New Jersey


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On Sunday morning, December the 23rd, after copious pre-partying at my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, our group of 5 split up, with three driving into The Village as a unit, and the other two, myself and who we’ll refer to for these purposes as “Dr. No”, taking car service down to 218 Sullivan St. for the purposes of taking in The Scumfrog, live and in person.  At exactly 3:03 AM, we sprung from the taxi, presented our pre-printed tickets to some very amenable door men, when we found out that we were the last on the “Want Tickets” list to arrive (you know, best for last sorta thing), thanked them, tipped them, and bounded in for our red stamps.  Coat check seemed daunting so we held our coats for a bit, as some of the drinking crowd seemed to be hitting the exits–as always–before things had even gotten good.  We entered to the sound of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”, a creepy rendition, quite frankly, which we found much to our liking.  It’s very easy to identify a deejay by sound.  We’ve been doing so for years.  We could see it was Scumfrog, as he was visible in the booth, and we probably were never more than 50′ from him on the whole evening, which is a credit to The Sullivan Room, an incredibly intimate venue.  But if he were perhaps obscured, we’d have known it was him.  The Scumfrog is very distinct and has a fondness for Rock & Roll–over thick, chunky beats, which these were.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/dj-chus-scumfrog-set-the-standard-in-weekly-podcast-series/

Dr. No had taken a wrong turn somewhere upon entrance.  No doubt he would turn up.  So I grabbed a drink and went right for the upper deck, where there was plenty of seating, so I settled in with a prayer that no one would approach me, and just listened to the set.  While there’s a lot we admire about The Scumfrog’s music, if we had to narrow it down to one thing, we’d say it is the beats.  He’s very aggressive and we can appreciate that.  We grew up with Danny and JP, and cut our teeth at after hours clubs, here, in Miami, and in Las Vegas, for the most part.  Frankly, we don’t even like JP, who to us, is very “Jersey”, and whose sets are often, shall we say, askew.  To come out to a regular party, during “regular hours”, when you don’t even need to submit to a body cavity search upon entrance, and to be wowed by hard beats is very notable.  We’re sure that Scumfrog appreciates that the ear of the city is very refined, and we think the set reflected his respect for this House Music community.  Chunky is the word that best described the consistency of beats, which is a very high bit of praise, and was the word we were mumbling when Dr. No caught back up with us a few minutes later.

Dr. No had found a seated perch right off the dance floor and when he saw me, he called me over to that spot.  While we hate moving, it was the right thing to do.  Like any house party, the patrons are going to be predominantly men, but there was definitely some talent on the floor, and it only takes a few hot chicks dancing, because really, how many places can your eyes be in at once?  A couple of stripper quality chicks dancing (Saturday night strippers, not Monday night strippers) can go a long way.  Once I got set up over there, a guy came over and approached Dr. No.  I was happy to ignore it, happier still that he hadn’t approached me.  But I could hear the conversation, and this cat had a very Aussie accent, and so right away the very paranoid patron that I am started doubting it, wondering if this guy wasn’t a fake Australian/real pig.  So I am patiently waiting this thing out, when Dr. No mentions the Australian Open, and directs this kid to me, because I am a very big tennis fan.  Fuck.  It turns out, the guy probably was from Australia because he knew enough to talk about Aussie prodigy Bernard Tomic, which frankly, is not much of a topic among local 5-0.  He said that Tomic had some issues and I had said back that a player that good, that young, often has hiccups because they are raised in the spotlight.  Then the guy asked me for drugs.  LOL.  We knew it was coming and were glad to get it out of the way.  We do not know where to get drugs in The Sullivan Room and wouldn’t have told him, even if we knew.  Surely, if he approached everyone in the bar as he had us, he’d find them.  So that’s what we told him.  Ask around, but we can’t help you.  He was cool, and we really hope he found what he was looking for.  Surprisingly enough, he was the only person who asked us for drugs, which has to be some sort of a record.  One that we appreciated, because we are too para to get solicited in a situation like that.

We were paranoid indeed.  We were paranoid that our friends, “Dr. Mo”, his wife, “Dr. Jo”, and our friend “Dr. Bo”, had retired early and weren’t really on their way to the club.  Yes, we roll with doctors.  Three M.D.’s and one D.C.  And to tell the truth, they sorta look at me like a Godfather of sorts in these situations.  I had vouched heavily for The Scumfrog, so I was of course anxious to see them and to see them having fun.  Dr. Mo, an avid House fan (How serious, you ask?  His email tag is “twilofire”!), had also gone way back with The Scumfrog, and had lived in the same apartment building as him about ten years ago, on 34th and 3rd, where he saw him all the time.  It had turned out that they had been there, on the other side of the club, so they had heard a bit of the set.  A track came on–“No Can Do” by Hall & Oates.  Dr. Mo settled in on my left and asked me the following questions:

“Do you think he played ‘Trippin” yet?”

“What do you think of all the popular music?”

I knew he had not played “Trippin'” yet, and stated as such.  He asked me why I felt that way.  Because to play “Trippin” early in a set was amateurish, and probably even an amateur would not disrespect that track that way.  Also, I felt it would be bad form to play a request early in a set.  “Trippin'”, besides, is more of a set’s linchpin, and you wouldn’t waste it by blowing it prematurely.

The second question was more interesting.  My answer was honest.  I said that some hardcore fans would probably frown on popular music in that spot, think it’s campy.  Then again, we’ve all heard it done.  I’ve heard Steve Lawler drop the Red Hot Chili Peppers, heard Danny drop from Michael Jackson to 50 Cent (boo!), even heard Victor Calderone drop “Without Love” by the Doobie Brothers at the Old Crobar in Miami, and that selection probably made the most impact on me of any record I’ve ever heard spun.  We all love to hear identifiable music, especially when it’s good, and Scumfrog has an excellent sense of what the fans want to hear.  But this was a two part answer.  “As long as he drops them over hard beats, he’s got nothing to worry about.”, I said.  And Scumfrog really delivers at that, and we feel he has even improved at that, that his craft right now is extremely tight and polished.

In short, we picked the right spot to come out from under a rock.  Scumfrog was amazing, and we will be sure to repeat the affair the next time he plays The Sullivan Room, which was also even better than we remembered.  It’s an easy place to hang out.  Drinks are cheap, and all the workers are very appreciative, when you tip, whether they be barmen or bathroom attendants.  That’s the nice thing about going out these days.  We can actually afford to spend money, and always prefer to tip well for the enjoyment and the unofficial benefits that go with tipping, which we’ll not discuss in this space.

