Sneakers Are Burning

I guess this is my second Closing Thought–07Sep18

Now if you have been smart and stayed away from the TV then you may not know what I am going on about…..the truth is I was not going to take part in this story for I believe it is just a diversion from more important stuff.  But after all that was happening around the story I felt the need for comment.

Nike has taken its own advice to “Just Do It”—with the “It” being “Get involved in the NFL national anthem controversy.” The company, days before the start of the new football season, has signed up former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, CNN reports. Kaepernick, who has been unable to get a new NFL contract since taking a knee for the anthem in the 2016 season to protest racial injustice, tweeted a photo from the campaign with the caption: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” A roundup of coverage:

  • “Top bracket.” Kaepernick’s existing deal with Nike had been about to expire when it was renegotiated for the new campaign; a source tells the AP that Kaepernick’s compensation will be similar to that of the top bracket of NFL players on Nike’s books—and the deal also includes a Kaepernick apparel line and donations to his charity, Know Your Rights.
  • The backlash begins. Not every Nike wearer was thrilled about the move, with some so outraged that they filmed themselves destroying their Nike gear, Metro reports. Twitter user Sean Clancy posted a video of himself incinerating his Nike shoes, complaining that the company had forced him “to choose between my favorite shoes and my country.” The hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt started trending Monday.
  • Cutting swooshes. Country singer John Rich tweeted a picture of his soundman, a former Marine who had “just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks.” “Get ready to multiply that by the millions,” Rich warned.
  • Worth it? Nike, which has been battling Adidas to sign top players, is gambling that signing Kaepernick will be worth a backlash that is expected to include the president, Bloomberg reports. “The long-term relationship and a contract that benefits both parties over the next 10 years will likely outweigh any current controversy,” says Bloomberg analyst Chen Grazutis.
  • Athletes side with Kaepernick. Numerous fellow athletes and other celebrity spoke out in support of Kaepernick on Monday, reports Al Jazeera. #IMWITHKAP,” tweeted Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenney Stills.
  • Ahmadinejad, Cruz get involved. In what WFAA describes as a “new height of bizarreness” in the controversy, former Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tweeted Monday that it was a shame Kaepernick, “one of the best Quarterbacks in the league,” didn’t have a playing contract. Sen. Ted Cruz then tweeted that the agreement of Ahmadinejad suggested that the NFL, Nike, and Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic challenger, “are all on the wrong side of the American people.”
  • Tillman, too. Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinal killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004, was cited by conservative commentators including Fox’s Stephen Miller as somebody who would have been a better face for the campaign, WBIR reports. Critics said Tillman would have supported players’ right to protest, or suggested he be left out of the debate instead of “weaponized.”

You Tube blew up with idiots setting their Nikes on fire…..goes to show that most Americans have more  money than brains.  They are destroying a $100+ shoe because of something an orange idiot had to say.

Personally I think if you had to protest why not give your Nikes to someone who needed shoes like a homeless veteran?……but wait that action would not give one that You Tube moment that they desire.

If they do not agree with what this man did, Kaepernick, then protests like this school in Arkansas……

Nike uniforms are vestimenta non grata at the College of the Ozarks after the company’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign. The private Christian college in Missouri announced Thursday that its athletic teams will no longer buy Nike uniforms and any it has now will be removed, the Kansas City Star reports. In a statement, college president Jerry C. Davis accused Nike execs of “promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America” with the Kaepernick campaign. “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them,” Davis said. “We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.”

Nike, which aired a Kaepernick-narrated ad during the NFL season opener, is “free to campaign as it sees fit,” just as the college is free “to ensure that it respects our country and those who truly served and sacrificed,” says Marci Linson, the school’s vice-president for patriotic activities. President Trump also criticized Nike and NFL anthem protests Thursday. “I don’t like what Nike did. I don’t think it’s appropriate what they did,” he said before a rally in Montana. The AP reports that there were no “clear-cut protests” during the season opener, in which the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons 18-12. Sources say Kaepernick watched the ad’s premiere from Nike headquarters in Oregon.

