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America’s Republican guard (Irish Ingrates)
Irish Times ^ | Sept 19, 2006

Posted on 09/22/2006 7:17:25 PM PDT by go-dubya-04

Bruce Selcraig on why so many US golfers align themselves to right-wing politics and born-again Christianity

15/09/06: During Ryder Cup week, were it not for the zesty uniforms or a tell-tale buenos días, the casual fan might be excused for no longer seeing much difference between the European pros and their American counterparts.

They all seem to have their retinues of personal trainers, agents and nutritionists. They swing and dress much alike, excepting the neon plumage of an Ian Poulter or Jesper Parnevik. They drive the same luxury cars, have similar messy divorces, and whether they be from Denmark or Denver offer up the same golf cliches in a globalised TV-ready English that pleases their corporate sponsors.

It’s not really surprising considering that more Europeans than ever play the US tour, and many of them, including Ryder members Colin Montgomerie, Luke Donald and Paul Casey, played their college golf in the US. But there’s still one significant cultural divide that, while hardly apparent to the casual golf fan, has now become so sensitive an issue most players simply avoid addressing it when they’re on the other’s turf. Simply put, many Europeans and other international players are put off by the overwhelming number of American PGA Tour players who identify themselves as George Bush-loving Republicans who support the US occupation of Iraq.

"Every movie you see, every book you read is like, ‘America, we’re the best country in the world,’" German Alex Cejka told me in May at the Byron Nelson tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. "When I hear this (from players) I could throw up. Sure it’s a great country . . . but you cannot say ‘we have the most powerful president in the world, the biggest country in the world’ . . . It’s sad that they are influenced by so much bullshit."

The affable and well-read Australian Geoff Ogilvy, who won the US Open and has lived in Arizona with his Texas wife for four years, says: "A lot of their conservative views (on tour) are way off the map . . . I think George Bush is a bit dangerous. I think the world is scared while he’s in office, (but) there’s less tolerance of diversity (in opinions) over here (and) people have more blind faith in their government."

Various Europeans have hinted that they have similar views, but say privately they’ll be crucified in American locker-rooms and newspapers if they publicly oppose Bush, his fundamentalist Christian agenda or the Iraq war.

"That’s the new way of American censorship," said Parnevik, as he baked on the driving range in Fort Worth. "People get hurt very badly if they speak out."

Two years ago American baseball star Carlos Delgado, who is from Puerto Rico, silently protested the Iraq war by refusing to participate in the ceremonial singing of God Bless America during games. He was later booed at many stadiums and called "un-American" on radio talk shows.

Americans boycotted the Dixie Chicks band when the lead singer of the Texas trio, Natalie Maines, told a London audience: "Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

And sure enough, when told of the above comments by European golfers, American tour player Olin Browne, a 14-year veteran, responded thus: "The players who like to criticise America sure do like to come over here and play in our events."

While these random comments are just that, they seem to closely mirror the attitudes of other nations toward America, which were exhaustively surveyed in 2005 by the non-partisan, Washing ton DC-based Pew Research Center. In that study, which surveyed 17,000 people in 16 nations, approval ratings of the US have plummeted since 2002 – France at 43 per cent, Germany and Spain 41, Britain 55 – and respondents overwhelmingly blamed the policies of George Bush. Even in Canada, America’s closest ally, positive feelings about the US fell from 72 per cent in 2002 to 59 per cent last year.

Now no one is suggesting the world of professional golf is some cauldron of political ferment or that pro golfers anywhere care more about foreign policy than hitting crisp irons.

In America, with several notable exceptions, most pros seem like friendly apolitical athletes who, if the conversation veers from golf, can talk about football or "reality" TV but seem clueless about current events and have little inclination to read books – not unlike Bush, who memorably confessed to a lack of interest in literature.

It’s a cliche but a telling one that in the US PGA Tour media guide the most popular "special interest" listed by the players is fishing – followed by hunting.

The famously laid-back but college-educated Fred Couples, no doubt speaking for many on tour, once told me during the Bill Clinton years that he had never voted.

Ask about politics on the American tour and you’ll get a lot of "I don’t care", and the occasional butt-chewing. "You won’t get anything out of me," said Tom Watson testily. "Nothing. Nada. It’s none of your business."

But there is definitely a sizeable and often vocal element among the Americans that follows politics, advocates right-wing Republican policies – tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, pro-death penalty, anti-gay marriage, anti-labour unions – and increasingly, identifies with evangelical Christian ideology.

