Dear NFL Players: I Can’t Take Your Cause Seriously Until You Do

Let me speak directly to the NFL players who keep protesting every week.  You seem to want to start a conversation and open a dialogue about some serious issues.  Sounds good to me.  Let’s chat.

I think your protest could be a lot more effective if you just tweaked a few key things.  As a (former) NFL fan who dearly loves football, let me try to help you.

Your message is getting lost in your methods.  You have chosen to express yourselves by protesting during the playing of the national anthem.  In so doing, you are offending and angering a lot of fans who take that anthem and what it represents very seriously.  You say that you mean no disrespect toward the flag or the country, but that’s exactly how a lot of people are taking it.  If these are the people you are trying to reach, then you’re doing it all wrong.  No one is going to listen to a word you have to say as long as you come across as just trying to piss people off.

Who is your protest aimed at?  I really can’t tell.  Is it the police?  The military?  The President?  The NFL?  The team owners?  The fans?  You’re kind of all over the map here.  If you want people to listen to your message, it would help if you told us who your message is actually intended for.

An effective protest has to have well-defined demands.  No one seems to know what yours are.  You keep using vague phrases like “police brutality” and “racial inequality.”  Those are great things to protest against, but what do you want us to do about it?  What are your demands?  What are the specific criteria that, when met, would lead to the end of your protesting?

Serious protests involve a degree of self-sacrifice.  What have you sacrificed for your cause?  You’re still suiting up every week.   You’re still playing.  You’re still getting paid millions of dollars. You make more money in one season than most people will ever see in a lifetime.  You’re coming across as whiny, spoiled brats right now.  Grown men who act like spoiled brats tend to get treated like spoiled brats.  They get ignored and they don’t get the things they want.

If you really want to protest, do something meaningful.  Sacrifice something.  Refuse to play.  Go on a hunger strike.  Rip up your contract.  Do something besides intentionally piss off your fan base and then just go about your business.  You would do well to remember that your money originates with the fans who are increasingly ignoring you.  If they aren’t watching you, buying your merchandise, or doing business with your sponsors, then where do you think your multiple millions of dollars will come from?

The bottom line is this:  no one is taking your cause seriously because you aren’t taking it seriously.  I can tell you aren’t taking it seriously because you aren’t acting like you’re taking it seriously.

Let me give you an example of a well-defined protest:

  • Message:  Football has become too politicized.  I don’t want to watch politics with my football.  If I can’t have football without politics, then I won’t have football at all.
  • Who My Message is Aimed At:  You (the players)
  • My Sacrifice:  I have given up watching the only professional sport I have ever followed.  I have also given away my associated t-shirts, jerseys, flags, and other NFL memorabilia to a local thrift store.  I no longer frequent bars to eat nachos, drink beer, and watch football as my fall weekend escape.
  • My Demand:  Take the politics out of football and I will return as a fan.

I’m trying to help you here because I want football back.  If you are serious about your cause, try modifying your protest along these lines.  Otherwise I have to think that you don’t really have anything to protest and that you are simply spoiled, childish millionaires.

Prove me wrong.  Please.

Socialism by the Slice

A Boston pizza shop that strove to “solve the root problem of widening economic disparities through innovative alternatives” (whatever that means) is closing its doors after just two years of serving up economic justice and failure.  In so doing, Dudley Dough is providing us free of charge with a delicious example of how socialism can’t work, no matter how you try to spin it.  I’m not an economist, or a business expert, but after a brief analysis even I can tell why this business failed.  Here are my tasty takeaways:

1. Profit is essential to business

For a business to survive, it must make money.  Customers are the source of a business’ money, therefore the customer must be the business’s top priority.  Otherwise the business has no reason to exist.  Let’s see if Dudley Dough put their customers first.  Here is their self-described mission:

Dudley Dough seeks to challenge this status quo by pioneering a new model of worker empowerment in the restaurant industry, offering living wages and profit-sharing opportunities to help our workers overcome the economic disadvantages that are an unfortunate part of the current reality.

Nowhere in this statement is the customer even mentioned.  In fact, a text search of Dudley Dough’s website returns zero results for “customer” or “consumer.”  This is clearly not a customer-focused business.  The above statement is focused entirely on the employees.

Employees are certainly important, and a business cannot survive without them, but where does the employees’ money originate?  That’s right, the customer.  The company cannot provide an employee with “living wages” if it first doesn’t receive money from the customer, which brings me to my next point:

2. A business must produce something the customer wants

This seems simple enough.  If a customer doesn’t want a business’ product, they will not purchase it.  As far as I can tell, very few people wanted what Dudley Dough had to offer.  Check out the reviews on Yelp.  After two years in business, Dudley Dough only garnered 26 reviews and not all of them were positive.  Now take a look at the customer images.  In my humble opinion, those pizzas look like warmed over barf on a plate.

