Paging Daniel Murphy….
Apr 09, 2014 | 15616 views | 0 0 comments | 964 964 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Mets second baseman (and part-time outfielder, first baseman, etc.) left the ball club to be with his wife for the birth of his son, it triggered chatter among the sport-loving zeitgeist.

Nobody on talk radio or elsewhere took issue with Murphy taking a day off to be with his family. The debate was more of a focus on how long a man needs to be away from work. It became news, not because Daniel Murphy was desperately needed this week, but because there is something of a generational question here.

As talk show host Mike Francesa asked, after the birth, what is he really needed for? That is the generational question. Francesa is an interesting person to ask this question, since he is somewhere between the baby boomer generation and Generation X, yet he entered fatherhood rather recently.

The reason why Murphy missing two unimportant April games (in what often amounts to an unimportant season) is that he may not be “needed” at his wife’s side, but he is also not “needed” with the Mets. In both cases, he is a welcome support mechanism.

The definition of a family man is not about how needed he is, but in how willing he is to be present and visible. Good for Murphy for being with his wife.

What some of the super fans cannot get past is the “win at any cost” mentality. The same types of people who Tweet insults to players for ruining their fantasy football seasons complain when a grown man acts like a grown man. If we are going to chastise the steroid users, drug abusers, and bad boys, then we need to lay off the guy that does the right thing.

The very fact that Murphy has not jumped ship in Flushing is worth a few days off alone. Despite the meathead mentality that “second place is the first loser,” there is the reality that these are supposed to be adults, and Murphy is one of them. I only wish that he took that time off when the Mets played the Yankees, since he is a Yankee killer.

Mozilla…No Words for Fear of Retribution

I have been a life-long supporter of same-sex marriage and equal rights. I ran for the state assembly with those same feelings in 2000 when it was not so popular. It never seemed to make any sense to me for any political party to get in the way of people wishing to express values.

The only political stance more important is the protection of political speech. When web browser company Mozilla dumped CEO Brendan Eich over a donation that he made in favor of California’s Proposition 8, which would have banned gay marriage, they did not break any laws, but they were still wrong to do this. Making donations to campaigns, like voting, is an expression of political speech and it is supposed to be the most protected form of speech we have.

Some may argue that Eich supported a viewpoint that limited people’s rights, which is unbecoming of a CEO. But Eich was not the CEO six years ago. Some argue that this is a human rights issue. Eich had not denied anyone their rights. This was a ballot issue, which means that there were two recognized, viable political options. And for some reason, the side that won is turning into Charles Bronson.

More and more people support gay marriage every year. It takes people time to cross that line, but we who favor equality in marriage have basically won this battle. Is it really necessary to smack Eich’s nose with a newspaper like a dog that just urinated on a rug? If we are saying it is okay to throw this man overboard over a political donation, this will endanger our politics…all of our politics.

Do people who have donated to Barack Obama’s campaigns need to fear for their jobs if they work in conservative-leaning companies? What if someone supports the legalization of marijuana and a $50 donation is listed on one of these tracking websites? Are we now saying that people have to make a choice between making a living and participating in democracy? As someone who strongly opposed Proposition 8, vilifying the opposition has a very Third World feel to it.

Eich did not have buttons and pins opposing gay rights on the wall in his office. He did not make employees uncomfortable by bringing his politics into the workplace. In fact, nobody knew of this donation until he was bumped up to CEO.

I once met a woman who worked for Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas for 17 years. Bentsen was the Democratic Party’s nominee for vice president in 1988, a true Democrat. The woman, however, was a life-long Republican. “What did he say about that?” I asked. “He never asked me what my party was, and I never made an issue of it,” she answered.

Progress, for many of us, is seeing that people of all backgrounds have the same rights, but that should not come at the expense of other people’s rights. It seems that those who are celebrating Eich being fired view this as some sort of revenge, where those who denied rights are now getting their comeuppance. When we make people afraid to participate in the democratic process, we are gradually regressing into one of those countries that we do not want to become.

When the leader of the hostile Westboro Baptist Church died, the gay rights group that sets up shop across the street hung a banner that read “Sorry for Your Loss.” It was one of the classiest political responses in modern memory.

Mozilla could have addressed this uproar by issuing a statement saying that the company does not reflect the individual values of every employee. Better yet, they could have not crumbled to this lunacy altogether.

To Mozilla’s credit, however, they did what they wanted to do. They could have taken the typical “corporate America” approach, and made Eich miserable until he quit; a practice unscrupulously referred to as “managing someone out.”

Too few people join parties and actually vote. People do not run for office because we do not stand up to this. Now people will not lead companies because of it, and we are cementing that problem with cyber witch hunts.

I never want to win a political battle that turns me into the guy I just defeated. I guess this is the bitter side of winning.

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