In a Sports Illustrated survey of 76 US Tour players published in March, 88 per cent said they supported the American invasion of Iraq, and 91 per cent supported Bush’s controversial nomination of Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court – a judge who was welcomed by Republican and fundamentalist Christian groups as the court’s swing vote in one day outlawing abortion.

This Republican tilt on tour has been documented since at least the Ronald Reagan administration and is so widely accepted as fact that in the presidential election year of 1996, Golf Digest asked me to do a story on tour politics and specifically hunt for any golfer who would actually admit to supporting Clinton, a Democrat. (In 1993, some Republicans on the American Ryder Cup team threatened to boycott a visit to the White House to protest a Clinton tax plan that raised taxes on the rich.) My search turned up only one heretic – the former US Open winner Scott Simpson – a free spirit and "born-again Christian" who has now reversed his thinking and supports Bush.

For those unfamiliar with American politics, the Republican party has become inextricably tied to the evangelical Christian movement, which can mobilise millions of votes through its churches to affect local, state and national elections. George Bush, who campaigned for office as a born-again Christian, is the icon of the evangelical movement and once famously told a group of Amish farmers: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job."

Not by accident, the American pro golf world, which has been heavily influenced by corporate America and Republican politics for at least 30 years, now has such a strong element of Christian fundamentalists that the entire Ryder Cup leadership – Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Loren Roberts – are self-professed born-again Christians. Roberts was even converted and baptised at a tournament.

In the book The Way of an Eagle, Lehman says: "God has definitely used golf in a great way over the last several years. I think of myself as a Christian who plays golf, not as a golfer who is a Christian. So whatever kind of job I do, there is a way for God to use that as a tool. In society at large, especially the way golf is growing, there is a huge platform for golfers."

Perhaps because of his public Christianity and several incidents of less-than-Christ-like behaviour, Lehman has developed an unfavourable reputation in some golf circles. John Huggan, the European golf correspondent for Golf Digest, recounts how Lehman confronted him angrily when he wrote about Lehman’s much-criticised behaviour in 1999 at the Ryder Cup outside Boston, when he led the ghastly American charge of players across the 17th green following Justin Leonard’s miraculous putt.

"How dare you," Lehman told Huggan. "How dare you sum up my whole character on the basis of that one incident."

Huggan replied that it was the only negative story he had ever written about Lehman, among many flattering ones, and that his whining was unprofessional. To which Lehman said, "Well, f*** you then," and marched off.

I would have thought maybe Huggan just caught his holiness on a bad day, but I had my own brief glimpse of the inner Lehman some years earlier. Lehman, who has never hidden his right-wing politics, once overheard me say the word "Clinton" while I was interviewing a caddie on the driving range of the Texas Open in San Antonio.

Unsmiling, he stopped in mid-stride, walked over and said, "You mean that draft-dodging baby-killer?" and then walked on. (Clinton opposed criminalising abortion, which most Republicans support, and he openly admits that as a Rhodes scholar he used family influence, just as Bush did, to avoid the Vietnam War.)

There are now official chaplains and weekly Bible study groups, or "fellowships", on each of the four American pro tours, and various players either display the Christian fish symbol on their golf bags or wear a popular cloth bracelet that says "W.W.J.D" – What Would Jesus Do.

"It’s not seen as so strange any more for a player to be open about his faith," former tour pro Bobby Clampett told Golf World. "They’re no longer called ‘The God Squad’ or ‘Jesus Freaks’ like we were 20 years ago. Now it’s cool."

Well, perhaps not everywhere.

David Feherty, the former Europe Ryder Cup member from Northern Ireland who is now a popular TV golf commentator in America, believes the very public display of fire-and-brimstone Christianity is still unsettling to most Europeans.

"I think a lot of Europeans find that conservative Christian thing as frightening as conservative Muslims," he says. "If you find any European pros who are in that Bible-thumping category, it’s usually because they’ve been to the United States."

Again, the Pew Research Center studies shed some light. Their 2002 survey of 38,000 people in 44 nations found that more people in the US (59 per cent) said religion was "very important" to them than in any other developed country – vastly more than even heavily Catholic Italy (27 per cent) or Poland (36 per cent).

Feherty, who lives in Bush’s home state of Texas, offered that the Europeans shouldn’t be seen as a bunch of "godless heathens" because they don’t advertise their Christianity. "I think they believe it’s your own business. Keep it to yourself."

But the larger question of why so many American pro golfers – more than football, basketball or baseball players – relate to right-wing Republicans would be fodder for a political-science class. When I’ve asked that question of tour players over the last decade, the initial response is a familiar one among the upper class. It goes something like this: "We pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and we don’t like the government giving away our money."

