Steelers’ Tomlin Attends Texas Pro Day for…QB Prospect

March 27, 2013 – New York, NY

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made waves by attending Texas’ pro day Tuesday.  His presence seemed to surprise more than a few insiders, and was important enough to make headlines.  At first glance, Tomlin’s visit seems to make perfect sense.  The Steelers are getting old at Safety, according to recent reports, and they need to get younger now.  Mock drafts would have the Steelers take a good young prospect such as Texas S Kenny Vaccaro in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft to be held in New York City from April 25-27.  Other reports say the Steelers are in dire need of a young pass-rusher, such as Longhorn Defensive End Alex Okafor, whom the Steelers may target in the 2nd round of said draft, if he lasts that long, and then convert Okafor to a 3-4 Outside Linebacker. That makes a lot of sense if you listen to reports.

But why would the head coach of an NFL team, who’s got scouts to do his dirty work, travel all the way from Pittsburgh, PA just to look at a Safety prospect whom the Steelers don’t need this season and who may be a bit of a reach as a 17th overall pick in a draft deep with Safety prospects (according to reports) or a pass-rusher who’s a second-round prospect?  What’s that you say?  Tomlin didn’t travel all the way from Pittsburgh???  He only traveled from Dallas because he was already there for the annual owners’ meetings?  Ok, I’ll give you that.

But the AFC coaches’ breakfast was held Tuesday, March 19th.  Why would Tomlin stay a week in Texas just to travel to Austin for a day while other NFL coaches went home and let their teams’ scouts attend the workout in Austin?  Did Tomlin take a vacation for a week in Texas during the busiest of time of the off-season?  Granted, Texas is a nice place to visit.  Who wouldn’t want to spend their Austin nights on 6th Street with spring break just around the corner?  Tomlin might, but vacation isn’t a likely reason for him to linger in Texas.  If Tomlin were going to spend a week of his precious vacation time somewhere, wouldn’t his home state of Virginia be a more logical choice to spend quality time with family?  Maybe.

Or maybe he stayed in Texas and worked remotely from a hotel.  Anyone who’s worked remotely knows it’s just like working from the office.  Fax machines are so easy to find (and operate), you don’t feel out of your element at all, logging into your network is just the same as working from your desk, your laptop never freezes, you don’t have to deal with slow Wi-Fi, and your IT helpdesk is easily accessible, especially for hardware issues.  There are no problems at all working while away from the office (tongue-in-cheek, if you couldn’t tell).  Of course Tomlin didn’t work from a hotel thousands of miles from home just to get a better look at a couple of prospects who are late first-round or early second-round picks.

The real reason Tomlin attended Texas’ pro day in person is to see first-hand the current talents of former NFL Quarterback Vince Young.  Go ahead, laugh.  I brought it on myself, so laugh at my expense.  But when you’ve pulled yourself off the floor, give it some thought.  First of all, Vince Young has a world of talent.  He’s a proven champion at the collegiate level.  He’s big, fast, strong, and man can he throw it deep.  Most importantly, he’ll come dirt cheap!

Before you consider the negatives to Vince Young, let’s analyze the positives.  If history is any indication, the Steelers will need a starting-quality backup QB at some point this season.  Face it now or face it in week 13:  If Ben Roethlisberger suffers a serious injury in 2013 as he did with his foot injury in 2011 and his shoulder & rib injuries in 2012, the Steelers will need a capable backup to win a handful of games for a legitimate playoff-contending Steelers ball club.  Bruce Gradkowski is not that person, yet he’s the only other QB currently on the Steelers’ roster.  Gradkowski is more like Kent Graham than Ben Roethlisberger.  He’s no more than a third string NFL QB at best, but Vince Young plays the position more like…Big Ben.

While other reports discuss the Steelers’ need at Linebacker, Running Back, Nose Tackle, Safety, Wide Receiver and even Offensive Line, this report hereby claims the Steelers have a dire need for a premier backup QB NOW!  There have been surprisingly few, if any, reports calling for the Steelers to pick up a quality QB this offseason through the draft or free agency.  That’s just not the Steelers’ way.  Besides, the Steelers are cap-strapped, and there’s no way they could afford a starting-quality QB, right?

Think again.

