Faith or Works?

A lot of people are upset about the direction of the nation. Nearly a two to one ration finds that the nation is on the wrong track, according to a Rasmussen poll. That fits with the ongoing controversies sweeping our mindscapes involving protests of various kinds.

A lack of faith in our government should be one thing which unites us. It’s something of an American tradition, after all. Some think it’s involved in vast conspiracies. Some want to stockpile arms against it. Some think it’s just plain incompetent. Some think our history is a complete lie.

No one, anywhere, thinks that government is going to solve all of our problems. No one trusts it completely. No one thinks our taxation system is completely fair. No one thinks that the system always produces justice.

Yet protests about our system or our government are the surest way to spark a highly emotional shouting match that transcends any ability to get anything done. And there may be a good reason.

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Taking a Knee

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Is it ever acceptable to kneel while the national anthem is played? The controversy has deepened now that Trump has weighed in, saying that players who do so should be fired. He faulted the NFL as a unit over this just ahead of this week’s games.

The response from the league has been ferocious. And it is justified. After all, those who kneel are only answering the question with their own emphatic “No!” as is their right as a free people. It is a question we should all be asking ourselves and not the patriotism of those who answer it differently than we do. Anything less means that we are not, indeed, free.

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A Hell of a Show

The NFL season starts in just over a week, and it looks like the Dolphins may have a chance this year …

Football is the most intellectual of all the major sports in the USofA.  Go ahead, laugh, but it’s true.  All those breaks between plays are more than time for wagging commentary and the occasional Bud commercial, they are a chance for the coach to send in a play that one side will attempt to execute while the other tries to foil it.  Raw athletic ability is often thwarted by a clever plan or a quick wit that sees past it.  Amid the changing fronts of trench warfare that form the game, a good General is what it takes to win.

But there’s a lot more to football than that.  What we’ve learned from the NFL in particular is how important it is to set up a system where everyone has a chance and the rules are evenly enforced.  It’s America at its best.

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Blown Call

Sports analogies are a mainstay for business – both reporting and motivational development.  What is a company but a team, focused on scoring against the competition?  Nations also compete against each other far more constantly than the hardware counts from the quadrennial Olympics.  Business is a kind of sport, and as such some sense of “rules” applied “fairly” is the critical difference between an efficient market and exploitation.

That’s what makes the business of sports both fascinating and raw at the same time it is dreadfully dull.  While completing the obvious connections, the business of running a professional team drains the passion from the moments that make the highlight shows and endless banter worth watching.

Which gets us to the NFL Referee’s lockout– about the most boring story in the world until one seriously blown call.

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