John Perry, San Juan Capistrano

Football is a game governed by rules. All players are taught the rules by their coaches who expect them to follow the rules of the game.

Referees are on the field to make sure everyone follows the rules. If a player violates a rule, the referees impose a penalty. If the violation is severe, the player can get ejected from the game. Sometimes a referee misses or blows a call, but they generally “call them as they see them.” Suppose the football game was played without referees. The game would soon degenerate into chaos.

Civilization is governed by laws (rules) that all people are expected to obey. We employ police officers to make sure everyone follows the law. If someone breaks a law, the police can give the person a citation or may arrest the person suspected of breaking a law. Some police may not actually see the violation but may rely on witnesses who did see the event. Not all police officers are fair, but a vast majority “call them as they see them.” The police officer is required to present evidence to a judge who makes the final ruling. Suppose there were no police and everyone was allowed to do whatever they wanted. Civilization would soon break down and survival of the strongest would prevail. In other words, civil order would degenerate into chaos and there would be no civilization.

We need people who follow the rules to play the game.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (25)

  • I am not quite sure what you are talking about. You mention the NFL protest, then start talking about rules and police.

    If you are talking about the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, they broke no federal law. It was a right conferred by our Constitution and the Supreme Court of the United States.

    The court ruled in West Virgina Board of Education vs Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) that the 1st Amendment “protects people from being forced to participate in patriotic ceremonies that offend their conscience or beliefs.” Are you aware that the Supreme Court took it even further action in the case of Texas vs Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), when it ruled “that the right to burn the American flag was protected as a form of symbolic speech.”

    Colin Kaepernick kneeled to protest the lack of equality that out flag and Anthem are supposed to represent.

    Our Pledge of Allegiance says we are “One nation, under God (added in 1954), indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” It is a fantasy, at best, because “liberty and justice for all” has never existed, despite the best attempts of good people throughout our history.

    The second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence states “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.”

    Our Constitution begins with —“We the People” — affirming that “the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens,” all of us, not just the corporate elite or multi-billionaires.

    The catch-22 here is that in 1787, “All men are created equal” meant a white Male. Women were not consider equal. In the natural order at the time, women were supposed to be “submissive, and a meek, obedient, loving wife who was totally subservient to the men around her.” Furthermore, “people of color ranked three-fifths of all other persons—i.e. slaves.”

    Clearly, equality, liberty and justice, or the pursuit of happiness did not exist for all.

    Our Civil War and President Lincoln’s Emancipation proclamation ended slavery, but they set the stage for Jim Crow. Dred Scott vs Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) ruled that people of color, “whether free or slave,” were not American citizens . . . . The Court also ruled that Congress “lacked the power to ban slavery in the U.S. territories.”

    Congress responded with the 13th Amendment, ratified on December 6, 1859. The 13th Amendment abolished “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” and authorized Congress to enact “appropriate legislation implementing abolition.” Congress went on to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1866, giving black citizens “the same rights in every state . . . including full and equal benefit of all laws enjoyed by white citizens.”

    Despite the above gains, slavery continued into the 1960s, it just wasn’t called slavery. Jim Crow laws began to appear in 1876, mandating “de jure segregation” in all public facilities, with a supposedly “separate but equal” status.

    Finally the African-Americans said enough. Rosa Parks kick started the Civil Rights movement for equality when she refused to give up her seat to a white person. In that moment Rosa Parks became “the First Lady of Civil Rights” and “the mother of the Freedom movement.”

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended “segregation, and outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”

    One would think that with the passage of the Civil Right Act of 1964, equality had been finally achieved, but nothing could be further from the truth.

    Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) struck down Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored”.

    The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Loving, determined that this prohibition was unconstitutional, overruling Pace v. Alabama (1883) ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

    Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971), was an Equal Protection case in the United States in which the Supreme Court “ruled that the administrators of estates cannot be named in a way that discriminates between sexes.”

    The Supreme Court ruled for the first time in Reed v. Reed that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited differential treatment based on genders. It was followed by Fontanero vs Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973).

    Fontanero determined that “benefits given by the United States military to the families of service members cannot be given out differently because of sex.”

    The fight was then taken to the states, when Congress passed the Equal Right Amendment (ERA). Thirty of the necessary thirty-eight states ratified the amendment by 1973, but then the tide turned. From nowhere came a highly organized, determined opposition that suggested that ratification of the ERA would lead to the complete unraveling of traditional American society.

    I am a veteran having served 22 years in both the Navy and Army, including Vietnam in 1968. I would kneel with Colin Kaepernick, if I could, because I want the same thing, equality, liberty and justice for all; no exceptions.

    • @ Joanna Clark

      Your statement, “Clearly, equality, liberty and justice, or the pursuit of happiness did not exist for all.”

      So, until America is perfect, you are going support those who denigrate our flag and our National Anthem, symbols that are supposed to unify this great nation? Any and everybody who has a beef with some aspect of America is justified in their display of displeasure and can dishonor our flag and National Anthem? Is that right? How about if pro-life folks, distressed over the 30 million or so children murdered in the womb in this country, one day decide to show disrespect to flag and country to “raise awareness” of the lack of equal protection under the law for the unborn, would you join them if you could?

      Do you support flag burning?

      Joanna, Americans are good people, a generous people, not the racist rubes the left is always claiming they are. Just this weekend I saw 1000 Christians in just one church spending their Saturday (and donating their money) to pack food for refugees in Uganda, a people they have never met. Marines on Camp Pendleton likewise voluntarily packed food…for thousands upon thousands of refugees. Where ever there is a crisis in the world, America and Americans are there to lend a hand to help those in need and comfort the hurting. Is that not worth standing for?

      The NFL has fumbled this whole affair. They could, and should have made participation in the National Anthem a condition of employment as they have on numerous other occasions. The NFL are not only hypocrites on this issue, they are hurting the league as many fans have simply tuned pro-football out. If Kaepernick (who didn’t even bother to vote) and his fellow flag and National Anthem denigrators really want to make a positive contribution and change minds regarding law enforcement, they’re doing it WRONG! It’s sad that former military personnel actually support this kind of nonsense, but it’s certainly your right to do so.

  • And who denigrated our flag and our National Anthem?

    What if they had knelt, calling out our failure to provide for our veterans when they return from the battlefield. Would you be attacking them?

    What if a battalion of Marines, having just returned from Afghanistan, came out and knelt during the National Anthem, kneeling to honor their fallen comrades. Would you attack them?

    How would you respond, David? Would that be okay, with you?

    And if it is okay with you, then why is it wrong to protest the inequality that exists today. Why is it ok for the President to make disparaging remarks about Hispanics, immigrants, African Americans, Muslims, and women? Are we to just look away and ignore his hateful remarks, his obstruction of justice, and the growing inequality that he endorses? We have a Constitution and laws that are supposed to guarantee equality under color of law, and a pledge of allegiance that tells us we are one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. Yet racial and gender discrimination still exists today. Yet, that is okay with you?

    I agree, the majority of Americans are good and generous people. But, at the moment, the White Supremacists, Neo Fascists and the Ku Klux Klan have the bully pulpit. It’s okay for them to march in our streets. It is okay if they kill anyone that stands up to their hatred. Three innocent people died in Charlottesville, and at least 19 were injured.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Southern Poverty Law Center reported hate crimes against Muslims in the United States rose dramatically in 2016.

    Reports of swastikas at schools, racist taunts and other hate-fueled attacks and acts of intimidation have been on the rise since 2016.

    Yet, when a group NLF players kneel to protest the above, they are accused of denigrating our flag and National Anthem.

