It’s time the NFL learns that every action has an opposite and equal reaction

The media considers it a political stunt when Vice President Mike Pence leaves a football game because he is offended by players disrespecting the flag. That same media does not consider football players taking a knee during the national anthem a political stunt.

The NFL considers players taking a knee during the national anthem freedom of speech.  That same NFL does not consider it free speech when football players want to honor the victims of 9-11 on their cleats.  It also fines players for wanting to honor fallen police officers with decals on the helmets.

The bogus reason the NFL cites about its stance on the cleats and helmets is a uniform rule in the players’ handbook.  That’s fair.  It’s also fair to cite the rule found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states:

The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.  During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

What the players and the front-running protesters do not comprehend is the players represent their team and the league.  That means they must abide by the rules set forth by their respective teams and league.  Since most teams are supporting the players and the league is supporting the teams it’s fair to presume the NFL and teams condone the actions.

If that is the case, then the NFL, teams, and players should be willing to accept any and all backlash their actions warrant from their fan base and sponsors.  It’s a simple accountability.

My youngest son goes to a Catholic school that has rules concerning hair length for boys.  He was told to cut his hair because it was too long.  He was not happy and wanted to protest.  We advised against it because we knew the rules when we decided to attend the school.  However, we will decline to support the school financially when they ask for future donations.

That is our recourse.  Likewise, the only recourse every football fan and sponsor has is to vote with their wallet.  I am not suggesting people partake in an organized boycott or we should use the wallet as a means to impose our will on others.  I am simply stating the obvious. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.

Just ask Jemele Hill, the controversial ESPN anchor who was suspended for telling fans to boycott the Dallas Cowboys after owner Jerry Jones told players they would be benched if they didn’t stand for the national anthem. ESPN, however, did not discipline Hill a few weeks back when she called President Trump a white supremacist on Twitter.

Apparently, ESPN only takes action when ad dollars are at risk. It seems a number of companies that advertise with the Cowboys also advertise with ESPN.  Coincidence? Maybe. It appears organizations only pay attention to protests when it affects the bottom line.

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When populism becomes control, democracy becomes socialism

The national anthem charade playing out on the countrywide theater is about anything but patriotism or the silly notion athletes are actually protesting inequality.

I call BS.

The NFL only cares about money.  President Trump only cares about President Trump.  The Left and Right only care about their positions and power.  None of these fools actually cares about what the flag stands for or the plight of those truly affected by racism.

Much like the statue stupidity or the neo Nazi’s right to assemble the hoopla is simply another case of both sides trying to control the other.

I have a hard time respecting anyone who does not honor our national anthem or flag and despise their actions.  At the same time, I have a harder time taking away a person’s freedom of speech or expression.  The NFL rulebook states all players must stand for the national anthem and technically the players are representing their teams when they put on the uniform.  The players are breaking the rules but much like a Society that selectively enforces its laws, the NFL picks and chooses what rules it wants to impose.

My bigger concern is President Trump’s rhetoric about firing those NFL players who kneel.  The conundrum I face is I agree with him but I’m not the president of the United States with 60 plus million ardent followers.  I will not and do not support anyone who does not stand for the national anthem.  That is my choice as a consumer.

However, to advocate – or try to bully – an organization to impose your will on their employees puts America on a dangerous path to socialism.  He is a populist president borne of the ineptness of the swamp dwellers.  The political elite is what created the void that President Trump fills.

A populist president with an ardent following is no different from a dictator with a strong military on his or her side.

As such, his followers believe he is on a mission from God (to borrow a phrase from the “Blues Brothers”).  And therein lies the fear.  President Trump is, was, and always will be an opportunist in my mind.  His followers still don’t get that small fact.  If he succeeds in turning the tide against the NFL and the league starts losing revenue it will cave in like all hollow walls when pushed.

Then what?  During “Statuegate” President Trump asked who would be next if the crowd succeeds in removing statues of Robert E. Lee?  I have the same question for him on this topic.  Who is next if President Trump and his legion of followers succeed in bullying the NFL to fire players for expressing an opinion?

The players and league can do what they want providing they are willing to accept the consequences of their actions.  President Trump can use the bully pulpit as he sees fit providing he would accept responsibility for the slippery slope he is putting us on.