They just may be able to afford Vince Young.  Young may even be humbled and desperate enough to take a modest signing bonus, a veteran minimum salary, and an incentive-laden deal just for the opportunity to prove he still has what it takes to make it in the NFL.  He may be a lot like Tommy Maddox in that regard – a guy with a chip on his shoulder, with plenty of gas left in the tank, who has watched a silent phone long enough to be hungry again to prove he belongs and would do whatever it takes to achieve his dream.

That may all be well and good, but let’s weigh the negatives of Vince Young.  He’s shown a lack of mental stability, according to reports.  He relies too much on his physical talents and isn’t “cerebral” enough (like Kordell Stewart).  He has an odd throwing motion (like Byron Leftwich).  These may all be true, but Young likely wouldn’t need to start 16 games – dear God, we hope not!  Young would only need to keep the Steelers alive while Big Ben recovers from the punishment the NFL will inevitably dole out on his 31-year-old body.

Yes, Vince Young does have off-field issues.  He’s like another Texas alum, Ricky Williams.  Both players have the talent to excel in the NFL, but have had issues outside the lines.  Ricky Williams had his share of off-field issues, but he was still a spectacular, if not elite, running back.  Williams may not have been the “Greatest Show on Turf” but he was by far the greatest running back on grass!  (Give that one some thought if you didn’t get a good chuckle out of it.)

Similarly to Williams, Maddox, Stewart and Leftwich, Vince Young is a starting-caliber player in the NFL, even if he’s not perfect.  He’s a player good enough to be worth Tomlin’s time to investigate first-hand.  And while Young may not be perfect, he just may be a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers…at a perfect price.

Bankers’ Athletic League Chess 2013-03-14 Brizard vs. Alban

March 14, 2013  New York, NY

Mark Alban, playing as black, scores his third victory in four matches as Uncastled plays to a draw against Stuyvestant Town in Round 6 of Bankers’ Athletic League – Chess Division action Thursday night.  Facing higher-rated opponents on all four boards, Uncastled held off a tough Stuytown team, drawing the match 2-2.

Match results below are provided in the order in which the games finished.  My annotation of my game follows, and finally the moves list of my game concludes the blog.  The moves are in standard .pgn format, and can be copied/pasted into any .pgn or .txt formatted file.

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MATCH RESULTS (from Uncastled team captain Ajay Vachhani’s report):

Tom Amato, playing black on board 3, gave up a pawn against Tyrone Sylvester, leading to Amato’s eventual downfall. Uncastled 0, Stuytown 1.

Ajay Vachhani, playing white on board 4 against Leroy Gordon, moved too quickly trying to get his rook into action.  Instead of moving the rook where it could have been supported by a bishop, he moved it to an unprotected square. As a result, Vachhani lost a knight in order to save the rook, and then the rest of his position fell apart, leading to the dreaded queen/rook fork and a winning advantage for Gordon.  Uncastled 0, Stuytown 2

Mark Alban, playing black on board 1 against Peter Brizard, was battling out another wild, wide-open Sicilian position.  Alban gained an extra pawn on move 27, and another pawn a few moves later before finally sealing the victory with 2 minutes left.  Although Alban was down in time by more than 20 minutes, Brizard rushed his moves, trying to pressure Alban into a mistake.  But when his clock fell below 5 minutes, Alban took his game to the next level, capitalizing on a Brizard blunder, forking Brizard’s king and rook for the winning advantage. Despite time pressure, Mark won and had a “happy ending.”  Uncastled 1, Stuytown 2.

Finally, Carl Haynes, playing White against Mariano Perrero, managed to gain a pawn advantage as well as a time advantage.  Those small advantages proved significant in the end, allowing Haynes to clear all his opponent’s pieces off the board, forcing Perrero’s resignation and saving a match draw for Uncastled.  Final score: Uncastled 2, Stuytown 2.

Kudos to both teams for playing to a hard-fought draw.

