Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Truly, Madly, Deeply Deranged

That is the only appropriate description of that old deranged felon and adulterer/alleged rapist, (a.k.a., the standard hypocritical misconduct for the unhinged evangelical set) Jim Bakker.
Not mentioning his time in the wilderness, after he spent time in prison after bilking his followers out of $158 million, Bakker boasted that he has made many predictions — including 9/11 — that have come true, and that he is not being treated like the prophet he is.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fighting Back

Colin Kaepernick, the young NFL quarterback about whom I have previously posted, has shown remarkable integrity and fortitude dealing with the furor following his decision to 'take a knee' rather than stand for the U.S. national anthem. His action, to protest the brutalization of Black people at the hands of the authorities, has been roundly condemned by reactionaries for 'disrespecting the flag'. (The fact that 'taking a knee' has been a traditional show of respect by those entering Catholic church pews, I guess, is neither here nor there in this fraught environment.)

That Kaepernick no longer has a team to play for reveals much about systemic racism, both in the league and throughout America. Now, he has decided to fight back. He has filed a grievance against the NFL on Sunday, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests during the national anthem.

It would take mental gymnastics worthy of a denizen of Nineteen Eight-Four not to be able to see the cause-and-effect at work in the erstwhile quarterback's ongoing unemployment:
Kaepernick's supporters believe he's being punished for protesting police brutality by refusing to stand during the national anthem last season. This movement has spread throughout the NFL this season, drawing sharp criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Last week, CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora said that Kaepernick would be willing to go anywhere to work out for a team and wanted to be judged solely on his football ability.
While a difficult grievance to actually prove, all the evidence points in the direction of the NFL owners blackballing him:
San Francisco safety Eric Reid, Kaepernick's former teammate, has been kneeling during the anthem before games, including Sunday's 26-24 loss at the Washington Redskins.

"I'll have to follow up with him," Reid said after the game. "It sure does seem like he's being blackballed. I think all the stats prove that he's an NFL-worthy quarterback. So that's his choice and I support his decision. We'll just have to see what comes of it."

The NFL players' union said it would support the grievance, which was filed through the arbitration system that's part of the league's collective bargaining agreement.
Colin Kaepernick is clearly a deeply principled person who is likely running a real risk of further repercussions as he pursues this grievance. But that is often how the finest manifestations of personal integrity work, isn't it?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

What A Great Legacy

Jimmy Carter will not be remembered as one of the great U.S. presidents, but when his long life ends, he will be remembered for something much more meaningful: great humanitarian and environmentalist:

On Human Resilience

In a world growing increasingly grim, it is easy to succumb to cynicism and defeatism. That is why stories like the following need to be told, to remind us that there is much, much more to human nature than the darkness we so regularly see. Young Tori Brinkman attests to this:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Apocalypse Explained

American news likes to focus only on the human drama that ensues when disaster strikes. In contrast, Global National, clearly less fettered by corporate fiat, takes the time to analyse the reasons behind the disaster. The following report by Eric Sorenson explains the science behind the apocalypse engulfing California, and yes, that science includes the use of a term one almost never hears in mainstream media south of the border, climate change.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lest We Forget

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz reminds us of some unpleasant truths:

Responding To "Suppressing Dissent" - A Guest Post

This morning I received a comprehensive commentary from BM, who was responding to my post Suppressing Dissent, which expressed criticism of the visit by Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins' visit to the Donald Trump White House. If you missed it, you may wish to read it before enjoying BM's post below.

Following his comments, I reproduce my response. As always, I welcome a diversity of views:

This is about the most ridiculous post I've seen here. It's outright stupid. And mean-spirited to boot.

Immersed as we are in US culture, apparently Canadians think we are Americans. That is the only explanation I can come up with that eplains the moaning that Crosby should have snubbed the White House visit to in effect tell Trump off.

In what strange reality do you live? Seriously. Crosby, like any foreigner earning a living overseas remains in that foreign country at the forebearance of its government. He has no "right" to be there. And anyone with a thinking brain would realize that he has no right to insert himself in that foreign country's domestic affairs. Unless he wishes to commit career suicide.

The fuzzy thinking I've been exposed to in the media and now here on this matter is to me beyond belief. I'll say it again, neither we or Crosby are American. Therefore, he did what was necessary which was to sidestep the issue. Does Trudeau do any better?

To project your hopes and aspirations onto Crosby is ridiculous, and carries not one penny's worth of logical weight. To compound your profound disappointment, you slyly and snidely suggest he didn't stand up like the man you wish him to be because he is susceptible to concussion. That, I'm afraid, is contemptible.

Then we get the usual mishmash of snobby Upper Canadian finger-pointing about the way Nova Scotia was some 90 or more years ago. Yessir, we're all dumb racist hayseeds down here. We've got a lot to answer for, to be sure, about the way we have and still do treat blacks, but that requires no preachy lectures from Ontario pseudo intellectuals. Is Ontario blame free on its treatment of the indigenous population, or the current way blacks are treated in the GTA? I think not.

There is even a factual error about Africville. The "government" did not move Africville, the City of Halifax did. It has issued an apology to former Africville residents redolent of the same half-hearted and certainly not heartfelt apologies that Harper and Trudeau have given to indigenous people. Not good enough. We can and should do better.

The Coloured Hockey League's existence came back to light in 2012 locally. I'd never heard of it myself, and can think of no reason that Crosby growing up in Cole Harbour, a newish Dartmouth suburb should have either. Is it the responsibility of sentient citizens to continually check the historical record for signs of past societal sins and having found one, immediately do abject penance?

Furthermore, with the more recent ramp-up on the Coloured Hockey League, it comes to light that many prominent black citizens here missed the 2012 announcements when a book on the matter was published. On CBC Radio and TV, we have seen such people interviewed who were as ignorant of the CHL as anyone else, but glad to see it come to light again. What chance did Crosby have of knowing this story as he grew up, or me for that matter? Maybe we're both concussed.

I can detail what I and others did for the black community near the town I lived in here in NS way back in the early 1960s. With no internet, not a soul was running around brimming with knowledge of past injustices province-wide. We acted on what we saw, and we prevailed against prejudice.

This business of judging past history by today's standards without a thought to interpretation is surely the curse of the modern age. To compound the ignorance with the ruminations and innuendo you present here is poor work indeed.

My Response:

Clearly, my post struck a nerve here, BM, and you are certainly not alone in thinking that Crosby in particular, and Canadians in general, have no business opining on American politics. Former CBC News executive producer Mark Bulgutch penned an opinion piece in the Star on the weekend suggesting Canadians should restrict our observations and actions to our own backyard.

Again, because there really is no precedent for the kind of lunacy we are currently witnessing south of the border, I maintain that everyone has, at the very least, a moral obligation not to lend even a scintilla of legitimacy to such a dysfunctional administration.

Because I always welcome diverse views and opinions, I am taking the liberty, BM, of featuring your commentary as a guest post.