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

Cleveland Cavaliers – 2016 NBA Champions

The road to the NBA Finals for the defending champion Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers could not have been more different.

The Dubs sailed through a historic regular season with a record breaking 73-9 (.890) mark, eclipsing the previous high by the legendary 1996 Chicago Bulls by one win.  When they hit the Western Conference Playoffs it was a bit different.  They handled Houston (4-1) and Portland (4-1) fairly easily, but they were facing a 1-3 deficit after four games to the #3 Oklahoma City Thunder (who took the #2 seed San Antonio Spurs out 4-2).  Turning on the fight, the Warriors came back, taking the final three, hard-fought games.  Honestly, any of the last three games could have gone either way, but the Thunder fell short when it mattered most.

The Cavaliers finished the regular season with a respectable 57-25 (.695) record.  As with the Dubs, when they hit the Eastern Conference Playoffs things were different.  For the Cavs, they demolished and demoralized their opponents, though that is not to say there were not close games.  They took out the Detroit Pistons 4-0 and did the same to the Atlanta Hawks.  With homecourt advantage in the Eastern Finals the Cavs took the first two from the #2 seed Toronto Raptors, then slipped and lost both in Canada.  Having no more of that, the Wine & Gold erupted in the final two, with blowout victories to take their second straight Eastern Conference title.

Curry - James - Game 1
AFP Photo/Beck Diefenbach

Thus, the stage was set for an epic showdown between the Warriors and the Cavaliers.  Last year, without Love (at all) and Irving (after game one, which they lost), LeBron James led his team to capture the next two games, taking a 2-1 lead.  Unfortunately, the depth of the Dubs overcame James’ incredible performances to win the next three games.

How familiar does this now sound?

After four games this year, the Dubs held a significant 3-1 edge and then things started falling apart with the suspension of Draymond Green for his flagrant fouls throughout the playoffs and finals (at least the ones where the refs blew the whistle on him) and in game 5 Andrew Bogut damaged his left knee and was lost for the remainder of the run.  All of a sudden, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving imposed their collective wills and took the next two games, tying it at 3-3.

In the process, in game 5 James and Irving both scored 41 points, the first time teammates had each scored 40+ in a finals game.  James followed in game 6 with another 41.

LeBron James Blocks Steph Curry Game 6
Ron Schwane/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

I am not going to debate things like Dubs Coach Steve Kerr calling out refs for fouling out Stephen Curry.  They didn’t.  Steph did.  Period.  Nor about Curry’s wife tweeting that the games are rigged, though that comment itself is really quite insane.  The refs have a damn hard job and they are very good at officiating.  I would love those who complain step in and do a better job.  Or even as good.  Really, I would love to see that!

Watching games, I see a lot of contact going on that I would call if I were on the floor.  I see Green (and others, to be sure) get away with lots of fouls.  If you really want to nit-pick, every player on every team gets away with holding, blocking, moving fouls every game.  When they get caught … they complain … so what … play ball.  And don’t throw your mouthpiece.  Lastly, regardless of what Charles Barkley says, don’t hit anyone in their privates.  Ever.  IMHO any shot like that is pretty much automatic ejection.  Especially kicking.

And, a side note on fouls.  I abhor when a shooter, especially beyond the arc, jumps forward into a defender (wildly flailing the ball in the air) to engineer a foul.  That is not a defensive foul.  Period.  It has no place in the game.  Similar to flopping.

Back to the topic at hand … yes, this year’s series had more drama … different drama.  And game 7 was a game to anticipate and wonder whose will and talent was going to best their opponent.  This would be the 19th game 7 in league history.  And no team had ever come back from a 1-3 deficit to take the crown.

This Game 7 was the kind of game we really wanted to see in every one of them.  Tough.  Close.  Competitive.  Lots of lead changes.  Down to the wire.

A blocked shot by James that would have given the Dubs a 2-point advantage.  A beautiful beyond-the-arc shot by Irving, taking the Cavs up by three.  A free throw by James for some icing, with 10 seconds left.   Two missed attempts at the opposite end.  It was over.

The result was a LeBron James triple double (27-11-11), with overall good support from his team, and a couple of firsts – the first time that Cleveland has ever won an NBA Championship and the first NBA team to ever win the title after having been down 3 games to 1.  Quite an accomplishment.

Oh, one other first.  James is the first player to lead both teams in the Finals in 1) Points, 2) Assists, 3) Rebounds, 4) Blocks, and 5) Steals.  That is over the top!  Scores by game:

Cleveland Cavaliers 89 – Golden State Warriors 104
Cleveland Cavaliers 77 – Golden State Warriors 110
Golden State Warriors 90 – Cleveland Cavaliers 120
Golden State Warriors 108 – Cleveland Cavaliers 97
Cleveland Cavaliers 112 – Golden State Warriors 97
Golden State Warriors 101 – Cleveland Cavaliers 115
Cleveland Cavaliers 93
– Golden State Warriors 89

Cleveland Cavaliers - 2016 NBA Champions
Image by Cleveland Cavaliers via Twitter @cavs

Congratulations to LeBron on his 3rd NBA Finals MVP, very well deserved, and to the Cavaliers team and family.  A championship that was a long time coming and, seemingly, well worth the wait.

Over For Now.

Main Street One