Friday, March 21, 2008


Maya Moore hits a fall away jumper over Alyssa May, No. 10, and Ashley McLaughlin of Holy Cross during the first half. (JOHN WOIKE / November 14, 2007)
Hartford Courant

I'm heading to New York to pick up Coach Mom. We're heading to Bridgeport, CT tomorrow to see the first and second round women's NCAA basketball games there. Looking forward to tomorrow's open practices as well. Go UConn! Maya Moore! Geno! Sweet.

Back next Friday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MSNBC Allowing Racist Hatemonger Pat Buchanan To Attack Obama

Why is the man who gave the most hateful and racist speech in modern political life on MSNBC telling me that Barack Obama went to a hateful church? How come not one purported journalist who appears with him on MSNBC appears to be aware of his well-earned reputation as a racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic anti-Semite? Why does the crawl under his name read "MSNBC Political Analyst" rather than "Conservative Republican standardholder, Nixon speechwriter, Reagan communications director, complete and utter partisan"? If he's an analyst I'm the fucking Pope.

Here's what Pat Buchanan has added to our national discourse (all are taken from this Jake Tapper profile of Buchanan in

- once called Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko "the porch-nigger of the Politburo,"

- labeled the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa, in which 67 blacks were killed, "whites mistreating a couple of blacks"

- on the subject of immigration policy, proclaimed, "Jose, we ain't gonna let you in again!"

"Rail as they will against 'discrimination,' women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism ... The momma bird builds the nest. So it was, so it ever shall be. Ronald Reagan is not responsible for this; God is"

"the poor homosexuals -- they have declared war on nature and now nature is exacting its retribution"

once praised no less than Adolf Hitler, calling him "an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him"

- Buchanan insinuated that Jews were roping America into the Gulf War

- "David Duke is busy stealing from me," Buchanan said in 1991. "I have a mind to go down there and sue that dude for intellectual property theft."

- he blamed the farm crisis on "New York bankers" and "the money boys up in New York."

- in a radio interview, [] Buchanan justified his anti-immigration policies by insinuating that the character of Mexicans was generally criminal -- "60,000 of them are in our prisons." The "railroad killer" is the kind of person we're going to have more of unless we build up the border patrol, he said.

- he promised that, if he were elected, he'd open up China for U.S. trade -- or else China will have sold its "last pair of chopsticks in any mall in the United States of America."

- After Nixon was reelected, Buchanan warned his boss not to "fritter away his present high support in the nation for an ill-advised governmental effort to forcibly integrate races."

- In 1990, Buchanan spewed out another hate-filled sound bite: "With 80,000 dead of AIDS, 3,000 more buried each month, our promiscuous homosexuals appear literally hell-bent on Satanism and suicide."

- Even Richard Nixon found the views of his former speech writer, Buchanan, too extreme on the segregation issue. According to a John Ehrlichman memo referenced in Nicholas Lemann's "The Promised Land," Nixon characterized Buchanan's views as "segregation forever." After Nixon was reelected, Buchanan warned his boss not to "fritter away his present high support in the nation for an ill-advised governmental effort to forcibly integrate races."

And this man is lecturing the country about hate? He's the modern equivalent of George Wallace, Orval Faubus and Lester Maddox. That's why he's so offended by Jeremiah Wright's sermons. Because as the man who believes his white culture is under attack by almost anyone who's not a white male like him, he's personally offended by Wright's sermon. And he is making that the media narrative with the hours and hours of platform he gets to spew his views on MSNBC. When he screws up his face and says hateful, Afro-centric, etc., that's coming from deep down inside him. He feels attacked.

Of course, there are no actual journalists on MSNBC anymore. The closest we have is Keith Olbermann, a sportswriter who is the lonely outpost of semi-liberal news and views, but whose show is more infotainment than journalism. Don't expect Keith Olbermann to take on Pat Buchanan's insane rants against Obama. He's part of the MSNBC club and wants to stay there.

