Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/9/2017: Inadvertent Confessions And Admissions

Good Morning, Columbus!

So glad you came!

1 Yesterday, on “Face the Nation,” Senator Diane Feinstein was continuing the Democratic Party’s latest use of a gun tragedy to see if the American public can be frightened, shamed, deceived or panicked into giving up one of the core individual rights guaranteed by our Constitution. The host asked her whether there were any proposed regulations that would have stopped Stephen Paddock or someone like him from committing mass murder.

Her answer, “No.”

Well there you have it, right? This tragedy has nothing to do with honest, good faith gun reform, and everything to do with the anti-gun left wanting to begin eroding the Second Amendment, until the right of law-abiding citizens to arm themselves to the extent they believe is necessary shrinks to insignificance.

I salute the Senator in one respect: at least she’s honest about the fact that the use of the Vegas Strip shooting by the anti-gun left is entirely cynical and exploitative. Contrast her blunt “no’ with the demagoguery of her fellow Congressional Democrat, civil rights icon John Lewis. (The news media always describes him that way, because “race-baiting, hyper-partisan  hack John Lewis” would offend African-Americans.). As I discussed earlier, Lewis erupted last week with this call to no-arms:

“The American people will not stand to see hundreds and thousands of their fellow citizens mowed down because the lack of action on the part of the Congress…We have to do something…The time is always right to do what is right. We waited too long. How many more people will die? Would it be a few hundred? A few thousand? Several thousand? We have to act. We cannot wait.”

The complete Feinstein-Lewis thought, then: “The American people will not stand to see hundreds and thousands of their fellow citizens mowed down because of the lack of action on the part of the Congress to pass laws that would do nothing to stop their fellow citizens from being mowed down in a massacre like the one we are demanding action in response to!”

In one of the many threads following the Vegas Strip shooting, commenter Charles Green asked me,

“Let me ask my basic question again: are there any constructive suggestions (hopefully a tad beyond outlawing bump stocks) that can be offered by the principled defenders of the Second Amendment to find common ground? Any? I for one am all ears.”

I actually began an entire post to respond to Charles’ suggestion. It started with the central problem that has been created by the increasingly shrill, emotion-based and dishonest strategy of the anti-gun Left: principled defenders of the Second Amendment no longer trust gun reform advocates’ insistence that they support the Second Amendment. In my reply to Charles, I compared the current impasse to that between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel demands that Palestinian authorities and Hamas  agree that Israel has a right to exist as a condition precedent to any substantive compromise. This is completely reasonable; in fact, not insisting on such a concession would be reckless and foolish. Thus I began thinking about how gun control advocates could convince principled defenders of the Second Amendment that their real purpose wasn’t to ultimately void the Second Amendment. And then it hit me when I heard Feinstein: I have sock drawers to organize. Why am I wasting my time on this futile exercise? Yes, I believe Charles is genuine in his respect for the right while seeking rational safety measures, but the party and ideology he supports are not. Only one kind of “gun control” would even theoretically stop massacres by people like Paddock: allowing the government to control all guns. That’s what Feinstein was inadvertently admitting,  that’s what Lewis was really saying, that’s what the news media that floods the pubic with partisan propaganda on behalf of their party believe, and that’s what their party’s base wants them to do as soon as they acquire sufficient power.

That’s what we have learned from Stephen Paddock and the Left’s response to his rampage.

2. A brief note on Sen. Feinstein: last week she all but confirmed that she will be running for re-election to another six-term in 2018. She is 84!

Anyone who remembers the sickening sight of  shriveled nonagenarian Senator Strom Thurmond hunched over, barely able to communicate, while allegedly listening to testimony in Senate committee hearings should gag at Feinstein’s selfishness, arrogance, and disrespect for her constituencies and for the integrity of our government. No ethical public servant, elected official or judge should ask to continue in office past the point where reasonable people know that decline, illness and death are likely or even inevitable. No ethical citizen should support an elected official who does. Feinstein isn’t the only member of Congress in this position, but she’s the only one currently about to ask voters to accept the fantasy that a 90-year-old Senator can do the job better than multiple available candidates who are less than 25 years from the retirement age.

