Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/2017: TV Comics, Law Deans, Sports And California…Everything Is Seemingly Spinning Out Of Control!

Good Morning!

On the day that the Boston Red Sox will begin their stunning comeback against the Houston Astros …

 

1 Speaking of baseball, a poll shows that the NFL fell from the most popular major sport in the nation last year to the least favorite last month, while baseball regained its traditional but usually treated as fictional “National Pastime” status. The NFL also dragged down the popularity of college football. Not all of this can be blamed on Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matters, and incoherent protests that aren’t against the National Anthem, well, maybe its third verse, but take place during the National Anthem, well, because. Ethics Alarms isn’t the only voice that has declared football to be callous and barbaric, now that the game’s unavoidable concussions are being shown to cause a deadly brain disease. Too many helmeted heroes beat their spouses and lovers, and commit felonies. The biggest star in the NFL, Tom Brady, is a smug, cheating jerk. It never helps when the President of the United States, even one like Trump, attacks an institution from the bully pulpit. Still, the timing certainly suggest that the NFL’s botched handling of The Knee is the catalyst for its current nosedive in popularity. Just think how many brains will be saved if this is permanent.

Meanwhile,  Major League Baseball is benefiting from staying true to its traditional national role of unifying the country rather than dividing it. No on-field protests mar the National Anthem. The sport is entertainment, celebrating American themes like individualism, the triumph of the underdog, and grace under pressure. In 1942, FDR urged Major League Baseball to keep playing, even though the remaining players were unfit for military service, leaving the teams stocked with older players and a collection of misfits, like Pete Gray, the one-armed outfielder.  After Baseball Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis wrote President Roosevelt in January, FDR replied with this letter the same day:

It is not, however, in the best interest of the country to keep the NFL “going.”

2.  Not to pick on the NFL,….OK, I’m picking on the NFL..there was another exhibit of how the league’s players are working overtime to annoy fans. Leaving the field during last weeks, Monday Night Football  game between Washington and Kansas City, Redskins receiver  Terrelle Pryor made an obscene gesture to the crowd. Pryor said he did it because he was called racial slurs by some members of the Kansas City crowd. The NFL said on Thursday that it was looking into the incident.

Pryor wrote on Instagram that such incidents were “the exact reason why guys are kneeling during anthem.”

“Me flicking the person off is more deserving,” he wrote. “I do apologize to my teammates and the organization. But at some point you keep calling us the N-word, we going to start acting up.”

Huh?

Pryor is making $6 million dollars a year. Although no one defends denigrating players—my friend Scott Wheeler, all 6’6″ and 320 pounds of him, once stood up at a Baltimore Orioles baseball game to tell a loud mouth fan who was shouting racial epithets at Red Sox centerfielder Reggie Smith  that he had a choice between shutting up and being permanently compressed by a foot or two—professional athletes have been hearing shouted personal abuse, racist and otherwise, from the beginning of professional sports. Jackie Robinson had to play listening to them from the stands and from many of the players on the field. He continued to behave professionally and ignored the abuse, as athletes must. If Robinson had flashed the Magic Digit at a crowd, he would have ended baseball’s effort to desegregate the sport, and eventually American society, until another day, perhaps years away.

Pryor cannot justify insulting an entire crowd because a couple of jerks are misbehaving. Nor is “you” a fair description of the abusers, assuming there were abusers and he isn’t trying to duck a fine. Why doesn’t he apologize to the 99.99% of Kansas City fans that he insulted with his gesture? And wait…now the kneeling is about racial abuse from the stands?

Meanwhile, the NFL’s investigation—are professional sports teams really going to try to have a speech code? They would be better advised letting fans like Scott police the jerks in their midst—should have no effect on Pryor’s punishment for making the obscene gesture, on the field, in a nationally televised game. His conduct can’t be excused no matter what he heard, and the NFL should have fined or suspended him by now.

Pro football is ethically clueless, and is getting what it deserves.

3. As expected, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton  rejected a specious challenge by Berkeley law dean Erwin Chemerinsky  to President Trump’s entirely unchallengable pardon of  85-year-old sheriff Jow Arpaio, and dismissed the guilty verdict in the contempt case. There was no legal or logical basis for the lawsuit, but I suppose the left-wing dean, still accorded status as a legal expert, thought it was worth a shot after watching partisan judges illegally shoot down other attempts by this President to exercise his legitimate powers. Chemerinsky argued that a contempt conviction is not an “offense against the United States” within the meaning of the Constitution’s grant of pardon power in Article II. He was grandstanding. Why do so many smart professionals think that lowering their standards and abandoning their integrity is the way to oppose a President without standards or integrity? It brings the President’s opposition down to his level, while degrading the professions involved.