    I say that the only ones denigrating our flag and National Anthem, are the ones who stand idly by and do nothing. Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance.

  • @ Joanna Clark

    “And who denigrated our flag and our National Anthem?”

    Those who, contrary to custom and the basic respect a citizen owes his country, violate these expressions of allegiance, ie., the said NFL football players.

    “What if a battalion of Marines, having just returned from Afghanistan, came out and knelt…”

    Marines know when to kneel and when it is time to stand, and the time to stand is during the National Anthem, hand on heart. Americans stand for the National Anthem not because they have to or because the law requires it, but because it is a universal activity that unites all Americans regardless of race, creed, party, or color. It is the leftists who look for opportunities to divide people, for reasons to pit one group against another, to undermine long held cultural practices, and to denigrate what others may cherish. When these NFL players refuse to respect our flag and National Anthem, they are the ones being divisive regardless of the merits of their original, stated claims.

    “…why is it wrong to protest the inequality that exists today.”

    Don’t conflate the recognition of a lack of respect when kneeling during the National Anthem for a lack of empathy for those who feel they’re being discriminated against or an unwillingness to fight against injustice. Men and women of good conscience can and do protest or “raise awareness” for a number of worthy causes without feeling the need to disparage our flag and National Anthem. As I stated, if the National Anthem denigrators honestly wish to change minds regarding law enforcement practices, then they are doing it WRONG! Americans love football but many are turning away from the game because of the disrespect shown by a number of the players.

    BTW, what inequality exists today in America and what is the source of this inequality?

    May I assume, since you didn’t answer any of my questions, that you support those who burn the American flag? That you support anybody who, for whatever reason, denigrates our country, our flag, or our National Anthem? Are you ashamed of our flag or our National Anthem or America itself because America isn’t perfect? Because she doesn’t live up to her ideals? Do you think constant criticism and hyperbole help bring Americans together?

    “But, at the moment, the White Supremacists, Neo Fascists and the Ku Klux Klan have the bully pulpit.”

    Joanna, that statement is utter non sense.

    “…and other hate-fueled attacks and acts of intimidation have been on the rise since 2016.”

    The overwhelming majority of the hate and intimidation is coming from the left. Remember, it was leftists who showed up at Trump rallies to incite violence, assault those of differing opinions, vandalize public and private property, block highways, and attempt to prevent law abiding citizens from exercising their right to hear the speaker of their choice. Trump supporters didn’t attend the rallies of Bernie and Hillary and harass their supporters or attack their person.

    “…the Southern Poverty Law Center…”

    The SPLC is a HATE group. It may have started out with noble goals but having achieved them, went on to become the very thing they set out to destroy.

    Let me say again, America is a great country filled with wonderful, caring people who are the first to come to the aid of those in need. They aren’t the racists that leftists wish to brand them with nor the “basket of deplorables” Hillary claims they are. Considering your participation in this demonization of a large percentage of America, if you truly wish to discover why America is so divided, look in the mirror.

  • So, according to you, David, “The SPLC is a HATE group. It may have started out with noble goals but having achieved them, went on to become the very thing they set out to destroy.”

    Is this a personal opinion, or do you have hard evidence, not opinion, that qualifies them to be classified as a hate group?

    I did multiple Google searches, and not a single case decided defining them as a hate group. I found lots of criticism from various hate groups; about the same as the ACLU receives.

    David, you are missing the whole point of this discussion. You are focusing on just one thing, “desecrating” the flag, which you claim is unpatriotic and should be illegal. You claim the NFL should make it a condition of employment that they stand for and sing the National Anthem whether they want to or not.

    What you can’t seem to understand is forcing someone to do this violates the 1st Amendment, as articulated by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision — West Virgina Board of Education vs Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) —i.e. “1st Amendment protects people from being forced to participate in patriotic ceremonies that offend their conscience or beliefs.”

    In this case, Colin Kaepernick and others, not just the NFL, knelt to protest the inequality and hatred directed towards people of color, people with different religious beliefs, immigrants, women, the disabled, that exists today.

    You say “do protest or “raise awareness” for a number of worthy causes.” In other words, speaking up against racism, inequality, or a lack of justice for all, is not a worthy cause?

    You ask, “what inequality exists today in America and what is the source of this inequality.” How about income inequality? “The evidence that income inequality in the United States has been growing for decades and is greater than in any other developed democracy is not much disputed. It is widely known and widely studied.” – Lepore J., “Richer and Poorer” The New Yorker, March 16, 2015. See, also: “20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know” Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (2011).

    Homelessness. According to the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inquality, “there are 750,000 Americans who are homeless on any given night, with one in five of them considered chronically homeless. The ranks of the sheltered homeless include disproportionate numbers of males, blacks, middle-aged people (i.e., ages 31-50), veterans and disabled.”

    Gender Pay Gaps. Throughout much of the 20th century, the average woman earned about 60% of what the average man earned. Starting in the late 1970s, there was a substantial increase in women’s relative earnings, with women coming to earn about 80% of what men earned.

    Racial Gaps in Education: High-school dropout rates are least among whites and highest among Hispanics, while college enrollment rates are least among blacks and highest among white. The high-school dropout rate has grown more similar among these three groups, while the college enrollment rate has grown more sharply different.

    Racial Discrimination. Racial discrimination continues to be in the labor market. An experiment carried out in Chicago and Boston during 2001 and 2002 shows that resumes with “white-sounding” names, whether male or female, were much more likely to result in call backs for interviews than were those with “black-sounding” name (even though the resumes were otherwise identical.)

    I could go on and on, immigrants and inequality, child poverty, residential segregation, etc. It’s all there, just Google it.

    We have never fully achieved “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Over the centuries, good people have succeeded in taking small steps towards achieving “One nation . . .”, but with each step forward there has always been push back. Unfortunately, beginning in 2015, we didn’t take a small step backwards, we took a gigantic leap backwards.

    David, our country was founded on free speech, and whatever that speech may be, outside of calling out fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire, or instigating a riot with speech that is meant to inflame and insight to violence the hearts and minds of people.

    You present yourself as a patriot, David, but you are unwilling to protect the Constitutional right to free speech. David, we especially have to protect that speech which is unpopular and challenges long held beliefs, because if we start telling people they can’t say one thing that it will ultimately lead to us not being able to speak at all, because we will no longer be a free society.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. — Martin Niemöller

    Throughout this discussion David, you have given the impression that you do not believe in free speech. You want to believe that the NFL players can be silenced by team management and the NFL itself, but that is a false belief, simply because our Constitution, through the Bill of Rights, says speech cannot be abridged by the government. Congress can make no law taking away free speech.

    No David, I have no desire to burn our flag, but I will not give up my right to do so as articulated by SCOTUS in the case of Texas vs Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), when it ruled “that the right to burn the American flag was protected as a form of symbolic speech.”

    I served in the military for 22 years — active and reserve, Navy and Army — and I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies foreign and domestic. What about you, David, did you take the same oath?

    The question here David, is “what do you want?” Do you want to replace our Republic with the ultranationalism that Trumpism is leading us towards, or do you want to defend our Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    It’s your choice. Chose wisely!

  • The SPLC is NOT combating hate, it is fueling the hate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNFNH0lmYdM

    https://townhall.com/columnists/joshgoldstein/2017/07/26/splc-hate-group-n2360208

    Your statement: “I did multiple Google searches, and not a single case decided defining them as a hate group.”

    The above links were the first ones I clicked on and after listing two sites, I didn’t even look for more. It doesn’t appear that you looked very hard.

