You Bet Your Life
With the door opened now for legal sports betting, The Urinal did an excellent piece on why illegal betting with bookies will not end. The reason is that bookies will allow you to run up a tab, with exceptional interest, or “the vig,” whereas legal betting will require cash in hand when you wager.
In what may be the quote of the year, The Urinal cited a “mob associate” familiar with the process illegal bookies employ, who said, “The mob is different from a bank, which will foreclosure [sic] on your house if you owe them. The mob forecloses on your body.”
No surprises at Casa Diablo to see our embarrassing president dealing with the executive pardon privilege as he does everything else. There was no consultation with the DOJ as previous administrations from the past century have done. The obvious reason why Trump has pardoned the people he’s pardoned — or hinted at pardoning — has more to do with celebrity status (Rod Blagojevich, Martha Stewart, Jack Johnson) or popularity in right-wing circles (Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby, Dinesh D’Souza) than anything else.
In the case of the great Jack Johnson, the one pardonee in this group truly worthy of a pardon, it seems to have more to do with the celebrity status of Sylvester Stallone, who made the case for the former heavyweight champ. While your superior correspondents are truly pleased to see Johnson pardoned, we are equally dismayed to see the pseudo-intellectual liar, D’Souza, absolved of his admitted guilt. This animus goes back to a radio interview Jorge (Rudy Cheeks) did with D’Souza on WHJJ-920AM in the 1990s where D’Souza took issue with Jorge describing the economic leanings of far-right Republicans as “yahoo capitalism.”
As is obvious, this Ayn Randian strain of thinking is still with us today and threatens to turn the entire world (with the noted exception of certain Scandinavian countries) into a serfs vs. multi-billionaires state.
Another reason P&J are exercised about the recent pardons is because it is yet another example of how our ignorant president continues to try to operate as a tinhorn dictator.
Lack of Vision (a rant on a few aspects of our current condition)
As should be abundantly clear by now, the greatest thing the world currently lacks is vision. Not too long ago, it seemed (at least) that we humans were actively working at building a better, more sustainable world. But now it looks like far too many of us are primarily interested in the accumulation of wealth.
Can we not see that ignoring stewardship of our planet is necessary to sustain life for upcoming generations? We need cleaner air and water rather than continuing with our over-dependence on fossil fuels. The current gutting of environmental regulations, along with the shredding of the safety net that has provided the support needed by the poorer among us, are two issues that concern your superior correspondents. We need to find common ground rather than buying into the Ayn Rand-like “Virtue of Selfishness” macro-economics that continue to decimate the middle class.
We have never believed that the protection and further enrichment of the uber-wealthy is the way to do this but, apparently, many of us now consider it a viable plan. As we have noted many times, this lacks vision because it is not sustainable.
Are we all only in it for the short run now? We hope not and continue to proselytize on the side of life and happiness for the vast majority of living beings on our planet. This rant is over, but we encourage all of you reading this to think in terms of what is sustainable and life-affirming.
RIP to Gerry and Steve
It was sad to learn about the death of local basketball legend Gerry Alaimo, the former Brown basketball coach and Providence College athletic department icon. Bill Reynolds of The Urinal did an excellent tribute to Gerry in a recent column.
Phillipe went way back in his relationship with Alaimo, a noted hard-ass who not only coached — but also alienated — some of his Brown classmates. But he also turned around the Brown program by doing heavy-duty recruiting in New York City, which yielded players like Eddie Morris and Phil Brown, who nearly upset the historic PC team with Ernie D. and Marvin Barnes at the Civic Center in a battle royale.
Every time P. met Alaimo in later years in Narragansett, usually at the Twin Willows, he would get what Gerry probably considered an affectionate slap on the back, but which probably broke a few ribs. But as Reynolds pointed out, the guy’s obstreperous public face was merely a front for a wonderful person.
And finally, Stephen Mindich was long our much-respected boss at the Providence Phoenix. As founder of the entire Phoenix alternative media group, Steve was unfailingly kind and generous to Phillipe and Jorge. We mourn his loss after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, and add our condolences to his family.