4. One more Harvey Weinstein note-–yes, I really am working on a full post—is this: if there is anyone who disputes the fact that all of TV’s satire shows and talk shows are now partisan propaganda, seeking only humor that attacks conservatives, Republicans and the foes of Democratic Party positions, I invite them to provide another explanation to why the revelation that Harvey Weinstein was a Clinton/Obama/ Hollywood -enabled sexual predator of long standing sparked no ridicule or scorn by Saturday Night  Live , Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, or Bill Maher.

5. I periodically write about Bizarro World ethics, a situation in which a culture is so backwards and unethical that ethical conduct makes no sense.  In a culture where wrong is viewed as right, it becomes literally impossible to know what right is.

California is rapidly becoming Bizarro World. This is why Hillary Clinton’s huge margin of victory in the state, all by itself making her the popular vote winner in the 2016 election, is nothing to be proud of.

California Governor. Jerry Brown signed a bill last week that  limits  how state and local law enforcement agencies can cooperate with federal immigration authorities, making the California a virtual sanctuary state. Brown said in a signing statement

“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families. This bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”

People who have broken the law and are living in the united States illegally shouldn’t feel comfortable. The delusion that illegal immigrants deserve laws to protect them from the fair consequences of their actions is as much Bizarro World thinking as the practice on the cube-shaped planet of Spring Dirtying. (On Bizarro World, Batman’s parents shot him.)

SB 54 takes effect next year.  It extends local “sanctuary city” protections for immigrants living in California without legal documentation, aka Illegal immigrants, who have no right to a measure of comfort in a sovereign nation whose laws they have violated. After Governor Brown signed the bill, its author, Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), said,  “California is building a wall – a wall of justice – against President Trump’s xenophobic, racist and ignorant immigration policies.”

That policy is called “enforcing the law and the nation’s right to secure its borders and ensure the integrity of citizenship.” The monster!

This will end well.

85 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Professions, Rights, Sports

85 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/2017: TV Comics, Law Deans, Sports And California…Everything Is Seemingly Spinning Out Of Control!

  1. 1. “Baseball provides a recreation which does not last over two hours or two and a half….”

    If FDR had foreseen modern Yankee-Red Sox games he’d have padlocked every ballpark in the country and melted the keys for war scrap.

  2. Just hours away from when the Houston Astros will release the Red Sox from their doomed bondage to this long, long season and free them to pursue more leisurely pastimes whilst waiting for spring training.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      Uh-huh.
      (from a guy who wishes the best to the Astros, but knows their futility)

      • But imagine the rich symbolism if they were still called the Colt .45s!

        • luckyesteeyoreman

          HAHA! I had not thought of that!
          (Maybe THAT’s why they haven’t won a World Series in 56 seasons – doing their dutiful time in captivity to futility, for embracing a name so well-connected to Authentic Frontier Honky Imperialism.)

        • My sister and I went to some games at Colt .45 stadium. They have just a wee bit better team this year than back then. 🙂

          Looks like this might be their year, though. After all — SI has predicted it!

  3. Isaac

    Market forces continue to work between states and cities. Illegal aliens will gravitate towards California and other states with lax enforcement. States like Texas, Tennessee and the Dakotas will continue to benefit as businesses and families looking for safe and prosperous communities will go there.

    Those of you seeking overflowing prisons, a government that throttles the middle class, and lots of hepatitis should join me in California.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      California Democrats truly are seceding the state by varying degrees. Maybe it’s never too early to start an insurgent Reunification Movement.

    • Any chance the coming civil war can be played out on the micro scale in California leaving the rest of the nation relatively unaffected?

  4. Cleophus

    The third verse? Regarding “the hireling and the slave”? Those are mercenaries and conscripts. Anybody thinking it’s about Africans in bondage is ignorant or a troublemaker.

    • Anonymous Coward

      There was a heated exchange with Jack Chris and valky awhile back about the third verse I think. Can’t find it but it was very detailed.

      • Sue Dunim

        Hirelings and Slaves referred to the second Corps of Colonial Marines. Freed slaves actually being paid just as if they were as good as White men.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_Colonial_Marines

        Amongst other military actions, the Colonial Marines burnt the White House after chasing away the defending militia – including Francis Scott Key.

        They were much feared by their slaveholding opponents. It was personal.

        • Kyjo

          What exactly is the evidence connecting the two? The phrase in the Anthem is not explicit. I’ve always thought it referred to British mercenaries (“hirelings”) and conscripts (“slaves”) — that seems to be the natural reading.

