September 26, 2017

A tell at 0:06?



Those are clips from a much longer press conference, which you can read here: "Transcript: Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva met the media Monday to discuss what happened prior to Sunday's game in Chicago" (ESPN). Excerpt:

After the meeting ... based on my unique circumstances and based on the fact that I've served in the Army and pretty much that my life is lived through the military, I asked Ben [Roethlisberger] if there was a way to define the inside or where it is we were going to stay and if I could watch the national anthem from the tunnel, and he agreed....

I would say that my personal thoughts about the situation is that regardless of this plan, very few players knew that I was going to the tunnel because I only asked the team leadership. And because of that I did not give them an opportunity to stand with me during the national anthem. That is the very embarrassing part of my end in what transpired, because when everybody sees an image of me standing by myself, everybody thinks that the team, the Steelers, are not behind me, and that's absolutely wrong.

It's quite the opposite. They all would have ... actually the entire team would have been out there with me, even the ones who wanted to take a knee would have been with me had they known these extreme circumstances that at Soldier Field, in the heat of the moment, when I've got soldiers, wounded veterans texting me that I have to be out there, I think everything would have been put aside, from every single one of my teammates, no doubt.

So because of that, I've made Coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault, and that is my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only. And I made the Steelers also look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only. So unwillingly, I made a mistake. I talked to my teammates about the situation, hopefully they understand it. If they don't, I still have to live with it, because the nature of this debate is causing a lot of very heated reaction from fans from players, and it's undeserving to all of the players and coaches from this organization.
To the question,"What did you express to your teammates Saturday night about any potential feelings you had about not seeing the field?"
AV: There's a lot of levels, and there's a lot of reasons why people join the Army. But at the end of the day ... it happens all the time, people die for the flag. There's no way else to put it. When somebody's about to go on a mission, when somebody's loading up the Chinook, when somebody's ready to go, there's nothing else that's going to justify other than the men to the left and right dying for that mission. I wish I could stay home. I wish we could all play "Call of Duty" and not have to go to war. Some men, some women, sign up for this tough challenge, and they have to do it for the flag. When I see a flag of a mission on the shoulder of a soldier that reminds me that that guy's with me. It reminds me that I have to fight and lay my life down for him. Whether it's in my unit, whether it's Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, it doesn't matter. You're going to have a flag on your shoulder, I'm going to identify that, and we're fighting for each other. So that's what the flag means to me, that's what the flag means to a lot of veterans. Wounded warriors, they have no legs, they have shrapnel in their legs, they stand up and salute [during] the national anthem, it means a lot to them, it means a lot to me. So I think my teammates respected this thoroughly. It was just not communicated and the plan did not allow them the chance to get out and support me or maybe go back to the lab and sit five more hours before the game and figure out a plan. I thought we had to go to bed, work something in the middle. Unfortunately, I threw them under the bus unintentionally....

[E]very single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed to a degree, because like I said, unintentionally I left my teammates behind. It wasn't me stepping forward. I never planned to boycott the plan that the Steelers came up with. I just thought that there would be some middle ground where I could stay in the tunnel, nobody would see me, and then afterward I just wouldn't talk to the media, like I do all the time. I'll avoid you guys, I'll shower, bring my clothes in, never address you guys and two weeks later you guys will be talking about something else....

495 comments:

1 – 200 of 495   Newer›   Newest»
MadisonMan said...

Seems so Soviet to me. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Known Unknown said...

His gear is the top-selling Steelers merch after Sunday. Maybe the NFL will take notice.

Ray said...

Steelers should have left it alone...

tcrosse said...

Dig, dig, dig.

AllenS said...

A lot of Americans will end up being more productive on Sundays. Beer sales might even go down.

rhhardin said...

The military guy brings the military version of the flag, namely it's about the honor of discipline.

The thugs bring that it's about white power.

The audience sees it as disrespect to their ceremony of being patriots.

I see it as mass delusion. Everything's the same with or without the flag.

Sort of a Koran thing probably.

rhhardin said...

If you wanted to disrespect the country, and symbolic things aren't available, would you be out of luck, or could you just never-Trump the election results.

Jess said...

He could have saved time by saying: "I like my job, and will never rock the boat again; even if it means disrespecting the National Anthem so I can continue with my large salary."

Laslo Spatula said...

There must be players who have spent years pushing themselves to make it to the NFL wondering just how their beliefs have been hijacked by others in the name of Unity.

Witness Ben Roethlisberger:

""I was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem yesterday..."

Cracks in the dam.

I am Laslo.

Nell said...

Coerced?--possibly, or he's just taking one for his team, as I'm not surprised he would.

Pre-season hockey was on our TV in my sports crazy house---weird on a Monday night.

bagoh20 said...

Being who he is, he really had no choice. He had to show respect. The rest of the team let him and themselves down. He did the right thing. The rest did not. The wrong guy is apologizing here, but that's who he is, and that's why only he stood out there. I'm sure he has a lifetime full of being the one guy who did the right thing. He's a man, an exceptional man.

Quayle said...

Isn't America great!

We're having a big national fight, and nobody is - or very, very few are - shooting or bombing or beating each other.

Do we know how blessed we are?

Anonymous said...

grovel, grovel, grovel

Tom said...

Why did he touch his nose?

Birches said...

They all would have ... actually the entire team would have been out there with me, even the ones who wanted to take a knee would have been with me had they known these extreme circumstances that at Soldier Field

Translation: Tomlin and the Steelers had no idea how fast the town of Pittsburgh would turn on them over this and now they're trying to save face.

I feel really bad for them in a way. I listen to sports media and those yahoos have been advocating for eliminating the National Anthem altogether. Because to those Northwestern educated Elites, it doesn't mean anything special. I'm sure Tomlin et al thought they were taking the high road by not being out there because of the Sports media bubble.

Villanueva is a hero. And he made the rest of them look like cowards. Too bad.

Laslo Spatula said...

Denver Broncos: At least 32 players protested by kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. On Saturday, team President and CEO Joe Ellis released a statement supporting his players. Defensive end Derek Wolfe did not participate in the protest and made the following statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson:

"I stand because I respect the men who died in real battles so I have the freedom to battle on the field. Paying tribute to the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom is why I stand. But everyone these days likes to find a reason to protest and that's their right. It's America and you are free to speak your mind. I just feel it's disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their lives and it's the wrong platform. But like I said to each their own it's AMERICA! The greatest country in the world and if you don't think we are the greatest country in the world and you reside here, then why do you stay? A lot worse places in the world to call home. Proud to be an American.''

Cracks in the dam.

I am Laslo.

MikeR said...

Sorry, what's the tell at 0:06?

Sally327 said...

If one ignores the bathos in all of this, what occurred is a somewhat common workplace incident. An employee does something that makes the boss or his or her colleagues look bad and then tries to find a way to smooth it over, usually by stepping up and taking responsibility, my bad, I got my wires crossed, totally on me, nobody else knew, I'm the one and so on. Even when none of that is especially true.

In this case, though, it was true. The boss, Tomlin, had made a decision that the players weren't to take the field until after the anthem. It might be stupid, ill-conceived, politically driven, whatever, but it wasn't an illegal or unethical decision. Villanueva is an employee. He didn't do what the boss told him to do and other people on his team look bad and now he's trying to get past it. Which I totally get. I also think he doesn't want to be A Symbol. For people who may have an agenda that isn't really in his own interests to be associated with. Patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel, that sort of thing.

Fernandinande said...

Tom said...
Why did he touch his nose?


"My Nose is Good Enough, It's Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like My Nose!"

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The players are kneeling on behalf of Rachel Maddow and CNN's lies.

Police crime against blacks? Actual stats do not match the false narrative.

Gahrie said...

The boss, Tomlin, had made a decision that the players weren't to take the field until after the anthem. It might be stupid, ill-conceived, politically driven, whatever, but it wasn't an illegal or unethical decision.

Actually, it did violate NFL regulations.

Patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel, that sort of thing.

False patriotism. That quote is so misunderstood and so misused.

William said...

He comes across as truly admirable and brave. He's trying to thread the needle, but the needle is more like a spike. The fact that he feels the need to apologize for an honorable act makes the NFL and its groupthink players look worse....Well, the players accepted the apology of Ray Rice and Michael Vicks, so maybe they'll be tolerant and forgiving of the his sinner.

Wa St Blogger said...

