Friday, April 21, 2017
Leftists Detest Patriotism
An NBC sports writer complains that flags and the national anthem are injecting politics into the game.
NBC Sports writer Craig Calcaterra stirred a hornet’s nest this past weekend when he took to Twitter to complain about the injection of politics in sports. “Will you keep politics out of sports, please. We like sports to be politics-free.” By which he meant the American flag and national anthem, because he tweeted it with a picture of the Atlanta Braves' new stadium during the national anthem.
Calcaterra followed up his tweet with an essay on the NBC Sports website in which he claimed that the presence of American flags and patriotic imagery in sports is part of a post-9/11 “conspicuous patriotism” meant to evoke specific feelings in sports fans.
Maybe Calcaterra would like to file his complaint with the Marine who carried a flag all the way through the Boston Marathon — on a prosthetic leg.
Of course, American Patriots realize that it’s Calcaterra who’s guilty of mixing politics and sports. The display at the Braves game, and many like it at ballparks across the country, are patriotic displays meant to show support for our country and our military. This sort of thing has been going on at sporting events for generations. Despite what Calcaterra thinks, there is no Orwellian propaganda machine at work.
Sports fans are generally a patriotic lot. Calcaterra discovered this in the responses his tweet generated in the hours and days after he posted it. Many challenged his thinking, wondering what was so political about displaying the American flag and being patriotic. One of Calcaterra’s snarky replies was that “People often wrap themselves in the flag in order to achieve political ends.”
People often burn the flag for the same reason, but when flags are displayed in sports, there is no political end to achieve. America-hating leftists can’t seem to grasp that. For them, everything is political. And their inherently thin skin leads them to believe that there is some hidden agenda behind anything they can’t understand. No wonder they’re so bitter.
Take a look at the farce that was Colin Kaepernick’s protest last football season. Kaepernick claimed that he refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem to show his solidarity for the mistreatment of black people by police. One could argue that Kaepernick’s sentiment to protest such abuse was well-intentioned, but he showed extremely poor judgment by directing his anger at America as a whole and not simply at those responsible for real abuse.
Kaepernick’s error quickly and roundly drew the ire of football fans, and he now sits jobless on the sidelines waiting to see if he will even be picked up by a team for next season. Rumor has it that no NFL team will touch him after the whole debacle.
Leftists are finding themselves increasingly marginalized in America either because they cannot grasp the true meaning of patriotism or because they are terrible at hiding their outright loathing for America. Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. Either way, they seem to want the flexibility to embrace patriotism and the American ideal when it suits them, mainly so they have something to hide behind when they show their contempt for this country and many of its time-honored institutions.
The difference between what is patriotic and what is anti-American should be easy to see, so it’s puzzling that there is such a vigorous debate over the issue. But leftists will keep that argument going because it’s in their nature.
It would just be nice if they can keep that debate out of sports. We Americans like baseball, football, basketball, and all the other contests because we admire physical skill and athletic prowess. We’re not looking for more social justice warriors. Hollywood, Washington and the mass media have given us more than enough of them to go around. Sports is one of the few things in American life that is inherently politics-free. That’s why we like sports. Let’s keep it that way.
Big Labor Robs Members to Support Democrats
If you’re wondering why millions of workers are abandoning the idea of unionization, this statistic provides a clear answer: At least $1.7 billion — three-quarters of which came straight out of workers' pockets — was used to promote 2016 political campaigns, according to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research.
Two things stick out in the report. 1): “labor unions, which have the ability to tax employees via forced-dues, [are] the only 501(c)5 entities capable of sustaining this kind political expenditure for the past decade”; and 2): “Union officials spent $1.3 billion directly from union treasuries (filled with forced dues and fees) to spend it on politics, dwarfing George Soros' and the Koch Brothers' reported combined political spending during the same period.”
Democrats talk a lot talk about voters “making their voices heard” by “getting out the vote,” but most of this money is being siphoned from workers who don’t have a voice in how political contributions are allocated. And, needless to say, Democrats are the biggest beneficiaries. The most recent data reveals that just 14.6 million Americans (or 10.7% of the workforce) were unionized last year. This is a 9.4% reduction from 1983, when membership was 17.7 million (a participation rate of 20.1%). This might explain why, according to The Washington Free Beacon, there is a disparity between Big Labor’s political activism and the votes cast by subordinates: “Trump received votes from 43 percent of union households, while garnering two endorsements from unions representing Border Patrol agents and police officers.”
As National Right to Work Foundation’s Mark Mix put it, “This election was a case study in the disconnect between union bosses and their members, and the chasm is growing.” If unions truly believed in the idea of democracy, they’d quit forcing members to fund partisan politics.
