Tag Archives: U.S.

Political Trouble in the World of Sports

There have been several days of controversy and criticism since NBA player Stephen Curry suggested he would vote against accepting Trump’s invitation to the White House. When Trump heard about this development, he decided to un-invite the entire Warriors basketball team and has since sent out a number of tweets regarding both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL). The latter is the result of Trump’s comments that NFL players should be fired for taking a knee during the National Anthem and the resulting protests from NFL teams such as the Steelers.

Stephen Curry – Photo from NBA.com

The Steelers decided to remain inside of the locker room during the performance of the National Anthem. The head coach of the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, stated that he did not want the team to feel divided and that, essentially, he wanted the team to stay out of the politics going on. However, being absent during the Anthem is something of a political statement in and of itself.

Trump has stated, both at his rally in Alabama and on Twitter, that he believes anyone who does not stand up or takes a knee during the Anthem should be fired. He has also stated on Twitter that the games have been losing viewers because they are “boring” but people would keep watching if the NFL teams were loyal to the U.S. That being said, Trump is probably not the best person to give commentary on how viewership has increased or decreased for sports teams. Or in a position to really give any commentary at all. What the President has to do with a NFL game or NBA team is unknown, especially when he has more serious matters to attend to. Regardless of what Trump says, and in fact because of it, many players and teams are now making a stand and/or protesting, such as a number of players at the Jaguars and Ravens game in London. Perhaps it is time to listen to what other people have to say about why they are protesting, instead of threatening them.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Big Brother

Edward Snowden – Photo from PBS.org

The web article ‘Government Surveillance and Academic Thought Policing are Taking us to 1984′ by Art Carden [1], talks about progressive policies and their effect on the conservative half of our 2-party system. It isn’t framed that way, but that’s what it refers to. It’s framed as a critique of our modern-day society as seen through the lens of a perfect socialist dystopia set 33 years ago. He explores some of the preliminary results of the Sexual Revolution. It hints at the depths and pervasiveness of changing attitudes in institutes of higher learning – and the unforeseen psychological impact of those attitudes outside of that social circle.

It begins by drawing parallels between the Party’s incessant spying on its own citizens and the current surveillance practices of our government. With each page, Orson Welles envisions increasingly inventive ways to strip the privacy, dignity, and sanity from his imaginary citizens. Two-way cameras, government surveillance, and the torture of anyone who dares question the regime. If the reports released by Edward Snowden are to be believed [2], smartphones, Smart TV’s, and tablets are being regularly used as 2-way surveillance devices. If anyone remembers Abu Ghraib, then the idea of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ being used on citizens and non-citizens alike going as far back as the Vietnam War [3] should come as little surprise.

And the data collected from the surveillance of said devices is actively archived by the NSA [4]. Look at that thoughtfully planned, perfectly benign tagline in the link: “Defending Our Nation. Securing the Citizens.” Gosh, doesn’t that inspire warm, cuddly thoughts? Programs like this only serve to increase our distrust of our fellow citizens, black, white, and brown. But where some might be prone to praising the initiative, others condemn it for the ethical implications of such a widespread devaluation of basic human privacy.   Complementing this racial division, exacerbating class divisions that have existed for most of human society, are the sexual and gender-based divisions that have seen increased media attention. The past 3 years have been rocked with campus sex-scandals: high-school students getting molested [5], college rapes [6], and more have created one of the most isolated generations of citizens in U.S. history. Add to that a decline in social skills due to technology [7], and it’s a wonder anyone ever finds time to consider social issues.

We are living in one of the lowest crime rate periods of time in our nation’s history [8]. But abuses of power and subsequent infringements of civil rights are more pervasive than ever. And that frightens me.

 

 

[1] https://www.learnliberty.org/blog/government-surveillance-and-academic-thought-policing-are-taking-us-to-1984/

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/wikileaks-says-it-has-obtained-trove-of-cia-hacking-tools/2017/03/07/c8c50c5c-0345-11e7-b1e9-a05d3c21f7cf_story.html?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.e3f3cf5e6f38

[3] http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201322772747965573.html

[4] https://nsa.gov1.info/utah-data-center/

[5] http://ktla.com/2017/09/14/female-lakewood-high-school-teacher-accused-of-carrying-out-3-year-sexual-relationship-with-teen-student/

Another Trump Tweet Debacle

Twitter can be a great resource for sharing news or entertainment with almost anyone. It seems like everyone has a Twitter account nowadays too. You can search for and find almost anyone who is even mildly famous on there, including, unfortunately, Donald Trump. Most everyone knows that Trump has a certain amount of Twitter infamy. He is known for short, poorly worded tweets that often attack people and are often posted at three in the morning when most people are conveniently not up to defend themselves. And Trump has made yet another mistake on Twitter yet again.

In the .gif, President Donald Trump’s golfball is edited to have hit Hillary Clinton in the back, causing her to fall over – Capture from Twitter

Trump retweeted a gif that makes it look like he is hitting Hilary Clinton with a golf ball. While the gif may be in poor taste, it is ultimately harmless. Unless, of course, you are the guy hitting Clinton in the video and also the president of United States. And you have also threatened (with federal investigation and jail time) the person you appear to be hitting. And in general, you are known for having a great dislike of that person and have said a number of “nasty” things about her. This man is supposed to be the president of our country, not a child incapable of any form of critical thinking.

Trump is our president, whether we like it or not, and therefore he is held to a higher standard. Arguably, the highest of standards. But here he is back at it again with petty, childish tweets against Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, we have half the country of fire, literally, two massive hurricane relief efforts going on, and rising tension with North Korea. Forgive me if I feel like the president has better things to do than retaliate against someone who released a book recently criticizing him. This would not be quite as big of a deal if Trump was not known for going on Twitter rants against anyone he dislikes and obsessing about it. As president, his attention needs to be elsewhere, and this does not bode well.