Indiana Pacers’ Firepower
Roy Hibbert # 55 Height 7-2 Weight 280
Lance Stephensen # 1 Height 6-5 Weight 228
David West # 21 Height 6-9 Weight 250
Paul George # 34 Height 6-8 Weight 221
Ian Mahinmi # 28 Height 6-11 Weight 230
Tyler Hansbrough # 50 Height 6-9 Weight 250
Jeff Pendergragh # 29 Height 6-9 Weight 250
BRING SOME MORE CHARCOAL FOR THE HEAT’S FLAME
Let’s Go Heat
Miami Heat over takes Chicago Bulls in playoff game 4 88-65. LeBron James # 6 controlled the court with 27 points and 8 assists. On the sidelines Dwyane Wade # 3 controlled strutting his polka-dot suit with skin-tight flood water pants that gave a great laugh. D. Wade should not be criticized for his attire any more than President Obama should come under fire for the IRS applying more scrutiny to “Tea Party” organizations applying for tax exempt status.
It has always been a general practice for the IRS to target a certain area of the tax code to prevent abuse by some who would prefer not to pay taxes. In the past, deductions that have received more scrutiny have included the “office-in-the-home deduction.” During that time a lot of people were claiming deductions for offices in their homes to conduct their business, but closer scrutiny showed that their companies provided them with an office and did not require them to work from home. Allowing these deductions would have caused US taxpayers to pay more in taxes. Other deductions that the IRS has applied more scrutiny to in the past have included exemptions for children or the child care credit where an increasingly large number of people began claiming pets as their children. At another time in the past the IRS applied greater scrutiny to “Tax Protesters” who claimed that under the US constitution they did not have to pay taxes. Again, taxes not paid by these individuals caused the US taxpayer to pay more in taxes.
Each year the IRS can adjust its computer so that a certain area of the Tax Code gets more scrutiny than other areas simply because more abuse is in that particular area. This does not mean that these groups are unfairly targeted. It just means that the US taxpayer gets greater protection from abuses that may occur. For example, deductions such as office-in-the-home get greater scrutiny when the IRS computer audits 1 in every 5 and not 1 in every 8 returns claiming this deduction. This protects the taxpayers from those who would get by with claiming benefits under the Tax Code, which were not intended.
The Tax Exempt Division of the IRS determines whether organizations qualify for exempt status. There was a time when many entities were set up as churches in people’s homes. At that time, all applications claiming tax exempt status for a church in the home became an area where the IRS would apply more scrutiny to applications for 501 (C ) (3) exemption. Tax exemption under the tax code was intended to benefit the larger population and not a tiny group. Applying a higher scrutiny to tax exempt organizations referring to the name “Tea Party” is not out of the ordinary, especially since in this case those “targeted”were not denied. Those who criticize President Obama do so only because they do not understand what the term “targeting” really means. Think of “targeting” as being “closely scrutinized.” If you understood what it means to scrutinize closely you would be happy, unless, you like paying higher taxes.
In the first quarter of play-off game 3 between Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, LeBron James # 6 was dribbling the ball with his mind intent on making it to the rim when he gets broad sided with a bear-hug by one of the Chicago Bulls who is not satisfied that LeBron is called for a technical foul for breaking loose from his bear hug, the Bull then advances over to push LeBron with such force LeBron goes down and the Bull gets ejected from the game. “What was that Bull thinking?” Why after reviewing the tape did the Ref let stand the technical foul against LeBron for breaking free?