Otherwise, it’s all noise.

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A divided country unites the Trump contingent

Some of my favorite cousins hate President Trump and never pass up an opportunity to vilify him in their social media feeds.  I stopped following them.  Not because I support President Trump, because I’m tired of reading it.

A few other favorite cousins love President Trump and never miss an opportunity to post glowing things about our Commander in Chief in their social media feeds.  I stopped following them.  Not because I don’t support President Trump, because I’m tired of reading it.

You can try to make your point all you want but it will not change my mind on President Trump.  It will not change my opinion as to why I voted for him.  I had distinct reasons that I outlined numerous times in this space and none of them had to do with being enamored with the man.

I am not alone in my conviction to my vote.  In fact, I’m willing to bet very few people in America can be convinced otherwise of their opinion.

And here’s the thing.  The more people try to convince me I should not have voted for President Trump the more adamant I become about voting for him in 2020.  It’s getting to a point that even if the Democrats put up a better option I still will vote for President Trump out of spite or principal – depending on your point of view.

I feel this way and I’m not a Trump supporter.  Can you imagine what a true Trump supporter is thinking every time some idiot in the media runs a story to smear him versus inform us?  Every protester that tries to instigate a fight with the Pro Trump faction is creation more Pro Trump people.  Every anti-Trump media story creates more pro-Trump voters.

The media and political elites are not getting the mood of the country.  People voted for President Trump because former President Obama was such a disaster to their plight and Hillary Clinton was not the answer.  Neither was Senator Bernie Sanders.  They represent the status quo.

No one could have beat the Trump Train and not because of the person but because 63 million people in the right Electoral College classroom were fed up with the status quo.  But those in the media and the Swamp are trying to preserve the status quo by trying to destroy the standard bearer of change.

That’s not a good strategy.

The only thing they are accomplishing is solidifying the Trump base and creating more supporters in the soon-to-be non-battleground states.  If the opposition party has any hope of winning the presidency in 2020 they need to realize a divide and conquer strategy in this context is only creating a unite and fight response.

I am hoping to having a good candidate to vote for in 2020 but based on what I am seeing there is no one on the Left that is better than Trump.  What does that say about the opposition?

 

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Looking at both sides does not make you one-sided

This is going to be a tricky blog.  It’s hard to write what I want to write without worrying about those with an agenda distorting my words for their own purpose.

There is no defending what Neo Nazi’s say or believe.  But as a people we need to defend their right to say it. By the same token, we need to defend the counter-protesters right to counter-protest in safety.  However, we cannot defend their violent methods either.

By all accounts, James Alex Fields Jr. is the coward who drive his car into a crowd of counter-protesters killing Heather Heyer.  If proven guilty he will become a murdering jackass who deserves to spend the rest of his miserable life in jail.

According to reports, the counter-protesters had their own agenda and prevented the Neo-Nazis from assembling and participating in their event.  It’s one thing to protest a protest march, it’s another to prevent them their right to protest.  The Neo-Nazis had a permit and the right to assemble.

The Counter-protesters instigated the violence which quickly escalated and led to Fields Jr. despicable act.  Make no mistake, Fields Jr. actions were far beyond normal but the counter-protesters are also responsible for the day’s outcome.

If the Neo-Nazis arrived at a Black Lives Matters rally and prevented them from assembling, the media would be going crazy condemning them for their disregard of the American Way.  So why is it OK for their rally to be usurped?

We’ve seen this countless of times now.  The University of California in Berkley is a cesspool of anti-First Amendment rights unless the campus agrees with the topic.  Then it’s the speaker’s right to say whatever they want to say.  During the presidential campaign George Soros agitators would disrupt then candidate Trump’s rallies and the media covered it as if the rally crashers were the Jedi returning.

However, one Trump supporter throws a punch and the entire campaign is filled with racist bigots bent on preventing free speech.  This is just the same page from the same playbook.  And now the media is giddy with the opportunity to paint President Trump and his supporters as Alt-Right loving haters.

Meanwhile, the actual agitators are lovable rebels fighting for peace, justice and the American Way.  The truth is the agitators are just as bad as the Neo-Nazis.  They are driven by the same hatred but believe themselves to be the guardians of virtue.

