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Monthly Archives: July 2012

We are approaching Major League Baseball’s annual interleague trade deadline, July 31, 4:00 PM Eastern Time.  It has meaning to me beyond that of baseball players being traded.  My birthday is July 31st and I was born on July 31, 1962 just after 4 PM!  This year I will share the point in time when I reach the half-century mark in age with the finalization of thirty major league teams finalizing their decisions on trading players for each other, for minor leaguers and/or draft picks, or trading minor league players and/or draft picks for established players.

It wasn’t always like that.  Up until 1987, the trade deadline fell on June 15th, closer to midnight.  One of the biggest, if not the biggest stabs in the aorta of Met fans in New York was on June 15, 1977, when the Mets traded Tom Seaver, the only player ever to go through the Mets’ system to make it to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and a prospect named Dan Norman who only had a cup of coffee in the show.

The June 15th trade deadline was a relic of the pre-1969 era of divisional play.  With only one first place team in each league and no playoffs prior to the World Series, it made sense because many teams were eliminated from contention around this time—especially American League teams visa vie the Yankees of that era.  Divisional play kept teams in contention longer so a decision was made to extend the deadline from June 15th to July 31st to preserve the integrity of the game by not allowing a team playing about .500 ball to sell off its best before they were actually mathematically eliminated.

Today you have three divisions and each league produces three division champions.  Up until this season, one wild card team, the best record non-first place team, would be the forth wheel in an additional round of playoffs prior to the League Championship Series.  Beginning this year, two wild cards in each league will play a single-game showdown to determine which one will play the best record division champ in the first round.  This means few teams will be mathematically eliminated on or before July 31st.

As a long time die-hard Met fan, I would hate to see Sandy Alderson (GM) hock the future of
this team in the outside chance they could achieve a lottery ticket to the postseason, which is effectively what you get if you do not finish first; you play one game against the other wild card, and since it is only one game, any team can win on any given day so the odds on favorite is not that important.  The Mets and teams in a similar quandary should set precedent to building for a winner in the future.  However, can Alderson or a similarly inclined general manager meet his obligation to the integrity of the game this way?  The Mets chances will be slim, about that of being hit by lighting on July 31, 2012 at 4 PM Eastern Time.  But they will be greater than zero—it will not be a complete mathematical anomaly.  To surrender achieving a postseason berth (even a wild card) before mathematical elimination is a low blow to the integrity as the team wearing the blue and orange now, although mediocre at best, will be replaced by an even lesser quality team net, while a wild card is still in the realm of mathematical possibility.  How can Major League Baseball correct this so that teams who need to focus on the future can and avoid this dilemma?  Simple—abolish the trade deadline altogether.  It is an idea whose time has come.

The way it would be set up is anyone could be traded up to August 31st 11:59 PM Eastern Time.  Then every team not mathematically eliminated (all but six teams if things go according to Hoyle) would freeze twenty-five players as a potential postseason roster, and trades among September call-ups and minor leaguers could still take place.  Once a team is mathematically eliminated, those twenty-five would become available for trades and other player transactions.  Players achieved after August 31st could not be on the team’s postseason roster unless an injured player had to be replaced.

With all the negativity in politics and the global economy and foreign affairs these days, it is nice to take a break and talk about baseball!

Twelve people including a six year old were killed by twenty-four year old James Holmes by gunshots at a midnight premier of the batman movie The Dark Knight Rises at Aurora’s Century Cinema Complex.  Holmes first released a tear gas canister and then proceeded on a shooting spree.  As a result, Colorado is rethinking gun control laws and the expiration of the assault weapon ban.  The good news is Colorado does have the death penalty.  Back in my home state of Connecticut, where Governor Danel Malloy (D) just repealed our death penalty, I think it is time to rethink that.

First on the issue of gun control, I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I believe in practical limitations—you don’t need an assault weapon and arming people to the hilt is not the answer.  If any or all of the movie patrons were armed, they still could not take Holmes out—he was wearing a motorcycle helmet and a bullet-proof vest.  The incident is however, a typical example of what the NRA means when they say, If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.  When a criminal decides to commit a crime, he is committed to breaking at least one law—that is the definition of crime and criminals.  He or she is a self-defining disclaimer that he or she may get caught by the police and busted, etc.  Therefore, what deters him or her from breaking a gun law in addition?  And he or she is not concerned with whether or not it is a legal gun—in fact; a criminal wants the most powerful gun he or she can get his or her hands on.  The problem is ten times magnified if no law abiding citizen can have a gun.  Alas, the Second Amendment has its purpose in the America’s codification of its laws.

