by baldilocks

Last week, at the request of one Kim Kardashian West, President Trump commuted the life sentence of a non-violent drug dealer Alice Marie Johnson. Johnson had served 21 years.

Now the president wants to keep the ball rolling, as it were.

I’ve been LMAO ever since I read about this yesterday.

U.S. President Donald Trump held out an olive branch in his feud with National Football League players on Friday, asking them for recommendations as he considers pardoning several thousand people who may have been unfairly treated by the criminal justice system. (…)

On Friday, speaking to reporters before leaving for a Group of Seven summit in Canada, Trump challenged those players, the majority of whom are African-American, to advise him on employing his pardon power. He said his staff was examining some 3,000 cases of people who might deserve clemency.

“I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me, because that’s what they’re protesting – people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that,” Trump said. “They’ve seen a lot of abuse and they’ve seen a lot of unfairness.”

I’m told that this is classic Art of the Deal, which I have downloaded from the LA Public Library. It’s also giving me some Ferengi Rules of Acquisition vibes. (Deep Space Nine fans will understand.)

Whatever way this plays out, this is a win-win situation for the president. And, even if no ballplayers send him a list, other prominent people probably will – a potential win for some deserving prisoners who have behaved well while paying their debt to society or for those who have been unjustly imprisoned.

But some observers are grumbling.

“His suggestion that he might bring NFL players into the pardon process must be viewed as nothing less than a cynical, self-serving ploy to create a photo op with NFL players, many of whom have made it clear that they would not be caught standing downwind from him, much less next to him,” said Harry Edwards, a sociologist and longtime civil rights activist at the University of California at Berkeley. (…)

“This is just another attempt to divert attention and, of course, it places Donald Trump as the master of everything, just appeal to me personally and I’ll let your friends out or maybe I will pardon them,” said Jeffrey Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

One would think that Longtime Civil Rights Activists and Venerable Civil Liberties Organizations would care more about injustice being rectified more than who gets the credit for the rectification.

Unless it was all about the Look At Me moral narcissism and preening for them – and for the pro ballplayers — in the first place.

Nah, couldn’t be that.

Snark aside, I do hope that some ballplayers have enough integrity and perspective to accept the president’s offer.

We need some healing in this country.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

I really liked Anthony Bourdain’s shows. And while I don’t know Kate Spade, I didn’t like the news that she also committed suicide.

But I’ve written before on suicide (here, if you’d like an older article), and I’ve been watching young people over the last ten years. I honestly don’t think it’s going to get any better in the short term.

Continue reading “Fiddling with the edges of suicide”

Yesterday the Golden State Warriors Closed out their 3rd NBA title in four years decisively sweeping away LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This has prompted quite a bit of “Greatest Team of all Time” talk and without question this team is to this point the most dominant of the 21st century Lebron James comparing them to the New England Patriots is quite apt.

But for those of you who are buying into the “greatest team of all time business” let me provide you to this link to the stats page of a fellow named Russell who was known to play a little basketball in my youth.

If you scroll town to the “playoff section you will note that next to Mr. Russell you will note that there are little gold rings next to 11 of the 13 seasons listed.

Now if we concede that there are more playoff rounds in the current era (even while ignoring that fewer teams means less dilution of talent) and penalize Mr. Russell’s Celtics have of those titles we still find they have 2 1/2 more rings that the current Golden State team.

When they get those two rings, then call me back and we’ll talk.

Furthermore for those who are saying Lebron James is the greatest player of all time, a perfectly reasonable argument if you’ve ever seen him play, particularly when we consider that he’s apparently been playing this year’s finals with a broken hand, you might also note that while his own stats are loaded, in his 13 years he has played so far, 12 of them as an all star he has in 8 trips to the NBA finals come out with a ring 3 times.

Mr. Russell also played 13 years, 12 of them as an all star and during that time went to 12 NBA championships winning 11 the final two as Player coach!

Now I think you can make a very fair argument for James as the greatest of all time, just as you can for Michael Jordan and for Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who for some reason never in included in this conversation despite winning the first of his six rings at the age of 23 two years after Russell last (1970-71) and his last at the age of 40 in the 1987-1988 season when a 24 year old Michael Jordan was in his fourth year three years removed from the first of his six tiles.

But to dismiss Bill Russell from that conversation, a man who not only went 12/13 in going to the finals and 11/12 at winning them but also won two titles while coaching the team as well, that’s just nonsense.