Thursday, February 28, 2008

Questions are for the little people

From Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - Two years and 144 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up at oral arguments. It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries. Hardly a case goes by, including two appeals that were argued Monday, without eight justices peppering lawyers with questions. Oral arguments offer justices the chance to resolve nagging doubts about a case, probe its weaknesses or make a point to their colleagues. Left, right and center, the justices ask and they ask and they ask. Sometimes they debate each other, leaving the lawyer at the podium helpless to jump in. [...] Leaning back in his leather chair, often looking up at the ceiling, Thomas takes it all in, but he never joins in.
I don't see why people are surprised. Questions imply uncertainty and Thomas is the human embodiment of certainty. (Insecure, bitter, resentful, smouldering chip-on-the-shoulder certainty, mind, but certainty nonetheless.)

Thomas is an immovable idealogue, a partisan who does not trouble at any point -- or to any degree -- to conceal that single-mindedness. Why need he ask questions? He has the answers he likes and wants, and will provide the judgments to match. The parties, facts or law are merely irritants to be ignored.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ralph Nader in a nutshell
"[M]y sense is is that Mr. Nader is somebody who, if you don’t listen and adopt all of his policies, thinks you’re not substantive. He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his own work."
Barack Obama, quoted in the New York Times,
February 24, 2008.
The Onion: Kidding on the Square?

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nepotism, Connections and You - Or Not

Edited on February 26, 2008.

There was a kerfuffle very recently in The Guardian. Apparently a young (19) man , one Max Gogarty, wrote a blog on the Guardian about his rambles. Whether it was good or not I will not say, but it doesn't appear to be anything special, nothing different from thousands of zero-readership personal blogs (this one included, ahem) and nothing better than any other university freshman could do. But and the travel editor has apologized for it.

Why? Did Gogarty say something offensive? No, it appears that he is nothing more than another of the multitude of well-off westerners who are unsettled in their early encounters with the third world. Whence the kerfuffle, then? It seems that many people had questions about why a teenager with so startlingly little to say -- and such a pedestrian way of saying that little -- would get such a sweet spot in The Guardian. It's a valid question: Why him? The qualifications put forward by his defenders seem to fit a few thousand other young men and women. What is obvious, though, is that England must be filled with young people whose qualifications are far, far better than Max's. We all know, we met them; the young flyers whose talent was obvious at even that age, and whose CVs made us cringe with shame: "gad, why haven't I achieved by 19 all the things that they have???". They're out there, but none of them, it seems, has this column. There seems to be no standout reason for Max being chosen; if there had been his defenders would have put it forward.

As you might have guessed by now, many of the people posing the question already have an answer: they believe that he got the gig through connections*. Max's father, Paul Gogarty, is a freelancer who regularly contributes to the Guardian; he appears to be a bit of an A-lister freelancer because his work appears in other large-circulation papers. He has even taken his family (including Max) to India previously, and written about it.

* - Note: for the purposes of this blog I will use "nepotism" to mean the exercise of power or influence to directly benefit one's family or cherished favourites, and "connections" as the use of your contacts or those of your family to gain the same benefit. It is usually implied in such cases -- and is usually true -- that the person for whom the favour is done would not win in a purely merit-based process.

Here in North America it is damned near impossible to get even the most pedestrian job without a university degree and an "in" with somebody. (As one of my acquaintances wittily remarked, "here even your patron needs a patron".) Competition gets more ferocious every year, especially in larger centres. (Some years back I saw a piddly research job for a nonprofit boil down to a battle between a lawyer and a Ph.D.; the competition is often that tough.) In the UK it is not quite so bad, but it is getting there, it seems: Peter Wilby, also of The Guardian, feels that the class privileges and advantages have actually been reinforced by the tools implemented to advance the meritocracy, making it even more difficult for non-Oxbridgers (which often also means people not from the best Public schools) to get into the protected circles. (One does tend to forget just how omnipresent the graduates of such schools are. I noticed recently that not one but both of the actors playing Octavian in the fantastic BBC-HBO-RAI miniseries Rome are old Etonians.)

