Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Free Trade Means No Free Speech in the NBA

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Once upon a time, professional sports were popular entertainment free of political correctness, where fans and players could be themselves and say whatever they liked. Colorful basketball stars like Dennis Rodman spoke their mind on and off the court, and fans loved it.

But then Nike, a liberal corporation based in Oregon, essentially took over the National Basketball Association (NBA). The $8 billion business of the NBA became beholden to the $40 billion business of Nike, as sports journalist Jason Whitlock astutely observes.

Nike makes sports shoes but it is so well connected that it became one of 30 companies invited to join the prestigious Dow Jones average on the stock market. Nike heavily promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and got Barack Obama and Joe Biden to line up in support.

Then Donald Trump won the presidential election by campaigning against the TPP and phony free trade.

But Nike continues to pander to China anyway, and that is what drives the NBA’s censorship of anyone standing up for democracy in Hong Kong. Even a CNN reporter was muzzled when she merely tried to ask two basketball players how they felt about this lack of free speech in the NBA.

“The NBA has always been a league that prides itself on its players and its coaches being able to speak out openly about political and societal affairs,” CNN journalist Christina Macfarlane began.

She next asked whether this was still true. An NBA official immediately cut her off and insisted on taking her microphone away.

Nike is behind this censorship, yet almost no one will admit it. Fortunately at least Jason Whitlock, the African American host of Speak for Yourself, is speaking out against Nike’s manipulation of the NBA.

"This is about a President that won't cooperate with what Nike wants done," Whitlock explained. "Nike is using the NBA and its leverage over the NBA to go after this guy because they disagree with him about his policies as it relates to trade in China. It's very simple."

LeBron James, who has an estimated $1 billion contract with Nike, said a Houston Rockets executive “wasn’t educated” when he tweeted out in support of democracy in Hong Kong. LeBron’s comment was baffling until one realizes it echoes the view of Nike, his lucrative sponsor.

NBA teams are now playing exhibition games in China, but players are prohibited by the NBA from speaking to the press at any time during the tour. Far from sports bringing two nations together, instead it is inflaming the tensions.

Free trade has resulted in censorship and less freedom. The justification of free trade with China was that it would make China more like us, but instead it has infringed on our rights of free speech which have been a cornerstone of our freedom.

Nike is the same company that funded ads featuring Colin Kaepernick and touting the importance of his right to express himself. Yet Nike insists that no one in the NBA express himself by criticizing China as millions of protesters in Hong Kong are doing.

In other words, it is OK in the view of Nike to criticize the American Flag and our President, but intolerable for anyone to criticize China.

Television ratings for NBA games are not even half of what they were in the 1990s, and perhaps executives see China as a market where the league might expand. The Brooklyn Nets were acquired by a Chinese billionaire and suddenly it appears that the entire league has to cater to the Communist state.

The expectation of the British when they agreed to give Hong Kong back to China was that, by now, China would be more like the free world. But the massive crowds of Hong Kong residents who are demonstrating against China show that it has not changed, at least not for the better.

Fifty years ago, “ping-pong diplomacy” was supposed to soften the communist dictators who have run the mainland since their violent revolution. After a half-century of no progress, now we have “basketball diplomacy” pushed with the same false hope.

Diplomacy is merely a charade if one side is not allowed to speak up for its values. With the immense income that the NBA players, owners, and league executives enjoy, one would think they could at least speak their mind a bit.

And yet Nike does not let them. This big promoter of free trade is an even bigger opponent of free speech, thereby siding with China against freedom in Hong Kong and censoring others who are beholden to Nike.

Nike protected its sale of shoes in China, but cannot appease the resultant anger against LeBron James in Hong Kong. His jersey is being burned in response to his, or Nike’s, siding with the Chinese tyrants.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Lawyer wants Shrinks to pre-judge President

George Conway is a well-respected lawyer who wants to impeach Pres. Donald Trump, but his arguments do not involve any laws or legal precedents. Inside, he uses amateur psychology! We writes in Atlantic mag:
And if a Senate trial comes to pass, ... That’s when Trump’s behavioral and psychological characteristics should — must — come into play. From the evidence, it appears that he simply can’t stop himself from putting his own interests above the nation’s. Any serious impeachment proceedings should consider not only the evidence and the substance of all impeachable offenses, but also the psychological factors that may be relevant to the motivations underlying those offenses. Congress should make extensive use of experts — psychologists and psychiatrists. Is Trump so narcissistic that he can’t help but use his office for his own personal ends? Is he so sociopathic that he can’t be trusted to follow, let alone faithfully execute, the law?

