The Government You Paid For

Number 60 of a Series

Did I ever mention I do not like soccer? I will not watch soccer. I find it to be boooring.

That said, I salute our women’s team in their well-deserved victory. They are an example for all women, for all Americans. And they deserve to be feted by the president at the White House. I would have seen them feted by Franklin Roosevelt, by Harry Truman, by Dwight Eisenhower, by John Kennedy, by Lyndon Johnson, by Richard Nixon, by Gerald Ford, by Ronald Reagan, by George H. W. Bush, by Bill Clinton, by George W. Bush, by Barack Obama.

But not by Donald Trump. Never would I want to see this happen.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

This came out in 1984, about the time I was moving back to Texas and was absorbed with other things. For some reason I never saw it through until recently were it is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. It’s The Natural, starring Robert Redford as some kind of baseball sensation. I caught some it on TV a few decades back; I caught the part where Roy Hobbs (Redford) strikes out The Whammer and then goes to meet a woman in a hotel room, where she shoots him. And I watched the very end where Hobbs hits the game-winning home run and wins the pennant. I must have missed all the rest until a few days ago, when I sat myself down and viewed all two hours plus. I came away with the assurance the story could have been told using 30 minutes fewer feet of celluloid. Here’s how it goes. Details are from Wikipedia.

It’s the early 20th century, and Hobbs is a farm boy whose father teaches him baseball. He’s a whiz.

But the father dies suddenly, and Hobbs finishes growing up on his own. Near where his father died lightening strikes a tree, and the boy plucks away a log from the trunk. He shapes the log and fashions a baseball bat, which he brands with a hot iron: “Wonder Boy.” And he adds a bolt of lightening.

He says goodbye to his high school sweetheart, Iris Gaines (Glenn Close) and catches a train to try out as a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. It’s a steam locomotive, so the train has to stop for water. On the train is a pro ball player, known in the movie only as ‘The Whammer’ (Joe Don Baker),  and looks a lot like Babe Ruth. There is a fairground next to the tracks, and Hobbs wows patrons by consistently knocking down all the wooden milk bottles in a carnival game.

A challenge is issued, and a large bet is laid. Hobbs will strike out The Whammer. Three straight whiffs is the challenge. The Whammer watches the first ball go by and swings at the remaining two. He is not amused.

In Chicago Hobbs accepts the invitation of a woman, Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey), who was on the train. He comes to her hotel room, where she shoots him in the gut. Then (we learn later) she kills herself. We also learn she has previously killed other athletes, all using silver bullets.

Years pass within one splice of the film, and we see Hobbs as a 30+ player recruited from  a minor-league team by a scout for the New York Knights, a bit of fiction from  Bernard Malamud, who wrote the book of the same name.

We eventually learn that Hobbs is on the team as part of a scheme by The Judge (Robert Prosky), co-owner of the team. The Judge needs for The Knights to not win the pennant, because if they lose, then team manager Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley) has to give up controlling interest in the team. So The Judge has been recruiting losers, such as Hobbs, and he has bribed  another player to lose. Shades of Eight Men Out.

Pop doesn’t want to play the unknown Hobbs and keeps him on the bench for game after game. But the crooked player dies crashing into the outfield wall, and Hobbs gets invited to batting practice. He hits ball after ball into the stands. His first time at bat in a game he really does hit the cover off the ball. While the opposing team chases an unraveling ball of twine, Hobbs trots the bases.

Things are no longer looking bright for The Judge. The Knights have been losing games on end, but Hobbs begins hitting a stream of home runs, inspiring the team, which now begins to play major league ball.

The Judge runs in a woman of casual virtue, Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), to distract Hobbs, and she screws his brains out so consistently his game drops off. Paris is also Pop’s niece. Hobbs is in a terrible slump, and so is the team.

But in Chicago, Hobbs’ fame catches the attention of Iris, now grown, single, and with a son.

At bat, close to once more striking out, Hobbs spots Iris in the stands, and he slugs a homer.

Hobbs dumps Paris, but his stomach wound flares up, and he misses games in the hospital, where the silver bullet is removed from his stomach. Seeing he is needed to win the pennant-winning game, Hobbs takes himself out of the hospital and suits up for the game. Now comes the drama.

Game runs are on base, and Hobbs needs to hit a big one. Iris sends in a note telling him her son is also his, and he’s at the game. Hobbs whiffs a couple of pitches and then splats a fowl ball into the stands. Bad news, that swing has shattered Wonder Boy, and Hobbs tells the bat boy to go select a winner for him.

