Saturday, June 04, 2016

Muhammad Ali 1942-2016

The Greatest walking the walk, 1967
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."

Jesus of Nazareth
From the Sermon on the Mount

"No Vietcong ever called me a nigger."

Muhammad Ali
One of my more peculiar personality traits is that I am totally indifferent to sports. I cannot remember what I was doing earlier this year while everyone else was viewing the Super Bowl. I might have been taking a drive in the country - or perhaps I was watching C-SPAN. I might have been curled up on the sofa with a good book. Even a bad book would be preferable to the Super Bowl. I'm not trying to make myself out to be some kind of cultural supremacist;  I might very well have been passed out drunk somewhere. The point I am trying to make is this: Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, lacrosse, polo, croquet - you name it - I could not care less if I tried. In fact, there is only one "sport" that I have an opinion on and a passion about: boxing - I hate it. I find boxing, in general, a barbaric spectacle; and boxers, in particular (and I'm being gentle here), I find "uninteresting". Sorry.

This being the case, why have I always adored Muhammad Ali? I just can't figure it out....Then again, maybe I can.

It was with a real sadness that I received the news early this morning that Ali passed into eternity late last night after struggling with Parkinson's Disease for the last thirty-two years of his life. This is a milestone, folks; make no mistake about it.

I'm hesitant about pointing out with any degree of pride that Ali and my maternal grandfather both hailed from Louisville, Kentucky. When Grandpa Clements was growing up, that town was a nice place to live. Of course, that would be the case for a white kid whose father was a prosperous and respected tobacco farmer. That certainly was not the case for a little black child named Cassius Clay. One of his earliest memories was being in a department store with his mother on a blistering hot summer day, and wanting a drink of water - only to be gently told by her that he could not relieve his thirst - not there - because his skin was too dark. One can only imagine the psychic toll this must have taken - not only on this kid - but countless millions of other black kids growing up in the America of that time.

When his bicycle was stolen as an adolescent, he complained to a Louisville police officer that he was going to "whup" the boy who took it if he ever got his hands on him. History doesn't record if young Cassius ever got his bike back. What it does record is that the cop, Joe Martin, explained to him that if that was the case, he'd better learn how to box. The kindly man arranged for the kid to meet him at the local gym where he was a boxing coach. How different this world would be today but for the decency and foresight of Officer Joe Martin. Here's looking at you, Joe, we owe you one!
Malcolm and Muhammad, 1964
From the beginning of his time in public life, going all the way back to the year 1960, it was clear to the most casual of observers that this "negro" was very different indeed. He didn't take any shit from anyone, for any reason whatsoever - consequences be damned. Like it or not, a new day had arrived in the "land of the free", and Clay. along with millions of other African Americans of his generation, was determined to assert himself as a human being, proud and unafraid. The hell with those moronic and evil Jim Crow laws. No more of that "Stepin Fetchit" jazz. He "knew his place", alright. And that place was wherever the hell he chose to be, whenever the hell he chose to be there. This son-of-a-bitch was the real deal - you'd better believe it.

This was made all-too-clear in 1967 when Clay - now a convert to Islam who renamed himself, "Muhammad Ali" - refused to put on an American military uniform and be sent off to Vietnam. At a hearing on the matter, when the bailiff ordered him to step forward, he called him by his old slave name, "Cassius Clay". Ali refused to acknowledge it. He could have lost everything, and, in fact, he did lose everything for a while. He lost his title of Heavyweight Champion and his right to legally box. For four, long years, he was effectively out-of-commission; a has-been. Only a legal technicality saved him from serving time in prison. In a move that could only be defined as pure spite, the government seized his passport in order to keep him from fighting abroad.

By 1971, Muhammad Ali was back in the ring, back in the public's favor. By then, we had all come to realize that Vietnam was - until that time anyway - the worst military blunder in American history. We understood at that moment that, like all great men and women of historical significance, he had been years ahead of the curve. It was never a question of America forgiving him. He forgave America before being asked to. Class act, that Ali.

You have to give credit to any man - black or white - who, in 1967, was able to look America in the eye and tell them, "To hell with your goddamned war."

MY own little claim to fame is that I was fortunate enough to meet Muhammad Ali. It was the spring of 1989, and I was working on the top of two-sections of scaffolding on the northwest corner of Broadway and West 39th Street in New York City. I glanced to my left, and there he was - the freakin' Greatest! - standing on the other side of 39th with a man I did not recognize. I've never been one to bother celebrities but, please forgive me, I couldn't resist this opportunity. I got down to street level and gingerly crossed the street. Very timidly and shyly, I approached him. 