Or, as American journeyman Robert Gamez told me in May: "We love our money . . . Democrats want you to pay for everyone . . . George Bush is all about family values. Look at us. We’re all into our families. And we believe what Bush stands for. He’s done a great job so far." (In reality, Bush and the Republican Congress have gutted many programmes for the poor and cut benefits for war veterans to help fund his tax cuts for the wealthy, but true fiscal conservatives aren’t happy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Bush has produced America’s third largest budget deficit in the last century, at over €352 billion for 2006.)

The conventional wisdom for why so many American golf pros vote Republican is that unlike their European mates, many of them were raised in upper-class, homogenised neighbourhoods – often gated suburban estates – and learned their golf at private, all-white country clubs. (Born from that mentality, the American PGA Tour expressly prohibited blacks from playing in its tournaments until 1961.)

In that environment they were surrounded by like-minded Republicans who shared their love for golf. When the young players arrived on tour they found virtually everything of any value literally handed to them, from Dell laptop computers to new cars, clothing and stock-market advice, all happily provided by corporate sponsors who love to associate themselves with the squeaky-clean image of the PGA Tour.

It’s an exceptionally privileged life, but they’re happy to remind you that they have no guaranteed contracts like most American sports stars, say, a Michael Jordan, who would have been paid his entire multi-year contract with the Chicago Bulls even if he sustained a career- ending injury.

From that lap of luxury, with CEOs calling on their mobiles asking for putting advice, it’s not hard to imagine that the American tour pros see their lifestyle being attacked by those less fortunate.

"My taxes are wasted on people who don’t give a damn," I heard 10 years ago from 1993 Ryder Cup member John Cook, who has earned €9.3 million in his career and now lives in the elite Florida community of Isleworth, outside Orlando. Tanned like the California surfer he once was, and eminently likeable, Cook surveyed the typical tournament scene of corporate tents, courtesy Cadillacs and gentle pop tunes wafting from a Four Seasons Hotel and declared without a hint of irony how he was adamantly opposed to raising the US minimum wage, which at the time was €3.40 an hour. In a full decade it has only risen to €4.18, roughly half the Irish minimum.

"I’m the luckiest man alive," Cook told me, "but I’ve earned my money. I pay my taxes. Liberals are always fighting what this is all about – the corporate boxes, people working hard, not getting something for nothing . . . I don’t know many liberals."

And therein lies the problem. America has become a very polarised place, where people of like religion and politics carefully gather themselves in "right-thinking" communities, schools, churches and workplaces. During Bush’s six years in office this trend has only intensified, with our 50 states now routinely referred to as red for Republican or blue for Democrat, based on the TV networks’ colour-coded election coverage. In many ways, the famed American melting pot is a myth, and tolerance an illusion.

"There is a lot of ethnic and racial diversity in the US," Jesper Parnevik told me, pausing to choose his words carefully. Like all the foreign players I spoke to he has found much to love about Americans and didn’t want to sound unkind.

"But they all seem to hang with each other. Rich with rich. Republican with Republican . . . In Europe, we seem to have a broader mix of friends."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to say I am of Irish descent. This is dispicable! Where would Ireland have been if it wasn't for Irish-American support over the last 50 years? I will never again return to the land of my ancestors.
1 posted on 09/22/2006 7:17:26 PM PDT by go-dubya-04
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To: go-dubya-04

I admit I did not read the article but I think the Irish media is very liberal like ours in the US. I know the media over there is always trying to undermine the Catholic Church.


2 posted on 09/22/2006 7:21:37 PM PDT by GinaLolaB (Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. — Jesus: John 15:1)
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To: go-dubya-04

Wow.


3 posted on 09/22/2006 7:26:07 PM PDT by PghBaldy (Dead Taliban are more valuable than living Americans I guess.)
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To: go-dubya-04
America has become a very polarised place

This would never happen in, let's say, Northern Ireland.

4 posted on 09/22/2006 7:26:25 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: go-dubya-04
the hypocrisy, ignorance and contradiction of your-a-peon liberals is classic in this article...

this type of free speech is a-okay

"Every movie you see, every book you read is like, ‘America, we’re the best country in the world,’" German Alex Cejka told me in May at the Byron Nelson tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. "When I hear this (from players) I could throw up. Sure it’s a great country . . . but you cannot say ‘we have the most powerful president in the world, the biggest country in the world’ . . . It’s sad that they are influenced by so much bullshit."