So, it appears that Max got his job through Daddy's connections. No doubt he expected this to be a benefit; most of us would. What he didn't expect was the merde hitting the fan in such a shocking, startling and worldwide way. The Guardian's comments section lit up like a flare locker with a match dropped into it, prompting the editorial response detailed above, and that too was the subject of ferocious, angry attacks. (See Caroline Davies' article for an okay summary: "But within 24 hours of his first posting on the travel pages, the teenager was swamped by a tidal wave of internet hate mail as he became a victim of the phenomenon of 'going viral'. As the north London teenager was touching down in Mumbai, hundreds of comments - many vitriolic - were appearing not only on his blog, but on scores of message boards and social networking forums, including Facebook and high-profile gossip sites such as Holy Moly.") For examples, please see right here, and this one ("it’s about people standing up and shaking their fists at such obvious mediocrity and such bald-faced nepotism. It all really pongs") and some really bitchy, cutting stuff mixed with some devastating, accurate criticisms, and some worthwhile thoughts on whether he deserved it.

It also led, naturally, to some insiders whining that people were being too hard on the lad. (See Rafael Baer's truculent response, or a responding post purporting to be from Max's Dad himself as good examples of the type.)

My own view? If you want to take advantage of the benefits that nepotism and connections can get you then fine, most to all of us would in cases where no rules or laws are broken. The world is not nice and you must seize every opportunity you can. But, in doing so, you cannot complain when called out on it. You have received an ill-deserved benefit; you cannot in return claim about any ill-deserved maligning you get as a part of that package.

More importantly, this sort of nonsense is easier to spot and flag in the age of the internet. Max is a perfect example. Had this little bit of nonsense occurred, say, 10 or more years ago I never would have heard of it. It might have been discussed over a pint in Fleet Street bars, or some of Max's friends might have cut him at parties because they were jealous, but that would have been it. Now his embarrassment is spread across the world and people are commenting on it on different continents. It will, possibly, also make things harder for Max down the road. (Then again, given the ability of bad press to mutate into good careers these days it might also benefit him no end.)

But to return to whether or not the critiques were fair. Pete Ashton feels that the "nepotism charge is, I think, misplaced. Sure, Max got the job (if he's even getting paid for it) based on who he knew but that's generally how most of these things happen. There's nothing inherently wrong with networking to get opportunities, especially in the media. Sure, it's distasteful but it doesn't really mean anything."

I disagree: it does matter, and matter greatly, and Ashton is, contradictorily enough, the one to start to the counterpoint: "Max's blog was deeply authentic to his friends and family, which is why they're so upset by the reaction. But to everyone else it was bollocks. Both opinions are right. That post was the textual equivalent of sitting behind a bunch of annoying teenagers on a train. The teenagers think what they're talking about is vital and important - the rest of us wish they'd shut the fuck up about their holidays." If a self-important, favoured nobody gets to jump to the front of the queue and leave the better-qualified in his wake then it goes beyond "networking", no?

Furthermore, it puts the nail in the coffin of those who want to wag their fingers and say, "oh! you horrible, nasty, nasty bullies!" to all those who launched attacks on Max and the Guardian. How the readers respond was necessary to the process: If we accept blatant favouritism towards mediocrities we undercut the merit principle, completely. To say otherwise is to tell the deserving that they will always have to bow to the entitled. Large institutions filled with favoured people are notoriously resistant to reason and change and very inclined to brush off polite remonstrance. In this case it was the rapidity, size and vitriol of the response that got an instant win. The blog is dead and one young man who got something he didn't deserve -- and the people who slid him the goodie -- have been publicly humiliated. And, one notes and hopes, it is very likely that next time there may be second thoughts when some Bright Old Spark at the Guardian wants to do a favour for somebody's kid and to hell with things like applications and merit.

The bottom line is this: many people (some would argue "most") people get sweet jobs through connections or nepotism. It is common currency and can not and will not be wholly eradicated. That does not make it acceptable, nor something that can be tolerated. Like crime and poverty they will always be with us but we must not stop in our efforts to eradicate or -- more realistically -- minimize them. It is an uphill battle simply because in this increasingly savage and strained workplace world, the the need to find an edge, any edge, becomes more intense so does the use and exploitation of nepotism and connections. (Recently two Toronto-area school trustees got around the bar of hiring their own kids by hiring each other's children, to give just one example.) And as such conduct gets more and more common it also becomes more and more resented.

