Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Donnie Mossberg: Malcolm X- We Didn't Land on Plymouth Rock

Source: Donnie Mossberg-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState

Malcolm X. was clearly not a Saint, or a perfect person and America is not a country of Saints or perfect people. We have good, bad and in between all over the country. Hopefully more good than anything else. Malcolm X, started down the road as a lot of people growing up in rough neighborhoods and becoming a criminal. He’s one of the few in this country unfortunately who’s been in jail, that’s actually come out of jail as a better person. He made himself a better man and educated himself. He also went from being a criminal to a racist, or perhaps he was both at the same time. Basically seeing all Caucasians as Devils and perhaps he only knew racist Caucasians and believed because of that, that they were all like that.

But Malcolm X, was someone who learned and taught himself and bettered himself as he got older. Which is one of the reasons his early death was so tragic. Because we’ll never know how great Dr. Martin King and Malcolm X would’ve become as men, because they were both murdered in their late 30s, for both. But Malcolm X was a man who only got better as he got older, which why I believe he had such a strong following in the 1960s and if anything his following has gotten stronger in his death then when he was alive. With a great movie about his life with the great actor Denzel Washington playing Malcolm X in the movie. Well, Malcolm X, easy enough to follow.

Which is again is just another reason why his death was so tragic, because he was so young to die and like Dr King could’ve accomplished so much more. Not just with civil rights, but I believe would’ve gone farther in the areas of poverty and speaking about empowering low-income people to get themselves out of poverty with assistance, but they would do the work to make it happen. As well as rebuilding American cities, so people living in them especially in low-income areas, would have a good shot at a much better life and escaping poverty. But what I respect most about Malcolm X, was his message of empowerment and freedom over dependence. Whether its dependence on public assistance, or anything else.

Low-income people, don’t have the same freedom to live their lives as middle class people, or wealthy people. They simply have very limited resources and are very limited in what they can do with their own lives, especially compared with the rest of the population. And Malcolm X message was about empowering these people to get the freedom that the rest of the population had to live their own lives. And not be dependent on public assistance, in the 1960s when the Great Society and all of these new government programs has contributed to making low-income people more dependent on public assistance for their survival. Public housing, is a perfect example of this, where you build a bunch of high-rise housing projects in low-income areas. Where all of these low-income people live in low-income areas. With high crime and their kids are stuck going to bad schools and having the same future as their parents, or worse.

Malcolm X, wanted low-income people especially in the African-American community, to have the freedom to live their own lives and not be dependent on public assistance their whole lives. And I believe education and choice in education would’ve been a big part of his message. A lot of the message around fighting poverty in America in the past and still today unfortunately, has been government centered and giving low-income people Welfare checks. Instead of empowering low-income people to get the skills that they need and giving them their freedom so they can earn good pay checks from a good job. But that’s changing, it started in the Clinton Administration in the 1990s with Welfare Reform in 1996 with a Republican Congress. Where they worked together to make that happen. But Malcolm X, I believe had a big role in getting this message started in the 1960s and for that a lot is owed to him. His Message of empowerment, is the biggest contribution he made to Africans-Americans and America as a whole.
Donnie Mossberg: Malcolm X- We Didn't Land on Plymouth Rock

Friday, July 8, 2011

Think Progress: CNBC- Representative Michele Bachmann on Social Issues

This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState : Think Progress: CNBC- Representative Michele Bachmann on Social Issues

Representative Michele Bachmann wants to as she says run a presidential campaign that’s a three-legged stool. That represents fiscal Conservatives, meaning the Tea Party, national security Conservatives probably meaning Neoconservatives and social Conservatives meaning Christian Conservatives and in America that would mean the Christian-Right. Apparently she did an interview today and came out for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and a law banning porn. The constitutional amendment is nothing new, but the anti-porn law is at least new on her part.

With those two positions Representative Bachmann can forget about appealing to Libertarians. Because she’s come out for at least two big government positions. I would love to hear her speaking out against big government, because then she would be able to run for Hypocrite in Chief instead of Commander-in-Chief. With those two positions she’s just taken, she’ll lose part of her Tea Party base because there are actually real Libertarians and Conservative Libertarians in the Tea Party. Who don’t give a damn about social issues, they are only interested in fiscal and foreign policy.