The affable and well-read Australian Geoff Ogilvy, who won the US Open and has lived in Arizona with his Texas wife for four years, says: "A lot of their conservative views (on tour) are way off the map . . . I think George Bush is a bit dangerous. I think the world is scared while he’s in office, (but) there’s less tolerance of diversity (in opinions) over here (and) people have more blind faith in their government."


this point of view, speaking out against those who oppose the war, in not good nor should it be allowed...

Various Europeans have hinted that they have similar views, but say privately they’ll be crucified in American locker-rooms and newspapers if they publicly oppose Bush, his fundamentalist Christian agenda or the Iraq war.

"That’s the new way of American censorship," said Parnevik, as he baked on the driving range in Fort Worth. "People get hurt very badly if they speak out."


and once again- let's show our complete hypocrisy in two simple paragraphs...

Two years ago American baseball star Carlos Delgado, who is from Puerto Rico, silently protested the Iraq war by refusing to participate in the ceremonial singing of God Bless America during games. He was later booed at many stadiums and called "un-American" on radio talk shows.

Americans boycotted the Dixie Chicks band when the lead singer of the Texas trio, Natalie Maines, told a London audience: "Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."


So it is okay for Delgado or the dixie b!tches to speak out against America and our President....yet when people speak out against Delgado or the b!tches, well that is just not allowed....got it!
5 posted on 09/22/2006 7:27:58 PM PDT by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: go-dubya-04
US golfers align themselves to right-wing politics and born-again Christianity ... "and they're always after me Lucky Charms!!!"
6 posted on 09/22/2006 7:28:00 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: go-dubya-04
For those unfamiliar with American politics, the Republican party has become inextricably tied to the evangelical Christian movement, which can mobilise millions of votes through its churches to affect local, state and national elections. George Bush, who campaigned for office as a born-again Christian, is the icon of the evangelical movement and once famously told a group of Amish farmers: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job."

BWahahahahah how fictional!
7 posted on 09/22/2006 7:28:17 PM PDT by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: go-dubya-04; aculeus; Happygal

“But they all seem to hang with each other. Rich with rich. Republican with Republican.”

A scary story, boys and girls!

8 posted on 09/22/2006 7:28:55 PM PDT by dighton
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To: go-dubya-04
"...."Every movie you see, every book you read is like, ‘America, we’re the best country in the world,’" German Alex Cejka told me in May at the Byron Nelson tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. "When I hear this (from players) I could throw up. Sure it’s a great country . . . but you cannot say ‘we have the most powerful president in the world, the biggest country in the world’ . . . It’s sad that they are influenced by so much bullshit..."

I would think this Euroweenie Sitzpinkler has a little bit of an inferiority complex...very tough to be a German and hear that kind of thing...:)

It is pretty funny to read this...the Euroweenie Intelligensia thinks ALL Americans are born again, hypocritical bible thumping Wal-Mart shoppers who are into NASCAR and fishing...

LOL! There are few things funnier than a European with an inferiority complex and a burr under their saddle, or up their ass!

9 posted on 09/22/2006 7:29:08 PM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: go-dubya-04
I am ashamed to say I am of Irish descent.

No, don't be ashamed. It's not your roots, it's just modern Ireland. They've forgotten where they came from. You haven't.

10 posted on 09/22/2006 7:29:46 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: GinaLolaB

Most of the young adults are as well. My cousin is a flaming liberal who sends me his unsolicited views on America. Like I give a s@#% what he thinks of this country. Please read the article to see how absolutely skewed it is. Very easy to talk about diversity when you live in a country that was, until very recently, 99% white and all the same religion. In Northern Ireland, where the only difference is how they worship Jesus, they are at each other throats and are as "tolerant" of the other views as the KKK is of Jews. Pathetic. Now that they are being invaded by Muzzies and other Turd World types, we'll see how perfect they handle such issues 20 years from now. It will be France with a brogue.


11 posted on 09/22/2006 7:32:01 PM PDT by go-dubya-04
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To: go-dubya-04

American Irish Guard

12 posted on 09/22/2006 7:34:03 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: go-dubya-04

This article is laughable tripe and has nothing to do with the true Irish heritage.


13 posted on 09/22/2006 7:36:21 PM PDT by McBuff
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To: Right Wing Assault

Yes, I've always thought of Europe as a very egalitarian place. No kings, no queens, no nobility, no classes -- just everyone hanging out together drinking Bud Lights.


14 posted on 09/22/2006 7:38:28 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: go-dubya-04

That goes double for me. I just got off an Irish blog. The things that are said about America and Americans I wouldn't even say about our worst enemy. I am beginning to absolutely despise Europeans. Truly, I've got to stay away from their newspapers and their blogs why be exposed to such hate and spite?