Two weeks ago, I wrote that the damage from the Boston bombings has not yet occurred and made mention of the Refs fining Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers a $25,000 fine for something he said. Someone was kind enough to give me an explanation on how important it is for NBA refs not to be ridiculed by negative opinions expressed by NBA players and coaches. “The NBA system is similar to the legal system which protects judges” this person explained. “Both the NBA and the legal systems operate more efficiently with the referees and judges being free from negative opinions. Well, then that explains it. But does that threaten to keep the system in the dark when it may need some light shed when the system does not operate in an efficient manner for all parties involved. Case in point is a nearly $90,000 fine imposed on me by a judge who ordered me to sign documents to transfer property to the opponent, where there was no evidence presented through the “court of law”. That fine was a Fla. Stat. 57.105, which lawyers out there know this is a fine for committing fraud upon the court. The court file contained no evidence to support the Motion for Summary Judgment, not one affidavit. “Did I miss something?” The court reporter’s transcript reflected no evidence (zip, nada, no evidence whatsoever) yet the judge ruled in favor of the motion and told me to sign documents to transfer property within ten days or I would be sanctioned. Well I thought the law gave you 30 days to appeal, so I didn’t sign the documents. Relying on what they taught me in law school and the law review, I was so wrong. “The law. Ha, what’s that?” You must be from another planet. Nobody brings law into the court room these days. In fact, the judge told me he would have me arrested if I did not sign. “But Your honor”, I said, “this is a civil case.” Ha, wrong again. “JA” (that stands for Judicial Assistant), “Call the Court Marshall up here and have her taken into custody until she agrees to sign these documents.” I’m sure you are thinking this is one of my fiction stories but there was a court reporter in the court room and this is on the transcript. If you want a really good read, check out my short story, “Never Too Big to Fail.” The moral of the story is that it does not matter how many degrees or MVP’s you hang on your wall, or how many billions you have in your portfolio, don’t forget that you are never too big to fail. That experience left me with the question, “Does the system work just fine, or does it work just for those doing the fining?”
The Chicago Bulls were true to their name in tonight’s game. Outside the arena I heard the scuttlebutt in the huddle, “Chicago’s going to win tonight.” I thought I was in Chicago. Actually, I was on the wrong side of the American Airlines Arena. I was with the Bulls fans. How did I get here? Well, that’s another story. To go on with this story, the Bulls came on the court bullying their way from offense to defense. With that strategy they managed to stay a shot ahead of the Heat. Then, my boy, Udonis Haslem # 40 came in with a put back, (I’ve been hanging around the guys too long. That’s my basketball slang for putting the ball back into the rim when it is bounces out). That tied the score 12-12. Then Mario Chalmers # 15 hits a triple that gives the Heat a 2-point lead (15-17). LeBron took a steal and went like a locomotive to the rim. All the red bulls in the house got out of LeBron’s way making a clear path to the basket. Norris Cole # 30 gets the ball to Ray Allen # 34 who gives Miami a 6-point lead. (15-21). The Bulls respond; Jimmy Butler # 21 comes back with his second triple. LeBron gets through under the rim (18-23). The Refs are running out of breath from blowing the whistle. Another foul on Nate Robinson # 2. There is so much Red Bull on the floor from touching, holding, tackling, clawing and slinging body parts, testosterone is flowing up in here. After awhile, I couldn’t tell if more “red” was coming from the Chicago Bulls or from the fire of the Miami Heat. LeBron James # 6, 4-time MVP gets into a serious tangle with Joakim Noah # 13. Noah is fuming and gets so mad he gets a technical foul. (20-23) The Bulls gang up on LeBron 5 to 1 at the end of Q1 but the MVP manages to get through and get the ball in. (20-25). LeBron was like the monster in the commercial who was trying to keep it “clean” until his opponent had to talk about his past. Remember it was the Chicago Bulls who stopped the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak. “Oh you want to go there, well let’s bring it on.” In Q2 the Miami Heat put some charcoal on their fire. Up til then the Bulls were dishing out disrespect with disregard. But when the Heat came out of their huddle the season’s changed. The wind started blowing and leaves started falling off the trees. Chris Anderson a/k/a “Birdman # 11 came back in Q2 and he got physical, drawing a flagrant foul. We all have our limits. An elbow after the whistle gets a technical on a Bull. Then Nate Robinson gets a taunting technical foul called for something so x-rated the ref can’t repeat it on the air. This place is on fire with fiery red Bull. There might be some holes in the locker room tonight.