Somewhere around 4:25 AM, close enough to the end for us, and to 4:20 for that matter, The Scumfrog dropped “Trippin'”, B Side, as he so graciously sent us the link to.  What a gentleman.  We knew what it was immediately, and we went right to the booth to thank him.  We hope he heard us.  If not, here it is as well.  From there he played “If I ever Lose My Faith”, as we expected, and then to chants of “One More Track!”, he played “Asteroidz” by DBN Featuring Matilda, and it was quite a bomb.  In fact, it was the only time we took out our phone all night, as we did not want to seem rude, but at that point–last track–it hardly mattered.  We also actually felt bad about guilting The Scumfrog into playing “Trippin'” because we didn’t feel like the crowd was that warm to it, like these kids don’t know “Trippin'”, and therefore it felt a bit selfish on our part.  At any rate, we’ll take it.

The Scumfrog played a great set in a great room, and the only recognizable music we heard was either classic, or Scumfrog classic, in which case, we knew to expect some things because any deejay will fall back on a few tracks here and there.  And now, we have just a couple of questions.  Well, more, but we’ve narrowed it to 2.  One was, after a triumphant show like that, what does an ex-NYer from New Mexico do with himself?  Our bet would have to be real pizza.  The other, was he sporting a bit of a mustache now?

And for the unsanitized version of events, you may inquire within.  But if we tell you, we may have to kill you.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

“I ended up that day finally at the federal lockup in Brooklyn.  The lights went on at 6 O’ Clock the next morning and within ten minutes I was approached for any drug I wanted.  Heroin, coke.  I’m supposed to be able to prevent it, but meanwhile, in a place where you’re strip searched 6, 9 times before getting to your bed, it’s okay for them to have it.”

                                                                                                     — Peter Gatien

“You go to any rock concert, for example, at either The Meadowlands or Madison Square Garden and you are gonna have hundreds if not thousands of people using drugs and you’re not gonna see the management of The Meadowlands or Madison Square Garden indicted.”

“There was a young prosecutor, very little experience.  Her name was Michelle Adelman.  I mean, she was obsessed with Peter.  She had a big picture of Peter behind her desk in her office.  I remember going in there one time and saying, ‘This is not healthy.  Get a life.  This is just a case.'”

“…regardless of how prominent the individual is, I had never seen such a scorched earth mentality.”

                                                                                                    –Ben Brafman

“The motto was get Gatien at all costs.”

                                    –John Dabrowski (P.I. & former Nassau County Cop)

We understand Peter Gatien’s criticism of Billy Corben’s 2011 documentary, Limelight.  The legendary club owner was hoping that the film would be less of a monument to him than a cautionary tale of governmental overreach, or so he told the New York Times in September of 2011.  We’re not sure if Corben meant it to be, but the early minutes of the movie nearly present Gatien as both the finder and the founder of the club scene.  We would think, even in a movie about The Limelight, that Corben has some obligation to at least mention the genesis of the club scene.  The creator of the modern dance hall/dance club genre was Bill Graham, a holocaust survivor and transplanted New Yorker to San Francisco.  Graham had observed the radical success of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author Ken Kesey and his crew, The Merry Pranksters, with their Acid Test parties, held during the mid 60’s at roving locations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and later, Mexico, when Kesey became a fugitive from the law for violating his probation (he was arrested for possessing approximately 3 grams of marijuana).  Graham rented out San Francisco’s old Fillmore Auditorium in 1968.  The Fillmore was depicted in the Hunter S. Thompson book and subsequent movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in a most memorable scene, when Thompson, played by Johnny Depp, drops part of a hit of LSD, paper form, onto the sleeve of his coat in the Fillmore’s bathroom, where another club patron seizes on that opportunity, and proceeds to suck the acid off of his sleeve.

Bill Graham, who was born Wolodia Grajonca, was unpopular with some of the celebrities of the Haight-Ashbury counter culture movement, like the Pranksters, because he didn’t deem them worthy of free admission.  Graham, who earned a business degree from City College, understood invariably that The Fillmore was a business.  He was an excellent businessman who also gained prominence as the manager of Jefferson Airplane.  When some Haight-Ashbury residents pressured the police to crack down on his establishment because of the notorious hippie element, Graham bought a suit of clothes, slicked his hair, and went door to door to all neighborhood businesses, to explain to local businessmen how much opportunity for revenue that hippie element created for the neighborhood.  When asked how he was able to persuade the local community not to pursue their complaints about The Fillmore, he replied, “Pressure.”

Bill Graham is well chronicled in The Haight-Ashbury: A History, by Rolling Stone reporter Charles Perry.  Perhaps the best work to date on Graham, if less comprehensive, is Tom Wolfe’s amazing nonfiction novel, The Electric Koolaid Acid Test.

We were also left unimpressed with Corben’s depiction of the beginning of Ecstasy culture in NYC.  We’d characterize crediting “Lord Michael” for essentially bringing MDMA to New York as a convenient truth for the purposes of this film.  While MDMA was first created by German scientists trying to develop an appetite suppressant for plump housewives, it was America who put the chemical on the map, thanks to our good friend Dr. Shulgin, in large part.  Ecstasy scenes in California and Texas were thriving throughout the 1980’s and a great deal of their Ecstasy made its way to NY, though Lord Michael seems to be the only chump to get himself on the map for transporting a substance, and in small numbers mind you, that was not yet illegal.  But Lord Michael’s tales of bringing in several thousand hits from England, if we can agree that such piddly “smuggling” is small potatoes, is an argument which would refute Gatien’s criticism about the essence of the film.

We love Corben’s body of work, which includes Cocaine Cowboys and the lesser known Square Groupers, a compelling collection of stories from 70’s era marijuana traffickers.  We’d have to applaud Corben for Limelight as well–especially for Limelight–because this was an establishment very near and dear to our hearts, and because any governmental over-reach is too much.  In fact, we feel no need to be as diplomatic as star club owner Peter Gatien.  This movie is about tyranny to us in a very obvious sense, and the subject of that tyranny is our very demographic–the liberal intelligentsia.

The Limelight’s venue (above), which had to rankle conservative types because it was a former church, though officially deconsecrated.

What’s most germane to this story is that Rudolf Giuliani, whom Gatien supported in his bid to become mayor, whose first wife was also his cousin, made a target of Gatien when Nicholas Marinelli supposedly died the night after supposedly purchasing drugs at The Limelight.  Marinelli, from a privileged background, whose family had the personal ear of then NJ governor Thomas Kean, called Giuliani personally about Gatien, who then unleashed the DEA upon Gatien, an easy target because of his success, notoriety, and villainous eye patch.  We also do not think it helped Gatien’s cause the way the club was portrayed in the 1992 movie, The Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Keitel as a dirty cop who went to the club to score drugs (frankly we are surprised Limelight made no mention of that, though Corben may not have had permission to use that movie for this film.)

