So I take one unpaid furlough day and this happens? Flyers' goalie Ilya Bryzgalov went all Philly.com commenter on us? Let's look at two of the things he said in the interview that may (more on that in a minute) end his career in our fair city: First. the comment that you (not me) might sign onto (warning -- some of Bryz' words were really translated and some others only went through Google Translator). It's on Philly and "ghettos":
There are enough of them. This is not a small part of the city. Too many do not work, live on welfare and get food stamps for. They just do not want to work. Their principle is: "Why should I work when I can live, let them raise taxes on the rich, which are injected. I'll sit on the dole, the year I will get it here, then move to another state - start getting there.
Wow, when did he have time to meet Mitt Romney? With that kind of talk, maybe he could throw his mask into the 2016 GOP race. The thing is, this won't cause a lot of problems for him because the Flyers' ultra-conservative owner Ed Snider probably buys into that philosophy 100 percent. This next one is a problem:
Stalin is a very controversial figure. How do you feel about him?
"Positive. I see logic in his action. Not without going too far, of course. But he came to power in a country that had just lived through a revolution. There were so many spies, enemies, traitors there. A lot of people still had guns after the civil war. The country was in ruins, [people] needed to survive somehow. The country needed to be rebuilt, and in order to do that it needed to be held in iron hands. Then WWII began. A lot of people came back from that war with guns as well. There was devastation all around, the country had to be rebuilt, had to be able to defend itself. There were so many criminals."
Stalin took Russia in with a wooden plow and left it with nuclear weapons.
"Yes, he knew what he was doing. He is described as a 'bloody tyrant.' But at the time it couldn't be any other way. Yes, there were innocent people who were victims of repressions… But it happens. Not long ago in the US a person was released from prison, who spent 45 years there. It turned out he was innocent. Can you imagine, a person spent his entire life in jail for something he didn't do.
Also, Mussolini made the trains run on time, I'm told. Seriously, Stalin was the most murderous dictator of the 20th Century, and when you look at some of the people he was up against -- Hitler and Mao come to mind -- that is an amazingly horrific achievement. But I want to take it one step further -- I mentioned team owner Snider's conservatism, but remember what's behind that: His lifelong fascination with the ultra-libertarian writer Ayn Rand. He even helped fund the movie of her most famous book, "Atlas Shrugged." (You can see a video of Snider praising Rand below.)
But here's the funny thing: Rand was born in Russia and her family was displaced after its land was consficated in the Communist Revolution of 1917. She came to America in 1925, around the time that Stalin was taking power in the USSR, and her experience under the Communist regime is what inspired the philosophy that so inspired Ed Snider years later.