          • Sue Dunim

            Neither mercenaries nor conscripts were used on US soil in the war of 1812.

            There were pressed seamen, but not on land. The Marines and Peninsular veterans fresh from ejecting Napoleon’s conscripts from Spain, that ravaged the US east coast were all regulars. Including the Colonial Marine volunteers, who were equipped and paid like the rest, even though they were Black. That last was a deliberate propaganda ploy to encourage slave revolt, and give the finger to the US slaveholders of the time. To undermine their will to fight by exposing the hypocrisy of slavery in the “land of the free”.

            The UK forces involved were as much mercenaries and conscripts as today’s US Army, ie, and to state the obvious, not at all. Disciplined Professionals, an all volunteer force.

            I can understand your impression. But it doesn’t fit the facts, only what has been comfortable to believe since, oh, 1864 or so. It’s not exactly a secret amongst military historians. Neither is it taught in US schools, such knowledge would undermine the nation. Genuinely.

            Few African Americans know it, but that’s changing. Fewer white Americans know, and there’s a natural resistance to believing it.

            • Regardless of whose interpretation is correct about the third verse, the average, and I’d say *vast majority* of Americans have no clue what the 3rd verse even says. I’d place money on a bet that Kaepernick had NO CLUE what the 3rd verse actually said when he started his “protest” (though neither the affirmative nor negative can be proved at this point in the conversation).

              That being said, no typical American knowing the 3rd verse, a protest during the anthem looks just like that: disrespecting the nation and it’s ideals. No reasonable person would interpret it as anything other than that, which is why it took battalions of leftist acolytes to spin this using specious connections, like the 3rd verse interpretation, into something noble…when in it was obviously a sucky quarterback grandstanding for attention.

              • Chris

                Has Kaepernick actually mentioned the third verse as a reason for the protest? All I can find is writers defending his protest using this as a reason, but I can’t find him or any of the NFL players actually listing this as a reason. It’s certainly the weakest pro-kneeling argument. The third verse isn’t even performed at games.

                • Well, in all fairness I haven’t seen much of a coherent argument made by any of the protestors, from grandstanding Kaepernick to the later on band wagoners.

                • The reason the 3rd verse argument has been spun by the Left is because they inherently know his empty motion during the national anthem is interpreted by reasonable people as an insult against the ideals that the republic stand for. So they have to make it seem deeper and more noble.

                  • Chris

                    Wait–you think it’s reasonable to believe that kneeling during the anthem is “an insult to the ideals of the nation,” when it is obviously a statement that we are not living up to those ideals?

                    That isn’t reasonable. That’s being deliberately obtuse. Especially since the players have made it clear, over and over again, that the kneeling was a compromise and designed to be a sign of respect.

                    • The United States has a history of constantly striving to live up to those ideals. That is its history, its legacy and its strength. Yes, acting as if no effort has been and is being made is an insult and a lie, per se obnoxious, and offensive.

                    • Sue Dunim

                      The United States has a long and honorable history of striving to live up to its ideals. See the events of he 1860s to see how much that cost.

                      It has also got an equally long and less than honorable history of not just ignoring but covering up shameful episodes such as the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, etc

                      The Rosewood massacre was a racially motivated massacre of black people and destruction of a black town that took place during the first week of January 1923 in rural Levy County, Florida. At least six black people and two white people were killed, though eyewitness accounts suggested a death toll as high as 150. The town of Rosewood was abandoned and destroyed in what contemporary news reports characterized as a race riot.

                      How many know of that incident? Of a town being abandoned because it’s black citizens had been massacred?

                      The Tulsa race riot, or Tulsa race riot of 1921, occurred between May 31 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob started attacking residents and businesses of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in what is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the nation. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 39 dead, but the American Red Cross estimated 300, a number supported by historians since then.

                      How many know about that?

                      Etc etc.

                      Now… In defence of covering up such atrocities… “Fake it till you make it”. One cannot change the past. One can influence the future by “vaporising” to use the Orwellian term. By pretending to be the Good Guys long enough, in time you actually can become the Good Guys as anything else is unthinkable.

                      Yes, the Star Spangled Banner *actually* and *historically* celebrates a “victory” of free white slaveholders over rebellious runaway black slaves acting in the interests of a foreign power.

                      But that’s not what has been taught. That’s important. Instead, a very different and far more honorable fantasy interpretation has been used to cover up dark deeds, and the result has been a society where such things are unthinkable.

                      Except to the spiritual descendents of the victims, who have a very different view.

