The Economist: Liberalism- Where Did it Come From and Are its Days Numbered?

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Source: The Economist– Lady Liberty! 

Source: The New Democrat

On this overcast, ugly, cool Memorial Day in the nations capital just outside of Washington, I thought as we celebrate as a country the lives of the people who died for our freedom, I would explain how we got that freedom as a country and the philosophy that our freedom and individual rights is based on. Whether you want to call it classical liberalism or as I prefer just liberalism, liberalism is what our individual freedom and individual rights are actually based on. No other political philosophy has given us that. As well to speak to The Economist piece, do I believe liberalism is in trouble in America and around the world or not.

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Source: Tedfri Teff– Good definition of liberal democracy

Liberalism is based off of liberal democracy and the principles of what’s called classical liberalism. Representative democracy where the people elect their leaders and politicians. But what also comes with liberal democracy is individual rights and things like separation of powers. A free press for example so government can’t control both their own operations and enforcement, as well as the information that the people receive in the country. As well as free speech for individuals so people aren’t arrested or detained simply for disagreeing with the government or anyone else. And that right to express themselves so long as they aren’t falsely accusing, harassing people, or inciting violence. And that even covers offensive and hate speech. ( Sorry, political correctness warriors )

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Source: My English Teacher– Good definition of Liberal 

But not just a constitutional right to free speech which is a liberal right to free speech which covers a lot of ground, but individual rights, freedom, self-determination in general, that comes with limited government with again separation of powers, as well as the rule of law. People have the freedom over their own lives in a liberal democracy, but not the freedom to take someone else’s freedom away from them, especially the right to life ( another liberal individual right ) unless it’s in self defense. Our Founding Fathers ( our Founding Liberals ) didn’t create America because they wanted to bring the British authoritarian monarchy here, but because they wanted to get away from it and create a liberal free society based off of self-determination, individual rights, and limited government.

Do I believe liberalism is in trouble in America and around the world? Yes, but because you have two competing authoritarian populist factions that don’t believe in freedom and see it as dangerous. The Nationalists on the Far-Right, who don’t believe in immigration, integration, multiculturalism, the rule of law, a free press, would like to see views that are critical of them be outlawed and the people who express those views be jailed. We see this with the Donald Trump movement in America, but also with Nigel Farage Nationalists in Britain.

And we see it with young people in America and in Europe on the Far-Left. Who have more respect for Karl Marx and Che Guevara and see Communists and Socialists as their pop culture icons as well as ideological heroes. And look down at people like Jack Kennedy, Tom Jefferson, and other Liberals who gave us our liberal democracy and freedom. They see Liberals as corrupt and bigoted, but Communists as great people who should be celebrated. it’s not just the Bernie Sanders social democratic wing ( or Democratic Socialists ) that young people in America and in Europe are in love with ideologically and culturally, but authoritarians who are even further left of the Democratic Socialists in America and in Europe.

As long as you have these two growing political factions in America and in Europe, that see political diversity as a dangerous thing and that the other side aren’t just political opponents, but enemies, with both major political parties in America expecting their political party to nominate someone from their fringe wing or they won’t bother voting in the general election, liberalism and liberal democracy will be in danger in America. You’ll always have a President who believes that anything critical of him should be punished and not allowed to get out in the public, especially if it’s true. And an opposition party that believes they should not only defeat the party in power, but replace it with their own fringe and replace the Nationalists with Socialists and Communists, the people who believe in liberal democracy and freedom in general, will suffer.

The Economist: Liberalism- Where Did it Comes From and Are Its Days Numbered?

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The New Yorker: Will Storr- How Millennials Became The Selfie Generation

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Source: The New Yorker– Narcissism on display

Source: The New Democrat

Just on a personal I note: I’m really glad I went to and graduated high school in the early and mid 1990s and not today with the personality I have then and now. Going to high school today must feel like you’re on a reality TV or daytime talk show or something. With practically every teenager in school feeling the need to talk, look, and act like they’re favorite celebrity that they saw or read about online the previous night. Social media narcissism and faddism is in and individualism is dying with the Millennials and we’ll see what Generation Z is like when they’re out of high school and college as well.