I hope that Obama survives this media attack, but it is clear that he is being Swiftboated; the conservative media are out in full force trying to take him down. And Pat Buchanan is gleefully leading the charge.

Here's what Pat Buchanan said during his 1992 convention speech, a dog whistle to racists about the blacks rioting in the streets of Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict. When he says take back our culture at the end of the speech, he's saying take back our white culture. And you know what? That ignores the history of America. We really are a melting pot. There is no white culture. Pat Buchanan really would like to go back to the days of segregation. He just can't say it outright anymore, so he says it in code, like this:

And there were the brave people of Koreatown who took the worst of the LA riots, but still live the family values we treasure, and who still believe deeply in the American dream.

Friends, in those wonderful 25 weeks, the saddest days were the days of the bloody riot in LA, the worst in our history. But even out of that awful tragedy can come a message of hope.

Hours after the violence ended I visited the Army compound in south LA, where an officer of the 18th Cavalry, that had come to rescue the city, introduced me to two of his troopers. They could not have been 20 years old. He told them to recount their story.

They had come into LA late on the 2nd day, and they walked up a dark street, where the mob had looted and burned every building but one, a convalescent home for the aged. The mob was heading in, to ransack and loot the apartments of the terrified old men and women. When the troopers arrived, M-16s at the ready, the mob threatened and cursed, but the mob retreated. It had met the one thing that could stop it: force, rooted in justice, backed by courage.

Greater love than this hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friend. Here were 19-year-old boys ready to lay down their lives to stop a mob from molesting old people they did not even know. And as they took back the streets of LA, block by block, so we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Video of Obama Speech

Text of Obama Speech

HuffPo: Obama Race Speech: Read The Full Text

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

I had two white grandmothers that this speech described to a T -- revered and flawed.


Here's a BBC report on people living in campers outside Los Angeles after losing their homes. I propose we call these encampments "Bushvilles"; the Depression had Hoovervilles, Bush's depression should have its own eponymous names.

Tent cities have sprung up outside Los Angeles as people lose their homes in the mortgage crisis.

hat tip to Boing Boing

Monday, March 17, 2008

Presstitute of the Day: Ron Fournier of AP

Screengrab of Obama's face while he is making one of the statements Presstitute Ron Fournier claims is arrogant.

AP reporter Ron Fournier wins the coveted Presstitute of the Day award with his article claiming Obama is arrogant, proving his point by quoting statements by Obama that were clearly made in jest.

And who is Ron Fournier? A long-time friend of the Clintons from Arkansas. Gee, do you think that could have anything to do with his dislike of Obama? From SourceWatch:

"Fournier began his journalism career at the Hot Springs, Ark., Sentinel Record in 1985. He transferred to the Arkansas Democrat in 1987 and began covering then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton a year later. In 1989, Fournier was hired by The AP, which transferred him to Washington, D.C., after Clinton's election in 1992.

Obama walks arrogance line

By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 17, 1:57 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Arrogance is a common vice in presidential politics. A person must be more than a little self-important to wake up one day and say, "I belong in the Oval Office."

But there's a line smart politicians don't cross — somewhere between "I'm qualified to be president" and "I'm born to be president." Wherever it lies, Barack Obama better watch his step.

He's bordering on arrogance.

The dictionary defines the word as an "offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride." Obama may not be offensive or overbearing, but he can be a bit too cocky for his own good.

The freshman senator told reporters in July that he would overcome Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead in the polls because "to know me is to love me."

A few months later, he said, "Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama's been there."

I must interrupt this article to put the entire exhange in so you realize how deceitful Fournier's claim is.

Here's what was really said:

MORAN: What are you doing out here in western Iowa? It's rural -- I wouldn't think it's Barack Obama country.

OBAMA: You know, every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama's been there.
See the grin on his face in the picture at the head of this post? See the grin on Moran's face? It's a joke. They're both laughing. OK, back to the lying article.
True, there's a certain amount of tongue-in-cheekiness to such remarks — almost as if Obama doesn't want to take his adoring crowds and political ascent too seriously. He was surely kidding when he told supporters in January that by the time he was done speaking "a light will shine down from somewhere."

