Thursday, April 30, 2009

Double Dose of Outliers with Malcolm Gladwell


After last night's exhausting piece I decided to post this no brainer. Two people who I quote from extensively. Both with personal contact to the author du jour Malcolm Gladwell. Both Bob Lefsetz and Colin Cowherd have talked about the book Outliers before and now they get to interact with the author. Bob's in print (link #2) Link #1 is one of Bob's earlier looks at Outliers in the context of rock and roll with an introduction by me. The attachment found in the multiply post has Gladwell talking to Colin.


Ed


1.

http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/journal/item/468/Whatever_Happened_to_Paying_Your_Dues_

2.

http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2009/05/04/how-david-beats-goliath/


3. MP 3 Attachment if not below:

http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/tag/outliers


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

RIP Bea Arthur Multi Media






Thankfully there are many many reminders online about the legacy of this true giant of comedy. David Letterman, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon I am sure are lamenting this loss. Just so you know I am not jumping on the bandwagon , there is this post from last year.


Ed

Technical Note: for those of you who not see the video screen and/ or the audio attachment of Tony and Mike remember Bea please click here.

Related links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apk_ymHWr94

http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/journal/item/218/May_She_Rest_In_Piece_

http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/tag/bea%20arthur



Roast of Pamela Anderson
Bea Arthur Uncensored
comedycentral.com
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

Monday, April 27, 2009

Walang Hiya






You may not believe this but twice a week I walk from the office down Pasay Road and cross Edsa. Just as I was in the same block as New World Hotel your usual good for nothing obnoxious big shot in their own mind is blaring their siren bypassing the people playing by the rules by going into the unoccupied opposing lane.
Nothing unusual so far but a guard in that block singles me out and starts saying in Tagalog "walang hiya talaga" (have these guys no shame) , don't ask me to quote word for word what he said but he says this happens daily and who do these guys think they are?

I myself hate these inflated egos who look down on the peons that get in their way. I get the impression that for some reason the guard saw me as somebody who would sympathize with his point and I am, I do. Not sure though what about my appearance and my demeanor gave him that idea. Was wearing my obligatory ear phones so I could not have looked that inviting to talk to, but regardless he & I agreed.

It's self important buffoons like that , that get packed in Santuario every weekend . And still carry the same attitude, the same baggage. They go to church as that guard told me "walang hiya" when church is a place you should enter as humbled sinners. The examples are numerous. People coming in late ignoring reserved seats signs, using the offertory for political campaign promotions you name it. Once in a while some prayer and worship is done.

The streets and roads are a public resource but there are people who are "walang hiya". Church is a place where we are supposed to be all equal in the eyes of the Lord but some people are "walang hiya". That is the society we live in. This blog entry is my way of extending the middle finger to the "walang hiya" among us. Whether you think bypassing traffic is your God given right or you think the Church is there to serve you not the other way around.

Anyway Bruce Cockburn in the video below " will sing right out loud the things I can not say." (Eagles 1979)

Ed


tags: traffic, humility, obnoxious, church, society

related link


http://edrlopez.blogspot.com/2009/04/four-months-three-priests.html




The Most Conservative Show On Television

Link

This is a great read. I never watch American Idol yet somehow it always works it's way into my posts . I always wondered why. Then I found out the first ever winner and I share the same birthday so take from that what you will. This is a good read. Or should I say the link. Ed


http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/kschlichter/2009/04/27/the-most-conservative-show-on-television/


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Video of the Daring Rescue from Somali Pirates


 


Just released video from that rescue of Captain Richard Phillips Easter Sunday. Witness the skill and bravery. We also see the gratitude displayed during the extraction.



Ed

















http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30178013/

 

MOMBASA, Kenya - In a daring high-seas rescue, U.S. Navy SEAL snipers killed three Somali pirates and freed the American sea captain who had offered himself as a hostage to save his crew.

The operation was a victory for the world's most powerful military but angry pirates vowed Monday to retaliate.

Those threats raised fears for the safety of some 230 foreign sailors still held hostage in more than a dozen ships anchored off the coast of lawless Somalia.

 

"From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages)," Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old pirate, told the Associated Press from one of Somalia's piracy hubs, Eyl. "(U.S. forces have) become our No. 1 enemy."

News of Capt. Richard Phillips' rescue caused his crew in Kenya to break into wild cheers and brought tears to the eyes of those in Phillips' hometown of Underhill, Vt., half a world away from the Indian Ocean drama.

A statement from Phillips' wife Andrea was read at a news conference in Vermont on Monday. She said the hardest part for her was not knowing what her husband was enduring. She said she is proud of her husband and thanks everyone for giving her "the strength to be strong for Richard."

In Washington, President Barack Obama on Monday said Phillips' "safety has been our principal concern."

In a sharp warning to pirates off Somalia, Obama added: "I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region and to achieve that goal, we're going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks."

"We have to continue to be prepared to confront them when they arise, and we have to ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their crimes," the president said.
 
April 13: In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Cmdr. Frank X. Castellano of the USS Bainbridge talks about the call he received from the commander in chief following the successful rescue of Capt. Rick Phillips.
Nightly News
 
 
Earlier Monday, six mortar shells were fired toward the airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu as a plane carrying a U.S. congressman took off, an airport employee at the control tower said.

New Jersey Democrat Donald Payne had met with Somalia’s president and prime minister for a one-day visit to discuss piracy and security issues. The airport staffer said Payne’s plane took off safely and none of the mortar shells landed in the airport.

Phillips' whereabouts?
Meantime, Pentagon sources told NBC News that the current plan is to reunite Phillips with his 19-man crew from the Maersk Alabama in the Kenyan city of Mombassa.

Phillips is still on the U.S. Navy ship Boxer, and it's not clear exactly when he will be take to the Kenyan port city. Pentagon officials say there's no concern over Phillips security despite pirates threats to seek retribution.

From Mombasa, it's believed Phillips and his crew will fly back to the United States aboard a plane chartered by Maersk Line Lmtd., which owns the Alabama. 

The stunning resolution to a five-day standoff came Sunday in a daring nighttime assault in choppy seas after pirates had agreed to let the USS Bainbridge tow their powerless lifeboat out of rough water.

Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said Phillips, 53, was tied up and in "imminent danger" of being killed because a pirate on the lifeboat held an AK-47 assault rifle to the back of his head.

In an interview with NBC's TODAY show, Gortney said it took only three shots to kill the three pirates.

Interviewed Monday from Bahrain, Gortney said the take-down happened shortly after the hostage-takers were observed by sailors aboard the USS Bainbridge "with their heads and shoulders exposed."

Gortney described the snipers as "extremely, extremely well-trained." He said the firing by the snipers was ordered by the captain of the Bainbridge after the pirates "exposed themselves" to attack.

 
 
 
U.S. Defense officials said snipers got the go-ahead to fire after one pirate held an AK-47 close to Phillips’ back. Two other pirates popped their heads up out of the lifeboat, giving snipers three clear targets from the Bainbridge, one official said.

Military officials Monday described the snipers' operation as remarkable — firing at a small lifeboat 25 yards away at night and from the stern of a ship on rolling waters.

The SEALS arrived on the scene by parachuting from their aircraft into the sea, and were picked up by the Bainbridge, a senior U.S. official said.

A fourth pirate surrendered after boarding the Bainbridge earlier in the day and could face life in a U.S. prison. He had been seeking medical attention for a wound to his hand and was negotiating with U.S. officials on conditions for Phillips' release, military officials said.

In a move that surprised the pirates, the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama had put up a fight Wednesday when pirates boarded the ship. Until then, Somali pirates had become used to encountering no resistance once they boarded a ship in search of million-dollar ransoms.

 

What a Novel Idea



"The unvarnished truth is what sells,"  "People want the truth. They want to just see it the way it is and if you just give them that, that alone is a draw." Jim Klinge




This is great. Full disclosure, I failed in a full time selling selling career. It does not mean I learned nothing from the experience. I tell people in my current function as a trainer in my company that the ultimate product is you. Sell yourself. Don't compromise the company but the person has to like you though.

No matter what the current economic crisis can at least be partially blamed on false pretense. You will see him touch on it briefly during this video article. Jim Klinge does not tell you what you want to hear. He tells you what you have to hear for your own good. What's news here is he is the exception and not the rule.

Even if I failed in the area of financial sales my only regret was not practicing and using the techniques enough. I very much regret not prospecting enough. But I can not look back and ever said that I told anyone anything that was not true. I encouraged people to get educated to reinforce that what I was telling them was true. That I believed in what I said. That I chose to go about business in a way that was best for them.

Tom Hopkins has told us many time regardless of what product we sell , we are in the people business. You should get people to like and trust you. Well I don't know about you guys but I like and trust someone who tells me the truth.

If you do not see the video screen below click here.

Jim Klinge gets it. He does well in bad market because he has no illusions and he makes sure his clients have no illusions. He is not a fan of mortgage bailouts.He knew that people lending loosely was going to lead to this.  He knew there was going to be a day of reckoning. He understands that before he sells houses he has to sell himself. He gets it.

Ed               
               
















related links


http://www.bubbleinfo.com/

http://www.tomhopkins.com/







http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=7346226&page=1



 Truth in Advertising: One Realtor's Strategy to Sell Foreclosed Homes
Jim Klinge Employs Brutal Honesty When Telling Potential Buyers About Houses on the Market
By VICKI MABREY and MATT STUART

OCEANSIDE, Calif., April 16, 2009—

He calls himself simply "Jim the Realtor," and he's out to tell the truth about the houses he sells.

Jim Klinge, a Southern California-based realtor specializing in foreclosures, says that he's rewriting the realtor's handbook.

But in his version, you won't find effusive descriptions of vaulted ceilings, southern exposures, and natural light. Instead, you'll find words like "abomination" and "goofy" and "toxic."

"I don't know if this is a flophouse, brothel, retirement home, prison, fraternity..." Klinge announced on a recent visit to a bank-owned property in northern San Diego County, his home turf.

And this was a property he was trying to sell.

In a down market, Klinge is betting that unbridled candor will trump the usual realtors' tricks in moving properties that have already lost some of their shine.

His clients, increasingly banks trying to unload foreclosed homes, are impatient to make sales. His main tool is online video. Every time he gets a listing he sets his point-and-shoot camera to video mode, presses "on" and lets his wicked wit fly.

