Sunday, November 19, 2017

On Roy Moore. Al Franken, Bill Clinton, et al

Roy Moore would not have been my first choice for the Senate from any state. He would usually be my last choice, except if someone even worse were running. Roy Moore joins the ranks of Congressman Todd Akin, Sharron Angle, Christine (“I am not a witch”) O’Donnell, and Ken Buck, who cost the Republicans winnable Senate seats. The problem for the Republicans is that these candidates, including Roy Moore, were nominated by a Republican base that is frustrated by the Republican inaction in Congress. Alabama voters viewed Senator Luther Strange as an insider. The Hollywood disclosures followed by the political revelations opened the doors for victims to come forward and receive justice, even if it is justice delayed. Politicians attempting to take political advantage of these scandals are playing with fire. Once unleashed, they will become uncontrollable. Sexual assaults and harassment are bi-partisan, non-partisan, equal opportunity offenders. Sleaze is sleaze. Rape is rape. Statutory rape is rape. Power, political power, is an aphrodisiac for many. Power though is not an excuse, justification or explanation for sexual assaults or harassment. Basic rules of law and morality have been cast aside by the assailants, seduced or blinded by power. The accusations have spread from Hollywood to London and Washington, D.C. and now statehouses in Florida, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Sadly, the settlements are often shrouded in secrecy. The California legislature, meaning taxpayers, has paid out at least $850,000 over the past five years in settlements for sexual harassment. About 200 women have come forward with complaints about legislators and staffers, but only 30 investigations have ensued since 2007. The legislature does not keep track of the settlements. Congress over the past 20 years has entered in 260 settlements totaling $15 million in taxpayer funds. Yet even today very few women have publicly come forward with specific accusations. Maybe Leann Tweeden will serve as an incentive. Accusations though are not necessarily politically fatal. Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Clinton survived a series of accusations about sexual assaults and harassment. Indeed, the mainstream media downplayed the accusations against President Clinton. Victims, such as Paula Jones, were alluded to as “trailer park trash.” Roy Moore was having difficulty solidifying the vote in conservative Alabama. He was twice kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court for defying the United States Constitution on the ban between Church and State. Then came the disclosures of his fondness for teenage girls, including apparently under-age girls. He thus was portrayed in the media as a pervert. The media tracked down every lead and encouraged every woman with knowledge to come forward. They were salivating as they poured it on Roy Moore and the GOP. Then came Leann Tweeden, Al Franken and the photo. The presumption of innocence works in a court of law, but not in the court of public opinion. Denials mean little against these accusations, particularly when many accusers come forward. The broadcaster Leann Tweeden accused then comedian, now Senator Al Franken, of harassment and groping during a USO tour. The damming charge is not so much the accusation as the photo. He looks like a lecher in the photo. The Democrats may throw Senator Franken under the bus or let him ride it out. They are turning on President Clinton, now asserting they should have taken action against President Clinton 20 years ago. Hillary twice lost races for the Presidency. The Democratic Party no longer has blind loyalty to the Clintons. They owe them nothing and don’t need them anymore. Now they believe Juanita Broderick, or so they say. The media is trying to use the Franken incident to segue to President Trump with the history of accusations against him. Of course, those same accusations were unsuccessfully raised during the Presidential campaign against President Trump, but the media cannot restrain itself. Critics of the harassment accusations, which span decades of claims, assert they may not always be believable because of the passage of time. Several considerations apply to these delayed claims. First, every major incident, such as a disaster, will bring out false claims. Thus, fraudulent claims may be made, but that does not detract from the validity of legitimate claims. Second, memories fade or reshape over time. However, these women appear credible. The Franken photo is worth a thousand words. It speaks loud and clear. The Senator cannot and does not deny it. He simply claims he was trying to be funny. We also know that some victims complained to authorities or others immediately after the incidents, giving rise to the validity of their present claims. Many women realized after the occurrence that any complaint would be futile under the prevailing circumstances as well as costing them their careers. Some women also understood that blowing up in the heat of anger would accomplish little, but instead waited for the right time to come forward. Always remember the old adage: “Revenge is best served cold.” For example, the then sleeping Leann was highly distressed by the two incidents. She held onto the photo and just now released it. Senator Franken could no more deny it than President Clinton the semen on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress. One question is if Senator Al Franken will be hoisted on his own petard? The Senator posted on Facebook October 10: “The women who have shared their stories about Harvey Weinstein over the last few days are incredibly brave. It takes a lot of courage to come forward, and we owe them our thanks. And as we hear more and more about Mr. Weinstein, it’s important to remember that while his behavior was appalling, it’s far too common.” The Senator also tweeted “We must address sexual harassment.” He also wrote “I encourage victims to stand up and tell their stories.” Leann Tweeden took him at his word. Senator Franken said in a statement after Leann Tweeden’s accusation: “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.” Al Franken is undoubtedly not the only member of Congress with sexual harassment; the history of Congress tells us that. Judge them not by what they say, but by what they do.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Rhetorical Conundrum: How Does Society Fight Hate Crimes When So Many Are Fake?

