Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

I could write about the pneumonia that Clinton is suffering from and how she should have “blasted out the news” as soon as she heard it Friday.  But, to be honest, I really don’t give a shit about her pneumonia or the fact she didn’t want to tell anyone about it.

I cannot think of a single person who wants to blast out their health condition except someone who simply wants to be the center of attention.  Normal people who get sick, just go on with their lives and try to work through their illness.

I could write about her “basket of deplorables” gaff.  But, she has already said she regrets using the term “half” of supporters.  Of course that isn’t good enough for Trump’s people.  Even though their candidate has NEVER apologized for any of the ridiculous comments he has made about several people.

Oh, he has said he “regrets” some of his comments, but won’t say which comments.  He has not apologized to a Gold Star family for his vicious attacks against them.    He has never apologized for his mocking a disabled reporter.  So, I am not going into his trap about the “deplorables” comments.

I also could write about his Foundation and its illegal activities, but I won’t, at least today.  I could write about his Vice Presidential running mate not calling David Duke deplorable, but I won’t.  Instead let’s look at two things that really define the state of our nation, at least from the conservative side.

The first is the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina.  The NCAA has finally showed some guts and have cancelled their “championship” activities in the state, including the basketball tournament.

This is over the infamous HB2 Bill that says you must use the bathroom of our birth not gender.  In a statement, NCAA President Mark Emmert said”

Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships.  We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.

The bill also says that local communities cannot pass their own legislation to protect LGBT rights.  Of course, the state’s GOP couldn’t pass this up without being somewhat “deplorable” all by themselves.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina GOP called the NCAA’s decision “so absurd it’s almost comical” before launching a blistering attack against the organization.

“I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams,” spokeswoman Kami Mueller said in a statement circulating on Twitter. “Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking ― and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”

But, I think Chris Sgro, the executive director of Equality NC, an LGBT rights group that has fought against the law summed it up best.

North Carolina is ground zero for NCAA college basketball. It’s not something you should mess with.  We’re famous for three things ― beaches, barbecue and basketball ― and now Pat McCrory has stepped all over one of those with the worst LGBT bill in the nation.

Unfortunately, North Carolina isn’t known for just discriminating against LGBT.  It is also known for thuggery.  At his last rally in North Carolina, Trump ignored  the fact that one of his “supporters” was slapping people he considered as protesters in the face.

Then there is Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky.  He gave a talk at the so-called “Value Voters Summit” over the weekend.  And boy, did he have some real “values” to share with the audience.

Here is what Bevin had to say about “values”.

I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically.  But that may, in fact, be the case.

Bevin went on to say that he believed the U.S. would survive a Hillary Clinton presidency, but it might required bloodshed.

The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what?  The blood.  Of who?  The tyrants to be sure, but who else?  The patriots.  It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away. Don’t let it happen.

Bevin isn’t alone in talking about bloodshed.  Trump used the term more than once, especially in his famous comment about the Supreme Court when he said in August:

“If she gets to pick her judges ― nothing you can do, folks.  “Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”

Sorry folks, but these are the people who are supporting Donald Trump to become our next President.  These are the people who in one sentence claims to love our Constitution and in the next is calling for violent action against their “enemies”.

From Donald Trump all the way down the list, these people do not respect the Constitution.  They do not support free speech, unless they are allowed to define what that is.  They do not support equality.  They do not care if you have a job or not.  They only care about power.  And, they will do everything possible to rile up enough people to even use violence to gain that power.

It is really simple.  There is “deplorable” and then there is “deplorable”.

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Friday night, Colin Kaepernick decided to protest a civil rights matter.  To protest, he refused to stand up when the National Anthem was played before the game started.  Naturally, that started a whole bunch of garbage and hate tweets.

Kaepernick said of his decision:

I am not going stand and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.  To me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.  There are bodies on the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

Of course there are two sides to every story.  There are people who support what Kaepernick did and apparently plans to continue to do.  Then there are those who do not support Kaepernick or what he did.

Of course the biggest complaint is how he is “disrespecting” our troops who “fight and die” for our freedoms.  For example, Alex Boone, a former teammate had this to say about Kaepernick’s actions:

It’s hard for me, because my brother was a Marine, and he lost a lot of friends over there.  That flag obviously gives (Kaepernick) the right to do whatever he wants. I understand it. At the same time, you should have some (expletive) respect for people who served, especially people that lost their life to protect our freedom.

