Posts Tagged ‘trump’

I am actually not in favor of kneeling during the National Anthem, but it doesn’t make me angry. And I don’t see it as an intended disrespect to our military. My father served in the military. He had a 21 gun salute at his funeral and everything. Funny, I don’t remember the National Anthem at his funeral.

However, I do understand the interpretation of kneeling as disrespectful to the flag and maybe even the country. I am a big fan of respect. If I were to attend a synagogue, I would cover my head if asked to out of respect, although I am not Jewish. If I was asked to remove my shoes in someone’s home, in this country or another, I would remove them out of respect. However, does kneeling during the National Anthem represent an inappropriate form of protest? Are their protest rules? I am going to ignore the purpose of the protest for now (although I would argue it is the only thing that matters) but choose to examine the outrage and treating kneeling as synonymous with disrespect for our country and our military.

If kneeling during the Anthem is disrespectful, what else is disrespectful? Is it disrespectful to talk during the anthem? Can I continue ordering my hot dog or beer? Can I drink my beer during the anthem? Can I answer a text? What if I stand but don’t sing? If I am at work, and someone breaks out and starts singing the National Anthem, do I have to stand? Or is it only official at sporting events? If I am watching the game at home, is it a protest if I don’t actually get off the couch? And again, not to put too fine a point on this, but do I have to stop drinking my beer?

Maybe you just don’t like Colin Kaepernick. Maybe you are jealous of people making millions for playing a game. Although I am always struck how no one seems to mind the billionaire owners for running the games, but I digress. Maybe you don’t like big rich black guys. Of the top 10 highest paid athletes, only 4 or 5 of them are black. Four or five? Is Lewis Hamilton black? Someone get back to me on that. Of the top 25, only two of them are NFL players and they are white quarterbacks. My point is, there are a lot people getting millions of dollars for playing a game, and I’m always struck how the black players, especially black NFL players seem to get the most criticism. Don’t believe me? Look it up. You’d be surprised at how few NFL players are in the top 50. And you’re going to boycott the NFL? Something to think about as you read in utter disagreement and disgust at my words. You know I’m right though.

OK. So, if it isn’t the kneeling, or the blackness, maybe it’s the protest itself.

What am I allowed to protest? How am I allowed to protest it? Apparently there are rules. The rules indicate that I can protest as long I don’t say anything disrespectful to the United States of America. What if I’m protesting America? Well, then, I’m a communist and I should leave this country. Because apparently, unless I think the US is the greatest country in the world, I don’t belong here. I am not exactly sure how this makes sense. There are actually some legitimate reasons to believe that we are not the best country in the world. Here are some facts about this country:

1865 marks the end of over a century of slavery
1890 US massacres hundreds of Sioux Indians, nearly half women and children because they wanted to maintain their Sioux ways and continue to live in peace where they lived for the last several thousand years, still significantly longer than the age of the United States.
1893 United States essentially overthrows the Hawaiian monarchy, eventually annexing it as the 50th state.
1920 Women gain the right to vote after a century of work, including, protests, strikes, and picketing the White House.
1924 Congress gives indigenous people right to citizenship, however, many states blocked their right to vote till 1965 Voting Rights Act. Thousands of native veterans were not allowed to vote upon returning from war.
1954 Segregation deemed unconstitutional, but written as black schools were inferior to white schools (which was not the case).
1964 Civil Rights Act
1968 Martin Luther King Jr assassinated
1995 Oklahoma City bombing, domestic anti government terrorists killing more than 160 people, including a daycare center.
1999-Present marred by US bombings of other countries and war.
2001 World Trade Center Attack
2008 Financial Crisis, the banks let us down.
2008 The United State’s first black president, Barack Obama
Soon after The Tea Party is born to protest the new government.
2015 Same-sex marriage is legalized in all 50 US states. Maybe at this point homosexuals can respect the country they live in. Right?
2012-2017 some of the most deadly mass shootings in US history

We currently have a President whose main form of communication is Twitter.