We either try to sustain meritocracy or we don't. We can't let people undercut it and claim that the meritocracy still exists; the surrender and the sham would be a thousand times worse than the struggle. Nepotism and Connections may always be with us, but the only thing that keeps them in check is a willingness to openly denounce them wherever found. These loud -- and, yes, sometimes disproportionate -- howls are one of the very few things keeping alive any hope for the meritorious but unconnected.

As for the people involved, it seems to me that there is a simple code of conduct: when you get a sweet gig through connections or nepotism you are obliged to "pay" for the privilege in two significant ways. Payment The Firste: do not act as if you got the job because you were better than anybody else. No-one is expecting you to put on sackcloth and ashes and then murmur "I'm not worthy". Just don't be an entitled little wanker about it. Paymente The Seconde: When an in possession of an egregious benefit through entitlement and then caught and called out, don't make a stink about it, nor should you permit surrogates to make a stink about it. You made a good effort, but you got caught. Deal with it and stop whining.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How to Identify a Troll: A Beginner's Guide.

Note: This article updated: February 21, 2008 at 1420h; July 5, 2008 at 2100h; #23 added on October 4, 2008; #s 24-27 added and #6 expanded, November 6, 2009.; #28 added November 18, 2008.

1. Automatic rejection of evidence which rebuts the troll's assertion(s).

2. Denying that an accurate summary or paraphrase of the troll's statement or view is true or valid simply because the critic didn’t use the exact words that the troll did. "I never said that. I never used the words!" is pretty standard.

3. Rapid descent into ad hominem attack. The attacks can take many forms. Amongst the more common ones are:
-- be condescending* (variants of insults to intelligence, a la "you're stupid!" are a fave-rave);
-- personal sneers that the recipient doesn't even find insulting, (such as allegations that feminists are going to end up lonely spinsters with many cats);
-- gutter, (often sexual and sneering, especially if aimed at homosexuals).
* - A helpful tip in this regard is to remember that a troll, like a rude but wholly wrong child, is more likely to sneer things like "you don't know what you're talking about" as they become more and more wrong.

4. Saying they proved something when they actually haven’t. (Credit for this one goes to Sarah in Chicago.)

5. Boastful declaratory statements after non-existent verbal victories. (For example: "Fish in a barrell [sic], folks. This is too easy.") The experience is like being in a debate and having your opponent shout “I win!” after every point (s)he makes, whether good, bad or incoherent.

6. Talking right past an assertion that has been rebutted by evidence. Pretend it never happened, is their motto. (This is often done more than once in a thread, where the troll's attention is constantly drawn to a telling point and they never acknowledge it.) A variant on this (as noted by commenter Beowulff, below) is "the re-hashing past arguments". You can blow countless holes in that argument, but they will keep advancing it as it it were whole. (This may be simple bad faith, or may have something to do with the fact that some people are so sure in their opinions that they are evidence-proof, like the stories told of 19th C. tribesmen who were convinced that magic x or y would mean that bullets couldn't hurt them, no matter what evidence to the contrary of fellow-believers dropping like flies to the Maxim gun. Another theory is that they believe that if they advance the lie often enough it will be believed, which is a favourite tactic [and self-deluding narcotic] of the American Right.)

7. Projection, usually based on the direct opposite of reality. (For example: "Sarah, you don’t believe me because you choose not to. Okay, but you’re wrong. That’s why I can argue from experience and you can only hurl insults.")

8. An Announced Departure in the middle of the thread. It’s never enough to go, but the troll must Declare It — purportedly because the others in the discussion are too [insert dismissive negative characterization here, (troll favourites include "ignorant", "uninformed" and "unwilling to debate")]. This is often accompanied by a statement that they will not return.

9. Flouncing, a verbal drama queen, huffy variant of the Announced Departure. (Credit to "Aloysius Watermelontail" for this one, but Aloysius asks for credit to Poppy Z. Brite.) This is always accompanied by a statement that they will not return.

10. The Inevitable Return after the Announced Departure. Put simply, if the troll said that it wouldn't come back then it will usually come back.

11. Onset of Jerk Fatigue (or its subset “Bigot Fatigue”) amongst the rational; this involves people not addressing the troll or his points for a while. (Jack Goff gets credit for this one.) Such a state is almost always shortly followed by the troll claiming credit for people being unwilling or unable to debate with him.

