Trump Has His Finger On a Pulse and the NFL is in Trouble by Publius Tacitus


I do not know why Donald Trump pulls the pin on a verbal grenade and rolls it into the crowded public tent, but he appears to know what he is doing as far as appealing to his base goes. His latest lip attack came during a political rally last Friday in Alabama. The Donald was campaigning for Luther Strange and decided to verbally flay the NFL players who are using the playing of the U.S. National Anthem as their chance to kneel in protest.

The full absurdity and ignorance of the NFL players who are refusing to stand for the anthem was on display in London, England yesterday, where the Jacksonville Jaguars played the Baltimore Ravens. When the U.S. National Anthem was played several of the players dropped to their knees in protest. Yet, when the British National Anthem, God Save the Queen, was played those clowns stood. They did so out of respect. Their message was this–they have no respect for the U.S. flag or anthem.

But the irony of the moment was lost on most of these simpleton athletes–they stood for the National Anthem of a country whose bloody history included bringing slaves to America and imposing colonial rule on black men and women throughout Africa. So much for principle.

The chattering class of the Washington, New York and Hollywood elite are beside themselves over Trump outrageous denunciation. They are savaging him and are in the throes of the delusion that most of America agrees with them. But that is not the case. The NFL is in trouble. Let me give you some of the warning indicators:

  • Ratings for Sunday Night Football are down significantly. Last night saw a 10% decline compared to the previous week.
  • Two of my buddies in Tampa, Florida (one of them retired military) returned their season tickets today and will not renew for next year.
  • Another friend called up DirectTV and canceled his NFL Season Pass. The kid handling the cancellation for DirectTV told my friend that he was the 150th call terminating the NFL subscription that day.
  • The formerly San Diego Charger, now in Los Angeles, cannot even fill the tiny 35,000 seat stadium that currently houses them (note, the average NFL stadium will hold at least 75,000 fans).
  • YouTube is being flooded with clips of former fans burning their NFL jerseys and hats.

I don't think Donald Trump was shooting from the hip with the lip. I think he knew exactly what he was doing in taking on the Social Justice Warriors keen on emasculating the NFL.


My own view is that playing national anthems at sporting events is something that normally should not be done. Consider the case of major league baseball. I guess at least 40% of the players are not U.S. citizens. But, like good guests, they stand with respect when the anthem is played. If an American is playing ball in Japan I suspect they are fully expected to stand when the Japanese anthem is played. If it were up to me I'd end the practice of raising the flag and singing the anthem.

That said I do understand the outrage among those red blooded American men and women who are fed up with a bunch of pampered, wealthy youngsters who get to pretend that their political views matter one damn bit to the fans. Most fans don't want their sports experience served up politics. Spare us the posturing. Perform great feats of physical skill. Entertain us. But don't lecture us.

That is the message I think Donald Trump understood and is playing to.

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153 Responses to Trump Has His Finger On a Pulse and the NFL is in Trouble by Publius Tacitus

  1. Jack says:

    …the irony of the moment was lost on most of these simpleton athletes–they stood for the National Anthem of a country whose bloody history included bringing slaves to America and imposing colonial rule on black men and women throughout Africa. So much for principle.
    Well said, PT.
    The SJWs are beside themselves with their outrage du jour. They are particularly incensed that Trump called the NFL protesters SOBs. The MSM never had it so good. Trump has revived their dead corpses with ratings gain.
    I agree that the national anthem should not be played at professional sporting events. It’s fine at the Olympics when national teams compete.

  2. doug says:

    It should be noted that had the United States not been formed, slavery in the American Colonies would have ended in 1833 when the British Empire abolished it throughout their empire.
    While the Brits were the premier slave traders of their day they did end it, while it persisted in other colonial European powers until the late 1800’s.

  3. Fred says:

    Have the slavers of Boko Haram freed “our girls” yet? No? Oh well, who cares now that Michelle isn’t first lady anymore. Its not like there was actual concern to do something about them. Virtue signal recieved though, congratulations for that.

  4. AEL says:

    Flags and Anthems should not be taken too seriously.
    They are a great way to divide people.
    This leads to wars.

  5. Jose says:

    Another friend called up DirectTV and canceled his NFL Season Pass. The kid handling the cancellation for DirectTV told my friend that he was the 150th call terminating the NFL subscription that day.
    I did the same plus canceled ESPN (It’s a liberal news show pretending to cover sports).
    ++ on playing National Anthems showed not be played unless the two teams come from different countries i.e. Marlins versus Blue

  6. MRW says:

    This should be marked in bold:

    The full absurdity and ignorance of the NFL players who are refusing to stand for the anthem was on display in London, England yesterday, where the Jacksonville Jaguars played the Baltimore Ravens. When the U.S. National Anthem was played several of the players dropped to their knees in protest. Yet, when the British National Anthem, God Save the Queen, was played those clowns stood. They did so out of respect. Their message was this–they have no respect for the U.S. flag or anthem.

  7. Fred says:

    Trump just let loose a little wistle and the SJW Jihadists responded in Pavlovian fashion. I think the left once again stepped on what is going to be a visual landmine of thier own making come election time. The image I saw on the Sunday night news was the great Immigrant Billionaire Shahid Khan arm in arm with his millionaire employees showing their concern for, ah, “free speech”(not to include James Damore, Milo, a professor at Evergreen State College, or, well you get the point.); concern for injust as experienced by Travon, Eric, Michael, and well, not the guy shot in Detroit earlier today or in Baltimore, St. Louis, the 480+ killed in Chicago ytd, or the 7 shot in a Tennessee church by a Sudanese immigrant this weekend. Those were not lives that mattered to the NFL oligarchs or thier millionaire hirelings. To top it off tonight the SJW jv team led by the coach bullied Hispanic American, army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, into appologizing for standing during the national anthem when the rest of the couragous Steelers hid in thier safe spaces. I wonder how that’s going to look to HIspanic voters next fall.
    Here’s the coach making excuses. Link conveniently posted on the website of the gay guy Berkely is afraid of:

  8. EEngineer says:

    Well said.
    The demise of the NFL has other causes though. It’s simply become more hype than football. The endless silly animations, graphic overlays, and sound effects grate. They’ve become so cartoonish that I tire of them and tend to turn off any game that isn’t close. Probably why I prefer baseball now…

  9. alaric says:

    The NFL vs. Trump battle wreaks of a distraction to me. Perhaps Donald does not wish to shine light on his inability to change N. Korea’s behavior or to repeal obamacare. Changing the topic of conversation somewhat obscures his failures and it might let the issue of N. Korea fade into the background, a very good thing in my opinion.

  10. steve says:

    Making his base happy is what Trump is really good at doing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t accomplish anything. We can be pretty sure that next month he will rant about another group his base doesn’t like, and they will be happy about that also. Still, that won’t get health care legislation passed, tax reform done, infrastructure built or even get his wall built.
    More broadly, I am not sure why I, or anyone else, should care what some celebrity, this is not limited to sports, cares about much of anything.

  11. pmooney says:

    Sign me up for no anthems before sporting events.
    In Hawaii, at high school football games they expect that you stand while they play the high school alma mater (after which they play the state song and then the national anthem).
    That is just a bit much 🙂

  12. MRW says:

    The reason why the price of cable TV has skyrocketed in the last 20 years is because the NFL and NBA have been able to charge enormous fees for the right of a cable broadcaster to show the game. (Cable exec told me this.) How else do you think the NFL and NBA can pay such high salaries. They charge a fortune now for their tickets but it was TV play that changed the ‘game’.

  13. LondonBob says:

    I thought far more slaves went to South America, ignoring also the long and historic slave trade in MENA? Not really a topic I have any interest in so not really bothered but seems an obvious falsehood.
    Slavery was a lot like mass immigration, beneficial for a small elite minority but a catastrophe for society as a whole.

  14. Tyler says:

    “Rapefugees welcome”, in other words.

  15. Tyler says:

    If Trump can torpedo Sportsball as an opiate of the masses for Joe Sixpack he will have a generational coup.

  16. LondonBob says:

    Richard Baris has polled the issue and finds support for Trump’s stance in the low 70s.

  17. raven says:

    “During his press conference, the former Army Ranger says he is absolutely okay if teammates kneel or sit during the national anthem.
    “People that are taking a knee are not saying anything negative about the military, they’re not saying anything negative about the flag, they’re just trying to protest that there are some injustices in America,” Villanueva said.
    He says some players who have been kneeling during anthems have even approached him before or after games and thanked him for his service including other players in the NFC North.”

  18. Harry says:

    Indeed doug. And the British Navy attempted to enforce the ban on slavery throughout the world. Slaving ships were intercepted and if their cargo was found to be human, the ships themselves would be confiscated. As a result Slaving captains would often attempt to dispose of their cargo at sea by throwing them overboard before being boarded.
    Also worth noting that there were never laws against miscegeny in the British isles. This appears to be a peculiarly American invention. So while the British were particularly active in the triangular trade (and the great cities of Liverpool and London still benefit from the buildings which were paid for by this trade) the UK can be said to have repudiated this business well before its ex-colony.