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Source: FY Society– Welcome to the 21st Century 

Selfies similar to coffee house cups and smartphones, are props. People use them to tell everyone else that they’re up to date and in style with whoever is cool or awesome at the time. And I’m willing to bet a lot of times when you see someone walking doing a street or out of a building looking down at their phone and holding a coffee house cup, the cup is probably empty and they’re just looking at their phone. And that draw dropping OMG expression that you see, is just that. But there probably isn’t actually anything extraordinary going on with that person at that time because again they’re just looking at their phone because they want people to think they’re just as cool or awesome and in as the people that see them.

Well, selfies are props as well for people who feel the need to be seen doing whatever they’re doing that day and being at whatever the trendy place is and that place will probably be a coffee house or some trendy cafe and they’ll feel the need to get those pics up on Facebook ( or whatever they’re favorite social network is ) almost as soon as their pics are taken. The need to feel cool by the people they believe are cool and who they want to be seen with. Faddism is in with young adults today and the need to be seen like their favorite celebrities and individualism and risk in life is out. Because if people act like themselves the person they talk to in their head and see in the mirror when they’re just being them self in private, they’re worried that person might not be seen as cool with the in crowd.

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Source: Amazon

I’m all in favor of self-esteem and people feeling good about themselves, as long as it’s deserved. When someone fails at something whether it’s in school or at work, the first reaction shouldn’t be it will get get better. Doesn’t mean it won’t get better, but that shouldn’t be the automatic first reaction. The first reaction should be a self-examination and be a question which is why did you fail. Failing and screwing up should be opportunities for self-improvement. “This is why I failed and this is what I can do to prevent future failures and be successful in the future.” Instead of, “that is just a onetime thing and it will automatically get better in the future.” Because if you don’t fix what went wrong the last time, it won’t get better until you do.

Self-esteem, the so-called self-esteem movement of the 1990s, was the start of the rise of narcissism in America. With people feeling the need to be seen and be seen being cool and hanging out with cool people and feeling like if something went wrong in their life it wasn’t because of them and it wasn’t a personal failure on their part. And we see that with selfies today with people feeling the need to be liked and popular and be told they’re great, oh I’m sorry awesome and doing awesome things and being around awesome people and feeling the need to be associated with whatever the popular trend is. And the internet and social media today have just taken those issues in American culture to extreme levels, along with celebrity culture and how important that seems to be with so many Americans.

The New Yorker: Will Storr- How Millennials Became The Selfie Generation

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Alfred Hitch Blog: Wemisse- Vertigo 1958: ‘I Need You To Be Madeline For a While’

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Source: Alfred Hitch Blog– Kim Novak, under the Golden Gate Bridge 

Source: The New Democrat Plus

I saw North by Northwest for like the 200th time last night ( not that I’ve been counting ) because it’s my favorite movie and I hadn’t seen in about like an entire year and it has my favorite actor in Cary Grant, as well as my favorite director Alfred Hitchcock. I was just in the mood to see that movie again and watch Cary make a comedian of himself in every basic scene in the movie, with absolutely no direction from Hitch. The scene where he’s climbing out his hospital room and sneaking into another room from by going out his window into another window, is a perfect example of that. So I’m sort of in a Hitchcock mood, plus I love Kim Novak as well.

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Source: Paste Magazine– Hollywood Goddess Kim Novak 

Vertigo is not the perfect movie, but North by Northwest is, but Vertigo has a lot things in it that are perfect. Where the movie takes place and is shot which is San Francisco, which is at least arguably the best looking big city in America, if not the world. You couldn’t shoot a movie in a better looking big city than San Francisco. The director who I don’t need to mention. The two lead characters with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. Kim playing a woman who in many ways is a lot like herself. Sort of shy and lacking in self-confidence. Which is almost impossible to believe when you look at Kim Novak and then she’s also a very good if not great actress as well, because she’s so real and turns herself into the women she plays.