Good defense by the Heat forces Nate Robinson to shoot an air ball. Then Carlos Boozer # 5 shoots an air ball. Noah hits LeBron sending him down. Up to now there are 5-technical fouls and 1-flagrant. The Heat kicks it up a notch. Dwyane Wade # 3 runs the baseline and climbs up to the rim (38-44). LeBron hits 3 (38-47). LeBron passes to Wade who slams it in with a kick (38-49). Norris Cole hits 3 (41-52). Norris comes back and hits another 3, that’s cold (not cole) (41-55). Robinson takes an offensive foul when Shane Battier # 31 takes a stand. Robinson goes down and is slow getting up (41-58). LeBron throws up to the rim where Wade meets the ball and finishes (47-60). Boozer responds with 3 (43-60). Chris Bosh # 1 smoothly ducks the defense and dunks. A Chicago turnover allows Wade to give the ball a new home, advancing the score 47-68. LeBron forces a jump ball and the ball goes to Wade who hits a long 2 (47-72). LeBron steals and “Oh, my God,” what an awesome side-door pass to Wade. (Many houses in Florida don’t have side doors but I’m from Detroit where you needed more escapes to get out the house.) That was a sneaky pass that went un-noticed out the side-door. Hold on, did I miss something? That Bulls shot was so far off it looked like it hit a team-mate in the head. It was about as crooked as the score (51-75, Q3, 3:30). Chris Bosh # 1 hits one from the corner. LeBron comes with a behind-the-back pass to Ray Allen # 34. Then LeBron passes to Birdman who goes up and swings from the rim (54-82). Birdman rejects Chicago’s offense and sends the ball back down to Allen for 3 (54-85). Q3 ends with the Heat up 56-85.
LeBron lightens up on the bench with some humor while Shane Battier # 31 hits 3 from a pass by Norris Cole (56-89). Norris “Cold” hits 3 to cool the place off (55-91). Birdman jumps and blocks. Ray Allen scores and draws the foul. Do I see flames? We need some more “Cold” because the house is on fire. Noah takes a technical foul. Taj Gibson # 22 takes a flagrant. Gibson with hands flying and lips flapping is literally thrown out. Nearly picked up by the elbows. When Ray Allen finishes scoring at the free-throw line from all the fouls, the Heat is up nearly a half-a-century. A foul by Nazr Mohammed #48 sends Wade to the floor. Birdman is moving like a feather in the air and on the court, he just looks so restricted with all those tattoos. I wonder if they restrict your range of motion. They must not because I can’t imagine Birdman moving any faster. Norris Cole passes to Mike Miller # 13 who passes the ball back to Cole sending it to the rim. That was a nice “Cold Miller Beer” to quench tonight’s raging hot Bull.
I watched the news and saw that the investigation into the Boston bombing has expanded, more seemingly random, senseless acts of college students… Then I saw more news of the break-ins at the homes of Miami Heat players, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem… Then I saw news that Apple raised 17 BILLION dollars in a bond issue… Then I saw that Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida home of the Miami Dolphins is seeking a bond issue for improvements… Then I saw that Wrigley Field in Chicago, Home of the Chicago Cubs is seeking a bond issue for improvements… Then a light went off in my head – I suspect the real damage in the Boston bombing has not yet occurred.
College students bombing marathon runners in Boston seems so senseless. But then so does the NBA fining NBA Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers a $25,000 fine for his comment, “I thought the fouls on Kevin were horrendous and had a huge effect on us.”
I thought the break-in at Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem’s home was senseless, especially since the robbers entered but took nothing. “What’s the point?”
What I really could not wrap my head around was how Apple could raise 17 billion dollars in corporate bonds at rates near or below corporate America’s lowest rates, even lower than what someone could get from stock dividends. Am I missing something? “Why” would you invest in a 30-year bond at such low rates of return?” The more I thought the more it made sense. The bonds float with the interest rate so if you expect interest rates to go up that could make sense, you get paid more as interest rates go up. It may seem unrelated but the damage from the Boston bombing strains the City of Boston’s cash. What do governments do when they need money to repair damage caused by terrorism? They issue municipal bonds. If interest rates go higher the City of Boston will be paying the money back at a higher interest rate. That could put the City of Boston in more of a financial strain and at the mercy of the bond buyers who will benefit.