How do you fight hate crimes when so many turn out to be fake? Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s great “I Have A Dream Speech”, especially “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”? Remember Nina Simone’s great song “To be Young, Gifted, and Black”? Remember the post-racial Presidency of President Barack Hussein Obama? Sadly, race relations today are highly divisive, one year after the post-racial Presidency of President Obama. Race relations are so divisive that a single spark can ignite demonstrations, protests, riots, and vandalism. The spark can range from a police shooting to the posting of graffiti. One racist message is one too many. Yet many of these racist messages now turn out to be fake. One fake racist message is not only one too many, but further fans the flames of racism. Some recent examples sadly show the power of fake racism. Five black cadet candidates last September at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School reported racist messages outside their dorm room. The message said “Go home” with the “N” word. Lt. General Jay Silveria, Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, mustered the entire cadet corps and delivered a strong anti-racism message to the cadets - that racist behavior is unacceptable at the school. One of the five cadets was arrested a week ago for writing the racist remarks. Three incidents rocked the Eastern Michigan University community last spring and this fall. “KKK” was sprayed last September in red, white, and blue on a dormitory wall, coupled with a racial threat that blacks should leave the campus. The “N” word was posted Halloween on a building next to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument. The message again ordered blacks to leave the campus. A racist message was left in a men’s restroom stall last spring. EMU erupted after these message. 1080 hours of campus police investigations coupled with local police and FBI led to the arrest of a 29 year old former student three weeks ago. The suspect is Eddie Curlin, an African American. St. Olaf College in Minnesota was wracked with a series of racist messages last spring. A message left on a car on April 29 said “I am so glad that you are leaving soon. One less [N ] that this school has to deal with. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.” Demonstrators ensued. Classes were cancelled “so that we may have time for faculty, students, and staff to continue their discussions about racism and diversity on our campus.” The message was fake. Kansas has witnessed several “hate’ messages, two of which at least have been fake. An African American maintenance worker on crack splay painted KKK and a swastika on the wall of the Concord Fortress of Hope Church in Kansas City and set a fire in the building to hide his theft. A car at Kansas State was painted with a racist message. The “N” word was on the rear windshield. Words painted include “White’s only,” “Die”, and “date your own kind.” Dauntarius Williams, the African American owner of the car, later admitted to painting he car. He said it was meant as a Halloween prank. The Bart System in the San Francisco Bay Area has been repeatedly vandalized with racist messages with racist slurs and swastikas. Videos show the perpetrator to be African American. The problem is how do you respond and react to hate crimes when so many turn out to be a hoax?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

George Orwell Finally Gets a Statue in England!!

