Tuesday, March 18, 2014

UNC bounced from ACC Championship tourney due to self-inflicted wound

Word count: 966

The UNC Tar Heel basketball team has no one to blame but themselves for their first game elimination from the ACC Championship... a precursor to the NCAA March Madness Tournament. A Roy Williams coached team with so much promise after last season began this year's round ball schedule under a shroud of mystery surrounding its leading scorer P. J. Hairston. How long would his suspension last... when would his sneakers again run up and down the hardwood when it really counted? Well, as everyone found out several games into the season, Hairston would be kept out of action for the entire season by the NCAA.

That phony, hypocritical parasitical organization which exploits student athletes while destroying athletic careers of some student-athletes in order to make itself seem relevant, did not disqualify Hairston for drug or alcohol violations... not for sexual assault or harassment... not for unauthorized possession or use of a firearm... not for talking to a sports agent... and not for any academic failures (being one of the UNC student athletes who can read at a college level). Nope, the reason the NCAA kept Hairston from joining his team this year had something to do with his foot... evidently it is made of lead.

It seems that in July 2013, Hairston was driving 75 mph on a freeway with a 65 mph limit... horrors!! Although he was initially charged with reckless driving, he later pled guilty to a reduced charge of speeding and unsafe movement. As the September 4, 2013 article in The News & Observer titled, "Hairston pleads guilty to reduced charge," noted, Hairston was suspended indefinitely hours after being cited for the traffic transgression. And the article went on to say that this was the third "off-court misstep" for the star Tar Heel basketballer who was previously cited twice for driving a rental vehicle linked to a felon. First of all, I am unaware that it is a crime to drive a rental vehicle linked to a felon. I am unaware that it is a crime to drive a vehicle owned by a felon. If that is the case, it behooves everyone to be knowledgeable of the criminal record of anyone of who he/she might think of asking to borrow a car. If there is such a ridiculous rule on the books... I would appreciate enlightenment about it.

Of course, it is possible that such a rule has been inspired by the NCAA and is applicable only to student-athletes. The point is that Hairston should never have been banned for the entire basketball season just because he might have had a need for speed. He certainly didn't violate any of the many ludicrous NCAA rules, regulations, and laws. The NCAA didn't disqualify Johnny "Football" Manziel for signing his sports memorabilia at a convention and profiting to the tune of $7,500. He was only suspended the first half of the season opening Texas A and M football game. Part of the reason for the avaricious organization's leniency was that it was profiting off Manziel's name as well by selling his jersey online. Anyway, when comparing the two discretions above, ask yourself which one is the more severe and deserves the harshest punishment. In my opinion, both are trivial with the NCAA's involvement in them being the most egregious action of all.

UNC, which did nothing to support or defend Hairston, should have "Debbie Yow'd" the NCAA. Bold and brazen as that organization is, it knows better than to mess with North Carolina State because Debbie Yow would go them like hogs in a sty at feedin' time. As the saying goes, "You don't mess with Texas or Debbie Yow." Yow not only protects Wolfpack sports programs and teams, but its fans, too. Everyone knows that those two rowdy NC State fans were out of control and that the referee was justified in having them removed from the State home game... but Yow was quick to counter-attack, with the bleeding and battered referee barely able to hold onto his job while the two State fan-agitators were greeted and treated as conquering heroes in a subsequent home basketball game.

The problem with UNC and its sports-related timidity is that it is gun-shy. After years of media-provoked meddling into the athletics and academic programs at the Chapel Hill university (which is aimed at destroying Julius Nyang'oro), it is bending over backwards to try and satiate the endless appetite for power sought by the NCAA. Face it, Nyang'oro was only doing what he could to help UNC field high caliber and competitive sports teams. That means recruiting and enrolling high school students with stellar athletic prowess, but being somewhat deficient in the academic arena. Nyang'oro was charged with seeing that the scholarly challenged athletes were able to pass GPA threshold to enable them to compete. That is exactly what he did, and as a result, Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, is smelling blood and is going in for the kill... a waste taxpayer money, court time, and state resources to sully what reputation is left for Nyang'oro after going through the media shredder... Woodall totally bent on destroying the former educator's life and legacy.

Durhamian David Williamson wrote a common-sense comment in the People's Forum of the March 9, 2014 News & Observer... naturally, it agrees with what I'm saying and can be accessed below. The question remains, how will North Carolina fare in the NCAA Tournament? It is certainly hard to tell considering that it fielded a team lacking last year's leading scorer, but one thing is certain. By allowing P. J. Hairston to be disqualified from playing this season, the team has dug itself a pretty deep hole long before opening tip-off of March Madness begins. 

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

A rare deal in Sparta, Mississippi

Word count: 1,432

It was my intention to post only sharlogs (definition: pl. for a flog by Sidney Harr) on this site, however the production of one is time consuming and very energy-intensive. It takes several weeks to write, narrate, and put images together to make a sharlog… and I’ve been averaging one a month recently. There are many topics of interest and importance which I haven’t been able to address because I’ve been working exclusively with sharlogs. As they say, “a brilliant mind is a terrible thing to waste,” ergo I have decided to change policy and to once again resume posting blogs… that have to be read. I’ll post blogs once or twice weekly while posting sharlogs once or twice a month. Although it was my intention to have a sharlog posted this weekend, despite my frantic efforts, it looks like it will be ready to be posted closer to next weekend.

This afternoon the regular CBS programming was rearranged for airing of the NCAA basketball tournament, so I turned to WRAL-2 (I don’t have cable) to await my soap opera, “The Bold and the Beautiful”… anxious to see if Wyatt’s evil mother would toss crazy Allie from the overpass railing onto traffic below and whether Brooke would succeed in wresting her former husband and fiancĂ©e Ridge from her little sister Katie’s newly formed relationship with him. While waiting for the show to come on, I had to sit through an episode of “In the Heat of the Night,” a Carroll O’Connor police drama set in the deep South… fictional Sparta, Mississippi.