Almost everything is fair game: d├ęcor ("Green walls! Lovely -- that'll keep you awake at night"), blemishes ("we've got a mold-like substance"), even placement ("We've got quite a backyard here. Hope you like your neighbors").

"I think I have the right attitude with my videos," Klinge said. "I roll up, I turn the camera on, I do two to three minutes and that's the end of it. I think my goal is to give an accurate perception of what's there without being glitzy or glamorous."

Glamorous? Hardly. More like brutal. And not like the usual pretty picture painted by other realtors.

Banking on the Truth

"The unvarnished truth is what sells," Klinge said. "People want the truth. They want to just see it the way it is and if you just give them that, that alone is a draw."

Over a 25-year career as a real estate agent and broker, Klinge has seen the ups and downs of the local market, enough to name and shame everyone he holds responsible for the current housing crisis.

Topping his list of culprits are careless banks who peddled sub-prime, flexible-rate mortgages.

"If they would have just funded loans with fixed rates and one payment, so when the buyer comes in and they read what their payment is going to be, and they can count on that for the duration, we probably would have been fine," Klinge said.

Lack of Education Hurts Homebuyers

He also lays some of the blame on over-ambitious buyers, and the realtors who greased the skids. They bear some of the fault, but not as much as the lenders, according to Klinge.

"You know, there's not any education about home-buying," Klinge said. "You could go through high school, you could go through college, and unless you really go out of your way to learn about home buying, how would you ever know exactly what to do when it comes to home buying?"

Klinge said he began focusing on the not-so-great aspects of homes he was trying to sell when he sensed the market was going south, sometime in 2004. And it just so happened that a new Web technology was about to give him a good way to get the unvarnished truth in front of an unlimited number of eyes.

"It made sense to me to give a better picture, once YouTube started, of what's being offered," Klinge said. "We had the ability to show the entire house just like you are walking through it. And it was a life-like tour."

John Harwood, a Los Angeles contractor, accompanied his client, Joella Thomas, on one of Klinge's real-life tours of foreclosed properties.

Like the many visitors who have found their way to www.bubbleinfo.com, Klinge's Web site of distressed properties, Harwood found the realtor's no-bull pitch to be appealing -- but admitted it could somehow all be a shtick.

"Seems like a real honest guy," Harwood said. "But you know, he's a realtor, so that could just be really, really good cover."

As they walked around the property, Thomas noted that the windows looked as though they had never been replaced.

"I don't think they've done anything to this place," she said.

"This probably needs to be around $150,000 to really be worth it," Klinge told them about one house on the market for $159,000. "Because once you put $50,000 into it, get it up at $200,000, that'd be around right. I don't think you're getting a lot more rent for this just because it's 1800 feet, because it's a bunch of goofy square footage."

Thomas said she appreciated Klinge's honesty.

"He seems to be real upfront with his information and seems like a real interesting guy," she said.

Tough on the Home Sellers

Klinge will tell it like it is to the home sellers, too. In what he calls our "microwave society," where "people know within minutes that you are on the market," if a property doesn't get offers in 10-14 days, he says it's time to lower the price.

"Lower early and often," Klinge advised."You ought to be lowering 5 percent until you get people coming."

That can be a bitter pill for a homeowner, who may not want to admit that their home could have lost as much as half its value.

But according to Klinge, in this market, "If [buyers] don't think you are giving [your home] away, they are not interested in paying retail."

He said his strategy to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth has been paying off. Klinge said he makes a good living, and doesn't need to resort to pressure tactics to make a sale.

He closed 43 deals last year, down from the 61 sales and purchases he brokered during his peak year of 2004.

For a man who says the realtor's handbook needs a revision, he's making an awfully good case.

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures








My latest Response to Lefsetz why Music today sucks



"And when I die and go to pure pop heaven
The angels will gather around
And ask me for my whole life story
And ask for that fabulous sound
But I know they're gonna stop me
As I start going through every line
And say please not the whole damn album
Nobody has that much time
Please . . .
Just the hit single"

Joe Jackson from Laughter and Lust 1991

********************************************************


As Joe Jackson sings : music has been such a shallow experience when people do not produce or appreciate albums. And that is what is happening now. Music sucks because the bands suck. The songwriters suck. There are no albums worth listening to start to finish. Just read my response to Bob below. Also included are his original and the video of Joe Jackson singing Hit Single.

Ed



***************************************************************
It goes back to my triumvirate Bob:

  • band
  • Album
  • Songwriting


Not even in that order.Anybody under thirty how much of either have they been exposed to?? And we wonder why the Police and Led Zeppelin and the other 50s, 80s superacts pack em in and the current generation do not. The kids would not know one if it bit them in the posterior.


The labels created this mindset among the kids. As the Bible says you reap what you sow.

As someone who just turned 43. I was in high school when rap was beginning to gain acceptance. I will never forget being at the tail end of elementary school when Mark was describing Rapper's Delight. "It's the music from Good Times with a guy talking".

Early in my college days my friend Bill Kelly was telling about an act called the Beastie Boys. Where you heard little bits from Led Zeppelin IV.

My opinion creativity and originality went downhill from there. Anybody capitalizing on the fact that this crap sold was just conditioning their audience to accept and expect more crap. Rap was trauma from the word go. Frank Zappa's Promiscuous is of course an exception . Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince 's Boom Boom Shake Shake The Room takes me back to a certain place so I will give that a pass.

I heard Rumors for the first time in its entirety in 1984 (7 years after its release) . I was listening to in it's entirety yesterday.

  • Band
  • songwriting
  • Album


Let's do the numbers.

What kid born in 1986 will pick up any album in 2004 although it was originally released in 1997 then still be listening to it when they are 43?

Might happen. But I doubt it.

Band
Album
Songwriting


Thank you Bob. Your writing affects my writing but I tell my audience of 3 people not to blame you.


Ed
Manila



http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/journal/item/514/My_Life_is_Good_

http://edrlopez.blogspot.com/2009/03/arnel-pineda-extrapolation.html

***************************************************************
http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2009/04/24/applemicrosoft/



On Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 4:30 AM, Bob Lefsetz <bob@lefsetz.com> wrote:

You can't convince customers cheaper is better, not in music.

This week Apple and Microsoft announced their quarterly results. Apple's were staggeringly good. Mac sales dipped ever so slightly, but iPod sales were up and iPhone sales were humongous. In other words, people will pay premium prices for perceived quality. Just like you can't get a ticket for a superstar act.

Unfortunately, unlike Apple, the music business isn't building any new superstars.

Superstars... Remember Microsoft's Bob initiative? The woman who spearheaded it became Bill Gates' wife, but it was derided by the public and never adopted. Same deal with those Microsoft tablets. These products were ill-conceived. Microsoft had the infrastructure to develop them, they just never asked themselves whether the public would want them.

And now Microsoft is telling people to buy their products because they're cheap. Imagine trying to get people to see a developing act live by saying tickets are $30 instead of $100. God, you can't even get people to go for free! They've got too many entertainment options. Shit, no one cares if you're giving away a single on iTunes or Amazon anymore. People expect to be able to hear the new stuff for free.

The music business needs an iPhone.

But all we're getting is Bobs and tablets.

The starmakers are knowledgeable in the old infrastructure. Their concept of innovation is finding a new act to flog, there's nothing new at the core. How do we get someone so cute, so sexy that the magazines and television will promote them. They don't ask how we can find something so unique that the public will be drawn to them.

That's our dilemma. Where is music's "Sopranos"? Where is its "Slumdog Millionaire"? Where is the product that's unforeseen, yet is clamored for.

The iPhone is a bigger hit today, based on not only its ubiquity, but its 3G capabilities and the App Store. In other words, the iPhone is on its second album, and has toured extensively. Unlike in the music business, Apple replaces the product with a new iteration each and every year. Even iTunes is up to version 8. In other words, don't keep flogging the same damn album, working another single, but build off the album and make new singles.

And you don't know what the public wants from the get-go. Speak to Eddie Rosenblatt. Sure, Fleetwood Mac with Lindsey and Stevie made a radio-friendly record, but who knew that Stevie Nicks would develop into a twirling witch on stage?

You start, but you can't plan the future. It evolves.

It's not about the marketing so much as the essence. It's not about Twitter or other online initiatives so much as the act. The marketing surrounds the act. You're not selling marketing, you're selling music.

But it hasn't been that way for a long long time. Marketing's been king since the days of MTV.

Don't worry if your track is radio-friendly, most hard core fans don't listen to terrestrial radio.

Don't worry if your act is good-looking, videos are now just a peek at what the act looks like, akin to a photo in a magazine, as opposed to mini-movies.

Know that cookie-cutter will deliver diminishing returns. Unique can blast you into the stratosphere.

Movies have an advantage. Each and every one is new. So you can pull the wool over the public's eyes again and again. But it's hard to convince the public that the "American Idol" contestant is now credible. You've got to guard your image.

It starts with the music. That's the driver today.

And the music is just the beginning. Don't worry if the music is free, don't worry about monetizing the music. Just get it in people's hands, make it available!

Radio used to perform this function. People tuned in. Now there's too much music and most people aren't listening, so to charge for the tunes is a mistake. You need the public to take you on a ride. How many people would have watched the Susan Boyle video if it cost 99 cents a viewing?

Ultimately, pricing is irrelevant if there's desire. You've got to build that desire. And what sells in today's world is authenticity. And difference. Where are the new acts that are authentic and different?

And different today means sans tattoos and drum machines. It means melodies and good voices. Rather than driving deeper into the niches, throw a broad lasso by basing your product on these fundamental values. Not that you have to. But if you go niche, expect to stay niche. That's the flaw in the thinking of those who support indie rock. They think these indie bands will blow up. But they can't. Because there's not that imprimatur, that radio and television exposure that made R.E.M. ubiquitous, that even gave Marilyn Manson a chance. If you start way off the radar, expect to stay way off the radar.

Unless you're not stylized, but good.

Yes was respected for its members' skills. Jon Anderson had a pretty voice. Therefore, their left field music could suddenly cross over. Whereas a band with bad voices and sketchy playing will stay left field.

We can discuss this over a cup of coffee. It's very complicated, and you're getting pissed off, coming up with exceptions.

