The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Quick note to all you dads out there who do so much for your families, and in particular - your children - Happy Father's Day!

Most dads realize that the jobs they do don't get the high profile credit in the same way that mom gets for all the great things that she does - like cook great meals, and beautify the house, etc. Dads do the grunt physical work like mow lawns, move stone, build decks, clean the cat boxes, chop wood, and all the other labor jobs. And to be fair - dads also cook, clean, take out garbage, take kids to school (and pick them up), and heck - this dad even makes the kid's lunches every day!

Then there is the stuff that I do get credit for - playing games outside, or in the pool, fixing broken toys, reading bedtime stories, putting band-aids on skimmed knees, and giving hugs. So its not so bad when you really think about it.

Of course the most interesting thing about Father's Day is thinking about all the things my dad has done for me that I took for granted as just "what dads do" - which is simply so many great things that I couldn't really begin to list here in this essay. Probably, the biggest thing my dad did for me was play the role of dad - by working to ensure we all had a house over our heads, and three square meals a day. And making sure I went to school, church and understood basic values including the discipline required of being successful in a unforgiving, self-interested world.

So, I'm one of the lucky dads and lucky sons - and because I'm making it important to me - I'll get to spend the day with my dad, and my children and family, including my brother and his family! It doesn't get any better than that!

So today we will do a little grilling, spend some time by the pool, and enjoy watching our kids have fun.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why REAL Conservatives love Soccer

When I read Glenn Beck's recent ridiculous tirade against soccer where he proclaimed, " ... we don't like the World Cup, we don't like Soccer...." I admit I was astonished by Beck's arrogant decision to misrepresent all of us, conservatives, with his narrow-minded proclamation. Wow. Glenn Beck has certainly struck a cord, but from comments I'm seeing around the web - clearly, the wrong one.

There are a lot of conservatives that seem to be wrapped up in hero-worship of Glenn Beck for his opinions on politics. I guess I've never fallen into that category so I haven't really lost much. But his soccer comments this week put a good size chink in his so-called in penetrable armor. What Mr. Beck may not realize is that most of American parents have children in soccer programs across the country. Hey Beck, ever heard of the term Soccer mom? or Soccer Dad? The fact is that most of America loves soccer, and enjoys cheering their sons and daughters in a game that is played in the rain, in the snow, in 90 degree weather, and in the frigid cold.

This whole inflammatory discussion actually came to me via a tweet from National Review. Jonah Goldberg via National Review's The Corner posted a soccer commentary discussion, which wasn't particularly favorable to soccer or the World Cup. But, in fairness his main reason for posting appears to oppose The Nation's article here which falsely makes the complaint that racism and nativism is the reason that the right-wing doesn't like the World Cup or soccer. At least Jon Miller goes on to defend soccer - although he does take a swipe at MLS.

Our kids (and I mean our true blue American kids) learn more from soccer than they do any other sport played in a group setting on a field. And unlike Little League where kids check out after the 6th inning after standing alone out in the middle of left field, soccer demands consistent athletic ability, stamina and team coordination. You sprint for the larger part of 90 plus minutes trying to outrun and out-maneuver your opponents. And you score not by hitting a ball over the fence with a bat and jogging around a set of bases, but from a fast moving position with nothing more than your own body as the tool of execution while eleven other players try to stop you. And rules - well there are many, and subjectivity of the referees calls are a lot like you see in the real world - imperfect and frequent.

In the advance soccer leagues, if you are even able to make the team, not everyone gets a trophy like they do in most American Sports. From a fitness standpoint, there are no long huddles, television timeout or breaks unless you have to remove an injured player from the field - and the referee then adds time on to the half to make sure that the game isn't shortened for intentional wasting of time. Stamina and fitness matter in soccer. There is no room for overweight kids to stand around and be an observer.

Complaints about soccer not being a high scoring game are equally short-sighted. Perhaps the problem lies with the lack of understanding that in a skilled strategic game that solid defensive play can be more rewarding than a contest of endless high scoring numbers through runs or touchdowns. Soccer operates on a point system, and an elimination system. Goal differential and goals not scored you actually count for something.