We’re out here playing a game, making millions of dollars. People are losing their life, and you don’t have the common courtesy to do that. That just drove me nuts.

Kaepernick was explicit in saying his protest was not intended to disrespect our troops or what they fight for.  As a matter of fact, as one who did serve, I would say to those who don’t like his stand to stop using our troops as ammunition for their hatred and tweets.  I find his protest quite right and proper.

Those of us who have served, have done so to protect our freedoms.  That includes the right to protest against things we find troubling.  The very fact that racism still exists in this country is more of a slight to us who have served and are serving than a protest to bring the light of day to that racism.

The very idea that people are willing to hate others based on the fact they are different than us is repulsive to every fiber of my being.  The idea that anyone who protests such actions is un-American is repulsive to me.

Colin Kaepernick has the right to protest this matter in anyway he chooses.  He is breaking no laws.  He is doing nothing to “disrespect” our troops and what they are fighting to protect, our freedoms.  Rather he is exercising his freedom to protest what he finds to be wrong.

Yes, the haters who are sending lots of hateful tweets have a right to criticize him as well.  However, they are they ones proving he is correct by their hate speech.  They are the ones who are disrespecting the troops and our service to protect our freedoms.

It is always “armchair” patriots who have the most vitriol towards those who disagree with their world view.  It is the “armchair” patriots who do not understand the true meaning of serving our country.  It is always the “armchair” patriots who want to define what freedoms we veterans have fought to protect.

If you disagree with Kaepernick’s actions that is okay and it is your right.  Just as it is his right to protest for what he believes.  Just stop hiding behind the “disrespecting our troops” argument to voice your disapproval.  As a veteran, I do not feel disrespected by his actions.

The freedoms we enjoy in this country are for everyone.  Not just those who happen to agree with our opinion.  If you don’t like protests, too bad.  Everyone has a right to protest for what they believe in.

As a matter of fact, I find it more disrespectful when people wear the American Flag as clothes than I do when someone else burns it in protest.  It is far more disgusting for the flag to be worn as a shirt getting dirty and smelly with someone’s bad odor than for a protester to burn it.  Think about that for a minute.

Before you jump out of your patriot armchair and scream at me remember that the “flag code” that you love to quote for your argument about burning the flag, also states that it should not be used a clothing either.

This uproar is what the “far right-wing” has given us today.  Protests are no longer allowed if they don’t approve of them.  They can call others names and use vulgarity whenever they “feel threatened” by protesters, but they are allowed to hate in the name of “free speech”.

Rather than shout down Kaepernick, we should be holding that discussion on race we should have had 200 years ago.  If you agree with him say so.  If you disagree with him say so.  Only either way you think, say so with meaningful arguments and have a proper discussion.

Protests can help us begin smart discussions about our problems.  Runaway violence will not help but rather hurt that discussion.  I served 20 years of my life so people like Colin Kaepernick can peacefully protest what he believes in.  I am not disrespected by his actions.

Rather, I feel my service was not in vain.  He is doing exactly what he is supposed to be allowed to do.  Expressing his free speech for something he finds troubling.  I say he should continue for as long as he feels necessary.

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I have to say something about this.  I am sick and tired of the haters attacking everyone and everything they see.  Their hatred towards life itself tells me they have no clue what it means to be human and they have no shame.  The way they show their hate also shows just how cowardly they really are and it is time for everyone to shut them up.

My ire here is over the treatment that Gabby Douglas has received since the U.S. Gymnast team won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics.  While the team was standing on the podium and the national anthem was being played, Ms. Douglas stood at attention.  That was apparently a problem for the armchair patriots who actually hate America and don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

The tweets started in full earnest.  Someone going under the alias ReallyRick from a place called Cookeville, TN started the mess with this awesome tweet:

Just because you didn’t make the all-around finals doesn’t mean you have to be a disrespectful bitch Gabby Douglas!

That wasn’t the only one either.  There were tweets about her hair and how someone didn’t like it.  There was one criticizing the “look on her face”.  It read:  “Will someone please smack that disrespectful look off of her face.”

We are talking about a 20-year-old young lady who is one of only three American Women who have won 3 gold medals at the Olympics.  She also won the Individual All-Around Gold Medal at a previous Olympics.

The problem for these assholes is that she is also an African-American.  This young woman, not even old enough to drink yet, has dedicated herself to training and competition so she can represent her country at world-wide competition.