Another thing I couldn’t figure out was why all the hype in the business news about Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke leaving, especially since it would not take place until next year. Then again, if the cities of Boston, Miami Gardens, and Chicago decide to issue bonds to raise capital to repair damage from the bombings or to improve their stadiums, a bond issue could take a year. If Bernanke leaves next year and the interest rates go higher with less available capital, a municipal bond issue by Boston, Miami Gardens, or Chicago could cost them a lot more than they calculated. The federal funds rate is near zero today, but who knows what it will be next year. Back in 1981 it was above 17 percent. Could rates go that high again?
If I was head of Apple and I had 17 billion, and I thought the rates would go up, I would be tempted to invest that money in Boston, Miami Gardens, or Chicago Municipal Bonds. WOW. I heard somewhere that, “He who holds the debt controls.” I wonder if the recent drop in Apple’s stock price from a high of $705 to a low of $385 was a strategy to get investors to switch from Apple stocks to Apple bonds. Smart move, but sucking 17 billion out of bond investors surely reduced the available cash needed by other entities like Boston, Miami Gardens, or Chicago to raise capital in the future. Like they say, “The early bird gets the worm.”
Now today’s news has shifted to the fires in southern and northern California. Back in 1994, California had similar fires, plus floods and devastating earthquakes. Isn’t 1994 the same year that Orange County went bankrupt? Orange County’s 1994 financial insolvency was attributed to a politician’s “TEMPTATION” to issue bonds then take the money and reinvest in, or use it as collateral for other debt securities creating leverage of 3 to 1, turning $100,000 into $300,000 (at least on paper), until the deck of cards folded and Orange County lost 1.6 billion dollars. Corporations and governments are a lot like people when money is tight, being easily tempted by available funds without looking at the “SMALL PRINT,” which indicates the true cost.
The comment by Doc Rivers seemed so harmless. Then I discovered that the NBA has generated eleven million dollars in revenue through fines. ($11,488,000 to be exact since 2003). WOW. That’s like retail stores that make more money off the interest rates and fines on their charge cards than the stuff they sell to customers. Retail credit cards are a cash cow for the stores they represent. It’s a catch-22 for the card holder because if the payment is late it hurts your credit and causes your interest rate to go up higher. On the other hand, canceling the card hurts your credit maybe more than the delinquent history. Starting in 2013 stores can now charge an additional surcharge just for swiping your card at the store. WOW (Did I say customers or did I say suckers).
What seems a senseless act of “terrorism” in Boston clearly strained capital. The long-term effect may turn out more like the 60 years of terrorism in Italy. They called it a war between communism and democracy. One thing seems clear and very similar – it put a strain on finances and many years later Italy is now trying to climb out of a financial mess. Maybe just a coincidence but likewise, the 2004 train bombing in Madrid caused a lot of damage resulting in a financial strain, now Spain is trying to climb out of a similar financial mess.
The fires in California caused its fire insurance rates to go up, just as the break-ins into the homes of Miami Heat players Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh causes their home insurance rates to go up. Yeah, they’ll get a nice check now, but look out when the policies come up for renewal, that money is gone. It may take years but what all these incidents have in common is that they rob you of resources, either directly draining cash or indirectly in other ways such as causing a lower credit rating, a higher interest rates, or putting a strain on the ability to raise cash.
I have to watch all my money – I’m not a high rolling celebrity or a municipality where politicians vote to spend seemingly unlimited resources; but, tides can quickly turn. Who knows, maybe someone will invest a million dollars in me. Why? Because I’m worth it. Cash that is. Sorry Alexander Hamilton, I know you were the first secretary of the treasury from 1789 to 1795 and you mastered leveraging credit, but no thanks!
Milwaukee Bucks go down in the 4th game, round 1.
Recap of the first round.
Game 1 Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks, Heat won 87-110.
The stars were out for game one. Rihanna came to play in Miami. Game one was the beginning for the Heat defending their NBA Championship, but for Rihanna and her new movie. “This is the End.”
Picture of Rihanna drawn by David “DH The Great” Hardeman, with colored pencils and ink pens. ”DH the Great” never had an art class. After being shot five times a higher power blessed him with life plus an awesome ability to draw. Five bullets didn’t mess up his basketball game either. You will hear more about DH the Great’s art and his soon-to-be released book, “A Million Tears.”
Game 2 Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks, Heat won 86-98.
