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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mass Exit to the Cayman Islands

 What follows is a guest blog from a long-time friend who's just getting into this blogging thing.  Her pen name is OCBananaGirl and you can see another post of hers on BoSox Tavern.  Below she offers what I think is a very unique and accurate perspective regarding what the 1% value about America versus what the rest of us value about America.
"All day I have been wondering, what if 99% of us only paid a 13% tax rate, would the 1% still want to live in this country? If half of the taxes that pay for roads, bridges, prisons, security, judges, police officers, fire departments, zoos, parks, snow plows, beach replenishment, catastrophe help, flood insurance, social security, medicare, insurance backing our banks, FDA, EPA, medical research, space programs, education, medical research, and wars -- I am sure I have missed so much as I am accustomed to my regular life -- but what if we as US citizens had to live without nearly 1/2 the funding and many of the programs that make us love our country were not available, would we still be so in love with our country?
My thought is, yes, 99% of us would still love our county and the 99% would somehow come together to make the country better, the 99% would find the ingenuity and the get-down-dirty effort to bring this country back. But the real question lies with the 1%.  Would they be able to live with decrepit roads, pot holes, no snow plows, no trash pickup, long lines at hospitals, no flood insurance for the beach front homes, no beaches, no parks to visit on family vacations, no police to protect their property?  And when I wondered about this, I realized that the 1% need the 99% more than the 99% need the 1%. Maybe it is time to realize that the 1% should act on their threats and move their assets to the Cayman Islands because they already have and 99% of us still continue to struggle and yet are proud to call ourselves Americans."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

He Went to a Tea Party Instead

I am very disappointed in Tim Thomas' decision to make a political statement by not attending the Boston Bruins' championship visit to the White House.  I find it specious at the very least that he picks this moment, this event, to come out of the closet.  I'm a pretty avid Bruin fan and this is the first I've heard of his political leanings, and to choose a non-political event to make a statement to me smacks of politics.
Oh, I know, you'll say since I'm on the opposite side of the fence from TT that that's biasing my thoughts on this.  Hardly.  I would say the same thing if an apparent liberal athlete had turned down a visit to the White House to see President George W. Bush.  This isn't a political event -- it is a celebration, a reward, an honor to get to visit the President of the United States; and Tim Thomas, being one of only two American-born players on the team, should know this.  In fact, he does know this and, thus, my point.

Here's Tim's statement from his Facebook page:
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL." – Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, on his Facebook page, January 23, 2012"
 Don't get me wrong, TT has every right to his views and every right to make this statement -- just don't insult our intelligence.  Also, he needs to understand that what he did was a selfish act, drawing attention to himself and his cause regarding a nonpolitical event, that does nothing but embarrass himself and most importantly the Bruin organization and his teammates.  His teammates and the Bruin brass have been having to deal with the questions regarding Tim's absence for two days now.  And as an avid Bruin fan who happens to be a liberal, I don't appreciate being put in the position of having to either defend or disagree with this stunt.  I know the following will sound foreign to a conservative but, "Hey Tim, if you don't like it, leave it.."  That's the very same thing conservatives say when liberals complain about government; the difference is we have a lot more class regarding picking our moments.
This stunt should not affect the decision the Bruins will have to make in the off season regarding TT's age and contract vis-a-vis Tuukka Rask's age and contract; but if the Bruins decide they don't want to pay two #1 goaltenders #1 goaltender money in long-term contracts and decide to trade Thomas, I hope they trade him to a Canadian team.
My position on this is no different than it was when NASCAR fans in Florida booed First Lady Michelle Obama.  It's a nonpolitical event; she's there for the troops and I would've defended Laura Bush with the same passion.  Tell me, Tim, with a straight face that you wouldn't have gone to the White House to shake the hand of a Republican President?
Give the President his props, he made a couple of zingers at the Bruins' expense.  He rattled off the names of all four New England sports teams, that they'd all won championships lately and that "that's enough Boston."  He also picked on Brad Marchand by calling him the "little ball of hate."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tebow and Maher

This is in response to an article in the Washington Post that was posted by a friend on Facebook in support of Tebow and my comment trying to explain how a moderate atheist feels about this issue.  So I'll paste in the bulk of that comment and then add another thought to help illuminate my point.

I read the first page and I don't think she gets it either. Maher is to be ignored. I find him funny sometimes but even when he says something that needs to be said that others won't, he says it in such a way to have nothing but a negative impact. I think Tebow's a genuinely good kid and his praising for me, as an atheist, is not over the top. I have no trouble ignoring it. The issue is that an atheist DOES NOT have the equal right to do something similar. Can you imagine someone as famous as him saying at the end of a win "I don't believe in God?" And what it is about praising that atheists have trouble with is the idea of doing it only when there's success involved and the idea that a higher power would have any involvement in choosing sides in a football game. So while I don't agree with all the anger and venom from "my side" on this issue, I can understand it. Just being that angry and nasty does nothing but make people think less of you and make them not willing to listen or care about you or what you think. 
 Let's look at it another way.  Let's suppose the famous athlete who's proselytizing is a fine, upstanding young black man who faces Mecca each time he scores a touchdown and praises Allah when interviewed.  I can assure you those folks coming to the rescue of Tim Tebow would not be coming to this gentleman's defense nor, I believe, would the likes of Bill Maher be making over-the-top critical comments of him.
I obviously feel that Tim Tebow has every right to express his views and I don't feel in this instance that he's trying to judge me or mine or is overtly on a recruiting mission; I just don't feel like everyone is afforded in reality the same rights he's expressing.
Can't we all just get along?  Maybe not.