                      Falsifying history, even with good intent, and even when it has good results, is very, very dangerous. Also the definition of unethical.

                    • Chris

                      I aspire to write as well as you do, Sue.

                    • No point re-hashing the arguments. Jack, et al, have demonstrated how wrong you are on the optics of this. Plummeting NFL popularity could be considered empirical.

                      That after the fact spin to make this noble in the face of what is claimed to be the unintended message communicated by kneeling during the anthem is further proof.

                      The error is in continuing the grandstanding after it’s apparent that no one is falling for the spin.

                    • Chris

                      I’m sorry, are any of those supposed to be sentences?

                    • Yes, they are, you imbecile.

                    • Chris

                      Sorry, they’re incomprehensible. The middle paragraph in particular is Alizia-level meaningless.

                    • “No point re-hashing the arguments.”

                      The “re”, affixed to “hashing”, implies something has occurred in the past. By deduction, we can assume the object of the sentence “the arguments” are what has occurred in the past. By not needing to “re-hash”, that is, to run through the arguments again, the implication is that the prior discussions were sufficient for proving the conclusions of the arguments. Since, such an effort would be redundant, there is “no point” doing so.

                      “Jack, et al, have demonstrated how wrong you are on the optics of this.”

                      “Et al” is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “et alia”, meaning “and others”. The subject of this sentence consists of the host of this blog and several other individuals. The verb “have demonstrated” clearly links this sentence to “the arguments” from the previous sentence. What was demonstrated by those arguments, was the error, or “how wrong you are” in a particular regard. The particular regard in which you were wrong, was “the optics of this”. Now, I can understand that the term “this” might be confusing, but I hoped you would realize, by context that “this” was the overall subject of the thread…that is Kaepernick’s ‘protest’. “The optics” is political slang for how something appears to the general population or specific population depending on context, or how that population will interpret what they see. In this context, “the optics” would be how Kaepernick’s protest is interpreted by the average NFL viewer specifically and the US population generally. So, this sentence clearly means that many people have shown your opinion about how average NFL viewers and the US population interpret Kaepernick’s protest to be wrong.

                      “Plummeting NFL popularity could be considered empirical.”

                      I may have made a mistake using the term “empirical”. Here, I misinterpreted my audience. I had known you to be a devotee of science and presumed that seeing the term “empirical”, you would have understood my meaning to be that the subject of the sentence is supported by data. This was my mistake.

                      The subject of the sentence, being “plummeting NFL popularity”, means that the willingness and zeal of people who enjoy National Football League events is decreasing. “Could” is an auxiliary verb that conditions the verb “be”, meaning that it isn’t definite, but suggesting a good likelihood.

                      So the sentence here means “The data showing that fewer people watch the NFL very likely could be scientifically attributed to Kaepernick’s ‘protest'”.

                      This sentence clearly goes to support the previous sentence which remarked on your error in judging how most people are interpreting the ‘protest’.

                      “That after the fact spin to make this noble in the face of what is claimed to be the unintended message communicated by kneeling during the anthem is further proof.”

                      Here is more room for understanding your confusion, especially given the number of replies beneath the comment that my response was a reply to. “Is further proof” means that in addition to the empirical nature of the plummeting popularity of the NFL, something else must betray that the ‘protests’ aren’t what they are claimed to be. The long subject of this sentence is the “further proof”. “After the fact spin to make this noble” is a direct reference to the “it” you mention in “the players have made it clear, over and over again, that the kneeling was a compromise and designed to be a sign of respect.” The “it” being “kneeling was a compromise and designed to be a sign of respect”, would be a component of the “after the fact spin”. It is “after the fact” because the ‘protesters’ have seen what an offense they created, and made their reasons…after…the fact. “Spin” is slang for any of the myriad reasons a defender of anything strings together that only tenuously could be called rational or connected to the cause being defended. “What is claimed to be the unintended message communicated by kneeling during the anthem” is a mention of what you and your ilk insist is NOT what Kaepernick means (“unintended”). And the message that he doesn’t mean, according you, is disrespect to the flag and vicariously to the nation the flag represents.

                      So this sentence clearly means, “It can be seen as further proof, adding on to the NFL’s plummeting popularity due to this, that the defenders of Kaepernick’s ‘protest’ have to spin desperately to divert away from the message most people are reading out of the ‘protests’ to an ever expanding meaning that the defenders of Kaepernick want the protests to mean.”

                      Gads my original sentence was shorter, and saved time.

                      “The error is in continuing the grandstanding after it’s apparent that no one is falling for the spin.”