*********

HERE’S MY ANNOTATION OF MY GAME (BRIZARD VS ALBAN):

I lost my score sheet from 2 weeks ago, but I’ll provide that whenever I can find it. Below is my game from 3/14/13.  On move 5, I figured my opponent must be preparing to castle Queenside.  He already fianchettoed his kingside bishop, and when he pushed his f-pawn on move 5, I thought his king would be too exposed if he castled kingside.  So I began preparing my troops to storm the queenside.  Also, at that point, I figured I needed a tempo, so I had to develop, and I’d wait as long as possible before castling…as it turned out I really did wait as long as possible:  I never castled at all!!!!  I thought 6. d3 was a mistake.  It allowed me to harass his knight, and keep the game closed (allowing me, as black, to gain back the tempo by not castling, developing my attack instead while Brizard castled).  8. h3 may have been unnecessary. It only prevented me from moving Ng4, but it gave me an opportunity to sac my knight in order to open up a line to his king if I chose to do so.  I felt that my 8…Qb6 was critical in order to keep his Bishop passive for the time being.  13. Nf5 was a great way to force my hand. 17. Nf4 also gave him a strongly placed knight, one which had some sacrificing possibilities.  But he never took advantage of those possibilities.  23. Qe5 was also a mistake.  I was able to chase the queen away with my pawn play, so it was a wasted move for him.  He should have just moved 23. Qe4 to begin with, because that’s the exact square he moved his queen to 2 moves later.  I thought 27. c4 was also a mistake, but only because I had a threat to take his rook by move 30. That also gave me the connected pawns on the queenside in addition to giving me an extra pawn.   Then of course, 46. Kg2 was the clearly losing move. At that point, I had about 2 minutes left, missed a few subsequent checkmates and had stopped recording my moves.
[Event “BAL”]
[Site “Stuytown”]
[Date “2013.03.14”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Peter Brizard”]
[Black “Mark Alban”]
[Result “0-1″]
[PlyCount “96”]
[TimeControl “G75″]

1. e4 c5
2. Nc3 Nc6
3. g3 e6
4. Bg2 Nf6
5. f4 d5
6. d3 d4
7. Nce2 Be7
8. h3 Qb6
9. Nf3 Bd7
10. O-O Rc8
11. Kh2 h5
12. Nh4 e5
13. Nf5 Bxf5
14. exf5 Bd6
15. Bxc6+ Rxc6
16. fxe5 Bxe5
17. Nf4 Kf8
18. Qf3 h4
19. g4 Qd8
20. Kg1 Rb6
21. g5 Bxf4
22. Qxf4 Nd5
23. Qe5 f6
24. gxf6 gxf6
25. Qe4 Qd6
26. Rf3 Kf7
27. c4 dxc3
28. bxc3 Nxc3
29. Qc4+ Qd5
30. Qxd5+ Nxd5
31. Bd2 Rg8+
32. Kh1 Rb2
33. Be1 Rh8
34. Rc1 b6
35. d4 cxd4
36. Rd3 Rh5
37. Rxd4 Rxf5
38. Bxh4 Rf3
39. Ra4 Rxh3+
40. Kg1 a5
41. Bf2 Rf3
42. Rf1 Rf4
43. Ra3 a4
44. Rd3 Rf5
45. Rh3 b5
46. Kg2 Nf4+
47. Kh2 Nxh3
48. Kxh3 Rfxf2

*********

Bankers’ Athletic League Chess 2013-01-31 Rose vs. Alban

January 31, 2013  New York, NY

Mark Alban, playing as black, scores his second consecutive victory, providing the only match point on a tough night for Uncastled.

Facing opponents rated in some cases nearly 400 points higher, members of Uncastled squared off against a strong NYC Transit team in Round 4 of the Bankers’ Athletic League, Chess Division, 2012-2013 season Thursday night.  Although Uncastled fought valiantly, Transit won the match 3-1.

The match results are provided in the order in which the games finished.  My annotation of my game follows, and finally the moves list of my game concludes the blog.  The moves are in standard .pgn format, and can be copied/pasted into any .pgn or .txt formatted file.

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MATCH RESULTS:

On board 2, Carl Haynes suffered a rough outing against Transit’s highest rated player, Willie McDuffie.  Haynes lost a rook early on without compensation, and although he played as best he could from there, things just kept getting worse until Haynes threw in the towel.  Uncastled 0, Transit 1.

