Are you still watching the NFL?:

Players from almost every team in the National Football League showed their solidarity in protest of recent comments by President Trump, either taking a knee or locking arms during the national anthem on Sunday.

Because of the time difference, players from the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars got the jump on everyone by kneeling or locking arms in protest during the national anthem before the kickoff of their game in London on Sunday morning.

Back in the U.S, players in the nine 10 a.m. PDT games followed suit before their contests started.

The Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the visitors’ locker room at Soldier Field in Chicago during the national anthem. The only Steelers player who was visible was left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who stood at the edge of the tunnel with his hand over his heart during the anthem. In an interview with CBS before the game, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin explained the decision to stay in the locker room:

“We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re football coaches. We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t have to be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision. We’re going to be 100 percent. We came here to play a football game. That’s our intent.”

As much as I tried to avoid the STUPID spectacle of the professional sports world vs. Trump, I got sucked in. So here we go. For some background perspective, I used to be a big fan of the NFL, and that interest has gradually waned over the years, held aloft pretty much only by my participation in a pick ’em football pool with my contractor buddies. The straw that broke my already-fragile camel’s back was when the San Diego Chargers tried to browbeat the San Diego taxpayers into paying for a new stadium for the team, and then bailing on the city and moving to Los Angeles (where they SUCK, and the seats are empty, much like other places around the league) when it didn’t go their way.

I have no love for the NFL  and its fake status as a nonprofit, their threats to taxpayers over stadium funding, or their phony patriotism. Now clearly, they can use flag displays, or not, at their own expense and at their own choosing. And the players are perfectly free to protest the flag as they choose, believing in a cause which THEY PERCEIVE as being more important than standing for the national anthem. But here’s the thing: This shit goes both ways. A lot of their fanbase are indeed very patriotic, and really don’t care to see what THEY PERCEIVE as disrespectful of the National Anthem and the flag, especially in one of the few areas where people with wildly different political beliefs used to be able to come together for a few hours and forget all of that crap. That phenomena, the one where politics does not matter, increasingly seems to belong to a now-extinct era, as everything in America becomes further politicized, and people demand to know where one’s allegiance lies. And the declining attendance and ratings across the league show that people are choosing to spend their time and money elsewhere.

This can’t be good for the business side of the NFL, which, at the end of the day, is what the NFL is. They are in the business to make money, and this is not good for the bottom line. Who do you think can afford those luxury boxes that costs tens of thousands of dollars, or those season tickets that cost thousands of dollars, or the team gear that costs hundreds of dollars? People with disposable income. Does the NFL seriously believe that they can replace this deep-pocketed, dwindling fanbase with people who, while praising them on social media, will probably not be going to football games? What, you think the Berkeley college faculty lounge or the New York Times editorial board is going to rush down to take in some gridiron action?  I really freaking doubt it, but I suppose we will find out.

I didn’t really care that much that Colin Kaepernick was taking a knee. I wrote all about it here. I absolutely supported his first amendment rights, even though, as someone to whom the flag means a great deal, didn’t really care for it, and then exercised MY RIGHT to not watch him, or his team, or really, much of football at all. See, both of our rights were intact! But then the dumbass let all of the slobbering social-justice reporters who fellated him on a daily basis get to his head. He started morphing into a caricature in real-time. The solidly middle-class kid from a nice family grew out the fro, and started wearing t-shirts adorned with Che Guevara and Castro, and then got roasted for doing so. And then the idiot wears socks on the practice field depicting police officers as pigs, which, honestly, should have been the end of the cops providing security for the NFL, but that’s just my opinion. That’s why it makes me laugh when I see all these people on twitter demanding Colin Kaepernick be offered a job. They seem to not realize that the NFL is a business, and whether one likes it or not, Colin Kaepernick is bad for business. All of these protests and constant political drama are bad for business.

Rest assured, if you think this all comes from Trump, you are mistaken. He’s only saying exactly what many people say. The NFL and all of the journalists bleating about first amendment issues make me laugh. The NFL is a private company, one that routinely fines and suspends players for celebrations and off the field behavior. They fine players who wear shoes or eyeblack promoting various causes , and denied the Dallas Cowboys’ request to wear police decals on their helmets for a game after the murder of five Dallas police officers by that Black Lives Matter nut job. And the journalists are even worse, prattling on rights. None of the dumbasses said a thing when that Google employee was fired over his writings on a message board, so spare me. Nobody is going to jail, and nobody is being detained by government authorities; stop already with the first amendment stuff.

The NFL is terrified right now. If you don’t think they are stressing about this latest nonsense, you’re wrong. They’re already fighting a pattern of declining ratings, which, in turn will change the amount the networks are willing to pay for the television rights. And there are other wounds: Millennial habits, the cord-cutting, the vast amount of entertainment choices are all contributing to a loss in viewership. Then, of course, is the concussion and CTE issue. On top of all the stories in the past about guys like Junior Seau dealing with the lingering effects of multiple traumatic brain injuries, the lawsuits resulting from these cases are going to slowly bleed the NFL. While it is true that the NFL settled a massive class-action suit brought by players who had retired by 2014, many individual players, Seau included, chose to opt out of the class-action and pursue their own individual cases. Former Patriots player/murderer Aaron Hernandez’s brain was just studied in an autopsy, and found to have massive damage from playing football, and now his family is suing the NFL for $20 million. This will continue. Parents read this shit and are less and less likely to let their children play football at a young age, opting instead for lesser-contact sports like soccer and basketball.