  19. helenk3 says:

    the fact that it was the Baltimore Ravens makes that whole more insulting. The Star Spangled Banner was written on a British Ship holding American prisoners in the waters of Fort Mc Henry in Baltimore Harbor.
    Many people I know will not contribute to the salaries of these spoiled brats that play a game and really do nothing useful.

  20. NancyK says:

    If you don’t like kneeling players you can always just turn off the TV. I don’t like the dribble coming out of the president’s mouth and Twitter finger, so I just turn down the sound when he comes on.

  21. r whitman says:

    Professional athletes are entertainers. There is a history of entertainers engaging in politics, especially white republicans. See Reagan, Kemp and Bunning.
    As far as ticket cancellations, that will last 3 weeks and it will be back to root, root, root for the home team.

  22. helenk3 says:

    the Baltimore ravens pulling this stunt in London is even more insulting to America. The star spangled banner was written on a British ship holding American citizens in the waters off fort mchenry in Baltimore. maybe they should learn the history of the star spangled banner.

  23. semiconscious says:

    as the national conversation shifts from confederate statues to nfl football players. where’s hunter s thompson when we really need him? 🙂 …

  24. Lars says:

    Richard Nixon, when behind in pools, started a similar rant to create a wedge issue. It actually worked. For awhile. But in the end, he lost his war and then lost his presidency. No doubt, Trump is playing to his base, but that base is not nearly as big as many seem to believe. Besides, if you keep being divisive, you will eventually pay a price for that, as Nixon did.
    If you focus on why the players are protesting and not on how, we may get somewhere. A sizable segment of the population gets it and a smaller segment ignores it.
    If some decide to not watch football, they will have more time to find more fake news and then whine about it on Facebook and Twitter.

  25. jonst says:

    Yeah, well AEL, this is the tricky part. Perhaps they should not be “taken too seriously”. Nor, however, should they be challenged, or put down, thereby forcing people to choose to take them seriously.
    Trump reminds me of an 9 y.o. at a family gathering, saying something insulting/critical of another guest at the gathering. That the rest of the family, or a majority of the family, at the event concurs with….but refrains themselves saying out loud. It would behoove the person being criticized to refrain, themselves, from being too critical of the offending kid. Because if the person pushes it, the controversy, too far, you are liable to force the rest of the family to say out loud what is on their minds.
    So with both Trump and the NFL players/owners. It behooves all of us to turn the temp down….

  26. Fred says:

    If you stand for the flag, you stand for injustice? I guess that explains why some in the NFL couldn’t stand Pat Tillman.

  27. notlurking says:

    PT again hits another grand slam … anthem playing in any sport except in international venues like the Olympics…

  28. jesse says:

    Thanks or your service Pat and the analysis of Donald which I think is spot on. I like your view on the anthem too. But if any NFL player is a “simpleton”, should we consider what responsibility we have in that, giving them money and attention, encouraging a sport that is literally damaging to the brain? Perhaps the real reason to abandon the NFL:

  29. DC says:

    No acknowledgement that the POTUS got on stage and named an NFL player (and impliedly those like him) a “son of a b*tch”? No insight that black NFL players and their white teammates would be insulted and compelled to stand in solidarity at that insult? Tacitus, that is what you call “tone-deaf,” and imo is proving the protesters’ point. Both perspectives are correct — but your failure to acknowledge the other reveals why you should inspect your perspective for unconscious bias more than you have.

  30. shepherd says:

    You have to look at the declines in context and in terms of overall media mix. NFL games still took the top two prime time viewing slots in the country last week (third was America’s Got Talent). An insane number of Americans watch the NFL, which makes its death unlikely.
    There is also an important problem with the way NFL viewership—and TV viewership in general–is measured. The stats that everyone is using are Nielsen stats for Primetime Broadcast TV. We know that these are very problematic. The reason is that they do not include a large range of streaming devices that are not broadcast TVs but can play NFL games. Rabid fans, for example, often purchase OTT services that allow them to watch a huge number of games. They go unmeasured, and they’re the people who watch the most games.
    Unless you combine the streaming numbers with broadcast numbers, which we can’t do right now, you don’t have a true picture of ratings—you merely see a decline across the board, with football declining less than broadcast TV in general.

  31. turcopolier says:

    “… in the end, he lost his war and then lost his presidency.” The US completed its phased withdrawal from VN in ’73. I was on one of the the last scheduled charter airlift flights out of Tan Son Nhut airport completing the withdrawal. VN was completely quiet at that point under the terms of the armistice. Nixon was forced from office in ’74 over his part in the Watergate cover-up. That had nothing to do with VN. Congress forbade by law any further assistance to South Vietnam in ’75. The NVA then broke the armistice and over-ran the country. Very sloppy Lars, very sloppy. pl

  32. Ivan says:

    Subramaniam Chandrasekhar the famous astrophysicist who originated from India, could pass for a relation of Sydney Poitier. He said that he faced racial discrimination for the first time (back in 1930s) not in Great Britain where he spent his early professional years, but the US where he received an appointment at University of Chicago.

  33. Chris says:

    The real threat to the NFL is declining TV ratings. At this point actual live fans in stadiums are an afterthought. With most stadiums now featuring incredibly overpriced tickets and PSLs that only corporations can afford (or high level employees of those corporations,) the NFL is probably thinking they are playing for the coastal elites who run TV networks like ESPN.
    However, ESPN itself is losing subscribers and revenue. The bulk of the NFL money comes from huge lucrative TV deals with networks like ESPN I believe. If that trend continues, there is going to be a big reckoning when the current contract is up.

  34. You are misrepresenting what Trump actually said. He made no reference to any particular player or team:
    “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!’”
    At least get our facts right.

  35. Laura says:

    Well said. Anyone remember the days when the entire stadium would stand and sing the National Anthem together? Now we outsource that to a “designated singer”….bet 9 out of 10 o0f those rabid patriots in the stands don’t even know the words.

  36. David E. Solomon says:

    Good for you Nancy,
    But better yet, throw out the television.
    We did so a number of years ago.

  37. Laura says:

    May I just say we are all a bunch of snowflakes. Dear merciful — it is a song and, although, I love it…THE OATH OF OFFICE FOR ALL SOLDIERS AND OFFICE HOLDERS IS TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION. Remember that document? That is where our outrage should be focussed…Trump is a shallow man with shallow tastes and shallow understandings. We can only all get through this by revering our Constitution and holding each other accountable for all of its provisions — including the exercise of free speech by people we disagree with and who are disagreeable..

  38. Lars says:

    By 1974, Nixon’s base had shrunk to the point that they were unable to protect him anymore and his cover up was used as an excuse to get rid of him. It may have been a somewhat orderly withdrawal from VN, but that was was essentially lost, mainly due to losing popular support.
    What is interesting now, is to what extent history will repeat itself.

  39. River says:

    If Trump was really smart he should have tweeted “Americans should look to the NFL for what patriotism is. I admire their players genuflecting when the Anthem is played.
    The outcome would have been hilarious.

  40. Stephanie says:

    I expect the athletes stood for the the British anthem as a point of good manners, a courtesy to the land that was hosting them. However, the black athletes would have had other good reasons to pay their respects to the Queen. Doug has already noted that the British abolished slavery throughout thir colonies in 1833. As early as 1772, Lord Justice Mansfield ruled to give James Sommerset, brought to England as a slave with his American master and later escaped and was captured again, his freedom. In 1775, Lord Dunsmore offered American slaves freedom if they could make it to the British lines. Slaves left the plantations in droves, and after the war thousands of them made it to Nova Scotia. (Dunsmore’s political goal backfired – instead of intimidating white slaveowners, his action merely impressed on them the imperative of winning independence in order to preserve slavery.)
    Slaves were of considerable assistance to Admiral Sir George Cockburn in the War of 1812, acting as scouts and guides. A regiment was formed, the Colonial Marines, who embarrassed the Washington militia of which Francis Scott Key was a member, sending them running. (Fortunately, a naval unit made up of free blacks made a stand.) A squad of the Colonial Marines sacked the White House with Cockburn. After the war the planters demanded their slaves back, and Cockburn told them to stuff it.
    The knee protests had actually been dwindling for some time. Trump has given them new life, much to the annoyance of NFL owners who are under normal circumstances his natural allies. I think this may well have been deliberate on Trump’s part, changing the subject from the failure of the Republican’s latest “health care” legislation. However, he’s also making life difficult for some rich, powerful and vindictive men, which could come back to bite him.

