Wednesday, August 23, 2017

on colin kaepernick

alright look, here's a quote from a militant right wing friend of mine who i practically never agree with, --i mean seriously almost never ever-- yet i reluctantly do in this one exceptional case, and since he articulated it so much better than i ever could, i'm posting it here: 

I own a business and would never allow my employees to make political or social commentary to my patients. It undermines the product that we deliver in our office. Just as customers come to my business for medical care they should not be imposed upon the views outside of medicine by an employee. Same with [the NFL], I as well as many tune in to watch football, not political or social commentary, we get enough of that in everyday life. If your employees wish to do so let them on their own time out of uniform, that is their right. But while at business and I as a customer please have your business stick to the game to which I have tuned into. 

colin kaepernick is absolutely free to take a knee. and many other players are free to do so, or put a fist up, or whatever they feel they want to, to draw attention to what they feel is an injustice. free, that is, from our government "of the people, by the people, for the people" from stopping them. because in the end, the injustice they're protesting, while highly selective, is technically and measurably true. 

but free from their employer taking issue with it? no. business owners have products and services to sell. when they're paying you to help them do that, your words and actions should contribute toward your employer's vision. don't like it? then don't be an employee. start your own business. make your own rules, stick your own neck out on your own time and using your own resources, and hope that your clients are cool with it. whatever. good luck.

that said, no one owes colin kaepernick a career, or even a job. so, until he starts his own team, or his own league, and coordinates his own support staff and logistics, pays for his own venues, negotiates his own media contracts, plans and executes his own marketing engine to draw his own viewership, he needs to stfu on the job. outside of that, he is absolutely free to practice free speech on his own time. free speech unhindered by government interference, which is the ONLY thing "free speech" means.

not clear about what free speech actually means? here's a good primer: Free Speech

Monday, August 7, 2017

on russian meddling--on trump's integrity

russians meddle in elections when they can. so have we. so do we.

even as an unapologetic liberal, i can say with all factual historical honesty, that, shit, the US has been meddling in elections under the table (and quite occasionally above the table) for the better part of the past 7 decades (if not more), and it has almost always worked in our own national interest. so, like trump said a few months ago, let's not pretend that the US is pure, and that russia's meddling in our election is some aberration. please. all nations have national interests. and all powerful nations have national interests that extend well beyond their boundaries. we have national interests. russia has national interests. you want to believe russia is some evil beast and the US is some innocent waif, keep dreaming.

so to democrats:
until you really want to fix the problem, you need to let the "russian meddling" story go. it's obvious you care more about political points than the meddling per se.

so to republicans:
to ignore russian meddling is pretty much treasonous, which makes you worse than the democrats, so time to put the flag pins back on and get some smart people on fighting and fixing this.

that said? the two problems i have with trump are these:

1) while he serves his own interests perfectly, he has absolutely zero ethical integrity when it comes to public service.
2) while he is an arguably successful businessman and imposing manager, he is not a leader.

yes. he won the election. the system we built and signed up for (and haven't had the motivation to change yet) worked as designed. love him or hate him, it's trumps turn on watch for the next few years. if you salute the flag and keep your feet planted here (rather than pack your shit and run off to some european socialist utopia) you really need to respect it. american democracy and the american republic is a messy business, but in the long run, despite its bumps and bruises along the way, points mostly toward justice, as much as the humans within it will allow.

as i learned my first week of boot camp when i was 17, you salute the rank, not the man. if i met trump today i'd salute him and give him respect. if i meet him 10 years from now, i'm slicing his tires and keying his car. that's what it means to love america and the constitution, and at the same time have the balls to fight for what's right and punish those (donald trump) who've spent a lifetime hurting people while helping no one but himself.

but let's get back to exactly how trump proves to us that he has no ethical integrity...

follow me... if he had lost the election, everything about his history confirms, that for pretty much all of 2017 so far, he would have been the standard bearer of complaining about this “america first” russian meddling that hillary arranged and obama did nothing about. (because in actuality, she did, and he didn't).

in contrast:

  • the bush presidents, both of them, agree with their policies or not, had integrity. mad integrity.
  • carter, had probably the most integrity of any president of the last century.
  • rand paul, crazy man, but steadfast integrity.
  • romney lost the election because he had zero integrity. he was all pander.
  • cruz, rubio... already lost causes. maybe had integrity, but already sold out.
  • sorry to say, as of 2008, so did mccain.

i mean, you can like bush43 or hate him, for leading us into wars that cost us trillions, but you can't deny the guy had integrity. he didn't pander. he had beliefs and he stuck with them no matter what, and couldn't care less about what people said about him. crazy thick skin.

but... like romney, trump has zero integrity. actually, trump has 100% integrity to himself, and only appears to serve the nation when any particular decision that benefits himself first.

as for if he'd lost the election. whoa... he'd be on that russian meddling shit just like birtherism. just like he was prior to the election. even the electoral college was a bad thing to trump--til he won. even hillary was a criminal going to jail (and maybe she should) until he won. "hey we don't care about that anymore now do we" -trump.

but now, russian hacking is a non issue, it's fake news. why? not because it’s fake. but because trump won.

even though the US meddles--the fact that russia meddles is still something we need to fight against. and we're not fighting it. because to trump, it's a non issue because it benefitted him.

the cancer that trump infects america with, is that to him--our president and head of state--there are no longer any objective rights/wrongs beyond whatever benefits him personally. no more morals. no more ethics. only winning. and by that he means, trump winning. not the middle class. not coal miners who've been part of a dying industry for a few decades now. not carrier inc. no one but trump and anyone who can help him.

the president should serve the nation, even if decisions pull against himself personally. if that doesn't bother you at all, and you still support trump even knowing that he's actually not "america first", well, that's certainly your right. but if you disagree, then maybe answer me this. in all of trump’s accomplishments over the past 7 months. name one that benefitted the country and happened to work *against* him personally.