    I am not focusing on just the flag issue; I am focusing on the National Anthem AND the flag. Honoring the flag and standing for the National Anthem are universal acts that unify ALL Americans, a unity YOU apparently don’t wish to work toward. West Virgina Board of Education vs Barnette was a case involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses who actually did and do have a religious reason for not pledging allegiance to the flag and I would agree completely with the decision in that case. But NFL players who have, here-to-fore, had no compunction against standing for the National Anthem or honoring the flag, cannot now claim it’s against their conscious to do so. The NFL players are not even the first to disrespect our flag and National Anthem. According to one news report, “Former NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf elected to not stand during the nation (sic) anthem during his breakout 1995-96 season with the Denver Nuggets citing his Muslim faith and his view of the American flag as a symbol of oppression and racism…He was suspended for one-game and ended up having to compromise with the league to stand and pray with his head down during the anthem.” From the same news report: “The most famous incident of anthem protest is the raised fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. Smith and Carlos’ protest was against social injustice, racism and discrimination during a time of high tension in the United States—six months after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination set off riots.
    The two were suspended from the U.S. Olympic team.”

    Even if granting the impermissibility of the NFL to make standing a condition of employment (which I don’t believe is protected by the case you cited as indicated by the examples above), these players, by their display of disrespect for our National Anthem, are hurting the NFL brand they are hired to represent.
    You chose not to address this fact, that fans everywhere are turning away from pro football for this very reason demonstrating once again, that if one wishes to recruit people to their cause, one sure way to fail is to insult them and denigrate that which they hold sacred. In effect, the chief issue these NFL players are “raising awareness” to, is their disrespect for our National Anthem and flag.

    “In this case, Colin Kaepernick and others…”

    No, the stated goal was to highlight law enforcement’s killing of black people. According to one news report, “Kaepernick stated many times that his reasons for kneeling was to bring attention to police brutality against African-Americans.” It was YOU who added all the other reasons for NFL players’ kneeling. I would add that some appear to have kneeled in opposition to our President, hardly a motive meriting protection by the supreme court case you cited.

    Your statement: “In other words, speaking up against racism, inequality, or a lack of justice for all, is not a worthy cause?”

    NO, you’re not reading very carefully. Here is my actual statement, “Don’t conflate the recognition of a lack of respect when kneeling during the National Anthem for a lack of empathy for those who feel they’re being discriminated against or an unwillingness to fight against injustice. Men and women of good conscience can and do protest or “raise awareness” for a number of worthy causes without feeling the need to disparage our flag and National Anthem.” Fighting for equal justice under the law IS a worthy goal. That is why I fight for the rights of those being murdered in the womb, people who have no voice. Speaking out against injustice, or advocating for the homeless or helping the poor ARE worthy goals, but they don’t require denigrating our flag and/or National Anthem to do so.

    I will address your other points in a future letter.

  • Mr. Davison, I too believe you misunderstand what free speech in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution means. It means that even though we find certain kinds of speech to be offensive, such as kneeling at the Pledge of Allegiance or the singing of the National Anthem, we have to respect that person’s right, as defined in the Constitution, laws and rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, to express themselves in whatever manner they chose, where they chose to express it, and when they chose to express it.

    We, as individuals, do not get to tell someone else how or where or when they may speak, protest, write letters to the editor, because if we were able to do so, then anyone, anywhere in this country could dictate to you or me IF we could speak. Our right to freedom of speech is not and cannot be regulated by the government, except in certain narrowly defined terms, because it is an individual right guaranteed by the First Amendment. So, you or someone else saying that:

    “So, until America is perfect, you are going support those who denigrate our flag and our National Anthem, symbols that are supposed to unify this great nation? Any and everybody who has a beef with some aspect of America is justified in their display of displeasure and can dishonor our flag and National Anthem? Is that right? How about if pro-life folks, distressed over the 30 million or so children murdered in the womb in this country, one day decide to show disrespect to flag and country to “raise awareness” of the lack of equal protection under the law for the unborn, would you join them if you could?,”
    pits one Constitutional right against another, when at law every right conferred to us as individuals by the Constitution has equal status as to the other rights in the Constitution. No one right takes precedence over any other. They must be weighed and balanced according to prior decisions of the Supreme Court. When I say the “Constitution,” I mean the main document and the “Amendments” to it.

    Your second question with regard to the debate over a woman’s right to control her own body, versus a perceived and undefined “right” of an “unborn” fetus is irrelevant to the discussion over the First Amendment. You are pitting a perceived or imagined “right” against a known, quantifiable right; freedom of speech.

    First, Your feelings about denigrating the flag, while worthwhile feelings, do not justify silencing the voice or action in protest to a perceived wrong, in this case, football players protesting the treatment of blacks in this society by whites. If you had been paying attention as to events in our country this year and last, such as the killings of blacks by the police, when whites in the same circumstances have not been killed by the police, maybe you might understand why Colin Kaepernick and others, who just happen to be black, have protested that injustice by THEIR chosen method and venue.

    This is not about patriotism. It takes more than just honoring the flag to be a patriot. It takes more than pounding on one’s chest and yelling “my country is better than yours,” or any other such display. Patriotism is a matter of the heart, a deep respect for our laws and history as a nation. If you were around in the 1960’s you would know that people unwillingly gave their lives to National Guard troops at Kent State University protesting what the government was doing then. Or maybe you chose to overlook that.

    I served this country first in the U.;S. Navy in the 1960’s and then again between 2004 and 2016, as a member of a uniformed civilian service protecting the people of this country in times of disaster or other Presidentially declared emergency. I did not do that because I did not honor the flag, or the service of others to this country. I did it because I had a deep sense of wanting to be there for others in their time of need and to uphold, defend, and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. And, I would do it again if ever asked.

    It pains me to see people accusing others of disrespect for the flag or the Constitution because they felt deeply enough about what was happening to black people in this country to do something to stand up and be counted through protest. This country has STILL, 150 years later, not come to terms with our history of slavery and believing that people other than white people are not worth a hoot simply because of the color of their skin, their national ancestry, or their religion.

    Instead, what we have now is one group of people, people who profess to be christians (small c intended), and supposedly follow the teachings of God, using their religious beliefs to discriminate against or bash others who may or may not believe as they do, all the while professing they are doing it because of those beliefs. That, to me, is not Christianity, but self-serving dogma meant to say “we” are better than “you.”

    I fully support the right of anyone to exercise their right to free speech, so long as they don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Exercising one’s freedom of speech right is one of the pillars of this republic. Without it, we would just be another Nazi Germany of World War II, or that of a dictator in a third world country where you are shot if you doth dare to protest.
    In the words of Dr. Nathan Rutstein, “PREJUDICE IS AN EMOTIONAL COMMITMENT TO IGNORANCE.”
    Diane Saunders

  • Once again, David, you confuse opinion with fact. “The SPLC is NOT combating hate, it is fueling the hate.” is an opinion put forth by right wing groups.

    For example, the Family Research Council (FRC) is listed as a hate group. Why? Because the FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. Their intention is to denigrate LGBT people as the organization battles against same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

    They have designated the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) a hate group because they call for the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop “religious liberty” legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of religion.

    The American Freedom Party (formerly American Third Position, A3P) was officially formed in October 2009, but its foundations were laid five months earlier. In May 2009, a racist skinhead group named Freedom 14 created the Golden State Party (GSP) in order to establish what was meant to be a respectable white nationalist political party. Members of Freedom 14, which organized via the hate Web forum Stormfront, were known for handing out anti-immigration fliers with white supremacist themes in Orange County, Calif.