Her embarrassing reluctance to give up power and celebrity is a vivid illustration of how power corrupts. If California voters shrug and elect her anyway, they have been corrupted too.

3. Tennessee’s GOP Senator Bob Corker, having announced that he won’t be running for re-election, is now openly exchanging personal insults with the President on social media and in the press. Yes, yes, the President “started it” with a typical barrage of insulting tweets that are his trademarked abuse of his position and the office: that doesn’t excuse Corker’s unethical conduct in responding in kind.

I also know I am not the first to point out that Corker’s comments about Trump’s unmannerly and unprofessional proclivities ring especially hollow from a Republican leader who early on endorsed the candidacy of a man whose deficits of character, ability and temperament were already well-known and thoroughly documented.

4. Self-indicting and Embarrassingly Obtuse Comment of the Week came from 49ers safety Eric Reid after Vice-President Mile Pence  made a show of leaving the 49ers- Indianapolis Colts NFL game  yesterday after twenty of the San Francisco players “took a knee” during the National Anthem. Reid, one of the kneelers, told the press:

“My honest reaction – does anybody know the last time he’s been to a football game . With that being said, he tweeted out a 3-year-old photo of him at a Colts game, so with the information I have, the last time he was at a Colts game was three years ago. So this looks like a PR stunt to me. He knew our team had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple of things out, and leave the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts. Based on the information I have, that’s the assumption I’ve made.”

Well.

  • Of course it was a PR stunt, and a brilliant one.

I hate to break it to you, Eric, but you’ve lost. The protest is an incoherent joke, as your comments prove. The protesting players have only succeeded in harming the NFL and the source of their own livelihood, and still can’t even agree on who or what they are protesting.

  • Wait…one of the players who has been grandstanding on behalf of Black Lives Matters…or something— before nationally televised football games is offended that a politician would engage in a grandstanding PR stunt in response to their grandstanding PR stunt? What do you even call this kind of complaint, besides brain-meltingly stupid?

Here’s the funny part, Eric, you moron. The Vice President’s stunt associates himself with the Anthem, the flag and the United States, and aligns you and your brain-damaged pals against them. You know how well Pence would do if he suited up and tried to play football on your field? That’s exactly how well you are doing playing on his.

Idiots.

  • The highlight of Reid’s metaphorical leg stuffed down his own throat up to the thigh is this, though: “This is what systemic oppression looks like.”  Now we know that the players who think they are protesting “systemic oppression” have no clue what systemic oppression is.  Nobody has to like, respect, listen to, watch or be quiet about somebody else’s protest, and just because a group of millionaire African-American athletes want to play Tommie Smith and John Carlos in front of what they mistakenly think is a captive audience doesn’t make it “oppressive” for that audience to say, “No thanks.”

65 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership, Race, Rights, Sports, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President

65 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/9/2017: Inadvertent Confessions And Admissions

  1. #1) and Nancy Pelosi announced she hopes all suggested gun regulations are a slippery slope to more and more regulation.

    #3) but Jack! The 3rd verse of the national anthem is PROOF we still celebrate the massacre of African Americans at every time we honor the flag or something like that!!!

    • Are Democrats really going to run on gun control, open borders, single payer, fealty to BLM and appeasement of North Korea? Is this a conspiracy to re-elect Trump?

      The GOP could run Grape Ape against that platform and win.

      • It started with the central problem that has been created by the increasingly shrill, emotion-based and dishonest strategy of the anti-gun Left: principled defenders of the Second Amendment no longer trust gun reform advocates’ insistence that they support the Second Amendment.

        that has not surprised me in twenty years.

        Would any of us be surprised that the NAACP refuses to find common ground with the Stormfront White Nationalist Community regarding solutions to black violence?

        Are Democrats really going to run on gun control, open borders, single payer, fealty to BLM and appeasement of North Korea? Is this a conspiracy to re-elect Trump?

        not to mention the tension between gun control and fealty to BLm.

        Combining the two narratives yields.

        “Brutal, racist cops will enforce gun control laws in an even-handed manner.”

