Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The NFL has become the No Freedom League - How Wokeness Helped Bring America to the Brink of Revolution

I grew up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before they had satellite TV. As such, on the Monday after the Super Bowl everyone on the entire base would try and get through the day without knowing who won the game. That night, after a tape of the game had been flown down from the US, we'd watch the game and be riveted to our TVs. The military TV stations weren’t allowed to show private commercials so we would all greet a Pepsi or McDonalds commercial that might slip by the censors with wondrous applause. The NFL was my passion, along with my sainted Dolphins, with Gods Bob Griese and Dan Marino at the helm. Today however, I doubt I’ll watch another NFL game and most certainly won’t spend a penny on NFL merchandise.

Why? It’s simple. The NFL, helmed by men who are ostensibly some of the smartest businessmen in America, literally helped bring America to the brink of revolution, maybe even led the way. Of course we’re talking about Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter.

The NFL, and to a lesser degree, MLB and the NBA used to be oases from which all Americans could seek refuge from the slings and arrows of daily life. Monday at the office used to be “Did you see that catch?” or “The zebras blew another one!” Since Kaepernick started his grandstanding however the conversations became more about who was kneeling, what star was lecturing America about this grievance or that and ceased to be about the excitement or pain or joy of the actual games.

In a sad irony, Charlie Daniels once wrote an anthem called “In America” where he used an NFL team to demonstrate American's unity. 

And we may have done a little bit of fighting among ourselves, 

but you outside people best leave us alone...

Cause we'll all stick together, and you can take that to the bank,

that's the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels and the yanks...

You just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I think you're gonna finally understand”

It’s almost apropos that Daniels died in the very year when it’s not outsiders who have started a revolution, but other Americans, and they were set on that course by the NFL.

Had the “geniuses” who run the NFL understood anything about America and put a stop to Kaepernick’s on field preening four years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Freedom of speech had nothing to do with anything. Kaepernick had and has every right to say what’s on his mind. The NFL however did not have to allow him to hijack their platform to trumpet it. Had they not helped him become a media darling, he probably wouldn’t have walked away from is multimillion dollar contract and become the least worthy “martyr” in the history of martyrs.

And just to be clear, it's not because they couldn't have done anything.  The NFL controls virtually every single thing about its games and programs. It choreographs everything!!! Uniform colors… check. Shirts tucked in… check. Fines for faux cellphone celebrations after a touchdown? Check. Yet somehow they weren’t able to tell players that they could not disrespect the American flag and National Anthem. They could have required standing, or required those not wanting to participate to stay in the locker room, or they could have kept all the players in the locker rooms and let the fans sing the song… But they didn’t. Instead, they allowed what would have been a flash in the pan to become a raging inferno that has the potential to turn the United States and its Constitution into ashes.  The fires and riots and attacks on police and federal buildings and America are simply the progeny of the boiling tempers fueled in part by the victim mentality emboldened by the NFL's wokeness.

Today in the United States the idea of free speech is vanishing and the NFL, by showcasing a struggling, marginal, spoiled quarterback with a chip on his shoulder helped make it so. Today in America, everything is political… science, education, healthcare and now, sadly, even sports. Sure politics in sports has been around for a while, go back to the 1968 Black Power Olympic protests or Muhammad Ali, but those were news, not everyday life.

Now politics has infested every corner of American life and you can’t help but see it everywhere from shopping to going to the movies to wedding cakes to science. Not to mention workplaces.  Up until about 2016 Americans had at least one refuge from the cancer of political rage… that was sports. Americans of different colors, of different religions of different national origins could get together and cheer for (or against) the Cowboys, the Raiders, the Patriots or the Steelers and feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves, members of the same team.  "How'd we do this weekend?" or "Where are we at this Sunday?" wasn't reserved for players or coaches... Fans were part of the team, the 12th man, they weren't just observers, they were family.  Sports made fans' differences inconsequential, even if only for as long as they were cheering together or drinking beer together or wearing the their matching Giants jerseys.