If you read that as a joke, it’s not how we meant it, though we get how preposterous that should be to you.  There is no greater danger to our liberty than inbred mayoral scum doing favors for mush mouthed cronies along political back channels that seek to destroy the lives of people according to their looks, lifestyle, and progressive attitudes.  And oh, by the way, Marinelli committed suicide, and the official cause of death is listed as death by asphyxiation.  But the government was not about to let a good scapegoat be obscured by mere, actual FACTS.  In making the case against Peter Gatien, the state was also putting a sinister face on Ecstasy, a “new” and little known drug, giving our great nation a leg up in the Machiavellian propaganda machine that is the war on drugs.

While on the topic of facts, how about USADA Linda Lacewell’s oh so ignorant claim that Ecstasy commonly contained heroin and PCP?  Frankly, that may be our “favorite” bit of drug war propaganda of all time.  Ecstasy databases like DanceSafe, EData, and even the woefully disgraceful PillReports  have thousands of lab results including chemical compositions, Reagent test results, and failing those, user reports.  When one searches those databases by chemical, or should they even go report by report, dating back to the 1st published information on specific Ecstasy, there is approximately 1 pill per 1000 (0.1% of all Ecstasy) suspected to contain PCP.  We’d estimate an even smaller percentage suspected to have heroin.  Granted, the Ecstasy information available is still flagging, but only because the establishment prefers us to believe what they want us to believe as opposed to what’s true.  A person like Linda Lacewell, a Draconian moron of her ilk, would like us to believe that there are serial killers out there whose modus operandi is death by Ecstasy, preying on people by giving them heroin or PCP, which, are not even deadly drugs necessarily.  When pressed however, Lacewell and those from the same school of drug war propaganda, attempted to connect MDMA with cardiac arrest, before the weak declaration that MDMA causes…heat exhaustion.  Ecstasy has been classified as non lethal, and benign by main stream medicine.  Please recall Peter Jennings’ ABC special called Ecstasy in which Jennings declared on national television that a person could use MDMA sporadically throughout their entire life while suffering zero long term effects.

Now, can an Ecstasy pill contain heroin?  Absolutely.  Have they?  More myth than fact, and we’ve never seen a legitimate composition report of a pill sold as Ecstasy that contained heroin, in 2 decades of analysis, but it is possible.  It’s also possible that the Jets can win the Superbowl.  But can we all appreciate the chances of it happening are about the same as a snowball’s chance in hell?  For we are not able to call it a reasonable assertion that heroin and PCP routinely make up Ecstasy with statistical significance based on scientific data.  Then again, how much scientific data is really being consulted by men who marry their blood relatives?  How much scientific data was used in consultation with the Salem Witch Trials?  And how often really, does this government tell, we the people, the truth as opposed to crude distortions?

On Giuliani’s marriage to his second cousin, which lasted 14 years, FYI, before being annulled, in grand Roman Catholic style reminiscent of the warrior popes of the middle ages, which were just about on Giuliani’s same wavelength:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=2395516&page=1#.UJsZf442UqY

http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=famous

http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/entertainment-celebcousinpairs/7/

http://www.realchange.org/giuliani.htm

Or Google it yourself.  There are only 722,000 search results that pop up when one searches “Giuliani married cousin.”  We thought it a very interesting use of device the way that Corben pulled the story of Gatien’s drug case together.  Raconteur indeed.  At the very outset of that portion of the movie that gets into the drug charges levied against Gatien, the first round of charges that is, Brafman, the best criminal attorney in the country, bar none, who has won acquittals for Gatien, Sean Combs, a laundry list of mafioso, as well as sweetheart plea arrangements for Daphne Abdela (“The Baby Faced Killer”) and Chris Paciello (who participated in the home invasion murder of Staten Island housewife Judy Shemtov), in addition to other star clients like Michael Jackson and Plaxico Burress, released a statement saying that Gatien ‘at no time in his 20+ year career owning clubs ever condoned drug use.’

Hold the thought.  Because when informant, murderous scum like Michael Alig and Sean Kirkham brag to the Feds that Gatien personally binged at drug parties that he organized, the law, having caught Gatien in an apparent lie when he wasn’t even under oath, expanded their charges to include ones that claimed that Gatien used such parties as a reward for his employees for allegedly excelling in his alleged criminal Ecstasy drug distribution operation.  Brafman had a responsibility, pre-trial, to counter the massive public relations blows coming at Gatien, rapid fire, from the inbred mayor, the NYPD, the DEA, and the federal government.  If Brafman was indeed correct in his exchange with ADA Adelman (“this is just a case”), then we may conclude that tactics like the pile on effect–creating a litany of tack on charges that give the appearance of guilt–is standard operating practice for “the people” (*cringe*).  Trustworthy prosecutors (oxymoron) may charge people with multiple counts where truly applicable, but the pile on effect does, as Gatien said, run counter to a most basic right of the actual people, which is the presumption of innocence.  For is it not more difficult to maintain the presumption of innocence when a person is facing 5 charges as opposed to 1 or 2?

What about Gatien’s specific remarks about the charges that connected his sporadic drug use to racketeering?  Isn’t he right when he says that a jury of working class, middle class people, tasked to deliberate on his freedom, will be pre-prejudiced by the fact that on occasion he binged on cocaine while frequenting prostitutes, if they were in fact prostitutes?  How is Peter Gatien, multi-millionaire/captain of industry/playboy/hotel drug partier, going to get an unprejudiced jury of his peers, in a drug case, when somebody like that has no peers?  Peter Gatien as the original Peerless Price.  Precisely why it was so imperative that Gatien retain Brafman in the first place.  An attorney like Brafman can create peers from the unlikeliest jury pools, and only one steadfast juror who follows the judge’s instructions closely, is needed to render a not guilty verdict.  As Brafman said in Limelight, after inquiring as to a possible plea arrangement, the best option was to represent Gatien in court and take their chances with the jury system.  Brafman:

“I went down to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and said, ‘this is like, crazy.  If we wanted to resolve the case, what would be the sentencing guidelines that you would think was appropriate?’  They looked at me and said ’11 years.’  They assessed Peter Gatien criminal responsibility for every pill sold by anyone that they seized in the course of the investigation.  They multiplied out the math and it came to 11 years.  I looked at them like they were nuts to suggest that Peter Gatien, who was running 4 venues at the same time, could be criminally responsible for what went on at any given moment at any one of the venues was something that I thought I could win in a court room.”

