You're just going to have to trust me on this one because I have no way of proving it, but before I read this post on Donald Sterling from Tea Party icon / ex-Congressman Allen West (who managed the amazing feat of being too insane for Florida voters) I bet myself $5 that he would mention Benghazi. It was too easy to predict that this would end up being about Obama. Fish in a barrel. But I had faith that at his Allen West Best – smearing shit on himself while he swings from chandeliers at the John Birch Society headquarters – he could make this about Benghazi. Because if we know anything about the Tea Party, Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi Card Check Fast and Furious Solyndra Benghazi.
I'm sick and cranky and I can't believe adult Americans elected this person to Congress. Let's just do this. Let's enjoy the perspective of someone who Tea Pertiers love because he's as insane as all the other halfwits they put on pedestals with the added benefit of making them feel not-racist because, hey, they like one black person now.
“Upon further review, the ruling on the field (court)…” These are the words stated by referees after they’ve gone to the reply booth (monitor) in order to clarify a controversial call. Often, the reason for the review is because of a coach’s challenge. Therefore, in the same light, let us review the case of LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.
Yes, let's take this to the "reply booth." It's clearly the kind of thing that will look different if we change our perspective. There's a ton of subtlety here and once we look at this in a more nuanced way we'll come to see that Donald Sterling had some interesting things to say about the kind of black people who smell.
There can be no debate that the words of Mr. Sterling were reprehensible and disgusting. But how and why did these words come to light now, when his points of view were apparently well-known for many years?
Pretty basic example of the R. Kelly Theorem. You can get away with a lot if you avoid cameras and microphones. Allen West knows this problem all too well, as his primary shortcoming as a politician was that cameras and microphones recorded his words. Eventually this allowed people to determine that he is insane. I can see why he feels empathy for Sterling.
It seems his “girlfriend,” Ms. Stiviano, decided to tape a private conversation between the two. Apparently, Ms. Stiviano had recently been sued by the estranged wife of Mr. Sterling, so there is some potential nefarious motive involved.
Sounds like a stand-up guy already. Sell it.
Furthermore, the taping of a conversation without consent of the other party is illegal under California statute. There is some question as to whether he knew he was being recorded. Let’s assume for the moment he didn’t.
Sterling should sue her in a California court for secretly recording him. I'm serious.
That should reverse all of the damage done. Really set things right. Now I'm not being serious.
The national outrage against Mr. Sterling has come from an act that could be illegal and inadmissible in a court of law. Nevertheless, the court of public opinion has tried and convicted Mr. Sterling of being a jerk.
Well, our court system does not currently adjudicate questions of whether someone is a jagoff. Maybe someday. It would require a constitutional amendment or at least a law against jagoffery. But Allen, are you arguing that we shouldn't pass judgment on someone unless it comes from legally admissible evidence? Cool! That's an interesting new standard. Let ACORN know.
But have we come to a point in America where being a jerk is grounds for confiscation of a private property? It was Englishman John Locke who first proposed that individual rights as granted under natural law were life, liberty, and property. It was Thomas Jefferson who in the American Declaration of Independence used that paradigm to propose our unalienable rights from our Creator being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sterling’s comments were repulsive, but they were stated in the privacy of his own home — at least he thought it was private.
OK this is an important point – it's not "property." It's not "his" team. It's a franchise. Do you know what a franchise is? Let's use a McDonald's franchise as an analogy. If you violate your franchise agreement – say, you decide not to clean your restrooms and you take the Big Mac off the menu in favor of McMuskrat Strips – the corporation takes away your franchise. You're operating it as though you own it, but your "ownership" is subject to the agreed upon conditions. Franchise agreements exist because the behavior of one franchisee affects all others. If someone patronizes your shitty restaurant and swears off McDonald's forever, that makes it harder for every other franchisee to make money not to mention the corporate office.
So if one NBA owner makes it harder for every other franchise to make money – say, by causing people to boycott games and generally diminishing the image of a league with a large black fan base – the NBA will protect its interests.
So where do we go from here?
You go to the library to learn what "franchise" means.
Have we come to the point that private conversations can be taped and released in the public domain in order to ruin the livelihood –pursuit of happiness — of private citizens?
Is this a serious question? OK let me ask one too: "Have we come to the point that a picture of a private citizen at a Klan rally can be released into the public domain to ruin someone's pursuit of happiness?"
Ms. Stiviano, or whomever, knew exactly what they wanted the end result to be as they released this tape to TMZ.