 

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Source: WTOP Radio– Hollywood Goddess Kim Novak 

And then Madeline comes back, except that Madeline is now Judy Barton ( also played by Kim Novak ) and Scottie sees Judy who he believes strongly resembles Madeline at a store and Scottie is still in love with Madeline and decides he wants Judy to be Madeline and dress like Madeline and go to the same restaurants and places that Scottie and Madeline went to when they had their affair. Except that Judy is really Madeline Elster and she never actually died. She and her husband are just playing this scam on Scottie that he never figures out ( even though he’s a detective ) until the last scene in the movie. Where she actually does die for real.

If I had to do a scale for the best Hitchcock movies of all-time, Vertigo would be like number five. Alfred Hitchcock made a lot of films and made a lot of great films, but North by Northwest, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Dial M For Murder, Family Plot, are all better so Vertigo wouldn’t even be in my top five, but again Hitch made a lot of great movies, so number 6 is actually pretty good. But it had a great cast, great director, the writing is a little cheesy with grown men and women using words like darn with no sense that any of these people are very religious at all and there in San Francisco and in the late 1950s when moderate swearing in Hollywood movies was becoming somewhat noticeable. But it has am iterating plot and Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, are both very entertaining by themselves and Kim is hot, sexy, and adorable enough to get met to watch her in anything that she does.

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The New Republic: Opinion- Win McCormack: ‘Are You Progressive’- Differences Between Progressive, Socialist & Liberal

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Source: The New Republic– The Progressive Era

Source: The New Democrat

Before I offer you my own personal definition of progressive and progressivism and there really isn’t any official of progressive and progressivism unlike liberal and liberalism, or conservative and conservatism, I want to lay out what progressive and progressivism isn’t. Even if others believe their so-called progressive values are the real progressive values. And people who disagree with those values are regressive or right-wingers.

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Source: The Slide Player– Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive Republican 

Progressives aren’t Liberals and they’re not Socialists either. Progressives and Liberals, share similar values, but Progressives also share similar values with Conservatives, which I’ll explain later. You can be a Liberal and believe that people who are down should be able to get help from to help them sustain themselves in their time of need ( for lack of a better phrase ) and to help them get back up. And you can be a Progressive who believes in free speech, the right to privacy, personal freedom generally, but who isn’t a Liberal more broadly.

And just as important, Progressives aren’t Socialists ( democratic or communist ) and Socialists aren’t Progressives. In many cases the opposite is very clear. One of the most if not most regressive ( anti-progressive ) political philosophies in the world is communism. ( For all you young hipsters who think Communists are cool and communism is cool and wear Che Guevara t-shirts ) When it comes to Democratic Socialists, similar to Liberals, Democratic Socialists share similar goals and in some cases values. The belief in a minimum wage, the right for workers to organize, health care for everyone, that poverty should be addressed, etc. But tend to differ in how to accomplish those goals and don’t have a big centralized welfare state tax hike solution, to accomplishing all those goals.

Again, about what progressive isn’t, you can be a man-hating, anti-Caucasian, Che Guevara and The Weather Underground loving, radical feminist Marxist-Socialist, or just a Socialist but not a Marxist with those other political characteristics. Who believes individualism and property rights are selfish and capitalism and private enterprise is racist, and personal freedom and free speech are dangerous, or you can be a Progressive. Who is forward looking and believes that progress can be obtained through government action, but isn’t looking to destroy or takeover the American Federal form of government with checks and balances and replace it with a socialist government. But you can’t be a Progressive and a Socialist-Communist. They don’t go together and tend to be at odds with each other. Progressives believe in progress through government action. Socialists and Communists, believe in collectivism, whether it’s democratic or communist.