This is the fallout that comes from a very poor choice in protest methodology. First, don't bring politics into a team sport. As soon as you do, you force everyone else to have to make a decision. The Steelers as a team made a decision to try and avoid controversy, but that did not work out so well since every decision from the first Kneel-down to now can no longer be neutral. The NFL should have been quick to make the following position: You are free to express your political views on your own time, but when you suit up, you represent the NFL and you represent your team, and unless we are united in your view, then you are disrespecting this organization and your team.

Villunueva was caught between a rock and a hard place by his team's decision (though I am sure it was not a unanimous choice. I am sure many players went along to get along.) He could disrespect his teammates on the Steelers or he could disrespect his teammates in the field of battle. He chose wisely. The Steelers choose poorly.

bagoh20 said...

"I see it as mass delusion. Everything's the same with or without the flag."

I would refer you to the lyrics of the National Anthem. They express what the difference is with the flag versus without it. The value of seeing it that is expressed there has been relived many times over by millions in the most serious and important times as Americans and the people they were saving or liberating have seen it appear before them. That is what the show is about. I personally love the ceremony, becuase I value that vision of salvation and liberty, and the power that makes it possible. I reap the benefits every single day, so I can spare a moment and some of my personal self-importance to say "I understand, I remember, and thank you." Delusion? No. Gratitude.

RNB said...

Villaneuva makes it sound like he was the only one in the tunnel, that the rest were back in the locker room. Roethlisberger makes it sound like they were hiding back in the tunnel. It's a small detail, but it bugs me. If Roethlisberger's description is accurate, the team could have been there in just a few steps. If Villanueva is right, they were bunkered down under the stands, safely away from any temptation to walk out, to see the flag, to be seen standing.

Or maybe they never felt any temptation to do those things.

jwl said...

While Alejandro Villanueva might have good reasons for what he did, it was still wrong. Presumably, some of Villanueva team mates would knee, while others would have stood, and their coach decided best way to preserve unity was to avoid the whole controversy and keep all the players off the field. And then Villanueva wanders out to honour anthem while his team mates are following orders, which makes them look unpatriotic or uncaring and will lead to even more derision.

chickelit said...

MikeR said...Sorry, what's the tell at 0:06?

Perhaps Althouse thinks that he's giving a finger scratching sign of solidarity with Trump.

I don't think so. I've seen clearer dog whistles in kids' pajamas.

Laslo Spatula said...

Winning teams can handle drama because winning is a great balm.

Losing teams, though: look to these for the coming implosions.

I am Laslo.

Anonymous said...

What the Steelers did to Villanueva is a disgrace. He exercised his right to respect the flag and all that it stands for and the Steelers forced him to apologize(!). Is there anyone else on the Steelers who has been in combat? Is there anyone else on the Steelers who spent four years committed to learning that "Duty, Honor, Country" was a way of life? Put the lie to the NFL's backing of freedom of speech that they intimidated this guy into an apology when HE did what HE thought was right.

Michael said...

The actual footballing in a game takes place in 11 minutes, the rest of the three hours taken up with ads, standing around, replays and announcer yakking. There are 17 games in a regular season so they actually "play" football a little less than three (3) hours in a season. That is both offense and defense. So the average player puts in less than an hour and a half of "work" during the season, the part the spectators are supposed to watch and care about.
The average salary for an NFL player is $1.9 million (rookies get about $350,000) so we are talking about a trade that pays $21,000 a minute.
There really is no justice is there?

Anonymous said...

A2's analysis is spot on - a tell at .06.

I'll add that Tomlin probably fired his AK47 in the air during the post game interrogation to motivate his hostage.

Ann Althouse said...

I've watched myself on Bloggingheads and know for a fact that I have a tell of touching my cheek when I'm aware that I'm saying something that I know isn't completely honest.

I think Villanueva knows what he has to say and am wondering about the extent of the duress. I'm not accusing him of lying. I assume he's trying to do the best he can under very trying circumstances.

cf said...

Eloquent, thoughtful, courageous. We are all better that Mr. Villanueva is in the world.

Bagoh says it: "he's a man. An exceptional man."

Godspeed, America

sparrow said...

They don't just "look" unpatriotic; they are.

Michael K said...

will never rock the boat again; even if it means disrespecting the National Anthem so I can continue with my large salary."

No, I think he is trying to be fair to other players who would have been there with him. I understand the entire O line voted to go out and stand but the coach insisted on majority rule.

Rothlisberger said it best. He apologized to Villanueva.

It will be interesting to see what happens next weekend. If anyone is watching anyway.

The problem the owners have is that it is racial.

rhhardin said...

I would refer you to the lyrics of the National Anthem. They express what the difference is with the flag versus without it.

That's the military use. It has a purpose there that's actually at odds with anything civilian.

If Trump walks by with a flag you don't salute him or stand at attention, if you're a civilian. If you do, something's wrong with the republic.

rhhardin said...

You're free because you're human, not because of the government.

Michael said...

Let us suppose that all the home teams ceased playing the national anthem. What would our genius footballers do for an encore? Would they rejoice in their "victory?" Would they feel the shame that would come to any real man? Would there be justice in the criminal justice system? Would the little black boys and girls read at grade level? Would rap music dispense with the N word and motherfucker? It is a puzzle isn't it?

Kristian Holvoet said...

Proposition: The leftists pushing for protests hate the alpha male sports industrial complex, and have been trying to kill it off for at least a generation (by litigation, regulation or shame).

Conclusion: They can't lose
Either their message gets embedded in the sport or the sport dies, and men lose another field where they can compete unashamedly as men.

Iowa Hawk (Dave Burge) nailed it:
1. Identify a respected institution.
2. kill it.
3. gut it.
4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
#lefties

Hagar said...

Cotton candy verbiage.
Villanueva is managing to catch it from all sides.

Henry said...

There's a common theme here between Mr. Villanueva's sincere apology and that ugly Guardian article about married white women.

People are loyal to institutions, including nations, and ideals. They are also loyal to other people. This loyal to the family, kin, comrades is far more tangible than loyalty to an ideal. I don't think there's any question from Villanueva's statement that he respects and honors his teammates and coaches. Furthermore, he feels that respect is reciprocated. Rothlisberger's statement is an example of the reciprocated respect. Also notable is that almost all of Villanueva's teammates avoided criticizing him directly.

This is the kind of loyalty and respect I honor. The teammate thinks first of the team. The parent thinks first of the family. The vague certitudes that every woman should be voting for all women or that every athlete should honor the flag are either built on the tangible loyalty for team, family, and community, or they mean nothing.

And if you want to call white women or athletes to a higher duty, I refer you to Eric Liddell (as portrayed in Chariots of Fire):

CADOGAN: There's only one way to resolve the situation.
That's for this man to change his mind and run.

PRINCE: Don't state the obvious, Cadogan.
We've to explore ways in which we can
help this young man to reach that decision.

LIDDELL: I'm afraid there are no ways, sir.
I won't run on a Sabbath, and that's final.
I intended to confirm this
with Lord Birkenhead tonight...
...even before you called me up
in front of this inquisition.

CADOGAN: Don't be impertinent.

LIDDELL: The impertinence lies with those who seek
to influence a man to deny his beliefs.

bagoh20 said...

"That's the military use. It has a purpose there that's actually at odds with anything civilian."

I think the protection of our civil society, and it's freedoms is something. You can say the wall is at odds with what it surrounds, but that's a luxury afforded by that wall.

wendybar said...

THIS.........Jess said...
He could have saved time by saying: "I like my job, and will never rock the boat again; even if it means disrespecting the National Anthem so I can continue with my large salary."
9/26/17, 9:07 AM

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The more innocent they are, the more they deserve to be shot.

Bertolt Brecht

Nothing changes.

rhhardin said...

4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

Suppose they had the American flag. Would you still see through it?

Nothing is more common than having the flag.

Politicians stand in front of a dozen of them at press releases.

There's serious flag-weirdness afoot in the land.

wendybar said...

He was forced to apologize to appease the oppressed millionaires. He is letting Americans down while supporting BLM.

Sally327 said...

"Actually, it did violate NFL regulations."

Which doesn't make it illegal. NFL regulations are not laws.

I think an employee can resist illegal instructions from an employer and an obligation to do so if, although not illegal, it violates the profession's canon of ethics (for attorneys, etc.). None of that is remotely true here.

On Sunday after the start of the Steelers game a whole lot of people decided Villanueva was The Man, people who didn't know this guy from a bale of hay before that. He's wise to try and make sure he can control his own iconography.

MikeR said...