In putting politics front and center of their offerings, in letting their platforms become a cultural litmus test, in actively turning their sport into a vehicle for wokeness, the NFL has destroyed their brand as an American icon. Never again will many Americans look to it for a welcome respite from the chaos of everyday life. Never again will it have the capacity to change American life the way the Heidi Bowl did.

The NFL may continue to be a viable business for some time, but its place in history will be sealed by its engagement in wokeness. The thing about wokeness is that there are always new victims to be supported, new causes to be championed and new targets for expropriation and destruction. The geniuses who run the league shouldn’t be surprised that eventually they will be on the wrong side of some victims rights group and their businesses will be targeted, their directors will be hounded and eventually their assets will be taken, one way or another. When that happens they shouldn't be surprised that more than a few people might be whispering feelings of Schadenfreude.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

If The "Peaceful Protesters" of Antifa and BLM Really Had The Courage of Their Convictions...

For the last two months we’ve been watching as BLM and Antifa have knocked over statues, defaced monuments and churches and set fire to basically anything they can get their hands on. St. Louis had to go because he led the Crusades. Christopher Columbus has to go because he opened the door to colonizing a new world. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have to go because they owned slaves. Fredrick Douglas and Ulysses S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt and Jesus Christ had to go because… never mind.

And it’s not just statues that are under fire. There’s Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Eskimo Pies, Mrs. Butterworth and the girl from Land O' Lakes butter. There’s the NFL’s Redskins, the TV show Cops, the National Anthem, Goya foods, and basically all the police.

What started out as protests against the killing of George Floyd has metastasized into a battle against everything American, everything capitalist and anything that is not sufficiently woke.

Once can certainly appreciate those sentiments because the United States has obviously been a plague on humanity. America was built on land stolen from the Native Americans. The country had slavery from the beginning and Jim Crow laws until the 1960s. As a result, blacks are disproportionately represented in the justice system and those of European descent enjoy white privilege. Anything below a living wage is basically slave labor. College and healthcare are human rights and should not be the kinds of things that Americans should have to pay for, or the kinds of things people can make a profit off of. Some people have more money than they need while others don’t have enough to feed their families. And perhaps most of all, we elected Donald Trump as our president...

If the “peaceful protesters” who are telling us that capitalism needs to go and the United States is the problem had real principles, they would take their demands to the next level. It’s not enough to boycott Goya foods or or Hobby Lobby. No, if these activists really wanted to show the world that it can do without capitalism and the United States, they should refrain from using anything that American capitalism has produced.

Twitter - Gone. Apple. Gone. Air Conditioning - Gone. Facebook- Gone. Netflix - Gone. McDonalds - Gone. Google - Gone. Cell phones - Gone. Uber - Gone. Call of Duty - Gone. Flight - Gone. Amazon - Gone. Quicksilver - Gone. Nike - Gone. Starbucks - Gone. Fortnite - Gone. Supreme - Gone. X Box - Gone. Batman - Gone. North Face - Gone. Elevators - Gone. CNN - Gone. Not to mention staples like Coke and Pepsi and McDonald's and Frito Lay and Disney and countless others.

If the goal is to tell us that capitalism is bad and should be destroyed, then doesn’t logic demand that the fruits of the imperialist, racist, sexist American capitalist system be obliterated? Isn’t using an iPhone or wearing a Supreme sweat shirt or Nike shoes the watered down equivalent of using the data from Nazi experiments on prisoners to develop new medicines?

Do these “activists” have the courage of their own convictions? Are they really ready to destroy American capitalism and everything that it’s created? If they want to burn the system down and replace it, then they should say so and start living a life without its fruits as an example to others. If their goal however is to continue to enjoy the fruits of the capitalist system but just steal the profits or take the ownership, they are not the freedom fighters they style themselves to be, they are not heroes of the downtrodden seeking to destroy the racist oppressive system of America, but rather, they are in fact simply spoiled, envious, sociopathic thieves who want to take what others have built and use it for their own purposes. They are nothing more than common criminals who covet their neighbor’s wares and seek to exercise power over them… and everyone in the country while they’re at it. George Orwell recognized this in 1984: “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Don't Look Now But The Democrats of 2020 are Eerily Similar to the Nazis of 1933...

