Siri Plans to Stop Taking Orders and Start Giving Them

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced the company is going to focus on developing self–driving car “systems” instead of the car itself. In an interview with Bloomberg Television he explained this qualifies as an “MOA” effort as in “The Mother Of All AI projects.”

The decision to concentrate on software, rather than both hardware and software is a new one for Apple. Normally the company designs the hardware along with the operating software and then ships the entire package off to China for manufacturing and intellectual property theft.

When the finished product returns to the US, Apple does its best to control the sales of all related products.

I’ve been with Apple longer than I’ve been with my wife. This is a fitting comparison since buying Apple is the hardware equivalent of matrimony. And even more fitting personally, since I’ve had excellent luck with refurbs, regardless of whether it’s Apple computers or wives.

Apple, like my wife, is a closed system that takes a dim view of playing the field. Cupertino prefers customers make all software purchases through the App Store. The same goes for hardware and the Apple Store.

Android, on the other hand, is a wild and wooly open system with many hardware manufacturers, many software producers and little if any standardization. Apple’s closed system is designed with control in mind.

Think of Hillary Clinton running a Best Buy.

Under Apple there is much more look–and–feel uniformity across the product spectrum, which comes with a price. Usually higher.

So, I would have had mixed feelings about owning an iCar.

I wouldn’t have liked being limited to buying gas at Apple stations. Sure the free operating software updates are nice, but that’s balanced with the thought of being lectured on the size of my carbon footprint by an Apple “Genius.”

Cook, at the time, hadn’t ruled out electric vehicles. He rhapsodized, “It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station.” This only proves the chauffer maintains the car without Cook’s help.

Gassing up takes about five minutes. Charging up takes hours. Electricity may start cheap, but at the rate Apple changes the design of its propriety connectors, the cost of new adapters to plug into the power outlet will no doubt balance out the iFuel cost.

I think for the foreseeable future I’ll keep my manual car. If I want to drive with a woman that argues about routes and how fast I drive, I’ll just invite the wife.

CORRECTION: I was wrong last week. That column concerned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decree allowing NFL players scoring touchdowns to make fools of themselves — while the blockers that made it possible are ignored.

That may have been attractive for ballerina ball fans accustomed to method acting from their players, but football should be a serious game.

If I wanted to watch bad dancing and mini–charades I’d attend a GOP townhall meeting when Obamacare repeal was on the agenda. When I watch the NFL, I’m hoping professional football players will act professional.

You may recall my temporary burst of optimism when Cameron DaSilva of Fox Sports reminded us next season the NFL will also institute a snap clock. It starts when an official signals touchdown and teams will have 40 seconds to get set and begin the conversion.

DaSilva reported there were 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. Even without the Original Tap–Dancing Kid performing his routine, teams were taking an average of 45 seconds to snap the ball. Adding choreography would only make the situation worse.

My optimism crashed when I mistakenly calculated those 32 TDs were thinly spread over the 119 games in the season’s last seven weeks and playoffs. At that rate only one quarter of a TD per game would be influenced by the snap clock.

But I was wrong!

It wasn’t the last seven weeks, plus the playoff games. His survey was only for the seven playoff games.

I should have known something was off. Reviewing 119 games, even with fast–forward or NFL Red Zone is a significant investment in a research project for a reporter facing multiple deadlines. That kind of time commitment spent watching streaming video is more characteristic of the government; say the US Patent and Trademark Office.

While only seven games cuts the sample size and increases the margin of error, the results will do in a pinch. (If you know someone in the USPTO who is not under investigation by the Inspector General, maybe you could ask them to examine the other 112 games.) For me, 4.5 touchdowns per game, unsullied by freestyle ego–mania, is much better than what I feared.

NFL End Zones Now Sponsored by Jackass

Sophistication functionaries all across the nation are in a tizzy. President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is a festering legacy of the Johnson administration.

From the program’s beginning in 1965 until 2015 bureaucrats at the NEA made 140,000 grants totaling over $5 billion. Outright NEA elimination could set off domino effect warnings like we haven’t seen since the last chopper lifted off from the embassy in Saigon.

The people squealing the loudest aren’t necessarily artists; it’s the arts infrastructure. The culture claque that doles out taxpayer money will suffer a double whammy. First their social life will take a tremendous hit. Since these bureaucrats will no longer control the distribution of free taxpayer money, there’s no reason for the culture combine to comp their tickets.