Beck sadly makes the mistake of making fun of the European version of soccer, and this too is a foolish position. European soccer fans - chat, yell, sing and engage themselves through out the game - as a near interactive collective during the game. Baseball fans sit silently gnawing on their hot dogs until something happens or they get caught up in a wave. Do you hear anything other than, "Defense, Defense" chant at an American Football football game? And never mind the dozens of opportunities given to get another snack from the fridge. Oh man, thank God for commercials, right?

At the Euro Professional League Level, you don't get situations like you do in Major League Baseball, where teams not headed into playoffs just go through the motions in August and September. In Soccer, you could face relegation, and in that - lose your salary and perhaps your job. Games count through the end. And your play impacts the fate of other teams, so no one limps through knowing careers are on the line through the last game of the season. In American Football, the season is just about over after six weeks, and you know your team can't be dropped from the league. But can you image the increase in the level of intensity if demotion were a real possibility in American Sports? Ha. American fans would get their money's worth.

So Beck, let's not antagonize our Middle American base. Let's not have you speak for us and scare away millions of soccer moms and dads from conservative candidates because you insist conservatives don't like soccer. In fact Beck why don't you just stick to politics, and shut it. Maybe over the next month you might tune into the World Cup and see what competition is really about.

Here are 10 basic reasons why Conservatives should be soccer fans:

1. Not everyone gets a trophy. Only those who win get trophies. The runner ups get a handshake,if they're lucky.

2. Soccer is sport where fitness and talent actually matter. This even applies to officials who are grosely obese in MLB - if you haven't noticed.

3. Passion is part of the game, on and off the field for players and fans alike. It doesn't die when you leave the venue. You carry it with you everywhere. It's like religion.

4. It's ok to hate your rivals, and its ok for your rivals to hate you. It's part of the game, and no one need make excuses for making opposing fans feel bad. American sports used to be more that way - this goes to fandom and passion.

5. In Soccer, teamwork is essential to winning. If one of eleven men doesn't do their job for 90 minutes, you'll probably lose

6. Fair weather fans aren't part of the equation; soccer is played in heat, cold, snow and rain. Pansies need not apply. There are no tarps, or rain delays, or postponements (after management feels they milked the fans for a few bucks while they wait for a planned decision)

7. No commericals disrupting every stinking play, inning, possession, or worse - creating an actual break in the game like you see in basketball. You only get them a half-time.

8. If you do drugs, you're done. There is no union group of players schemeing with their attorneys to find ways to cheat by making up lists of drugs that you can and can't be tested for. Or finding ways to get out of drug testing in the name of "privacy", or defending people like Barry Bonds, who care little for "fair play" and more about getting juiced so they can break records.

9. Full body commitment. Soccer players give 100%. They don't take one hops, or come out of the game because they have a hangnail, or don't "feel just right." They play the game like true athletes do - and don't spend all their time trying to take it easy to extend their million dollar contracts to milk the system over the next 10 years. Oh, and many of them return to regular jobs after they play, not try to sell your kids Nike shoes or sugar bars.

10. Merit counts in Soccer. Lack of effort means your team gets relegated, or eliminated. There is no mandate forced by a liberal union to keep the money flowing in for poor results.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Help Peter Schiff to get on the Republican Ballot

The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of ideas. The understood, often toted phrase is that the Republican Party is the Government Of the People. So given that our recent Connecticut Republican Convention seemed to be much less about ideals and substance, and more about backroom politics and last minute deals to make name recognition far more important than political positions and historic donating and voting records (with a few notable exceptions which I will get to in later posts), that its high time to work toward reminding our Republican State Party Chairman Chris Healy and his cronies that just because he and a select few have lost their way, doesn't mean the rest of us are unprincipled.

The Linda McMahon campaign is nothing more than a farce. Which isn't to say that its not a well-run, well-financed operation - managed in part by ideologically empty people like our own State Chairman, Chris Healy, and his wife - both who are already on track to make six figures from this venture. Linda McMahon is nothing more than a Pro Wrestling promoter who has donated lots of cash to Democrats (including liberal Democrat Joe Courtney who unseated Rob Simmons during the last election). She has also donated to Rahm Emmanual and other Democrat Kingpins. You can learn a lot about people by who they support and donate to. And then you can get into the background of the culture contamination that Linda McMahon's business, the WWE. See this article here by National Review's Rich Lowry for a clear picture on what kind of nonsense Linda McMahon claims gives her the right to represent Connecticut Residents in the U.S. Senate.

