Take a knee? part 1

I

So this mess started when Colin Kaepernick was unhappy with Unarmed Black people being shot by white police officers.  So he launches a silent protest during the National Anthem before a 49er’s game.   This has created a storm of controversy and opinions galore.  It’s here where any semblance of common sense has gone out the window, and has set us on a contentious path.

Unfortunately this topic consumed me for a while.   I talked to friends both black and white about it in order to understand it and I did get some enlightenment from it.  Here are some highlights:

We have a problem with the current connection with the action and reason for the knee taking and the National Anthem.  I hope that this wasn’t a kick by Colin against America, but really just an extremely visible show of a man’s protest for police shooting unarmed black men.   That was his stated intent, but to some this is was an intentional disrespect to the flag and to the armed forces who bleed and give lives to be sure we can have the freedoms we enjoy.   For this reason, I honestly don’t think it mattered if they were black or white, if anyone were to take a knee, they would have taken a lot of heat for the same reason. Some others saw it as  here is a man who makes more money than i’ll ever see in my lifetime, and he is unhappy and protesting a against a country who made him rich.  Again I don’t believe that it would have mattered who took a knee or what color they are, it would have been taken negatively by the majority of people.

In Kaepernick’s case his reason behind why he did it may have been valid, but it’s not really related to the Anthem, and that’s where the problem begins.  His protest had nothing to do with the game, his treatment in the NFL, or the Anthem. His purpose was to bring his perception of an outside social issue to the forefront in a very public way and he did so.  However the act is now a marriage of racial isues and the anthem.  if you criticize the act or the people who do it, you now run the risk of being labelled a racist.  They aren’t related in that way, but some can’t separate it, and that’s why people will never agree about it or come together until they understand that.

The issue is further exacerbated by the fact that his protest was done in front of the people at the game and a large television audience.  Regardless of the validity of his protest, he’s a representative of his team and is at work where the expectation is that he like all athletes, stand for the Anthem.   That act to some was admirable, but not without a price. The result is that he was not re-signed by San Francisco and was out there in free agency.   There were teams in need of a quarterback, but all of them have passed on him, because frankly they are in the entertainment business and this wasn’t appealing to the majority of fans.  Don’t make the mistake to think that I don’t think that the cause was important, but at work, you and I can’t just express our thoughts or feelings any way we feel.

Trump made things much worse with his unedited tweets and AD-HOC speeches.  He basically called for the Owners to fire anybody who doesn’t stand and respect the flag.  This created a new focus where folks not only are kneeling for the original reasons, but now I believe they do it to show defiance to Trump.  The instances increased and it found it’s way all the way down to even elementary sports where the kids don’t really have a full grasp of the implications.   more later…

 

Fake news

I like my ability to be able to write about things and have it available to others to read.  I believe that privilege comes with a responsibility to write truthfully and sometimes carefully to be sure you properly represent facts and not just conjecture.   I read something today that dealt with gossip about Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani breaking up.   It’s common these days to start out with something shocking and usually false and follow it up with the truth in the article.  What’s the purpose?   Sell magazines or subscriptions of course.   In this case it seems that while other rumors had Blake proposing to her on “The Voice”  he was merely trying to quell that rumor and say that they were going slower.   It makes me crazy that anyone with a computer can just throw lies out there for whatever reason.   I see it all the time and it creates a lot of confusion.   There seems to be a lot of competition out there for stories to report and it creates a lot more sloppy journalism and sometimes just blatant misreporting.  This is another example of the negative effects of such a media connected world.  News outlets are now in competition with essentially everyone who can report, and it just gets out of control.   I have seen a lot more of stories changing over time as facts become known.  They have to get something out there or get left behind, so they report what they know or think they know and fix it later.   Very Sloppy and irresponsible.

Crazy world in action

I knew before this election that the Donald was going to be a problem.  I think he’s typical of just about anyone who looks at things they don’t like in the highest office and believes that if he had the power he could just change it.  He doesn’t have a firm understanding of what it takes to get something done or how many political hoops you have to jump through to get there.  I’m a great armchair quarterback too.   I have those moments of believing I could change the world given time, money, power, and a large lever.

The reality for people who are in that position is that it doesn’t take into account what you don’t know.   We know only what the media gives us and what we hear and observe.   We may think we know the solution, but it doesn’t take into account all those unknowns that we can only be privy to if we get the big job.   Bullying that may work in business, doesn’t work in all situations.   It might work in business when you have leverage, but there are so many more factors to consider when you are on the largest stage in the land. and every move is supposed to be transparent and is examined under a microscope.

The last couple of weeks has been a crazy roller coaster of deception and lies that come out of the White House.  It’s a serious problem with you have competing stories that are released.   It’s hard to tell the real from the fake news.

FBI director Comey was fired.   That is under a lot of scrutiny, especially since there was a lot happening concerning ties to Russia during the Trump campaign, and Michael Flynn.   The original story was that Comey was being too tough on Hillary Clinton during the campaign and after.   Nobody with a brain bought that reasoning.  Trump himself called for Hillary’s head during the campaign.  Wanted crooked Hillary jailed.  He also praised Comey for what he did with the emails and without a doubt Comey helped discredit Hillary and make it easier for Trump to be elected.    There was a lot more behind what happened here, but while Comey was ramping up the Russia investigations, he get’s fired by Trump who apparently didn’t want Flynn further investigated.  At a minimum, it was extremely bad timing to fire him while this investigation was underway.  It looked bad and like Trump had something to hide.

Along comes leaking secrets regarding ISIS to Russia right on the heals of the firing.  The White House issues a statement that there were no classified information passed, then Trump basically doesn’t deny it, but defends his right to do so as president.  The president can declassify information by law and share it, but it doesn’t make it a good or right thing to do.   I’m pretty sure that you can legally do that sort of declassifying on the fly, but still be guilty of treason.

It’s been an insane week and there has been a LOT of activity for both republicans and democrats alike.  The word impeachment has been spoken louder and even republicans are calling for more information so they can decide their course of action.  It should be far more interesting going forward.   I’ll update later.

We begin..

I think you may have noticed that our world is a bit out of sorts.   There is more and more stress out there.   Look at the situation with the upcoming election, the relationship between whites and blacks, the relations with police, terrorist plots and actions, military actions overseas, nuclear threats, scary clowns!  It’s crazy and explains a bit why people are wound so tight.

There is so much that I’m not sure where to begin with this, so let me start with where most of this starts and probably my biggest complaint.   The Media.      Yes, that which keeps us informed, also twists and manipulates us.   They take full advantage of our habits, and they make sure they cover what they want us to see.   This may play to their own political views or simply work to gain subscribers or viewership.  They control what they show you,  they understand that many people don’t read past headlines.  What you may not know is that they can use this to sway your opinion, to make you happy, to outrage you.  They will claim it’s simple reporting, I say it’s simple manipulation.   I’ll be pointing out the role of media in several future posts, since they are involved in most everything.   It won’t be just the formal media, but the explosion of social media that is taking fact twisting to new levels.   You’ll see how that is changing America, and I don’t think  for the better.