And here comes the fatal pitch.

Hobbs swats it into the lights behind the outfield for a home run. As he trots the bases electric lights continue to shatter in a cascade of sparks.

Hobbs retires from ball, and we see him and his son tossing a ball on the farm as Iris looks on.

What gives this movie interest is the intro. All is going well for Hobbs, and you would never believe a mysterious woman will shoot him in the gut, sidelining his career.

It’s not adequately explained why Hobbs never went back to hook up with Iris after his life-shattering experience—didn’t even write.

By the time of his return to baseball, Hobbs is a once-burned, street-wise, 36-year-old. And he still falls for the floozy sent in to throw off his game.

See the picture of Hobbs and the bat boy examining the shattered Wonder Boy? Watching Hobbs bat the ball into the stands we see Wonder Boy fall harmlessly to the ground as Hobbs heads for first base. It is obviously not broken.

The winning hit shatters a flood lamp. Then lights begin to shatter all over the field. People, this does not happen.

This plot device of bringing it all down to a final pitch that will decide the pennant is getting old. It was getting old 34 years ago, and it is not going to pick up additional sparkle anytime soon.

People Unclear

This is number 44 of a series

When I run low on issues to post about, I can reliably turn to the matter of people unclear. These are people who leave the impression they were taking a bathroom break when the operating instructions were handed out. Do I poke fun at these people? Yes, I do, and it’s not being cruel. It’s not being cruel when explanation has been provided again and again, and when the facts are clearly laid out but willfully ignored. Shame!

Here’s another one and additional proof that I usually do not conduct my own research. This came by way of Yahoo News, penned by Jack Baer, to whom thanks go for due diligence. The matter concerns Washington State University football coach Mike Leach and his off-kilter Sunday pastime. Here’s from Yahoo News:

Mike Leach spends Father’s Day arguing on Twitter about heavily edited Barack Obama conspiracy video

Mike Leach could have spent his Father’s Day doing so many fun things, like a family dinner or golfing (OK, probably not golfing). Heck, he probably could have just spent the day recruiting like Nick Saban probably did.

Instead, Leach honored the occasion by tweeting out a clearly fake video of Barack Obama and spending hours arguing about it with strangers on the internet [sic].

Whoa! Tweeting out a fake video? Featuring former President Barack Obama? Where’s the news in that? I recall a recent eight-year period when this activity was a nation-wide sport, with points given for originality. Before I go further, take a look at the video:

Since this is a competitive event, I am giving points for the various elements (1 – 5):

  • Originality: 1
  • Execution: 2
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Audacity: 5

If audacity were the only element scored, then Coach Leach would be heading for the playoffs. Writer Jack Baer has more, and it contains some interesting revelations.

First, Coach Leach has 100,000 Twitter followers. Who would have thought? And he shared the video with his 100,000 followers. See? That’s how word gets around.

Second, Mike Leach received push back from a number of the tweetees. An example:

Replying to 

This video is a hoax. This was given and selectively clipped from a speech to the EU in Brussels. Be better than this.

Now for the kicker. Coach Leach punted back:

Replying to 

Prove it. Irrelevant anyway. We are discussing ideas. Do one or the other

Prove it! Prove it? How many ways are there to spell “brass balls?” All that is necessary to “prove it” is to replay the original, unedited speech. Irrelevant? That the video is a fake is irrelevant? Has “irrelevant” been given a new meaning?

In his original tweet, since deleted, Coach Leach introduced the video with these words:

Listen to this. Text your thoughts. There is a lot of disagreement on government, so I think that an open discussion is always in order. Tweet your thoughts. Maybe we can all learn something.

He wants readers to listen up, pay attention. He wants their thoughts. He wants open discussion. For those still unclear, you do not seek open discussion by opening with a lie. As Jack Baer explains, responders presented proof the video was fake. When you are truly unclear, what do you do when  presented with evidence you are truly unclear? You provide additional evidence that you are truly unclear. Here’s another exchange:

Replying to 

He’s speaking about Russian aggression in Ukraine. You cannot say “Discussion” when you’re entire invitation is built on a false premise.

The link is to the unedited speech. The coach elects to dig in:

Replying to 

What is false. Please clarify. Does this ever happen to Trump or any other politicians?!

