If you turned in early to the Red Sox Seattle game you saw a lot of offense.

You saw the Mariners put up 4 in the top of the first and the Red Sox answer with five. Then Mariners put up six more meaning that Red Sox starter Stephen Wright, who had given up a single run in his last game against the very same team, had given up 10 earned runs before the book was closed on him, Nelson Cruz with two 3 run HR’s and a single to drive in seven on those 10 doing most of the damage.

It didn’t stay that way.

The same Seattle pitcher Wade Leblanc who had shut out the Red Sox in that same game against Wright would give up one in the fifth. J. D Martinez would hit a 2 Home run in a 3 run Red Sox 6th and then a key single in a five run seventh with the bases loaded and then three in the 6th and then in the seventh went on a tear to score five more.

As I’m writing this the score is 14-10 with one out in the bottom of the 8th, now the top of the ninth. Seattle is coming to the plate and while it looks very good for the Rox Sox they will still have to get those three final outs before Seattle scores 4 to get that win.

And that is why Baseball is better than Basketball, Hockey, Football or Soccer and it isn’t even close.

No matter how big a lead you have you still have to get those outs before you can celebrate, and no matter how bleak it looks, you team will still have a chance to score as many runs as you can before that third out is recorded.

No Clocks, no taking a knee, no pulling a goalie, no LeBron sitting down because he knows its hopeless. As long as you still have a single out yet to be given your team is not done.

That’s baseball and that’s why it’s the best.

Oh and the Sox won 14-10

Noticed this interesting story from the AP & Time concerning civilian gun ownership:

There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands — with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday.

The Small Arms Survey says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms, 46 percent, are in the United States, which is “more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined.”

I found the following stat particularly interesting:

The estimate of over 1 billion firearms worldwide at the end of 2017 also includes 133 million such weapons held by government military forces and 22.7 million by law enforcement agencies, it said.

So think about this, if these estimates are correct the United States Civilian population has more arms than the worlds military forces and law enforcement agencies COMBINED.

And yet the United States is the freest and richest large country in the world, a destination so desired that people all over the world try to get here legally or illegally.

I submit and suggest that there is a correlation between the freedom of America, the wealth and America and the fact that its citizens are so well armed, and I further suggest that it is in the places where civilians are not allowed to be legally armed that Americans, mostly poor or of color, are more preyed upon because those who would prey upon them know they have little to fear.

The prospect of facing an armed population is the best restraint against tyranny.

Via Hotair headlines.

Bonus Extra: As part of their “resistance library“, I found this excellent post at Ammo.com about Black Gun ownership

An early incident is particularly instructive in how effective these new tactics were. The KKK was very active in Monroe, with an estimated 7,500 members in a town of 12,000. After hearing rumors that the Klan intended to attack NAACP chapter Vice President Dr. Albert Perry’s house, Williams and members of the Black Armed Guard surrounded the doctor’s house with sandbags and showed up with rifles. Klansman fired on the house from a moving vehicle and the Guard returned fire. Soon after, the Klan required a special permit from the city’s police chief to meet. One incident of self-defense did more to move the goalposts than all previous legislative pressure had.

Monroe’s Black Armed Guard wasn’t a subsidiary of the Communist Party, nor an independent organization like the Black Panther Party that would use similar tactics of arming their members later. In fact, “Black Armed Guard” was nothing more than a fancy name for an officially chartered National Rifle Association chapter.

As some of you might I have a “day” job that covers the bills since the finances of the blog have been a tad weaker than in the past. At said job the majority of the workforce was born outside the United States and English is not their first language.

With Immigration a huge issue these days I thought I’d take advantage of this situation. Last Thanksgiving I spoke to several people asking them what they were thankful for, and now over the past two months I’ve been arranging audio interviews with various people who have come here.

The subjects vary based on the people but there are several general questions that I ask about both their home countries about coming to America and the circumstances that caused them to come, what they expected, what they saw, etc etc etc.

Today I am posting the first two (technically three) of these interviews for your viewing pleasure. The first is with Philippe from Haiti. he is 70 year old former member of the Boston Teachers union who came to the US in the 70’s. He sat for two audio interviews that loaded consecutively onto a single youtube file.

Of the interviews I’ve conducted so far Philippe is the most political in nature and he is anxious to follow-up so don’t be surprised if we have another half hour or more in the future.

