Greg Maresca | Remnant Columnist
The politicization of American life continues. Under the guise of player safety (for a virus with a 99.4 percent survival rate and a mortality rate of .0001 percent for young adults),the PIAA, pressured by Gov. Wolf, has delayed the high school fall sports’ season for two weeks.
Rumors persisted daily over canceling the season and still do.
Collegiately, the autumn anchor for the big five college athletic conferences is football as its revenue stream floats many boats within their athletic departments. Football raises plenty of money, and is an economic vessel for surrounding communities.
Two of the five, the Big Ten and Pac-12, will not play fall football, but are considering spring games. The other three conferences – the Atlantic Coast, Big-12, and Southeastern will play, for now.
For perspective, the U.S. Department of Education reported the Pac-12 made $1.3 billion in 2018-19, while The Big Ten earned nearly $1.9 billion.
By forgoing football, Nebraska will lose up to $120 million, while Oregon will forfeit $50 million. Yet some question how coaches can command millions in salary with 42 of the 50 states having an athletic coach as their highest paid public employee.
Stanford was on board with cutting 11 sports’ teams before they opted out of a football season. According to the Wall Street Journal, Stanford is anticipating a $25 million athletic budget deficit.
The financial hole sunk deeper when the NCAA announced it had reduced its disbursements to schools by nearly two-thirds after their annual March men’s basketball tournament was canceled.
Running football aground even for one season will certainly affect Title IX, and other collegiate sports. In this era of the aggrieved snowflake do universities dare reduce available women’s sports’ programs?
Forgoing football is nothing short of a lockout by management, as not playing hurts a player’s potential value to professional teams. The likelihood of players not recovering from COVID is equivalent to being struck by lightning.
Despite the risks of incurring traumatic brain injuries and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), colleges still play football. Ironically, a “student’s health”, albeit physical or mental, was always a nonstarter – until COVID.
Moreover, given the risks of CTE, how is football an integral part of the taxpayer-funded mission of public education?
Granted, athletics provide valuable life lessons, but such instruction does not have to be necessarily realized within a scholarship program. Likewise, intermural athletic and extracurricular participation is often higher at Division III schools.
Plenty throughout academia, especially among the smaller FBS schools whose athletic budgets are bled dry through football, would be more than happy to see their school’s program regulated to the haunts of gridiron past like Boston University did a generation ago. Their reasoning has plenty of firepower from exorbitant costs, player injuries, and a dearth of student body allegiance.
At places like Bucknell, the athletic administration attempts to induce student turnout through giveaways and promos. It doesn’t work. Their football program is a major sieve on the overall athletic budget. It has been nearly a quarter of a century since their last league title. A dual combination of a title drought and a budget drain could mean a football flush.
But don’t count on it.
Bucknell is much too obstinate to consent to common sense.
After all, they won the first Orange Bowl – in 1935.
The same budget woes concern neighboring universities: Susquehanna and Bloomsburg.
Why does a conventional college football team need 14 coaches and a basketball team five coaches for 15 players?
Sports has a place - it should be the tail, not the dog.
COVID-19 can be juxtaposed to a stock market correction, the result of which has the potential for rebalancing priorities.
Universities need to question what their true mission is. Evaluate who they serve against those to whom they are subservient. Gauge tuition costs relative to affordability, and the ongoing impact of protracted student debt. Appraise their departments, their administrators, and the role of tenure.
Provided Uncle Sam got out of the student loan business, such prudence would be taken seriously.
With undergrads carrying vast student loans and most of them having unexceptional job prospects, why should colleges continue to fund an array of varsity athletics?
Don’t expect these college presidents that have ignored sending waves of students into a generation of debt to be any more responsible in overseeing and reforming collegiate athletics. Their indifference to student and family financial burdens is irresponsible, not to mention bewildering.
What did you expect from tenure?
When provided job protection, a guaranteed salary and benefits, you become indifferent to reality.
All savings should be applied to educational outcomes that will ensure the nation outpaces its geo-political rivals in artificial intelligence, robotics, engineering, biotechnology – studies necessary for a country’s innovation and economic growth.
If there are consolations of the 2020 non-season, it is not seeing Oregon in their hideous green uniforms, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh making excuses for losing to Ohio State, and listening to Penn State’s Steve Jones trying to explain the overtime rules and the notorious transfer portal.