Next, Russ Mollot lost two pawns early and couldn’t overcome the disadvantage on board 4.  He graciouly resigned to Frank Rizzo as Transit jumped to an early 2 point lead.  Uncastled 0, Transit 2.

Meanwhile, things were looking mighty fine for Uncastled on boards 1 and 3.  At this point, Uncastled appeared to have a drawn match in the bag.

Mark Alban, viciously attacking Mike Rose on board 1, seemed to be headed toward his second victory in a row in BAL action.  Within 24 moves, board one was decidedly in Alban’s favor, and Rose acknowledged so, bowing out, and giving Uncastled it’s first match points of the night.  Uncastled 1, Transit 2.

On board 3, the fate of the match rested solely on Tom Amato’s game.  Amato had a decisive material advantage against Gregory Rotsenmar.  Although Amato was up by a rook, a few factors seemed to influence the result of the game.  Noise, time pressure, and other distractions broke Amato’s concentration as he fell to Rotsenmar in the end.  Final tally:  Uncastled 1, Transit 3.

Congrats to NYC Transit for their well-earned victory.

*********

HERE’S MY ANNOTATION OF MY GAME (ROSE VS ALBAN):

When Rose played 2. b3, I knew I’d have to get my pawns on the dark squares. But then when he pushed f4, I was confident he’d castle queenside, so I knew we’d have what my chess mentor Michael Miciak calls a classic race to beat the other guy to the king.  He didn’t push quickly enough on the kingside, never capitalized on his advantage on the dark squares, and I was certain I could blow up his queenside!  That explains 14…a5 and 15…a4.  I took a long time to consider moves 17 & 18 because I wondered whether I should eventually move dxc4 (doubling his c pawns and exposing his b-file), or dxe4 (capturing toward the center and potentially activating my light-squared bishop).  I decided at that point I didn’t have to do anything yet, so I put some more pressure on his king with 18…Ba3.  I also realized I had a powerful threat going, and I needed to tighten the clamp!  So 20…Rfc8 put more pressure on the c file and prevented the knight fork on b5 with an escape for my queen (21. Nb5? leads to Qxc2+ and then mate).  After the game, Mike told me that at the end, he thought he’d have to move 25. Qe3 to prevent me from moving 25…Qa1+ which would give me a free rook with a knight fork if his queen were still on g3 and his king has to go to d2 (I play Ne4+ he has to move 26. Kd2 Qxd1 27. Rxd1 Nxg3).  But even if he played 25. Qe3, I would have played 25…dxe4 and then I have 26…Nd3+.  He then must exchange his rook for my knight and I still have many threats. He also couldn’t push his b or c pawns because that would expose his king to more threats.

*********

[Event “BAL 2012-2013 Uncastled vs Transit”]
[Site “Transit”]
[Date “2013.01.31”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Mike Rose”]
[Black “Mark Alban”]
[Result “0-1″]
[PlyCount “48”]
[TimeControl “G75″]

1. e4 c5
2. b3 Nc6
3. Bb2 d6
4. f4 e6
5. Nf3 Nf6
6. Nc3 Be7
7. Bb5 O-O
8. Bxc6 bxc6
9. d3 Nd7
10. Qe2 Bb7
11. O-O-O a6
12. g4 d5
13. Qg2 Qc7
14. Ne2 a5
15. g5 a4
16. Kb1 axb3
17. axb3 c4
18. dxc4 Ba3
19. cxd5 cxd5
20. Nfd4 Rfc8
21. Qg3 Qa5
22. c3 Bxb2
23. Kxb2 Qa2+
24. Kc1 Nc5
25. Resign
0-1

Bankers’ Athletic League Chess 2013-01-17 Alban vs. Sorge

January 17, 2013  New York, NY

Below is a recent chess game I won in Round 3 of the Bankers’ Athletic League, Chess Division, 2012-2013 season.  My team, Uncastled, faced a strong Bank of NY team, and came away victorious!  The match results are given in the order in which the games finished.  My annotation of my game follows, and finally the moves list of my game conclude the blog.  The moves are in standard .pgn format, and can be copied/pasted into any .pgn or .txt formatted file.

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MATCH RESULTS:

Board 4 was the 1st to win, as Russ Mollot intimidated his opponent so badly that his opponent decided not to bother playing!  Uncastled 1, BoNY 0.

