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Obama is still Dream Deferred

Langston Hughes wrote the poem (and I memorized it in 10th grade):

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

In the best speech I have ever heard, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

As Barack Obama is hailed be the media as the first black presidential candidate from a major party, notice that Dr. King’s dream is still unrealized.  Why?  Because he is not being hailed solely for his policies, he candidacy is also being extolled for the color of his skin.  He himself never references his nomination in conjunction with his color as a reasons to celebrate, but many others at the convention and on TV did.  The Dream will not be realized until people simply say that Obama is their man because he will punish the rich by taxing them, because he told Georgia to show restraint when Russia invaded them (what would he have told Poland in 1939?), or because Obama will try to make sure government is involved in almost every facet of our lives.  Until then, and for as long as people reference his nomination as a black citizen running for president, the dream is still deferred.

Can Obama answer a question?

John McEnroe has oft times asked a tennis official a question and then yelled, “Answer The Question!”  Listening to a Barack Obama interview, I have almost an overwhelming feeling yell at him, “Answer the Question!”

When asked by Rick Warren, “at what point does a baby get human rights in your view?” Obama first says the question is outside his pay scale (not a very confidence building claim for voters).  But then he never comes close to talking about the rights of babies.  He instead talks about the rights of women.  That’s nice, but, “Answer the Question!”  Transcript for the interview can be found here.

Pastor Warren’s next question was, “Have you ever voted to limit or reduce abortions?”  Guess what?  Obama talked about respecting views, people of faith, and reducing pregnancies, but he never answered the question.

When Stuart Scott asked him on a SportsCenter interview, whether or not, as President, he would have boycotted the opening ceremonies.  Surprise!  Obama says, Well, I said very early on, I don’t want the olympics to be overly politicized.  But when a host country is violating human rights, I think we ought to say sonething.  And it would have been an appropriate statement for the President to say, ‘I will not go to the openning games unless we see some progress on the issue of Tibet.'”  So would he have gone or not.  He thinks it would be apprpriate, but he does not tell us what HE would have done.  Here is the video.

Obviously Obama does answer some questions, but most of the time he spins around the question until you forget what it was.  Do you think this will work with Putin and Medvedev?  With Ahmadinejad?  With China?  It may work with the voters, but it won’t work on them.

Obama – Answer the Question!

Gold no big deal in basketball

They are called, “The Redeem Team,” but there should be no reason redemption is necessary.  After the controversy of 1972 and the boycott of 1980, the USA first lost the gold medal with amateur players in 1988 (the amateurs lost by 6 to the Soviets in the semis).  This marked the end of the US fielding an amateur hoops squad for the Olympics, as in 1992, the US sent The Dream Team to Barcelona for a coronation as gold medal champions.  The US also lost the Gold Medal in 2004.  The last time they won the quadrennial World Championship in Basketball was in 1994 (a drought which includes the embarrassment of 2002 coming in 6th while hosting the tournament).

My question is this, “outside of selfishness, why should the US ever lose in men’s basketball?”  Every one of the players on the US team for the past 16 years is an all-star; in fact they are so good they did not even bring the Finals MVP Paul Pierce (of the Boston Celtics) to China for the Olympics.  This is not really different than teams in the past who have not won.

Yes a ton of credit goes to Coach K for building the team into a united unit, but why does it take him to bring them together?  Where is the pride of country for our NBA players to play for the USA and to play their best for the country that has made them unbelievably rich and famous?  We are seeing it now, to a certain extent, but can they get past their selfishness to continue to play to their potential in the future?

A “Redeem Team?”  I suppose this basketball team’s mission is to redeem the past teams of being remembered for their selfishness.  But can USA basketball keep from making redemption necessary in the future?

Happy Yaztrzemski Day!

8-8-08 is a day to commemorate one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Red Sox player in history.

He may not have been the best hitter (Ted Williams), or the greatest outfielder (Lynn or Crisp), but as a player, a gentleman, and a representative, he may well be unsurpassed.  The last player to hit for the triple crown, number 8 was a leader for the Impossible Dream season of 1967.  Yaz hit more than 450 home runs and 3000 hits with the Red Sox (one of only 7 players in the history of baseball to hit for these numbers), and he handled the media with humility and class.

Oddly enough, this date comes just a day after the anti-Yaz, Manny Ramirez, is being investigated by baseball.  Although they both played the same position at Fenway, and Yaz has two World Series rings less than Manny, Yaz will always be more than twice the Red Sox player Manny ever was.

In the history of baseball, Yaz ranks 2nd in games played, 3rd in at-bats, 6th in hits, as well as 8th in doubles and total bases.  These stats from a classy leader and player most fans around the league have never heard about.

Today is the appropriate day to be thankful that our number 8 is Yaz!