As far as Trump, like I’ve told you on the podcast many, MANY times: His thin skin is by far his worst quality. He took this stupid feud with stupid professional athletes and escalated it way beyond the stupid controversy it already was. His propensity to take personally every single slight, this time from dopey NBA players like Hillary Clinton activist Lebron James, is stupid. And then he decides to tweet about it or yell about the NFL during a rally and everyone goes crazy. Frankly, they’re all acting like stupid little kids. I just think about all the good things Trump could have done if he just kept his mouth shut and shake my head. But he’s like that scorpion in the famous tale: It’s his nature.

But ask yourself this: Who is this controversy worse for, Donald Trump or the NFL? OF COURSE it is worse for the NFL. They didn’t want to take sides in this or even have the discussion, and now they’ve been forced into a total lose-lose situation. They have to choose between siding with the SJW media, or the people who pay money to see a football game without protests. I kind of feel bad for the players. I would bet anything that 95% of them, while certainly having private opinions on race, criminal justice, and patriotism, just want to go play the friggin’ game without all of this drama bullshit. But since the media loves this story, the players will now be asked about it, and there will only be one “correct” answer lest they be set upon by angry social media mobs. This reporter from the Washington Post says so:

Oh, don’t get me wrong: The NFL isn’t going anywhere. Hell, the gambling industry alone would keep it around forever. And the fact that is had absolutely dominated the American sports landscape for many decades means that it is and continues to be a formidable force. But, like I have alluded to on the podcast more than once, in my opinion, the peak of the NFL is now in the rearview mirror. The league is just taking way too many hits on too many different fronts right now. It will always be around in one form or another, but in a diminished capacity.

As a capitalist, I welcome them to try to market their product, without all of the bullshit corporate welfare and fake nonprofit status. And also as a capitalist, I can choose not to buy that product. That’s the beauty of the United States of America: We’re all free to make decisions on how to best spend our time and money. 

Also: Fuck the Chargers.

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Welcome home, Corporal:

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Cpl. Raymond Clark Snapp is finally at rest, 74 years after his death.

In October 1941, the young man from a small town in northeast Texas enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps just two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Snapp was later injured in the Battle of Guadalcanal and taken to Honolulu to be treated for his injuries, but he refused to go home, said Lt. Sterling Claypool, U.S. Navy chaplain.

“He wanted to return back with his Marines,” Claypool said.

Then, on Nov. 20, 1943, Snapp “waded into the water with no hesitation” as his unit landed at the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, Claypool said.

“He took the beach, and he gave his life for freedom,” Claypool said.

Snapp, 24, was one of 1,000 Marines and sailors who died in the Battle of Tarawa, in an attempt to secure the island against Japanese resistance.

…Beginning in 1949, Snapp’s unidentified remains rested with the Battle of Tarawa Unknowns in Hawaii.

Due to advancements made in scientific technology, and the collection of DNA Family Reference Samples, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency was able to exhume 94 sets of remains buried as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific last fall.

Snapp’s remains were finally identified this past July, and his closest living relative was contacted in Shreveport.

On Sept. 15, a burial service with full military honors was held for Snapp at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery as he was finally laid to rest in Keithville.”

Always remember to put the tank in Park:

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. — Police on Long Island say a woman was seriously injured when an unoccupied U.S. Army Reserve Humvee on display rolled down an incline and pinned her against a food trailer during a festival.

Suffolk County police say the Humvee came out of gear and rolled about 30 feet, striking 46-year-old Suzette Lamonica, of Brookhaven. It happened just after 5 p.m. Saturday during the Long Island Bacon Bash in Farmingville. Lamonica is being treated for arm and leg injuries at a hospital.

A man inside the trailer, 30-year-old Richard Gherardi, of East Hampton, was burned by cooking oil. He also was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Authorities say two other women suffered minor injuries and declined medical attention at the scene.”

They just need more training, you see:

The Army is putting together a series of new mental health, counseling and career management programs to shape stronger, more ethical leaders.

The move is an effort to help deal with an embarrassing number of misconduct and behavior problems among senior officers.

The programs stem from a broader worry across the military about the need to bolster professionalism within the officer corps while holding accountable those who abuse their power.

The Army plan appears to focus more on building character than on berating bad conduct.

Stumbles in recent years by general officers — from one-star to four-star level — have violated the military code of conduct they’ve lived under and enforced.

Some infractions involved extramarital affairs, inappropriate relationships with subordinates or improper use of government funds.”

I have many questions:

In a historic first, the Marine Corps plans to assign a female officer to the infantry following her anticipated graduation from its grueling training program, service officials said Thursday.

