Blog Home » Archives for October 2017

Not always political, correctness usually just correct



First, a concession.

Yes, we live in an age of instant offense, where seemingly minor infractions of appropriate behavior can make some folks apoplectic. Yes, an entire subset appears eager to embrace victimhood at the slightest breach. And, yes, an increasing number of people seem to suffer from acute cases of hypersensitivity.

But consider this while stewing about so-called political correctness.

Maybe the marketplace of feelings is simply undergoing a correction after centuries of winks and nods at inappropriate practices. Maybe this is karmic payback for millions of victimizers who suffered zero consequences for their reprehensible actions. Considering the gross lack of sensitivity that’s been ingrained in our social fabric since, like forever, perhaps an extreme swing in the opposite direction was only natural.

Houston found itself in the center of a culture war last week, with the revelation of a conversation that took place behind closed doors. Another incident occurred on the World Series stage, for all the world to see.

Neither had anything to do with sports, per se. But as often is the case, our fun-and-games serve as a microcosm of real life.

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Washington suffers too many injuries, mistakes to beat Dallas



LANDOVER – When your team isn’t great and labors to be classified as good, it must contend with a few, inescapable truths every week.

The margin for error doesn’t include many turnovers, let along giveaways on back-to-back possessions. There’s no allowance for a slew of injuries that knocks out starters and extends into the depth chart.

And there’s certainly no room for spotty play on special teams, especially miscues that are returned 86 yards and produce 10-point swings.

Dallas wasn’t much better than Washington in Sunday’s game at FedEx Field. But the home team couldn’t overcome its mistakes and missing players in a 33-19 loss. That the contest wasn’t a worse blowout is either testament to the Skins’ grittiness or proof of the Cowboys’ own mediocrity. Probably both.

Washington entered the game as a MASH unit and excited like the Mayo Clinic. There was concern in the press box that coach Jay Gruden might run out of players before the final gun.

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Joe Giradi should run from Nats job as fast and far as possible



The Washington Nationals have tremendous curb appeal.

You admire the manicured lawn and meticulous landscaping. You imagine relaxing on the expansive front porch or spacious deck out back. The paint is fresh, the siding is clean, and the roof looks new.

But there’s major structural damage inside. Especially the ceilings, which look like they could collapse at a moment’s notice. The floors seem pretty shaky, too.

Would you want to take that on?

If you’re a first-time homeowner like Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez or New York Mets hitting coach Kevin Long – i.e., someone who never managed a major-league team – you couldn’t sign the papers quick enough. You were sold the instant you drove up and saw that lineup and a pair of aces.

But imagine you’re Joe Giradi, fresh off a 10-year stay in an exquisite mansion. The previous occupant (Joe Torre) was there for 12 years before you arrived. The property’s general manager, the person in charge of upkeep and all repairs (Brian Cashman) has been in place since 1998.

Giradi knows he’ll have opportunities at other nice places, places as good internally as they are externally.

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Lyles helps Prince George’s win $1.3 million to fight human trafficking



Only two counties in the U.S. received a special three-year grant from the Department of Justice to coordinate the fight against human trafficking. One is Orange County in California.

The other is Prince George’s County in Maryland, where the Human Trafficking Task Force (PGCHTTF) brings together law enforcement, social services, government agencies, and community organizations, and is considered a model for jurisdictions across the nation.

“Receiving this grant is a testament to the efforts of county employees and volunteers on the Task Force who have worked long and hard since 2013 to restore victims, educate the public and to show traffickers that we are dead serious about combating human trafficking in all its forms.” Chairman Mike Lyles said in a statement Oct. 25.

candidate for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney in 2018, Lyles is a leading authority on human trafficking, widely sought-after as a presenter for conferences, workshops and trainings. The Task Force was formed four years ago at his urging, making it Maryland’s first, local-government-based group dedicated to fight human trafficking.

Lyles, who also serves as Executive Director of the county’s Human Relations Commission, was appointed Task Force Chairman by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

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Lyles continues to fight against sexual harassment

Workers shouldn’t tolerate hostile work environments in Prince George’s County



Few things upset Mike Lyles more than harassment and abuse of women and children. He has dedicated his life to public service and protecting those who are preyed upon.

So he’s incredulous when he hears anyone essentially blame women for becoming victims. Such talk has been in the news recently, proving that Lyles’ role remains essential.

He fights against workplace harassment every day as Executive Director of the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission, a position he has held for more than six years. As a husband and father of two daughters, the battle isn’t theoretical; it’s personal.

“We are way past the point where a woman’s attire should even enter the conversation,” say Lyles, a candidate for State’s Attorney. “It doesn’t matter what she wears. There’s no excuse for sexual harassment in the workplace, in our schools and in our community.

“Sexual harassment and sexual assault is always the assaulter’s fault,” he says. “Anyone who assigns responsibility to the women misses the point. Assault and harassment are issues of power, not sex.”

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always female subordinates suffering at the hand of male bosses or industry powerbrokers. According to research by sociologists at the University of Maine and the University of Minnesota, 58 percent of female supervisors in predominantly male work environments are likely to experience harassment, while 42 percent might expect harassment in female-dominated workplaces.

As the next State’s Attorney for Prince George’s Country, Lyles won’t blame the victims. Perpetrators of sexual harassment and/or abuse will be solely responsible for their actions.

“I’m surprised that in 2017 we still have to mention this,” he says. “The old school is the wrong school regarding women and their clothing. There’s no place for that mindset. Everyone should know better.”

