It is hard to root for the Red, White & Blue

I’m a golfer. I like and follow professional golf. I’d like to think the average professional golfer isn’t a pampered, spoiled horse’s ass. Then something happens to make me realize otherwise.

The President’s Cup, a set of matches pitting a team of American golfers against their international counterparts, begins Thursday. The players have been practicing this week at the course hosting the event, where the following brouhaha occurred:

Presidents Cup captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player engaged in an animated
exchange over players signing autographs during practice rounds at the
Presidents Cup on Tuesday.
Nicklaus, who is captaining the U.S. team for a
third time, confronted Player on the driving range and accused the International
team captain of breaking an agreement to not allow players to sign autographs on
the golf course.

World No. 2 Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and the
International team in general were seen signing autographs throughout the day as
they practiced at the Robert Trent Golf Course. Later, some U.S. team members
also signed for fans.

After talking with Player, Nicklaus told fans
around the driving range -- as he was signing autographs -- that some of his
players thought the Internationals where making them look "like jerks," said

The European team drove the U.S. to distraction at
last year's Ryder Cup in Oakland Hills near Detroit, signing autographs and
mingling with American fans as part of a major charm offensive designed to help
diffuse some of the hostility they might face during the event.
The plan
worked as the Europeans received a mostly warm welcome from the pro-American
crowd as they rolled to record-breaking 18½-9½ victory.

Let me put this in another way. The American team basically said to the International team ‘Look, we have no urge to be cordial to the people that help pay our salary by signing a few autographs, but we don’t want to be called out as the jerks that we really are. Could you not sign autographs either so we can pull off the scam that we can’t possibly tear ourselves away from practicing for a second? Thanks a bunch’. The International team agreed, waited for the American team to leave, called them a bunch of wankers/blokes/chumps/hosers and ignored the request. And since the America side is not just pampered and spoiled, but thin skinned, they couldn’t for a moment be seen as the bad guys and out came the Sharpies.

Mr. Nicklaus, if the International team has no problem signing autographs during a practice session and the American team does, the Americans don’t look like jerks, they are jerks. Also, Mr. Nicklaus, if the American team can't learn their lesson when competitors used the nefarious autograph signing gambit just last year, not only are they jerks, but they are dumb jerks.


A letter to Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele

This is the text of a letter I wrote to Michael Steele, the African-American Lieutenant Governor of Maryland regarding the late action of the federal government in helping victims of Hurricane Katrinia, specifically the ones in New Orleans

Lt. Governor Steele:

My name is Anthony Nurse and I am a resident of Montgomery County. I moved to this state in 2001, so I am not intimately familiar with Maryland politics in general or you in particular. I do know three things about you though; you are the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, you are rumored to be running for U.S. Senate in 2006, and you are black.

I’m sure you, along with the rest of the country, have watched in horror the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in New Orleans. I have been absolutely stunned by the late response from the federal government to help people stranded in the city without food, power or water. I’ve seen what this country can do for people in need both in and outside this country during times of natural disasters, and it wasn’t done in this case in a timely matter. The only difference in this case is the majority of the affected are black, like you and I.

Outside of rank incompetence, I can’t think of any other reason the federal government would be so lax in helping people, except that the pain of black people doesn’t mean much to them. The federal government which is currently controlled by your party.

I want to be wrong. I don’t want to be so cynical about the current leadership of this country that I believe latent racism would cause a delay in getting help out, but I don’t see any other reason. I don’t want to believe a man like yourself, who must have a level of intelligence and personal success to be chosen for such a significant post would willingly throw his lot with a group who thinks less of people that look like you and I. That is why I have written this letter to you. I want you to convince me otherwise.

If there is another reason for the failings of the federal government, I need to know. If there isn’t; if the rank and file members of the Republican party can’t be bothered to help black people, like you and I, in a time of desperate need, I can’t be bothered to vote for any members of the Republican party. Including ones who run for Maryland senate seats.