The bottom line is don't expect your favorite to be mainstream unless it's got mainstream qualities. Elements that appeal to a vast quantity of people.

But, the caveat here is no one can predict the future. And mainstream is wider than the industry presently perceives it to be.

So you start somewhere and go on an adventure, not knowing exactly where you're going to end up. Chances yield results. If someone says no, you've got to say yes. You've got to have enough rough edges to hook people, but not be so offensive as to alienate them.

We're starting all over again. We're building music anew. And everybody with power today doesn't give a shit. Because starting means no revenue, no commission.

And those starting looking for an investor are barking up the wrong tree. Because these investors want returns, and only know how to do it the old way.

It truly is a D.I.Y. world. Mellencamp doesn't get that the same way Maureen Dowd doesn't get Twitter. Their years on the planet are clouding their eyes.

Start small, grow big. The eighties and nineties were an anomaly, when we all paid attention to MTV and Top Forty radio. The world has splintered. Music can unite it. But you've got to start with the music itself.



--
Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
--
If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,
http://www.lefsetz.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1
If you do not want to receive any more LefsetzLetters, http://lefsetz.com/lists?p=unsubscribe&uid=646e58a474464ad106bda3bfbd0b562c


Friday, April 24, 2009

Musical Tribute to the Torture Memos

Useless piece of trivia but there is involvement from an American Idol judge in this video. But not from who you think. Randy Jackson of the Jacksons is not the same idol judge as I found out. Paula Abdul choreographed this video.

People who are genuine always mean something to me. Do as I do not do as I say. The one thing that bugged me about Michael Jackson since 1983 was that he endorsed Pepsi and sang "Pepsi's good" but he never drank the stuff. That is just seen in most circles as a WHORE! Once he went there, anything is possible.

Don't go looking for him in this video. His own siblings are beneath him. He is not a team player.





Ed

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/21/obama.memos/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/21/obama.memos/index.html?iref=mpstoryview


Bush-era interrogation may have worked, Obama official saysStory Highlights
NEW: Intel. director memo says high-value info came from Bush-era interrogations

President Obama repeats belief that CIA officers shouldn't be prosecuted

"I do worry about this getting so politicized," president says




WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush-era interrogation techniques that many view as torture may have yielded important information about terrorists, President Obama's national intelligence director said in an internal memo.


A memo attributed to Intelligence Director Dennis Blair addresses Bush-era interrogation techniques.

1 of 2 "High-value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country," Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in a memo to personnel.

The memo, obtained by CNN late Tuesday, was sent around the time the administration released several memos from the previous administration detailing the use of terror interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

Obama left open the possibility of criminal prosecution Tuesday for former Bush administration officials who drew up the legal basis for aggressive interrogation techniques many view as torture.

Obama said it will be up to Attorney General Eric Holder to decide whether or not to prosecute the former officials.

"With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that is going to be more a decision for the attorney general within the parameter of various laws, and I don't want to prejudge that," Obama said during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House.

"There's a host of very complicated issues involved there. As a general deal, I think we should be looking forward and not backward.

"I do worry about this getting so politicized that we cannot function effectively, and it hampers our ability to carry out critical national security operations." Watch as Obama says U.S. can be protected and live up to its ideals �

The president added that any congressional "accounting of what took place" should be done "in a bipartisan fashion outside of the typical hearing process that can sometimes break down ... entirely along party lines."

It is important, he said, for the "American people to feel as if this is not being dealt with to provide one side or another political advantage."

Polls conducted shortly after Obama's inauguration seem to reflect a split among Americans on the issue.

A Gallup poll in early February showed that 38 percent of respondents favored a Justice Department criminal investigation of torture claims, 24 percent favored a noncriminal investigation by an independent panel, and 34 percent opposed either. A Washington Post poll about a week earlier showed a narrow percentage of Americans in favor of investigations.

Don't Miss
Cheney says he doesn't see much to apologize for
In CIA visit, Obama defends memos' release
Memo: Two al Qaeda leaders waterboarded 266 times
Ex-CIA chief under Bush: Obama risks national security
Obama's remarks on Tuesday came five days after the administration released four Bush-era memos detailing the use of terror interrogations such as waterboarding, a technique used to simulate drowning.

One memo showed that CIA interrogators used waterboarding -- which Obama has called torture -- at least 266 times on two top al Qaeda suspects.

The author of one of the memos that authorized those techniques, then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, is now a federal appeals court judge in California.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, has called for Bybee's impeachment, while Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, called for his resignation.

"If the White House and Mr. Bybee told the truth at the time of his nomination, he never would have been confirmed," Leahy said. "So actually, the honorable and decent thing for him to do now would be to resign. If he's an honorable and decent man, he will."

For now, Bybee's fate remains unclear.

Obama reiterated his belief that he did not think it is appropriate to prosecute those CIA officials and others who carried out the interrogations in question.

"This has been a difficult chapter in our history and one of [my] tougher decisions," he added. The techniques listed in memos "reflected ... us losing our moral bearings."

The president's apparent willingness to leave the door open to a prosecution of Bush officials seemed to contradict White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who indicated Sunday that the administration was opposed to such an action.

Obama believes "that's not the place that we [should] go," Emanuel said on ABC's "This Week."


"It's not a time to use our energy ... looking back [with] any sense of anger and retribution."

On Monday, Obama asserted during a visit to CIA headquarters that he had released the documents primarily because of the "exceptional circumstances that surrounded these memos, particularly the fact that so much of the information was [already] public. ... The covert nature of the information had been compromised."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For Those Truly Bored

Again, this might be called in the industry "a slow news day". If you live in an area where Makati is toll free for you then you may dial (02) 819-5106. Usually when you get an automated voice greeting on a commercial number, it's usually a woman. So what does that say the company chose to use my voice that people hear when they call in?

Ed

If you are feeling short changed by this post ( and who wouldn't?) then enjoy the video of Electric Light Orchestra's Telephone Line.

If not on multiply click here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Four Months Three Priests

Shame on me that it took the combined loss of three good men to get a mention here. When you consider all the trivial stuff this space is filled with. Our loss is heaven's gain. I admit that I am not a saint. But as long as you know the two things I will admit to being semi good at is speaking up for the unborn in a world that trivializes them and I help priests. Better late than never.







1) December 11 2008 Father Pat Lim. I first remember meeting him when I did my two years in the Philippine Stock Exchange. I found out later that he was good friends with the family so I may have met him earlier. I served for him when he did the First Friday masses in the building. I will never forget his sermon pre Edsa II. Do you want our country to symbolize the mistresses and the mansions? That was the main point of the impeachment trial. More information about him here.






2) March 13 2009 Fr. Tom Green Again a good friend of the Jalandonis. For years he was just a voice on the phone to me. I would call him to confirm our service was done properly. He was a key figure in the later life of my aunt and he meant so much to her. He spoke at her funeral but we never got a chance to speak. We did get our chance a year later and you can see that picture here. I was partnered with my other uncle that evening and Fr. Green joined our table late. Sporting a beer which we had not seen earlier . We remarked on his beverage and his only reply was " beer is only for the clergy." Anyway please read about him from people that knew him better than I did.









3) April 17 2009 Fr. Jerome Angulo

I don't have too much to say about Fr. Jerome except we are the same age. I also think that in the last year and a half of his life it seems to me he did well in a post that I personally would find difficult. His post required him to get a collection of various souls going in the same direction. That collection ranged from the very pious to the very superficial and all points in between. I have seen politicians here manipulate the Church for their own ends. If they truly used the Church for what they are supposed to then they would leave their campaigning and ill intentions at the door. Sadly that is not the case. I really avoid San Antonio on the weekends because many treat it as the place to be seen. A place to throw their weight around. Not necessarily a place conducive to worship. Because a sad by product of having a Catholic majority is the Church is part of society. Whatever shallow behavior exists for the benefit of spectators on the outside gets dragged to the inside. So my Sundays I choose churches with less pretentious parishioners. Father Jerome took this challenge as his last duty on Earth and I hope he has made a difference.


***************************************************

There you have it. Three men whose mission on Earth is over. I am glad those three made their way into my life.



Ed


addendum: Should anyone argue with what I said about San Antonio. Please know I have witnessed personally being used as a platform for elections. A year and a half ago I remember they made the simple act of bringing up the offertory a barangay election ploy. Saying who was bringing what and what they were running for. If any San Antonio people get pissed by what I said in piece, explain that??















Related Links


http://monkshobbit.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/fr-danny-huang-sj-on-the-death-of-fr-thomas-h-green-sj-1932-2009/

http://read.i.ph/blogs/read/2009/03/14/for-fr-tom-green/

http://blogs.gmanews.tv/sidetrip/blog/index.php?/archives/421-Retreat-to-heaven.html

http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/journal/item/214/Jimmy_V_Foundation_all_about_Love_Living_and_Fighting_Cancer

http://edrlopez.blogspot.com/2009/04/walang-hiya.html


http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/tag/erap

Tags: priests, death , San Antonio

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obama Recruiting tool for the Pro Life Movement



Bob Casey Jr. (pictured here), an anti-abortion Democrat who campaigned vigorously for Obama, has received more mail on abortion than on any other issue in 2009.

Photo: AP




I kid you not, read the story. Link provided.


He just has that effect. He has cranked up the abortions to levels that only the neocommunists are comfortable with. There have been liberal US presidents before but not as abortion driven as this guy.


The perception is that he is a family guy. Well this is his reality. The sizzle does not match the steak.The slogan was change we can believe in. Is going against what made America great in favor of Marxism something people can believe in?




I wish that Obama would spend 10% of the effort he spends sucking up to terrorists and hostile forces , and spend some effort pleasing pro life people. It's not going to happen because that is one thing he won't do. Terrorists and war criminals deserve the benefit of doubt but pro lifers don't deserve the time of day. I said this before. He should do the right thing and abort himself. Put his money where his mouth and veto pen are.That will be change I can believe in.




On the same note, I am also providing a youtube clip I found on this very topic.The OBAMACIDE is a clip worth watching. You guys know I hate the oxymoron known as rap music . The clip below , I can not question the intent since it mirrors my own. I do not like rap but the clip validates my feelings. By choosing a rap/ spoken word format , the creator saved himself the trouble of creating a melody. Take from that what you will.




