Tendown September 4, 2016

Sunday, September 4, 2016

239 is here. This is Tendown 240.

If I had any guts, I would never stand for the National Anthem and have felt that way for at least the last two decades.  My senior year of high school there was a kid who stopped standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, and I felt the same way about that.  I haven't wanted to kiss that flag since I was maybe ten years old and have always complied (and will continue to) to avoid the scorn which will follow.

But I hate that shit.  Now, if it were culturally required that we rise for Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance I'd be in.

1. Kaepernick

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too


3. More Kaepernick

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
Quite naturally, the flying monkeys were aloft within seconds. One fan achieved Internet glory by lighting Kaepernick’s jersey on fire, and did so while it was hanging from a tree, just in case, you know, you didn’t get the point. C. Montague Schilling, a former major league pitcher and now proprietor of one of Twitter’s most luxurious reptile farms—which is one too many, as far as I’m concerned—was beside himself, tweeting out pictures of soldiers who are not him and accusing Kaepernick of betraying them. By and large, the arguments against Kaepernick ran that, because he is a wealthy and prosperous (if not, at the moment, an altogether successful) professional athlete, he should shut up and be grateful for the country that has condescended to let him entertain it, although the country did not deign to allow itself to be entertained by African-American professional football players until 1946. This is a curious business indeed. Famous and wealthy Americans should not criticize the country because they are famous and wealthy. Poor and anonymous people can criticize the country all they want, but nobody listens to them anyway. This works out very well.
This is what a stand looks like. For better or worse, stands that demand people come together rarely have that effect. And contrary to popular belief, stands do not create divisions and fissures. Theyamplify them. The whole point of a stand is to put them on display, to ask the world to confront and examine their hypocrisies and ask why they’re on one side and not the other. Protests that don’t offend aren’t worth the effort. The ones that do are the ones that can change the world.
5. Clinton gave a speech about American Exceptionalism this week.  I'd rather vote for Kaepernick.  Here's the part where she said we need to increase military spending.

7. Yes, I know, what we're supposed to do is thank military, whose campaigns in the Middle East have somehow protected our freedoms.  
Or - thank unions.  

In the debates over the causes of wage stagnation, the decline in union power has not received nearly as much attention as globalization, technological change, and the slowdown in Americans’ educational attainment. Unions, especially in industries and regions where they are strong, help boost the wages of all workers by establishing pay and benefit standards that many nonunion firms adopt. But this union boost tononunion pay has weakened as the share of private-sector workers in a union has fallen from 1 in 3 in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today.
While we avoid strict causal claims about wage determination, the analytical approaches summarized in this report enable us to assess the independent effects of union decline on wages and lend confidence to our core contention that private-sector union decline since the late 1970s has contributed to substantial wage losses among workers who do not belong to a union. This is especially true for men. And most hurt by the decades-long decline in the nation’s labor movement are those nonunion men who did not complete college, or go beyond high school—groups with the largest erosion of union membership over the last few decades.
Two easily identifiable issues with the focus on how military members feel about Kaepernick.
1. Who cares?
The Military doesn't get a veto on political protest.  Even people supporting Kaepernick have felt the need to say "he's not saying anything at all against the military" as if that would be a bridge too far.  Fetishizing the military makes it easier to deploy the military.  
2. Seriously, who cares?
Stop saying the military fights for my freedoms.  WWII, sure.  After that? What the hell are you talking about?  Unless we kill a lot of Middle Easterners I might lose the freedom to listen to Buffalo Stance?  Get out of here with that. It's stupid.  
And one more...

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...
Your pal,

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