"I've watched myself on Bloggingheads and know for a fact that I have a tell of touching my cheek when I'm aware that I'm saying something that I know isn't completely honest."
Whoa, wait. Professor, what did you say on Bloggingheads that wasn't completely honest? That you _knew_ wasn't completely honest?
I don't really have time to try to find the places where you touched your cheek.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I hope someone lets Villenueva know he wasn't standing alone--there are millions of Americans standing right there with him.

Whatever respect I might have felt towards players and teams making their own decisions about how to handle showing respect during the national anthem goes right out the window when they criticize Villenueva for his choice. Fuck the Steelers' coach--that son of a bitch didn't have to say anything or be critical of Villenueva at all but chose to criticize his own player, publicly.

You Lefty assholes won't stop until you've made everything political, until you've made everything a culture battle, huh? Fine. Stop whining like bitches when the rest of us decide to fight back.

The NFL doesn't need my money. I'm sorry if that hurts good people like Villenueva and lots of other players (and teams) that do good work in the community--the Falcons spend a lot of time in local children's hospitals, etc--but if the players and owners want to take a side I'm going to respect that decision and treat them as opponents.

wendybar said...

Hear hear HoodlumDoodlum!!

rhhardin said...

"That's the military use. It has a purpose there that's actually at odds with anything civilian."

I think the protection of our civil society, and it's freedoms is something. You can say the wall is at odds with what it surrounds, but that's a luxury afforded by that wall.


I'm not quarreling with the military, though you've got the gratitude wrong.

The military is honored because it's the movement of ethics itself : you're called, and you go.

It's about hearing the call and going, not about dying. Everybody who goes is honored.

The flag, though, is military. It's used to instill discipline through ceremony.

The honor doesn't rub off on the flag except for civilians entertaining themselves about how patriotic they are without actually doing anything but busting kneecaps perhaps.

bagoh20 said...

Asking THAT man to refrain from THAT act was stupid, and cruel. Especially considering who and what got us to this point: lies, liars, racism, and anti-Americanism.

rhhardin said...

Put the honor in the right places.

Nonapod said...

The dude was awarded a bronze star for saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. I don't blame him for not wanting to rock the boat and I can forgive him for this silliness.

rhhardin said...

V. doesn't get honor from standing for the flag but for going when called.

Standing for the flag is a side-effect of having gone. A military habit.

rhhardin said...

A deep habit. You want it deep there.

Seeing Red said...

Sunday was supposed to honor Gold Star families.

They spit on them.

Now that V apologized, what about all those people who bought his merchandise in support on Sunday? Do they return it?

And if Black Lives Matter that much, maybe those football players should live lives and be one role models that the kids can look up to?

It won't matter now, the sport is dead.

As someone posted either here or at Insty: No Fans Left.

rhhardin said...

Sunday was supposed to honor Gold Star families.

Misguided. Everybody who goes is equally honored.

It's a false compensation trying to turn them into an interest group for something. They're much better off with "Everybody who goes is equally honored."

Fritz said...

His beard itches. He hasn't had it that long, and he's not used to it.

jwl said...

Why do people assume that Villenueva is being forced to apologize?

My impression is Pittsburgh is working class town where patriotism is likely taken seriously - Villenueva might have been forced to apology or maybe he is trying to save face with his team mates who are probably quite angry with him now because they are going to be questioned about why the didn't stand/kneel.

I wonder how many people have played sports on a team because what Villenueva did was dickish if Michael K is correct that other players on O line wanted to go out and stand but decided to follow majority rules and stay off field.

rhhardin said...

Civilian uses of the flag:

Post offices.

Embassies abroad.

Football games.

Gahrie said...

You're free because you're human, not because of the government.

You're free because the government and people that the flag represent have and will defend your freedom.

Bill Peschel said...

Did anyone check to see if his eyes were blinking in Morse code?

rhhardin said...

I took all the flags flown after 9/11 as support for bombing the shit out of the bastards.

Greg Hlatky said...


The Duke of Norfolk: Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!


Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

rhhardin said...

You're free because the government and people that the flag represent have and will defend your freedom.

Nope, I do it myself.

rhhardin said...

Andy Rooney: The veterans already got what they deserve, a free country.

Bay Area Guy said...

Football is a violent sport. But it has rules, both written and unwritten. One unwritten rule - if you're a white guy or Hispanic (like Charlie V) don't piss off the brothers. You get a target on your back, and you are 1 low hit away from a season-ending injury.

Gahrie said...

Sunday was supposed to honor Gold Star families.

Misguided. Everybody who goes is equally honored.


Gold star families didn't go. They lost somebody who did.

Gahrie said...

Nope, I do it myself.

Wow you must be really busy....and incredibly old.

bagoh20 said...

""The honor doesn't rub off on the flag except for civilians entertaining themselves about how patriotic they are without actually doing anything but busting kneecaps perhaps."

I never mentioned patriotism. I said "gratitude". I know what I have. I know how I got it. If I can't claim responsibility for it, which I can't, I can at least choose to respect and honor it. Nobody has to, but I choose to. If it was widely considered unpatriotic to do so, I still would do it.

The kneeling is saying I don't appreciate the whole thing. They might not see it that way, but they chose the form and place of their message which makes it what it is. Even if it's about police abuse, they are making their message a crude one that disrespects the vast majority of the people who protect them and their families. It's a misdirected, poorly aimed bomb thrown into the crowd. Likewise it helps nobody, and hurts plenty.

sparrow said...

The flag represents the American ideal, not just the military. The US is that uniquely founded republic that was authentically designed to provide freedom and equality under the law. As is true of all human systems, the US has never lived up to the ideal, often drifting from from it, but it has outperformed all other systems. There's plenty to celebrate about America. I never served in the military but I still love the ideal this government was founded on. I'm not so cynical that I would denigrate one of few decent things human beings have done by disrespecting it's symbol.

Yancey Ward said...

It is painful to watch someone grovel.

rhhardin said...

Gold star families didn't go. They lost somebody who did.

Honoring the person they lost is the idea, as compensation.

They're better off with my version, everybody who goes is honored equally.

If you turn the gold star families into an interest group, they're the opposite of proud. They're a gimme group.

Gahrie said...

It is painful to watch someone grovel.

This press conference is the thing I hate most about the whole controversy.

rhhardin said...

The people who go into the military do it themselves. Nothing more common.

The virtues these days are taken as always belonging to organizations and not individuals. Big mistake.

Bay Area Guy said...

All the owners are powerful white millionaires. Most of the workers are black.

It's like a plantation of slaves - except for the $1.9 million dollar average salaries.

sparrow said...

Why should everybody be honored equally? Not everyone gave equally and honor is intended to exalt the best as an example. Honoring everyone equally is effectively doing away with honor itself.

Gahrie said...

If you turn the gold star families into an interest group, they're the opposite of proud. They're a gimme group.

Gold Star mothers go back to the 1920's. They have been around for nearly 100 years without becoming a "gimme group". In fact the whole point is what they have given to the rest of us.

Why are you being such a cranky asshole about this?

bagoh20 said...

"Civilian uses of the flag:

Post offices.

Embassies abroad.

Football games."


Those are places. The uses for civilians are only one: appreciation. Some may have other uses for displaying it, but they are still pretending to have that use.

Seeing Red said...

The Flag is somewhat like Thanksgiving. Thank God I'm here, not there and for the blessings we have.


Sometimes for every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction.

The snowflakes aren't as special as they think they are.

We are all learning lessons here. Sometimes lessons are harsh.

Bill Peschel said...

"You're free because the government and people that the flag represent have and will defend your freedom."

The government is not the source of our freedom, however, but a potential threat.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — 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."

"Why do people assume that Villenueva is being forced to apologize? "

Occam's Razor. If he thought, on his own, on reflection, that he was wrong, he could have said so in a tweet. Or tell a reporter. That he had to get up on a podium and make a speech suggests that the Steelers organized his self-auto da fe.

rhhardin said...

The flag represents the American ideal, not just the military.

It doesn't represent the military, it represents discipline needed in the military. They have to act as a team. It's a force multiplier.

Hence all the weird flag ceremonies that are followed. The point is following them.

It's not a civilian thing, unless you're playing war like kids. Which means acting like soldiers.

The American idea is you get to do what you want and others owe you civil inattention, and the American part is we all agree on that, within limits needed to make gains from trade possible (like contract enforcement, eminent domain, protection of property; stuff that lowers transaction costs and infrastructure building).

holdfast said...

NFL rules require the team to be on the field during the anthem. Period.

There are, apparently, secret supplemental guidelines which also require standing and uncovering one's head, but since those aren't published it's a little hard to enforce them.