"It will light upon you," he continued. "You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, I have to vote for Barack. I have to do it."

But both Obama and his wife, Michelle, ooze a sense of entitlement.

"Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics," his wife said a few weeks ago, adding that Americans will get only one chance to elect him.

I can't improve on No More Mr. Nice Guy's excellent takedown of this piece of crap.

See also Too Sense: This Just In: Who Does This Uppity Negro Think He Is?

Balloon Juice: Uppity Negro Alert

Connecting the Dots: Didn't You Mean Uppity, Massa?

Stop, Thief: Bear Stearns Chairman Will Walk Away With $13.4 Million

Professional rich asshole: Nice work if you can get it.

Nothing like corporate welfare. After getting a $30 billion federal bailout (Billions for Billionaires! Nothing for Have Nothings, aka The Rest of Us!) and selling his company for pennies on the dollar (bankrupting employees and stockholders in the process) Bear Stearns Chairman James Cayne will walk away with millions. $13.4 million on top of the $232 million he earned from 1993 to 2006 (and whatever he earned in 2007 and this year).

NYTimes: Sale Price Reflects the Depth of Bear’s Problems

James E. Cayne, Bear Stearns’s former chief executive and one of its largest individual shareholders, will most likely walk away with a little more than $13.4 million, the value of his Bear stock holdings, according to James F. Redda & Associates. Those would have been worth $1.2 billion in January 2007, when Bear’s stock was trading at a $171.51. Mr. Cayne has taken home more than $232 million in salary, bonus and other pay between 1993 and 2006, the time period for which there is publicly available data, according to Equilar, an as an executive compensation research firm.

No wonder he didn't want to leave his bridge tournament as his company and his 14,000 employees went down the drain. He had nothing to worry about. The feds aren't going to go after his cushy life. It's just business! Rich guy's business. The ones against health care for the rest of us, or food for the poor, but when their bottom lines are at risk their hands are fully outstretched.

The best post I saw all day on Bear Stearns (by Athenae at First Draft) is applicable here. Why can't the government take that $13.4 million? Hasn't he already got enough? Didn't we just give him $30 billion for nothing? Can't we take some of his money, if not his stuff? Why not?

Does Bear Stearns have a big screen TV?

What about bling? Any bling they could sell?

Couldn't Bear Stearns just get a job, already? I mean, I know of six or seven places that are hiring. I don't know what they pay, but surely it would be enough to keep them in sneakers and Xbox games.

I mean, just last week I heard that when we bailed out the airlines, jewelry sales at Wal-Mart went up 1400 percent. I didn't see it myself, but my cousins told me they heard it from somebody who knows somebody who works there, and it was like Christmas morning when those government checks cleared. What can you expect, really, from people trained in government dependency, I guess, but it still pisses me off, because that's my money. Fucking leeches.

Let me ask those questions, those questions we ask of every beneficiary of the smallest drop of government assistance. Let me ask why this is the ONLY scenario in which our parsimonious bullshit about personal responsibility, about choices and consequences, about "survival of the fittest" and other forms of sicko math, need not fucking apply.

Let me ask just how the unholy fuck it is that we can quibble every single day for hours over lunches that would feed a small village for a week about the ten dollars a year we give to some social program and how it's going to waste because somebody fed us an anecdote about somebody somewhere faking their need. Let me ask just how the bloody fucking blue hell we can get all worked up over how the homeless people downtown don't deserve our pennies because one of them said something rude to us on the way out of a store, and how they're just gonna spend our 65 cents on booze and then pee on the stoop. Let me ask how on earth we can take all the time it takes to think up all the ways we think up to sit in judgement on every individual case we hear about, about how that person just didn't work harder, didn't suffer enough, didn't earn "our" money, didn't deserve "our" charity, didn't bleed in front of us enough, and all the while, all the fucking while, we give it away by the millions and never ask where it goes. All the while.