First, the sentence “What is false” should have been spelled “What is false?” It is supposed to be a question. Then, maybe not. Perhaps Coach Leach does not consider it to be a question. Perhaps he’s making a point. “Who cares what is false?”
Does this ever happen to Trump or any other politicians?!
Double punctuation question mark and exclamation mark. A question shouted out loud and with force. But what does the question mean? Is this actually a statement: “This kind of stuff happens to Trump all the time. And other politicians, besides, so I’m not picking on Obama.” Putting aside whether this should ever be done (fake videos, fake stories) by anybody about anybody, I want to dive into the mind of Coach Leach. How about Trump, and how about how he is treated? Is all this stuff about President Trump fabricated? Is it all fake, a bunch of lies? More so, is any of it fake? Let’s see.

 

Yeah, that will about do it with whether this stuff is fake.

There is more from Jack Baer:

All told, Leach asked Twitter users to “prove it” nine different times (123456789) as he continued to march through the internet battlegrounds, conveniently missing the many people trying to provide him with proof the video he shared was fake.

At one point, Leach asked a Twitter user a point-blank question that essentially summed up the whole exercise: “What’s a fact?

Specifically:

Replying to  

What’s a fact?

And that does it. When you are arguing a point with somebody, and they ask, “What is a fact,” it’s time to throw in the towel. That’s another sports figure of speech, and it means it’s time to quit. You’re wasting your time. You are obviously dealing with somebody unclear.

The matter of questioning fact is a topic covered in two books I finished reading this month:

Here are some pertinent excerpts:

My hope is to capture and share the experience of more than fifty years in the intelligence profession, to impart the pride that intelligence officers take in their work, the care with which they consider the ethical implications of surveillance and espionage, and the patriotism and willingness to sacrifice that they bring to the job. And finally, I intend to show that what Russia did to the United States during the 2016 election was far worse than just another post–Cold War jab at an old adversary. What happened to us was a sustained assault on our traditional values and institutions of governance, from external as well as internal pressures. In the wake of that experience, my fear is that many Americans are questioning if facts are even knowable, as foreign adversaries and our national leaders continue to deny objective reality while advancing their own “alternative facts.” America possesses great strength and resilience, but how we rise to this challenge—with clear-eyed recognition of the unbiased facts and by setting aside our doubts—is entirely up to us. I believe the destiny of the American ideal is at stake.

Clapper, James R.. Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Deeply involved in this is the question of truth. It was no accident that the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016 was “post-truth,” a condition where objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Liberal British academic and philosopher A. C. Grayling characterized the emerging post-truth world to me as “over-valuing opinion and preference at the expense of proof and data.” Oxford Dictionaries president Casper Grathwohl predicted that the term could become “one of the defining words of our time.”

Hayden, Michael V.. The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies (p. 3). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Both of these writers are retired military generals, both worked in military and civilian intelligence for the United States Government. Both consider, rightly, that useful intelligence is based on fact and not on hopes and preferences. When you want to know how many battle tanks the enemy has facing you, you might wish there were only 15, but if there really are 400, then you need to  know this fact. There is evidence we have an administration for which facts are negotiable. Call me concerned.

An additional fact came out of the Yahoo News story, besides the fact that his employer responded to the episode by issuing a statement: “As a private citizen, Mike Leach is entitled to his personal opinions,” the statement said. “Coach Leach’s political views do not necessarily reflect the views of Washington State University students, faculty and staff.” That additional fact is that Coach Leach is the highest paid employee of the state of Washington—$3.5 million.

Quite obviously there are a number of people unclear in the state of Washington.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 23 in a series

Full disclosure:

I do not post these to make fun of Donald Trump, current President of the United States. I post these to make fun of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Some people out there must by now be feeling the heat. My intent is to see they get no rest, and I will remind them as often as I am able, that this is what they wanted. So where to start?

How about our petulant President’s obsession with unworldly affairs?

NFL Commissioner, Players’ Union Angrily Denounce Trump

Full disclosure: I have zero interest in the NBA and the NFL and only marginal interest in MLB. Players making more in a year than I made in a lifetime live in a world apart from me, and I feel little inclination to contribute to their wealth by watching them participate in what is supposed to be a pastime. Now some of these multi-millionaires want to use their position of advantage to push closely-held agendas. Having said this, I may agree with some or all their political statements.

But now we have our highest elected official using his own position of power to weigh in against other millionaires. All on company time. The bully pulpit of the presidency is being leveraged to wage a campaign of personal preference. Are we supposed to be proud?

And what is this obtaining for the most powerful person in the country? It will be interesting to know:

Trump Attacks Warriors’ Curry. LeBron James’s Retort: ‘U Bum.’