So what is progressive, what are Progressives and what is progressivism? I actually know the answers to these questions, otherwise writing this piece would be a waste of my time.

As I briefly hit on before in the last paragraph Progressives believe not only in progress, but that progress can be obtained through government action. Doesn’t have to be the Federal Government necessarily, we live in a federal republic with a federalist form of government. Which means the states and localities have a role in addressing a lot of these domestic issues. Also doesn’t mean that the Federal Government doesn’t have any role in addressing issues and problems in the country. Again, Progressives are different from Socialists, but also different from Conservative-Libertarians.

One thing that I like and respect about progressivism is how non-ideological and pragmatic it is. Barack Obama should really be the modern spokesperson and father for what progressivism really is in America, because of how pragmatic he was as President.

Progressives like to solve problems in American society. They’re not looking to nationalize this or that, or restrict this current freedom or take that one away and make the country more collectivist.

And this is true going back to the Progressive Era ( which actually was progressive ) to the New Deal of the 1930s, the Dwight Eisenhower Progressive Republican Administration of the 1950s, where President Eisenhower successfully addressed civil rights in America with school desegregation and gave us along with Congress our national infrastructure system. Or the Great Society of the 1960s, as well as smaller but important accomplishments of President Richard Nixon dealing with the environment, President Carter with energy independence, President George H.W. Bush with civil rights, President Clinton with family and medial leave, President Obama with health care. Which I believe is just as important as anything from the New Deal, if not more important.

The first word in progressive is progress and the second word is ive. Maybe someone will someday define ive for me, ( ha, ha) but nowhere in the word do you see socialist, collectivist, communist, feminist, or even liberal. Our most Progressive President’s have been our most anti-authoritarian and anti-communist President’s. Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Barack Obama even with his major campaign against Islamism and ISIS.

I mentioned earlier ( feels like yesterday at this point ) that I would show you something that Progressives and Conservatives have in common. ( Mission impossible to believe, right ) Well, I just did that with the President’s that I just mentioned. The belief in that America has to be both strong at home as well as abroad. That liberal democracy is a great thing that needs to be defended and supported and that authoritarianism whatever the philosophy, needs to fought and defeated. As well as limited government and fiscal responsibility. Before President Bill Clinton, the last American President to have a balanced budget, was President Lyndon Johnson. something to think about when you’re looking at political philosophy and labels.

There’s been a lot of discussion the last few years, more like going back to the start of the Obama presidency, about what’s the difference between Liberals and Progressives, or are they the same thing and what’s the difference between Liberals and Socialists, or Socialists and Progressives, are they the same things. Senator Bernie Sanders, has been labeled as all three or that he’s all three. Which is not true because he’s a Democratic Socialist and a proud one at that.

When you think of Socialist, think of socialism democratic or communist depending on the person. When you think of Liberal, think of liberalism which is about liberal democracy. When you think of Progressive, think of progressivism through government action, but in a limited form. Not government trying to do everything for everybody and trying to run people’s lives for them. Which if anything is actually regressive with all the individualism and freedom that people would lose as a result.

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Leathered Life: Leathered Life Photos- Lena in Leather Jeans

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Source: AKA Videos– Lena 

Source: Action

In about 2009 or so I discovered this website on YouTube called Leathered Life, which also has a YouTube channel and I pacifically discovered one of their models known as Lena. Don’t know what her last name is and I would love to know that, but Leathered Life is a leather fashion website and Lena is one of their models where she models black leather jeans, black leather boots, and black leather jackets for them. The woman in black, perhaps Jim Morrison’s long lost daughter as far as how much she wears and fashions, perhaps loves black leather. The leather jeans, boots, jackets, Jim Morrison would be very proud of her.