So with Rob Simmons dropping out, the Connecticut State Party would love you to think that its game over and you don't have anywhere else to turn. Well, I suppose they are temporarily correct since they worked so hard at making certain the rules for getting on the primary ballot worked against Party-outsiders who were a threat to their end game: McMahon standing alone unchallenged to face Richard Blumenthal.

So despite the hurdle manufactured by State Central, Republicans and conservative activists are working around the clock to get Businessman Peter Schiff on the Republican Primary ballot. The desire is to collect 12,000 names - much more than the reported 8,000 which are needed to formally be certified to allow Peter to enter the Republican race. The energy around the Schiff campaign has been a breath of fresh air to watch. It's good to see a candidate excited about the issues, and not just run ads about their opponents. It's great to see a candidate who understands economics and the issues without requiring a political hack whispering in their ear to tell them what to say or think on every issue. Peter is energetic, educated and ready to go. No on the job training needed.

From a converted Simmons supporter's standpoint, I think the move to Peter Schiff is a logical one on so many levels. First you have to take into account the fact that above all else, we do know a great deal about Peter Schiff's economic positions through his commentaries on YouTube and dozens of appearances on a large number of cable television business shows - which took place long before he announced as a Senatorial Candidate. So, there is no self-invention or new conversion to his principles. Peter's positions are are out there on the web for you to view and digest, and judge on their own merit. (And in fairness, make sure you search Linda McMahon on YouTube so you contrast the difference for yourself).

Second, Peter has run an issue-based campaign from the start of his bid, unlike Linda McMahon who has sent out very derogatory and misleading pieces on Rob Simmons voting record - mostly limited to the Cap and Trade issue. McMahon's campaign, unlike Schiff's has been devoid of her political positions on most issues and has offered little if nothing in the way of substance for voters to judge her by. "Something Different" and wanting to create jobs for Connecticut are taglines from just about every politician regardless of position sought or party affiliation. Linda has spent $16 million dollars telling us plenty about how Rob Simmons voted, and not much about how she intends to vote or change Washington.

Peter Schiff is a well respected economist with little baggage except that his positions are well known, whereas Linda McMahon has lots of baggage (much of it left to be exposed) and is the preferred opposition candidate of Richard Blumenthal and the Democrat Party - this is evidenced by the large number of Democrat pollsters, general polls, and public comments by Democrat officials. Clear evidence of this, is that after Linda McMahon captured the Republican Nomination, Richard Blumenthal's approval ratings shot up and he overtook Linda McMahon in a head-on comparison by a much larger margin than anyone expected.

Fact is that as an unknown, unqualified entity, a Linda McMahon election to the U.S. Senate might be considered counter-beneficial to Connecticut's interests at large. McMahon, who has never held elected office would be wandering aimlessly around the halls of Congress trying to get herself acclimated with the climate and Government process whereas - even Richard Blumenthal would be better positioned to advocate for Connecticut given his relationships and comprehension of Governmental process. This isn't to say I'm supporting Blumenthal, but simply pointing out the facts as they stand, and those understood by Connecticut residents. Being a complete outsider as Linda refers to herself, is not all that in a serious role such as U.S. Senator where qualification and navigation matter to get things accomplished.

I recognize that this article is rather late considering that all signatures must be certified by June 8th. But its not too late to get up and do something, even if it means adding your own name to the required 8,000 that Peter Schiff needs to be part of our Republican process. I've sought to collect about a dozen names by petition, so I feel that I've done my part to the extent possible - surely a drop in a bucket, but its a bucket where every drop counts.

You can go here to learn more about Peter Schiff. And if you'd like to find out how to add your name to a petition in your area, call the Schiff campaign at 203-874-6880.

Please don't let Chris Healy, State Central, and Linda McMahon limit the open process. Let's put Peter Schiff on the ballot, and see a few issue-based debates, and then decide who is best qualified to represent Connecticut Republicans in the general election against Richard Blumenthal. Please give Peter Schiff the support he needs.