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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 03:07 PM
Number of posts: 9,704

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Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More About Our Patriotism Than His

Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More About Our Patriotism Than His

During the Olympics in Rio a couple of weeks ago, Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks was sprinting intently in the middle of his pole vaulting attempt when he heard the national anthem playing. He immediately dropped his pole and stood at attention, a spontaneous expression of heartfelt patriotism that elicited more praise than his eventual bronze medal. Last Thursday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand with his teammates during the national anthem. To some, Kendricks embodies traditional all-American Forrest Gump values of patriotism, while Kaepernick represents the entitled brattish behavior of a wealthy athlete ungrateful to a country that has given him so much.

In truth, both men, in their own ways, behaved in a highly patriotic manner that should make all Americans proud.

The discussion of the nuances of patriotism is especially important right now, with Trump and Clinton supporters each righteously claiming ownership of the “most patriotic” label. Patriotism isn’t just getting teary-eyed on the Fourth of July or choked up at war memorials. It’s supporting what the Fourth of July celebrates and what those war memorials commemorate: the U.S. Constitution’s insistence that all people should have the same rights and opportunities and that it is the obligation of the government to make that happen. When the government fails in those obligations, it is the responsibility of patriots to speak up and remind them of their duty...


...We should admire those who risk personal gain in the service of promoting the values of their country. Both athletes are in fine company of others who have shown their patriotism in unconventional ways. In 1989, when a federal law prohibiting flag desecration went into effect, Vietnam Veterans burned the American flag as a protest to a law curbing the First Amendment. Their argument was that they fought for the freedoms in the Constitution, not a piece of cloth, and to curtail those freedoms was an insult to their sacrifice. Ironically, the original purpose of flag desecration laws between 1897 and 1932 wasn’t to prevent political dissent, but to prevent the use of flag imagery for political campaigns and in advertising.

One sign of the maturation of American society is the willingness of those in the public eye, especially athletes, to openly take a political stand, even if it could harm their careers. The modern era of athletes speaking out began in 1966 with Muhammad Ali refusing to be drafted to fight other people of color. In 1967, I joined with football great Jim Brown, basketball legend Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali and other prominent athletes for what was dubbed “The Cleveland Summit.” Together we tried to find ways to help Ali fight for his right of political expression. I don’t know how much we were able to accomplish on a practical level, but seeing black athletes in support of Ali inspired others to speak out. The following year at the 1968 Olympics, African Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the medal ceremony as a protest to the treatment of people of color in the United States. In 2014, NBA players LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Jack, Alan Anderson, Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett and NFL players from the Rams and Browns wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups for a game to protest police killings of unarmed blacks...


Why do we no longer receive the results of our jury service? ***UPDATE****

I would like to know what the other jurors think. I feel less inclined to serve if I do not see the results.

ON EDIT: I see that there has been a question regarding jury service notification already, and, if I understand it correctly, the admins feel it is a good idea to NOT notify the jury of the results due to possible drama. Less drama = good thing.

As one who is asked to serve on a jury multiple times a day, I would like to take issue with this admin decision. To serve on the jury is an honor, and one I take very seriously. Sometimes, rarely, the verdict is crystal clear. In those instances, the ruling from all the jurors is unanimous or near unanimous. Often, however, a decision can be quite difficult. In those cases, I read the post, the OP, the context, the surrounding statements from other posters. I get a general feel of the dynamics of what is happening within a thread. Ultimately, I am ruling on one post and deciding whether or not there was a violation of the rules. But context matters. Personalities matter. Tone matters. I try to be fair and overcome my own personal feelings. If the subject is on guns, and someone takes a stance I disagree with, I must avoid allowing our different views from getting in the way. I am a juror. I must decide purely if a violation has occurred. Sometimes, especially during the primary, that is not easy.

If I take 5-10 minutes of my life each day (sometimes more) to decide whether or not to hide a post - to censor on DU - then I sure as hell want to know the final outcome and how the other jurors decided.

I do not have time to chase down the post later and see if it's still there.

If the admins do not want drama, then perhaps they should make a rule that bans discussing jury decisions. But to not allow the juror the respect of the final outcome is bogus. I, personally, do not wish to serve on a jury under such rules.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Holy cow!! This is impossible!!

I've been watching the election returns on the guardian website. All of the mail-in votes are already recorded and they are all that are showing in the counties. In EVERY county (except for about 5 up in the north where apparently no one mailed in or it's not registered yet) the mail-in vote has gone to Hillary 63% to 37%. EVERY F***ing COUNTY!!! How is that possible???? A large percentage of the vote in each county appears to be by mail-in ballot. Didn't that same thing happen in AZ?


I hope everyone understands that these results tonight cannot possibly be real. **UPDATE**

After this election, I will no longer vote. I will no longer participate. I realize now that it doesn't matter. Democracy is dead.

There is no way that Hillary could have won Montana and South Dakota. Even her own team is shocked by those results.

Now she is winning CA with 62%. That is impossible. And we all know it.

***UPDATE*** CNN has announced she just won the pledged delegate vote. That's what this was all about. Now it CANNOT be contested. I'm done.


Please, kick and rec all the Bernie posts and post your own!!!

Love this idea!!

It is time for Bernie to leave the democratic party. Over and over, the Democrats said it

- you are not a democrat.

