Sick Behavior in the NFL

Oh,man!  When the Richie Incognito — Jonathan Martin episode hit the news in October 2013 it was a little hard to know how bad bad was.  Name calling, racial slurs, derogatory comments, sure. But what?  Now we know. And we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Incognito and two team mates are sick jackals.  If not protected by the team and league one or more surely would have been shot for the vile abuse heaped on others — and not just Martin.

Here is a Washington Post article on it

Here is the report.  Jump to page 13 for a small sample of what happened. “Offensive language” doesn’t begin to cover it. This is extremist thuggery, under the cover of boys will be boys.

The Miami Herald only uses the word ‘implicated’ to describe what the report says about the vile actors.  No brave statement like Dallas newscaster Dale Hansen on ABC made the other day regarding Michael Sams and the NFL.

One more nail in the coffin of my — and how many others?– interest in this manly sport, seeming less manly every new discovery.

The lack of coverage in the majors is noticeable. USA Today at least is willing to read and to comment

The harassment wasn’t simply a byproduct of Incognito’s mind. It came from within the walls of the organization. That’s the most damning finding. It wasn’t just one rogue player – the team, in fact, stood strongly behind Incognito. This was a culture of hostile treatment embedded within the walls of the Dolphins facility.

USA Today

Right Wingers Crazy About Womens’ Libido

Mike Huckabee is only the latest to let his own libido out of his mouth as he opined that women couldn’t control theirs.


High Living Buddhist Monk Scandalizes Thailand

Making headlines far outside of Thailand, Luang Pu Nenkham, a fabulously wealthy Buddhist monk, father of a child by a minor child and beguiler of the rich and famous, seems to have outed himself with posts on his own website.  Thai police have filed charges and the now defrocked monk has fled France for the wider reaches of the United States.

Born in the poor northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, he entered the monkhood as a teenager and gained local renown for claims of supernatural powers like the ability to fly, walk on water and talk to deities. He renamed himself, Luang Pu Nen Kham, taking on a self-bestowed title normally reserved for elder monks.

Gradually, he cultivated wealthy followers to help fund expensive projects in the name of Buddhism — building temples, hospitals and what was touted as the world’s largest Emerald Buddha. The 11-meter (36-foot) high Buddha was built at his temple in the northeast, touted as solid jade but made of tinted concrete.

Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office has discovered 41 bank accounts linked to the ex-monk. Several of the accounts kept about 200-million baht ($6.4-million) in constant circulation, raising suspicion of money laundering.

Investigators also suspect that Wirapol killed a man in a hit-and-run accident while driving a Volvo late at night three years ago.

Critics say Wirapol is an extreme example of a wider crisis in Buddhism, which has become marginalized by a shortage of monks and an increasingly secular society. The meditative lifestyle of the monkhood offers little allure to young Buddhists raised on shopping malls, smartphones and the Internet.

…During a shopping spree from 2009 to 2011, Wirapol bought 22 Mercedes worth 95-million baht ($3.1-million), according to the DSI. The fleet of luxury cars were among 70 vehicles he has purchased. Some he gave as gifts to senior monks, others he sold off as part of a suspected black market car business to launder his money, Pong-in said.

Luxury travel for the monk included helicopters and private jets for trips between the northeast and Bangkok.

“I always wondered what kind of monk has this much money,” said one of his regular pilots, Piya Tregalnon. Each domestic roundtrip cost about 300,000 baht ($10,000) and the monk always paid in cash, he said in comments posted on Facebook.

“The most bizarre thing is what was in his bag,” Piya said, referring to the typical monk’s humble cloth shoulder sack. “It was filled with stacks of 100 dollar bills.”

Like many people, Piya only went public with his suspicions after the scandal erupted. Dozens of pictures have been posted in online forums showing Wirapol’s high-flying lifestyle — riding a camel at the pyramids in Egypt, sitting in a cockpit at the Cessna Aircraft factory in Kansas. According to the pilot and investigators, Wirapol was interested in buying his own private jet.