In reality, if the counter-protesters would have protested without inciting violence and the Neo-Nazis would have simply conducted their rally, Helen Heyer would still be alive and hordes of people would not be injured.  You can rationalize and make emotional pleas all you want – the bottom line is everyone has a right to their opinion.

We may not like the opinion. We may hate the message. But people have a right to express their opinion.

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Those who connect the dots can stay; the rest must go away

An acquaintance of mine reached out to me on Facebook with a question.  In his best impersonation of a cat swallowing a canary he asked “How do you like Trump now?”

I presume he thought the incessant staff changes, the continuing investigation by the special prosecutor, and the mainstream media position that he is a joke would have me regret my vote.  I disappointed him.

As I’ve stated countless times, I am not a Trumper.  I voted for him because I agree with and like his policy ideas.  I love his selection of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice because he is a man who follows the law and is not a social activist judge.

I pointed out the stock market is at record levels and the jobless rate was the best it has been in years.  Is that all because of President Trump?  I doubt it but he has a lot to do with the turnaround.

I have three children that are either in college or college bound within a year.  I need a vibrant economy so I can make more money to pay for college tuition.  With President Trump in office the stock market has a better chance of continuing it’s current trajectory than if Hillary Clinton were in office.

But that exchange got me thinking why so many Liberals focus on the wrong things and believe everyone should have their focus.

An investigation into Russian meddling in our election has no bearing on my life.  Americans like me think about issues that affect our life.  We do not care about issues the media wants to care about.  And that is what the media elites and political ruling class do not understand.

After a year of probes there is no hard evidence the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign to “steal the election.”  No one can explain what the phrase “the Russians hacked the election” means.  A hack means someone got into the computer system and changed something.  That did not happen.

Another example is Global Warming.  I do not care about issues like Global Warming because it’s non-essential to my everyday life.  It’s a topic that does not resonate with me because I do not see daily evidence that proves a connection between carbon gases weakening our ozone layer.  This is especially true when such studies come from organizations with agendas.

I do not care about what bathroom transgenders use unless a person posing as a transgender uses the opportunity to share a bathroom with my daughter for nefarious purposes.  Then you’ll be hearing about me on the news for killing a pervert.  The difference between the two issues is directly proportional to how it affects my everyday life.

President Trump understands this dichotomy of the voter.  He understands the desire most Americans have for a wall is not racial.  We connect the dots.  A wall means less illegal aliens means more job opportunities for me means I can pay for my kids’ college education.

I suggest Liberals watch the scene in Trading Places when Eddie Murphy’s character explains it’s not about pork bellies; it’s about his kid getting a GI Joe for Christmas.  It’s that simple.  President Trump gets it.  Politicians don’t.

We need fewer politicians and more people who can connect the dots.  The snobby media refers to such people as Populists.  That’s a code word for the media and political ruling class knows better than the great unwashed that is us.

A good friend of mine said “Let Trump be Trump and get his agenda through.”  I agree with him and if this collection of do-nothing Republicans and Democrats continue to block his agenda, I suggest we block their re-election.

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Misdirection only distracts them from solving the real issues

Remember the New York Yankees in the 1970’s?  Most people did not read the sports pages for the scores and game highlights.  They read the paper to see who hated who, who was fighting with who and waited to see when George Steinbrenner was going to fire his manager.  It was a sideshow….but they won.

President Trump’s White House is a sideshow aided and abetted by a media more interested in meaningless infighting than actual reporting.  Whether the Trump Administration can rise above the idiocy and be successful remains to be seen.

Politicians love to talk about everything but the real issues facing Americans. And the media will not report on issues because doing so does not advance its agenda.  The few items that barely resemble issues are distorted.

For example, if a politician wants to increase spending by $100 billion but settles for a $50 billion increase they crow about “cutting the budget.”  No. they increased it $50 billion.  This silliness permeated throughout the failed repeal of Obamacare.  It doesn’t matter.  President Trump is right on this one.  It cannot be sustained and will crash under its own weight.  Any logical person looking at this will realize it is true.

If you try to fill a pool with water but half of the pool’s bottom is missing. It will never fill.  In fact, eventually you’ll stop trying to fill it. And it will go dry.  It’s the same principle with Obamacare.