                      “The error” is a direct allusion to your commentary “That isn’t reasonable. That’s being deliberately obtuse.” My use of “the error”, here, clearly shows that I consider Kaepernick and his people to be in error, not the one’s you claim to be “deliberately obtuse”. That error then, is manifest in “continuing the grandstanding”. “Grandstanding” is a term that means “behaving in a way to try to get public approval”. Kaepernick’s behavior is equated to “grandstanding”, that he keeps doing (“continuing”). This last sentence clearly means that, since no one is falling for the spin, Kaepernick and allies, are the ones making the mistake of continuing this empty grasp for approval.

                      So no, none of what I original wrote was incomprehensible. It was short and to the point. There was NO need to explain any of that. You just wanted to be an ass.

                • Kyjo

                  I think my follow-up comment to Sue is getting held up in moderation. Anyway, Chris — you’re right that Kaepernick never mentioned the 3rd verse of the Anthem. The connection between Kaepernick’s kneeling protest and the 3rd verse was made first in an Intercept article: “<a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/08/28/colin-kaepernick-is-righter-than-you-know-the-national-anthem-is-a-celebration-of-slavery/"Colin Kaepernick is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem is a Celebration of Slavery.” This story’s conclusions were repeated in other media, including CNN, NBC, and The NY Times, and went “viral” on social media. At least a dozen of my friends on Facebook made posts asserting that Kaepernick’s protest was appropriate because the Anthem is racist based on this. So Kaepernick’s sympathizers and defenders, if not the man himself, have made his protest about that, among other things.

              • To be honest, I wasn’t really aware of the third stanza before this. I do seem to recall, though, that the service academies really take the fourth stanza to heart, to wit:

                O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
                Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.

                When I am at a basketball game, singing or listening to the national anthem, I try to envision the battle that night in Baltimore.

                https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Star_Spangled_Banner_Flag_on_display_at_the_Smithsonian%27s_National_Museum_of_History_and_Technology,_around_1964.jpg#

                Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled banner.

                • The last time I sang the 3rd stanza was never and the 1st time I ever read the 3rd stanza was 2 weeks ago…

                  I think I’m more educated on the 3rd stanza than 97% of Americans after reading it once.

                  All the more reason anyone pretending like the 3rd stanza is relevant to anything is a moron.

                  • Chris

                    I don’t disagree, but it’s always been a side reason–and, I think, a bad post-hoc justification–for the protests.

                    Which doesn’t invalidate the original reasons for it.

            • Kyjo

              You’ve got this conspiratorial edge in your writing, which makes me hesitant to lend you too much credibility. You haven’t provided any evidence that the line refers to the Colonial Marines — just an inference. Perhaps Key had them in mind, but that isn’t explicit, and Key never said as much either privately or publicly. It’s far more natural in context to read the phrase as deprecating the entire invading British force, and in that sense it’s unusual reference with plenty of literary antecedents. It’s also not uncommon rhetoric against British imperial forces. One example is “Boolavogue,” which commemorates an Irish uprising against the British in 1798:

              Look out for hirelings, King George of England, search every kingdom where breathes a slave
              For Father Murphy of County Wexford sweeps o’er the land like a mighty wave.

              The British forces may have been a professional force, but from the American perspective, British volunteers invading American soil were fighting for a wage and not for the defense of their homes. As such, they had a mercenary motive rather than a patriotic one. That covers “hirelings”; as for “slaves,” you far too easily dismiss impressment, which was an important cause of the war.

              Finally, even if we grant for the sake of argument that Key had the Colonial Marines in mind, the Anthem does not thereby become a “celebration of slavery,” or of killing blacks, or of white supremacy, etc. The Anthem is a celebration of American victory against British invaders who sought to destroy our nation. Free blacks and former slaves fought on both sides of that battle, and the Colonial Marines most assuredly weren’t fighting for universal emancipation. To the extent that the Anthem is “racist,” it is as “racist” as any other traditional patriotic emblem of the United States.

            • Kyjo

              Jack, I think my reply to Sue is being held up in moderation. Is it possible to publish it?

            • Isaac

              Oh boy, this again. The Anthem Truthers.
              All of this weed-scented wokeness has been very nicely debunked a million times.
              “Hireling” is an archaic word best known in Key’s day for its use back in the 1611 King James Bible in John chapter 10. It refers to a hired-hand shepherd (as opposed to the “good shepherd”) who runs away from a wolf because he doesn’t really care about the sheep. A “hireling” became slang for one who is not personally invested in his work. In today’s vernacular, someone who was just in it for the paycheck.