Super heavyweight criminal attorney Ben Brafman (above).

To keep suit with the very logical Brafman, should any crime be committed in a club, the club owner is not automatically criminally responsible for conspiracy to commit such a crime.  The nuisance abatement laws in NYC which permitted the police to shut any business’s doors in which there were 3 incidents in one year, if applied to strictly to clubs, would see every club shuttered.  Let’s be completely honest.  There are thousands of drug deals going down on any given night in any major venue, club, concert, festival, and so on.  The irony is, The Limelight was not nearly the drug supermarket, “a drug buyer’s paradise”, that it would become after Gatien had relinquished ownership.  Drug use should be an indicator more as to what is likely in a free society, not an indictment on that society, and never an indictment against the operator of the venue, unless truly warranted.

Sean Kirkham, in fact, conspired with the authorities (who, by the way, were so unreliable and were guaranteed to be ruined on the stand by Brafman that the prosecution could not allow their testimony) for the purposes of creating the charges against Gatien.  As Gatien explained, “the only way to prevent those drug deals from happening on those nights was to not open the doors.”  How do you, after all, prevent the DEA from running their own drug ops at any given place at any given time?  One has to consider exactly why then, do the nuisance abatement laws exist if not as a tool for tyranny, which is defined as an arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic use of authority.  But then, Sean Kirkham re-flipped, and claimed that prosecutor Eric Friedberg, who was brought in to buoy the government’s case as it headed to trial, because Adelman and her little crony were essentially amateurs not fit to duel Ben Brafman, was someone with whom he had had a homosexual relationship.  Friedberg, who was the chief of the Federal Narcotics Bureau.  LOFL.  Though probably not a guy who hooked up with a gay club kid who dabbled in counterfeiting, a clown nontheless, so that was a nice laugh which came around the one hour mark of the film.  But when the trial began, it was Michelle Adelman, who in the opening statement, admitted to the jury that the government had exactly zero evidence linking Gatien financially to any of the crimes he was charged with.

So why then would a person conspire to distribute Ecstasy and throw parties to reward his Ecstasy salesman, if not for profit?  Because Gatien had an overwhelming interest in seeing club patrons high?  High people do not spend money.  But that’s besides the point, really, because not only couldn’t the government make any sense as to what Gatien’s possible motives could be, but also, by the time of the trial in 1998, there was exactly one major witness left to their case trying to implicate Gatien, the infamous Michael Caruso (“Lord Michael”), whom Ben Brafman not only exposed for the scumbag he was on cross examination, but also, raised the spectre of possibility that Caruso was a murderer, when Caruso broke down in tears on the stand, begging the court to believe that the questionable circumstances surrounding Caruso’s roommate’s suicide were indeed true, and to believe him that he did not participate in that roommate’s death.  The government’s case was essentially blown in the course of that cross, if not by Adelman herself during the opening statement, which is precisely the reason why Brafman is known as the best attorney in the world at cross examining witnesses.  Brafman, who has made an extraordinary career at criminal defense, is practiced at exposing liars, breaking down snitches by the dozen in your average mafia case.  And it all begs the question, as Village Voice reporter Frank Owen (who authored The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture) put it in the film, “then what the hell are we doing here?”

But you had an overzealous prosecution emboldened by a hell bent, inbred mayor, who had essentially struck out with their over-riding strategy, which was, as Gatien said, ‘to break him and make him plead’, and now had to take its chances with a couple of sketchy, unscrupulous criminals, against the Ben Brafman because there was no backup plan (*at that time*).  Brafman should have won a dismissal, but we’re sure he was happy to settle for not guilty on all counts.  But at the end of the day, those not guilty verdicts read by the Gatien jury in 1998 were not by any means the end of the government’s persecution of Peter Gatien.  Also, it was where Corben’s film takes a stunning turn in complexity.

One of Michael Caruso’s allegations, shoddy as they may be, gave us pause for consideration.  Caruso alleged, and though it was not even illegal at the time, to have once given Gatien 20 hits of Ecstasy, as a “display of respect.”  It was not necessary for Brafman to disprove that statement, and, it could very well have been true.  Gatien was an imperfect man, a real human being, and we thought the film did an excellent job of presenting a very complicated figure in Gatien, in a way that did not sanctify him.  Gatien said he had never used drugs in his clubs, ever.  Okay.  So maybe he got some drugs at the “massive drug supermarket” that was The Limelight, or Tunnel, or Palladium, or Club USA.  Again, he’s not under oath when he makes a statement like that, and it’s not unreasonable to think that he may have gotten drugs from Caruso.  I mean, who didn’t get E at a club like that at some point, if you are in the scene?

The implication, whether true or false, does “dirty” Gatien, and frankly, one of the things that drives us here on this page and in our other projects and in life is to legitimize the use of psychedelics, so a Gatien or his patrons, people like me, do not face damage to their reputation for using them.  But we aren’t there yet.  We aren’t even close.  So there is Gatien, the deceptive drug user, but also, Gatien, the irresponsible business man.  In watching this film, who out there feels that Gatien’s explanations about how much it cost to run his empire were valid?  I do believe they were true but at the same time, not valid, if that can make sense.  Hiring teams of artists, architects, and decorators to constantly transform and remake the club, from party to party, is not the way to run a successful club.  We hate to malign Gatien, but we are compelled to be honest.  Every successful non Vegas club we’ve ever seen has put on the show with minimum frills, save for the act.  You must spend on the music and the sound, and not necessarily on the decor.  Gatien’s style was garish which happened to work well in Atlanta where he had a campy dance floor built over a shark tank and whatnot, and for the 80’s and 90’s in NYC we see why a similar approach helped attract patrons.  But at the end of the day, you are there for the music.

Bill Graham understood the importance of keeping costs down, something that Gatien doesn’t get.  Had he gotten it, he would not have had to sell his clubs for what amounted to a song, even in the face of mounting a 5 year defense against the federal government.  To do $25M in revenue a year for ten years or whatever the numbers were, is ridiculous, and very hard to sell to me when it’s done and there’s no money that it wasn’t wasteful.  Also, hard to sell to the owner of Circa in Toronto, which Gatien ran for a while, before the ownership tired of his wasteful spending practices.  And why was NYC’s King of Clubs relegated to Toronto in the first place, having hit a home run against the government in his drug case?