My second interview was with Hanna from Iraq. You might remember her from this Thanksgiving video:

That gave you a hint of what was coming and believe me you’ll find the story of a girl who started out in a land where she was basically property to being a “lead” at an American company at age 23 fascinating.

I have one more interview in the bank with another young man named Alvin from El Salvador and am scheduled to conduct another with a middle-aged woman named Maria from the Dominican Republic but be aware I’m not confining these interviews to my co-workers. I’ll be speaking to an immigrant from England living in New Hampshire and am actively seeking out others from various countries to get their perspective on life in America.

My plan is to conduct 2-4 of these done per month and upload them first to youtube and then put them out here at the blog. I hope to build a large library of people from as many countries as I can to get a feel of how and why people come and what their perception of America was and is. Occasionally a translator will be necessary but I’m less worried about the logistics as I am getting the information and the various perspectives from different people, different cultures and different backgrounds.

I hope you find this work interesting and informative. I suspect it won’t be as sensational as what the MSM is feeding you, but it will have the virtue of being unrehearsed and unspun, which is why it will likely not have anywhere near the reach.


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An interesting thing happened to me the day before yesterday.

I work in a place with a lot of people who are either under 30 or not from the new England and are going absolutely mad about the upcoming world cup and completely excited at the prospect of it coming to the US in 8 years.

During the conversation about sports I causally mentioned the Red Sox being in first place and how it is such a change from the time of the Curse of the Bambino.

Now there was a time not all that long ago that if you said “The Curse” in New England every single person regardless of age knew what you were talking about without having to mention Babe Ruth, the Yankees or “No No Nanette

They had no idea what I was talking about.

Yesterday I expanded the experiment, at work I randomly asked almost two dozen people two questions.

  1.  If I say “the curse” to you what am I talking about?
  2.  If I say “the curse of the bambino” what am I talking about?

Of the two dozen people I asked two people knew at once what the curse was, two more realized what I was talking about when I mentioned “the bambino”.

The rest didn’t have a clue.

Just 14 years ago that would have been unthinkable.  For generations the curse of the Bambino was an integral part of being a New Englander.  It would not even have been necessary to include “of the Bambino”  just reference to “the curse” would have been enough for heads to nod.  Books were written about it.  Plays were made about it.  HBO’s real sports did a full show on it.

and it was the reason why in New England, Bucky Dent’s middle name isn’t Earl.

To say “the curse” was an obsession would be the ultimate understatement.  When 2004 began you would have been hard pressed to find a single man woman or child in New England that didn’t know what the curse was.

Then this happened

and this the next day

and this a few days later

and this

and then finally the following week.

a few days later my sons and I were part of the 3 million people who poured into Boston for this

It was the biggest thing you ever saw in the area.  We have won two more World Championships (2007 & 2013) and as of today two years after the retirement of Big Papi the Red Sox sit in first place and are likely to win over 100 games this year.  It’s a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

But it seems like nobody cares anymore.

It’s been just under 15 years later and I can be in a place full of people who live in New England who have no idea what I’m talking about when I bring up the curse and that is going to grow when you consider that high schools and colleges around New England will graduate tens of thousands of students this year who have no memory of a time when the Red Sox were not Champions. 15 years ago every single caller on sports talk radio would be in a state of excitement with the Red Sox neck and neck battle of titans in the AL East on the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s last World Series win in a Red Sox Uniform.  Nothing else would have mattered

On Thursday night the 1st place Red Sox were about to start a 4 game series against the surprising 1st place Seattle Mariners.  An epic battle, yet what was the topic of conversation on the home station of the Red Sox as I drove in…An interview with Tom Brady’s wife and Brady’s interview with Oprah!

It was typical.  During the Sox amazing run if you turned on sports talk radio you were much more likely to hear about Tom Brady not showing up for voluntary workouts and should the Celtics make a play for Lebron James than Red Sox talk.  On the late night drive a few days ago I actually heard a guest state that the only reason a host mentioned the Sox at all is that the station compels him to because they carry the games.

If the Red Sox had not won that world series in 2004 or 2007 or 2013, this would not be the case but with victory came comfort and with comfort the loss of collective memory of the shared frustration that united us here in New England.