Yancey Ward said...

"This press conference is the thing I hate most about the whole controversy."

I felt very sorry for him- many of his teammates must have really tore into him for taking a different stand. I am of the opinion of Laslo, though- cracks are forming. The NFL has basically taken a stance against their own fans, and that dam literally has gaping holes in it. This coming Sunday will be interesting- will the teams continue this, or will they declare "victory" and stop?

Brookzene said...

Isn't America great!

We're having a big national fight, and nobody is - or very, very few are - shooting or bombing or beating each other.

Do we know how blessed we are?


I'm in favor of that.

Seeing Red said...

ll the owners are powerful white millionaires. Most of the workers are black.

It's like a plantation of slaves - except for the $1.9 million dollar average salaries.


Which they chose to do and 5-6 months off with light training so they don't pull anything upon return.

rhhardin said...

Why should everybody be honored equally? Not everyone gave equally and honor is intended to exalt the best as an example. Honoring everyone equally is effectively doing away with honor itself.

Everybody who hears the call and goes. It's that behavior that's the essenece of morality, which is how it comes into honor.

You can't just put honor wherever soap opera wants it. Soap opera wants weeping.

Henry said...

Tom Brady, of all people, sums up Donald Trump's contribution: "I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive."

Likewise, when Tomlin explains that he asked for 100% participation, he isn't "ripping" Villanueva; it's fairly clear from multiple sources, including Villanueva, that Tomlin is simply describing what he did.

I really don't get the need to invent villains here. Or the desire for some kind of attendance taking at the beginning of a sports event. There are people that think differently about politics than you. You can load up the insults and outrage, or accept it and maybe learn something.

Brookzene said...

Police crime against blacks? Actual stats do not match the false narrative.

I think the whole point about police brutality is that they don't actually keep stats.

Henry said...

light training? Gah.

chickelit said...

Bay Area Guy said: It's like a plantation of slaves - except for the $1.9 million dollar average salaries.

That money isn't really salary - it's just reparations. And in the player's eyes much, much more is due. But above all -- withheld respect is due.

Nonapod said...

It does make you wonder what the goal of these protests are. I assume they're trying to convince people that the police are a bunch of racist trigger happy monsters? Or is that an unfair characterization? Has anyone ever specifically laid out what exactly these protests are about? What are they trying to accomplish?

And why choose this form of protest? If you're trying to convince somebody that there's a problem somewhere, why would you go about it in such an insulting way (or a way that could be construed as an insult whether or not you mean it to be)? Sure, it grabs peoples attention, but does it actually solve any problems? Or does it just anger people and turn them away from whatever your cause is? Have they asked any of these questions.

On the surface the whole thing just seems so brainless, like a temper tantrum. But I'm probably missing something.

rhhardin said...

Those are places. The uses for civilians are only one: appreciation.

That's why the flag is pretty empty in civilian use.

It's actually used for playing patriot at ball games. It's a self-entertainment, like watching disaster news.

Angel-Dyne said...

bagoh20: I never mentioned patriotism. I said "gratitude". I know what I have. I know how I got it. If I can't claim responsibility for it, which I can't, I can at least choose to respect and honor it.

I don't think what's going on here can be explained to rh, bless his heart. He's one of my favorite posters, but on this topic his extreme literal-minded sperginess makes what's actually happening here entirely opaque to his understanding.

(But at least he's honestly an extreme sperg. There are a lot of people out there who don't have that excuse who are playing dumb about the meaning of certain cultural expressions.)

exiledonmainstreet said...

sparrow said...
Why should everybody be honored equally? Not everyone gave equally and honor is intended to exalt the best as an example. Honoring everyone equally is effectively doing away with honor itself."

Excellent point.

On this issue, rhhardin sounds no different than any run-of-the-mill leftist ingrate.

rhhardin said...

See me, I'm dedicated to the flag, just like people who actually go and do something.

Playing soldier.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"He's one of my favorite posters, but on this topic his extreme literal-minded sperginess makes what's actually happening here entirely opaque to his understanding."

Yeah, I have to remember that about him. He really doesn't get it.

tim in vermont said...

I hate that they have taken away sports as an escape. I stopped watching the Golf Channel because of the MSNBC promos that were twenty seconds of white hot Trump hate front loaded so you could not change the channel, well the solution was to avoid what used to be my favorite channel.

Maddad said...

He didn't embarrass Tomlin. Tomlin embarrassed himself.

tim in vermont said...

I stopped watching TBS because of the same crap of some late-night harpy interrupting old sit coms.

rhhardin said...

What are the odds that everybody in the ballpark suddenly becomes high-minded at once.

It's a mass entertainment.

MaxedOutMama said...

To the extent that players now feel pressured by their team/management to not stand in the traditional gesture of respect, this controversy has lost the "freedom of thought and expression in public life" aspect that militates against Trump's comments, and just becomes another aspect of the ongoing culture war.

So I view this press conference as unfortunate for the liberal and progressive wings. The progressives, who are trying to establish a leftist tyranny that prohibits thought and expression of which they don't approve, are here exposed. And the liberals, who probably feel like me that Americans, even pro athletes, should have the right to stand or kneel or whatever, are here placed in the unhappy position of perhaps supporting ANOTHER forced expression if they try to argue for a player's right to kneel without censure from management.

It is a painful reality that some of Trump's support derived purely from the attempt (most specifically in the schools) by the progressives to make it anathema to show respect to the flag/military/police etc. Trump's willingness to break lefist speech taboos caused a certain number of people to vote for him.

In a commercial sense, the NFL was being hurt previously by the activism. I think most Americans would not want someone fired for such an act, but the audience of the NFL probably cannot accept the idea that players are not individually free to express respect for the nation's symbols.

I would opt for the liberalism, personally. This isn't it. The fact that kids are being ejected from schools for wearing clothing or buttons supportive of the military, that kids are being ejected from schools for wearing flag symbols, and that on the whole, anti-American speech is forwarded by far too many social institutions whereas pro-American speech is being actively suppressed is probably what caused the NFL's problems in the first place.

The corollary of the right to burn the flag is the right to salute the flag, and anyone who can't see that is an idiot who should receive no public respect whatsoever.

rhhardin said...

Yeah, I have to remember that about him. He really doesn't get it.

Make the argument. That's what it's for.

tim in vermont said...

I blame ESPN. These players all watch it and now think it's all about politics.

bagoh20 said...

" This coming Sunday will be interesting- will the teams continue this, or will they declare "victory" and stop?"

It may turn out like the media with Trump's victory. They hate the guy, but he's great for ratings. There has never ever been a political figure as ubiquitous in the media as Trump is. He is all they talk about now. Maybe the NFL will become all about politics with a little football thrown in during the breaks. Many of us here have certainly never talked about the NFL so much in our lives.

tim in vermont said...

I actually didn't care about the protests until it became about Trump. I don't actually like the guy, but I despise so many of his enemies, it's a conundrum.

Brookzene said...

The dude was awarded a bronze star for saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. I don't blame him for not wanting to rock the boat and I can forgive him for this silliness.

All these incredible warriors get a pass from me for most anything they do. Villaneuva. John McCain.

bagoh20 said...

"That's why the flag is pretty empty in civilian use."

I think you under-appreciate appreciation. I can appreciate that, but my appreciation is only appreciating with time.

rhhardin said...

Before 2001 there was zero interest in veterans and zero gratitude, the last interest having been just after WWII with a spate of memorial stadiums when everybody was a veteran.

Soon there will be zero interest again.

If you joined the military for gratitude, you joined for the wrong reason.

Brookzene said...

Sunday was supposed to honor Gold Star families.

They spit on them.


Someone spit on the Gold Star families this year but it wasn't the athletes.

Professional lady said...

My Dad is 94 and is a WWII vet. He was a navigator on a B17 and flew 22 missions over Germany, Greece, and Eastern Europe before he was shot down and taken prisoner. If you ask him, he will tell you that he is not a hero, he will say (and I'm quoting) "It's the guys who didn't come back who are the heroes." I think that point of view is widely shared by his generation.

Yancey Ward said...

MaxedOutMama at 10:18 a.m.

Well done.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Henry said...I really don't get the need to invent villains here. Or the desire for some kind of attendance taking at the beginning of a sports event. There are people that think differently about politics than you. You can load up the insults and outrage, or accept it and maybe learn something.

Is that the standard, Henry? When did that begin--5 minutes ago? Did that standard suddenly become operative when it's the people on the Left expressing an unpopular opinion? Is dissent patriotic again, Henry, having been racist and hateful for, oh, about 8 years there?