Congress should consider all this because that’s what the question of impeachment demands. But there’s another reason as well. The people have a right to know, and a need to see. Many people have watched all of Trump’s behavior, and they’ve drawn the obvious conclusion. They know something’s wrong, just as football fans knew that the downed quarterback had shattered his leg.
The obvious conclusion is that Conway has Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Conway's complaints are almost entirely about Trump's personality, as if the Constitution said that impeachment is for high crimes, misdemeanors, and annoying personality types. The most annoying is that he is not easily manipulated by others. He fights back against his attackers, and his enemies hate him for it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Democrats: Where’s the Diversity?

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

After a nearly 70-year-old northeastern white woman senator was nominated by the Democrats for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton then went down to a stunning defeat at the hands of Donald Trump. This time liberals promised to turn to their imaginary strength, namely their diversity, in picking their nominee for the upcoming presidential election.

So here we are. Yet the Democrats are rallying behind another 70-year-old dishonest northeastern white woman senator as their nominee, this time Elizabeth Warren.

“When did you first find out you were white?” was the essence of a hilarious question put to Warren earlier this year. After exaggerating her Native American heritage in order to boost her legal career and get on the faculty of Harvard Law School, Warren released a DNA report showing that she has very little Cherokee Indian ancestry.

For Democrats this was supposed to be the year of the African-American candidates, such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Kamala Harris was poised to give us an extra bonanza in diversity, because her mother was from India and her father is from Jamaica, but she has fallen flat as a presidential candidate.

None of these candidates is getting any traction in the Democratic presidential primary. After multiple debates, with another scheduled for next week, it appears that Democrats do not really want to nominate a diversity candidate after all.

Atop the polling and ahead in fundraising is nobody but white candidates: Warren, Biden, Sanders, and Buttigieg. The diversity candidates for the Democratic nomination have all floundered.

Warren’s lack of diversity is not the only thing that she has in common with her failed predecessor, Hillary Clinton. Both apparently also have difficulty telling the truth.

Warren has bragged that she climbed her way up from an underprivileged background, describing her father as merely a janitor. But his death certificate lists him as a flight instructor in the U.S. Army, and his obituary said he was a self-employed businessman.

Elizabeth Warren has made up other things about her background. As candidate Warren she pretends that she lost her job as a public school teacher because she became pregnant.

But in 2008, in a statement captured on video, Warren told a completely different version of why she quit as a teacher. Then she said she wanted to spend a few years at home, and to return to graduate school.

On Monday the Washington Free Beacon ran a story which uncovered the minutes for the Riverdale Board of Education, which show that it unanimously approved an additional two-year contract for Warren. Two months later, the minutes reflect that it was Warren who resigned, which the Board “accepted with regret.”

Ultimately she migrated to the ultra-Left culture of liberal law professors, railing against capitalism and free enterprise. Democrats on Wall Street are so uncomfortable with her that they have signaled they will not support her as the nominee.

Meanwhile, some experts have been predicting that Hillary Clinton will reemerge on the grand stage for a rematch of 2016. After all, why settle for the cheap imitation when liberals can have the real deal, Hillary herself?

Trump is trouncing Warren in a recent independent poll of independent voters. It shows Trump leading Warren by 49% to 43%.

This is a marked improvement for Trump over a similar poll last month, when Warren was ahead of Trump by two points among independent voters. Warren does not run as well as Sanders does among independent voters, but Trump now has a comfortable advantage of 4 points over Sanders among this key demographic, too.
Warren, as a liberal law professor from Massachusetts, is not the type of candidate who could pull working class voters away from Trump. He would have a field day at his massive campaign rallies ridiculing Warren’s duplicity and her many nutty ideas.

Warren wants to impose an unconstitutional wealth tax on every American who has more than $50 million in assets. Such a tax would cause wealth to flee our country, as it has in European countries which have tried that.