Next, let’s take a look at the menu.  Scroll past the social justice jargon down to where the pizza is actually listed.  Shrimp and corn with puttanesca?  Yum.  Mashed potato, meatloaf with corn, capers, and béchamel?  Oh boy!  Curried vegetable with lentils?  These are pizzas?  I don’t know many pizza consumers who are clamoring for a jerk chicken, sweet potato, and jack cheese pizza.  Especially at $12.50/pizza.

As a side note, I like how the menu has to point out that ½ + ½ = 1.  Thanks.  Math is hard I guess.  Maybe that’s why Dudley Dough struggled with my next point:

3. Math is Hard

The starting hourly wage at Dudley Dough is $12.50.  I’m not a rocket surgeon, but I do believe that $12.50 is also what the menu listed as the cost of a full-size 14” pizza.  That means that in order to break even, Dudley Dough would have to sell at least one pizza per hour for the total number of employees working there at any given time.  And that doesn’t include any other costs besides labor.

Dudley Dough reportedly started with nine employees, including the manager.  Their operating hours are listed as 7:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday-Friday and 11:00am – 9:00 pm Saturday.  So they’re open 80 hours per week and they pay their employees $12.50/hour.  Assuming a minimum of one employee on-shift at a time, how many 14” pizzas does Dudley Dough need to sell each week in order to break even on labor costs?  Show your work.

(80 hours) X ($12.50/hour) = 1,000 / ($12.50/pizza) = 80

80 warmed over barf pizzas per week.  I’m guessing they didn’t meet that quota.  Which brings me to my next point:

4. Socialist programs depend upon other peoples’ money to survive

Dudley Dough is no exception.  They were supported all along by the Haley House, a Boston area nonprofit organization.  The Boston Globe, in its account, even used the word “subsidize.”

But after an analysis of the business’s operations and trends, the board determined that Haley House could not continue to subsidize the pizza shop without putting in peril its own efforts.

Subsidize.  That’s a key word.  Merriam-Webster defines subsidize as “to aid or promote with public money.”  I don’t know if Dudley Dough was the recipient of public money, but it’s clear that they were not able to operate as a business without outside help.  They even received a $100,000 donation from Robert Kraft and still couldn’t make it work!

If a business cannot provide customers with a product they want to purchase, turn a profit, and stand without outside help, then it has—quite simply—failed.

And this brings me to my final point:

5. Socialists are delusional

Dudley Dough has failed as a business.

‘I don’t think anyone is looking at it as a failure,’ said Luther Pinckney, a team leader at Dudley Dough, which is in the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building. ‘It’s an experiment, and some very good things came out of that, such as skill-building for staff and being in this building at this time of gentrification and change in this community.’

All of the skill-building and gentrification in the world isn’t going to revive a flawed business.  Other pizza places are operating in Dudley Dough’s neighborhood and they haven’t failed.  Dudley Dough is clearly a failure.

It’s done.  It’s over.  It has ceased to be.  It is an ex-business.  It is a failure.  Dudley Dough is a Dudley dud.

But socialists never look at their efforts as failures.  They simply refuse to learn from mistakes and failure.  If they can promote their cause in any way, they will view it as a success.

By their own words, Dudley Dough was an “experiment” in economic justice.  If socialists were capable of learning from past such experiments, they wouldn’t need to waste time and effort re-experimenting with failed ideas over and over again.  Socialism just doesn’t work, it never has, and it never will.  Socialists simply aren’t willing to learn that truth.

I will leave you today with this juicy bit of dessert from one of Dudley Dough’s employees:

‘I like coming to work. It was kind of a shock,” said Royce Terrell, 55, a Dorchester resident who has worked at the restaurant for nearly a year. “I didn’t see it coming. I have to keep working. I’ve got my youngest son in private school.’

Private school.

We the customers have to eat barf pizzas and go to public school, but Dudley Dough’s employees need a living wage so that they can send their kids to private schools.  That’s economic justice for you.

You’re Too Fat

That is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to tell you, though not exactly in those words.

New research by the CDC is showing that the adult obesity rate in the U.S. is now just shy of a whopping 40% and it’s over 18% in youth.  These rates are climbing at a shocking pace, up 30% in the past two decades.