    One of the oldest and largest neo-nazi sites on the internet, Stormfront has been described by the anti-hate group Southern Poverty Law Center as the “murder capital of the internet”. The group pointed out that “registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past five years alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people.” Stormfront forum member Daniel Cowart was sentenced to 14 years in 2010 for his role in a conspiracy to murder dozens of African-Americans in 2008, including presidential candidate Barack Obama, because of their race.

    So, in your opinion, because SPLC calls the above hate groups, it makes them a hate group?

  • David, I think you believe the protests are meant to be disparaging of the flag and the National Anthem, when the players who have knelt have expressly stated they did it out of respect of the flag and the anthem, and to bring to the public’s attention the disparity with which black people are treated by law enforcement. You equate protesting in this venue to be against the flag, when the players have said otherwise. However, even if it were meant to disparage the flag, it is still their right under the Constitution to protest in the manner and venue of their choice. You cannot take that away from them no matter how outraged you may be, about it. The Constitution protects speech that is considered to be unpopular, crude, or vulgar because the First Amendment makes no distinction between speech that is considered acceptable and that which is considered unacceptable. When we start dictating to people what, when, and where they can speak, the next step in that progression is telling people they cannot speak. When that happens, we will be the unwilling participants in a dictatorship. Then the Constitution you seem so willing to toss out will not even exist and none of us will be free.

    • Kneeling in protest during the National Anthem is disrespecting our National Anthem and our nation’s flag.

      @ Diane Saunders

      Your statement: “David, I think you believe the protests are meant to be disparaging of the flag and the National Anthem, when the players who have knelt have expressly stated they did it out of respect of the flag and the anthem…”

      Colin Kaepernick, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. That’s a long way from your claim that the players say their kneeling is to honor the flag and our National Anthem.

      So, when the announcer at the game asks all present to rise for our National Anthem, you think kneeling is showing respect even though these players have declared their actions are an act of protest? Tell me, why did all but three of these players decide NOT to kneel during the Veteran’s Day weekend if their kneeling wasn’t understood to be a sign of disrespect for our flag, National Anthem, and our service members? Why have thousands of Americans signed petitions saying they won’t watch pro-football or support the NFL if, as you claim, these players are actually respecting the flag by kneeling instead of standing with hand on heart?

      As to the constitutionality, if the team or the NFL itself made standing for the National Anthem a condition of employment, then unless they had a religious reason not to, they could be fined if they failed to do so (on field and in uniform, they represent the team and are employees). This is precisely what the NFL has done in the past such as when Chicago Bears wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, got fined $5,250 for wearing green shoes in honor of Mental Health Awareness week. Those who publicize fighting breast cancer or domestic violence have also been fined like Steeler, Cameron Heyward, when he wore eye black to honor his father, Craig “Iron Head” Heyward, who died of bone cancer in 2006.
      The NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing decals on their helmets to honor the Dallas police officers murdered by a BLM supporter. The NFL also put a stop to Tim Tebow who prayed after big plays. So much for free speech in the NFL.

      Because the NFL has been so hypocritical on this issue and have not put a stop to these flag and anthem dishonorers (by making it a condition of employment), Americans have taken it out on the NFL as well as the players. Joanne has refused to address this issue, perhaps you will.

      “The Constitution protects speech that is considered to be unpopular, crude, or vulgar…”

      Yeah I know, we experience the hate speech (and more) from the left all the time. I hope you will take your statement to heart when you hear college students rioting to prevent conservatives from exercising their right to free speech on campus. Numerous speakers have either been attacked, prevented from speaking, their speeches interrupted, or simply canceled by college administrators with the flimsy excuse that they can’t be protected. Leftists block highways, vandalize public and private property, assault those of differing views, and do all in their power to prevent law abiding citizens from hearing the speaker of their choice. Political correctness IS the stifling of free speech. Even liberal commentator, Kirsten Powers, has written a book on the left’s attack on free speech.

      “When we start dictating to people what, when, and where they can speak, the next step in that progression is telling people they cannot speak.”

      The left is already doing that so according to your definition, we’re “unwilling participants in a dictatorship”, a dictatorship of the left’s doing.

      I fully support the constitution; I fully support free speech, it is the left that consistently attempts to undermine it. I hope you are not one of them.

  • Kneeling in protest during the National Anthem is disrespecting our National Anthem and our nation’s flag.

    @ Dianne Saunders

    Your statement, “I too believe you misunderstand what free speech in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution means.”



    You can believe all you want but you need to support what you claim. To be clear (because Joanne has a habit of mischaracterizing my statements), the NFL players have a constitutional right to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, and our service members. However, as representatives of their team and the NFL, when they wear that uniform and walk on to that field, they are employees and the NFL can make it a condition of employment to participate in the National Anthem in the manner Americans have become, by long standing practice, accustomed to. They can choose to disobey that condition and suffer fines, penalties, or termination, but the NFL does have the right to make those conditions (those with religious objections would be exempt; this doesn’t apply to anyone currently protesting). The NFL has chosen NOT to take this route, contrary to their long standing practice and therefore, the players are free to denigrate the very symbols that are supposed to unite ALL Americans. This is why so many Americans are upset not only with the kneeling players, but with the NFL as well. If you disagree with this analysis, then explain why the NFL (and Olympic committee), in the examples I’ve given, were able to do what they did.

    “Our right to freedom of speech is not and cannot be regulated by the government…”

    I agree completely, but that is NOT the situation here.

    “pits one Constitutional right against another…”

    NO, you’re not reading very carefully either. I am addressing the fact that Joanne stated that she herself would kneel if she could, ie., she supports the NFL players’ denigrating our flag and National Anthem. The free speech guarantee is not the topic of this paragraph, it’s her willingness to disparage our flag, or National Anthem, or country because it fails to be perfect.

    “Your second question with regard to the debate over a woman’s right to control her own body…”

    NO again. Joanne brought up injustice and unequal protection under the law. I simply listed the most obvious case of unequal justice, the murdering of 30 million children in the womb (a majority of which would be female and/or African American). These children have no voice but I suspect Joanne is a strong supporter of murdering children in the womb (supporters use other euphemisms), I’ll let her clarify.

    “If you had been paying attention as to events in our country this year and last, such as the killings of blacks by the police, when whites in the same circumstances have not been killed by the police…”

    Really? And what is your evidence that whites are not killed in the same circumstances? News coverage? Race relations tanked during the Obama administration and he bears direct responsibility for much of it. However, the lion’s share of the blame rests squarely on the media who have pushed this false narrative that black men are being disproportionately and unjustifiably killed by law enforcement. Thus, the coverage in the Travon Martin and Michael Brown cases by the media were a travesty which resulted in a riot in Ferguson Missouri. It didn’t help that CNN perpetuated the lie of “hands up, don’t shoot”. So yes, I paid close attention to this media circus and Obama’s intentional, divisive meddling.

    I was around in the 60’s and I remember the Kent State riots. Students and non students looted stores, broke shop windows, burned the ROTC building on campus, harassed the fire fighters including cutting their hoses, threw bottles and rocks (and tear gas canisters) at police and National Guardsmen, and refused to disperse. Tragically, 4 died and another 9 wounded (today we’d ask how many of them were black and focus almost exclusively on them).

    I believe strongly in the right to protest. It is how we let the various governmental bodies know how we feel and is a time to gather like-minded folks to our cause. This right should never be abridged. However, when groups start vandalizing property, assaulting opposing protestors and/or law enforcement, or not obeying their instructions, then I fully support the police arresting all who fail to comply. Invariably, reprobate protestors are from the left.