They chose to not use Nike products…..an excellent protest.

This whole thing is silly….Nike is getting all the free publicity they can use….and Our Dear Leader is helping their sales “yugely”……

Burning Nikes is about as moronic as the old days of pouring French wine down the drain because of something they did or said…..or to a lesser extent re-naming French Fries as “Freedom Fries”.

All in all a stupid knee jerk reaction to something that needs no response.

A few closing thoughts…….

“I am patient with stupidity but not those that are proud of it”

“Nothing worse than aggressive stupidity”

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”

“It is a shame that stupidity is not more painful”

“Do not cater to stupidity”

I must shut down the mind for the day…..I dearly wish everyone have a great evening.  chuq

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Closing Thought–07Sep18

A few years ago one of the hottest stories in the news was the militarization of police departments across the country…..(not so much these days)…..I wrote a post about it last year……https://lobotero.com/2017/02/17/coming-of-a-police-state/

Since then the story has taken a backseat to the antics of Our Dear Leader but the militarization of police is still going on….the best question to ask is “with all this military equipment does it make the citizens safer”?  My thought is not really.

But I read an article that was posting on the Defense One website……

In the summer of 2014, unarmed protestors in Ferguson, Missouri were met with a startling and aggressive police response, and a national debate over the proper role of law enforcement in American communities—a dialogue we’ve initiated many times in our history, but never adequately resolved—reignited. For days, cable news networks saturated broadcasts with images of police in armored vehicles designed to withstand improvised explosive devices in Iraq, taking aim at civilians with high-powered rifles, clad in protective gear fit for a theater of war.

I wanted to understand why police had this equipment, why they used it, and what costs and benefits so-called “militarized policing” delivered. As a doctoral student in political science, I knew where to start—locating reliable data—but I didn’t know it would take me four years to assemble and analyze. This week, I published my findings: Militarized police units are deployed more often in black neighborhoods, even after controlling for local crime rates. And while militarized policing does not, on average, make either the public or police any safer, it may tarnish the reputation of police.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/08/what-i-learned-studying-militarized-policing/150774/

Half tracks used against protesters is what dictators do….not in a supposedly “democratic” America.

Welcome America the newest Banana Republic….and getting worse.

A DC Who Dunnit?

Hopefully this will be my last post on this fiasco, that is unless something really big breaks…..I must add my voice to all the analysis of the situation.

Reporters yelling questions at the president….TV pundits speculating on the author of this now infamous op-ed.

There is a list circulating that predicts a few that are the likely authors…..

Tucker Carlson of Fox News think he has a “pretty good idea” who wrote the anti-Trump op-ed now in wide circulation, but he’s awaiting confirmation before going public, reports the Hill. At the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren has narrowed it down to four likely suspects:

  • Larry Kudlow, chair of the National Economic Council, whose free-market views don’t always go over well in the White House.
  • Kevin Hassett, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, whose views on issues from tax reform to the military generally line up with those of the op-ed writer.
  • Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence, who’s near the end of his political career and would have little to lose from the fallout.
  • Mike Pompeo, secretary of state and former CIA chief. “As someone fond of, and thought fondly of, by CIA agents, Pompeo could be particularly irked by the suggestion by Trump and his supporters that a ‘deep state’ is at work against the president,” Warren writes.

Slate rounds up those who’ve issued denials, including Coats, Pompeo, Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin, and VP Mike Pence, whose fondness for the term “lodestar,” used in the op-ed, has raised eyebrows. (See what Jimmy Kimmel and other late-night hosts think.)

Why?

Just about everyone knows exactly what is in the op-ed…there is nothing new in it.  What is the purpose of the op-ed?  If things are that fucked up why not resign instead of whining in the shadows?  Does the person want the 25th amendment to be invoke?  If so he/she will be sorely disappointed for their is NO spine for such a bold move.  What will change with this op-ed?