CNN interviewed Michael W. Long, assistant professor at the Milken Institute of School Public Health at George Washington University about this rate increase and (I believe) inadvertently stumbled upon a leading cause of the problem.

Here it is:

What is ‘very striking’ about this information is that there has been a 30% increase in adult obesity and 33% increase in youth obesity from 1999-2000 data to 2015-16, despite government-focused efforts to address the issue, according to Long

The key phrase is “government-focused efforts.”  From the War on Drugs to the War on Poverty to the War on Obesity, conservatives have long known that government-focused efforts to reduce something always—always—result in more of what those efforts try to reduce.  Like with those other programs, it seems to me that the more the government attempts to solve the obesity “epidemic,” the worse it gets.

Look at how many children rejected public-school provided “healthy” lunches after new government health standards when into effect a few years ago.  Did that help?  Local governments like to force restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, but that does little if anything to influence customers’ decision making.  Heck, if I’m having trouble deciding between two or more options, I am more likely to choose the item with the higher calorie count because I know it will taste better!

Government too often tries for a one-size-fits-all approach because it’s easy for politicians to implement, but rarely effective.  One-size-fits all solutions won’t work for everyone because we’re all individuals with our own lives, our own preferences, and our own lifestyles.  The key to health and fitness is finding what works for you as an individual, not what the government says you should do based on statistics.  No one knows you better than you.

America doesn’t have an obesity problem.  Obese Americans have an obesity problem.

This topic comes up a lot in conversation.  Almost universally I hear people talk about how our country just has “too much food.”  I disagree.  There is no such thing as “too much food.”  Having food in abundance is a blessing!  Historically civilizations have struggled to provide their population with enough food to survive. You had to be wealthy and powerful to be able to eat every time you were hungry. Now if we get hungry, we can just go down the street and get a full meal for less than $5!

If you’re serious about your health and fitness, then you need to find what works for you and what doesn’t.  Don’t worry about what the government health guidelines are telling you.  They’re written by bureaucrats who have other agendas more important to them than your personal well-being.  Besides, the government doesn’t know you or what in your life is affecting your health.  Again, no one knows you better than you.  Good luck trying to make sense of the government guidelines anyway.

I have spent my entire adult life attempting to stay fit and healthy.  At times I have been more successful than at others, but as I went along I learned a lot about myself and what worked for me versus what didn’t.  I’m not a dietician or a nutritional expert, but I have learned a few things along the way:

  • Ignore the government guidelines
    • Like I said, they’re written by people who don’t know you and have their own agendas. Besides, how often do you hear that Food X is bad and Food Y is good only to find out twelve seconds later that Food X will now cure cancer while Food Y will make your eyes bleed.  They have no idea what they’re talking about!
  • Ignore the fad diets
    • They’re almost as bad as the government one-size-fits-all solutions. Your health and fitness goals need to be tailored to you as an individual.  Look for success stories from people who live similar lives to you and learn from them.
  • Your body is a laboratory
    • A great way to help find what works and what doesn’t is to carefully note how your body reacts to the food you’re eating, when you’re eating it, and how much you’re eating. For example, I noticed that it became much easier for me to keep weight off once I cut wheat out of my diet.  Feel free to experiment!
  • Intake versus Output
    • Health in many ways boils down to the ratio of how much you’re eating versus how much work your body is performing. Your body can only handle so much food per day. I try to walk at least an hour every day.  If I want ice cream, I walk to the store to get it.  When I eat out, I order smaller portions, split a meal with someone, or eat half of the meal and box the rest. Cut the intake and increase the output.
  • Do your own homework
    • You have the Internet at your disposal. All of the information you need to make smart decisions is out there.  You just have to go and find it.

As with so many problems in our society today, the obesity problem is not going to be solved by the government because it isn’t the government’s problem to solve.

It’s yours.  And mine.  Your health is your responsibility and my health is my responsibility. It’s no more complicated than that.

The End of the Boy Scouts

We all knew this was coming.  The Boy Scouts of America stood for over a century on its strong foundation of Judeo-Christian values, growing boys into young men, and young men into leaders.  However, in recent years the BSA has allowed cracks to form in that foundation.

From the lifting of the ban on openly gay boys from joining the organization, to the sanctioning of openly gay adult leaders, to the encouragement of so-called “transgendered” boys to join, the BSA’s moral foundation has been rapidly and steadily eroding into dust.

As soon as the BSA changed the definition of the phrase “morally straight” in the generations-old Scout Oath back in 2013, allowing for homosexual membership, we all knew that this first compromise would not be the last.  We all knew that it was only a matter of time before the BSA compromised itself into oblivion.