    “It pains me to see people accusing others of disrespect for the flag…”

    Colin Kaepernick admitted he was disrespecting the flag. It pains me to see fellow service members supporting those who disrespect our flag and National Anthem.

    “This country has STILL, 150 years later, not come to terms with our history of slavery and believing that people other than white people are not worth a hoot simply because of the color of their skin, their national ancestry, or their religion.”

    More hyperbole? We were doing fine until Obama became president and the leftists in the media peddled the false narrative of racial injustice by employing dishonest reporting.
    Check out this New York Times opinion piece. Do you think this article from the left fosters racial harmony?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/11/opinion/sunday/interracial-friendship-donald-trump.html

    Are you aware that Harvard, Stanford, Temple and Columbia universities all have Black student graduations? Do you think these foster racial inclusiveness particularly considering that if white students did this, the left, perpetually agitated, would go ballistic.

    http://www.wbur.org/edify/2017/05/23/harvard-black-commencement

    “…using their religious beliefs to discriminate against or bash others…”

    Unintentional irony I guess since you’ve been elaborating on how we must accept all speech, even speech we don’t like. BTW, are you referring to Christian bakers who don’t wish to partake in a ceremony they find offensive and the leftists, who obviously don’t believe in freedom of speech, who wish to force them to go against their religious beliefs? How about the homosexual couple who were so disgusted with the hate directed at these Christian bakers that they donated money to them to help pay their huge legal fees?

    ““we” are better than “you.”

    You are aware, are you not, that in Christianity, ALL are created in the image of God and that salvation, through the shed blood of Christ Jesus, is open to all, without exception. There is no “‘we” are better than “you’”.

    “I fully support the right of anyone to exercise their right to free speech, so long as they don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater…” Or pray on the football field, or refuse to partake in a ceremony one finds religiously objectionable; is there an etc.?

    • DAVID: ““Fans that sit out the National Anthem and clearly have the capacity to stand probably are not well thought of by those who choose to honor our nation.”

      Sorry, I missed your comment, but it was buried in the typical hyperbole of your postings

      You constantly refer to lefties being the source of hate. Last November 2016, “Senator Ted Cruz, along with fellow GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, spoke at a conference in Des Moines headed up by a man who advocates the execution of gay people — per his interpretation of the bible — and who made his call for mass extermination once again, onstage at the event, the National Religious Liberties Conference. Pastor Kevin Swanson has said in the past that Christians should attend gay weddings and hold up signs telling the newly married gay and lesbian couples that they “should be put to death.” He was an advocate of Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill, which he saw as a model. From all references and their individual statements, I’m pretty sure that Cruz, Huckabee, Jindal and Swanson are right-wing extremists.

      Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, “an anti-gay Tea Party crusader, was a star speaker — he reiterated his death penalty call, adding that homosexuals should first be given some time to repent before the executions begin. There’s nothing subtle about what he said, and you can watch it for yourself, including his statements about what he would do if he were one of those parents of a gay person.”

      As of August 2017, there have been 33 hate-violence-related homicides of LGBT people, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) count. In 2016, there were 28 — that number excludes the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

      Additionally, NCAVP reported 27 homicides involving transgendered were reported in 2016. As of the end of October 2017, 23 trans people have been murdered.

      So, when you try to assign blame on your so-called “lefties”, don’t overlook the right-wing extremists, most of whom today are associated with the Republican Party. I find that particularly sad because of my family’s connection to the Republican Party. It was the Republican Party in Argonia, KS, that elected the first woman to public office in 1887, my great Aunt. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has been co-opted by right-wing extremists.

      As for kneeling, I find it interesting that Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret and NFL player, published a letter in the Army Times supporting Colin Kaepernick’s protest efforts. Boyer’s initial feelings of “hurt”, convinced Kaepernick to kneel to draw attention to the issue of ongoing racial inequality.

      “Boyer said he’s feeling “much more hurt now.” “Not by [Kaepernick], not by where we’re at now with the protests, but by us,” he said. “Simply put, it seems like we just hate each other; and that is far more painful to me than any protest, or demonstration, or rally, or tweet.”

      Boyer referred to his military service and the witnessing of genocide in Darfur. In his article in the Washington Post, he – Boyer – went on to say ““To deploy overseas, train, live with, fight alongside, and ultimately defend foreigners that you have little in common with is truly a challenging task. But returning home to a country that is so divided, so judgmental and so hateful of one another is almost as difficult to deal with as burying a fallen comrade.”

      I agree with Nate Boyer and Colin Kaepernick, and I would kneel with them, not out of disrespect for my flag or National Anthem, but in the prayerful hope that the day will come when “liberty and justice for all” means No exceptions and our country truly becomes “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

      • The left is filled with hate and is dividing the American people along racial, economic, and geographic lines.

        @Joanna

        “…but it was buried in the typical hyperbole of your postings”

        Really? Was my posting of the various examples from pro sports/Oylmpics where the NFL, or NBA, or the Olympic Committee did exactly what you and Dianne claim they can’t legally do, hyperbole? Do elaborate.

        Regarding Swanson, one man doesn’t determine the attitude or tenor of an entire wing of political philosophy. And contrary to your assertion, Rafael Cruz did not call for the death penalty of homosexuals, that is a FALSE statement. Here from wiki:

        At the conference, Swanson spoke about a Biblical mandate of the death penalty for homosexuality, stating that in both the Old and New Testament it is spoken about the “sin of homosexuality” and that in Romans 1 Paul the Apostle affirms that it is worthy of capital punishment.[6][7] In the same speech, he stated that he was not calling for these biblical injunctions to be enacted in America “because homosexuals need time to repent” and “America needs time to repent”.[7][8][9] Ted Cruz’s spokesman Rick Tyler called Swanson’s statements “reprehensible” and given the comments “it was a mistake for Senator Cruz to appear at the event”, stating that Cruz is against hatred or violence against homosexuals.[10][11]

        This conference was in November of 2015, not 2016.

        Joanna, did you bother to read the NCAVP report or did you simply read the headlines and accept their conclusions?

        Although ALL hate violence is to be deplored, we discover in the report that 9% of those listed as “hate crimes” were deaths from the police. 43% involved “hook ups” (indicating it was members of their own community), and 26% involved people who knew the victim. I read the narrative listed on every single individual killed and in only one case (possibly the individual in prison as well) did it appear that hate against a member of this community was involved. In the vast majority of cases, the compilers didn’t know the motivations and it appears that any time a member of the LGBT community was murdered, it was chalked up to a hate crime. This does NOT support YOUR narrative. As an aside, the site lists the killers of two different men as the same two brothers (cousins of the victim) for both, ironically, the victims were both Asian.

        “…don’t overlook the right-wing extremists…”

        I don’t, and as I said above, all hate violence is to be deplored.

        So, when homosexuals would chant “bring back the lions”, a reference to the Roman practice of throwing Christians to the lions to be killed, was that acceptable to you?

        YOU defended Black Lives Matter even after they called for the killing of members of law enforcement, a call that one of their supporters responded to by murdering 5 Dallas police officers. Ten days later, a black separatist murdered three more police officers in Baton Rouge. In addition, BLM has been caught on film ordering white reporters to the back and all black reporters to the front. Black Lives Matter ARE the racists.

        https://nypost.com/2016/12/11/2016-was-a-deadly-year-for-cops-and-blm-may-be-to-blame/

        http://rrtribune.com/georgetown-university-professor-demands-whites-open-banks-accounts/

        http://www.dailywire.com/news/20156/black-lives-matter-leader-pens-list-10-demands-amanda-prestigiacomo

        Here is one African American girl’s take on BLM demands/requests:

        https://www.bitchute.com/video/NhUipGcniPTP/

        We even have the CA NAACP claiming, farcically, that our National Anthem is racist.