In the second quarter of game 2, Dwyane Wade # 3 bucked his way right up the middle through the Bucks’
defense and scored. Wade posted the highest points in game 2.
Game 3 Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks, Heat won 104-91.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen # 11 under the rim had tenacity and the heart of a lion. Udonis Haslem # 40 contributed his monster slam.
Game 4 Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks, Heat won 88-77.
Call me a queen now!
LeBron James the King of Queens
Sharp shooter Chris Bosh# 1 puts Miami on the score board with authority, then takes back Miami’s lead at 13-12. Mike Miller # 13 throws down a 3rd triple 19-18. Norris Cole #30 hits 3 to put Miami up 22-20. Chris Anderson a/k/a Birdman, who tonight looks like an iguana, lizard, reptile, as he bounces without wings to the rim. Shane Battier # 31 sneaks into the rim. Cole’s pass to Miller gives Miller a 4th triple. Norris comes back with 2 (43-39). Miami goes into half-time up 3 (48-45), but after half-time Mike Miller gets high. He sails three more three’s for a total of 7 triples and ends with 26 points. The Heat sails smoothly to its 59th win (89-79).
The Miami Heat just beat the San Antonio Spurs, one of the best at-home teams and the Heat did it without Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Mario Chalmers. The Spurs outscored the Heat in the paint 46-18 but the Heat found a way to win with the energy of Norris Cole # 30. With the Spurs leading by one point, Udonis Haslem # 40 stops the Spurs’ final opportunity to score. Ray Allen then passes to Bosh who throws the crucial 3-point to put the Heat up 88-86 with .01.1 seconds in the game. Bosh scores the crucial winning point. The Heat is the only team in the NBA to win 17 games in a single month.
In the first 4 minutes, the Toronto Raptors average a fowl a minute. This is warm-up for the Heat who in 24 hours take on the Boston Celtics. Chris Bosh’s rhythm is on target, he hits a clean triple to take back the Heat’s lead. After 5 guys (not the burgers) touch the ball, Shane Battier # 31 hits 3 (22-17). Norris Cole # 30 hits 2 buckets. Q1 comes to a close with the Heat holding an 8-point lead (27-19). Raptors demonstrated that they are the rebound kings but that didn’t stop the Heat from winning.
LeBron takes a rebound and long strides down the court but gets stopped before making it to the rim (41-27). The Heat is shooting 64%, but being out-rebounded. The score is tied at 77, but Ray Allen on the run gives the Heat back its lead (79-77 10:35 Q4). Norris Cole sends a long foot ball pass to Wade in the air, touchdown. If I was the coach of the Miami Dolphins I would start picking from the Heat’s lineup. In less than 3 minutes the Heat advances its lead by 10.
Ray Allen hits another triple to give the Heat a 16-point lead (97-81). The Raptors take a hit, when Amir Johnson # 15 goes down. That puts a stop to him; he goes to the bench. Bosh goes to the line adding 2 (99-81, 5:30 Q4). LeBron flies through the air to get his 10th rebound. Ray Allen hits 3 from the corner to take the Heat up 102-81. LeBron grabs another rebound to put him in the double-double stratosphere with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists). Shane Battier hits 3 (105-81), with 4:25 remaining. Battier is playing so hard because he was with the Houston Rockets when they made their record-breaking 22-game winning streak before the Boston Celtics put a stop to that. Now Battier is fighting with the Heat on the verge of tying Houston’s Record.
Shane Battier # 31 is ready for some Boston Chicken, I mean Boston Celtics.
D. Wade makes a monstrous recovery as the ball flies out-of-bounds in the corner. Wade dives out-of-bounds, catches the ball in the air and throws it back into the court, without touching the floor out-of-bounds. Way to go Wade. (6-2). Wade goes up to the rim but gets hit by the butt of Sanders, then goes down. The team advances to the other end but, D. Wade remains on the floor. He’s not moving. Tragil must be having a fit, her baby brother is down; and Gabrielle Union is probably gagging, her star is not moving. Zaire and Zion are frozen along with their dad. But that does not compare to the thousands of fans who are holding their mouth. You’ve got to get up D. Wade. The game comes to a halt, but fans around the work start running for their over night bags cause they promised, “Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, to keep me from getting to you. If you ever need a helping hand, I’ll be there in a hurry, just as fast as I can.” But we’re in Miami, thousands of miles away. Not to worry, fans in Chi Town and Marquette head for the bus, Gus, making new plans, Stan.