A response was not short in coming:

U bum already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

So now we have another millionaire, who remarkably may enjoy more popularity than the President of the United States, getting down and dirty with the Snowflake-in-Chief. Across the board there is the appearance professional sports is putting distance with this president:

Backlash After Trump Slams NFL Players’ Protests, NBA’s Stephen Curry

President Donald Trump sparked a backlash from some of the biggest names in professional sports on Saturday after he attacked football players who refuse to stand during the national anthem in protest and rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry.

The NBA champions Warriors team said they would not be going to the White House after Trump tweeted that “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

What’s next? NASCAR? The initial reaction to Trump’s election last year was generally positive. After all, the public statements and proposed policies of the candidate aligned well with the conservative bent of drivers and fans. A chill has since set in:

NESN Fuel Major NASCAR Sponsor Asks Fans Who Agree With Donald Trump To Shop Elsewhere

by Ben Watanabe on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 2:49PM

Marcus Lemonis has no problem with some customers taking their RV and outdoor needs elsewhere. Close followers of NASCAR know Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, is a major player in the sport. His brand is the title sponsor of the truck racing series, while its subsidiary Overton’s has sponsored multiple races and cars this season. With that in mind, NASCAR chairman Brian France — who last year endorsed Donald Trump for president — might want to watch his words. Amid the flood of CEOs rushing to distance themselves from Trump’s business councils after the U.S. president’s wishy-washy denunciation of white supremacy last weekend, Lemonis on Wednesday appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” where he seemed to suggest he wouldn’t be shattered if people who supported Trump’s comments decided to shop elsewhere.

What a fiasco! We provide millions of dollars a year in Secret Service protection for this guy, and he spends his time on this? Wasn’t he supposed to be defeating ISIS or something?

And don’t even think about getting your money back.

The Lady Says No

Of course, the title is from the movie from 1952:

A woman writes a best-selling book for women warning them about the “dangers” of men. A handsome photographer for a national magazine arrives in her town to do a feature story on her. Complications ensue.

It’s been 62 years since I saw it, but it was fun watch David Niven and Joan Caufield spar for 80 or so minutes before they finally realize they should be making babies.

But this is about another lady who said no:

Co-host of the Dallas, Texas talk show The Broadcast, Amy Kushnir, joined Shannon Bream on the Kelly File on Thursday.

Kushnir made news earlier this week after she stormed off the set of The Broadcast during a discussion on St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam.

Television coverage showed Sam kissing his boyfriend shortly after being drafted by the AFC West team.

Apparently Amy wants to warn men about the “dangers” of men. My, how times have changed:

In olden days a glimpse of stocking 
Was looked on as something shocking, 
But now, God knows, 
Anything Goes.

Movie poster from Wikipedia

Movie poster from Wikipedia

Readers, this is not  1922. It takes more to shock us these days. What, you may ask? Like two men kissing:

KUSHNIR: Well in this case, we were specifically talking about the Michael Sam incident, the kissing incident. And so, we were really focusing on that and what came to my mind initially was just that, I didn’t feel it was appropriate. It was actually over the top. ESPN used it as an opportunity to put out shocking video when ESPN is a sports network that families watch. I mean, we’ve got children that play sports. They watch ESPN all the time. So, it bothered me that they used this as on opportunity to promote their left wing agenda in my opinion.

Apparently Kushnir has not always been so easily shocked. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who is openly homosexual, had some fun at Kushnir’s expense. He discussed her comment on his “Ridiculist” segment:

“To Amy Kushnir’s argument that nobody shows football players kissing their wives or girlfriends, that’s simply not true and I don’t think she’s being honest when she wouldn’t want to see that either,” Cooper said during the segment (above). “If you’re uncomfortable seeing some kind of affection… why not just say that and leave the excuses about why you’re uncomfortable where they belong: on ‘The Ridiculist.’”

When asked by a co-host if she would have the same reaction to a man kissing his wife, Kushnir maintained she would have said “get a room.”

Also read: Michael Sam’s Jersey Is Second-Biggest-Selling of NFL Rookies

Cooper, however, unearthed footage that suggests otherwise, as Kushnir once sat in the arms of two buff, shirtless Chippendales dancers on her own TV show, and (gasp!) kissed each one on the cheek.

“It’s okay, she was kissing strippers. And she didn’t really even know them,” Cooper said after airing the evidence of her hypocrisy. “It’s not like two guys who were in love, or anything. That’s offensive.”

I would have advised Kushnir to “get a room.” But wait. These are strippers. What strippers are all about is doing in public what society wants you to do in private.