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Source: ICM Ceast– Lena

Leathered Life has several beautiful sexy models that I like including Laura and Sandra B, but Lena especially caught my attention. She’s this beautiful baby-faced adorable curvy brunette, with a very tight body and a black leather fetish. She fills out leather jeans as well as Catherine Bach, Dyan Cannon, Lyda Cornel, ( for you Too Close For Comfort fans ) Tyra Banks, Janet Jackson, fills out denim jeans. With a tight curvy body, beautiful legs, and of course a beautiful butt. She caught my attention so much that I went online pacifically looking for photos of her and to add to a collection. And I have maybe 15-20 photos of her now. Don’t worry Lena, I have made a penny from them and haven’t even tried to.

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Source: FRS FreeState via Flickr– Lena

As I mentioned before to look good in either denim or leather jeans, you have to have the right body for them, especially if they’re skin-tight. They can’t make you look fatter or skinner than you already are. They have to be true to size meaning they have to show your body exactly the way it is, or you’re going to look silly in them. If they’re too tight, you might spend an hour just trying to take them off and put them on and if they’re too tight and low-rise and maybe you have a sensitive area that you shouldn’t be hi lighting, you’re going to show too much skin and and look like you don’t know how to dress. Lena doesn’t have that problem in her skinny leather jeans. She has a tight beautiful curvy body and her leather jeans just make that more obvious.

Lena is a supermodel when it comes to leather fashion. She has the perfect body for leather jackets, jeans, and boots. She’s the example of why leather jeans for sexy women should be more popular than they are in America, because if a woman or man does have a tight body, leather jeans will make that more clear and obvious and why leather jeans in America shouldn’t just be popular for rock and biker culture. And a certain extent in western culture where you sometimes see cowboys and cowgirl sporting leather jeans especially Wrangler leather jeans.

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Source: FRS FreeState via Flickr– Lena 

I think the main concern that American women have with leather jeans, is that they’re so tight especially if they’re skinny jeans and they’re worried about that, plus their legs overheating or something. But you can make the same argument for skinny denim jeans being too tight. But if you get the right fit then both skinny leather and denim jeans, can be comfortable. You have a lot of American women claiming to live in their skinny jeans and always wear them around the house and to most places they go outside of their house and even to work. The right leather jeans can be just as comfortable and denim jeans for women or men.

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Source: AKA Videos– Lena 

Lena along with Laura and Sandra B, ( also from Leathered Life ) are perfect examples that leather jeans can be just as sexy ( if not sexier ) and look just as good without being too revealing, as denim jeans and even skinny denim jeans. And examples of why I at least believe leather jeans should be more popular in America and not just see them on biker women and men, or rockers like Joan Jett, Melissa Etheridge, Meredith Brooks, Slash, Alice Cooper, and others. And that leather jeans could become a great alternative to denim jeans especially skinny jeans and something that beautiful sexy women can wear if they get bored with skinny denims.

I’ve loved seeing women in leather jeans since I was in high school ( back in the 1990s ) so no, Lena all by herself did not get me into the look and want to see sexy women in them. She’s just one of the best if not best looking woman I’ve ever seen in them. Not the prettiest or cutest in them, but leather jeans look the best on her that I’ve ever seen. And I just wish Leathered Life wasn’t the only fashion website or fashion organization that prompted leather jeans and we would see them more often and from more people and organizations and publications. Wrangler, Levi’s, and other jeans makers also make leather jeans along with their famous denim jeans and I would love to see more people buying both denim and leather jeans.

Leathered Life: Hot Girls in Leather Jeans

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Leathered Life: Andrea- Sexy Woman in Biker Leather Jeans

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Source: Leathered Life– Biker Woman Andrea

Source: Action

Short but very sweet, as far as the woman in this video, but as the person who made the video said, still sexy has hell. Why guys love biker women because of their style, their personalities, their abilities to handle motorcycles as well as men and in some cases better. But what always gets me and the thing I can never forget is their sex appeal. We’re not talking about obese woman who need 5-6 meals a day to be happy with most of that food being junk food. Or stick-figure wannabe models, who only live off of brown rice, rice cakes, dark lettuce.