"Hi!" I said softly. He smiled back at me. I then, very gently, gave him three pats on the back. "I just wanted to give you that", I said. He smiled again and gave me a thumbs up. I returned to my job site and went back to work, not quite believing what had just happened. It was such a sweet moment.
Within two-or-three minutes he was surrounded by well wishers, people who wanted to show him how much they loved him. By this point in time, he was already exhibiting the symptoms of the Parkinson's that claimed his life last night. I watched him as he attempted to sign a few autographs. Soon the crowd was almost overwhelming and the police had to escort him and his friend away. He was never in any danger, but it was definitely getting getting a bit out-of-hand. In spite of that, it was obvious to me that he appreciated the love. How could anyone not love Muhammad Ali? Even Joe Frazier loved Mohammad Ali. Hell, even I loved Mohammad Ali. For someone who despises the institution of boxing as much as I do, that says all you need to know about the man. What was it about Ali?

I'm not in a position to write intelligently about the career of Muhammad Ali. As stated earlier, sports has never really been my shtick. I do vividly recall the Frazier fights and remember being pleased that Ali came out the victor the second time around. All I can tell you is that I admired the man and loved him for his courage. Isn't that enough?

Muhammad Ali is dead. Give me some time to adjust to this.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


One of the most spectacular failures in the history of commercial television was Jerry Lewis' variety/talk show, which ran for about two months in the autumn of 1963. It premiered to great fanfare in September, and was gone by mid-November - a complete bomb that took Lewis years to recover from, both personally and professionally.

But there were, at least, a couple of memorable evenings: One of them was the night Jerry interviewed a very young Cassius Clay, as Muhammad Ali was then known. This is in two parts:

Part One:

Part Two:

There'll never be another like him. Stop waiting.
February, 1964


At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

"I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me."

– Muhammad Ali

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Wow. Thank you for that!

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Muhammad Ali. Not only the greatest heavyweight boxer ever, but definitely a heroic American and a compassionate human being. He'll be missed.

Nice tribute, Tom.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you our great Legiaon R.I.P you mark the history of another champion. R.I.P Love Ali

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Joe Martin, the Louisville cop, wasn't he a white southern Christian man?
Just saying.

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Look at my African-American over here, look at him." Herr Drumpf boasted.

Trump then re-tweeted a photo of a black family to show "the blacks love me", but the family doesn't. His goon lifted the picture and lied about them

"Values", amirite?

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Angelo Dundee was Ali's trainer and cornerman. for 21 years. He was a white Italian Christian. The two men were friends until Dundee's death.

Just saying.

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, I just reread the quotation provided by Anonymous (at 2:47 PM). The man, Mohammad Ali, was not only a heroic American and compassionate human being, as I mentioned earlier, but the profoundness and integrity of the man was without reproach. He was a prophet of the times.

He was advised that he'd lose millions of dollars if he didn't subservient himself to the military draft, and he confidently said he didn't care. He knew who the real enemy was, and he was right. That enemy is still with us today.

What an utterly amazing man.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

I don't know what Joe Martin's religion was, Chuck. It's not relevant. I assume he was white man - that's not relevant either.

Your point?

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

RIP Muhammad

At least we know he was a muslim who would not blow himself up to expand the cancerous Caliphate.

I bet with his alzheimers like Reagans he would forget which direction Mecca was for his prayers.

Tom, sounds like you played a lot of badminton in your youth.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom Degan: "Your point?"

Tom, I've also been wondering what point he was attempting to make.

Just sayin'... ;-)

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Ali had Parkinson’s, but not pugilistic dementia. Even though he was barely able to speak, his mind was still fairly sharp for a very long time.

Sorry everyone, I was speaking out my ass in my post from 9:54 AM. I was in such a hurry to say something snarky about Ali and teh mooslems I didn't bother checking my facts.

I guess I'm just stressed out because a game show host is my republican nominee for president. I mean, how could that happen?

Don't answer that question.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Reagan - tax cuts, deregulation, leadership and trust in the American people to take care of themselves.

Obama - tax increases, heavy regulation, lack of leadership and DIStrust of the American people.

Reagan saw more than TWICE the annual GDP growth that Obama got! One a record of success. The other a miserable failure.

Yet, the crazy "I'm so smart" liberals will never admit their failure.....over and over, again!

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

As president, Reagan “raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office,” including four times in just two years. As former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who called Reagan “a dear friend,” told NPR, “Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration — I was there.” “Reagan was never afraid to raise taxes,” said historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s memoir. Reagan the anti-tax zealot is “false mythology,” Brinkley said.

