THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 9/26/2014
Trump rocks and socks shameful jocks
It is refreshing, even instructive, to have President Trump criticize and condemn, in his Alabama rally speech, the despicable trend of NFL players disrespecting America, our flag and anthem by “taking a knee” or sitting down when it is played before a game. See: “Get that son of a b***h off the field: Trump calls for BOYOTTS of NFL teams whose players refuse to stand for the National Anthem” (dailymail.co.uk). They should be fired, or at least sit the game out and lose pay. I quit watching the NFL long ago after finding it tedious and distracting to watch end-zone celebrating, intentional committing of penalties, and to listen to commentary from the broadcast booth on players’ “extracurricular,” controversial and often criminal activities.
From the first time the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick began the troubling practice, I have been yearning for someone to call out the players for engaging in, and owners and coaches for tolerating, such anti-American and anti-law enforcement protests. The pretext for the pre-game protests—police abuse of black citizens and supposed endemic American racism by privileged white society—is founded on a pack of myths, lies and crackpot theories emanating from the left wing bastions of academia. America is more color-blind than ever in our history; M.L. King’s “content of character, not color of skin” standard is virtually universal. Blacks are less likely to be shot by police than whites (FBI stats), but bad actors of any race reap what their actions deserve.
Indeed, a Seattle Seahawks player, Michael Bennett, who sits or kneels during the anthem and raised a “black power” fist after a play, fabricated his own story of “police abuse” over being confronted by officers in Las Vegas during a reported armed robbery in a casino. Cameras and witnesses proved that police had cause to follow him out of the casino after finding him hiding behind a slot machine and running out the door, leaping over a barricade and into the street. He was not singled out for his race; he acted suspiciously while police were politely evacuating other casino patrons, including other black men, out for their safety while searching for the gunman.
We now have a players’ group, including Bennett, demanding that the NFL devote an entire month to the phony issue of white racism and police brutality towards African-Americans. I take the same attitude as I and many others did when entertainers had to turn performances into (President George) Bush-bashing platforms: “Shut up and sing;” in this case, “Shut up, stand for the national anthem, and play.”
Honest polling will show most Americans don’t approve of the players’ anti-anthem protest; most people have respect for the accomplishments of those in any sport that eschew drug abuse, gangster activities, criminal violence and disrespect for our nation’s flag. Trump’s message is resonating with the vast swath of Americans that supported him last November. To his critics: If you want more Trump, that’s how you get it, meaning you will re-elect Trump in 2020.
Returning to exhaustive, almost exhausting, coverage of the issues and controversies of the political world, I find two topics to be so loaded with outrageous long-term implications and import that it won’t be possible to do them justice here today. First, there are the revelations over the “unmasking” of hundreds of Americans by several Obama officials—including (then-National Security Advisor) Susan Rice and Obama’s U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. The other is the exposure by CNN and other outlets of “wire tapping” of (then-Trump campaign head) Paul Manafort, (NSA appointee) Michael Flynn, Carter Page and likely others.
The “unmasking” of Americans—meaning revealing names incidentally captured during legitimate electronic surveillance of foreigners using phones inside or outside our nation—is, absent a judicial warrant of authorization because of probable cause of criminality, illegal. It can and should result in the prosecution of the persons responsible—Rice, Powers and whoever ordered them—because it smacks of a horrendous abuse of the tools and power of the state from which Americans have inherent and constitutional rights to be protected at all times.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich nailed it in an interview, saying that all Americans should be “frightened” over the Obama Administration’s staggering amount of “unmasking” requests and demand that Congress open up a federal investigation into the illegal practice. “We have never ever in American history had as many different scandalous behaviors by a President and his team as we are now learning from Barack Obama.
“When I look at what Samantha Power was doing, by itself that’s unbelievable. Why does the UN ambassador have to unmask anybody?...Ultimately, they’re going to have to ask President Obama: How did all of this occur and you didn’t know it?” asked Newt.
The titles alone reveal the essence of the “wiretapping” story: “It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me,” by Sharyl Attkisson; “Why CNN told you Trump’s campaign was wiretapped,” by Don Surber; “Why Obama really spied on Trump; Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself,” by Daniel Greenfield; and “Obama’s Watergate; Six months later, CNN confirms what was widely reported—and ignored on the left—last March,” by Daniel J. Flynn. Hannity: “Trump Totally Vindicated Over ‘Wiretapping.’”
The first 5 episodes of Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” aired last week; this week’s parts are summarized online. I had hoped that a fair telling of the war in Vietnam would necessarily give proper credit to the history documented in Lewis Sorley’s “A Better War; The unexamined victories and final tragedy of America’s last years in Vietnam.” Unfortunately, it treads the same ground as the bulk of retrospectives: the strategic and tactical mistakes, South Vietnam’s political and military shortcomings, the anti-war movement, the seeming futility of our efforts. Nothing about what went right. Sad but predictable.