Trumpiana: The “President” urges football rules for standing during National Anthem, but wants more brain injuries

Trump continues to harangue the National Football League (NFL) about not firing players who refuse to stand erect and show “respect” during the pre-game playing of the National Anthem.  Here’s one of his tw**ts from this morning.  The irony is that the NFL appeared to be divided on this issue—brought to the fore by Colin Kaepernick—but showed a rare political unity among different players and teams—almost certainly because of Trump’s unhinged harangues, like this one:

and this one:

But he also said this in a speech in Alabama on Friday:

“You hit too hard, 15 yards throw him out of the game,” Trump said. “They had that last week, I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just a really beautiful tackle, boom, 15 yards. The referee gets on television, his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud.”

Clearly, Trump doesn’t like penalties against hard hits.

This is invidious, especially in light of the recent announcement that lawyers for former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in jail in April (he was doing time for murder), had filed a lawsuit against the league for failing to protect Hernandez. Hernandez had a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and one of its symptoms can be violent mood swings and aggression. (Think about that when you’re pondering the punishments that should be doled out for murder, especially because at present CTE can be diagnosed only post mortem.)

CTE is a progressive and degenerative brain disease that leads to dementia, and has been found in the brains of 99% of NFL players donated for scientific study. Now this may be an overrepresentation since players may be more likely to donate their brains if they show dementia and abnormal behavior. But the disease is known to result from repeated head trauma, and the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed 202 football players and 111 NFL players. 110 of the latter showed CTE.  That’s not a small sample. And increasingly, living players are reporting CTE symptoms as well. If you don’t think it’s an issue, see this list of living and deceased NFL players who had or may now have the disease.

I don’t watch football precisely because of this violence, and it’s even worse now when I see segments on the sports news showing hard hits. While players may be assessing the risk of CTE and balancing it against the financial and exposure rewards of being a pro football star, it’s something the NFL needs to work on. They’ll never eliminate it entirely under the present rules of the game (some would say that this is a reason to eliminate football), but all football organizations—be they professionals or school teams—need to fix the rules, devise better helmets, and increase player awareness.

It’s ironic that while Trump tries to protect the US flag from “disrespect” by players, he has no interest in protecting the players from dementia. In fact, he seems to oppose measures that would reduce dementia.

h/t; Ken




  1. Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Trump’s an ignorant tool; but at least what he is promoting is constitutional (companies can restrict employees’ behavior while “on the clock”).

    I think he’d be best to leave it alone. And then put some effort into changing police-black men interactions.

    I stopped watching football during the Superbowl in Jan 1977. The beloved Minnesota Vikings lost their 4th Superbowl (after 1969, 1973, 1974). Seeing my family melt down in disappointment during the game cured me of professional sports, generally.

    I stopped watching TV in 1987. Miami Vice was the last show I paid any attention to.

    • nwalsh
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Was this the game where Joe Kapp had his colorbone broken by a defensive lineman. Remember it well.

      • nwalsh
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


    • Allan
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      You should give TV another chance. The quality drama is now made for TV. Very little in the cinema that appeals to adults.

  2. Historian
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Among his many mental disorders, Trump seems to be obsessive. For example, he cannot let go of attacking Hillary. It has just been revealed that several of his closest associates have been using their private email accounts to engage in official government business. I doubt that we will see Trump attacking them. He will not let go of his obsession with the NFL either, even though there are so many more important issues to deal with. Still, his adoring fans will never desert him because he speaks to their cultural anxieties. Every day America becomes less white and certain people are scared out of their minds because of this. Trump is the perfect demagogue for them.

    • jay
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Hillary is playing that game too, she won’t let go, seems every few days she’s blaming someone else for her loss. The other day she proudly described how when a woman and adult daughter came to her book signing and she found out the younger woman had not voted, she declared that she would ‘never forgive her’.

      Insult your voters. Good strategy.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Trump just looks more and more like the Village Idiot and certainly resembles that tag much more than president. Never have we had such a low end mentally disturbed person in this job. The twitter president who functions by twitter. That is his attention span and his depth. In fact twitter must have been invented for Trump, the look at me guy, see what I have to say…nothing. The CTE problem may someday be the death of football because it goes all the way down to high school and college. You cannot invent helmets to eliminate it. The brain bangs around against the scull with the G forces. Moms, at least any that really give a damn and understand this issue, will not let their kids play this game.

