Random thoughts | VailDaily.com

Random thoughts

Butch Mazzuca

Too many journalists refrain from criticizing of black athletes because they’re afraid of being called the “R” word.

Race has become the most scandalous four-letter word in the American lexicon. Writers and announcers are fearful of being accused of gratuitous racism. Columnist Clarence Page wrote, “It does not compliment me as an African-American to see black athletes Š held to a lower standard of behavior than their white counterparts.”

In fact, it’s downright insulting to black people. It says to the black person, “you’re NOT our equal.” Whether it’s a white tight end that’s hot-dogging after a catch, or a black running back grand-standing in the end zone, bad behavior is bad behavior. It can be forgiven, but it cannot be justified because of race.

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An analogy is a partial similarity between like features of two things on which a comparison may be based. Sometimes analogies clarify thinking, but we must be careful not to use them as a substitute for thinking.

Those who feel Iraq is another Vietnam are either promoting an agenda or do not understand facts.

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American power is not being used to grab Iraqi oil, to shore up a corrupt government, or to fight another superpower by proxy. Nor is there a superpower supporting the combatants as were the cases in Vietnam.

Unlike Vietnam, we are trying to reform a region from one of hopelessness and despair to one of hope and promise.

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Did you know that 150,000 women a year starve themselves into anorexia because of spousal abuse? Or That more women are beaten or battered on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year?

If you listen to those who have hijacked the feminist movement, you would think that’s the case – until you do the math. But 150,000 women per year means 3,000 per week! If that were true, Diane Sawyer and Dan Rather would be all over that story. Nor is the Super Abuse Sunday story true because there are absolutely no facts to substantiate either contention.

These are little more than preposterous urban legends. True feminists focus on bringing about social equality. “Feminazis” focus on victimhood and male bashing.

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The “’90s were a time lost to foreign policy complacency. Most of today’s threats to global security can be traced back to those times.

The years immediately following the Cold War became the decade of missed opportunities. Who worried about North Korea or Iran’s nuclear reactors back when the stock market bubble was still expanding?

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When Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at any speed” came out, it blasted GM’s coffin on wheels, the Corvair. The world’s largest automobile manufacturer responded by hiring a group of investigators to discredit Mr. Nader.

It seems to me that whenever the three TV network news stations are accused of liberal bias, they do the same. They immediately try to discredit the right instead of doing a little self-examination, which does little more than perpetuate their culture of denial.

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The unemployed will continue to have difficulty finding jobs, but there are a myriad of reasons for this phenomenon.

American business executives, not the administration, are choosing to move hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas. Nor did the Clinton administration did tell American CEOs to over expand their factories, hire more workers than necessary and pile up large inventories during the “’90s.

In many ways economies have a will of their own. Presidents are either lucky or unlucky enough to be caught in rising or receding tides.

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Ever wonder why getting the United Nations to help in the war on terror has been so difficult?

For all of the U.N.’s forums, accords, treaties, protocols and rules of behavior, that austere body DOES NOT HAVE a formal definition of terrorism. This is “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” material.

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The greatest attribute of the Bush administration has been the single-mindedness of the president’s foreign policy to fight and win the war on terror.

With the exception of the Brits, Poles, Australians and a few others, I’m still looking for the positive attributes of the international community and the U.N.

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I doubt that the Democratic candidates for president in 2004 are hoping that the economy doesn’t continue to improve. But the fact is that a good economy is the Democrats’ worst nightmare in “’04. Not because they wish their fellow Americans ill, but because a failing economy is their most potent weapon against George Bush.

Which is why you’ll hear very little good economic news emanating from the left between now and Election Day 2004.

But inflation is near zero, credit is dirt cheap, productivity is expanding (which is one reason for lack of jobs, i.e. the more productive we become the fewer people that are needed to fill employment ranks), and all the major stock indexes are up by a third or more from their lows of a year ago.

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The administration’s greatest shortcomings have been its inability to lead the world through international diplomacy and its less-than-open dialogue with the American people.

In the meantime, the greatest weakness of nations such as France and Germany has been their inability to accept the fact that their glory days as world superpowers are long gone.

Their intransigence at the U.N. and other international forums (which stand in the way of cooperative international action) runs a close second.

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As heard on TV last Sunday: “If Howard Dean had been president for the last three years, Saddam Hussein would have been in a palace on the Tigris instead of a rat hole in the mud last Saturday night.”

Butch Mazzuca of Singletree writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at bmazz@centurytel.net