Seven out of eight years in office isn't bad. Not as bad as the Kenyan Usurper. I'm so glad a game show host will be my president in a few months. Then I can sleep easy.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worshiping a man of violence, no surprise coming from you Tom. Ali was an egotistical braggart who bragged about the violence he would commit on another person. Trump must be your hero, they were the same kind of man. Not to mention his religion was mixed up in murder and Ali was the best friend of that religious leader. Vietnam war protesters suffered much more than Ali for taking the same stand. Ali wouldn't even be seen with other war protesters. They were sitting in jails for years. They were not rich and famous. If you must be stupid enough to hero worship a human, try Gandhi, not some selfish sports figure. Let me guess, the spoiled, crybaby McEnroe was another one of your heroes.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Yet, the crazy "I'm so smart" liberals will never admit their failure.....over and over, again!

Does Republican Chris know what “projection” is? He’s doing it.

GDP Under Carter:

Dec 31, 1979 10.01%
Dec 31, 1978 14.46%
Dec 31, 1977 11.88%

Carter left Reagan a 9.2% GDP. Not only did Reagan take the US from a creditor nation to a debtor nation, he left a 7.76% GDP in December 1988. LOWER than Carter left him. Better blame the Democrat?

The Great Bush Recession left Obama this GDP
Dec 31, 2008 -0.92%

That’s a NEGATIVE, there folks. Obama will leave his successor a higher GDP than what Bush left him. Better blame the black guy, amirite?

See for yourself:

US GDP Growth Rate by Year

What is it with the cult of Con-servatism and their Party of Lies? Should we allow gullible ideologues with false beliefs to run our country? HELL NO!

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

How Did Obstructionism Work Out for Republicans?

In 2009, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner decided their strategy to deal with Obama and the Democrats would be uncompromising obstructionism. This was a nearly unprecedented decision. They wouldn’t even work with Obama in areas where they could compromise and win incremental gains and then pick up the fight the next day, such as in the infamous Grand Bargain. In the short term, it seemed to work. Once Scott Brown defeated history’s most incompetent candidate to replace Ted Kennedy, Republicans could filibuster even though Democrats still controlled 59 votes. The wave election of 2010 then happened and it seemed like the fireeating strategy was a great success. But has it worked out for long-term Republican objectives? Oh god no.

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:10 PM is a karl rove ratfucker. Just sayin'.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

keta says:
June 5, 2016 at 10:56 am
The very best thing obstructionism brought Republicans is Donald S. Trump.

By proving to their base that they were capable of doing absolutely nothing to further their ridiculous agenda, they perfectly set the table for an outsider to swan in on bombast and slick salesmanship and hijack the party. And boy does it look good on them.

Here’s hoping the GOP wears their Trump taint for a long, long time.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:23 is just a lover of violence and selfish egomaniacs. We know he will be voting for Trump.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:25PM won't be voting for anyone as he's not registered to vote. He prefers to express his views by trolling Degan's blog. He sometimes goes by the name of All Caps TOM.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for proving what a stupid fuck you are anon. 2:39. You must be one of those butt fuck faggots trolling these blogs daily just to get your sick jollies. It does show the kind of scum Tom gets, which is normal for a violence worshiper who loves the fights on his blog.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true. Tom DOES get lots of scum. For example, people who use the term "butt fuck faggots."

Real scum. But you already know yourself.

LOL, as Wallingford Harry would say.


At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just telling the truth about your character anon 2:49.

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymouse 2:49PM:

Degan wrote a tribute to Ali. You don't like Ali. But instead of minding your own business and keeping your cock sucking mouth shut you logged in to call Degan a violence worshipper.

Hear that? Your mom is calling you. Better shut off your computer and run upstairs and see what she wants. Maybe another foot rub. Just don't let your hands wander like last time.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom for proving me correct. Now back to your insulting 1st graders. They can make ugly insults but no one else. You actions prove I'm correct, and thanks again for that. Now back to worshiping your men of violence.

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Who was the bigger narcissist. Ali "I am the greatest" or Obama "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"?

Both are/were full of hubris up to their eyeballs.

Smokin Joe Frazier headshots had a delayed effect that removed the hubris causing Ali to walk around with the shakes and impaired speech.

History showing Obama as one of the worst Presidents will remove his hubris.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Sammy said...

"If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow."