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) unveiled on November 7 an 8’ tall statue of George Orwell, the first public statue of the great political commentator. It is in the piazza of the BBC’s New Broadcasting House, where George Orwell worked for two years during World War II. Eric Blair, best known by his pen name, George Orwell was born in India. The Indian state of Bihar opened a George Orwell Museum in his birthplace in Motihari. (See my January 2, 2010 blog). George Orwell is most famous for his anti-Communist, pro-freedom books, Animal Farm and 1984, which are required reading in England, banned in other countries, and provocative to my generation in high school. Animal Farm gives us the classic “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” People who have never read 1984 will recognize some of these words and phrases: Big Brother, Doublethink, GroupThink, Thought Police, Newspeak, and Unperson. The Thought Police are a problem today, especially on our campuses. Orwell’s perspective was formed in the Spanish Civil War. He was wounded fighting for the Republicans. He quickly became disillusioned with Stalin and the dictatorial Soviet Union. George Orwell viewed himself as an antiauthoritarian, democratic socialist. He witnessed the disappearance during the Spanish Civil War of objective truth, what we now call “fake news.” He wrote: “In Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relationship to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories.” He continued: “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history … If the leader says of such and such event, ‘it never happened. If he says that two and two are five - well two and two are five.” His description of fake news prophesizes today’s news. 1984 presages the omnipresent CCTV today. The Orwell Statue is an act of Orwellian Irony. George Orwell abhorred statues, monuments, and even the BBC. He once said: “That seems to be a fixed rule in London. Whenever you do by chance have a distant vista, block it up with the ugliest statue you can find.” He also called the BBC’s atmosphere in his diary as “something halfway between a girl’s boarding school and a lunatic asylum.” He resigned from the BBC in 1943. He wrote in his letter of resignation: “For some time past I have been conscious that I was wasting my time and the public money on doing work that produces no result …. I feel that by going back to my normal work of writing and journalism that I could be more useful than I am at present.” His more productive work was Animal Farm in 1945 and 1984 in 1949. George Orwell stood a gangly 6”2”. The statue has him leaning forward with his hands sticking out, one of which contained his ever-present cigarette. He refused to quit smoking despite the tuberculosis that was killing him. A famous Orwell quote from Animal Farm is the inscription on the wall behind the Orwell statue: “If liberty means anything at all’ it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hollywood Orthodoxy: Sexual Assaults, and Conservatives

Hollywood proclaims strong belief in the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech. It is a powerful proponent of Free Speech. Rank hypocrisy. Not historically for complainants of Hollywood’s fabled casting couch or conservatives. Some actors and actresses were reputed to have slept themselves to stardom. If so, that was probably consensual. However, sex under physical force or coercion is not consensual. It is rape. Consent while drugged or intoxicated is not consent; it is rape. Bill Cosby may still get convicted. Sexual relations with underage boys or girls is statutory rape, commonly referred to as pedophilia. Roman Polanski is not the only Hollywood luminary who is a pedophile. Kevin Spacey is now seeking counseling. Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards has collapsed. The serial groper is now seeking counseling’ just like Harvey Weinstein, the serial rapist. And just like Harvey Weinstein, he was emboldened by getting away with It in the past. 7-9 days of counseling, as with Harvey Weinstein, is not going to cure 3-4 decades of sexual assaults. The consistent pattern by several Hollywood notables does more than reflect an assertion of power over the powerless. It is a reflection of a psychologically sick person who is so emboldened by their success that they can no control their rampaging libido. Boorish behavior can legally constitute sexual harassment, but the Hollywood complainants assert more than boorish behavior. They claim a wide variety of physical attacks: rape, exhibitionism, forced oral sex, and groping. They are claiming rape, sexual assaults, batteries, and emotional distress. Only after several brave actresses and models were willing to talk to the New York Times and Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker was the conspiracy of silence breached. A tsunami of Hollywood victims came forward. Many of the perpetrators were sadly well known in Hollywood for their transgressions; Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, et al. The growing list of includes agents, actors, directors, executives, and producers, including Brett