Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 May 2018

NFL Owners Never Voted on the New National Anthem Policy. Wait… What?

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On Wednesday, the National Football League (NFL) announced a new policy regarding player protests during the national anthem… stay in the locker room, stand, or face a fine. Now, it looks like the owners never officially voted for the policy after all. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the NFL’s announcement:

Clearly, our objective as a league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem.

Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence applauded the move by the NFL. However, sources reported the owners never held a formal vote, so, who approved it unanimously? According to a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, during two days of meetings on league matters in Atlanta:

The NFL just did a little informal polling and thought everyone would be cool with it.

Sources said league executives polled owners and knew how they’d vote but didn’t hold an official tally, which is atypical for a major resolution. The new policy leaves it to teams to discipline their own players for acts deemed disrespectful during the anthem. However, it also gave the league wide powers to fine teams as well. The NFL Players Association already made a public statement that the league never consulted them on the new anthem policy, also atypical of major changes affecting players. Moreover, not all team owners are singing the new anthem policy’s praises either. Three team owners distanced themselves from this policy as well. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York announced he abstained from any decision about the policy. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis also claims to have abstained. Their abstentions contradict Goodell’s claim of a unanimous vote by all 32 owners.

Meanwhile, New York Jets chairman Chris Johnson vowed to pay any fines for his players who demonstrate during the national anthem:

I don’t like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organisation, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. However, I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There’ll be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.

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Johnson’s announcement drew some criticism, but his Twitter post also drew praise. The new anthem policy is catching a lot of flak on social media. Many accused the NFL in general or Roger Goodell in particular of simply pandering to the President and Vice President on the issue, without regard for the players or fans. People also questioned the NFL’s priorities. Whether the new policy stands or not remains to be seen.

24 May 2018

Amelia Mavis Christnot

Second Nexus

https://secondnexus.com/news/nfl-owners-never-voted-anthem/

26 May 2018. Taking A Knee… It Seemed That the NFL Lied About Their New Rule

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It seems that the NFL announced that it was banning taking the knee at the National Anthem because all the teams were behind it… well, that’s a lie. Some ignorant rightwing Republican turd obviously ran it up without really consulting the teams or the players. It looks like Trump’s Reverse Midas Effect is in operation, yet again. Instead of slapping down the uppity niggers and white trash, it’s having the opposite effect. Several teams have already come out against the new rule and the action riled the players association to the max. Trump is increasingly seen to be out of control and flailing about, with no clue on how to move forward. This is dangerous. The man is a wilfully ignorant narcissistic man-child with no inhibitions. He has control of the “nuclear football”… if that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

The intent behind this was to coerce the players into forced “patriotism”, to show all comers how powerful and strong Trump was. It’s having the opposite effect. Trump’s stupidity and bullying temperament are on display for the whole world to see. However, don’t expect the media to show that… they’re in the pocket of their corporate paymasters. That’s why I don’t believe anything that I read in the media on domestic American politics. Trust me, the people aren’t happy… the Republicans are facing disaster this November (don’t believe the “polls”… the media has to follow what their Big Money bosses tell them to do). After all, Paul Ryan “retired” at the ripe old age of 48… what does he know that the media won’t tell us?

BMD

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dissent Denied: “Emergency” US State Law to Silence Protesters

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New laws intended to punish those exercising their constitutional right to disagree with existing legislation and policy will now see possible fines of up to 1 million USD (58.1 million Roubles. 6.9 million Renminbi. 64.3 million INR. 1.37 million CAD. 1.35 million AUD. 910,000 Euros. 770,000 UK Pounds) in the US state of Oklahoma after legislators rushed “emergency” anti-protest laws into effect. The new laws allow for increased fines on those found guilty in Oklahoma of engaging in protest actions that result in the damage of infrastructure, especially oil and gas equipment. They also include a new wrinkle, in which the state could fine those who support, or “conspire” (in the terms of the bill), with the protest up to one hundred times the amount levied on the guilty party. The new statutes allow fines for up to 10,000 USD (581,000 Roubles. 6,900 Renminbi. 643,000 INR. 13,700 CAD. 13,500 AUD. 9,100 Euros. 7,700 UK Pounds) against anyone found guilty of simply intending to destroy infrastructure. The state can assess fines up to 100,000 USD (5.81 million Roubles. 690,000 Renminbi. 6.43 million INR. 137,000 CAD. 135,000 AUD. 91,000 Euros. 77,000 UK Pounds) if protestors actually do real damage. However, the real kicker is a 1 million USD fine for any person or organisation found to be supporting an activist found guilty, including, ostensibly, human rights groups or medical, legal, and logistical assistance at the protest site.

