"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, August 29, 2016

Today's Must-Read

Because nobody does cranky like John Cole.

You may have run across this story, about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance:

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has willingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.

His latest refusal to stand for the anthem -- he has done this in at least one other preseason game -- came before the 49ers' preseason loss to Green Bay at Levi's Stadium on Friday night.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

The reaction is as one might expect.

But Cole's reaction to the whole thing sums up my feelings perfectly. Here's his whole summation:

I’m not even going to get into whether or not his statement was right or appropriate, because whop fucking cares?

People don’t die every day defending our freedoms. The vast majority of our military exploits since World War II have been basically military adventurism and over-reactions, and/or attacking the wrong damned country. Our actual constitutional freedoms, with the exception of the 2nd amendment, have been under assault by lawmakers in the defense of the failed war on drugs and protecting Hollywood and software developers, but no foreign agent has been attacking them.
Soldiers and police do die every day defending the law and fighting the war on terror, but that hasn’t defended your freedoms. That’s kept you safe, maybe. The War on Terror itself has been used repeatedly to attack your actual Constitutional freedoms.

So if you want to thank someone for defending your freedoms, along with soldiers and police, thank the ALCU, the SPLC, the Innocence Project, and other folks who are waging a day to day unheralded battle to defend your freedoms.

And if soldiers were dying every day to defend your freedoms, they would be defending Kaepernick’s right to be a dickhead and not stand during the national anthem, for BLM to protest police, and for people and police union’s to say all live matters, and basically everything that someone says or does that pisses you off.

Because freedom means letting people do their own thing, and not sheltering you from things and get hurt feelings from things that offend you. And you know what? If the NFL and the 49ers want to do whatever they can to get rid of Kaepernick, so long as they honor their contractual obligations, fine.

That’s how things work when you are an adult.


Mustang Bobby has a good commentary on this one at Bark Bark Woof Woof and pretty much nails it:

Tell me which is more of a threat to our country: the refusal of a man to stand up during the playing of a song, or the willingness of a lot of citizens to restrict the rights of others because they don’t like what they’re saying or believing?

Read his whole post.

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