        It is the left who has done all in its power to shut down free speech on college campuses. The left that attempts (and is often successful) to prevent conservative individuals from speaking on campus (with the help of college administrations). The left that vandalizes campus property and assaults those who wish to hear conservative speeches. The left who has blocked highways, assaulted those of opposing views, showed up to Trump rallies specifically to incite violence (they’ve been caught on film acknowledging this), indeed, they did shut down his Chicago rally (and even physically attacked Trump himself on at least one occasion).

        It is the left who has and continues to vilify white people in no uncertain terms even advocating for “white free” zones on college campuses as well as segregated graduations. They pull down statues to American heroes including George Washington, rename college and high school mascots in accordance with leftist grievances (even a National Park), have vigorously promoted the confusion over gender and attacked any who dare to question this non sense. There is video evidence and media reports to support ALL of these leftist misdoings. No leftist is afraid to express his or her views on campus or in other public venues, but conservatives risk verbal and physical abuse should they be bold enough to do so (even black, Jewish, Asian, or Hispanic conservatives).

        Hate crimes against whites:

        http://dailycaller.com/2017/11/13/fbi-anti-white-hate-crimes-are-the-fastest-growing-racial-hate-crimes-in-america/

        https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/anti-white-hate-crimes-spike/

        http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/30/here-are-all-the-hate-crime-hoaxes-that-have-plagued-the-country-since-trumps-election/

        Your statement, “…in the prayerful hope that the day will come when “liberty and justice for all” means No exceptions…”

        So the perfect becomes the enemy of the good and lack of perfection can always be the justification for violence and assault against those one desires to tarnish with ugly epithets like “racist”, “homophobe”, or simply “haters”. That, is a sad commentary on your view of America.

  • “The SPLC is NOT combating hate, it is fueling the hate.”

    You claim this is just an opinion by right wing groups. First, YOU claimed you couldn’t find any site that listed the SPLC as a hate group and the first two sites I found did exactly that so your claims are immediately suspect. Next, stating it is only their opinion that the SPLC is a hate group is no better than you uncritically accepting the SPLC’s opinion on who are hate groups. The only consistency here is that whatever left wing organs tell you, you believe, and if conservative research refutes their claims, you chalk it up to opinion. Hence, any research the FRC bases its conclusions on is junk science if it goes against your preconceived notions. This is reminiscent of when you based your claim that Vietnam Veterans weren’t mistreated including being spat upon, on one left-wing anti-war book ignoring the testimony of hundreds, if not thousands of Vets AND the testimony of protestors who acknowledged they did the very things you claimed hadn’t occurred. In addition, the FRC does NOT denigrate people who identify as LGBT. The sinful lifestyle is separate from the people engaged in it just as fighting drug abuse and alcoholism is not an attack on the people caught up them. In addition, it is the LGBT community that attempts to use hate crime laws and anti-bullying programs to silence (nullify free speech) those who would warn of the dangers of a homosexual lifestyle, dangers made manifest by the high suicide rate and the many STDs suffered by the gay and trans community not to mention aids.

    So, according to you, the Alliance Defending Freedom has called for the recriminalization of homosexuality? I’m throwing the BS flag on that one and also your ridiculous claim that they advocate for sterilization of trans people abroad. You’re free to make such horse manure claims but they remain just that unless you can verify that they are true. Good luck on that.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/28/morris-dees-splc-trump-southern-poverty-law-center-215312

    A quote from the above article, “I do think there is a desperate need for more objective research on hate crimes and domestic extremism—especially now,” says J.M. Berger, a researcher on extremism and a fellow with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague. But like many observers, he worries that the SPLC has gone too far in some of its hate group characterizations. “The problem partly stems from the fact that the organization wears two hats, as both an activist group and a source of information,” he says. In October, the SPLC faced explosive blowback when it included British Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz on a list of “anti-Muslim extremists.” The targeting of Nawaz—a former Islamist turned anti-extremism campaigner who is considered a human rights leader by many in the mainstream—even sparked critical coverage in the Atlantic, creating the unusual spectacle of a publication founded by abolitionists going after a group founded to fight the KKK.

    The rest of the article elaborates on further problems with the SPLC.

    “So, in your opinion…”

    As the three articles I’ve posted indicate, it is NOT just my opinion.

  • Kneeling in protest during the National Anthem is disrespecting our National Anthem and our nation’s flag.

    @ Diane Saunders

    Your statement: “David, I think you believe the protests are meant to be disparaging of the flag and the National Anthem, when the players who have knelt have expressly stated they did it out of respect of the flag and the anthem…”

    Colin Kaepernick, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. That’s a long way from your claim that the players say their kneeling is to honor the flag and our National Anthem.

    So, when the announcer at the game asks all present to rise for our National Anthem, you think kneeling is showing respect even though these players have declared their actions are an act of protest? Tell me, why did all but three of these players decide NOT to kneel during the Veteran’s Day weekend if their kneeling wasn’t understood to be a sign of disrespect for our flag, National Anthem, and our service members? Why have thousands of Americans signed petitions saying they won’t watch pro-football or support the NFL if, as you claim, these players are actually respecting the flag by kneeling instead of standing with hand on heart?

    As to the constitutionality, if the team or the NFL itself made standing for the National Anthem a condition of employment, then unless they had a religious reason not to, they could be fined if they failed to do so (on field and in uniform, they represent the team and are employees). This is precisely what the NFL has done in the past such as when Chicago Bears wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, got fined $5,250 for wearing green shoes in honor of Mental Health Awareness week. Those who publicize fighting breast cancer or domestic violence have also been fined like Steeler, Cameron Heyward, when he wore eye black to honor his father, Craig “Iron Head” Heyward, who died of bone cancer in 2006.
    The NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing decals on their helmets to honor the Dallas police officers murdered by a BLM supporter. The NFL also put a stop to Tim Tebow who prayed after big plays. So much for free speech in the NFL.

    Because the NFL has been so hypocritical on this issue and have not put a stop to these flag and anthem dishonorers (by making it a condition of employment), Americans have taken it out on the NFL as well as the players. Joanne has refused to address this issue, perhaps you will.

    “The Constitution protects speech that is considered to be unpopular, crude, or vulgar…”

    Yeah I know, we experience the hate speech (and more) from the left all the time. I hope you will take your statement to heart when you hear college students rioting to prevent conservatives from exercising their right to free speech on campus. Numerous speakers have either been attacked, prevented from speaking, their speeches interrupted, or simply canceled by college administrators with the flimsy excuse that they can’t be protected. Leftists block highways, vandalize public and private property, assault those of differing views, and do all in their power to prevent law abiding citizens from hearing the speaker of their choice. Political correctness IS the stifling of free speech. Even liberal commentator, Kirsten Powers, has written a book on the left’s attack on free speech.

    “When we start dictating to people what, when, and where they can speak, the next step in that progression is telling people they cannot speak.”

    The left is already doing that so according to your definition, we’re “unwilling participants in a dictatorship”, a dictatorship of the left’s doing.

    I fully support the constitution; I fully support free speech, it is the left that consistently attempts to undermine it. I hope you are not one of them.

  • Kneeling in protest during the National Anthem is disrespecting our National Anthem and our nation’s flag.

    @ Dianne Saunders

    Your statement, “I too believe you misunderstand what free speech in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution means.”