The woman is a lieutenant. She and her male colleagues in the Infantry Officer Course completed an intensive combat exercise Wednesday at the Marines’ rugged training facility in Twentynine Palms, Calif., the final graded requirement of the 13-week program.

IOC, as it’s known among Marines, is considered some of the military’s toughest training. Typically, about 25 percent of students wash out.

The woman, whose name has not been disclosed, is the first female officer to complete the course out of three dozen to have tried. She is expected to lead an infantry platoon of about 40 Marines, a trailblazing role within an organization that has been criticized for its resistance to such change and for fostering a culture of misogyny.

The service was engulfed in scandal earlier this year when more than 1,000 current Marines and veterans were investigated as part of an online network that shared, critiqued and in many cases ridiculed photographs of nude female colleagues.”

Honestly, how are you stupid enough to post these on social media?: 

New policies were announced Wednesday for the Navy medical facilities — after two staffers were blasted for posting images of themselves rudely posing with newborn babies.

Navy Surgeon General Vice Admiral Forrest Faison is prohibiting the use of personal phones in patient care areas and mandating that all personnel at the facilities review the new policy within 48 hours, in a letter posted Wednesday.

(Facebook photo)

Faison also ordered commanding officers to monitor social media for images of patients posted by staff and directed them to reassure expectant mothers who were planning to deliver at its facilities and address their concerns.

The letter, addressed to “Shipmates,” also called out the two rogue staffers for their “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” behavior.

“As health care professionals, we are entrusted with the lives and well-being of all those who have volunteered to defend our freedom, including their families,” he wrote. “We owe them the best care and compassion our nation can offer. We also owe them our unqualified respect. Any behavior that falls short of this expectation will be dealt with appropriately.”

Army scraps plans for new rifle… for now:

Just one month into its official existence, a program to replace the Army’s M4 carbine with a 7.62 mm rifle has been canceled, Army Times has confirmed.

First reported Thursday by The Firearm Blog, the Interim Combat Service Rifle had been in development since at least this spring and was officially announced in August when the Army sought industry samples to produce up to 50,000 rifles.

The rifle would have replaced the M4, a variant of the M16, which has been in service for half a century and fires the 5.56 mm round.

Critics claim the round does not have the distance or lethality needed for modern small unit tactics, especially after upgraded body armor has been shown to be able to defeat the 5.56 mm round.

Most soldiers and Marines carry 5.56 mm M4s, M16s or M27s. Marksmen, snipers and machine gunners fire the 7.62 mm round or a round of similar size.

The Army is working on an intermediate caliber round and rifle combination that would fall between 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm, giving soldiers greater range than their current weapon and greater power and penetration.”

Just now they wanna turn these things on????: 

U.S. Navy warships will now sail through high traffic areas with transponders that advertise the vessel’s position in real time. The gesture should help other ships recognize when an American naval vessel is operating nearby—but it will do little to help those same naval vessels detect and avoid other ships.

You can probably guess why the Navy is taking the step of requiring all warships to activate their Automatic Identification System (AIS) when sailing in areas with high ship traffic, such as the South China Sea or off the coast of Japan. Two U.S. Navy destroyers, the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain have collided with merchant vessels this year. While both collisions are still under investigation, it seems pretty clear that in both instances one or both vessels involved was not aware a collision was imminent.

The AIS system is a global system designed to help mariners locate and identify ship traffic in their vicinity. AIS sends a ship’s location, speed, and navigational status via VHF maritime transmitter every two to ten seconds. That information is freely shared around the world, including on the Internet. The system is designed to help avoid collisions, aid in search and rescue operations, and keep track of fishing fleets.
U.S. Navy vessels are outfitted with AIS but were not required to use it. Making matters a little more difficult is that the Arleigh Burke-class of destroyers, which includes the Fitzgerald and McCain, were the first American warships designed with reduced radar signatures, making them appear smaller on nearby radars than they really are. While this is useful in wartime to avoid detection and targeting by enemy forces, it is potentially hazardous to civilian mariners in peacetime. Broadcasting the identity of Navy ships should make those sailing around them better informed of their presence.
That said, broadcasting AIS data addresses only half of the problem. While civilian merchantmen may not have seen the Fitzgerald and McCain, it seems likely those onboard the destroyers didn’t see the merchant ships, either. Navy vessels have better radars to detect other ships and are supposed to have watchstanders scanning the nearby seas for potential dangers. Why those recent accidents happened nonetheless is the subject of ongoing Navy probes.”

Authorities in North Texas are looking for a naked cyclist who attacked a jogger over the weekend.

Fort Worth Police released a composite sketch of the attacker Wednesday, and said he is believed to be between 16 and 19 years old.”

(Fort Worth PD)

Police said they received “multiple calls” about the man around 5:45 p.m. Saturday after he removed his shorts, hopped on a bike and started pedaling around the Trinity Trails park.

About 30 minutes after the initial calls, a woman said she encountered the man while she was jogging.

The man then “chased the jogger and assaulted her,” police said.

Officials said the suspect is about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin, fit build, and “has short brown hair but no body hair.”