  41. turcopolier says:

    “It may have been a somewhat orderly withdrawal from VN …” You have a selective knowledge of history. The withdrawal was over a three year period with about thirty balanced trenches. I was in the last trenche. pl

  42. Red Cloud says:

    If football fans don’t like to have to think about politics when they just want to watch sports, perhaps having a big patriotic charade that was paid for by the DOD and National Guard as part of the pre-game is not a good idea…

  43. turcopolier says:

    “A man I am proud to call my brother, who should be celebrated for his courage to seek change on important issues” Which important issues are those or is this just more hysterical self-pitying BS? pl

  44. BillWade says:

    “I was in the last trenche.” I was too Col but left out of Da Nang, last day. If I recall correctly we had two “freedom birds” that day but I wasn’t on either, left with about 18 others on a small plane for Ubon and then onto NKP Thailand where we provided a huge laugh for the guys there, we were coming out of the terminal when the siren went off, promptly hit the deck and were laughingly told by our new buddies that it was the noon whistle.

  45. jesse says:

    Pat, what do you consider more respectful to former and current military service persons, standing for the flag or kneeling for it? And why?

  46. raven says:

    “Not only are ratings for NFL games not “way down” as Trump claimed on Twitter early Tuesday, they’re actually up.
    The weekend’s NFL ratings were 3 percent higher overall than for the same weekend last year, a league spokesman told HuffPost Tuesday. And ESPN’s Monday night game was up 63 percent, compared with the Monday game at this time last year.
    Subscribe to the Politics email
    How will Trump’s administration impact you?
    NFL games constituted seven of the top 10 most-watched TV broadcasts this week, with football sweeping the top five most-watched shows, outranking even the Emmy Awards, in ninth place.
    This week’s most-watched show, Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and the Dallas Cowboys, raked in 25.96 million viewers.
    For comparison, that’s about 6 million more viewers than the average tuned in to watch the first season of “The Apprentice,” the reality TV show that starred Trump. “Apprentice” viewership declined rapidly after that first season, to an average of 4.67 million viewers by the time the show turned 10, making it the 113th most-watched show on basic cable.” Nice try though.

  47. Tom Cafferty says:

    Trigger warning, trigger warning: sports stadiums are no longer safe spaces for snowflakes. Snowflakes will have to find other places to be safe. Perhaps a government sponsored virtual safe space with robotic sports video.

  48. DC says:

    A distinction without a difference. I think you should re-consider the perspective of both sides before castigating one so fiercely. Without doing that, you’re just following the piper.

  49. Eric Newhill says:

    The kneeling is just another of a myriad of symptoms of the degenerate America hating Left’s war on our traditional culture.
    Taken by itself, you’re probably right. However, as a symptom, it is a clear cut case of what is becoming widespread. As a clear cut case, it becomes an opportunity for Trump to address the wider issue in a concise manner that everyone “in the family” recognizes.
    We (the family members) all know that Trump is really speaking out against antifas, black lives matter, illegals aliens, elite Hollywood weirdos….the whole crowd that delights in giving traditional culture the finger. Trump’s letting us know that he’s with us. Smart move, IMO.
    Contrast Obama who at best did nothing and at worst fanned the flames while cities burned over the BS “hands up. don’t shoot”.

  50. Chris says:

    Context is important – are those ratings happening with a backdrop of overall stable, increasing or declining tv viewership?
    I suspect the latter as there is a reason ESPN is losing viewers and recently had layoffs … cable cutting is real and therein lies the threat to the NFL; albeit it could be mitigated by having more people watching games directly on their mobile devices or streaming live.

  51. Eric Newhill says:

    What, exactly, is the perspective of the other side?
    That there is some kind of systemic racial injustice involved in law enforcement and the overall justice system and that, therefore, America is corrupt to the core?
    Beyond leftist talking points and misinterpreted statistics there is no evidence of such a thing. Only an idiot still believes that there was any truth to “hands up/don’t shoot”. It was a lie. 4% of the population being black males 18 – 35, yet they commit 50%+ of all violent crime. Yeah. Their going to get profiled. Same group tends to resist arrest much more often. Yeah, they’re going to get shot more often. They also tend to have circumstances in their cases that compound the sentence. Yeah, they’re going to be in prison longer and more often.
    There also seems to be an inability to accept personal responsibility. That furthers the direness of their situation.
    If they’re still pissed off over slavery, then they need to immigrate to another country b/c that history can’t change. Walking around angry about what can’t be changed is a mental illness and a losing strategy in life.
    Am I missing something?

  52. Origin says:

    The real irony of the moment seemingly lost by so many commenters here is the effectiveness of the act performed by these not-so-simpleton athletes who, by their exercise of their free speech rights, demonstrate so clearly that here in the U.S. we are blessed with the liberty to speak. Look at what they have done: they have demonstrated that the President does not understand the First Amendment, lest he would not have sought to have them penalized and would have recognized their right to be disagreeable; they have brought forth commenters from all parts of the political spectrum and seduced them into showing their true biases and prejudices and; most importantly, they have facilitated a serious discourse of the meaning of the national symbols.
    If one really believes in our most important liberty, one should rejoice that distasteful views are expressed. It is free speech that tests ideas publically to determine which ones become parts of the national dialog as good ideas. When and if distasteful views can no longer be expressed, then, we will have quashed our own, most important freedom. Our nation is not so weak that it must raise “respect” for the Star Spangled Banner above our most valuable freedom. After all, isn’t exercise of freedom of Speech exactly what the anthem represents? Perhaps, it is the players who kneel who honor the anthem the most, not those who belittle their act of expression instead of parsing the message for validity.

  53. Tim B. says:

    Football is losing popularity in part because playiers get multiple concussions, which result in permanent brain damage, and other serious injuries. Many parents won’t allow their children to play football. High schools are already dropping the sport. The game is doomed.

  54. Tim B. says:

    The protests were a response to police killing unarmed African Americans. Personally, I think the police are too quick to shoot unarmed Americans of all colors.
    Concerning your other claims, there is systematic racism in our justice system. African-Americans and whites commit drug crimes at the same rates, but African Americans are more likely to be arrested and tried than whites. After being convicted, they are more likely to receive longer prison sentences for the same crimes as whites.

  55. Origin says:

    “Am I missing something?” Yes, it is clear that you have no understanding of the incredible, toxic complexity of living with dark skin in the United States. “They” the not-so-clueless athletes are exercising personal responsibility and courage trying to educate you. Can you accept the awesome personal responsibility of trying to learn about them?

  56. Tim B. says:

    Of course professional shit stirrer and attention whore Trump has his finger on the pulse of American society. He’s a hollow media celebrity and getting attention has been his primary occupation for decades.
    However, shit stirring and getting attention really aren’t job requirements for his current position. In fact, shit stirring and attention whoring are counter productive traits in a US president. The head of our government shouldn’t be calling for peaceful protesters to be fired from their jobs. Moreover, we have a Constitutional Amendment, the first one, that states the government shouldn’t interfere against peaceful, nonviolent protesters.

  57. Tim B. says:

    Regarding Trump: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

  58. kgw says:

    Blither, blither, and more blither…

  59. Jack says:

    Many underestimate Trump because he does not fit the SJW mold. The MSM are being led by the nose as he keeps dangling the new shiny object.
    There’s far more sophistication than the anti-Trumpers get. They think he is losing just like they thought during the election. Bannon moving out of the WH apparently “fired” as many believe is brilliant. That 60 Minutes interview is a must watch if you want to read beyond the headlines. Note how both candidates are being supported by two ends in the Alabama senate primary. Many are missing the rope-a-dope strategy.
    As the mid-term outcomes become apparent many will once again be surprised.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Publius Tacitus:
    I agree that Trump has his finger on the pulse of his constituency.
    He has:
    banned (some of) the despised Muslims from entering US – specially the hated Iranians,
    made noises about completing the wall separating US and Mexico,
    not substantially increased deportations of illegal aliens,
    picked up fights with his allies in Europe,
    offended Mexicans,
    made Iranian leaders sound the epitome of rationality and decorum,
    made himself appear as the clown of the Arabs,
    flirted with racism,
    has done his best to destroy ACA,
    been AWOL in Puerto Rico,
    done nothing on US infrastructure,
    done nothing, absolutely nothing, to address the crisis of jobs in the United States which sent him to White House (Maccomb county in Michigan).
    Bluster is neither Lunch nor Dinner nor Strategy.

  61. Fellow Traveler says:

    Takes half an hour for the HS games to start now:
    Evangelical Prayer
    High School Alma Maters
    State song
    Pledge of Allegiance
    National Anthem
    Perhaps we can all come together with just the socialist pledge of allegiance and a new song. I suggest ABBA’s Money, Money, Money. Surely Trump and the NFL could agree to that? That they’re Swedish just makes it more ironical.
    Wasn’t there some important vote this week? I forget.