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Source: Imgur– Biker Chicks

We’re talking about healthy sexy women who not only eat meat but other things as well that help people be strong and live healthy, including salads and fruits. The reason why biker women and men, wear a lot of denim and leather, well there several reasons having to do with the look, but also leather and denim jeans help protect the legs from the heat that is generated by the engine on the motorbike. So we’re talking about healthy strong women, who wear a lot of leather and denim on their bikes and when they’re at biker events and parties.

 

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Source: E Biker Leather– Biker Chick

So you’re talking about beautiful, sexy, well-built women, who are always in tight jeans and boots. Tight denim or leather jeans and boots. I believe the sexiest combo there is for women right now and still one of the most popular combos for women which is boots and jeans. Spring, summer, fall and winter, obviously being the most popular seasons for boots and jeans with women because of the weather. So you get to see these beautiful sexy women, in there boots and jeans. Generally denim jeans and boots, but in Andrea’s case and lot of biker women’s cases leather jeans and boots. And they’re a pleasure to check out.

Leathered Life: Andrea- Biker Woman in Biker Leather Jeans

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The Washington Post: George Will- ‘Saying Goodbye To Football: Baseball is The True American Pastime’

Source: The New Democrat

I’m a big fan of baseball myself. Along with football, baseball is the only sport that I can follow for the entire season and actually still enjoy watching regular season games. Not just with the Orioles who I grew up with in Bethesda, Maryland and still consider them to be my number one team even with the Nationals now in Washington. And the Nationals who brought Major League Baseball back to the nation’s capital where it’s always belonged.

I just don’t get the same satisfaction from the NBA or NHL with those two leagues today and I’m only interested in those leagues as far as how the Wizards and Capitals are doing as far as their playoff contention and to a certain extent their playoff games. I don’t feel the need to watch the NBA Finals or Stanley Cup Finals anymore. It’s just not that interesting for me anymore. That just might be me growing up and having better things to do in June now, or the quality of those leagues especially the NBA, not being what they were in the 1980s when I was a big fan of the NBA especially.

I’m not a fan of the current Roger Goodell and this league really is his league and he now owns it. It’s a league where defense is discouraged, where the average playoff team probably throws the ball 60% of the time, because the NFL wants scoring and high-octane offense over everything else. Where playoff teams only have enough defense in order to get key stops towards the end of games. Where certain franchises are marketed and weighed more than others, because they’re popular and the NFL believes if those markets are promoted more and better than others, that will somehow make the NFL more profitable. And of course I’m thinking of a certain franchise that plays near Boston, but they’re other franchises that the NFL sees as the faces of the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and perhaps others. The NFL is now a celebrity oriented entertainment corporation, instead of a major pro sports league.

But where I disagree with George Will, has to do with the MLB becoming more popular than the NFL at some point. Even with the ratings and attendance down in the NFL ( as they should be ) Americans and this goes back to the early 1970s or so, prefer sports where there’s a lot of action instead of seeing a lot of guys standing around on a field waiting for something to happen. Baseball like pool, is very interesting even with the delays in between action on the field.

But the reason why the NHL is a major pro sports league in America now is because of the constant fast paced action on the field. The hard-hitting and seeing these athletes do some incredible things on skates and on the ice. Even with the dangers of football, the only thing that I can see bringing that league down to the point where it’s no longer the most popular league in America ( if not the world ) is Roger Goodell himself.

And Americans get fed up with the corporate celebrity driven entertainment oriented format of the league. With celebrities being taken seriously as real NFL analysts ( to use as an example ) and Americans decide that they want their sports to just be their sports and their entertainment and celebrity news, to just be those things. But not all combined in the same pot. Which is what you get with the NFL today.

The Washington Post: George Will- ‘Saying Goodbye To Football: Baseball is The True American Pastime’

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