Ed



http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/21158.html

Obama boosts anti-abortion efforts
By: Carrie Budoff Brown
April 13, 2009 04:25 AM EST

The first hint of a stir came just after Election Day, when the computer servers at Americans United for Life crashed. People were swamping the Web site to sign a petition urging President-elect Barack Obama to stand firm against abortion.

“I got a call from one of our guys, ‘We have a problem,’ ” said Charmaine Yoest, the group’s president and chief executive officer. “And I was like, ‘The problem would be what?’”

Obama’s first 84 days in office have been like an extended recruiting drive for the anti-abortion movement, reinvigorating a constituency he sought to neutralize during the campaign. Activists report a noticeable spike in activity as Obama moves to defend and expand a woman’s right to choose an abortion – causing anti-abortion voters to mobilize in ways never needed during the Bush administration. So far this year:

— The Susan B. Anthony List says its supporters sent more anti-abortion-related letters, e-mails and faxes to Obama and lawmakers in the first quarter alone than during each of the last two years.

— The American Life League reported a 30 percent uptick in donations over last year.

— Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr., an anti-abortion Democrat who campaigned vigorously for Obama, has received more mail on abortion than on any other issue in 2009, spokesman Larry Smar said.
See Also

* Hot contest over 'card check' continues
* Rick Warren explains cancellation
* Obama signed off on taking out pirates

Activists have sent more than 100,000 postcards urging Casey to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act, which would guarantee the right to abortion in federal law. Obama told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in July 2007 that “the first thing I’d do as president” is sign the act. “It’s been our biggest organized mailing,” Smar said.

— More than 261,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Notre Dame to withdraw its invitation for Obama to speak at the Catholic university’s May 17 commencement. The petition says Obama has carried out “some of the most anti-life actions of any American president," including expanding taxpayer-funded research on embryonic stem cells.

— And Americans United for Life plans to expand its plans to expand its staff in Washington and, after the post-election crash, recently upgraded its computer system to handle the bump in online activism.

It’s no surprise that Obama supports abortion rights. What’s been surprising to these groups is a quick succession of policy and personnel moves by Obama as president – moves they say belie the words of Candidate Obama, who pledged to change the national conversation about abortion.

“President Obama is losing favor with many who might have supported him at first but have become very disturbed with his actions on pro-life issues,” said the Rev. Frank S. Page, a member of the president’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention. “Some of us have been disturbed with the rapid pace he has moved to dismantle some of the few protections that remain for the unborn.

“The verbalization that he wishes to find common ground – we are just not seeing that,” Page said.

"I am seeing an increase in activity amongst groups that it is time to make the decision makers know what we feel."

The series of decisions started with Obama’s move soon after taking office to lift federal funding restrictions on overseas family planning groups. Later, he moved to repeal Bush-era conscience protections for medical professionals. And his stem-cell decision angered groups that consider it tantamount to ending a human life, because the embryos must be destroyed to retrieve the cells.

But his personnel moves also have caused alarm. Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius fought attempts to dial back abortion rights as Kansas governor. Obama’s communications director Ellen Moran previously ran EMILY’s List, which backed women candidates who supported abortion rights. Obama’s pick to run the powerful Office of Legal Counsel inside the Justice Department, Dawn Johnsen, was previously legal director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League in the late 1980s and early 1990s.



The White House took steps earlier this month to shift the narrative. Obama’s chief domestic policy adviser, Melody Barnes, assembled a conference call to kick off its abortion reduction initiative, asking for examples of successful local programs and announcing plans to hold a series of meetings on the issue.

Obama also has appointed at least four religious leaders to the Council on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships who oppose abortion.

“The president understands that this is a difficult issue with strong perspectives on both sides,” White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said in a statement. “He looks forward to working with a range of partners to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, encourage adoption and reduce the need for abortion.”

These steps haven't mollified the right, where the intensity is strongest. But even some moderates, who have been far less critical of Obama, acknowledge concern in their ranks.

Stephen Schneck, a Catholic University political science professor, took issue with the way Obama handled the stem-cell announcement, saying it lacked sufficient acknowledgment of the moral complexities of the research.

“I'm caught flat-footed by the administration's casualness and lack of public reflection in making this decision,” Schneck wrote in a blog post on the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good website. “But, then, I'm always surprised by progressives who don't understand those of us who are horrified (or even squeamish) about the technological use of embryos.”

Obama should have moved earlier on his “common ground” initiatives as a way to build trust, Schneck said in an interview.

“From the pro-life side, even among those with a fondness for Obama, it would have been nice to see some front-loading,” Schneck said.

To be sure, anti-abortion voters were never going to support Obama wholeheartedly, but because he worked hard during the campaign not to play up his differences with them, any signs that they are mobilized could cause him trouble down the road.

Obama won the Catholic vote in November, and did better among Protestants than 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry.

In a poll released last week, Obama’s disapproval ratings among Catholic and Protestant voters rose between February and April, but it was consistent with an increase in dissatisfaction among all voters. The fluctuation among white evangelicals was more severe, according to the survey by the Pew Center for the People and the Press. A 31 percent disapproval rating in February jumped to 47 percent in April, making it one of the steeper spikes among demographic groups.

Despite his criticism, Page, the former Southern Baptist Convention president, said the White House remains open to listening. He pressed aides last week about the conscience regulation, and “felt a slight bit of encouragement” that doctors who do not believe in abortions will be protected, Page said.

And some moderate anti-abortion advocates stand by Obama. Catholics United and three other groups started an online petition in support of Obama at Notre Dame that already has received more than 33,100 signatures.

Douglas Kmiec, a former legal counsel to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush who crafted the Catholic case for Obama in 2008, echoed the sentiments of progressives last month while defending his continued support for the president.

“So the political antagonists of the president can ‘call me out’ if they want,” Kmiec wrote in response to questions from the U.S. News and World Report blog "God and Country.”

“Though I think their time would be better spent seeing the larger picture of the economic and related cultural challenges which face the nation and how the president brings great intelligence and open-mindedness to the needs of many who previously were invisible to the governmental process.”

But anti-abortion activists say their e-mail lists, grassroots organization and online traffic show something is happening.

“A lot of activists are waking up,” said Joy Yearout, political director the Susan B. Anthony List. “For eight years we had President Bush and his veto pen to protect us – and we don’t have that anymore.”

© 2009 Capitol News Company, LLC







Related links:


http://www.mediafire.com/?qdgzdyr2hid (mp3 of Obamacide)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y1eXj3NMtQ Jesus Disciple Obamacide video

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/3/10/antiabortion-obama-backer-doug-kmiec-answers-antiabortion-critics.html



http://www.fightfoca.com/



Note from you tube discussion thread:


Now, that's sad: the image at 3:49 of the woman covering her son's eyes so that he won't see people praying for an end to abortion.









Thursday, April 16, 2009

How I Discovered the Potential Danger of Drugs








The following is a long article and it's an honest article. Dad for years had a subscription to Sports Illustrated then at around 1987 I got my own and kept reading. What you have to know about SI even if you do not know your touchdowns from your icing calls is that they have really really good stories. It just so happens it is usually about athletes or the politics in athletics. As a kid you always heard drugs are bad but for some that was the appeal. They had a beef against the older generation and that generation said drugs were bad or worse said drugs were bad but used it themselves.

The following may not be easy to read but for me it rings sincerity. If it may not read easy, it's because it was probably no cake walk living through it. The story may be 25+ years old but is applicable today with all the drug problems the kids today are going through and potentially will go through. The saying goes "Experience is a name we give our mistakes". Another saying goes " A wise man learns from his mistakes and an even wiser man learns from other people's mistakes before he makes them himself" . Well you have the opportunity to let yourself and others learn from the mistakes of Don Reese. He poured his heart, soul and inner demons so that others can learn from his mistakes. I read this at the right time in my life, in high school and 25+ years ago. I was never tempted much but always had this anal, close minded attitude towards it , what little opportunity there was.


In Remember The Titans, Denzel Washington's character tells his kids-


This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other.


Reminding them the stakes are still high, even if it's not a battlefield with hot lead. Yet.





I love football as some of you know. Still read this excerpt from the story below. How the players were treated like meat. This of course was during a time when there was no testing.


Nobody really checks like they should, of course. The league could attack the drug problem in a minute with urine tests, but they steer off that land mine because the Players Association objects so strenuously. It's crazy, really. You object to something that will prove you're doing wrong, and you get carte blanche to keep on doing it. In sports involving dogs and horses, they take tests all the time. And Olympic athletes have to be tested. But they don't dare test the players in the NFL. It's crazy.


Read the key sentence again. This is why I hate unions. They are not focused on the whole. All they care about protection. Although protection from what??? Unions are like an Enabler parent. You know the ones. They think giving their drunkard son a fast car is love then they are so shocked when they send their 3 passengers plus a cab driver and his passenger to the hospital. That kind of enabler. That sentence is so key " You object to something that will prove you're doing wrong. That is why baseball is in the rut that it is in. There was no foresight or due diligence or sincere concern for well being. It was just after the turnstiles.




I will not argue with you that this may seem like a long read but even if it took 45 minutes, what is that against the lifetime of hell a serious drug problem can bring to a family?


I normally don't encourage coercion. But if you agree with me that this is a must read specially for your son or daughter then I made a list of questions for them to answer to make sure this is read. You don't have to use my questions but whatever you feel in your heart will make them comprehend the gravity of the situation. Block off an hour with your child and have them read it back to you word for word if you have to. At some point you will have to exhibit tough love with the world going the way that it is. This story I feel is applicable no matter what. It can help prevent the slide. It can be a starting step in stopping the slide. This can be a gift.





1. How badly did Don Reese need cocaine? What did he resort to?
2. What did he do when he did not have the money for his badly needed drugs. How did his wife take it?
3. What did his dealer do to him in New Orleans?
4. How would you feel if you were Don Reese's wife? What situations did the family experience?
5. What did Reese do in college that started his drug abuse spiral?
6. Does anything about Reese's experience sound cool?






Jim Rohn said more or less that it is common place for successful people to give seminars. But failures should give seminars too. Well you are witness to a seminar given by a man weak enough to fail yet strong enough to give you the reasons why he failed and the terrible cost to him. He has already paid the price and yet you can learn from that. That is some opportunity.

Well Don Reese failed to win the battle in the prime of his career to drugs but he did succeed in this stark documentation of his fight. Right now with his painful words he is giving us a seminar. So that you all can avoid that pitfall.