    You can believe all you want but you need to support what you claim. To be clear (because Joanne has a habit of mischaracterizing my statements), the NFL players have a constitutional right to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, and our service members. However, as representatives of their team and the NFL, when they wear that uniform and walk on to that field, they are employees and the NFL can make it a condition of employment to participate in the National Anthem in the manner Americans have become, by long standing practice, accustomed to. They can choose to disobey that condition and suffer fines, penalties, or termination, but the NFL does have the right to make those conditions (those with religious objections would be exempt; this doesn’t apply to anyone currently protesting). The NFL has chosen NOT to take this route, contrary to their long standing practice and therefore, the players are free to denigrate the very symbols that are supposed to unite ALL Americans. This is why so many Americans are upset not only with the kneeling players, but with the NFL as well. If you disagree with this analysis, then explain why the NFL (and Olympic committee), in the examples I’ve given, were able to do what they did.

    “Our right to freedom of speech is not and cannot be regulated by the government…”

    I agree completely, but that is NOT the situation here.

    “pits one Constitutional right against another…”

    NO, you’re not reading very carefully either. I am addressing the fact that Joanne stated that she herself would kneel if she could, ie., she supports the NFL players’ denigrating our flag and National Anthem. The free speech guarantee is not the topic of this paragraph, it’s her willingness to disparage our flag, or National Anthem, or country because it fails to be perfect.

    “Your second question with regard to the debate over a woman’s right to control her own body…”

    NO again. Joanne brought up injustice and unequal protection under the law. I simply listed the most obvious case of unequal justice, the murdering of 30 million children in the womb (a majority of which would be female and/or African American). These children have no voice but I suspect Joanne is a strong supporter of murdering children in the womb (supporters use other euphemisms), I’ll let her clarify.

    “If you had been paying attention as to events in our country this year and last, such as the killings of blacks by the police, when whites in the same circumstances have not been killed by the police…”

    Really? And what is your evidence that whites are not killed in the same circumstances? News coverage? Race relations tanked during the Obama administration and he bears direct responsibility for much of it. However, the lion’s share of the blame rests squarely on the media who have pushed this false narrative that black men are being disproportionately and unjustifiably killed by law enforcement. Thus, the coverage in the Travon Martin and Michael Brown cases by the media were a travesty which resulted in a riot in Ferguson Missouri. It didn’t help that CNN perpetuated the lie of “hands up, don’t shoot”. So yes, I paid close attention to this media circus and Obama’s intentional, divisive meddling.

    I was around in the 60’s and I remember the Kent State riots. Students and non students looted stores, broke shop windows, burned the ROTC building on campus, harassed the fire fighters including cutting their hoses, threw bottles and rocks (and tear gas canisters) at police and National Guardsmen, and refused to disperse. Tragically, 4 died and another 9 wounded (today we’d ask how many of them were black and focus almost exclusively on them).

    I believe strongly in the right to protest. It is how we let the various governmental bodies know how we feel and is a time to gather like-minded folks to our cause. This right should never be abridged. However, when groups start vandalizing property, assaulting opposing protestors and/or law enforcement, or not obeying their instructions, then I fully support the police arresting all who fail to comply. Invariably, reprobate protestors are from the left.

    “It pains me to see people accusing others of disrespect for the flag…”

    Colin Kaepernick admitted he was disrespecting the flag. It pains me to see fellow service members supporting those who disrespect our flag and National Anthem.

    “This country has STILL, 150 years later, not come to terms with our history of slavery and believing that people other than white people are not worth a hoot simply because of the color of their skin, their national ancestry, or their religion.”

    More hyperbole? We were doing fine until Obama became president and the leftists in the media peddled the false narrative of racial injustice by employing dishonest reporting.
    Check out this New York Times opinion piece. Do you think this article from the left fosters racial harmony?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/11/opinion/sunday/interracial-friendship-donald-trump.html

    Are you aware that Harvard, Stanford, Temple and Columbia universities all have Black student graduations? Do you think these foster racial inclusiveness particularly considering that if white students did this, the left, perpetually agitated, would go ballistic.

    http://www.wbur.org/edify/2017/05/23/harvard-black-commencement

    “…using their religious beliefs to discriminate against or bash others…”

    Unintentional irony I guess since you’ve been elaborating on how we must accept all speech, even speech we don’t like. BTW, are you referring to Christian bakers who don’t wish to partake in a ceremony they find offensive and the leftists, who obviously don’t believe in freedom of speech, who wish to force them to go against their religious beliefs? How about the homosexual couple who were so disgusted with the hate directed at these Christian bakers that they donated money to them to help pay their huge legal fees?

    ““we” are better than “you.”

    You are aware, are you not, that in Christianity, ALL are created in the image of God and that salvation, through the shed blood of Christ Jesus, is open to all, without exception. There is no “‘we” are better than “you’”.

    “I fully support the right of anyone to exercise their right to free speech, so long as they don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater…” Or pray on the football field, or refuse to partake in a ceremony one finds religiously objective; is there an etc.?

    • Well, whether something is “disrespectful” or not is subjective and open to interpretation, then, since we disagree whether in fact it is disrespectful. I do not believe as you do. Even if it is, so what. That doesn’t mean anything. They have the right to protest in the manner and venue they choose. Period. If you don’t like that, oh well. I couldn’t help but notice you glossed over what Joanna, not Joanne, said about the players being on the field for the National Anthem and the presentation of the colors was a marketing gimmick the NFL signed a contract with DoD over to make it look like the players were honoring the troops. Nothing more. It was never a requirement. But anyway, it seems you are going to rationalize and justify your belief it should be a criminal offense to not stand for the National Anthem. Don’t hold your breath, because it isn’t going to happen. The teams cannot make it a condition of employment, and we have tried to show you why, but you seem to refuse to see the facts. No contract can force the players to do something against what federal law already says they don’t have to do. They simply cannot be forced to participate: ““1st Amendment protects people from being forced to participate in patriotic ceremonies that offend their conscience or beliefs.” That is what the U.S> Supreme Court wrote. You can disagree all you want, but it is the law of the land.

      • Respect our country, respect our flag and respect our National Anthem that brings us together.

        @ Diane Saunders

        Your statement, “Even if it is, so what. That doesn’t mean anything.”

        That’s the trouble with leftists, the symbols that unite ALL Americans together don’t mean anything to you.

        Your statement, “I couldn’t help but notice you glossed over…”

        I didn’t gloss over anything, I didn’t see what you’re talking about, in fact I still don’t see where Joanna has stated any such thing. The closest to anything resembling your description is in Joanna’s last post (8:06 pm) and as you can see, this is MY first post since then. I cannot respond in the present to future posts by others. And what does it matter if it is a marketing gimmick? Should people sit out the National Anthem because in someone’s opinion it is only a marketing ploy? How do YOU determine otherwise?

        “…it seems you are going to rationalize and justify your belief it should be a criminal offense to not stand for the National Anthem.”

        Is your failure to comprehend my points deliberate or are you just that careless in your analysis? Never have I said or implied there should be criminalization. Perhaps you don’t understand the difference between an employer fining or penalizing a player for willful disobedience, and an actual crime.

        “The teams cannot make it a condition of employment…”

        Remember my statement here? “If you disagree with this analysis, then explain why the NFL (and Olympic committee), in the examples I’ve given, were able to do what they did.”

        That was your opportunity to explain how the NFL and the Olympic committee were able to do the very thing you’re now claiming they cannot do. Here is just one of the examples I gave and you ignored:

        “Former NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf elected to not stand during the nation (sic) anthem during his breakout 1995-96 season with the Denver Nuggets citing his Muslim faith and his view of the American flag as a symbol of oppression and racism…He was suspended for one-game and ended up having to compromise with the league to stand and pray with his head down during the anthem.”