They’ll be queuing up at the cash bar with the rest of us common folk.

Trump won’t be fighting just federal sophisticate swamp denizens. State level leeches will attack, too.

In the past state arts organizations could finesse elimination by offering gullible legislators a deal: An across–the–board budget cut for all state agencies. The state police lay off 10 percent of their troopers and we’ll lay off 10 percent of our mimes.

Outright elimination in DC could ripple all the way down to Des Moines.

Still, there may be a glimmer of hope for interpretive dance. It looks like the NFL is preparing to grasp the torch and allow self–absorbed athletes to “get down” in the end zone.

Or as one puerile columnist for NFL.com put it, “NFL is putting the fun back in football. 


Thank goodness Roger Goodell has decided to end the unrelieved tedium football fans have suffered through from 1939 until 2003 when Joe Horn made a spectacle of himself during a Monday night game.

Goodell made the announcement using the same robotic corporate–speak he’s made famous: “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown.”

Only the exhibitionism isn’t “spontaneous.” Players rehearse their little dances in practice. And performances aren’t confined to “spectacular” scores. A player that trips over a referee and falls into the end zone gives us the same “look at me” exhibition that comes after a 50–yard TD run.

Sportswriters who may secretly yearn to be gymnastics judges are all lathered up about the return of approved exhibitionism. Their consensus is toddler–style “look at me, look at me!” antics are just what the game needs. The Washington Post is looking forward to “showmanship” while I yearn for a return to professionalism.

If fans like those little end zone jigs so much, why isn’t modern dance more popular?

Players that want to express individuality can enter American Idol. Football is a team game. Only these dancing machines spell it “teaME.” Former running back Jamal Anderson calls the new rule, “the Odell Beckham freedom clause.”

What a great example for young players! Beckham is the teaME–first receiver who convinced the NY Giants’ receiving corps to join him for party time in Miami before their first playoff game against Green Bay – which NY lost.

This year the coach’s dream is skipping practice sessions in favor of nuzzling with his new girlfriend. A fresh influx of self–important, selfish players is just what Dr. Goodell ordered.

The only sensible coverage comes from Cameron DaSilva and even he supports this teenage showing off. DaSilva reminds us the NFL will start the play clock after the official signals a touchdown. Teams have :40 to snap the ball or be penalized.

He put a stopwatch on the last seven games of the season and all the playoff contests and found teams are taking :45 seconds between the call and the snap. So without any festivities teams are five seconds late.

For just a moment there was a glimmer of hope for mature fans that are tired of freestyle egomania, then DaSilva dropped the bomb. In 119 games he evaluated there were only 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. That comes out to one quarter of a TD per game that will be affected by the snap clock.

After the vast majority of the scores there will be time for the entire team to rumble into the end zone and form a chorus line like the Rockettes.

Even worse, if the NFL allows cut–rate choreography the decay will soon travel from college to high school to Pee Wee football. Pushy parents will be sending junior to a dance teacher in the off–season to get his YouTube on.

Horn, who has some investment in showing off, says kids “like seeing the guys act a fool.” That may be correct, but the kids aren’t buying the tickets.

Welfare Mother Meet Welfare Mogul

Team Owners by CategoryOne only has to glance at the long line of NFL owners flying to the league’s annual meeting in their private jets to know for a fact that welfare handouts only serve to create a culture of dependency. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the face of one–percenter entitlement, solemnly announced at the gathering that stadiums in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland are “inadequate and unsatisfactory.”

If that’s the case why don’t the billionaires start remodeling? The Benham brothers could use the work.

Unfortunately NFL owners suffer from entitlement ennui. Owners expect government to pile on inducements until the total satisfies a billionaire. Determining a satisfactory amount is the problem.

Roose Bolton, in Game of Thrones, knew the dowry for marrying one of Walder Frey’s daughters would be her weight in silver. Since fat was more valuable than fair, he choose the orca–sized Walda. But how many tax dollars attract a fat–and–happy NFL owner?

The uncertainly had St. Louis in a tizzy. All signs pointed to the city having to return the NFL team it borrowed from LA 22 years ago. And Lord Goodell ruled Edward Jones Dome was too ramshackle for a team with a 7–10 record.

