NFL Moved Game From Arizona Over MLK, MLB Must Do Same For All-Star Game In 2011

Many are talking about the All-Star Game in the context of Arizona hosting it in 2011.  This all takes place against the backdrop of  the unconstitutional immigration law.  With that in mind comes another good read.  This time from ESPN.

Civil rights groups, some politicians and even the Major League Baseball Players Association have, to varying degrees, publicly denounced the law, which can be enforced beginning July 29 unless an injunction by the federal government is granted. Groups organizing protests at this week’s All-Star Game in Anaheim promise to increase public pressure on baseball for next year’s game, which is set for the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We don’t hold MLB as a party of this unfair law, but we do see the game of baseball as upholding diversity. The law flies in the face of what baseball represents,” said Clarissa Martinez, director of immigration and national campaigns for the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization. “This is about civil rights.” Unlike the politicians and civil rights groups, the players’ union has not pressured MLB — whose Opening Day rosters included 27.7 percent of its players born outside the U.S. — or commissioner Bud Selig to move the game. That hasn’t stopped others from urging Selig to follow the path of the NFL, which moved the 1993 Super Bowl out of Arizona after the state failed to officially recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday. 

“It would be a very strong statement that professional sports do not tolerate racism and discrimination,” said the Rev. Eric Lee, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the first president of which was Dr. King. “I’m hopeful he would [move the game]. Bud Selig seems to be a just man.”

You Know This Will Be Reported On The News

Someone without fail, upon hearing this news story will say, “He was such a quiet man.  Never bothered anyone.”  It always happens that way.

The Madison Police Department (MPD), working in concert with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, arrested a 76-year old Madison man at his home yesterday afternoon on a tentative charge of Attempting to Possess Explosives. The apprehension followed efforts by the suspect to secure an explosive device. It was to be sent to a Montana man who is a friend of the suspect’s estranged wife. Using a bogus email account, the Madison man took out a “wanted” add on Milwaukee’s Craigslist website in May indicating he was looking for “a mechanic or technician to construct an anti-personnel explosive device (AEPD).” An ATF agent contacted a phone number posted on Craigslist and posed as a bomb maker. The suspect told the ATF agent his name was “Hal” and he offered $500 for an explosive device. He wanted it contained in a metal box and rigged to detonate when the lid was opened. Yesterday, ATF agents, and MPD officers went to the suspect’s Haas Street home to deliver the “device”, which was inert. The suspect was wearing latex gloves at the time of his arrest. Instead of taking custody of the “device” he was taken into custody.

Baseball And Arizona’s Unconstitutional Immigration Law

Today I read what I think is the most concise and powerful paragraph yet written concerning baseball and the Arizona immigration law.  A law that many know to be unconstitutional.    The consequences of the unconstitutional law are many, including economic measures that underscore the concern that the whole nation has over the racist way Arizona is dealing with a national concern.  There are those  boycotting the Arizona Diamondbacks this year, and urging that 2012’s All-Star game not be held in Arizona.  This blog supports both the boycott and the placement of next years game in a state with some common decency.

(I highlighted the punch below.)

As pressure mounts, baseball should listen to the concerns of its Latin players and move the game. If Arizona wants to enact these laws, the conservative political leaders behind the anti-immigration law need to accept the consequences. Baseball is a business –it’s an industry that could be severely impacted by the law, especially if its players start ending up in Arizona jails because they forgot to carry their passport. Why should Arizona get the privilege of hosting baseball’s mid-summer party when its state laws discriminate against a quarter of baseball’s workforce?

George Steinbrenner And President Nixon

This is now just political trivia.

Before he became “legendary” for his brutish reign as owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner was a Watergate-era perp looking to snitch out others to curry favor with federal prosecutors. Steinbrenner, who died today at age 80, pleaded guilty in 1974 to a felony conspiracy charge (and a misdemeanor accessory after the fact count) stemming from his illegal contributions to Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign. Before admitting his criminal behavior, Steinbrenner offered, through attorney Edward Bennett Williams, to provide Watergate Special Prosecution Force lawyers with testimony about other illegal donations to Nixon, as well as the sale of ambassadorships. Williams told investigators that Steinbrenner “had intended to obtain an ambassadorship for someone else” in return for funneling money to the Committee to Reelect the President, or CREEP. Steinbrenner’s snitch offer was detailed in a memo, a copy of which you’ll find below, prepared by prosecutor John Koeltl. Steinbrenner’s “offer of proof” came after investigators told Williams that they were interested in details of “improper influence” resulting from contributions to Nixon, and other crimes related to political fundraising. A December 1973 memo notes that Williams told investigators that Steinbrenner, who “had already suffered a great deal,” was ready to cop to a felony charge. Williams described his client as an extortion victim who had delivered money to CREEP “out of fear.” Prosecutor Leon Jaworski–not buying this claim–pushed Williams to address instances in which Steinbrenner “asked his employees” to lie to FBI agents probing illegal contributions to Nixon. “Williams replied that Steinbrenner denies subporning perjury and denies obstruction of justice,” Koeltl wrote. In 1988, a “deeply remorseful” Steinbrenner sought a presidential pardon, which was granted by Ronald Reagan two days before he left office in January 1989.

Ron Johnson’s BP Stock Placed In Company Who Chased Profits

These facts about BP underscore why Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson’s decision to have upwards of $300,000 in BP stock in his portfolio was wrong.   Should a company have an ethical balance sheet based on wise and conscientious decisions?   Should an investor  have a conscience about the types of stocks that make money for him/her?  For all the faith that Johnson hopes the voters place in him, I suggest he broke faith with a moral code about the type of company one invests in.   BP’s long laundry list of failings in the pursuit of a healthy bottom line did not seem to matter to Johnson, and therefore should give us pause when considering his candidacy?

When it is all too common for candidates on all sides to say what they think the voters want to hear, we must then find ways to better evaluate the person seeking our vote.  I think the BP stock holdings make a statement about Johnson.  There is no way that he was unaware of the grave errors in judgment that this oil company made over and over while pursuing profits.  To blindly turn away and make stock decisions knowing full well the ethical lapses of the company is  a statement about Ron Johnson’s character.

I know ethics and business often split away from each other.  That is why investors need  to be more mindful and concerned about the stocks they buy.  Ron Johnson should never have owned BP stock.

The problems at Thunder Horse were not an anomaly, but a warning that BP was taking too many risks and cutting corners in pursuit of growth and profits, according to analysts, competitors and former employees. Despite a catalog of crises and near misses in recent years, BP has been chronically unable or unwilling to learn from its mistakes, an examination of its record shows.

“They were very arrogant and proud and in denial,” said Steve Arendt, a safety specialist who assisted the panel appointed by BP to investigate the company’s refineries after a deadly 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Tex., facility.