    • Dragon
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      The answer to the ‘design a better helmet’ question is: Remove helmets from the game. Remove shoulder pads. With less armor, the defense will quickly learn (after a few broken collarbones) to catch people rather than smash into them. But that would look more like Rugby and upset American audiences.

      • loren russell
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        That game is known as rugby, I believe.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Rugby (a game I detest, by the way, not least because it’s the self-styled New Zealand ‘national game’ (what, me, unpatriotic?)) has its own issues with injuries. But they (the NZ Rugby union) do now seem to be taking the problem seriously, with a swag of rules about tackling.


        • somer
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          Rugby does, football league (modified rugby) and Australian rules all have head injury issues, particularly the first two. Theres a big CTE debate going on in Australia.

          Trump is such a disgusting excuse for a human being. He is a sadist and actually likes the idea of players being hurt (especially if it isn’t him). I can understand football fans getting a bit sick of the politicking at the games however Trump plays to resentment and his base laps up any petty and destructive diversion he sends them.
          And he’s a racist. He boasts about his supposed genetic superiority and German blood

      • Randy schenck
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        What they may go to at least in the high schools at first is what we played way back when I was in 7th/8th grade. Flag football. That was the best and safest form of football I ever played. No one got hurt, you wore regular clothes and tennis shoes.

    • John Taylor
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      In theory if you had a really big helmet made of soft foam that could help. Maybe three feet in diameter. That would reduce the g forces a lot and would be really funny to watch.

  4. Chris Lang
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve always been a football fan, but I’ve lost much of my interest in football due to the CTE crisis. This is such a sad situation–the players stay in the game even though they know it’s punishing their bodies, in large part because they love the game. I was sad in particular a few weeks ago when John Urschel, a offensive linesman for the Baltimore Ravens, decided to retire (after three seasons). Urschel has been a real inspiration, because he’s a doctoral student in applied mathematics at MIT. We have a poster of him hanging in our math department. But he decided to retire from the NFL to avoid brain injuries, a good decision but still a sad one.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      He was talking about this on a Freakonomics podcast. Season 7 number 2 – Sept 6th, 2017 “How much brain damage do I have?” Worth a listen

  5. Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    There is a troubling sentiment brewing about this issue. Not that it is made explicit here, but there is often an undertone that permeates discussions about American football and brain injuries. In some places (present company excluded) I think this sentiment comes more from dislike of football fans and the sport itself than any real concern about brain injury. But I digress…

    First, let me say that in so far as the NFL has not sufficiently acknowledged the problems associated with head trauma and have not historically supported players after their career, there are legitimate (and possibly legally actionable) issues that need to be hashed out.

    But calls for banning or eliminating the game itself – or even substantially changing it- over the issue….well, I can’t get behind that.

    These are adults playing an adult game. So long as they understand and accept the risks I just don’t see the problem. Boxing, MMA, wrestling, hell even car and motorcycle racing…a variety of sports involve very real risk of serious, even fatal injury.

    Restrict American football to adults? Ok, if this is where it goes, I can get on board. Maybe. Minors are different, of course. But adults should be free to assume risk to themselves (so long as they do not unreasonably impinge on the rights or safety of others).

    If the sport of football fades away because people lose interest, well that’s just the way things go. But if football dies because of overreach by social nannies, well that would be a real shame. IMO. Especially because once they do it to football, the nannies will go after something else next.

    • Adam M.
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I completely agree.

    • Historian
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      It is possible that football on the college level and even more probably on the high school level will largely disappear within ten years because of safety concerns. If this should happen, the NFL will establish minor leagues to stock the NFL teams. Professional football will disappear only by lack of fan interest.

      I am probably a minority in this view, but I find that college football serves as a bastardization of higher education. I find it sickening that a college’s reputation is determined often by the quality of its football team. I find it appalling that in some states the coach of a public university team is the highest paid public employee in the state! College football does nothing to enhance the education of the students, including the “student-athletes” themselves. For the Division I teams, sports (particularly football and basketball) are big business. This is one business that should go bankrupt. Colleges should not be the farm teams for the professional leagues.

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Ice hockey also has had trouble with concussions and similar injuries – and it is still very popular and played (with less contact at lower levels) at all ages …

        So I’m not convinced that American (or Canadian) football will go away any time soon.

        • nwalsh
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          “ice hockey” is that the same as field football?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        I agree about the college football thing. I really don’t understand why football is such a big deal in colleges in the US and so vital to their reputations. Sport shouldn’t play that kind of role in a tertiary education institution imo. It should be about the quality of the education. All that money would be better spent elsewhere imo.

