Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Scroll down to my May 23rd post.
Yea I guess I was wrong about that one. At least about the Celtics being crappily run….maybe.
Trading for Ray Allen made very little sense to me at the time, because I thought that a Pierce/Jefferson/Allen corps was good for maybe a 5 seed in the East and unlikely to get by who I thought was going to be the top teams, the Bulls (oops) and the Cavs. But then the KG trade went down and…wow.
I don’t know if this was Danny’s master plan all along, and how much of it is just good fortune, the right guys becoming available at the right time. I wonder if he was working on Garnett during the Allen negotiations. The Allen move doesn’t make sense to me without the KG move, so if not, it’s just another example of incredible Boston sports luck that will hopefully keep going for another 8 months. But as Baseball Prospectus is fond of saying, luck is the residue of design.
Having gone to watch the Celts play the Bulls on Saturday, I was once again impressed by how well the team fits together in terms of how the players strengths complement each other. As stars, the combo of Pierce, Allen, and Garnett works because of their different offensive games, KG inside, Allen as a pure shooter, and Pierce as one most versatile scorers in the league. They are a matchup nightmare, because of Garnett and Pierce’s flexibility (both can handle being on the post or wing) and the passing ability of all three. Moreover, Rondo and Perkins are now relegated to roles in which they can excel, Perk as the recipient of layups off putbacks and other’s penetration, and Rondo as a quick PG who isn’t always asked to run the offense and can now hit 18 footers. It’s freaking awesome.
Defensively, KG’s presence inside, along with a not to be overlooked Perk allows Rondo and Pierce to step up the pressure on the outside. Being able to cheat on your man by overplaying the outside game because you have one of the best interior help defenders in the league is why the Spurs have played such great D the last 10 years, and why the Celtics are now destroying in defensive metrics.
So how far can this team go? Certainly the Finals are within reach. I know people are clamoring for a Sam Cassel addition (stay the fuck away) but if I were Danny, I wouldn’t be that concerned. Maybe add another big body for the Perk role because he still gets in foul trouble, and Pollard aint gonna cut it against Dwight Howard in May.
For now though, it’s definitely easy being green.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
We Are Stll in Iraq
And I am responsible.
I must be, if we truly live in a free and democratic society. For the Constitution of the United States, begins with “We the People” and acts as the ultimate source of authority in our nation, of which I am a citizen. Thus the decisions of our politicians, elected by myself and my fellow citizens, are the responsibility of the people. Ideally, the majority will be able to make rational decisions that move the country forward in a positive manner.
Yet how much time have we allowed our country to be involved in a conflict that was clearly a mistake?
Our government is set up so that change occurs slowly over time, which is a good thing. Thus we are not totally at the mercy of the whims of the populace, which in this day and age of constant stimulation from various media sources, runs completely contrary to the rest of society. The re-election of Bush in 2004 was the death sentence for thousands of young American soldiers. It was an affirmation of his policies, even if Truth is something completely different. Truth is not subject to the electoral college, and the rationale behind going into Iraq (the WMDs!) does not hold up to Truth. Moreover the entire plan does not hold up to reason, it was foolhardy and wrong-headed. Democratization of the Middle East, which was the goal of this War in order to obtain easier access to a natural resource, combined with a little payback at a dictator was the ultimate goal of this administration. But hoping we could initiate a viral spread of democracy was a fairytale that ignored a basic fact about human society: The world is not a democratic place. Even in 2007, how many countries truly operate within a free, democratic system of government? Democracies can flourish, but they are so fragile and can be upset so easily; by a leader who wants increased power, by money and its persuasion, and worst of all by complacency, by refusing to listen to opposing and differing points of view to where those that air them are shouted down or mocked.
In fact, rather than spread Democracy to another country, the lasting legacy of the Bush Administration will be a weakening of Democracy and freedom within our own country. From reduced opportunity for social mobility to curtailing civil liberties to embracing exclusive rather than inclusive values, all of the actions on a domestic front have been about enhancing their personal power while reducing that of the individual or the other branches of government one of which represents the people more directly (Congress) and one of which is supposedly bound to enforce the principles and rights on which our Consitiution was written. It's a modus operendi that contradicts their international ambitions, and calls into question the very fabric of their administration. How can two such divergent tactics be part of any coherent moral plan other than to increase their power and wealth? What is the difference between a despot and elected leaders who act only to enhance their own power? Does the fact that they were elected make it ok? Hell no.
What we need is a reasoned reevaluation of American Democracy, before we go about trying to spread it to other places. Does this mean retreat from the international scene for a lull? Yes. I am not advocating isolationism...I'm advocating prioritization. The priority is Us. We the People, and our health, education, and opportunity. Through turning inward, and refreshing freedom and democracy here, we will be able to turn outward and play an important world in helping to bring freedom and opportunity to the rest of the world.