What are you gonna do about that?

BTW, yes, I am suggesting what cannot be suggested here.


I am just curious where people stand right now in this election. Granted, feelings and opinions can change later. I'm sure many Bernie supporters may feel right now like they cannot vote for Clinton, but may change their mind later. This is just a momentary snapshot. In case the poll looks familiar, I had attached it to an earlier post, but I'd rather do this without my own commentary. If you are uncomfortable with taking the poll, then just ignore it. Comments are welcome!

Skinner, PLEASE get a grip on your moderators.

This heartfelt post was locked for the following reason:

Disruptive Meta Discussion: Threads complaining about Democratic Underground or it's members, etc ....are not permitted.

Can you please explain to me where I complained about DU or its members? I am speaking about my own feelings. I am searching for where I belong. I think it was unfairly blocked.

Many Bernie supporters feel that our posts are being locked for frivolous reasons, while truly taunting posts from the Hillary crowd are allowed to stand. I've never seen anything like this on DU. Please do something!

I alerted on a post that I believe was written by an anti-Bernie troll.

There was no response. No jury. Nothing. I thought may I made a mistake with the alert and hit cancel rather than submit by mistake, so I alerted again. Still, no response. No jury. Nothin'.

I have posted about it in ATA, but it could take days to get a response there.

In addition to that, I posted a very heartfelt post about whether or not I will stay at DU after the primary. It was locked for being "disruptive" and "complaining about DU members". Read it. Form your own opinion. I see nothing disruptive or accusatory toward any DU person or Hillary.

What the hell is going on around here???


What the hell has happened to this place? This post, that I posted in GDP last night, got locked. WHY??? Check out the link. It had a poll. Maybe they didn't like the results of my poll. I'm stunned. I can't believe this post got locked.

Where will I go?

I have been with DU since the stolen election of 2004. I will probably leave with the stolen primary of 2016.

The purged voters, the changed party affiliations, the electronic machines, Bill's electioneering at the polls, the closed polling places, the DNC with an agenda, the computer firewall, the biased media, the exit polls that are "off" time and time again - always in Hillary's favor...yet, so few Hillary supporters show any concern or sympathy or compassion for these "anomalies". I do not fault Hillary for these things. She has a campaign to run, but SOMEBODY is rigging this election, and we all know it.

As "THE DATE" of the big DU change keeps getting thrown into our faces, and super delegates are counted with pledged before they've voted (even here at DU), and the media arrogantly claims they will call Hillary the winner by 5:00pm on Tuesday, I am compelled to ask -- where will I go?

Recently, I have posted information on why I DON'T want Hillary, why I think the democratic party should not support Hillary, but I have never personally attacked a Hillary supporter nor mocked them. During this entire process, I have not once put anyone on ignore, because I do not want to live in a vacuum - people disagree, sometimes vehemently. Nevertheless, I have been shocked by the kind of attacks I have received from the other side. The level of anger, the amount of mockery, combined with the constant spiking of the ball during blatant election "shenanigans" -- it has been all too much for me.

I do not know if I can vote for Hillary in the general election anymore. Not because of DU - although the most ardent Hillary supporters here are actually hurting her chances more than they are helping - but because of myriad reasons that I need not repeat in this post; we all know them. Unfortunately, here at DU, when I say I cannot vote for Hillary, I am accused of supporting Trump. I am told that I cannot allow a Trump presidency to occur, therefore I must vote for Hillary. In what world does one deduce from my non-vote (or my possible write-in of Bernie) that I am supporting Trump? If I cannot bring myself to vote for her in good conscience, then that is not MY fault if she loses. It is the establishment that has created a situation where that can happen. THEY have promoted a flawed candidate, for I, alone, am simply not that important. If she loses, then the masses feel as I do, and we all collectively cannot bring ourselves to support Hillary. The masses can never be blamed for the outcome, for in a democracy, they matter most. When a group in power ignores those masses, it could be to their peril, as history has shown us many times.

Traditionally in an election, independent voters are the ones a candidate wants in order to win. Somehow, in this democratic primary, they are toxic, they are the problem, they should not be allowed to play ball with the democrats during their game. Everyone knows, it is the independents who decide elections in this country, yet I am watching as the democrats are telling them all to basically fuck off. That doesn't bode well for the democrats. Not at all.

I do not know if I will stay at DU, and I feel very sad about this revelation. This has been my favorite place to visit on the internet every day since 2004. I tried to stick with Dailykos after kos made his change. I tried to see the sensibility of it. Instead, what I saw was a purging of great posters and an ever-increasing vapid echo chamber. At the point kos began posting disgusting false diaries about Bernie being racist and supporting violence, I could no longer participate. I am not alone. It's not unusual to see a post with 90 recommends near the top of the recommended list. I remember when that number would be near a thousand. Will DU also descend into such a sad shell of its former self?

Where will I go?

I have things to do in my own life. Goals to achieve. I hope I will immerse myself in these quests of self-actualization. Maybe over time I will find my way back to DU. I do not know.

As for alternative websites, jackpineradicals is growing, but it, too, is another echo-chamber. Of course, it is an echo chamber for my guy, but I never wanted an echo chamber. I wanted fair.

I guess that's the bottom line of this meandering post. I have been searching for fairness and wisdom. It's in short order these days.

Where will I go?

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