15 posted on 09/22/2006 7:39:47 PM PDT by CremeSaver (I don't repeat gossip, so listen carefully.)
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To: go-dubya-04
And sure enough, when told of the above comments by European golfers, American tour player Olin Browne, a 14-year veteran, responded thus: "The players who like to criticise America sure do like to come over here and play in our events."

And stack prize money, and stack endorsement money, and marry our women, and set up residence in states with low or no income tax. Hypocritical much?

16 posted on 09/22/2006 7:45:46 PM PDT by RichInOC (Stupidity is its own punishment...but not as often as it should be.)
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To: go-dubya-04
In Europe, we seem to have a broader mix of friends."

Hmmm. Well, let me choose MY words carefully. The Europeans I have known have tended to be loud-mouthed liberals who love nothing better than to taunt and challenge anyone who doesn't think exactly as they do. For instance, if the Communists currently support a "nuclear freeze," then so do they unquestioningly, and they think anyone who doesn't is a closet Nazi. They invariably hate the sitting US President, and love nothing better than to claim that any successful athlete is just a "tool of the corporations." As for having a "broader mix of friends," I have to laugh at that. They may have conservatives as colleagues and perhaps playing partners because they absolutely have no choice, but friends? I don't think so, not from what I've seen.

Ok, back to you, Jesper.

17 posted on 09/22/2006 7:51:50 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: vbmoneyspender

LMAO

That's good.


18 posted on 09/22/2006 7:53:15 PM PDT by Finalapproach29er (Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II --> Appeasing Islam for 27 years)
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To: go-dubya-04

I couldn't read it all, it was too stupid.
Only a sports writer, one of the most useless of professions on the planet, would equate an athlete cursing off a sports writer with that athlete's political bend, in ref to the Lehman paragraphs.

Complete twattle written by a political dolt.


19 posted on 09/22/2006 7:54:13 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: go-dubya-04

Consider where the foreign press gets their information. They hang out with liberals (over there they are called socialists), and they read the New York Times.

Europeans are also very quick to pick on matters of style, and they love making fun of each other. They also like making fun of us. We Americans are actually much more tolerant! Yes, I really think that in day-to-day contact, we are used to living and working with a variety of people. Whenever I travel to Europe I am rather surprised at how xenophobic they are to each other. So when they dump on us, it's partly because it is their nature.

They believe what they read, and they nourish stereotypes of us.

If you wish to meet friendly Europeans, go to Poland, parts of Italy, and Greece; also some of the other eastern European countries.


20 posted on 09/22/2006 7:57:44 PM PDT by docbnj
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To: go-dubya-04

Gee, why don't all Americans, Republicans and Christian believers simply commit hara kiri, since we are all such terrible, evil people? What a smug, hate America, hate Christianity, stuck up smug European attitude. It's these Europeans that are intolerant of diversity, not George Bush and his alleged "fundamentalist Christian" agenda supposedly as dangerous or worse than violent Muslim extremists. Sheesh.


21 posted on 09/22/2006 8:10:26 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: rlmorel
The reason Europeans, like the author, understand us so well is they refuse to stereotype, paint with a broad brush, or come to conclusions based on a tiny sample. Because of their superior social concerns, human decency, all self-proclaimed and frequently announced, we are rightly judged by a our betters when these perceptive people critique us. And if you believe that one, I'll spin you another piece of sarcasm.
22 posted on 09/22/2006 8:12:16 PM PDT by elhombrelibre (Civilization and democracy are under attack around the world, so Liberals attack Bush.)
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To: go-dubya-04
For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to say I am of Irish descent.

Relax, it's just one article. Maybe the reasons the world hates us is because of articles in the NYTs. It's all bs from lefty journalists.

23 posted on 09/22/2006 8:15:01 PM PDT by JPJones (First and foremost: I'm a Freeper.)
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To: go-dubya-04

BTTT


24 posted on 09/22/2006 8:17:34 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: go-dubya-04

And to top it all off, the Irish have to come to NYC to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! They have no parades or celebrations on the old sod. No 40 shades of green hoopla. And come here they do. Many illegals in the NY area.


25 posted on 09/22/2006 8:22:00 PM PDT by Lauren BaRecall (Rudy Giuliani is pro partial birth abortion...just ask Sean Hannity.)
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To: go-dubya-04

"For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to say I am of Irish descent."

Aw, c'mon ... after Teddy ? That kinda did it for me, but there are millions and millions of Americans of Irish heritage, some good, some bad .. this writer is an American whose article was published in an Irish paper ... probably the one that posted the infamous photos of Mrs. Woods. Feh.