By that reasoning he would have refused to fight in WW II.
Jerry Lewis defined him correctly. He was another Barnum.
I didn't see him enlist to fight for black freedom in South Africa. I guess maybe those were not his people.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JUST BECAUSE ALL THE SLAVES HAVE BEEN EQUALIZED, that DOES NOT mean they are FREE. I remember those days of his protest. Both parties....repeat BOTH parties thought badly of him. Both thought him a traitor. The EXACT same thing would happen today. All a modern-day ALi would have to do would be to proclaim he wasn't going to fill out the needless forms of government....or say he wasn't going to pay his modern-day enslavement tax.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You made a point of how racist White America made it tough on Ali.
Can't help you if you don't get the point

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Jeez Tom. how many names are you going to let Chucki post under?

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

I see the trolling resident racist is hiding behind the metaphoric white hood of "Anonymous", while calling the greatest heavyweight boxer ever a coward.

The irony.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

In other words just as "you didn't build your business by yourself", Ali didn't become the greatest by himself.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you of draft age during the Vietnam war? What was your number? What did you do about being drafted?

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Upchuck More: "Ali didn't become the greatest by himself."

Granted, no man is an island. On the other hand, I never saw anybody else in the ring besides Ali's opponent.

Your attempt at an analogy is weak -- as is your character.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I miss Trunpie Chuckie saying "Hurry up November".

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Ben Ghazi said...

Who do you trust with the 3AM phone call?

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

When the Vietnam war ended in 1973 I was fourteen years old - missed it by four years. Just months before it seemed to some pundits that the war could go on for possibly another decade. Knowing that I would turn eighteen in that frame of time, I made up my mind then and there that I would become a conscientious objector if drafted. If that failed, I would go to Canada or prison. Even at that age, I knew that there was no way I could ever partake in "that stupid fucking war", as the late, great Molly Ivins habitually referred it it.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic, isn't it that north African Muslims created the African slave trade. A man who slaps his parents in the face by rejecting their name and taking on a name based on a militant faux-Islamic cult? This man was great?

That you juxtapose a quote from Jesus and Ali is foolishness - if not downright offensive.

What a bunch of garbage.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

In Conservo-land 20 million slaves over a 400 year period never really happened and if it did they deserved it. I think this guy is pissed he missed out on owning slaves, especially a few female ones.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"..guy is pissed he missed out on owning slaves, especially a few female ones"

LOL!! Ass handed to the "not racist" con. He wants us to ignore the fact American Christians justified slavery.

It was "not racist" conservatives who were pro-slavery, and then anti-voting rights for Blacks. This is how Dixiecrats turned Republican during the civil rights struggle in the '60s.

Con-servatives always obstruct progress, equality and human rights. It is their authoritarian nature. Trumpies are certainly following that "Make American White Again" tradition.

Ali was an anti-war, Muslim Black man of conscience. That would be three strikes against him in the ideology of the far Right.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Hurry up November!

There. It had to be said. Chuckie hates it when I agree with him.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer Tom.
I went to jail. I should have gone to Canada like some of my friends. I never really thought I could win against the government, but I thought I should fight them. My idealism was high. It was never about not serving my country, it was about not killing, or being killed for a stupid lie of a war.
I would have gone, if I was drafted for WW II, even though Hawaii was not an actual State. I wonder how many would enlist if Puerto Rico was attacked, or Cuba had turned in to a war? I certainly understand many wanting to enlist after 9/11, to bad Bush lied about Iraq. I wonder if those guys feel about Bush the way the Vietnam guys felt about LBJ?

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, James, I know history. Yes, Europeans/Americans engaged fully in the slave trade. But, if you know history, you'll know that it was largely begun much earlier by Muslims in North Africa.

I'll ignore the smarmy retort. Answer/own up to the history. You're usually better than that. Don't engage in sophomoric banter like so many out here.

I was pointing out the logical fallacy and irony of shedding an American "slave name" and adopting a Muslim name. What Ali did had nothing to do Islam and everything to do with identifying with the white-hatred of Malcolm X at the time, even though he did soften on that later on in life and essentially split with X.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD - Note that I never made any point about anything in your reply. Rather, I made an educated and thoughtful reply challenging the fact that Tom would lionize the man. Then a comment about the quotations. All fair - all pointed at the subject matter and the content of the article. James' reply to me was a non-sequitur to begin with. I never denied European/American slave trade. I pointed out a historical fact about its earlier genesis and the irony of Ali's name-change. You made gargantuan extrapolations about my beliefs from that one observation. Do you do this out of fear or anger? I can't figure you out.

Or is it just a Pavlovian response after too many years of pitbulling this blog comment section?