This is a beautiful story about a very very very ugly problem. That ugly problem could be tormenting your life now. That ugly problem may rear it's ugly head into your life soon. It is beautiful because it would have been easy for Don Reese not to write this. But he stared at hell and told us what it was like. We seldom get opportunities like this. I admit I am a sports fanatic but rarely do you see something as constructive born out of something so destructive the way Don Reese and John Underwood did here. In any other field that others enjoy if they don't like sports: fashion, anime etc. This is reality . I have been blogging for 4 years and I have never seen anything like this. Take a lesson from the dead. Circulate this.






Ed


Ultimate fate of Don Reese:


http://www.lifeinlegacy.com/2003/WIR20030920.html


http://www.nytimes.com/1982/08/29/sports/sports-of-the-times-don-reese-makes-new-friends.html?sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all





Ed






http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1016996/index.htm





http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1122638/index.htm

http://www.meaningoflife.i12.com/problems.htm


http://www.jimrohn.com/




June 14, 1982

'I'm Not Worth A Damn'


Cocaine ruined Don Reese's NFL career and put his life in jeopardy. The same insidious drug, he says, is messing up NFL players and games




Cocaine arrived in my life with my first-round draft into the National Football League in 1974. It has dominated my life, one way or another, almost every minute since. Eventually, it took control and almost killed me. It may yet. Cocaine can be found in quantity throughout the NFL. It's pushed on players, often from the edge of the practice field. Sometimes it's pushed by players. Prominent players. Just as it controlled me, it now controls and corrupts the game, because so many players are on it. To ignore this fact is to be shortsighted and stupid. To turn away from it the way the NFL does—the way the NFL turned its back on me when I cried for help two years ago—is a crime...


...Users call cocaine "the lady." The lady has a widespread acceptance in the best of circles. However, those of us who are—or were—hooked can tell you it's no lady. And until I am cured, I consider myself hooked. Even now, talking about it makes me want it. I can feel the familiar signals going through my body, making my heart beat faster.


I am 30 years old, and desperate. A 6'6", 280-pound desperate man who should have known better. Who knew better, because I was raised better. Six weeks ago I took myself out of society (and out of football, which I don't intend to play again) to a rehabilitation hospital where help was available, and I think, I pray, I've seen the light. But to see it, I had to see a lot more.


I had to see myself depicted in the press and on television and everywhere else as a drug dealer, even if my dealing was a silly one-shot kind of deal that was more naive than evil.


I had to see the jailhouse door slammed shut, and know I wouldn't walk free again for a year. As bad as that was, it still didn't cure me. I got worse after I was freed.


I had to see my family shy from me, the wife I doubt I could live without grow disgusted, the mother and father I love and respect grow ashamed. I had to see players I considered close friends go through the same deterioration, their lives messed up, their talent blowing away.


I saw my own fortune wasted—thousands and thousands of dollars, down the drain. I now know the embarrassment of hiding from creditors, of having checks bounce and cars repossessed. I was like a man at his own funeral as my career as a defensive lineman went from what I thought was the brink of All-Pro in 1979 to the edge of oblivion in 1981.


And I saw more. I saw the dark side of the drug world, from a frightening perspective. Twice I looked down the barrel of a loaded gun, held by men who said they would kill me if I didn't pay the debts I owed. Debts for cocaine. At this writing, I owe drug dealers $30,000, and there's a bullet scar in my home in New Orleans because one dealer tried to scare me into paying. I couldn't pay.


I now see myself as a miserable human being, not worth a damn. I reached the point where I really wanted to die. To kill myself. One night in Miami I went into the streets looking for enough heroin to do the job. Other times I put the barrel of my own gun into my mouth, and practiced pulling the trigger.


Here's what it's like to be a big-time football player in America and screwed up: In New Orleans, where the drugs got to be so bad in 1980, I began getting blackouts in my thinking. Like climbing a ladder with rungs missing. I couldn't hold conversations without my mind going off somewhere. I thought I was losing it. I was in a stupor much of the time. I had no conception of day and night. My little boys, Myron Paul, 7, and Philip Charles, 2, are crazy about me. Every morning they would come and jump on me in bed, playing on me like little deer. I would remember them doing that, and I wouldn't be aware of anything else until they came and jumped on me again at four in the afternoon.










I hate football. I hate the NFL. I know those feelings aren't completely rational, that I am responsible for my actions before anyone else. But I feel them just the same. I wish now I'd never made the decision to play the game beyond high school. I wish I'd never accepted a college scholarship. I wish I'd stuck to my word when I said I didn't want to play pro ball. I think I would be a better person, whole, today.


Football—the environment, not the game itself—as good as wrecked my life. I should have been smarter. I should have been stronger. I know that. But drugs dominate the game, and I got caught up in them, and before I knew it I was freebasing cocaine. And then I was a zombie.


The lady is a monster, a home wrecker and a life wrecker. In the body of a skilled athlete, she's a destroyer of talent. Right this minute she's spoiling the careers of great athletes you pay to watch on Sunday afternoon. Even the super ones like Chuck Muncie, who I think potentially is the greatest player in the game. Muncie has to be a superman to do what he does on the field and use coke the way he does off it. I single Chuck out because I love him like a brother, and if he ever got off this stuff he would be like two Jim Browns. Somebody has to shock hell out of the players of this game and scare the league. I hope I do that. I'm scared myself. Scared to death it won't happen. The NFL is heading for catastrophe. Drugs are causing it.


But even if you don't give a damn about the players, if you care about the game you have to be alarmed. What you see on the tube on Sunday afternoon is often a lie. When players are messed up, the game is messed up. The outcome of games is dishonest when playing ability is impaired. You can forget about point spreads or anything else in that kind of atmosphere. All else being equal, you line up 11 guys who don't use drugs against 11 who do—and the guys who don't will win every time.


If you're a team on drugs, you'll never play up to your potential, at least not for more than a quarter or so. Then it's downhill fast. I've known times on the field when the whole stadium blacked out on me. Plays I should have made easily I couldn't make at all. I was too strung out from the cocaine. It was like playing in a dream. I didn't think anybody else was out there.


Pittsburgh has always been a clean team, and look how long the Steelers stayed on top. Miami was clean until it started winning Super Bowls, then it changed. I was there when it was changing. New Orleans lost 14 games in a row in 1980, when freebasing became a popular pastime in the NFL. New Orleans was a horror show. Players snorted coke in the locker room before games and again at halftime, and stayed up all hours of the night roaming the streets to get more stuff. I know. I was one of them. San Diego is a team that should have won the Super Bowl twice by now, as talented as it is. San Diego has a big drug problem. For a short time, I was part of it. I played my last football in San Diego in 1981.


Ask the people who are using and they'll tell you that a cocaine cloud covers the entire league. I think most coaches know this or have a good idea. Except the dumb ones. Dick Nolan must have suspected that we were on the stuff in New Orleans, because he asked me about it a couple of times. Don Shula was too sharp to let it go by unnoticed in Miami, and we had to be extra careful around him. Don Coryell must have known in San Diego.


I have to think the owners know. Or at least have heard. I know John Mecom Jr. found out in New Orleans, because we talked about it later. He systematically broke up the Saints team during that time, and I think for that reason. I know that Mr. Mecom loved Chuck Muncie, and he got rid of him just the same.


Cocaine is a .38 at the head of every player in the game. And it's getting easier to put your finger on the trigger all the time. I had 15 different sources for cocaine in New Orleans. Dealers even had a "beeper" system in operation there, just like doctors. Ring up your friendly coke supplier, wait for the beep, leave your order and in minutes get a delivery at your front door.


I've seen dealers literally standing on the practice fields of the NFL, guys everybody knew. They're not there to make the game better. What they do, and what they know about the players, can't possibly be good for the game.










You know all this if you're a player. You might not know for sure who's really hooked, but the heavy users are easily spotted—the big heaving chests, the sweat pouring down, the nervous energy, and most of all the decline in effectiveness. You see a player coming off the field complaining about phantom injuries and you know he's probably messed up. He's coming out of the game because he needs to come off. I asked to be demoted in New Orleans in 1980. I didn't want to be first team anymore, considering the condition I'd let myself get into by then.


And in the privacy of locker rooms, players talk about it. And argue.


In San Diego, Fred Dean, the defensive lineman, used to yell at us. Dean was clean. He didn't even drink beer. None of the Chargers I freebased with would do anything around Dean. But the Chargers had Dean so screwed up over his contract he was always up tight, and he'd yell at the players in the locker room: "Why don't you freebasing bastards get the hell outta here! You're killing us!" Fred got lucky. The Chargers got so tired of listening to his tirades that they traded him to the San Francisco 49ers last season. And what happened when Fred got to San Francisco? The 49ers won the Super Bowl, with Fred playing a big role—the biggest role, in fact—on the defensive line.


The reality of how contagious it has become hit me a year ago in New Orleans just before I got released by the Saints and picked up by the Chargers. The Saints had come off the misery of 1980 without much hope of anything better. My own life was a mess. I was high half the time, and wishing I was the other half. But for a while I got myself straight, and a few of us started working out, getting ready for a new start. Then this rookie running back showed up at mini-camp.


I'd never met the kid. Never even seen him play. But we were in the dressing room, and he and another dude came over to where I was standing. He said, "Hey, man, I understand you're the one can put us on to a little coke." I couldn't believe it. I said, "Get your ass away from me." He disgusted me. He hadn't played a lick in the league, and here he was talking like Captain Cocaine. Then I realized what I was looking at: me seven years before. Just as eager to screw up my life then as he was now.


Two months ago I got a letter from my mother in Prichard, Alabama. My mother is a beautiful person, in every way. Very compassionate, very perceptive. I hate myself for ever causing her a moment's pain. All this time I had thought I had kept most of my disgrace from her. I was kidding myself. In the letter, she told me exactly what I had been doing. From A to Z. And why it was wrong, from every standpoint. She begged me to see a doctor. She said if anything happened again like what happened in Miami, when I got arrested and sent to jail, it would kill her.


It was like a fist in the face. All along she had known. When I look back on all of it now and realize what it did to my family, I'm amazed they stuck by me. But if they hadn't, I'd probably be dead.


