Saturday Rate of Exchange:
Kneeling for the Anthem

from Raymond


On Wednesday, we linked to a piece written by noted Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson about the half-time entertainment with President Trump and the golden sport of Football:

Should Trump have made those comments? Of course he should have.

As might be expected, conversation occasionally became heated. Here are a few highlights:

From T. Paine:

Finally! An article that is reasonable and in agreement with a majority of Americans’ opinions on this topic can be found on the pages of Fair and Unbalanced!

From Burr Deming:

Thank you, T. Paine.

It is my sad duty, once again, to be the bearer of bad news. An overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with you, and with my President, on this issue.

From T. Paine:

Mr. Deming, please don’t mistake my previous statement as support for President Trump’s boorish comments. While I am sympathetic to the principle, he stated it in an unnecessarily provocative way.

Further, I agree that if the NFL, owners, and coaches are okay with the players doing so, then they have a right to be disrespectful to our flag, anthem, and nation while exercising their freedom of speech. I vehemently disagree with them, but that is their right. I wish I had the same first amendment rights with my company without negative repercussions though, like if I wished to espouse my support for traditional marriage at work.

Oh, and the hypocrisy of the NFL is striking. The NFL would not allow players to wear patches in support of the Dallas police officers killed by a BLM-inspired killer, but they will allow protests against the police and our “racist” nation.

I think the longer this goes on, the more the NFL will lose viewers and fans in the stands. Even DirecTV has now been forced to give myriads of refunds for their NFL packages directly because of these protests.

Here is another poll showing that I am not alone in my disgust, and the numbers will likely prove out that most Americans don’t approve of the players doing this.

From Burr Deming:

I dunno, T. Paine.

Jeff Roe is a Republican activist here in Missouri with a reputation for brutally attacking anyone who gets in his way. Those who know him say he makes Rove and Atwater look like Girl Scouts. That’s a quote. The vicious attacks he invented are credited with driving fellow Republican Tom Schweich to suicide.

It’s still possible the Remington Group conducts thoroughly impartial polling. On balance, I think I’d still go with Reuters and Ipsos. A solid majority of Americans do not go with my President on this one.

From Ryan:

A bunch of American man-children obsessed with watching a game of moving a ball back and forth across a field are enraged that the actual players of said game indirectly draw them out of their entertainment in their safe space. How did the players do this? By making a non-verbal, benign “political” statement by refusing to mimic the meaningless but ritualized body positioning expected during a song that is played every game.

These man-children insist, as they always do, that any deviation from their traditional displays of empty, feel-good patriotism is disrespectful to the country and to the military…

…even though the players themselves–the only ones who can really tell us their intentions–explain that their actions are meant to either (1) call attention to problems in the country so that they can be solved or (2) protest Trump’s classless, ignorant, unnecessary, and provocative attacks on them…

…even though symbolic objects and gestures do not have objective, absolute meanings and a person’s failure or refusal to observe them one way or another does not mean that he does not care about what those symbols usually represent anyway…

…even though sports games are a bizarre place to practice flag-waving…

…even though audiences can choose to not watch the brief protests or even to not care that fellow citizens (or more fundamentally: human beings) do not believe or practice “patriotism” exactly as they do…

…even though home audiences themselves largely do not practice the same decorum because they are not pressured by thousands of people around them doing it mindlessly…

…even though the man-children will, once the ritual ends, go right back to stuffing their faces with hot dogs and beer, cheering for meaningless victories, praying for their petty god to intervene to help their team win, cursing and screaming at the team from another city, ultimately forgetting all about the “true patriotism” that they claim to care so much about.

Meanwhile, millions of people in their own country are suffering from actual problems that patriotic fuzzies not only fail to address, but may aggravate, especially insofar as they discourage criticism of the country.

I am so damn SICK of people like this and of conservatives who are always trying to dictate the terms of patriotism and making anyone who fails to abide by those terms out to be scum. My feelings toward Trump and his supporters go without saying. An enemy of reason is an enemy of humanity.