When she wins, this is the treatment these clowns give her?  For one thing, there is nothing formal that says you have to place your hand over your heart when the National Anthem is played.  Hell, I’m a veteran and I never put my hand on my heart when it is played.  I stand at attention and face the flag in respect, just like she did.  That is a proper response and action when the National Anthem is played.

It is always amazing how these arm-chair patriots love to tell everyone just how they should act when anything like the anthem is played.  I am willing to bet that ReallyRick never stood at attention a saluted the flag during the playing of the National Anthem when he was in uniform.  He probably was never in uniform.

These attacks are nothing but hatred towards an African-American who has talent that none of these idiots could possibly attain.  They are simply jealous bigots who refuse to acknowledge that people different from them can represent our country.

Actually, Gabby Douglas is a far better example of America than any of these morons who are attacking her for stupid and bigoted reasons.  People like ReallyRick and the others who attacked Ms. Douglas are a disgrace to our country.

I would like to say to Gabby Douglas that I am very proud of you.  You are an inspiration not only to African-American girls, but to all girls who need someone to look up to as an example of how to achieve their goals.  You are a true role model.  Please don’t let these morons affect you.  You hold your head high.  You are a true credit to our country and real Americans love you!

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Tomorrow New York will hold its primary.  It would appear if the polls are correct, that Clinton and Trump will win their party’s primary in the state.  But, we need to keep the pressure on the Republican Party for their insistence on passing hate laws.  We cannot allow them to fall off the headlines, and out of our memory.  This election is just too important.

In several states, laws have been passed about LGBT rights.  Or should I say, anti-LGBT laws that take away basic rights of that community.  When the bills are passed, like in North Carolina and Mississippi, there is always backlash.  However, in a few short days, that news becomes old and dies from the papers and news shows.

I do not intend to let that happen here.  I believe that when one party gives in to such hate, they need to be called out often.  In election years, we need to remind the voters of these hate laws to keep that party from gaining control anywhere.

Ted Cruz said he thinks the law in North Carolina is “reasonable”.  The Governor, Pat McCrory said yesterday that the Human Rights Campaign is more powerful than the NRA.  Of course, they are so powerful he got their name wrong.

On Meet the Press, he said:  “The Human Rights Council. My gosh, they’re more powerful than the NRA.  And they have millions of dollars, which makes me want to overturn [Citizens] United, because I don’t know who their donors are, either. But they are putting on a lot of pressure, instead of having good dialogue.

“Good dialogue” is a fantastic term that the Governor has no definition for.  When the media covers these laws, they always focus on the one slim item that makes them seem wrong.  They always key in on the civil rights aspect.  That is no small matter, but they always miss the key point.  These laws have no reason to exist except hate.

There are a lot of reasons that laws get passed.  There are safety reasons.  There are environmental concerns.  There are taxes.  There are crime prevention.  However, there is one thing that all laws have in common.  They are intended to correct or prevent an issue that affects every person.  They are defined and contain language of enforcement and consequences of breaking the law.

The anti-LGBT laws that are being passed neither address any real problem nor do they define enforcement.  They claim the problem they are addressing is keeping rapists from using women’s bathrooms in public to attack more victims.  Well, that problem does not exist as defined by their arguments.

I have searched the public records and discovered that there has never been a case of a rapist dressing up like a woman, going into a woman’s restroom, and raping an unsuspecting woman.  Rape is a hideous, violent crime of control over women.  Rapists want the woman to know exactly that they are a man.  They don’t hide in dresses while sitting in a woman’s restroom stall.  This type of crime does not exist, according to public records about rape cases.

The law does not say exactly how police are to enforce this law.  Are we supposed to pay for police officers to sit in public restrooms and conduct checks on the genitals of each person who enters?  Are we going to make every woman pull up her skirt so a police officer than verify that she is really a woman?  Are we going to make men drop their pants so police officers can see they are really men?

How else are you going to enforce these laws?  If you are so afraid that men will dress up as women just to go into a woman’s restroom to rape someone, you must have genital checks to stop them from entering the restroom in the first place!  Only, that isn’t in the bill that was passed.

The bill merely states that each person entering a restroom must use the restroom that matches their gender on their birth certificate.  Yet, the law does not force everyone in North Carolina to carry a copy of their birth certificate with them so it can be checked when entering a restroom.

So how are women going to know that every person in that public restroom with her was actually born a woman?  She doesn’t, so the law means absolutely nothing to her “safety” as Republicans claim.