I take shelter in none of the standard excuses for being where I am. I wasn't raised in a ghetto, scratching for bread or fighting for turf. I knew no poverty or hunger. I came from a strong, loving, God-fearing family that taught the responsibilities and joys of hard work. I learned those things early. And later on, I married the best woman a man could have. That sure didn't hurt me. So Don Reese can't blame his downfall on anybody but Don Reese. My progress down the ladder of success is Horatio Alger in reverse.


There were 11 children born to Albert and Osie Dean Reese, and I was the fourth, the third of eight boys. My father was no respecter of sex. He treated us all like daughters. I wasn't allowed to go out until I was 17 or so. I didn't smoke or drink, either, and a marijuana cigarette was something I only heard about. Education, not pot, was pushed on all of us. Albert Jr. and my oldest sister, Gladys, both went to college. My brother Eddie played football at Grambling.


I really didn't want to go to college to play football myself. I'd have been content to stay in Prichard forever. I got a letter from Alabama asking if I'd be interested in being one of the Bear's first black players, and I certainly didn't want that. But there were a number of scholarship offers, and my father very skillfully changed my mind about playing football in college. I know how strongly he felt, because I was going to sit out one game in high school due to an injury, and when I asked him if I could use the car to take a girl, he said, "Hell, no. If you don't play, you don't use the car." He had started a vault [grave digging] company when I was 15 or 16, and four days a week he had me up at 6 a.m. and on the road digging graves. Sometimes I'd dig four or five a day, with a pick and shovel. Sometimes the funeral procession would be coming down the road and I'd still be digging. And if the work made me bigger and stronger, it also made me realize I didn't want to do that the rest of my life, either. College football seemed like a good place to hide.










I wound up at Jackson State, a mostly black college in Mississippi, partly because I had an uncle who played there and partly because it was only 180 miles away. My father supplied me with wheels—a 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 396, the slickest car on campus—and I became a college boy, with a diamond in one pierced ear and the hair piled high on my head, looking every bit the punk a lot of people probably thought I was. I always say I eased out of Jackson State, but that's not quite right. There was nothing easy about it. Jackson was the best of times, and the beginning of the worst.


I met my wife, Paulette, at Jackson. And I was a football hero. My play as a defensive end got me an invitation to both the Senior Bowl and the Coaches All-America Game, and eventually got me drafted in the first round—number 26 overall—by the Dolphins.


But I was in trouble all through college. Little things, mainly. Breaking curfew, jumping the wall to visit Paulette off campus. But drugs were never a problem until the very end, and then only marginally. My junior year, I smoked my first reefer. They were plentiful on the Jackson State campus by that time, and I was curious. Paulette and I and three other couples took some rooms at a hotel in Jackson for a party, and the Greeks—the fraternity guys—brought in some marijuana. It seemed like they always seemed to have it.


Actually, we were more into drinking then. We drank Ripple wine, or that Mogen David 20/20 everybody calls "Mad Dog" because it's 20 percent alcohol and looks like blood and can knock you on your tail. But I tried a reefer with the others at the hotel. And like everything else I try for the first time, wine included, it made me sick.


A couple weeks later I tried one again, with some players in the football dorm. This time I kind of liked it. We all got a little buzz on, and we sat around listening to music, and it was cool. I smoked it fairly often after that, usually after games at parties, and then in the off-season. But if I said I used it more than once every couple weeks, it's probably an exaggeration. I know I never paid for it. The guys just had it, and they passed it around.


My career at Jackson State ended on Thanksgiving night of my senior season, after we had beaten Alcorn State in our last game. We were celebrating, and one of the guys sneaked a couple of majorettes into the dorm, and a group of us went up to my room to smoke some reefers. We had barely lit up when there was a banging on the door: "Reese!" It was Coach Bob Hill. "I know what's going on in there, Reese. Just pack your bags and get the hell out of here. We don't want you here anymore." I left school right away.


Then came the day Don Shula called to tell me Miami had drafted me. I was all pumped up. The Dolphins sent a scout to bring me to Miami to negotiate. We were the only two in first class out of Mobile. "You're in the big time now, baby," he said. "Order anything you like." I ordered a vodka and orange juice. Then a gin and orange juice. Then a bourbon and orange juice. I was flying high.


Joe Robbie, the owner of the Dolphins, gave me a $45,000 bonus to sign, and a three-year contract calling for $28,000 the first year, then $30,000, then $30,000 again. That's important to remember. Abner Haynes, a former player, was my agent. He took his cut off the top of the bonus, and they took some more for taxes, and I wound up with $9,000 to buy myself a new car. That was about all I saw of my signing bonus.


Then Haynes took me back to his place in Dallas "to celebrate." If I knew then what I know now, I'd have skipped Dallas and gotten my rear end back to Prichard. But I was going to be a big shot. In a Dallas Holiday Inn, downtown, I sat in a room and watched some people take out these little brown vials of white powder, pour it on a glass, cut shares with a razor blade, and then sniff it up their noses. My first look at cocaine.


I didn't do any. I wanted to, just to try it, but I didn't. The next night they snorted again, at an apartment, with some of the other players Abner had under contract, but I passed again. I left the party early and went back to my room, still a virgin.










While I was in Dallas I got a call from Jackson State asking me to come back to the campus—the same campus I had been kicked off—to be honored. The frog had become a prince. I never got my degree, but I have pictures of me shaking hands with the governor.


I was still clean when I went to Miami's training camp. I remember how impressed I was seeing the big names of the Dolphins in the locker room—Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris and Larry Little. Little had gold all over him, and those two Super Bowl rings, and I thought, "Damn, wait'll I get me one of those suckers."


I tried coke for the first time that week, right there in a room at Biscayne College in North Miami. Lloyd Mumphord brought some to the room. Mumphord had played for Texas Southern in the same league I'd been in at Jackson, and he was a regular defensive back for the Dolphins. We divided it up, and he and I tooted it through a straw. It seemed natural enough. I heard a lot of the guys were doing it, and if they were doing it, why shouldn't I? The only regret I had was that it burned my nose. But I got a terrific tingling sensation, and then a sudden and powerful need to go to the bathroom. I remember sitting there and thinking, "Dang, this is the best s——I ever had."


The next week I tried it again, a little heavier. This time I really felt it—wiinnnnnngggg, opening up my nostrils and going right to my toes and back up again. From then on, I was available whenever it was available. By the time the season started, I was snorting at least once a week.


I never paid for it. Not then. I'd guess half the players on the Dolphins—whites as well as blacks—were using it in small amounts, as "recreational" doses, you could say.


After a while I realized I would have to find it on my own occasionally, so Mumphord put me on to a Cuban dealer named Juan, and he was my principal source. Juan had a place in Little Havana. I'd call and he'd say, "Come on by," and I'd go get it. I only had to pay $40 a gram at that point. The players always got it cheap, if they paid at all, which should tell you something. I didn't give it much thought one way or another. It was fun. It was "sociable." I liked it. I wanted it.


And my want grew just like a cancer. I went up to two grams and then to what people called "eighths"—three and a half grams. An eighth is a "big snorter." Later on, tragically for me, I learned it's also a "small baser" or freebaser. You really can't freebase with less than an eighth. The going rate for that now is around $325. But I didn't know what freebasing was then. That piece of carnal knowledge came much later.


By 1976, my third season at Miami, I was riding the crest—a starter at defensive tackle, with a lot of good publicity. My coke use was expanding, too. I had about 12 sources; some I paid, some I didn't have to. You get lulled into believing the bargain rates will last forever. And it was still a well-hidden exercise. I didn't think so at the time, but the best thing we had going for us at Miami was Don Shula. He's smart, and he's been around players too long not to see things. Everybody always had to be on their toes. That kept the lid on. Mercury Morris said Shula asked him once if he was on anything. Merc said no.


I didn't use it before games at Miami, and I don't think many Dolphins did. We sure as hell didn't use it in the locker room. If you're only snorting, you can do without coke before a game. It's after a game that you want it bad. The only real chances we took at Miami were on plane rides back from road games. The coaches always sat up front, and we'd be in the back where it was dark, with our little brown bottles that held about a gram, and we'd sit and sniff right out of the bottle. Or if we were being extra cautious, we'd slip into the bathroom and sniff it there. It's almost impossible to tell when you're doing that little, especially under circumstances where you're supposed to look strung out.


A Dolphin assistant coach would come back and see me dead in my seat, all sprawled out, and say to me, "You tired, Don?"










And I'd say, "You know it, man." What I was feeling was no pain. Coked out.


Nobody really checks like they should, of course. The league could attack the drug problem in a minute with urine tests, but they steer off that land mine because the Players Association objects so strenuously. It's crazy, really. You object to something that will prove you're doing wrong, and you get carte blanche to keep on doing it. In sports involving dogs and horses, they take tests all the time. And Olympic athletes have to be tested. But they don't dare test the players in the NFL. It's crazy.


After a while, I began snorting it at our home in Hialeah. I'd stay up, waiting for Paulette to put Myron Paul to bed, and then I'd take some cocaine out and toot it. One night I even got Paulette to try it, but one sniff and she said, "Unh-unh. That ain't me."


On May 4, 1977, the bubble burst. It was bizarre, and it was dumb, and when I look back I still can't believe I did it. For a lousy 500 bucks, I threw my career into the toilet.


Randy Crowder and I were never drug "dealers." The first time we tried "dealing" was the only time, and like the amateurs we were, we screwed it up every way possible. I don't think Randy would have done it at all if I hadn't talked him into it. He was a good person, a starting defensive lineman for the Dolphins, and when the "opportunity" first came up he was dead against it.


Here's what happened. One night Randy and I went down to Mercury Morris' house to play some basketball and drink some beer, and when we dropped back by Randy's place—he wasn't married then; he lived alone—an airlines stewardess named Camille Richardson called. She said she wanted to buy some coke. Camille had tooted with us before. She said she had a problem and needed to get some to sell. Randy said, "Girl, you must be crazy. No way."


But Camille persisted. She said her mother was sick in the hospital, and the bill was running close to 5,000 bucks, and that's what she figured she could make on a coke deal, selling it "to a couple guys from Philadelphia." If we got it for her. Dumb Don Reese fell for it like a ton of bricks. The little professor in my mind said, "Hey, you can make something on this transaction without even getting involved."