As for the death penalty, don’t even think of trying to tell me James Holmes deserves to live.  He is sick and deranged and probably expects to die for his crime.  Why should the residents of the state of Colorado pay their taxes to keep this nut job alive in prison for the extent of his life?   I know some of you think life in a hell-hole prison with no chance of parole is a fait worse than death and justice is better served.  But The Bible does not say to do this, the Bible says An eye for an eye and Mr. Holmes has killed more people than he has eyes to sacrifice.  Mr. Holmes should be given time for one last chance to get saved unto Jesus and be forgiven and go to Heaven, but his earthly life must be terminated as the price for those twelve lives he took.  Remember the Cheshire home invasion?  Connecticut is not exempt from having a Dark [Night] of its own and if we do, we need to reinstate our death penalty ASAP!

All politics is local, claimed the late Thomas Patrick “Tip” O’Neill, long time speaker of the house.  There are lots of interpretations and uses for this creed.  Right now in my home town of Oxford, Connecticut, we have a referendum scheduled for August 16 regarding whether or not the town should spend close to a million dollars on a high school athletic field.

I did not live in Oxford until 2007 so I did not have a say when the town decided to discontinue sending its high school students to the neighboring town of Seymour and build their own high school.  They opted for the school, a modern facility with a rotunda style library doffing the second floor visible below the main entrance tucked away behind a long driveway of State Route 188.  They build an elaborate football and multi-sport field in back of the school with a modern scoreboard, bleachers on the home and visitors side, concession stands, and other modern amenities.  One thing that did not work out was the drainage.  After a heavy rain, the field does not drain well, and it is described as a quagmire.  Since the facility opened for business four years ago, twenty sports events had to be cancelled.  Granted, I fully understand what they are going through, but the proposed “fix” is not necessary and will cost Oxford taxpayers a fortune.

The proposal is to abandon this barely four year old on-campus field and on an adjoining lot, build an access road onto this property and turn it into a five-sport stadium-like facility with field turf, instead of natural grass, which is generally built on a base from old tire treads, and its vapors have been known to make children sick on playgrounds where it is often used to save on maintenance.  Let us look at some of the problems with the town spending our money on this:

  • This town has a public library in the back of town hall smaller than the average walk-in closet.  It has been trying to get a new library since 1976.  Shows the Board of Education’s warped sense of priority.
  • The plan for the new facility does not include rest rooms—I think that is required by law.
  • The juxtaposition of one of the end zones will result in sun in the players’ eyes, but the field with have lights and most games will be played on Friday nights—for God’s sake—this is a small town and the school and field site are in a residential area, the last thing we need is victory car horns beeping after midnight.
  • Field turf is not healthy.  This is not Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.  There you have two professional NFL football teams sharing the stadium and I will bet my bottom dollar that field turn does not sit on old tire treads.
  • Bottom line, this is not an improvement, but a correction for the failure to have good drainage in the field they built.  If this was the only way to avoid this, something less elaborate should have been built on this proposed site in the first place.
  • The town claims they will get back $700,000 from the state.  Possibly, but only if the state does not cut aid to public schools.  The state has a deficit of its own and a tax-happy Democrat governor.  There is no guarantee the town will get this money.

I will be voting nay on the referendum on August 16.  I believe in limited government and sensible spending cuts, not higher taxes.  I intend to start in my own backyard.

 

According to the book of Deuteronomy, poverty is a curse, not a blessing.  If poverty is a curse, the case for limited government is stronger than ever and the need to cut extraneous government programs and balance the budget is undoubtedly the right thing to do ASAP.  When we continue to promote these social programs, not only are we running up debt, but we are also interfering with The Lord’s work, denying America, the greatest country in the world, blessings.

