Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Par for the Coarse
News: The Ladies Professional Golf Association will require
players to speak English starting in 2009, with players who have been LPGA
members for two years facing suspension if they can't pass an oral evaluation of
English skills. "Athletes now have more responsibilities and we want to help
their professional development," deputy commissioner Libba Galloway told
The Associated Press. "There are more fans, more media and more sponsors.
We want to help our athletes as best we can succeed off the golf course as
well as on it."
Views: Hogwash. The LPGA, whose television ratings rank somewhere
below reruns of "Wife Swap," is using the race card as a scapegoat for its
It seems the women's tour has been populated in recent years by
Korean golfers whose skills often put them on top of the leaderboard. Like
most professional sports venues, it is becoming intermational in makeup.
But apparently many of the recent arrivals can't chat up the
sponsors, schmooze with high rolers in pro-ams or grab big enough endorsement
deals to please the cash hungry LPGA. So the tour leadership is blaming those
who don't look like them.
If it's not bad enough that the LPGA has chosen the meat cleaver
approach to its problems, it broke the news as athletes from around the world
gathered to compete in harmony and friendship in Beijing.
Half the Dodgers roster in recent years has been made up of
foreign-born athletes. Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if Major
League Baseball would have given Fernando Valenzuela or Hideo Nomo the heave
ho based on their language skills?
The LPGA has chosen stupidity over diversity.
News: The newspaper business is going to hell.
Views: This is a topic of great debate but apparently journalists
in San Diego are buying into the glass-half-empty view.
About 20 Union-Tribune staffers slept in the newspaper's lobby
recently, determined not to miss their chance to take what's expected to be the
final buyout offer.
News: Some men may be more genetically predisposed to encounter
difficulties in monogamous relationships, including marriage, a Swedish study
Views: Like we guys have been saying all along, we just can't
help it. The research out of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute suggests two
out of five men have the DNA pattern that makes them less able to commit to
a stable relationship.
And you thought we were just insensitive slobs.
If that's not enough, Psychology Today suggests that the history
of western civilization aside, humans are naturally polygamous.
Polyandry (a marriage of one woman to many men) is very rare, but polygyny (the
marriage of one man to many women) is widely practiced in human societies,
even though Judeo-Christian traditions hold that monogamy is the only natural
form of marriage.
Or, as George Bernard Shaw put it, "The maternal instinct leads a
woman to prefer a tenth share in a first-rate man to the exclusive possession
of a third-rate one."
This particular study has set off a debate about whether people
should conduct genetic tests to find out whether potential mates are bad
Which means when you give her a ring, she may ask to swab the
inside of your mouth before she says "yes."
Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University
who studies romantic love, told the Washington Post that she would not
reject a potential mate whose DNA is suspect. But, she added "I might not
start a joint bank account with them for the first few years."
News: John McCain names Alaska Gov. Sarah Polin as his running
Views: If McCain wanted to draw attention to the Republican
convention this week, he has succeeded beyond anybody's wildest dreams.
By selecting Polin, he has tosssed a political flash bang grenade
into the room whose resounding explosion is still ringing in our collective
And while many in the GOP decry the attention focused on Polin as
a liberal media hatchet job, they must know that when someone uknown is
dropped onto the international stage as a major player, questions are going
to be asked.
Are some of these questions irrelevant? Is the media going
overboard? Not when the person in question is next in line to be the most powerful
person on the planet.
I was critical last week when Obama named Joe Biden as his running
mate. A long-winded party insider who has been kicking around the Beltway
most of his political life, he hardly exemplifies the "change we can believe
in" mantra of the Obama campaign.
But Sarah Polin is more sound bite than substance, the victim of a
cynical process in which expediency often trumps experience.
If she's an attempt to corner the female vote, someone didn't do
their homework. When Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat, ran for vice president
in 1984 as the first woman on a major party ticket, she and Walter Mondale
lost the women's vote by 12 percentage points to Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
And strictly on resume, she makes Joe Biden look like Thomas