Well, that’s because Gatien, a Canadian citizen, never naturalized as an American citizen, despite having an American wife and children.  One of whom produced this film (Jen Gatien, DeerJen Productions).  So when Gatien was convicted of tax fraud, which Brafman and Gatien admitted he was guilty of, the US government, still with a healthy hard on for Peter Gatien some 5 years after Brafman beat them clean in court, exercised the right to deport Gatien, as President Bush, another Republican who does not know who inspector Javert is (we loved the story relayed in the film by former mayor Ed Koch, who told Giuliani “Rudy, you are pursuing people like inspector Javert with an intensity that is not acceptable”, to which Giuliani replied, “Who’s Javert?”) gave some quid pro quo to America’s mayor, who we again remind you, is inbred trash.  (After 9/11, the Patriot Act was passed, which allows the government to deport non citizens guilty of fraud.)

Gatien somehow did not see this coming?  The government’s war of attrition took a turn in the Al Capone-esque direction, when they couldn’t get Gatien for drugs and racketeering, and frankly, he needed to be beyond reproach having had such a large bullseye drawn on his back, a “scorched earth policy” the likes of which his attorney had never before seen.  Then again, when the government crawls up your ass for ten or twelve years, they are eventually going to find something that stinks.  Who among us has never broken the law?  Then again, are we all out there committing fraud, which in this case, was a willful misrepresentation of his business’s tax records?  Would we be stupid enough to do so after seeing our freedom already so vehemently threatened?

The government aimed to get him and they got him, and what difference did it make to them really if it didn’t happen on the first try?  Well, the difference it made was that it strengthened their resolve and fortified their approach to where there wouldn’t have to be a trial next time around.  They would still find a way to see Gatien go to federal prison and then unceremoniously deport him from the United States.

Though the prosecution admitted that they had no evidence that Gatien had profited from the sale of drugs in his clubs, they hardly needed proof to levy the accusation.  It was like this: ‘while we don’t have proof, um, the guy wears an eye patch, for the love of God and country.’  The refute was like this: ‘why would Peter Gatien, grossing a zillion dollars a year, risk his freedom and the life as he knew it in order to make a few extra dollars selling Ecstasy?’

Indeed.  So why would he run a tax scam for a few extra dollars then?  Is the answer a study in complexity, a testament to human fallibility, or an indicator that the government was right all along that Gatien was indeed a criminal?  We think it was two out of three.  We don’t think Gatien a criminal.  We think, in the end, that this film was such a profile of tyranny, of the arbitrary wielding of might, wreckless and whimsical and incompetent and blatantly sinister and yet successful, all at once.  Gatien is perhaps too close to the matter to assess Corben’s film properly.  Or, rather, Gatien had a hand in the making of the film, and that in his assessment, the best way to see it to success was to be critical of his portrayal.  For why would a man assail the work of his own daughter publicly, if not for a ruse that could lead to financial prosperity?

In the end, the government was not about to get beaten again by the Gatien/Brafman dream team.  They have to live with getting beaten by Brafman when they are foolish enough to take him to court, but not by Gatien, who in the end, does get to go down as a criminal in the version of the story as they choose to tell it.  Because he “allowed” people to do drugs in a place when we live in a society where people are doing drugs anyway, everywhere, and who do not need our permission.

In the end, Gatien is a phenomenal interview and Brafman a legendary one, and Corben a genius at bringing their story together, and the government’s, the grandest of long cons, a coup d’etat by which they broke a man at a trial they lost so that he wouldn’t have the power to fight another fight.  And Gatien, banished, in exile in Toronto, essentially because despite the tremendous opportunities in America, he never loved America enough to join it, always leery of the mechanisms at play which generated those opportunities.  With good reason.

We say to Peter Gatien, “THANK YOU!”  That the money is no great loss. Can’t take it with you.  Gatien not only provided establishments for people like me, but also, for all the people, no matter their color, their sexuality, their age, their dress, what they looked like or spoke like or whether they were from Brooklyn or Jupiter.  We hope he truly takes heart in his freedom as he says, and that he isn’t the lonely Canadian outcast, a media distortion to this day.  Gatien was a wild success in his industry and in life who conquered NY and embarrassed the government.  He may no longer be peerless, but it is only a precious few who has withstood what he has and came out as well, alive to tell.

From a child of The Limelight.

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

This nonsense has been hanging over our heads, faithful NHL fans with an eye for labor unrest would agree, for probably close to 2 years, and what should be closer to 8, since the last time the league pulled this powerplay, and proudly broke the will and the leadership of the NHLPA.  There would have to be a rumble in the next CBA, and so here we are.  NHL Lockout 2012, in much the same fashion as they brought us NHL Lockout 2004 and NHL Lockout 1994.  And by many of the same offensive offenders.  Jeremy Jacobs, Ed Snider, Lou Lamoriello, and of course, the worst commissioner in professional sports, by a mile, the front man and lead goon in a record 3rd lockout, Gary Bettman.

We don’t care for the argument that he is only doing what he is told.  That’s not true.  The owners are doing what Bettman tells them to do, and not vice versa.  Bettman has tightened up the NHL bylaws so that the power of the commissioner is nearly indomitable, as the obviously very astute Ken Dryden reminds us in the recent article excerpted below:

In NHL governors’ meetings, Bettman would point this out, at first forcefully, over time as if possessed.  He presented elaborate charts: Here’s what the league and individual teams take in, here’s what we spend. It makes no sense. Here’s what winning teams spend, here’s what losing teams spend. There’s no correlation between spending and performance (there was, in fact, some correlation). It makes no sense.

He would run a roll call of teams, and one by one take team owners, with all their private business splashed up on a big screen for everyone to see, to the principal’s office. Here’s what you’re doing – you idiot – here are the results you’re getting – you moron – and, always prefaced by the anti-trust defeating phrase, “Of course, you have the right, as everyone does, to make any decision you want” – what are you going to do in the future – you total fool.

To get out of the principal’s office, team owners learned to respond as if at an AA meeting.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/league-and-players-are-fighting-in-an-age-of-disagreement/article4543964/

And:

He had to get their support to change the NHL bylaws so that a higher percentage of team owners were required to override any proposed agreement with the NHLPA he brought to them. Then he’d need the support of only a few friendly owners, and the negotiations were his. He got the bylaws changed.

This is part of the reason he gets to so cockily tout his position in the negotiations, like saying “we simply feel we are paying the players too much money.”  Obviously, as is evidenced by the spate of huge contracts being offered by these owners, of their own free will mind you, they do not feel they are paying the players too much.  A small market team, for God sakes, offered the richest contract in history not once but twice in the same day, when Minnesota signed Suter and Parise.  BTW, we hate Parise, obviously, but could not argue at all when asked for comment on the labor situation, and he said “You know Bettman loves his lockouts.”