        Here is a statement about Kamala Harris.

        https://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.culture.israel/k4OvsDOxGlM/gdo8uXL1BQAJ

        “Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine
        who can carry a concealed weapon,” said Kamala Harris, who was then the
        California Attorney General.

        I have always wondered how #BlackLivesMatter would view this. After all,
        according to their narrative, cops are just Klansmen with badges who
        habitually gun down unarmed black men. How could we trust such people with
        discretion to determine who may carry a concealed weapon.

        And yet, just yesterday, she tweeted this:

        Today, we remember #MikeBrown and recommit to ensuring truth,
        transparency, and trust in our criminal justice system. #BlackLivesMatter

        So I wonder if any reporter from the network broadcast and print media would
        ask her any of the following questions:

        – If the reason that “[l]ocal law enforcement must be able to use their
        discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon” is because they
        are just Klansmen with badges, why shouldn’t the Stormfront White
        Nationalist Community also get to decide who can carry a concealed weapon?

        – If the reason that “[l]ocal law enforcement must be able to use their
        discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon” is because they
        habitually gun down unarmed black men, why shouldn’t the Crips also get to
        decide who can carry a concealed weapon?

        – Is more black men dead or in prison a worthy price to pay to make lawful
        gun ownership more difficult?

        – Is making lawful gun ownership more difficult a worthy price to pay to put
        more black men in prison?

        – Does some magical guardian fairy turn these Klansmen with badges into
        freedom riders whenever they exercise their “discretion to determine who can
        carry a concealed weapon”?

        • Mike,

          You keep posting the same talking points. While they may be worthwhile, they get less persuasive if you keep repeating them in a forum like Ethics Alarms.

          We get it. Progressives disregard logic. Even they would not argue that fact.

          • The anti-gun cult has been making the same arguments for over twenty-five years.

            • A fair point. However, WE are not those guys, and this makes us want to skip past what you post as we have read it before. That means we might miss something you write.

              Since we all grow by this interaction, you might be depriving one of us of vital information we need on our journey.

  2. Welp, Reid does have an curious platform from which to slobber effusively; he plays for a team with a perfect record…

    A possibility why Pence hasn’t been to too many Colts games of late?

    Even with them lucking out, at freakin’ home AND in OT no less, against one of the worst teams in the league, they’re still below .500 for the year.

    And they’re an uninspired 16-16 over the previous two seasons.

    Things could be a WHOLE lot worse; at least they aren’t as hapless as the Midgets of the Midway Bi-Polar bares.

  3. JRH

    1. There is, in number of deaths, a “Las Vegas”in Chicago every month. But these hypocritical Politicians ignore that because it involves the wrong people and a Democrat Government. Baltimore is hot on the heels of Chicagos murder record. There has not been a single Political act communicated that would even dent these sad statistics.
    2. These anti-gun Politicians fail to recognize that our “rights” are inalienable and granted by the Creator. They are only enumerated in the Constitution to make sure the Government protects those rights. Disarmed we will be the Communist states of America.
    4. I’m not particularly in favor of boycotts, but the NFL Players Association have lost this fight, if all the TV ratings are to be believed. When they should be repairing their image of a thug culture, wife-beating and criminal group, they continue to protest a “police brutality” theme that is not supported by the facts. In fact Police are far more likely to be shot by Black Americans than the reverse. This is a crime problem that has negative consequences to all US Citizens. Focus on that.

    • Chris

      In fact Police are far more likely to be shot by Black Americans than the reverse.

      Please provide a citation for this claim.

      • Glenn Logan

        There is no citation for it. It’s untrue. In 2015, for example, only 17 LEO’s were killed by African-Americans, all of them male, according to FBI statistics. Police killed 259 African-Americans of all genders that same year.

        • Chris

          Wow. Thanks for providing that correction, Glenn.

        • I think it’s a silly stat to have an argument over, but 17 LEOs out of an estimated 766,000 LEOs in the nation is .00002219 and 259 African Americans out of an estimated 38,785,000 African Americans makes LEOs killed by blacks occurring roughly 3 times more often per relevant capita than African Americans being killed by LEOs per relevant capita…

        • Rusty Rebar

          I really think you should be using per-capita numbers if you are comparing rates of occurrences in unequal sized populations.