One of the brilliant things about the United States’ founding fathers was their understanding of human nature. They understood that it is the nature of man to seek to accumulate power. It’s been that way throughout human history. The seemingly unquenchable thirst for the accumulation of power has created empires across the globe. In Africa you had the Egyptians, the Songhai and the Carthaginians. Asia had the Ming, the Han, the Mongols, and of course the Ottomans. Europe had the Greeks, Romans, and the Spanish. The Americas had the Mayans, the Aztecs and the Incas. The British eventually assembled an empire that literally circled the world.

The parts of the world that were not subsumed into giant empires were part of smaller civilizations of varying sizes that operated, in most cases, through the accumulation of power via conquest and slavery. It was usually the conflict or potential conflict with competing powers that dictated how large a nation or an empire would grow. Because, after all, it is largely a trait of men to seek to accumulate more power until prudence dictates not doing so – and even then in some cases prudence is not much of a deterrent. And that applies even more to competing powers within a state than to those between states.

Our founding fathers knew this and decided to craft a Constitution to yoke the darker nature of men. Thus we have the federal system, where states have some powers and the federal government has others. The federal government would handle most large national issues while states would handle those closer to the people.  We have a separation of federal power between three theoretically equal branches of government. Within the legislative branch – which at the time of writing was expected to be the first among equals – there is a separation between the houses, and within the houses different powerbases. The states appointed Senators and the citizens elected the Representatives. Add to all of this the staggering of terms of office and you have a vehicle that was designed to limit the powers of mobs and keep any single group from being able to play on the emotions of men and take power.

And finally of course, for the single most powerful limit on the accumulation of government power, you had the Bill of Rights which clearly articulated the rights of the people, both individual and collective, that could not be tread on by the government. Free speech, a free press, free practice of religion, the freedom of assembly, a right to be secure in their persons and homes, and most important of all, because it protects all the others, the right to bear arms.

Our Constitution, like its authors, was and is not perfect, but over the years it’s evolved to ban slavery, grant equal application of laws and to expand suffrage. What is perhaps most interesting about the American Constitution is the fact that it’s guided the country for 233 years without a standing army of enforcers. Yes, there is an army of course, but it’s not used to keep citizens in line, because there is no line to be kept in. America was, for most of its history, a nation defined by freedom. Citizens could largely go about and do and say what they wanted. They could buy land where they wanted. They could start just about any kind of business they wanted. They could worship as they wanted. They could say anything that came to their minds… although whether or not that was prudent is another matter. Americans could move from place to place without permission of the government. They could, at the end of the day exercise their freedom, and that came from the Constitution. Barack Obama accurately stated “Generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you. But it doesn't say what the state or federal government must do on your behalf.” Obama meant that as a criticism of the document, but the fact is, that is exactly why our nation has endured and our freedom has endured so long and allowed us to change the face of the world along the way.

Which brings us to America circa 2020… Virtually all of those key elements that have kept our nation and her citizens free are today under direct assault… largely by the Democrat party and their partners in the media, academia, BLM and Antifa.

The left is today using the blueprint of the Nazi party to bring America as we know it to an end. Although the Nazi party came to power legally, constitutionally in Germany in 1933, prior to that the Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung - SA) had spent a decade using violence and intimidation to cow some Germans into submission while simultaneously emboldening others to take up their cause. Once the Nazis were in power it was game over for a free Germany. The model of using the freedoms / rights afforded citizens of a nation to take control of that nation and then eviscerating those very laws and rights that allowed them to come to power in the first place can have staggering results. The Nazis took a dysfunctional post WWI Germany and turned it into an extraordinarily efficient killing machine, both of its own citizens and millions of others as it set the world on a course of war. That model of gaining power followed by death and destruction has proved highly effective in modern times from Robert Mugabe to Hugo Chavez to Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping.