But Michele could unite the Christian-Right behind her. This three-legged Stool that Representative Bachmann is talking about, that as I see it, she wants to be a three-legged Tool for them. This strategy doesn’t work, a Republican or any other presidential candidate can’t win a presidential election with a base that includes Libertarians, theocrats and Neoconservatives. And they go off against big government when she’s in favor of big government. Because their positions contradict each other. Representative Bachman is a Neoconservative on social issues and national security and a fiscal Conservative.

A candidate like this can’t appeal to Libertarians. Her best bet is to appeal to fiscal and Neoconservatives. Instead of going for everybody on the right-wing, including residents at mental hospitals. Because there are still classical Conservatives out there who don’t care what people do with their own lives. And don’t want government trying to tell people how to live. Michelle Bachmann is a religious Conservative with a fiscal message. She’s not a unifying candidate that can bring the entire Republican Party behind her. And I believe she actually knows this because, I believe she’s politically smart enough to understand this. Which makes her a tool for all the other factions she claims to speak for.

Monday, July 4, 2011

NFLN: Video: Top Ten Most Feared Tacklers: Number One Dick Butkus: The Monster of the Midway

When I think of tough players in the NFL, I think of guys who could and did scare the hell out of their opponents, if not people watching the game as well. I think of guys who not only scared the hell out of their opponents on the football field but on film in practice, putting the fear of God into offenders and offensive coaches and head coaches. Wow, we are facing this guy this week, how are we going to block him or how many guys are we going to need to block him on any play?

I can think of a guy who not only hit and tackled his opponents but also hit them so hard that they knew exactly who hit them, because they never felt that kind of pain from anyone else. Offenders were always trying to avoid Dick Butkus, who was a 6'3", 240 to 245-pound MLB with the Bears from 1965 to 1973 and at his size was playing middle linebacker at a time when everyone else that size was an offensive or defensive lineman. This meant you basically needed an OL to block him, and probably a couple of them.

Butkus was all muscle, and not only huge and strong, but fast as well.  He probably ran a 4.4 to 4.5 forty, which is similar to Lawrence Taylor and Ray Lewis, three LBs who weigh about the same and are all muscle, but Taylor and Lewis played in an era where big LBs were typical. The closest LB I've seen to Butkus's size, strength, and athletic ability would be Brian Urlacher.  I am not saying Urlacher is as good as any of these other LBs, because he's not, but he is headed to the Hall of Fame.

Urlacher is a 6'4", 265-pound MLB, again the size of a DL playing middle linebacker because of his athletic ability and speed. These guys are freaks as athletes, but especially as linebackers, but Dick Butkus was the first freakish LB who was also a great player and is still the best at his position and best LB ever, period.

The name Dick Butkus itself sounds like a tough guy. It doesn't sound like the name of a jockey.  Wiley Pope sounds like the name of a jockey, but Dick Butkus sounds like the name of a macho individual who probably played football and perhaps even had to play football to relieve some of his testosterone.  If he hadn't played football, he might have ended up in jail or something; that last part is a joke, but you get the idea.

Some people who are less impressed with Dick Butkus, to put it mildly, make the argument that Butkus only played nine seasons, so his greatness isn't as impressive because it wasn't as long.  What they fail to realize is that what Butkus accomplished in his nine seasons has been matched by no other, which is why he's the best. Jim Brown also only played nine seasons but what he accomplished in nine seasons, no other running back has matched: nine-time Pro Bowler, eight rushing titles, and never missed a game as well.

Dick Butkus left the NFL as the all-time leader in fumble recoveries, 30 INT again in nine seasons as a MLB, not a corner or safety. He once sacked the quarterback 20 times in a season, again as a MLB not as a DL, also in a 14-game season. But these are just stats.  The way to judge Dick Butkus is the same way you need to judge Jim Brown. What did he bring to to the table and what did offenses have to do to stop him? 

Another way to judge Dick Butkus is to look at the position he played. He played MLB, meaning that the offense always knew where he lined up and could always prepare for him. He was predictable in a sense; he wasn't a rush end like a OLB/DE Hybrid who lined up in several different positions always looking for the best matchup like, let's say, Lawrence Taylor or Derrick Thomas.

Offenses knew where he was and still couldn't stop Butkus. Dick Butkus was the best ever at what he did, because he basically couldn't be stopped.  He played the last four seasons of his career on two bad knees, which is why he only played nine seasons, but he was still an eight-time Pro Bowler.  Dick Butkus was the most feared and the best LB to ever live.