              The reference would have been obvious to the Biblically-literate commoner during the War of 1812. The British were hirelings, professional soldiers and mercenaries just coldly doing their jobs, and the Americans, as portrayed by Key, were justly defending their homeland and therefore destined to win. It’s kinda the message of the entire song.

              It’s especially obvious if you read the entire verse (and not just the one stanza) that Key is portraying the entire British force as invaders and the “hireling and slave” is the same party referred to as having sworn to wipe out America earlier in the verse.

              “Slave,” if we’re using Occam’s razor, is mostly likely there mainly because it rhymes. It’s possible (though unknowable) that Key was thinking about literal slaves, but not the most likely explanation. Even if that were so, the vast majority of commenters (especially the music historians) seem to think that Key would have been thinking of the Colonial Marines, if he thought of them at all, as traitors trying to wipe out the whole of America, and not heralding slavery.

              (Kyjo is also likely right about the impressed sailors. It’s one of the reasons the war was fought to begin with. And the anthem was directly inspired by a British naval bombardment, not by the burning of Washington.)

  5. Cynical John

    If Trump really wanted to mess with the Democrats’ minds, he’d issue a pardon to Hillary Clinton.

  6. Edward

    “On the day that the Boston Red Sox will begin their stunning comeback against the Houston Astros …”

    One down, two to go.

  7. Steve-O-in-NJ

    So, does Mike Pence get dunced for publicly walking out on the Colts-49ers game after more idiots took a knee?

    • Sue Dunim

      He was just following orders, apparently.

    • Rich in CT

      No, because it was a deliberate snub to take the knee, knowing the Vice President was in attendance.

      It would be exactly the same as if Hamilton delivered their “powerful message” to the Vice President before the show, and Mr. Pence left before the curtain opened.

      • Chris

        Well, that would be the same if the cast of Hamilton had already been delivering such messages every performance, and Biden knew it, but decided to go anyway for the sole purpose of leaving as soon as the message started.

        • Rich in CT

          Mr. Pence was their invited guest. It is not unethical for a former governor to attend a ceremony honor a prominent athlete from his state. It would be exactly the same if Mr. Pence were specifically invited by the producers of Hamilton, and the cast still delivered their monologue.

          If the players did not realize they were snubbing the their two invited guests, the Vice President, and Payton by extension, they have only themselves to blame.

          • Chris

            Mr. Pence was their invited guest.

            Pence has a standing invitation to Colts games, which he only accepted a few weeks ago. The Colts did not kneel. The Niners had no duty to avoid triggering Pence with their kneeling.

            It is not unethical for a former governor to attend a ceremony honor a prominent athlete from his state.

            Absolutely no one says that it is unethical to do that. We are saying it is unethical for someone to attend a ceremony for the sole purpose of leaving in a huff when they know someone at the ceremony is going to do something that triggers them.

            If someone showed up to a well-known drinker’s party with the intention of leaving at the sight of alcohol, and then followed through on that intention, I would consider that person an attention-seeking asshole. Wouldn’t you?

            It would be exactly the same if Mr. Pence were specifically invited by the producers of Hamilton, and the cast still delivered their monologue.

            Not really. The kneeling isn’t actually directed at Mike Pence, and only involves him indirectly due to the hysteric ramblings of his boss. And again, Pence knew about the kneeling–he didn’t know about the Hamilton monologue, and he actually handled that situation with grace and aplomb. Perhaps working for Trump for so long has had a corrosive effect on his tolerance for speech.

            If the players did not realize they were snubbing the their two invited guests, the Vice President, and Payton by extension, they have only themselves to blame.

            Kneeling during the anthem is not a snub to either.

            • Cynical John

              I don’t get it. If the NFL players are protesting, why are they kneeling? I always thought kneeling was a sign of subservience.

              • Chris

                Good question, John.

                Originally, Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem. After speaking to a former player who was also a Green Beret, he and his teammate Eric Reid decided that kneeling would be more respectful. Reid explains here:

                After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.

                It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.

                Boyer confirmed the story, though he also said that he will always continue to stand and put his hand over his heart:

                “We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer says. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”

                https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/heres-how-nate-boyer-got-colin-kaepernick-to-go-from-sitting-to-kneeling/

                I share Reid’s bafflement at why so many think the kneeling is disrespectful, when it was clearly done as a compromise so that the players could continue to express their concerns while still being respectful to the flag. I also implore anyone who still thinks the motives of the kneelers are “incoherent” to read Reid’s full article; I find it powerful and persuasive.

                • If he’s baffled, he’s an idiot. If you don’t want to protest and disrespect the flag and the Anthem, don’t protest during the anthem. Seems pretty simple.