        • Chris Marschner

          So Glen what you are saying is that very few African Americans were killed by police relative to non African Americans relative to the overall population of 320,000,000 people. I assume all these fit the legal definition of murder absent of self defense.

  4. dragin_dragon

    Used to refer to the Cowboy’s as the “Huntsville Cowboys”…you see, there’s a huge State prison in Huntsville. Apparently, still appropriate.

  5. charlesgreen

    Jack,

    I do (truly) appreciate your recognition of my good intentions. And to be clear, I certainly recognize yours.

    But you still refused to answer my original question of “are there any suggestions” by way of your Palestinian/Israeli analogy.

    To be clear, you are suggesting that the pro-Second amendment people are to the Israelis as the Left is to the Palestinians – the Left/Palestinians have not convincingly persuaded the Right/Israelis of their sincere belief that they fundamentally believe in the validity of the Second Amendment. (Is that a fair statement? Please correct me if not).

    Here’s the issue. I’m not aware of any official statements by the Palestinians acknowledging the right of Israel to exist – as you state. (Leaving aside the issue of whether that’s a good excuse to not even talk to the other side, which at least I can sort of understand in the Israeli example).

    But the analogy falters:
    –In 2016, Hillary Clinton said “I’m not looking to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not looking to take people’s guns away,” she said. “But I am looking for more support for the reasonable efforts that need to be undertaken to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/11/politics/hillary-clinton-gun-control-second-amendment/index.html

    –In 2012, this from Chuck Schumer: “New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) said on Sunday that when entering the gun control debate, the left must “admit there is a Second Amendment.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/chuck-schumer-guns_n_2312119.html

    It falters further in that the Palestinians, daily, represent an existential threat to the Israelis. If anything, on the Left/gun issue, it’s the other way around.

    In any case, why should that weak analogy prevent you, or anyone else on this blog, from offering up a possible specific suggestion? Instead, what I’m seeing are statements about guns being our “god-given rights,” by people who conflate the Declaration of Independence with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

    Seriously – why no concrete suggestions? Is the level of trust in the US on this issue so low as to even half-justify a comparison between Israeli’s and Palestinians?

    • “Seriously – why no concrete suggestions? Is the level of trust in the US on this issue so low as to even half-justify a comparison between Israeli’s and Palestinians?”

      Yes, Charles, the level of trust in the US on this issue is that low.

    • “If anything, on the Left/gun issue, it’s the other way around.

      With some 85,000,000 gun owners in America, if they were an existential threat to the Left, the Left would be dead. What a ludicrous thing for you to say.

      “In any case, why should that weak analogy prevent you, or anyone else on this blog, from offering up a possible specific suggestion?

      I think some have made some pretty solid contributions in this regard to this discussion on this blog.

      “Instead, what I’m seeing are statements about guns being our “god-given rights,” by people who conflate the Declaration of Independence with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.”

      If you don’t think the 3 documents (2 really) are intrinsically connected manifestations of American values, I don’t know how we can have a real conversation about American values.

    • Charles,

      The problem with the two quotes you cite can be summed up with the opening lines of a Robert Browning poem:

      “My first thought was, he lied with every word.”

      That’s the level of distrust. Politicians make political statements, and we have grown accustomed to the fact that such statements are self-serving, intended to gather votes and acquire power. Just as no one on the left believes that Republican efforts to impose surgical standards on abortion clinics is anything other than an attempt to close those clinics down. Yes, Republicans will say, “it is for the health of those women,” but again, we all know that it is really an effort to stop abortion.

      As for concrete suggestions, perhaps the thing to really keep in mind here is that why should anyone make a concrete suggestion to fix something they don’t see as broken?

      As a counterbalance suggestion from one of my coworkers: if the Second Amendment is about maintaining an armed populace against a tyrannical government, then we have a problem. Only 30% of the population owns a gun. The other 70% are slacking. Thus we should actually have a civic duty to own a gun and learn how to use them responsibly.

    • Glenn Logan

      Charles, here was Hillary’s 2016 position according to your linked CNN article:

      She has called for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, as well as the closure of the “Charleston loophole” – a reference to a law that allowed the Charleston church shooter to obtain his firearms. Closing that loophole would mean extending the window for FBI background checks to take place on gun purchases.