It’s another part of the reason, for the sport of it.  And what kind of guy gets off on depriving workers of their livelihoods?  Make no mistake about this, there are workers that are going to be deprived of their jobs.  All arena workers, and many ancillary workers, players aside.  This is not a good guy.  If you listen to his press conferences and interviews, do you not get the distinct impression you are hearing from a sheisty lawyer telling multiple lies a minute.  Forget that he invoked the price of jet fuel and hand massages when asked about inflation affecting the owners.  It’s not that.  It’s that he is a mean and vindictive labor leader and therefore, needs to be vigorously protected from by the union.  It’s also that he hasn’t come up as extremely intelligent when dealing with labor issues, franchise issues, potential owners, and just about all the really relevant issues affecting the league.

We haven’t thought much of him from the get go.  But apparently NHL owners are either none too hard to please or even less bright than Bettman himself.  And they don’t have too much more of a heart than Bettman either, sanctioning these lockouts, which almost feel like a rite of passage at this point.  Here is some very pointed criticism of Bettman from another good article on the looming lockout and specifically, on Bettman’s performance and on the league, from author and economist Andrew Zimbalist:

“It means it is poorly managed,” said our frank, 64-year-old professor of economics at Smith College in Massachusetts, and author of 20 books, including May The Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy.

“Mr. Bettman, although he has some qualities that are admirable, has made a lot of bad decisions,” Zimbalist said this week, before Thursday’s confirmation that we are heading towards Bettman’s third lockout since becoming the commissioner of the National Hockey League in 1993. “He has not promoted effective management at the team level, and he is unwilling to admit his mistakes and walk away from them.”

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-lockout/2012/09/13/nhl_lockout_cba_betmann_bad_for_business/

Zimbalist calls the game’s popularity in the USA as on a “thin string.”  He criticizes Bettman for threatening the stability and popularity of the game in the US, and for insisting on a bad policy of expansion in the American southeast where he was in essence, forcing the game on little interested markets.  Yet he is the guy asking for a 15% reduction in salaries, a reduction that actually equates to a 17.3% reduction in salary when the league’s new definition of hockey related revenue is applied.

The owners are destined to fight, obviously at Bettman’s behest, because they feel that the players, who agreed to rollbacks and other severe concessions last time, could be broken again, should they apply a little financial pressure in the form of lost earnings.  The players need to fight because they got beat so badly last time.  They need to resurrect the reputation of the union, which once had a fine reputation as smart and tough, is now considered a laughingstock.

Things like that are gonna have a funny way of changing the perception with a guy like Donald Fehr running things for the players.  The players needed a good guy, and perhaps, they got the best guy there ever was in sports labor relations.  Is Fehr an evil lawyer himself?  A bit.  But he’s brilliant.  He’s a guy you know has thought through every angle.  So brilliant, and hammer him for this if you like, but he was able to keep accountable steroid testing out of baseball for years and years after the steroid problem had become a scandal and a black mark on the game.

For Fehr, that’s an opportunity to keep big stats in the game, which keep leading to record contracts.  As it is his job, first and foremost to fight for the union, and the big contracts are phenomenal for the union.  We can’t see how Bettman feels all that comfortable in this confrontation.  Zimbalist also feels that by offering the players a 15% reduction, that Bettman was negotiating from an “unreasonable position”, which smells like, at the very least, bad faith to us.

We think Fehr knows a lot of tricks that Bettman hasn’t seen yet.  We know he’s gone to school, to Harvard, essentially, on the NHL and it’s embarrassing practices.  And Fehr and the players both understand the necessity of re-making the union’s reputation.  That’s not the kind of thing that a guy like Fehr undertakes lightly.  He refused to open negotiations early, knowing full well of the league’s intend to lockout.  Fehr is not exactly shying away from this course of action.  He’s ready to fight, and he’s a guy who really has never lost a fight like this, in a league of his own.

We think the players are doing a good job in the press, as the owners unreasonable position seems ironclad.  The players winning press is going to help the players ultimately get a nice deal.  Once the fans and media become totally entrenched in their position as pro player, Bettman is going to drop the nonsense and talk turkey.  We see Fehr bamboozling Bettman at that time, in ways that Bettman won’t be able to figure out for a few good years of head scratching, just like every CBA, pretty much, that Bettman has gotten for his greedy, malicious owners.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

We don’t do much on politics except drug politics.  Yet here we are.  So this must be important.  The other day when driving behind a car with the red Rutgers “R”, a flood of negativity rushed in.  We had recently read, in full, the pleas for leniency made to the court by the parents of Dharun Ravi.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/05/dharun_ravi_sentencing_impact.html

His mom says he has suffered enough.  He can’t eat, she says.  He has no social life.  The media made him a monster, she says.  The whole case is a media distortion, she says.  She says that there has never been any truth.  None.  Her son loves his family dog and his baby brother, she says.  She says that on the 2 or 3 weekends before Tyler Clementi took his own life, her son came home to be with his family.  These were the linchpins of her argument as to the glowing character of her son.

And of course, she says he doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body.  Of course he doesn’t.  He’s a great guy, right?  The father says the same.  The father also says they are not a closed household and that they celebrate diversity, the whole American way nonsense, as anyone could’ve easily predicted he would.  What is he gonna say?

Actually, if it was my son for whom I was applying for leniency, I would not hesitate to fall on my sword.  Yes, we were hateful and please please save him because this is all our fault.  We obviously failed to bring up a productive member of society.  Don’t punish him for that.

But Mr. Ravi is intent on having the court know that the Ravis are “good people.” As easy as it would be to call such nonsense laughable, who really knows?  Maybe they are.  Not Dharun, of course.  Clearly he is most despicable.  A destructive member of society.  If you can not agree with us on that then just X this out.  But maybe they are good and life is just complicated, as they say.

This next bit is not so complicated.  A jury read about 300 guilty verdicts against him.  We can’t go count for count, but bias intimidation counts are essentially hate crimes, are they not?  Now one does not have to hold hate in his heart in order to commit hateful acts.  And these were hateful acts, under taken repetitively.  Also, one can hold much hate inside and not act on that hate.  The Ravis want to make this about Dharun Ravi not being hateful.

That doesn’t even matter.  It is completely irrelevant.  If Tyler Clementi was not gay would Dharun Ravi have webcammed his trysts?  Please.  So that nonsense ends right there.  The other nonsense is that Dharun Ravi didn’t make Tyler Clementi commit suicide.  We beg to differ.