Ratner, Bill Shine, and Tyler Grasham, head an ever expanding list. Some have accused the victims of being accomplices because of their failure to come forward until now. The victims understood that their careers would fail as they would be ostracized in the industry. They also understood that they would be engaged in an exercise of futility; nothing would happen to the perpetrators. They knew that the accused sexual harasser Casey Affleck recently won an OSCAR as best supporting actor. They know the pedophile Roman Polanski received a standing ovation when he won an Oscar in 2003 for directing The Pianist. They also know that Hollywood started a petition seeking a pardon for the pedophile. Not an expression of sympathy for his victim(s)! They know President Bill Clinton got away with rape and "beloved" Senator Ted Kennedy survived the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Artistic, but especially commercial success, can bring you forgiveness, tolerance and even enablers in Hollywood. The victims also understand the orthodoxy of Hollywood. Prop 8 was the contentious anti-gay marriage state constitutional amendment in California. Courts subsequently struck it down. Several prominent creative voiced were either fired or forced to resign for supporting Prop 8. Brendan Eich, CEO of Mozilla, was forced out for supporting Prop 8. Hs crime was donating $1,000 to the Yes on 8 Campaign. The same fate awaited Richard Raddon, Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival for donating $1,500 to the Yes on 8 Campaign. Hollywood also does not believe in Freedom of Religion. Scott Eckern, Artistic Director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento paid the price for following his Mormon beliefs in contributing $1,000 to the campaign. So did Marjorie Christoffersen, manager of the El Coyote restaurant in Los Angeles. Her donation was only $100. The same Hollywood culture that prevented victims from speaking out also silences conservatives in Hollywood. Conservatives get the message. Unless they are a superstar in Hollywood, they are to remain in the conservative closet. The problem transcends Hollywood. It extends to D.C. and Sacramento, and now London, The California Legislature has now spent over a half million dollars in recent years settling sexual harassment claims; that is, California taxpayers have wasted $580,000 satisfying illegal conduct by legislators and staffers. One final thought; A few actors were ridiculed in the past for getting caught paying for sex, notably Hugh Grant and Eddie Murphy. Paying is far different from forcing!!!!!!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Harvey Weinstein May Now Be History in Hollywood, But ..........

Hollywood is notorious for the casting couch, which we now know includes pedophilia, statutory rape, rape, and other forms of sexual assault. Past studio moguls known for the casting couch include Harry Cohn of Columbia, Darryl Zanuck of Fox, and Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer of MGM. Errol Flynn and Roman Polanski enjored under age women. Arnold Schwarzenegger was no saint. They all did it because they could. Hollywood stood and applauded when Roman Polanski won an Oscar in 2002. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled Harvey Weinstein, but Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski remain members. Harvey Weinstein did it because they did. Harvey Weinstein, now sometimes nicknamed Harvey Swinestein, may be the lowest of the low, but he is certainly not alone. Harvey Swinestein may be a pig, but he is certainly not alone. Harvey Weinstein’s sordid tale of misconduct is revolting and repulsive, but he’s not alone. Hollywood is known for arrogance, bravado, bullies and egomaniacs. Harvey Weinstein excelled in these. He was arrogant and a bully beyond the norm, but he is not alone. Harvey Weinstein did it because he could, but he’s not alone. Dozens of actresses and models are coming forward with despicable tales of sexual harassment by directors and producers, and to a lesser extent, actors. Yet, no matter how reprehensible the tales are, they are not naming names. Alyssa Milano asked others to #MeToo if they were harassed. Scores have, including Monica Lewinsky. Sorry Monica, but a long period of consensual sex does not constitute sexual harassment. Therein lies the problem. First, without proof, they would be open to a defamation suit. Second, they remain scared of being cut off in Hollywood. Very few producers, directors and studio leaders are women, who could protect them. Directing and producing remains primarily a man’s world in Hollywood even though women and making strides. The men who protected Harvey Weinstein are still in power. A lot of directors and producers are undoubtedly consulting their lawyers these days. Everybody knew, but nobody acted. To do so would be to commit Hollywood suicide. Look at Tippi Hayden. She disappeared after The Birds and Marnie. She claims Alfred Hitchcock blackballed her in Hollywood because she would not submit to his aggression. She paid a steep price. Actresses warned other actresses, but it was on the Q.T. Few dared to go public. Jane