      Let’s examine this in detail for substance. Banning assault weapons is stupid, and the reason is that they are simply semiautomatics with a “tacticool” look. They are functionally indistinguishable from other semiautomatics without the “tacticool” features. Anything you can accomplish, for instance, with a Ruger AR556 (an evil “assault rifle”) which looks like this and a Ruger Mini-14, which looks like this. One of them is considered an assault rifle, but the other isn’t despite being able to use the exact same magazines, both being semi-auto, both being chambered in .223/5.56 NATO.

      I would argue banning assault rifles is silly. They were banned solely for the fact of their physical resemblance to a true assault rifle (which, by definition must be select-fire) and having nothing at all to do with their capability.

      When she mentions the “Charleston loophole,” I think she’s talking about the part of the background check law that requires the check to be completed within 3 business days. Presumably, she’d want to wait indefinitely for approvals, considering it a denial if not explicitly approved.

      I’d be okay with that in theory, but if you read the story of Roof’s background check, it reads like a Keystone Cops skit. Several layers of bureaucratic incompetence created this problem, and it’s hard to imagine that similar failures won’t happen no matter how long the FBI is given. I’d be okay with extending the deadline to five business days, but government incompetence should not be used to deny people their second amendment rights.

      Schumer adds only a magazine size reduction to Hillary’s suggestions. I’m not reflexively opposed to that, although I think 10 rounds is too low. 20-25 rounds is probably something I wouldn’t complain about, but no matter what it is, it wouldn’t have hampered the Las Vegas shooter appreciably. Slapping another mag in a gun is trivial, and with the time he had, the Vegas shooter didn’t even need to use bump stocks — repeated trigger pulls would likely have done just as much damage, and he had plenty of time to reload and continue firing. Like the banning of “assault weapons,” the magazine capacity reduction is a red herring.

      You want concrete suggestions? I’ll give you some. Make “bump stocks” NFA items, for one. Universal background checks should be available at any retailer who sells firearms or ammunition, for a price of $5 per check, with the sale not subject to taxation by any taxing authority. Alternatively, make the background check an Internet application that can be made by anyone. If successful, the applicant gets a code in his name valid for 7 days that can be used to print a transaction certificate. Then perhaps I’d support them. National concealed carry should be part of the bargain, and suppressors taken off the NFA.

      The NCIS background check system should be modernized, updated and improved to prevent errors like Dylan Roof. Training could be mandated for National Concealed Carry, but it should be available as an interstate transaction. That means if Illinois decides to mandate a minimum price of $1000 for CCDW training in order to try to do an economic CCDW denial, a person could go to Indiana and get the same training for $100, and it would be valid in any state.
      That’s about as far as I’m willing to go.

    • philk57

      Charles,

      The other day I gave two solid suggestions. One of which was used in NYC quite effectively, but is no longer allowed due to the profiling issue. The other was a longer term solution that I continue to believe is the real solution.

    • Jeff

      In regards to those quotes from Schumer and Clinton, and to stretch the middle east analogy a bit more:

      Would Israel be justified in remaining distrustful if Palestinian leaders publicly agreed that Israel has a right to exist, but continued to chant “Death to Israel” behind the closed doors of their mosques?

      “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.” This was Mrs. Clinton at a private fundraiser decrying the Heller decision, in which the Supreme Court affirmed that the 2nd amendment protects an individual right of people to own guns.

      As for Schumer, his reluctant admission that the 2nd amendment exists is hardly a ringing endorsement, coming from the man who said, “We’re going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We’re going to beat guns into submission!”

      So which Clinton and Schumer should we believe? Surely it’s obvious how such conflicting messages are corrosive to trust.

      As for concrete suggestions, it’s entirely possible that there are no constitutionally-consistent solutions to this problem. Senator Feinstein seems to think that’s the case, anyway. Personally, I don’t think there are any laws that can prevent psychotic monsters from engaging in violence.

  6. Chris Marschner

    Jack: You asked: “Let me ask my basic question again: are there any constructive suggestions (hopefully a tad beyond outlawing bump stocks) that can be offered by the principled defenders of the Second Amendment to find common ground? Any? I for one am all ears.”