12. It's all about the troll. If people move on to a different part of the discussion, the troll will insert themselves into that (usually rudely) or make an effort to force the thread back to their own discussion of preference.

13. Irrelevant tangents advanced as proof (especially likely to be used where the troll was proved wrong). (Another credit to Sarah in Chicago.)

14. False Disavowal of like-thinkers. The troll will often say things indistinguishable from total sleazes, but does not wish to be associated with them, and so pretends to be different from same (even though they believe the same things that the troll does) in order to pretend that it is "not really like them" or "they don't speak for me".

15. Say-it-here-but-nowhere-elsers. This is similar to False Disavowal. The troll sliming a progressive blog might find it impolitic to identify with, say, Michelle Malkin's anti-immigrant views or John Derbyshire's quasi-pedo rantings, and assert up and down that it is different. However, one could go to the sites of those people and search in vain for any post from the troll excoriating those slatherers.

16. Troll manners 1: you must be polite to the troll, but the troll need not be polite to you. (Yes, I know I called you an ignorant, rapist faggot, but it was outrageous that you called me a rude bigot. How dare you!) This is self-explanatory. However, one need note that a troll of this kind need not actually be on another's blog to do this. Ann Althouse, for example, is a superb example of a troll is who is a troll even on her own blog or out in public.

17. Ostentatious displays of boredom when accurately called out on something that they don't want to hear. If they advance an argument and you advance evidence which blows a shotgun-blast-sized-hole through their argument you are often likely to see something like "Yawn! Bored now!" The odds of this increase exponentially if the damning counter-argument had been made often before against their silly assertion which continues to be advanced by them no matter how often it has been disproven.

18. The troll's life is perfect! Perfect, I tell you! One often sees this in discussions of social issues turning on gender and finance. The troll has a wonderful education, a gleaming home, wealth, a perfect job, a girlfriend who looks like a supermodel whom he beds hourly.... You get the picture. (It is interesting to note that such trolls' happy, sated existences are never the result of privilege or luck, but result solely from the trolls' hard work, brains, skills and copious quantities of their own bootstraps, pulling up for the uses of. The libertarian ideal reigns supreme as, magically, nobody got their Ivy League education as a Legacy Admission, or entered the bond trading firm because dad's fraternity buddy hired them. It's true, they swear!) The troll, in his assertion, is an ideal as a person and as a social model and as a Prize Catch. Like Charteris' Simon Templar, the persona represents typed masturbation about what the author really, really wants to be, but isn't. (The male pronoun is used because that sort of prat is invariably male.)

19. A troll about to be ignored is a Troll More So. If people start to refuse to engage the troll, he will become deliberately more provocative and offensive, like a child at the adult table gleefully moving from words like "bastard" onto ones like "slut". ("He", for the same reason given in 17.) This is a variant on "It's All About The Troll", but more immature and pathetically obvious.

20. You must prove everything, everything !
A demand that you provide evidence for your assertion is not trollishness, but an essential part of debating. What is trollishness is a demand that you, in the context of your debate, prove that wheels are round and that water is wet. Some trolls love to do this: make demands for more and more data that you need not provide then crow that you haven't done so. It is not without significance that this point often goes hand in hand with "6. Talking right past an assertion that has been rebutted by evidence". If the troll demands X proof, and it is provided he will demand Y, Z, A, B, proof that you are a carbon-based biped, proof that.... Well, you get the idea. It is linked to 21, which is...

21. Troll manners 2: you must provide evidence to the troll, but the troll need not provide evidence to you. Assertions are usually deemed to be enough. This sort of type is most commonly found amongst ideologue trolls, especially of the conservative and libertarian types. (Venn note: there is a fair degree of overlap between the two, caused in no small part by the fact that a lot of nasty conservatives call themselves "libertarians" when in fact they are just right-wing assholes who don't want to be arrested for pot.) They don't need prove their assertions because they are self-evidently true, it seems. Oddly enough, liberal and leftist bloggers are less prone to this simply because (a) they are more addicted to facts and proud of being "reality based", and (b) people on the left love to disagree with each other and point out flaws in each other's arguments; conservatives like mutual reinforcement of shared views.