        Further, now that the link to multiple types of brain damage is known, the principled step would be to pull back. I’m not saying stop playing, just dial down the intensity of attitude. Top coaches shouldn’t be more revered than top academics.

        Other contact sports like rugby union are making great strides with rules to protect players’ brains. The top players lead the way. It hasn’t made the game any less enjoyable to watch. There’s no reason football can’t do the same.

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          “All that money would be better spent elsewhere imo.”

          Many college administrators would agree with you, but their hands are tied. When donors earmark large portions of their gifts for sports (as they frequently do), the school has no choice but to comply or refuse the gift. So sports programs get overfunded while academics languish.

      • somer
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        The US has so many scholarships based on sporting ability. Personally I don’t think anyone should get into uni based on sporting ability.

    • nicky
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Something else? What about boxing or full contact?

    • JohnE
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      At least the ostensible goal of football actually actually to injure another human being. However, in a (supposedly) civilized society, I would think that rational people would have to agree that boxing and MMA are utterly abhorrent. I am stunned, saddened and frightened by the fact that many, many, many people absolutely delight in watching two of their fellow human beings attempt to beat one another into unconsciousness. What madness is this? This is unmistakably reminiscent of days of yore when people brought picnic lunches to see public hangings. Yes, I know that these are two adults who have supposedly consented to participate in this activity, but that observation does nothing to refute the fact that their fans should be ashamed of themselves. Keep in mind that we HAVE banned duels. How are boxing and MMA any different than a duel, except for the fact that the former is more likely to result in a relatively quick death, whereas the latter are more likely to force you (and your family members) to deal with the lingering, painful and disabling effects of brain trauma.

      • JohnE
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        AAARGH — The first sentence of my comment should have read “At least the ostensible goal of football IS NOT to actually injure another human being.” Nothing like starting out with a huge typo.

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        How do boxing and dueling differ? Are you serious? Athleticism. Skill. All the things that go into competitive sport.

        But far and way most the important difference….intent.

        • JohnE
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          I appreciate your attempt to rationalize what would seem to be your support for boxing and MMA, but . . .

          Really? There’s no skill in dueling? I’ll bet people could work to develop some mad skills and athleticism if it were legal.

          Really? There’s a difference in intent? Isn’t the intent of boxing and MMA to injure another human being (although probably not to kill him)?

          Really? As long as there is athleticism and skill involved, then the activity is ipso facto justified?

          • Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            So you were serious. How odd.

            1) Boxers (or MMA fighters) must extremely physically fit; they require extensive and years long training not only to get physically fit but to learn the tactics and strategies needed in the sport. Duellers only need point and need no training whatsoever.

            2) The intent of a duel is to KILL the opponent (often for some idiotic reason having to do with saving face). In boxing it is to win the bout. This necessarily means injuring the opponent until they either cannot continue or the victor is judged to have won. Hands down you’ve got this one WAY wrong.

            3) I didn’t say it was “justified”, I said it differed from dueling. If you want to criticize me it would be helpful if you criticized me for things I actually said, not things you wished I said.

            Anyway, it *is* justified as a sport. Even if I didn’t make that claim before, I do now. History, tradition, athleticism, competition, etc; these things are the reason d’être of sport. Boxing is one of them.

            I get it, you don’t like fighting. So don’t fight. It’s that simple.

            • Gregory Kusnick
              Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

              You seem to assume that dueling necessarily involves pistols, but that’s not true. Dueling with swords has a much deeper and richer history, and as a former fencer I can assure you it requires considerable skill and athleticism.

              Nor is the intent necessarily to kill your opponent, but rather to defeat and humiliate him while demonstrating your own courage in the face of danger.

              My own view is that fencing is morally defensible in a way that boxing is not, since fencing retains all the virtues of skill, strategy, one-on-one competition, and so forth, while replacing the actual infliction of harm with a symbolic touch. Unlike boxing, injuring the opponent is not necessary to win a bout. I fail to see how this counts in boxing’s favor.

              • Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

                The essence of your and JohnE arguments is that boxing isn’t a sport because you don’t like that it is. This doesn’t seem to be a very strong argument.

                One could make the argument that ALL of sport is warfare/violence/subjugation – the evils of human society- re-purposed and made tame. Further, one could say that sports like boxing are closer to those roots and therefore are less palatable for modern society. There is some truth to that but it doesn’t make them equal nor does it mean boxing is not a sport.

