Tag Archives: Pat Forde

A new North Carolina law encourages discrimination, and it’s disgusting. A great Trump/”Hamilton” parody. And the Final 4 is set, with one huge surprise

NClawprotest

We saw this in Indiana, we saw this with Houston, and now, we’re seeing it with North Carolina.

State and city legislators are scared out of their ever-loving minds at transgender people actually having rights, and being treated like everyone else.

It terrifies them to such an irrational degree, for reasons I can’t fathom, that they literally make up and change, and override hundreds of years of governmental rules just to stop fair treatment.

In case you don’t know what I”m talking about, last year the city of Charlotte, N.C. passed a measure protecting LGBT people from being discriminated against by local businesses. This law was set to go into effect on April 1, meaning of course it hadn’t even happened yet.

And yet, it was SO scary to North Carolina state legislators that a special session of the body was called, the first time in 35 years, to pass a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules to protect gay and transgender people.

This new law, by the way, was introduced, “debated” and signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory in TWELVE hours, by far the fastest anything has ever moved through the N.C. legislature. (Seriously, a bill honoring native son Michael Jordan wouldn’t move that freaking fast.)

The new law establishes a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that explicitly supersedes any local nondiscrimination measures. The statewide protections cover race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex — but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

Once again, the pathetic N.C. legislators who approved this claim it’s all about “public safety” in bathrooms, and more nonsense. It’s discrimination, and it’s disgraceful, and it is absolutely not what a majority of voters in N.C. are in favor of. And God forbid any city or town in the state want to disagree, well, this law makes that impossible.

North Carolina is a beautiful state filled with wonderful people, a place I came to love in the three years I lived there. But now it is just another state where legislators have been bought and paid for by special interests and rich billionaires, and so once again the will of the people is irrelevant.

Take a look at what the state’s newspapers have to say about this bill, and be at least slightly heartened that major companies like Google, American Airlines, Loews, and the NBA have denounced the law. Let’s hope the NBA pulls the 2017 All-Star Game from the state, and other companies boycott as well.

This is nothing but bigotry, pure and simple, and let’s hope the power of public shaming and corporate muscle makes a powerful sound that ripples from Asheville to Wilmington.

**Next up today, my awesome Aunt Linda sent me this a few days ago and I thought it was pretty damn funny. It’s the hit musical “Hamilton” parodied as if it were about a certain orange-skinned Republican presidential candidate, done by a group called the Rad Motel Sketch Comedy Group. Just a warning, there’s some NSFW (not safe for work) language in here. But it’s really dead-on accurate. Enjoy…

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**Finally today, after an incredible first four days of the NCAA Tournament, the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds had nowhere to go but down. And while the last few days of games haven’t produced as many thrills, they still gave us several outstanding finishes, three worthy Final Four teams, and one that I have no Earthly idea how they’ve made it.

Some quick thoughts on the weekend’s action, which was compelling if not fabulously played:

— Syracuse? Really? A team that lost five out of its last six games down the stretch of the season, a team that many people (me included) thought didn’t even deserve to get a bid to the Tournament, makes the Final Four. Crazy. The way they did it, too, was stunning; Virginia completely controlled the game Sunday, for 30 minutes, scoring whenever it wanted, then suddenly forgot how to play basketball. An epic choke job when the Hoos were on their way to the Final Four.

I hate the guy, but you must give Jim Boeheim credit; The dude can flat-out coach. This Orange team isn’t great and struggled most of the year, but are on some crazy good roll right now, and Boeheim has them clicking. What a tremendous coaching job he’s done. A 10 seed in the Final Four.

— UNC-Notre Dame was incredibly entertaining, the most fun game of the weekend. I have no idea how the Tar Heels suddenly became deadly from behind the 3-point line, but that, combined with their huge size advantage up front, made the difference Sunday night.

— So great, now we get a UNC-Syracuse Final Four matchup, both schools having had academic/grade changing scandals in recent years. What wonderful representatives of college athletics. As one Tweet read Sunday night, “The North Carolina-Syracuse Billable Hours Outside Counsel National Semifinal, brought to you by Bond Schoeneck & King, is set.”

—The Kansas-Villanova game was compelling, even if the shooting was pretty ugly most of the night. The Wildcats are a lot of fun to watch, so many complementary parts, with Kris Jenkins, Ryan Arciadiacono and that Daniel Ochefu kid all meshing so well together. I’d love to see them win the national title.

— Buddy Hield of Oklahoma plays with such pure joy on the court. He can shoot a little bit, huh? What a great college player. Who cares what he becomes in the NBA, it’s great to see a kid stay four years and get so much better.

The NCAA leaves the Tournament (basically) alone. A weird Nike commercial. And a baseball player who flew.

Well, color me surprised.

Ever since the NCAA poo-bahs floated the idea that they were thinking of expanding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to 96 teams, I figured it was a done deal.

Never mind that it was a stupid, idiotic, why mess with success idea. One of the dumbest, craziest ideas the NCAA has ever come up with.

The Tournament is perfect, a wonderful three-week march to a champion. But money talks, so of course the NCAA was going to expand, take more TV money, and put more undeserving teams into the Big Dance.

As a diehard college basketball fan (you may have heard I like Duke), I was awaiting the inevitable: the destruction of March Madness as we knew it.

But well well well, the NCAA actually got one right. Thursday it was announced that the Tournament is only expanding by three teams, to 68.

I can live with that. Sure, a few more low-major schools like Winthrop and East Tennessee State will get screwed by having to play those stupid play-in games, but the Tournament’s beauty remains intact.

Much like Pat Forde on ESPN.com, I’m not sure if the NCAA actually did this because they listened to the howls of protest from fans and media, or they just scared us by threatening 96, without really meaning it.

Either way, I’m very happy with the outcome. Bravo, NCAA.

**So I was pretty puzzled by that Nike Tiger Woods commercial, and this one seems equally strange, but a little cooler and easier to understand. Athletes’ heads and hearts in different bodies while playing different sports. Pretty cool.

**Finally, how great is this slide by Fordham University baseball player Brian Kownacki in a recent game? Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.