Next, on board 2, Carl Haynes exploited a few mistakes by his opponent, Gregory Klewin, and quickly gained a winning advantage.  Haynes forced Klewin’s resignation, giving Uncastled our 2nd match point.  Uncastled 2, BoNY 0.

While I was fighting for my life on board one, Tom Amato was battling it out against Denis Forster on board 3. Amato secured a draw in his game in a time crunch, giving us our margin of victory.   Uncastled 2.5, BoNY 0.5.

Finally, on board 1, I (Mark Alban) faced “Formidable” Phil Sorge, and after he exchanged his knight for my light-squared bishop in a game where my light-squared bishop is critical to my attack, he slowly tightened his grip on the game.  But he inexplicably blundered away a center pawn, which I gladly took with check, forking his king and unprotected light-squared bishop!  I now had no worries on the light squares, was up a piece and a pawn, methodically positioned my pieces to build an attack and eventually won!  Final tally:  Uncastled 3.5, BoNY 0.5.

Congrats everyone on our 1st victory of the season!

*********

HERE’S MY ANNOTATION OF MY GAME (ALBAN VS SORGE):

Once again, I messed up the opening, but after my opponent blundered away a center pawn and his light-squared Bishop with 21…Bb5?, I had a lot of options. At some point, I wanted to get my queen to the seventh rank since my rooks were passive and committed to defense. There were plenty of options on move 27, but which was the best, and were there better moves I should’ve made after move 23? I wasn’t sure the best way to activate my pieces, and I couldn’t threaten mate on move 27 (I don’t think) until I removed his dark-squared bishop from the board, or at least away from the b8-h2 diagonal, and he had a menacing attack on the 2nd rank as well as control of the open files. Any wrong move at that point would’ve allowed Sorge to checkmate me.

Because I was up in material, I wanted to maintain an attack AND exchange down to make my extra piece more powerful. I thought 27. Bd6? would lose the piece to Rd8, but 27. Nd6 forces the exchange with the threat of 28. Nf7+ and the possibilities afterwards.  So 27. Nd6 prevents 27…Rd8 with a king/rook fork and discovered attack by the queen on the rook as well when the knight moves away with 28. Nf7+, then a discovered check after 28…Kg8 29 Nxd8+.  At what point might I have been able to move Qf7 or something similar?

*********

[Event “BAL 2012-2013 SIAC Uncastled at BoNY”]
[Site “BoNY”]
[Date “2013.01.17”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Alban, Mark O.”]
[Black “Sorge, Phil”]
[Result “1-0″]
[PlyCount “71”]
[TimeControl “G75″]

1. d4 Nf6
2. e3 d5
3. Bd3 Nc6
4. f4 Nb4
5. Nf3 Nxd3+
6. Qxd3 e6
7. Nbd2 c5
8. b3 cxd4
9. exd4 Bd6
10. Ne5 O-O
11. O-O Nd7
12. Rf3 f6
13. Nxd7 Bxd7
14. c4 b6
15. cxd5 exd5
16. f5 Qc7
17. Rh3 Bf4
18. Ba3 Rfe8
19. Rf1 Bd6
20. Bc1 Rac8
21. Qf3 Bb5
22. Qxd5+ Kh8
23. Qxb5 Qc2
24. Nc4 Bb8
25. Ba3 Re2
26. Qd5 Rce8
27. Nd6 Bxd6
28. Bxd6 h6
29. Rg3 Qd2
30. Bf4 Qb2
31. a4 R8e4
32. Qd7 Re7
33. Qd6 Qc2
34. Bxh6 Qe4
35. Bxg7+ Rxg7
36. Qf8+ *
Black resigns, 1-0.

Our Rights as Americans – They’re Not Just About Guns!

In my first blog (well, that’s not true, it was just my 1st blog on www.wordpress.com – I have prior blogs on Myspace, but nobody uses THAT any more), I stated that my next blog would be about my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.  However, this wordpress.com blog will NOT be about the #Steelers.  Whoa!!!  I think Obi Wan Kenobi just got flustered when he heard all those voices ’round the world cry out in sorrow…and then go silent!  Get used to it, I may make an assertion of what I plan to do, but I may not actually do it.  Yeah…get used to it!  HA!  It was a busy summer, I had my 3 kids in my custody, was trying to get up to speed at a relatively new job, and had a 2.5 hour commute…each way.  Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of time to blog about my #1 blog subject (#Steelers), much less anything else.  Here’s your consolation:  Go to http://www.myspace.com/markalban, or look me up, and check out my blogs there.  Some pretty riveting Steelers blogs there, I must say.