                To your claim about sword fighting duels – in it simply IS NOT necessary to be skilled to either engage in a duel or to win one, irrespective of the weapon. I am not a historian but would bet that most people who engaged in duels (whatever the weapon) were not skilled in their use. It is never the point of a duel to demonstrate their skills at using the weapon – they are trying to kill their opponent. Fencing is dueling made sport but they are not the same, certainly not in their intent or even in the way they are performed.

                I am amazed this needs to be made explicit.

              • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

                (Some versions of?) karate are also non-contact, for the same reasons. And if I recall, kendo is designed much the same way as fencing.

      • Vaal
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        However, in a (supposedly) civilized society, I would think that rational people would have to agree that boxing and MMA are utterly abhorrent. I am stunned, saddened and frightened by the fact that many, many, many people absolutely delight in watching two of their fellow human beings attempt to beat one another into unconsciousness. What madness is this?

        That’s a pretty typical response to a sport someone doesn’t understand. To me, a great many sports, from football to cliff-climbing to curling to bodybuilding to eating contests seem ridiculous. But, as I am not familiar with the details of those sports, I don’t declare them ridiculous or mad.

        I get that you can only see MMA (and boxing) as simple barbarism, but you haven’t really made much of a case against it, because there are all sorts of niggling details that your stance doesn’t account for.
        And, intent, btw, isn’t *necessarily* the easy dividing line if we are asking ourselves whether we are enjoying a sport at the expense of the athlete risking his safety or his life.

        So take a sport like auto racing, in which many drivers have died. Ought anyone enjoy watching that sport? Sure the intent isn’t for anyone to get killed, but that doesn’t get us off the hook. Auto racing isn’t some necessity of life. It’s a game, a sport. And people are risking their lives, and occasionally dying or killing others, while doing it. Therefore anyone enjoying auto racing is choosing to support a completely unnecessary activity that endangers the participants. This is making the choice to watch someone risking his welfare for your enjoyment. How exactly is that justified? What is so necessary about watching cars careening dangerously around a race track that it justifies this activity?

        And given that a large portion of sports, from the “extreme” versions to the on-the-surface more benign looking, carry risks to the welfare of the athlete, this is essentially a bargain the athlete and fans are making all the time: watching an act that is not necessary, which endangers the participants, but which we nonetheless think is ok. As for lasting injury, many if not most sports carry that risk. Hell, my sister was a pro beach volley-ball player and, like a number of her team-mates, now lives with constant shoulder problems. Many sports that are not violent nonetheless do violence to the athlete’s body over time.

        We think it’s ok if the athlete understands what she is doing and the risks, same with the audience, and yet we find it thrilling enough to allow sports.
        So the “intent” thing isn’t some easy argument that separates the moral culpability of someone watching any number of average sports in which people are routinely injured, given the moral bargain involved.

        So let’s turn to martial arts.

        Do you think martial arts are heinous and should be banned? If so, would you declare no one ought to learn how to physically protect herself/himself? I’m going to presume you don’t go that far. But then if we allow for martial arts, here’s the problem: if you don’t develop techniques through hard test and practice…they tend not to be effective. You won’t know if your Karate, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, or any other self defense, actually is effective in the real world UNLESS you test it in rigorous practice that matches the real world: e.g. against someone putting real effort into overcoming you. That is why many (or at lest the most effective) martial arts have evolved hard sparring contact. And that is available for anyone who really wants to have confidence that they have the skills they think they have.

        If you aren’t going to ban martial arts, then martial arts are going to naturally come with hard training and “violent” looking sparring where participants test and hone their skill.

        Further, simply entering the world of martial arts, like entering any endeavour, brings you into a rich history of techniques, debate and theory which in itself can be compelling and rewarding. And it will naturally extend to the question of which arts are more effective. Maybe your self defense skills aren’t as well rounded as you think. How do you test that?

        Well, some very few martial arts – e.g. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – had been testing it for many years, except few new about the results.

        But it wasn’t until the first Ultimate Fighting Championship that anyone had ever gathered practitioners of many different MAs to put this to the test, so all could see.
        Yes, it was brutal. But a very important truth emerged: how startlingly effective grappling was as self defense. People watched stunned as a skinny Brazilian guy took on monsters in the cage, and submitted all of them with holds. And the importance of grappling skill was shown in subsequent UFCs.

        This completely revolutionized the practice and theory of martial arts around the world, for many people. Now grappling, especially Jui Jitsu, is practiced by countless people looking to become better at defending themselves. And, of course, like any skill people want to be able to compete to test themselves – the natural instinct.