November’s election countdown is underway. The political signage has sprouted up among the inescapable roofing, paving, and real estate placards. On my daily jaunt, there was even one “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) sign among them, nearly equaling the support for Joe Biden (two signs total) in a neighborhood as ethnically diverse as the Augusta National Golf Club.
Unlike the two Biden signs, the BLM one is sequestered away from the road and practically hidden from view. The sign, situated just off their manicured lawn and in the shadow of their well-upholstered Wayne Manor façade, appears to be a first-degree case of virtue signaling serving as free publicity for the Pied Pipers of Marxism.
With the recent death of Carl Reiner, some perspective is in order. The longtime actor, writer, director, and straight man for Mel Brooks believed humor fostered his longevity and his curtain call proved it by enduring two years short of a century.
For decades, Reiner’s witticisms and wisecracks were a perennial favorite that crossed generations. He was the last regular of “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” that had no hidden agenda other than obtaining laughs. The comedians, writers and producers of Reiner’s era possessed intelligence, imagination and talent.
Throughout the mainstream media, leftist doomsayers and their cronies in the Democratic Party are all engaged in a synchronized effort to keep people fearful and locked down. Given that COVID-19 is not the killer we were led to believe, it has turned the opening of public schools into a political maelstrom.
Public education is a huge enterprise that spends $680 billion a year with 51 million students and six million teachers and staff complimented by tens of millions of parents.
Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Brooklyn stickball days were anything but evident when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Major League’s Baseball (MLB) season’s opener between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals in D.C, proving he doesn’t want anyone catching anything.
Perhaps Fauci thought he was there to throw out the First Amendment.
Maybe, Fauci is all bat and no balls, or as the New York Post put it, his pitch had finally flattened the curve straight into the ground. The screwball attempt was about as accurate as his advice for immobilizing the COVID pandemic.
If anything, Fauci should be cited for baseball malpractice.
Under a Biden administration, disadvantaged and minority students would fare last.
Provided present polls are realized, as President, Joe Biden said he would codify abortion as federal law and restore federal funding to the nation’s most productive abortion mill, Planned Parenthood.
Whether Biden knows it or not, abortion and education are the civil rights issues of this generation.
Right before Independence Day weekend was to commence and for three riotous and murderous weeks, a section of Seattle, Washington remained occupied by a small army of insurgents, who were most likely ignorant of the fact that Seattle’s namesake the Native American, Chief Seattle, was a slave owner.
Factual history never codifies well with the duplicitous leftist narrative that has America’s enemies cheering them on.
Throughout our fruited plain, calls for the Jefferson Memorial to be eradicated and the demolition of Mount Rushmore including the renaming of streets, parks, towns and cities are acknowledged as serious issues. Some even consider the national anthem as racially insensitive. The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has ordered all portraits and statues of men who served in the Confederacy to be removed from the Capitol.
The renaming of Washington state and Washington, D.C.?
From Confederate monuments, the Founding Fathers to the only perfect man to walk the earth, Jesus Christ – nothing is sacred to the left whose blatant contempt for Christianity they no longer disguise. Belief in the God of the Bible was instrumental in the creation of these United States. Leftists know all too well that their rejection of God and His Word is instrumental in destroying America.
Who needs fireworks?
Where is today’s Martin Luther King Jr., who is unafraid to construct the protests as a peaceful, dignified, and politically effective means for dialogue, negotiation and conversion?
Many in authority do nothing to stop the rebels that some even tacitly support.
Such bedlam underscores how the cancer of leftism has metastasized throughout America’s institutions and in particular, academia. These rebels are their historical and constitutional illiterate offspring who have been indoctrinated to believe our nation is a hideous place where truth is considered hate speech, abortion is health care, white folks are all “privileged” racists, and men can become pregnant.
Rewriting, and destroying the monuments to history is what communists, fascists and Islamic terrorists do. Once upon a time in America, we were thankful, such fanatical behavior didn’t happen here. Something very ugly is happening as we lose our longstanding traditional core American values that is now dominated by Orwellian extremes that just a generation ago was nothing short of science fiction.
Two distinct political flanks with contrasting philosophies are fighting an ideological war for our nation’s soul predicated upon revisionist history.
One side believes in the principles of the Founding Fathers where liberty, justice and opportunity for all is creed. America has always been imperfect, as has every other nation. The difference between them and us is how we have continually strived toward a greater and more inclusive union. Our battle scars include 620,000 dead in the Civil War and 27 amendments to the Constitution that are testimonies to the American ideal.