How did this all work out? That’s easy, to the advantage of the owners. Please click the link below to be transported to my Newsmax Insider column where the gods of copyright demand you finish the column.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Goodell-LA-NFL-Stadium/2016/01/15/id/709675/

 

Conservatives Ready for Sexual Cowardice

Mainstream media closely follows the Michael Sam story

Mainstream media closely follows the Michael Sam story

When does doing something — other than charging a machine gun nest — that has been done countless times previously stop being ‘courageous?’ Sally Jenkins of the WaPost has ruled that football player Michael Sam’s advice to people interested in dating him is a monumental story: “There are great courageous sports stories being played on the international stage at the Sochi Olympics, yet nothing has resonated like this.”

Ho hum. Pardon me if I’m not vibrating like Ms. Jenkins. If Sam doesn’t want awkward situations where female groupies try to make time with him, why doesn’t he just open an account on eHomony.com?

Other than the occasional soap–on–a–rope joke whispered out of Sam and the gaystapo’s earshot, he will have smooth sailing in the locker room. The Canadian Football League may be treating Sam comments as international hate crimes. (Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Bryant Turner Jr.  was fined after tweeting: “Michael Sam locker room gonna come with complimentary robes.”)

But in the NFL he’ll be treated like Bao Bao, the new panda baby at the national zoo. For teammates and football fans, Sam will be just another seldom–seen species that has problems when it comes to reproduction. Maybe he’ll be able to share Internet bandwidth with Bao Bao after he gets his own Sam Cam.

I tell you what real courage would be in a situation like this. A married potential NFL draftee announcing that he’s open to adulterous relationships and no one’s wife, girlfriend or daughter is off limits. Now that takes some courage and would certainly create a frisson of sexual tension at home, the locker room and various team functions.

Sam, on the other hand, is just a me–too narcissist hoping for a spot as Grand Marshall in a ‘pride parade.’ He’s certainly not the first athlete to go public. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a figure skater that walks on the wild side. Then you’ve got Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, innumerable female softball players and gymnasts.

In showbiz there’s Ellen, Rosie, Jodie and Neil and that’s just the ones with ‘e’ in their name. Even superheroes are getting in on the act. Green Lantern only lets his love light shine for men. Society has reached a point where we can start hanging clothes in that particular closet because it’s now empty.

And for the sake of accuracy, Sam is in limbo right now. He’s a former college player who has yet to make an NFL team. And it’s entirely possible he won’t be the only homosexual player in the NFL, just the most vocal.

(If you ask Deacon Jones, he probably considers all NFL kickers to be gay, but at least they’ve made the team, in contrast to Sam who is merely potential.)

Besides, when is giving in to a compulsion courageous? How about a linebacker who holds a news conference announcing he’s only interested in 18–year–old cheerleaders? Is that brave? Would Woody Allen be courageous if he finally admitted to abusing Dylan? The statute of limitations is up and like Woody says, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Which is pretty much the foundational philosophy of the alternate lifestyle left.

In the wake of his proclamation Sam’s NFL draft value dropped almost a hundred points. This will be blamed on homophobia, but the real reason is how many teams — other than the Dallas Cowboys — need another narcissistic exhibitionist?

If NFL teams avoided signing Tim Tebow because of the alleged ‘distraction’ factor, what director of player personnel is going to volunteer to draft the Michael Sam three–ring circus?

The Broncos’ John Elway volunteered to lead the ‘some of my best friends…’ caucus when he said he would have no problem with Sam on his team, which is easy for Elway to say since he’s retired and showers at home.

But the real question is why announce now? Sam told his Missouri teammates that he was playing for the other side before last season. It was a simple statement that didn’t require a phone call to the New York Times. This current public relations campaign screams exploitation and not by the hetero community. It sounds like national homosexual advocacy organizations snooped into his private life and convinced Sam to take a stand that will benefit their fund raising.

If Sam has any doubts about his NFL future, and he’s not a sure thing, then his public statement guarantees a lucrative future career as a homosexual symbol. If he makes the NFL he demonstrates homosexuals are everywhere. If he doesn’t make the team he’s a living symbol of heterosexual bigotry. Either way Sam is on the speaking and interview circuit for a decade and national lobby groups stay current and in the news.