And today the left is seeking to use that very model to destroy America. Not sure? Just listen to them. They want to pack the Supreme Court. They want to eliminate the Electoral College. They want to eliminate free speech. They want to take away your guns. They have no compunction about using the IRS to stifle opposition. They have no problem using the FBI to overturn a fair election. They want to defund the police. They want to expropriate your property. They seek to rewrite American history. They want to implement laws based on race. They want to decide what communities look like. They want to keep schools and churches closed. They want to obliterate science. They want to decide what art you see. And of course they want to control the means of production to save the planet from the fiction of global warming.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Make no mistake, Democrats do not decry the violence in the streets, they seek to harness it. Make no mistake, Democrats hold no love for the Constitution other than how it can be used to bring them more power. Make no mistake, the Democrats don’t care one iota about your freedom or your liberty and they will take them in a heartbeat, if you let them. And this is not a bug in their system, it’s a feature. The Democrat party in 2020 no longer has a vested interest in freedom. Their only goal is power and subjugation. “Think what we believe or you’ll be cancelled.” “Say anything we don’t like and you’ll be cancelled.” “Support our opposition and you’ll be cancelled.” Today mostly what they do is get you fired, kicked out of school and shamed on social media, but with amorphous “hate crime” legislation advancing on every front, soon there will be literally no place to hide, because words no longer mean anything so the woke can literally characterize anything as “hate”. Taken individually some may argue these are nothing like Hitler’s fascist state. Perhaps, but collectively they are as clear a portent to the future as was Mein Kampf.

The most telling thing about this situation is that it’s not actually the Democrats per se leading it. It’s the Twitter and Facebook mobs. It’s the fascists at BLM and Antifa. It’s academia and the media. The Democrats (who nonetheless agree with all of it) are too spineless to actually believe in anything other than power. They are not leading, but rather playing catch-up, trying to run to get out in front of a parade that’s already in progress and pretend they're leading it to keep the money flowing in. Once in power – i.e. having the White House and both houses of congress – they will enact every over the top progressive policy BLM and George Soros can come up with because they understand that if they are not on the bleeding edge of wokeness, the mobs will simply replace them with people who are even more hardcore.

One wonders what the reaction to all of this will be from Americans who still value liberty and freedom… will they go quietly into that not so good night or will they “cling to guns or religion” and decide to push back against the new fascism?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How the Greatest Generation Begat the Stupidest Generation and Lost America

The first half of the 20th Century was one of the most devastating in human history. The people who lived through that calamitous period are called the Greatest Generation for good reason. They came of age during the Great Depression and went on to save the world from the Nazi and Japanese tyrannies. They fought hard to save the world and later built the United States into the dominant economic and military superpower on the planet.

The thing about the Greatest Generation was that their lives were tough… with a great depression sandwiched between two world wars, life was simply brutal. So when peacetime came around, they were enthusiastic about finally being able to focus on raising their families.

They of course wanted their kids to have better lives than they did. They didn’t want their kids have to deal with the food shortages, the unemployment and the wars that they had lived through. And so they pampered their children and tried to give them good lives. The problem is, their children became spoiled brats and grew into unrepentant socialists and Communists.

America saw that play out in front of their eyes during the 1960’s and 70’s. The postwar years saw an unprecedented economic boom in the United States with jobs and incomes growing to spectacular levels. Families moved to the suburbs, cars became ubiquitous and the golden age of television was upon us. So it’s not a great surprise that when things are going fairly well, spoiled children become spoiled young adults. Which is exactly what happened. From student protests demanding universities bend to their wills to anti-war marches demanding an end to the Vietnam War (really what they wanted was to not be drafted…) to supporting terrorist groups like the Weather Underground & the Black Panthers, young people spent much of the 1960’s & 70’s protesting and demanding pretty much everything. And when they didn’t get their way, they would cause mayhem, taking over universities, rioting and occasionally setting off bombs…

If that sounds a lot like what’s going on today in the streets, it’s no coincidence. The thugs out in the streets today causing mayhem are the children of those 1960’s hippies. One might think that parents who grew up in the midst of the chaotic, anything goes 60’s and 70’s might swing somewhat in the opposite direction and raise their children with a bit more discipline than they had growing up. But that’s not what happened. Just the opposite.