Dharun Ravi did not get charged with murder.  That is a fact.  If he is not responsible for Clementi’s death, who is?  Well, Rutgers.  Obviously.  How do you leave kids together who express these apprehensions, on record, to the U.?  They will get theirs, for sure, and we’ll leave that for another day.

Dharun Ravi is also responsible.  One does not get to say, ‘well, I told Rutgers I didn’t wanna live with him’ and offer that for absolution.  Although, Ravi’s parents are quick, and many liberals whom I thought were of our own ilk, are quick as well to point out that Ravi didn’t make Clementi commit suicide.  I guess not.  He just made the action that caused the suicide.  Pure semantics.  He wasn’t on trial for murder or manslaughter or whatever anyway.  He did the crimes he is guilty of.  There was no reasonable doubt created.

How about the part of the pleas for leniency where they say ‘remember that Dharun Ravi didn’t make Tyler commit suicide’?  That’s gall.  Right.  Because that is what you believe if you are the parents of a monster.  It’s all the victim’s fault, right?  Guess what?  Since then, high schoolers who prompted a bullying related suicide in NJ have been charged with manslaughter.  The perception of this type of situation changed after the Ravi incident, because it is so so so so serious.  And Ravi has gotten off easy.

In that regard, the blame game, the Ravis understand the American system quite well.  But in the most important ways, they do not.  The dad, a well written man, says the judge should not send a kid to prison, ruining 2 people’s lives on account of this sad situation.  Fine.  We don’t have that much problem with Ravi’s exceedingly lenient sentence of 30 days in jail.  Jails are no place for 19-20 year old kids, for the most part.  Although, the gov’t does throw one hell of an expensive proceeding just to give a kid a 30 day bid.

We actually would have to applaud Judge Berman for not bowing to the inherent pressure in the sentencing guidelines.  When a judge refuses to be just a rubber stamp, the system works more fairly.  Judges should have a wealth of common sense accumulated, and should use it.  Judges who apologize as they hand out sentences are worthless.  Any dummy could do that.

But the people who argue that Dharun Ravi should not be deported when the court is within its right to do so are not considering this case from the right side.  The side of Tyler Clementi’s family.  I do not know if they even want Ravi to be deported.  We don’t mean ‘their side’ as the deport him side, but rather, from the victim’s side.  We all could have a kid in the unenviable position of a Tyler Clementi.  But let’s be real.  For someone to be a Dharun Ravi, a great lot has to go very wrong.  We all will not have children in the position of a Dharun Ravi, because who’s kids are as cold, mean, and unenlightened?  And who act on it?

Dharun Ravi’s mom says her son has no social life.  That he never even gets out of the house for a sandwich, that he has lost 20 lbs. since this all began and she longs for the day when he will eat like a normal kid.  What a gut wrenching tale of woe.  Stupid questions: who wants to be friends with a person like that?  So Tyler Clementi’s parents must’ve really gotten the short end of the stick, huh?

Dharun Ravi is not an American citizen.  He does not deserve any more protection from the law.  At what point can we cast aside youthful indiscretion as an excuse for heinous acts?  Can’t we in this case, or is this not serious enough?

If it is not enough, we want to know why not.  We can’t see how this kid deserves to have a life here.  He doesn’t deserve a heavy handed sentence, as that may be excessively cruel.  But America is far too good for this kid.  That is something that should reverberate loudly from these crimes.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

The best beats will be at Electric Daisy Carnival’s NeonGarden all weekend, and tonight is probably the best night to go over to Met Life Stadium, as the acts appear rock solid for today, despite the fact that our beloved Danny Tenaglia will grace the stage, headlining on Saturday evening.

Check out the NeonGarden roster:

Friday, May 18th

Paige:  4:30 — 5:15 PM

Sleepy & Boo:  5:15 — 6:05 PM

Oscar G:  6:05 — 7:00 PM

Chriss Vargas:  7:00 — 8:00 PM

Cevin Fisher:  8:00 — 9:00 PM

Chus & Caballos:  9:00 — 10:00 PM

Boris:  10:00 — 11:00 PM

__ __ __ __

Saturday, May 19th

tINI:  12:00 — 1:00 PM

Nicole Maudaber:  1:00 PM — 2:00 PM

Layo & Bushwacka:  2:00 PM — 3:00 PM

Cassy:  3:00 — 4:00 PM

Art Department:  4:00 — 5:00 PM

Seth Troxler:  5:00  — 6:00 PM

John Digweed:  6:00 — 7:30 PM

Carl Cox:  7:30 — 9:30 PM

Danny Tenaglia:  9:30 — 11:00 PM

Sunday, May 20th

Ambivalent:  12:00 — 1:30 PM

VisionQuest:  1:30 — 3:00 PM

Magda:  3:00 — 4:30 PM

Hot Natured:  4:30 — 5:30 PM

Victor Calderone:  5:30 — 6:45 PM

Dubfire:  6:45 — 8:10 PM

Loco Dice:  8:10 — 9:35 PM

Richie Hawtin:  9:35 — 11:00 PM

……

Very nice Friday lineup.  Very NY friendly Friday lineup, as one would expect of a party hosted by Pacha.  Good for local act Sleepy & Boo, pulling a whole 50 minutes today.  We always liked them but never loved them.  That’s why they are stuck toiling at the Sullivan Room.  A little too light when it comes to hard beats, but never offensive.  We have seen them many times.  They do okay.  If you find their podcasts tough, you aren’t the only one.  Sounds very light outside the club.  We would hate to call such light house “NY house” and yet, we have to admit it probably is.  We have done worse and really, they are nothing to pout about.  But if you are only going out the once in a blue moon, take a pass on S & B.  They are the kind of duo that you’d catch when you are on a bender and find yourself out inordinately early on a Saturday night.  But they do play Cielo and Sullivan Room, and perhaps the mighty Pacha has warmed up to them since they are on Pacha’s card.  Frankly, we have heard better unknowns in Pachita, but we aren’t the average fan.

Oscar G, one half of Murk, is one of Miami’s finest.  We like him better than Chriss Vargas and Cevin Fisher, but they are playing those more local acts deeper in the night.  Incidentally, we hear Oscar G’s party on Wednesday’s in South Beach, called Copiscala, gets very hot.  Frankly, he is one of the Danny clones who plays it close to the vest, and doesn’t go toward trance.  Good for him.  We have paid real money to see him.  We can only say that about a few acts on the dais.

The best talent tonight is obviously Boris, and obviously the man practically made by Pacha is going to close.  Boris is a fine talent but we prefer others.  What can we say?  We weren’t born yesterday. We really like Chus & Caballos live, and we’d rather spend money on them than Boris, if they were competing.  Catching them both, and Oscar G on one card means very good value for the crowd in the “garden.”