  62. Mark Logan says:

    Tom Cafferty,
    I saw Jerry Jones taking a knee with his players last night and read a report the commissioner supporting the players in this. Instead of a few players every week there are now hundreds doing this, even whole teams. I would score round one 10-8 for the “snowflakes”.
    At some point people may recall the reason the players began this in the first place. That could easily result in a TKO by acquired martyrdom. If Trump has a grand strategy it will take some time to play out. If I had to bet Trump was simply ad-libing to garner cheers from the crowd in front of him at the time. Occum’s Razor, I suppose.

  63. raven says:

    I agree. The idea that this issue is having the impact the author predicts is very premature. It’s easy to rant that the players are protesting their treatment but, IMHO, that is not what it is about. It’s also not a protest against “the troops” that we all love when it fit our needs.

  64. eakens says:

    …so you’re saying it might be bad time to propose a public tax to build a football stadium?

  65. Larry Kart says:

    The main trouble the NFL faces is not falling ratings and military vets returning their season tickets but brain injury issues. And of course Trump chastises the NFL for trying (albeit futilely by and large) to make the game less violent.
    The evidence on brain injuries from playing football won’t go away. Like boxing and UFC, the game is akin to gladiatorial combat, and those who enjoy watching it — myself included — enjoy it in part because it is packaged violence. That this violence can and does leaves many players brain-damaged is not why we enjoy the game, but the eventual legal consequences of those injuries being sustained would seem to be inescapable, even if players in the future sign disclaimers saying that they are aware of the dangers and waive all claims to redress.
    Speaking of the relationship between NFL fans and the inherent violence of the game, in the mid 1960s I was watching the Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions from a 40-yard-line seat in the upper deck where I could see the whole field without turning my head. The Bears punted the ball, and Lion return man, Altie Taylor, concentrating on the ball, failed to see that Dick Butkus had broken free at the line of scrimmage and was barreling toward him. Butkus arrived right after the ball did,Taylor crumpled at the impact and fumbled, while the crowd, at the instant Butkus smashed into Taylor (and we all had seen this coming), emitted en masse the most guttural sound I’ve ever heard from a group of human beings. It was, I should emphasize, not a scream or a cheer but a unison — from the belly, chest, and throat — roar. And I was one of those who contributed to that sound. Never again was I unaware of what the game in part was about.

  66. steve says:

    Boy, do you nail it here. Pennsylvania has an absolutely awful state song. Kneel? No, I feel like I need to KEEL over after listening to it. Of course, the High School Alma Mater might be even worse. And, if it is the Baptist minister who thinks he must use every prayer as an attempt to convert us all, that can go on forever. On the plus side, he is not singing. When I played football in the 60s, I think we had the national anthem and that was it.

  67. DianaLC says:

    You know my feelings about professional sports and their effect on our culture. These deleterious effects trickle down all the way to little league teams.
    They can’t lose my support, as you know, since they had lost it long, long ago.
    Hope you are doing well.

  68. Dr.Puck says:

    It seems obvious that POTUS Trump is not himself an advocate for traditional culture. Where to begin on this? Religion? Sexual discipline? Courtesy? Churchy first principles and associated ethics? Caritas? Reading, writing and ‘rithmetic?
    Actually, what part of Trump’s biography most impresses as a sampler of his devotion to: tradition, or, culture? Of any kind?

  69. ann says:

    The head injury thing is interesting. We have to assume that in all of history, men, in particular, have been hitting their heads and suffering brain trama. Now some think we can/should change that.
    What if hitting your head is necessary for the circuits to work?

  70. DianaLC says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure that most Americans don’t know the words. I have always been a little disappointed in the “professional” singers chosen to sing the anthem. As an ex-public school teacher, I’ve often noted that the best remdotopms pf the anthem or any other traditional American song come from high school choirs.
    I would say that, especially in rural districts, kids still learn those songs and sing those songs.

  71. Mr. Unpopular says:

    Well, the point was lost on you, eh?
    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    As Thomas Paine noted, it is up to each generation to live according the the pressures of the time.
    And fuck football anyway. Asshats.

  72. Eric Newhill says:

    Tim B,
    16. There were 16 unarmed blacks shot/killed last year. There were more cops shot/killed than unarmed blacks.
    Mind you that unarmed doesn’t mean murdered. Michael Brown was on such unarmed black whose shooting was justified.
    16. Blacks shoot about that number of each other in one weekend in one city (Chicago).
    So, nope, I don’t take the protest seriously on those grounds.
    I do take it seriously on the grounds of being a symptom of a larger movement to destroy the country.
    As for assertions of systemic injustice, those have been proven wrong by serious studies and you are merely parroting radical talking points.

  73. Eric Newhill says:


  74. Eric Newhill says:

    Dr, Puck
    Your failed attempt at creating some kind of equivalency with the abject America hating degeneracy of the left is boring, but expected.

  75. DianaLC says:

    Do you mean it was “bread and circus” style “entertainment” for the blood-thirsty masses, as the “entertainment” was for Roman citizens in the Colosseum?
    Anyway, that is how I always saw it and why I was never a fan of football. My niece’s second son suffered the concussion, was put back in the game too soon. He has suffered since academically and knows he must protect his head at all times.
    Our high school coaches have no real training. Our parents strive too hard for their children to receive athletic scholarships. Nowadays, academic scholarships (as the one I received) are non-existent.

  76. jesse says:

    Thanks for sharing that story Larry.
    I’ve never been to an NFL game. Went to a couple high school football games. A Boston College game. That was wild. Arrived at 10 am from a tech school nearby, and was promptly given 4 cheap beers to chug (2 for me and 2 for my date). Apparently we were late, I heard the party started at 8 am.
    The community/gathering aspect seems good, but the tacit or explicit acceptance of the violence en masse does trouble me. It reminds me of something that bothers me about another highly viewed program: Game of Thrones. It’s not the violence only, but also the apparent acceptance of the violence combined with the show’s popularity: much is said about the violence (and much unsaid), but many people seem to want to keep watching it anyway. Except in the NFL, the violence is very real.

  77. raven says:

    Remember when Chuck Hughes died of a heart attack on the field and people thought Butkus had hit and killed him?

  78. raven says:

    You tell em killer.

  79. Haralambos says:

    Despite my handle and location (Greece), I am a born, bred, educated, and white American. Another younger, white, American friend alerted me to the two images of MLK below. I believe it says much about the situation that we have to identify ourselves as white to show our solidarity.
    I wonder how many folks share my memories of the Civil Rights movement. My first memories are of the late 50s and dogs being turned on protesters:
    The recent demonstrations by athletes echo these by Martin Luther King later:
    There are many more ways of paying homage and respect beyond lapel pins, bumper stickers, and flying the flag 24 hours a day, this latter a travesty and huge demonstration of disregard for protocol to me.

  80. Bobo says:

    Football is just an upgrade on when a Man was tossed into the Arena with a Lion, one lost the other won. Today the loser gets to come back the next weekend and try again. That said I enjoy the sport and want to see it continue but if these college educated idiots do not have the respect to stand with their right hand over their heart in honor of their country then I certainly have no respect for them or their game. This standing in Unity with arms together is not an answer and actually childish. A man stands alone when he honors his country. My seats are going empty at the stadium and the boob tube is off at game time as that is my manner of protest.

  81. in 2016, former Army Green Beret turned NFL long snapper Nate Boyer in wrote in The Army Times to Colin Kaepernick
    on how sitting affected him -Colin then invited Nate to San Diego where the two had a
    90 minute discussion and
    Nate proposed Colin kneel instead of sit.
    But why kneel?
    In a military funeral, after the flag is taken off the casket of the fallen military member, it is smartly folded 13 times and then presented to the parents, spouse or child of the fallen member by a fellow service member while KNEELING.
    The two decided that kneeling for the flag would symbolize his reverence for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice while still allowing Colin to peacefully protest the injustices he saw.”
    more excerpt:
    “Aug 14, 2016- Colin Kaepernick sits for the national anthem…..and no one noticed.
    Aug 20th, 2016- Colin again sits, and again, no one noticed.
    Aug 26th, 2016- Colin sits and this time he is met with a level of vitriol unseen against an athlete. Even the future President of the United States took shots at him while on the campaign trail. Colin went on to explain his protest had NOTHING to with the military,
    but he felt it hard to stand for a flag that didn’t treat people of color fairly.
    Then on on Aug 30th, 2016 Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret turned NFL long snapper, penned an open letter to Colin in the Army Times.
    In it he expressed how Colin’s sitting affected him.
    Then a strange thing happened.
    Colin was able to do what most Americans to date have not…
    He listened.
    In his letter Mr. Boyer writes:
    “I’m not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s your inalienable right. What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war.
    Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it.”
    Mr. Boyer goes on to write “There are already plenty people fighting fire with fire, and it’s just not helping anyone or anything. So I’m just going to keep listening, with an open mind.
    I look forward to the day you’re inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I’ll be standing right there next to you.”
    Empathy and understanding was shown by Mr. Boyer.. and Mr. Kaepernick reciprocated.
    Colin invited Nate to San Diego where the two had a 90 minute discussion and
    Nate proposed Colin kneel instead of sit.
    But why kneel?
    In a military funeral, after the flag is taken off the casket of the fallen military member, it is smartly folded 13 times and then presented to the parents, spouse or child of the fallen member by a fellow service member while KNEELING.
    The two decided that kneeling for the flag would symbolize his reverence for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice while still allowing Colin to peacefully protest the injustices he saw.
    Empathy, not zealotry under the guise of patriotism, is the only way meaningful discussion can be had. Mr. Kaepernick listened to all of you that say he disrespects the military and extended an olive branch to find a peace.”