26 posted on 09/22/2006 8:23:12 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: docbnj
If you wish to meet friendly Europeans, go to Poland, parts of Italy, and Greece; also some of the other eastern European countries.

New Europe, as opposed to...old europe.

27 posted on 09/22/2006 8:29:19 PM PDT by Lauren BaRecall (Rudy Giuliani is pro partial birth abortion...just ask Sean Hannity.)
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To: elhombrelibre

LOL! They couldn't have said it better themselves...


28 posted on 09/22/2006 8:46:13 PM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: GinaLolaB

here is a GOF writer explaining the American government budget process and the values of a country based upon his interviews with one group of people - those that work on golf courses. Not much of a cross section. Not much of a an Irishman when you consider how ready he is to oppose abortion or religon.


29 posted on 09/22/2006 8:47:48 PM PDT by q_an_a
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To: go-dubya-04
I think it's time to revisit P.J.O'Rourke's Holidays In Hell. His response to a typical Euroweenie whining about how Americans don't understand war, that they think war is...

"A John Wayne movie," I said. "That's what you were going to say, wasn't it? We think war is a John Wayne movie. We think life is a John Wayne movie -- with good guys and bad guys, as simple as that. Well, you know something, Mr. Limey Poofter? You're right. And let me tell you who those bad guys are. They're us. WE BE BAD.

"We're the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We're three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car-wreck and descended from a stock-market crash on our mother's side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together, and it wouldn't give us room to park our cars. We're the big boys, Jack, the original giant, economy-sized new and improved butt-kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d'Antibes. And we've got an American Express credit card limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go."

"You say our country's never been invaded? You're right, little buddy. Because I'd like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who'd have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A shooting and a mugging is our way of saying 'Cheerio'. Hell can't hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, f*** longer, and buy more things than you know the name of. I'd rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than King, Queen, and Jack of all you Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and spit them out before lunch."

Of course, the guy should have punched me. But this was Europe. He just smiled his shabby, superior European smile. (God, don't these people have dentists?)

30 posted on 09/22/2006 8:53:44 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: rlmorel

We're just lucky to have such obvious geniuses like that author available who can so concisely describe all of the failings of America. And isn't it refreshing to read such a new and insightful opinion-piece on the US. Nothing stale here. In the writer's opinion, America is a land of right-wing Christian bigots who hate the poor. This callous culture we live with even leads our golfers, OUR GOLFERS, to be mean. Gee, what a novel idea. Is this author a college Freshman sucking up to his Marxists professors, a prodigy of Chomsky, or just a boilerplate hack Left-wing writer?


31 posted on 09/22/2006 9:20:24 PM PDT by elhombrelibre (Civilization and democracy are under attack around the world, so Liberals attack Bush.)
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To: go-dubya-04
Now no one is suggesting the world of professional golf is some cauldron of political ferment or that pro golfers anywhere care more about foreign policy than hitting crisp irons.

Really...I wonder why I bothered reading the entire article, then, because it does precisely that.

Let us just gently suggest that the author stick to sports reporting and not attempt to dogpaddle in such deep waters. It scares the fish.

32 posted on 09/22/2006 9:29:27 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: go-dubya-04
Nice one-sided hit-piece Irish Times... really loved this nugget NOT: "(In reality, Bush and the Republican Congress have gutted many programmes for the poor and cut benefits for war veterans to help fund his tax cuts for the wealthy"

I bet if this on "crack" reporter dug a little deeper he'd/she'd find that these "programmes" actually had funding increases (and only the rate of increase was reduced).

Remind me again how many times Billy Clinton was seen on tv playing golf with his P.A.L. Terry McAwful (all while the likes of OBL and other terrorists had free rein to do their best to destroy lives and democracy).

Idiots... put some Guiness on it and don't go away mad, just go away.

33 posted on 09/22/2006 9:49:13 PM PDT by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: Torie
The famously laid-back but college-educated Fred Couples, no doubt speaking for many on tour, once told me during the Bill Clinton years that he had never voted.

Torie, will you please bitchslap him when you cross paths?

34 posted on 09/22/2006 9:54:38 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: go-dubya-04
LOL. Europeans are pissed-off when they learn that regular Americans don't run around apologizing for being American like our dem and media elites.

They are myopic. They criticize us for booing the Dixie Chicks. Perhaps they aren't aware of the criminal charges in Europe against folks who step out of line like Orianna Fallacci or Bridget Bardot. Nobody's trying to put Natalie Manes in jail. Nobody's trying to put Michael Moore in jail. We actually have freedom of speech here, something sorely lacking in continental Europe.