Fonda said she knew a year ago, but is now ashamed of staying quiet. Yet she is not naming names. She’ll rather go to North Vietnam and pose on a North Vietnam anti-aircraft gun for propaganda against the United States rather than name names in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino said he knew, but is now sorry he didn’t do anything. Yes, he did; he continued to produce his movies with Harvey. It was economic. It took the New York Times and New Yorker Magazine to bare the bare facts about Harvey Weinstein, but they could only do so because a few brave actresses were willing to talk. Hollywood cheered the fall of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly at Fox, ignoring its sordid record. Many actors and actresses sleep around. We should be careful to not confuse promiscuity with the casting couch. This problem is different from when Hollywood would not name the gays and lesbians in its community. It’s different because these directors and producers are hurting people whereas outing gays and lesbians could hurt their careers. Rumors always circulated to the general public about individual actors and actresses, but few people really cared. They weren’t hurting anyone. The Church covered up clergy abuse for decades and reassigned the priests to other parishes. The pedophile priests were hurting young boys. It’s not just Hollywood and the Church. Politics can bring out the worst animal behavior in some men, including Presidents Clinton, Johnson, and Kennedy while in office as President. Senator Teddy Kennedy was notorious for his philandering. Some members of Congress proclaim one thing, and do another. It goes down to the local level. Some politicians are susceptible to corruption and sexism. The stories are beginning to emerge in sports, especially in women’s gymnastics. Sexual harassment exists in many occupations and professions. Silicon Valley, in its short existence, suffers from sexism, if not sexual harassment. By no means, not all or presumably a majority of men! But one is one too many. Harvey Weinstein is now learning a fundamental lesson of success: Be nice to those you pass on the way up. You may see them again on the way down!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Who's Really the Divisive Voice in America? President Trump or ??????

We hear and read how divisive a voice President supposedly is. And yet, what about Ex CBS Vice President and senior counsel Hayley Geftman-Gold who posted on Facebook after the Vegas killings: “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing … I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters."? Those who have online threatened Ms. Geftman-Gold with violence? Michelle Obama? “No wonder people don’t trust politics” because the Republican Party is “all men, all white.” Hillary Clinton calling Trump supporters “deplorable?” Hillary Clinton calling women who supported Donald Tump “publicly disrespecting themselves?” Massachusetts Democratic representatives Seth Moulton and Katherine Clark who refused to observe the Congressional moment of silence for the Las Vegas victims? Nancy Sinatra, who tweeted and then deleted “murderous members of the NRA shoud be executed by a firing squad.” ESPN commentator Jemele Hill who posted: “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded w/other white supremacists,” subsequently added “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.” One more: “He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.” Ithaca College Professor Stephen Mosher who called “God Bless America” a “warmongering song.” Controversial Drexel Professor George Ciccarielo-Maher (2016 – “All I want for Christmas is white genocide”) “White people and men” go on shooting sprees “when they don’t get what they want.” Duke Professor Jay Pearson for calling President Trump a “textbook racist”? Smithburg High School history teacher Joshua Cramer, who posted his rule: “Trump is a symbol of racism and bigotry. As I did last year, students wearing Trump or MAGA apparel are asked to leave. Let them come after me for it.” Val State Fullerton Professor Eric Canin who attempted to rip a sign out of a college republican’s hands and then hit another college Republican in the face? Fresno State Professor Lars Maischak tweeting “To save American democracy, trump must hang. The sooner and higher, the better?” Imagine, liberals advocating lynching? Professor Maischak further tweeting “Justice = The execution of two republicans for ech deported Immigrant”? More from Professor Maischak: “If only Mary had an abortion! We would have been spared this Clerical-Fascist crap”? Clemson Professor Bart Knijnenburg on Facebook calling “all Republicans “racist” and “scum”? Cambridgeport Elementary School librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro who returned a gift of Dr. Seuss books from First lady Melania Trump on National Read a Book Day to the First Lady, saying the Seuss illustrations are "stepped in racist propaganda,caricatures, and harmful stereotypes."? How about her calling Dr. Seuss "a bit of a cliche" as well as "a tired and worn ambassador for children's literature."? Elgin, Illinois School Board member Traci O'Neal Ellis who posted on Facebook "That flag means nothing more than toilet paper to me."? The professoriate and academic Neanderthals who chill speech and muzzle conservatives on campus? Colin Kaepernick and the NFL?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Hubris of Roger Goodall and the NFL