  82. ISL says:

    Its all very strange to me. Obviously, Trump is playing to his base to distract from failure to govern. But as someone who has boasted about bribing congress critters to do his bidding, why does he believe that governing has anything to do with popularity? Either you bring a million people onto capital hill week after week so that the masters of the universe (aka Goldman Sachs, etc.) believe instability will make the US economy dysfunctional, or the business of governing is the business of horse-trading with the 99.9% bought and paid for (ladies of the night) we call our representatives on the hill to achieve your political goals.
    The pulse of the nation has nothing to do with governing the nation, so why is he blowing political capital on a meaningless (to governing the country – what he was elected to do) point.
    I respect the right of the football players to kneel, but disagree with their timing – had anyone asked me, I would have counseled to kneel immediately after the anthem is over for one minute of silence.
    The flag and anthem represent the aspirational ideals of America, not some paradise achieved. Cant think of, for example, another society where Steve Jobs could have achieved what he did. Or a (non-African) society where former president Obama could have occurred. That the the US does not live up to its ideals (an imperfect society of imperfect people – as pointed out by every religion) is no a reason to forget those ideals.

  83. Randy says:

    It seems Trump is running around with a gas can in one hand and a book of matches in the other igniting/feeding the flames of controversies that are unimportant compared to the real problems facing this country, probably to distract from his dismal performance of the job he fell into.
    He is worse than useless.

  84. Thirdeye says:

    It blows me away how the designated anthem singers can’t resist ego tripping at the expense of the tune, and nobody seems to mind. It trickles down to the local level too. I attended one event where the rendition was like a bad American Idol audition. Better just to do it Olympic style with a recorded instrumental if at all. But if I had my druthers, the national anthem would be The Battle of New Orleans, and everyone could sing along about making the Brits skedaddle to the gulf.

  85. raven says:

    NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. rebuked Donald Trump’s campaign against NFL players who are protesting systematic racism, and the tweet he used to make his statement has now become his most popular social media message.
    Earnhardt, who is the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr., wrote, “All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests.” His message was posted online minutes after Trump tweeted about how NASCAR supporters and fans “won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag.”
    The Earnhardt tweet also highlighted a quote from President John F. Kennedy, saying, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

  86. Thirdeye says:

    It doesn’t take much time at all to find fake news. Just turn on the teevee.

  87. Thirdeye says:

    Yes, the shiny objects that Trump dangles are very effective at distracting the media. Problem is, they are very effective at distracting himself as well.

  88. Christian Chuba says:

    Thank you Buddhist, I had to wait til’ I got home but I was going to mention the same thing. Trump and the gang on Conservative MSM are phoning it in and going on and on about how the players are ‘spitting’ on the flag as if they are wiping their rear ends with it.
    They are ‘kneeling’ a traditional sign of supplication and respect. In protest 2.0 I saw players placing their hands over their heart while kneeling.
    I bet a lot of those players are getting the idea that there is no acceptable way for the black man to protest. I’m not saying that the hyper-patriots are racists but I am saying that they are pre-judging the intent of the players and making a lot of assumptions when they claim that they ‘hate America’.
    For those who think that cops shooting unarmed civilians is a fake issue, yes, Ferguson was fake but there were half a dozen other killings that were quite dubious. David French writes about two of them and describes how he believes that jury instruction combined with a misunderstanding of the law contributes to some acquittals …

  89. Fred says:

    “Can you accept the awesome personal responsibility of trying to learn about them?”
    I can. Let me start with the primary victim of Trump’s Tweet, Billionaire Shahid Khan. Born and raised in Pakistan. Arrived in the US at age sixteen where he was subjected to life at the University of Illinois and then had such negative treatment that the SBA gave him a loan to start a company. He then was forced to endure the toxic males of GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Company who had the temerity to beg force him to become a US citizen so that he would be entitled to that incredibly toxic label: “certified minority business owner”, and shockingly, just shockingly, forced to accpept millions upon millions of dollars in contracts for bumpers and assorted other automotive parts those toxic males sourced to his firm, thereby selfishly meeting thier “certified minority business” sourcing goals which garnered them a bonus, a raise and for the really select few abusers jobs with Flex-N-Gate. The poor non-dark skinned guy who was too far down the toxic treatment totum pole to become one of those executives had to suffer through another decade with one of the Big 3. He’s spent the last couple years working for me. Yep, I feel real real bad for the Billionaire victim who linked arms with the members of Millionaire’s United.
    I hope the Hurricane flood victims of Jacksonville appreciate the taxes they pay so poor old Shadid didn’t have to spend any of his own money remodeling his own stadium:
    “The City of Jacksonville will fund the total estimated $36.4 million from capital project funding to build the north end zone fan engagement area …”

  90. Fred says:

    In firing James Damore Google proved it does not believe “If one really believes in our most important liberty, one should rejoice that distasteful views are expressed.” With the public condemnation of the man it is apparent that neither does the rest of the alt-left.

  91. Fred says:

    Some quotation marks would be quite helpful. Eric Reid sounds like a real victim of the toxicity Origin is ranting about above, I mean really, $5.6 million a year in SF? How can the man survive.
    Then there poor unemployed Colin, $4.9 million while jobless.
    If only someone had told Trayvon or Michael Brown how to get a non-job like that.

  92. Fred says:

    So the Pride of Baltimore are going to protest that incompetent mayor in Baltimore who allowed thepolice department to do all those unjust things to all those men and women over the years? Let me know when they demand Catherine Pugh or anyone else in charge get voted out of office.

  93. Eric Newhill says:

    Christian Chuba,
    It’s not that police never ever kill people wrongly. They certainly do from time to time. No system involving humans is perfect. The victims are black, white and every other shade. The tiny minority of police involved should be disciplined or convicted.
    Half a dozen questionable cases (in your opinion) out of how many police/black interactions? A miniscule number. How many of the police involved were, themselves, black? At least a few.
    This is hardly an epidemic and it is even less a racial bias thing. But the NFL, BLM etc are all acting like it’s a huge civil rights issue.So huge that national protests are needed, on the job protests are in order, etc. This is hyperbole exploding.
    Meanwhile blacks kill each other and law enforcement in numbers that are many multiples of “a half dozen”.
    There is no way to frame this in a way that makes sense from a racial persecution viewpoint. It’s all emotion and no brains contribution to the leftist revolution that has gripped the country for the past few years and especially since Trump’s election.
    If I performed political protest at work I’d be fired. Why are these millionaires held to lower standards? Is less expected of them b/c of their skin color?

  94. optimax says:

    I dislike Trump wrapping himself in the flag as much as I disliked Obama playing the black card in prejudging a white cop for shooting a kid that could have been his. He should have been more careful.
    The US wasn’t founded to be rigidly regimented by patriotic oaths and songs frequently repeated en masse. These didn’t catch on until the twentieth century and become traditional until times of war. The National Anthem wasn’t sung before the Super Bowl until 2009. It doesn’t bother me the players and, thanks to Trump, the owners kneel, after all, they aren’t disrespecting the country by mooning the flag. I’ve always separated the politics and other deep thoughts of celebrities from their performance, from their art. I like Knut Hamson and Merle Streep. Some of the musicians I enjoyed when I was young, and still do, died choking in their own vomit while passed out. NFL players have been throwing women from upper story windows for decades. TRIUMPH OF THE WILL was a ground breaking film which established the basic grammar of camera angles for all future films, including CITIZEN KANE. So I’ll still watch SNF but find the college level more exciting.

  95. Mikee says:

    I agree with you 100%. And, to show their commitment to social justice the NFL owners and players should end the 2017 season immediately. This is not a time for symbolism. This is a time to put up or shut up.

  96. Henshaw says:

    Ann- Energy dissipated when a moving object stops is 0.5 x mass x velocity squared. Footballers these days are bigger and run faster, so more energy is dissipated in collisions. More energy to be dissipated means more damage- think of damage in a 10mph car crash vs a 70 mph crash.