Politicians love to refer to Social Security as an entitlement program.  No.  Americans invested their money into Social Security on the promise of an annuity when we retire.  The money was supposed to be in a self-funding trust fund.  However, something funny happened on the way to the lock box: the federal government borrowed all of the $2.6 trillion trust fund money. What the government did with the money is anyone’s guess but chances are good it was wasted on handouts.

It’s like saying your company borrowed money from your 401K plan to pay the salary of your colleague.

I have an idea.  I suggest every member of congress and the Senate forgoes their salaries for the next 50 years and make up the $2.6 trillion.

Do you really think President Trump’s edict about Transgenders in the military was not meant to get the Russian influencing the election off the front pages?  It worked.  I guess his next book will be The Art of Distraction.

I can’t say that I blame him because Russian influence is a non-story.  It’s not like they hacked the Electorate College and changed votes which is how the Democrats are misdirecting the story.  And Congress now looking to have a special prosecutor to look into Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch and James Comey is simply misdirection on steroids.

I have another idea.  Maybe the people we elected should focus more on solving our issues and less on destroying themselves.  Of course, we hold the solution to that problem. Just vote them out.

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Can you return once you cross the fine line between truth and accuracy?

Here’s a note to the media:  If you get it right, you do not have to worry about accusations of being fake news.  It’s pretty simple.

When I was growing up and journalism was a somewhat legitimate profession, there were always three questions reporters needed to answer before publication.  Was the story true?  Was the story accurate?  Did the story hurt someone?

The true and accurate questions split hairs but are vital.  For example, I tell my son no talking on the cell phone after midnight.  As I pass his room at 12:30 am I hear his phone ring..  The next morning I reprimand him for talking on the phone after midnight.  He tells me he was not talking on the phone.

I say “I heard your phone ring at 12:30.”  He responds “My phone rang but it was a wrong number.”

It is true that his phone rang after midnight and he answered it only to learn it was a wrong number. It is not accurate that he talked on the phone after midnight.

Now half of you will say “But he actually did talk on the phone after midnight when he answered it”  Congratulations, there is a career for you in law.  It is not accurate because the actual meaning of my rule was that he not converse with friends on his cell phone after midnight.

A good journalist is overly accurate in the story and does not mislead through implication or innuendo.  There is no room for “the meaning of is” in journalism.  However, thanks to President Bill Clinton, the ability to sparse words is now forever in our lexicon.

Anyone who has ever relayed a story to anyone knows how to include or omit certain information to drive home a point or slant the emotion.  Why are journalists any different?

The final question: “Does it hurt someone” is a far harder question to handle.  If I am reporting on someone accused of rape or murder do I care if that lawbreaker is hurt?  Well, that depends if he or she is accused or proven to be the rapist or killer.  But who am I to pass judgement on another human being?

Most journalists are Liberal.  This is a known fact and proven throughout the past presidential campaign for anyone who ever doubted it. Most Liberals believe they know best; they are progressive thinkers and better informed than their Neanderthal counterparts on the Conservative side.  They have no problem casting judgment on others while lecturing them not to cast judgment on certain groups.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

I prefer my news to be as objective as possible.  From my earlier example, referring to the person as a rapist or killer is subjective.  But, writing or saying the person was convicted of rape or murder is objective.

Somewhere along the lines from Watergate to today’s opinion led journalism, reporters lost sight of being true, accurate and objective. Look no further than the recent spate of news outlets having to retract stories or apologize for inaccuracies.

Their insatiable lust to “get President Trump” is backfiring in a big way.  They are losing credibility but it’s obvious most are still tone deaf as witnessed Sarah Huckabee Sanders exchange with a reporter named Brian Karem. His whining rant about inflammatory speech is laughable because the media is the guiltiest provocateur.

It’s a fine line between truth and fiction in politics but the public can only hope these reporters can walk that fine line. Is it any wonder, we are all disillusioned when we see incontrovertible evidence that reporters are biased and focused on bringing down President Trump.

And that is the most important fine line.  Rather than look to bring down the president why not cover the news accurately and let the facts do the work.  Then no one has any wiggle room to escape because “a lie can change, but the truth never will.”

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