Old Habits Die Hard


Oh god. The beheadings have already begun.

From today's New York Times:

For Russians used to seeing their athletes dominate international competitions, the last two weeks have been agonizing. Russian figure skaters fell, Russian bobsledders flipped, and in a final embarrassment, Russia's much-vaunted hockey team was smacked by Canada 7-3, and left Vancouver without a medal.

"Let's put up a bunch of guillotines and gallows," Vyacheslav Bykov, the team's coach was quoted as saying last week. "We have 35 people on the hockey team. Let's go to Red Square and dispatch with them all."

Actually, Red Square is going to be crowded if Gennady Shvets, the spokesman for the Russian Olympic Committee, has his way:

"If we make a list of all those who should be held responsible, then it would be half the population of the country because, unfortunately, many took part in the destruction of athletics or passively looked on. In the 1990s everything was destroyed. When stadiums were turned into markets and pools into VIP saunas, athletics collapsed."

More Reason on Russkies here.

NEXT: Nanny of the Month For February 2010!

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  1. I couldn’t be bothered to watch the Olympics, or listen to the statist talk about how “America” won another medal.

    America didn’t win shit there. Individuals won medals.

    1. You fail at collectivism and tribalism, prole. For shame. Don’t you know that the Canadians beat you in hockey in overtime? OH GOD THEY BEAT ALL OF US

      1. Plus their players are cuter. Sidney Crosby is getting laid like a rockstar, is all I’m saying.

        1. Enough of your Canadian propaganda!

          1. The true-north-strong-and-free is a simple land, a land that time forgot, where good looks and dorky accents are all it takes to win hearts and minds. No propaganda necessary.

            1. I take back everything bad I said about Canada. Your Governor General is a total MILF. All hail the Great White North!

        2. Sidney Crosby is evil. I hope Ovetchkin does to his candy ass what he did to Jagr the other day. And it was a lucky shot. He blew the break away not two minutes earlier. God, I wish the US had scored. Crosby would have been reliving that breakaway miss for the rest of his life.

          1. John, the US at least redeemed themselves by taking it to OT. But they were outplayed the entire game (with the exception of Miller- that dude’s incredible).

            1. They were outplayed in the first game but not the finals. The finals were very even. Both teams had period where they dominated play. And goal tending is part of the game. Saying you only won because of your goal tender is like a baseball team claiming the other team only won because of their great starting pitcher.

          2. I was bummed when Crosby scored, but then I thought about the reactions of bitter Crapitals and Criers fans and that made me smile. For those keeping score at home, the total is now Crosby 2 Ovechkin 0 in competitions that matter.

            Let’s Go Pens!

            1. Last I looked it was a team sport. Crosby hasn’t won shit. The Pens have won. And they are not going to win this year.

              1. Hey!

              2. Mad Elf was referring to the very prestigious “Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year award”.

              3. You’re right. It’s a team sport. I forgot to mention that Malkin, Guerin, Fedotenko, Kunitz, Staal, Talbot, Gonchar, Kennedy, Fleury, Orpik, Letang, Dupuis, Adams, Cooke, Eaton, Gill, Sykora, and Scuderi, and Satan all have more hardware than Ovechkin, too. Thanks for reminding me.

                1. And Luke Longly has more hardware than Charles Barkley and Karl Malone combined. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck.

                  1. So does Jud Buchler.

                2. satan you say…?

        3. all canadian men look like that when we’re 18

        4. “Plus their players are cuter. Sidney Crosby is getting laid like a rockstar”

          That is the good news. The bad news is, it is all via Canadian women.

          1. Canadian women are hot.

            No, seriously.

            It’s like one big Minnesota up there.

            1. Like Lauren Phoenix.

            2. What about Pittsburgh women?

        5. Dagny, I think there is something wrong with that picture. I demand you put them all up.

    2. Not necessarily statist talk. People always talk about their favorite sports teams as “we”. Which is fucking stupid, but not necessarily a statist impulse.

      To the credit of the US team, they are not a government program and are funded voluntarily.

      1. Can we all just agree that yes, on any objective level being a sports fan is really stupid. As stupid as being into movies, or novels, or comics, or the Libertarian party, actually. Sure, it doesn’t really matter to be in any way shape and form who makes it to the Superbowl, but it doesn’t really matter to me if Luke Skywalker manages to blow up the Deathstar. But I still care, I still identify with him. Same shit with the Rams or America or w/e. It matters, and it doesn’t. It’s a paradox.