From Dave Dubya:

It’s interesting to note a cop killer can be “a BLM-inspired killer”, but a murderer of a doctor who performs legal abortions cannot be called a “Christian-inspired killer”. Why is that?

Bad cops can get away with shooting Blacks in the back, and are exonerated because they said they were afraid. But those protesting those bad cops and the rigged justice are “sons of bitches”. Why is that?


Well said.

“conservatives who are always trying to dictate the terms of patriotism and making anyone who fails to abide by those terms out to be scum.”

Conservatives have long been usurping the power to unilaterally define and dictate terms of identity, morality and patriotism. They alone may define “liberal” and “left”. Why is that?

They alone have the power to interpret our Constitution, despite theocrats like the Alabama judge and Senate candidate who violated and defied our Constitution with a tax-payer funded monument to the Ten Commandments at a courthouse. Why is that?

They alone have the power to interpret our Constitution and applaud the pardon of the contemptible birther and racist Arizona sheriff whose profiling tactics and detentions were in clear violation of our Constitution. Why is that?

All of this tells us, “It’s OK if you are Republican”, because only Republicans are allowed to judge what is OK. To finish my rhetorical line of questioning, why is that?

You are entirely correct about their “safe place” being corrupted by matters of conscience.

Trump asked for this fight. Now he’s got it.

From Ryan:

It is for reasons like those that I will never be a Republican. Even as Democrats drift leftward of my positions and contend with troubling factions driven by identity politics, all I need to do is glance at what Republicans are doing at any given moment to remind myself that the alternative is far worse.

From Dave Dubya:

One more voice speaks on this issue:

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice”. – Martin Luther King Jr.


From Ryan:

Except the protesters are the ones who get to define what they’re protesting, whether the protest is justified or not. Conservative attempts to malign their character and intentions by declaring them anti-American rather than merely misguided come from a place of either dishonesty or ignorance. If this simply came down to disagreement over the extent and harm of racism in law enforcement, I would not care nearly as much. It also would make no difference if the situation were reversed, such that these teams were protesting some issue I don’t believe in or don’t find worthwhile. It might annoy me, but it would have nothing to do with “disrespect” of some symbol.

We should all be wise enough to distinguish symbols from what they symbolize and protest from actual harm, understand that respect and disrespect can be demonstrated in many ways, and recognize that observing patriotic decorum does not make one a patriot and can easily become a part of rather anti-patriotic tribal behavior.

As for Trump, I agree that he is making things worse, but these problems were around long before he was and they will persist when he is gone.

Then things got hot.

No Level of Degradation Too Low

found online by Raymond

From Green Eagle:

For our President. While the three and a half million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are without hope of electricity, water, food or any other necessity to survive, this is how Trump spent the weekend: He made ten tweets attacking black football players, and not a single one showing a shred of concern for these people.

Well, he sure made up for that today. Here are a few tweets from our leader:

“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..

…It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars….

…owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with”

Yes, you read that right. For the first time in the history of the United States, the President responded to a natural disaster which is causing massive suffering, by attacking the victims, and showing more concern for the rich guys that might stand to lose money from the disaster than for the victims.

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What’s Disrespects American Flag? A Confederate Flag

found online by Raymond

From Helen Philpot with Margaret and Helen:

Margaret, last week six football players knelt during the national anthem. This week it was 200. And just like Colin Kaepernick, they weren’t making a statement about the flag. I swear this president is so stupid, he couldn’t find his ass if both hands were in his back pockets.

Lord help me, but I’ve taken a knee and I don’t want to get up. Maybe I can’t get up. I’m not sure which. Three and a half million American citizens are in crisis in Puerto Rico, North Korea is threatening Armageddon, Russia used Facebook to influence our elections, Nazis are running over young women, Congress wants to take healthcare away from poor people… and our president has nothing better to do except name calling to get a cheer at his Klan rally.

