This blog posting represents the views of the author, David Fosberry. Those opinions may change over time. They do not constitute an expert legal or financial opinion.

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Racism At The NFL.

Posted on 3rd June 2021

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My god, what century are the NFL (National [American] Football League) living in?

This report on the BBC describes how the NFL has finally agreed to stop using a racially biased algorithm that assumes black players have a lower level of cognitive function to calculate compensation for concussion victims, and not because they finally got a sense of morals, but because they were sued.

This kind of racial prejudice has been illegal in the USA (and virtually all western nations) for decades. Did the NFL fail to notice, or did they just think that nobody would care?

Lindsey Graham's racist denial of racism.

Posted on 13th October 2020

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The more I read and think about this report on The Guardian, the angrier I get.

I assume that Senator Graham meant the statement as a denial of racism in South Carolina, his home state, but it comes across as confirmation (as if we needed any more confirmation) that there is systemic racism in the USA.

He said that African Americans and immigrants can [safely] go anywhere in South Carolina, as long as they are conservative. The word conservative is ambiguous in this context, but from his other comments that blacks and immigrants "just have to share our values", it seems that he means politically conservative (i.e. Republican), rather than a comment on their behaviour or dress.

To paraphrase Lindsey Graham into language more suitable for the subject matter, he is saying that "everything will be fine, so long as them niggers don't get uppity". Nowadays, in America, uppity means things like "driving while black", "babysitting while black", "operating a business while black", wanting to vote, expressing an opinion to a police officer, wanting an equal wage for equal work, wanting an education, and defending your home against armed invaders who turn out to be cops. In the past, being uppity also meant riding in the front of the bus, using a toilet designated for whites, sitting in the whites-only part of a restaurant and wanting to be free. Clearly, things have improved over the years for minorities, but not by much.

Senator Graham's words are totally unacceptable; the man is a dyed in wool racist.

Not A Racist Bone In His Body

Posted on 19th July 2019

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Donald Trump shocked many people, both within and outside the USA, recently, with his tweets about how members of "The Squad" (Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib) should go back to where they came from, as reported here, by the BBC.

There was one grain of truth in what Trump said: that the women "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe". Since three of the four come from the USA, Old Yeller's criticism (of his own government) is absolutely correct.

He attempted to defend himself from accusations of racism, saying that "I don't have a racist bone in my body!". Leaving aside the small issue that it is unclear if he has any bones at all in his body, due to the ample covering of fat, his protestations remind me of a phrase that I have heard before. Any readers who have been to South Africa, or who have white South African friends, have probably heard sentences which start with "You understand, I'm not a racist, but ....."

This got me thinking. Is it entirely unthinkable that the retard president might try to introduce apartheid in the USA?

What To Do About Those Confederate Flags?

Posted on 25th June 2015

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There has been a lot in the news lately (e.g. here, and here) about confederate flags. The problem is not with Dukes of Hazard style rednecks painting them on their cars or flying them at their homes. The problem is confederate flags being flown from State Capitols and other official buildings; one state, Mississippi, has the confederate flag as one panel of their state flag.

Not being American, I don't really understand why this problem exists in the first place. Why are people so proudly celebrating a group of states which fought a war with the rest of the USA, and lost; don't they understand that it is over? Are there some moral or social values that the confederate states embodied which should be preserved and celebrated? The only values that spring to my mind when thinking about the confederacy are slavery, elite-ism, and the uneven distribution of wealth.

The US government seems to be in a quandary about what they should do about these flags. What a shame that there is nowhere else in the world where they can look for a suggestion; somewhere that had something similar in recent history. Oh, hang on a minute, there is. How about Germany, and the Nazis? Not only are Nazis now frowned on by mainstream German society, but their symbol, the swastika, is illegal in Germany and Austria, as are other Nazi-associated symbols. It seems to have worked, and no-one is complaining about losing their rights. So, Mr. Obama, there is your answer: make the confederate flag illegal.

Jewish Anti-Semitism?

Posted on 24th August 2014

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This BBC story was interesting.

About 300 people, survivors of the holocaust and family members of other survivors, placed an advertisement in the New York Times condemning Israel: "As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine".

If anyone else had made such a statement, Israel would have condemned and dismissed it as anti-Semitic, but that argument does not hold water when the critics are Jewish victims of Nazi ethnic cleansing.

It is long past time that this point was made. What Jews suffered at the hands of Nazis, the centuries-long history of persecution of Jews all around the world, and what Israel has suffered due to attacks by Palestinians, although cruel and inexcusable, do not justify what Israel has done to the Palestinians. For Israel to deserve the sympathy and support of the rest of the world, it needs to show that is holds the moral high-ground, rather than behaving like another rogue nation.

Senator Ted Cruz renounces Canadian citizenship

Posted on 11th June 2014

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I find myself rather bemused by the sentiments behind this story, describing how Senator Cruz has renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Senator Cruz's aide Catherine Frazier said: "Being a US senator representing Texas, it makes sense he should be only an American citizen". How exactly does it "make sense"? Is there a suggestion that, while acting as a US senator, he cannot be trusted to have appropriate priorities? If that is so, renouncing his Canadian citizenship has hardly removed all his sympathies and ties to Canada. It has not changed the fact that he was born there, and was possibly educated there and has family and friends there. Did he, as part of the renunciation of his second citizenship, have the Canadian parts of his memory excised: does he now say "about", rather than "aboot"?

The American press, and by implication the American public, does seem to be particularly obsessed with "foreigners" holding political office: it is impossible for anyone not born a US citizen to be president (bad luck, Arnold Schwarzenegger). I find it odd that the USA, the champion of democracy and equal rights (for people of different religions, ethnicity, political beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.), is so attached to policies about its politicians which are, essentially, racist.

In the modern world, more and more people are geographically mobile, and live and work in countries other than their land of birth and citizenship. Time to change the rules and public expectations on this issue. The issue is not really any different than someone holding more than one job at a time: you require (often in a contract) that they deal professionally with any conflicts of interest that arise. If you can't trust someone to put the country where they hold political office first in the exercise of that office, then I have a radical idea: don't elect them in the first place!