My Sterling Rant

23 05 2014

For some reason, I feel compelled to offer an opinion on the Donald Sterling fracas (the definition for which is “noisy quarrel,” and this has been nothing if not that).

First, it must be said that Sterling is an ass. As a former personal injury and divorce attorney, he has little to recommend him to society in general and, as a sports franchise owner, he built one of the worst NBA franchises to ever come along, with his team at the bottom of the League for nearly 30 years.

Second, the man has committed countless acts of adultery, publicly flaunting his infidelity for all to see. He appears to possess no ethical standards whatever, but then, that may be redundant after saying he was an attorney. To me, he is a reprehensible human being who deserves no respect and little compassion. Put simply, Donald Sterling is a poor excuse for a human being.

Yet… I find myself obliged to defend him in this case, despite knowing that some will object strongly.

Reading the transcript of Sterling’s comments, rather than simply listening to the recording, is illuminating to me:

“Did you have to post them on Facebook, where my friends can see and comment about it to me? I don’t care what you do with them. Talk to them, be friends with them, go ahead and sleep with them if you want to. Just don’t post them to FB where my friends can see.”

To me, it appears as if he’s complaining more about how she is embarrassing him because of the way his friends, no doubt other “pink-faced privileged white men,” respond to her behavior, rather than that he actually dislikes the people she hangs with. I can just imagine how a bunch of old, rich, white guys might tease him about the way his latest strumpet flaunts her relationships with younger men. “Hey Don, can’t you control that floozy you’ve been telling us is your girlfriend?” or, “Hey old man, don’t you have a leash for your little bitch?” Even for a disgusting reprobate like Sterling, that could be embarrassing.

Here are the main points to make in Sterling’s defense:

  1. This was a private conversation and Sterling had every right to expect that it would remain private.
  2. The recording was illegally made. The law in California is very clear on this, that both parties must give consent to be recorded. This recording could never be used in a court of law.
  3. The fact that he mentions the skin color of her associates indicates the prejudices of the friends who tease him about her behavior, far more than it does his own.
  4. The woman who leaked the recording is as reprehensible and disgusting as Sterling. At best, she is a gold-digger, if not an outright prostitute, who used her intimate knowledge of the man against him for her own unethical purposes.

Finally, the freedom to express oneself, especially in private, as well as the right to property, should be sacrosanct. The very idea that Sterling has been removed as an active participant in the team he owns, and the possibility that he could lose his ownership of the team, makes me cringe. This is a very slippery slope upon which the NBA has embarked, and the owners of the other franchises should be careful about how they choose to act against him.

OK, go ahead and hammer me. I’m ready…

Penn Jillette on Morality

21 05 2014

Is it possible to be moral without religion? Why yes, yes it is.


You’re a Coloradoan if…

7 05 2014

I’ve seen this list in various forms over the years I’ve lived here. I have no idea where it began, or where this version came from but, it always makes me smile. Since it’s the time of year for #1 on an almost daily basis, I thought it appropriate to share.

You’re a Coloradoan if…

1. You switch from “Heat” in the morning to “A/C” in the afternoon.

2. You know what the “Peoples’ Republic of Boulder” means.

3. Your sense of direction is – toward the mountains and away from the mountains.

4. You’re a meat-eating vegetarian.

5. The bike on your car is worth more than your car, and you have your own special bike lane.

6. You’re able to drive 65 miles per hour through 13 feet of snow, during a raging blizzard, without even flinching.

7. You take your out-of-town guests to Casa Bonita even though you would never go there otherwise.

8. You think your major food groups are granola bars, tofu, and Fat Tire Beer.

9. You design your kid’s Halloween costumes to fit over a snowsuit.

10. You think that sexy lingerie is wool socks and flannel PJs.

11. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and spring blizzards

12. You’ve been tear gassed in a riot to celebrate a CU/CSU victory.

13. You can never figure out why your out-of-town guests faint from altitude sickness on a picnic to the mountains.

14 You can drive over a 12,000-foot pass in 4 feet of snow for pleasure, but can’t get to work if there are 4 inches of snow in downtown Denver.