        1. On an objective level every activity unrelated to reproduction or surviving is stupid. In fact, those two are kind of dubious themselves.

          1. Agreed. We’re sophisticated enough intellectually to have to invent reasons to keep on living. As long as your reasons don’t involve hurting other people, I can’t really deride them.

    3. I couldn’t be bothered to watch the Olympics, or listen to the statist talk about how “America” won another medal.

      America didn’t win shit there. Individuals won medals.

      I really hope you’re not this insufferable in real life. Were you quibbling over this when people were saying “New Orleans won the Super Bowl” a few weeks ago? Or do you have particular disgust reserved for America?

  2. prolefeed,

    Didn’t we win something like 300 million medals? If so, I must have one somewhere. Let me look behind my car seat.

    1. No, you earned too much last year. Our President therefore is giving your medal is being given to a poor child who deserves it more. I’m sure it will be an inspriation to him/her.

    2. I still have mine. I keep it with my “Time Magazine’s Person of the Year” award.

    3. Re: Pro Liberty,

      Didn’t we win something like 300 million medals?

      Remember that a 33% piece of those medals has to be “given back” to “Society”, according to Chad . . .

    4. Prolefeed,we give medals for masturbation?

  3. Agree w/prolefeed. Reminds me of people discussing how “we won” when discussing football – “you” didn’t play, “the players” played.

    Did it really matter that Katarina Witt was from the DDR back when I lusted after her as a youth? Well, OK – it did increase the intrigue, her bein a commie and all. But other than that…

    1. “Agree w/prolefeed. Reminds me of people discussing how “we won” when discussing football – “you” didn’t play, “the players” played”

      If I paid for the god damn stadium, then I am part of the winning effort.

    2. Get ready for a whole shit-ton of this sort of talk in about 3-and-a-half month’s time. Anyway, the “we” stuff is primarily shorthand for the use of people who actually follow sports.

      I don’t know why some people here pitch a fit when there is some large team sporting event going on and people commit the sin of “identifying” with one of those teams. I mean, really, does one have to be a pure individualist in every waking moment, even during recreation?

      1. What happens in three and a half months?

        1. The World Cup.

          1. Nobody here will care. Metric football is for furriners, doncha know.

            1. We will care just long enough to laugh after we beat the English and send the entire country into a suicidal rage. Then Brittany Spears will be photographed with her panties off and everyone will forget.

            2. ESPN will be shocked to find that out.

      2. If you want to be part of a team’s fan base, have at it, but I just don’t really get it. Why would I ever actually give a shit if a particular team wins or loses? It has nothing to do with me.

        1. Why would you actually give a shit about what happens to someone in a movie? It is all fake. It is not like little Billy really is stuck in a well waiting for Lassie to save him.

          Same reason people care about sports teams. It is an entertaining diversion from life.

          1. Same with science fiction. At least the NFL is real.

          2. Yeah, but nobody says “we blew up the deathstar’ after the movie. (Or at least we all agree they are a tard if they do). Sports is entertainment that has nothing to do with you other than you watch it.

            1. right, they just dress up as luke skywalker and nerd it up at comic con…

              anyway, I had no idea people were so petty about what’s a prett common ritual. I don’t think sports fans actually think they’re part of the team, but there’s a connection with making an active choice in following the unpredictable progression of one of many options to a satisfying end and people derive joy from that.

              also, one of the reasons you don’t hear people going crazy and identifying with the death star being blown up is because the death star is ALWAYS blown up. Every. Freaking. Time. There’s no real long term emotional investment there, no years of (silly as it may be) suffering and half the theater’s not sitting there rooting for the Empire so you can rub it in their vader lovin’ faces afterwards.

        2. You sound like a woman (who doesn’t like sports except for figure skating).

          1. Ha. Oh noes, Episiarch criticized your collective behavior!

            I like sports perfectly well; I just don’t give a shit about who wins. I just want to see a good game. Why do you care who wins? Do you even know why?

            1. Because some teams like the Penguins have faggety ass Canadian pretty boys on them. Other teams like the Colts have obnoxious over exposed quarterbacks. Still others, like the Red Sox, have idiotic pink hat wearing fans who act like they are somehow long suffering even though they have won two championships in the last six years and have a gazillion dollars to spend on players. Come on Epi, there is always a reason to hate someone.

              1. Jesus, John, Crosby really got under your skin. Give the kid a break; he got to score the game winning shot in a gold medal match against the country that Canadians hate the most, the US of A.