I bet she also knew exactly what she wanted the result to be when she added water to oatmeal and put it in the microwave. I am so bored with whatever "argument" West is making here that I am daydreaming a "House" script where it is actually lupus. They solve the case in like five minutes and the rest of the episode is just Cameron and 13 making out in the shower. I see some potential here.
Is this the “new normal?”
Yes. Everyone is carrying a recording device everywhere.
Is this a violation of our privacy rights?
No. You're very stupid.
Ok, so what types of conversations occur in the privacy of the NBA locker rooms, or the homes of the players? Yes, this is indeed a slippery slope as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asserted.
To paraphrase the right wing argument about Bush-era wiretapping, as long as you're not going on racist rants you shouldn't have anything to worry about!
Fox News host and commentator Greg Gutfeld applauded this moment because of the consensus outrage being displayed. But I believe this outrage misplaced, or more accurately, mis-prioritized. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling’s behavior was “dangerous to the NBA.”
But it isn't, right Allen?
Where is the cultural, public outrage over a behind closed door comment such as referring to the State of Israel as an “apartheid state?” Probably most of America doesn’t know who said it or even what “aparteid” means.
First of all, when a word has the red squiggle under it that means you misspelled it. Second, there is no outrage because this statement is A) true and B) absolutely not even a little bit slightly analogous to what Sterling said. I mean, I guess if you want to twist it and argue that they are similar you're doing the rest of us a favor by admitting that you have so little rhetorical ground on which to stand that you have to stoop to this ridiculous level to make your "just as bad" argument.
Or how about the outrage that should have come when our own president leaned over to then-Russian President Medvedev sayng, “Tell Putin that after my reelection I will have more flexibility” and of course Medvedev said, “I will tell Vladimir.” And now we know what that “flexibility” has allowed.
Aren’t those “private” chats reflective of behavior that is dangerous for the United States?
Yeah I can see how we got here from Donald Sterling.
Or how about the lies and deceit of President Obama on healthcare and of course Benghazi, which we now know a video had nothing to do with.
OH MY GOD I WON! I'M SO EXCITED! THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT, ALLEN.
"And of course Benghazi." This is like satire, only better. Now do one about the cost of real estate in San Francisco and connect it to Benghazi. Difficulty Level 9. You can do it.
Has our culture devolved to the point that the private statements of an NBA owner draws more outrage than the lies and deceit of the President of the United States?
Well plenty of You People have been extremely outraged over that for years now. It's deceptive and inaccurate to pretend that no one cares. But it's correct to say that most of us don't care. The reason we don't care is that it's a big cauldron of horseshit that anyone with even the most basic understanding of the facts – that excludes the Teabaggers, so you're in the clear Allen! – realizes is a wingnut conspiracy theory that falls apart under the barest scrutiny.
Donald Sterling’s behavior is despicable, but so is that of President Barack Hussein Obama — and whose abhorrent behavior has more impact on our country?
One of those is objectively true. The other is Allen West's opinion. Being a very stupid and demonstrably unhinged person, Allen West's opinion carries as much weight as a dormouse.
The difference is that the media lead us along like sheep to the slaughter, turning us into reactionary, shallow thinking, low information voters along the way. We know more about Sterling than Benghazi — or the IRS scandal.
YEAH THERE'S THAT "IRS SCANDAL" THAT WAS COMPLETELY DEBUNKED LIKE A YEAR AGO. The media did drop the ball – by reporting on it as a "scandal" in the first place without doing any research just to appeal to old hysterical white people, the cornerstone of the cable news audience.
Sterling is a jerk, an unlikeable fella, but is he guilty of a crime that demands his property be confiscated? Uh, no.
Are you on any meds, Allen? You can't seriously be this stupid. I am starting to feel racist trying to quantify just how unintelligent you are. This sounds like it was written by a middle school student, and not a particularly bright one. The "slow" kid who sits in the back, has a rat tail, and teaches the other nine year-olds how to swear.
We’re told however that Obama is a likable fella –regardless of the incessant lies, deceit and abject failures. What is happening to American culture and values?
I don’t like jerks, but I really don’t like jerks who are liars, do you?
Jerks and liars are pretty bad, but I prefer either to drooling morons.
You know what's odd about death? When you die, you don't realize you're dead so it can't upset you. It's everyone around you who has to struggle to deal with it.
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In that sense death and stupidity are very similar, Allen.