8/30/16

Few observations surrounding the scandal “du jour” – Colin Kaepernick’s decision to not stand when the national anthem was played before the game.

I have no view on the advisability or sense of performing the national anthem before every football game, but whether or not I have a view is irrelevant.

Maybe the NFL should stop this tradition; maybe they should not. Until they do change it, this is a tradition and everyone is supposed to stand up for the national anthem.

There is no free speech issue here. To remind everyone of a common mistake: there is absolutely no prohibition in law or Constitution on a private entity such as the NFL or the 49ers from making any rules they would like to make regarding prohibition on any speech they like or do not like.

The First Amendment says that CONGRESS will make no LAW abridging the freedom of speech. Not that the 49ers will make no such rule.

I remember that when I was young—very young (5-6-7 years old)—the British national anthem was performed before the screening of any movie or any other performance in the UK. I cannot say if this is good or bad and obviously they do not do it anymore. I can say that I remember it. I do not have many memories from that age. Is there significance here somewhere?

In the rare occasions that I get to hear the Israeli anthem it always brings tears to my eyes. Is there significance here somewhere?

The national anthem is a sign of pride and patriotism. As a foreigner I always found the strong patriotism of American people to be one of the strongest, most positive attributes of this country. The shouts of USA, USA, USA on many occasions—be those appropriate or not—produce a reaction in me, always. Sometimes even tears to my eyes. It is the plain patriotism that binds this country and makes it so strong.

This election cycle has slaughtered many sacred cows (is one still OK using this phrase? Is it PC enough? Do the cows have feelings too? I must be on safe grounds as the environmentalists consider cows to be a bad thing these days and are hoping to slaughter them all…). As an example, we have seen one of the most talented brain surgeons in the world, a man who saved numerous lives turn out to be . . . well, simply . . . shall we say, plain? Certainly not very bright to say the least. Certainly not sophisticated and strong on policy and general knowledge. Not very smart. Still, he is the one of the most talented brain surgeons ever and performed God’s work on earth.

The point is that if you are a good football player it does not mean that you are clever. Listening to Kaepernick’s effort at explaining his behavior I will confidently state that he is a pretty stupid man. If he wants to prove otherwise he should start by learning about Francis Scott Key and the circumstances behind the writing of the “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” He could do much worse than that if he is to understand the significance of the anthem to veterans and patriots in general.

The bottom line is this: not every celebrity is clever, indeed most of them are simply stupid but great at one very narrow field.

Rules are meant to be followed, even if you are a celebrity.

Patriotism is a good thing; it makes your country strong. It binds people together to make your country strong.

If Kaepernick is not happy with this country let him show it in a meaningful way—maybe he should give all the money that this country fascination with sports and celebrity made him to what he thinks are the causes that need fixing in this country.

I suggest to the NFL and 49ers that until they decide to change their policy everyone should stand when the anthem is being played and if they do not, their pay should be docked by $500,000 per event. Let’s see all these great thinkers protest against this country when it actually costs them money rather than giving them faux fame.

In the time between writing and posting this, our “great leader” had the opportunity to comment on this controversy too. No prize for guessing who he sided with . . . according to Obama, Kaepernick is courageous for showing his public disobedience and concerns about this country. If he stopped there I would have ignored it, as this president is so off the mark and so much against anything that smacks of patriotism, American exceptionality or, indeed, American-anything that nothing can surprise me anymore. But he could not resist showing his true colors by putting the blame for the controversy here on veterans and others.

According to Obama—masked by the words “I understand”—it is veterans who find it hard to overcome their feelings regarding the anthem and the flag; that is who is wrong in this matter.

What an ASSHOLE. This is my second apology in a week for using this term but I simply can NOT overcome my rage and frustration with this entirely misguided man.