                1. Of course they are happy. If he were an American I would love him. But you have to understand the kind of “he plays the right way” “he is everything that is good and great about hockey” horse shit that gets put out about Crosby. Imagine a hundred George Wills waxing poetic about Cal Ripkin Jr. for like five years now. It will make you gag after a while.

                2. And it is really just a way of saying “only Canadians really know how to play hockey”. Ovetchkin is a much more entertaining player to watch and really like no other player in history. A truly unique talent. And it drives the Canadians nuts that he is a Russian who plays in a non-hockey town. So, they build up Crosby to be all that is good and great with the world as a way of dissing on the rest of the world.

                  1. It’s spelled Ovechkin, bandwagon boy.

                  2. John it is true “only Canadians really know how to play hockey” and we invented basketball.

                    1. No you didn’t. Naismith was a naturalized American. You “invented basketball” just like the Scots “invented the telephone”.

                    2. No you didn’t. Naismith was a naturalized American. You “invented basketball” just like the Scots “invented the telephone”.

                    3. John, he was born and educated in Canada. “James Naismith was the Canadian physical education instructor who invented basketball in 1891. James Naismith was born in Almonte, Ontario and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian College in Montreal. He was the physical education teacher at McGill University (1887 to 1890)” It’s the equivalent of claiming that the US won 66 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine , when 28 of them were foreign born and educated.

                3. Canadians don’t hate USAians just really really hate losing to any

              2. And teams like the Capitals, who are so proud of their worthless southeast conference title banners…

                1. Hey we have a couple of Patrick Division titles and one eastern conference title in there to. LOL

                  But, we now have a Russian Bond villain for a star player. So, all of that is going to change, hopefully this year.

                2. And at least the Caps never went bankrupt and became wards of the league like another franchise I can think of.

                  1. Bankruptcies:
                    Pens 2 Caps 0
                    Pens win.

                    Stanley Cups:
                    Pens 3 Caps 0
                    Pens win.

                    Penguins kick ass at insolvency!

                3. Yeah. The Pens were such a big deal before Crosby. Millions of fans. They just went broke twice by accident I guess.

                  1. No, they went bankrupt because of incompetent management. The team was averaging 16,000+ in a 17,000 seat stadium every year right up until the bankruptcy. The Pens actually had lower attendance right before the lockout, but they didn’t go bankrupt because Lemieux put together a management team that actually had a clue how to run things.

              3. Yeah, John, keep knocking the Penguins. Also, enjoy the Royals and Chiefs this year. I’m sure they’re gonna have great seasons…

                1. They just might. It kills me how the fans of a team that was bankrupt before they go Crosby accuses Capitals fans of being band wagon fans. Before Ovetchkin the Caps at least made money. When Crosby retires, the Pens will go back to being wards of the league and get moved to Winnipeg or Hamilton.

                  1. If you’re going to pretend to be a big hockey fan, it would help if you could spell Ovechkin correctly.

                    1. I can’t spell Ksysheski (the Duke coach) either. Does that mean the 30+ years of watching college basketball doesn’t count?

                    2. No one can spell Krzyzewski. Shit is not at all spelled like it’s pronounced.

            2. Evidently, I forgot some sort of icon that would indicate a half-hearted joking nature.


              But to answer your question, what does it matter why? Having a rooting interest can serve several purposes, not all of which are nonsensical or without value (though some certainly are).

              1. Part of the fun is ragging on the other guy’s teams because they suck. See my comments to John and his crappy Kansas City teams above. As a bonus, I think I like every team he hates.

                1. Occasionally your team wins. And the few months of torturing other fans about it makes all the years of misery worth it.

    3. And not one comment about Katarina Witt? You’re all gay, aren’t you?

      1. Hmm? No, I was too busy whacking off to pictures of her to comment.

          1. JR.|, hahhh|3.1.10 @ 4:34PM|#
            Prolefeed,we give medals for masturbation?

            You get the bronze.

        1. The Art-P.O.G.|, hahhh|3.1.10 @ 4:34PM|#
          Prolefeed,we give medals for masturbation?

          You get the silver.

  4. Threadjack but this is a great letter

    Ms. Chana Joffe-Walt and Mr. David Kestenbaum
    All Things Considered
    National Public Radio

    Dear Ms. Joffe-Walt and Mr. Kestenbaum:

    Your excellent February 26, 2010, report on the history of how government officials chose the different methods that Medicare has used over the years to determine doctors’ pay is frightening because?

    ? in your report, Joe Califano, a chief architect of Medicare, admits that the first method of determining doctors’ pay was chosen for political reasons, namely, to buy doctors’ support for Medicare.