That day has now arrived.

From the BSA’s website:

Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

This is incredibly disappointing news, but in light of the BSA’s changes over the last few years, it isn’t at all surprising.  It does, however, mark a complete transformation for the organization.  The Boy Scouts has always been exclusively for boys.  As Ben Shapiro famously noted, it’s in the name.

There are plenty of organizations out there for all different varieties of youth.  The Boy Scouts even have several co-ed programs for both boys and girls.  The girls already have the Girl Scouts.  If the Girl Scouts isn’t working, why not work to fix that organization instead?  There is absolutely no need for the Boy Scouts to change who they are to be “inclusive.”

What now separates the Boy Scouts from any other youth organization?  The BSA has now effectively rendered obsolete both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.  If the Boy Scouts is a better youth organization for girls, why would any girl ever want to join the Girl Scouts?

More incredibly, I have to wonder why any parent would want their young teenage girls camping in the woods with young teenage boys?  Who exactly is okay with this?

As an Eagle Scout myself, this is an incredibly difficult piece for me to write.  My fondest memories from my youth come from my time in Boy Scouts.  I learned a great deal about myself, about leadership, and about manhood in those years. The friendships I made with both adult leaders and fellow Scouts can never be replaced. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout in 2002 was the greatest achievement of my life at the time.  Another honor was when my beloved Scout troop invited me back to town to participate in its centennial celebration earlier this year.  My scouting experiences have guided me throughout my adulthood and will continue to do so.

I now see I was lucky to have been a Boy Scout at that time instead of today.  Those experiences would not have been the same had the BSA not been so strict on its membership policies.  It is important for boys and young men to grow together free from the distraction of girls.

I suspect the Almighty Dollar now motivates BSA more than the Almighty.  Membership (and revenue) has been declining steadily for years.  Suddenly membership eligibility is now opened to a whole new demographic.  Draw your own conclusions there.

This is what the Left does best:  target and destroy everything good in America.  They cannot compete with us on ideas, so they have to eliminate everything that makes us who we are.  If they were truly motivated to provide girls, homosexuals, and “transgenders,” with the same experiences Boy Scouts provides, then they would form their own youth organization.  But it isn’t really about that, is it?

Rest in Peace Boy Scouts.  You will be dearly missed.

Don’t Save Net Neutrality

Take care when cruising the information super-highway today.  The left has littered it with deception and misdirection intended to confuse you on the issue of so-called “net neutrality.”

A large coalition of Internet giants is pushing hard today for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to preserve “net neutrality” rules implemented under the previous presidential administration.  These rules pave the way for increased government regulation of the Internet by forcing Internet service providers to treat the Internet more like a public utility.  Under net neutrality, Internet companies no longer have to compete amongst each other to be the best.  Net neutrality is forced equal outcomes at its best.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has made it clear that he intends to see net neutrality go the way of the dial-up modem.  Remember that the big tech companies lining up to oppose Chairman Pai have built their Internet empires on the very free market that they are now attempting to stifle.

Today (apparently) is an “Internet-Wide day of Action to Save Net Neutrality.”

If you see a reference to net neutrality today on one of your favorite websites (as I did when I logged in to check the status of an Amazon order), check this list to see if it is one of the hypocrites opposing free markets and competition while claiming to do the opposite.  Companies pushing hard to preserve net neutrality are making conservative-sounding claims like declaring that net neutrality “promotes competition” and “preserves the free and open Internet.”

This is intentional.  They’re trying to get you to take their position without realizing it.

If you get confused, take a second to check and see if the website you’re on supports or opposes net neutrality.  Chances are, if you are seeing horror stories about how the FCC is trying to take away your precious Netflix shows, the website you’re on supports net neutrality.  A bunch of cute (and not very clever) GIFs from the Internet Association are trying to distract you from the facts.

If you’re tempted to support net neutrality anyway, keep in mind that you’ll be lining up with such reputable organizations as Demand Progress, The Center for Media Justice, the ACLU, Daily Kos, and PornHub.

From the free-market perspective, the choice is a simple one:

  • Net Neutrality— 🙁
  • Chairman Pai— 🙂

Remember, the left does not want a “free and open Internet” or competition.  Don’t let them confuse you into thinking otherwise.

Leftists are Hopeless

My fiancée had never been to any kind of political protest before.  To satiate her morbid curiosity, I took her down to the anti-sharia protest in Roseville, California this afternoon.  After parking a few blocks away and walking over, we found ourselves on a street corner behind the anti-anti-sharia “counter-protest.”  From there we watched and observed for a while.