'Cause see, Henry, I've been watching the news for the last few years. In that time I've seen several instances where prominent people in the Media and other important institutions stated and acted on the belief that contrary political beliefs could not be tolerated. You know, where people who expressed ideas counter to what the Left believe were publicly excoriated, attacked, etc. Where people lost their jobs, Henry, and the Left cheered! Where a pizza shop responding to a hypothetical question about whether they would participate in a hypothetical gay wedding ceremony was driven out of business, Henry. Where cities did their best to exclude a national fast food chicken restaurant chain from being able to operate in major metropolitan areas just because of the views expressed by the owners of that restaurant. Where a guy expressing a belief in an internal company forum designed for open discussion lost his job when people within and without the company objected to the non-crazy views he expressed--and the Media cheered that firing. Remember when a rodeo clown wore an Obama mask--nothing more!--and lost his job and his ability to work as a rodeo clown ever again? Shall I go on? I can fill several pages here with examples, Henry.

But you want to stop all that, right? Suddenly it's "people should be allowed to express an unpopular opinion without being harshly criticized for doing so and shouldn't lose their jobs just because they express a political opinion." The Media and Left line was "you can say what you want but we get to punish you for saying anything we don't like," but now it's suddenly "we should all respect others' opinions and free expression should include a healthy tolerance for contrary beliefs."

Well, my answer is: no. Fuck no. These are the rules the Left and Media have established. If I have to live under them, Henry, so does everyone else. That includes NFL players, NFL team owners, EEEEEEVERYONE!

Is it a divisive standard? Of course it is--it's been divisive this whole fucking time, but no one important objected 'cause it was only some low-class deplorables suffering from the rule. Now that it looks like some important people might face some consequences from it's application you guys want to call the whole thing off--without any promise that you won't turn around and apply it again the moment doing so will hurt your political opponents? No.

Henry said...

tim in vermont: I actually didn't care about the protests until it became about Trump.

Ironically, Trump supporters like Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Tom Brady didn't care about the protests either until it became about Trump.

Getting offended about the protests still looks like an opt-in.

Henry said...

@Hoodlum Doodlum -- s that the standard, Henry?

It's my standard.

Nonapod said...

All these incredible warriors get a pass from me for most anything they do. Villaneuva. John McCain.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I would give military heroes a pass for absolutely everything, but I'm certainly willing to give them a pass for a hell of a lot more than anyone else.

For example, with McCain I definitely consider him a hero but I often disagree (often vehemently) with him politically. I also think he's gotten a bit too spiteful in his old age.

MikeR said...

This is just up Scott Adam's alley. Incredible unforced error by Trump enemies. Instead of having an argument about black victims and police brutality, we are having a national argument about whether liberals respect the country, with the national anthem as a very clear symbol.

See here: a father and son are having issues. The therapist asks the father, Do you love your son? He says, Of course I love him.
Or he says, Of course I love him, but I have these issues.
The second father has a problem that is much bigger than the issues: he can't make his love for his son unconditional. He can't bring himself to say it without qualifying it.

That's what's happening here. For my whole lifetime, conservatives have been saying that liberals aren't patriotic, don't love their country. And liberals have been denying it.
But here they are, saying that they can't do something as simple as standing politely for the national anthem without making a statement.

Idiots. Say I love you. Make your statement some other time.

Brookzene said...

And why choose this form of protest? If you're trying to convince somebody that there's a problem somewhere, why would you go about it in such an insulting way

I'll bet you they said the same damn thing about Rosa Parks.

rhhardin said...

McCain is a grandstander and has always been a grandstander.

Original Mike said...

"V. doesn't get honor from standing for the flag but for going when called."

And we honor him, and the others who answer the call, by taking a couple of minutes from our lives to show respect. How else to do it without a symbol of that respect?

Michael K said...

"The flag, though, is military. It's used to instill discipline through ceremony."

The flag plays an unusual role in the US history. I completely disagree with rhhardin's comments.

We have never had a king and, until 2008, we never had a president as a symbol.

Politicians do not make good symbols. They have faults and can often be shown later, like John Kennedy, to have serious faults.

The flag is the inanimate symbol of the country and unity. I disagree that it is only military.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'm not a fan of forced expression generally.
I'd love to be able to say "everyone can express their own beliefs and in our society we tolerate contrary opinions and respect our fellow citizen's differences of opinion."
But we don't live in that world. We live in a world where saying "I'm not sure I support gay marriage" will cost you your job. I doubt a kid in public school could say that and not be disciplined (for "hate speech" no doubt).
We live in a world where holding the wrong belief makes you fair game for physical violence, to the approval of most of the Media and even of people like Marco Rubio & Mitt Romney. "Punch a Nazi!" they gleefully shout, and define most anyone they disagree with as a Nazi or "Nazi collaborator."

If I say I disagree with a howling mob tearing down memorial statues that means it's ok for people to physically beat me in the streets, to get me fired from my job, to hound me online, etc. Just a difference of opinion, right?

Fuck that. You can say that the display of respect during the anthem is an empty ritual and you can say that forcing people to perform that ritual is contrary to the ritual's purpose and your concept of free expression, but the current norm is that people can be MADE (under threat of violence, job loss, social ostracism, etc) to express certain beliefs and/or MADE to not express contrary beliefs.
Since that's the norm I'm going to insist it be applied to everyone. No exceptions for cases where they Left happens to find it inconvenient. You assholes made this rule, now we all have to follow it.

Original Mike said...

"You're free because you're human, not because of the government."

That would be news to the citizens of North Korea.

Nonapod said...

I'll bet you they said the same damn thing about Rosa Parks.

I wasn't alive then, so I can't speak to what the typical mentality of your average American was at the time. Were huge swaths of Americans personally insulted by the Rosa Parks thing in a similar they way they are by this?

Henry said...

These are the rules the Left and Media have established.

If those are the rules you choose, they're your rules too.

Michael K said...

"we are having a national argument about whether liberals respect the country, with the national anthem as a very clear symbol."

Yes and they have chosen to show they have other priorities. Where do you think military volunteers come from ?

Martin said...

This idea that whatever the team did, they all had to do the same thing, hence they decided not to go on the field at all--that is just bizarre. We are told that protests are American and to be lauded, but there can be no differences of opinion.

WTF?

You don't expect the players to necessarily be deep thinkers and leaders, tho some are; but the coaches all need to be fired. Not just "should be fired," they "need to be fired." By insisting on the Stalinist solution to disagreement, they undermine the whole concept of a team of individuals.

Angel-Dyne said...

rhhardin: The American idea is you get to do what you want and others owe you civil inattention, and the American part is we all agree on that, within limits needed to make gains from trade possible (like contract enforcement, eminent domain, protection of property; stuff that lowers transaction costs and infrastructure building).

No, this is a libertarian ideal. It has no more likelihood of sustainable instantiation than a Marxist ideal, as both of them are in deep denial about human nature and the nature of human social organization. Respect for contracts and minding one's own business are good things, but good luck with putting together a decent, sustainable society based on nothing but respect for explicit contract law and minding your own business.

(On a small scale, with allowances for reality, and having developed organically out of specific cultural traditions, both "libertarianism" and "socialism" - in an "as close as realistically possible" sense - can make high-functioning societies. At larger scale, unmoored from their cultural roots and the mores of the people who developed them, and peddled as universalist abstractions, they fail.)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Professional lady said...My Dad is 94 and is a WWII vet. He was a navigator on a B17 and flew 22 missions over Germany, Greece, and Eastern Europe before he was shot down and taken prisoner. If you ask him, he will tell you that he is not a hero, he will say (and I'm quoting) "It's the guys who didn't come back who are the heroes." I think that point of view is widely shared by his generation.

That's amazing, your Dad sounds like a terrific guy. I booked my father a ride in a B-17 next month--it's one of a couple of restored airframes touring around. I'm excited just to see one operate in person--I can't imagine what it must have been like to fly in full formations in combat.

rhhardin said...

The flag is the inanimate symbol of the country and unity. I disagree that it is only military.

There's the 4th of July use but nobody's standing at attention, just putting them out in the yard.

The stand-at-attention thing is military. Civilians play soldier at it, which is not good and you don't want it happening. Civilians are supposed to be more doubtful about whose ceremony this is and for what purpose this time.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I'll bet you they said the same damn thing about Rosa Parks.

9/26/17, 10:36 AM

Right. Because a woman refusing to move on a bus in the segregated South is just like a millionaire athlete displaying contempt for the country and fans that made them wealthy.