The Hubris of Roger Goodell and the NFL In the immortal words of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman: “What, me worry?” These are trying times for the NFL. The owners and players are rolling in dough. Almost all games are sellouts. The NFL is back in Los Angeles. NFL teams have received $3.2 billion in stadium subsidies. $7 billion annually in TV contracts with CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, and DirecTV. Unlike professional baseball and hockey, they don’t have to support minor league teams; the colleges are their minor league. Even the most incompetent owners of chronically losing teams earn a large profit from the NFL. Commissioner Goodell earned $31.7 million in 2015 and $174.1 million over seven years. His motto: “What, me worry?” He’s getting a five year contract extension through 2024. What, Roger worry? What’s the buyout? The Commissioner started out in the NFL as an intern. He is the living exemplar of the Peter Principle in action. Beer and jersey sales are in the stratosphere. The Dallas Cowboys became “America’s Team.” Baseball was America’s Pastime; now it’s football. The Boys of Summer aren’t worshiped anymore. Colin Kaepenick took a knee last year and is out of the League. The NFL is taking a knee this year. The NFL now believes it is bigger than the fans. The hubris of the NFL. NASCAR understands its fan base. One owner said the crew members could stand, or take the Greyhound Bus back. The NFL's swans headquarters are at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan. Perhaps they should move back to Columbus or dayton. They have forgotten their fan base in what New Yorkers often derisively refer to as "Flyover Country." The NFL celebrated America’s military, but charged the Pentagon $6.1 million to do so. NFL, look to the University of Missouri. We go to the movies and watch TV, both for entertainment, and to escape from the real world and its problems. So too with athletic events! We don’t go to the movies, watch TV, or football games for politics. We can do that with CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. President Trump in a simple tweet made it about the American Flag and the National Anthem. The Flag is our symbol. Our men and women have died under, and been wounded and maimed under the Flag. They salute the Flag to honor the Flag and country. The players say it’s about oppression, inequality and the President. President Trump’s patriotic tweets trump the NFL players. They cry oppression. 25 year old pampered, self-indulgent multi-millionaires present a poor case for oppression. Many of the players decry inequality. The highly paid players are a symbol and beneficiary of inequality. High ticket prices, gouging food and beverage prices, inflated prices for merchandise made in sweatshops overseas, resulting in high salaries, that’s the NFL inequality. Give it back to your community. 25 year old basketball, football, and baseball players with histories of alcohol, drugs, domestic violence, and illegitimate children are not role models for America. Their athletic success is a role model for aspiring athletes. Leave it at that. We hardly ever hear of the lives of the scores of players who are solid citizens and loyal family men. We hear of the miscreants on and off the field. Similarly, I don’t care what Hollywood celebrities profess and proclaim, but I find their mug shots and rap sheets amusing. Freedom of speech? Not really! Freedom of speech does not legally exist in the private sector. It is a constitutional guarantee against actions of the government, but does not apply to private action. However, we respect their right to protest, by words or symbols. Actions have consequences. Just as the players can state their positions, the public has every right to respond by not buying their tickets and merchandise, attending their games, or watching their games on TV. The President has the same right to speak out as the players. President Trump has every right to use the President’s Bully Pulpit to call out the players. They’ll show President Trump. They’ll kneel, hold hands, stay inside, and stand for God Bless the Queen in England. That’ll show Trump. And the American public! Solidarity of the players. The hubris of the players and the Commissioner. Their arrogance betrays the basic maxim: “Don’t bite the hand the feeds you.” Who’s right? The NFL or President Trump? Initial fan resistance may be a trickle or a torrent. Even if a trickle, a trickle can build on a trickle and turn into a flood. These are the early keys to the answer: 1) TV Viewership, but that can be ambiguous and reflect multiple causes; 2) Game attendance; 3) DirecTV refunds for the NFL Football Sunday package; 4) Resale ticket prices on StubHub; and 5) Jersey and merchandise sales. The owners, successful entrepreneurs, understand. The NFL does not.