Even more incriminating were accusations of multiple sexual relationships with women — a cardinal sin for monks who are not allowed to touch women. Among them was a 14-year-old girl with whom he allegedly had a son, a decade ago. The mother filed a statutory rape case against him last week.

Here, more here and here. Court accepts case for pedophilia

I am struck, as I usually am,  that the climb to wealth and (abuse of) power is enabled by the gullible all along the way: ability to fly, to walk on water, indeed…

Marriage For those Who Wish to Marry

So President Obama has finally done it: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

Overdue for some, challenging for some and greater increase of their visceral disgust in others.

What this means in terms of actual legislation, change of laws, acceptance back into families, additions to story-lines in children’s books, teen novels or TV shows is yet to be seen. Though the commentariat is fully at predicting:

Obama Team:

Jonathan Rauch: Brookings

Three Right Wingers

Wall Street Journal Readers

Forbes: 5 Reasons

Generationally, it’s been clear for some time,that couples hanging out together, whatever their looks, or preferences in privacy, are simply part of everyday life.  If they are best friends at 17 and 19 why shouldn’t they be able to cohabitate, marry and divorce, bring up children, go to PTA meetings, care for each other in old age as they get older? To think otherwise can only be explained by the weirdness of being brain dead.

Of course this tolerance didn’t arrive simply because of youth itself.  The young can be notoriously intolerant, as the recent movie Bully shows, or any middle school teacher can tell you from the epithets thrown around the school yard.

It arrived because of decades of insistence by brave souls who were willing to take on abuse by saying publicly that they were gay; decades of public display of togetherness and numbers in parades and demonstrations; decades of people telling their families and co-workers that they were gay, they loved someone with the same equipment as themselves.  Decades to be able to understand that love and heartache were pretty similar, regardless.  Decades to realize how many important, culture shaping people were gay. Decades of individuals and companies instituting their own changes in perception of what is normal.  A management team realizing ‘We need this programer, or that designer, for her skills, his talent, regardless what is done is places we don’t want to know about.’  Soldiers realizing that reliance on one another in danger did not stop because of the precise person another loved.

In this case, as Biden, Duncan and finally Obama have spoken publicly they are following many other political leaders who themselves have come from constituencies that are changing.  Attorneys General in many states are women; it goes without notice now.  CEOs of major companies are women.  CEOs are gay.  Senators and Representatives are gay.  Beloved teachers and mentors are gay.   It’s a good thing more voices are added to the chorus: the times are a changing..the old road is rapidly aging….


Now, for my part, if only some energies that have advanced both racial and sexual rights, the organizing,  the militancy, the  personal testimony, the incremental and major changes, would be released to work on climate change, on the right to live itself — before it is too late.  Civil Rights will mean little in world wide water wars — too much rain, too little rain, cities sunk beneath rising seas, populations pushing up against each other trying to survive.

Iraq In the News

Two completely different stories from and about Iraq surfaced today.  From Turkey’s Hurriet Daily,

Iraq opposition seeks to replace PM Maliki

Leaders from almost all of Iraq’s top political blocs will convene at a unity meeting in Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region, on May 7, in order to find a solution to the political crisis between the Shiite-led government and the country’s Sunnis and Kurds.

If the current Iraqi Prime Minister fails to agree to increase dialogue with other political entities in Iraq, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari is most likely to be nominated to the post at the upcoming unity meeting, a senior Kurdish official told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview.

In the NY Times a hopeful sign:

Sitting Around, Having a Drink, Joking About Sex. On Iraqi TV.

“Between us friends,” Mr. Shawi said, speaking of the program’s hosts and crew members, “we always talk about these things. Why can’t we let the audience see this reality?”

They have, and for that they have attracted a huge following for the program, “There Is Someone” — named for a standard Iraqi segue into a joke, something akin to “knock, knock.” The show, broadcast on Sunday nights, has become a national sensation and the talk of the proverbial water cooler on Monday mornings. Bootleg DVDs of previous episodes are brisk sellers in the city’s markets.

Of course not everyone in Iraq thinks this is so funny… Death threats have appeared,