And while we’re discussing fanatics, the homosexual lobby is starting to remind me of some of the more zealous Mormons. There are groups of Latter Day Saints who baptize the dead by proxy so the deceased can enter into heaven in spite of the poor choices they made while alive. In like fashion homosexual scholars browse through history looking for notable figures they can recruit into the homosexual hall of fame.

Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind, along with Abraham Lincoln, my relative President James Buchanan and Janis Joplin to mention but a few. Something tells me activists are going to be taking a long hard look at unmarried early professional football players.

In the meantime, I’m ready for some sexual cowardice. How about returning to the days of a gentleman never tells? I know it’s unlikely, but one can dream.

So let’s close with a riddle: What do Michael Sam and Manti Te’o have in common? All their girlfriends are imaginary.

Is the NFL Becoming the No Fan League?

just spoke my first wordThe result of NFL’s experiment in negative market dynamics has just come in and the news is not good for Commissioner Roger Goodell. Last September the NFL greatly increased the irritation factor of attending games when the league banned women’s purses that were larger than a pack of cigarettes for ‘security’ reasons. (Complete details here.)

This development was added to the existing $10 hotdog, $10 beer, $40 parking place, pauses in the action for commercials you mercifully can’t see, wildly expensive ticket prices and the owner prancing around on the sidelines.

It’s enough to make you want to dedicate your life to eradicating ‘income inequality.’

I wondered how long it would take the descending curve of a fan’s desire to attend an increasingly expensive NFL game to cross the rising nuisance curve of pettifogging NFL rules. Well now we know: It took four months.

As this is written three of the four first–round NFL playoff games have failed to sell out even though the deadlines for all three have been extended. Even in Green Bay — home of put the baby on the waiting list for season tickets — still has seats available. The important point about a playoff game failing to sell out for the fan base is not the dent in the owner’s bottom line. It’s the fact the game will be blacked out in the local viewing area.

This has not happened since 2002 when the Dolphins – Ravens game in Miami failed to sell out.

So why does the unrest surface now? Because this is the first time season ticket holders have been asked to make an additional ticket purchase since the new ‘security’ rules took effect. Up until now season tickets were already paid for and not using them would be like throwing money away. Or buying a Redskin’s ticket.

Many are finding the extraordinary cost of attending the game when added to the degrading, increasingly TSA–like experience of entering the stadium is simply too much. It’s easier, warmer and the seats are better when one watches the game at home. Assuming the rest of the sheep in your locale continue buying enough tickets to fill the stadium.

I realize the TV commentary can be annoying, but so are the observations of nearby drunks in the stadium and there’s always the off chance they may hurl on you. (Something that never happens at home. Although I’ve been known to get a touch of indigestion following Pam Oliver’s inane sideline commentary.)

Since I’m part owner of the Packers, lets look at that situation in detail. It may be as cold as 4 below at game time Sunday, but that’s not keeping the fans away. In 1967 the Ice Bowl between the Packers and the Cowboys was even more frigid, yet the stadium was full. The difference? In 1967 fans weren’t strip searched before they were seated. Now I can only imagine the lines of parka–clad fans extending outside Lambeau Field waiting for their carefully selected layering to be explored in detail by suspicious ‘security’ fingers.

And how exactly does the ‘no purse large than a pack of Marlboros’ work when both of the pockets on my parka are the size of dinner plates? I’ve seen kangaroos with smaller pouches. Are you required to stuff large pockets with cardboard to reduce carrying capacity? Or is it one of the dreaded case–by–case safety decisions?

And how about the fan that uses battery-powered gloves and boots to keep warm? He’s going to be treated like a suicide bomber when guards get a load of his power pack and the jumble of wires connecting. At the Ice Bowl you could have brought a Duraflame log into the stadium, today they confiscate your matches.

As a result there were 8,500 seats still unsold on Wednesday. This represents almost 12 percent of stadium capacity in Green Bay. In Cincinnati there were 5,000 to 6,000 unsold tickets and in Indianapolis the number was 3,000.

If these tickets were unsold in the summer for an exhibition game no one would notice. But playoff games are for all the marbles and should be of peak interest to fans. The Packers have sold out EVERY regular season game since 1959, a string of 55 years, and for part of that time the team played in two different cities. Alienating 12 percent of the base is a significant insult that does not bode well for the future.