Let me just ask. I'm sure somebody out there has the answer. After all, they had reasons why Katrina victims deserved to drown and die, be forced from their homes and screwed by their insurance companies and disregarded by their country. They had reasons why uninsured children didn't deserve health care, why those who died from a lack of medical attention only got what they had coming. They had reasons why the people who came to emergency rooms were just looking for drugs, they had reasons why thieves got rich and saints got shot, they had all kinds of explanations for everything that looked to everybody else like a fucking problem we needed somebody to solve. I'm sure the answers here are just as simple, just as easy.

But I do think we should ask. And you know, I think we should ask in the same condescending, fuck-all-you-peasants know-it-all bullshit fuck-ass tone that we use when requesting that the rest of the nation's needy prove their legitimacy to us. I think we should ask with the same nasty assumptions at the back of our throats, the same willingness to believe that somebody else is running a scam on us to get a fat government check, the same nasty, mean, small little pinchingness we use toward individual human beings. I think we should ask those questions.

I mean, for all we know, maybe Bear Stearns has a big ol' diamond cross they could sell, to pay their own damn way.

We Love Lists

AP Photo (via
Martha Gellhorn with Ernest Hemingway in Sun Valley, Idaho, November 1940

takepart: Happy Women’s History Month! Top 10 Inspiring Quotes From Inspiring Women

6. People often say with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future, or any future.”

Martha Gelhorn
, Novelist, essayist, and war correspondent

Quote of the Day

Juan Cole, Informed Comment:

I can still remember, as a child, the other children on the playground boasting that the US was the greatest country in the world, and the pride we all took from that. Predictably, George H. W. Bush's cokehead son has managed to reduce the US to the second largest economy after the eurozone. Bush was second best all his life, and has managed to make America second best.

hat tip to Suburban Guerrilla

Chinook Salmon Fishery Collapse

Prized chinook salmon would be off-limits to fishing this year under a unprecedented proposal to halt all salmon fishing from Point Falcon in Oregon south to the Mexican border.

In the long term, the collapse of the salmon stock in the California rivers is a far graver threat to the world than the Bear Stearns (and the Bush economy) collapse. This year's Chinook salmon fishing season off the coasts of Oregon and California is likely to be cancelled, because the fish have disappeared. While no one is completely sure of the cause, the scientists who have been consulted believe changing ocean patterns, caused by global warming, are to blame.

NYTimes: Chinook Salmon Vanish Without a Trace

But federal and state fishery managers and biologists point to the highly unusual ocean conditions in 2005, which may have left the fingerling salmon with little or none of the rich nourishment provided by the normal upwelling currents near the shore.


Bill Petersen, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research center in Newport, Ore., said other stocks of anadromous Pacific fish — those that migrate from freshwater to saltwater and back — had been anemic this year, seading him to suspect ocean changes.

After studying changes in the once-predictable pattern of the Northern Pacific climate, Mr. Petersen found that in 2005 the currents that rise from the deeper ocean, bringing with them nutrients like phytoplankton and krill, were out of sync. “Upwelling usually starts in April and goes until September,” he said. “In 2005, it didn’t start until July.”

Mr. Petersen’s hypothesis about the salmon is that “the fish that went to sea in 2005 died a few weeks after getting to the ocean” because there was nothing to eat. A couple of years earlier, when the oceans were in a cold-weather cycle, the opposite happened — the upwelling was very rich. The smolts of that year were later part of the largest run of fall Chinook ever recorded.

Yahoo News: Salmon fishing ban possible this year

In most years, about 90 percent of wild chinook or "king" salmon caught off the California coast originate in the Sacramento River and its tributaries.

Only about 90,000 adult salmon returned to the Sacramento River and its tributaries to spawn last year, the second lowest number on record and well below the government's conservation goals, according to federal fishery regulators. That's down from 277,000 in 2006 and a record high of 804,000 in 2002.