35 posted on 09/22/2006 10:12:31 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: go-dubya-04
Oriana Fallaci. They put you in jail or fine you for having the wrong opinion in every country in Europe. They ban political parties. They ban books. And between political correctness, the EU, and the Muslims, it gets worse every day.

"That’s the new way of American censorship," said Parnevik, as he baked on the driving range in Fort Worth. "People get hurt very badly if they speak out."
No, that's not censorship, that's the give and take of politics and political debate. You can say what you want but people don't have to agree and they don't have to support your career if they don't agree. It's no different then what this article is doing in reaction to the alleged beliefs of American golfers, but irony is something Euros just don't do.

But to suggest that American journalism, taken as a whole, offers a narrower range of information and debate than its foreign counterparts is absurd. America’s major political magazines range from National Review and The Weekly Standard on the right to The Nation and Mother Jones on the left; its all-news networks, from conservative Fox to liberal CNN; its leading newspapers, from the New York Post and Washington Times to the New York Times and Washington Post. Scores of TV programs and radio call-in shows are devoted to fiery polemic by, or vigorous exchanges between, true believers at both ends of the political spectrum. Nothing remotely approaching this breadth of news and opinion is available in a country like Norway. Purportedly to strengthen journalistic diversity (which, in the ludicrous words of a recent prime minister, “is too important to be left up to the marketplace”), Norway’s social-democratic government actually subsidizes several of the country’s major newspapers (in addition to running two of its three broadcast channels and most of its radio); yet the Norwegian media are (guess what?) almost uniformly social-democratic—a fact reflected not only in their explicit editorial positions but also in the slant and selectivity of their international coverage.3 Reading the opinion pieces in Norwegian newspapers, one has the distinct impression that the professors and bureaucrats who write most of them view it as their paramount function not to introduce or debate fresh ideas but to remind the masses what they’re supposed to think. The same is true of most of the journalists, who routinely spin the news from the perspective of social-democratic orthodoxy, systematically omitting or misrepresenting any challenge to that orthodoxy—and almost invariably presenting the U.S. in a negative light. Most Norwegians are so accustomed to being presented with only one position on certain events and issues (such as the Iraq War) that they don’t even realize that there exists an intelligent alternative position. - Bruce Bawer, Hating America

36 posted on 09/22/2006 10:23:21 PM PDT by jordan8
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To: ModelBreaker

I just love hearing people from the land that gave the world Nazis,Communism,and still has 13% unemployment, lecture Americans on how "bad" and intolerant we supposedly are. Fu$k these ingrates. When the muslim hordes start cutting their heads off and imposing sharia law, they'll be the first ones to come crying to the "right-wing" americans to come save their sorry asses. I wish I were president when this happens. I'd tell them to stuff it. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see Europe burned to the ground by Muslims. Europeans want to be slaves, and I can't think of a more deserving population.


37 posted on 09/22/2006 10:32:53 PM PDT by boop (Now Greg, you know I don't like that WORD!)
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To: elhombrelibre

LOL! I wish I had read your reply before I wrote the Irish Times because I would have plagerized your comments. Here is my response to this idiotic article:
Dear Sirs,

First let me state that I am of 100% Irish descent and have had the pleasure of visiting your country many times, so I am not unfamiliar with the Irish culture and am proud to say that is where my ancestors came from. But, I don’t even know where to begin with the piece of trash that you published regarding US golfers and American politics. There are too many untruths and hypocrisy in the article to list in one letter but let’s look at a few, shall we? Your “reporter” goes on about the lack of diversity best summed up with this piece of tripe, “But they all seem to hang with each other. Rich with rich. Republican with Republican.” Sounds a bit more like Northern Ireland than anyplace I know in the US, where the vast majority of citizens could not care less about someone’s religious beliefs. As a matter of fact, more Catholics voted for the Protestant President Bush than the Catholic John Kerry. Drop me a line when that happens in a national election in your country. And, with regards to covering the political orientation of athletes, I have yet to read any golf article that berates Alex Cejka (a foreigner complaining about the country where he has chosen to live and been welcomed) on his ridiculous points of view.