You get more idiotically illogical by the day.

Gahrie said...

I think the whole point about police brutality is that they don't actually keep stats.

Actually they do. And cops are in more danger of being killed by a Black man than Black men are in danger of being killed by a cop.

If these protesting players really cared about Black lives they'd be in the cities telling young Black kids to stay in school, don't join a gang, don't do drugs and don't have children out of wedlock.

Brookzene said...

Were huge swaths of Americans personally insulted by the Rosa Parks thing in a similar they way they are by this?

Yes, they were; mostly but not exclusively in the south.

chickelit said...

rhhardin said...There's the 4th of July use but nobody's standing at attention, just putting them out in the yard.

Especially in San Francisco

Brookzene said...

"we are having a national argument about whether liberals respect the country, with the national anthem as a very clear symbol."

The argument from the other side is about whether Trump respects the country's values. Kneeling during the anthem, an extremely mild form of protest, is designed imo to focus attention on there opinion, which is no, he does not respect our values.

Gk1 said...

Poor guy. He looked like a U.S Pilot shot down over Hanoi talking about how well treated he was and how the imperialist running dogs and their lackeys in wall street must seek peace. Was he blinking "torture" in morris code?

tim in vermont said...

"bet you they said the same damn thing about Rosa Parks."

Accusations of racism are the first refuge of scoundrels.

rhhardin said...

Especially in San Francisco

I'd assume he's military, just on odds.

exiledonmainstreet said...

" Instead of having an argument about black victims and police brutality, we are having a national argument about whether liberals respect the country, with the national anthem as a very clear symbol."

Yep. The idiots have turned the argument into one they are bound to lose. And the liberals who defend the NFL are too stupid to see they are helping Trump.

Really, keep digging that hole.

Brookzene said...

BROOKZENE: I think the whole point about police brutality is that they don't actually keep stats.

GAHRIE: Actually they do.

Heh. You don't think the particular stats on the particular incidents of police brutality are underreported, do you?

tim in vermont said...

It's like AntiFa, nominally against fascism, but it's always American flags they burn.

Seeing Red said...

The Progs keep moving the goal posts. Now it's about free speech?

Tell that to Berkeley.

Todd said...

rhhardin said...

Hence all the weird flag ceremonies that are followed. The point is following them.

9/26/17, 10:07 AM


The point is showing proper respect and honor to the country (the flag being the symbol of) that those in the military have chosen to defend and protect, with their lives if necessary.

Those "weird flag ceremonies" are only weird to those that don't understand the background and history to them.

Crazy Jane said...

Villenueva was torn between two team affiliations. First was his military team. Second was his football team.

There's a lot of symbolism in team sports, particularly commitment to one's teammates and the common goal. This is why football, a symbolic mashup of warfare and business, appeals so strongly to Americans.

Teammates know and respect each other as individuals. They do not want to signal disunity. Fans do not want to see their teams to signal disunity. This is why people got so upset with the narcissism of look-at-me touchdown dances.

As this fake controversy has gotten hotter (and our intemperate president has thrown gasoline on the fire), my guess is that most players are feeling whipsawed between their commitment to the team and their preference that the whole matter go away.

Short of eliminating the anthem, I don't see how it can go away.

Brookzene said...

BROOKZENE: "bet you they said the same damn thing about Rosa Parks."

TIM IN VERMONT: Accusations of racism are the first refuge of scoundrels.

Bet you they said they same thing about Rosa Parks.

Kep Hartman said...

There is Alejandro Villanueva. And then there are the Pittsburg Kneelers.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Seeing Red said...
The Progs keep moving the goal posts. Now it's about free speech?"

Hell, tell that to the Cowboys who were forbidden by the NFL to honor the 5 cops who were murdered last year. How soon they forgot.

The players get penalized for dancing in the end zone. The NFL has absolutely no problem with enforcing speech and behavior codes when they want to.

But of course, "it's different when we do it."

rhhardin said...

The point is showing proper respect and honor to the country (the flag being the symbol of) that those in the military have chosen to defend and protect, with their lives if necessary.

Those "weird flag ceremonies" are only weird to those that don't understand the background and history to them.


It's about discipline, but that's military. It has a point there.

It's not a civilian tool.

Seeing Red said...

If the players had respect for their contracts, they would have kneeled at a different time and shown and stood up for the National Anthem.

rhhardin said...

You could improvise a weird flag ceremony that's no weirder than actual ones and play it as comedy.

It would be funny because there's a truth to its weirdness.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Henry said...
These are the rules the Left and Media have established.

If those are the rules you choose, they're your rules too.


Yup. I've adopted their rules and am insisting they be applied to everyone. This martyr shit where we get kicked in the balls repeatedly by the machine the Left built but refuse to allow that same machine to kick anyone on the Left 'cause we're just too nice and too principled...it's a recipe for a lifetime of testicle pain, Henry. The Left will not stop. We've argued with them that it's bad for the country, we've pleaded with them that it's unfair to individuals, and we've appealed to their humanity and their sense of civic duty, Henry, for YEARS...and all we have to show for it is pain. My position is that if expressing unpopular views is going to be painful then it's going to be painful for everyone.

They're not even subtle about it! Dissent was patriotic--the highest form of patriotism!--during the GWBush years, but then dissent was presumptively racist, unpatriotic, and ugly during the Obama years. A NYTimes picture of an Obama associate STANDING ON AN AMERICAN FLAG published (coincidentally) 9.11.01 caused no general uproar, but any number of examples I've already given of people criticizing Obama or expressing a difference of opinion about feminism, gay rights, or transgender topics have been career enders.

They're not gonna change. They're not going to be persuaded by your good example--the only HOPE there is for persuading them to adopt a better norm is to ensure that they feel the pain their norm causes; that the norm's punishment falls equally on them.

If you want to be Gandhi, be Gandhi, but remember that his advice to the jews and to the allies in WW2 would have seen the Final Solution completed and Hitler victorious. We all would have died with pure souls, though.

Todd said...

tim in vermont said...
I actually didn't care about the protests until it became about Trump. I don't actually like the guy, but I despise so many of his enemies, it's a conundrum.

9/26/17, 10:21 AM


This a thousand times!

I am neutral on Trump but have zero respect for so many of those allied against him. I think (as with Bill Clinton) sitting down with him for a few beers would be a hoot.

exiledonmainstreet said...

In the meantime, a black man, a Somali refugee, gunned down white people in a church this weekend, killing one and injuring others before he was shot by a member of the congregation who ran out to his car and got his gun. (Thank God for the 2nd Amendment.)

That hate crime has barely been reported on. When Dylan Roof shot members of a black congregation, it received national attention and conservatives, the Confederate flag and whites in general were blamed for the attack. But this? Just a local story. The constant race-baiting of the media, the anti-white and anti-Christian hatred exhibited by the Left - that has nothing to do with nothing.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Good point. It's moved from "die cops die" to - "free speech"

Brookzene said...

I'm moderate lefty - but I did not really support the original kneel down during the anthem. Partly b/c of reservations about BLM when they issued a foreign policy that sounded like crap to me. I wasn't irately against it, like Trump pretends to be for instance. Of course dividing us really serves his personal interests.

After his inflammatory Alabama speech and subsequent tweets, I got on board because I believe they are now expressing their anger with Trump. I don't see it at all as disrespectful to kneel with dignity during the anthem. No one's protesting the anthem or the flag - they are protesting Trump and/or police brutality in the streets.

I love the anthem and I'll resist all efforts to replace it to my dying day. But I'll kneel if it's appropriate to express my protest. I'll respect anyone's counter-opinions all day long, as long as they respect mine.

Todd said...

rhhardin said...

Before 2001 there was zero interest in veterans and zero gratitude, the last interest having been just after WWII with a spate of memorial stadiums when everybody was a veteran.

Soon there will be zero interest again.

If you joined the military for gratitude, you joined for the wrong reason.

9/26/17, 10:24 AM


No one I know joined for "gratitude". We would appreciate the simple respect and courtesy given to the average citizen though, if that is not too much to ask. Appreciation is nice. Not getting called names or spit on is better. You are right, support for the military and for vets ebs and flows. Depending on the "war of the moment" those who service are either devils or saints. Regardless of public feelings, those that go continue to serve.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If I have to bake the cake the rest of you have to bake the cake, too.

You can change your mind about making me bake it but you cant' insist that ONLY I have to do forced baking.

