Monday, October 13, 2003

This week's scandal. It will be interesting to see how far up this one goes.

The Gannett News Service reports that newspapers around the country have been receiving identical -- and apparently fake -- letters from US soldiers stationed in Iraq. The message: the reconstruction is going great, Iraq is returning to normal, and God bless the USA.

Here's a report from USA Today.

Thanks to Michael Goldman for passing along word of this sleazy campaign to demonstrate fake support for George W. Bush.

It's hard to muster much outrage -- this is too pathetically transparent for that.

Pox on Sox. While you were watching all hell break loose at Fenway on Saturday, I was huddled around a radio with about a half-dozen other fathers at a Boy Scout camping trip. The signal kept fading in and out. So you know more than I do.

What strikes me, though are two things:

  • The "Cowboy Up" crapola aside, this is a distinctly unlovable team. Yes, of course I'm glad the Sox are doing well, but these are not the Sox of '67, '75, or '86. There are too many crybabies and bullies.
  • Pedro Martinez seems to be one of those athletes whose very intensity makes him a far better teammate when he's doing well than when he's not. He just can't stop the frustration from boiling over when things are going against him. He's got to grow up, especially as he looks at the future. He may have some good years ahead of him, but his days as the dominant pitcher in baseball are almost certainly over.

There's been a lot of smart commentary in both dailies. One of my favorites was Michael Gee's column (sub. req.) in Sunday's Herald. His conclusion:

Winning is always the best PR. Ask Gov. Schwarzenegger. But the Sox didn't win. In the process of losing, they struck millions of neutral observers as childish boors.

Way to go, Pedro. That's quite an accomplishment, making the Yankees America's sentimental favorite.

Let judges judge. Today's Globe has a must-read column by Judge Mark Coven on the folly of mandatory minimum sentences for drunk drivers.

Coven's unassailable logic could be extended to mandatory sentences in general.

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