There is only one reason that North Carolina, Mississippi, and a host of other states have passed such laws.  HATE.  These laws serve no purpose but to stigmatize a group of people Republicans hate.  They serve no purpose but to spread that hate around the state to normal people.  They serve no purpose but to place a group of people in a second class citizen status.

Over 160 business in North Carolina have called on the Governor to repeal the bill.  He refuses.  There have been cancellations of concerts from people like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr because of the bill.  Still the Governor refuses to repeal the bill.

This law was quickly passed because the City of Charlotte passed a bill that was just the opposite of this hate law.  The Governor and State Legislature wasted no time passing this hate law that includes a portion that says municipalities don’t have the right to pass laws in their own city.

In his appearance on Meet the Press, McCrory said:  “I don’t think the government should be telling the private sector what their restroom and shower law should be, to allow a man into a woman’s restroom or shower facility at a YMCA, for example.  He added that, in his opinion, Charlotte “overstepped.”

McCrory further said he was trying to balance questions of equality with privacy, “including even privacy in the most private area of life, which is a restroom, locker room or shower facility.”

So, Todd asked a reasonable question.  Should transgender people not expect the same kind of privacy.  “Do you want someone who identifies as a woman, born on their birth certificate as a man, [who] may look like a woman, going into a men’s bathroom?” Todd asked. “Is that fair to them?”

As expected, McCrory didn’t answer that one.

These laws have no purpose except hate.  They don’t protect anyone.  They have no enforcement language.  They are totally useless.  It is time for everyone to wake up and see them for what they are.

It is also time for groups like the NBA, NCAA, NFL, and other groups to formally announce they will not hold any event in a state with hate laws.  That means the NBA should immediately announce that their all-star game scheduled for Charlotte next year is being pulled out.  The NCAA should immediately cancel every venue of their tournament from North Carolina.  The NFL should immediately announce that Charlotte will not be considered as a future site for the Super Bowl.

And the list goes on and on.  By making it crystal clear now that these groups will not hold events in North Carolina, they will be sending a clear message that they do not like the law.  That they find it offensive.  They will also be sending a clear message to every other state with such laws or planning on such laws.  There are over 100 such laws just waiting to be introduced in states across the country.  If they wait, or don’t cancel such events, they are giving approval to such hate laws.

This is what the Republican Party wants America to look like.  This is the kind of society that the Republican Party wants for America.  They want separation.  They want segregation.  They want several “classes” of citizens.  They want you to hate your neighbor.  And of course, they want all of this in the name of “Christianity”!

I am not going to let issues like this die away.  I will continue to speak up about these hate laws, about voter suppression laws, and about lead poisoning.  I will continue to speak up about them because it is the right thing to do.  We cannot allow hate mongers take over our country.

The Republican Party has turned its power over to the crackpots who espouse hate.  People like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Mike Lee, and a host of others.  They have become the antithesis of “American Values” they claim to love so much.  They have passed laws that negatively affect gays, the elderly, the young, Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, women and just about every other non-white male Christian group.  They need to be stopped.  And, they need to be stopped now!

If they are not stopped, who will be next?  Will it be Catholics?  Will it be Irish?  Will it be Poles?  Will it be Jews?  Will it be atheists?  Will it be Lutherans?  Someone will be next.  Sooner or later, they will get around to you.  Because hate is forever busy!


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It may seem like a small thing, but there are now two different Rock Stars that have cancelled concerts in states that recently passed anti-LBGT laws.  But, it cannot stop there.  It must be enhanced and include every American who despises discrimination in any form.

The first was Bruce Springsteen.  He cancelled a concert that was to be held in Greensboro, NC last night.  In cancelling his concert he said:

Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them.  It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

Of course, a state representative in North Carolina, a Republican called Springsteen a “bully” for his stance.  That is a very rich statement coming from a Republican member of the state legislature that just passed a bill allowing “bullying” against the LBGT community with its hate bill.  But then, we already know that Republicans consider “bullying” their territory.

The second Rock Star to cancel a concert is Bryan Adams.  He is scheduled to hold a concert on April 14 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.  In a tweet explaining his decision he wrote:

Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523. I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi. I cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore i’m cancelling my 14 April show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill. Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day. – Bryan Adams #stop1523.

When Georgia passed a similar bill, the Governor caved into the pressure because organizations like Disney and the NFL stepped up to the plate and denounced the bill.  Disney said they wouldn’t use Georgia anymore for films, and the NFL said it would use the bill in determining if Atlanta could get the Super Bowl.