What Amy Kushnir did not do is express her true beliefs—what is really in her heart. I will express it for her: “Men sucking other men’s dicks is disgusting. These people are living in sin and will burn in Hell. The Bible says so.” She didn’t say that. She couldn’t say that. But others did. When Yahoo News posted the story on line it received scores of comments. My first glimpse reaffirmed the dark nature of my fellow citizens. Some typical examples:

Jorel 2 minutes ago

It is truly funny how people try to twist and turn the WORD of GOD to fit them and their preferences or use one scripture to dispel another. The truth is “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16.. So we as people know not how to do good but only bad and we NEED the WORD of GOD to instruct us in righteousness. That is why the world is so messed up they have no instruction every one does what they “feel” is right and what “pleases” them self. Wake up people the world is sin and we must be transformed from the world by the renewing of our minds through CHRIST JESUS.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

If its not BIBLE don’t do it. simple enough right.

John 1 hour ago

It’s madness, men with men, women with women. What’s next? It’s a slippery slope leading to destruction. Oh that men would repent and turn from sin and worship Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth!

Nwtrdr Nwtrdr 27 minutes ago

As soon as they went to kiss we turned the channel,waited a few minutes then went back.Wish they had used a delay like in the old days.ESPN should be ashamed of themselves.And who watches that Copper guy anyway and who cares what he has to say?Not I that is for sure.

Tee-y 1 day ago

I don’t want to see two men kissing either, I don’t care what anybody have to say.

Kyle 1 day ago

So we should be tolerant to Mr. Anderson’s beliefs regarding homosexuality, but intolerant to the Dallas anchor’s. Got it. #hypocrisy

Aajada 21 hours ago

Anderson Cooper is a instigator and and now will watch less of him and CNN for news. He has gotten completely biased a lot of time when covering controversial social issues. I hadn’t known before that he was gay, but that explains a lot of his biased coverage now. What a twit !
And !, … Yes ! … they didn’t need to cramp that gay openly kissing scene in the faces of any and all who object to that behavior.

CHUCK 17 hours ago

Wait till the day SAM is cut from an nfl team and ALL you will hear is that his sexuality got him cut from the team not that he just could not make it in the NFL!

Greg 1 day ago

Anderson Cooper just went full on #$%$ in his so called objective reporting, so long CNN and hello politically correct bad news. I don’t care that he’s gay, I do care when he defends them no matter what even when they’re pushing everyone’s buttons

KAJAKAMAA 1 day ago

America, don’t you know that you have to get used to seeing htis stuff on TV because main stream media will insist on showing more and more of it and you will soon know that it is the norm. America has to get used to terrorists blowing up buildings because they are exercising their freedom of religion. America has to get used to the working people paying more taxes so that certain parts of our society can receive welfare because it’s somebody elses fault that they have ten kids to eight fathers. America better get used to waiting for hospital visits and medical care because Obama says it should be so. America has to get used to school overcrowding because the schools are full of illegal aliens who demand a free education. America has to get used to our children getting what was thought to be controlled deseases because idiots think that immunizations are wrong. The list goes on and on. We have to get used to changes that don’t make sense because the majority of minorities say so. So does the media.

DT 23 hours ago

Like many, if not most reasonable people I dont HATE homosexuals. i don’t HATE Mr. Sam. I just disagree with the morality of the lifestyle. THAT’S MY RIGHT!!! So please Mr. Cooper and your supporters don’t tell me what to believe or accept. THAT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT!!!. Basically the Sam moment was nothing more than shock journalism to get viewers and prove how contemporary ESPN is!! It may have backfired. Heterosexuality is still far and away the dominant option in society. I didn’t watch ESPN for 2 days after because I really don’t like to get a clip of two dudes sucking face popped in front of me! I am proud to be a red blooded girl loving white american male!!!!! NO APOLOGIES!!

There is obviously more than “a glimpse of stocking” involved here.

Humorous Billionaire

From Google Images

From Google Images

What is it about generating billions of dollars in personal wealth that does not correlate with having any sense? I don’t know. For the answer you are going to have to ask Donald Sterling:

On April 25, 2014, TMZ Sports released a recording of a conversation between Sterling and a female friend, V. Stiviano. In the recording from September 2013, a man confirmed to be Sterling was irritated over a photo Stiviano had posted on Instagram, in which she posed with Basketball Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson. Sterling told Stiviano: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people”, and, “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want”, but “the little I ask you is … not to bring them to my games.”