I am not a fan of Trump. I’m not a fan of the kneeling. I believe the reason for the protest is valid. Did the last three sentences cause your brain to explode. What can I say? I’m complex. Although I’m not a fan of the kneeling, I truly don’t believe we would be having this discussion without it. So what do we do? If it were me, I’d stop with the name calling. Stop telling people that they should stand or leave the country. Another history lesson: We’ve been here before. Here’s a phrase you can try, “I don’t agree with this kneeling business, but I would like to know your opinion. Why do you think it is OK?” or, “Let’s have a beer and discuss why you think Kaepernick’s actions have to mean disrespect to our military.” Did I mention I like beer?

Too adult? Well, maybe it’s time we grew up as a country and put on our big boy and girl pants. Because we are seriously behaving like little kids on a playground. Well, you can have your seesaw and swings, I like adult toys. Roll credits.

(Full disclosure, this is where I named the blog and I loooove it!)

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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I love seeing pictures of friends and family and learning what they are up to.  I love funny jokes, videos and shares of memes, podcasts and things gone viral (whatever any of that means).  But I hate, and I mean HATE, drive-by opinion sharing.  If you are reading this, yes, I get the irony.

Clinton sucks!  Trump supporters are idiots!  Don’t believe this!  Don’t believe that!  It all sums up to “I’m screaming my opinion so that everyone can know where I stand!”  So, as I write this “scream of my opinion” I ask the question, “Why must so many of us do this?”  We have basically all turned into virtual bumper stickers, and I don’t want to be a bumper sticker (roll credits).

There isn’t nuance online.  We lose the often necessary emotional attachment of our words online (which sometimes is a good thing).  We can be lost in sarcasm online.  But most importantly, in these short sound bytes, we lose the particulars/details that can drive a point home properly.  It is the thing I struggle with the most when I teach biology to undergraduates.

For example, evolution is a complicated subject.  You can take an entire year of class on the subject, but yet many will make opinions, strong opinions about the subject because of what they learned online, TV, or quite frankly in a classroom.  I teach evolution in all of my classes, but it is difficult to to teach it in its entirety when its practically impossible to do so.  So, students are left with the best that they can make out of it, and unfortunately, they will have gaps in their knowledge, but think they do not have gaps.  Heck, I have gaps, and I teach the stuff, how can they not possibly understand that they too have gaps?

So, what’s the answer?  I don’t know, but I know it’s not Facebook, nor instagram, or whatever the kids are using these days.  I believe in relationships.  I believe in time.  Strangers are way less likely to listen to my words than friends.  I believe in talking over dinner, beer, or coffee.  I believe in being open-minded.  My mind must be able to listen to others with the real possibility that my mental framework can change based on what I hear.  It may not, but I must believe that it can change.

Here is the bet I am willing to make every single time.  If you vote for Trump, you didn’t do your research.  If you vote for Clinton, you didn’t do your research.  If you vote, you didn’t do your research.  I won’t win that bet everytime, but I am winning it more than 75% of the time.  But I guess the main point of my blog is that research is not a bumper sticker.  Whether read on a car, or read on a post, it’s still just a bumper sticker.  The volumes of information available on multiple subjects, simply can’t be summed up in a blog, a post, nor a sound byte (yes, I know I am spelling it this way).

I’m a pretty smart guy.  I know a lot about a lot of things.  But the most important thing that I know, is that I don’t know a lot about a lot.  I find the bumper stickers of life, politics, Facebook, etc., dangerous to society.  How important is it to believe in certain things?  In other words, if I disagree with you on a subject does it hurt society?  It’s not the disagreements that bother me, it’s the us versus them mentality that bothers me.  The bumper sticker, the post, the tweet, the politcal sound byte tells the world which team you are on.  It’s not about sharing.  It’s not about opening discussion.  It’s about declaring sides.  I’ll talk to just about anybody about anything, but it needs to be in-person, or at the very least on the phone.  So, give me call.  (Terrible ending for this blog.  Oh well, what you going to do?)

On a related note.  Vote!  Because what else you going to do?

My son and I drove passed some cotton fields two days ago.  Cotton fields are HUGE!!  Do you have any idea how big cotton fields are?  Also we passed by bales of cotton.  They were HUGE!!  Do you have any idea how big bales of cotton are?  Cotton is also very prickly.  Dangerous for the hands and there are millions of bolls of cotton in the field.  My perspective on “picking cotton” has never been more adjusted.

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