Also, the threshold for the tax would be lowered and lowered, such that before long the middle class would be paying a tax on their assets, too. That would deter savings, discourage investment, and induce Americans to carry more debt.

The biggest appeal of Warren to Democrat voters is her potential electability, but if she is not more electable than Hillary then they would prefer Hillary. The media, too, would like nothing more than a rematch to redeem themselves.

Then we would have a replay of the election of 1956, when stubborn Democrats nominated the very same person who had lost in the prior presidential election, Adlai Stevenson. The Republicans won that rematch just as they had won the first time.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dems Try to Censor Trump

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Democratic presidential candidates are trying to censor President Trump and his spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, to prevent Trump from communicating with the American people. Kamala Harris is demanding that Trump’s Twitter account be suspended.

A half-century ago liberals pretended to be supporters of free speech, but now they are its biggest enemy. “His Twitter account should be suspended,” Democratic presidential wannabe Kamala Harris told CNN on Monday.

“I think there is plenty of new evidence to suggest that he is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm to other people. And so the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken from him,” she added.

Censorship is central to the liberal playbook to try to regain power, and then reshape America as the Far Left wants. Harris is echoing the views of Big Tech in California, which already censors ordinary Americans expressing conservative views.

Joe Biden just took that liberal censorship a step further by demanding that television networks refuse to allow Rudy Giuliani to speak in favor of Trump anymore. Even the leftwing Daily Beast admits that “rarely, if ever, has one campaign made an affirmative demand that a top aide to a rival candidate no longer be given a platform," as Biden desperately insists.

Giuliani tweeted in response, “Think of the Biden arrogance and entitlement to protection. They believe they own the media and they are demanding that they silence me.”

“They know I have incriminating facts, not hearsay, because they know what they did in selling Joe’s office to a Ukrainian crook,” he added in reference to Biden, who has the most to lose in this brouhaha.

President Trump released the transcript of his phone call with the President of Ukraine, and yet Joe Biden continues to hide behind the concealment of transcripts of his conversations with Ukraine officials during which he may have improperly intervened on behalf of his son Hunter.

The Republican National Committee has called on Biden to release his call transcripts, so that the public can decide for itself how Biden misused his position of power for financial gain for his family. But there is no transparency by the Left while it demands answers by others.

Ukraine, which has been independent for more than a quarter century, should no longer be referred to as “the Ukraine” as though it were still a vassal state of the communist Soviet Union. Ukraine’s president has fully exonerated President Trump amid the false accusations by House Democrats.

But Trump is receiving less due process and constitutional rights here at home. “Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called ‘Whistleblower,’ represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,” he tweeted.

The Sixth Amendment in the Bill of Rights guarantees the basic right of an accused to confront someone who makes accusations against him. Yet Trump is being denied this fundamental right while the Deep State circles its wagons to attain its goal of bringing down the president.

It does not matter to the Trump haters that a nothing-burger is at the center of this phony scandal. In this power struggle, Trump’s enemies care little about what the facts are, and instead try to use the process to swing public opinion in their direction.

But Trump’s political base remains rock solid, and smears from the Left are not going to alienate his longtime supporters. Trump himself shows no signs of backing down, and he is often at his best when under political attack.

The liberal Democrats have given Trump the means by which he can galvanize the American people, who are already fed up with the inside-the-Beltway mentality that prevails in the halls of Congress. Trump tweeted out a map of American counties which voted for him in 2016, and it is a massive sea of red showing his broad support.

Yet little can stop the insatiable desire of a lynch mob, which is what House Democrats have become. Ironically the biggest victim of their renewed witch hunt may be the only person thought to have a chance to defeat Trump next year: Joe Biden.

Biden’s political fortunes are being badly sullied by the mud that splatters backward onto him. It is a sign of desperation that his campaign feels the need to censor Rudy Giuliani on television, lest he embarrass Biden further with revelations about Biden’s misconduct in connection with Ukraine.

Giuliani is making up for all his prior missteps in fending off the same sharks who previously circled Trump for prior non-issues. Censorship of one’s political opponents is not something Trump would ever do, but his Democratic rivals think that censorship is the only way they can win.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.