  97. Harry says:

    Ah but the British had the advantage of almost no black or indian immigration in the 1930s. Outside of port cities like Cardiff, Liverpool or London there would have been almost no dark faces. As such he would have been perceived as an exotic visitor, rather than an unwanted immigrant. In the American context back then he would have been perceived differently. If he had turned up in the UK in the 1970s his experience would have been markedly different.
    Either way, my real point is that these things are a little more complicated than simple US good, UK bad or vice versa. For example if the UK hadnt attempted to ban ALL slaving on the high seas a lot more Africans might have made it to the new world rather than been drowned in the Atlantic.

  98. Harry says:

    I like your analogy. This is one of the things I have really appreciated about President Trump. I disagree with him on a number of issues, but forcing the debate is cathartic – I think its about time the US discussed the interaction of patriotism and the constitution. I heard the President make the point that many brave men had died for the national anthem and the flag. I really hope that isn’t true. I hope they died because essential American national interests were threatened. To die for a tune and a piece of cloth would be dumb. To die for your country is another thing altogether. Perhaps its about time people discussed precisely what those essential national interests are!

  99. Harry says:

    Excellent point.

  100. Harry says:

    Forgive me Mr. Newhill, but where did you get that number? The Guardian runs a count of shooting deaths by police which is already well over 600 nationally. I can think of 6 stories of unarmed black people killed this year off the top of my own head. Admittedly one of them was suffocated and not shot.

  101. Harry says:

    Time to start watching rugby. An excellent game with a much lower incidence of brain injury. I blame the helmets.

  102. turcopolier says:

    “a white cop for shooting a kid that could have been his.” Trayvon Martin? Zimmerman was not a cop. pl

  103. turcopolier says:

    Withdrawal was inevitable from a situation we could not resolve in favor of the anti-communists. we had tried very hard and had failed. A long line of US presidents had made one damned fool mistake about VN after another. nixon should be given credit for making the decision to withdraw. There was nothing phony about the withdrawal. Once we started we systematically withdrew over a period of three years. The RVN was left with mountains of equipment and supplies and they still could not stand up to the communists. Bien! Tant pis pour eux. pl

  104. Eric Newhill says:

    No. This is my source –
    You will have to follow another link or two once you’re there. Ultimately you can download a database.
    I repeat; 16 UNARMED black males shot and killed by police in 2016. Repeat, unarmed does NOT mean they weren’t doing something to merit response with deadly force by LEOs.
    I understand that many blacks and white liberals – including stupid football players – think that police shouldn’t shoot people with knives or guns who aren’t following LEO commands to cease whatever it is they are doing. If that is factoring into the protests, then we have an even stranger situation (hence my quip about taking personal responsibility).
    This is manufactured hysteria and delusion by the left and consumed by spoiled idiots that don’t understand how to behave in civil society.
    16 unarmed black men. Maybe 5 or 6 where the shooting could be called into question. For that we have to disrespect the entire nation? Again, the protest is a symptom of something much larger.

  105. Fred says:

    ” I disliked Obama playing the black card in prejudging a white cop for shooting a kid that could have been his.”
    It is far worse than that. He emasculated Travon, and ever other young American living in the inner city, by saying he, Obama, could have been Travon. Never did he say Travon could have been like him. The facts that George Zimmerman was Hispanic and not a cop, well, those are just inconvenient truths ignored by the left.

  106. Dr.Puck says:

    Overgeneralization and mischaracterization do not address my question.
    ( I get the “abject” alt-right formula for demonizing several hundred million people: democrats = liberals = progressives = socialists = collectivists = SJW’s = cultural marxists = actual marxists = communists = anti-americans = people deserving to be thrown out of ‘coptors. )
    But I also see you have not thought to answer a simple question: what part of Trump’s biography most impresses as a sampler of his devotion to: tradition? Any tradition.
    I love America. I am of the left to a precise degree, not a general degree. I am deeply aware of all the debating tactics, and errors of logic, and common deceptions brought into play by the slipperiness of language. And much more, having to do with the varieties of systematic appraisals of communication and other stuff. In fact, it seems worthwhile to be able to separate the little tribes from out of the big lumpen tribe.
    In my opinion, the respectable and sophisticated comment here is not ad hominem, is not anchored to insult, is not an echo of some unsupported and unsupportable generalization that lumps everybody into a single box, (and then makes sure to add in to the box a population of so-called straw men.)
    Anyway, my sense of POTUS Trump, a man I do not hate, and a man I pity due to his health challenges, is not news here on SST.

  107. shepherd says:

    To put this more plainly, the only number that really matters is the amount advertisers are willing to pay for NFL ads. The reason is that major advertisers are the only ones who can gauge the effect of their spending, which is an internal, proprietary number. Nielsen may show whatever, but P&G knows the truth. Nielsen said that viewership was down 9% in 2016. Advertisers, however, paid a record amount for ads for that year.
    I think the NFL knows what it’s doing. The NFL is a product. It needs to reach the customers who matter, not all customers. This isn’t politics, it’s business. Trump’s base skews high and low (the high part is generally not recognized but evident here). Most advertisers are more in the middle. They don’t particularly care if they lose the high school-educated white audience. Those people aren’t buying Gillette razors. And they don’t care too much about the high end, since they’re not that numerous, and they don’t drink Bud Light. The advertisers, who really call the shots, are more interested in the middle.
    Most of those brands are also global. That’s why you see Jerry Jones and other owners who are ardent Trump supporters standing taking a knee. They don’t care about some guy in Tampa who burns his tickets, or whether Trump passes Publius Tacitus’ bar for racism. They care very much about P&G, which is not under any circumstances going to align itself with Trump on this one.

  108. Fred says:

    You are right there have been more than 16 across the US. Did the Guardian run the story about the shooting deaths that weren’t by police officers? Baltimore is over 300, so is Chicago. Detroit had another this morning I heard about on the drive in to work.

  109. Fred says:

    Yes, the island is completely sunk, just like Atlantis. Well, maybe not. How was the infrastructure investment by the government run Puerto Rico Electric Authority over the last decade? I wonder which party was in charge. Same for the water system(s). We should just pay off all the bills and leave the same people in charge, like Obama did with the bankers in that wall street bail out. It’s a crisis after all, we should use that as an excuse not to make changes…..

  110. optimax says:

    “His” refers to Obama. I wasn’t clear I guess.

  111. Stephanie says:

    With all due respect, your contributions to this thread have been largely an interesting series of non sequiturs. You have managed to work in Boko Haram, Michelle Obama, James Damore, Evergreen State, and Ms. Pugh into a topic and in response to comments where they would seem to most observers to have limited relevance. I am sorry you are disturbed about local affairs in Baltimore. I did not mention it in my post, however, so I am at a loss for a reply to your question (which I expect was meant rhetorically in any case).

  112. optimax says:

    I was thinking of Michael Brown in Furgeson.

  113. Larry Kart says:

    You were there, and I was not, so I ask this in genuine innocence: Is it an accurate characterization of the attitudes of most or even many of the South Vietnamese to say that they were anti-communist? Certainly they did not want to be ruled by the North Vietnamese, but were they anti-communist in any significant ideological or geopolitical sense — i.e. in the ways that were akin to the ways that most of America’s military and political leaders and many ordinary U.S. citizens thought of themselves as anti-communist at the time? Or was their resistance to the North Vietnamese essentially a function of South Vietnamese nationalism (if that’s the right term) and/or, again, a desire not to be ruled by ruled by the North?

  114. JHG says:

    No, they were protesting, a right guaranteed in the First Amendment, a right listed before the sacred Second Amendment that is worshipped so much. You don’t have to like it, fine. My understanding is that the oath taken on entering the military is an oath to the Constitution and not to the flag or the anthem. I find disrespectful and deplorable a man who received five deferments for bone spurs in his foot and continued to play tennis but did not go to the military. I find disrespectful and deplorable to the flag, the Constitution, and the anthem the same hypocrite who states that men who carried Nazi flags, gave Nazi flags, and shouted Nazi slogans were fine people; but black athletes who also exercise their First Amendment right SOBs. That was a loud dog whistle and it has consolidated my views on this lying orange messiah and his supports. Now go ahead and threaten me

  115. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    Those Vietnamese in the South who were not under VC control in some rural areas were not nationalist in a specifically Southern way. They were nationalist with regard to all of Vietnam as the communists were. This was a psychological disadvantage for them because we would not help them take over the north. In MACVSOG we conducted black propaganda and psywar in the north in addition to our cross border recon work in Laos and Cambodia but we were forbidden by the US government to attempt to bring down the Northern government. IMO it is fair to say that the non VC Southerners feared the rule of the Northern communist government. That is why so many fled when they lost their war. pl

  116. turcopolier says:

    How do you account for the fact that Holder’s DoJ could find nothing to indict the cop for? pl

  117. turcopolier says:

    Pacifica Advocate
    Which Guthrie tune? pl

  118. Eric Newhill says:

    Dr. Puck,
    You are failing to understand professionalism. Trump was elected to do a job. That job being representing the people who elected him. Who he is – or is not – as a person doesn’t matter as long he performs what he was elected to perform.
    You are trying to cast dispersions upon him personally and then use that to say that he has no right to criticize the sportsballers – or say that I can’t criticize the sportsballers on their being a part of a larger revolution seeking to undermine traditional culture b/c Trump…..Yes. I got you the first time. I reject your tactic as poor argumentation + failure to separate a man’s private life from how he performs on the job.
    One of the aspects of degeneracy that Trump was elected to undo is the whole America bashing and race bating meme of the left, which Obama accelerated. Therefore, his comments re; the spoiled, ignorant, delusional, statistically/information challenged knee takers, who are pissing off his base, make a fine opportunity for Trump to ensure us that he’s still with us. He is taking a stand against where Obama would have gleefully contributed.
    Returning to the concept of professionalism; the aforementioned spoiled morons should exhibit some of it themselves. They are free to exercise their 1A rights and display their intellectual failings and character flaws all they want, when they’re off the clock.
    I am unaware that Trump is ill. Have you been watching too many pop psychologists on teevee again (or maybe you are one of them yourself)?

