Free Speech and what it means to be an American

The rhetoric has increased as officials and players from both the National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) deliver their messages to President Trump, responding to what #45 has said about people, especially athletes earning millions, who then disrespect the US Flag and the thousands upon thousands of service men and women who have died to protect our Freedoms.
Trump US FlagMany people cite Colin Kaeperneck as the person who sparked this, yet it seems that Hillary Clinton is actually the one who really set this country on a collision course between the left and right.  That she could accuse Trump of being a racist, misogynist, etc., and those labels accepted as fact by her followers shows how blind these people are.  If Trump oppresses blacks, women and others as Hillary claims why do so many of those people work with him, and in key areas of his business and administration?

If Trump is really a misogynist why on Earth would he have had a woman running his campaign for President of the United States of America? Why would a black woman run the Eric Trump Foundation? There are numerous examples to cite how and why the labels plastered upon him by Hillary are simply not true.  The video below by Lynne Patton really tells a different story than what Hillary spews.

When #45 stated that NFL players should be fired for disrespecting the US Flag I tend to agree with him.  A football player, a basketball player, a musician, when they are on their stage and being paid, they are being paid to ENTERTAIN us, nothing more, nothing less.  If they wish to speak up about what they perceive as social injustices then they should do it on the right platforms, get booked on national radio or TV and cite evidence of the oppression and who is actually doing it.

Colin stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”  Sorry, Colin, the United States is NOT oppressive. There are people who are, yes, but not the country as a whole.

When Steph Curry blindly accepts Hillary’s and Barack’s condemnations about our president and says he does not wish to visit the White House, fine. Don’t go. But don’t expect me to support you anymore because of your blinded beliefs that the president is the cause of our discontentment, our current division. Your pal LeBron called #45 a bum. Real class, Bron. You are losing all respect I have had for you (and what you do for your community). You, too,  are blinded by Hillary and Barack.  Barack is a Socialist, and an advocate for One World Order and the freedom we have here and now will not be available in that world.

Hillary is a traitor, she committed Treason against the United States.  She left people to die in Benghazi and lied about it.  She used an unsecured server and Blackberry and lied about it for months.  She is a chronic liar. Remember when she was running for president in 2007-2008 and claimed, “I remember landing under sniper fire in Bosnia.”  This was proven a lie with video footage, all was peaceful.  When she and Slick Willie left the White House in 2001 they had taken $190,000 in valuables that were not their property, i.e., they stole the items. And, yet, you supported her for president.  Steph, Bron, why on Earth would you do that?  How could you do that?

Open your eyes and take a real look at what is happening.  The Oakland Warriors stated, “in lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion—the values that we embrace as an organization.”

Let us discuss what they want to celebrate: “equality, diversity and inclusion.”

What do you call a college campus that cancels speaking engagements by conservatives?  And this week they cancelled “Free Speech Week.”  Why did the Oakland Warriors or, better yet, Steph, not speak out against UC Berkeley for their blatant disregard and disrespect for the First Amendment?   Seems quite hypocritical to me.

These athletes could learn a few things by listening to two-time heavyweight champion and Olympic Gold Medalist George Foreman, who criticized people such as Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem, and who said, “A lot of [Americans] died in war so that they could have that privilege.  We all came in the era where we were patriotic.  The greatest day of my life was when I put on the colors, representing the United States.”

Foreman added, “I love the United States, and I love the flag.”

Let me state, for the record, that I am a Patriot.  I am also a direct descendant of Chief White Hair of the Osage Indian Nation.  And, I am related to Patrick Henry and deeply believe in his words:  “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”  It is because of Henry, James Madison and a handful of others that we actually have the Bill of Rights because the US Constitution, as originally written, did not lay out individual rights.

And, even though our country may be flawed because of individual agendas by people who are suppressive and oppressive to others, not just minorities, it is still the best country in which to live and raise a family.

I am sorry, but if you disagree with that statement above, then you should move to whatever country it is you feel is better.  Period.

Peaceful protest is fine, but on a stage where you are paid millions per year to entertain, it is, in my humble opinion, totally inappropriate to disrespect the US Flag and the men and women of our military who have kept – and do keep – us free.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Muhammad Ali, A Fighter In and Out of the Ring – R.I.P.

Associated Press named Muhammad Ali (Jan 17, 1942 – Jun 3, 2016) the “No. 1 heavyweight of the 20th century.” Sports Illustrated named him “Sportsman of the Century” while the BBC agreed, citing him as “Sports Personality of the Century.”

Muhammad Ali
Image by Thomas Hoepker, 1966 Chicago

At 18 he won the Summer Olympics light heavyweight gold medal in Rome, Italy, and at 22, as a strong underdog, he defeated Sonny Liston for the professional heavyweight title, becoming the youngest person to take the title from the then-current holder.

Throughout his career, and beyond, the retired champion fought more than just his opponents.  The Champ was a strong and vocal advocate of civil rights and it is said that he even inspired Martin Luther King Jr.

Over five decades ago, young Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. addressed a room full of journalists and announced that he had converted to Nation of Islam.  Further, he let them know that he was changing his name to Muhammad Ali.  This announcement was met with great hostility and his response was, “I don’t have to be what you want me to be.”

That stance, that statement, that backbone, helped define the champion and greatly assisted the civil rights movement in America and around the world.

Muhammad Ali, The Beatles
The Greatest and the Beatles by Autore Sconosciuto, Public domain

A cultural phenomena, Ali was sentenced to five years in prison for draft evasion during the Vietnam conflict, holding to his religious belief as a conscientious objector.  In a unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court overturned his conviction because the Appeal Board gave no reason for the denial of his conscientious objector exemption.

When he retired at the age of 40, his pro record was 56-5, while earlier compiling a 100-5 amateur record.  He was never one to quit, always fighting for what he believed in.  He said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.”

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Within two years after his retirement, the legend was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome, a disease that commonly results from severe and repeated head trauma.  Not to be slowed, he remained active for years.  He made many notable accomplishments over the following decades and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and the Liberty Medal in 2012.

Muhammad Ali 2012
Liberty Medal image by pete troshak CC BY 2.0

On the date of Ali’s 19th wedding anniversary (Nov 19, 2005), the non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened in his hometown, Louisville, Kentucky.  Sitting along the riverfront, the $60 million center displays many items from his boxing career as well as highlighting peace, personal growth, respect and social responsibility.  Of the center, he says, “For many years I have dreamed of creating a place to share, teach and inspire people to be their best and to pursue their dreams.”

Since the time of his diagnosis, Ali also fought back, specifically through the establishment and funding of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.  He created the annual Celebrity Fight Night events, responsible for raising over $123 million to combat the disease.  One thing he firmly believed is “The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

Concerning life, he said, “People look for miracles.  People look for surprises of all kinds.  Yet the greatest wonder, the greatest miracle, the greatest surprise, is to be found in ones heart.”

Thank you for all that you did.

Over For Now.

Main Street One