This episode featured Kevin (or Keith, I don’t remember which) a friend of the police captain nicknamed “Bubba.” Kevin, considered a good guy, was deeply in love with his wife, and they had nearly completed work on adopting a one year old boy. Turns out, the boy’s father Dalton Jones is a real creep and shows up at the last moment and tells Kevin that he won’t contest the adoption if he’s paid a little moolah. Kevin, not wanting to stress his wife, keeps this from her and pays the boy’s father thousands of dollars. Naturally, Dalton keeps upping the ante, to where Kevin can’t shell out any more dough. At that point Dalton tells him that he will go to Court to get his boy. Kevin is very concerned because he knows that his wife’s heart would be broken if she were to lose the child.

Dalton makes Kevin one final option… promising to refrain from going to court after his son if Kevin would give him the code to the alarm system at the shop where he’s employed. After hours of vacillating, Kevin agrees and gives the shady character the numbers to enable him to burglarize the place.

That night, Dalton using the codes given him by Kevin, gains entry into the shop and begins using a torch to break through the safe containing cash revenue. Unfortunately, the owner of the store just happens to walk by, notices the burglary in progress and proceeds to go to his office and grab his revolver to confront the thief. End result, the burglar pulls out a concealed gun of his own and shoots the owner in the chest, killing him.

The next morning when Kevin goes to work he finds police mulling around and the ambulance taking a body from the building. It was then he learns that his boss had been killed. Bubba, who had been watching his friend closely, began questioning Kevin about his whereabouts the previous evening. Bubba had also been looking into the boy Kevin and his wife were going to adopt and learned that Dalton with his criminal record was the birth father of the boy.

Distraught, Kevin goes over to the shack where Dalton lives and tells him to high-tail it… that the police are going to figure that he was responsible for the fatal burglary. Dalton doesn’t need to be told twice.

Meanwhile Kevin goes to his wife and tells her that he’s in big trouble. She comforts him and later on he goes into town to the Sheriff’s Office. After giving him a well-deserved tongue lashing, Bubba takes Kevin to Chief O’Connor’s office, and Kevin confesses to his role in giving Dalton the codes to the alarm system. The Chief then tells one of his officers to arrest Kevin for a slew of charges… conspiracy to commit a crime, aiding and abetting, interfering with a police investigation, blah-blah-blah. (I can’t really remember all of the charges against him.)

Now I’m thinking: “this guy’s in big trouble… by being an accomplice in a burglary gone wrong and involving the death of a store owner, he’s facing some serious jail time.”

Eventually Dalton is captured after a long car chase and gun battle from the barn of a small country farm… with Bubba supplying the heroics in subduing the villain.

The final scene takes place in the County Courthouse where Kevin is before a female judge… getting ready to pronounce sentence. Chief O’Connor is sitting in a pew near the back when Bubba comes in and announces to the judge that an agreement has been reached with the district attorney which calls for Kevin to have five years of supervised probation… no jail time! The judge then looks over to the Chief, as if awaiting his response. He subtly nods his head, after which the judge then announces that she will accept the deal worked out with the district attorney. Then, fade to black.

The takeaway

Prior to my enlightenment regarding the way the justice system works, I would’ve thought that the good guy had a happy ending, the bad guy got caught… a warm and fuzzy ending to the story. Because I am enlightened, what has leapt out from that episode is: rare deal! Kevin got a rare deal because he was a friend of police officer Bubba. No doubt the district attorney worked out the sweetheart plea deal as a favor to Bubba.

The second thing that jumped out at me was the awkward relationship between the judge (judicial branch) and the Police Chief (executive branch). It was obvious that the Chief held significant sway over the judge’s actions, and I found this to be quite disturbing.

Rare deals have no doubt been meted out by adjudicators since a legal system was first used by man. Discretion given to sentencing has usually favored the privileged and powerful, whereas “raw deals” (those that are disproportionally harsh and severe) have been handed down to the poor, disenfranchised, and people of color. Unfortunately, the discretionary power has been the province of the district attorney. Therein lies the problem as most, if not all, district attorneys in North Carolina lack Nifongian courage, and are nothing more than marionettes dancing to the strings of the Powers-That-Be.

Because former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was a man of uncompromising integrity and independence, he did not fit into the takeover scheme of the big boys, and he had to go. So, like Crystal Mangum, charges were trumped up against him to force his resignation and disbarment. To prevent other idealistic prosecutors from following his lead, Mr. Nifong was severely persecuted by the State and crucified in the media.

As far as the executive branch overstepping on the toes of the judicial, as it did in the television drama, the same thing happened in real life on April 11, 2007 with Attorney General Roy Cooper’s famous “Innocence Promulgation.” Although it was within his professional rights to dismiss the criminal charges against the three Lacrosse defendants, it was totally inappropriate and unprecedented for him to make a declaration of “innocent.” That is not in his purview. Legally acceptable judgments of innocence or guilt can come only from a jury or a judge in lieu of a jury. In other words, it must emanate from the judicial branch. Officials in the executive branch cannot hand down judgments.

The mainstream media is aware that the innocence proclamation by the attorney general is bogus, but it wants to mislead the public into believing that it’s true. In almost all of the media releases, either press or broadcast, the Duke Lacrosse defendants are mentioned to have been found innocent (or exonerated) of the sexual abuse allegations.

Viewers of this blog site who elect to become enlightened have the privilege of being able to dissect the relevance and discern the nuances of issues covered in the news… stories both factually occurring in real life and those fictionally generated in Hollywood. 