Clippers president Andy Roeser issued a statement the following day, indicating that Stiviano was being sued by the Sterling family and had “told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even'” with him. A month earlier in March, Sterling’s wife had sued Stiviano for the return of a $1.8-million Los Angeles duplex as well as a Ferrari, two Bentleys, and a Range Rover she said her husband bought for Stiviano.

On April 26, 2014, the team held a meeting to discuss the incident. Both coaches and players expressed anger toward the comments, and they briefly raised the possibility of boycotting Game 4 of their series against the Golden State Warriors on April 27, 2014, before deciding against it. Instead, players protested Sterling’s remarks by wearing their shirts inside-out in order “to obscure any team logo” during their pre-game huddle. The next day, April 28, 2014, players of the Miami Heat wore their uniform tops inside-out to show solidarity with the Clippers. LeBron James commented on the situation, “There’s no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA.” The owner of the Miami Heat, Micky Arison, also called the allegations “appalling, offensive and very sad”. NBA’s Kevin Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant also condemned Sterling’s remarks.

[Links removed]

It turns out that Sterling possesses the mental acumen to amass billions through astute business dealings, but he still retains the thought processes of a backwoodsman. Let’s examine this some more. A little skeptical analysis may be in order.

Granted, Mr. Sterling’s income from his ownership of the Clippers franchise amounts to a small fraction of his pocket change. Regardless, the earnings of this franchise spring from the talents and efforts of a number of black people. And he does not like black people? What is it with Sterling? Does he think of these employees as mere vassals on his plantation? Multi-million-dollar vassals, if you will, but vassals nonetheless.

Obviously this is not good for business. Once it becomes public knowledge, that is. Many of these highly-paid employees are now highly-pissed-off, as well. There have been threats of refusing to work. This quickly becomes ludicrous beyond all reason. Somebody is going to skip out on a multi-million-dollar paycheck because they discovered the boss is a jerk. Boss is a jerk? Been there, guys. Took the money anyhow. Of course, once you’ve pocketed several of Mr. Sterling’s millions the specter of standing in the unemployment line becomes less threatening.

There’s more. The National Basketball League (MBA) considers Sterling’s remarks to be harmful to business. Players might not play. (?) Fans might skip the games. (??) Businessmen will lose money. (!!!) That’s not good. The NBA and owners have recourse. They can shed the league of toxic assets such as Donald Sterling. They have a contract. Sterling signed the contract when he acquired ownership of the Clippers. They can force Mr. Sterling out. They can force him to sell to somebody else. For a billion dollars. Some have expressed interest in such a business transaction. Sterling purchased the franchise for just a few thousand 30 years ago.

Breaking news. Donald Sterling says the league cannot force him to sell:

In a newly released recording, embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is purportedly determined to stay at the helm. “You can’t force someone to sell property in America,” says the voice in the recording, which was obtained by RadarOnline.com.

I do not know from whence Mr. Sterling pulled that idea, but disregard for a moment the scene that has NBA lawyers showing up at Mr. Sterling’s office with a sales contract and forcing him to put pen to paper. They do not need to do that. They have likely seen the movie. The NBA can make Mr. Sterling an offer he cannot refuse.

Suppose Sterling just hunkers down, as some have predicted he might do. In other words just do nothing. What can the NBA do? They can also do nothing. They can do a very specific nothing. When they draw up the game schedule for the 2014-2015 schedule they can not put the Clippers in the schedule. The NBA can omit the action of scheduling any games for the Clippers.

Is this going to work? Not so well. Recall those multi-million-dollar Clippers players? No schedule means no paycheck for them. Can they take jobs with other NBA franchises? Recall they are already under contract with Mr. Sterling. Can they break their contracts? Quite possibly the contracts can be voided. Especially if Mr. Sterling fails to pay their salaries.

There’s more the NBA can do. It can create a new franchise. The new franchise can hire Mr. Sterling’s former players. Where will the new franchise play? I understand there will be a nice venue in Los Angeles becoming available for next season. Maybe they can play there.

In the mean time are fans staying away? No way. Are players refusing to play. Are you kidding? This is, after all, about business. This is about money.

So I say. Then I remind myself of something. It’s only a game, people. It’s a diversion from the drabness that pervades our lives. It’s a bit of eye candy. A bit of eye candy that empties our pockets to the tune of a hundred dollars a ticket or so, but eye candy nonetheless.

In this I need to be cautious. My friend and next door neighbor works for the San Antonio Spurs franchise. Hopefully he does not read my blog. In case you’re reading, Jimmy, my apologies. Also my apologies to some backwoodsmen I compared to Donald Sterling.