North Carolina faces similar problems.  The NCAA has cried fowl as well as the NBA.  The NBA is scheduled to hold its All Star Game in Charlotte next year.  Even Charles Barkley has come out publicly and said the NBA should relocate the game because of the hate bill.

The state regularly holds different rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament.  Many are calling on the organization to remove the tournament from North Carolina.  We are all waiting for both the NBA and NCAA to make announcements about these activities.  Not cancelling them would be akin to supporting the hate bill.

Some argue that Mississippi cannot be punished as much as North Carolina or Georgia.  But the are wrong.  The vast majority of money for the state of Mississippi comes from tourism.  Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is a huge money draw for the state.  Millions of people flock to this area of the Gulf Coast every year.  That is where Mississippi can be hurt.

Boycotting the tourist industry is easier than people think.  All it takes is for organizations who favor inclusive behavior and defend civil rights to ask their members not to vacation in Mississippi.

Think of the millions upon millions of members of groups like the NAACP, AARP, AAA, and a host of other organizations and you can see how the tourist industry in Mississippi can be hurt very badly.

The problem is that it takes courage for organizations to call on their members not to vacation in Mississippi.  The kind of courage it took Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams to cancel their concerts in North Carolina and Mississippi.

These types of boycotts have worked in the past.  And, since Mississippi is so tied to the tourist industry, that is the best way to tell them to repeal their hate law.  We are at a point where the only weapon we have against such bills is economic.  We must start using that weapon right now.

In essence, if we start boycotting any state that allows such discrimination, we will be telling our politicians that their hatred towards minorities of any kind is a crime and the consequences will be dollars for their state.

In my opinion, these bills are nothing short of terrorism.  They are intended to scare the living hell out of the LGBT community.  They are designed to legally discriminate against a group of people for no reason other than they exist.  That is wrong and that is state sponsored terrorism of the worst kind.

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Yesterday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred refused to lift he lifetime ban on Pete Rose.  Manfred listed several reasons for his refusal to lift the ban by saying that allowing Mr. Rose to work in baseball “presents an unacceptable risk” that he might again bet on the sport, a strict violation of baseball’s rules.

This decision keeps him from getting into the Hall of Fame.  This all may seem like a trivial matter.  One might argue, and many are, that the Hall of Fame should not keep the all-time hits leader out.  But, there really is more to this than just that.

In 1918, the Chicago White Sox were accused of “throwing” the World Series in exchange for payoffs from gamblers.  The players were all acquitted in court, but baseball believed there was enough circumstantial evidence against them and banned all of the layers for life.

They then added Rule 21 to the list of rules that all employees of baseball, including on-field employees must adhere to.  Section d. says:

(d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES.  Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year.

Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall
bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Pete Rose got caught betting on baseball while he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  It was later discovered that he bet on baseball when he was a player.  Furthermore, he bet on the team he was playing for and/or managing.

The gambling issue has been a very serious one for baseball ever since the Black Sox scandal that started this mess.  It is the one rule that is on full display in every locker room in baseball stadiums.  Every player knows the rule and is reminded of it every spring training.

Rose chose to ignore that rule.  He chose to be “his own man” and figured even if he got caught, he was Pete Rose and no one would dare ban him from the game.  He was wrong.  Bart Giamatti, then commissioner, did ban him for life.  Rose even signed the “agreement” and knew he would be banned for life.

One thing that Giamatti did say at the time, was that Rose needed to reconfigure his life before his reinstatement was considered.  In his statement, Manfred said:

In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing … or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.

Yes, gambling is legal.  However, this is about more than just Rose’s gambling addiction.  It is about ego that was brought on by entitlement.  Pete Rose was a terrific baseball player.  He set the all-time hits record, and really worked hard at his craft.

That does not mean he should have the “run of the chicken coop” as he seems to believe.  He has been praised and lauded over for years.  There are critics who claim that his “lifetime ban” should not prevent him from entering the Hall of Fame.

They claim his numbers should speak for him.  But that is nothing more than feeding Rose’s ego and giving him more entitlement.  Pete Rose made a conscious decision to break the “most rigorous” rule baseball has.  He chose to ignore the gambling issue because he figured he was Pete Rose.

Critics also say that it is unfair for him because other players who are suspected of using PEDs like Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds are still associated with the game.  Problem is that PEDs and gambling are two different things.

