Sunday, July 24, 2005

Have a passport? You are probably a Democrat.

October 18, 2004

Have a passport? You are probably a Democrat.

Slate magazine however, recognized another angle to this new movement which is quite interesting:

While Americans who go abroad to kill people vote Republican, Americans who go abroad to do just about anything else vote Democratic. This is the logic behind the unprecedented effort to get out the vote among U.S. civilians overseas, and the reason that effort is overwhelmingly Democratic.

How have they formulated this dubious theory?

Americans with passports favor Kerry over Bush by 58 percent to 35 percent, according to a recent Zogby poll. That means anyone who has so much as spent a weekend in Cancún is probably a Democrat. As for the number of Americans who live overseas long-term and are eligible to vote, estimates vary wildly, but the New York Times put the figure at a conservative 4.4 million. Of those, about 500,000 are members of the military and their families. That group has typically voted Republican, with high turnout. The civilians abroad remain unsurveyed, but based on my own forays among Americans living in Canada and France, I’d say they swing heavily Democratic.

The little partisan angel on my shoulder wants me to say that this proves that Republicans don’t understand enough about the world to vote correctly (only concerning foreign policy issues) because they never leave their small towns and farms. If they did go abroad maybe they would learn things aren’t so black and white. On the other hand, the little devil on my shoulder…well actually I am sure SM readers will have their own theories to explain this passport phenomena. I for one tend not to heed the advice of angels or devils.



Updated: March 28, 2005

Beijing hoops camp a learning experience

By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine

BEIJING -- It's too bad the latest labor pact between NBA owners and players already has been decided, because it doesn't include a vital element: Mandatory participation for everyone in an overseas basketball camp.

If the two sides understood what is to be gained -- not just given -- in such camps, players and owners alike would agree to such a provision in a heartbeat and be embarrassed for not having thought of it sooner.

"If you ever made everyone do one of these camps, at least half would want to do it again," said Philadelphia 76ers small forward Kyle Korver, who spent July 14-17 here as an instructor in the league's first Asian Basketball Without Borders camp. "How could you not, after what we saw?"

What he and the rest of the NBA contingent saw, heard and felt on the outskirts of Beijing is what every BWB camper, often for the first time, experiences: How infantile the dream of playing in the NBA truly is. (Put writing or talking about it right there, too.)

How utterly meaningless putting a ball through a hoop can be. How there are kids and families who know poverty and heartache at levels well beyond the most bullet-riddled, crack pipe-littered ghetto the U.S. has to offer. How they don't aspire to have a textbook jump shot, but, believe it or not, a textbook. How, maybe, the 12-year-old boy with no parents or brothers and sisters, who isn't allowed in school and doesn't have a single yuan, isn't the only sad story. Just as sad is the fact that some NBA players actually think they have real problems -- at least until they come here.

"People stay in one little box and think that's the way the world is," says Samuel Dalembert, who asked to do the Asia camp after working last year's camp in South Africa. "Especially guys in the NBA from the United States. They don't realize what they have. They don't know what hardship is. They don't know how to adapt."



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