22. A refusal to ever concede a point. Everevereverever. There's nothing wrong with admitting a gap in your argument, if you are arguing with somebody in good faith and they are extending the same courtesy to you. Nobody's perfect and nobody's argument is without weaknesses. Trolls, however, don't live in a good faith world and they don't argue to prove a point or to engage in debate in order that mutual learning and refinement of views may result. They're there (in their minds) because they're smart and right and you're stupid and wrong and it is their duty to explain this too you and to everybody else.

23. False claims of repression of dissent. A troll called out on being a troll will often claim something like, "so this is how you treat dissent!" or raise claims of censorship. They are unable to grasp the difference between disagreeing and being a total fool. Basically, it's a simple correlation: the dumber or more ideologically driven the troll then the more likely they are to whine about counterfire. Picture the Constitutional Peasant from Holy Grail shouting, "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" about two minutes earlier in the sketch, when Arthur simply says, "What?!"

24. The focus on your minutiae. The troll will "pick you up on minor typos, read as grammatical mistakes [and] claim ... that you should not be in the position you are in" or that they irrefutably undermine your point, (a point that he is unable to refute himself). (Credit: Jennifer Cascadia).

25. The Change of Topic. Commenter Beowullf: "Change Of Topic is most often used to allow the troll to weasel out of an argument they're about to lose. Of course, it also nicely derails the thread from its original topic. Some trolls also have a favorite subject they'll try to change to, whether it's related or not. Another favorite is to change the topic to a meta-argument (arguing about the (style of) arguing).Change Of Topic can also be applied many times in rapid succession, like a rapid-fire of new falsehoods and bad arguments to be refuted. This makes the troll look like he's always ahead on the discussion, while honest commenters are tangled up in trying to refute all the lies and fallacies.

26. Dismissiveness. Often an argument made to the troll will be dismissed out of hand with all of the disdain of a spoiled princess waving away an unwanted gift. (Linkage note: Trolls who exhibit this behaviour will often do so in linkage with comlaints that others on the thread won't engage with her, the debating equivalent of demanding a square circle.)

27. False attribution of negative characteristics. When called on something, or faced with a compelling argument which undercuts their position, the troll will refuse to engage based on a spurious claim that the poster in question is [insert negative personality characteristic here: racist, sexist, unwilling to listen, wev].

28. The Troll is a very special expert. Many trolls very conveniently claim to have special expertise into the topic at hand, "usually due to a flashy job or some sort of high-status social standing". ”... In a thread about the liberal media, all trolls know for a FACT that all reporters are leftists because they are news editors, and everyone who’s ever worked in “their newsroom” (actual quote from an actual thread!) has been a raving commie.  In a thread about deadbeat dads, the trolls are always divorce lawyers who have seen judges take everything from men and give it to women time and time again. ...” “The trolls ALWAYS have special expertise on the matter at hand!  Trolls are never paper pushers, CPA’s, schoolteachers, salespeople, or programmers.  Trolls are ALWAYS attorneys, reporters, and members of other fields that tend to be firsthand witness[es]” with experience that exactly suits both their position in the thread. (Credit and quotes: The Opoponax.)

Remember, kids: If it snorts like a troll, and lurks under a bridge like a troll, then it must be ...
Self-Quoting Is Tacky, But I'm Going To Do It Anyway! - #1

"I strongly suggest that you keep your apology; do not offer worthless things as gifts."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Boffo Quote 007

"When you relax and don't try to be charming you can be quite charming."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Uh. Huh.

Jim Kelley is a sportswriter with He recently wrote posted this article about the NHL's Commissioner: "So Far So Good: Despite a few hiccups, Gary Bettman's done a solid job."

I must confess that my first thought was, "well that's convincing proof that SI doesn't drug test its writers".

Now, Mr. Kelley appears to make some telling points but the whole is unconvincing. He commits two critical errors. First, he cherry picks Bettman's achievements over 15 years; Bettman's multitude of failures, errors and biases go studiously unrecorded. (Two work stoppages ten years apart? A decade-long failure to address the scoring-smothering, TV-ratings-diminishing, attendance-killing neutral zone trap? Letting a broadcaster dictate schedules and even whether overtimes are shown or not? All unmentioned.) Second, some things which he records as achievements are not necessarily achievements. He notes, for example, breaking Goodenow and the union as a success. I fail to see how one finds a positive in Bettman's ensuring that the people who actually earn the money should be beaten down be precluded from keeping the lion's share of it and the balance restored to owners who made a series of stupid decisions from which they want to be protected. It's corporate welfare from within the NHL. If one wants to chalk that up as a Bettman achievement in being the hatchet man for the owners, find. Just don't lie to me that it is a gain for the NHL; the NHL is the players and teams together, not just the owners of the teams. It's the nonviolent equivalent of snowing me that the Carnegie thugs were Helping the Industry rather than just the plutocrats who grew rich off of it.

