It is a sin to write this.
–        Anthem, Ayn Rand

Blasphemy.  The debate about the national anthem, standing, kneeling, sitting, troops, the NFL, Trump, Goodell.  Kneel to protest police brutality of minorities and in support of social justice; stand to honor the country and the troops.  These are the two sides, and this reality – that these are the only sides – is pounded into us all.

Even those who kneel say that they support the troops.

Trump Embraces the Culture War, by Patrick J. Buchanan; commenting on the divide in the country represented by this anthem protest issue, Pence walking out of the stadium, etc.:

In the culture wars, Trump has rejected compromise or capitulation and decided to defend the ground on which his most loyal folks stand.

On the essentials of nationhood — ancestry, morality, faith, culture, history, heroes — we really are no longer one nation and one people.

He offers that Americans are now two people:

Time to buy old US gold coins

All weekend, viewers of cable TV were treated to self-righteous wailing from the acolytes of Colin Kaepernick, patron saint of the 49ers, that “taking the knee” to protest racism and racist cops is a most admirable exercise of the First Amendment right to protest.

As an aside, it was a green beret or ranger or some such that told Kaepernick last year that kneeling would be respectful.

What Trump’s folks are saying in response is this:

“You may have a First Amendment right to disrespect our flag, or even to burn it, but you have no right to make us listen to you, or respect you, or buy tickets to your games, or watch you on Sunday.”

Two sides: social justice or embrace the government.

I fall on neither side.  When I am at an event where the anthem is performed, I don’t stand for the troops and the country, and I don’t kneel for social justice.  I either wander in the hallways outside of the main arena or remain seated in my chair.  I do this because I don’t honor the troops; I don’t equate country with government – and I very much protest the government.

What I protest is that this anthem has become synonymous with military worship; I protest the killing of millions of innocents overseas by troops who volunteer to do this killing.

I remember once wandering the halls, standing in line for food when the anthem began.  I am placing my order and the women behind the counter just stopped listening to me.  At first I couldn’t figure out why.  When I did, I thought – what a waste of my time; I can’t even order food while she stands in worship!

Another time I was wandering the halls and successfully escaped the anthem and the worship.  I went back to my seat…just in time for (unbeknownst to me beforehand) the introduction of a war vet – Afghanistan or Iraq, I don’t recall.  Everyone stood and cheered – louder than if the home team won the first championship in its and the city’s history.

I remained seated.

There aren’t two sides to this national anthem debate.  There are three…at least.

As an aside, I cannot express how much I am enjoying the NFL choking on the patriotism that they so eagerly stuff down our throats every day – all for a few shekels from the DOD.

A Curiosity

It is a sin to think words no others think.
–        Anthem, Ayn Rand

Last season the Oakland Raiders were one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl until their quarterback, Derek Carr, was injured and missed the playoffs.

This season, they were favored to at least get to the AFC Championship game; their first two games followed suit, as they pretty much destroyed their competition.  Derek Carr was playing great – as he did all of last year until his injury.

But in this third game?  The Raiders were pretty much destroyed:

Under pressure all night, Carr was 19 of 31 for 118 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Carr had thrown 112 consecutive passes before being picked off by Montae Nicholson on the second play of the game.

The Raiders went 0 of 11 on third down as part of their anemic offensive effort. Their 47 first-half yards were their fewest since Week 14 against Denver in 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Carr was sacked four times in this game, this after being sacked only twice in total in the previous two games combined.

Oh, did I forget to mention?  This third game was on the first big Sunday of anthem protests – after Trump first called out the NFL and its players.  But what does this have to do with Carr?

A vast majority of Raiders players sat on the bench arm in arm. Carr was among those standing, along with [Raiders coach] Del Rio.

They have lost two more games since.  One wonders if the team gave up on the coach and the quarterback.


Anthem of the heart and mind
A funeral dirge for eyes gone blind

–        Anthem, Rush

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.