  119. turcopolier says:

    you are a very emotional person. None of the charges you make against Nixon were mentioned, brought up or testified about at the Nixon Watergate hearings before the senate. The same is true of the House impeachment hearing. I was recently back from overseas and between assignments and watched all these hearings on TV. You don’t like Nixon but that is not an basis for the accusations you make against him. He was not forced from office over VN. pl

  120. walrus says:

    My personal opinion is that NFL matches are private sporting events.
    For that reason, claims of constitutional rights are irrelevant since the matches are private events.
    I think President Trump has chosen his ground very well. It is time to stop this antifa related grandstanding before a “protest” turns into a deadly riot. Choosing the NFL protests as a first battleground is a good idea. The groundswell against the NFL will be a visible reminder that Antifa has zero grass roots support.

  121. turcopolier says:

    The first amendment like all the other bill of rights amendments is a restriction on the actions of the government. Unless DJT were to seek to restrict this action there is no question of first amendment rights. pl

  122. Eric Newhill says:

    Thank you for the common sense. Yes, Trump has chosen wisely the time place to address the leftist mania that is gripping the country. The football players are just the tip of the iceberg.

  123. London Bob – Slavery was inefficient as a means of getting hold of cheap labour and obviously wouldn’t do today, though I suppose the Small Elite Minority you mention wouldn’t object to it too much if they could get away with it. It might be worth looking briefly at its disadvantages and how we evolved the considerably more flexible and convenient system of cheap labour that now obtains.
    The cost of slavery was high. The slaves had to be bought and then looked after full time. Sometimes it was impracticable – I don’t think it was ever possible to use whites for slave labour for instance, at least not in modern times. Instead cheap white labour was provided by means of the system of indentured labour. By some accounts that meant the whites were treated even worse than the blacks since the blacks were permanent property and thus worth looking after, while the whites were freed after a set period and thus a death was not such a loss.
    Slavery, therefore, ran in tandem with indentured labour, and with convict labour. For some unaccountable reason we stopped sending convicts to the American colonies in the later eighteenth century and decided to send them to Australia instead. Later on, after we ceased slave trading and forced many other countries to do the same we moved, entirely as far as I know, to indentured labour. That was an improvement – in the accounts I have read of that system the men did not then need to be paid for, just impressed as required. We seem to have been patting ourselves on the back for our virtue in stopping slave trading ever since; ignoring the fact that we merely changed to a more efficient but equally objectionable equivalent.
    Mass immigration, the modern and even more efficient equivalent, had the advantage that the labour could look after itself entirely. It was also more flexible in that the labour could be taken on or laid off as required. There does seem to be for some, however, a return almost to a form of indentured labour in that some migrants are bound by informal contract to gang masters or fixers. We have therefore now evolved what might be termed a mixed system and at present this is the mix that our SEM seems to find most convenient.
    The one constant in all this sad history of our various methods of obtaining cheap labour is that we have always been able to find reasons for patting ourselves on the back. In the days of slavery we congratulated ourselves for bringing the slaves to civilisation and a better way of life. When we changed to indentured labour only, we congratulated ourselves for no longer tolerating slavery. In these days of obtaining cheap labour by means of mass immigration we find so many reasons for congratulating ourselves that it would be difficult to enumerate them all. But the economists keep our feet on the ground and assure us that it’s still the same old reason: they tell us we need cheap labour for our economy and importing it, one way or another, is still the way to get it.

  124. optimax says:

    The first mistake was me conflating Obama’s “Could have been my son statement.” about Travon Martin with Michael Brown. “Should have been more careful” was a joke about Obama having an imaginary son. The joke bombed. The cop acted in self-defense.

  125. Tim B. says:

    Please note that I wrote “I believe the police are too quick to shoot unarmed Americans of all colors.” You provided a data base showing 963 total documented police shootings last year. 48 were unarmed. 65 were “armed” with their vehicle. That’s 113 unarmed Americans killed by the police. So yeah, I still think the police are too quick to shoot unarmed Americans when over 10% of the people they shoot to death are unarmed.

  126. Fred says:

    1. Slavery: You mention slavery, I point out it exits today in Nigeria under Boko Harum. Michelle Obama is mentioned for the tweet, here:
    2. Free speech: That’s multiple posters above and Google is my referene:
    3: Baltimore- that is where the police killed Freddie Grey. For reference ask Black Lives Matter or a member of the Pittsburgh kneelers just what relvance his death has to what they are doing now.
    Non-sequitor: That’s your entire “I don’t understand what you are talking about” post.

  127. crone says:

    Protesting? What? Most of them don’t even know why they are kneeling. Poor choice of vehicle for protest… actually being disrespectful of our country’s symbols does not elicit sympathy for whatever they are protesting. And I’m darn tired of “dog whistle” being used every time Trump says anything.

  128. optimax says:

    I think we should make the 1911 version of America The Beautiful our national anthem. It wouldn’t change anything; the atheists wouldn’t like it and the blacks would still want reparations, but it’s a prettier song than The Star Spangled Banner.

  129. TonyL says:

    Hi Larry,
    I might be able to answer your question. Yes, the south Vietnameses were anti-communist in ideological , religious, and geopolitical sense. It was mainly geopolitical sense in the first decade after 1954. But gradually, the brutal tactics of the VCs in guerrilla warfare had caused majority of farmers in the far South regions to hate but also deeply fear them.

  130. TonyL says:

    I think you are wrong. DJT just used this occasion to score points with his base. I’d doubt he even thought and chose that battle. The guy just shoots from the hip.
    And there is no groundswell against the NFL. Football is as popular as ever, if you’ve read raven’s post above, the rating proved that. Perhaps that’s what you would want to see, but reality does not support that analysis.

  131. TonyL says:

    “IMO it is fair to say that the non VC Southerners feared the rule of the Northern communist government. That is why so many fled when they lost their war”
    You’re are exactly right.

  132. Harry says:

    Forgive but the database you pointed to said there were 17 not 16 in 2016. Not including unarmed “hispanics” – 8. Not including those with an unspecified “unknown” weapon – 13. Not including those where a vehicle was cited as the weapon – 15. Not including those where the weapon was a toy – 13.
    Worth also noting that there were 22 “unarmed” shooting deaths of whites.

  133. Eric Newhill says:

    Maybe I missed one (or not). A vehicle can be a deadly weapon. So can a brick or rock. So can bare hands. What is your experience with policing? What is your experience with street fights?
    I read one of the cases from 2016 involving an unarmed black male. he kicked open the door of the police car and assaulted the officer; attempting to strangle the officer with a set of handcuffs taken from the officer.
    The Football players are not protesting the deaths of non-blacks. They’ve been very clear about that. Nor is Black Lives Matter (the name being the give away, but also the rhetoric they spew).
    The fact that non-blacks who are unarmed – regardless of whether or not you think they should have been shot – are killed should dispel the myth that this a racist phenomenon; which is what is being claimed. So thanks for backing me up on that point.
    16 or 17 blacks. How many are killed in US inner cities by other blacks. 16 or 17 is a tiny fraction of that number. Where are the protests of the gangs and other criminal elements? I repeat that this isn’t about what they are saying it is.

  134. Harry says:

    So I should apply for US nationality!