You wanna say protestors are all Rosa Parks and that we should tolerate dissent and disagreement, fine, but you'd better apply that same standard to speakers and movements you don't like. You can't cheer for attacks on legal alt-right protest marches and then insist that I respect your kneeling protestors--if protestors you like are Rosa Parks then protesters you don't like are Rosa Parks, too.

If you force people to tolerate gay pride parades you're going to be forced to tolerate alt-right parades, or conservative speakers in public forums, or whatever. You don't get to choose! If you want unpopular opinions to be tolerated (to allow individuals to express them without facing harsh social and legal consequences) when the opinions are ones you agree with you're going to have to tolerate them when they're opinions you don't agree with, too. Otherwise you're just engaging in special pleading and cloaking yourself in unearned respect by invoking the name of past protesters we all like.

Michael K said...

Heh. You don't think the particular stats on the particular incidents of police brutality are underreported, do you?

Those who know nothing often sound dumb.

Why don't you look up the FBI crime statistics ? You might look a little smarter.

In Chicago and New York City, and LA come to think of it, there are "citizen (left wing) groups looking as hard as they can for "police brutality."

In New York City they stopped the practice of "Stop and Frisk" which had reduced crime considerably, especially in poor neighborhoods. Guess what ? Crime has gone up again.

The left cannot learn by experience. It is always "Groundhog Day" on the left.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Known Unknown said...His gear is the top-selling Steelers merch after Sunday. Maybe the NFL will take notice.

Yeah but how stupid is that? You're still giving the NFL money and they're happy to take it. Hell they will probably run the numbers and realize it's more profitable to have "good guys" and "bad guys" week to week, like professional wrestling.
Better to find some way to give the money to a cause the player sponsors, or something.

Brookzene said...

If I have to bake the cake the rest of you have to bake the cake, too.

You can change your mind about making me bake it but you cant' insist that ONLY I have to do forced baking.


Your argument isn't with right vs. left. It's between those who respect the 1st Amendment and those who don't. I wholeheartedly supported the ACLUs defense of Nazis to march in Skokie (did I get that right?). Nobody should get violent in protest.

It's not hard to actually apply principles like these to both sides if you really value them and if you aren't a total idealogue.

Michael K said...

I don't see it at all as disrespectful to kneel with dignity during the anthem. No one's protesting the anthem or the flag - they are protesting Trump and/or police brutality in the streets.

What horseshit !

This is a BLM thing from a to z. The radical left, to which you belong, is upset that so many black men are in prison.

The best advice I can provide is "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

Everybody knows that black men are mostly killed by other black men but that doesn't fit the narrative.

Minnesota schools have now decided to not discipline kids acting out because so many of them are black.

Now those schools are chaotic and teachers are quitting.

There are videos of teachers being assaulted by black kids.

Original Mike said...

"Heh. You don't think the particular stats on the particular incidents of police brutality are underreported, do you?"

Yes, we all know that lack of evidence is evidence...

Brookzene said...

In Chicago and New York City, and LA come to think of it, there are "citizen (left wing) groups looking as hard as they can for "police brutality."

If you don't believe police brutality exists and that it disproportionately impacts communities then you are worse than dumb - you don't want to believe it.

buwaya said...

"It's about discipline, but that's military. It has a point there.
It's not a civilian tool."

But it is. Its not a military thing, its a human thing.
What would be, to some idealized objective observer, non-rational things, like symbols, ceremonies and verbal formulas, are meaningful in context. Every society on earth has these things. In the US some of this is bound up in professional sports, which on the face of it seems absurd, but in context of similar things around the world it isn't that strange.

This the price we pay for being a social species.

M Jordan said...

This is ALL on Coach Mike Tomlin. He tried to be clever, shield his team from having to make a statement, not realizing that their non-statement was a big statement. How could a grown man in a professional position not see that hiding in the tunnel would be perceived as a dis' of the anthem and flag? Incredible lack of foresight.

Tomlin must step up and apologize to Villenueva, the fans, and to America, really. Much better would have been to have the team come up and let the kneelers kneel and out themselves.

This whole ruse cost the Steelers a game, IMHO. Rothlesberger wasn't the same nor was the defense. Bad, bad decision by Tomlin, who I like.

sparrow said...

"It's about discipline, but that's military. It has a point there.

It's not a civilian tool."

Nonsense: it may originate with the military but it is not at all restricted to them. The rest of of us are fully free to adopt the anthem and respect for the flag without enlisting. For many, including myself with zero military background, it's a heartfelt part of belonging to America.

Brookzene said...

Yes, we all know that lack of evidence is evidence...

So there is no police brutality or bad cops on the beat have counted on this defense all along. Which do you think is true?

CWJ said...

"And why choose this form of protest? If you're trying to convince somebody that there's a problem somewhere, why would you go about it in such an insulting way"

Brookzene replied -

"I'll bet you they said the same damn thing about Rosa Parks."

Total analogy fail. Are you seriously equating someone directly demonstrating the problem, with athletes acting out with respect to the flag/anthem as addressing police brutality?

Henry said...

If you want to be Gandhi, be Gandhi

If you want to be Godwin, be Godwin.

Here's a short list of things to consider:

* Base rate neglect
* Confirmation bias
* Feedback loops

rhhardin said...

Nonsense: it may originate with the military but it is not at all restricted to them. The rest of of us are fully free to adopt the anthem and respect for the flag without enlisting. For many, including myself with zero military background, it's a heartfelt part of belonging to America.

What does the flag have to do with it?

David said...

I would go to war with this man. He made a mistake, not in what he did but how he did it. He is completely honest about it without asking for sympathy. His main concern is the team, and he knows he let his teammates down in the way he reached his decision.

I would be very surprised if his teammates did not embrace him as a result of his honesty.

The man is a veteran, a combat veteran to boot. Think of the position he was in. I admire how he handled this, "mistake" and all.

Nonapod said...

Yes, they were; mostly but not exclusively in the south.

You may be right. I was curious so I found a paper.

But I'm not convinced that the current situation here is analogous. For one thing, segregation was a series of specific policies that existed that a person could agree or disagree with. The current protests are based around the idea that there is an excessive amount of racist police brutality (as well as milder forms of racism) towards young black males. That is a bit more vague in that the existing stats don't clearly bare that out (assuming you believe those stats). So it's more about choosing to believe a thing is the case (or not) than about a specific policy.

Brookzene said...

What horseshit !

You didn't actually contradict what I said at all.

The best advice I can provide

Don't be surprised if your best doesn't really impress or interest anybody.

David said...

"After his inflammatory Alabama speech and subsequent tweets, I got on board because I believe they are now expressing their anger with Trump."

Believe away. You don't know the motivations of most of these players, and neither does anyone else. The one thing that you can count on is that there are many different motives. Your "belief" is just a convenient wish.

Sebastian said...

So teams should have "free speech" but deviant members of teams that want to dis the anthem should not. Got it.

"it wasn't an illegal or unethical decision." Actually, by the actual NFL rule book, not that anyone cares, Tomlin's decision might have been illegal. Of course, the ethics, being subjective and situational in these postmodern times, are in the eye of the beholder. But the decision stinks.

Gahrie said...

If you don't believe police brutality exists

It exists, but not to the extent that you on the Left claim.

and that it disproportionately impacts communities

Not when you look at crime statistics. The sad fact that the Left fails to acknowledge is that certain communities commit far more crimes than other communities.

Pookie Number 2 said...

So there is no police brutality or bad cops on the beat have counted on this defense all along. Which do you think is true?

Probably some of both. But some of what is portrayed as police brutality is actually a rational response to the higher risk of violence presented by some sub-segments of the population.

Brookzene said...

But I'm not convinced that the current situation here is analogous. For one thing, segregation was a series of specific policies that existed that a person could agree or disagree with. The current protests are based around the idea that there is an excessive amount of racist police brutality (as well as milder forms of racism) towards young black males. That is a bit more vague in that the existing stats don't clearly bare that out (assuming you believe those stats). So it's more about choosing to believe a thing is the case (or not) than about a specific policy.

thanks for the response. Someone else said my analogy failed because I seemed to be "equating someone directly demonstrating the problem, with athletes acting out with respect to the flag/anthem as addressing police brutality"

That's not completely wrong but I still don't feel the analogy is a "complete fail." Just not smart enough or energetic enough, or frankly interested enough, to unpack my own argument on this at the moment.

I appreciate your thoughts and your disagreement.

Angel-Dyne said...

Henry: If those are the rules you choose, they're your rules too.

Lol. Everybody's a concern troll these days.

