- They say death comes in threes and it did today in a really odd parlay. The first person was Harry Kalas, the longtime voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and the second "Voice of Doom" for NFL Films after the departure of John Facenda. Kalas had a rich, distinctive voice and was most famous for his "outta here" call on each home run. He also got to call the last out of 2008 World Series as his beloved Phillies pulled it off. Kalas died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 73.
- The second person to leave this world today was Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, who apparently died in an accident at his Massachusetts farm at the age of 54. Fidrych was a colorful righthander who had a phenomenal rookie year with the Detroit Tigers in 1976, going 19-9 and filling stadiums all over the American League. He wore long, curly blond hair under his cap and was compared to Big Bird, the Sesame Street character. He was also well known for grooming the mound and talking to the baseball before he threw it. He was never able to recapture the success of that first season, as a series of injuries kept him off the field until he eventually had to retire in the early 80s. I was 12 years old that summer and it seemed like he was on television every time he pitched. Along with the tall ships and Nadia Comaneci, he was an indelible part of a moment that seems ever more evenascent.
- The last person to die today was Marilyn Chambers. You'll have to do your own research on that one, although these guys can probably help.
- Oh, one more story about death. As you've likely heard, the Navy Seals were able to get 'er done in the waters off Somalia, killing 3 of the pirates who were holding the captain of the Maersk Alabama hostage and freeing Captain Richard Phillips in a daring and highly successful mission. It's a happy ending all the way around and congratulations are in order to the Navy for conducting a successful mission. Oh, and congratulations are also in order to the Commander in Chief.
- And now for something completely different. I heard from Craig Westover today, who is announcing a new effort called Grassroots for an Open Republican Party. Craig is one of the most universally respected conservative voices in Minnesota and he has, along with Marianne Stebbins, come up with a pretty compelling website that outlines some very good ideas for where the GOP should be going, especially in Minnesota. Craig and Marianne have laid out 7 guiding principles, and I think they are pretty good, to wit:
1. Just government protects Individual Sovereignty, Private Property and the Rule of Law.
2. When government is not granted an authority by Constitution, government cannot claim it.
3. Government must be no larger than required to carry out its Constitutional Obligations.
4. A Free Society cannot be "perfect." A “perfect” society cannot be free. Individual Liberty is a higher value than collectivist “perfection.”
5. In a Free Society, one must respect the Liberty of others to live by values different than one’s own.
6. Personal Liberty and Economic Liberty are inseparable.
7. All government policy must be debated, judged, and justified by these Principles.
I think that Craig and Marianne are on the right track. I'll be watching their work closely and would encourage you to give their website a look and, if you are interested, to join the conversation they are fostering there.