Biologists are predicting that this year's salmon returns could be even lower because the number of returning young male fish, known as "jacks," hit an all-time low last year. Only about 2,000 of them were recorded, which is far below the 40,000 counted in a typical year.

Other West Coast rivers also have seen declines in their salmon runs, though not as steep as California's Central Valley.

Experts are unclear about what caused California's collapse.

Some marine scientists say the salmon declines can be attributed in part to unusual weather patterns that have disrupted the marine food chain in the ocean along the Pacific Coast in recent years.

Dailykos: Don't Mess With Mother Nature

Back in the late 1960's it was possible to walk across the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers on the 14ft, open boats, each with 1 or 2 fishermen hauling in their limit of salmon swimming up stream to spawn. Freezers all over the Valley were filled with cleaned, dressed salmon that weighed 35 ot 40 lbs. each. By the mid 80's the size and the weight of the catch had decreased by half. Early in 2000 a salmon that weighed 15 lbs was cause for celebration.

Bear Stearns Collapse: Who Gets Screwed? (Besides the Taxpayers) The Employees

I just heard on CNBC that Bear Stearns' 14,000 employees owned 1/3 of its stock. Probably part of their 401(k) and pension plans.

Bear Stearns stock was worth $159.36 per share on April 25, 2007.

Today it's worth less than $2 per share.

Atrios estimates that this is an average loss of $375,000 per employee.

Fed Shoveling Our Money To Thieving Banks

And you thought it was bad on Friday when the Fed gave Bear Stearns $200,000,000 of our money. Today -- a Sunday! -- they gave J.P. Morgan $30 billion, yes, $30,000,000,000 of our money to subsidize a deal to take over Bear Stearns. Public money for a private buyout. To protect the shareholders. You know the Bushies's aren't going to go back and, I don't know, bankrupt the morons who drove the company into bankruptcy. That might interrupt their time at the country club, or at the bridge tables:

Last year, when he was still chief executive of Bear Stearns Cos., James Cayne took heat for hitting the bridge circuit during troubled times for his firm. Will the same rules apply to Cayne now that he’s chairman?

We’ll soon find out. Thursday and today, as Bear fought off a pending cash crisis that threatened to ruin its business, Mr. Cayne – who relinquished his CEO title in January and become the firm’s non-executive chairman – has been in Detroit, playing in the North American Bridge Championship.

So far, he’s faring better than his firm. In the “Imp Pairs” event Thursday, Mr. Cayne and a partner placed fourth out of 130, according to figures from the American Contract Bridge League web site. (Bear shares fell 7%.) The playing took place between about 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the afternoon and 7:30 to 11 p.m. in the evening, say insiders – a period in which Bear CEO Alan Schwartz convened a series of conference calls with directors, according to people familiar with the matter, to discuss a pending cash pledge from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and the Federal Reserve Board. Still, Mr. Cayne participated in at least some of the dialogue, said one of these people.

Brings to mind Nero fiddling while Rome burns, doesn't it?

Times (uk): Bear Stearns sold to JPMorgan Chase under Federal Bank pressure

America's Federal Reserve last night orchestrated a rescue takeover of Bear Stearns, the stricken Wall Street investment bank, by JP Morgan Chase in an unprecedented move to prevent the implosion of the US financial system.

In New York last night, JP Morgan Chase announced that it is to buy Bear Stearns for $240 million in shares - representing 6 per cent of the struggling bank's closing market value on Friday, and just 1 per cent of the group's capitalisation at the beginning of the month.

As part of the deal, America's central bank has effectively underwritten $30 billion worth of Bear's toxic sub-prime mortgage-backed bonds, to protect JP Morgan Chase shareholders.
It is also providing special financing to JP Morgan Chase - of an undisclosed sum. Terms of the deal are unknown, and it is not clear whether such special financing is to cover the cost of JP Morgan's emergency loan to Bear made late on Thursday night.

Greg Palast says this is why the feds really jumped all over Eliot Spitzer's bones last week. Spitzer opposed giving the robber barons free reign to bankrupt homeowners while they make billions. So he had to go:

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using our

This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.