Despite Danny, we aren’t into Saturday at all.  Plus, how is Sirius going to broadcast the whole festival when Danny famously refuses to consent to be played over the airwaves, even pay ones?  We like British duo Layo & Bushwacka.  We guess being friends with Carl Cox wasn’t enough to get them a good slot.  While we can take CC, we don’t pay to hear him.  Digweed?  Again, we weren’t born yesterday.  Danny is guaranteed to play a great set, if you could call 9:30-11:00 that.  With all this talent there, he will be on his best form.

Sunday is a horror show.  So trancey and weak.  Dubfire?  Please.  The guy’s name is Ali.  He is one half of the world’s greediest sellouts, formerly known as Deep Dish.  One day he is Ali and the next he is “Dubfire.”  What an asshole.  I have seen DD plenty of times.  They sold out around 2003, began overcharging, playing wack tracks, producing Puff Daddy, spinning his “vinyls”, even spinning them back to fucking back when Puffy entered the club.  Where he looked completely like a fish out of water, by the way.

Fuck Puffy.  Fuck Deep Dish.  Fuck Dubfire.  You will hear better house music on local Kingsborough air, 92.3 out of Sheepshead Bay.  For us, if you get stuck going to this mess on Sunday, Victor Calderone will save you.  That man plays the best style on Sunday’s card.  Richie Hawtin is an excellent house dj, a phenomenal musical talent and all, but too housey for us.  Keep in mind that politics and pecking order and whatnot are at play with a lot of these slots and times.

And if you are going there to get fucked up, be very careful.  New Jersey is a terrible place to be arrested.  They prey on crackheads, and their cops are the opposite of NY cops.  Their cops are eager beaver gung ho law enforcement douche bag fucks.  Just ask my boy who went to Surf Club one day, and ended up doing 9 months of weekend jail near Newark.

Be Smart and Have Fun.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Some time ago we wrote a blog called Cannabis cause can not be stopped.  Since then, shows like Weed Wars (loves it!) and American Weed (kinda loves it despite useless pig cops and moron politicos hating on the plant) have further highlighted the legal medical marijuana scene.

Where it exists.

It does not exist on the East Coast.  For shame.  Are the people out west entitled to a higher degree of medical care than the people back east?

It certainly seems that way.  Because it is that way.

People on the East Coast need to WAKE THE FUCK UP!  California and other states are light years ahead of us in terms of their progressiveness, ability to mobilize politically, and the strength of their convictions and intelligent advocation in favor of legalization.

We are so disgusted by the inequity between the rights of the people in legal states as opposed to our own that we may not even light up today (or vape up even).

And frankly, the absence of legal cannabis is not only unjust, but it is racist, blatant ageism, and discriminatory, promoting very harmful opiates over cannabis, which are a scourge upon the nation and obvious Machiavellian all cost capitalism.

So another happy 420 for Cali.  And another bullshit fucking 420 for NY.

Weed Nation needs to vote strictly, down the line, for the pro-legalization ticket.  And the people here need to make their voices heard.  Cali has it because they want it more and their citizens are smarter than ours.

Bottom line.

So fuck the “holiday.”

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

In the wake of the new CBA in the NBA, fear not, big market fans. The war between have and ‘have not’ owners has passed, and there can be no better indicator that the big markets made out smashingly well than the Knicks’ acquisition of C Tyson Chandler, the prize of this free agent class. The amnesty provision that the Knicks employed to gain the maneuverability to sign Chandler to a 58M contract when they were totally tapped out by walking away from the 14M contract of Chauncey Billups, provided they were willing to write him a check for that amount, is surely a clause that deep pocketed teams will be way more willing to use to their benefit than the smaller market teams who took such a hard line during the lockout that they forced.

Begs the question: why such histrionics in the first place? Well, as astute observers of labor disputes in sport, we did kind of agree with Billy Hunter’s assertion that the league was trying to break the players, behind a core of small market owners like Michael Jordan, lead hypocrite, who wanted the lockout to stretch on to the point where the players were feeling the impact of missed paychecks. So why abandon course in favor of a compromise that more favored the Knicks than the Kings, Celtics than Cavs?

Because Stern’s public stance that 15 or so clubs were losing money was so obviously no more than just a posture. If the Charlotte Bobcats aren’t willing to pay Ray Felton 7.5M per for 2 years, the 27/28 truly healthy teams around the league can not pay the price for it. If Lebron and Bosh won’t re-up or up with Cleveland, then Stern in his infinite wisdom can not negotiate a CBA that alters Cleveland’s geography and ethnic demography.

Look at the Memphis Grizzlies. They heaped money on Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, absorbed the huge deal of Zach Randolph, and are poised to now lavish 70M or more on Marc Gasol. They aren’t exactly hurting.

The new CBA did as much for small markets as it could have. By making top tier free agent movement essentially prohibitive financially to the player by limiting salary and term, the deal ensures that most sensible players will be traded for prime assets rather than seeing them flee in FA, getting way more in return than they would in an after thought sign and trade. That’s as far as they can go. The league does not have the ability to restrict player movement beyond that.

They put franchises in places like Minnesota in the first place, and were happy to carve up the franchise initiation fees, but they can’t make players want to be there. As for the Knicks, you have to respect the Chandler move, which brings to the club the elements they lack: size, toughness, shot blocking, rebounding and post defense. You’d have to respect the move for both the creativity and the cost, when compared to say, Nene, at 70M for 4 years. And for their ability to recognize that Paul wasn’t getting done and for seamlessly and successfully changing gears and getting this done.

The Knicks do have a passable player in Toney Douglass at the point, and with Billups out a good bit, TD has plenty of experience in the lead. He should see a lot of open looks, and with he and Chandler starting, they look like a better defensive club. Iman Shumpert, drafted on the strength of his defense, may now see some time at point guard as well, which we’d prefer to Bibby getting significant minutes.

Weak at two guard, the Knicks are in talks to bring back Jamal Crawford, who would be a great addition. Should that trade go down, expect Landry Fields to go the other way. Knicks GM Glen Grunwald just told Mike Francesa that the team will soon announce the signing of Jerome Jordan, and that they are still hoping to bring back Shawne Williams, who resuscitated his career with the Knicks. Grunwald also boasted that NY will have a 5M and a 2M exception available next season, and a 2.5M exception available right now.

As for the Nets, if they did speak to Dwight Howard on Thursday without permission, the Magic should file tampering charges. Can’t the Nets simply text D12’s entourage, like every other team?

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

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