Net Neutrality Noise and Its Ultimate Goal: Total Government Control
For over a decade, professional liberal organizers and agitators – backed by a tidal wave of big liberal foundations and Silicon Valley corporate money – have told a bizarre scare story that without heavy-handed government regulation, Internet service providers (ISPs) will start blocking what websites you can go to and impeding free speech on the Internet. No such thing happened in the approximately two decades that ISPs were unregulated “information services” under the 1996 Telecom Act. Indeed, the opposite occurred as robust competition between phone and cable companies – and later wireless companies – drove speeds dramatically higher and consumers benefited from an Internet that innovated beyond our wildest dreams.
Nonetheless, in 2015, ultraliberal advocacy groups (fueled by $196 million from the Soros and Ford Foundations) and Silicon Valley giants like Google (which cycled a shocking 250 personnel through the Obama administration and saw regulating ISPs as a way to guarantee themselves access to below-market rate downstream bandwidth for their YouTube unit) succeeded in getting the FCC to reclassify ISPs as regulated public utilities. This was done under a Depression-era law designed for the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly. Thousands of complaints to potentially micromanage every aspect of the Internet piled up at the FCC Enforcement Bureau and the commission was set to adopt a sweeping new broadband tax to replace the private investment it scared off – with strings attached of course – during a Hillary Clinton administration.
The liberal organizers of the phony net neutrality scare campaign had even bigger plans; Robert McChesney, the founder of Free Press – the group that was cited 46 times in the Obama net neutrality order – openly bragged: “At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
If that’s too subtle for you, McChesney also said: “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”
The American people elected Donald Trump, and President Trump elevated free-market champion Ajit Pai to be FCC chairman and undo the mischief the Obama FCC had done before it could reach its ultimate goals.
Chairman Pai is soon expected to unveil his plan to undo the Obama order and replace it with a light-touch approach that centers on competition and consumer protection and allows government intervention only when there is actual consumer harm – not just scare stories. And in a refreshing break from the usual pattern of regulators accruing to themselves as much power as possible, the Pai plan will probably relinquish authority from his own agency to the Federal Trade Commission, which has far better expertise in consumer protection and competition issues.
To the well-funded groups on the left that created the phony net neutrality issue as a pretext for a government takeover of the Internet, any step back will be unacceptable and the apocalyptic rhetoric will flow like water. They will again have hundreds of millions of dollars and massive platforms from the Silicon Valley giants like Google that supported the Obama regulations. And the liberal media will happily jump on board every vicious smear and lie to tarnish Chairman Pai and President Trump and try to spook Congress into reversing course. Some conservatives may be tempted to simply ride the tide of fake outrage. But that can only lead to McChesney’s ultimate goal of total government control. On this issue, conservatives in Washington D.C. must do what they were elected to do: stand and fight. And win.
The Ugly Face of Sharia Law in America
Two recent reports underscore the danger of being ambivalent toward Western values.
According to The Detroit News, a middle-aged doctor by the name of Jumana Nagarwala has been arrested for illegally conducting female genital mutilation on two minors. Additionally, the Detroit Free Press reports that “an attorney for [Nagarwala] admitted that her client performed a procedure on the juveniles' private parts, but maintained that it wasn’t cutting. Instead, the lawyer said Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, removed the membrane from the girls' genitals as part of a religious practice that is tied to an international Indian-Muslim group that the doctor belongs to.” This spin doesn’t make the incidents any less horrendous. In fact, the minors were instructed not to divulge anything about the ordeal. And without the FBI’s involvement, the malefactors might have gotten away with it.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Abdullah Rashid is “trying to impose what he calls ‘the civil part of the sharia law’ in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis,” according to the StarTribune. His enforcement measures include ordering people to avoid alcohol and drugs, soliciting “indecent” females to wear Muslim garb, and encouraging folks not to socialize with the opposite sex. If there’s any good news it’s that the Tribune says “local Muslim leaders are sounding the alarm. They are working to stop Rashid’s group, General Presidency of the Religious Affairs and Welfare of the Ummah, and have notified Minneapolis police, who say he’s being banned from a Cedar-Riverside property.” But these Islam-inspired shenanigans aren’t new, particularly in Minneapolis. The problem is only getting worse.
We don’t know if Nagarwala is an immigrant (though presumably she is), and reports indicate Rashid is a Georgia native. But in both cases, they are being influenced by an ideology that’s prevalent in Islamic nations. The immigration debate — an issue in which both the Democrat and Republican Parties once found common ground — has turned into one of the most politically divisive topics. The Left arduously advocates open borders, which it says is about compassion and inclusivility. But that view is either misguided or politically calculated or both. What leftists completely disregard is the idea of assimilation. And without assimilation, the stories above with continue to metastasize.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.
Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 12:30 AM