Players who used PEDs were cheaters.  The cheated their teammates, other players and fans.  So far, those players have been denied entrance into the Hall of Fame by the voting press.  The other side is that there has been no “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that they took the drugs.  That is because the drug testing for PEDs really did not exist.

I believe that PED users should be banned from baseball for life as well.  The new drug policy makes that possible under its punishment policy.  But, Rose broke a rule that was fully known and on the books for over 60 years when he violated it.

His lack of remorse and his contradictory statements since his mess began proves he believes he is bigger than the game.  He doesn’t understand, or refused, to understand his errors.  He still blames baseball for his lifetime ban.

That is the entitlement part of all of this.  He is Peter Rose, Mr. Hustle!  He believes he deserves to be in the Hall and won’t accept that it was his own actions that keeps him from being there.

He has shown his ego over the years with his “autograph” sessions in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame weekend.  He is trying to show that he is bigger than the game.

As Manfred wrote:

Most important, whatever else a ‘reconfigured life’ may include, in this case, it must begin with a complete rejection of the practices and habits that comprised his violations of Rule 21.

I applaud Manfred’s rejection of Rose’s reinstatement.  In my opinion, Pete Rose has no place in baseball, nor does he deserve enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.  Yes, he was a terrific baseball player.  That does not excuse his deliberate violation of the game’s rules.

To those who claim he “deserves a second chance” I say he already got that second chance.  Again, he refused to follow the recommendations that might have resulted in a different decision.

As with all people who live a life of entitlement and self-importance, Pete Rose will never “get it.”  Just like all of the PED users, domestic abusers, and others who believe their “talent” lets them get away with their crimes or abuses.

Hopefully, Manfred’s decision in this case will open the door to other “abuses” that need to be more rigorously addressed in professional sports.  Then we will really have something to cheer about in sports.


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It is Labor Day Weekend.  That means the NFL season begins next weekend.  I know a lot of people who are itching to get it started.  Sorry, but I am not one of them.  As many readers know, I believe the NFL stands for No Fundamentals League.  I have watched football for a whole lot of years, and I have witnessed the decline in fundamental football for many of those years.

I bothers me that people making millions of dollars do not know how to tackle or block.  The number of “ole” tackles and blocks is stunning.  I don’t know if players just don’t know how to play the game anymore, or if they are just lazy and won’t earn their paycheck.  In any case, I probably watch less football than anyone I know.

But, today, I want to make a point about labor and management issues.  The current mess going on in the NFL is a good starting point.  I realize that the players union is different from other unions.  After all, the players make millions of dollars while the average union worker makes thousands.  But, all of the incidents that the NFL has faced, and its reaction to them is a perfect microcosm of owner/labor relations.

A lot of people are excited that Tom Brady had his suspension revoked by a Federal Judge.  They are saying that he was “vindicated” from any role in deflategate.  That is a wrong assumption on their part.  The ruling had nothing to do with his involvement or not.  It was simply over the process that was used to issue his punishment.

According to the court, he was never informed his actions could result in a four game suspension.  Therefore, he did not know what the punishment could be which is contrary to labor negotiations.  So, the league couldn’t suspend him like they did.  Furthermore, the court ruled that the punishment for using performance enhancing drugs was not a legitimate comparison for this infraction.

The court never said anything about whether or not Brady had anything to do with the deflated footballs.  Therefore, Brady has not been vindicated by this ruling.  It was all about the process the NFL uses in doling out punishment.

The NFL and the NFLPA have a contract to spell out labor relations.  The NFLPA agreed that the Commissioner would have the right to issue punishment for unbecoming conduct.  The NFL has been racked with lots of incidents like spouse abuse, woman abuse, rape allegations, sexual assault, possession of firearms, and even players accidentally shooting themselves in public areas.

The NFL wants to “protect the integrity of the shield.”  As a result, the Commissioner has taken dictatorial powers upon himself.  Apparently, he believes he is the only person who can “protect the shield.”  As a result of this behavior, he has seen his last four suspensions overturned in court.  Not because the incidents didn’t deserve punishment, but because he failed to follow “due process” which is legalese for doing what is fair and just.

When deflategate hit, the union requested that the appeal process be handled by an independent arbiter.  The Commission refused and conducted the appeal himself.  That was where he went off the tracks.  As a result of this decision which blames the process, we will probably see more suspensions overturned by the courts as well.