    Let me first say that I own no firearms but a strong supporter of that right. Secondly, in order for us to have any type of compromise both sides must have a “right” at stake in the issue. Without having to lose something to get something everyone will always seek to get something for nothing. So for those who advocate for more gun control if not an outright ban I propose that they consider the following.

    Instead of repealing the 2nd amendment we consider repealing the 4th Amendment. A repeal of the 2nd would only affect the law abiding citizen who enjoys the benefits of firearm ownership for what ever reason they choose. It is easy to give away a right that one never expects to exert.

    Given that we know that those in possession of currently illegal firearms will still retain them in the event of an outright ban then it stands to reason that we should first attempt to confiscate all contraband weapons first. Even if we did repeal the 2nd amendment first and recovered the weapons from the law abiding first we would still eventually have to repeal the 4th to ferret out the remainder. So why not start by trying to get the illegal ones away from those with the most proclivity to use them violently first before we jump the gun and eliminate the self defense capability.

    Using GIS systems we can pinpoint with a fair degree of accuracy where most of the gun crime against others takes place. From that data we know pretty much where to look for illegal weapons. Without the 4th amendment law enforcement could conduct periodic raids on homes in that area where they “think” weapons might be. It seems to me that repeal of the 2nd amendment would have a disproportionate impact on one demographic segment of society whereas a repeal of the 4th could impact every member of society no matter what their demographic profile. That would be far fairer to the population as a whole rather than just placing the actual loss of a right on small sector of society.

    Granted, we might not get them all but we might find enough to curb some of the violence against innocents that occurs daily in those areas. I am sure we can save at least a few children. Moreover, during these sweeps we might also find numerous other violations of law. Perhaps we might find sex traffickers, child neglect, narcotics distribution, child pornographers – all of those other crimes that make our society less safe.

    As for how we can reduce gun related suicides which account for about 2/3 of all firearm deaths just enact death with dignity legislation and permit pharmacies to dispense a “no morning after” pill which would be far less painful and just as effective as a placing the barrel in one’s mouth and pulling the trigger. Given that we have a propensity to use statistics as a guide to new legislation such a law would probably cut gun related suicides immeasurably.

    What scares me, and keeps me up at night is not the evil that surrounds us all that may one day harm me but it is the fact that many will agree with the proposals listed above.

  7. Chris

    3. There’s nothing unethical about Corker’s comments, which are self-evidently true. He can certainly be criticized for supporting Trump’s candidacy back when his defects were as glaring as they are now, but his earlier support only heightens his duty to point out Trump’s irresponsibility and lack of fitness.

    4. I think you could consider both PR stunts. Only one of them was a stunt done on the taxpayer dime.

    • 2. Are you really saying that when the VP goes to a game or a ply on a Sunday, it’s on the taxpayer’s dime?
      Now and then your forced efforts to find fault with Republicans undermine your credibility.

      2. Whether Corker’s insults are true or not misses the point. It is no more acceptable and professional for a Senator to engage in persoanl denigration of a President than vice-versa. Obviously. See #1.

      • Chris

        1. 2. Are you really saying that when the VP goes to a game or a ply on a Sunday, it’s on the taxpayer’s dime?

        In this case, it was. This is not in dispute as far as I know.

        2. There comes a point when you have the right to call an immature child an immature child. Calling the White House an “adult day care center” may be personal denigration, but it also goes straight to the president’s ability to do his job, and is thus a relevant and fair critique.

    • Chris Marschner

      Chris, By virtue of the fact that I enjoy the ability of cable to bring me myriad programs of interest, I am systematically oppressed by ESPN to continue to support them and their direct support of the NFL because I cannot obtain other programming without also paying a fee high enough to cover the fees ESPN mandates cable operators to pay. Moreover, I must pay a universal access fee each month to ensure such messages are communicated to those who lack the capacity to understand that someone is paying their bill. That is a direct out of pocket cost that I would not pay if not required to pay. To me, this is simply a tying contract which would otherwise be in violation of the Clayton Act. Given that I pay taxes the cost of the player’s protest is too is on the taxpayer’s dime.