(UPDATE: Green Bay has sold out and so have the other sites. But this does not negate my conclusion. In the Packer’s case the tickets were purchased in bulk by civic–minded businesses so the game would be televised. This only encourages long-term erosion in stadium attendance. In addition, the seats will now be given away, which means the cost portion of cost/annoyance ratio is significantly reduced, so the fans will probably attend. But the market had already spoken beforehand when 12 percent were unsold.)

Most of the commentary regarding the unsold seats focuses on the cost of attending games, which is high. But I think the straw that crippled this camel is the arrogance of the NFL owners and the constant annoyance of ‘security theatre’ drama before you get to your seat.

For fat cats like the Redskins’ Dan Snyder, fans are slightly overweight ATM machines that need to be milked regularly. If people object to being treated like cattle then let them buy their own football team. But the cattle are getting restless and the beginning of a slow motion stampede for the exits may have begun this year.

TSA Annexes NFL

TSA logic: Coming to an NFL stadium near you.

TSA logic: Coming to an NFL stadium near you.

I never thought I’d live to see the day when you couldn’t bring more than 3 oz. of shampoo into a National Football League stadium. Over the years I’ve grudgingly accepted the ban on explosives, handguns, rifles and vuvuzelas, but this may be , the last straw.

The NFL has now decreed that fans (quaintly known in some quarters as paying customers) may no longer bring purses larger than a pack of cigarettes (also banned, BTW) into the stadium. In addition, the ban includes briefcases, fanny packs, coolers, backpacks, cinch bags, computer bags (!) and camera bags. Instead attendees may fill one clear plastic bag no large than 12” X 6” X 12” with their worldly possessions.

NFL officials suggest items that won’t fit inside the bag may be put in your pockets, around your neck or slipped inside a handy body cavity. In its benevolence the NFL is allowing fans to bring blankets inside, as long as you sling it over your shoulder like the infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia did.

The reason for the change is as tiresome as it is irrelevant: “To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into stadiums.” The new policy will expedite all right. Once the argument with the TSA–wannabe is over, females will be jettisoning personal possessions into waiting trash bins like shipwreck survivors tossing unneeded weight out of a lifeboat.

How sowing confusion is going to speed up security lines is something of a mystery. Many items formerly contained in a purse will go into pockets instead, where they will trigger metal detectors. This, in turn, will trigger pat–downs, wandings, pocket emptying, possession dropping and possession forgetting. You’ll have all the fun of an airport security line without the bother of remembering to put your tray table in “its full, upright and locked position.”

This season the NFL will be conducting an unintentional experiment in market dynamics. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the descending curve of a fan’s desire to attend the game to cross the rising nuisance curve of petty NFL rules. Commissioner Roger Goodell’s lasting legacy may be as the man who made pro football a studio sport.

Various credulous observers have commented, “I understand the need for increased security when it comes to larger bags. All someone needs to do is mention the 2013 Boston Marathon to silence critics.”

I’ve got a news flash: One couldn’t bring a pressure cooker into a Redskins game before the Boston bombing, much less afterwards. Dan Snyder, Redskins owner, wouldn’t allow the competition with his over–priced hot dogs. And speaking of Snyder, the NFL advised owners to establish a location where females who didn’t get the word could check their purses outside the stadium, like a hotel does with coats, and then pick the purse up after the game.

Snyder — a noted paragon of customer service — provided a little expediting here, too. Women were told to trek back to their cars with their purse or drop it in the trash.

The safety concerns of the majority of fans, and almost all the women, concern being protected from aggressive drunks, hurling drunks, disrobing drunks, cursing drunks and fighting drunks. (For their part the drunks may have some complaints, too but they have trouble remembering.) But ending alcohol sales or increasing patrolling security inside the stadium would cut into owner profits, whereas making you throw your purse in the trash costs Snyder nothing.

When you combine that with the fact you have to leave earlier to catch a football game than you do to catch a flight. The traffic home will be at least as bad as traffic to the stadium. Parking can run you $50. The ticket can cost more than an airline flight. And you have to sit idle while play stops for a TV commercial — the option of sitting at home and watching the game looks better and better. In fact, during the 2011 season almost two million seats went unsold in the NFL.