ENOUGH!  Now to the point.  With all the recent gun control hysteria going on around the good ol’ USA since the Sandy Hook tragedy, and so many people’s opinions being influenced by highly emotional tugs of war on their hearts, it’s high time to break down the GUN CONTROL ARGUMENT.

Has anyone in this country (the USA, that is) ever read a history book???  Someone???  Anyone???  And did you pay attention?  Do you know what happens to people who cannot defend themselves???  Let me give you a brief history lesson (brief in terms of thousands of years of recorded history versus a few minutes of reading what follows).

History lesson number one:  Most appropriately concerning gun control, there once was a guy named Adolph something (no, this is not a limerick)…what was his name again?  OH YEAH, it was HITLER!!!!!!  DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER WHAT THAT MONSTER DID AND HOW HELPLESS GERMANY WAS TO STOP HIM?????  If you don’t know, type his name in your search engine and find out more – what he did and how he did it.  Here’s a start for you:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler.  He nearly took over the entire world, using his country’s military for his own personal purposes, using torture, coercion and fear, to make anyone within his reach completely under his control.  Anne Frank had to live behind a wall because of her family’s religion, and Adolph Hitler persecuted people of that religion!  Please type her name in your search engine or try the following link if you don’t know who she was:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Frank.

Why?  Why was Germany so ill-prepared to stop Adolph Hitler?

The answer comes later, for those of you who have the power to think rationally, even when your emotions may be tugging you to think irrationally.

OK, History lesson number two:  Let’s use Pearl Harbor.  It was the one time that we in this mighty country had been attacked on our own shores by foreign troops, and was the closest we came to being occupied by an alien invader (no, not alien as in:  “outer space”, alien as in:  “not from our country”).  Why do you think the Japanese were unsuccessful in overthrowing the USA during World War II, when the USA was so busy, with so many of its resources in Europe, fighting a war against Hitler and the Axis powers?

The answer to history lesson number two is:  We were prepared.  We had been making plenty of guns and other instruments of war (I know, because my grandfather was an engineer who contributed his mental capabilities toward the war effort – OK, he helped engineer guns, rockets, planes, bombs, missiles, etc. during the war).  So even though the majority of our resources were allocated to Europe, including most of our assault rifles and most of our troops, fortunately we had armories (look that up if you don’t know what it means:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armory_(military) ), AND we had these people who were part-time soldiers and who kind of waited around just in case they were needed to defend the homeland.  They were called the reserves and national guard.  These people are also known as the militia (and PLEASE look that up if you don’t know what that means, because you WILL see that word again in this very blog).  Here are some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States).

Why then were the Germans unsuccessful in preventing Hitler from commandeering their country, aside from the fact that he was their appointed leader?  That answer comes later, because if you read this far into this blog, you can probably figure out the answer yourself…but read on, it gets better.

So now we come to brief history lesson number three.  This is will take a little more space than the first two, because there’s a little more information you’ll need to know.  There was this thing, an idea written on piece of paper created when our brilliantly intelligent forefathers founded this country.  What was that thingamajig called again???  OH YEAH, IT WAS CALLED A CONSTITUTION!!!

You can read more about it at:  http://uspolitics.about.com/od/usgovernment/a/bill_of_rights.htm

Let’s take the basic ideas from that link above regarding the Bill of Rights, and tie those ideas in to the gun control argument.  The Constitution of the United States of America gave authority to a centralized governmental system for the colonies to come together as one country.  However, the U.S. Constitution lacked the proper language to afford individual citizens their proper rights.  So to get the constitution passed, its supporters also needed to include a Bill of Rights, 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution which gave rights to the PEOPLE!  And how does the constitution begin???  Yes, it begins with, “We the People…”  Emphasis added by our forefathers when they capitalized the word “People” and printed those first three words in boldface and larger text!