The other side believes our nation was founded to preserve slavery and that capitalism is a discriminatory enterprise as outlined in the New York Times’ “1619 Project” that actually won a Pulitzer Prize.
Even the once-vaunted Pulitzer has been politicized.
Leftists want to expunge the Founders, while overthrowing capitalism for a socialist utopia that doesn’t exist.
Is it any wonder gun and ammo sales are booming?
Our Founders laid the foundation for a nation that remains a beacon of liberty resulting in a prosperous and just nation and, whether the left will admit it or not, the envy of the world. These masked looters and arsonists will never come close to achieving such greatness.
What we have is a first-degree case of a lack of gratitude.
How many rioters ever spent time in the Third World where clean water from a tap is a near-miracle and law and order an unrealized dream?
Their criminal behavior and ignorance are the byproduct of two generations that were taught America is evil and that other cultures, which are objectively more racist and sexist, should be celebrated and welcomed to our borderless shores. Their historical ignorance fails to recognize how they are creating a totalitarian culture of fear and terror — something Americans have defeated, repeatedly.
Will the majority stay silent and allow this to continue?
If we do not right our American ship, future Independence Days will be filled with much more than harmless fireworks’ displays.
In a span of nearly nine minutes, George Floyd, arrested for allegedly using a forged $20 bill was suffocated to death by a police officer. According to the WSJ, the officer had 18 previous complaints filed against him resulting in only two letters of reprimand.
Where was the investigation on how he was allowed to continue? Where is vice president contender Amy Klobuchar? This officer obviously had a documented history of issues and not dismissing him has city leaders sharing some responsibility, but that doesn’t fit the leftist agenda.
Such reprehensible conduct does not justify the ensuing nationwide rioting and looting that followed and put the kibosh on social distancing with no one claiming to be positive for COVID-19. The rioters were so outraged they stole flat screen TV’s, clothing and whatever else that was available.
Who knew the cure was good, old fashion rioting, but with facemasks, naturally.
Rioting is acceptable provided we don’t do something truly outrageous like assemble to pray, go to a gym, or get a haircut.
Initially, people were united in their disgust over Floyd’s death until the protest turned violent and changed the account to the consequences of lawless violence where prejudice and anarchy reigns.
The Lincoln and World War II Memorials were defaced with graffiti that included New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised that looting will be restricted 50 vandals per business. Society would be better off if folks would just continue to shelter in place and riot from their basements.
Despite the tragedy’s spread most of the protesters and their allies in the national media could care less about the groundless death of Floyd. In a striking contrast, it is a good bet that nearly all of these protestors know absolutely nothing of the unjustifiable death that occurred just four days later of another black man, Dave Underwood.
Dave Underwood, RIP
Underwood served as an officer in the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service and was gunned down as he guarded the U.S. Courthouse in Oakland, Calif. According to the FBI, Underwood was killed by an unidentified person shooting from a car.
Where is the outrage over Underwood’s unprovoked assassination?
Underwood did not commit a felony, did not have meth and fentanyl in his system, and did not resist arrest. Seems some black lives are more important than others as Underwood’s death is treated as collateral damage.
A similar scenario occurred years ago in Staten Island when a black NYPD undercover cop was gunned down by black illegal arms dealers. Al Sharpton disregarded his murder while stirring up civil unrest over a criminal who was killed where the NYPD was found to have appropriately utilized deadly force.
Underwood’s death and the many like it, fails to promote the leftist narrative about American race relations. According to the CDC, police killings of blacks declined 80 percent from the late ‘60s through the 2010s, while police killings of whites have flat-lined. Statistically, someone black has a 30-1 chance of being killed by another black, as opposed to a police officer regardless of their race.
Why confuse matters with the facts?
It serves the leftist manifesto to keep the waters of truth muddy with distortion, while making sure black folks believe they are purposely being targeted.
Underwood died serving a cause much greater than him, so that even those who murdered him would still retain the right of due process. Such heroism is dismissed and outright ignored especially throughout the media.
The most abused power of the media is their willful disregard of such worthy news stories. Poor and malicious journalism only invites ignorance, hatred and prejudice. Yet news organizations wonder why readership is sinking faster than the Titanic.