In the last hour of the week I noted four guys talking sports at work, none of them were discussing the Sox Seattle series or the game in progress (The Red Sox would win 2-1 despite a nail biting 9th) all they were interested in was Russia beating the Saudis at the world up and if that Russian team was the real thing or not..  As I listened to them for a brief moment I found myself missing the curse that was the common bond that bound six states and everyone in it together…

… but then I remembered all those wonderful moments from 2004 and that regret disappeared overwhelmed by a wave of pure joy that come over me faster than you can say: “Big Papi”

The curse was a cultural milestone but I’ll take winning any day.

Closing thought. I wonder how much larger over the norm the graduating classes of 2023 will be in New England and if anyone will realize the reason why?

Everywhere you look in the media the headlines are full of it. Incivility Reigns! Bullying! Cyber bullying! Mean Girls Rule! All there on the front page, all there on the splash, all there waiting for you to click on to see who said what about whom. Never mind if any of its true, never mind for any of it matters to anything more than some imagine scorecard written in some media office pool. But we’re constantly berated, and constantly told that we’ve allowed incivility to overwhelm our Republic. We elected President Trump and created the Republic of Hate, all incivility for everyone all the time.

The only problem is it’s not true.

Every book on etiquette I have ever seen has had some version of the phrase; the social norms today are much looser than they were in our parents’ time. This is way of saying all the social norms are out the window, and the world is going to hell in a hand basket. This is also a common refrain when people talk about civility. I find this kind of incredible, but of course completely credible because so few people understand our history.

We are in a golden age of Civility, even though we are also at an all-time high for the use of  George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say. It was not that long ago that mob violence common occurrence in our country. Levels of incivility in our nation are on the decline people actually get along a lot better. There is a lot more Harmony than people give credit to because “War Imminent” headlines sell more newspapers than “Peace Breaks Out.”

It is up to all of us to do our little bit to spread Civility and to not make incivility profitable. Don’t get me wrong I’m not thinking being civil is easy, and frankly I’ve had my own lapses. But if we remember our history, we will see what happens when we allow those dogs to get off the leash. Incivility is detrimental to our beliefs about who we are and who we want to be. Practicing Civics with Civility is the main way that each of us can do our share to create that more perfect union.

Respectfully,
Matt O’Brien
President Worcester Tea Party

P.S.
Pete has chosen to allow me to post here weekly.  I look forward to posting next Wednesday.
Please Support the work of the Worcester Tea Party. 

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s goods

The 10th Commandment

This is straight out of the Ten Commandments and is one of the most sensible bits of advice that a couple might get.

In our consumer culture we are constantly bombarded with things we MUST have and even more importantly the idea that if our neighbor has something that we don’t, it’s a problem.

If you’re happy with your TV and it’s working fine, it doesn’t matter if the folks next door got a bigger one.  If your iPhone is working fine and does all you want, who cares if your friend bought a new one.  If your car is running fine, passing inspection and serves all your needs then if the folks next door got a better car, big whoop.

It’s my experience in life that the difference in such upgrades are usually pretty small, and in the end it becomes all about vanity and even if you get this new thing or a model one better than the guy next door, it doesn’t stop them from upgrading and suddenly you find yourselves in a consumer arms race where the only winner is the credit card company.

Forget that arms race and keep that money in your pocket, get things when you need them without worrying about what the next fellow has, and not only will you have less debt but less worry and if that doesn’t convince you think about it this way, the fact that you aren’t bothered by your neighbors new stuff will drive the Jones’ nuts.

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front
Tip 20: Remember Marriage is work.
Tip 21: Maintain Surprise

King: Take it away, everyday the same thing. Variety! I want something different. Fix me Hasenpfeffer right away!

Shishkabugs (Bugs Bunny short cartoon) 1962

One of the things that is often mentioned as a problem in relationships is the same old thing. Our consumer society pushes the dread of the same old thing for the sake of selling and a lot of people find themselves spending a lot of money on junk because of it.

The same dread is often pushed in relationships today in movies and TV. The dread of the same old thing has been advanced to the point where people are making choices that are toxic for the long term health of a marriage.

The best way to avoid this problem? Maintain healthy surprise in a relationship. Here are a few ways of doing this that doesn’t involve risks that include catching the social disease of the day.