Yes, We the People have rights.  Why did our forefathers go to such lengths to assure that We the People had certain rights?  That’s another history lesson, but you can take it from me (or research history yourself) that the “People’s” rights were being denied by the kings and queens of Europe, Asia and Africa throughout the course of history.  They needed to have their rights spelled out so that those rights could never be taken away…by anyone.  Not in 1776, not in 2013.  Never.  Ever.  Not by the king of England, not by Barack Obama.

NOT BY ANYONE!

EVER!

The whole reason this country was founded was because the “People” needed freedom from oppression, and they needed their rights as humans.  If those rights were taken away, this would no longer the country of the free.  This would be the country of the oppressed!

What was the most important right our forefathers believed in, so much so that they made it the first amendment to the constitution?  The right to freedom of religion, speech and assembly.  Basically the right to have the freedom to voice our opinions and the freedom to unite under those opinions.  How then, could those rights or any others be guaranteed???  By one piece of paper which begins, “We the People…”?  No, no, NO!

NO!  A piece of paper guarantees nothing!  It merely states what we deserve, it doesn’t fight the Hitlers of the world to preserve what we deserve, does it?  Hindsight is 20/20, we all know that.  In my first blog, I stated that any fool can learn from their own mistakes (20/20 hindsight), but the wise person learns from the mistakes of others (foresight).  Our brilliantly intelligent and WISE forefathers had the FORESIGHT to assure that the next most important constitutional amendment, amendment number two to the U.S. Constitution, would give us (We the People) the rights to protect our rights and liberty by the use of force, firearms and (here’s that word again) the Militia!

History Lesson Number One Learned:  Germany was not prepared with the proper armories available to their militia, if they even had armories or a militia.  They were a mighty military power at that time, one which could defend itself from any alien invader, but the PEOPLE could not defend themselves from the evil invader within.

The militia is a fundamental American belief.  In fact, the “native” Peoples who were inhabiting this continent prior to the Europeans, used the militia very effectively until germ warfare by the European settlers nearly eradicated all the Native Americans.  If we don’t have the right to bear arms or form a militia, we will cease to be American.  Take some time, if you don’t know, to look up Minutemen, made famous by the poem about Paul Revere, and research how the Minutemen were an effective militia in combating the Imperial British forces (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minutemen).  Had we not had a militia during the Revolutionary War, we might still be a colony or territory of England like Bermuda still is!  Ok, that’s a stretch, but we’d be a lot more similar to Canada than we are to the current United States of America.

Let’s be wise, like our founding fathers, and learn from the mistakes of others.  We are fortunate in this country.  We’ve been at peace for many, many years.  We have not been widely jailed under religious persecution, nor have we been widely persecuted or jailed simply for our opinions (1st amendment).  We have not had soldiers living in our houses, eating our food just because they’re soldiers (3rd amendment).  We do not have police legally barging into our houses to search for evidence whenever they feel – they must show cause and obtain a warrant ahead of time in order to legally enter our properties (4th amendment).  Any “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”  That is the 10th and final amendment.  Click the link above or search for the U.S. Constitution and its amendments and you can read them all for yourself.

But what guarantees us those rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution and its amendments???  The fundamental American right to bear arms, and to protect our rights by the use of force – by taking those arms out of their lockers (armories around the U.S. or the lockers in many Americans’ bedroom closets), loading them up, forming a militia and fighting like our very lives and our VERY PRECIOUS CHILDREN’S lives depend on it.  THAT IS A PRINCIPAL SO IMPORTANT TO OUR FOREFATHERS THAT IT IS THE SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION!

Do you hear what I’m saying?  Are you listening???  Think like our forefathers.  Have the foresight to know that while we live in peace, our children, their children or children generations from now may not.  Don’t mortgage our children’s future by taking away now their ability to defend themselves later.  We may not need assault rifles today, but years from now, when an Adam Lanza turns into an Adolph Hitler of America, our descendants will need to defend themselves, and we’ll be long gone.  We MUST ensure their ability to defend themselves WON’T be long gone.  Their suffering will be thousands of times worse than the handful of innocent children who died in Sandy Hook if our descendants don’t have the arms to defend themselves because someone took away that right simply because we live in times of peace.  And we won’t be able to produce those arms needed to defend ourselves because all the gun manufacturers will have gone out of business shortly after 2013 if we allow the esteemed President Barack Obama to eradicate or regulate the production and sale of military weapons without Congressional approval.