Here is another beauty quote from Einstein – “Two years ago American baseball star Carlos Delgado, who is from Puerto Rico, silently protested the Iraq war by refusing to participate in the ceremonial singing of God Bless America during games. He was later booed at many stadiums and called "un-American" on radio talk shows. Americans boycotted the Dixie Chicks band when the lead singer of the Texas trio, Natalie Maines, told a London audience: "Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." So, let me get this straight. In your opinion, it’s OK for these two brain-dead entertainers to speak-out on world politics, but heaven forbid that ordinary citizens come out with a reaction to those comments? Since you are quite obviously ignorant of the US Constitution, let me fill you in on something. There’s this little thing we have here in the US that’s referred to as “Free Speech”. But I guess the European intelligentsia can’t believe that we have the unmitigated gall to allow the “great unwashed masses” as much right to practice that privilege as the so-called elites. I realize that is anathema to your way of thinking but it works pretty well for us.

And the coup de grace of hyperbole goes to Northern Ireland’s own David Feherty when he actually stated, "I think a lot of Europeans find that conservative Christian thing as frightening as conservative Muslims." Please remind me of all those bombings and forced religious conversions committed by the Christian conservatives in the US against innocent civilians because I must have missed something in the news. I do recollect some “Christians” in David’s peaceful little corner of the Irish Isle murdering and maiming innocent people because they happened to worship Christ in a different way than their neighbors, but I really don’t recall much of that going on in the United States lately. Perhaps I’m wrong and a great news service such as you can enlighten me. No? I didn’t think so.

Please do us all a favor and stick to covering the scoring of the Ryder Cup and leave the intellectual heavy-lifting to those more suited to the task.



Little Regard,


38 posted on 09/23/2006 5:45:51 AM PDT by go-dubya-04
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To: go-dubya-04

Good letter. I bet they don't print it.


39 posted on 09/23/2006 6:42:37 AM PDT by elhombrelibre (Civilization and democracy are under attack around the world, so Liberals attack Bush.)
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To: go-dubya-04

50 years! How about 200 years? If it hadn't been for America, the Irish would have been wiped out during the potato famine. My family found happiness and security the minute they got out of Ireland.

It's another case of "no good deed goes unpunished." They should be ashamed of themselves.


40 posted on 09/23/2006 6:48:03 AM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: go-dubya-04

It's all of Olde Europe...they're just jealous of American power and frustrated that our troops on the continent and our H-bombs at the ready have prevented those silly b*stards from rearranging the colors on their map agin. 'Ef em (but don't forget the 25% of Euros that are aligned with us).


41 posted on 09/23/2006 6:48:15 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Every single day provides at least one new reason to hate the mainstream media...)
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To: go-dubya-04
For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to say I am of Irish descent.

Because an Irish hack wrote an article you don't like?

42 posted on 09/23/2006 6:56:17 AM PDT by Invisible Gorilla
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To: go-dubya-04
LOL!

We ought to all write the IT and DARE them to publish that letter.

Not only ignorant, but cowards too.

43 posted on 09/23/2006 6:59:28 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Invisible Gorilla

No, because this is quickly becoming the predominant view in Ireland. As I said in a later post, I still have cousins there and they are among the majority of young Irish who feel this way and I have finally gotten sick of it.


44 posted on 09/23/2006 7:19:50 AM PDT by go-dubya-04
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To: go-dubya-04

The Irish of Ireland are not our friends. THe vast majority of them hate our guts.


45 posted on 09/23/2006 7:42:38 AM PDT by DogBarkTree (The United States failure to act against Iran will be seen as weakness throughout the Muslim world.)
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To: ErnBatavia

I'll stuff a note on his front door knob to that effect. :)


46 posted on 09/23/2006 8:35:06 AM PDT by Torie
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To: DogBarkTree
"The Irish of Ireland are not our friends. The vast majority of them hate our guts. "

You aren't wrong with that assessment of Irish feelings towards Americans. Read their blogs sometime, pure unadulterated hate. Well, hate usually begets hate. The only problem is that most Americans are not aware of the hatred Europe has for US.

47 posted on 09/23/2006 9:18:52 AM PDT by CremeSaver (I don't repeat gossip, so listen carefully.)
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To: go-dubya-04

"Don't mistake our coming to your country as some sort of endorsement. We were much better off in Ireland."

48 posted on 09/23/2006 9:40:10 AM PDT by TimSkalaBim
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To: go-dubya-04

For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to say I am of Irish descent. This is dispicable! Where would Ireland have been if it wasn't for Irish-American support over the last 50 years? I will never again return to the land of my ancestors.
_________________________________________________________

Yeah 50 years wasted raising money for terrorsit groups who show their thanks by training your enemies, boy they ask you bend over and you say stick it up me paddy, lol.


49 posted on 09/28/2006 7:29:17 AM PDT by MadMitch
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