        MMA has become an on-going experiment, where self defense – defensive and offensive – are continually tested, with new ideas constantly coming out. And of course, it’s also now a sport, just like Judo, karate, TKD, etc have been for many years.

        Why do I in particular like watching MMA? I’ve been involved in all sorts of Martial Arts since I was young – Judo, Tae Kwon Do,
        Kung Fu, JKD, Brazilian Jui Jitsu. While I’m glad for whatever self defense skills I may have picked up along the way, I never wanted to be in a street fight (and never have been). The movements and strategies, and the richness of the thought behind Martial Arts were the main motivation.

        Once you understand an activity, you gain appreciation for someone who can do it really well. The best MMA practitioners are simply astounding in terms of their athleticism and skill. I know how hard the things are they are trying to pull off, and actually seeing them do it under the pressure of real combat – what pressure could be more daunting? – is thrilling. It’s mental and physical chess under the hardest conditions possible.

        To my wife, it looks like a mess and she doesn’t understand it. That’s fine, she likes football and it looks nonsensical to me. That’s how it goes when you don’t understand a sport.

        So back to the “intent to injure someone” argument. Are they trying to really punch, kick and grapple with each other? Of course.
        That’s how you find out if your martial arts skills are effective. Are they trying to kill one another? No. There are plenty of rules in place to avoid that, and no fighter wishes that upon the other. At the end of a match it’s typical to see true mutual respect, not anger or ill will. And I personally am not in it to see and celebrate injury – I enjoy it for the skill, especially at avoiding injury. Just as a race car driver, or cliff climber, is essentially in a continued struggle against avoiding the danger of his sport.

        They are taking risks, and I’m watching them take risks, yes. But, again, that is the case for many sports. People risk their well-being because they find the activity thrilling, we watch because we marvel at people so brave, and so skilled, as to face such challenges that we could never face.

        I don’t know if you are disposed to trying to understand why someone civil and rational could take an interest in MMA, but I’ve given it a whirl 🙂

        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

          Sorry, Vaal, TL;DR. I tend to avoid comments longer than the original post.

    • lkr
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      “Adults playing an adult game” — The great majority of elite college and professional football players start the sport well before high school, and there’s good reason to believe that concussions and subconcussive contact is more dangerous [even assuming much lowr force] in younger players. Aaron Hernandez, for instance, played only 40 games as a professional and another 40 at the University of Florida. But he had played tackle football for at least 10 years before college.

      The current pattern for the sport is somewhat like that of boxing in the mid-20th century… Boxing was once considered a manly sport that all gentlemen should be familiar with. At the professional level, it wasn’t respected, but no professional athletes [except baseball stars?] were given much respect.

      Post WWII, this changed. Boxing became associated with ‘punch-drunk’, and boxing gyms began to disappear. The sport was more and more ghettoized — black and then Latino Americans, then more and more third-world.

      Football can follow a similar trajectory if middle-class parents see the sport as a likely route to CTE. There are lots of less-violent alternative sports after all. Beyond this, the base of the sport is high school football. This sport is tremendously expensive — I know that parents, both in prosperous and poor districts pay large participation fees for it, and it’s further subsidized by community charities that could presumably use the funds elsewhere.

      All it takes is for lawsuits — both individual and class action — to successfully argue that youth and scholastic football is causing brain damage. And then the feeder chain toward the elite is threatened. This is a decades-long process, but it will start with parents saying, “No, why don’t you play baseball. Or anything but football.

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        True dat.

        I did not permit either of my sons to play American football, for the reasons you cited.

  6. TJR
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    To us on this side of the pond, the really odd thing is the idea of playing the national anthem at sports games in the first place.

    Showpiece finals fair enough, but run of the mill league games? Really?

    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      To us on this side of the pond, the really odd thing is the idea of playing the national anthem at sports games in the first place.

      In the U.K. we sing sensible songs about little saucepans or finding yourself on a moor without a hat.

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        One I don’t get is YNWA.

        Frankly, I’d rather sit …I mean stand…through a hundred national anthems.

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        or, I hear, about the physical attributes of the Belgian scoring genius

    • dallos
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:28 am | Permalink

  7. busterggi
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Trump is trying to honor football players – dementia is the disease of kings and presidents.

  8. Chris Swart
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    30% idiots + 20% knaves = Idiocracy.

    • cnocspeireag
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      You are quite right Chris, the necessary qualifications for Trump voting can include lack of conscience or mental impairment. Trump is encouraging the god-soaked crazies and helping to maximise brain injuries to maintain and increase his voter base.