                  • Chris

                    They aren’t protesting and disrespecting the flag and the anthem. They’re protesting *during* the anthem, in a respectful way. Kneeling has never been considered disrespectful, and was chosen specifically because it was considered respectful.

                    The message is perfectly coherent, and does not imply that “no effort is being made.” The problem is that many do not want to understand the message, and are deliberately misinterpreting it.

                    • It’s disrespectful, because it isn’t the customary manner of showing respect. That it’s qualified as a “compromise” shows that it isn’t the respectful option…between Respectful on one end and 100% disrespectful on the other, 50% disrespectful is still disrespectful.

                      “The problem is that many do not want to understand the message, and are deliberately misinterpreting it.”

                      The problem is that Kaepernick and allies do not want to understand the message and are deliberately spinning it.

                    • Chris

                      They don’t…understand…their own message…and you do?

                      Wow. You’re so much smarter than everyone you disagree with.

                    • Kyjo

                      So Kaepernick himself said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” That’s supposed to be interpreted as “respectful” of the country and flag? It seems clear that’s not what he was himself suggesting. If he believed he was being “respectful,” he was mistaken, and his protest was and is incoherent.

                    • Bingo. Chris is creating a fictional narrative that allows him to spin for this nonsense. The facts don’t support it, and never did.

                    • Chris

                      Jack and Kylo: in your opinion, is there such a thing as a “respectful protest?”

                    • Kyjo

                      The question is whether Kaepernick’s protest, and that of other NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, is respectful. It isn’t, and from Kaepernick’s own mouth, it wasn’t originally conceived of as respectful. Yet it is now defended as somehow respectful, because … they could be so much more disrespectful if they wanted? I don’t know; the defense is absurd because this protest is disrespectful on its face.

                  • It’s painfully simple. Kaepernick boosters only have spin.

              • They literally have no idea what they are doing, or why, and can’t communicate it as a result.

            • Rich in CT

              >> The Niners had no duty to avoid triggering Pence with their kneeling.

              Um, the 49’ers, themselves a guest of the Colts and the city of Indianapolis, have no duty to not insult the Colt’s guest, the Vice President of the United States?

              And yes, the Colts are very much a guest. That is why they fly the team’s logo in the stadium – to make them feel welcome. That is why college team’s band will play the other’s fight song – to make them feel welcomes. That is why when international teams visit, they play both national anthems – to make them feel welcome.

              You want to call guest’s insulting other guest “triggering” – fine! That is the very definition of triggering/microaggression/etc – actions that make someone feel unwelcome. In the case of kneeling during than anthem in protest of the administration or whatever the damn they say to avoid getting in trouble, there is no “micro” about it. It is an a clear statement that Mr. Pence was not welcome. So Mr. Pence left.

              But as you say, the 49’er had no duty to make a fellow guest feel welcome, so I guess all is fine and dandy.

              • Chris

                Please, do continue clutching your pearls. The protest was not about the president or the VP until the president made it about himself, forcing the hand of the players who could either support their unfairly defamed teammate or let him fend for himself against the bully pulpit of the presidency.

                The VP was plenty welcome. He decided to go knowing that the sight of kneeling before the flag–a gesture that, again, *was deliberately designed to be respectful*–would give him an excuse to leave. It was a public hissy fit, nothing more, nothing less. The kneeling players, right or not, are at least acting out of genuine principle. The VP–who, again, previously showed exactly how someone in his position should react to a display of free speech that actually *was* specifically targeted toward him–decided to emulate his boss and react like a petty tyrant. I can’t believe the sympathy I am seeing for him here. It is absurd. Presidents and Vice Presidents should not go picking fights with citizens in this way. Has this become so normalized that we’ve forgotten this basic truth?

                • Chris

                  Also, I know the abbreviation for “laughing out loud” is banned here, but I struggled to come up with a more fitting reaction to your use of the term “microaggressions.” I guess microaggressions only exist for powerful white men who voluntarily choose to attend events which they feel (or pretend to feel) offended by. Wonderful.

                  • I guess microaggressions only exist for powerful white men who voluntarily choose to attend events which they feel (or pretend to feel) offended by.

                    The entire concept of microaggressions, like racism, must be able to work both ways, else it is just more progressive bull shit intended to persecute white people.

                    Which it is.

                • Rich in CT

                  The 49’ers knew the Vice President would be offended if they took a knee. They took a knee. That is a deliberate insult.

                  • Chris

                    People get offended by all sorts of stupid things.