I talked to a dealer the next day. He said there was a "lot of good stuff in town, at a good price." I called Randy and told him we should go along. Just pass it from one hand to the other and take a middleman's cut. He was still reluctant.


This went on for eight or nine days. Camille changed her story. She said the Philadelphia guys wanted to come in and get it that week, but now they needed a pound and they'd pay $18,000 or $19,000 for it. I was still willing. I figured if we bought a pound for $13,000, we could cover Camille's mother's expenses and still split a thousand bucks between us. Just to make the switch. Finally, everyone agreed.


It rained hard all morning on May 4, a bad omen. Randy and I drove to Camille's place in Randy's baby-blue Lincoln Continental, and the cars were flooding out all around us. We were unlucky. We got through. I should have known something was wrong immediately because Camille's apartment was practically cleaned out. I said, "Camille, you didn't tell me you were moving." She said, "Oh yeah, I have a new place."










We tooted a little on the way over to meet the "buyers" and got lost, but we finally met them at the Green Dolphin restaurant in Miamarina. After she introduced us, Camille left..."to make a flight." Randy and I took the two guys outside to the Lincoln to talk. One of them said, "We can only pay $15,000." I said, "Man, that's not near enough." We dickered, and they agreed to pay $18,000. I pulled out a half ounce for one of them to sample. I was watching in the rearview mirror and it looked like he faked sniffing it, but he said, "Hey, man, this is good," so I let it pass.


"You want it then?"


"We want it."


We arranged to meet at the Holiday Inn on Brickell Avenue in Miami to make the switch. But when Randy and I left to get the stuff, I began to get antsy. I told him we ought to meet at the Ramada Inn on LeJeune Road instead. I could get adjoining rooms, and we could check them out before we made the final commitment. I got my car and went to Little Havana and bought the stuff from the dealer, and when I walked into the Ramada Inn there was a call waiting for me at the desk. It was Randy. He said the Philadelphia guys wouldn't come way over there in the rain, they were "afraid they'd get lost," and for me to bring it to the Holiday Inn as originally planned. I didn't know it then, but the Ramada Inn is outside the jurisdiction of the Miami police.


By this time I was so nervous I couldn't sit still. Scared stiff, actually. I drove around the Holiday Inn six times before I went inside. I had two bags in the car with me—the bag of coke and a bag of bread. I took the bread inside. As I walked through the lobby I began getting really bad vibes. But I kept on walking and went to the room, and they were there drinking beer.


"Where you been, man?"


"It's still raining outside," I said.


"Where's the stuff?"


"Right here."


And I handed them the bread. If I hadn't said another word, we might never have been arrested. But I got a pang of conscience, or an attack of ignorance, or something, and I said, "Wait a minute. This isn't it. The stuffs in the car." And I went back down and got the coke.










When I walked through the door again and they checked it out, the room exploded with cops. One hit me on the head and another put a gun down my throat. Randy panicked and tried to back off the bed where he was sitting, and they jumped on him and beat hell out of him. It was a nightmare. In the wink of an eye we had turned from prominent big league athletes to common criminals.


I said, "Oh, my God, what have we done?"


One of the detectives took me into the other room and said, "O.K., Don, we'll make you a deal. You tell us which players are messing with this stuff and where you're getting it, and we'll let you go. Shula won't know, Robbie won't know." I said, "I don't know where it came from. I'd tell you, but I don't know." They tried the same thing on Randy, and then they took us to jail, to a holding cell, where the magnitude of our predicament really hit Randy. He went wild, yelling and beating on the wall. He was sick that his parents would find out. I knew it would break my mother's heart, and I thought it would probably end my marriage.


We got busted at about 7:30 p.m. We were in jail until almost 1 a.m., and then we got out on bail. When I got home, Paulette met me at the door, sobbing. It had been on the late news. We were both numb. I prayed all night that night. I saw the sun come up. The next three months were pure hell. Our trial had been announced, and nobody would touch us. My parents were mad. Our friends were scared to come around. Joe Robbie said the only way we'd ever play for the Dolphins again was if it proved to be a case of mistaken identity. Some players asked Shula if we could still come to mini-camp, but Shula said no.


Randy stayed at our house most of the time, and we just sat there, soaking in our own sweat. Our money was running out. Two days after we got arrested, the credit company sent a couple of guys around to repossess my Continental; at the time I was a month behind on the payments. They weren't taking any chances. I don't seek sympathy when I tell, all this, because I deserved what I got. But I won't pretend it was easy. Paulette had a job teaching school, and four or five days a week Randy and I got up at dawn, rented a rowboat at six dollars a day, and fished the Everglades for bass and bream. Sometimes we paddled over a mile to get to a pond. I mean we went fishing, Jack, and everything we caught, we took home and cooked and ate.


Despite having every reason to believe we'd been set up, we pled guilty to the charge, hoping to get a light sentence. We took lie detector tests before the court of Judge Joseph Durant Jr. to make sure we'd never been involved in any other drug deals, and when we passed he got all the lawyers together and agreed to the punishment: a year in the Dade County Stockade. Light if you don't have to serve it, heavy if you do.


I had a seed with me when I went in. I put it in a flowerpot and watered it every day, and when I came out 12 months later, it was a full-grown plant and so pretty that Paulette hung it on a wall. But I came out more stunted and fouled up than ever. There were as many drugs inside the jail as out. We used marijuana freely. Coke I snorted there once; I could have had as much as I wanted, but I was wary.


The question at that point wasn't so much who Randy and I would play for, but if we would ever play again. Shula had been encouraging. He said we "should not be condemned for all time." The Miami papers didn't like that a bit. One writer jumped all over him for being such a flaming liberal. Then Robbie said we would "never play for the Dolphins again," ending the debate. Robbie tried to get the league to ban us, too, but Pete Rozelle decreed that we could play...if anybody still wanted us.


The Toronto Argonauts sent their general manager down while we were in prison to offer us contracts. Good ones, too—$60,000 a year. But they were contingent on our getting out early to play, and Judge Durant said no. He had taken a lot of heat for going "soft" with our sentence, and when our attorneys tried to get him to cut it to nine months, he wouldn't hear of it. I didn't really blame him.


As it turned out, it probably wouldn't have mattered. Canadian immigration authorities let it be known that we wouldn't be allowed into Canada to play football.










We were released from the stockade in August of 1978, not knowing what to expect. But within eight days we had signed to play again—Randy with Tampa Bay, me with New Orleans.


Mr. Mecom made me an offer I couldn't refuse. First he said he would clear all my debts. Then he gave me a $40,000 bonus and a $70,000-a-year salary. Then he hugged me and said, "I don't care what's happened before, you're a Saint now, and I'm glad we have you." I really liked Mr. Mecom. He was like a little boy over the signing. I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven.


For two seasons, I did my best to repay him. I was the closest thing I could be to a changed man. I had my best year as a pro in 1979. I led the team in sacks and was named Most Valuable Player on defense. I felt I should have made the Pro Bowl. Mr. Mecom renegotiated my contract to $150,000 a year, and gave me another bonus. My troubles, at last, seemed all behind me. Then something happened that even now I hesitate to bring up, but I know it affected me deeply. How much it screwed up my mind I'll never know.


Our second son, Philip Charles, was born right after the 1979 season, two months premature. He weighed only four pounds, 12 ounces. He contracted so many diseases at birth, the doctors said it was almost as if he didn't want to live. Right away I felt a closeness to Philip that I'd never felt for anyone before. I sat with him 48 hours straight in the hospital, and it was so sad, watching him struggle to live. His main problem was hypospadias, a malformation of the penis. He is still far from cured. Already he has had one operation and needs another.


I felt so helpless and depressed I couldn't stand it. Here I was, always so big and healthy, and there he was, so small and sick and vulnerable. It didn't seem fair. Deep down I think I blamed myself. I thought he was being punished because of me. I know I began feeling sorry for myself again, something Paulette hates in me. She thinks self-pity is for losers, and totally unproductive, and she's probably right. In any case, for whatever reason, I was on the verge of the next fateful step down in my life.


The popularity of cocaine got a dramatic boost in early 1980. Who knows why, but everywhere you went, people were talking about it. And the big new item was freebasing: cooking a large amount of coke down to a gummy rock, "freeing up" the base, then scraping off a little at a time, putting a hot flame to it and pulling the fumes right into your lungs through a glass pipe. Freebasing is what nearly ruined Richard Pryor.


Except for a few reefers, I had stayed away from drugs in New Orleans. Partly because I was afraid, and partly because the players were afraid of me. Elex Price, a defensive tackle, said a lot of the Saints thought I might be an undercover narcotics agent. He said, "Man, you got off light in Miami. We better not be fooling with you." I said, "Listen, man, I'm not looking for stuff. I just want to be friends."


Then one night a bunch of players went over to Bob Pollard's house—Pollard, a defensive end, himself was clean; he was out of town, having been traded—to toot some coke, and I went along. And I got that old familiar zing. We sat around snorting, and the subject turned to freebasing. I'd only heard about it that year, but Chuck Muncie said, "Man, that's not new." I said I wanted to try it. So Chuck and I got together at his house and he cooked some up and brought out the pipe. And I took one pull and threw up. I got sick as a dog. It tasted like raw chemicals.


But if I am consistent about anything in life, I am consistent about being a glutton for punishment. Two weeks later, Lloyd Mumphord came through town, and he was into free-basing. He still had a house in Miami and he made periodic stops in New Orleans on his way home to Opelousas, Louisiana. Mumphord had the stuff, and I tried freebasing with him. This time I liked it. It had a different taste—sweeter, actually. And it gave me the best high I ever had with drugs.


I inhaled it, and when I blew it out I got that ringing in my ears—wiinnnnnngggg, real high. One of the popular drug songs calls it "ringing your bell." I call it getting a ringer. When people ask me to describe the total experience of freebasing, I say it's like enjoying an all-league climax. The funny thing is that it makes you want to fornicate, too, but you can't. You usually can't get an erection.










Muncie got me in on the freebasing after he'd processed it, and I wanted to learn myself, so Mumphord showed me how. Paulette was working, the kids weren't home, and whenever Mumphord came to town I got the pot out and lit up the stove and we cooked. Mumphord always wanted Muncie to join us, but Chuck did it with us only once. There were others who didn't hesitate to join in. We got a regular little circle going, at one place or another, and we started basing every chance we got—Clarence Chapman [a defensive back] and Mike Strachan [a running back], and even some of the white guys on the team. I freebased with Guy Benjamin [a quarterback] one night. Another time Strachan and I sat there and smoked nearly an entire eighth.