Which brings me back to the Labor Day issue.  Here are two groups of millionaires fighting over labor rights.  The owners want to dictate punishment, wages, health policies, and a host of other items.  Remember, this is the only league that has a “no guaranteed contract” policy.  Meaning if they sign you for six years, they can void the contract in just one or two years if they choose.

Most of the contract holdouts are not over the length or total wages for the course of the contract.  They are holding out for more “guaranteed money” at the front end of the contract.  That way they can financially protect themselves if a team decides to “cut” them after a couple of years.

That may be a nice system, but the average worker doesn’t get that kind of treatment.  The average worker gets whatever the company says they get.  If they are let go for any reason, the best they can expect is unemployment checks for up to 26 weeks.  That is a far cry from guaranteed money.

The politicians have been quite mum about the labor processes in professional sports.  I haven’t heard a single politician talk about “breaking the professional sports unions.”  The unfortunate side is that the vast majority of Republican Politicians at all levels of government are continuously calling for “breaking the unions.”

Unions serve a real purpose.  They have helped the American Economy grow by making sure their members receive the benefits of the profits they help create for the company.  They negotiate fair wages, working conditions, benefits, etc., for their workers.  In essence, that is what professional sports unions do as well.  How does that help the economy?  It helps the economy because workers have money to spend.  When people have money to send they spend it, thus increasing demand for goods and services.  Rising demand creates more jobs, and thus grows the economy even more.

But, since the members of average unions are not millionaires, they don’t have the political clout that professional sports players do.  As a result, since their “demands” of fair wages, working conditions, and benefits cut into the profits of the stock holders, they are demonized and called “job killers.”

Union membership exploded after World War II.  As a result, the economy also exploded.  Union membership was at its highest and workers were actually making a livable wage.  Today, union membership is at its lowest point since before the war.  And, we are seeing more income inequality than we have since before World War I.

Politicians and the top 1% wage earners have conspired to take away unionization from the workers.  They don’t want those pesky union people demanding more than a twenty-five cent raise in pay when the company is making billions of dollars in profit.

Unions are blamed for jobs being shipped overseas.  That is a total lie.  Jobs are being shipped overseas because deregulation combined with tax loopholes have made it easier for companies to ship them overseas.  The so-called “Free Trade Agreements” have cost Americans several million manufacturing jobs, not the unions.

We have all had discussions about income inequality and stagnant wages for the working class.  There is a direct correlation between the income inequality and stagnant wages with the demise of unions.  Without collective bargaining, workers no longer have a voice.  Without union representation, workers are no longer protected.

As a result, owners and share-holders have total control over wages, working conditions, and benefits.  That means wages, working conditions, and benefits have been eroding quicker than you can say “oh, shit.”  How else would it be possible for someone to be hired as a CEO, ruin the company, and then be given a “golden parachute” worth tens of millions of dollars as an exit strategy and the workers are given nothing?

As we celebrate this Labor Day Weekend, remember that we are supposed to be celebrating LABOR!  That means we are supposed to be celebrating every working person in this country.  The best way we can celebrate our workers, is to get rid of the people who want to keep them down.  The ones who don’t want to support livable wages.

The one slogan you won’t hear Republicans tout this election is “vote your pocketbook.”  That is because the vast majority of Americans don’t have much in their pocketbook, thanks to Republican Policies that are intended to keep the workers down.

Unemployment is down to 5.1 per cent.  That is the lowest it has been in over seven years.  But, if Republicans in Congress haven’t been holding up bills like the Infrastructure Bill, unemployment could be lower than 4 per cent.  And, more Americans would be making a livable wage.

Plus, a low unemployment isn’t worth that much when Republicans say over-and-over that you should just work more and stop complaining about low wages.  According to them, allowing you to make enough to support your family will just “kill jobs.”

So, as you can see, the NFL is no different than any other corporation.  The owners simply want to keep their employees under control for more profits for the owners.  It all sounds an awful lot like Mitt Romney, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and the rest of the Republican candidates.

It is your choice.  My pocketbook tells me that Republicans are constantly inside them trying to take money from me to give it to the rich.  To me, that is income redistribution at its worst.  I don’t want them to give up their millions, I just want them to recognize that WE BUILT THAT, not them and therefore pay us what we are worth.  Without us and our labor, they would be broke.

That is what Labor Day should be about! By the way, if you love watching big men run into each other without actually tackling them, enjoy the NFL season.

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