                  • Rich in CT

                    I am thoroughly perplexed that an invited guest should be expected to endure the insult of the another guest. This is so clear cut, that only spilling paragraphs of rationalizations can be used to defend it.

                    Tell me:

                    Do you agree that the 49’s are invited guests, whatever contractual relationship may also exist?

                    Do you agree that Mr. Pence was a guest?

                    Why then, may the 49’ers ethically insult another guest?

                    • Chris

                      Because it wasn’t an intentional insult toward Pence at all. Because there is nothing insulting about kneeling for the flag. Because the act of kneeling wasn’t about Pence; he simply made it about himself. Because he knew that this is what the Niners did at games, and if he found this action insulting, and knew that it was going to happen–which he did–he could have easily stayed away. Because he chose to go see something he knew would be offended by, and then made a giant show of walking out.

                      Again, Pence is the guy who shows up to a party for a known drinker and plans on leaving in a huff whenever he spots alcohol. No one is under any obligation to cave to such a person’s petty demands.

                    • Rich in CT

                      >> Again, Pence is the guy who shows up to a party for a known drinker and plans on leaving in a huff whenever he spots alcohol. No one is under any obligation to cave to such a person’s petty demands.

                      No. This is a case where the Colts invited a guest knowing that he would be offended by drinking, and allowed drinking to occur anyways.

                    • Chris

                      No. This is a case where the Colts invited a guest knowing that he would be offended by drinking, and allowed drinking to occur anyways.

                      Let’s modify the analogy.

                      Le’ts say I have two guests coming to my party. One is a drinker, and I have no problem with that, though I am not a drinker myself. I also choose to invite a friend of mine who is offended by drinking. I inform this friend that the drinker will be there, and I make no promises that I will try and control his drinking; he isn’t drinking to excess, he doesn’t make a scene, he doesn’t get violent or handsy or do anything particularly bad while he drinks. He just likes to drink. I don’t think stopping him from doing so at my party is my place, because I want everyone to have a good time.

                      Given that the second guest knows that the drinker will be there beforehand, and has no reason to expect that I will stop the drinker from drinking, who is responsible for the second guest getting offended and leaving the party?

                      A) Me
                      B) The drinker
                      C) The offended guest
                      D) Some combination of the above

                      I would answer C.

  8. Steve-O-in-NJ

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/22042/lesson-free-market-economics-gay-shop-owner-kicks-frank-camp?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=dwbrand

    How about this guy, is he dunce-worthy, for tossing people out of his coffee shop and threatening to put on a sex show in front of them?

  9. luckyesteeyoreman

    #4: The virtual monopoly of leftist viewpoints in media, academia, and increasingly, in business, scream of the urgent need for common-sense speech controls. I am with the (unknowingly, apparently) self-destructive left on this: KILL the Citizens United-driven apartheid of viewpoint discrimination and attempted viewpoint genocide! To whatever extent that “money is speech,” then, we must make sure that those with the money pay their fair share to enable people, who have viewpoints contrary to those with the money, to express those contrary views ON AN EQUAL BASIS. Not just equal access to media outlets – equal AUDIENCE SIZE, by whatever means necessary to guarantee equality of access to speech. Repeal of the First Amendment would be a reasonable first step. Then – segueing to the coffee shop bigot in Seattle – such merchants may be REQUIRED to allow Christian anti-abortion advocates to distribute pamphlets in his shop without the slightest hindrance. So-called counter-protests may then be quashed by forces of government that are sufficient to secure the Christians’ equality.

  10. Susan Bolton rejected a specious challenge by Berkeley law dean Erwin Chemerinsky to President Trump’s entirely unchallengable pardon of 85-year-old sheriff Jow Arpaio, and dismissed the guilty verdict in the contempt case. There was no legal or logical basis for the lawsuit, but I suppose the left-wing dean, still accorded status as a legal expert, thought it was worth a shot after watching partisan judges illegally shoot down other attempts by this President to exercise his legitimate powers. Chemerinsky argued that a contempt conviction is not an “offense against the United States” within the meaning of the Constitution’s grant of pardon power in Article II. He was grandstanding. Why do so many smart professionals think that lowering their standards and abandoning their integrity is the way to oppose a President without standards or integrity? It brings the President’s opposition down to his level, while degrading the professions involved.

    Chemerinsky was one of the lawyers who was part of that Emoluments clause lawsuit that had serious standing defects and used a definition of emolument so broad that George Washington and Barack Obama would have been in violation of it.

  11. Jeff

    I just want to say that “Kenesaw Mountain Landis” is very likely the most badass name in history.

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