  9. Robert Ryder
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Trump as president is the greatest disrespect our country could possibly experience, so who cares about the flag? But of course, Trump has no understanding of nor concern for the idea of democracy, so it’s fitting he would obsess over the flag, the anthem, and “patriotism.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Dr Johnson’s famous remark seems apposite – “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

      Except maybe in Mr Drumpf’s case it’s the first refuge ‘cos he ain’t got nuthin’ else.


  10. Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I saw an amusing church sign (in person, without a camera, alas) the other day – tweet others as one would want them to tweet you. Maybe Trump can learn from this new gospel. (Of course, it has the same problems as the original golden rule.)

  11. Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    My guess is that he’s only got two options for creating a distraction from Mueller or the private servers — whip up hysteria against those he perceives as vulnerable, and nuke North Korea.

    The lust for doing the latter is audible in his hideous rasping voice. I fear he is simply waiting for an excuse and enjoying the reactions while he is toying with it.

    Apart from that I also detect fear, probably about Mueller — that he reverted to yelling “You’re fired!” about football players seems to me like regressive behavior under stress.

    Sadly, I think people forget that while he “only” has 35% of the freaking population of the US on his side, that means he only needs to convince a few percent of Repubs to vote for him and he’s in again. (Maybe Don Jr takes the rap somehow, and maybe Jared loses his job and his credit rating, but if there was seriously incriminating stuff on Trump, the Repubs would be behaving very differently, I think.)

    And maybe I’m wrong about all of that. (I always like to add the odd qualifier to avoid embarrassing back-downs later!)

    • Randy schenck
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I do think the best and only real hope is the Mueller (special prosecutor) unit. The congressional committees are just politics and accomplish nothing which congress is known for. It moves painfully slow because everything in govt. moves slow. But, if their finding and results discover what it should, it will be over for Trump. His percentages mean nothing to the prosecutor and the facts.

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        The Mueller inquiry certainly seems to be what made him pull his head in a bit this last month or two.

    • jay
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Mueller himself is a distraction, promoted by the Democrats trying to find a convictable offense, or at least to block Trump from accomplishing other things.

      Typically a special prosecutor is called in to investigate a crime… in this case no one has actually yet identified a crime, their just hoping to find one. Sort of like the Bill Clinton issue.. the sexual affair was in very poor taste, but did not constitute a crime. Years were spend on essentially a peripheral issue.

      Trump’s biggest problem is that he’s stirred up the DC swamp and underestimated how deep the swamp is and how dangerous it’s dwellers are.

  12. Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Sociopaths like to hurt others, and to see others be hurt.

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    The man is a buffoon.

  14. jay
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    it’s not really good to connect these two different issues.

    Trump is saying that the anthem thing is disrespect for the country and objects on that basis. Athletes have all sorts of limitations about what they can endorse or say in public as long as their under contract. The teams or the NFL could end this behavior in a moment but for some reason their unwilling to do so.

    Football is a dangerous sport. That really has nothing to do with Trump, nor should it.

  15. Mark Reaume
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I read an article today that said that Boston University researchers have developed a method that could lead to diagnosing CTE in living patients. Still early days however.

  16. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    “CTE … one of its symptoms can be violent mood swings and aggression.”

    Errm, did President Drumpf play a lot of football when he was younger?


  17. Posted September 26, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I am a football fan. I grew up watching it with my dad and I’ll probably always enjoy watching the game. I played football for one year when I was about 10 years old. I quit because it was too much of a time-sink. Years later, my mother told me that after they bought all my equipment, she saw a label in the helmet that said something to the effect of: “playing football can cause serious brain injury, possibly resulting in death.” She went into the attic and cried by herself, but hid it from me and my dad at the time because she didn’t want her worry to dictate my life. This really struck me years later when she told me the story though, and I imagine it is a very common reaction parents have when their children tell them they want to play football.

    The game has transformed over time and I think eventually most contact will be quite limited. I could see some kind of professional version of flag-football becoming the norm. Given all we know about CTE and how football seems to uniquely produce a massive amount of concussions (far more than hockey or rugby, for example), it doesn’t make sense from a public health standpoint to simply chalk the issue up to one of informed choice. What professional sports exist that only allow people to play them once they reach adulthood? That’s going to produce a poor product on the field, and I imagine the NFL is coming to grips with this. If they want to put out a good product, they’re going to have to adjust the game to keep it in line with what’s happening at the high school and collegiate levels.

  18. Posted September 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Sigh… sorry, your Emperarse still hasn’t found his clothes.

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