  135. Eric Newhill says:

    Here’s the kicker. This is what BLM and football players believe, Black Lives Matter has proclaimed on its website that “Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” and that “[e]very 28 hours a Black man, woman, or child is murdered by police or vigilante law enforcement.”
    16 (or 17) unarmed blacks killed in a whole year.
    That hardly drives the conclusion that BLM has reached. I’d expect a hell of a lot more unarmed black deaths if the manifesto is accurate, given the number of black/LEO interactions in a year.
    You can lawyer around all you want, but the numbers don’t lie. The protests are over propaganda BS

  136. Greco says:

    The NFL could in theory outlaw kneeling when the anthem is played and the players would have no legal recourse against it. So technically this is not something that qualifies as a natural or God given right. In fact, if Americans have an issue that they wish for the government to redress, then the First Amendment is clear on this, petition the government.

  137. Stephanie says:

    I am obliged to you for proving my point.
    I should also apologize to all for having allowed your reply to my post to provoke me into discussing the discussion.

  138. Tim B. says:

    Holder would need evidence showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer took the prohibited action in an attempt to deny the victim his civil rights. That evidence did not exist.
    Federal civil rights law aside, I don’t think Americans have any idea how the law favors a police officer who shoots someone. Basically, if the officer after the fact says “I thought my life was in danger” he will go free. The only police officer I am aware of who was criminally convicted for shooting someone shot an unarmed man, Oscar Grant, who was laying on his stomach. There was video of that shooting. It appears the officer drew and used his firearm when he intended to draw his taser. He was convicted of manslaughter. That’s it.
    There are more facts about the Oscar Grant shooting here.

  139. Eric Newhill says:

    Tim B,
    You’re still making an entirely different case than the protesters are. Black Lives Matter says that a black person is murdered by a racist system bent on genocide every 28 hours. If you do the math, that comes out to 313/year; which happens to be the number of blacks killed by law enforcement a few years ago – the year before the statement was written.
    So what they are really saying is that NO death of a black person by law enforcement is acceptable to them. Not even if the black person gets killed in the act of committing a felony and shooting at LEOs first (which many of the 313 most certainly were).
    This is, in effect, a declaration of war with lines being drawn along race. These people are in full on us versus them mode and nothing whites can do will appease them; short of dying off. They are utterly unreasonable. What they want is the freedom to run wild in the streets and to become a separate people within the geography of the United States. They also seek income confiscation and redistribution along racial lines. All the while calling whites racist.
    It’s all right there on their website if you were to take the time to see what they are actually saying as opposed to what you want to imagine they are. Or maybe you do know and are just trying to soft sell it here.
    Too many virtue signaling SJWs have become their useful idiots – or just can’t reason out what is happening.

  140. Sam Peralta says:

    I find it fascinating when the left argue for free speech when they’re the ones opposing speech that offends their sensibilities. Of course the right do it too. Neither side really believes in free speech as they want to prevent speech they oppose. PC policing of speech is an attack on free speech.
    Same with hate crimes & hate speech. If a black man who has BLM memorabilia attacks a white man is that a hate crime? If a white man who wears a swastika armband attacks a black man it is considered a hate crime. And any speech that calls out Israeli hypocritical behavior is considered anti-semitic.
    As Fred noted, when Google fires a person for non-PC opinions, the left argue that such speech is not protected in the workplace and that Google has the right to enforce their standard for acceptable speech. An NFL team is no different than Google. So why can’t the owner decide what is acceptable behavior when players are at work. Why is there a different standard for Google and a NFL team?
    It seems everyone is for free speech except when it is speech they don’t like.

  141. Fred says:

    Thanks for doubling down.

  142. Walrus says:

    With respect, I fail to see how civil rights laws regarding discrimination on the basis of “race, gender, ethnicity or religion” is relevant in this matter. As Col. Lang also points out’ first amendment rights is about restrictions on the government.
    These are privately owned football teams engaged to play at private events. They are not national events in the way say, the Olympic games are. I fail to see how their actions are protected at least from their owners and other contractors. If the players wish to make political statements then they must bear the consequences.

  143. crone says:

    The online ticket reseller TickPick told Secrets that sales have dropped 17.9 percent, far more than the usual Week Three fall.
    From TickPick:
    17.9 percent decrease in NFL orders this week compared to the previous week.
    Last year the drop was 10.8 percent in orders on Monday & Tuesday following Week Three games.
    “We have seen a massive decrease in NFL ticket purchases this past week in comparison to years past. Week 3 seems to usually have less ticket orders than week 2, but this year ticket purchases are down more than 7 percent from this time last year,” said TickPick’s Jack Slingland. (read more)

  144. optimax says:

    The Star Spangled Banner is hard to sing. The singer butchered it at Green Bay tonight, as many do. Dixie is a catchier tune.

  145. Fred says:

    Feel free. You’ve got 11,000,000 ahead of you.

  146. Fred says:

    I think you put Trump ahead of the actual creators of the issue. The Democrats, or in this case what would be more accurately called the alt-left, began with the same agenda seen in the presidential campaign a year ago: BLM and the brutality of the police.
    Part of that agenda includes provoking their opponents to create at least one item that the left dominated media can lock onto to drive the narrative of the left. Trump short circuited them by shifting the visuals of Kapernick and company to frame this as showing a lack of patriotism and disrespect for veterans and the police. The left responded to that like a trout to a fly. Now they are hooked and desperate to shift the narrative to their favorite “whites are racist” and Trump is only tweeting to be divisive meme. (See CNN’so latest coverage). It isn’t working. Meanwhile there is a real crisis in the Caribbean and a potential war in Korea.

  147. Fernando L says:

    Seems to me they could protest on their own, they should not protest when they are working. I’m also a bit lost regarding what the protest is about, kneeling doesn’t really team me what’s their specific complaint.
    They can choose to behave like oafs, and the audience can choose to watch something else if the team owner allows such coarse behavior.

  148. Dr.Puck says:

    Eric wrote: you are trying to cast dispersions upon him personally and then use that to say that he has no right to criticize the sportsballers – or say that I can’t criticize the sportsballers on their being a part of a larger revolution
    I said no such thing. (In response to you I have steered the thread away from the NFL brouhaha.)
    Anyway. You make my point for me. If who President Trump “is as a person” doesn’t matter to a single degree, then there’s no hook to hang any traditionalism on.
    Ironically, as it turns out–but is not surprising to anyone who knows his biography and spent time in NYC in the eighties–the POTUS is not: ruthless, a deal maker, or someone anchored to his (campaign trail) promises.
    I do not need to watch pop psychologists. Trump’s mental problems are both obvious and subject to expert appraisal. Yet, in your view this would hardly matter. It’s all about coming through for his politically small minority, you know, the one that elected him. That appraisal is just a matter of sociological numbers.
    How has been doing? Inasmuch as the executive branch can dial back the so-called administrative state, I’d give him high marks. Immigration authorities have deported lots of illegals. Very good!
    Politically he has accomplished the switcheroo of morphing the swamp from establishment special interests to the ‘left,’ but, alas, he has also–from another angle–created one of the most massive swamps in American history.
    Luckily, the base behind Trumpism apparently just wants lots of bombs thrown, lots of vicious schoolyard tweets, lots of dominance behavior (from a “Cluster B malignant narcissist,”) and lots of campaign-style frothing rallies to gin up the fantasy of…
    Heck, Eric I don’t know what the fantasy is! At one time, Trump, for example, promised the “best, most beautiful health care ever, lower premiums, lower copays and deductibles, and better coverage,” and then he was crestfallen when the GOP couldn’t manage to throw 30 million people off their healthcare welfare.
    I do know from local, informal, qualitative research that many northern Ohio, actual Trump supporters do have a somewhat shared hope: to return to the fifties when men supported their families, women raised the kids, hard working white men were the exemplars of faith and patriotism, and, there were not daily interactions with people speaking a foreign language.
    So, there’s that. What is your vision of MAGA?

  149. Harry says:

    I disagree with you Sir but i try to disagree honestly. I do not have a police background. I would not take a police job because in my interaction with policemen it is clear that the job is very dangerous. I sympathize with them. I have seen videos where i disagreed with police actions (from the safety of my office!). I have disagreed with police shooting suspects who flee the scene for example.
    I dont see the relevance of the actions of criminals – regardless of color. Black criminals who kill others should be prosecuted and punished. What difference would a demonstration make?
    I do not understand how a protest adversely impacts those who disagree with it. If you believe it should be against the law then change the law. If it is not against the law what exactly is your complaint? That you dislike it?

  150. NancyK says:

    “Our traditional culture”. What culture is that? Do you assume to speak for all Americans? Why are you so bothered by kneeling, exactly how does it impact upon your life?

  151. Freudenschade says:

    I oddly find myself agreeing, at least aspirationally, with PT. Of all the professional sports leagues, the NFL has long wrapped the military in a tight and cynical embrace. They shouldn’t wonder that a large part of their fan base consists of jingoistic flag wavers.
    Now the red, white and blue chickens have come home to roost. The hoopla about anthem and flag will cease when Sunday Head Trauma Theatre hopefully comes to an end. Couldn’t happen to a nicer league.

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