that they don’t care what someone’s sexual orientation is, but then they’ll take that a step further and wonder “why this is even a story” they have to hear about. The answer is pretty simple: It’s a story because no active pro or college football player has come out before. And the reason none of them have come out before is because they feared the reactions of teammates, sportswriters and fans — i.e. members of the “stop throwing it in my face” crowd. The longer we as a society forced gay football players to live in the closet, the bigger a story we made it when one of them inevitably decided to come out.
If you’re one of those folks who doesn’t like reading all this news coverage of a player’s homosexuality, try this: Instead of complaining to anyone who will listen about how you don’t want to have to hear about it, just pipe down. The less of a fuss we make about the first gay player coming out, the sooner the next player will come out, and the next one, and the next one after that, until openly gay professional athletes are as common and non-newsworthy as the sun rising in the East. That’s what a tolerant, non-homophobic person like yourself really wants … isn’t it?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
2. Now read the first five words again: "Congress shall make no law." What that means is the government can’t infringe or impose any penalties upon your right to say whatever you like.
3. Beyond that, though, you’re on your own. If you say something in a public forum that embarrasses your employer and has the potential to harm their business, for example, they can fire you, and there ain’t shit you can do about it.
4. Also notice there’s nothing in there about being insulated from criticism. If you say something dickheaded and I’m all “Yo, man, you’re a dickhead,” I can do that. ‘Cause the first amendment applies to me, too.
5. Also notice there’s nothing in there about being constitutionally entitled to a TV show.
6. So when a TV network tells a guy who got super-rich making duck calls that they don’t want to put him on TV anymore because he’s kind of an idiot, I hope we can all take a step back and realize that there are way bigger injustices going on in the world these days. On an oppression scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Mom says you can’t eat your entire bag of Halloween candy in one sitting and 10 being the Holocaust, this barely counts as a 1.5.
on nice guys finishing last, or occasionally third in the sec east
We can argue all day about whether Georgia’s had the necessary killer instinct on the field, but do we have it off the field as well? And in the end, is that a more pertinent question?
Senator Blutarsky had a very insightful post yesterday pivoting off of Aaron Murray’s complete lack of Heisman buzz to ask whether “this passiveness creeps into other areas” of the Georgia program. Even as someone who follows individual awards about as closely as I follow Canadian politics — from the silly marketing contest of the Heisman on down — I’ll certainly admit to some major pangs of regret that Murray’s spectacular Georgia career hasn’t gotten more publicity than it has. And I, too, have wondered if maybe the Georgia football program as a whole should be willing to stand up for itself more.
Before I launch into too much of a diatribe here, let me say that as someone who is proud to hold a Georgia diploma, I am equally proud of the way our athletic department conducts itself. I’m sure Georgia Tech fans will drop their teeth when they hear me say it, but I think we operate in a pretty classy and ethical way over at Butts-Mehre. I’m proud that the “Mark Richt has lost control of…” meme has faded away as people have seen just how tight a ship Richt runs in terms of discipline. Certainly tighter than what Urban Meyer ran at Florida, as people are beginning to find out. Or to cite another example, it’s been a long time since we had any Jeremy Hills on our team — Richt has cut ties with players for misconduct far less serious than either of the offenses for which Hill has been permitted to skate.
While we’re holding our players accountable when they do wrong, though, are we spending equal effort promoting them when they’ve done right? Or defending them when they haven’t done wrong at all? Here I’m thinking of the way we just meekly accepted A.J. Green’s four-game suspension for selling his own property back in 2010, while other players were missing less time for shadier dealings. Does this passivity filter down to the way our players perform on the field?
And does it affect the way high-school recruits perceive our program and its place in the national hierarchy? Do they perceive Georgia as a place that will stand up for them and market them well for their achievements? With the usual caveat about how the state of Georgia has so much blue-chip talent that Mark Richt literally can’t sign them all, I wonder if our don’t-make-waves attitude has something to do with the ease with which coaches such as Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn and Hugh Freeze can come into this state and grab prospects Georgia desperately wants. (It’s certainly not a matter of program stature — look at the state Auburn and Ole Miss were in when Malzahn and Freeze got there.)
Let me be clear: This is not a call for Georgia to be loosening the reins on discipline (well, except for our draconian marijuana policy, but we can have the drug-legalization debate another time) or to demand any less of our players when it comes to being upstanding citizens. For example: As much as it’s driven me crazy this season to see Nick Marshall, a former Georgia player, leading Auburn to an out-of-nowhere national-championship bid, I wouldn’t change a thing about how Georgia dealt with him back in February 2012. If I’m Mark Richt, I’m not about to stand in front of my team and tell them that they have to continue sharing locker-room space with someone who stole from them. And I certainly don’t want Georgia developing a reputation as a program where QBs can go to rehab their image after they’ve been chased away for malfeasance elsewhere.
And when the NCAA screws over players like A.J. Green — or Ray Drew and Ramik Wilson, victims of the two worst targeting calls I’ve ever seen during this year’s Vanderbilt game — I want us raising holy hell about it. Enough of this “don’t make waves, we’ll handle it through official channels” stuff. So Mark Richt or Greg McGarity might get fined for speaking out too harshly against the officials? Pay the fine and move on. It’s not like we can’t afford it.
Mark Richt is never going to be Nick Saban and our athletic department is never going to be Alabama, or Auburn, or LSU, or [insert longtime rival here]. That’s not what I’m asking for. I’m simply asking for our athletic department to stand up for its players — and itself. Nice guys don’t necessarily finish last, but meek, accepting ones typically do. At times it’s been tough reconciling that fact with our overwhelming emphasis on running a “classy,” “proper” program, but Richt, McGarity and the rest of the folks at the top simply have to be more confident that we can promote, market and defend ourselves more aggressively without selling away our souls.