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The European form was called chattel slavery. A chattel slave is a piece of property, with no rights. Slavery within Africa was different. A slave might be enslaved in order to pay off a debt or pay for a crime.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Foolishness, offensive garbage"? Sounds like the beliefs, and attitude, of a con to me. Be that as it may, I don't know what your beliefs are, except maybe a need to antagonize in the same manner as far Right trolls.

Ironic, isn't it that north African Muslims created the African slave trade.


Perhaps there were no African slaves in the Roman Empire? And no Christians had African slaves before the advent of Islam? Feel free to share your source on this history that began in the middle ages.

This man was great? Yes, he was a world champion. That is a measure of greatness.

And yes, Ali was a braggart and loud mouth at times. Like him or not, he earned it.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association explicitly notes on its website that translating la raza “as ‘the race’ is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect” (emphasis added):

Many people incorrectly translate the name, “La Raza,” as “the race.” While it is true that one meaning of “raza” in Spanish is indeed “race,” in Spanish, as in English and any other language, words can and do have multiple meanings. As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.”

Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity, not a race. As anyone who has ever met a Dominican American, Mexican American, or Spanish American can attest, Hispanics can be and are members of any and all races.


Mistranslating “La Raza” to mean “the race” implies that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by [Mexican scholar José] Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Confused Progressive said...


I've been thinking.

What if we kidnapped all of Hillary's Democratic Super Delegates till after the Convention and then let them go? Do you have enough space at your house for the hostages?

Won't Bernie then win the nomination?

Also, I would like to see a picture of you at the Convention doing your Richard Nixon double peace sign next to Bernie.

At 6:05 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

From this day forward, comments that are off topic or obscene and insulting to other commentators will not be accepted. Comment moderation is now a reality on this blog.

The right wing trolls are no longer amusing.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom Degan: "From this day forward, comments that are off topic or obscene and insulting to other commentators will not be accepted. Comment moderation is now a reality on this blog."

Good move, Tom. As I've maintained all along, it's wonderful to be a purist when it comes to First Amendment rights as granted through our Constitution. On the other had, when people visit your home it's expected they'll follow a certain level of decorum and civility. If they don't, you have every right to show them the door. This isn't a free speech issue. Each person commenting here has the same privilege of creating their own blog. You, or I, or anybody else (beyond Google) cannot stop them.

Congratulations. You've made a very worthwhile decision.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger woodenman said...

FINALLY!!! That is great news. Now you should make up a Patrons page for contributions towards running, writing and maintaining this blog. Since I have been involved with The rant for some time now I will be the first to contribute. James Hansen

At 9:15 AM, Blogger woodenman said...

FINALLY !!! This is great news. I will be interested to see if the size of this blog increases without all the made up names and moronic postings. James Hansen

At 9:19 AM, Blogger woodenman said...

Twenty five bucks to start, who will match me?

At 3:06 PM, Blogger TOM said...

I like your writing. I've only commented here a couple of times. Not because of right wingers, but because of the nastiness and attacks. Your news is good and I will try again to contribute in a serious manner. As long as you are moderating, can we lose the Captcha?

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Okay, TOM, I'll see what I can do ab out that.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

From this day forward, comments that are off topic or obscene and insulting to other commentators will not be accepted. Comment moderation is now a reality on this blog.

The right wing trolls are no longer amusing."

Thank you Tom, and in return I will do my best to make sure I stay between the lines.

I just got sick of all the BS from false names.

At 5:00 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Someone named TOM sent this and I accidentally deleted it. He says:

As for Ali.
Like you I am not a big boxing fan.
I don't hero worship anyone. I have great respect for some people more than others. I prefer our public heroes be other than sports characters. I have no problem with boxing, but I believe boxing has had it's critics and dropped in the ratings since the days of Ali.
Ali's record speaks for itself. He was the greatest boxer, and a good man. His reason for rejecting being drafted went beyond the usual conscientious objector and made the correct point about injustice for blacks in America.
I wish his win in the Supreme Court had been more influential on the government's decisions on everyday guys who objected to the draft, but I don't recall that happening. His case certainly brought to light to Americans about the injustice to black Americans, and that was great.
I have to add that his religion was mixed up in murder and he was a close friend of the leader of that religion. I'm sure that had something to do with his changing religions. Live and learn.
It's sad that he was hit with a crippling disease that had nothing to do with his athletic career. It's hard to see such a strong guy wither away, but during that time he did a lot of good for the country.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger woodenman said...

I expected a lot of comments on the new posting policy but it will not work if long periods of time go by before the acceptable comments are posted.


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