After a while, I stopped snorting altogether. All I wanted to do was freebase. And that meant an ever-increasing expense. I suddenly realized I wasn't getting as much free stuff as I used to. I began making regular withdrawals from the bank, and when I stopped to figure it out, I had a habit that was costing me $1,500 to $1,800 a month.


The 1980 training camp started, and instead of tapering off, we accelerated. The dealers scurried around Vero Beach, where we trained at Dodgertown, to answer our needs. We had pots and little stoves and hot plates in our rooms at camp, and every night was fun night. We were so bold with it, it got to be ridiculous. One time Chuck and I cooked all night long for three nights in a row. I just about went nuts one day when I got back to the room and found that someone had run off with my hot plate.


More than once I came right out of freebasing into team meetings. A coach would be talking, and I'd sit there in a daze, all messed up, breathing hard, my chest swollen, my heart pounding, just dying for another hit and unable to get it. Finally I said screw the meetings. I started skipping. And every time I missed, I got fined $250. Which meant that I was spending $400 a day for coke in order to screw myself out of another $250.


If anybody on the team didn't know what was going on, they were deaf, dumb and blind. Players would come into the dressing room after being up all night, and they'd brag about it. "Boy, I got me some good stuff last night. I couldn't stop, man. I had a rock this big." Or, "Boy, the s——I had last night was awful. Like to made me throw up." They'd be in the meetings with their chests all puffed out, and sweating, and unable to sit still, and you'd have to be in another state not to recognize the symptoms.


Finally, Dick Nolan asked me what was going on: "Are you on drugs?"


I said, "Coach, I'd be a fool to be on drugs."


He said, "O.K.," and that was all.


About that time the NFL sent Charles Jackson around for his annual pep talk. Jackson is an ex-narcotics officer, and he has a regular routine about drugs that he uses to lecture players with. Nobody seems to take him seriously, but you listen because he's entertaining. I suppose the league office thinks he identifies because he's black, but it boils down mainly to appearances. He makes an appearance, and nobody sees or hears from him again for a year or so.


I knew Jackson from before. He called me one of his "special" people because of my Miami troubles. He came to me in the locker room and said, "Hey, baby, what's happening?" and slapped my hands. "You all right?"










"Yeah, I'm all right," I said. I was messed up as I could be.


"You staying clean?"


"Yeah, I'm clean." I was dirty as I could be.


"O.K., man, anytime you have any problems, anything at all, you just give me a call."


I said O.K.


He gave me his card. I already had one.


Despite everything, we thought we were going to have a good season in 1980. But we got upset by the 49ers opening day, and then we lost again, and the rout was on. When we got to 0 and 4, I realized we needed help. The players were in the streets at night, going from house to house, getting stuff. I got out Jackson's card. I called his number in New York and his secretary said he wasn't available at the moment, "but he'll call you right back."


He never did.


And I didn't call him back, either. I was too frustrated and too discouraged. I felt like I was in the water with a bunch of drowning men. But instead of doing something positive, I did something foolish. I told Tom Pratt, the Saints' defensive line coach, that I didn't want to start anymore. I said I was hurt—my right knee was bothering me—and I didn't want the pressure as long as I couldn't contribute. He and Nolan agreed to play Tommy Hart in my place, but each week they'd only leave Hart in for about a quarter, then I'd go in.


We lost 12 straight, and right after a Monday night game with the Rams, the Saints fired Nolan. We had stunk up the joint against the Rams, losing 27-7. I especially hated that because it's embarrassing to lose on Monday night with all those people watching on television. At our next practice I blew up. Actually, blew up is an understatement.










I'd hurt my knee in the game, and I was standing on the sidelines talking to one of the writers when Pratt saw me and ordered me to "come over here." I didn't care much for his tone, and I took my time walking over. As I passed some of the other players, I made a comment—"You sorry bastards," or words to that effect—and [Defensive Tackle] Derland Moore said, "You're the one who quit, not us." I knew then that they'd been looking to me for leadership, and I hadn't provided it. And I went blank.


I jumped Moore, and we fought. And when they tried to pull us apart, I fought everybody in sight. They had to gang up on me to hold me down. And when they let me up, I fought all the way to the dressing room. I was hysterical. I couldn't stop fighting. I wanted to stop, but I couldn't. I don't know what I did or who I did it to, but when we got inside I jumped Moore again. At that moment I hated him. I wanted to kill him. It was my messed-up mind doing it, because I actually liked Derland Moore.


Dick Stanfel, the interim Saints coach, suspended me for the last four games of the season. But now I knew how far gone I was. I went to Fred Williams, Mr. Mecom's righthand man. I told him a little of what was going on, mainly about my own problems. He said he would get Mr. Mecom to agree not to advance me any more of my deferred money until I was satisfied I was straightened out. He said, "Hang in there." And that's all. He didn't tell Mr. Mecom. Mr. Mecom knows now, but he didn't know then.


In June of 1981, Bum Phillips, the new Saints coach, told me they had put me on waivers. He said they were "going with younger players." My heart sank. But a few days later, he called and said San Diego had picked me up.


I was elated, to say the least. Muncie had been traded to San Diego during the 1980 season, and I knew enough about the Chargers to think there might be a Super Bowl in my future after all. I wasn't sure why they wanted me, but I had sacked Dan Fouts three times in 1979, and I figured the memory was there. But there was no Super Bowl in San Diego for Don Reese. There was no future at all. Not even a season's worth. I was about to make my final flame-out.


The only difference between the drug abuse in San Diego and the drug abuse in New Orleans was that in San Diego more and bigger names were involved, including Chuck Muncie, and the action was a lot more cautious. Chuck and I took the same flight out of New Orleans to training camp. We were picked up at the San Diego airport and taken directly to the University of California at San Diego, where the Chargers train. Before nightfall, I was freebasing again.


One of the Charger wide receivers met me at the college almost the minute we arrived. He was riding a bicycle, and we got to talking about coke and how to cook it, like housewives discussing recipes. My nerve endings began to jangle.


We were due to take the team physical the next morning, but when my mind got on freebasing, nothing else mattered. I pressed him. He said, "Let me make a few calls."


A little later he came to our room and said, "Let's go."


I tried to get Chuck to join us, but he said no. We had gotten an eighth of coke for $275, a good price, and we went over to a girl's room and cooked until two in the morning. When we ran out, we called somebody else and got some more, and we smoked until eight, right there on campus.










Then we went to the training room and took our physicals. And I passed. I said, "Oh man, this is ridiculous. All this crap in me, and I still pass a physical?"


I had a two-year guaranteed contract with the Chargers, for $185,000 the first year and $210,000 the second. But I had suffered an injury and couldn't play after the fourth game. They kept shooting it with novocaine and playing me, but I finally had to have surgery. They waived me with two games left in the season.


I went back to New Orleans and wallowed in as much pity as I could find for myself. Paulette tried to carry the load, teaching school. Our debts piled up. What little money I had I used for drugs, and what I couldn't pay for I charged. I had already run up a big debt with dealers, and one of them was of a type you don't run up debts on. I'd escaped to San Diego right after writing him two worthless $1,000 checks. He called my wife a few times while I was on the coast, telling her she "better get in touch with Don." I finally called him back. "Can't you wait?"


"Yeah," he said, "we can wait."


When I showed up in New Orleans, he was waiting. Only instead of cutting me off, he got me to use even more, and my debt and my habit got heavier and heavier. One night he got me up in his apartment in the inner city. With five of his guys surrounding us, he pulled out his magnum and put a pipe in front of me and made me freebase. He said, "You know you like this s——, smoke it." I said, "Hey man, I don't want it under this kind of pressure."


He said, "Smoke the s——, nigger," and jammed the gun against my neck.


He did that to me twice. Each time he added the cost of the coke to my bill. Finally he came to my house and demanded payment, and took out his gun to convince me. He was no stranger there. He had often brought stuff to me late at night, and even joined me a few times in my kitchen, cooking it up. Eventually he started coming earlier, and I had to make Paulette and the kids go in the back. By that time, Paulette was a basket case. It didn't help her frame of mind any the day when he fired a bullet, trying to scare me.


I was scared, all right. But not just of him. My whole world was coming apart. When it was either kill myself or run, I ran. With nothing but the clothes on my back, I sneaked out of New Orleans like a thief in the night. And for once I did the right thing. I checked into a hospital and finally got the help I needed. I know I wanted to be helped, and they told me that's the first big step.


I'm out now, after a stay of almost five weeks, but I don't see my life getting better quickly. I know I've got to work at it. But I want to change, to be productive, to be a good person and a good father. I want to be...O.K. I'll tell you exactly what I want to be. I want to be like my wife. With her morals, and her sense of responsibility. To Paulette, marriage meant giving herself to me and the family, in every way. She had kids just because I wanted them. I'm the one who hasn't lived up to the bargain.


Paulette's a unique individual. Very deep. She always makes the right decision, always does the right thing. I think sometimes her standards are too high, but since I know mine are too low, I'm hardly the one to judge. She told me she didn't want me back until I straightened out. It's a goal worth striving for, because I have no doubt she'll be there if I make it.










As for what is happening in the NFL with drugs, I don't see it changing until enough people who care are made aware of how bad the situation is. How destructive it is for the game. Sending comedians around to tell stories about drugs won't turn the problem around. And the Players Association loves to quibble over salary percentages and television cuts, and while it bargains for the membership, the membership is being eaten alive by a cancer. As for the owners, while they enjoy the high life, their most valuable asset—the players—is wasting away.


But I don't have any illusions. Rather than reform, what is more likely to happen is that the NFL will say I've exaggerated everything here. That you shouldn't pay attention to a guy who admits he took drugs, and dealt drugs, and did all the wrong and stupid things I've done. And it will try to discredit the diagnosis instead of curing the patient. And the players who don't deny it completely will say it's not nearly as bad as I've made it out.


But I know better. And what I've had to say is something that needed to be said.


The sad part is that it wasn't said a lot sooner.






















Find this article at:
http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125620/index.htm

















--
http://edrlopez.blogspot.com/