Notes from around the Human Experience…
HUT, HUT PROTEST: The Great NFL National Anthem Protest Saga continues, with the number of players protesting this past weekend going from a trickle to a stream.
Anthem protests in the NFL started last season when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling when the anthem was played. After the season Kaepernick voided his contract with 49ers, became a free agent and, despite having the requisite skills to ply his trade, still has not found a job.
I Do Solemnly Swear To Draw Attention To Myself: President Trump – utterly incapable of keeping his mouth/Twitter account silent when there’s attention to be had – brought it on with a speech Friday night calling for owners of NFL teams to fire players who do not show what he feels is proper reverence for the anthem Trump also referred to such players as “sons of bitches” which in some contexts is actually funny, though a number of players chose to interpret this as an attack on their mothers, which it really wasn’t. It was merely an arrogant white male acting the part.
Dry, Technical Matter: According to the Associated Press, which counted, some 200 NFL players – about 14 percent of the total of 1,472 – protested the national anthem in some way before this week’s games, up from a handful the previous week. Some players knelt, some sat on the bench, some locked arms while some teams said screw it and stayed off the field entirely. Some NFL owners, some of which have financially supported Trump, also participated by locking arms with their players.
An Army Of One: Alejandro Villanueva, a tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger entitled to wear, among other things, the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge, was the only Steeler on the field during the anthem. He stood outside the tunnel and saluted, although he would later say it was an accident he was on the field. Villanueva had gone out to see how long until the anthem would start and when it did start he did what any good soldier does, he snapped to and saluted.
Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: We’re veterans here at the Daily Dose and, personally, we issue the hand salute when our anthem is played, but others can knock themselves out. We served to defend your right to do that. There is a lot to protest in this country and we are glad to see our fellow Americans drawing attention to some of them. We protest by occasionally running for the United States Senate or House of Representatives.
The Bottom Line: 50 years from now, when NFL stadiums are used for National Lacrosse League games because the NFL is gone, this period will be looked upon with significance, the beginning of the end. Between kids who stop playing football and fans who stop watching it, the NFL will be gone in a generation or two.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: The city council of Amsterdam, then the seat of a world power, votes to support their prince of Orange, William, to invade England on this date in 1687. Protestants in England were open to an invasion because their current king, James II, was an evil Catholic.
Results were quick. William landed with his army in October and James and his wife Mary were gone by December and William and his wife Mary would become king and queen of England the following January.
FunFact: History refers to this invasion as the Glorious Revolution. Not everyone was thrilled by it, with a small number of malcontents spending several decades trying to restore the throne to James II and his heirs.
Great Moments In Something Or Another: Albert Einstein, then a 26-year old citizen of Switzerland, publishes his first paper on his special theory of relativity on this date in 1905. We don’t understand this any more than you do.
Lights…Camera…Action: Vice President Richard Nixon and United States Senator John F Kennedy hold the first televised debate between United States presidential candidates on this date in 1960.
Oh Yeah: Though radio listeners were impressed with him, Nixon did not come off particularly well on television and the experience would lead him to refuse to do televised debates during the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections.
FunFact: Watching the Kennedy/Nixon debates is interesting, with one struck by how cordial and substantive they are, a far cry from we get today.
That Was Close: The world narrowly misses nuclear war on this date in 1983 when a Soviet army officer decides a warning that incoming US missiles are a false alarm.
Stanislav Petrov, then a Lieutenant Colonel in the air defense forces of the Soviet Union, was on duty in a bunker near Moscow when his satellite early warning system advised there were five United States missiles incoming. Petrov was suspicious from the start. One, the system had proven unreliable in the past. Two, five missiles was a far cry from the hundreds the evil Americans would have been expected to launch during an attack. Three, their radar warning system did not show an attack.
The incident left Soviet leaders in a box. One the one hand, they hated to admit weakness and failure. On the other hand, Petrov had saved the world from nuclear war. Petrov would later say he was neither punished nor rewarded for his actions, probably about what you would expect from the Soviets in this situation. Petrov died this past May at the age of 77.
Whoops! Our Bad!: Eventually it was determined the Soviet’s warning system had misidentified reflected sunlight as incoming nuclear missiles.
Quotebook: Towering genius disdains a beaten path. – Abraham Lincoln
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Edmund Randolph of Virginia was the first United States attorney general, taking office on this date in 1789.
Today’s Stumper: Who was the moderator of the first Nixon/Kennedy debate? – Answer next time!