Monthly Archives: October 2017

STAND UP OR SHIP OUT

Recently, I’ve analyzed the origins of the NFL’s national anthem controversy. I reiterate: When Colin Kaepernick started this, he told NFL.com kneeling was deliberately to NOT show respect for the flag of America.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to all 32 teams pleading for a league-wide resolution to get players to stand for the anthem, less than a month after Goodell orchestrated a weekend of NFL “unity” that encouraged players to do whatever they felt like doing at the moment.

There’s little reason to even try to spin this change in Goodell’s approach as anything other than a surrender to reality.

Weeks ago, Goodell was pushing back against statements by President Donald Trump, noting that the comments showed a “lack of respect” for the NFL.

You might not have seen it then, but that was the moment Goodell lost the debate. He explicitly said the problem was a lack of respect for the NFL, when the President and most Americans were more concerned about the NFL’s lack of respect for the United States.

People who support NFL kneelers have no shortage of excuses for the behavior. And they all fall short.

This is because of what the anthem means. It is symbolic of a dedication to America. In the United States in 2017, there is great diversity in terms of of our worldviews, experiences, and abilities.

Only one thing truly unites us: Honoring America.

This requires respect for the nation, which United States citizens are expected to believe is the greatest country in the world. The honor is so profound that even citizens of other countries will stand for our anthem showing respect.

This is precisely why stadium announcers ask the spectators to “rise to honor America.”

Spectators are asked to rise. Players are expected to rise.

If you kneel in protest during the anthem, you are not honoring America. That’s why America has turned against you.

It doesn’t mean your concerns and grievances don’t matter. But today you have unprecedented access to the people. You can run for office if this matters so much to you.

If you cannot articulate your message to Americans through direct engagement, you won’t communicate it by not rising to honor America.

You’re going to start standing when the national anthem plays before your game, or one way or the other, you’re not going to be playing the game.

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UNITE OR DIVIDE PART II

Consider this the second part of a blog I wrote in 2011 when Gabby Giffords was shot. It was the one where I appealed for “unity.”

That question has long been answered. There is no “unity.”

President Trump has address the shooting in Las Vegas and offered words of compassion and comfort. If you seek those things, hear him. He can offer you those things. I cannot. Not in this world, in this life, at least.

Consider the reality that media has portrayed to you recently.

They were talking every day about Nazis and fascism, using them to try and define restrictive limits on freedom of speech (“You can’t yell ‘wolf’ in a crowded theater” as Nancy Pelosi observed).

They went from that to endorsing the free speech of athletes. This was because NFL players were kneeling during the anthem in protest of police shooting unarmed citizens.

From there, it was all about Puerto Rico. Wall to wall theatrics in a thinly (if at all) veiled attempt to portray it as “Trump’s Katrina.”

Today, the media is pushing gun control (again). They are mocking “thoughts and prayers” which is common expression of sympathy used by public figures during tragedies.

Most of the trends on Twitter this morning were related to the Las Vegas shooting directly or indirectly. Puerto Rico hashtags and trends disappeared completely, leaving the mayor of San Juan without places to do interviews wearing custom printed hats and shirts.

So the recent narrative went just like this:

1) Criticize freedom of speech because fascists might use it.
2) Advocate freedom of speech because athletes might use it.
3) Raise awareness that police officers might shoot unarmed citizens.
4) Tell Trump that Puerto Rico is his Katrina whenever he questions people kneeling for item #3.
5) Forget Puerto Rico exists and advocate gun control, which would increase the likelihood of police officers shooting unarmed civilians that was undesirable in item #3.

The “party of science” has abandoned all the logical underpinnings on which science depends. They are angry because they can’t win elections anymore. Their best idea is to double down on the things that keep costing them elections.

If we really wanted unity, we’d ban the Democrat party. Wherever there has been strife in America since the mid 1800’s, they’ve been right there creating or promoting it.

We won’t ban it. For the same reason we didn’t use the first nuclear weapons to prevent anyone else from ever having them.

It’s not in line with the ideals of America. Even though the Democrat Party will attack those core ideals if that’s how the morning coin flip goes. Even when all they have to offer is resistance and obstruction, we suffer their existence.

At some point, that might very well be the death of us all.

There is no unity with those who don’t want to be united with America in 2017 any more than they did in the 1800’s.

Misery persists until they are completely and permanently defeated.