He says everyone should know their rights, too, along with what constitutes sexual harassment. Generally, it’s unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or any unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. If you work in Prince George’s County and find that behavior in your place of employment, contact the Human Relations Commission.

Please visit Lyles’ campaign website to learn why he’s the best choice for State’s Attorney and best weapon to continue the fight against harassment and abuse.

Don’t get it twisted: Ire toward LaVar shouldn’t be passed to Lonzo



Sons shouldn’t pay for the sins of their fathers. On or off the court.

If your dad is loud, obnoxious and overbearing, any resentment he generates shouldn’t fall on you. People should accept who YOU are as a person and govern themselves accordingly, not treat you based on their feelings toward your old man.

In fact, they should cut a little slack, especially when you’re the exact opposite: quiet, humble and polite. If the parent really gets on their nerves, they should be thankful you’re different and maybe even show some compassion.

That’s why I’m a bit confused by the narrative about LaVar Ball making life difficult for his son Lonzo Ball.

It was spouted prior to the NBA draft in June, when the Los Angeles Lakers selected Ball with the No. 2 overall pick. We heard the theory throughout summer-league play and training camp. And the drumbeat intensified after Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley gave Ball an extremely rude welcome in the season opener.

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From Ivies to Broadway to boxing to Howard, Davis keeps it moving



From fans and spectators to executives and administrators, major sports events are all relative. Kery Davis understands that as well as anyone. “Big time” for him nowadays is the Nation’s Football Classic pitting Howard University against Hampton University—a.k.a. the “Battle for the Real HU”—in Washington, D.C. There’s no network TV coverage, and attendance hovers around 15,000. That’s a far cry from the bright lights of Las Vegas and pay-per-view prizefights beamed around the world. Davis used to be a fixture at those bouts, hobnobbing with rich and famous celebrities in ringside seats that cost thousands of dollars.

But he’s no longer the HBO executive who helped negotiate some of boxing’s biggest fights, featuring the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson. Now he’s athletic director at Howard University—one of the nation’s premier historically black colleges and universities—and his new circle includes school officials, advertisers, boosters, fans, sponsors, coaches and student-athletes.

This has been Davis’ reality since September 2015, about 27 months after he left HBO, where he spent 16 years. Previously situated in aplush New York City corporate office one block from Times Square, he now works from a pedestrian space in 54-yearold Burr Gymnasium on Howard’s Washington, D.C., campus. The contrast in his surroundings, resources and responsibilities is stark—as is the change in the size of his direct deposits. “The difference economically was drastic compared to what I was making at HBO and what I could’ve made if I had taken the other position I was going to take before I left,” says Davis. “But this called to me.”

Continue reading …

Player protests have nothing on Trubisky & Bears as ratings killers



Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is convinced. “There is no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests,” he told reporters Sunday after Dallas demolished San Francisco.

The extent of those negative effects is debatable. But here’s something everyone can agree upon:

Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears are threats to inflict more damage than all the protesting players combined.

NFL TV ratings are down for a number of reasons, but they’ll fight for second-place if we see more performances like Chicago delivered in Sunday’s 17-3 victory against Carolina. That game set the NFL back a couple of decades.

Trubisky completed four passes. Not on a drive. Not in a quarter. Not before, or after, halftime. The Bears quarterback had four completions. Period.

“He managed the game pretty well,” Bears coach John Fox told reporters.

“I thought I played really poor,” Trubisky said, perhaps judging himself too harshly since he attempted only seven passes. “I just got to be better, overall.”

He’s headed in the wrong direction to prove himself. A week earlier, Trubisky attempted a whopping 16 passes, which he said marked the lowest of any game in his life. Any arm fatigue was caused by the 50 times he handed off.

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Regarding the Dusty Baker decision, there’s no right or wrong answer



Hindsight is 20-20 and hypothetical answers bat 1.000.

Davey Johnson should’ve never been let go as the Nationals manager and Dusty Baker would’ve gotten over the hump next season. Neither of those statements can be proved nor disproved. There’s no guarantee that Washington would’ve reached the NLCS under Johnson or Baker.

But the Lerner family decided that Baker shouldn’t return, which means the search begins for Washington’s seventh manager in 14 seasons. Whichever way you fall on the decision, you have a good point.

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A champion of women and children, Lyles wants to hear others



October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well as Breast Cancer Month, just two issues that affect women disproportionately.

Of course, there are many others. Pay equity. Family leave. Sexual harassment. Career advancement.

As an ex-officio member of the Prince George’s County Commission for Women – not to mention a man with a wife, daughters and granddaughter – Mike Lyles knows the struggle is real. He wants you to mark your calendars and attend one of two remaining PGCCW “Listening Sessions.”

Along with the commission, Lyles invites residents and stakeholders to a session on Monday, Oct. 30, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Beltsville Senior Activity Center (7120 Countee Road in Laurel). Or Monday, Nov. 13, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at the Department of Family Services (6420 Allentown Road in Camp Springs).

Lyles, a Prince George’s County State’s Attorney 2018 candidate, is a longtime champion of women, children and seniors. He has served as Deputy General Counsel for the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency and currently serves as Chair of the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force and Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission.

“I have dedicated my life to public service and protecting those who cannot protect themselves,” Lyles says. “I want the community to attend these listening sessions so we can share ideas, concerns and priorities.”

Registration is free and can be completed here.

No one else running for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney has Lyles’ level of legal experience, political experience or executive experience. He is the most-qualified candidate, by far. To learn more, visit his campaign website.

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