As a Canadian, though, I find Kelley's complete omission of Bettman's loathing for Canadian franchises astounding. The support for small markets that Kelley advances as one of Bettman's achievements is disingenuous to the point of deceit. Bettman's support for smaller markets is conditional upon two things: the franchise must not have a bigger, more glamorous alternative and the small market in question must be American. If the Winnipeg Jets or the Quebec Nordiques had received a quarter of the support from Bettman that the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes have had they would still be in their home towns. Ditto the Hartford Whalers, a small market which didn't fit Bettman's long held dream: a TV-contract rich, almost wholly American NHL spread across the whole of the United States, strong in markets so little conversant with hockey that a child saying "puck" is slapped and told to watch his mouth.* This dream of Bettman's is more fantasy and a downright masturbatory one at that, given how it, like erotic wishes, is largely divorced from reality.

Bettman's dislike of Canadian markets is obvious, and it is infuriating that the American sports media studiously pretends not to notice it, or, equally likely, they share it. It is a measure of Kelley's insularity, though, that he neglects to mention the fact that while Canadian franchises are one-sixth of the teams they generate one-third of its revenues. (Scott Burnside does not make the same mistake, which may be the difference between a freelancer who actually does his job rather as opposed to a hack opinion columnist, but I digress.)

Last summer's nonsense with the Nashville Predators brought it out into the open, miles past any deniability. The simple fact was that Hamilton's bid for the Predators was backed by by massive pre-sales of season's tickets, huge money and by RIM's Jim Balsillie, a man who the NHL had, in a different case, had already cleared as an acceptable owner. (Balsillie had sought to buy the Penguins, but walked away when the NHL loaded on a series of last-minute restrictions that would have applied to him only and no other NHL owner.) Had a fresh-market American offer come in with one third as good a purchaser's CV as the Balsillie bid Bettman would have helped load the trucks. Don't forget, either, that Bettman's fallback position in the event that keeping the Predators in Nashville became impossible was a buyout to move the team to Kansas City. The NHL has already dismally failed there once and the KC group simply did not have the deep pockets and fan base that the Hamilton bid did, nor were they willing to pay as much money for the franchise. (One also notes that Bettman was furious that Balsillie went ahead and secured a lease and started to sell seasons' tickets in Hamilton, but didn't have a word of complaint about the KC group having an arena and selling box suites. In fact, Balsillie's actions were actually in line with the requirements of the NHL: "Having an arena and proving that the market can support an NHL franchise are both requirements spelled out in the NHL's bylaws as requirements for applying to relocate an NHL franchise".) In Bettman's world, piss-poor American choices are always better than rich and devoted Canadian ones, even when the move is guaranteed to increase the NHL's revenues. It is fascinating to note that the KC bid began to shrink as the drama progressed, which is an astute business move on their part. Why on earth should the KC bunch pay more if the fix is in for them as far as Gary Bettman is concerned?

Sorry, Mr. Kelley. Mr. Bettman having a résumé centred around making sure that rich owners never pay for their mistakes, that expansion is governed by what one wants rather than what is doable, that TV contracts are always botched, that labour peace won't be obtained and that ensuring that the country that is the heart and soul and engine of the game is treated like dirt is not commendable. Period.

I'll be glad when Bettman is gone. And I strongly suggest that Kelley either follow him, or write about something that he bothers to find out about.


* - Methinks that the best comment on just how disconnected Carolina is from its Stanley Cup quality team is found in this satirical Onion post:

Carolina Residents Confused, Terrified As Victorious Hurricane Players Riot In Streets

June 22, 2006 | Onion Sports

RALEIGH, NC—Only hours after the Carolina Hurricanes won the NHL Championship Monday night in a hard-fought Game 7 against the Edmonton Oilers, North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley mobilized the National Guard to contain over two dozen members of what he described as "some sort of depraved, violent, heretofore unheard-of gang calling themselves the Hurricanes."