Thursday, September 30, 2004

GOD, Bush, and Kerry

So here we are, with the much-anticipated
First Debate set to happen this evening
between President Bush and John Kerry.

I've said in this Blog that I will vote for the
President, and I've said why. I've become
more convinced than ever -- based on what
I've read of him in the past few weeks --
that John Kerry is someone who cannot
make up his mind, and who does not make
consistent decisions based on unshakeable
principles and convictions.

This is not the kind of man America needs
as its leader; the country needs President Bush,
whose courage and compassion stem from
his core set of deeply-held Values.

HOWEVER, that being said, I must hasten to add
that -- as a Christian -- I believe there is a
danger in making TOO MUCH of this election.
In the end, GOD is all that matters, and while
we need to worship God by being good citizens
and making wise election choices (and taking
part in all areas of civic duty), we need to do so
with an awareness that our REAL Joy rests
in the Great Hope we have of one day being
welcomed into God's very Presence.

This world, and all its systems, plans, struggles,
pleasures, and governments will some day pass
away, and God Himself will give us a NEW heaven
and a NEW earth, and we will reign with Him forever.

Temporal things -- including this presidential race --
simply PALE by comparison. Let us proceed through
this process with a sense of Perspective appropriate
to redeemed children of God...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The NHL Lockout

This is a sad day for Hockey.

Just when we Hockey fans were enjoying watching
our sport beginning to become popular, this crazy
Collective Bargaining Agreement dispute finally crops up,
ruining the momentum...

If you don't know about this, just visit and
read all the sordid details...

The bottom line, in my opinion, comes down to 2 things:

1. The NHLPA has had FIVE YEARS to figure out
how they're going to respond to the expiration date
of the current CBA. During those 5 years, the League has
exteneded to them millions in additional Salary funds,
to keep the inevitable from happening as long as possible.

Now that the current CBA has expired, the League
is FREE to do as it chooses. They simply cannot continue
operating in the RED, and all they want is to be able to
tie Revenues to Costs, like ANY good business.

And they've been up-front and forthcoming about
the books: They've invited the Union to have their OWN
report done (since the NHLPA choked on the Levitt report),
but the Union never got it done. The League has practically
BEGGED the NHLPA to come to the table regularly, to talk;
all they've gotten is stalling; and the League has offered 6 or 7
distinct proposals which would all still put MILLIONS in
average salaries into the players' pockets; apparently
"millions" isn't good enough for these boys...

2. A Lockout was inevitable, but I don't think Gary Bettman
should stop there. I LOVE HOCKEY, and I could care less about
millionaire, hot-shot players; I think Bettman and the NHL should
encourage ALL the teams in the League to immediatley
put together replacement teams from their "minor" league
organizations, from any NHL player who is NOT a member of
the NHLPA, and from the Junior A and College teams who have
talented young kids just *aching* to get to play on "Big Ice".

As a fan, I would be more than happy to spend time in the
first few weeks getting to know these new players and what they
can do; and all we have to do is look back to the Stanely Cup finals
this past year to see that young, hungry, passionate, comparatively
low-paid hockey players can skate a darn fine hockey game....

So here's a message to all those self-aggrandizing
hot-shots in the NHLPA:

Grow up. Learn a little about how Business works. Produce a
decent report of your own or SHUT your whining mouths and
work with the NHL's report. Having a job -- even that of playing
a sport for a living -- is a PRIVILEGE and not a "right".
Do the right thing, for the sake of the game we all love, and for
all those people whose livelihood depends on 82 games plus
the "second season". DO IT.