A reader of IST left a comment the other day…….what if Trump did this under one of his personas from the past…after all he loves seeing his name in lights and repeated ad nauseum plus it lathers up his supporters and helps FOX with ratings.  Is this in the realm of a possibility?

And the play continues.

Turn The Page!

A Reliable Referee

Since Fraggle Rock is  no longer with us it is up to me to educate and inform……

Our Congress is in the middle of hearings on the Trump SCOTUS nominee, Kavanaugh…….and all the theatrics that goes with these hearings….

One cannot imagine how most people have no idea what the Supreme Court is all about…..

But let’s look at the Supreme Court.

We have a 3 branch government, the Congress (Legislative), the President (Executive) and the Supreme Court (Judicial)…..when there is a standstill between the Executive and the Legislative then the Supreme Court is the tie breaker, the referee if you will…..

Being a referee would mean that the Judicial should be neutral in all things…that would make the field of government fair and logical.  The judges should have no political entanglements that could hamper their decisions.

In recent decades that has changed….court appoints are made to further a political agenda whether liberal or conservative.  Now presidents long to have the chance to appoint someone that will carry out the purposed political agenda…….it is safe to say the neutrality in the court is dead.

We didn’t always talk about the Supreme Court in crassly partisan terms. The court had liberals and conservatives, and general voting patterns, but public analysis of the court’s activity normally centered on the legal reasoning behind decisions and dissents. People might disagree with one ruling or another, but the court’s overall authority, rooted in its role as a trusted arbiter of competing claims, enjoyed a basic respect.

Today, in contrast, it’s common to regard the court as little more than another political body. More and more, Senate votes for judicial nominees, such as Brett Kavanaugh, break down along party lines, and people tend to assume that the outcome of a given case will hinge on which bloc of justices, liberal or conservative, has the majority. Justices—like everybody else in our tribal world—are now seen as vehicles for expressing a political preference.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/06/common-ground-good-america-society-219616

The SCOTUS decisions should be made using the US Constitution as a guideline…..(yet another aspect that most have no idea)….but I can help….

Then there is a crash course for those interested beyond the talking points from their favorite newscaster…….

Class Dismissed!

Did You Know North Korea Was Still There?

As usual the situation with North Korea is not very newsworthy these days….we have a SCOTUS duel, a op-ed that has the Dear Leader batcrap pissed and then there is the probes this and the probes that….and in all the drama the situation with North Korea soldiers on……

Since the MSM wants to sweep most of it under the rug (would that be a Persian rug?  Persia?  Ain’t that Iran?)…….

It seems that Kim wants a declaration of peace for the Korean Peninsula and Trump’s boyz are waffling……

White House and State Department officials are reiterating that they have no current interest in making a deal with North Korea that would involve a peace declaration ending the Korean War.

The State Department said on Wednesday that the US position is that “denuclearization has to take place before we get to other parts.” The administration has repeatedly said they believe Korean denuclearization will take years, and that they want “progress” before the 2020 election.

The Korean War began in 1950, and 68 years later, there has never been a formal peace treaty ending the conflict. North Korea has been seeking a peace treaty for decades, with the US always resisting such a deal.

(antiwar.com)

Another summit is coming to a screen near you……mind you what Barry Goldwater said about a “summit”…..”only summit meeting that can succeed is the one that never takes place”…..could that be accurate in this case?

South Korean officials announced on Thursday that a deal has been reached to hold a summit in Pyongyang from September 18-20. The summit is to focus on “practical measures” which could be taken for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has “reconfirmed his determination to completely denuclearize,” and that he continues to have faith in President Trump.

The commitment to denuclearize is a major announcement, as US officials have been increasingly dubious about that, and complaining about the lack of quick progress. North Korean officials say Kim is frustrated by the doubts expressed in the international community about his will to preemptively denuclearize. He told Chung that he feels the good faith moves made by North Korea should be reciprocated.