Would you leave your baby alone, in the middle of a busy highway?  Of course not.  The baby would have no way to protect itself.  Should we leave our great great grandchildren with no means to defend themselves from the next Adolph Hitler?  Just how badly would they suffer?  Ask Anne Frank.  She was the lucky one, but she didn’t know it.

I’ll leave you again with words of wisdom.  I implore you to think about what I’ve written above, and what words of wisdom I leave you with below.

“Any fool can learn from their own mistakes, but the wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”

Be wise.  DO NOT let our right to bear arms be taken away by anyone…

EVER.

Hello world!

My first WordPress.com blog:  It’s early on Saturday morning, August 18, 2012…a dark and stormy night!!!  LOL. I plan to use this blog to provide a little information about me, and a lot about my PASSIONS in life.  My utmost passion is the professional American football club, THE Pittsburgh Steelers!  Don’t ask me why I’m so passionate about the #Steelers2012, it’s probably because I was young, impressionable, and fatherless in the 1970’s when the Steelers were the best team in the NFL, but ultimately my therapist will help me figure out why I’m such a diehard fan.  I’ve been a HUGE fan of the Steelers since I watched my first Super Bowl ever (at Al & Sandy Tuttle’s house), which was the Steelers’ second Super Bowl appearance:  they beat the Cowboys (thank God, otherwise I may have ended up a fan of THAT team), and the rest, as they say, is history.  OK, that was the first, but probably not the last cliché you’ll read (if anyone reads this at all).  I will keep the clichés to a minimum, but hey, it seems to work for Pitbull, so maybe I’ll just repeat every cliché that comes to mind and enjoy the success he enjoys!  I’ll sprinkle some originality into my blogs too!  LOL.

Tonight I’m spozed to take my kids to my mom’s house, but I had some deadlines at work which I wasn’t able to finish before I had to pick the kids up from the backup daycare center at my office in downtown NYC (btw, if you want to know more about me, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so you can cyberstalk me there if you find me interesting).  As of today, I’m single (happily divorced), but in a budding relationship…but I’m not exactly sure where it’s going.  We have some things to work out:  age gap, differing socio-economic backgrounds, and I bring the divorce/kids baggage to the relationship, so we’ve been taking it slow.  OK enuf about that!!!  So I have this project to complete for work, but my mom doesn’t have internet, so I had to stay home this evening to finish the work.  Well, it’s almost 3 a.m. and I haven’t started!  Wow…I gotta go.  Need to be @ mom’s by 9:30 a.m. and it’s a 2 hour drive, so I have to leave by 7:30, which leaves me little less than 5 hours to finish my work, sleep, shower, eat and pack up 2 of my 3 kids for the ride…  If my work takes 2 hours, and my breakfast/shower takes 30 minutes, I’ll have 2 1/2 hrs sleep.  YIKES!

OK, my next blog will focus on the #STEELERS!  They play tomorrow night on NBC.  I’ll be celebrating a birthday tomorrow (no, not mine), so will have a LOT to blog about then.  I’ll try to recap the game as best as I can, but I want to do a positional analysis of the team.  I usually go to Latrobe, PA every summer to watch the team practice, but didn’t make it this year.  So I’ll be providing opinions based on what I know of the team from last season.  Ouch!  That could lead to some painfully WRONG predictions.  Not likely, but it’s a possibility.  Stay tuned and thank you for reading.  Good nite.  I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom:  “Any fool can learn from their own mistakes, but it’s the wise person who learns from the mistakes of others.”  I don’t know who originally conceived that thought (maybe H.G. Wells, Winston Churchill or Confucius), but I attribute it to Rev. Al Sharpton.  I heard him say that on the radio station WBLS (107.5 in NYC) sometime around 1997.  While I don’t subscribe to his means of making his opinions known, and probably would subscribe to half of his views, I thought those were very powerful words.

I leave you with them (again).  Be wise.

“Any fool can learn from their own mistakes, but the wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”