The whole scene was rather benign and fairly predictable.  On the far side of the street were the anti-sharia protestors all decked out in red, white, and blue and repeatedly chanting “USA, USA, USA!”  On each street corner were bemused police officers in riot gear calmly watching the event and directing traffic.  On our side of the street were the leftists milling about, calling for “tolerance” and “inclusiveness,” and shouting oh-so creative slogans like “Hey-ho!  Hey-ho!  The racist pig has got to go!” while holding up a large ant-Trump poster.

To their credit, we didn’t see anyone on either side of the street doing anything particularly vulgar or nasty (unlike in other cities today), but we couldn’t help but find amusement in the self-inflicted ignorance of the left.  They clearly had no idea what they were protesting against.

If sharia were the law of the land, none of those leftists would have been there protesting today because they wouldn’t have been allowed to.  Many of the women I saw there would have been beaten or stoned simply for what they were wearing.

Actually, I think many of them were stoned…if you catch my drift.

There was no self-awareness on our side of the street that we could see.  The leftist activists think they’re standing up for an oppressed minority, but Muslims in the United States are not oppressed, and in Middle Eastern countries where sharia is the law of the land they aren’t minorities either.  These counter-protestors call for inclusiveness, but they immediately reject the valid concerns of the anti-sharia crowd.  They call for tolerance, but are intolerant of any viewpoint that doesn’t fit into their carefully constructed worldview.  Moreover, the supposedly “intolerant” western Judeo-Christian culture they constantly rail against is the only one in which the left is free to be the left.  Nowhere else in the world could someone hold all of the contradicting views of the American left and remain free.  Ask homosexuals in Iran how things are going.

It really is all quite backwards, isn’t it?

The problem with the left today is that they’re all too happy to line up with their team on their side of the street and shout at the other team on the other side of the street for no other reason than they are the other team on the other side of the street.  They show up, they yell at the other side, they preach tolerance, they assign the motive of “racism” to any viewpoint they disagree with, and then they go home feeling like they accomplished something.

There is no self-awareness of their contradictory positions.  There is no curiosity on their part to find out why the other side might hold an opposing view.  There is no willingness to reach out or to learn from others.

They are hopeless.

BREAKING: THREE Attacks in London

Reports are coming out now about a van running over pedestrians on London Bridge.  Armed police are on the scene.  15-20 people are said to have been hit.  There are also unconfirmed reports of stabbings as well.  Police are advising everyone to stay away from the bridge for now.  No details on suspects or motives yet.

More…

From the London Ambulance Service:

UPDATE:

A second incident:

More:

Two men reportedly entered a restaurant and stabbed victims inside:

Mass evacuations underway:

 

LIVE:

CAIR Wants the Air Force to Stop Teaching Anti-Terrorism

Apparently teaching a class to the military on terrorism is now “Islamophobic.”

Patrick Dunleavy is an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School at Hurlburt Field, Florida.  He teaches a class on “The Dynamics of International Terrorism.”  Mr. Dunleavy’s specialty is on the subject of radicalization of Muslims in American prisons.

He must be pretty effective because CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is calling for his firing.

Last week CAIR sent a letter to the commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) urging the Air Force to sever its ties with Mr. Dunleavy.  CAIR’s main point of contention is that Mr. Dunleavy is associated with the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a non-profit think tank that “investigates the operations, funding, activities and front groups of Islamic terrorist and extremist groups in the United States and around the world.”

CAIR asserts that IPT is led by an “anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece, [who] has made a number of false statements betraying a personal prejudice against Islam and Muslims” and has been labeled an “anti-Muslim extremist” by the leftist-funded Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to CAIR, Mr. Dunleavy “does not fit the military’s standards for a subject-matter expert.”  As though CAIR has any business defining what the military should consider a subject-matter expert.

Mr. Dunleavy has allegedly made such hate-filled Islamophobic statements as:

  • “To Americans (morality) means individual liberty, equal rights for men and women, religious freedom, free speech, etc. But these are contrary to the moral code of Islam.”
  • “The concept of ‘friendship,’ . . . is a relationship based on at least some degree of shared moral and political ideals. By that standard no Muslim nation is a friend of the U.S.”
  • And “To many Muslim parents, visions of violence and death are indeed the ‘better future.’”

If AFSOC is indeed working with people who are simply prejudiced against Muslims, then appropriate action must be taken.  If this is simply CAIR attempting to hinder the Air Force’s ability to effectively fight terrorism, then let’s pray that AFSOC doesn’t cave.