When the housing bubble burst and the paint flaked off, investors were left with the poop and the bankers were left with bonuses. Countrywide’s top man, Angelo Mozilo, will ‘earn’ a $77 million buy-out bonus this year on top of the $656 million - over half a billion dollars – he pulled in from 1998 through 2007.


But there were rumblings that the party would soon be over. Angry regulators, burned investors and the weight of millions of homes about to be boarded up were causing the sharks to sink. Countrywide’s stock was down 50%, and Citigroup was off 38%, not pleasing to the Gulf sheiks who now control its biggest share blocks.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. Carlyle Capital went bankrupt. Who? That’s Carlyle as in Carlyle Group. James Baker, Senior Counsel. Notable partners, former and past: George Bush, the Bin Laden family and more dictators, potentates, pirates and presidents than you can count.

The Fed had to act. Bernanke opened the vault and dumped $200 billion on the poor little suffering bankers. They got the public treasure – and got to keep the Grinning’s house. There was no ‘quid’ of a foreclosure moratorium for the ‘pro quo’ of public bailout. Not one family was saved – but not one banker was left behind.

Every mortgage sharking operation shot up in value. Mozilo’s Countrywide stock rose 17% in one day. The Citi sheiks saw their company’s stock rise $10 billion in an afternoon.

And that very same day the bail-out was decided – what a coinkydink! – the man called, ‘The Sheriff of Wall Street’ was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced.

Bloggers Read The NYTimes So You Don't Have To

John Cole's Balloon Juice summarizes each of the 9 Op-Eds in the NYTimes marking the 5th anniversary of Bush's disastrous war.

Read the summaries and weep.

The NY Times has nine op-eds to mark the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Because I care about you all, I will simplify these op-eds into one sentence or less, each featuring the f-word. You will then be spared the pain of reading them.

hat tip to Middle Earth Journal

Sunday, March 16, 2008

McBride Leads Fulham

Telegraph (uk)

Fulham won a vital game against Everton today, 1-0, behind a great goal by captain Brian McBride. Manager Roy Hodgson said of his skipper:

'Brian is an experienced player. He is 36 and a talismanic figure at the club. It was just that little bit of quality that was needed because both teams were defending and fighting hard.'

Everyone loves McBride, even the manager of the opposing club:

"I don't like conceding goals but if anyone was to score I'm glad it was Brian," said [Everton manager David] Moyes, who brought the American to England when he was manager of Preston and them took him on loan to Everton. "He is a great player and a great professional."

Fulham is still in the drop zone; they need to make up four points on Birmingham to keep from being relegated. Clint Dempsey scored the goal that kept Fulham from being relegated last year; perhaps another American will do the job this year? (I hope for Eddie Johnson; our US team needs GAM to get back on track.)

Video of McBride's goal from 101 Great Goals (with French commentators!)

Guardian (uk): McBride the miracle worker gives Fulham a glimpse of the possible

Times (uk): Brian McBride gives faithful something to shout about

Must-See TV

Earl Monroe: Clips from Philadelphia's Baker League; He Got Game; Winston-Salem State; Baltimore Bullets; NY Knicks.

ESPN will be showing the second part of their new two-part documentary, Black Magic, tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. It's about the civil rights movement and how black basketball players first, got to play and then changed basketball.

I only caught the last half hour tonight (thanks to this post on BoingBoing) and was entranced. College footage of
Dennis Barnett, Willis Reed, Bob Love, and other great players, and lots of interviews.

Tomorrow night will feature the story of Earl The Pearl Monroe, Black Magic himself. When I was a kid I saw him play for the Baltimore Bullets in Madison Square Garden against the Knicks, before he was traded to the Knicks in 1971. I remember being surprised to hear the black people sitting around us high in the cheap seats calling The Pearl "Magic". The white announcers always called Monroe Pearl, never Magic. This was my first introduction to the fact that there was a black culture and I knew very little about it.