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Y’all I tried. I really wasn’t going to say anything. Everyone knows how I feel about this already. But I can’t help it. I’m madder’n hell today. So I decided I’m not going to avoid the subject because I’m afraid of what people might say to me (except, yes, I am a little afraid of what people might say).
I am a patriotic American and I’m not ashamed of that. This comes as no surprise to people who know me. In (very) general terms I consider myself pro-military and pro-police. I love America. I love what the flag stands for. I RESPECT what the flag stands for. And I am a fan of the NFL (duh).
So to Kap I say this: See what you did here?? Do you see what you did?? Look at how much influence you have over other people. With the utmost sincerity, I say that is amazing. You (possibly unwittingly) started a revolution of sorts. You’ve even got eight-year-olds at pee-wee football games across the country kneeling during the National Anthem and they probably have no idea why they are really doing it. They’re just doing it because YOU did.
But here’s the million dollar question: What did that knee-taking revolution ACCOMPLISH? What did it actually DO??? Is the crime rate down? Is the unemployment rate down? Are police shootings down? Are fewer people suffering social injustice? Are fewer people oppressed? Um, sadly, I don’t think so.
But here’s what it DID do: it pissed off a lot of people. It insulted the very people who earned you the right to do it. It spit in the faces of people whose bodies were brought home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.
This stunt has taken on a life of its own and has unnecessarily further divided our country into two more categories:
Stand or kneel.
This controversy has made people more emotional, more angry and more divided. Plain and simple.
I read a piece that was floating around Facebook today written by a blogger/pastor that said, “We should stop defending songs and flags and pre game ceremonies and some cheap, ornamental nationalistic pageantry—and actually be about the work of life and liberty those things are supposed to point to”.
I’m sorry. I don’t think I could have possibly read that right. Cheap? CHEAP??? I assure you, sir, what that “ornamental nationalistic pageantry” represents did NOT come cheap. Ask around. It came with the steepest price imaginable. And for many Americans, veterans and civilians, those symbols are sacred. Shame on any American who disrespects or denigrates that.
But change that sentence a bit, sir, and maybe you’re on to something.
We should stop DESECRATING songs and flags and pre game ceremonies, and actually be about the work of life and liberty to which those symbols point (at least work on your grammar, dude. Every eighth grader knows you don’t end a sentence with a preposition).
For me, and for many other Americans, the grievance is not about whether we agree or disagree with the beliefs being expressed. One can be a believer in freedom and justice for all and ALSO harbor a deep respect for the flag and what it represents. Actually, to me, it’s more logical that way.
Neither does my grievance have anything to do with whether or not the players have the right to express themselves this way. We all know they own that right. Quit throwing that around like people don’t understand the First Amendment. We’ve all taken middle school Social Studies. Chill.
My grievance is with the very un-American, disrespectful tactic the players are choosing to express their dissatisfaction with what they see happening in this country. It’s with the misdirected target of their protest.
(And also, while we’re on the subject, let’s call a spade a spade. The American Flag and National Anthem do NOT stand for Donald Trump. They stand for AMERICA. Don’t disrespect America because you don’t like the president. That serves no purpose either).
It boils down to this: remember when you were a kid and you sassed, your mom would say, “It’s not what you said. It’s HOW you said it”?
That’s all I’m saying, folks…
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Rules

I am a natural born rule follower. And being a particularly high strung rule follower, it makes me especially livid when people think the rules don’t apply to them.
The morning drop off line is a prime example of this phenomenon.

Listen lady. I, too, was running late this morning on account of picture day hair.
Don’t you think I wanted to drive around the cones, cut the snake line and just go straight to the drop off area? You bet your ass I did. But you know why I didn’t? Because it’s AGAINST THE RULES. Why do you think your time is more valuable than that of all the other people waiting patiently in the car line?

I mean I guess it’s poooooooooossible that you were in a hurry to get over to Shands to perform a heart transplant but I seriously doubt your potential as a cardiothoracic surgeon based upon your inability to follow the rules. And besides…I think I know both heart surgeons at our school and you ain’t one.

I’m also talking to you lady who stood outside her car and slowly packed up her kids’ backpacks with three car doors open and then unloaded her kids one at a time, walking them each to the sidewalk. I’m with you, sister. My kids have a lot of shit to carry too. It’s a pain in the ass to make sure they are locked and loaded and ready to be ejected from the car like Maverick and Goose when the safety patrol approaches the car. But I do. You know why? Because it’s the RULES. And also because I’m trying to be considerate of the people behind me who might be in a hurry.

Look, I understand if your kids are little, they might need help unloading, but that’s what the park and walk up area is for. I did it every day for three years when mine weren’t ready to fly out of the car line nest unassisted.  I got there early, parked in the parking lot and walked them up. But now it’s my turn to revel in the efficiency of the car line (in my pajama pants if I feel like it) and you are ruining it. Take a walk. On the bright side, all those extra steps will add up on your FitBit.

And you in the back…lady who gets out like a chauffeur and lets her kid out on the driver’s side of the car. Don’t you think I want to allow my kids to get out on their respective sides of the car as to avoid the inevitable pushing and shoving match that looks a lot like a 1984 Toys R Us Cabbage Patch Kid stampede? Yes ma’am, I sure do. But you know why I don’t? Because we’ve been told no less than 67 times not to let the kids out on the driver’s side so they don’t get hit by a car. IT’S THE RULES.
In conclusion, may I remind you that THE RULES APPLY TO EVERYONE.

Even in the car line.

Thank you and good day.