I have some small experience with sociopaths, and the parallels between their behavioral patterns and those of the contemporary left are quite illuminating. A sociopath is, of course, entirely amoral, but gets what he wants by "free riding" on people with functioning moral compasses. A clever sociopath can manipulate moral people for years by appealing to their moral sense. The moral people are not necessarily stupid saps, either. They can be intelligent, reasonably worldly people. (As I know from years of exasperation trying to convince the clever sociopath's marks that he was, ya know, a fucking sociopath.)

The really interesting part was the endgame, when the sociopath finally ran out of chumps. (Amazing how long it took, but there it is.) When, at last, the manipulative appeals to the marks' morals, charity, and principles no longer worked.

That point being reached, did the sociopath slink off, acknowledging to himself that his scam was blown? No, not at all. He doubled-down on the heretofore successful manipulative behaviors. And doubled-down again.

And again. I'll never forget the look of panic, confusion, and fear in his eyes. The cold sweat. It was as if he could not understand that the marks were on to him, as if he could not grasp that the rules binding other people could change in any way in response to his own failure to follow them. His whole life it had entirely eluded him that human social interactions are fundamentally governed by the concept of reciprocity. Not understanding that, he could not make any sense of what was happening, and inchoate narcissistic rage ensued.

Remind anybody of anything else lately?

Professional lady said...

Hoodlum Doodlum - I think it was probably terrifying although my Dad wouldn't say that either. He would say he was just doing his job like everyone else. However, he never went back to Europe after WWII and I don't think he really wanted to ever get on a plane again. He did fly only on the rare occasions when he had to do it for his job. His surviving crew members on the mission that was shot down got together in 2001. The radio man was from NYC. He said he could not get on the subway for years after the war because it reminded him too much of getting on a plane.

buwaya said...

"But I'll kneel if it's appropriate to express my protest. I'll respect anyone's counter-opinions all day long, as long as they respect mine."

The problem with symbols and symbolic acts is that these things can have double meanings. Your principled protest can come across as a slap in the face to another. Its difficult to analyze these things in a non-solipsistic manner, to understand the actual or likely impact on some other group, as they are so much a matter of emotion.

It may be more easily visible to someone who doesn't share the emotional response of either side. There are other problems with this alien perspective of course.

But so it is. When the basis, the context, for the emotional response to a former shared symbol changes, then the symbol is no longer shared. The tribe is splitting.

sparrow said...


"What does the flag have to do with it?"

Are you seriously that obtuse? Or are you stringing me on? It's symbolic of course and the flag is the recognized near universal symbol for America. I can't believe you don't know this: I just don't get your reaction.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brookzene said...

But some of what is portrayed as police brutality is actually a rational response to the higher risk of violence presented by some sub-segments of the population.

Can't imagine anyone disagreeing. Yet I think it's still apparent there's enough brutality that can't be justified to merit protest. I've seen some cops abuse power in my lifetime and it's no stretch to believe 1) There's more such brutality than is necessary and 2) it can probably be reduced through greater attention, training, better equipment, communication, etc. The increase use of cell phone video and cops' body cameras are helping us get a better understand the problem and probably reduce it.

Of course, unless you insist that it's not happening. I think the protests are designed to get the slow-walkers and obstructionists out of the way.

There game is just about up really.

Original Mike said...

"So there is no police brutality or bad cops on the beat have counted on this defense all along. Which do you think is true?"

I think that your use of the phrase "no police brutality" is a transparent attempt to hide the fact that you have no evidence to back up your charges.

rhhardin said...

"What does the flag have to do with it?"

Are you seriously that obtuse? Or are you stringing me on? It's symbolic of course and the flag is the recognized near universal symbol for America. I can't believe you don't know this: I just don't get your reaction.


If you feel deeply part of America why do you need the flag?

I don't need it, for example.

buwaya said...

Most people aren't sociopaths so I don't think this is a productive approach to this situation.

There certainly are a lot of sociopaths who make it into leadership positions, especially in democracies and bureaucracies, but what we are seeing is a mass social phenomenon. If it is madness, it is the "madness of crowds", but even that has rational roots.

The root here is a fundamental divergence of interests.
You are now no longer US, but we and those other guys.
It takes time and pain for the now-obsolete symbolism to catch up.

Michael K said...

athletes acting out with respect to the flag/anthem as addressing police brutality?

If anybody would know about real police brutality it should be NFL players as they are arrested at an average of every 7 days.

Instead the videos we see are mostly about them beating up women.

They need more evidence.

Don't be surprised if your best doesn't really impress or interest anybody.

I'm not surprised by your failure to address the serious issues, like crime and murder.

Like this, for example,

What fools inhabit the left.



Brookzene said...

The problem with symbols and symbolic acts is that these things can have double meanings. Your principled protest can come across as a slap in the face to another. Its difficult to analyze these things in a non-solipsistic manner, to understand the actual or likely impact on some other group, as they are so much a matter of emotion.

Yes. Martin Luther King addressed this specifically in Letter from Birmingham Jail. You might find his thoughts on your idea interesting.

Howard said...

rhhardin has made a number of good points about the weakness of supporting a cult of civilian forced flag worship. The solution seems clear. Only military veterans should be allowed to stand during the national anthem, all others must take a knee.

Military service members don't swear an oath to the flag, to the country, or to the people of the US. The oath is to the constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. Never looked at what orificers swore to... they aren't bound to follow superior officer nor presidential orders. Now that's real power.

The Oath of Enlistment (for enlisted):

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

The Oath of Office (for officers):

"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the _____ (Military Branch) of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."

Before you raise your right hand, make sure you understand what you are swearing or attesting to. The oath of enlistment should not be taken lightly, you will be bound by it for the next 4 to 6 years at a minimum.

Original Mike said...

"...no stretch to believe 1) There's more such brutality than is necessary and 2) it can probably be reduced through greater attention, training, better equipment, communication, etc. The increase use of cell phone video and cops' body cameras are helping us get a better understand the problem and probably reduce it."

I've got no problem with this, but it has nothing to do with the current "protests".

Michael K said...

"You are now no longer US, but we and those other guys. "

This is why the coaches and owners of the NFL cannot give players the option of staying in the locker room ro going out on the field and standing for the Anthem.

This would show how racial this has become.

I don't think they can solve this. Thanks, Obama.

Howard said...

Doc! You make my point exact, Michael. There is more concern about NFL players committing free speech rather than violent crime.

Michael K said...

"Only military veterans should be allowed to stand during the national anthem, all others must take a knee."

The left is so in love with compulsion. That's why Obamacare was based on forcing people who didn't need insurance to buy it. Then they chickened out on enforcement because they knew how it would look.

Pookie Number 2 said...

I think the protests are designed to get the slow-walkers and obstructionists out of the way.

Would that it were so. Until the protesters actually show a good faith effort to fix their "side", it's kind of hard to view these protests as anything other than mindless grandstanding.

Brookzene said...

I think that your use of the phrase "no police brutality" is a transparent attempt to hide the fact that you have no evidence to back up your charges.

This just isn't serious. We know there's police brutality. We know there's racism. We know that parents sometimes don't really love their children! Asking for more "evidence" before we can move on and address these issues in a just matter is just obfuscating. If you need more evidence then you aren't really someone who can be a partner in fixing these problems. Your opinion or your help is probably not worthwhile if you can't acknowledge or stipulate to some basics.

Michael K said...

"There is more concern about NFL players committing free speech rather than violent crime."

You are amusing. The "free speech" they are committing will drive away the fans and bankrupt the league.

I don't care but I am not getting paid millions to play a game. Besides, I like college football better but this will eventually affect the college game, too.

Amadeus 48 said...

Re: crime statistics (cooking the books edition).

I notice that DNA Chicago, which hosts the murder timeline (an ongoing murder count in our fair city), has adopted a change that will soon show up in crime statistics, assuming it was perpetrated by the Chicago Police Department.

Historically, murder victims were classified as black, white, or Hispanic. Virtually no non-Hispanic whites are murdered here, but earlier this year, the murder timeline began showing every victim with a Hispanic surname as "white".

I think we will be seeing a more equal black/white distribution of murders in this town starting this year. Are those white Hispanics still people of color?

Michael K said...

If you need more evidence then you aren't really someone who can be a partner in fixing these problems.

Yes, especially if the problems are imaginary or not the ones you think they are.

Nobody of the left since Moynihan will talk about the black family that was destroyed by Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society."

Bill Cosby made the mistake of mentioning it and charges from 30 years ago were dredged up.

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