      Until we stop running structural deficits for programs and services not vital for our national security, protection of property rights, and efficient commercial activities among the several states then any and all costs for current consumption by the citizenry will be born by future generations that had no say in the adoption of progressive policies to facilitate that current consumption.

      • Chris

        Chris, By virtue of the fact that I enjoy the ability of cable to bring me myriad programs of interest, I am systematically oppressed

        I stopped reading here. Get serious.

        • He’s satirizing Reid’s comments…

          It’s obvious. And it’s effective.

          • Chris

            You’re right, tex. My bad.

            Chris Marschner, while I wouldn’t have used the word “oppression,” I do think it is potentially chilling to free speech to have the Vice President of the United States show up to an event just so he can make a show of disapproving of a silent, passive demonstration of free speech. I am surprised to see such a stunt being met with approval on this site.

        • Chris Marschner

          Of course you did because you have already made up your mind and it is often closed to a different point of view. The funny part is I read yours in their entirety to try to gain an understanding of your POV.

  8. Chris

    • Chris Marschner

      Then I need not follow any societal rules? Isn’t freedom of expression a nationalistic ritual or belief in this country any more?

      • Chris

        I wouldn’t say freedom of expression is a “ritual,” but it is a value. I’m not sure how you’re inferring from the tweet that no societal rules need to be followed. What’s with this idea that kneeling rather than standing during a song is going to lead to a total societal breakdown?

  9. Chris Marschner

    That is an abuse of the concept of “chilling” no player is subject to any governmental repercussions of their act. You know that and the players know that. What you are demanding is that an elected leader must always never offer an antithesis to that protected speech. In the battle of ideas their must be countervailing opinions expressed otherwise the speech that is unmet is perceived to be truth. Calling out an unsupported opinion or expressing one’s own no matter his/her position is not chilling if the original opinion which is subject to ridicule is also not subject to governmental sanction.

    • In fairness, the plummeting popularity of the NFL, most obviously attributable to this inane “protest” is the countervailing expression of opinion.

      • Chris Marschner

        True, but leaders who do not communicate belief will have no followers.

        • Chris

          I’m certain Pence could have found a better, less petty and less costly way to communicate his belief. Hell, Obama found a way to express his belief that people should stand during the anthem, but no one cared because he was fair to both sides and didn’t condemn the protesters.

          • Better? It was a political slam dunk, and 100% appropriate. I walked out of “JFK” because it insulted my country and my intelligence. I would have done teh same if I were President or VP.

            • Chris

              What’s the evidence that it was a “political slam dunk?” Is there a poll you’re basing this on?

              Did you go to JFK with the intention of walking out? If so, that’s your prerogative; it’s your money. Doing so on the taxpayer’s dime is another story.

    • Chris Marschner

      Actually what you are demanding is that Pence’s speech should be silenced because of his position. That is equally chilling using your definition.

    • Chris

      I can respect that opinion, Chris M., though I note it is very different from Jack’s–if I recall, he has argued that government officials should never criticize private individuals for exercising their freedom of speech. It’s why he believes Trump’s response to the Nazis in Charlottesville was appropriate, and finds the demands that he condemn them in stronger terms unfair. Your position seems to be that elected officials have a responsibility to respond to speech they disagree with.

      My opinion is somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I have no problem with government officials using social shame tactics to condemn actual Nazis, as long as there is no action taken against them. I think that’s reasonable, though some here may find it hypocritical as I do think that government officials condemning other types protests is wrong. For example, Obama should not have condemned the Tea Party. I also don’t think Pence and Trump should be condemning the silent, inobtrusive free speech demonstrations of these NFL players.

      Trump and Pence seem to taking another tack entirely: they seem to believe that the kneeling football players deserve far more condemnation from them than the Charlottesville Nazis did. I confess that I haven’t seen a compelling argument for this position.

      But your position–that it’s fine for any government official to use their bully pulpit to criticize free speech–is fair, even though I disagree with it, and in fact may be more consistent than my own.