Airlines don’t worry too much about security irritation because there is no real alternative for long distance travel. But the NFL provides its own alternative: Televised games! Where you see better, eat cheaper, have a smaller carbon footprint and are on a first name basis with the drunks.

I can’t imagine this latest “safety” brainstorm is going to make NFL owners happy if they start losing concession, parking and ticket revenue.

Of course it could be that football fans are intrinsically more dangerous than baseball fans. I went to a Nationals game this week. The guard glanced in my wife’s large, black, opaque bag, saw clear plastic bottles of water and waved her though. It took about 15 seconds. There were no metal detectors and no pat–downs. I didn’t remove my shoes or my belt. Yet the family didn’t feel the least bit unsafe.

Something tells me the clear plastic bag has more to do with mom sneaking a granola bar into the stadium than it does pressure cooker bombs.

It’s enough to make you wonder if Goodell drinks Maker’s Mark bourbon. You may recall earlier this year Maker’s Mark was presented with a problem many companies wish they had in Obama’s economy — more demand for their bourbon than the company could supply at current production levels.

Classical economics offers two choices to a company in this situation: Raise prices until the demand curve crosses the price curve or keep prices where they are, endure resulting shortages and ramp up production for the future.

Instead, the owners decided to water down their bourbon, reducing alcohol content from 90 proof to 84 proof, so as to increase supply at the same price. Customers were outraged and the company quickly backed down and kept the alcohol level the same.

Goodell is diluting the quality of his product, too. But instead of water he adds irritation.

MSM Twits Distort a Tweet

Replacement ref throws up hands in disbelief. NFL rules a touchdown.

When reading MSM stories concerning the hypocrisy of Republicans or conservatives it is often difficult to decide whether the reporters are actively dishonest or just stupid.

An AP story by Scott Bauer and a Washington Post effort by Brad Plumer are prime examples. Both concern a tweet sent by Republican Gov. Scott Walker (R–WI) after the Green Bay Packers were robbed of their victory by a high school level replacement referee who was unable to distinguish between an interception and a touchdown.

Tuesday morning Walker tweeted, “After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs.” If you are a liberal journalist working for the Associated Press or the WaPost (I know that’s redundant) this is obviously an example of conservative hypocrisy.

The Post headline was: “Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after the Packers’ loss.” The headline over the AP story was: “Union–busting Wis. governor calls for return of NFL’s union refs after call seals Packers loss.”

Both headlines reek of hypocrisy on Walker’s part and the Post even claimed a change of heart that existed only in the reporter’s fevered mind. But not all unions are alike, just as not all reporters are equally biased.

Both writers overlook the obvious fact that Walker’s fight in Wisconsin was against public employee unions and his tweet was about private sector unions. There is no hypocrisy involved in supporting one form of union and opposing the other.

Public employee unions are a conspiracy against the taxpayer. Union officials bargain with elected officials. The elected official wants union support in his next election. The union official simply wants more. They come to an agreement. The taxpayer, who picks up the tab, is not represented at the table. There are no market constraints on public employee unions. As long as taxes can be raised to cover salary, insurance and pension costs, the benefits keep rolling along.

This is not how it works in the private sector. Plumer attempts to graft the American Airlines’ labor dispute onto the Wisconsin controversy when he writes, “the referee feud is fairly representative of modern labor battles playing out in Wisconsin and elsewhere.”

This is simply false. Wisconsin labor disputes involved public employee unions and although flying American Airlines in many ways resembles a visit to the DMV, it is still a private sector entity with a private sector union.

Walker, as opposed to the two reporters, knows there’s a difference.

Another distinction is American Airlines declared bankruptcy because it could not survive in the private sector with the cost structure imposed on it by declining revenue and union contracts. Taxpayers and public employee unions are not involved.

The NFL referee’s union is obviously a private sector dispute being played out in public. And as a customer of the NFL and a supporter of the Packers, Walker is both intellectually consistent and within his rights to demand the NFL solve the problem by retuning the “real refs.”

Evidently this obvious distinction escaped the two “journalists” who thought they had a gotcha story.

On the other hand, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the one with the political problem. He has manifestly failed and lost this strike. He has committed the cardinal firing offense for a business leader: being unprepared for a crisis he knew was coming, while debasing his product.

Goodell better hope he can keep 17 votes in his favor among the 32 NFL team owners. Otherwise he might be biggest casualty of this strike.