As the widow of a veteran, I have no issue with any player taking a knee to protest during the national anthem. He has every bit as much right to do that as Donald Trump had to say that McCain wasn’t a war hero because he had been captured. Protecting that right is what my husband and McCain fought for.

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Donald Trump and the NFL

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Many Republicans believe that racism no longer exists in post-Obama America. Americans elected and re-elected a black president in 2008 and 2012. A black man being elected president serves as proof to a culture steeped in white privilege that racism either no longer exists or is not that big of a deal. Yet, as events in Charlottesville showed, racism is alive and well. Thanks to the election of racist dog-whistler-in-chief, Donald Trump, white supremacist groups, the KKK, Nazis, and bigoted Evangelical Christian nationalists have, without fear, preached the old-time gospel of white superiority.

Donald Trump revealed how tone-deaf and blind he is on matters of race when he used Twitter and a campaign speech over the weekend to attack protesting black players, both in the NFL and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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The Idiot S.O.B. Who Really Should (And Must) Be Fired!

found online by Raymond

From Jack Jodell at The Saturday Afternoon Post:

To say that Chump has gone too far, or that he has badly misjudged the mood of the overwhelming majority of his countrymen, are gross understatements. This moron, who promised he would be a great unifier, has repeatedly pitted one group against another in his miserable 9 months in office, and has unified a strong majority of this country AGAINST HIM! LeBron James summed it up best in his address Monday to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Media Day audience when he said, “Everyone that had anything (to do) or any association with the NFL yesterday was unbelievable. It was solidarity and there was no divide. There was no divide even from that guy that continues to try to divide us as people.”

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Only Trump’s Wall Can Save Us from Mexican Catapults


My President held a rally in Huntsville, Alabama, and, wouldn’t you know, news was made. Here is what folks remember, what they are talking about:

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say:

“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out! He’s fired. He’s FIRED!”

Of course we talk about that. Disrespecting the symbol of our country is powerful stuff, and likely will get a reaction. Genuflecting does not strike me as especially disrespectful, but that’s me. Your mileage may vary.

Public officials don’t usually try to get private citizens fired for their opinions. It’s supposed to work the other way around.

So President Trump made folks a little protective of their right to protest.

What I find of interest is a fascinating story that seems to fascinate nobody except me. That same Presidential speech did a more than rattle the cages of free speech advocates. It also went into a tale of human-cartoon-hybrid fantasy, a Who Framed Roger Rabbit scene without Jessica Rabbit.

At about the 34th minute in the rally, we were introduced into an entirely new realm of fairyland magic.
Continue reading “Only Trump’s Wall Can Save Us from Mexican Catapults”

It’s Just Possible

found online by Raymond

From Dave Dubya:

This we have learned from our Divider-in-Chief and Angry White Con-servatives:

“Very fine people” marched with the white supremacists, Klan, and Nazis.

Black Lives Matter is a racist hate group.

And Black athletes who protest exonerated bad cops and the racist police killings of unarmed Blacks by taking a knee during the anthem are “Sons of bitches”.

Angry White Con-servatives readily believe all of this.

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Eyes on the Prize, Please

found online by Raymond

From the Bjork Report:

The football protest and Trumpsky’s godawful response is an important subject which needs to be addressed, make no mistake. But remember always that President Stupid is a talented con-artist who specializes in deflection and distraction. And what, in particular, he’s trying to get you to ignore are the three following issues. Don’t let that happen.

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When the NFL Is More Important Than America

found online by Raymond

From James Wigderson:

So, according to Murphy, Trump is making “divisive and offensive statements” about the players and the NFL. Not that the unprofessional and unpatriotic conduct by the players is “divisive and offensive,” but the president’s statements defending patriotism and respect for our country are “divisive and offensive.” Murphy even believes, from his statement, that the “players are leaders and positive influences.”

Both Packers Coach Mike McCarthy and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers have also expressed support for players protesting during the national anthem.

And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell went a step farther, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

That’s correct. In asking that the NFL show more respect for our country, at least publicly, the president has demonstrated “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

Should Trump have made those comments? Of course he should have.

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