        “…but you seem to refuse to see the facts.”

        I responded to your “facts” and neither of you chose to address the points I made hence the unbiased reader can only conclude you had no adequate response.

        “1st Amendment protects people from being forced to participate in patriotic ceremonies that offend their conscience or beliefs.”

        Since all of these players happily participated in the National Anthem and stood for the flag, it is a little late to claim it is against their beliefs particularly when all but three of them did it this past weekend.

        Standing with hand on heart is the way to show respect for the flag and our National Anthem and these symbolic acts help unite ALL Americans, regardless of race, party, religion, or geography. Dishonoring time honored American traditions and customs is the path to balkanization, not unity.

  • David, i am curious, who is this Joanne you keep mentioning.

    The two references you referred to as creditable organizations classifying SPLC a hate group were hardly creditable. Prager University is a non-profit conservative digital media organization. PragerU was founded in 2011 by radio talk show host Dennis Prager and radio producer and screenwriter Allen Estrin. Prager is not an accredited or academic organization.

    I was unable to find a single credible organization – not the CIA, DoD, FBI, NSA, or court decision(s) – designating SPLC a hate group. Your “evidence” is/was nothing more than right-wing opinion pieces.

    David, you don”t have to.explain Christianity to me. I spent 22 years as a sister. I think there are many who would disagree with you on who is welcome within the Christian fold. The Europeans who came to the Americas 500 years ago were Christians. Jesus said “love thy neighbor as thyself”. They had a strange way of showing God’s love. I suggest you read “AMERICAN HOLOCAUST: The Conquest of the New World” by David Stannard; “AN AMERICAN GENOCIDE: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe” by Benjamin Cataastrope., or MURDER STATE; California’s Native American Genocide, 1846-1873, by Brendan Lindsay. ISIS are bloody amateurs in comparison to what Christians did to the Native Americans. Their reasoning, “manifest destiny”. Today, the religious right-i.e. American Taliban, claim their rights are being infringed, because they are called hate groups when they spread religious-based hate towards anyone they perceive as different-i.e. Lesbians, Gays, Bi-Sexuals, Transgendered, Muslims, etc.

    • Leftist hate is dividing America

      @ Joanna

      “The two references you referred to as creditable organizations classifying SPLC a hate group were hardly creditable.”

      When you list a source, I address what that source is saying and judge from what is written whether it is credible. Apparently, you simply ignore what doesn’t comport with your views if the source is conservative. You didn’t address a single point in either of those two sources (did you even read or view them?) nor did you comment on the below article that I posted as well:

      https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/28/morris-dees-splc-trump-southern-poverty-law-center-215312

      Here is another quote from the article, the group mentioned being the SPLC:

      Ken Silverstein, a liberal journalist and another critic of the group who authored a scathing investigation of its marketing and financial practices for Harper’s in 2000, attributes the growing scope of the SPLC’s censures to a financial imperative to wade into hot-button issues that will rile donors. “The organization has always tried to find ways to milk money out of the public by finding whatever threat they can most credibly promote,” he says.

      Interpretation in part, they engage in hyperbole for financial gain extracted from agitated donors.

      And:

      Berger says that defining a hate or extremist group is notoriously problematic when using extensive, technical criteria, and that the problem becomes greater in the case of the SPLC, which reserves discretion in how and when it applies those labels. “There’s no consensus academic definition of extremism, and the SPLC’s methodology for making that call isn’t clear,” he says. “So it’s very subjective even within academia, and even more so for a motivated organization.”

      And:

      While Beirich cites several left-wing organizations the SPLC has designated as “hate groups,” she concedes that the SPLC prioritizes the other end of the political spectrum. “We are focused, whether people like it or not, on the radical right,” she says.

      As to your list of books, had I infinite time I might indulge, but considering what you have listed as your sources in the past such as Jerry Lembcke’s farce on the anti-war movement or your recently mentioned study by NVAVP, I’ll reserve my time for more objective texts. Those who have demonstrated an unwillingness to entertain opposing views are not in a position to recommend to others books or articles worthy of the effort invested in consuming them.

  • I notice quite a few sitting in the bleachers during the National Anthem, David, but no one protests their sitting. Are they not disparaging the flag, by sitting?

    Are you aware, David, that “the national anthem was played at baseball games decades before it was actually the national anthem. There are records of “The Star Spangled Banner” gracing the diamond going back as far as 1897, but the song wasn’t adopted as the national anthem until 1931.”

    Are you that “while the anthem continued to be a game-day fixture, NFL players typically stayed in the locker room for it. There were exceptions, of course — players observed the anthem after 9/11, and during Super Bowl games. But it wasn’t until 2009 that players were mandated to be on the field for the song.

    Section 301 of the United States Cods says that “peop;le should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the hear (except for uniformed military personnel, who should stand and salute for the length of the song).

    There’s also a separate US Code for how to show respect for the flag, implying they are different patriotic entities.

    However, In the “2017 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League,” there are no specific directives for what players should do during the national anthem. In fact, neither the anthem nor the flag are ever mentioned. “In n fact, in 2016 the NFL made clear that players were not required to stand for the anthem. Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem,” the NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said last year after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests gained attention.

    In 2015, a Senate report released by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake poured cold water on some of the more heartwarming moments of patriotism seen in professional sports. The report found the Department of Defense had spent $6.8 million on what they called “paid patriotism” between 2012 and 2015. This money was spread out among 50 pro teams from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, MLS and others.

    You can read more at

    • Dishonoring time honored American traditions and customs is the path to balkanization, not unity.

      @ Joanna

      “…but no one protests their sitting. Are they not disparaging the flag, by sitting?”

      Yes, they are disparaging the flag and National Anthem by sitting. But people go to the game or view it on TV to watch the players, not the fans. It is the players who are representing the team and the NFL brand, not random folks in the stands. Fans that sit out the National Anthem and clearly have the capacity to stand probably are not well thought of by those who choose to honor our nation.

      I appreciate the history lesson but none of that, except your citing of Section 301, has any bearing on the present situation.

      “In n fact, in 2016 the NFL made clear that players were not required to stand for the anthem. Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem,”

      That’s been my point, the reason so many fans are upset with the NFL itself and not just the players who dishonor our National Anthem and flag. The NFL could and should do something but because they don’t, the players are free to continue their dishonoring behavior.

      Dishonoring time honored American traditions and customs is the path to balkanization, not unity.

  • So, in you mind, if some one is sitting durning the National Anthem, they are disparaging the flag. I will mention that to my friends at the VA. Many of them love to go to the games, but they don’t stand. Being confined to a wheelchair makes it somewhat difficult to stand..

  • “Dishonoring time honored American traditions and customs is the path to balkanization, not unity.”

    @Joanna

    Did you just conveniently ignore my statement in my 11:14 pm post above?

    “Fans that sit out the National Anthem and clearly have the capacity to stand probably are not well thought of by those who choose to honor our nation.”

    Better yet, why don’t you copy these exchanges and share that with your friends at the VA. In fact, you can post them on the wall.

  • “Dishonoring time honored American traditions and customs is the path to balkanization, not unity.”

    No, gutting our constitution, ignoring our laws, and not participating in our democracy by not voting is what leads to Balkanization.

    Diane and I relied on the Constitution and SCOTUS decisions to support our position. You relied on right-wing opinion pieces to support your position.

    So time to leave it there.

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