    ? you report that Mr. Califano, LBJ, and Congress were genuinely surprised by the rapid cost increases sparked by this first method.

    ? you reveal that much of the treatment that Medicare paid for was previously provided free by physicians; that is, Medicare crowded out a sizable chunk of private-sector philanthropy.

    ? you tell how attempts to change this first method of paying doctors were deeply influenced by skilled lobbyists working on behalf of doctors.

    ? in describing the development of the method currently used for determining doctors’ pay, you (perhaps without realizing it) reveal that this current method is the product of a comically childish labor-theory-of-value analysis ? the same sort of analysis that is at the foundation of Marxian economics.

    ? your report ends with the admission that, because the current method isn’t working so well, Uncle Sam ? 45 years after Medicare was launched ? is still searching for a sound method for determining physicians’ pay.

    Given this history, what reason is there to suppose that Obamacare is a good idea?

    Donald J. Boudreaux
    Professor of Economics
    George Mason University
    Fairfax, VA 22030…..rters.html

    1. That is good. I often will defend NPR (I even give them money sometimes), but their health care coverage has been pretty brutal. Not even much of a suggestion that reform could mean something other than a massive Federal intervention.
      As the letter points out, they have all of the necessary facts, they just don’t get to the sensible conclusion. This is probably the most frustrating thing about progressive approaches to policy. They seem to be blind to the less coercive path that is right in front of them.

  5. In the 1990s everything was destroyed. When stadiums were turned into markets and pools into VIP saunas, athletics collapsed.”

    It’s funny that this guy sees a history where Russia traded a handful of meaningless awards in an international competition for actual goods and services people could use, and he sees this as a loss.

    People are such dorks.

    1. What does he care about anyone else? He just wants to feel good about Russians doing well. It is no different than people like Thomas Friedman dissing our 225 year old democracy where people at least nominally have say over their government and longing for a one party authoritarian state so that he can get his sacred cows fed.

    2. Especially sports fanatics. Watch what happens when a football team threatens to relocate.

      1. I remember when the Browns relocated. Pissed off a lot of good people.

        1. So Cleveland did what every responsible debt ridden city does, built a new stadium with tax dollars to get another team.

          Public Financing: 74.7% – $210 million
          Private Financing: 25.3% – $71 million

    3. You don’t see something unsavory about public pools being auctioned off to create VIP saunas? I would think the people who paid for those facilities with their taxes ought to have some access to them or some say in what happens to them.

      1. Good point. But it is not like this guy wants to let the public use them. He just wants to turn them into private training grounds for athletes. And also, the Soviets were so good at some of these sports because they grabbed kids when they were five and six and basically enslaved them in athletic programs. The world is a better place for not having Soviet athletics.

      2. You don’t see something unsavory about public pools being auctioned off to create VIP saunas?


        I would think the people who paid for those facilities with their taxes

        Umm, those pools were built by the Soviets, you know.

        ought to have some access to them or some say in what happens to them.

        Well, they were presumably auctioned off by elected officials, so, per the usual progressive/democratic mantra, the people did have their say.

        And anyway, they were sold. The public fisc took in the proceeds, presumably to use for the usual public purposes.

        1. And anyway, they were sold. The public fisc took in the proceeds, presumably to use for the usual public purposes.

          Exactly. Like everything else in Russia, the funds were stolen.

  6. What he really means is “I Gennady Shvets lost my life of privilege when most others in the soviet union were living on meager means” plus he shouldn’t feel badly losing to the Canadians they were an undefeatable juggernaut after the loss to the US

  7. Did anyone else here get a weird neo-Soviet vibe when watching Sochi’s presentation during yesterday’s closing ceremonies?

    1. I had the same feeling. We were watching the ceremony with my roommate’s dad who was born in Russia and moved here as soon as the USSR went down. He pretty much said that the russian show was the same bullshit propaganda that he saw in his years there.

      What I found the most telling was to see the faces of the canadians girls having fun and trying to chant along the russian national anthem while the athletes from ex-USSR countries all had pissed-off/slightly disgusted looks.

  8. Congratulations USA on your two Olympic Hockey Silver medals.

    1. Congratulations USA for coming in 2nd and 3rd more than any other country!!

    2. Miller, put that fucking coffee down! Coffee is for closers!

      1. We still beat your asses at basketball. US and A! US and A!

        1. When it comes to basketball, nobody is in the US’s league.

          If the US could send 10 teams to any international basketball tournament, the first 10 places would consist of 9 US teams and one non-US team that got lucky.