15. You know the “correct” pronunciation of Buena Vista.

16. When you visit friends at sea level, you can drink a case of beer and not get a buzz.

17. Your car insurance costs more than your car.

18 You have surge protectors on every outlet.

19. April showers bring May blizzards.

20. “Timberline” is someplace you have ctually been.

21. You know what a “Chinook” is.

22. You know what a “Rocky Mountain Oyster” is.

23. You know what a “fourteener” is…

24. But, you don’t know what a “turn signal” is.

25. A bear on your front porch doesn’t bother you nearly as much as a Democrat in Congress does.

26. Your golf bag has a 9-iron, a 3-wood, an umbrella, and a lightning rod.

27. People from out of state breathe 5 times as often as you do.

28. Having a Senator named Nighthorse doesn’t seem strange.

29. Thunder has set off your car alarm.

30. You have an $800 stereo in your $300 truck.

31. You think a red light means 3 more cars can go.

32. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!

33. You know where the real “South Park” is.

34. You can recognize the license plates of all 50 states on sight.

35. Driving directions usually include “Go over_________ Pass.”

36. You’ve checked for ticks.

37. You’ve dressed in shorts, sandals, and a parka with a hood.

38. You’ve gone snow skiing in July and…

39. You’ve played golf in January and…

40. They were in the same year!

41. You’ve urinated on the Continental Divide, just so it could run into both oceans.

42. You know what a down-slope and an up-slope weather pattern is.

43. You enjoy riding your bicycle in the snow.

44. And the most important; you get a certain feeling of satisfaction from knowing that California and Texas are both downstream.

45. You actually understand these jokes and send them to your Colorado friends.


A Few Thoughts on Regret

1 05 2014

I’m not a big believer in regret, and I don’t have many – truly I don’t. I’ve never seen anything positive in feeling that way and, for the most part, there is usually little that can be done about whatever you did in the past that makes you feel that way anyway.

Looking back, I can admit to some behavior that most other people would probably regret, had they been the ones who did those things in my place. Yet, since most of them were done when I was a very young man, from the age of 17 through 22 or so, it’s just impossible for me to feel regret about them.

I mean, at that age, most men feel indestructible and immortal. Most young men feel like the world revolves around them anyway and I, because I was also somewhat spoiled by my mother, felt that way even more so. At that age, I believed I could do pretty much whatever I pleased, with few negative consequences.

Now, it’s not that I was raised with no values, or without a moral compass. I actually was. It’s just that, having a job and some income with few expenses, and being immature, somewhat attractive, and horny all the time, I didn’t have the character to live according to them. To this day I believe that, without that crucial feature of my personality, it would have been impossible for me to behave any differently. I was a self-centered, somewhat spoiled, narcissistic young man who sought stimulating experiences and superficial relationships, and found them. Eventually, I didn’t like myself or the man I was very much, and began to change and mature. As the saying goes, “I set aside childish things.”

Finally, I grew up. I became an adult. Yet, I firmly believe that, without those five years of immature overindulgence, I would never have become the person I am today. (And yes, I do remember the person I was so long ago.)

After all, we can only use the tools we possess to get the job done, whatever it may be. I simply did not have the tools to be a good man at that time in my life. So, what’s to regret?

In truth, I only began to develop regrets for my behavior when I matured and began to develop the character to match my values. This does not mean that I didn’t make mistakes, because I certainly did, but eventually I had the tools to deal with them more effectively. So, it’s the immature and selfish mistakes I made as a husband and father and beyond that I now regret, not the things I did as the “kid” I was before I married and adopted my daughter.

Even today though, my ego won’t allow me to feel many regrets, but I do have a few. And, while those will remain private, for the sake of those my behavior has hurt, I just want them to know that I realize where, when, and whom I’ve treated poorly and I do regret that behavior. Also, I’m sorry for that behavior.

I guess the point of this is; we should never regret the things we could not have done differently, for doing so can only lead to guilt and shame, two more destructive emotions that only do us harm. But, if you had the ability to behave differently, yet still chose to act on harmful impulse, then you should definitely regret your choice and do all you can to repair the damage you’ve done – and resolve to never do it again.


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