(antiwar.com)

The trade war that Our Dear Leader has started with China has consequences……many have said the China has been a big help getting NK to the negotiating table….but for how much longer?

While the US has been pushing for diplomatic progress with North Korea to be met with even more restrict sanctions and restrictions, other countries have called for the UN to ease them. The US has blocked that, so far, but it isn’t stopping nations like China unilaterally easing limits on trade.

China has long been North Korea’s main trading partner, and while that trade ground to a halt earlier this year, a lot of it shows signs of picking up. Reports have China reopening coal trade, restarting frozen construction projects, and again allowing tourists into Pyongyang.

Analysts are suggesting that this “undercuts” US calls to keep escalating sanctions on North Korea, though there is also a case to be made that China is trying to ensure that it retains a major seat at the table if North Korea suddenly becomes an opened market with a lot of trade business.

(antiwar.com)

How much longer will China assist the process with this trade war looming large?

As one can see here is more going on on the Korean Peninsula than we are being told…..

A closing thought–President Trump tweeted to thank North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for his “unwavering faith,” promising that the two leaders would “get it done together.” This came after Wednesday’s reports that Kim, despite frustration at the diplomatic process, remains confident in Trump’s ability to progress things personally.

 

Trying To Reason With The Middle East

To begin this post with the statement that Our Dear Leader plans to leave troops in Syria indefinitely….

According to State Department officials, President Trump has recently abandoned his desire to “get out” of Syria and bring US troops home.  He has signed a new strategy, which includes new military goals, and eliminates all timelines for removing troops from Syria.

US troops are in several parts of Syria, mostly in the Kurdish-held northeast. An estimated 2,200 US troops are in Syria, though official numbers are being withheld from the public. Special Envoy James Jeffrey said the old plan was to leave Syria by year’s end, but now the troops are committed to an “indefinitely extended” stay.

The new goals are substantial as well, with the US now focusing on forcing Iran out of Syria and “enduring defeat” for ISIS. Jeffrey says the US is “not in a hurry” and that Trump is now on board with this idea.

(antiwar.com)

The Middle East is one of those regions that few people understand….most people just write off the Middle East as a region that has always been in conflict and nothing will ever change.

With that oversimplification I do not agree with in any shape or form.

The reason these types of characterizations abound is because few people understand the Middle East  and fewer attempt to understand.

By why is that?

A recent editorial in the Washington Post, written by columnist David Ignatius, offers a shining example of the United States’ difficulty in understanding today’s world and, most of all, the Arab world.

Ignatius conveys a genuine concern for “The Unintended Consequences of US Disengagement in the Middle East”, quoting worried comments made by a member of the Arab elite allied with the US.

The journalist expresses uneasiness about the fact that “American power and values won’t matter the way they once did”. His position is steeped in the typical intellectual milieu of American exceptionalism, a position based on the hardwired assumption that the condition for an ideal existence and a stable world order are ensured only when American power and values are strong and shared.

https://theantimedia.com/americans-middle-east/

While the US drags its feet on the diplomatic front…China is not wasting any time to fill all diplomatic holds that the US creates…..

Tensions between the United States and China seem to be defining the bilateral relationship between the two countries these days. From a growing trade war to the Trump administration’s characterization of China as a “strategic competitor seeking to undermine U.S. power and influence” in its 2017 National Security Strategy , political and economic relations appear to have settled at a recent nadir.

But great power competition between the two most powerful militaries and economies is not geographically limited. China is indicating its intent to shape the Middle East’s regional and military landscape through trade relationships with regional states as well as through projection of its own military might. Below are three areas to watch where China’s more assertive Middle East engagement may lead to tensions with America.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-china-trying-dominate-middle-east-29922

The US is having to take to the sidelines…..although it is arming and propping up several countries in the region in the event that they are needed to fight a proxy war for the US…..Saudis, UAE, Jordan, and cash sucker Israel.

If the US loses the Middle East to China then I believe that the consequences will be great.