Ditka – Oppression

Mike Ditka waxing poetic the other day on the issue of football players kneeling during the National Anthem, had this to say:

All of a sudden, it’s become a big deal now, about oppression,” Ditka said. “There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people. I think the opportunity is there for everybody. … If you want to work, if you want to try, if you want to put effort into yourself, I think you can accomplish anything.

Mike.

Over here sparky.

I get that you might not see color when you are dealing with players or colleagues.  I get that you might not be guilty of the profiling and bigotry that many folks are experiencing.  But pssst ….. things have been bad, WAY bad, for black people well inside of 100 years.

Think not being able to vote.

Own a house.
Go to school.
Play in Major League Baseball.
Marrying people you love.
Walking without fear of being killed.

There has been significant oppression in the last 100 years.  And a guy with your platform can’t afford to say otherwise.

Of Trump and Line Crossing

I have not been shy about the fact I didn’t vote for my president; I took the pot smoker.  I don’t like the Twitter.  I don’t like The Game of Thrones aspect to his White House.  I do,Do, DO have a man crush on Gorsuch.

But mostly I have a deep affection for the constitution.  And so I was offended when Trump weighed in on the NFL; what ever I might feel about the players and their right to kneel, I am convinced the government has nothing to say on the matter.

Shame on me for not posting.

But his most recent recent position has crossed my line – the President of the United States does not, repeat NOT, get to threaten news organizations.

Yes NBC failed to report on Weinstein.
Yes Brian Williams worked for NBC.
Yes Brian Williams works for MSNBC.
Shit, yes, Rachel Maddow works for MSNBC.

But.  The President.  Of these United States.  Crosses a line when he threatens to take away NBC licenses.

The government of the Beacon of the Free World just Tweeted [for fuck’s sake] that NBC should be ‘challenged for their license’.

The first amendment is a cherished bedrock foundation that supports not only this nation, but as alluded to above, all free nations.  The freedom of the press, of the religion and of the association is nearly the whole point of everything else.  As we say, the 2nd protects the 1st.

Going after a bunch of highly paid athletes who clearly are missing the mark is bad enough, but going after the press, and yes – can you say IRS – is too far.  It’s my line in the sand.

Minimum Wage – Econ 101

A couple of months ago I stumbled across a story regarding fast food workers, minimum wage and Labor Day – they decided that they needed to strike to protest the current minimum wage.

Their arguments are as old as they are wrong minded.  They claim that everyone deserves a living wage and that the best way to accomplish this is to increase the minimum wage.

Fast food workers in several states and abroad plan to walk off the job today to call for higher pay and better working conditions. The Associated Press reports that the protesters in the U.S. are demanding a $15 minimum wage. In Massachusetts, they are also pushing for union rights and paid medical leave.

Forget for a second that very few people work for the minim wage, most of those that do end up with a raise, and even of those that don’t – a significant number live in a household that has earns enough money to live on.

The fact is, labor, not the laborer but the labor, is a commodity.  Raise the price of it and people will purchase less of it.

Case in  point – McDonald’s simply hires fewer McWorkers to work in their McBurgerJoint.  I witnessed this first had just a few short weeks ago.

Raising the minimum wage might help the very few who earn it but it will certainly hurt those who fail to obtain employment as a result of being priced out of the market.

Conversation and the Second Amendment

It’s been a week now since a man in Vegas opened fire on thousands of people at a concert outside his hotel.

Many are questioning when we’re gonna have a conversation regarding gun control.

My answer?

We have – you just don’t like how it went.

The United States of America protects her citizens  through the Constitution.  And that document guarantees the right of a citizen to bear arms.

And make no mistake about it; it is not discussing the right to hunt deer and duck.  Or to defend my home from danger.  Not at all.

The second amendment gives me the legal a-ok to shoot back at a government gone tyrannical.

The conversation has been had.

Perspective

Lots of emotion going on lately.  Thought I’d take a break and see what someone else has to say.  I don’t agree with all of it, or even most of it, but there are friends and family out there that do.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Moral Compass

1.  Motives

We saw conflict this weekend in Charlottesville.  We saw a group of American citizens, people living in 2017, marching for white pride, under a Nazi flag, espousing repugnant and wicked world views.   Views totally incompatible with mainstream American values.  Views inconsistent with the views held during the founding of this nation.

We’ve rejected this side of ourselves since we were we.

Nazis, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists are among the worst examples of us.

We, I, despise the departure of Individual Liberty these people preach.

No one I know agrees with the motives of those hate groups.

2.  Tribes

Consider rivalries.

Consider the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns.

Say the Browns announced that they were gonna assemble on Saturday and have a Brown’s parade.  And then the Steelers decided that they were gonna show up, and then engage those Browns fans.

Violence ensues.

Who is to blame?