Such hypocrisy by the mainstream media, their political allies, and the self-righteous who believe they are the arbiters of injustice only further divides the nation.
Democrats’ failure to use proven policing tactics to stop the mayhem is about not turning on their voter base. They are complicit in trashing their own cities and harming the very people they claim to represent.
When do the Democratic mayors resign out of sheer incompetence for letting their cities be looted and burned?
Much progress has been made in providing all Americans a voice.
America is still the light among the world’s nations, but that light is flickering when we willfully choose to ignore the reality of what is transpiring within our republic.
Many headlines can tell a story that no novel can and in one concise phrase.
“House bill 6666 to track everyone with COVID-19.”
House Democrats have put forward legislation that will track anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and require them to quarantine. What stood out was the bill’s number: 6666 and the legislation’s ensuing acronym (TRACE) meaning “Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone Act.”
Shakespearian in scope is the everlasting question, what’s in a name?
The $100 billion legislation would “award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID–19, to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts.”
You want some semblance of normalcy, welcome to everlasting contact tracing.
Smelling opportunity, Silicon Valley through the auspices of Apple and Google are developing their own tracing apps. Facebook is harnessing “precise data” that “will help governments and public health officials make decisions.”
Such methods and the technology it employs are nothing new as Russia uses facial recognition software for quarantining, while China operates thermal scanners.
Healthcare is just another blunt instrument of control that totalitarian societies use to track their citizens. It is no coincidence why Democrats lap praise upon Cuba’s healthcare system and in so doing reveal how authoritarian they really.
There is no life without liberty.
Here's what it looks when the police come knocking (Click "Full Screen" and go to 1:55:51)
As we sink deeper into the abyss of administrative bureaucracy, the growth of commercial surveillance will only magnify government surveillance.
In a recent white paper, even the left leaning Brookings Institution has questioned the benefits of contact tracing through apps, whose accuracy remains debatable and is susceptible to hacking.
How much do we really value privacy? We surrender it habitually to friends, doctors, and companies with whom we wish to do business. Who among us reads the fine print and comprehends how our data is mined, evaluated and allocated?
Today’s pandemic raises uneasy decisions about information collection, distribution and consumption. Security breaches in supposedly protected platforms will seemingly produce long-lasting harm. These current surveillance measures could end up becoming permanent, much like what happened post-9/11.
The youngest among us are accustomed to having their personal information posted throughout social media and are seemingly indifferent to the monitoring of their private data by the government.
Perhaps what we value more is the freedom to choose.
The historical origins of privacy extends to the English practice of general warrants that authorized the British in pre-revolutionary America to search whomever, whenever and wherever they wished.
Our nation’s own documented origins of privacy have been identified by the Supreme Court and found throughout our Constitution, not the least of which is the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits searches and seizures without warrants based on probable cause of criminal behavior. In the landmark Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut argued in 1965, the Court found that there was a right to privacy imbedded in the Constitution.
Founding Father, Ben Franklin schooled a young republic well over two centuries ago when he said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The most important word in Franklin’s reference is “temporary” modifying “safety.”
Any benefit from increased safety is always temporary.
The price we pay in the loss of liberty will be permanent.
Far too many Americans think it could never happen here.
However, it is and right in front of their lying eyes. Judging by what we are learning about the FBI and others in the previous presidential administration and state governors who continue to extend lockdowns, why should anyone trust government?
When Big Government marries Big Tech their offspring is tyranny, oppression and coercion. The left have systematically been exploiting every crisis for decades in order to overthrow the rule of law, faith, and reason.
Americans acquiesce too easily to government overreach, especially in a crisis. Perhaps most do not understand that constitutional rights are not optional.
Privacy should not require trade-offs. We can both prioritize personal privacy, and accept flawed security, or we can prioritize security and accept flawed privacy.
What we cannot do is empower the decision to the tech billionaires of Silicon Valley and Uncle Sam’s unelected army of bureaucrats.
YouTube is the most visited website in the world. It is a cybernetic Areopagus, where every viewpoint can be found – except for those that don’t jive with their political agenda under the pretext of “community standards and terms of service.” Such criteria compels censorship of any nonconforming perspectives that challenge the leftist zeitgeist.
Painful truths must be banned, just ask Prager University who has had plenty of videos barred, but continues to fight the internet behemoth in court. Across the conservative ideological continuum, Prager’s case is certainly not unique.