  10. Wayne

    I like what Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys has told the Dallas players: Jerry Jones gives Cowboys players ultimatum: Stand for anthem or sit for game
    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2017/10/09/jerry-jones-gives-cowboys-players-ultimatum-stand-for-anthem-or-sit-for-game.html

  11. Neil Dorr

    Jack,

    Houston rules and Boston drools. Or something. Maybe next year …

  12. Chris Marschner

    Chris, You said “I have no problem with government officials using social shame tactics to condemn actual Nazis, as long as there is no action taken against them. I think that’s reasonable, though some here may find it hypocritical as I do think that government officials condemning other types protests is wrong.

    That is irreconcilable. You cannot condemn one without condemning the other. Every citizen is entitled to level petition the government for redress of grievances; even people whose ideas are an anathema to the majority. Pence’s walking out and subsequent tweet was just as much appropriate as the player’s acts. Each of us can and should provide a substantive, informed argument on issues but far too often the arguments devolve into us versus them positions. Personally I think most Tweets are nothing more than snarky comments devoid of any real thought.

    Had the Charlottesville march been met with people lining the streets and turning their backs on those messengers the possibility of violence would have been eliminated or mitigated. Those standing in silence with their back turned to the marchers would have been far more effective that indiscriminate name calling. The sound of silent NYC cops turning their backs when Mayor DiBlasio appeared was deafening.

    If it bleeds it leads is the oft mentioned policy of news organizations. Do they play some role in the escalation of violence. If you want to stay relevant in the news there needs to be a level of violence necessary to keep the media pushing one’s message. We are still talking about it because of the violence. Had the Charlottesville police used alternative tactics perhaps the death of the young women could have been avoided. Instead we are promoting confrontation tactics in which violence is the usual outcome.

    Keep this in mind, the Charlottesville marchers are no names but kids know who plays for their teams. You are saying the President’s commensurate notoriety should preclude him from criticizing the players but don’t the players have more notoriety than some poor sap who perceives himself to be the scapegoat all the time.

    Not everyone protesting the destruction or removal of statuary of Confederate Generals were Nazis or white supremacists. But that message was lost because it was easy to just categorize a group of white people as being racist. How is that any different than assuming that all blacks are inherently thieves or otherwise untrustworthy. Statuary can be art as much as a symbol. They are inanimate objects. Tearing them down because some find them offensive is opening up a Pandora’s box that allows anything deemed offensive to be removed. Should we glorify General Sherman because he raped, pillaged, and burned his way through the South? Should we tear down statues to Grant – he owned slaves too. Ironically, Lee was not a slave owner; he was the executor of his father in laws estate who did own slaves. Yes, he sought their recovery because he was required to as a fiduciary. That is a legal requirement not a social statement of belief. All of that is lost on the ignorant who rally behind what appears to be a noble cause. I personally possess a copy of an original Mathew Brady photo of Lee before his buttons on his waistcoat were cutoff as part of his surrender. My grandmother donated the original Matthew Brady photo to Washington and Lee University for their collection. Mere possession of an artifact of a period does not make the owner any more of a racist than the curator of a museum. To most of us, the statuary is merely a reflection of a period in our history; no different than what is on display at the Smithsonian. Where the historical piece is displayed should not matter unless it is proven that it was designed purposely to offend the sensibilities of the public. If you cannot prove the intent was to inflict pain then leave it alone. Otherwise we will embark on a journey of tit for tat.

    From my perspective, both groups are equally culpable and the President called them both out. Instead of having an honest assessment of the events leading to the confrontation we began by blaming Trump’s rhetoric because he was being even handed in his assessment. Calling out those who cannot at least stand for the ideals of the anthem an flag that is a symbol of the very rights they enjoy to protest is what many of us find objectionable. Silent protest on Sunday and doing nothing any other time is to me equivalent of being a bad Catholic who simply uses the confessional to absolve himself of being a bastard the rest of the time. If these players see injustice I will applaud their protest when I see them rolling up their sleeves during the week to help others achieve greatness. I don’t need them as spokes-models who only sell their notoriety to raise awareness. We don’t need awareness, kids in the projects need real male role models. They have the resources and the street cred to effect real change. The message they are sending is that life is hopeless when even the biggest name in sports tells his that the world is against him because of his color.

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