The children of the 80’s and 90’s and 00’s were even more spoiled than their parents. There was virtually no war – and of course, no draft – and although there were economic hiccups along the way, the economy grew steadily from the early 80’s. Things were often comfortable… Video games, participation trophies, MTV and grade inflation… what wasn’t to like? But something was going on… the hints of today’s chaos were being sowed without anyone noticing…

It was during this time that the radical students of the 1960’s and 70’s became the professors and administrators in the colleges they had previously attacked. They became politicians and media personalities and corporate flunkies and whatever passed for journalists. They became board members of foundations and literally wrote the text books used by their fellow travelers who’d become teachers in classrooms across the country.

And so here we are today… Not surprisingly, after these hippy fans of Marx and Lenin and Castro spent decades teaching America’s youth that the United States is evil and racist to its core, the youth have little respect for anything, much less their country. But more importantly, they have no awareness of context and history and reality. That Thomas Jefferson might have been a great if flawed man… Nope. That Gone with the Wind or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn might be masterpieces of literature despite their decidedly “unwoke” themes… Nope. That St. Louis might have been in the middle of a known world war when he led the Crusades… Doesn’t matter. That men can’t actually have babies… Scoff. Ronald Reagan once said: “It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

And that is what makes the current generation of people wreaking havoc in the streets so stupid. Not because they can’t score well on the SAT, because they can – which like so much else in America these days has been watered down to almost irrelevancy – but because they refuse to see what’s right in front of them. Venezuela and Cuba are “worker’s paradises” but both are economic trainwrecks caused by socialism. Yet somehow these young people seek to take the United States down that same path. They are out in the streets protesting the death of a tiny handful of black men at the hands of police while black men kill 8,000 fellow black men every year. Activists and anarchists claim they want to remove monuments of a racist past yet they destroy statues of giants in the battle against slavery like Lincoln, Grant and Douglass. They decry capitalism but are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they live in a world of mobile phones, the Internet, Uber and Amazon that capitalism built.

That the imbecilic BLM and Antifa thugs currently seeking to erase history and destroy the country are the progeny begotten by the Greatest Generation brings to mind a quote from author G. Michael Hopf in Those Who Remain: “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” In their desire to give their children and grandchildren better lives than they had to endure, the Greatest Generation created two generations of idiots not smart enough to recognize that in the lottery of life they have been gifted the Golden Ticket.

It’s only because they’ve had life so good that they have the luxury of excoriating the country in the first place… Rather than being caught up in the many wars that crisscross Africa or living daily with the threat of starvation or the lopping off of limbs, they can craft the fiction of “institutional racism”. Rather than being shot or have tanks roll over them for speaking “Truth to power”, they can put on their Che Guevera tee shirts grab their skateboards and scream “Fuck the Police” while firebombing police stations secure in the notion that they’re unlikely to face any consequences. And on the off chance they did face the possibility of consequences for their actions, they’re confident in the notion that they’ll have an army of empty headed Hollywood and Twitter personalities ready to raise money for their defense and turn them into martyrs for the cause. They can burn the flag, blockade highways, tear down statues and vandalize churches and monuments, comfortable knowing the protections afforded by the very system they want to destroy will likely protect them from harm.

That so many Democrat politicians across the country have thrown in with and knelt down with these modern day Jacobins and sans-culottes, and allowed so much of our history to be destroyed will one day be written about as a turning point in American history. It will be the beginning of a revolution… either one in which real Americans decide to take back their history from the Stalinists running academia, the media, Silicon Valley and increasingly, “woke” corporations; or one in which the “woke” Democrats prevail in November and set about destroying the Constitution and the killing the goose that laid the golden eggs they have been eating their entire lives. One will see a free United States leading a the world as the 21st century unfolds while the other will see the world collapse into a fire of war as the world’s beacon of freedom, prosperity and strength is replaced with a fascist state wrapped around a Zimbabwe like economic disaster.  Forrest Gump said "Stupid is as stupid does" and that's exactly what the country is looking at as the progeny of the Greatest Generation destroy the very legacy that was built for them. Hell is after all, paved with good intentions.