Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the Winner Is...Mugabwe er Montclair Myopia err Travelling?

American Aid Is Seized In Zimbabwe - Government officials in Zimbabwe confiscated American food aid, then distributed the food to supporters of President Mugabwe at a political rally. Mugabwe, who lost the election held months ago, announced, against all evidence to the contrary, that his challenger had not received the requisite 50%, thus triggering a second, run-off election. Now, in an aggressive move that puts Zimbabwe in the forefront of a tough race, Mugabwe is hijacking international relief to help his own reelection campaign. The race that matters here is not Zimbabwe's Presidency. Mugabwe will simply announce his victory when the time is ripe, the balloting is irrelevant. The UN General Assembly and African leaders (perpetually reluctant to criticize any tactic, no matter how inhumane, that keeps an incumbent in office - because they never know what they are going to need in their next election) will accept his Presidency as legitimate. No, the race that matters is the exciting contest to grab the number one spot in Foreign Policy Magazine's Index of Failed States. Despite tough competition from perennials Sudan and Iraq and a surprising upset bid from Kenya, Mugabwe now has Zimbabwe well positioned to grab the top slot.

In a Place of Racial Tolerance, Reflecting on the Long Road Traveled - Today's "Our Towns" covers the recent debut reading of Foot Soldier: The Don Miller Story - which triggered memories of 1960's racial integration in ----As Good As News is, once again, shocked, Montclair, New Jersey. There is nothing seriously wrong with this particular story, but the Times Montclair Myopia is incurable. Consider the Times coverage of efforts to save the Scotch Hills Country Club clubhouse in Scotch Plains, NJ from destruction. The club, pictured above, was once the Shady Rest Golf and Country Club, the first African-American country club, home course to John Shippen, the first native born American and first African American to play in the US Open. Shady Rest was also an African-American cultural mecca, hosting such luminaries as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Joe Louis, Althea Gibson, and Newark’s own Sarah Vaughn. Scotch Plains has announced plans to raze the building in order to construct a senior center. Preservation New Jersey has designated the site one of its ten most endangered. If you missed the extensive coverage of this story in the Times, don't worry, so did everyone else.

Donaghy's Charges Weigh On a League - Tim Donaghy, the gambling ref, is not happy about his sentencing and he'd like to take some of the NBA brass down with him, accusing the league of telling officials to favor one team over another in a 2002 playoff game between LA and Sacramento to keep the series alive and the big market Lakers in the TV picture. NBA Commissioner David Stern is dismissing Donaghy as a self-promoting sour grapist, but hold the phone Mr. Stern. The play in the NBA is so fast that on most nights every call seems like a judgment call and the judgments often look bad on replay. Commentators unhesitatingly point to an imbalance in foul shots as evidence of a home court advantage or a bad night on the part of the refs, no one seems to accept the possibility that the refs were great and one team just fouled a lot more than the other. The NBA seems to have only two simple, inviolable rules that are always called consistently - a player who makes three or more all star teams earns a perpetual exemption from travelling and charging calls. Even if Mr. Donaghy is blowing smoke, it wouldn't hurt the NBA to work harder at consistent, uniform enforcement, maybe even simplify some of the rules that lead to repeated and difficult judgment calls. See William Rhoden's column for a similar, but more detailed, reaction.


mhass30 said...

they are shutting down Scotch Hills?

Michael H said...

The plan, which will meet with some resistance, is to knock down the club house and build a senior center on the same site. I think the course itself would still be open, probably get some space in the Senior Center for an office and small pro shop.