3.  Free Speech

We have a rich history of protected speech in America.  We rightly should rejoice in this.  However, not all speech is protected.  Some speech incites violence and should be denied.

We need to admit that.

If the Nazi’s request to assemble is inciting violence, deny it and arrest them if they gather.  Or

Or.

Or have the balls to admit that they DO have the right to assemble and protect their rights to do so.

One.  Or.  The other.

4.  Right to Assemble

Motives aside, if one group has been given the right to assemble, and another group, motives aside, seeks to deny or infringe on that right, the moral argument is mute.

Speech has been determined to be protected.

Where Does the End Come

I just posted when I saw this on my feed:

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) —
Protesters in Durham rushed and toppled a Confederate statue outside the courthouse on Monday evening.

The monument of a Confederate soldier holding a rifle was erected in 1924 and inscribed on it are the words “in memory of the boys who wore the gray.”

Nobody wants this to end.

Reason Absent

 

Charlottesville is a hot shitty mess.   And it’s been a long time in coming.

My thoughts, bullet list style:

  • America is not a racist nation
  • White nationalists are racist assholes
  • Black nationalists are racist assholes
  • The first amendment matters
  • The sixth commandment matters
  • Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist
  • If you are a racist, you likely voted for Trump
  • The Civil War was fought over slavery
  • Many MANY Confederate soldiers and officers were noble honorable warriors
  • Removing Confederate statues does not carry moral worth

 

My heart breaks as Charlottesville unfolds.  So much pain, so much tragedy, so much misplaced … misplaced ‘righteousness’.

Such bullshit.

What is it about human nature that we always see the ‘other’ in the other?  Why is it that we can’t see the common?  See that each of us, almost all of us, wants the same thing?  We wanna love, deeply, and then fall ever deeper in love.  We want a home safe from danger, to live with the front door unlocked, and wake up to sunshine and birds in the yard.

I have never known a neighbor that didn’t want their kids to play in the street, to go to a good school, then a good college and then a good job.  Marriage and kids of their own are next.  We all want that picket fence.  Why do we need to hate?  And hurt?  And be so afraid?

When did we all become so afraid?

Why are we so afraid of the way each lives his life?  Why do we care if he reads Asimov?  Or he reads Othello?  Or she plays chess or he Pokemon?  How can it determine the content if he enjoys listening to this style of music or she enjoys studying this war; this artist or this general?  How can that matter so SO much?

As I watch the news and listen to the radio and read the papers I am inundated.  Inundated with the horror, the rage, the vile nature of the worst example of us.

This is not us – this is not who we are.

Reject it.  Simply reject the premise and make your own way; shit, continue on the glorious noble way that you’ve already forged.  Do it with honor, do it boldly, do it with the same compassion and love that drove you to that place to begin with.

Because the alternative is simply impossible.  It is impossible to live in the world envisioned by those who perpetuate the divide.

For just one fuckin’ second, consider how we are the same and stop focusing on how we’re different.

Lady Liberty

So, there’s an art contest where students submit their work to Congress.  Among the entrees, there are finalists and those finalists get their work displayed.  This year, one of those finalists depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

I like it.

I like the actual art AND I like the message.  I like the idea that people of all walks are able to look at Lady Liberty and see themselves reflected.  Apparently, not all people are as impressed as I am:

A Democratic congressman is taking heat from Sarah Palin and other conservatives for a painting hanging in his California district office that depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman.

We the People Rising, a conservative-leaning activist group, was among the first to object to the painting in Rep. Lou Correa’s district office in Santa Ana, Calif., arguing it violates the separation of church and state.

And more; from a video posted on We the People Rising’s website:

“You guys have a picture out in front of your office with the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab, which I find reprehensible and disrespectful,” one of the members tells a staffer in the first video. “I would like to request that you remove it.”

Again, I don’t understand the reprehensible and disrespectful nature of the painting.  It’s not mocking the Lady, it doesn’t depict her in  a negative light.  All it does is show what Liberty might look like if she were standing in another part of the world.

Kinda like depicting Jesus as a white guy standing in America rather than the brown guy he really was.

And speaking of religion, how is the painting supposed to violate the separation of church and state?  And since when have conservatives minded such violations; though it is delicious to see such an argument used against a democrat.

As I’ve explained over and over – the concept of such separation between the church and the state does not mean that there can be no explicit religion in the state, only that the leader of state cannot be te same leader of the church.  Or, that there be no official nation religion supported by the state.

If congress wants to open with a prayer to Allah, they may.  The idea that a congressman can’t have a religious symbol in his office is insane; no one makes a fuss, or should make such fuss, when a congressman wears a cross chain, or has the Bible in his shelf or other such outward symbols.

As far as I’m concerned, the more Muslim girls that yearn from America’s Liberty the better this world will be!

Globalization and Minimum Wage