On a random day each month get your spouse a small gift.  This doesn’t have to be anything big, a single flower, a six pack of beer, a little thing.  If you regularly get a coffee, skip it one day and get something for daspouse.  pick a day and that day use those few dollars to a little something for dawife or Dahusband.

And once every three months instead of the small thing do something slightly bigger, a small lunch, a movie.

And once a year instead of the small thing, do something bigger, a show, a fancier dinner, an overnight

This should be independent of regular birthdays and anniversaries and it should also be something that doesn’t break the bank.  The real trick is to keep it random (I suggest using old D & D dice that you’ve put away years ago.

Again it isn’t the size of said gift, it’s the fact that it is completely unexpected that makes it special.

Now I’m sure many of you can come up with better ideas and schemes and naturally you will know your spouse better than me but as long as it’s a bit random and a bit of a surprise you will put an extra smile on your mate’s face and those extra smiles will add up to many years of happiness.

My 30 Tips so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front
Tip 20: Remember Marriage is work.

Prince Arthur: But if you all work all day every day when is the time for Adventure?
Little John: Life is nine tenths work my boy and a little play when you can get it. The same in the greenwood as it is on the Lord’s manor or in Nottingham town

The Adventures of Robin Hood The Youngest Outlaw 1955

One of the real problems of the current culture, particularly TV culture is the idea that marriage is all about the things you do together, the places you go the things you see etc etc etc.

The reality however is quite different.

Marriage is all about waking up each moment with a different person and living your life with them, that means all the normal things of life which means work and plenty of it.

It also means getting along which is also work

And of course your regular paying job of whatever type you have which again means work.

In other words more of the time of your marriage is going to be spent at work and if you come into marriage not knowing realizing this you are in for a nasty surprise.

But if you go into marriage cognizant of this, ignoring what the culture claims and instead prepare to work at it, your odds of staying married a long time will be considerably increased

My 30 Tips so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: Today’s Tip Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: 30 tips to stay married 30 years. Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front

At the time this is published, I’ll be in an unassuming little church on a side street off a New England city’s millyard. Lent draws to a close tonight and what’s known in my faith tradition as the Triduum begins.

I’ll listen to familiar Biblical psalms, canticles, and lamentations, chanted in unfamiliar Latin as I follow along in a prayer book. The church will be lit by candles that will be extinguished one by one at the conclusion of each chanted reading.

When we depart the church, we’ll do so in silence.

This is not an attempt to escape anything.  This is a time of rich political ferment, and it’s a time to be fully engaged – not to run away.

But first things first. The more craziness and busy-ness and political lunacy in my life and work, the more deliberate I must be about loving and serving God. Those of you who can keep priorities straight effortlessly, while immersed in writing about politics, have my respect. And a bit of my envy, too.

For readers (and members of DTG’s Magnificent Seven-Plus) who are looking forward to Easter a few days hence, I wish for you a peaceful and fruitful Triduum in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Pray and work, as St. Benedict advised, in that order.

It’s time to bring up the subject of kids

I was watching a video of my kids first couple of christmas’ and in so doing what really jumped out at me was how the whole gift business seemed all about us rather than the kids.

Every time the kid opened a gift they liked and wanted to play with it we were chasing another gift, it was particularly funny when watching my oldest who was fascinated by a pencil, we would keep giving him another gift to open, he would smile, hold it for a while and head back to the pencil. He would have been completely happy playing with said pencil till the next day (even today his spare time when not gaming is spent drawing).

Not only did that pile of gifts become clutter that would make dawife crazy but once a person gets a large number of gifts suddenly the exceptions game changed and not for the better.

If instead of a flock of gifts we purchased one or two each Christmas for the boys and told any relatives who wanted to kick in to buy em savings bonds the house would have been a lot less cluttered, their bank accounts would have done even better than they did and most important of all they would have not only appreciated the stuff they had a lot more but learned that life isn’t about stuff.

And of course I suspect two and a half decades later with bills and loans to pay they would really appreciate the nest egg that twenty years of extra savings would have meant.

The time to avoid spoiling your child is always now, if you already have kids, the time to start is now, if you haven’t yet now’s the time to resist the temptation of watching them open gift after gift. I know there is joy in that but you’ll have more from a well adjusted kid who isn’t obsessed with things and an adult who knows the value of them.

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: Today’s Tip Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)