        2. Too bad it’s a bunch of thugs doing the beating. Can’t stand NBA basketball or Olympic basketball w/ NBA players.

          1. Was it Michael Jordan or Lebron James that pissed in your Wheaties?

        3. That’s one thing I was thinking – okay, Canada, you beat the US in your sport, let’s see Canada play the US in baseball, football, or basketball.

          1. A Canadian invented basketball.

            1. He was a naturalized citizen who lived in Massachusetts and Kansas. So he was Canadian by birth only.

              1. Just like Chester A Arthur.

            2. And the British essentially invented baseball. I think we could beat them at that, too.

  9. This is the funniest thing I have read all year. From Newsweek in 1995. Remember kids, these are professional, highly educated journalists. So don’t try any pontificating at home.

    The Internet? Bah! ? Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana

    After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

    Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

    Consider today’s online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

    1. Dude, that is so money

      1. OK, I just read what I wrote, and it felt like I was reading one of anon bot’s posts.


        1. LOL! I’ll believe it when I see it, dude!


          1. I mean really. LOL!

          2. Ha! Pass me a leg, man.

    2. “handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats” This should be the tagline for H&R.

      1. You’re exactly right, capitol l.

      2. You got my vote.

        What the hell? Now I’m turing into anonymity-bot.

        1. If “turing” was deliberate, you’re a bloody genius.

    3. Okay, that’s twice today Cliff Stoll has come up. WTF?

    4. Why, next you’ll be telling us that…that man can FLY!

  10. If you want to see what the Russkis really think. They don’t lose very well.

    1. There is a story circulating that Medvedev cancelled a planned visit to Vancouver for the last 3 days of the Olympics due to pique over the poor showing of the Russian athletes.

      1. Aresen,

        Are you familiar with a recent Pakistani envoy to Canada named Akbar Zib? That name apparently means Biggus Dickus in Arabic.

        1. Yeah, he got turned down as ambassador by the Egyptians (or the Saudis, I can’t remember which) for exactly that reason.

          The moral of this story is: Send your biggest dicks to Canada.

          1. I’m glad you said that.

            The rejecting nations were the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

            1. I commented on this upthread, but Canada’s Governor General is a total MILF.

              1. Seeing how it’s Shatnernalia this month, I must quote the following article in full from

                William Shatner wants to be Prime Minister of Canada.

                The ‘Star Trek’ actor, who played Captain Kirk in the hit sci-fi TV show, is planning to make a dramatic career change and help lead his native country.

                The 77-year-old star said: “My intention is to be Prime Minister of Canada, not Governor General, which is mainly a ceremonial position.”

                Shatner revealed his lofty ambition in response to a letter from a fan who urged him to put himself forward for the Governor General of Canada.

                The Governor General is appointed by the monarch – which in Canada is currently Queen Elizabeth II – to perform the constitutional duties of the sovereign on her behalf.

                In his letter, Shatner regretfully added: “I must, with my deepest thanks, turn down your honourable intent to advance me as Governor General. Besides which, I don’t have time to be Governor General.” Despite his busy schedule, the actor is confident he has what it takes to run the country, explaining: “As Prime Minister I can lead Canada into even greater exploits.”

  11. I didn’t watch the Olympics to see them Russian women win – I saw the Olympics to see them knickers . . .

  12. I can’t take the Olympics seriously.

    Maybe when the USA hockey team threatens to move to Mexico if us taxpayers won’t build them a new stadium, then I can get into it.

    I’m from MN and I’ve actually curled, skated, skied and done the biathalon (well I shoot rabbits in the winter from snow shoes), and I have to say most of them aren’t real sports. Who cares?

    1. So what does qualify an activity as a real sport in Pope Jimbo world?

  13. Was it just my old ears, or, when they were announcing the Canuck and USA hockey players’ names after the match, was every damn player named Ryan?

    1. I thought I was the only one that picked up on that.

  14. The Winter Olympics have been said to be just represent the various ways Norwegians go to the 7/11 during winter.

    1. In the bad neighbourhoods you have you shoot your way out of trouble on the ski home. 😉

  15. Crosby is a punk bitch.

    Hilarity ensued when the Canadians made public their belief that they were the underdogs heading into the game. Yeah, right. Joe Pavelski is a top-flight NHL talent. And maybe Ron Wilson will teach Ryan Callahan to hit the net for once.

    Also, the quote from the Russian hockey coach was in response to a question about why the team played so badly in their elimination game. He was pretty much saying, “Who cares, its over, we lost.”

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