For seven long minutes while Wade is in the locker room the Heat steps up their game and holds the fort down without Wade. Chris Bosh # 1 hits a triple with ease. Mario Chalmers # 15 with a spin, then Ray. Allen # 34 hits a 20-footer. Bosh comes back with a 20-footer. 14-10. LeBron James # 6 spins and turns to score. LeBron backs in creating space between him and #6 allowing him to score. Chalmers hits 3 (24-19) (Q1 1:40). LeBron shoots over # 6. The Bucks hit 3 to take the lead. At the end of Q 1 Miami is down a point 26-27.
Q2 LeBron on the move to the rim then passes to Ray Allen for 3 (32-27). LeBron races down court to slam down a one-handed dunk, that puts the Heat up 5. The world goes back to normal when D Wade steps back on the court and returns to the game with an even score (34-34 Q2 7:37). Wade looks fine, drawing a foul as he weaves his way through the paint like a sewing machine. Wade takes it to the rim. Then Bosh gets fired up scoring (42-36, 3:22), then again to give Miami a 44-36 lead. Mario Chalmers takes the ball away from Eran LLyasova # 7 and gets the ball back to the rim plus a shot at the line for a technical. Half-time Heat goes to locker room up 51-42.
Q3 Heat is still fired up. Bosh hits 3 from the corner (54-42). LeBron coming in for a landing but runs out of runway, races for the ball up on the table and into the stands. Then LeBron throws a long pass to Chalmers who throws it to Wade for a slam (59-47). After that Wade assists Bosh for 2. (61-49). Bosh hits another 3 to advance Miami’s lead 63-51. Bosh hits another 3 (66-53), plus one at the line. That gives Bosh 26 points. Udonis Haslem # 40 fights for a rebound. Wade gallops down the floor, throws his arm up and slams in the basket (71-57). 5:14 Q3. Chris Anderson,” a/k/a/Birdman” looking like he was locked in a closet in his childhood with a colorful parrot and a peacock, screaming, “Let me out,” sores on reverse and gets fouled. Wade steals then races down to the rim with his side kick LeBron following on a parallel track, for a slam dunk with a capital D (78-63). J.J. Redick # 5 hits 3, but Shane Battier responds with 3 (81-66). Wade’s in and out, get’s cleaned up by LeBron. The race is on, side kicks Wade and LeBron race side by side, in tandem, going to a go-go, the tag team does a show to slam dunk, while the Heat coaches on the bench reflect proudly in shades of purple (84-68). End of Q3 Heat is up 84-68.
A foul sends LeBron to the floor. 4Q 10:03. Battier goes to the rim but ends up at the line (85-75). Battier hits 3 (88-79, 8:18). Norris Cole # 30 strips the ball, allowing Wade to hustle towards the Heat rim (88-79). LeBron hooks his 28th point (90-79). Wade runs into the paint and around IIyasova to make it to the rim (92-81). The fans are stone cold quiet (5;42). Norris Cole hits 3 to put the Heat up 14 95-81. Battier races to the rim. Brandon Jennings # 3 hits 3 to cut the Heat’s lead to 9 (97-88). Battier’s block is taken to the rim by Bosh (99-88 2:52). LeBron gets fouled by Larry Sanders # 8 with such a ruckus that Larry (without emotional intelligence) gets ejected from the game (99-88). Ray Allen gets 2 shots for Sanders’ eject. What kind of sense does that make? How good can you be if you can’t control your emotions? Part of being a superstar includes knowing when to hold them and when to fold them.
LeBron at the line puts Heat up 103-88 with 2:32 remaining in Q4. Allen for three from the corner – Wade cleans up at the rim (105-92). LeBron hits 3 to advance the score 107-92 with a minute remaining. This is the 13th time the Heat scores over 100. The Heat with a final score 107-94, wins 21 straight games.
This Bird can fly in reverse.