If we look at Deuteronomy 28:15, God said poverty and lack is a curse which is to come upon the people who failed to keep His commandments and His statutes.  Further evidence is apparent in Romans 3:23, The curse of poverty should come upon all of us, Christians and Jews [and others] alike, because all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 

Ever max out a credit card, go through the stress of paying it off and messing up your credit rating?  Long before Visa and Master Card were a gleam in the eye of any financial institution, scripture, particularly in Deuteronomy defines this as an original sin called usury, and in The Old Testament, those who commit usury could not inherit the Kingdom of God.  Like all sins, it is forgivable if you have the appropriate relationship with God; in Christianity the pathway is the blood of Jesus.

In Deuteronomy 8:17-18: You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.  Like anything else, your money is the property of God, no matter how much or how little, and it is all left behind when earthly life ends and hopefully, we did the right thing and entered Heaven’s gate and graduated to the perfect life.  Spend or use that money in a sinful way, God will punish you with the curse of poverty.  Therefore, government handouts make our leaders the enablers to the sinners God is making examples for us.  The Democrat party has been guilty of this since 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt insisted in creating these programs that replaced religion and God in our people.

The remedy is to replace entitlements with opportunities, balance the budget, and free the American people to give back to God and acquire his blessing to achieve The American Dream.  Give a starving man a fish, he eats for one day.  Give a starving man a fishing pole, he can eat for the rest of his life.  This will allow the poor to fix their relationships with God, and overcome, glorify God, and receive The American Dream through his blessing.  We can start by limiting the role of government in American society.

 

 

Sounds like those Obama Democrats really have your back.  They want to give more Americans easier access to quality health insurance at an affordable price for the middle class.  Sounds like a good idea in spite of stretching the capitalism à socialism continuum as far as you can rationalize.  But before you even open that debate, let us get it straight for the record, the Obama Democrats are not selling you, the middle class affordable health insurance, they are selling you a bill of goods.

First of all, how can you justify the federal government undertaking another expense when they cannot curb a multi-trillion dollar deficit with the status quo in government programs and entitlements?  Spending money you don’t have is the express route to bankruptcy.  The city of San Bernadino, California just filed for bankruptcy.  Even my liberal counterparts agree we should at least delay gratification until we balance the budget or at least reach a level of manageable debt.

Second, as I have said before, how, in a free country, do you force someone to buy something against [their] will?  I mentioned before you have to be plum loco to not want to be insured, but we must never lose freedom of choice—it won’t be America anymore.  The justification of constitutionality of Obamacare by judges such as Sotomeyer and Keagan stems from the fact that Obamcare is a new tax, not really a fine, and if you buy health insurance, the insurance company pays the tax instead of [you].  Typical Democrat, more taxation.  Remember the Dred Scott decision in 1857.  While many believed it defined slavery as the law of the land, when Mr. Lincoln was sworn-in in 1861, he made it clear this was simply the decision pertaining to a special case.  Nine [people] do not make the law of the land—we have three branches of government.  All the supreme court did was validate Obamacare as constitutional, it is still a choice we have in the land of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  The assertion of the law’s constitutionality does not in any way define an absolute mandate.

For the sake of righting a wrong, resolve the issue through private insurance companies.  Pass a federal statute requiring all health insurance companies to pay for pre-existing conditions.  Offer tax incentives to insurance companies and employers for keeping it affordable.  There is a compassionate conservative resolution based on the Thomas Payne edict known as common sense. 

How can you fellow Americans do your bit?  Elect as many Republicans as possible this November.  Elect Mitt Romney (he is our party’s choice), elect Republican senators and congressmen in your states and districts, elect Republican governors and state representatives at your next state election.  Let us replace entitlements with opportunities which will both balance the federal budget and create a better quality of life for all Americans.  Let us all be what God intended each and every one of us to be.

Today, America celebrated her 236th birthday.  Our independence is invaluable.  But let’s not forget that there is not freedom, just anarchy, without responsibility.  The United States of America is the greatest nation in the world because it is the greatest God ever allowed to inhabit the earth.  America can not only survive, but maintain its lofty status as the greatest in the world if while celebrating its independence from the tyrannical rule of King George III in Great Britain before 1776, that it commit and celebrate its dependence on God and commits to submit to his will.  At this point in time, it will be harder [America to balance its budget] than for a camel to stick his head through the eye of a needle, but with God, all things are possible