The laws are in direct correlation with increased attempts across America to stymie any dissent against new petrochemical infrastructure, including pipelines and fracking wells. Considered a major oil and gas transfer hub for much of the USA, Oklahoma has a long history of its state government acting as a front for oil companies. According to The Intercept, the town of Cushing OK (the so-called “Oil Pipeline Crossroads of the World”) and surrounding regions saw a striking rise in earthquakes during the fracking boom due to the pumping of a toxic mix of wastewater and chemicals directly into the ground. The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association is a vocal supporter of the new legislation.

Many are suspicious of the loose wording of the new Oklahoma anti-protest laws, however. Doug Parr, a lawyer who has represented several environmental activists in Oklahoma, told The Intercept that the statute’s claims are too broad:

Say they lock themselves to a piece of construction equipment, and a claim can be made that there were damages from that trespass. Does this statute create a civil action for a pipeline company to then go after a person or organisation that posted a bond or helped pay for a lawyer for that civil disobedience? Those organising peaceful actions of civil disobedience can now be heavily penalised if any attendee chooses to take on a solo act, such as spray-painting a message on a wall. Suppose an organisation decides they want to support a perfectly legal, no civil disobedience, action. Somebody in that crowd, who came to the protest at the request of that organisation, then jumps the fence and runs in there, and spray-paints on a storage tank, “This equipment causes earthquakes. Shut it down”. These statutes could be used to attack that organisation and impose financial liability on them.

The Sierra Club’s Oklahoma head, Johnson Bridgwater, pointed out the possibly illegal ramifications of the new laws, stating:

We don’t necessarily know everyone who’s attending the events. There’s a strong and real fear that this could be used as an attempt to crush a group or a chapter of Sierra Club unfairly.

Common Dreams identified 19 new anti-protest bills in the USA, as of April 2. Similar legislation in Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota aims directly at civil disobedience actions that seek to stop or limit the expansion of petrochemical operations. Many see new laws in Minnesota and other states as responses to previous protest actions blocking roads and highways after white police killed unarmed black men and women in US cities. Referring to an earlier high-profile action of civil disobedience seeking to shut down the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Sierra Club’s Bridgwater observed:

We see all of these bills as nothing more than corporate America being fearful of how successful the Standing Rock protests were.

8 May 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/business/201705081053369767-us-state-law-silences-protest/

Sunday, 4 December 2016

4 December 2016. DAPL Stopped… FOR NOW… Will Trump Reverse the Order?

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There’s much glee about the supposed rerouting of the DAPL by the Army Corps of Engineers. I’d say that it’s much too early to break out the bubbly. Trump will take office in six weeks, and he’s got his own money invested in the pipeline. Furthermore, he’s an asshat who enjoys suckerpunching people. Therefore, just because Obama and the Corps of Engineers rejected the present route, doesn’t mean that Trump won’t reverse that order. There’s no call for any celebration yet. It’s time to organise… for when the plug-uglies pull a fast one (it’s not a question of “if”). Besides, the Corps didn’t nix the pipeline, it merely rerouted it, which means that DAPL is still a threat to the environment. I’d point up that’s there’s no call for joy in Mudville, yet. There’s every chance that the oligarchs are planning a riposte, with their boy in office. Have a care… the times are evil…

The First Nations won a reprieve for the time being, not a lasting victory (sad to say).

BMD

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